I have just recently stepped into full blown atheism and am so happy to be finally on this side of the fence. I sent an email to my parents, who are die-hard christians (who just so happen to be split up) and let them know I was an atheist (I grew up in church until age 17 and was FORCED to go/believe/enjoy).
I need your help though. I have a lot of points I want to make during the debate and have actually had a few dialogs with my father via email and would like to get some scriptures/quotes/notes from the community here to help back up my points.
* one point he made was that "god" was only evil in the old testament and that he sent "jesus" to the world to be the calm, peaceful one. I know this is false and have a couple scriptures but would like some more notes/scriptures if you have any, just to further back up my facts
I also have the 101 contradictions in the bible document I received from a member here on the site that I am going to print out and discuss with them.
I just figured that some of you would have some good arguments that I could borrow for this sunday :) And on a sidenote, I'm trying to get my flip video into a place I can video tape the discussion. If I do, I'll definitely post it.
Some like to throw in that the bible is written in parables. Take the book of Job. In chapter 39:9 it mentions unicorns. In the time of King James, what do you think a unicorn was. That's right, a damn horse with a horn. No one else translated it this way but him. This is not a parable. Chapter 39 is dedicated by God to tellin' Job of the wonderful & unique creatures he created for man. God goes on to describe the peacock, the ostrich, the horse, the grasshopper, the hawk, & the eagle. Clearly all are real animals so the unicorn must be too.
Bats are non-kosher fowls accordin' to King James. Taken from the Aramaic word uwph or owph meanin' bird or fowl, the bat is mentioned as one in:
13And these are they which ye shall have in abomination among the fowls; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray,
14And the vulture, and the kite after his kind;
15Every raven after his kind;
16And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his kind,
17And the little owl, and the cormorant, and the great owl,
18And the swan, and the pelican, and the gier eagle,
19And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat.
1) If God loves us and wants to be with us, why did he send himself to die for the original sin he supposedly foresaw, to give us a way of escaping the damnation he originally condemned us to? Why not just forgive people? Why all the hulabaloo? Is that outside of his power?
2) If God wanted to end the debate right now and prevent us from going to hell since he loves us so much, he could appear right here, right now, for all to see. Why doesn't he do this?
3) The problem of evil is incompatible with the claimed attributes of God. He can only be infinitely good and all-powerful if we accept the premise that evil exists. Something infinitely good will do everything in its power to eliminate evil. Something omnipotent will have the power to carry it out. Yet, evil exists, therefor God either does not, or he doesn't have any of the attributes his followers claim. If god is all-loving yet evil exists, he is not omnipotent. If god is omnipotent, yet evil exists, he is not all-loving. If god is all-loving and omnipotent, evil cannot exist... yet it does. Can't have it both ways.
4) If God allows free will like Christians say, and evil must exist in order for good to exist, then God doesn't care about good or evil as much as he cares about free will, and is thus not purely good.
5) A person can be good for their entire life and still go to hell. The only way not to go to hell is by believing in Jesus/God. This means that God cares more about whether or not you believe in him than whether you're actually a good person worthy of redemption. Not very god-like, according to their definition as well as the popular concept.
6) There's no objective evidence God exists. Saying the world "looks designed" is A) an imposition of perception and B) not evidence that it indeed was designed, nor that the designer is a god. Speculation is not evidence.
These are the ones I've thought of off the top of my head, but you'll probably want to read up on/be able to defend evolutionary theory since A) Christians typically don't understand it and B) therefore love to attack it. While these don't demonstrate the non-existence of god, it brings into serious doubt the existence of one particular god--the Christian one.
Heh, while you're there, ask them about 2 Kings 2:23-24. I've yet to find a Christian who could justify it. A bratty kid call Elisha bald, so God sends a couple of bears to eat him and 41 of his friends. What an asshole! :D
I agree with Nelson. Even if the Bible had no mistakes and all the characters were wonderful, how is that proof of a god? It's the wrong way to go about it.
You can 'win' if you just ask the right questions. There are always questions which can get someone into a corner with this subject. But I'd phrase it thus: 'I still find it hard to believe, because I'd need this answered...' instead of saying he is wrong for believing. If he's made to feel like he's on the spot specifically, he might hold on to his beliefs more. Give a bunch of candy to some kids and say 'Have whatever you want, but not the red ones'. Regardless of what they would have wanted, they'll now want the red ones more, and because they're being challenged on those ones, those are the ones they'll crave. He's gotta have the freedom to do what he wants, it's the questions you have yourself which may get him to think afterwards. Don't give up if he plays the faith card either - 'If faith is a virtue, why is it not a virtue when it comes to something else/another god?'
One other thing. Stick to ONE thing at a time. It's so easy to unravel a dozen subjects and not get anywhere because there's so much on the table and the conversation goes all over the place.
I agree totally. I need to get all of my thoughts together and kind of pinpoint where I know they'll take the topic with every point I make, this way I can have a logical and well thought out answer for them right away. Study, study, study :)
Jesus is the one who wants to send everyone to ETERNAL TORTURE in hell if they don't buy his schtick. Do good guys really engage in ETERNAL TORTURE? Even the Old T god didn't go that far. He just slaughtered them.
Also, the book "50 Reasons People Give For Believing In a God" is pretty good. I just received it myself and like the way it refutes the reasons people give without getting either too esoteric or combative (from what I've read so far).
Honestly, I would advise not debating with your parents unless you know they can be level headed about it. Family is way too important and you probably wouldn't want to potentially ruin that relationship by them getting over-heated over something that doesn't exist anyway.
But, unless you meant next Sunday then you've probably already debated them. I hope it went well.