A Discussion with an Atheist: Another Eye-Opening Experience (Why I Enjoy These Conversations)

Well, I got schooled. I seriously did, and I’m really happy that I was.

I got into a VERY long conversation between quite a few people on yet another Yahoo thread. Although it was a difficult conversation, filled with some angry language, tempers, and breaches in understanding, I do feel, for me, this conversation was greatly worth the challenge. I don’t know about my discussion partner, an adamant atheist who goes by the screen name of Ashman, but I hope it wasn’t a complete waste and loss to him. He did not change my personal way of thinking, at least not much, but he did open my eyes to a lot of atheist perspectives which I had not considered.

I’m afraid I’m going to have to start the conversation where Ashman and I started going at each other. There is a LOT more to this whole thread, but it’s very long. If you’re really that interested, you can go here (Our conversation is the third one down, OP is Mary). So without further ado, an enjoyable conversation.

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Ashman: Rana,

So you believe in god, but not one affiliated with religion. I can only assume that you are a deist at this point then (because you haven’t explicitly told me about this god of yours) – that must mean you believe that a supreme being created the universe but that’s where “his” magnificence ends. He doesn’t take a hand in human affairs, he doesn’t have a special place for people to go to when they die, etc. So at bare minimum we can say that if this god exists that he is one, or some, or all of the following: Incompetent, bungling, capricious, indifferent, callous and incredibly cruel. Apparently he/she/it can only create 1 planet that is capable of supporting life (on some of it’s surface some of the time) and it’s on a climatic knife edge – or as some poeple are so fond of saying “fine tuned”. Apparently he can only “fine tune” 1 planet amoung the 400+ that we already know about, to support life. And in so doing fills the earth with countless numbers of different species, of which, 99.8% are now EXTINCT – never to be heard from again. He watches them (or doesn’t watch them or doesn’t care) as some evolve and others don’t – and struggle, fail to adapt and lets the whole lot of them die off – and repeats the pattern ad infinitum. In the meantime, the swirling chaos of the rest of the universe continues as its pulling itself apart with planets and galaxies and suns and stars blowing up and disappearing – also never to be seen or heard from again.
So you believe that a god is responsible for all of this – and you have NO EVIDENCE to support your beliefs WHATSOEVER.
Please, can tell me how ridiculous I am that I don’t believe in bulls*&t like that?

Me: @Ashman – “I don’t believe that god is okay with a person throwing away their gift of life for the sake of their belief in god; I would think that it would sadden god as much as a parent would be sad if their child taking a bullet for them. The parent would think that their child had their whole life ahead, and the parent is getting old, already had the chances their child didn’t get to experience yet. The pain and sadness a parent would feel for that child would be excruciating. I believe this is how god sees us, as its children, all-loving of us no matter our faults, and for us to give up our lives for god, the omnipotent being of all, I don’t think is fair. ”

The concept of god as a loving parent, unconditional and nonjudgmental, I apply to all of us in all walks of life. To me, we’re here to learn, like a parent sending their kids to college. The parents gave the kids guidelines to help them live happy lives and not make themselves miserable. Will the kids follow all those guidelines? Of course not. It is the nature of humans to bend the rules. Sometimes people like making themselves miserable. A good parent will try to help as much as they can, but does not judge or try to oppress the child, even when it is for their own good. The good parent lets the child fall down and learn from their mistakes. To me, all of us here are just college kids. We’re falling and learning to pick ourselves up. When we die, we take our lessons with us and god gives us direct guidance on what we did right and wrong. It’s not that god doesn’t care, it’s not that it likes to see us suffer, but it respects us as our own entities to live on our own for a while. That’s just my spin on things, and from my experience in my own mind and heart, I believe my view is right. That doesn’t mean it’s fact, and I don’t expect anyone else to believe it. It reinforces my want to be a good person in my own right. I try to be a good person for my own benefit and the benefit of those around me, and the idea that there is some entity that made me, and it respects me enough to let me fall and learn on my own strength makes me stronger. I don’t depend on god, and I don’t beg god for things because, to me, this life is not god’s place to intervene in my existence.

And I don’t think it’s ridiculous that you don’t believe. More power to you for standing your own two feet purely out of will. I commend you for that. I have no problem with it. Most of the time I get along better with those who don’t believe in god. My issue with you is your disrespect of those who don’t believe as you do, aka who don’t believe at all. You believe god does not exist, and that’s fine. But to insult and degrade those who do believe merely because they do is just as bad as a religious person degrading and insulting you for NOT believing. It goes both ways. You don’t think Reesy respects your lack of belief, and yet you, in turn, disrespect him for believing. This is where I have a problem with both of you. I admit, I insult religion, but I insult the system itself and those who are disrespectful of others in the name of that system. I don’t insult the individual for believing (at least I try my best not to).

Ashman: Rana,

After reading this statement from you “My issue with you is your disrespect of those who don’t believe as you do, aka who don’t believe at all”, I’ve come to the realization that everything I have said to date, I’ve said in vain. It’s gone in one ear and right out the other without any processing. Maybe this will clarifiy it (but I sincerely doubt it): I DON”T BELIEVE IN ANYTHING. I REJECT YOUR AND EVERY OTHER PERSON’S CONCEPT OF A GOD. Your first two paragraphs are well written pieces of WHITE NOISE and RELIGIOUS BABBLE. There is no proof that the god that you describe and believe in, or ANY god that ANY person that’s every lived has descibed or believed in, ACTUALLY exists. It’s all based on wish thinking, fear, non-sense, superstition and complete bulls*#$%$ NOT A BELIEF WORTHY OF RESPECT.
So to sum up, I repsect anyone’s right to believe in anything they want. I DO NOT and WILL NOT respect the belief itself. I DON’T CARE if their feelings get hurt. I really don#$%$ not a card that can be played with me. “Oh you can’t criticise my religion and my irrational, unfounded, non-sensical beliefs because it will make me cry!! Whaaa!” Grow the *&^% up. Try not believing in idiotic bulls*&t and maybe your feelings won’t get hurt so much. You think I’m going to respect a m0r0n that thinks that monkeys evolved into humans? Give me a *&^%ing break. I’ll call a spade a spade every time.

Me: @Ashman – I’m not really concerned about whether you care about my beliefs or not. You are, however, in a grave amount of denial here. You have called me, Reesy, and all other ‘believers’ on this thread idiots, morons, and a number of curse words because of what they believe. Now how is that being respectful of their right to believe it? You have openly and directly attacked the individuals who express belief on this thread as well as attacked their beliefs. If you don’t like the belief and think it’s stupid, attack the belief, not the person. I don’t care if you want to criticize my belief, because I admit, it is a BELIEF, not a fact. I know that. You don’t have to emphasize the obvious. If you can’t respect a religious belief, then why respect any belief at all? Attack the concept of belief itself, don’t suggest that you can’t respect religious belief. Can you respect the belief in life beyond this planet, in human’s further evolution, in the possibility of another inhabitable planet? These beliefs have slight scientific grounding, I’ll give you that, but they are not theories; there is no physical scientific proof to support these ideas yet, and if there are, they are very inconclusive. So is the concept of belief completely off the table for you? No. So you shouldn’t have a problem with the concept of belief itself. Again, you don’t have to respect the belief itself, as you’ve said, but if you’re going to say you respect a person’s right to believe something that you don’t, than you should also respect the person no matter their belief. You don’t have to like the person, but insulting them because they believe is the same as insulting the person’s right to believe. Don’t insult the person for the belief, insult the belief itself and agree to disagree.

Ashman: (an aside to another member of the thread) Michael,

” How can you complain about the bad things religion has caused, and then use your belief structure to belittle others and be completely closed minded and intolerant. You have this idea that only Atheists are intelligent and only they know the truth.”
More proof that everything I’ve said to you (as with Rana) has been completely in vain. I’ve just finished posting on here the exact definition of atheism – that it’s the rejection of a belief system and IS NOT a belief system unto itself – but all that’s completely lost on you. So your answer is no, you haven’t done any scientific exploration, all you’ve really said is that you read the bible, the torah and the koran and somehow came to the conclusion that there really is a god – specifically a christian one. How you came to that conclusion after reading all 3 of those books is beyond me. (and P.s I’m reading the bible now and the koran is up next)
And la piece de resistance – the last sentence in your post “That is the mindset that leads religions to commit those atrocities you site.” You’ve come to the conclusion that atheism is what makes a lunatic in Pakistan strap a bomb on himself and walk into an internet cafe in Pakistan and blow himself up along with 27 other people. In other words, its not the hateful, wicked doctrine of Islam preached to gullible fools by wicked people that does this, it’s MY (the atheists) fault. Conversation over #$%$ GO *&^% YOURSELF.

Me: @Ashman – You bring up very fair points in your response to Michael. I think the issue is that there are two categories of atheist, and no one is willing to separate the two. There are atheists who live by your definition, and correct definition, that they simply live their lives with no concept of god and live by their own will; they do not hold to a religious belief system, and find the concept of those belief systems and the beliefs therein to be false. Completely understandable. Those kind of atheists are the kind people who are kind just because they want to be, because it’s the right thing to do. I love those people. There is, however, a second category, which unknowingly negate their own title. These are the people who make it their passion to believe that there is no god. They go out of their way to disprove god, usually for personal reasons which they put into the context of, “If there is a god, then why *insert reason here.* ” Religious people make these kind of atheists even angrier by saying they merely hate god, that this person is so bitter toward god that they don’t want god to exist. I find this argument not only rude by stupid. My point is, there are atheists who, in their own way, actually do hold to a belief system, the belief that there is no god. It is not an organized group like a religion is, but in a way it is a belief system, no matter how much a person in this category would deny it. I don’t really see why that’s a problem for people like this, but granted I don’t know each individual’s specific reasonings.

The big thing is that there are bad people in all walks of life; there are bad atheists, there are bad religious people, there are bad agnostics. There are also good people in all of those categories. Generalizing our feelings toward a few select extremists in those categories on the whole category itself doesn’t solve anything, you know?

Ashman: RanaSimon,

I’ve tried to be as patient with you as I possibly can but I am afraid that patience has come to an end. Atheism is not and never will be a belief system. I have explained what it is in previous posts. There may well be people who believe that god does not exist, but they are not atheists.
As for good/bad/atheists and good/bad religious people, yes – you are 100% correct. There’s one gigantic difference between the 2. There’s no dogma and doctrine and faith involved in atheism. Religious non-sense is inculcated into children practically from birth and poisons people’s minds right from the get-go. Atheists are not going to strap a bomb on themselves and blow themselves up along with as many infidels as they can because they believe they are going to get eternal paradise as a reward. Only religion can make people do that.
Anyways, I know I’m wasting my breath telling you this because it will go in one ear and out the other. You haven’t understood anything and/or have willfully dismissed (or ignored) everything I’ve said to date in defence of your precious god. I don’t expect this to be any different.

Me: @Ashman – I don’t think you have me right, Ash. I actually DO agree with most of what you have to say, I just don’t implement the it the same way. I’m not going to argue with you about the belief system thing, we just have different views on it and that’s that. I will, however, disagree on your idea that religion is the only thing that inspires extremist hatred and self-destruction. Patriotism does the same thing, and so does atheism, just in a different way. I knew a man a few years ago, great guy, always helping out others, and he was an adamant atheist. He refuted god, and had good personal reason to do so. I never saw him any different than any other person, but some put him down for how he behaved when religion came into conversation. Unrelated to that, he fell on bad times, bad relationships, loss of his parents, his job, etc. Just a bunch of bad luck all at once, and for a while he took it in stride, that it was just the way things fell. But eventually it piled up and became too much. The happiness he saw in religious people around him, swept up in a fantastical lie, while he, a logical good person was miserable and falling apart, drove him over the edge. He disappeared from town, and a year later he went on a shooting spree in a church in another state and killed himself. Keep in mind I am not saying there is anything or anyone to blame in this case, but just like religious people use their beliefs to commit horrible acts, so this man was so obsessed with his atheism that it drove him to kill those who weren’t. This is why I say I don’t generalize. There are always exceptions to the rule. I do not deny in any way that religious nuts are dangerous and that religion is the real root of most evil in the world, but it’s not just religious people, it’s not just for religious means. It is simply the nature of man.

Ashman: RanaSimon,
It has become very apparent to me that your understanding of logic is tragically flawed. Somehow in your mind, this aqaintance of yours became obsessed with not believing in god, therefore he went on a killing spree as a result of that disbelief. I have no idea how you got there. I just finished explaining how the doctine and dogma of religion INSTRUCTS people to kill other people and that atheism is the rejection of that doctrine and dogma. Are you saying that if he were religious, and believed in fairy tale non-sense, he wouldn’t have perpetrated this horrific act?!?!? It has to be – because if atheism led to that, then theism would have prevented it. I have a much better explanation. He was a lunatic. The real problem is the toxic mix of religion and lunacy – it is a tremendous force multipler. People who might not have thought to something terrible are told and/or read in their holy books that people who don’t believe as they do need to be wiped out – and then act on that holy instruction. If you could bring yourself to admit that and understand this basic concept, then I will have considered our conversation worthwhile – but it appears that you partially do understand that: “I do not deny in any way that religious nuts are dangerous and that religion is the real root of most evil in the world, but it’s not just religious people…” This perplexes me on so many levels. If you believe that religion is the root cause of most evil, then I don’t understand how you can be asking me to grant respect to people who are religious. Its absolutely bizare that you’d say such a thing. You appear to have concocted a god of your very own that is almost exactly like every other religious persons concept of a god, yet you claim yours isn’t based on a religious concept of god. Where’d you get your concept of god from? It just suddenly came to you one day out of thin air? I think not!

Rana,

And something I had meant to correct you earlier on – this statement: “Can you respect the belief in life beyond this planet, in human’s further evolution, in the possibility of another inhabitable planet?” You are confusing belief with probability. If you are asking me if I repect someone who believes in aliens, the answer is no. If you are asking me to consider the possibility that there may be aliens out there, then the answer is yes, its possible. Why don’t I believe that there actually are aliens or repect people who do? Because I have never been presented with any credible EVIDENCE that aliens ACTUALLY exist.
I don’t have to “believe” in human’s further evolution – it’s already been conclusively demonstated to me that evolution is how we ended up on this planet. Do I think its possible that we could build space ships and find ourselves another planet to live on? Sure, anything is possible. Notice how there isn’t any supernatural or superstitious belief involved in any of those possibilities.
So to be perfectly clear I believe that its POSSBILE that aliens exist but at this moment in time, I don’t believe that aliens ACTUALLY exist. I can say exactly the same thing for the existence of any deity as well. It’s POSSBILE that one exists (although extremely unlikely) but I don’t believe that one ACTUALLY exists. As I mentioned earlier, if such a deity exists he/she/it is at a bare minimum callous, cold, uncaring, capricious, heartless, bungling, inept and incompetent.

Me: @Ashman – If you had known the man you would understand what I’m saying about him. There’s no way, I suppose, to help you understand his reaction to his life any more than I have already said. And I certainly do not say it as if he wouldn’t have done what he did if he had been religious. I’m saying he reacted just as a religious person would, but he did it against religion instead of for it. I also agree, he became mentally unstable in that time in his life, and that certainly did contribute. However, if he had been religious he still would have reacted the same, just against the religion he was part of instead of against the religion which he denied.

In regard to you perplexion of my statement, I guess I haven’t explained my view on religion properly. Religion is the socially accepted collection of people who have similar beliefs in terms of a higher power. This is why I say atheists are, in their own way, religious, as they have a collective non-belief in god, they just don’t come together in group meetings about it like Christians go to mass.

I do not associate personally with a collection like this. I do not have religion, but that does not mean I do have belief and faith. I don’t think I ever said my concept had no base in religion; on the contrary, I accept that my concept of god is very largely based in religion, as I was (sadly) born and raised in the Catholic Church. I do, however, take into account in my concept other religions, including Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, etc., and I also try to incorporate a sense of logic against the illogical in a way that makes sense to me. I know it seems silly, and I don’t blame anyone for finding it silly, I just hope that people respect my right to be silly. I’ll respect anyone’s right to be a fool, so long as their foolishness doesn’t cause harm to others, and I put this respect toward the individual and their personal actions. I try as best as I can to not judge a person based on a generalization of who or what they are affiliated with, religion, country, race, etc. included. The way I live has nothing to do with my personal concept of god. I choose to be this way of my own mind, heart, and will. Just because I have a personal concept of god does not mean that I live my life according to that concept.

Ashman: Rana,

There are occasions where you appear to grasp some of what I’m saying but fail to in others. The second paragraph in your last statement (about the concept of religion) is completely out to lunch I am afraid to say. You completely refute your own point all within one paragraph! You start off by saying that religion is a collection of people who have similar beliefs in a higher power and then call atheists sort of religious! How can that be? Atheists DON’T have a belief in a higher power! I’ve explained this several times already. Atheists have meetings and gatherings all the time! The difference between religious people and atheists is not that one group goes to meetings and the other one doesn’t! The difference is that religious people believe in a supernatural entity and atheists don’t! You’re trying to say that religious people have a similar belief system and atheists have a similar non-belief system so they’re essentially the same! That is completely ridiculous! As I mentioned several times before, religious people hold unfounded beliefs (something that you have readily admitted) that are based on nothing more than wish thinking, servility, fear and ignorance. Atheists choose the default position of NOT believing in that non-sense. Atheists choose evidence over unfounded beliefs and unsubstantiated claims – as they do in every other endeavor of their life. That’s ALL THE DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD between religious people and atheists. This is the part that I really, really, really need you to understand.
Thank you for understanding that atheism does not make people go on killing sprees.

Me: @Ashman – I understand your points, I honestly do. I make the similarity comparison that I do because of the experiences I have had with religious people versus atheists. Those atheists I have known and associated with fit into the description I have given. I haven’t experienced it all, and I think your points are valid for the experience you have had in your life. I honestly didn’t know that atheists actually had meetings or anything, again those that I know personally just live their lives quietly and don’t make their atheism an issue with others in general.

I know my perspective on religion is odd. What I’m trying to say is that, again, the atheists I know (and trust me, they argue this with me all the time as well XD) BELIEVE that there is no god. They have a belief, it’s just a belief in the negation of god in the universe. They have their personal evidence to prove that god does not exist, just like religious people have their bibles and miracles and all that bunk. Having this view allows me to put all people on the same plain, and so, in my mind, I can treat them all the same until they prove themselves to be better or worse people than I would have originally expected. I understand why it bothers you, and I understand my view is skewed because of my personal experience. I just can’t really think in any other way and be confident that I can treat any person I meet equally to any other unless I stick to how I see things now.

Ashman: Rana,

That’s all well and good that “…the atheists I know (and trust me, they argue this with me all the time as well XD) BELIEVE that there is no god. They have a belief, it’s just a belief in the negation of god in the universe…” As I have said over and over and over, unfortunately to no avail – THOSE PEOPLE ARE NOT ATHEISTS. People who say they have proof that god does not exist are even more ridiculous than the people that claim they have evidence that a god does exist. They have exactly the same amount of evidence to support their claim (that god does not exist) that theists have to support their claim (that god does exist) – ZERO. For starters it’s ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE to prove that something DOES NOT exist. If I met someone like that, I’d probably ridicule them even more than I ridicule theists. What the hell is “personal evidence”??!?!?! I’d love to see some of this “personal evidence” from some of the so-called atheists that you argue with. What an amazingly, profoundly, mind-blowingly absurd concept! I can’t even picture that in my mind. “Here you go sir – here’s my proof that god doesn’t exist!” “Wow! That’s absolutely amazing! You have conclusively demonstrated to me that god does not exist!”
You have got to be s*&^ing me right now.

Me: @Ashman – Then what are they? According to the dictionary, an atheist is, “a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings.” (Merriam Webster Dictionary) I completely agree there is no way to disprove that something exists. Again, I’m not agreeing with them, I am telling you my experiences and their views. Also according to the dictionary, I slightly fall under the category of agnostic, aka, “a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably unknowable; broadly : one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god” (again, Merriam Webster) I do believe there is a higher power, but I do not deny the possibility that there is not, and I also do not deny that my view of god could be wrong.

Now which one of these definitions do you consider yourself? Because it seems to me, all the people I talked about ARE atheists by definition, while you are in between atheist and agnostic. You say that you don’t believe in aliens, but you understand the probability of their existence. There is a probability, however slight, that there is a higher power which created the world. You don’t believe there is one, that’s fine, but do you deny the probability just because you think the idea is preposterous? If you do deny it, you are agnostic. If you don’t deny it, you’re atheist. I apologize, because I know you left your definition of atheist somewhere in this thread, but I can’t find it and I can’t remember it verbatim. At this point, though, I can’t figure out what it is, because it seems you keep bouncing between agnostic and atheist, unless I am seriously misinterpreting.

Ashman: Rana,

I am afraid you are misinterpreting. I’ve been quite consistent with the definition of atheism throughout our discussion. You’ve even found your own excellent definition of it – someone who DENIES or DISBELIEVES the existence of a supreme being. Note that it is NOT someone who ASSERTS or BELIEVES in the NON-existence of a supreme being. There’s all the difference in the world between those 2 statements. Read that over a few times and let it sink in. There’s no belief required in atheism whatsoever. Its the rejection of belief – specifically in the existence of a supreme being. Please, please, please don’t make me repeat any of this again.
What would I call people who tell you that they have proof that god doesn’t exist? Crack-pots. That’s what I’d call them. What evidence could someone show me that proves that god doesn’t exist? It’s absolutely absurd!
Gnosticism/Agnosticism and Theism/Atheism are 2 completely different things. The former is a knowledge claim. The latter is a belief claim. To be agnostic is to hold the view that it’s not possible to know whether a god really exists or not. I don’t deny that it’s entirely possible that a god exists. However as I have said several times already, IF this god exists, he is most definitely callous, heartless, indifferent, incompetent, bungling, and so on. For all I know, the Flying Spaghetti Monster really exists too. I just refuse to spend one second of my life pondering such a ridiculous question.
Don’t you think you are wasting a gigantic amount of time and energy believing in something that you readily admit you could be completely wrong about, or even worse, might not even exist at all? Why would you do such a thing? Why not learn about something useful like science or cosmology or art or literature or music? What is the point in believing in crackpot nonsense that you can’t even know is true?

Me: @Ashman – I am sorry you had to repeat yourself. This is much more specific, and I appreciate your patience. I did a little more digging on the difference between the disbelief of something and the belief of the negation of something. My mind tends to meld the two, and I realize that is where a lot of our contentions have come from. I will still assert, however, that in this context, there are different kinds of atheists. Through some more in-depth research, I’ve found this comparison, although I don’t necessarily agree on the terms used from this source. “Weak atheism is defined as simply the absence of belief in gods or the absence of theism. This is also the broad, general definition of atheism. The definition of weak atheism is used as a contrast to the definition of strong atheism, which is the positive assertion that no gods exist.”

I also can completely understand why you find it baffling and odd that someone would believe in something that they admit may not exist at all. I look at it this way. I’m a very creative-minded person. I’m a novelist and poet in my spare time, simply because it is an outlet of my energy which I enjoy. I read a lot of fiction and watch a lot of movies. I also study a lot of history (I’m a WWII junkie and at one point wanted to be a paleontologist). I do a lot of personal psychology studies, just for private interest in the subject. My realm of interest and comprehension is the realm of imagination, of interpretation. Religion and belief are other subjects that falls into this kind of category. To ask me not to evaluate the concept of god is like asking me not to read a book of fiction. If god might not be real, why waste time on something that is obviously not real like Middle-Earth?

To me, it’s not wasting my time and energy, it is relaxation. The possibilities of the unknown and the possibly impossible mesmerize me. I do my part to contribute all I can to the real world, and I attempt as best as I can not to allow the paths to cross. My boyfriend of 7 years has a similar attitude as you, that there may be a god, but who cares? Why waste time worrying about it? I don’t consider the time I think about god as a waste, because it is a fleeting moment for me. When I am at peace, in a state of calm or bliss, my mind slips to the possibility that a god somewhere out there gave me this opportunity, and I appreciate that. If there is a god, I have an image of what that god would be like. Sometimes I see the image others have of god and I find faults in that image compared to my own image, and I address them either outwardly to that person or just to myself. I might spend a maximum of 2 hours a week thinking about god, and I can be doing other things at the same time. So I don’t see it as a waste, but simply as a pastime.

Ashman: Rana,

I’ll never understand why you find it necessary to resort to supernatural and superstitious non-sense to relax. Good for you that you like poetry and psychology and fiction and things of that nature. By all means, lay in bed and wonder how we got here – there’s nothing wrong with that. But when you’re thinking about how fortunate you are, surely you must think how unfortunate other people are? Surely you must think about all the wretched people on this earth who have been dealt a terrible hand – and then think why would a god allow this to happen? Why would he be so kind to you and so heartless and callous to so many other people?
And this is the most troubling of your statements to me…”Sometimes I see the image others have of god and I find faults in that image compared to my own image, and I address them either outwardly to that person…” I don’t know how you can “find fault” with someone else’s “image’ of a god – its subjective. There’s no evidence of the existence of any god so its not like there’s a “correct” interpretation. However, I’m very familiar with the outcomes of disputes between religious people. They usually involve a lot of death and violence and destruction.
And as for the definitions of weak and strong atheism – I don’t agree with them either. People try to blur the lines and confuse others by introducing agnosticism and different concepts and definitions of this and that. We can talk about knowledge claims and probability and anything else but essentially, you either believe that there’s a god or you don#$%$ a simple concept.

Me: @Ashman – I certainly do think of those who are hurting in the world. I’ve already explained my view of god, as a parent letting their kid go to college. We are here to experience, the good and the bad, because they exist as a whole in the universe to balance each other out. Neutrality is peace, calm, comfort. That, to me, is where a god would exist, not to one extreme or the other. I hope that, if there is a god, it is a god who, although it hurts to see us suffer, will love us no matter our choices and gives us this opportunity to experience both the good and the bad in the world so we can appreciate the neutral when we get to it. If the Christians are right, and god is a douche, then I’ll burn in hell and be happy about it. A jealous, pompous god that created us for no other reason than to make us suffer in life and then bow at ‘his’ feet for the rest of our eternal existence is not worth giving a #$%$ about. If there is no god, so I wasted a little time making myself feel hopeful. Meh. Oh well. I don’t consider my view of god to be ‘right’ to anyone but myself. If I actually am right, awesome. If I’m not, I’ll either burn or just not exist anymore. I’m totally okay with all those outcomes. And I agree, trying to define the different kinds of atheist is just as pointless as all the moronic denominations of Christianity. It’s all monotheism. As I’ve said, I like to analyze what people think and why they think the way they do, so the minute details about a specific person’s beliefs interest me. The ‘official’ definitions just help me figure that out. You are right, though, it really shouldn’t matter. There are only two real sides to the subject, and the details just flow down from which broad side you are on.

Ashman: Rana,

Well, It’s been….interesting chatting with you. I’m not trying to be rude or mean, but I just have to say that I tried my best but I am afraid that the first 1/2 of your last paragraph is complete gibberish to me. White Noise. I don’t understand a single word of it.
I’m not going to worry too much about either of us burning in hell for eternity. I think the chances of that happening are zero.

Me: @Ashman – I figured the first part of my response wouldn’t really matter much. Didn’t mean to bore you with it, I just wanted to answer your questions somehow. Yeah, I don’t really worry about the possibility of hell. It’s like worrying every time you get in a car that you’re going to crash. Paranoia just makes for chaos.

Honestly, it’s been a real pleasure talking with you. I am sorry if I caused you any frustration or stress. It’s not easy trying to understand why other people think the way they do, and even harder to try to convince them they’re wrong. It’s a challenge, and as I’ve said, it’s something that I enjoy. I won’t say you’ve changed my mind in any way, and I didn’t come into this with the intention of changing others’ minds, so I know I haven’t changed yours. You are a very sturdy person, and you should hang onto that.

I’d like to ask something; I sometimes write blog posts on discussions like this that I have from time to time. I’d really like to copy this conversation of ours and post it there, if you don’t mind. I can even change your username if you’d like. If not, no worries. Let me know. I hope you have a happy, successful life.

Ashman: Rana,

When I post on here, my intentions are not so much to change people’s minds because I think that will rarely, if ever, happen. What I want to do, is get people to think for themselves and discard delusions and wishful thinking and superstitious non-sense by pointing out flaws contradictions and ignorance in their thinking. I can’t make people not believe – they have to do that on their own. As you well know, I think religion is one of the most horrid concepts that humans have ever devised. We impose this slavery and tyranny onto ourselves. That’s why I make the posts on here that I do. I want to point out how wicked this dangerous idea is and the real harm that it does to the human race. Someone who is religious could be the nicest person in the world and they deserve much respect for that. They don’t deserve respect for their unfounded, primitive childish beliefs. And to take it further, I would say I hope they are being nice for its own sake, and not because of the hope of some divine reward or the fear of some hellish punishment. If you notice I was significantly more respectful towards you than I was towards Michael and Reesy. I’m sorry if I was rude or aggressive towards you but I’m not sorry I was towards them. People like that need to be ridiclued and shown just how ignorant, stupid and hateful they are and how badly their thinking has been affecting by their respective religions. When someone tells me that it’s because of people like me (atheists) that religious people commit the attrocities they do, sparks are going to fly. I have no patience (and zero respect) for people like that.
I have no problem posting what we’ve talked about – and don’t mind if you keep the handle either. I’d even offer to do you one better and say I’ll write on your blog post too if you’ll allow me – let me know how I can reach you and I’d be happy to.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I’d really to know what everyone thinks of this conversation of ours. I didn’t edit anything, so apologies for any mistypes. Enjoy the convo! ^_^

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37 thoughts on “A Discussion with an Atheist: Another Eye-Opening Experience (Why I Enjoy These Conversations)

    • Haha, me either! I was really fascinated by his defense of the definition of atheist. I wasn’t expecting such a strong response, but I do think he is right. An atheist is an atheist; whether that atheist makes his or her beliefs more complicated to satisfy themselves or those around them doesn’t really matter on the larger scale. I do wish he wasn’t so aggressive about it, but when one has such a strong opinion, that’s just how some express it. I’m glad he held with me, though. It was very enjoyable for me. 🙂

    • AR Neal,

      I’ve read through those comments several times and I admit I do come off hostile some of the time but some of the things that Rana said were puzzling, perplexing and just plain wrong. She was the mildest of the bunch though. There were 2 other posters on there that were just outrageous and that set the tone for the overall conversation. However, I have no problem telling people that their beliefs are delusional if it comes to that. What started the whole thing off – someone posted a thread to the effect that “wouldn’t it be great to believe in something so much that you’d die for it?!” I see stuff like that and I can scarcely believe my eyes that someone has the courage to write such a thing. I mean, seriously, have we learned nothing since 9/11? 19 lunatics, who believed in god so much that they hijacked planes and flew them into buildings killing almost 3000 people. Religion is evil, wicked, hateful, delusional non-sense. All over the world, the parties of god are ruining peoples lives and destroying any chance of a civil society and peaceful existence with their neighbours and within their own borders. You can’t go a single day without reading in the news about some religious @$$hole saying something hateful (at the mild end) or some lunatic killing others in defence of his precious religion and/or god. And the worst part of all of it is – its all based on nothing more than wish thinking, servility, fear and ignorance. The sooner we stop indulging and respecting people’s beliefs in this stuff, the better off we’ll all be.

      • Hey Ashman! I did NOT expect you to be a girl! That’s beyond awesome. 🙂 (I’m really used to discussing these things with men, don’t know why) I do have some weird views. I think old habits die hard for me. I was born and raised Catholic, so it’s hard to shed that foundation of a higher being. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if, later in life, I grow out of the concept of god all together, so to speak. Truly, I did enjoy this conversation. I learned a lot from you. I’m glad you came to check out the blog. It was and is a pleasure. 🙂

  1. Oh no Rana! I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I am a man! LOL Don’t worry about apologizing, I get it ALL the time. I guess it’s the name eh? Ha ha ha.
    I too was born and raised Catholic but hated it really. By the time I was 13, I stopped going to church (stopped allowing my mother to force me into going) and then never thought about religion much until about 3 years ago. I always knew it was non-sense, but never could really express it. What started it all off was reading “god is not great” by Christopher Hitchens. I’ve listened to numerous debates of his and have also read books by Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett and Richard Dawkins. Christopher HItchens was the one that really got me thinking. He was so learned about religion, a master at logic and was magnificent at pointing out how ridiculous it really is and how it makes absolutely ZERO sense in every single aspect you can possibly think of – scientifically, ethically, morally, intellectually.
    Anywho, I think I’m off to bed, so feel free to drop me an e-mail if you’re doing something and you need the opinions of a cranky atheist – LOL Take care.

    • I may have to do some research for myself! I’ve been so caught up in religious blah blah (my mother was VERY overbearing about religion with me, so it took until college to get away from that for good) that I’ve never really put the same energy into learning the root aspects of atheism. I know some about it from friends, but you know from our conversation my knowledge on the subject is quite minute. Thanks for the names, I’ll be checking them out!

      You are most certainly welcome back here any time you find a fancy. I warn you I have a couple acquaintances on here who will butt heads with you for sure. They may even try to on this thread. They are kind, but just as passionate about their beliefs as you are about your disbelief. I just as for some level of respect between people. Like earlier in the original thread, I don’t mind cursing or insulting of the belief, I just ask we not insult each other as people. Anyway, take care! Off to bed for me too. 🙂

  2. Rana and Ashely,
    Having skimmed through the long thread, I have several observations. (And as Rana already knows, I’m a born-again, Bible based Christian who was initially raised in the Catholic church, rejected it, and found a powerful, living and life-changing faith in Jesus Christ. First, it strikes me that you both have somewhat accurate assessments of one another, but highly inaccurate ideas about God. Ashley has rejected God based on a false impression that assesses Him as cruel, etc., etc. and come to the conclusion that there therefore is none – based solely on the fact that he doesn’t think he likes Him! He fails to question the accuracy of his premises, the logical inability for the creature to comprehend the motives and actions of his creator, and finds shelter in dismissing Him altogether – never addressing fundamental issues of existence, consciousness, or the human thirst and drive for purpose. His passion in his opinions certainly deny his claim that there is no God, and therefore no basis for right or wrong, good or evil, or even the significance of logic at all (which he has made a god), seeing he believes we go to the grave and will have no memory of anything.

    Rana has also rejected God on the same basis, but has gone on to invent her own completely out of her own head. Both of you are in the same boat. Neither of you know or understand the God you are rejecting. Rana is still searching. (Which gives me hope) Ashley seems harder, and it shows in his angry, hostile dialogue throughout. But why would a person who does not believe in God be angry and proud? What are you angry about, and on what basis does a collection of cells made from dirt claim any sort of superiority over any other dirt? I believe that rejection of God ultimately is a belief system, and is full of evil. Ashley made an interesting statement that the idea of there being no God is unprovable, and goes on to state, if I may paraphrase, that it is purely based on belief. That he has right. It is first and foremost a matter of the heart, and it transcends the head. In other words, our hearts, not our logic, determine our beliefs. Our logic is built upon the premises of our beliefs – and that is why these conversations are so difficult.

    Rana said, “If the Christians are right, and god is a douche, then I’ll burn in hell and be happy about it. A jealous, pompous god that created us for no other reason than to make us suffer in life and then bow at ‘his’ feet for the rest of our eternal existence is not worth giving a #$%$ about.” What a foolish, foolish statement! (I say this not to insult you, but to awaken you!) First it shows that you have no idea who God is (and I’m in agreement with you that it is not the Catholic god, which is a mixture of true and false Christian doctrines, heaped with the apostasy of self-works, bondage, rituals, and all sorts of enslavement) Rana is right to reject the religious system. She is not right to invent her own god, and instead needs to set herself on a course of seeking this God who IS (and calls Himself, “I AM”), and not comfort herself in a god of her own making – which is what the Bible describes as idols built by the hands of men. For what it’s worth, I do not think Rana would be happy about burning in hell – away from all human contact and compassion, with no rest day or night, agony, and the absence of all that is good. I believe what she is really saying is that she does not believe there is such a place, and therefore feels free to make her bold, but outrageous and foolish statement.

    Ashley claims there is a zero percent chance of an eternity in hell. Why? We all understand there is good and evil – regardless of anyone’s attempts to deny it. We have an innate sense of justice, and respond to injustice with anger and fury. Might the Creator also? We live in a causal universe, where life comes from life. It is an incredible leap to attribute life coming from non-life! How about consciousness? Does consciousness come from non-life? Does order come from disorder? Just how do you explain your sense of being? We do not have all the puzzle pieces, but we do have enough to affirm a conscious Creator with certainty – unless of course a person wants to deny all logic and all order. (If so, why do you even bother writing?) I’ve never known an atheist to arrive at his conclusions by logic. (At least Ashely acknowledges that it is a belief system (And Rana is therefore correct in calling it a religion!)) Every atheist I’ve ever spoken with is on a fundamental level at war with God. This is one war you will never win, and regarding heaven and hell, since you had no power or input in your own existence or the nature of this world, you certainly will have no power to determine your course against the same being that brought you into existence. I would rethink your “zero percent” chance of hell theory.

    And Rana, regarding the idea of your possibly moving into atheism, I’d take a good look at the responses of the various atheists you converse with. Are they happy? Are they humble or proud? Angry or at peace? Rana, YOU know there is a Creator. You may deny Him, cover it over, and pretend otherwise, but you will never be able to deny his existence without sentencing yourself to a war within your own being.

    • Wow Rolling Thunder such a long winded reply and sooooooo many logical fallicies and misrepresentations it’s hard to even know where to start

      1) No I haven’t “rejected God based on a false impression that assesses Him as cruel,” COMPLETE NON-SENSE. I reject the idea of BELIEF in god because I have never been presented with a single shred of creidlbe EVIDENCE or heard a persuasive argument that such a being exists. THAT’S WHY I don’t believe that a god exists. That entire statement of yours is disingenuine and dishonest and a fantastic insult. You should be ashamed of yourself for even suggesting it.

      2) If you need belief in god in order to determine right from wrong or good from evil, you must not have a very high opinion of yourself. Are you telling me that without this belief that you wouldn’t know how to act- that without the restraint of this wonderful god of yours, you’d be a psychotic maniac? I can’t degrade myself in such a way, I have a much higher regard for myself and my fellow humans.

      3) The rejection of a belief system is not a belief system in itself. That is a logical falicy and is easily refutable. I tell you that I’m holding a quarter in my hand. The “heads” end is resting on my palm and ask “do you believe me”? If you answer “yes”, you are accepting my claim on faith – without evidence. If you say “no” that does not automatically mean you believe that I’m holding the “tails” end of the quarter in my palm. It simply means that you reject my claim that I am holding the “heads” end. Your default position is to not believe my claim. You make no counter-claim of your own simply by rejecting my claim.

      4) I don’t acknowledge that atheism is a belief system AT ALL. Another dishonest. and disingenuine statement. I spent many posts arguing EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE with Rana. Once again, you should be ashamed of yourself for suggesting that.

      5) If life comes from life, then where does this god of yours come from? Who created him? Or can life only come from life UNLESS its god? Its a hollow pointless, baseless argument that has exactly ZERO evidence to support it.

      6) Using god to “explain your sense of being” adds NOT ONE IOTA of weight to any argument. To say “its god” solves ABSOLUTELY NOTHING and answers ZERO questions. You can’t prove it, you can’t demonstrate it, you can’t test it and you can’t falsify it. You have readily admitted that it is based on faith and belief and nothing more. I rest my case.

      7) ” We do not have all the puzzle pieces, but we do have enough to affirm a conscious Creator with certainty”
      If the above statement of yours is a true, and you can prove it, you are undoubtedly the most intelligent human being that ever lived. I’ll be the first in line to nominate you for the next nobel prize award ceremony.

      I’d love to go on, but I’m on my lunch break and I have a meeting to go to. Rest assured, that’s the short version. I have plenty more where that came from.

      6) I am not in a “fundamental war with god”. I don’t believe god exists – how can I possibly be “at war” with him? Absolutely ABSURD.

      • Ashley, just wanted to say I LOVE #2. This is something I try to live by, that I work to be a good person for myself and those around me, and for no other reason. I find personal benefit in being a good person, and see the benefit of others through my action. That’s all I need. If there is a universal line between good and evil, there is no way for man to know where it really lies. We may know the extremes (murder is bad, love is good, etc.), but the closer you get to the dividing line, the more people debate it. It’s not worth trying to figure out where the universal line is when people are going to argue with you either way. You might as well create your personal dividing line and live by that. It is what makes humans unique.

    • Hey Thunder! I thought you’d find this to be an interesting conversation. I’m only going to address your comments on me, as I believe Ashley has presented his case very well.

      First let me say that I agree, Ashley and I do seem to have a good grasp of each other’s views at this point. You, however, have gotten both of us very wrong. I’m honestly surprised by how you have portrayed me after all the conversations we’ve had.

      I have done no such thing in rejecting god. The fact that I have a different image of god than you do does not mean I reject it. As Ashley said at one point, you either believe in god or you don’t. I do. Most of the aspects of god that I have come to understand are in direct relation to the Christian understanding (hard to get away from your roots you might say). As I’ve said to you before, I have studied many religions and find consistencies between them all. These consistencies I put together and build a clearer picture of god. I don’t insist I’m right, I simply know what I believe. I understand very well all the constraints of god according to Christian mantra, I simply don’t believe that god is so flawed as Christians make it out to be.

      I do not claim to know who god is, and would not be so proud or pompous to say so. I have my belief, and it is what I BELIEVE, not what I know. As I’ve expressed to you many times, I accept the possibility I could be wrong. If I am, I accept the consequences. That is what I mean when I say I’d rather be in hell. I accept that, if Christian mantra is right and I am wrong, I will burn in hell, and so be it. I hope that Christians are wrong and that I am right. If I am wrong, I’d rather burn than bow to the Christian god, a god who cannot get over ‘His’ own jealousy, pomp, and judgmental ways. A truly unconditionally loving god would have no need to forgive. A truly loving god would love us for our faults as well as our ability to sometimes rise above them. It would forgive and move on, with an eternity to spare, and love us as itself just as it teaches us. If that is not how my creator is, than it is no better than me and does not deserve my submission. I don’t care the reasoning people put behind the Christian god’s judgment of us, its jealousy and self-righteousness. These attributes are all human faults, glorified in order to put awe and fear into the hearts of mindless followers. It is sad. You are right, I do not believe there is a hell. But I am also not afraid if there is. I’ve accepted my fate to it if it does exist.

      And yes, Thunder, I know many atheists, and I have never met one that is not happy in their life. If the topic of religion comes up, they may get heated in the passion of argument (as Ashley does), but that does not make them hateful or angry people in their entire lives. As for the possibility of me becoming atheist, I do agree with you, I likely wouldn’t. But I will say that I could consider myself agnostic at this point. I have my belief, but I do not claim to right in my belief, nor do I find it possible for anyone to be 100% correct in their belief in god, or in their denial of belief. Like I’ve posted before, it’s all Schrodinger’s box.

  3. Ashley,
    I’d like to take your points one at a time.
    1) You say you have no evidence for the existence of God? Bullshit! It’s all around you but you are blind of heart. The problem is not an evidence issue but a heart issue. When the heart is right, you will find the evidence is in full agreement. I use strong language because I’m trying to shake you to your senses. The evidence is abundant unless one is blind.
    2) What I am saying is that without an absolute, why even discuss right and wrong? On what basis do you say one thing is right and another wrong, or one thing better than another? If you know right from wrong, where did that subjective knowledge come from? You were created in the image of God just as scripture says, and you find that you cannot deny it in how you live and act! We were all “created in the image of God” – even atheists – and therefore have intrinsic value and an instinctive sense of right and wrong (Though by the Christian world view, even this was corrupted through the fall. In every person we see both evidence of being created in the image of God, and the corruption of that image through sin. We see it, but it is distorted, in other words.) Regarding degrading yourself, you’ve already degraded yourself to the status of an animal. You’ve got seventy or ninety years on this earth – if that, then go to the ground from where you came from. So why are you better than dirt and what advantage do you then have over a moth? Would not the only benefit of intelligence be survival, and if you end up dead, what is that in eternity, and why are you better than a tree that lives 300 years?
    3) You are assuming that faith is nothing. Scripture says:
    Heb 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
    So let’s make sure we are speaking of the same thing when we speak of faith. Faith and hope are two completely different things. Faith according to scripture involves both substance and evidence. (Hope is based on knowledge of the character of God) I’ve had faith for certain things in my life, against all physical evidence, and that faith was more real than the contrary physical evidence, and eventually overcame the physical. God is a faith God, not primarily a “head” God. God works by faith. The world of faith supersedes the physical world but does not deny it. The physical world is a subset of the faith world, the physical a subset of the spiritual. Faith is when we connect with God at the level of the heart, and when we do, what is born out of that connection is more real than the ground we stand on – in fact, it determined the ground we stand on back in the beginning. I don’t expect you to swallow all that, but you might think about it.
    4) I’ll skip – mostly because I don’t want to argue semantics. If it’s important to you, I will address it.
    5) Life coming from life. I think we can infer this because of the way the world all around us works. Lesser things come from greater. Complex systems have a designer. If I found a watch on the ground and told you that it just formed itself over billions of years, yet it keeps perfect time, is artistically designed, and agrees with the turning of the earth and the orbit of the earth around the sun, you’d call me an idiot. We know from experience that these things don’t just “happen”. Listen carefully to this next part. As human beings, God has given us enough knowledge to understand certain things about Himself, even though it blows our minds. For instance we know that something does not come from nothing (Unless we are prepared to say we can infer nothing at all from the natural world) It then goes back to “Well, then who created God?” (And here we short-circuit. What is finite cannot understand the infinite, BUT we also cannot understand something coming from nothing. I believe this should lead us not only to a belief in God, but tell us that this God must be like no one we’ve ever met. When Moses asked God who he should tell the people sent him, God said, “I AM” has sent you. What an amazing answer. God described Himself by the one characteristic that distinguishes Himself from all of Creation, “I AM” God is self existent. What an incredibly consistent answer, and I find these gems throughout the Bible – in the most offhand kinds of statements.
    6) I refer you to #3, the faith argument. Faith is not “belief”. Faith is knowing, and involves a revelation of God in the heart. Perhaps THAT is what you should ask God to for, and have the integrity to respond appropriately should He do so. And without this, no verbal argument will persuade you. I was not always a Christian, I went from Catholic, to “nothing”, to having a very real experience with God – and that was over thirty years ago and only strengthens, sweetens, enhances, and confirms with time.
    8) (Your numbering skipped #7 and repeated #6) But you are at war with God. If you truly believed there was no God, why would you even try to persuade anyone. What would be the point? They would be acting the only way they can as a collection of random cells, and in a hundred years, everyone now alive on the planet would be dead and gone – into oblivion. Nothing would have meaning – our love, our hate, our projects, our dreams – meaningless! See, you know at a heart level that there is more to this human being business than a conglomerate of cells that stumbled and bumbled their way to the top of the food chain! Now to Rana. *sigh*. Lots of writing.

  4. For everyone’s benefit, I wanted to make a statement about being happy or at peace or humble. Its always fascinated me how religious people don’t even recognize how incredibly rude and downright hateful it is to be told as an atheist, that because you don’t hold a belief if god, you can’t possibly be happy. It’s a degrading insult. I don’t need to believe in fairy-tale horses*&t to be happy. I don’t need to believe that I’m the object of some special creator who made THE WHOLE UNIVERSE just for me and has a special theme park for me to go to when I die – something that religious people believe. Now if that’s not the HEIGHT OF ARROGANCE, I don’t know what is.
    But what else do followers of Jesus Christ believe? Well if you really believe in that non-sense, then you believe that humans are miserable worms and toads, filthy, created with original sin and are then ORDERED under pain of death and eternal torture to be well again. They should spend their life absolutely terrified, grovelling on their knees in front of a wonderful , loving dictator who’ll send them to hell for an infinite list of transgressions. And what’s the solution on offer? – why salvation of course! Courtesy of a human sacrifice in bronze-age palestine. A human sacrifice that this magnificent god demands OF HIS OWN SON. And all of this is on offer for the low low price of the surrender of your critical faculties of reason, doubt, and COMMON SENSE.
    The whole thing is the most idiotic non-sense imaginable – and this s&^t is supposed to make people happy? Get f*&^ing real!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Rana,
    Rana, I want to say to you carefully that the Catholic understanding of God (And you know I was one!) and the Christian understanding of God are two entirely different things. Your “Christian roots” are not reliable. I wish I could take you to the roots of the Word of God, which the Catholic church drifted away from, and the incredible consistency within on so many levels – levels that no man could plan or finagle. (But I will respect your wish not to operate primarily from that platform.)
    Next, it is not proud and pompous to say that I know who God is, if that God has revealed Himself to me. I’ve not met the President of the United States, but if I did, and told you I did, I would only be stating a fact, and it would not be proud or pompous at all. And you’ve got the “Christian mantra” thing going. Again, you’ve got to let go of the Catholic distortion. It’s like looking at a stinking, rotting, dead, smashed squirrel on the road and confusing it the living squirrel that is agile, climbs trees, reproduces, as eats acorns.

    Regarding your Creator (and I’m glad you acknowledge Him), you are trying to judge and evaluate Him from finite eyes. God created you and every one of us. He is self-existent, and has been from all eternity. Are you going to indict God? Will you explain morality to Him? Tell Him that His “judgment” thing is wrong? Tell Him that his insistence that we place Him first is just selfish? (The fall of mankind, and every evil we know today arises from man’s NOT placing God first in everything. Eternal happiness apart from God, the source of all that is good, is impossible. God says, “I Am, and there is none beside me.” (Isa. 45:21, 22) There simply is no other! No one else who was from all eternity. No one else that will satisfy us at the core of our being. To place anything at all before God is like saying you want to jump off a cliff, but do not wish to be dashed upon the rocks. Anyone who truly cared about your well-being would tell you that you cannot have it both ways. And what you may be trying to do is say to God, “Well, if you really loved me, couldn’t you just bless me in jumping off the cliff and keep those jagged rocks from hurting me? Couldn’t you just bend reality so things can center upon MY WILL? God tells us to pray, “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”. There comes a point when God will let us have our own way, and when God says, “THY will be done!”, it is a scary thing. There is nothing more terrifying than God abandoning us to our own will. He does so in short snippets throughout life, and Hell is the ultimate of God abandoning us to that cliff.

    Let me explain what I mean in saying that you are in rebellion to God. I like dogs…well…Lets say I tolerate dogs. We have one, because in just one weak moment I gave in to my kids ten years ago, but I am not particularly fond of them. I’m just not a dog person. If I then say that I really do love dogs more than anything else in the world, but not dogs that bark, beg, walk on all fours, have fur, and make messes in the yard – only dogs that pick up after themselves, do not get fleas, do not like attention or being petted, but can read and write and speak French, and live in trees – then I’ve just created a false dog. Reverse the letters and you get false God. (And this sounds so trite, that it’s hard to believe I made it up right now, and did not get it out of some Christian apologetics book) I want nothing to do with the true dog – in fact I can’t stand them! (Not really, really) I’ve redefined the very essence of the dog. You may want to think about if you are not doing this very thing with God – a god who will not judge, who says, “Go play, have fun, but be careful”. A God who will play second, third, or even last fiddle in our lives and have absolutely no problem with it – in other words, a god without teeth, a god with no requirements, a god – why a god who will let YOU be God! If I am not mistaken, this takes us right back to the heart of the fall. Take care.

  6. Rolling Thunder

    1) No the evidence of god’s existence is not “all around me”. THAT’s bullshit. “Blind of heart”? – I have no idea what you are talking about. 100% gibberish. “Because we’re here” is not evidence. The only evidence you have, is in your head.
    2) I don’t need god to tell me right from wrong. HUMANS have learned, through trial and error what is right and what is wrong. That is why we don’t stone people to death for adultery, burn witches at the stake and all the other non-sense within the bible.
    3) Read it – don’t understand a SINGLE word of it. White noise and religious babble.
    4) You go ahead and skip it.
    5) If complex things require a designer, then who designed the designer that designed us? That’s the only part of your answer I understood. The rest of it was once again, 100% gibberish.
    6) Faith has nothing to do with knowing. Oxford English Dictionary definition: “strong BELIEF in the doctrines of a religion, BASED ON SPIRITUAL CONVICTION RATHER THAN PROOF.
    7) Why would I try to persuade someone that god likely doesn’t exist? Are you f*&^ing kidding me?!?!! I do this because I want people to stop believing in delusional, DANGEROUS non-sense – Religion. At the mild end, it makes people content with being ignorant, and clouds people’s judgements so bad that they can’t think for themselves. And the harder end, people who think and talk and believe JUST LIKE YOU, strap bombs on themselves and walk into internet cafes, fly planes into buildings, mutilate the genitals of their children, go on crusades and so many other horrible things I can’t possibly list them all – and they do it because they believe that god has instructed them to do so. Everyone who doesn’t believe as they do deserves to die. I’ll do everything in my power to fight against this ultimate wickedness and ultimate stupidity.

    Anyways, You can answer if you like but I can tell you right now not to waste your energy because I’m not going to bother reading it. I read through that last post of yours and understood almost none of it. A page full of nonsense and babble and gibberish. I’m not going to waste my time even talking to someone like you because there’s no point. You’ve convinced yourself that Jesus is your best friend and you’ve either made up or bought into all the idiotic garbage that goes along with that line of thinking. Congratulations. I wish you joy of it.

  7. Ashley,
    You’re an angry atheist! (As if there is any other kind)
    Answer me this. If we came here by chance, and have no destiny beyond the grave, how do you assign meaning and value to anything? (You will not even remember me, yourself, Rana, the world, or your atheistic beliefs) What does “delusion” mean in the context of having no existence in a short period of time. Again, it is impossible for the atheist to live out the true consequences of his beliefs. How can what you do matter, if we are all gone forever in a few short years? Why will it matter if you were good or bad, had pain, ease, caused pain in others, or helped them? Wouldn’t it all be the same in the end? Came from nothing and return to nothing?

    • Thunder, I thought I said this before in here but it may have been on the Yahoo thread somewhere. There’s a difference between anger and passion.

      As for your question on the value of life, this concerns me. Value is a subjective concept all around. When Columbus came back from the New World, he brought corn with him. It was considered a rare delicacy and very expensive. The Native Americans knew, though, that is was simply a staple item, with no high value whatsoever. The same can be said about anything. The value of anything varies over time and from person to person. Nominal value changes, as well as sentimental value. It all depends on the person. This is why some people commit suicide, leaving others with a hole in their lives for it. It is up to the individual to put value on their own life, and on the lives of others. There are those who value their life in terms of their religious beliefs, and that’s fine. That does not mean that a person cannot value their life without god. It simply means that they can put their efforts toward making the value of everything else in their life higher. If there is nothing after this life, than that makes our lives here MORE valuable. We want to cherish it all, love everything about our lives even more, because this is all we are going to get. With god and heaven and the afterlife, we can value what we have less, because we know we will still have it after we die. We value it even less when we consider that some things we value (money, those around us who are not going to come with us [those we judge to be lost causes in the eyes of our religion]) are not coming with us after we die, and so we waste time obsessing over trying to bring them with us. So technically, those who do not believe in god are those who have the highest value in their lives. If it’s all going to be the same when we die, than we best make our lives the best we can.

  8. Rolling Thunder,

    I contemplated whether or not to answer and I wasn’t going to, but I figured I’d make one last post to you and answer your question. I guess I’m doing this for my benefit (and anyone else who cares to read it) because I already know it’ll go in one ear and out the other with you.
    If all atheists are angry in your mind – good for you. If telling yourself that gives you comfort and helps you get through your day, call me angry as much as you like.
    But the above is just a digression. I really wanted to get to the substance of that last post of yours. It’s the most troubling and disturbing thing you said to date. Its almost one of the most hateful things you’ve said to me but I’m sure you don’t even realize it. If I’ve interpreted what you’ve said correctly, you believe that there’s really no point to our existence if you don’t believe in the afterlife. An afterlife that you can’t possibly know exists – something you take entirely on faith. If we’re going to die “in a few short years” what’s the point of being good, of punishing criminals, of learning about anything, or helping others or really evening living at all if there’s no afterlife right? You want to know what gives my life meaning? A tremendous amount of things: Going to work each day (I’m a mechanical engineer) and learning just a little something that i previously didn’t know and being that much better off and more knowledgeable for it. Reading a few pages of a book or researching things on the internet that interest me so I can be just a little less ignorant than I was yesterday. Listening to a new song that I really dig and then learning how to play it on my guitar. Going to a museum with my step-daughter and learning about history and our planet and humans achievements and numerous other things. Watching my little peanut (my 11 year old step daughter) blossom from a beautiful, intelligent, curious, caring, kind little girl into a beautiful, intelligent, caring, compassionate little woman. Being there to try and answer any questions she may have or researching the answer with her so that we’ve learned something together. In other words, for me, the discussion about what is true, what is beautiful, what is noble and what is pure can always go on. Now whether or not it goes on after I die, I don’t know, but I do know that it’s the ONLY conversation I want to have while I’m still alive. I’m not going to spend ONE SECOND of my life forgoing all the pleasures and enquires and pursuits in this life (the only one I know FOR CERTAIN that I’ve got) so I can give praise to, and be absolutely terrified of an imaginary dictator in the sky. I won’t spend ONE SECOND of my life thinking about the ridiculously absurd and utterly delusional concept of a supposedly loving god, who creates me sick and with original sin, deposits me on this earth in a hostile environment, with the odds stacked against me, where it’s IMPOSSIBLE to avoid committing a sin, so I can spend my life passing his grand test in order to avoid a hellish punishment and get a heavenly reward when it’s all said and done.
    Now if you really, truly believe what you’ve said previously – that you can’t measure value in anything, that being good or bad can’t matter, that the pursuit of knowledge is futile, that life is essentially pointless unless there’s an afterlife – if that’s REALLY what you believe, then I am sorry. I just have to say this. You are the most pathetic excuse for a human being I have ever had the displeasure of having a discussion with. Good luck with all your future endeavours. And please. Really – don’t bother responding. You’ve already proven to me just how completely and totally your mind has been poisoned by this idiotic non-sense. You can’t even come close to writing anything that resembles a rational and coherent thought. I’m not interested in hearing how great your best friend Jesus is, I’m not interesting in hearing how terrible of a person I am because I don’t believe as you do. I’m not interested in being told that I’m going to burn forever in hell because I don’t believe as you do. I’ve heard it all before and it has zero effect on me. This really is good bye sir.

    • Ashley, if I could I’d either high-five or hug you for that last post. I’ve told you before, I’m pretty much stuck in the mindset of there being some higher creator, but you have outlined the epitome of why I don’t follow the Christian doctrine. We are here to be as we are, live this life we have, the only one we consciously can be 100% confident is ours. Why, if there is a being that put us here, would that being expect and demand that we waste this one life obsessing over the being? Especially if that being allows us to know it after we are dead? Why put us here is that’s its intent? To make us waste the time it gives us trying to figure it out and worshiping it? It’s ridiculous. No. It’s human. A human would do that to another human. Kings and dictators and overlords do that to their fellow man. And for some reason, people are not okay with a human doing it but are more than willing to do it for a god who ought to be above our petty dictatorial attitude. It’s really sad that we can contradict and hate ourselves and our abilities so much.

      I do admit that I take time in my life to appreciate the world around me and spend a few seconds of that appreciation considering that there is something out there that made it all, and sending a quiet thank you if it is listening. But if that is not enough for that creator, if there is a creator out there that expects me to waste my life obsessing over it now just so I can do it more when I’m dead, I’d rather burn. That kind of god is no better than any dictator of human making and does not deserve the maniacal worship it demands. Simple as that.

      Thank you for coming back to the blog and posting. I really enjoyed your points and our conversations. I expected something like this to happen with Thunder, but I really do thank you for responding to him. Good luck to you and to your step-daughter and the rest of your family. I wish you nothing but happiness! 🙂

      • Thanks Rana. As I said in the post, I flip flopped between responding and not. Mostly because I knew RT wouldn’t read it, wouldn’t understand it or wouldn’t want to understand it. I don’t know where you found this guy, but he really is a grade-A certified crack-pot. I read though his posts and understood very little of it. It’s all babble and complete nonsense. Talking and discussing with someone like that is really a waste of time. Because to him, he’s already got it all figured out. There are no more questions that need answering. He knows Jesus or god is the answer to everything and that’s the only information he’ll ever want to know. It’s all knickers to argue with him because it doesn’t matter – everything is part of his grand designers master plan. Nothing that you can say can count as an argument because his best friend Jesus is responsible for everything. Anyways, I’m ready to move if you are to a new discussion or new topic. Let me know and I’ll give you my 2 cents. Take it easy and keep learning always.

        • Well, judging by his latest post, I have to agree with you, Ashley.

          I tell you what! I got you into all this religion blah blah talk, how about you give me a topic you’d like to really talk about? Name something and I’ll try to get a post together! I usually do commentary posts when I’m not writing poetry or working on novel chapters. Throw out a sport, a good book, a movie or TV show, whatever! I’ve got all day tomorrow to write. ^_^

  9. Rana and the other person,
    You seem to have a slave mentality when you contemplate a relationship with God (This is certainly true of Catholicism – a relationship based on fear and bondage and you add to the Catholic mentality the attitude of serving some sort of ego maniac in the sky. This god is also one you’ve made up – the strawman god that is easy to knock down, another god like the one you’ve got in your head. (And I’m not trying to be mean by that – only direct) Neither are God. You are interpreting His commands through unbelief and as a slave – not as a son or daughter of God. What parent does not discipline their child, and that for his good?
    Back to to the value of life. I’m not sure you really understand what “dead” means – at least at a heart level. I recently attended my Aunt’s funeral. I have good memories of her and of playing with my cousins at her house. Around the actual pit in which they lower the coffin, they have artificial grass that goes down about two feet to take some of the cold reality of what is really about to transpire. From where I was standing, I could see beyond, to the sheer, almost glazed sides from where the backhoe cut the hard clay of the narrow hole. It suddenly struck me just how dead dead is. Six feet under in a dark pit – forever. I’m not asking a religious question. I’m asking a logical question. If we are dead as the guy whose screen name begins with an “A” thinks (See, I’m not responding to him), we certainly will have no memory of anything (Dead is dead, right?) The people we were kind to will have no memory of our kindness. The anger of those angry people (not mentioning any names – but can’t think of any off-hand) will have no affect whatsoever on the other dead people. Since we all die, will it not be for every single person who ever lived as if they never lived? We have no way to contemplate falling into non-existence. When we are dead, we cannot even consider that we are dead!
    You two act like this knowledge of a final death will make us use our time better. Have you considered that you may use it like a fool who wins the lottery. He spends it up, thinks nothing of the future, and ends in poverty. I would suggest to you that with all eternity ahead, my perspective of time is to focus it on what matters for eternity. Do you know that even the Apostle Paul said:

    If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.(1 Cor 15:19) and “I die every day– I mean that, brothers– . If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus for merely human reasons, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”
    (1 Cor 15:31-32)

    Wisdom in living a finite life with no accountability before God and wisdom to live in eternity are two completely different things! I treat a disposable paper cup and a family heirloom antique completely different. It is an error to treasure the paper cup beyond its temporary purpose, and an error to treat a priceless antique like a piece of trash. I would think long and hard before dismissing – oh ETERNITY for a life here, which as what’s his name described, is full of sickness and trouble anyway. He also said that there is no way of knowing. I disagree vehemently! I do KNOW. I know God and and the certainty of eternal life way more than I know anything in this life. As I said before, faith is not belief for belief’s sake. It is an unshakeable knowing based on the presence of God in the heart. The atheist says he doesn’t have time for this gibberish, and that my writing does not resemble any kind of coherent thought. Well bud, I too went to school for engineering. Besides all the Calculus, statics, dynamics, thermodynamics, mechanics of deformable bodies, 4 semesters of calc, physics, chem – on and on, I also had engineering statistics. Here is a statistical consideration for you – one that you can also apply calculus to and the concept of limits. Remember concept of limits as X goes to zero, or X goes to infinity? For all practical purposes it IS zero or IS infinity (Remember all those rectangles under the curve, reducing them to infinitely small increments, and all that happy stuff) Your life here on earth, taken in the span of eternity, is essentially zero! If I’m wrong, and there is no eternity, I will have wagered effectively zero time in my holdout for eternity. If you are wrong, you will have lost EVERYTHING all in exchange for what amounts to NOTHING. Which of us is illogical, the one who risks nothing for everything, or the one who risks EVERYTHING for nothing? – and that would be on a mere statistical bet in the absence of any knowledge at all.
    Some more thoughts Mr. A: That little “Peanut” of yours who gives you so much joy. In your philosophy, you will see her no more once one of you dies. In your philosophy, she will have ZERO memory of you, and you of her.
    And regarding burning forever in hell, I never said it will be because you do not believe as I do. I am saying that you cannot change reality. For years I ran an commercial electrical business. You can’t see electricity, but anyone who touches a hot wire and grounds himself will sure as hell find out its reality in a hurry – and it doesn’t matter what he “believed” about it. His beliefs will only determine how he relates to it. (And I used, “sure as hell” in a literal way) You seem to me as one who is scoffing, saying “There ain’t no freakin’ electricity! You see any of this magical electricity! All I see is a wire! So you to traipsing into the electrical room with exposed hot bus bars everywhere – courageous, confident, defiant – sneering at all the incredibly stupid fools wearing high voltage gloves and who make sure they understand the principles of electricity so they do not relate to it in a way in which they wish they hadn’t.

    • I’m going to respond to your comment, however I’d like to make one thing clear. You are being INCREDIBLY disrespectful toward Ashley in how you are addressing him here. His name is in plain letters. You could do well to type them out. If you are going to begin your comment with “Rana and the other person,” then you are addressing us both, so saying “If we are dead as the guy whose screen name begins with an “A” thinks (See, I’m not responding to him)” you ARE responding to him as well as myself.

      On another note, may I please ask who this is? You speak as if you know both of us and know this whole conversation as if you’ve been part of it.

    • Thunder? I am incredibly surprised and quite disappointed in this post of yours. I had to re-word my response a bit.

      First off, your comment toward Ashley regarding his step-daughter was completely uncalled for. Your comment began as a message to both myself and Ashley. Later on, as I stated earlier, you turned it toward me, saying you weren’t speaking to Ashley at all, THEN you make the entire message directed at him, hatefully if I might add.

      In regard to the actual content of your comment that wasn’t an insulting rant against Ashley, I have this to say. It is not a Catholic concept of god, it is a Christian concept of god for ‘Him’ to be a fear-inducing, self-obsessed dictator. Christian followers may not see it that way, and more power to them and you for interpreting the Christian teaching in a different light. I have no qualms with you believing as you will. I, however, do not have to believe as you do and I do not intend to. There is a difference between commands and guidelines. What loving parent commands their child to live a certain way? No, they suggest, they guide their child’s choices, and at some point the child must be left to decide for his or herself.

      You are not being direct, Thunder, you are being inconsiderate and demanding. I’ve said this enough times to you I wouldn’t expect you to cross this line. I have accepted the fact that my belief, the belief I hold in my heart and have a great passion for, could be wrong. I’m okay with this. I may say how my belief differs from yours, from Christians of any denomination, but I do not make those comparisons to try to demean your belief. I may say what involving your belief I do not understand, not in a comprehensive manner, but in a manner of faith. I do not understand why it is a comfort to people to worship a dictator that expects the impossible from its own children, just as you do not understand how I can be comfortable in a belief that I admit may not be the truth. Your comments, from where I’m reading, are simply insults toward my belief, saying that the image of god which I hold is only in my head. If I said that to you, you would be offended, would you not? Then why would you say that to me? Just because I admit my belief may not be the truth does not mean that I am not insulted and hurt when my belief is degraded in such a way.

      The fact that you cannot put value on something that is not eternal, frankly, is not mine nor Ashley’s problem. Again, with the concept of value being subjective, Ashley can hold his life in the highest value under his own thought process. It doesn’t matter to him if you cannot hold your own life in that highest value without the concept of god involved. It is to each their own. Why is it so agitating to you that he can be happy, hold his life in such high value, without god? It doesn’t hurt you that he is happy without god. If you’re trying to save his soul or some such by getting him to think as you do, once again, no two people think the same. There is no one on the planet but you, Thunder, who believes as you do, and there can be no one else besides you that thinks the way you do. It is the same for every person on the planet. Again, it is what makes us human, unique.

      If one lives their life here to the fullest, being as good a person as they can be, that should be enough for god. For you, eternity comes with a price. For Ashley, eternity isn’t coming at all. For me, eternity is coming for everyone, with no cost. It’s all a matter of value, and value is subjective. You speak of the paper cup and the heirloom. An animal can utilize a cup as a living space, a child can cherish a cup as a toy, and an heirloom, once it leaves the family, is lost, is sold, loses its heirloom quality and just becomes another trinket to someone. Value is in the eye of the beholder.

      The reason Ashley speaks of your writing as gibberish is because he has no interest in understanding it. I do not say that as an insult to him, but as a restatement of his views. He is not interested in spending his time understanding the intricacies of religious belief, and so when you or I begin to go into the details of religious belief, he turns off. It’s the way he is, and I would have expected you to have caught onto that by now. There’s no point in getting upset about it.

      As for your comment on reality (I’m skipping the calculus stuff, since I have no idea what you’re talking about [I never took calculus, I always stuck with trigonometry]), once again, it is your reality, your faith and belief made into your own facts. Your belief and your faith are your own, Thunder. No one else’s. You know how you told me about all the churches you’ve been kicked out of/left? You know why you don’t stay in the same church? Because your belief, your faith doesn’t match anyone else’s, and you are a strong enough person to not distort your beliefs to fit the beliefs of others like so many religious people do. You believe in the faith of your heart, not the faith of the religion. The problem is you still cling to the idea that an organized, human-guided belief system is necessary for the masses to make it to god’s gates. You know why my mother doesn’t socialize at our church, despite church being one of the highest priorities of her life? Because she’s a hard-headed woman who has her own beliefs. She, too, does not believe EVERY aspect of the Catholic Church, and she would argue with every person she discussed with if she socialized at the church. She has distorted her views to fit the church or kept her differences in thought to herself, unlike you, who hold to your belief. The only step you have to make now is to accept that your belief is your own, and not that of the world. Trust your belief, love it, cherish it, but don’t assume it is the belief for everyone. Those churches that you have left behind you are proof of that. And in god’s eyes, I believe it doesn’t even matter anyway.

      • Rana,
        On my last comment I hit “Post comment” before signing in. I thought the comment went off into oblivion, so re-posted it. But I see this morning it came up twice – once as “Anonymous” and once as “Rolling Thunder”. And Yes, I was directing much of my comment at Ashley and yes, it was sarcastic. Go back to his reply to me, his blow off, his stance of arrogance to even deign to reply again and his tossing what he does not comprehend into the category of “gibberish”. The majority of my comment involved logic, not religion. My logic angers him because it digs under his foundation for blowing off God in much the same manner he blows me off. He need not give a reason. He moves directly to the ad-hominem attack and from his position of supremacy and as center of the universe that is all that is necessary! He is so superior that he can just talk about how everyone disgusts him, and not give a reason for why a life that will never be remembered by anyone – himself or otherwise, would be valuable. I believe that is a fair question, and he blew it off with a personal attack. Here I will use scripture.

        1 Cor 2:9-16
        9 However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”–
        10 but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.
        11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
        12 We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.
        13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.
        14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.
        15 The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment:
        16 “For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
        (NIV)

        In other words, the spiritually dead cannot understand the things of the Spirit, any more than a blind man can comprehend light. He will stumble around in the dark, nonetheless, because he cannot change reality, and nothing can be more real than God, who is the very seat of all reality. These thoughts are not my own private religion or God. They come from a standard beyond myself and are confirmed by a living, breathing relationship with God. This is not arrogance; it is available for all. The politically correct hate certainty, because certainty hits at their rejection of absolutes – the greatest of which is God – and not just any god, but a very specific God who defines reality.
        In thinking of our conversation this morning I began thinking of boundaries. I believe that you are attempting to apply the freedoms of thought, expression, and preferences that apply within bounds out of bounds. For instance our tastes in music, food, friends, and activities are all within God’s boundaries and are fine. I believe, however you are trying to apply these “freedoms” to absolutes – tantamount to a failure to recognize the absolutes of gravity or principles of electricity. Once we recognize the boundaries, we have a great deal of freedom within. For instance, because we EMBRACE, rather than repudiate the principles of electricity, we can have this electronic conversation online. Having made a god of freedom, you’re running around near the cliff’s edge and failing to respect a boundary that is not set up to keep you in bondage, but to keep you from self-destruction – not only temporal, but eternal.

        As to my thoughts on meaning in a world where nothing will be remembered- even life itself, can you, Rana, explain to me why our lives would have value if there will be no remembrance or consciousness afterwards? This is not a religious question. This is a logical question, and gain, I believe it is a fair question. Ashley speaks of the value in these terms:
        “Going to work each day (I’m a mechanical engineer) and learning just a little something that i previously didn’t know and being that much better off and more knowledgeable for it. Reading a few pages of a book or researching things on the internet that interest me so I can be just a little less ignorant than I was yesterday.” Does he consider that a few years or decades down the road (or who knows, this very day), that in death with no God or afterlife he will be far more ignorant than the day he was born? He speaks of “going to work each day”. But his work, labors, projects – all he does – will amount to nothing. Both his labors, his memory of them, and everyone else’s memory of them will be gone. How is this not futility? How is this not laboring for a pocket with holes in it?

        You said, “I do admit that I take time in my life to appreciate the world around me and spend a few seconds of that appreciation considering that there is something out there that made it all, and sending a quiet thank you if it is listening. But if that is not enough for that creator, if there is a creator out there that expects me to waste my life obsessing over it now just so I can do it more when I’m dead, I’d rather burn.” Who is the dictator here? Who is dictating to whom? You are telling God how it is and how it must be! Do you have the right to dictate to God? On the other hand, does God as Creator have a right (and responsibility) to set up parameters for his creatures? How is this mentality not identical to Adam and Eve’s, who had everything but would not accept God’s one restriction? (And I believe that God would later, over time, brought them into the knowledge of good and evil when they were ready for it. They got their freedom alright. They got some of that knowledge that Ashley speaks of – and brought death into the world.
        I find it interesting that in these posts, though you profess a belief in a supreme being, that your beliefs are more compatible with Ashley’s than mine. Both Ashley’s dismissal of God altogether, and your designer god that you’ve formed to accommodate your wishes have the common root demand of “Nobody tells me what to do!” . You are both comfortable companions within the same camp . Get beyond that and both of you become very uncomfortable. Ashley’s atheism may be a little more honest in this point. YOU, however, also have difficulty abandoning the idea that there must be a Creator. In this, I believe, you are more honest. But you are floating between, in a “I want my cake and eat it too” world. Ashley has thrown out the cake. I’ve eaten it, with all that it implies. If you pick up one end of the stick, you must pick up the other. You’ve not reconciled the two ends yet, because you do not want what it implies: i.e. responsibility to this Creator and submission to a way beyond your own preferences.
        It’s also interesting that you can pick out rudeness from my posts (are you being judgmental?? Are you setting the standard for what is rude? Who are you to tell me what is rude? – these are the logical implications of a world with no standard beyond one’s own self.), yet when Ashley says to me, “You are the most pathetic excuse for a human being I have ever had the displeasure of having a discussion with. Good luck with all your future endeavours. And please. Really – don’t bother responding. You’ve already proven to me just how completely and totally your mind has been poisoned by this idiotic non-sense. You can’t even come close to writing anything that resembles a rational and coherent thought.”, you can stomach it more. He’s only intolerant of the intolerant! Why do you give that a pass? Does Ashley believe his is the epitome of rationality? Our perception of reality is determined by what we want to believe more than any amount of logic. Christianity, at its core, involves stepping outside of ourselves as the ultimate determiners of reality, and seeking to view life, sin, our fellow man, and reality from God’s absolute perspective. (And we cannot do that without the help of God, Himself) I can tell you, that since I began down this path 30 years ago, I have very much had the Spirit of God at work in me, stretching me beyond my own perceptions, bringing me into things that I did not understand, and contrary to my own will, only to end in an exchange of my own, narrow, self-centered view of the world for His. And this is the work of God, not me. I just consented to the renovation work when I surrendered my life to Him. Though I reference Ashley quite a bit in this post, I’ve written this post with you in mind with issues concerning Ashley serving primarily as a bouncing board for what I wish to speak to you. As you well know by now, I often write with a hammer. In my heart I am hammering what I believe are very destructive ideas. The problem is that people are very attached to those ideas, and have a difficult time interpreting the intent of the hammer. I would also suggest that as human beings in general we sometimes have a difficult time interpreting the harder elements of God’s work and discipline in our lives. I believe that, more than you may ever comprehend it, you are in the middle of a very serious spiritual battle right now, and I’ve felt this for some time. For this reason I take a great deal of time in writing.
        Take care.

        • Thunder, to your posting point, that is completely understandable. Frankly, I was not expecting that post to come from you in any way. I will address this foremost; after conversing with Ashley these past couple weeks, I know he is a harsh-mouthed, adamant person. I don’t necessarily appreciate the way he speaks about you, but I know that is the way he is. He’s not very respectful of others’ beliefs, and I have called him out on that before. I expect that kind of response from him, and I’m not going to change him in that regard, so I let it fly. YOU, on the other, I would never have expected to go that far, to stoop to his level, as it were.

          I think the reason this conversation is bothering you so much is more selfish than you realize. I don’t say that as an insult to you, the use of selfish here is purely for conversation, not an attack. I can’t stress enough that, when you look at humanity on a whole, the only thing that is not subjective in this life is repeatedly proven facts. You bring up the scientific facts of electricity and gravity, and that’s all well and good. Everyone agrees on these facts. They are universal. We may learn that our calculations regarding through facts are off, and may have to adjust as new facts are discovered, but they are visible, they are tangible, and they are provable.

          There are people who swear on their life they have experienced ghosts, seen the Lock Ness Monster, Bigfoot, etc. They believe those things to be facts because of their personal experiences. They get defensive and sometimes aggressive while trying to prove something that they have no tangible, provable evidence to support. They can compile others’ accounts who believe as they do, they can provide poorly taken photos that may or may not be exactly what they claim it to be, they can tell their own personal experiences until they are blue in the face, but those who have not experienced it for themselves will not be swayed.

          I do not use this as an example to lessen your experiences with god. I use it as a way for you to understand where someone like Ashley is coming from, and to make you understand that your beliefs and your faith and your experience is not universal. Again, if the idea of god was a fact, no one would argue it. People don’t argue the fact of gravity, but they argue the fact of god, because god is not fact, god is faith, and faith, once again, is subjective to the individual. Your comments have been getting progressively more defensive, because 1) Ashley will not believe you ‘facts’ based on intangible, unprovable evidence, and 2) his and my responses to your ‘facts’ do disprove some of them, and it makes you uncomfortable that your ‘facts’ can only be justified in your own mind, and not justified to everyone else. It is the fear of being wrong, a pointless and fruitless fear. I have said to you innumerable times that there is nothing wrong with having a personal faith that no one else believes but you. But it makes people uneasy when others do not agree with their views. Why you must justify your beliefs by making others believe them too, I will never understand. And you will come back and tell me that it is for their salvation, their spiritual well-being, their eternal lives happy with god in heaven. If it is all for their benefit, than why not let them find their own way? Let god guide them, let them find god in something in their lives. If your facts are the universal truth, than why not let the smart ones figure it out and those who don’t/can’t never would have whether you interfered or not. If a person is a good person, leads a good life for themselves and others, there is no reason why that good person cannot figure out the truth. Humans are selfish, both in that they must have social gratification in their beliefs and that they expect to be patted on the back for figuring it out. (This I am saying in general terms, not directly at you, Thunder.) I’m going to stop there as there are more points to get to.

          Your comment on my self-destruction at the like, does not a loving parent put up a gate on the second floor so their child does not fall down the stairs? Do they not teach the child, clearly and directly, what could happen if they lean too far over the edge of the pier? They do not give hints and let the child figure it out on their own, they make clear boundaries, solid and immovable, to protect their child. We are not children, Thunder, and god does not treat us as children. I believe that god has moved the boundaries, it has given us the knowledge to know what can hurt us. But we are not full grown yet. We are still learning, again, the image of the college student. Our parents teach us the dangers of drugs, of alcohol, but do we always listen? No. Different people push the boundaries to different lengths. Some fall, and they fall long and hard. Does the parent forsake them for being human, for pushing too far? No. The loving parent stands by, chuckles the occasional, “I told you so,” offers a hand which the child may take or push aside, may be able to say to the child, “I did the same thing,” and gives the kid a hug. No judgment, no anger, no consequences. We are not given solid boundaries in this life. We still have the guidelines god gave us, but the gates have been stored away. It is up to us now to decide whether to follow the guidelines now that the gates have been removed. And if we so choose to slide down the banister and break a rib or two, our parent, our god is not going to hold it against us. If we break the banister, yes, perhaps there will be repercussions, we will have to pay to replace it, but we are not going to be banished from the house for life. If we are to be considered children, than where are the solid gates? A child cannot live on verbal guidelines alone, and so we are not children.

          I have already explained the logic of the value of life to you, Thunder. The value of each individual’s life is subjective to themselves and separately subjective to those around them. God may know the value of each life according to its love for each individual, but we cannot know that value in this life.

          ‘Telling god how it’s going to be,’ is not being dictatorial, it is being firm against dictatorial oppression. I can’t seem to say this enough times to get you to pay attention to it: I accept that fact that I might be wrong. God may not be the loving parent that I believe it is. But from where I stand, the alternative according to Christians is a god who leaves a child with no solid gate at the stairs, leaves a note that the child can barely read that says don’t go near the stairs, and leaves the child alone, expecting it to be smart enough to listen to a piece of paper. If that is how god wants to treat me, than I’m not okay with it. It’s not going to stop god from doing as it wishes. I accept that, and that’s it.

          The thing that you don’t understand is that being content with the unknown and not being able to decide are two different thought processes. I have already decided, I have a belief and I am content with it. The fact that I am also content with the possibility that my belief is wrong does not mean I cannot decide on whether I believe. I also accept the fact that my belief could change. It does not change my dedication to my belief any more than your insistence that I am wrong. You are insistent that your belief is truth, that it is fact that can be embraced by all. This is why you can’t stand my confidence in accepting that I don’t know. I can’t say that my personal truth is everyone’s truth, because I know it isn’t. Yours isn’t either, again it is why you are not pope and the whole planet is not Christian. Telling me I shouldn’t be okay with this is not going to make me uncomfortable. Pressuring me with bible quotes and your own personal truth is not going to make me change mine, just as I cannot do the same to you. We have beliefs, Thunder. You have yours, I have mine. That’s it.

  10. Rana and the other person,
    You seem to have a slave mentality when you contemplate a relationship with God (This is certainly true of Catholicism – a relationship based on fear and bondage to which you add the attitude of serving some sort of ego maniac in the sky. This god is also one you’ve made up – a strawman that you can easily knock down, and the antithesis, Rana, of the one you’ve got in your head who will require nothing of you. Neither version is God. You are interpreting His commands through unbelief and as a slave – not as a son or daughter of God. What parent does not discipline their child, and that for his good? If you do not discipline your future children, I feel very sorry for them, and they will end up indulged, but ironically unhappy – especially when they run up against some of the hard lines of real life. If God did not discipline His children, it would be a sign of apathy, indifference, and anything but love.
    Back to to the value of life. I’m not sure you really understand what “dead” means – at least at a heart level. I just recently attended my Aunt’s funeral. I have good memories of her and of playing with my cousins at her house. Around the actual pit in which they lower the coffin, they have artificial grass that goes down about two feet to take some of the cold reality out of it for the mourners. From where I was standing, I could see beyond it to the sheer, almost glazed sides from where the backhoe cut the hard clay of the narrow grave. It suddenly struck me just how dead dead is. Six feet under in a dark pit – forever. I’m not asking a religious question. I’m asking a logical question. If we are dead as the guy whose screen name begins with an “A” (See, I’m not responding to him), we certainly will have no memory of anything (Dead is dead, right?) The people we were kind to will have no memory of our kindness. The anger of those angry people (not mentioning any names – just sayin’) will have no affect whatsoever on the other dead people. Since we all die, will it not be for every single person who ever lived as if they never lived or existed? We have no way to contemplate falling into non-existence. When we are dead, we cannot even consider that we are dead!
    You two act like this knowledge of a final death will make us use our time better. Have you considered that you may use it like a fool who wins the lottery. He spends it up, thinks nothing of the future, and ends in poverty. I would suggest to you that with all eternity ahead, my perspective of time is to focus it on what matters for eternity. Do you know that the Apostle Paul said:

    If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.(1 Cor 15:19, 31-32) and “I die every day– I mean that, brothers–. If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus for merely human reasons, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”

    Live for today is not an illogical conclusion to a life that ends in oblivion after death.

    Wisdom in living a finite life with no accountability before God and wisdom to live in eternity knowing that we will give an answer to God for everything are two completely different things! I treat a disposable paper cup and a family heirloom antique completely different! It is an error to treasure the paper cup beyond to temporary purpose, and an error to treat a priceless antique like a piece of trash. I would think long and hard before dismissing – oh ETERNITY for a life here, which as what his name described, is full of sickness and trouble anyway! He also said that there is no way of knowing. I disagree vehemently! I do KNOW. I know God and and the certainty of eternal life way more than I know anything in this life. As I said before, faith is not belief for belief’s sake. Faith is an unshakeable knowing based on the presence of God in the heart. And God is the ultimate reality – the very One who determines reality. The atheist says he doesn’t have time for this gibberish, and that my writing does not resemble any kind of coherent thought. Well bud, I too went to school for engineering. Besides all the Calculus, statics, dynamics, thermodynamics, mechanics of deformable bodies, 4 semesters of calc, physics, chem – all and on, I also had engineering statistics. Here is a statistical consideration for you – one that you can also apply calculus to and the concept of limits. Remember the limit as X goes to zero, or X goes to infinity in the concept of integration? For all practical purposes it IS zero or IS infinity – at least we treat it that way. (Remember all those infinitely small rectangles under the curve, and all that happy stuff?) Your life here on earth, taken in the span of eternity, is essentially ZERO! If I’m wrong, and there is no eternity, I will have wagered effectively zero time in my holdout for eternity. If you are wrong, you will have lost EVERYTHING all in exchange for what amounts to NOTHING. Which of is is illogical, the one who risks nothing for everything, or the one who risks EVERYTHING for nothing?
    Some more thoughts Mr. A: That little “Peanut” of yours who gives you so much joy. In your philosophy, you will see her no more once one of you dies. In your philosophy, she will have ZERO memory of you, and you of her.
    Regarding a God who wants you to spend your days passing some sort of a grand test to avoid hellish punishment: First, your days amount to nothing here. Next, this is not so much a test, as a place where we can experience good and evil and make our eternal choices. The good you see is only the tip of the iceberg of what those in heaven will know, and the evil only the first down payment of the evil those in hell will know. All that is good comes from God. We cannot reject God without rejecting all that goes with Him. In hell there is no good – no comfort, no rest, no beauty, no simple joys with your child. You can’t have it both ways. You get God and all that comes with Him, or reject God and all that comes with Him. But God made you eternal, in His image, and you will live on forever in one state or the other.
    And regarding burning forever in hell, I never said it will be because you do not believe as I do. I am saying that you cannot change reality. For years I ran an commercial electrical business. You can’t see electricity, but anyone who touches a hot wire and grounds himself will sure as hell find out its reality in a hurry, and it doesn’t matter what he believed about it. His beliefs will only determine how he relates to it. (And I used, “sure as hell” in a literal way) You seem to me as one who is scoffing, saying “There ain’t no freakin’ electricity! You see any of this magical electricity! All I see is a wire! So you go traipsing into the high voltage room with exposed hot bus bars everywhere – courageous, confident, defiant – sneering at all the incredibly stupid fools wearing high voltage gloves who make sure they understand the principles of electricity so they do not relate to it in a way in which they wish they hadn’t.

  11. Rana,

    Sweetie, I have to say that if I can speak metaphorically for a second, you must have the patience of an angel. To put up with, much less talk to RT is certainly proof of that. I wouldn’t expect an answer to your “may I ask who this is?” question because it’s highly unlikely that you’ll get one. He’s already demonstrated what a coward he is and to what depths he is willing to sink to be deceitful (posting first as Anonymous and then as RT, then saying that he’s not really answering me if he refers to me as A rather than by my full name – amazingly clever tricks don’t you think?). You can do what you want obviously because it’s your website but I’ll just let you know that I won’t be conversing with this lunatic any longer. If we’re going to talk and have other people joining a discussion, then we’re just going to have to wade through post after post of his rambling garbage. I can assure you shaming him or reprimanding him or pointing out any logical fallacies in his thinking or the utter absurdity of what he says will be a complete waste of time. This guy belongs out on a street corner somewhere with an Apocalypse sign around his neck, selling pencils from a paper cup.
    Anywho, as for topics of discussion, I can think of a few: gay rights, education and the catholic school system here in Ontario. But I keep coming back to god and religion. Now with you, I know that you aren’t religious but you believe in a creator. I can’t quite figure out if you’re a deist or a theist. I’d like to explore that some more. If you’ve already made a post about your beliefs previously (which I think you did on our Yahoo conversation), direct me to it or repost it and I’ll give my opinion and we can go from there. Take care and talk to you soon.

    • Now you know I can’t really condone anything you’ve said about Thunder. If I look at both of your posts from a stand-off perspective, you’ve both been quite rude about each other. The thing is, and the reason why I don’t really mention it with you, is because I expect that of you. From our conversations, I’ve learned that you speak your mind bluntly and honestly to the point of being harsh to some. I’ve grown comfortable with that. Thunder, on the other hand? You got under his skin something awful that I have never seen before. Half of my expects him to respond, but the other half isn’t sure what he’s up to at this point. We’ll see. I greatly appreciate the angel comment. XD That made my morning. Haha!

      Now! On to your topics. Are all three of those items specific to Ontario for you? I could certainly get into gay rights, although I’ve kind of been trying to avoid it (I’m a very ‘Who cares?’ kind of person when it comes to that, toward those religious protestors as well as somewhat toward the gay extremist groups.) I went to Catholic school, as you know, so I could talk on that as well, but I wouldn’t know where to start! XD

      I have tried to outline my beliefs in a couple posts. The first is an outline of my beliefs after a very long discussion with Thunder on, you guessed it!, Yahoo! (I catch a lot of people in long religious conversations on there for some reason XD): https://vathev.wordpress.com/2013/02/04/a-long-long-post-on-what-i-base-my-life-on/

      The other is a little blip on the idea of Schrodinger’s box, and how the concept of god is just the cat in the box: https://vathev.wordpress.com/2013/04/02/schrodingers-god/

      And keep in mind when you read the first one that my ideas on god evolve quite regularly. I ought to go back and see if my beliefs are still the same. I think they are, but I want to check if I should make an update. ^_^ Feel free to check them out if you like. I think I’m going to call myself pseudo-agnostic: I believe there is a god (but that is for myself), but I don’t believe there is a right answer in terms of god, its existence, and its state of being.

  12. Ashley and Rana,
    Now that you’ve determined that I am a coward, perhaps you should look and see the same post posted twice: Once last night under “Anonymous” at 9:47 a.m. and once under “Rolling Thunder” at 10:13 p.m. the same night. You seem to be fixated on evidences. Go look at the evidence. I hit the “post” button before logging in, and it disappeared, so I posted again, but logged in this time. Like your concept of life, I thought the original post went off into oblivion, but behold, it lives in an afterlife! Are you willing to go back over the evidence and determine if what I am saying is true? Further, the “Rana and the other person” was open and obvious sarcasm to what I might also interpret as a cowardly blowing off of the conversation in the guise of it just being sooo far beneath you. So here you are, having this little glee party in complete ignorance of what actually happened. I suspect that your “smarter than God” party will end one day too – hopefully on this side of eternity. But one way or the other, it WILL end.
    No amount of evidence ever convinced an unbelieving heart. Jesus’ well document miracles infuriated the Pharisees, but did not change their heart. They even acknowledged the miracles, which only moved them to double up on their efforts to discredit and ultimately crucify Him.
    Please note that I gave further response to Rana under the “Anonymous” post, because that is the one Rana responded to.

  13. Rana,

    I’ve got some things to do today so I probably won’t be writing much more on here (maybe later this evening), but I’d just like to address the 1st point of your last post – about RT and I being rude to one another. I do appreciate that you understand I can be harsh and blunt with people, but I do try to keep the Ad Hominem to a minimum. When I tell someone what they’ve just written is babble and white noise, I’m not being rude. I mean exactly what I say. The only way to understand RT’s comments is to be a true and believing Christian – and even then, I’ve read in one of your posts that he’s been kicked out of/left OTHER Christian organizations because his and their beliefs are incompatible. So in essence, the only person that can understand what he’s writing is him. Ask a true and believing Muslim or Jew if he agrees with RT’s comments. I’m quite certain that you won’t get any consensus there either.
    Now, take 2 seconds, go to Google and type in the word “delusion”. Look at the 3 criteria listed in order for someone to be considered delusional. I think you’ll find that RT fits very handsomely into all 3 categories. Go back and read what he’s written. In no particular order he’s said:
    1) He KNOWS for certain that there is a god,
    2) He KNOWS for certain there is heaven and hell and an afterlife,
    3) His belief – or rather his knowledge – is not based on religion but on logic.

    You can’t converse with a person like that. You and I can talk to each other because we don’t claim to KNOW something that’s not possible to know. I don’t believe in god (because there’s no evidence to suggest that there is one) and you believe in one but readily admit that it’s only a belief and not based on anything more than that. THAT’s why you and I can talk to each other and discuss things and why I’d like to continue talking with you. I’ll catch up with you later.

  14. Rana,
    Ashley said, “You can’t converse with a person like that. You and I can talk to each other because we don’t claim to KNOW something that’s not possible to know.” Sounds pretty cozy. If you are not careful, you may share the same eternal destination. What amazes me is how CERTAIN Ashley is that a person cannot know the things he listed. He sounds like he KNOWS. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. It is impossible for the atheist to live out his stated beliefs. He’ll dismiss absolutes with an absolute claim.

  15. Hear that Rana? Watch out! You’d better shape up and fall into line NOW, because if you don’t and you’re not careful, you and I “may share the same eternal destination”. I wonder what destination that could be? Any guesses from you? Could it be hell do you think? RT doesn’t have the courage and the fortitude to come out and say it, because as he’s already demonstrated, he’s a COWARD. A coward that needs to resort to veiled threats as a way of arguing. I ask you Rana, i really do ask you – are you going to waste your time talking to and arguing with someone as contemptible as that?

    • Haha! Yeah, I saw that. Honestly, the veiled threats (which I am more than sure he will deny are actually threats, but they certainly are) are not what bothers me. What bothers me is the constant dismissal of my points. I’m starting to notice a pattern, not a constant, but more recurring than usual. He makes a religious analogy, description, etc. I refute with my beliefs or with the logical fallacies of his own, not in an attempt to disprove his beliefs and unground him, but simply to show why I do not believe as he does. Instead of countering, he slightly changes the subject, makes new analogies that are somewhat related, but at their core detached from the original point. Additionally, he must make every post I make into a topic of faith, like my Hypotheticals in the Morning post, which was not intended to have anything to do with this whole religion conversation.

  16. I have a friend who converted from atheism and became a man of faith in God. I asked him how he changed his views? He replied because of all the atheists he knew he never found one that was truly happy. =)

    • And of course, as we all know, believing in something that makes you happy is a perfectly valid reason for believing in It. Never mind that its based on superstitious, supernatural nonsense. As long as it makes you happy, that’s all that counts – and UNLESS you believe it, you can’t possibly be happy. You can just live your life in a warm bath of semi consciousness. Wonderful! What a fantastic way to live your life.
      I guess being a heroin addict is cool too as long as it makes you happy right?

  17. Something for atheists to consider: I came across the following gem when I was researching supercomputers:
    “The IBM Blue Gene/P has been used to simulate a number of artificial neurons equivalent to approximately one percent of a human cerebral cortex, containing 1.6 billion neurons with approximately 9 trillion connections. The same research group also succeeded in using a supercomputer to simulate a number of artificial neurons equivalent to the entirety of a rat’s brain.”[81]

    See photo of this computer at http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d3/IBM_Blue_Gene_P_supercomputer.jpg)

    This super computer located in Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago 250,000 microprocessors.] If it requires this amount of computing power to simulate just one percent of the speed and number of processes involved the human brain’s computing power in real-time, How can anyone say this came about by random occurrences through evolution? Any idea the complexity of just one of the 250,000 microprocessors used to process this? 23 years ago when the 486 computer chip came out, they said that just one chip had the complexity of New York City and all its suburbs, people, and systems. And that is a quarter century old chip. Imagine the complexity of 25 million modern processors (It takes a hundred of these supercomputers to get the full 100% of the human brain power) Evolution takes an awful lot of blind faith – and in what? Dirt and time! (And we haven’t even gotten to the complexity of the eye, of blood that feeds, oxygenates, fights bacterial invasions to all these neurons, of the mechanical design of the human body with bone structure, muscles with millions of cells that work in unison, on and on) This alone, out of all the incredible things both in us and around us should encourage the atheist to give pause and consider the wonders of God. Just look all around you – at human speech. Look up and see the stars. Look at the Hubble ultra-deep field view containing 10,000 galaxies with a hundred billion or so stars in each in one tiny pinprick of space.

    Job 12:7-10
    7 “But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you;
    8 or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you.
    9 Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this?
    10 In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.
    (NIV)

  18. It never ceases to amaze me how a religious person can get to a god being responsible for everything, by almost any method. “This is complicated, therefore it MUST have been made by god”. I’ll never understand for the life of me how you get there.
    Evolution does not take a lot of blind faith in anything. It’s a scientifically demonstrable, tested, proven, accepted theory with an extraordinary amount of explanatory power. Dr. Francis Collins, the person who mapped the human genome, who also happens to be a believing christian, has said that there is NO question that evolution is how humans came to be on this planet. I’m sorry Greg. The fact that you are completely ignorant about evolution, and aren’t interested in learning about it, is no where near a sufficient argument to refute the scientifically accepted fact of evolution.
    Your argument is not something for an atheist to consider in the slightest. I’ve heard it before and it’s a baseless argument. Why? – well there are several very significant reasons. 1) If humans and indeed all life and the cosmos and the universe is so incredibly complicated and complex that it could only have been done by and even more complex designer, then what EVEN MORE incredibly complicated entity deigned the designer that designed us and the cosmos and the universe? 2) Your answer to the question is to assert that “god did it”, Well that might be a sufficient answer for you, but it’s not for me – because it tells me absolutely nothing. How did this incredibly complex creature design us and the cosmos and the universe? By what method? How could anyone know this? How could anyone prove this? Quoting bible verses isn’t going to answer a damn thing. 3) The dogma and doctrine of christianity was established, in place, promulgated and believed LONG BEFORE there was any knowledge of the big bang, evolution, computers, microprocessors, the human brain’s processing capacity and every other thing you use in your argument You are trying to do a reverse engineering job and state – “Hey look what we know…NOW! All of this only proves that god did all of this and he’s even smarter than we thought!” Now that religious people have failed in their attempt to stifle research of this kind, now that they’ve stopped trying to discredit it, they turn around and now say “Oh yeah – this was part of god’s plan all along!” It’s an argument that hold ZERO weight.
    Like I said, I’ve heard this argument before and it’s completely baseless. It requires about 30 seconds worth of common sense and enquiry to emaciate it.

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