Here is a paradox that occurred to me tonight that I would like to present to the community for critique.
I know that I am being prayed for. I'm told nearly every day by my religious family that they are praying for my soul; praying that I accept Jesus and the Word of God; praying that I denounce Atheism and become a Christian. Prayer, as we know, has two antithical components. Allow me to demonstrate. I have a sick family member and I ask everyone to pray. If my family member lives, "our prayers have been answered!" If my family member dies, "its God's will." Following this logic, if the prayers of my family members are never answered, if I am never saved, is it God's will that I'm an Atheist? Can the God of Love (?!?) have it within his will for some people to be Atheist? If so, is he really a loving god. If not, is he really an all-powerful god? Thoughts?
God created you as an Atheist. Who are your family to question His will? ;)
I think most theologians would run to the argument that God's will is indiscernible to mere humans, and that your life as an Atheist is some sort of test. You have been chosen to lead a life questioning God's existence such that you can realize your own folly when you will be judged. Or it might be a punishment for something you have done, or Satan might just have called dibs on your soul.
Christians are always good at giving multiple non-answers to any challenging question... Might be what makes them religious in the first place.
I challenge xians all the time that I am perfectly open to any form of possession, demonic empowerment, etc. (At least it would be proof, even if at my own expense.) I am told that satan essentially ignores me since i'm already effectively "on his side" (atheism = satanism). So my arguement is, if you DON'T want possessed, if you want satan to leave you alone, be an atheist.
Have some fun and present this logic/illogic to your family. The key to interacting w/ Xtians is to not be condescending or harrassing while at the same time getting them to think about why they believe what they do.
I have started presenting this as an arguement and so far, NOTHING! No arguement, no rebuttal. Just the occasionally, "hmmmm?"
No, in the case where you remained atheist despite the fervent prayers of believers, it would simply mean that “God has handed you over” to the consequences of your own free choice–that he has respected your unwillingness to believe and not forced himself upon you. (And that he has answered “No” to the prayers of your kin; after all, every prayer *is* answered, and the answer may be “Yes”, “No”, or “Later”).
So, can it generally be assumed that they can stop praying now?
This is why fatalism only works in a morally ambivalent universe.
Now now. You are asking that Christians like that think logically, No can do.
Well, at least they do see the logical falacy in their own concept once its used against them.
God made man in His image. God, too, is an atheist. ;-)
Btw, it sounds like it won't be long until your debates can include such things as "if God has a plan for everyone than Jeffery Dahlmer was supposed to eat those people, the wtc was supposed to be destroyed, Hitler was just doing what God planned" Thereby rendering it useless for humans to have any involvement or say so in the prosecution or judgement of anyone's doings. That God...he's a sneaky SOB
Seriously? They are praying daily for you to denounce a disbelief? WTF! Why aren't they praying daily for food for the masses in India and Liberia, the end of disease and pain or that human trafficking end or children not longer are raped. What makes YOU so special that you are more worthy than 10 million other things in this world? Oh, wait......this isn't about YOU at all.....it is all about them!
That's actually a very good point. The next time someone says they're praying for me I will kindly ask that they redirect their efforts towards praying for the 16,000 children that die of hunger everyday.
@ Lee - No need to kindly ask them that. Many of them will only tell you that there is a purpose for everything, including children dying needlessly of hunger, and if you don't get with the program and believe the same thing, you will be very sorry (even though they themselves have probably never went hungry a day in their whole life).