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!




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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.




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.

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.



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.

@Trevor, I was surprised to see your post here, but answered it in good faith.  I have read all the answers, which I think were answered honestly to you.  I wondered when reading what you had wrote in both your original post and your replies if you were being condescending, but being an open person, felt you deserve the benefit of doubt.


You describe your journey (in short) in finding your god and religion.  It could be my story in reverse.  You came to the place you are, after growing up in a non-religious family, studying and finally coming to the conclusion that god is real and that jesus died for your sins.


I, on the other hand, grew up in a religious family.  The rituals were important to us and we attended church twice, sometimes 3 times a week while I was in school.  My brothers and I went to parochial school and were taught by mostly nuns, but some lay teachers. A priest was the principal.  As I grew older, I found it difficult to simply accept and began to question things, which apparently is a no no.  I was told that there were many things I could not know and had to accept in faith.  This was the beginning of the end of religion for me.


I simply couldn't do it.  I needed answers, so I too went on a journey, but ended up in on the other end of the spectrum, the one of non belief.  I went through a lot to get here, as I am sure you did, to get where you are.


Maybe you feel as if you can lead others down the path you have traveled, but I think you need to take a second and understand that we have all arrived at our beliefs in our own way and in our own time.  It wasn't an easy journey for me and I know that many others feel the same.  What makes our journey and subsequent conclusions not as valid as yours? (sincere question)  Also, I am very interested in your true intent with your questions and replies.  Are you simply asking questions (to what end/for what purpose) or do you feel that you may be able to persuade some? (again, sincere question)


To me, atheists don't all think alike, don't all believe the same things and don't  all hold the same beliefs in life.  Your comment that it's interesting to hear how atheist think, paints atheists in too small of a box.  Unlike organized religion, there isn't a central belief.  Atheism is not a cult or a club.  There are certain conclusions that we all seem to find, but we come to those independently (not because it was written in an old book that tells us to)


I, personally, am of the belief that everyone if free to believe or not believe as they choose.  There are others who feel differently.  I am all for respectful discussion, but when it becomes condescending (or seemingly so) then there is no more discussion to be had because it becomes disingenuous.


Hi  Sharon


Thanks for your reply.  I am sorry if I have come over as condescending, that was never my intention.  However, please read the replies that have ridiculed everything I believe in and done so with contempt and a tone that only an idiot would believe in God.  Does any of that fit your definition of condescending? (some were more respectful).


My motives for asking the questions were not that I believe I can persuade anyone here of my view (that would be nice though as I think its true).  Rather I want to understand what some of the motivations behind atheism are - presuppositions.  I don't believe that its just 'science exclusively points to atheism. I think, as you have said, that people's experiences and journeys are in the mix.  I also generally like people and like hearing their stories and ideas.


Also I am tired of the silly and often nasty athiest and christian bashing, I find it distasteful and full of straw men and caricatures on both sides.  I have said that for a long time, so thought I should do something about it and enter into some polite discussion.  So another reason for entering into discussion is to try and show that some christians can be reasonable and thoughtful, and try to have a fairer of view of Christianity presented.


Are other people's journeys and conclusions less valid?  Depends what you mean.  If there is objective truth to be known then some people's conclusions and terminus points are more valid than others.  But I certainly respect people's right to think deeply, consider there own journey and draw their own conclusions. 

The "bashing" is just a way to release tension. It will continue to happen, it is in our nature and it is primarily why comics make such a great living getting on stage bashing either themselves or others.  Just today I was looking for some images on Google and I pulled up atheist images and there were several cartoons bashing atheists and I found some of them quite funny. Being able to laugh at yourself and your own beliefs helps a great deal with keeping your feet on the ground.  Do not take it so seriously, it is a need that is fulfilled and here is a place where we can come and release a little tension. 


You have to realize that we are a minority and we, especially myself ( I live in the American South), need to do some bashing from time to time and frankly it is cathartic and non violent.  One thing I think most of us here realize is that we are not perfect and that life is messy and confusing and adding religion into the mix just makes it even more confusing and messy.  




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