I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, 'wouldn't it be much worse if life *were* fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them?' So now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe. – M. Cole
Unsurprisingly, a Christian has taken it to use a quote on this forth of July to attack atheists. Alas, the whole quote shows that Ulysses S. Grant is not on his side at all.
What the nitwits at Does God Exist claim ““If we are to have another contest in the near future of our national existence, I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon’s, but between patriotism and intelligence on the one side, superstition, ambition, and ignorance on the other.”
“I do not bring into this assemblage politics, certainly not partisan politics, but it is a fair subject for soldiers in their deliberations to consider what may be necessary to secure the prize for which they battled in a republic like ours. Where the citizen is sovereign and the official the servant, where no power is exercised except by the will of the people, it is important that the sovereign — the people — should possess intelligence.
The free school is the promoter of that intelligence which is to preserve us as a free nation. If we are to have another contest in the near future of our national existence, I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon’s, but between patriotism and intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition, and ignorance on the other.
Now in this centennial year of our national existence, I believe it a good time to begin the work of strengthening the foundation of the house commenced by our patriotic forefathers one hundred years ago, at Concord and Lexington. Let us all labor to add all needful guarantees for the more perfect security of free thought, free speech, and free press, pure morals, unfettered religious sentiments, and of equal rights and privileges to all men, irrespective of nationality, color, or religion.
Encourage free schools, and resolve that not one dollar of money appropriated to their support, no matter how raised, shall be appropriated to the support of any sectarian (of, relating to, or characteristic of a sect (a religious denomination) ) school. Resolve that the State or Nation, or both combined, shall furnish to every child growing up in the land, the means of acquiring a good common-school education, unmixed with sectarian, pagan, or atheistic tenets. Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the church, and the private school supported entirely by private contributions. Keep the church and state forever separate. With these safeguards, I believe the battles which created the Army of the Tennessee will not have been fought in vain. – Ulysses S. Grant, former US President and Union General. Annual Reunion of the Army of the Tennessee in Des Moines, Iowa, on Sept. 29, 1875.
If you are looking for anything new, there’s not much here. Just one more Christian making the same claims, and trying fear and ignorance again. I have Isaac’s panties in a bunch. Isaac’s post to try to scare people into agreeing with him is very typical of a Christian who is desperate for external validation by others telling him he’s right. He’s not, but let’s see how.
“In the beginning there was nothing. And then there was something.
This is the essence of what atheism teaches. This something coming from nothing is what they call “the Big Bang.” Of course, their god, Charles Darwin, has led them into sacred knowledge of how life came about. Life simply evolved from non life, of course!
Their main teachings: evolution, nothing to everything, because science says, and my all-time favorite, “the lack of evidence is evidence enough.”
Let’s begin with their idea of the beginning of the world. They say that in the beginning there was a tiny ball of matter, which miraculously just existed for no reason. Obviously no one created it. That’s silly.
This ball of matter, which existed for no reason, exploded in what we call the Big Bang, again for no reason. There’s absolutely nothing in the universe that caused that ball of matter to explode. That’s insane.
Enter the holy trinity of atheism: Charles Darwin, Richard Dawkins, and Steven Hawking. They push this idea that the substance that exploded from a ball of nothing evolved into something. This is how we get cats, dogs, birds, and more. Because nothing decided one day it wanted to exist.
Now that we are familiar with the religion of atheism, I am going to give you some heavy reasons why it is dangerous. But first, let me add a disclaimer. I love atheists. Yes! Even the hateful, bigoted, mocking atheists! I just find their beliefs to be… crazy. And a little ridiculous.”
Oh the ignorance.
Atheism doesn’t teach “in the beginning there was nothing. And then there was something.” It is a conclusion that there is no god or gods. Now, the big bang theory says that it seems like there was nothing and then there was something, but even physicists aren’t quite sure how that occurred, other than it is possible for something to come from nothing and they have evidence for it.
Charles Darwin is not a god and well, we’re atheists so we don’t believe in gods or consider humans gods. Isaac must make strawmen to attack since he has nothing else. We have evidence evolutionary theory works and it has grown more robust since Darwin proposed it as a hypothesis. A theory, in a scientific context, is “A scientific theory is an explanation of an aspect of the natural world and universe that can be repeatedly tested and verified in accordance with the scientific method, using accepted protocols of observation, measurement, and evaluation of results. Where possible, theories are tested under controlled conditions in an experiment. In circumstances not amenable to experimental testing, theories are evaluated through principles of abductive reasoning. Established scientific theories have withstood rigorous scrutiny and embody scientific knowledge” – Wikipedia.
“This ball of matter, which existed for no reason, exploded in what we call the Big Bang, again for no reason. There’s absolutely nothing in the universe that caused that ball of matter to explode. That’s insane.
Enter the holy trinity of atheism: Charles Darwin, Richard Dawkins, and Steven Hawking. They push this idea that the substance that exploded from a ball of nothing evolved into something. This is how we get cats, dogs, birds, and more. Because nothing decided one day it wanted to exist.”
Isaac also demonstrates his ignorance on what the Big Bang Theory says. It has nothing to do with a “ball of matter”. The BBT is about a singularity which expanded, not about a ball of nothing, and not about a ball of matter, nor about any of these things being able to think. Isaac then proceeds into the logical fallacy of an argument from personal ignorance. Creationists often find themselves attacking yet another strawman since if they attacked the actual theory, they’d have nothing.
“Danger #1: Morality
This is a big one. I’m not saying you can’t be moral you’re an atheist. I’m saying you have no justification for being moral.
Morality was created by God and placed in the heart of every human being. The Law of God, or the moral standard, was written on your heart. That’s how you know rape is wrong, for example.
However, you can suppress that morality and do your own thing. Theists don’t usually suppress their morality. They live by the standard set by God. If you’re an atheist, you can still be a good person by following the morals set on your heart. However, being a good person doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.”
Isaac *is* saying that atheists aren’t moral, but he doesn’t want to be shown to be saying that since his claim is obviously wrong. What follows is a common theist claim: the argument from morality. Unfortunately for Isaac, Christians don’t agree on what morality their god wants. One can’t point a certain moral stance and say that it was from this god or any god. Isaac’s claim that we know what this god wants in our “hearts” is baseless. Not even Christians can show that, including Isaac.
“If you don’t believe in God, there’s no reason not to murder and rape. It’s not objectively wrong in that case. It’s only your opinion that it’s wrong. However, since God is real, your sense of justice is justifiable and your desire to be a good person is not just an explosion of random chemicals in your brain.”
There are plenty of reasons not to murder and rape, etc. It doesn’t have to be objectively wrong. It is my opinion, and most people’s opinion, that it *is* wrong, and civilization supports that and enforces that idea. No god or Isaac needed. Paraphrasing Penn Teller, I have no want to murder or rape just because I could.
Still no evidence that Isaac’s god exists.
“Danger #2: Beyond Life
What if you’re wrong? If I’m wrong, I end up 6 feet under, dead. I just stop existing. If you’re wrong, there’s an eternity of condemnation and judgment waiting for you. An eternity of fire and brimstone.
Not to mention, if you’re wrong you could be leading others to hell with you. Including your friends, family, kids, etc.”
This is just Pascal’s Wager and poor Isaac’s sadistic fantasies. Pascal’s Wager fails since there is no evidence any god’s exist and there is a cost to believing in one. Isaac does try ever so hard here to use fear to convince people he is right. He isn’t.
It’s always fun to also see a Christian who is sure his god is dumb enough to accept someone who is believing “just in case”.
“Danger #3: Unnecessary hatred
This isn’t necessarily every atheist, but it’s enough. They spread hate. They seek to tear down theists and make us look stupid. This leads other atheists down the same path and before you know it, Christians are being hated, bullied, and harassed. This is how the persecution of the first century church began. Unnecessary hatred of Christians. This is why Nero ended up lighting his festivals with Christians, burning in cages.
Persecution still happens today. Check out the Middle East.”
Isaac has to pretend he is persecuted like so many Christians. He also claims that some hate is unnecessary and here he is trying to claim that some people deserve hell and to die if they don’t agree with him.
We don’t need any help making many theists look ignorant and bigoted. They do just fine themselves.
There is indeed real persecution of various groups in the world. Christians in the US aren’t one of them. And funny how this god does nothing at all to help the Christians who really are persecuted. It’s rather like it doesn’t exist at all.
The Gospel. You and I, and every human that ever existed, has sinned and broken God’s law. We are unworthy of grace. Because God is just, he must pass the appropriate sentence. And since his standard is perfection, we have been sentenced to death, which is eternal separation from God. Eternal separation from all things good.
But God is rich in mercy and quick to forgive those who fall on the mercy of Him. Because all have sinned, it is by grace that any of us go to heaven. Without grace, we’d all be damned to hell. That’s why Jesus came into the world, as a living sacrifice. And since he is the only one who has never sinned, his death and suffering paid for your transgressions. It paid for mine too. Like a judge in court, God has sentenced you. Jesus paid the penalty, or the fine. You were speeding and got a ticket, Jesus paid the ticket. Now you can go free.
“What must you do to be saved? “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you shall be saved.”
1. Believe in your heart that Jesus was risen from the dead.
2. Confess him as Lordover your life. Confess your sins.
3. Repent. Turn from yoursin. A Christian cannot live a lifestyle of sin.
4. Receive the free gift of eternal life. The Holy Spirit will come on you, giving you faith and convicting you of sin.””
The problem for Isaac is which version of Christianity and the “gospel”. Isaac doesn’t agree with his fellow Christians, so which version is the right “path”? Christians don’t agree on what is a sin, so again, how does Isaac know his version is the only right one?
Per the bible, this god is not just, or merciful or quick to forgive. Genesis 3 shows this right off. Could have had JC show up right then. Didn’t.
Isaac, like most Christians, is selling a cure to a sickness that doesn’t exist. No “sin”, no “salvation” needed. Isaac also doesn’t realize that one can’t just decide to believe in something with no evidence.
So here we have Ray Comfort with his new writing “ugly baby blindness syndrome.” (gee it is part of a book) He’s sure those newborns and toddlers are evil. You don’t have to go out to “living waters” if you want so see ol’ Ray in his idiocy. I made a nice set of screen shots since I wouldn’t be surprised if this suddenly disappears. Shows you that any “pro-life” claims are false.
These people will stop at nothing to convince people they are sick so they can shill their “cure.
As above, Christians sure like to pretend they are talking to atheists lately, and of course, don’t allow comments on these ever so wonderful arguments they think they have. Wonder why? 😀
So, here we have Nick Watt, with his talk to an atheist.
And here is my response. Yeah, I’m bored so lots of posts.
So, here I am, an atheist. Let’ me respond to your claims.
It’s always nice to see a Christian trying to poison the well right off. I am interested in hearing your opinion, but I will not let baseless and false claims stand without addressing them. If you consider that “arguing” then yep, you have nothing and only want a submissive audience.
I am need respectful of science and have reason to trust it. I see no evidence of you respecting science. You use the same failed arguments as those who are ignorant of it. We can observe love, hate, jealousy etc and that is part of the scientific method. We can also look at brain scans when people are experiencing such emotions and see the brain light up as we would expect. Little can be technically proven except for mathematics, but we certainly can have lots of evidence to support our conclusions.
Christians do love to pay word games since they have no evidence for their god. They can’t prove it exists at all. Since we know a good bit about how the brain works, nope, there is no reason to agree with the false claim that “there are elements of life and existence beyond the purview of science”. There is no evidence of the supernatural, which is what you are desperate to show exists.
Like so many Christians, you want to claim that if someone doesn’t agree with you, they are “dishonest”. Unfortunately, you can’t show this at all. Only science can discover truth so far, and religion and philosophy are baseless opinions. And nope, the burden of showing your claims to be true is still on you. You make the absurd claim, you get to show it is true. I’m sure you feel the same about the claims of other theists you disagree with.
People should indeed follow the evidence where it leads. Theists do not since they have the presupposition that some god simply must exist. Again, you still hve the burden of proof for your baseless claims. I do not since doubt is the neutral stance. And you have no evidence for them.
You claim that the universe is not pitilessly indifferent. Show it.
The universe did seem to begin. No evidence for any magical being starting it and most, if not all, religions make the same claim as you do. Show your god is the creator.
We also have no evidence for “fine-tuning”, since we have no idea how far the parameters can vary to get the same thing. All you have is being a puddle thinking how great it is that “something” made a hole in the ground “just right for it”. We fit the universe, the universe does not fit us. Your argument from personal ignorance is just more logical fallacy, that sine you don’t understand basic science, then your myth must be true.
Reality shows no evidence for any god, much less your personal version of the Christian god. The beginning of the book of Genesis makes vague claims that each Christain claims means something different. Then we have two contradictory creation stories, and a god that fails to keep out satan or intentionally lets satan in, not warning its ignorant children. And no evidence of this either “15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; 16 for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He himself is before all things, and in[i] him all things hold together.”
Lots of theists claim that they think their personal beliefs make better sense of reality. They are yet to show this to be the case.
Christians also love to claim that we’ll have to die to be sure. That’s not what your bible says. I should be able to see every baptized believer in Christ as personal savior being able to do what their bible claims in Mark 16, John 14 and James 5. Not a single one of you can.
You may be “captive to the word of God”, but again, every theist claims this, claims that cosmology, teology, etc agree with them, and personal belief doesn’t show that any gods exist. There is no evidence at all that you’ve tried to “undo” the evidence for your god’s existence at all. I’ve undone it with no problem at all.
Then you offer Pascal’s Wager. This assumes you have the right version of some god, and assumes you lose nothing. If wrong, you lose time and resources and could risk pissing off the right god. Christians don’t think very hard about their supposed great argument.
You do offer the wager to scare people and, like most religions, Chrsitianity depends on fear and ignorance. Your sadistic fantasies about eternal torture for anyone who disagrees with you are childish.
I also don’t have faith as you do, though Christians are desperate to pretend I do. I can show quite easily your version of your god doesn’t exist. None of the events it has supposedly caused can be shown to have happened. Your god has quite a few details, and that being is no where to be found. Chrsitians have an entire industry of apologetics to excuse their impotent god.
This is why Christians often try the “make my god vaguer” route to try to get away from the ignorant and primitive god of the bible. It becomes a “ground of being” in Tillich’s apologetics.
You then try an appeal to authority to try to pretend that if someone is smart and believes in your god, then there must be a god. Hmmm, so since there are smart people who are Muslims, Zoroastrians, Hindus, then all of those gods must exist too, per your own argument.
Lee Strobel’s argument is the typical false claims of a theist and his personal ignorance is no reason to believe him. We have evidence that indeed something can come from nothing, and again, no evidence a god is needed. We are continuing to research how abiogenesis works and again, evidence it can and still no evidence for some god. The universe is not random, and the laws of physics work quite nicely in ordering it with no god. Chaos doesn’t provide information but a system that has energy in it does. The rest, consciousness, etc are just more god of the gaps arguments, “we don’t’ understand it yet so GodDidIt.”
I know quite a bit about Elvis. He didn’t appear after he was dead either.
And more lies from a Christian contradicted. As usual, this is from John Clayton over at “Does God Exist Today?” he’s too afraid to allow comments.
“We have frequently pointed out that a massive percentage of the pain and death people experience is directly related to their choices in life. If you don’t believe in God, what do you use for support when you hit the usual frustrations in life? My brother Jim bought into my parent’s atheistic beliefs. For much of his life, he lived as an atheist.”
John, and the mouse in his pocket, thinks that only his god is suitable for supporting through life’s frustrations. He seems to also need to image that all non-christians turn ot the bottle. Happily we don’t, and there are plenty of supports for us, family, friends, psychotherapy, etc.
“When my youngest brother grew frustrated with the everyday struggles of life, alcohol became his tool for coping. That caused him to be unable to help others or find meaningful companionship. When he struggled with his normal sexual drives, he did not believe that marriage was the only way those feelings could be satisfied. My brother’s marriage failed because of his alcohol use, and it also seriously affected his relationship with his two sons.”
A pity he didn’t find his family of any help, since John tried to lie to him. Brother was ill, not needing some imaginary god.
“My brother Jim was fired from his first teaching job because his alcohol use affected how he dealt with his students. One of his sons and I pleaded with him to realize what alcohol was doing to him, and gradually he began to move away from his addiction. He eventually got involved in Alcoholics Anonymous, started studying the Bible, and carried on extensive conversations with me about the existence of God.”
Alcohol addition is a disease, not a moral failing. No god helps anyone, only humans do.
“I finally convinced my brother Jim to go with me and a group of 50 Christians as we toured the Grand Canyon, Bryce, Zion, and the Canyonlands. In addition to showing evidence that the Bible accurately describes Earth’s history as revealed in these places, we all engaged in singing hymns, praying for one another, and studying God’s Word. At the end of the trip, my brother admitted that he could not be an atheist anymore and that he saw the validity of Christianity.”
John chooses to lie more to his brother. Alas, the Grand Canyon shows that the noah flood to be impossible since a massive flood never sets down discrete layers each sorted from coarse to fine within itself.
“What do people in our culture do to relieve the pains that come in life? The use of drugs, including alcohol, has skyrocketed in my lifetime. Developing a relationship with God and working with those of like faith to establish a realistic approach to failure and frustration is not on the radar for much of our culture.”
John inadvertently admits that his god does nothing at all if use of drugs and alcohol has supposed “skyrocketed”. Christians can’t quite decide if they want to pretend they are persecuted and losing people or if they want to pretend they are the majority. “As people reject God, ridiculing the Bible, and questioning its relevance to the struggles of life, the problems they experience have grown. The ultimate result of this is a massive increase in health issues related to drug use and an enormous rise in legal problems, including prison terms. More than half of the prisoners studying our correspondence courses are in prison because they abused drugs.”
Alas, the bible has no relevance to modern humans, only those who want to pretend some magical being agrees with them. Nope, the problems that non-christians haven’t grown. John is just upset since Christianity is indeed losing members and churches are emptying. Nothing in links shows that there is any correlation. John tries to lie again. And funny how many Christians are in prison. Hardly any atheists at all. Amazing how this god fails constantly, eh?
“Unfortunately, the use of alcohol and the destructive nature of my brother’s early atheistic beliefs had consequences on his relationships and health. He had marginal relationships with family, had few friends, and never found the kind of joy that Christians have when they follow God’s Word. In addition, his health had been compromised by his use of alcohol. On May 28, he died from all the damage alcohol had done in the past. Living the Christian way of life is essential to give the hope of eternal life and to give us the very best things that this life can bring. My brother Jim is a case history that demonstrates that fact in vivid, realistic terms.
Now, John finds he must try to scare people into his religion, as usual. A religion that only has fear and ignorance to get people to believe isn’t much of one. Christians die all of the time. It’s a pity they wasted their life on playing pretend. John’s brother is dead. That’s all.
First, no surprise at all that a Christian professor does not allow comments on such a silly post. Amazing how theists think that they can teach atheism to their students and not once actually interact with a single live atheist.
I would dearly love to sit in on such a course, although I’m sure I’d be buried by the strawmen.
Unsurprisingly, Justin doesn’t mention atheists and their arguments “It will not dignify the dogmatic scientism of a Richard Dawkins or Neil DeGrasse Tyson, pretenders both to atheism’s tiara.”
There’s a tiara? Aw, no one told me that I should be getting a tiara. Shucks.
So, per Justin, there is no discussion about atheist nor are there apologetics offered. So what’s left?
More than most versions of Christianity, Orthodoxy loves their magic sounding words. Bafffling with bullshit is strong with them. “Apophthegmata” only means a collection of clever sounding sayings aka aphorisms, maxims, proverbs. It does not mean that said pithy sayings are true. They are not limited to Christianity. There are quite a list of Apollonian/Delphic ones and funny how they are awful close to the various proverbs and commandments that Judaism has. Ah, humans, always having similar things since they make civilization work better. No god needed.
It appears that they start with a saying from some saint “Keep thy mind in hell and despair not.” Having no idea what it means, it is little more than a written Rorschach test. Justin makes up his version, that thinking about a place of eternal torture for those who disagree with a god is a way of not being despairing”. The problem is despairing of what? That this religion is incoherent and is only made up by humans in their own image?
Justin is right that the bible repeatedly says that everyone else but the believers are wrong. No evidence of this, but lots of baseless claims of eternal torture, death, punishment for believing in the “wrong” thing. Alas, no one can show what the right way is, and we have hundreds, if not thousands of different TrueChrisitanities™. Every theist is sure that the others who don’t agree with him deserve punishment, just like a toddler thinks that anyone who doesn’t do what he wants deserves punishment.
Then Justin goes into this thing about idolatry, which is not atheism and which seems to be quibbling about which is the right version of Christianity. It also includes the common attempt by various Christians to insist to other Christians that their pictures and statues aren’t “idols” but “icons” or whatever other term they want to make for art that they often claim does miracles.
It is very amusing that Justin thinks that he can borrow weapons from atheists to attack other Christianities. He forgets he turns those weapons on himself since most, if not all religions, use the same arguments.
Now, I do wonder why he calls various philosophers, mostly agnostic to atheist, the school of small things (école du soupçon; soupçon: a little bit, a trace). He thinks that they are the “fiercest minds”, which usually means, they are the ones that Justin thinks he has a chance again, but must inflate how fierce they are to make himself seem important.
Then we have a torrent of big words for no reason: Praxis: action. Sacralize: make sacred. So we have him only saying “Who would deny that Christian action glorifies poverty and makes it sacred?” Funny how Jesus did exactly that, but a wealthy church is upset when they are called on their wealth. “Who would deny that often enough theologians limit the meaning of the unusual idea of revelation: something that is revealed by God to humans?” Justin, theologians can’t agree on much of anything, including their need limit nonsense in a desperate attempt to make sense out of nonsense.
and well, what the hell this mean is anyone’s guess “That the inversion of value on Golgotha does not sometimes hypocritically vest power in a cassock?”
There is a claim of “Judeo-Christian motives” in atheism. Christians do have the need to imagine themselves the origin of everything. Alas, humans cared for each other long before some ignorant agrarians on the eastern Med invented a story that they and only they came up with it. I had no idea who Feuerbach was but he has quite a bit more to say than the silliness of the “scandal” of the incarnation, something invented by Christians to try to make their religion seem unique. I rather like this quote from him: ““Christianity set itself the goal of fulfilling man’s unattainable desires, but for that very reason ignored his attainable desires. By promising man eternal life, it deprived him of temporal life, by teaching him to trust in God’s help it took away his trust in his own powers; by giving him faith in a better life in heaven, it destroyed his faith in a better life on earth and his striving to attain such a life. Christianity gave man what his imagination desires, but for that very reason failed to give him what he really and truly desires.””
It’s pretty funny to see a theist insist that Nietzsche “really is” affirming “deranged affirmation of the way and the truth and the life” Where is that in his works? Well, Justin can’t quote a thing that supports his claims. As for Freud fulfilling a prophecy? Well, again, no. Christians love to claim that their “prophecies” are being fulfilled when said “prophecies” were things happening back when the nonsense was first voiced/written. One other example of this is the Christian desperation to cling to the “prophecy” of people mocking their nonsense. That was happening 2000+ years ago too. The claim of “but but you are speaking against our imaginary character so that makes him real” always fails.
And David Bentley Hart is just another Orthodox philosopher e.g. someone with baseless opinions that he wants to pretend are universal truths.
Again, Justin tries to claim that someone, Dostoevsky was the “greatest” in his claims, but only to try to make his supposed “victory” over him sound better. We have no examples at all of these supposedly great “renderings” at all from Justin. We only have Justin insisting how wonderful he is for showing this fellow wrong. This is indeed appropriate for Justin to quote this ““God will forgive your unbelief, for you venerate the Holy Spirit without knowing him.” Since again, Justin tries to claim that everything is in debt to his religion, when it isn’t. Justin just needs to pretend that everyone “really” agrees with him.
Unsurprisingly, Justin does not teach atheism to anyone. He teaches a strawman that Justin invented. He teaches the false nonsense that everyone really agrees with Justin. We do not.
In a classic final attempt to protect himself, Justin tries to claim that “spiritually immature or intellectually unserious” are unfit to take his course. Aka, if you expect to ask question and not agree with him, don’t apply because he’ll just make excuses on your supposed faults, not his.
I’ve recently been crossing swords with a Roman Catholic, Christina Chase. She has a blog and I commented on a poem she wrote. Then we ended up chatting in the comments. This gave me a chance to become more familiar with Roman Catholicism and Roman Catholics. This is evidently the last of the discussion (her prior response). Ms. Chase is under a deadline for her next book.
It took some research that I wanted to keep, so I’ve plopped it up here. As usual, much of this is a repeat of tearing apart of the usual apologetics.
And thus it commences:
So, Christina, what did happen if you weren’t just one more Christian who went back to her religion when she realized she was mortal? It seems that you left your religion, perhaps because of your illness, realized that it wasn’t any different and decided that you needed an afterlife since one wasn’t that great.
And nice attempts to claim you are trying to be “fair” to me when you also try to claim that I’ve lied e.g. “made crooked”. It is no surprise at all that you will pick and choose what to reply to. That is typical for Christians when hard questions are answered and is your right. If subjects are addressed in your books, then you should be able to tell me where.
You did claim that atheists only make emotional choices. Shall I quote you? “I do sense that you may have experienced some real pain or grief, and if that is so, you have my sympathy. Pain and grief can easily make us angry. I’m sure that you must be aware that you are coming across as a stereotypical angry and embittered atheist, but you may not understand that this is not productive to your cause. I won’t treat you like a stereotype, however. You are a unique, individual, unrepeatable human being.”
Indeed, Christina, you repeatedly make false statements about atheists “ I enjoyed being an atheist because it was so simple, and because, with no meaning to life, I could simply do as I please.”
“Then, something unexpected happened that caused me, as a lover of truth, to no longer be an atheist. “
Unsurprisingly, you do again try to claim that I’m just another “angry and embittered atheist”. Funny how that is repeated even when you claim that you are sure I’m not. Why is this? For me, it seems to be this is all you have to try to imply that atheists never can have any other reason. And yep, atheists do have to often tell theists tht they didn’t become an atheist out of anger because people like you keep trying to spread that lie. You are one of the atheists who finds she must make that assumption.
Do explain how a being that harms others as your god is described do to in the bible is not a “vicious bastard”? Does genocide qualify? Does drowning animals to get revenge on humans qualify? I use words to have impact not because of my feelings. I knew that you would find the term vicious bastard applied to your god to be questionable. I did it to ask you these further questions. What would you call someone who committed genocide, killed children for what their parents did, allowed a family to be killed so he could show off to an enemy? Since none of this happened, I cannot be emotional about it. But I can certainly look at it as an empathic human, much the same as I can empathize with characters in things like Star Wars where genocide happen.
I have corrected you. Did you listen? Well, you repeated the same nonsense about atheists.
Let’s look at your words about love “You and I know that you can’t scientifically prove the nonexistence of a personal God. You may believe that the burden of proof falls on me, but do you use a method of doubt in every aspect of your life? I don’t think so, because if you did, you would not have written that you can see love through the actions of human beings. Humans can lie, humans can even lie with their actions. I’m sure you don’t have loved ones in your life get a brain scan to make sure that the right parts of their brain are lighting up to give evidence of what we call affection before you believe that they love you. Maybe you do want to do that, I don’t know. Like it or not, sane, intelligent, normal human beings go by faith quite often in our daily lives — not blind faith. Faith based in reason.”
So we have you claiming that people who love me can lie to me, and that I somehow have to have faith that they don’t to believe them. I do not, since I can see that they love me. It is not faith, it is evidence. I never said cannot, Christina as you claimed “I believe what I see,” you continued. “and one can not see love easily.” “ Go back and read it again “Humans can lie. Per the bible, so can your god. And nice to see you try to claim that people are lying to me if they say they love me. It’s not faith, it’s trust. I believe what I see. And one can see love easily. If you can’t tell if someone loves you, that is your problem, not mine. Your belief aka faith in a magical god is not based on reason. It is based on hope and desire for something better than you have now.”
Did you intend on misrepresenting what I said? I hope not.
You have said this directly “As I told you, I was briefly an atheist. I was a thorough, true atheist for less than a year. Then, something unexpected happened that caused me, as a lover of truth, to no longer be an atheist. “ The “as a lover of truth” doesn’t need to be in there. Why is it? No, my love of truth didn’t lead me to atheism. Evidence did. I followed the evidence; I didn’t have a presupposition of some “truth” to fit the evidence to. The claim of a “lover of truth” implies baselessly that others aren’t concerned with the truth aka if this happened to you and you didn’t accept it, then you aren’t a “Lover of truth”.
Many theists of all faiths claim what you do, feelings of some “infinite”. Now, do you believe them if they do not agree with the source? Why or why not? I do have to wonder that this feeling does seem to be assigned to your god, since that is what is familiar with you. What shows that this feeling is from the version of the Chrsitian god you grew up with rather than some other god?
Feelings of awe seem to happen to most people. Why think it is from some entity? Humans can make feelings appear with just electrical current. No god needed. And now you try to claim this “do not expect you to understand this or to even want to understand this in your current state.”
What is my “current state”, Christina? Your assumption of anger and bitterness?
I did not contradict myself, Christina. I do not do what I want, because I do not believe in free will, and I know that somethings I want aren’t the best for me or society. I don’t think you know what I mean at all. Penn Jillette contradicts you, and the Christian nonsense that non-chrisitans just don’t want to obey their god, that we are ravening thoughtless creatures.
“So to continue, you also wrote: “We are just as compassionate, law-abiding and caring as any theist.”That’s a good point and I do not disagree. “
Do you agree with me on this? You said this “I enjoyed being an atheist because it was so simple, and because, with no meaning to life, I could simply do as I please.” You seem to think again that only you have real love, Christina “ I did what pleased me (thankfully, it pleases me to be generally good) without thinking about any kind of eternal me or what it actually means to love divinely.”
If you think I need the benefit of the doubt, then I have to again wonder about your assumptions about atheists.
Atheists aren’t nihilists, Christina. Many Christians feel that they need to claim that to vilify us. Humans do give meaning to life. Our worldviews that we’ve created do. No gods needed. Yes, I do mean that me, as an atheist who has meaning, shows that your claim that meaning only comes from your god is wrong. You have yet to show that there is “divine love” or that your god supplies it. You seem to be only inventing that term to feel special and superior. Yes, I do think that it does take arrogance and a neediness to declare that I need you or your god to love and be loved. You are doing it right where you claim “God is needed to know the depths of divine love”
I am here to demonstrate that Christians aren’t above reproach, and that they make harmful and false claims and to confront them about those claims. Society has mistakenly assumed that gods are true and that if someone claims worship something, that makes them better than anyone else. Religions have encouraged this by making baseless claims on how they are the source of all love, truth, goodness, etc. I aim to kick the legs out from under those false claims. Will I be successful? Well, religion is losing ground because people can speak out now, and not be completely terrified that some theist will try to kill them, lock them up, etc for being “heretics”.
I have shown that the claims of Christians about having some objective truth are false. I believe that you need to hope that some magical afterlife exists. You are rather like Joni Eareckson Tada whom I read about when I was young. I can very much understand that you must hope that there is a reason for you being disabled. I think you would be better off dealing with reality than a forlorn hope. However, I can understand that it is a harsh reality and a hope is very appealing.
No, no help or harassment needed. Only an example to push against.
If we are limited, then what makes you think you have the right answer when claiming a god exists?
I think Rumi is a very interesting poet. I’m also interested mysticism but alas have yet to see evidence that any of the claims of theistic humans are true. It’s all humans trying to convince others that their opinions are supported by some powerful being.
There is no evidence of your god or that it is outside of space/time so we don’t need to consider human confusion evidence or not. We just have to see that as soon as humans can’t show evidence, then their gods immediately become mysterious and vague. Just how does an entity be outside of space/time, know when to start something, Christina? Christians just try to say “we don’t understand but my god has to exist”. A non-christian has to point out “no your god doesn’t have to exist and why shouldn’t we understand?”
Saying you are a member of the Catholic Church doesn’t mean much anymore since schism is there too. Every Christian wants to claim that they are the “catholic” followers of Christ. None can show this to be true.
“We cannot be united with God unless we freely choose to love him. But we cannot love God if we sin gravely against him, against our neighbor or against ourselves: “He who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.”612 Our Lord warns us that we shall be separated from him if we fail to meet the serious needs of the poor and the little ones who are his brethren.613 To die in mortal sin without repenting and accepting God’s merciful love means remaining separated from him for ever by our own free choice. This state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called “hell.”
1034 Jesus often speaks of “Gehenna” of “the unquenchable fire” reserved for those who to the end of their lives refuse to believe and be converted, where both soul and body can be lost.614 Jesus solemnly proclaims that he “will send his angels, and they will gather . . . all evil doers, and throw them into the furnace of fire,”615 and that he will pronounce the condemnation: “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire!”616”
Seems like your sect is indeed saying what you say it is not “Contrary to the common belief that you expressed as nonsense, the Catholic Church does not teach that everybody who isn’t Catholic is absolutely going to Hell. (See Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 846-856.)” For most of its existence, the RCC claimed “extra ecclesiam nulla salus” Then Vatican II came along and evidently God was mumbling at some point, since it was declared “though we believe them to be deficient in some respects, have been by no means deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation. For the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as means of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Church.””
Then we have Roman Catholics saying this “Can only Catholics go to heaven? – The Leaven Catholic Newspaper” “I think we would still say there is no salvation outside the church,” he continued, “but what we mean by that is that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, as he said.“He’s it. So, if there’s salvation, it’s in him.“If I am saved, I am saved by Jesus Christ and no one else.”
The problem here, as I’ve mentioned before, is that Christians do not agree on how JC is “the way, the truth and the life”. Each of you has your belief that your version is the only way to correctly follow Christ and you define “grave sin”. “But we cannot love God if we sin gravely against him, against our neighbor or against ourselves”. Christians do show that they hate each other when they say that they deserve eternal torture.
Your claim that you haven’t made a study of miracles seems very strange for someone who said she prayed for her god to heal her miraculously. To not want to know why it fails seems unusual. Why does one need to be a specialist in miracles to discuss them? You seem to be trying to take refuge in the “sophisticated theology” idea, that there has to be some truth in baseless claims, if one just studied it “enough”
I find it quite specious when you say you don’t know if you’d be happier in a whole body. It’s rather like someone saying “I don’t know if I’d be happier if I won a million dollars”, when that person has no chance of willing a million dollars. It’s a fox and the grapes argument.
Your life is easy thanks to human ingenuity. And one can know about patience and empathy without suffering constant UTIs, etc. I used to work for an an agency that regulated nursing homes and have read many case histories on people who are afflicted as you are.
Yes, Christina, with no exceptions. As I have already stated, it does have be for believers and surprise, that doesn’t happen either. And there is not one place where JC says these prayers have to be per this god’s will aka plan aka reason to know that there is no free will in your bible.
This is one of the big reasons I do take the time to show how ignorant Christianity is. You must always blame the victim for this god’s failure. Someone doesn’t have the “right” faith, prayer, sect, etc and this god won’t heal them. Consider this, if I was omnipotent, and omniscient, I would heal them. I’d heal you. I wouldn’t need misery or pain to teach people.
Yep, there is indeed that story where JC, like any charlatan, cannot do miracles because people don’t believe enough. I’ve had plenty of Christians claim that their god needs powered up and I’ve also had plenty of wannabee mystics claim that they can’t do their magic with unbelievers around. They ran away too, just like JC.
So much for omnipotence. And do read your bible, Christina:
“4 Then Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.” 5 And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. 6 And he was amazed at their unbelief.” Mark 6
and the same story in “57 And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor except in their own country and in their own house.” 58 And he did not do many deeds of power there, because of their unbelief.”
still doing miracles in both.
I’m finding it amusing that you now only seem to have complaints about how I cite verses. I’ve read the chapters too and yep, they are still about healing physical problems. Yep, the chapters mention other things, but not in the context of what is being claimed about physical healing and answering every prayer with what is prayed for. Those verses in John 14 are still about healing and any prayer being answered: “1 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. 12 Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If in my name you ask me[e] for anything, I will do it.” John 14.
No one has said you must respond to me or respond quickly. You are responsible for what you do.
Unsurprisingly one of the folks over at Answers in Genesis, aka cowards who want to attack other theists and non-theists, have quite a strawman argument over at their website, trying to convince people to agree with them. Of course, they are cowards since they don’t allow comments on their lies.
But we can provide them some here! This is from Bodie Hodge, an mechanical engineer, who thinks he is ever so special. Why do creationists get engineers and scientists who have no grounding in evolutionary theory? I would hazard a guess that it is because they are susceptible to the argument from authority, and think that anyone with a degree, and who agrees with their myths, should be believed. Sorry, dears, it doesn’t work like that. I wouldn’t take my child to a diesel mechanic and I would take my car to a pediatrician, no matter how much I liked them.
This will be an exercise in how some Christians lie, desperate in their need for external validation.
“Are you tired of all the evil associated with the philosophy of atheism — Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, and so on?1 After all, most murderers, tyrants, and rapists are not biblical Christians, and most have rejected the God of the Bible. Even if they claim to believe in the God of the Bible, they are not really living like a true Christ follower (who strives to follow God’s Word), are they?
Do you feel conflicted about the fact that atheism has no basis in morality (i.e., no absolute right and wrong; no good, no bad)? If someone stabs you in the back, treats you like nothing, steals from you, or lies to you, it doesn’t ultimately matter in an atheistic worldview, where everything and everyone are just chemical reactions doing what chemicals do. And further, knowing that you are essentially no different from a cockroach in an atheistic worldview (since people are just animals) must be disheartening.”
Unsurprisingly, we have Bodie starting off with a lie. There is no “philosophy of atheism”. There is also no morality of atheism. Atheism is a conclusion that there are no god or gods (theists are atheists when it comes to gods other than their own). It has no worldview attached to it. Atheists have all sorts of different worldviews. I’m mostly an Epicurean in worldview. Some are far-right idiots, some are far left liberals, some are Randians, etc. And some atheists are megalomaniacs who happen to get into power. Now, since I’m an atheist, and not a megalomaniac, and have no desire to commit genocide, that is not part of atheism. It’s part of megalomania. Bodie tries to claim that all atheists are evil in the moral sense. He has no evidence and thus is ignoring his own religion when it says do not bear false witness, e.g. don’t lie.
We also have Bodie claiming that murders, etc aren’t “Biblical Christians”. Now, you may ask, what exactly is a “biblical Christian”. That is a term used by Christians who want to pretend that only their version is the right version of Christianity. This also allows them to create the circular argument that only biblical Christians don’t do certain things because they are biblical because they don’t do certain things. However, Bodie forgets that his god kills humans, kills children for something they didn’t do, demands genocide and commits it, etc. These must objectively good things if this god does them and if objective good morality comes from this god as many, if not most, Christians claim. If they are not good if a human does such things, then our Christians have a morality based subjectively on who does an action, not the action itself. Since many Christians do claim that that their god has some right to do with humans what it wants, they end up with a morality that is no more might equals right.
So, no, Bodie, we are not tired at all. You have nothing more than lies and strawmen.
“Are you tired of the fact that atheism (which is based in materialism,2 a popular worldview today) has no basis for logic and reasoning? Is it tough trying to get up every day thinking that truth, which is immaterial, really doesn’t exist? Are you bothered by the fact that atheism cannot account for uniformity in nature3 (the basis by which we can do real science)? Why would everything explode from nothing and, by pure chance, form beautiful laws like E=MC2 or F=MA?4”
Atheism is not based on materialism, though they can be often accepted together. Atheism is based on logic and reasoning. If there is no evidence for a claim, there is no logic or reasoning to believe that claim. Bodie disbelieves in other gods very likely because of no evidence. So, is his disbelief illogical and unreasonable? I suspect he would deny that. One often finds arguments like this offered by theists because they have difficulty in considering their claims from an outsider’s point of view. John Loftus has some great books on this idea.
There is plenty of material truth. Theists often get into this problem that they need to claim that their god is “immaterial”, and thus they must claim that “truth” must also immaterial since they have no evidence for their god. By doing so, they end up in solipsism, which is always amusing.
Again, since Bodie has no idea what atheism actually is, he also tries to claim that atheism doesn’t explain the uniformity of nature. Atheism wouldn’t do that; but the sciences can. Physics is fine with the universe being uniform, and the Big Bang Theory provides an idea why it is that way. We have no idea if the BBT was by chance or not. Creationists also terribly ignorant about the most basic science; the BB is not an “explosion” (even a mechanical engineer should known that but willful ignorance and lies do make a man silly). Physics can be as apparently eternal and universal as any god is invented to be. There is no “random chance” as creationists claim in the universe. We don’t have a cat in the hat bouncing around altering reality. And formulas aren’t “beautiful”. They just are. Poor Bodie, he tries to evoke emotion on math and physics to imply some magical god is needed.
So, no, Bodie, not tired of anything you mention since all you claim is false.
“Do you feel like you need a weekend to recoup, even though a weekend is really meaningless in an atheistic worldview — since animals, like bees, don’t take a day of rest or have a weekend? So why should atheists? Why borrow a workweek and weekend that comes from the pages of Scriptures, which are despised by atheists? Weeks and weekends come from God creating in six literal days and resting for a literal day; and then the Lord Jesus resurrected on the first day of the week (Sunday). And why look forward to time off for a holiday (i.e., holy day), when nothing is holy in an atheistic worldview?”
Ah, the appeal to emotion from a cult member. This is nothing new at all. “Come with us, you’ll feel better”. Alas for Bodie, I have had a great weekend. I got to use a chainsaw for the first time since a branch was ripped of our tree by the windstorm. I also had a great steak and was working on my art for a show I was accepted to.
It’s always hilarious when a Christian tries so hard to claim responsibility for things they had nothing to do with. Weeks and weekends do not come from their god, which ever version they believe in. Those came from unions (watch the conservative Christians clutch their pearls). Other religions have days they claim are holy, but no one outside of that religion cares about them. Christians can’t even agree on what their holy day should be, so it’s very silly of Bodie to claim that his god is responsible.
And with his hilarious claim, then I guess we should be thanking the moon, Tyr, Odin, Thor, Frey/Freya, and Saturn on every other day of the week. I of course look forward to any day I can do what I want. No god or Bodie needed.
“For professing atheists, these questions can be overwhelming to make sense of within their worldview.For professing atheists, these questions can be overwhelming to make sense of within their worldview. And further, within an atheistic worldview, atheists must view themselves as God. Essentially, atheists are claiming to be God. Instead of saying there may not be a God, they say there is no God. To make such a statement, they must claim to be omniscient (which is an essential attribute of the God of the Bible) among other attributes of God as well.5 So by saying there is no God, the atheist refutes his own position by addressing the question as though he or she were God!”
No, these “questions” aren’t overwhelming at all for atheists. Bodie relies on ignorance, lies and fear to try to get people to agree with him and give him that external validation he so craves.
Most atheists, except for maybe the aforementioned megalomaniac atheists, do not think we are gods. We don’t pretend that we can affect the universe with magic, like, ahem, some people we know.
It is no problem at all to know that Bodie’s god and all of the other gods that humans have invented don’t exist. There is no evidence to show that the essential events that these gods supposed did happened, and we can show that entirely different things happened on any particular date that a theist might want to claim that these divinely caused events did happen. Bodie’s god is not some worm under a rock on Ceti Alpha V. It has quite distinct attribute per the bible and Christians, so it wouldn’t be hard to miss. I don’t have to be omniscient at all. And considering what the bible says, neither is this god.
“Do you feel conflicted about proselytizing the faith of atheism, since if atheism were true then who cares about proselytizing? Let’s face it, life seems tough enough as an atheist without having to deal with other major concerns like not having a basis to wear clothes, or no basis for marriage, no consistent reason to be clean (snails don’t wake up in the morning and clean themselves or follow other cleanliness guidelines based on Levitical laws), and no objective reason to believe in love.”
Now, Bodie has to repeat the theist claim that somehow atheism is a religion/faith: “a personal set or institutionalized system of religious(relating to or manifesting faithful devotion to an acknowledged ultimate reality or deity) attitudes, beliefs, and practices” Faith: 2): belief in the traditional doctrines(a principle or position or the body of principles in a branch of knowledge or system of belief) of a religion – merriam webster He does this to try to convince a non-theist to not show that his beliefs are baseless.
His desperation shows through quite nicely here; “Let’s face it, life seems tough enough as an atheist without having to deal with other major concerns like not having a basis to wear clothes, or no basis for marriage, no consistent reason to be clean (snails don’t wake up in the morning and clean themselves or follow other cleanliness guidelines based on Levitical laws), and no objective reason to believe in love.”” His attempt to claim we atheists also have no reason to wear clothes or get married, or be hygienic, and not to be in love are quite histrionic. Let’s see: frostbite, secular (originally based on religion) laws to follow that silly but still have to be followed, infection and my own delicate sense of smell, and well, love doesn’t depend on Bodie or his god. That’s something we humans seem to have as an emergent property from our brains, and honestly, who cares if being in love is subjective or objective? Bodie and his god aren’t needed since all humans do it (except for the megalomaniacs again, and probably psycho- and sociopaths) Humans care for each other; and we can be pretty sure other animals do too. My cats seek me out even when I don’t have food for them or a warm spot to lay. They like to be around me. I like to be around those I love. Who is to say it’s not the same? Oh and snails clean each other’s shells. Nerite snails are notable for this, but others do it too. It might just be because they are hungry and there is algae there, but they all get cleaned.
BTW, Levitical laws about cleanliness weren’t about hygiene, they were about offending this god (aka pathetic men) with human stuff, like menstruation and poop (we don’t want god to walk in our poop “12 “You shall have a place outside the camp, and you shall go out to it. 13 And you shall have a trowel with your tools, and when you sit down outside, you shall dig a hole with it and turn back and cover up your excrement. 14 Because the Lord your God walks in the midst of your camp, to deliver you and to give up your enemies before you, therefore your camp must be holy, so that he may not see anything indecent among you and turn away from you.” Deuteronomy 23) These were the ignorant people who thought that skin diseases could be cured by bird blood.
“Are you weary of looking for evidence that contradicts the Bible’s account of creation and finding none?6 Do the assumptions and inconsistencies of dating methods weigh on your conscience when they are misrepresented as fact?7 Where do you suppose those missing links have gone into hiding? Surely the atheist sees the folly and hopelessness of believing that everything came from nothing.
In fact, why would an atheist care to live one moment longer in a broken universe where one is merely rearranged pond scum and all you have to look forward to is . . . death, which can be around any corner? And in 467 trillion years, no one will care one iota about what you did or who you were or how and when you died — because death is the ultimate “hero” in an atheistic, evolutionary worldview. Of course, as a Christian I disagree, and I have a basis to see you as having value.”
Bodie does try hard again when he tries to convince people that there are no contradictions in reality about the bible’s two contradictory creation stories. That’s funny since they can’t even keep the order of creation straight in the bible itself. Alas, Bodie is lying again. We have plenty of evidence of evolutionary change and that organisms have gotten more complex as time has gone by, depending on environmental stressors. We do not show animals starting out how they look now. Alas, again, Bodie depend on lies and fear to try to get atheists to agree with him. We have plenty of “missing links”: List of transitional fossils – Wikipedia
Dating methods aren’t wrong, but they do have limitations; and it’s grand fun to see creationists accept them for things they think support their nonsense e.g. the shroud of turin, dates for lumber in Egyptian buildings, etc. Dating methods are often dependent on physics, and if physics is consistent, Bodie’s magic god can’t exist. That’s why theist often get upset with dating, and when the dating methods show that their claims are wrong when they make up a date that their god did something.
Since we don’t know if everything came from “nothing”(and do define that), there is a problem with Bodie’s lies again. It seems that physics has no problem with something coming from a vacuum. And there is nothing morally bad about coming from nothing. Bodie tries so hard to play pretend that the universe is “broken” if it is the way it is which is always funny when creationists also love to claim how perfect the universe is in its “fine-tuning”.
Just because we die doesn’t mean we have no value. Why would it? Death is part of life, we die to make room for others. They have value too. I don’t need to pretend that I somehow deserve to exist forever. It’d be fun if I could, but until I get that titanium body that I can download my brain into, it’s not likely to happen.
As for Christians thinking that humans have value, well, their god certainly doesn’t; so if they support its actions, they don’t. It has no problem in killing humans constantly, either intentionally or by hold back its supposed healing magic. This god only values humans in its need to be stroked.
Now, we get where Bodie thinks that by spewing bible verses, atheists will be so overtaken by their god that we’ll agree with Bodie. His religious book is no more true than any other theist’s. He cannot show that what he has invented from his magic decoder ring is any more true than the next Christians who contradicts him. He tries so hard to claim that atheists can’t believe in truth or lies. Ummm, why? We can see reality and point out when someone is misrepresenting it along with other humans. Christians don’t agree on what is their truth or what are heresies, so there’s no reason to believe them. They just can’t seem to get that great big stamp of god approval. Some authority that can’t get it through to its believers what it wants.
As usual, our Christian wants to define what a “consistent” atheist is since he knows he is lying about is. He must make an atheist that does what he want, a very classic strawman. Atheists do not tell you that you have no value. That’s a lie from Bodie.
Bodie wants to claim original sin makes you need his cure. But why would a god who promised never to hold children to account for their parent’s sins, hold every human in account for two people who weren’t their parents (and didn’t exist)? Happily, I do not feel that anyone should die for me and what I do.
Bodie is right, he has a need, aka a reason, to proselytize his faith. Not that JC commanded him to, but that he can’t stand to be shown wrong. He must be right in all things, and well, he isn’t. He needs someone to continually tell him he is right.
Atheists have a reason to point out that there are no god or gods. Believe in them causes existential harm because of the ignorance that humans claim to be “objective truth” when it is not. And we have plenty of basis for logic and reason. It’s how the world works. No gods involved that we have to shoehorn into things to invent a job for magical best friends who agree with you and supposedly protect you. Of course, the last salvo is more fear and ignorance. He must invoke the “end times”. Since Christians have to reup their subscription to the end times ever generation, they aren’t show much luck. The most logical response is to laugh at Bodie and his complete failure.
I do note that poor ol’ Bodhie doesn’t follow his god’s commandments. They don’t stop at the first ten, dear Bodie. I’ll save you a seat in hell.
Happily, a Christian has chosen to reply to my responses to the Christian claims from the earlier blog post. It is a classic since it contains every excuse that Christians usually offer and goes out of its way to ignore the hard questions.
1. “There’s a common misconception that the answering of prayers must always be noticeable, knowable, visible etc. …”
This set of excuses is nothing new for a Christian. They have invented excuses why their god doesn’t answer prayers and ignore their bible since it is inconvenient. The bible says that this god will always answer prayers with what is asked for and answer quickly. There is nothing that says that the “answer is no.” Trying to claim that prayers are only answers if they agree with this god’s will shows that there is no free will and that praying is worthless.
Alan also invents this god that allows horrible things to happen to people and others to “teach” them. I am happy to say that I don’t want anyone hurt to teach me anything at all. There’s also the problem that the bible says that our fates are already sealed and teaching does nothing at all for this (Romans 9, Matthew 13). I do have to wonder why this god doesn’t answer the prayers of the children that priests and pastors rape. Is that to “teach” them? Hmm, maybe that’s the excuse priests give too. “It must be god’s will since he didn’t stop me; I’m a teacher!”
2.“Well, we can look to the Bible and Church history. The scripture is not sufficient on its own (sola scriptura), but requires an authoritative teacher that is guided by God. …”
It is a Catholic thing to pretend that other things are needed in addition to the bible. It is a Protestant thing to pretend that only the bible is needed. So, which is right? Neither can be demonstrated as true. Alan and the RCC want to pretend that they have the only right interpretation, just like the hundreds of other sects. The RCC also didn’t convene the various councils, the Byzantine Empire’s government did. Every sect claims to be the original or closest to it. Still no evidence any of these sects are right, if any at all.
No Christian can show that they are even a Christian per how the bible says you can tell. And there is no problem with declaring that there is no “ultimate truth”. There is no logical reason to think that there is. Just beause someone can imagine one, or at least the vague concept of “perfect” or “greatest”, doesn’t mean it exists (that’s why the ontological argument for god fails too).
3.“I understand how it can seem that way from the outside, but to suggest that nobody has ever heard a message from God requires some kind of omniscience…”
No, it doesn’t require some omniscience. We have evidence that none of the essential events in the bible have happened and entirely different things did happen on any date that believers may want to postulate for those magical events. There is no reason to think that some god talks to people through their mind or through a hairdryer. Alan’s argument also places his god into a bit of a bind since it claims it is the only one and we can’t, per Alan, think that is the case. Gods could be speaking to people all of the time. I’m also sure that Alan would insist that we can know if someone talked to god since people who harm and murder do this all of the time “God told me to…”
4.“Good quip at the beginning about this person being the best God has to offer, but also not really relevant. …”
That we have such poor apologists like Alan, it does become a joke if they are the best this god has to offer. Alan doesn’t want the message judged by the messenger, but since the only evidence given is the messenger’s baseless claim, then we have no choice. This god does a horrible job of conveying some truth since Christians can’t agree on what it is and they again, can’t show that they are Christians.
No evidence that this god cares about anything, or exists. The church offers help only if they can proselytize. Humans do the work, not some god. And indeed, as per Alan says, this is supposedly an “omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent Deity”. In the myths, it provides food and water with a thought. Why does it need humans now? As for the “body of Christ” being active all around the world, that’s not quite true since Alan is sure that Christians who don’t agree with him are part of that body, those ol’ sola scripturists.
5.“All Christians agree in the existence of Hell. Yes, I’m being picky here. “ No, they don’t all agree on the existence of hell or what it is. And yes, Alan is being “picky” here aka trying pretend only his version is the right one. He tries to claim that Christians who don’t’ agree with him really aren’t Christians. Again, so much for the “body of Christ” that Christians want to count in the billions, but also want to claim that many of those billions don’t’ really qualify. The trinity is not required Christian belief, neither is that this Jesus was divine. Alan seems to forget that there were many versions of Christianity and still are. Christianity isn’t the one big happy family that the RCC leads that Alan would have us believe. Even the gospels show vastly different Christianities. Now, John does give one way to know a Christian: if they can do miracles as good or greater than JC and get their prayers answered (John 14). Where are the Christians who can do that?
“21 And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you—not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers made subject to him.” 1 Peter 3. Yeah, that isn’t agreed upon on how it is done either.
Like C.S. Lewis, Alan would prefer that Christians not talk about their hell or their disagreements. People tend to see a god who kills kids, who damns people for no fault of their own, etc as less than “loving”. As for the RCC doing “fine” we see rifts in that sect also, unable to determine if they want to join the 21st century or stay in the 13th.
6.“True, all Christians make the claim that the Holy Spirit is conveying truth. Yes, these claims can contradict. …”
There needs to be no right claim at all from theists; that is a false assumption. They can easily all be wrong. And, that none can do what the bible promises, this appears to be the way to bet. Every Christian claim that they can deduce that theirs is the right version; they can’t. Alan can’t.
7. “To be fair, the incorrect view is that of the Christian’s here. Regarding God isn’t a requirement to have a moral standard. …”
Christians do indeed try to claim that they have an objective moral standard that is from their god. They do not. They do not, and evidently cannot, agree on what morality their god wants. They all have different Paul does indeed claim that the laws of this god written on their hearts and that silly claim cannot be shown true, and can be shown false in the sad cases of feral children. Humans must be taught how to behave. Many Christians have the arrogance and ignorance to try to claim that everyone is “copying” from them when it comes to morals. That is not even remotely the case. Paul is a rather nasty character who brags how humble he is and who tries to curse anyone who dares not agree with his version of Christianity. He also was under the delusion that women aren’t equal to men. I’m also quite happy to throw out the other NT writers since they advocate for morals like slaves shouldn’t try to gain their freedom and non-christians should be killed.
What humans have are a set of moral rules that allow civilization to work better and those have survived the evolution of humans from hunter gatherers to the farming and then technological cultures we have now. No god needed, just trial and error.
I stole this list from Bruce Gerenscer, a wonderful atheist who used to be an evangelical pastor. Do read his blog. I added my usual short and sweet responses. Nothing new, but if you want to cut and past them, you are more than welcome. Most can be used for any type of theist.
I’ll Pray for You
“Oh that’s nice. So, what are you praying for? I do need to know so I can give you reports on how well you are doing. ”
If they own up to what they are praying for: “Hmmm, okay, so how long should that take? And if nothing happens, what can I put you down for as why: your god doesn’t consider you a Christian and thus won’t answer your prayers as it promises; your god loves an honest atheist and is fine with me; your god doesn’t exist?”
Have You Ever Heard the Gospel?
“Why yes, I used to be a Christian and I’ve read the bible in its entirety as a Christian and as not. Now, do tell me what your magic decoder ring is that tells you what is to be taken literally and what is to be claimed as metaphor or simply ignored since it is inconvenient and how do you know that it is better than the magic decoder ring that your fellow Christians have?”
3. God Laid You on My Heart
“God did what to you? Oh, you’re claiming that your god told you to bother me. Nah, that’s just you needing external validation and you think I’d be a prize to be won to make yourself feel better.”
God is Trying to Get Your Attention
“What, with you? You’re the best representative this god has? Such a shame. How about if this god pays attention to those dying of hunger, who suffer from amputations, etc. He can help them. I don’t need it. But it’s easier for you to lie and claim your god is interested in me rather than it doing something. Oh and claiming that misery is this god’s actions to force people to worship it? I sure as fuck won’t worship some vicious asshole like that.”
You’ll Go to Hell if You Don’t Accept Jesus
“Umm, which hell? Christians don’t’ agree on what it is or even if it exists. Your sadistic fantasies don’t bother me. Oh, it isn’t *your* fantasies, it’s just what this god needs? Nice “I am only following orders” excuse, my dear.”
I Know the Holy Spirit is Speaking to You
“Really? What is it saying? I do know that Christians all claim that the ol’ HS is speaking to them, but funny how it always give everyone a different message.”
Do You Want Your Children or Grandchildren to Grow Up Without Knowing God and Having No Morals?
“Yup, I do, if they are your morals. Sorry, dear, I don’t react well to attempts at engendering fear for someone’s imaginary friend. Pity that Christians can’t agree on what morals their god wants. You just get back to me when you can do what the bible promises every baptized believer in Christ as personal savior can do.