I don't understand how anyone could be an atheist other than total mindless belligerent obstinacy, because obviously, that which does not exist can't cause anything so the universe can't come from nothing. We only have evidence for causation from something. Some atheists claim outside the universe doesn't abide in the cause and effect inside of the universe, but if that were true then the universe would never come into existence. Of course God can created from outside of time and space since God would transcend time and space. People say God can't create without time. Sure He can. He creates timelessly.
The only other approach I have ever seen atheists attempt is to claim the universe always existed in an infinite regress of cause and effects; but of course, that's false, because if there was an eternity of the past of cause and effects, you would have had an eternity to come into being before now so you should have already happened, having had an eternity to do so. It gets even doubly worse for the atheist, because if a past eternity was true, then you should never have existed because that past eternity would go on for eternity never reaching this point. Therefore, infinite regress is a man made delusion.
I guess I should say why I believe Jesus is God over other faiths. The reason I believe this is because I can't find a naturalistic explanation to account for the eyewitness testimony of the Apostles in various group settings. Group hallucinations are medically impossible - people never hallucinate the same thing. People don't willingly die for what they know is a lie so the Apostles truly believed it; that is, they did not fraudulently make up their eyewitness testimony. Swoon theory fails because Jesus wouldn't convince anyone He is the risen Messiah all tattered and torn, scourged down the bone, holes in His feet and hands, unable to walk on the 3rd day. Legends theory fails because the Apostles believed it from the beginning, set up the first churches on the resurrection appearances of Jesus, and even Paul who was converted about 2 years after the cross said he spent 15 days with Peter, with James, and with John who were key eyewitnesses. Their faith goes right back to the cross. I know the movie "The Enemy" (2014) might convince someone Jesus had a twin brother, but his character and nature couldn't fool the Apostles who had spent 3 years with Jesus.
I believe a sinner is eternally separated from God because God can't have fellowship with sin. Therefore, God the Son mercifully enters His creation to pay the penalty and ransom for sin so that whoever believeth in Him shall not perish but has everlasting life. Those who do not receive what Jesus did for them to redeem them back to Him shall perish in a state of eternal conscious separation from God. The closest thing I can think of what Hell will be like for Muslims, Atheists, JW's, 7th Day Adventists, Mormons, Calvinists, Roman Catholics, Buddhists, Hindus, Scientologists, other Gnostics, Deists and Agnostics, etc. is simply jail. We throw people in jail for life so they can't harm others so for those who reject Jesus who He truly is, the 2nd Person of the Trinity, must eternally be separated from those God loves, His elect, sons and daughters, namely Christians and Saints from the OT. That would be very unloving of God to allow someone who rejects and despises God to be able to interact with a person who is regenerated, has the Holy Spirit indwelling and eternal blessings, for there is no sin in the New City and New Earth.
Since there is no resurrection accounts (notice you are unable to find any sources from antiquity) except Jesus claiming to be God, He is the One and Only. For the atonement to be authentic, the Atoner must come in our likeness - the likeness of flesh - and that's what Jesus does as the perfect sacrifice for sins. When Jesus returns to reign on earth for 1000 years as the Son of Man, He will defeat the evil [atheist, etc.] nations, and His overcomer believers will reign on earth over the nations for 1000 years before the New City and New Earth commence eternity future.
That's why I believe what I believe since I don't know how disprove it. And there can be no greater proof. I can't even lose salvation, because I gave my life to the God who keeps: those who are born-again "they shall never perish" (John 10.28). Just ask yourself what proof could be better, and you will come up empty handed. You might claim you would believe if Jesus came before you now, but that contradicts His claim when He returns everyone will know it, and why would you even believe it who selfishly comes before you and not others. Why does the universe center around you?
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James, appealing to nature does not prove your gods' existence. Even if it did point to a god having played a hand in creation, how do you know it is not some other gods’ doing. You don’t. All you have is your own subjective opinion and nothing more. Claiming you believe otherwise only tells us of what you believe. It does not make it true. David Attenborough sums up the appeal to nature with this quote of his:
“When Creationists talk about God creating every individual species as a separate act, they always instance hummingbirds, or orchids, sunflowers and beautiful things.
‘But I tend to think instead of a parasitic worm that is boring through the eye of a boy sitting on the bank of a river in West Africa, [a worm] that's going to make him blind.
‘And [I ask them], “Are you telling me that the God you believe in, who you also say is an all- merciful God, who cares for each one of us individually, are you saying that God created this worm that can live in no other way than in an innocent child’s eyeball? Because that doesn’t seem to me to coincide with a God who's full of mercy.”’
Again James, just stop and think for a second about what you are saying. The Bible is not evidence. It is the claim. It is not proof. You are claiming it is based on your faith, just a Muslims claim the Koran is the word of their version of God. You are locked into a loop of circular reasoning that the Bible is true because it says so in the Bible.
You then claim that you are immortal (John 10:28). You accept this verse as proof by asking “what proof could be better?” Do you go around thinking that you are immortal? Can you not hear how that sounds to other people?
You want a sign from God, but no better sign exists than the proof of God in the opening post by observing nature
Your "proof" of God in the opening post has been debunked.
You do not get to willfully ignore a reasoned rebuttal of your argument, especially while (with your opening statement) you are attacking atheists falsely and hypocritically for being irrational and obstinate.
and the eyewitness testimony of the Apostles seeing Jesus resurrected.
As I said above, the Bible is the claim there is eyewitness testimony, not the proof there is eyewitness testimony.
But James has no legitimate response to that, so he ignores a perfectly reasonable rebuttal and merely repeats the original irrational claim. Thus begins the inevitable meltdown.
If the very best signs don't convince you why would you think some lesser signs would help you?
Pay attention, folks. This is a good learning experience. No matter what rebuttal is offered, James will ignore it, address it dishonestly, and continue to burnish the "high quality" of his debunked claim. His belief is fixed and impervious to reason or evidence.
It's uncommon that Think Atheist encounters a genuine specimen of the God delusion out in the wild. But James is one of them.
I find it fascinating in the way one might observe the liver of an alcoholic. In James' case, he's been abusing not alcohol but religion, and the damage is not cirrhosis of the liver, but the ruin of his mind, in his ability to think and reason clearly.
delusion: (Psychiatry) a fixed false belief that is resistant to reason or confrontation with actual fact: a paranoid delusion.
Do you feel a little pity for the seven billion people tortured every day in hell? Will you feel bad for me when I scream in agony forever?
Indeed to be separated from the love of God and God Himself is torture, but you will be right at home in Hell, for you would prefer this agony and screaming than to receive God's saving grace. What would be torture to Christians, to you masochistically you will get off on.
The Bible says one day we will no longer shed a tear for you. I can see why that is, because as time goes on in the New City and New Earth, it is appreciated the fact that you lock yourself in Hell from the inside. You will truly be where you belong. It's, ultimately, what you want, just like rapists want to keep raping, murderers want to keep murdering, etc.
Your loathing and hate of people with a different view than yours is a monumental barrier James. You will never be happy if you see people through such a dirty black lens.
That's right - and I say this without malice: hate isn't good for you, and it isn't Godly.
James, I think you take too narrow a view. If God exists then He isn't limited to Christianity, although Christianity and Jesus are one way of reaching Him among many others. Can He be reached through atheism? A resounding yes.
Can He be reached through atheism? A resounding yes.
Can a god who does not exist be reached by people who do not believe he exists?
I have to congratulate you, Simon; you have succeeded in making even less sense than Mr. Watts does.
Yeah, but he's making a nicer kind of nonsense than James' nonsense.
"What would be torture to Christians, to you masochistically you will get off on."
And atheists are supposed to fear this eternity of pleasure? Good one, Genius.
Indeed to be separated from the love of God and God Himself is torture, but you will be right at home in Hell, for you would prefer this agony and screaming than to receive God's saving grace. What would be torture to Christians, to you masochistically you will get off on. The Bible says one day we will no longer shed a tear for you. I can see why that is, because as time goes on in the New City and New Earth, it is appreciated the fact that you lock yourself in Hell from the inside. You will truly be where you belong. It's, ultimately, what you want, just like rapists want to keep raping, murderers want to keep murdering, etc.
James, you are amazing!
Those are, without a doubt, the most vile, hateful, depraved, repulsive, morally degenerate statements I have ever seen anyone utter on Think Atheist.
I'm going to feature this conversation. I want our entire 20,000 membership and any new prospective atheists who visit our site to see what sort of Christian you are.
You're kidding, right? Let me get this straight... Are you saying that, simply because we do not believe in YOUR flavor of god, we are masochists and will enjoy the Hell to which we are headed? Again, you're acting like a maladjusted Amway salesperson, who might tell me that I deserve a soapy film on my dishes if I do not use YOUR dishwashing soap, and that I must like it that way if I will not succumb to your demands that I use your soap.*
And this is supposed to somehow attract us to follow Jesus? Even if you were presenting some kind of lucid, convincing argument about why I should be open to following Jesus, it is a moot point. I am not saying I am an atheist to convince myself that I don't believe in any god. There is no struggle, no act of self-will or defiance I have to perform to maintain my lack of belief.
It is like telling me that I am stubbornly remaining human when it is better to be, say, a giraffe. Being a giraffe may be lovely, but I can't be one. I contend that, because of who I am, what I know, my experiences, and my ability to think rationally, I cannot be anything other than an atheist, unless I choose to separate myself from sanity. Or, unless some convincing evidence becomes available. You have provided no evidence of the existence of any god in anything you have written.
Your preaching and threats are useless, even counter-productive. If believing in your god would make me act like you, no thank you.
* I actually like Amway products, but I am very leery of their approach to marketing and sales.