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. 

~Dan.

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You seem so stuck on the bible. What about the tens of dozens of  other holy books, some much older than the bible and most which are alot more internally consistent. Do they prove that that vishnu ,krishna, allah and the tao exist?

Both were written by Humans, which, by your own words, makes both of them authentic.

Humans are imaginitive and quite capable of creating such a work without divine intervention. And there is current and respectible argument that Jesus (Joshua) did not actually exist as a historic figure but was simply the central figure of a mystery cult that later became Christianity. Given that more recent archeology has started to cast doubt on biblical stories and its general authenticity using it to support any theological argument becomes very shaky ground indeed. The Bible was written for believers, not for skeptics.

It's not a circular argument though. God exists within us and we know his presence in many ways. The bible is one of them. I don't get it.

Ok. Stop trying to "win," and just step back and think about it for a second.

Any person can write a book about anything. What is written can be real, or it can be a story. It can be thought to be real, but still turn out to be a story. It can be a little bit real, but mostly made up. That's because people are wondrously imaginative, and can spin words in an incredible amount of ways.

The Bible is a book (a set of books, if you will). It could be real! But it could also be just a story, or only a little bit real.

How can we know whether or not it's real?

There are a lot of ways we can check, actually--but the very worst way, in fact not a way at all, is to say that it just is, or to say that it is because it says it is.

You could say the same of any other book! If Rapunzel had a line that said "nobody should add anything or take anything away from this account; it is true," would you believe it just because it said that? I wouldn't. And hey, maybe Rapunzel was a real girl, or maybe there was a girl like her once. But that's completely irrelevant.

It is exactly the definition and finest example of a circular argument to claim that the Bible or Jesus are true because they say they are true.

Now, as for your claim of "God exists within us and we know his presence in many ways." With that you've just opened up an entirely new argument/can of worms in an attempt to change tactics. If you really want me to tackle that one I'll do it after some sleep, but I do hope you first understand that your argument about the Bible and Jesus standing alone as proof has been thoroughly refuted. And it would be a shame to move on if we hadn't at least come to that understanding.

Excellent response.

How can we know whether or not it's real?

because it all matches each other and other ancient books do not. It all point to God among us and us with Him. It is a collection of books of people and their relationship with God and Him with us and He lives within  to this day.

Odd that you hold a good editor makes for truth. Is there anything else?

Hey Mercedes honey,

As I understand your belief, if you accept Jesus into your heart as your personal savior, you get to go to heaven after you die, to be with him there.  If you don't accept him, or choose not to believe in him, you get to go to hell and burn forever, after you die.

If that is true, then every single one of us that you are talking to here, is going to burn in horrible torture in hell, for ever.

I am sure that idea does not make you happy.  And yet you believe your God is good.  That must be a problem for you.  Or are you just happy that you will be in heaven, even though all of us will be burning in agony, not for a short while even, but forever?.

For me, I could not worship a god that I believed would deliberately torture anyone.  Although I do not believe that there is a god at all, if there was proof that Jesus/God/Holy Spirit really did exist, I would still not worship him/her/it.  I would not worship and could not love anyone who could torture people in hell.

So for me, I'm quite relieved that there are no gods. I can't understand anyone wanting to love a god that would be capable of burning a person in hell forever.  But you say that you can and do.  I find that a little disturbing, to be honest.

There are many ancient books, Mercedes, some much older than the Bible - one example would be the Mesopotamian book, the Enuma Elish, which details the ancient Mesopotamian gods. I don't believe in those either, and neither do you, yet people did. You may be asking how the Mesopotamians could believe in their gods, but a thousand years from now, people will be wondering how you could believe in yours.

I don't suggest that you abandon your religion - I know, more than most here, how deeply Hispanics cling to their beliefs. I know how your Abuela believes that a newborn baby needs to have an egg rubbed over him/her, then broken and thrown away, because the egg draws the evil out of the baby, and by destroying the egg, one has purified the child. You know about that, don't you? Sure you do.

All I ask, is that you learn as much as you can about where your religion comes from, who started it and why, and where they got their information - these are things your church will never tell you.

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