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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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 don't particularly care.  I want to live in reality as it is.  Let's say, hypothetically speaking, that some magnificent evidence comes to light confirming the existence of a god for me: how woud that make me feel?  Well, I'd be curious about this god, and might experience any number of emotional and intellectual responses to it, but it wouldn't change how feel about the universe, on the whole, at all.  It's the exact same universe I lived in before knowing there was a god, so I wouldn't love it any less just because my comprehension of it changed. 

 

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?

 

I don't believe in any gods.  I wouldn't even really call myself an agnostic atheist.  The more concrete gods like Odin and Zeus have been reasonably disproven.  I don't think the term 'knowledge' can be meaningfully applied to more abstract god concepts like Brahman or one of the contemporary constructs of the Christian God which stands, by definition, as an exception to all natural law.

 

Whether I believe gods exist or not, however, is less important to my atheism than whether or not I believe gods are relevant to our existence and the pursuit of knowledge and to well-being.  I have met theists who sincerely believe that their god fulfills exactly those purposes, and they earnestly strive to do good works as a result, so I won't fault them for that conviction, but I strongly disagree.

 

Hopefully that answers your questions to some extent.

I'll bite.


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

I would probably like to live in the Universe that did have a god. I'm going to assume that by 'god' you mean one that is A) benevolent (rather than the only other two options, malevolent or indifferent) and B) all-powerful. It would follow from that then that such a universe would have no wars, no genocide, no cruelty, no rape, no murder, no natural disasters, no disease, no starving children, no ignorance, no corruption, etc etc etc. Any god worth his salt ought to be able to create such a universe. A god that could not is a) not much of a god and b) despicable and immoral for going ahead anyway and selfishly creating a world chock-full to bustin' of the things I mentioned above.

 

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

If scientific evidence pointed to a godlike entity, I have no problem whatsoever with changing my mind. The entire reason I changed my mind away from the Christianity I grew up with was because I came to realise there wasn't a scrap of a good reason to consider it factual. Bear in mind with this though that the scientifically rigorous (unlike the religious) require reasonable standards of proof before accepting something so huge. What the religious often consider scientific proof of their position falls woefully short of the sort of evidence that is truly needed - a point that they in all seriousness ought to be able to see, since they show the identical skepticism we do when dealing with identical claims from other religions! Also please bear in mind that evidence for a god is not evidence of your god. If science turns around and says, 'yeah you know what, turns out evolution is total bullshit and we arrived fully-made on day one', there is still no natural or easy progression to "Praise Jesus!!".

 

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 position is not that 'there definitely is no god'. It would be absurd to be so certain. What I can be certain of is that there definitely is no such thing as YOUR god (as in, the Christian version as described in the bible). Nor is there any such being as Allah, as described in the Qu'ran. Such entities are, firstly, all logical contradictions (ie. like a cuboid sphere, they simply cannot exist as described). Those are the religions I am most acquainted with, but I must say that I consider it highly unlikely that any other faction on this planet has got 'the right one'. I think that if any god exists, and if it MATTERS in some way that we know of its existence, it behooves that god to make itself known to all (rather than relying on nothing more than hearsay, and ancient books indistinguishable in form and content from any other ancient book that we recognise as pure myth). Anything less is despicable, unworthy behaviour of a 'god' and that is why I find it impossible at present to believe that such a being exists at all. I would most certainly rather believe (if I had a choice what to believe, which of course I don't) in no god at all than in the indifferent or malevolent ones that populate our world's religious stories. Surely any sane person would agree.

Agree!! Well said. Thanks for doing all the hard work.  I was afraid I would have to reply, but not now.  :)

 

Thanks for the kind words!

I missed a question.

 

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.'

 

 

That's a bit like asking, "If the colour red magically and universally became the colour blue, would I still wear my red polo shirt?"  Well, I have nothing against blue, so I suppose the answer is 'yes', but that doesn't make the question any less nonsensical.

 

Science describes the natural universe.  If God is defined as supernatural, the how would a process designed to deal with natural phenomena be able to describe it?  If God is not supernatural, then why is it God and not just another natural phenomenon?

 

So I suppose my answer would be 'yes', though the question seems nonsensical.  You'd have to provide some methodology by which God could be scientifically proven before I could really weigh in and give a meaningful response.

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

=> There are several definitions of God, with everyone having own their perception about the nature of God. Even if we take the Judeo-Christian God as a probable winner, we still have differences on what God really wants among people of the same religion. Take for example the differences between the Jehovah's witness and the Pentacostals. My answer to living under any God would depend on what that God means. Is he the guy who drowns his own kids or the one who turns water into wine for them?

 

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

(like Antony Flew)?

=> Firstly, Antony Flew did not become a Deist because scientific theory supported it. He left Atheism because he needed an answer to the cause of Abiogenesis.  Quote: ... the only reason which I have for beginning to think of believing in a First Cause god is the impossibility of providing a naturalistic account of the origin of the first reproducing organisms."

There was a time when people thought that all diseases were as a result of sins and that Earthquakes were punishments from God. That is how religion has always worked. Filling in the blanks left unfilled by Science. The atheism stance is to believe only that which is supported by cross verifiable evidence. No answer, is better than just any answer. So if God can be proved by cross verifiable evidence, I think no one would want to go against him and neither will I.

As demonstrated before, people have their own interpretations of God and as there is no common consensus, the complete nature of God is unknown to all. When one claims that a God has created us and the Universe, what they are doing is answering the cause for Origin, which is currently unknown with another unknown factor, God. I fail to see, how that solves the problem?

 

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?

=> Atheism is simple: Rejection of beliefs based on lack of cross verifiable evidence.

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I am glad to find a Theist here for answers. I inturn needed some answers too. Unfortunately most theists I meet are sheepish and quote Bible as basis for their answers. I would be glad if you can answer these better for me:

1) Most of us follow the religion of our forefathers, never really looking for answers elsewhere. When I became doubtful about the teachings in my church, I tried to look at other christians sects. I changed five sects in pursuit of a better answer. One thing I found in all of these was that each one of these sects believed that their sect had the correct answer and that only they would go to Heaven. Looking out of Christianity, its the same story in Islam. With so many conflicting answers and each one thinking that only they are correct, how can u be sure that u have the correct answer?

 

2) Seeing that most Christians have a bone to pick with Evolution, one question always pops in my mind. How do you answer the existence of a tail bone in your body which is only present in species who either have a tail or ever had one?

 

3) One of the most detrimental teachings of the Church is the teaching that the Bible is the source for all answers. This has lead to university degrees like Master of Divinity and evolution bashing sites like Creationwiki. Do you believe that one should spend most of his time on pseudo science websites like Creationwiki than reading something more factual like say Wikipedia?

Hi

 

Thanks for the reply, i'm enjoying all of them - very enlightening as to how athiests think.

 

I will have a go at answering your questions, but I do need to be clear that I am not speaking for all christians or theists, there are many views on most things.  Its my take.

 

1.  How do I know if I backed the winning religious Pony?  Good question!

 

Of course your not asking why I believe there is a God in the first place, so i'm not going there, i'm just talking about why I chose Christianity.

 

Background.  I didn't grow up in a christian home, my father was quite anti-christian because of his childhood experiences, and was more immersed in budhism and transendental meditation.  I joined in with the latter for some time and found it experiential and interesting.  When I was 21 I went to church with my girlfriend (she went regularly) and listened to the messages, and began reading the Bible, particularly the life of Jesus.  I later did a degree in theology.

 

What struck me is that the Christian world view seemed to fit reality very well.  The problem of evil and suffering that my dad bauked at seemed to be explained in this theological framework.  Thinks like:

 

1.  I intrinsically know right and wrong but find it hard to live with my own failure to live upto what I think is right.  Lying is wrong but I lie, stealing is wrong but I have stolen, making people pay when they hurt you is madening passion but when you do it, it has no reward only regret.  Not to mention hurting the people I love the most.  I suffer and I cause others to suffer, sometimes despite wanting to be better than I am - and at other times wilfully so.  Multiply my experience by 7 billion and you have a world of people who suffer and cause suffering. 

 

And yet, I am outraged at injustice, and have a nagging, no pervasive sense that the world should not be like this.  People should not be like this.  I think thats a feeling common to our clan (humanity).

 

Which religion best explains this experience?  For me, the biblical idea that the world wasn't once like this, that it was the perfect place that part of me longs for now, and that humanity turned away from its creator introducing sin explains this.  The strong feeling of justice I have makes me think that the idea of a final judgment by God is right and necessary.  I'm outraged if people get away with crimes they have committed in this life, and if I am just a man then surely God's sense of justice is greater than mine.

 

The problem that leaves me with is that I know what I am like.  If I want justice which is common to man, then God will have to judge me too.  I don't like that.  Or atleast I need a way out.  Pulling myself up by my own boot straps doesn't work for me.  Like a child I could say, i'm sorry I wont do it again, but its not true - I keep doing it, even when I don't want to, and other times I do want to!  So religions that are 'try and be good enough' and be in our club and God will let you into heaven - don't cut it for me, or I think for anyone.

 

Does Christianity have an answer?  Yes, in Jesus' death and resurrection.  I know from the universal sense of justice that God must be just, but He must also be compassionate and loving and merciful.  So when Christianity says, God became a man and stepped into my shoes to be punished for my wrong doing then - it has my attention.  I don't see that in any other 'try harder' religions or 'ignore the problem and change your perception of reality' religions.

 

Then there is the problem of why there is many religions and athiests.  Christianity says we naturally do not know God because our sin has seperated and cut us off from Him until we personally are forgiven.  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 there are many religions and 'most' (i think is true) people have a sense of the transcendent and that there is a God - but everyone is fumbling around in the dark - the result of that fumbling is many religions trying to find the God we all know is there - but don't know.  My take then is that atheism is a moral problem ever before it is an intellectual one - no offence intended.

 

Natural disasters.  Whats that about in a theological world?  Christianity teaches that nature itself fractured when God and man seperated.  Its not that any individual event is a punishment for specific sins - its that everything is broken.  Now obviously you can chase that down scientifically and describe the brokenness in terms of how earthquakes happen, but I want a meta narrative of the why.

 

Lastly, and Im probably missing loads out, when I became a Christian - you will appreciate this least of all  -  my experience was inline with what the Bible says.  My 'conversion' was quiet but the effect was an unexpected feeling of being 'clean.' My conscience seemed to instantly get an overhaul and the God I didn't know relationally and experintially turned into the God I now knew.  Not in the sense of Fred next door, but a majestic sense of divine presence, of love - intense love.  Of praying being transformed from feeling I was talking to myself to feeling that God was close, in the room.  The Bible went from being words on a page to having intrinsic beauty, meaning and power.  Thats lasted for the last 18 years.

 

I'm not trying in anyway to prove Christianity is true from my expereince, I am just answering the question from my perspective.

 

That was longer than expected!  I will try and keep the rest short.

 

2.  Tail Bone.  Functionally I believe its the anchor point for the anus muscles and around that region.  I am not at all surprised that you can look at different works of an artist and see similarities in their work.  Its what I would expect.

 

3.  Creation websites.  I think degrees in theology is a good thing, generally.  I enjoyed mine on many levels.  The creation thing is difficult philisophically.  I don't think that the Bible was every given to answer the 'how' questions but the 'why' questions.  Having said that I think it is true when does say someting - when rightly interpreted on a subject. 

 

I don't like the athiest agenda of pitting science against religion.  The sciences grew out of religion - believing that because there is a designer we can discover processes 'thinking God's thoughts after him'.  There are no doubt wacky silly religious attempts at science, but there are also serious ones.  Discussion and engagement would be beneficial.  I am disapointed that Dawkins has refused a debate with William Lane Craig.  And not for any good reason.  I don't like the whole name calling thing, coward etc, but I do think its unhelpful not engaging with some of the best Christian minds on the existence of God etc. 

 

Should there be websites, the sane ones yes.  Thinking, discussing, debating are all helpful in the right spirit.  I say that sheepishly, a bit embaressed about some of the nuttier members of my christian family - but still beleiving that we have a contribution.

 

Hope that helps!

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sorry all the answers posted here are really long so I may have skipped over bits.

"What struck me is that the Christian world view seemed to fit reality very well."

I want you to try and consider all the differences between what a world would look like if there was no god/s and everything worked by natural processes, and a world in which a god/s intervened in human matters; took sides in war, answered prayers, had chosen people handed out shotty advice which had to be constantly updated etc., n now think which world this one resembles.

"the biblical idea that the world wasn't once like this, that it was the perfect place that part of me longs for now"

So YHWH created a perfect world, in which he placed imperfect creatures without knowledge, and then punished them for doing what came natural to them? Seeking from the tree of knowledge? Asking questions! So again, creates something and then punishes it for behaving as it naturally behaves. Reminds me of the question of homosexuality. Why (if we are all his creation) would he make someone gay, and then punish them for it?

"God's sense of justice is greater than mine"

If you are going by the biblical god, I guarantee you are more of a moral person than YHWH. Is there anything that your children could do, that would make you put them in the basement and torture them for all eternity? Anything? (Matt Dillahunty from the Atheist Experience is great on this topic)

"So religions that are 'try and be good enough' and be in our club and God will let you into heaven - don't cut it for me"

Who then can you trust to give you the right answers? Men wrote the bible, can you trust them?

"Does Christianity have an answer?  Yes, in Jesus' death and resurrection."

You mean the loophole YHWH needed to fix a punishment which He made in the first place? And the best solution he comes up with is the scapegoat tactic in human sacrifice form?

You claim God is "'unknowable' naturally" yet you ask if we could find physical evidence for him, would we change our minds? If God is unknowable naturally, he has no effect on the natural world, so he had no effect on the creation of any holy books, or answers prayers or performs miracles. 2000yrs and Christianity still can't realise it's inherent flaws.

"nature itself fractured when God and man seperated"

The fact we are on a cooling planet, with a moving crust answers ALL questions about natural disasters. Adding god to that gets you nowhere but creating more questions and upsetting Ockham.

"majestic sense of divine presence, of love - intense love"

why is this feeling always the same no matter who are what god or principle of compassion or any other spiritual concept you are praying or meditation on? Could it simply be a psychological phenomena?

"Tailbone"

You think the fact that all mammals have all the same bones at different proportions, is evidence of the same artist? Possible, but the family tree of evolution answers it better and more accurately. Also if the artist hypothesis is true, what about the fish that Dawkins uses as an example, with 2 sets of eyes, both sets different because the have different evolutionary beginnings. Why doesnt the lazy artist just use the same eye there? Or is the fact that it evolved on a different part of the fish have a better explanation?

"Dawkins V's Craig"

Craig is a skilled debater no matter what topic. He controls and manipulates the conversation to make it sound like he's winning because he repeats 'so-n-so didn't answer my specific question, therefore I've won' disregarding all the opponent said. The Harris V Craig debate is a good example. He also lies in his manipulation eg quoting Harris' books but using lines of others' quotes to different effects, rather than Harris' own words. That's deceitful. If you actually wrote down all points made by both parties, Hitchens and Harris have both made a meal of him, even though it doesnt sound like it in real time. Dawkins is a skilled evolutionary biologist and a scientist and (even though i think him great) isn't as eloquent. I don't blame him for not going up against Craig.

"Debating"

Im up for different points of view, but making websites with dis-information on facts that have been debunked constantly is flat out lying and I have no time for that.

ok your questions.

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

Depends on the concept of God. Spinoza or Einstein's God would have no effect what so ever so it doesn't matter. A Theistic god however, that cares what I do and when, and even what I think is a horrible concept and can only be enjoyed by someone wanting to be a slave and a sycophant. It's an always watchful, controlling father who will never die and let you live your life.

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

The Antony Flew comment is a bit misleading. He didn't find evidence that supported theism, he just couldn't possibly conceive of how DNA could come about naturally. Just because he couldnt conceive of it, it doesn't make it necessarily therefore impossible.

Dawkins and A.C. Grayling have a brilliant discussion which should be easy to find on the topic of "what evidence would change your mind about God" and I highly recommend listening to it. If a God has any physical influence on the world, then we should be able to find it. If it is through a means/force that we have no yet found but do someday, then 'God' in that case may just be a highly more evolved being that we may be able to have similar powers too with the new understanding. For something to be beyond that, I'm not sure what could demonstrate it? A personal experience means nothing more than maybe I hallucinated. Anecdotal evidence means nothing. As PZ Myers says if confronted by a 30ft Jesus walking around healing people, "I'd chase it down with a scalpel for a sample!" I want to say yes I'd change my mind but the it would require extraordinary evidence for extraordinary claims.

"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?"

No one can claim there definately is no god, it's as big a leap as saying there is one. The only thing I can say is there is absolutely nothing compelling me to worship any of the thousands of gods on offer. Read 'The bible unearthed' by Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman. They are very open and came from a background of trying to prove the bible true! Yet with all the Archeological evidence possible, there is nothing to distinguish YHWH to be anything special of the hundreds of Gods of that region alone. Then study the history and reasons for putting together the new testament. Its all political and in no sense devine. This is the interesting parts of religion, like studing ancient war, but can only lead to the sensible conclusion of Theism being man made (as well as male made). Deism is more likely but still has nothing to back it up, and Ockham to cut it down.

Sorry for the thousand page essay :-/

What struck me is that the Christian world view seemed to fit reality very well.

=> I would take that answer if all Christians had the same world view. The problem is that many churches preach that their subsect is the true sect of Christianity and only they have it right. There are major differences between the teachings of the Pentacosts, Jehovah Witness' and Catholics. My question was, who can u be sure that your christian subsect has the correct answer, when there are other Christians who might say that you have got it wrong?

 

Functionally I believe its the anchor point for the anus muscles and around that region.
Yes, tail bone acts as an anchor point in monkeys too. The fact is that humans have this bone attached to pelvis and it is the same story for other tailed mammals. A designer could have simply removed the bone and have the muscles connected using internal appendages, but instead he choose a tail bone. Let me give another example, humans when frightened or cold, usually experience goose bumps. If you ever observe a cat or monkey feeling threatened, you will find that they go through the same process. In animals however piloerection, serves more purpose. When threatened,  erect body hair gives your enemy the perception that you have grown in size. While this works for animals, human hair does no good when erect over threats. It is just one the many vestigial functions in our body that you will find. Now one can argue that erect hair does provide a small shield against cold, but one cannot deny that it is useless when erect otherwise.

The Plantaris muscle is absent in 7-10% humans, yet they do just fine. Pyramidalis muscle is absent in 20% of the humans who never really feel the lack of it. The Occipitalis Minor is a muscle in the back of the head, which is present in only 36% of the Europeans. These are just a few examples of several dysfunctional parts of our body that can only be explained by Evolution.    

 

So when Christianity says, God became a man and stepped into my shoes to be punished for my wrong doing then - it has my attention.

=> I know that it feels great to been forgiven and have justice in this world. But for that do we really need someone dying for what we have done? In today's world, a Cuban drug lord can easily kill people and then go to his church and ask forgiveness for his sins. And he is forgiven. What Christianity is trying to do is that make people feel that their wrong doings are not their fault and can be corrected by accepting Christ. How does this help the person not repeat the wrongs again? Isn't it just better to accept that we are prone to err and just try to be better. What is wrong with trying harder? Do you think that it is right to tell kids that they are born as sinners?

 

The sciences grew out of religion - believing that because there is a designer we can discover processes 'thinking God's thoughts after him'.

=> This line has become like a mantra for theists now. No one ever tries to analyse where the scientific thought comes from. The idea that our universe can be explored and the idea of rationality was long before Christianity and it came from the Greeks. It was certainly not a belief in God that caused Socrates to form the basis of rational thinking and hence Science.

 

I am disapointed that Dawkins has refused a debate with William Lane Craig.

Dawkins does not debate that often and think he better not. He is a scientist and is good at researching science. When he gets into debates, he usually loses his cool and always has a lengthy explanation for everything. If you read any of his books, you will find that he takes an entire chapter to explain a single argument. That is how scientists are. They think too deeply. Debates are for people like Hitchens, who has infact debated with Craig. We all need to find our strengths and weaknesses and play accordingly. There is nothing wrong with denying a debate, if you feel that you are not up for it.

 

I don't like the athiest agenda of pitting science against religion

=> When people like Pat Robertson make claim that they can deflect hurricanes and heal people, one has to use science to show the absurdity of their beliefs. Faith is a major threat to the Human attempts at eradicating diseases. Take for example the initial Muslim resistance to polio vaccination or the Catholic churchs' attempt at banning condoms. You will still find pentacostal churches practising faith healing and asking their members not to go to the hospital.  

 

I'm glad you brought up the false Science grew out of religion thought. As you said, even further back with Lucretius they were studying nature. It's more accurate that Science came from Philosophy (hence being called natural philosophy) and religion sprung a lot of its thinking from philosophy too. It is an attempt to explain the world, they just got it wrong and don't like re-editing scripture.

Hi Alex

 

Sorry, that means I wrote all of that for nothing and didn't answer your initial question!  what a plank!  I didn't pick up on the sects thing.  Let have another brief go.

 

Why evangelical christianity (my branch) rather than catholocism etc.  I'm in danger of stating my label here as evangelical means many things to many people. 

 

Simply put:  Other 'sects' add something to the Bible.  Catholocism (which i am loathed to call Christian) adds the pope who can make up infallible truth and the apocraphyr - an additional book.  Mormons have the teaching of Joseph Smith and the book of Mormon.  JW's have the watch tower.

 

The Bible says that nothing should be added or taken away from it.  The things that Popy and crew come up with contradict what the Bible teach.  And I don't think you can have it both ways.  I guess i'm just trying to be consistent, and stick with the message of the Bible on its own.  I don't think you can accept the Bible for what it claims to be and also add another religous book or Guru to it.  Hope that helps.

 

2.  Tail bone.  I don't see any conflict with what you have said with belief in God.  Sorry, I realise thats probably unsatisfying but its just not a problem for me.  Things adapting etc. and even humans having goose bumps just seems like a non issue.

 

3.  Forgiveness.  Your mistaken here on what Christianity is and teaches.  It doesn't teach that were not responsible for our sin.  It teaches exactly the opposite - personal accountability.  It definitely doesn't teach that you can ask for forgiveness and then keep on doing it - by why of using God to just make yourself feel better.

 

One of the hardest parts of becomming a christian is facing up to our own moral failure, and not excusing it in any way.  And becoming a christian involves a change in thinking so that you are turning from living in selfish immoral ways to following Christ, while accepting His free, but not cheap, offer of forgiveness.  Therefore, a mark of a genuine christian is that these things can be seen, however imperfectly.  If someone tells me they are a christian but their lifestyle says otherwise then I don't believe them - I don't care if they go to church, have been baptised or are well known.  Not that any chrisitan is anywhere near perfect but there is a big difference between living hypocritcally on purpose and not wanting to sin but still falling short, but working on it.

 

I am glad that I am not the man I was before I was a christian, I am glad that i have changed and am changing.  I also know that God will continue to help me change as he has done in the last 18 years.  (please don't read that as any claim to supperiority - its just my experience).

 

4.  Science coming out of religion.  Yeah your right, I mean to say the modern scientific disciplines.  And sure I need to support that and can't without looking it up so I will need to get back to you.

 

5.  Dawkins.  I could buy that, if he hadn't said he wanted to talk to anyone about faith and would win the argument.  And if he didn't spend copious amounts of time trying to have sophisticated arguments with unsophisticated christians.  Its easy to look right if you interview, talk with, and film people who are no where near on the same intellectual plane.  Dawkins can't have his cake and eat it - either enter into dialogue with the best proponents of the arguments he disagrees with, or stop being a paper champion.  Its just not honest.

 

I disagree about the hitchens debate, and another athiest website said that WLC 'spanked' Hitchens.  Hitchens arguments were poor and answered.  But no way do i want to get into an us verses them mentality - I think more in terms of dialogue on issues we want to make progress on.

 

WLC cannot prove there is a God, no one can.  All we can do is say given the evidence, is it likely?  I think WLC does that well. 

 

 

6.  I feel the Pat Roberston objection, and can only maintain an embaressed silence.  Except to say were not all like that.  But I am not saying super, or extra natural events are theoretically impossible, because I believe the universe coming into existence is in itself an extra or super natural event - in the sense that what caused it preceded it and was of necessity different to it. 

 

 I think its wrong to say that christianity hinders disease being cured.  I'm not going to defend Islam and couldn't.  And my comments about Catholicism apply, the pope is no authority in my book (the Bible).  I have happily used condoms!

 

Is it unreasonable of me or misguided to hope that Christianity could be evaluated by its best, most consistent forms rather than its worst?  I don't want what I believe to be judged on the basis of Pat Robertson.

 

Hope I was more on target this time.

Hey trevor,
Have a feeling you skipped over my reply as i covered a few things you mentioned here. Hope I didn't sound too rude or confronting as i meant everything sincerely in it. Maybe Australians talk more forward. as i said I think I've covered most things I disagree with in my earlier messages but I would like to again address your assertion about the bible above.
You say the bible shouldn't be added to etc. but fail to remember that that is how the bible was created. A panel decided which books were allowed into the bible and which were not. The ones rejected are as genuine as the books in the bible, and Christian scholars acknowledge that fact, as well as the fact that the old and new testament were revised many times. Note we have no originals to know what was altered.
Anyway I do hope you take a chance to read my earlier replies and I'm sorry if there are typos in this message, I'm on my phone,

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