Greetings! I am just going to come out and say that I am what you might call I crazy, die hard, delusional Jesus freak, though I do not discourage any discussion about how wrong I am. That is essentially why I am here. I have somewhat become addicted to looking into religious discussion and anything and everything related to it. I want to acquire as much knowledge as I can, and I think this is an excellent place to do so. I am not here to offend anyone and I would love to be able to stay in this community for a while. I don't kow how accepting you guys are of outsiders, but judging by what I have seen on this site so far, most of you are pretty open. So, without further adieu, I would simply like to state how intrigued I am by atheism! From a theological perspective, you and I are polar opposites! I mean to the ends of the earth OPPOSITE. I as a christian believe what I have read in the book of Proverbs: that fear of God is the beginnig of wisdom. With that, my entire life is constantly in pursuit of God and this wisdom! I don't fear him because He is evil, but because He is all powerful. Surely this makes sense? If an all powerful God did exist, it would be foolish not to be afraid of Him. I read somewhere in the quote of the day section, that the beginning of wisdom is the "conquering of fear". Obviously this quote was intended to directly oppose the verse from Proverbs, but I am curious nonetheless whether all or most of the atheist community agrees with this. This would have intriguing implications! Does your life center upon eliminating fear? Fear of the imaginary God, fear of man, fear of death? Do you strive to live a fearless life in the sense that you don't allow fear to control your actions? I would too if there were no God. But instead I WANT fear to control my every thought! I am completely aware of how foolish that is, but I am completely okay with that too!
I want to get on the same page with you here. We are all human beings. We are all more or less equally able to think logically. I believe that the pivotal point from where all logic flows is whether or not God exists. Let me start by saying that if God does not exist, then I would completely agree nearly atheist based ideology-everything that has anything to do with the secular world view, I would LIVE by. Now assume for a moment that you were on the same side as I am, all evidence aside. There is a God. He is the perfect King. Everyone loves Him and everyong respects Him and admires His wisdom. Everyone also fears Him, for if they are on the wrong side of the law, He can justly punish them. Who would respect a Ruler who was a pushover and didn't care about justice? Now, if this God was perfect in the absolute sense, would it not be logical to dedicate your life to trying to be like Him? And if you weren't afraid of Him, would you be able to do that? I just want to try to clarify that if what I believe is true, then I am following the logical course of action by allowing this fear/love combination to take over my life. Do you agree with me? Yes? Then the pivotal point I established earlier must be real, and all ideology flows in two general directions starting from whether you believe God is real or not. No? Then lets continue.
If you disagree with me, then twe have arrived at a second pivotal point in our differences. First being whether you believe in God, and the second (being on the belief side) whether you want to follow this God or not. What do you guys think about these pivotal points? Which one is more important?
This is for you. Because you have no patience I'm just giving you this website as a response. http://www.reasons.org/
Although it probably does have much better reasons to believe in God than I can come up with. So consider yourself fortunate. :)
So you stumbled upon a website and had a religious epiphany? It's a good thing you didn't pop in there today because at the moment they seem a little stumped.
I clicked on "Today's reason to believe" and question 2 was:
Also, what are the implications for the kalaam argument, free will, and the Christian faith as a whole in light of the fact that science seems to suggest a B-theory of time? Does science suggest that the past, present, and future are equally real and that our perception of time passing is an illusion due to our observation of entropy?
The answer was:
"Good question, one lacking a full answer at this point."
Now he goes on with some babble about a supernatural being existing outside of time, but it still perplexed me that he would claim to be 'stumped'. How is it that a 100% elastic mythology can't just be wrapped around that by saying, "God says NO"?
Again, I never made the claim that God exists on the basis that He cannot be disproven. In other words I don't think that God must exist just because you can't disprove Him. Burden of proof is not on me because I am only trying to prove that you can't disprove Him, not that He exists. I thought it was already a commonly held belief that you cannot disprove God. In fact I have heard plenty of atheists say you can never be 100% sure, so I don't even know why you bother trying to disprove God to begin with.
One can claim that a deity exists outside of time, and that you could say that such a realm would be outside scientific scrutiny. Yet all of his supposed acts have taken part within physical realm and flow of time. These are areas that are open season for testing and research. And through this research we have been able to successfully remove acts from the deities list of acts and replace them with natural explanations, as well as correct many falsehoods that holly books got quite wrong. While this does not disprove said deity, it certainly erodes from it's initial basis for belief. This makes it's likelihood of existence all the more minuscule, but admittedly not absolute.
I am curious about something though. If God exists outside the physical realm, but created the universe inside the physical realm and visited people on Earth inside the physical realm multiple times, then does that mean he can just step from one realm to the other whenever he wants? If so, his physical appearances and acts would be subjects to scrutiny. And if he can change realms, isn't it plausible that science may one day be able to 'pull back the veil' as well?... Hypotheticaly speaking of course.
Intriguing! I was waiting for someone to bring up that point :D
I would assume that, given God created the physical realm and knows everything about it, He can probably go inside of it. This doesn't necessarily mean He has to leave the atemporal realm, as He is, afterall, God. And how can you conclude that you have replaced God's acts with natural ones? If He is created the natural universe, then He could have created it to do His work.
Additionally, perhaps we should look into the supposed subject of scrutiny that is Jesus Christ. You might end up like Lee Strobel.
If we are talking about the Christian god then yes, we have shown his acts to have actually been natural works. We know the universe is not 6,000 years old, we understand big bang cosmology, we understand that the diversity on life is due to evolution, rather than instantaneous creation, etc, etc. When the Bible makes a specific claim that God did it X way, and science reveals that it actually occurred in the manner of Y, we can then see that the claim that God did it like he said he did is false. If you want to speak of a deistic god for whom there are no specific claims... Then yes, you could argue that the natural processes are how he set it up.
Something would still need to leave the atemporal real when you are talking about...creation, for example. At the very least his magic/energy would need to 'cross over'. But remember, he is said to have made visits in person and interacted with others. This would mean entering our realm entirely. To say he alone can exist in a different realm and never have to leave no matter what is nothing more than special pleading.
As for looking into Christ... I have and still do. Remember, I was once a believer. I learned all I could then, as I do now. I will review any new information I find, for or against my current stance. Thing is, the more I knew about Jesus the less likely him being a divine savior became. Obviously I ended up becoming an Atheist. That said, I don't write of his existence de facto. I actually feel that it's likely that a man named Jesus (or someone the character is based off of may have existed). But that he was just a man with a following, like many of the corner preachers of the time. But not divine, the son of a god nor resurrected from the grave. But should evidence be revealed that shows me to be wrong, I will revise this view. However, everything I've learned does nothing but reinforce it. Oh... I also agree that Strobel leaves much to be desired...
I'd agree with the statement "I believe that the pivotal point from where all logic flows is whether or not God exists.", although I have trouble using the words god and logic in the same sentence, really.
I don't believe that any "god" exists or ever has existed, but, to play along with your talking points, If I'm going to choose to follow "god", which one should I follow? There have been over 4000 throughout the course of human history...
Doesn't the bible also say you should love God (just as you should fear him)?
And doesn't the bible say that with love there is no fear?
How would that work?
As for the pivotal points. No, I don't belief in God (or any god), and even if he (Jahweh in this case) existed it would be very doubtful whether I want to follow him.