A friend of mine is a pretty die-hard Christian (shock horror, both of his parents are missionaries/vicars) and he often posts little sayings of some kind or another on Facebook, which I usually ignore. However, today he posted something that really irritated me for some reason:
"The more I look at science, the more in awe of God I become."
And just to make that worse, one of his Christian friends commented "Boom" as if he had made some kind of infallible argument. Somehow, I feel as though nothing I say will make any difference because they must be incredibly deluded already to believe that God just "invented" science. Basically, this is the guy who thinks he's a "modern and intelligent" Christian by saying that things like Noah's Ark are "just stories and aren't meant to be taken seriously by Christians". But if that is true, then why take ANY of the Bible seriously and where does he draw the line between stories and (what he believes is) the truth?
In the past I asked him and his friend where the evidence was. He claimed science (yes, seriously) helped prove Christianity and that Christianity was about "opening yourself" to it and believing, and then you "feel God" or whatever. How do you argue with someone like that??
What do you all say to religious people (not necessarily just Christians) who claim that science is just an invention of God? Is there a specific way to argue with someone who twists everything to awkwardly suit modern day thinking?
Okay seriously Richard, lumping Christians in the same category as all religions is logical best practice.
Christianity is a subset of a larger category called religion. When we look at the value of religion, we have to look at the entire set as a whole. It is the most logical of all ways to look at a set composed of many components.
And also to claim there is no God is not a leap of faith. That is the point. What is worth arguing is not whether there "can be" or "can't be".
What is worth arguing is simply "does this thing that seems a possibility actually have enough evidence worth considering it"?
Because considering the possibility that for instance, the TV show Stargate is actually real and we just were seein reinactments of the real secret missions, is just not worth it. It is fine to just say "It isn't real". It isn't a logical leap to make reasoned assumptions.
What you have been afraid to actually argue is whether or not it is reasonable for a non-believer to accept belief in God. And that is all that actually matters. Because you are responsible to think honestly.
That's fine, I am leaving your site anyway...ok stop clapping and cheering.
Stay. Go. It's cool either way. I just want it to be clear that your chance of effecting change in our hearts and minds is extremely low. Whether you want to chalk it up to us being obtuse, you being ineffectual, or some combination of the two is no sweat off my back, but I wanted to be honest with you on your chances so you have the chance to evaluate your time investment here.
I think any question of your 'conclusions' will meet with the same dogged replies.
We haven't even touched on my "conclusions", and I can say the same for a number of the users who have responded to you. I've seen them posting on the forums for quite some time now, and while I cannot say how deep their wellsprings of thought go, I can say you have barely rippled the surface. It is readily apparent you don't know know what it is we believe or why. There is diversity within the user base. Read John Kelly's post above this. He's given you an entry point to understanding where we come from. Why not try asking him some sincere questions? I bet he will give you some decent answers.
To claim there is no God is a leap of faith in and of itself, because how can anything exist that your superior intellects aren't able to fathom.
I don't personally make this claim philosophically. There isn't much need. What I will state is that God is an unreasonable and irrelevant hypothesis to my life on Earth which warrants consideration solely based on the cultural weight of its acceptance.
Also funny how lumping Christians in the same category as all religions, and all the atrocities committed is the fault of everyone in that category is fallacious at least, disingenuous at most. Yet I didn't hear any atheists taking the blame for the atrocities committed by atheists.
It really depends on how it is done, I suppose. I don't hold my Christian friends and family accountable for the Crusades or the Spanish Inquisition, or the Pope being a general malevolent prick; however I may point out that religious adherents have the same human fallibilities as all people if they get high and mighty about their moral superiority. Why do I not do the same for atheism? Two reasons: 1) I already freely acknowledge that atheists are not inherently superior or inferior to religious folks of any denomination. 2) There is no atheist doctrine binding atheists philosophically to either violent or peaceful acts.
The truth will prevail regardless of what we each conclude.
I also apologize for sinking to the playground verbal antics of your colleagues...once again the Bible is right, that bad company corrupts good character.
I don't care much one way or the other, but why apologize in one breath and then blame us in the next? Please stop accusing us of hubris and disingenuousness if this is how you are going to behave.
I am sure you are all so proud of yourselfs...take care, really.
I am neither proud nor ashamed. Not sure about anyone else. You take care too, and I hope your Christianity leads you on a fulfilling path.
So, to deny the existence of something absurd, like the idea that there's a full grown African elephant in the glove compartment of my car requires a "leap of faith"? How is it a leap of faith to withhold belief based on the complete lack of credible evidence for the God Proposition?
What are these so-called "atheist atrocities"? Hitler was raised a Christian. You can't be referring to him.
Christian atrocities have tended to be done in the NAME of the faith. If you're referring to the atrocities of, for instance, Stalin, they were political in nature, not religious.
You have been amusing mainly because you haven't done nearly as much thinking on the topic as you think you have. You came totally unprepared.
RE: "Hitler was raised a Christian."
Though there can be no doubt that Martin Luther exhibited great courage in opposing the full force and extended reach of the Vatican, one must be a little conservative in the lavishment of praise of his work. Luther also helped spread anti-Jewish sentiments with his preaching and books such as his "The Jews and their lies," all supported through his interpretation of the Bible. One should not forget that Hitler (a Christian and great admirer of Luther, also German) and his holocaust probably could not have occurred without Luther’s influence and the support of Bible-believing German Christians.
"The scientists found that a protein found only in a chicken's ovaries is necessary for the formation of the egg...The egg can therefore only exist if it has been created inside a chicken.The protein speeds up the development of the hard shell, which is essential in protecting the delicate yolk and fluids while the chick grows inside the egg, the report said.
"It had long been suspected that the egg came first but now we have the scientific proof that shows that in fact the chicken came first," said Dr. Colin Freeman, from Sheffield University's Department of Engineering Materials.
"The protein had been identified before and it was linked to egg formation, but by examining it closely we have been able to see how it controls the process," he said.
So that's it in an eggshell, according to recent scientific findings - the chicken must have been here first, as the egg is formed with proteins found inside the chicken, claim modern day scientists.
still debateable? probably...
Who says we need to prove there isn't a God? That is just silly Richard.
I simply need to prove that it is dishonest thinking to begin to believe he does exist. That is all. Nobody should ever convert to Christianity, because doing it means you are making probability calls that aren't accurate.
Anyway the bible references that YHWH used to be a lesser deity under a bigger God named El. Which of these two gods are you talking about?
RE: "God loves you and will accept a humble you."
"Religion has actually convinced people that there`s an invisible man -- living in the sky -- who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do..And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever, `til the end of time! ...But He loves you!"
-- George Carlin --
Will all those people who have never heard of Jesus Christ be sent to hell? First we must note that the Bible says God will judge all people righteously.1 It seems there will be a stricter judgment for those who have rejected the gospel ofJesus Christ than those who have never heard.2 Paul tells us that those who have never heard of the law are not imputed sin under the law.3 Paul also tells us that those who follow the law (e.g., practicing Jews) will be judged by the law.4 The people who have never heard of the law are judged by the law of God which He has placed into their hearts:
For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness, and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus. (Romans 2:14-16)
A further indication that the judgment of God is based upon what we know and what we have been given can be seen in a warning by James:
Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we shall incur a stricter judgment. (James 3:1)
In other words, those who know the gospel, study it, and teach it will be under stricter judgment, since they have the ability of guide others, or lead them astray. Jesus, in the parable of the Master and the slaves (Luke 12:41-48) talked about the difference in judgment between those who know the will of God vs. those who do not know:
"And that slave who knew his master's will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, shall receive many lashes, but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few. And from everyone who has been given much shall much be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more. (Luke 12:47-48)
Strict Calvinists say that God chooses only some people for salvation, while damning the rest to hell. However, the Bible indicates that God wants all people to be saved and none to perish.
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)
Although God would want that all be saved, He doesn't force anyone to spend eternity with Him. So, all must freely make the choice to seek after Him or reject Him.
There is one particular class of individuals that certainly go to heaven even though they haven't accepted Jesus as Savior. The Bible makes it clear that infants and children who die go to heaven on the basis of their inability to fully understand the difference between good and evil and make a rational choice.5 It is likely that older individuals who are, likewise, unable to choose because of a mental disability, go to heaven without the requirement of having to directly choose Jesus as Savior.
Do people have to know the name "Jesus Christ" to be saved? Many people do not know that "Jesus" is not the "real" name of the Savior. His real (Hebrew) name is "Yeshua," which is usually translated into the English as "Joshua." The Greek transliteration is "iaysous." In fact, in three verses of the New Testament (Luke 3:29, Acts 7:45, and Hebrews 4:8), iaysous is translated into the English as "Joshua," since the text refers to the Old Testament saint. In addition, the word "Christ" is not Jesus' last name, but His title. The Greek word "christos" (translated "Christ" in the English) means "Messiah," the "anointed one." This is why the New Testament letters often refer to Jesus as "Christ Jesus," which means "Messiah Jesus." Other languages have different pronunciations of the name of Jesus. However, God is able to understand whom we are talking about and save us no matter what we call the name of the Savior. In addition, Job, from the Old Testament, was saved even though he did not know the name of the Savior.6 Therefore, although it is true that Jesus is the only way to get into heaven,7 you don't necessarily have to know His name to get there.
Does the fact that people do not need to know the exact name of the Savior mean that Christians should not evangelize those who have never heard the gospel? When Jesus appeared to the disciples after His resurrection, He commanded them to "make disciples of all the nations," which has been called the Great Commission.8 Although it might be possible for people to be saved in the absence of knowing the gospel, it isn't likely to occur in very many instances. Therefore, it is important that Christians proclaim the gospel as much as possible. Since we don't know if any particular person knows the gospel, sometimes we seem to be a little pushy. If you are a non-Christian, please don't take it personally. We are not trying to annoy you, but genuinely want you to experience the peace of Jesus Christ and join us in eternity.
I know there are many Christians who say that all those who die without faith in Christ will be relegated to spend eternity in Hell - even if they have never heard the gospel. I think scripture suggests otherwise - that we are judged on the basis of what we know and how we act upon it. This is not any sort of ecumenical theology or "all ways lead to God." Those who have heard the gospel of Jesus Christ and have refused to believe have rejected Him, and, as such, will fall under the condemnation of God, because they have rejected His provision for our disobedience.2 Therefore, atheists are still without excuse8 in rejecting God. Those who perpetrate evil, even without the knowledge of the gospel, will likewise be condemned, since they have violated their God-given conscience. In the same way, those who play the "religion game" of going to church on Sunday, but living apart from a relationship with God, will be condemned.9
Richard's been busy with the cut and paste feature on his 'puter all night.
It saddens me to see a grown man flail around in a mental fog....NAY, it doesn't...:D