It almost seems like atheists don't want to believe in God. Do you just simply not want to believe in God because you don't want to give up your own free will?
ADMIN EDIT: Mercedes has left ThinkAtheist.com on her own accord. This discussion will remain, however do not expect a response from the author.
He came himself on a sinful suicide mission last I looked at the theology. Also the theology is satisfied by death in bed of old age. The whole crucifixion was just unnecessary production values to impress the hillbillies.
Here's another question for you Mercedes: Can you explain your statement about jesus? How does his death (which we all experience, which makes that nothing special) and his ascension to "heaven" (which can hardly be considered a "sacrifice" (if you believe such a place exists) absolve me of anything at all? And how does my belief or lack thereof have any effect whatsoever on the situation? Couldn't we just cut out the middle man and say that if we don't believe in god in the first place, we are all doomed to hell? And why is that a standard? Why is it not just living a good life, treating your fellow man with caring and respect? Can you explain how "belief" would have any baring at all on whether people should be punished or rewarded for all eternity?
Yes, yes, we've all heard the pitch. You're not engaging with what I said.
The point is that God could prevent these things but does not. Why wouldn't he? You have said that we all fall short, we don't measure up to God's standards. Therefore, you must be saying that we bring this on ourselves; or, in other words, we deserve to suffer evil because we are not good enough for God. Do you think people should be allowed to be raped because they are not perfect?
"We have all sinned and fallens short of the glory of God" - Out of curiosity, how and why would you know that? How can you possibly know, for a fact, that we have all "fallen short"? And what is "the glory of god"? You use that term because you were indoctrinated into your superstition, but I am betting that you actually have no idea whatsoever what that phrase actually means.
The fact that we are "not perfect" is a given, since nothing is technically "perfect" unless specifically intended for one use only and used in a very limited way, so to say people aren't "perfect", I have to wonder what, exactly, you would consider a "perfect person" to be.
And if you want to compare people to your god, I would say that many people are much more "perfect" than your god. Your god is a self-confessed ignorant, homophobic (if you believe his followers, since it doesn't actually say so in the bible), petty, emotionally unstable, irrational, illogical, lying, raving, malicious madman with no parenting or communication skills whatsoever. It expects people to "believe" it it, yet gives people the intelligence to think for themselves and then provides more than sufficient evidence to NOT believe in it. If we somehow "displease" it in the one life we have, it will punish us for all eternity with no hope of redemption (which can, in no way at all, be considered loving caring or teaching). I know some pretty horrible people, but can't think of a single one that is less "perfect" than the god you so love and admire.
I think it's actually pretty ironic that you can even say such a thing with a straight face.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
We could have sworn you said the Ark didn't leave until five.
The White Unicorn Family
@Mercedes - So because we have all sinned that gives god the 'right 'to
to have millions die, a slow, painful death with starvation, beatings, torture to babies and children who have not had the time to actually commit any sin.
And this is alright with you? If your god actually picked out the bad guys, and smited them OK, but millions of innocents are left to die?
You actually believe and condone this? Would you want anybody to die for your sins?
That is the thing, I, as an Atheists don't and cant want anybody to die for me.
An important principle in the christian belief system is that no one sidesteps the "less than perfect" classification. It is a DNA issue whereby the so-called tainted blood is supposedly passed on through each generation. This concept ensures that all homo sapiens fall short of the mark and will require the process of salvation at some point during their mortal existence. So those innocent children and babies who are exposed to disease and starvation through no fault of their own are equally fallible and deserving of judgement.
I find this one of the most incomprehensible aspects of Abrahamic faith.
In Mercedes' defense, I believe that her point was that mankind commits awful acts against each other because we are sinners. I don't think she intends to imply that people starve and/or go through other sufferings because they are sinners.
Of course, the point you and others have made still stands. There is a lot of suffering in this world that is not through direct actions of others, to which God seems to have turned a blind eye.
The cherished gift of free will means that God must allow evil acts to occur, but it does not mean that he must let innocents suffer and die from natural catastrophes (droughts, floods, etc.)
You are right, Daniel, about Mercedes' intent. However, it's important to point out that it is unfair to the victims of tragedy that God allows them to be victimized just for the sake of letting the perpetrators have free will. This is a valid criticism of the Christian worldview that she has offered.
And of course you are correct to point out the natural disaster problem as well. Preventing cancer, hurricanes, earthquakes, and AIDS would not deprive anyone of their free will, so why does God allow these types of tragedies to happen?
"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 --
The answer to your question, Mercedes, was best articulated by Carl Sagan. Quite simply, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence".
The only point I would add, myself, is that atheists do not actually require 'so much' proof. Any proof would do. But there just isn't any.
What is perhaps a better question to ask yourself could be: why do theists require so little proof of (a) god? Or, perhaps more importantly: why do they dismiss the enormous amount of proof to the contrary?