Hi folks,

 

I should say at the start that I am a christian, but don't hold it against me!  I am always interested in what other people think, and enjoing reading the posts on this website.  So i'd like to throw some questions out to get more insight into atheism.  Your help is appreciated.

 

Qn:  If there were two universes, one with a God, and the other without, which one would you want to live in and why?

 

Qn:  If scientific theory began to support theism (more than atheism) would you change your position

       (like Antony Flew)?

       Try really hard to avoid answers like: 'that would never happen.. etc.'

 

Qn:  Would you describe your position as "There definitely is no God"  or "Naturalism does not need a divine being and so God is improbable" or something else?

 

All respectful discussion welcome!

     

 

 

Tags: Belief, God, in

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Secular christians sounds like a bit of a misnomer.  Perhaps you mean sensible christians!  And yeah sure there are some that are not sensible, and there are many church goers who just like being religious but are not actually christians.

 

I am a bit alarmed on this website at how massive negitive statements are made about christianity and its use for controlling people and God being a monster etc.  I'm a christian and I know hundreds of other christians but I don't recognise those descriptions. 

 

I think they are historically inacurate aswell as unhelpful.  I know many bad things have been done in the name of God.  But many good things have been done as well.  I would venture to say that more good has been done in the name of God than in the name of athiesm by several million percent.  I think of orphanage projects I and others are involved in (sorry not beating my own drum), I think here in the UK how many things we take for granted like a well fare system, education for all and health care for all came from Christian activists working against social injustice.  The abolishment of slavery coming from the same, with William Wilberforce, and a million acts of kindness and charity done quietly by ordinary believers.

 

As I said I am not saying Christians haven't done bad things, but when they have it has not been because they have been consistent with their faith - but tragically inconsistent.

 

Heaven and hell are interesting subjects.  I think we all want justice, none of us want other people to get away with the things they do wrong.  There would be an outcry if all the judges in our lands said, were not prosecuting crime any more - we don't care.  Then why do we bauk at a God of justice who does hold everyone to account.  I guess we wouldn't have a problem if it didn't include us!

 

 

Secular christians sounds like a bit of a misnomer.

Most Christians tend to not be religious fortunately. I mean secular Christians. This is what differentiates Christianity with Islam.

I am a bit alarmed on this website at how massive negitive statements are made about christianity and its use for controlling people and God being a monster etc.  I'm a christian and I know hundreds of other christians but I don't recognise those descriptions.

It is true, some people tend to bash Christianity without realizing that it has become mostly benign - although, it does make a people intellectually lazy. Don't you find it shocking that 40% of the nation claims the Earth is less than 10,000 years old? That kind of irrationality is what has made us become a nation that has not valued science and hence, we have become a nation that lacks proper education.

You live in the U.K.?? Ahhhh! You see. The U.K. has a much more intelligent populace than the U.S. The U.K. has 25% of the populace who call themselves atheist. You don't have the type of irrationality we have in the United States.

As the great American physicist and Nobel Laureate Steven Weinberg has said, "With or without religion you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion".

And the morals of religion are quite immoral. Religion doesn't really deal with true morals - subjective ones. The real morals such as killing, raping, etc. is universal and has nothing to do with religion.

Wow that was so cool, like a line of the Matrix!  Green pill / red pill time!

 

I do find the caricature of christians on this website quite alarming.  Were all brainless, non thinking, automatons who are delusional on the level of a schizophrenia. 

 

I want to stay around a bit and help with that, as it seems clear that athiests are butressing their belief system with silly ideas that are not helpful for furthering the discussion.

Blue pill / red pill*

Sorry Trevor but I have to pick this apart. Christians haven't done wrong 'in the name of God', they have done wrong because of God. It is in the scriptures! It is not an inconsistancy with their faith, it is taking the bits of the bible that you may skip across. "Thou shall not suffer a witch to live" is in the bible and is the cause of so much devastation. Regulations to keeping slaves is right after the 10 commandments. It's all there.

If you want to say 'but we do so much good too' you have to also give credit to Hamas and Hezbullah as they do a lot of charity work in their areas too, but you will have to agree cause a lot of devastation too. And over history, the only people with money was the church and non-believers weren't known of because they would have been burned alive. But nowadays, what about Medicins Sans Frontieres? They are there doing so much good, without any proselytising or other agenda. Doing good for the sake of doing good is far better in my books.

The abolition of slavery?!! Hahaha you know who they were fighting? The Christian slaveholders!! Who used the bible to reinforce their presupposed right to hold slaves! And I'm sorry but people like Thomas Paine and Frederick Douglass are far more influential and were secular.

:)

 

@Trevor,

Since you supplied the commentary you had to expect rebuttal, so here goes:

 

"I intrinsically know right and wrong but find it hard to live with my own failure to live upto what I think is right."

What failures did you experience that made you feel like you were not living up to your own expectations?

 

"God is distant and 'unknowable' naturally, not because he is deistic or physically distant, but I am morally distant from him, which makes me relationally distant from Him."

 

So you considered yourself an immoral person before jumping on the Jesus bandwagon? Will just being a "good guy" who lives by the Golden Rule prevent a human from knowing god?

 

"Of praying being transformed from feeling I was talking to myself to feeling that God was close, in the room."

 

If you believe in prayer can you explain why so many bazillions of prayers go unanswered? There has been millions of people praying in West Texas for the past two years for rain. No rain yet. You would of thought they would of learned something from those who suffered through the Oklahoma Dust Bowl.

 

Consider the words of Epicurus:

 

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. 
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. 
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? 
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?                -Epicurus (341-270)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi Ed

 

Yeah sure thing.

 

1.  Failures.  I think the things common to man.  I want to be selfless at home and put my family first in the small things as well as the big things, but I still want to take the biggest piece of cake on the plate.  I'm not trying to be trivial, I think all human beings have a heart conditiion, where whatever code we may choose for ourselves, we sabotage.  Tell me what yours is and I will test you on it :-)

 

2.  Being a good guy.  Depends what you mean by a good guy.  As I said, tell me your moral code and I will test you to see if you are a good guy by your own standards.  Universally I think we fail that test, more so against God's standards - so the answer is no.

 

3.  I would like to answer the questions on prayer but I am not God, I don't know His mind fully.  I have experienced answered prayer and unanswered prayer (you would explain away the former).  But prayer is much more than trying to get stuff or twist God's arm to do what you think is best - and that you would do if you were God.  I don't understand many things in that are, but you and I are here for 5 mins and were gone.  Should I be able to understand the mind of God? 

 

Prayer has been said to be like, holding your Father's hand in a dark room.  Divine presence and the experience of love and peace - can't be bought or argued away.  But like I said I am sharing my experience not trying to prove God's existance from it.

 

I think I began the seeds of an answer to Epicurus in my reasons for choosing Christianity, involving justice and mercy.  God may not pay all his bills on Fridays but he does pay them.  There is a day when all wrongs will be righted. 

 

 

1)      You’d have to be more specific. Which god do you speak of? Should we assume your referring to Yahweh? If so, I’d prefer to live in the universe without him . After reading the bible, I’d prefer my existence to be free from a hypocritical, genocidal, self-centered, vengeful deity… given the option.

 

2)      As an atheist, the only reason I don’t believe in a god is due to the lack of evidence. If science provided the necessary evidence in support of a deity (any deity), I would then change my mind without reservation.

 

3)      Simply because science doesn’t have definitive answers to all of life’s questions doesn’t mean we need to evoke some god to fill the voids. History has shown that science will fill all gaps where “god” once existed.

Qn1: I would choose the one without unless the god was different than the one in the Bible because he at times is very cruel.

Qn2: I probably would. One of the reasons I'm atheist is because science doesn't support theism.

Qn3: My position is that I don't know for sure (and I often use it as a point in my argument that I don't know either) but I am very sure that there isn't one as I said before science doesn't support it.

Qn:  If there were two universes, one with a God, and the other without, which one would you want to live in and why?

 

I suppose it could depend on which god is the one in existence. But I feel that my preference would be decided by not whether that universe has a god or not, but rather by which universe is better. I'd take a perfectly harmonious universe (if such is even possible) that has a god, over a universe without a god that is in endless war. My Atheism isn't tied to what I want, but what my observation shows me to be true. That's why my decision is based on the merits of the proposed universe and not on the quota of deities.

 

Qn:  If scientific theory began to support theism (more than atheism) would you change your position?

Since my Atheism is based off of observation and evidence, my short answer is 'yes'. While I would acknowledge that I was wrong and that a god does in fact exist, I may not worship said deity though. For me, it would depend on which god was proven and what the particular aspects of the god were. If the god is only loving and caring, I would consider it. But if the deity is an sadistic, vengeful bully, I would acknowledge it, but refuse to worship it as a matter of personal principle.

 

Qn:  Would you describe your position as "There definitely is no God"  or "Naturalism does not need a divine being and so God is improbable" or something else?

My stance would be that there is no evidence for a god, and that since science explains things so much better than religion, that any specific gods are highly improbable. Add to the fact that certain religious claims are regularly shown to be false or impossible by science and history, and it all become indistinguishable from the other fables and stories of it's age.

 

Cheers!

The one without, because gods are petty.

 

Probably not. I know "in my heart," (not just from science) that gods aren't real. You can call it "faith" if you want. 

 

Yes, no gods.

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