Hi all,

I wanted to start a discussion to listen to adherents and hear what they have to tell us based on some questions I'd like to pose to them. In other words, I want to sincerely play the role of a seeker and ask them how I would know that their god is The One, True God. The purpose is not to deconvert or convert, I just want to walk through a seeker conversation where I'm allowed to ask questions of adherents and see what they have to say ... to listen. I am willing to expand on what I mean by "The One, True God" if a reader asks for that, to the extent that I think the definition is sufficient for the discussion.

This is the adherent's golden opportunity to proselytize; to convert me.

In order to do this effectively I need to ask the adherent for their imprimatur on a rule by which I can do this without bogging it down so that I can never get my questions asked. So, here it is. I'll ask a question as a hypothetical. It may be that there are more assumptions to the hypothetical that one could add, but I'll ask for the sake of discussion that we allow only the assumptions of the hypothetical I offer. This way, I can at least get through a few questions. If someone thinks the assumptions are insufficient just state that with your answer and we'll accept that as your answer informed by the assumptions of the question.

So, here's my question. I'll ask it and see if I can get a useful answer, recalling that I am a lifelong atheist who has never believed and who is sincerely trying to sort out all the gods out there and figure out which one to follow:

How do I know that your god is The One, True God?

Tags: Evangelical, Socrates, adherents, atheism, atheists, conversion, debate, deconversion

Views: 1739

Replies to This Discussion

Hey,

The important point is that when a kid gets a present under the tree on Christmas morning it is because there IS an intelligent being who went to the effort to buy just what the kid wanted or needed, wrapped it, and put it there.

In that example, we do happen to know that there is an Agent behind it. But that is the very thing we're trying to determine with The One, True God question. Specifically, is that Agent the One, True Santa or is it our parents? In the same way, is what we are observing to be claims of acts of god acts of The One, True God or the acts of something else?

Finally, I'm nost asking if a god exists but if your god is The One, True God?

- kk

btw, happy thanksgiving - kk

I am a nontheist - but I'll throw out a "view" I held for some time (not my current view, however).

I see "god" as the sum total of all things. My "god" is observable and knowable, by all humans, without organized religion, just not a "god" invented by the human mind. How can this/my "god" not be the one true god?

Hey Ron,

We'll sure, this makes sense. But how do I know that your identification of The One, True God is correct? Why couldn't it just be Helios, or YHWH, and not the sum total of all things? That's really the question for me. I realize you know that, but how would I know that?

- kk

Helios and YHWH have defined features and adherents that make specific claims about these gods. "God" defined as the sum total of all things merely encompasses Helios and YHWH for what they are- ideas. For you to accept this is, like all things, for you evaluate the claim of god as the sum total of all things on its merits and decide if it is compatible with everything we know.
(For the record, this is not my current view of things, and I believe George Smith addresses god as the sum total of all things in Atheism, the Case Against God)

Hey Ron,

Right, but it still begs the question, who do I worship? YHWH, Helios, etc. or your one encompassing god?

- kk

All things, since they are manifestations of a god defined as the sum total of all things

Hey Ron,

Yea, but how do I know that? That's a defnition you're providing but do I have any way of knowing that?

- kk

You don't, unless I convince/indoctrinate you

Why couldn't it just be Helios...

Well, seeing that even the ancient Greeks did not consider Helios to be The One, True God...

I've given what I consider to be some pretty elementary logical advice: if you have a genuine interest in identifying The One, True God, then you would do well to begin by eliminating from your short list those gods from polytheistic pantheons wherein even their own worshipers did not claim their deities to be The One, True God.

Obviously I'm biased, but I also think there is a lot of wisdom in placing an item at the top of your list to investigate claims regarding The One, True God having come down here to visit us, because if that were true it would trump the then relatively meager claims of any mere "prophet" or "messenger" of that One, True God. While Jesus is not the only one who has ever been viewed as an incarnation of The One, True God, He is certainly a noteworthy and exceptional case, seeing how no small number of people from all kinds of socio-ethno-linguistic backgrounds, from ancient times up to today, have been convinced of this incredibly audacious claim.

But heck, that's just my own advice and counsel. You can take it or leave it. You've already said that you've got your own strategy which you are going after; a strategy which seems to consist in asking other people to make a binary comparison of the probability of the influence of a given psychological phenomenon in contrast to the plausibility of a given polytheistic god being the true monotheistic deity.

If you think that your strategy is the way to go, it is obviously totally your prerogative to pursue that path. As for my role, I don't think that I have much to contribute to the direction this thread seems to be going beyond things I've already pointed to. Honestly, I do wish you the best, although I must admit that I don't think your present strategy will prove to be very effective if the goal really is to identify The One, True God.

Zachary,

Well, seeing that even the ancient Greeks did not consider Helios to be The One, True God...

What does that mean?

- kk

What does that mean?

From your original post on Helios:

Helios is the young Greek god of the sun. He is the son of Hyperion and Theia.

If someone embraced the Helios narrative, then that would mean they believe in Hyperion and Theia as well, who in turn descend from Gaia and Uranus. Each of these would be regarded as "gods" in the sense of "a superhuman being or spirit worshiped as having power over nature or human fortunes" but obviously not in the sense of "the Sole Creator and Ruler of the universe and everything in it."

If someone believes in 5+ "gods" then, by definition, they don't believe that any one of them is "The One, True God".

In terms of rhetoric, then, the whole question of belief in "Helios as the One, True God" is a straw man, since even the Helios narrative which you presented itself doesn't present Helios as as The One, True God, but simply as one of many supernatural/superhuman beings collectively reverenced by the Greeks.

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