Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – please welcome Alex, a Christian who has asked to debate me

A Christian has asked to debate me, Alexander Phaethon, of the blog Peace of Mind. He comes to us from commenting on my last blog post, about a christian who insists that everyone agrees with her. You can see what kind of a Christian he is on his comment here. He also commented that he is “I’m technically 50 percent white 50 percent Latino.” He does think that Elizabeth, the one who insists that everyone agrees with her is correct. We’ll get to that in a bit.

You can follow along in the comments below. If it gets too unwieldly, I’ll open another post to continue.

To start off, Alex has asked this “Well, lets just start with our base beliefs and then will get to Elizabeth’s claim. What are your reasons for believing that there is no God, and also what then do you believe is the point of life?”

Alex, the reason I don’t believe in any gods, including the many variations of the Christian god, is that there is no evidence at all for their existences. Not one event claimed to have been caused by your god, or any other, can be shown to have happened. There is also no evidence that any of these gods come through for their worshippers as they promise in the various holy books that theists have.

Now to focus the Christianity we both are familiar with, there are dozens, if not far more, of versions, all of which contradict each other. That Christians cannot agree on the most basic things in their religion, (e.g. how one is saved, what heaven and hell are, what this god considers a sin, what morals this god wants, which parts of the bible to consider literal, exaggerated or metaphor, etc), nor convince each other that their version is the “right” one, shows that there is little reason to think that there is any “right” version. This is especially true since not one self-described Christian can do what your supposed messiah promised you would be able to do. Those abilities are described in Mark 16, John 14 and James 5, among other places.

I do say self-described since that is the only way to know who a Christian is since you all point at those Christians who don’t agree with you and claim they aren’t Christians, but you cannot show this to be the case.

Could there be a “right” version? Perhaps, but I see no evidence of what it is or that it exists.

The second part of your request is “what then do you believe is the point of life?” I don’t see that there has to be a “point” aka “meaning” for life that is external to the person living a life. There is life since physics allows for it. I’m alive, a meerkat is alive, my cats are alive, the collard greens plants in my backyard garden are alive.

I give meaning to my own life, and that is to help others when I can so they can enjoy their life too, to enjoy my life which means loving my spouse, my kitties, my friends, having tasty meals, a comfy bed, a nice glass of wine or beer or bourbon, creating art, gardening, etc. I am largely Epicurean (a brief description: “Epicurus believed that the greatest good was to seek modest, sustainable pleasure in the form of a state of ataraxia (tranquility and freedom from fear) and aponia (the absence of bodily pain) through knowledge of the workings of the world and limiting desires.”) in worldview, with a splash of Stoicism.

When I was a Christian, I was taught that the meaning of life was to obey the god of Christianity, and if I was approved of, I’d get to exist forever in heaven. I’m quite happy to have left that behind, since I finally did realize that the god of Christianity wasn’t anything I would want to obey, even if it were real. I read the bible and found out what it says, not the expurgated version that pastors and priests give. I found I had far better morals than this god from reading comic books and watching Star Trek than what the bible teaches. No promise of eternal life would be worth following such a horrible being as the god depicted in the bible.

Now, you probably are asking about what I found “horrible”. The following:

1. A god that condemns everyone for the supposed actions of two. This eliminates free will. This also is the story of Eden, where this god intentionally keeps Adam and Eve ignorant of what good and evil are, and blames them for not obeying him when they would have had no idea that not obeying this god was “evil”.
2. A god that kills every living thing on earth except for 8 people horribly by drowning. This includes children and animals who did nothing wrong. See the noah flood.
3. A god that mind controls humans so it has an excuse for abusing and killing them, including children. See Exodus 4, Joshua 11.
4. A god that repeatedly commits and commands genocide and rape of girls, see Numbers 31.
5. The idea of a blood sacrifice by torture required for “salvation” from this god’s actions that it screwed up in Eden. See the whole Jesus story.
6. The idea that if you don’t believe in the right god you deserve eternal torture. per both Jesus and paul.
7. The lunacy and viciousness of Revelation where this god works with its supposed archenemy to corrupt its followers after it kills everyone else.

If you’d like me to clarify, do ask. Alex, my questions to you are how do you know your version is right? What is the best evidence you think there is that your god exists? And what do *you* think the meaning of life is?

Addendum: 5/4/22: how this ends up here: