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, why do you care what we believe? I will not try to diminish your faith. Why is it important to you that anybody believes what you believe? Can't you just believe it, be happy in that belief, and understand that some people, in fact millions, are never going to believe in any god, let alone Jesus?
I know, you have to spread the word - that's how it works. Have you ever heard of Amway? Have you ever been to an Amway meeting? They've got something to sell, just like you do. I steer clear of people with that much fervor. To me, you sound like an Amway salesperson who's been all amped up at a sales meeting. If you don't want Amway products, no matter how excited the salesperson is about them, do you buy them? Would you buy them if the salesperson threatened you? I bet you wouldn't. I wouldn't either.
He MUST be trying to annoy... I mean, SAVE us...
James, read this: http://goodatheistarguments.blogspot.com/2010/09/believers-ask-well...
It will explain why your first point, about the "obviousness" of god's existence, is based on circular reasoning. (I assume you are aware that circular reasoning is invalid.)
It is apparently beyond the means of JamesWatts to response to any challenge to his regrettable faith based reason.
Almost none of what you say is correct. The errors don't start with the word "timelessly" but that fault was the one that really said to me that you haven't explored any of what you claim here. Or you have swallowed whole what others have shoveled.
While we do not yet have a solid theory as to how the universe began, your "god" is hardly an answer. It has the same problem as to where it comes from.
Your second paragraph is gibberish. You clearly do not understand eternity.
"Group hallucinations are medically impossible …" – technically true but that would not be the source. A mass 'hallucination' would be a psychological event.
"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." – not true. America recently went to war because there supposedly were WMDs. We learned this was not true yet we did not ask our soldiers to come home so they continued to fight and die for a lie; the situation had become about stabilizing the country by then but that does not change the origins. Also, people make up eyewitness testimony all the time – why should the apostles be abnormal in that respect? Not everyone will make up such lies but those that didn't can easily be subject to the various psychological and social pressures that blur perception and recollection.
"I know the movie "The Enemy" (2014) might convince someone Jesus had a twin brother … " – I find no evidence of a movie coming out this year with "enemy" in the title about Jesus. There is "a 2013 erotic thriller film directed by Denis Villeneuve adapted by Javier Gullón based on José Saramago's 2002 novel The Double. The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal in a dual role …" [from Wikipedia]. And from IMDB: "Enemy" - "A man seeks out his exact look-alike after spotting him in a movie." So I don't see how that would relate to the movie you mention. A movie which seems to only exist in your imagination.
" I believe a sinner is eternally separated from God because God can't have fellowship with sin." – Well, you believe wrong. Without God there is no such thing as sin so God is very much in "fellowship" with sin.
You then yammer on about being separated from God and how that is Hell. There was a time I desperately wanted God in my life but He refused to give me any sign. By your definition I was already in Hell at that point. But it's only Hell if you believe. Once I was able to see there was no god of any kind from any religion I felt much better. It is a comfort to lose the belief in a deity who commits horrendously cruel acts such as the Dec 26, 2004 tsunami that killed more than 230,000 people in 14 countries. It is tragic that a natural disaster killed those people. But I am glad I no longer believe there is a monstrously evil being masquerading as benevolent and demanding obeisance.
"Since there is no resurrection accounts (notice you are unable to find any sources in antiquity) except Jesus … " – totally false. There are quite a few other mythical figures who rose from the dead; Jesus is not alone.
"That's why I believe what I believe since I don't know how disprove it." – I can see that. Those things that you could have researched and gotten right, you did not. The religious stuff, well that can't be proven or disproven.
Maybe someday you will remove the blinders of your religion and see the light.
If a US solider is held at gun point and told to admit there was no WMD otherwise he would be killed, and the soldier refuse to admit it even though he knew there was no WMD, people don't willingly die for what they know is a lie.
Perceptions of recollection about seeing a WMD would be a group hallucination, but group hallucinations are impossible.
"group hallucinations are impossible"
Group lies occur regularly. But, of course, these were holy men and holy men don't lie, right James?
Could you rephrase this? I'm confused by your reasoning.
You want a sign from God, but no better sign exists than the proof of God in the opening post by observing nature and the eyewitness testimony of the Apostles seeing Jesus resurrected.
If the very best signs don't convince you why would you think some lesser signs would help you?
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?
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?