What do Christians (and other theists) think atheists believe?

I find that most theists, but Christians in particular, have no real idea what atheists believe. Most of what they know comes from other Christians who also don’t know or from plain old prejudice. What you think atheists believe about:

1) the existence of God

a) It is certain that God does not exist

b) It is possible that God exists, but atheists believe he doesn’t

c) God may or not exists, atheists aren’t sure

d) God exists but we should not worship Him

2) religion

a) religion is bad and should be wiped off the face of the earth

b) some religious beliefs and practices are bad and should be stopped

c) theists have a right to their religion and atheists would defend that right

d) religion serves a purpose in society and should be encouraged

3) morality

a) if God does not exist, then we can do anything we want

b) even if God does not exist, we should not hurt people

c) we should all do our part to make the world a better place

d) we should all be good, just in case God really does exist

4) other: what else do Christians believe about atheists

45 Responses to What do Christians (and other theists) think atheists believe?

  1. Darren says:

    Hi, here’s my answers, though of course other Christians may differ in their responses.

    1) The existence of God
    Usually ‘b’, but sometimes ‘a’. Most realize they cannot prove God does not exist, but make their choice / opinion / belief based on inference to the best explanation the same way theists do.

    2) Religion
    I’ve heard all 4, though IMHO a combination of both ‘b’ and ‘c’ would be the most reasonable. (FWIW, the ‘a’ view does exist, such as in Sam Harris’ new book The End of Faith)

    3) Morality
    By far a combination of ‘b’ and ‘c’. Although of course some take ‘a’. I have rarely if ever heard ‘d’, it sounds more like an agnostic view than an atheist view.

    4) What else
    Again I can only speak for myself, but it seems the only central tenant of atheism is that “God does not exist”. (As a statement of opinion/belief, not fact.) For example, the abortion issue (sure, why not open a can of worms heh) … the Christian should take an anti-abortion stance, whereas there doesn’t seem to be an inherently atheist stance on abortion; ie, an atheist may be pro- or anti-abortion.

    So you know where these views are coming from, I came to your site/blog through StumbleUpon. I used to be an atheist (sometimes agnostic), but became Christian a little over 3 years ago. I may therefore have a slightly different perspective on atheism than your average Christian ;)

  2. The Atheist says:

    Darren,

    Ah!! Your last paragraph puts it into perspective for me. My personal experience has been that by and large most Christian (fundamentalists at least) tend to misunderstand the atheist position and take a much dimmer view. I think I would have answered the questions myself in much the same way you did.

    Now that you are a Christian and have more interaction with other Christians, would you expect the majority of Christians to respond as you did or do you feel that there is a general misunderstanding of atheism among Christians?

    Also, let me turn it around: do you feel that atheists by and large misunderstand the Christian position… and if so how?

  3. Darren says:

    Hi! Glad I remembered to check back here today. :)

    I’d say the majority of Christians who have taken the time to think carefully about their faith, and that of others, would respond in a similar way, whereas those who grew up in Christian homes and never really thought too much about it might give different responses. Unfortuantely, it is not usually the moderate, reasonable, respectful opinions that we hear on TV and the Internet … from both sides, secular and Christian. I’ve never heard William Lane Craig, Richard Baukham, Alvin Plantiga, Martin Hengel, etc quoted on Fox News, and neither will you hear promnent atheist scholars of today quoted.

    Misunderstandings about the Christian position … I guess the main one that comes to mind is the one that I’ve realized I’m going to have to spend a lot of my time speaking out against. It comes from both non-Christians and surprisingly from a lot of Christians too! It’s the idea that reason and faith are mutually exclusive. IMHO, biblical faith isn’t believing against all evidence; that would be idiocy. Instead faith could be seen as belief not limited to a secular worldview which is founded on inference to the best explanation of the evidence available. (At least from a Christian perspective, Zen buddists would have a much different idea). Or something like that, it sounds good off the top of my head. :)

  4. The Atheist says:

    I’m glad you remembered too! :)

    I think you hit the nail right on the head when you said that we don’t tend to hear from the majority of moderates on the web (and other media). I also think you’re right about the thoughtful Christians (and other theists) having a more reasoned opinion. Unfortunately, I think the vast majority of Christians just accept their beliefs without spending enough time thinking about them. At least that’s been my experience here in the South.

    I don’t think this only about Christians, I think it’s probably the case for most people — they don’t really examine the beliefs that they were taught as children: that is the best country in the world, that is the best party, etc. etc. And I think this can be a real problem when these unchallenged beliefs are accepted as dogma, truth beyond any scrutiny. Dogmatics can take the form of suicide bombers or stacked political elections.

    I also think you’re right about misconceptions on the part of a lot of atheists about reason vs. faith. I think most (certainly not all) atheists come from a theist background and became atheists because they had the courage to think rationally and critically about their own beliefs. I think most atheists (not all) agree that atheism is the belief that there is no god – not proof. Sure, the belief may well be based on evidence, but the resulting world view is still some mixture of fact and faith, knowledge and feeling. The difference between theists and atheists may be where each draws the line between those dipoles. Maybe that’s what moderates are: people who draw their lines close enough to the center. Regardless of which side of center their line falls, they are still near enough to the center to appreciate and respect the views of others.

    And finally, I totally agree that you will never hear from Christian apologists or Secular philosophers on TV and I think that’s a real shame. Thank goodness for podcasts and good web sites!

    I’m curious! What made you change your mind about atheism. And for that matter, why did you become an atheist in the first place (I’m presuming you were a Christian before you became an atheist?)

  5. Darren says:

    Hello again :)

    In reply to your questions, no I was not raised in a Christian home. Nor was I really raised in an atheist home. Rather, the subject of religion just never came up, it was considered an unimportant topic, along the lines of “how many angels can dance on the head of a pin”. My parents were raised Christian (one Catholic, the other Protestant) but no longer have any discernable religious inclination (if there was any present). Rather than recapitulate my life story, here’s a link to “My Story”, ie the Reader’s Digest version of how I became Christian:
    http://www.emmzee.com/mystory/

    I don’t want to be advertising/spamming but there’s also my “faith blog” which contains whatever I feel like writing about with regards to religion/faith/philosophy/etc issues:
    http://www.whyfaith.com/

    Feel free to delete these links after you’ve visited ’em. :) Eventually Why Faith will become a free eBook along the lines of ‘Case for Christ’ or ‘More Than a Carpenter’, although hopefully a bit more thorough and logically progressive than CfC, and a LOT more than ‘More Than a Carpenter’ ;)

    Err okay enough talking about myself. There’s no info on this site at all about where you’re coming from, care to elaborate? How has science (for example) impacted your outlook? And what the heck is “Phase Transfer Catalysis for Tandem Alkylation of Axo Dyes for the Synthesis of Novel Multifunctional Molecules”?!?? … err nevermind I don’t think I wanna know. O_o

  6. The Atheist says:

    Wow! Very nice site! Excellent job on the graphics! I don’t mind you plugging it — I didn’t think it was inappropriate at all. I took the time to read your testimony. It reminded me so much of my own experiences when I converted to Christianity. Let me explain a bit and try to answer your question:

    I grew up in a Orthodox Jewish family. The subject of Christianity never came up until I was in my late teens and I started asking questions. I found out quickly enough that the subject of Christianity was taboo around our house. So, as you might imagine, that made me all the more curious. As my curiosity gradually overtook my apprehension, I started investigating on my own. Long story short, one of my friends was a Christian and convinced me to go to his church where I made more Christian friends — some of whom convinced me that the Christian story was true. With trepidation, I asked Jesus into my heart and was saved. I became quite fanatic in my faith, spent much of my time witnessing and even led others to the Lord.

    It wasn’t until several years later that my brother started asking me some pointed questions about why it was that I really believed what I did. That was many years ago and I don’t remember the exact question. I do remember the feeling I had when the realization hit me that he was right! All the things I was doing were centered around reinforcing my faith and prohibiting myself from asking the tough questions. As scared as I was to first investigate Christianity, I was equally as scared to entertain the possibility that Christianity might be false.

    Well, once I was willing to open my mind to differing views and understand a little about what the critics were saying, it was like my mind began to awake from a long slumber; it was sort of like walking out from a dark room into the sunlight. Little by little, I found that there was no way I could be both honest with myself and also hold onto my faith. That was many years ago. Since then, I’ve done quite a bit of reading and study on my own including various sciences, some philosophy, and some theology. Based on what I know this far, I can’t see a way that the Christian story is possibly true.

    Regarding “Phase Transfer Catalysis for Tandem Alkylation of Axo Dyes for the Synthesis of Novel Multifunctional Molecules”? If you find out, DON’T TELL ME!! :))

  7. Darren says:

    Hi again :) Thanks for taking the time to reply! It’s always interesting to hear others’ stories. Although there are some similarities in our stories, obviously the result has been much different paths. “Based on what I know this far, I can’t see a way that the Christian story is possibly true.” This is a great attitude to take; unfortunately many atheists are as sure and unwilling to consider change as many of the “fundie” Christians are unwilling to admit the possibility that they could be wrong. If I ever finish this ebook I’d be overjoyed if you’d have a look at it for me before I release it on the web, just to make sure there are no obvious discrepencies. I don’t plan to spend a lot of time discussing scientific issues (mostly because I have no scientific credentials so I want to limit myself to areas I am well versed in, like New Testament history) but regardless I’ll be sure to contact you in the unlikely event that I’m able to get this ebook finished :D

  8. The Atheist says:

    I think you have a great attitude too: to few people, theist or atheist, admit that their beliefs, especially about religion, could be wrong. The world would be a much better place if more people did.

    And that’s the vision I have for this blog, the wiki, and the web site. There are plenty of other blogs for heated, hateful shouting matches. But this is a place to share views, to agree or disagree, but to come to a better understanding of the beliefs of others.

    I would be honored to review your eBook. In the mean time, I hope that you will continue to offer your perspective to this blog — and to the wiki too it you’ve a mind. I’m new to WordPress so I don’t know how to let visitors start a new thread yet, but until I figure it out (presuming it’s possible), I’d be glad to start a new thread for you — just drop me a line.

  9. Randy Kirk says:

    I took you up on your offer to drop by. I don’t know if you had a chance to look through my practical reason to be an atheist or practical reasons to be Christian on http:www.ideaplace.blogspot.com?

    After arguing with a personal friend about atheism (He claims “no possibility of God,” for 20+ years, I finally shut him up with the question, “What are the practical advantages of being an atheist.” This question was then put to the readership of Skeptic magazine, and I received over 100 replies, primarily from atheists. The answers fell into about 10 specific groups which I then address on my blog.

    I have also engaged in extensive debates on a huge forum which might be of interest to both of you. http://www.blogcritics.com. These debates and others on the subject that I haven’t participated in are in the archives.

    For the most part, intellectual atheists say the practical advantage is not being constrained by a particular set of dogma. They want the freedom to be able to explore all possible answers. Ironically, most atheists are willing to explore any answer except Chrisitianity.

    Almost all atheists that I have debated have had a bad experience with Christian churches or people. One exception would be the president of Skeptic, Michael Shermer, who slowly gave up an adult decision for Christ as he studied college level science. He became skeptical of anything he couldn’t see. Even today, he describes himself more as an agnositc.

    The most compelling argument for atheists and agnostics in my opinion, is that given there is a God, which one?

  10. The Atheist says:

    Randy, I copied your post to a new thread called “What is the advantage of Atheism?”

  11. that right spread the word “the truth”

  12. David says:

    #2 Nobody can prove that God exists.
    But they say the human mind isn’t even yet capable to even concieve the true depth and size of our universe, so isn’t it kinda scary that you would simply choose not to believe because your mind cannot concieve of something as complicated as an all knowing and loving god. take a chance it can’t hurt you after your dead right? just take part in the missionary and charity work if you really wan’t to make this world a better place.
    Theoretical physicists and other well acknoledged physicists say that the universe is so big and grand including the eleventh dimension and it’s ocean of universes for those of you who have heard of the M-theory. that anything you can imagine anything exists somewhere. Anything we can imagine right? Didn’t mankind imagine God.

  13. David says:

    The Christian and Jewish God and it’s bible are the only ones that can be backed up or explained through science. In the book of Genisis I don’t believe it should be taken as litteral as it is written ,since God was trying to explain creation to a civilization only a step or two away from living in a cave.
    The bible states we are made from the earth, I know we didn’t fall from the sky. Even science says we came from the earth.
    The Lord when speaking to early civilization in the book of Genesis said Let Their be light, I mean what ,did you wan’t him to explain to a bunch of early Humans the theory of relativity and that infact an almost endless thermonuclear reaction had begun 94 million miles away from the earth. The first day. Ya right.
    When God removed the Rib from Adam the bible states that God caused a deep sleep to come over Adam, sounds alot like anistesia.
    Early civilization took everything in a supernatural sense, the way they would if some how you could take a small portable dvd player back then and try and explain that it’s not Majic.
    You’d probably be stoned to death.
    Which God? Free will my brother. Make your choice. But I know the earth didn’t not hatch from an egg, another creation story.
    Only one God, the rest are the imagination of Mankind and others.

  14. The Atheist says:

    Hi, David. Thanks for posting!

    response to first post:
    ———————

    Wow! Lots of good stuff here – and to tell the truth, it’s the kind of response I expected when I first asked the question. I was really surprised that the first poster, Daren, didn’t express the kind prejudice against atheists as do most Christians, Muslims, and Jews I generally encounter.

    So let’s see – reading your post, you presume that because I’m an atheist:
    * I don’t believe in God because I find the idea of God too complex or too scary
    * that I’ve never been involved in missionary or charity work

    Great stuff!! Wrong of course ;) Want to discuss?

    response to 2nd post
    ———————

    Glad you don’t take the bible literally. Do you feel that the bible was at least inspired by God? If so, which parts and to what extent?

    Care to explain which parts of the bible science supports? What about the Talmud? Do you consider that as part of the Jewish bible that you mention above? Why do you feel that science does not back up any other religious texts like, I don’t know, say the Qur’an, I Ching, the Avesta, the kabbalah, and the myriad of others?

  15. David says:

    Everything in the ancient Jewish texts is relevant to a Christian.
    The qur’an is relevant in ways to christianity. Same God different interpretations.
    Or as one a Jewish story puts it, Muslims, Christians and Jews, Maybe only different branches, Like the Army Navy and Airforce.
    Do discuss how the religions came to be as they are today is more of a discussion for a believer. But somewhere in the centuries, leave it to man and our evil hearts, we have become the enemies that we are.
    As for the I Ching, Kabbalah and all the others, the followers of the God of Abraham, Muslims, christians, and Jews beleive they were inspired by fallen angels, and Jinn for the muslims. They mix lies and truth.
    These entities which some try and explain as Extra terestrial, are like all the other sons of God with knowledge about the universe that make our best scientists seem like monkeys. So yes even some of theirs will make sense for scientist.
    In the book off Genesis it says the earths surface was covered entirely with water, the Lords spirit hovered above the Water.
    Scientists today tell Us of different Phases in the earths life and that the phase just before the one today is Earth Mach 3 or whatever. Earth Mach 3 was entirely a water world, volcanoes under the ocean spilling their Lava created the Land.
    When I read or watch televison I don’t tell my self, “you see the bible is dumb, this is how everything was formed” No I listen and think”so this is how God did it.”
    Faith is Hard.
    I’m not asking if you believe in My God, being a Christian, but do you believe in anysort of God. Can you deny that our Planet is a little to perfect. Our solar system.
    A moon that takes the time the earth revolves around the sun and with Gravity controls the earths Wobble so that that the time it takes for the earth to go around the sun is divided into 4 equal parts, our seasons. Wow what a coincidence.
    And though I don’t take the creation story literaly, I do beleive the rest.
    Research the rest of the worlds religions but believe me something is out there and I honestly pray you find the truth.

  16. The Atheist says:

    David,

    > Everything in the ancient Jewish texts is relevant to a Christian.

    I agree. Especially the sectarian manuscripts found at Qumran where we see the roots of the messianic movement blossom and we find source material that was used in some of the New Testament texts.

    > The qur’an is relevant in ways to christianity. Same God different
    > interpretations.

    Maybe. But while Christians believe that Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit are the triune God, Muslims do not. So the Christian idea of God and the Muslim idea, while they both have roots in ancient Judaism, are different in important ways.

    Now having said all that, I’m definitely NOT advocating that people of different faiths duke it out about whose God is the true God. I’d much rather see people respect each others faith. I think it’s fine that people debate religion (and politics and anything else), but I think it should be done with the respect since no one can really knows who God is or that he absolutely exists – maybe we’re ALL wrong.

    > Do discuss how the religions came to be as they are today is more
    > of a discussion for a believer. But somewhere in the centuries, leave
    > it to man and our evil hearts, we have become the enemies that we are.

    By that, do you mean that non-believers have no business discussing such issues?

    > As for the I Ching, Kabbalah and all the others, the followers of the God
    > of Abraham, Muslims, christians, and Jews beleive they were inspired by
    > fallen angels, and Jinn for the muslims. They mix lies and truth. These
    > entities which some try and explain as Extra terestrial, are like all the
    > other sons of God with knowledge about the universe that make our
    > best scientists seem like monkeys. So yes even some of theirs will
    > make sense for scientist.

    Hmm. That’s odd that Jews would think the Kabbalists are followers fallen angels, since the Kabbalah is a sacred text for a certain branch of Judaism.

    Regarding believers in Abrahamic faiths charging that other texts contain lies: do those lies include who God really is? If so (and if you agree with this charge), then you have to agree with me that the other religions, believing these lies, do not worship the same God since as you say, they believe in a false God that was invented by the fallen angels. Would you agree?

    > In the book off Genesis it says the earths surface was covered entirely
    > with water, the Lords spirit hovered above the Water. Scientists today tell
    > Us of different Phases in the earths life and that the phase just before
    > the one today is Earth Mach 3 or whatever. Earth Mach 3 was entirely
    > a water world, volcanoes under the ocean spilling their Lava created the
    > Land.

    And evolution is suggested in the Bhaagavta. Is that enough to make you think that it’s sacred? Me neither, so you and I are both atheists relative to the Bhaagavta and the coincidence that it suggests evolution doesn’t help.

    Genesis also tells us that the Earth existed before light did. That seems to balance out any coincidence that Genesis might have accidentally gotten something right ;) Even if Genesis was written for “early humans” who weren’t prepared to understand the theory of relativity as you say, it would still be a glaring error if the all-knowing Creator of the Universe proclaimed that He brought the Earth into existence before there was light.

    > When I read or watch televison I don’t tell my self, “you see the
    > bible is dumb, this is how everything was formed” No I listen and
    > think”so this is how God did it.”

    Kudos for that! It amazes me how many people believe the literal explanations in the Bible even when they obviously conflict with reality.

    > Faith is Hard.

    I’ll say! :)) Just kidding… :)

    > I’m not asking if you believe in My God, being a Christian, but
    > do you believe in anysort of God.

    I strongly believe that the gods of the religions I’m familiar do not exist – the evidence is too strong against it. Regarding ANY god, one that we have yet to define? I tend to believe that a god does not exists based on what I know today, but I’m open to the possibility based on new evidence.

    > Can you deny that our Planet is a little to perfect.

    I can categorically! The planet has already undergone catastrophes that have wiped out most of its inhabitants (the dinosaurs). The Earth’s rotation is not constant – the Earth is slowing down. The Earth’s magnetic field (magnetic North) is not constant. Natural disasters (droughts, hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis) kill a huge number of people every year. The Sun will become a red giant and consume the Earth and all life thereon.

    > Our solar system. A moon that takes the time the earth revolves
    > around the sun and with Gravity controls the earths Wobble so
    > that that the time it takes for the earth to go around the sun is
    > divided into 4 equal parts, our seasons. Wow what a coincidence.

    That’s another problem with the earth – it’s axes are tilted. That’s what causes different seasons rather than a nice, constant climate.

    > And though I don’t take the creation story literaly, I do believe
    > the rest.

    Do you mean you believe the rest literally, or do you just mean there seems to be some level of truth to it?

    > Research the rest of the worlds religions but believe me something is
    > out there and I honestly pray you find the truth.

    Thanks! Me too. And if I do, I’ll announce it on my AskAnAtheist web site (I’m not being glib here, I’m completely serious).

  17. David says:

    Every Christian see’s a non believer as a brother who is condemned to death, love thy enemy, is my favorite quote from the bible. And what I meant by a better conversation for a believer is that they will accept what I say, while some one as yourself will condradict everything I say.
    Literaly
    And as far as all those cataclysms in the earths past, man was not here, I was talking about the earth today, our home.
    All of your questions are understandable. which is why faith is so hard. It seems so easy us christians beleiving that we can enter heaven by faith and faith alone, but believe me it is not easy.
    Look to science brother, for one day it will lead us Back to God, we will find him
    you will find him of that I’m sure, seek and ye shall find. and you seem to be seeking, but you must truly seek with an open heart and mind as you say you already are.
    And think about it, how fun would a stable world be, pretty boring when theres only one season. NO more summer memories, and memories of cold days stuck in the house, no more white Christmas’s though that means nothing to you.
    As for the rest of the bible I believe every word. Creation I beleive was a little advanced for Moses and the Israelites,
    We Christians beleive better safe than sorry, every Christian struggles just as you struggle for the truth. But like the thief on the cross, IF HE REALLY IS THE SON OF GOD

  18. David says:

    Then we want to be remembered.
    SEEK AND YE SHALL FIND,
    EVEN YOU ATHEIST
    GOD BLESS

  19. The Atheist says:

    > Every Christian see’s a non believer as a brother who is
    > condemned to death,

    Understood.

    > love thy enemy, is my favorite quote from the bible.

    One of mine too. Thats one advantage I, as an atheist, might have over you (not as a Christian per se, but as a Christian who takes the Bible literally). I can admire the beauty and wisdom of certain parts of the Bible while rejecting the darker parts. But as a biblicist (one who takes the Bible literally), you would have to also embrace the darker parts, like when God drowns everyone except Noah and his family, or when God kills every first-born in Egypt (think of all the innocent kids!).

    > And what I meant by a better conversation for a believer is that
    > they will accept what I say, while some one as yourself will
    > condradict everything I say. Literaly

    No I wouldn’t!

    (just kidding :)) :)) )

    But seriously, we would obviously disagree about the divine nature of the Bible, whether Jesus is the Son of God, and whether the God of the Bible is the true God. If we didn’t, you wouldn’t be a Christian or I wouldn’t be an atheist! Even so, you might be surprised at how much I am likely to agree with you about how to interpret various passages in the Bible mean, about beauty and wisdom contained in the Bible, about definitions of good and evil, about morals, etc. And I might be surprised about how much you might agree with the evidence that I can provide which shows that the Bible was written by man rather than God.

    By the way, Christians disagree with each other all the time on matters of faith.

    I can see where you might find a certain level of comfort by simply thinking that atheists will always contradict you. That puts you at a safe distance between what you believe and what the person is actually saying about Christianity. “It couldn’t possibly be true; it’s just the rantings of an atheist who will say anything just to contradict me.” It helps you avoid considering what is actually being said.

    > And as far as all those cataclysms in the earths past, man was not here,
    > I was talking about the earth today, our home.

    What about the floods, earthquakes, tsunamis etc.?

    > All of your questions are understandable. which is why faith is so
    > hard. It seems so easy us christians beleiving that we can enter heaven
    > by faith and faith alone, but believe me it is not easy.

    Another assumption, usually a wrong one, is that atheists don’t understand faith. In fact, the vast majority of atheists in the U.S. were once theists (most were Christians). On the other hand, the vast majority of theists (Christians and Jews in particular) in the U.S. were never atheists. That means that most atheists understand what it means to have faith, while only a minority of Christians understand the reasons that atheists doubt.

    > Look to science brother, for one day it will lead us Back to God,
    > we will find him you will find him of that I’m sure, seek and ye
    > shall find. and you seem to be seeking, but you must truly seek with
    > an open heart and mind as you say you already are.

    That would be nice! :) …but it seems unlikely. In fact, here’s another place where you and I might agree: it seems that the overall trend of science throughout history is to dispel divine claims by providing better natural explanations.

    > And think about it, how fun would a stable world be, pretty boring when
    > theres only one season. NO more summer memories, and memories of cold
    > days stuck in the house, no more white Christmas’s though that means nothing
    > to you.

    So maybe the real problem is that there are ONLY four seasons! :)

    (just kidding)

    > As for the rest of the bible I believe every word. Creation I beleive was
    > a little advanced for Moses and the Israelites,

    Then you also must believe what the Bible says about salvation ONLY through Jesus. Anyone else will burn in hell:

    Joh 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

    1Jo 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

    Act 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

    Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

    This sounds quite different then the sentiments you expressed in an earlier post – that all people of faith basically worship the same God.

    > We Christians beleive better safe than sorry, every Christian struggles
    > just as you struggle for the truth. But like the thief on the cross, IF HE
    > REALLY IS THE SON OF GOD
    > Then we want to be remembered.
    > SEEK AND YE SHALL FIND,
    > EVEN YOU ATHEIST
    > GOD BLESS

    “Better safe than sorry?” What if Jesus not the Son of God? What if the Jews are right (the modern-day Jews that arose after the destruction of the 2nd Temple in Jerusalem)? They believe that the belief in Jesus is a belief in a different god, other than the God of Abraham, believers in any god other than the true God will not have life after death. Then belief in Jesus is a dangerous bet, not a safe bet – if the Jews are right. What is the Muslims are right? They believe that Jesus was only a prophet and that people who worship Jesus are not worshipers of Allah, the only true God. They believe that anyone who does not accept Allah as the one and only true God will go to hell. Once again, belief in Jesus is a dangerous bet, not a safe bet – if the Muslims are right.

    Isn’t true faith more than a poker chip used to place bets?

  20. David says:

    O.K. Before I go on you said you were looking for the truth, but it seems liky you’re really looking to prove what you ALREADY Believe? If so then you have already found everything you’re looking for. and these conversations serve not to help you but hurt me and my faith.
    And What are you actually saying, because I take no comfort in distance, but want that space reduced.
    True fate is no Poker chip.
    The Muslims see Jesus as a Prophet, cause they couldn’t deny the miracles he did.
    Jews have simply stumbled over the rock, God said they would stumble over.
    Not everyone can be right, that applies to every day sense, and not only religion.

    Everybody Can’t Be Right.

    As far as earth quakes, floods, and tsunamis, well I’m sorry brother, but I cannot get INSIDE the mind of God. You will not beleive in anything unless it makes sense to you right?
    Yet scientists admit, that we know nothing, if you were born only 100 yrs earlier, you’d be riding a frigin horse. Technologically we have only begun.
    Watch the news brother, see Christians hated, see muslims and Jews and Bhudist and wiccans accepted, But watch christ be dispelled out of a once Christian nation. Watch as I as a Christian have my rights to pray violated.
    Thanx to people like you, my little boy got in trouble for singing a song with the name Jesus, inside a public school, he was 5 yrs old and not even a student there. Talk about getting mad at atheists. My little boy was innocent, and saying Jesus’s name is not worth punishment.
    Thanx to people like you taking God out of the schools, look at our schools now, Murder Rape, Drugs, Assault with a deadly weapon.
    People like you are trying to remove God from every part of America. With God we stood as the Greatest Country on Earth. Now Without God we stand as the most Hated country on Earth.
    Why is Gods Temple in the plans of being rebuilt. 2000 yrs Later. Nobody ever thought it would happen. But God said he would bring his people home and they are.
    God is Real. No coincidences, 2000 yrs later, hah and where are the pharohs and their gods, where are the Mayans and Aztecs, and Nordic Gods. Gone for they never were.
    Only 1 God, you know his name and you know his son, but you choose to attack them.
    WHY DID YOU STOP BEING A CHRISTIAN?

  21. The Atheist says:

    > O.K. Before I go on you said you were looking for the truth,
    > but it seems liky you’re really looking to prove what you
    > ALREADY Believe? If so then you have already found everything
    > you’re looking for. and these conversations serve not to help you
    > but hurt me and my faith.

    I may be misinterpreting here but it sounds to me like you are saying that if I’m looking for the truth, and you have the truth, then I am not being entirely genuine if I reject what you say. Of course that presumes that you really do have the truth. And maybe you do, but so far, it isn’t evident to me that you do.

    I didn’t initiated this conversation with you to hurt your faith. In fact, I didn’t initiate the conversation with you at all. So I wonder what might motivate you to post on an atheist blog. One reason might be that you want to use this forum to proselytize? Or perhaps you want to explore the beliefs of others? Or maybe you want to add your voice in defense of Christianity?

    > And What are you actually saying, because I take no comfort in
    > distance, but want that space reduced.

    Sorry – didn’t understand this last bit.

    > True fate is no Poker chip.
    > The Muslims see Jesus as a Prophet, cause they couldn’t deny the
    > miracles he did. Jews have simply stumbled over the rock, God said
    > they would stumble over. Not everyone can be right, that applies to
    > every day sense, and not only religion. Everybody Can’t Be Right.

    I think you are right about that. I understood from your earlier comments that you believed all religions were actually a different way to the same God. I think you and I are now agreeing that that is not the case.

    > As far as earth quakes, floods, and tsunamis, well I’m sorry brother,
    > but I cannot get INSIDE the mind of God.

    Fair enough. But I really wasn’t asking you to explain why God might allow these bad things to happen. I was pointing out that the Earth is not a perfect place that proclaims the glory of God – which is what I understood you to claim in a previous post.

    > You will not beleive in anything unless it makes sense to you right?

    No one in their right mind would believe something that does not make sense to believe. Hopefully, what you believe makes sense to you. And hopefully, if this discussion continues, I’ll have a better understanding of why your beliefs make sense. And also hopefully, you’ll have a better understanding of why my beliefs make sense.

    > Yet scientists admit, that we know nothing, if you were born only
    > 100 yrs earlier, you’d be riding a frigin horse. Technologically we
    > have only begun.

    I haven’t heard scientists actually say that we know nothing. But I have heard (and I agree) that our knowledge is dwarfed by what we don’t yet know.

    > Watch the news brother, see Christians hated, see muslims and Jews
    > and Bhudist and wiccans accepted, But watch christ be dispelled out
    > of a once Christian nation.

    I watch news all the time but that’s not what I see on the news.

    > Watch as I as a Christian have my rights to pray violated. Thanx to
    > people like you, my little boy got in trouble for singing a song with
    > the name Jesus, inside a public school, he was 5 yrs old and not even
    > a student there. Talk about getting mad at atheists. My little boy was
    > innocent, and saying Jesus’s name is not worth punishment.

    That sounds pretty prejudice. Why would you presume that I would be against freedom of speech and expression? Supporting freedom of speech doesn’t mean supporting only the speech that I agree with.

    > Thanx to people like you taking God out of the schools, look at our
    > schools now, Murder Rape, Drugs, Assault with a deadly weapon.

    I don’t think you know much about people like me. Should I blame “people like you” for the Crusades? For the Inquisition? For the Dark Ages?

    > People like you are trying to remove God from every part of America.
    > With God we stood as the Greatest Country on Earth. Now Without
    > God we stand as the most Hated country on Earth.

    Well, now that you brought it up, we’re hated for our arrogance and imperialism. Do you hate Muslims because a terrorist group attacked the U.S.? Just curious.

    > Why is Gods Temple in the plans of being rebuilt. 2000 yrs Later.
    > Nobody ever thought it would happen. But God said he would bring
    > his people home and they are.

    You tell me. Why?

    > God is Real. No coincidences, 2000 yrs later, hah and where are the
    > pharohs and their gods, where are the Mayans and Aztecs, and Nordic
    > Gods. Gone for they never were.

    The Greeks conquered the Pharaohs. Christians explorers conquered the Mayans and Aztecs. Not sure about the Norse.

    > Only 1 God, you know his name and you know his son, but you
    > choose to attack them. WHY DID YOU STOP BEING A
    > CHRISTIAN?

    Now THAT’s a question I can answer! :) If this is a serious question, I’d be glad to share my reasons.

  22. David says:

    Please share your reasons. I’d love to hear. Realy.

    I hate no one, as hard as it is to believe. I don’t attend anychurch because I disagree with most of them. But I like to think I have more faith than even lots of Priests and Pastor’s.
    The Muslims would Kill you and Me for not sharing their views, even the supposedly moderate Muslims who live here in peace with us Americans, and believe me I have more than a handful of Muslim friends, they all wait for their Messiah who will kill all of us infidels,and establish a one world Muslim Govt. A Christian mourns someone who does not share their views like a brother already dead.

    And wow did you really misinterperet. All I was saying is that you admitted you would contradict everything I say, so I figure that you have already found you’re truth. The name ATHEIST, says it all.
    I initiated this conversation because I’m intersted in your views and opinions as to why you believe what you do.

    and no one can explain why the temple is being reconstruced, except perhaps the Bible. No one can explain why.

    And I assumed you felt the same as the atheists trying to take my freedom of religion away. Atheist. I have never forced anyone to believe what I beleive, I have tried to never share harsh words with others who beleive different things. But perhaps other atheists’ should speak out on the atheists attacking city’s because they have a cross on their city seal. For suspending a group of students cause they wanted to pray before a test. For punishing a child for saying the name Jesus in School. It’s ridiculous.
    And let me ask you this, some atheist scientists’ now believe life is much to complicated to be an accident, why then would they and their inteligent design theories want to give credit to aliens. Frigin Aliens. When that would seem like a giant red flag for a God Created Universe. Does God offend Atheist’s that much.

  23. The Atheist says:

    > Please share your reasons. I’d love to hear. Realy.

    Many years ago, I believed that the Bible was the inerrant word of God. But unlike you, I even believed that God created the universe in 7 days – just like it said in Genesis. The thing that got me started thinking again for myself was an off the wall statement my brother made to me after a long discussion about the Bible: “So why do you believe all that stuff anyway?” I had ready answers for him (which I gave) but never the less, the question stuck with me. I started thinking about why I really thought God spoke to me. Why I believed he really heard me and answered prayer. Why I believed I had been filled with the holy spirit and had spiritual gifts. I started thinking about a lot of things I hadn’t allowed myself to think about for years, simply by dismissing the questions as “doubt”. You already guessed the outcome :)

    Since that first step of re-awaking my rational thought, I’ve learned who really wrote the various books of the Bible and why they wrote what they did, how we know that the Bible we have in our hands today could not possibly be the same Bible that was originally written, how the universe most likely came into being, how man (and other life) evolved, how the God as Christians describe him (all loving, all knowing, and all powerful) could not possibly exist, and on and on. I’ve also read the apologists to get the Christian side of the story. I found their arguments to be at best unsatisfactory, and at worst, contrived.

    > I hate no one, as hard as it is to believe.

    I’m very glad to hear that.

    > I don’t attend anychurch because I disagree with most of them.
    > But I like to think I have more faith than even lots of Priests
    > and Pastor’s.

    Sometimes, people have faith because of their abundance of knowledge, like Christian Biblical scholars for example. Most priests and pastors (though certainly not all, depending upon denomination) attend seminary and have a good grasp of Bible history (history of the communities that gave rise to various books of the Bible), textual criticism, hermeneutics, exegesis, and eschatology. Many can read the Bible in its original languages (Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic – even early translations of it in Coptic and Latin) so that they don’t have to rely on someone else’s translations to interpret the text.

    Then there are people like I was, that have faith based on what I felt (I felt that God existed, and that I could hear that “still small voice”, that he guided and protected me, etc). I thought I knew the “Word of God” because I had a lot of scripture memorized.

    Then there are still others that believe because they were raised by believing parents and they never really considered anything else.
    Where would you say you fit? What’s the reason you believe?

    > The Muslims would Kill you and Me for not sharing their
    > views, even the supposedly moderate Muslims who live here
    > in peace with us Americans, and believe me I have more than
    > a handful of Muslim friends, they all wait for their Messiah
    > who will kill all of us infidels,and establish a one world Muslim
    > Govt. A Christian mourns someone who does not share their
    > views like a brother already dead.

    That’s not been my experience with Muslims I know, nor is it my understanding of Islamic teaching. It sounds to me more like a stereotypical portrayal of Muslims and Islam to me. Other than the actual terrorist organizations and the very small percent of Muslims in the world that support terror, most Muslims believe that the slaughter of the innocent is forbidden by Allah.

    > And wow did you really misinterperet. All I was saying is that
    > you admitted you would contradict everything I say, so I figure
    > that you have already found you’re truth. The name ATHEIST,
    > says it all.

    “Atheist” says “not theist” – one who doesn’t believe in God. In fact, you and I are both atheists with regard to a most gods, from the Egyptian gods to the Persian gods, right down to the gods of the American Indians. The only difference is that I believe in one less god than you do. That’s what the name says to me. What does it say to you?

    > I initiated this conversation because I’m intersted in your
    > views and opinions as to why you believe what you do.

    Cool! I’ll do my best to share my beliefs and my reasons for them.

    > and no one can explain why the temple is being reconstruced,
    > except perhaps the Bible. No one can explain why.

    Interesting! I haven’t heard about that! Can you point me to a reference?

    > And I assumed you felt the same as the atheists trying to
    > take my freedom of religion away. Atheist. I have never forced
    > anyone to believe what I beleive, I have tried to never share harsh
    > words with others who beleive different things. But perhaps other
    > atheists’ should speak out on the atheists attacking city’s because
    > they have a cross on their city seal. For suspending a group of
    > students cause they wanted to pray before a test. For punishing a
    > child for saying the name Jesus in School. It’s ridiculous.

    I’m most definitely for freedom of religion. And I am equally in favor of freedom from religion. Just as no one should tell you or your child not to pray, no one should tell me that I should pray. Just as I am for protecting the rights of the individual, whether Christian, atheist, Jew, Muslim, and all others, I am against our government supporting any particular religion. People should be free to believe (or not) as they choose and the government should not take it upon itself to coerce them to believe one way or the other.

    > And let me ask you this, some atheist scientists’ now believe
    > life is much to complicated to be an accident, why then would
    > they and their inteligent design theories want to give credit to
    > aliens. Frigin Aliens. When that would seem like a giant red
    > flag for a God Created Universe. Does God offend Atheist’s that
    > much.

    I don’t know of any credible biologists that believe that life is too complicated to have evolved naturally. Regarding aliens, it really depends on what you mean by “aliens”. Certain forms of archeae and nonobacteria that exist deep within the Earth’s crust are extremophile (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extremophile). That is, they can survive in extreme cold or heat, extreme pressure or vacuum, acid or alkaline, and a number of other conditions that seem antithetical to life. These archeae and nanobacteria are extremely early forms of life that existed long before the more familiar types of bacteria came to exist. While there is no proof that they came from outer space (and scientists aren’t saying that they did), scientists can demonstrate that it would be possible for extremophiles to survive the trip through space.

    Does God offend atheists? How could it be possible for me (or any other atheist) to be offended by something that I believe does not exist? Think about it :))

  24. David says:

    You say you know why they wrote what they did. How can you actually believe you know why a person thousands of years ago wrote ANYTHING. thats actually pretty funny. you find an old text and maybe you even through some miracle can match the hand writing to a certain individual. You can’t know what his motives were. That’s silly. I don’t know of any college or university today with classes on Mind Reading, this would be different world if there were. But you can read these peoples minds from thousands of years in the future. C’mon man.
    Why do I Believe? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet beleive. (most people today) and then there are those that have seen. (and we are no less blessed believe me) I will never say more. I believe.

    I believe the bible for what it is. Yes.
    But All this knowledge you supposedly collected that turned you away from the truth. did you dig the documents up from the desert, did you translate them, were your eyes the first to see them in who knows how long. Or are you putting your FAITH into the words and written documents of people you have never seen nor met. People you don’t know. Like I put mine in what I believe is the closest link we have to a God that exists.
    Listen, everyone puts their faith into something. Cause that’s what it’s always come down to in the end, FAITH. You simply went through a FAITH transfer. From God to Whoever, your scholars and archeoligists I guess.
    They forbid the slaughter of the innocent.
    But as an infidel especially one who denies the existence of Allah are YOU considered innocent in the eyes of Allah. Think about it. They Hate you, you are the opposite of everything they stand for. While I as a Chirstian they believe am simply misinformed.

  25. David says:

    A reference for the Jewish Temple? Let me see.
    How about considering if the Jews in Isreal are really practicing Judeism then they must follow the 613 Laws in the Torah Right?
    How about the one for building the temple. Their has to atleast be plans for it’s construction if they are practicing Judeism, Right? Aren’t they practicing Judeism?

    But the Dome of the Rock mosque is messing everything up. Unless they cut out the outer court from the plans and build only the temple itself. Then side by side they might be able to peacfully exist. But That’s Just An Idea.

    And yes their are a few Jewish Orthodox groups with plans of their own. But the Israeli govt will not allow it’s construction. Ofcourse cause it would start a war.
    But given Israel’s short history, how long will the threat of war hinder their religious progress, not very long.
    They don’t fear war very much, cause either they got skills and are great at war, or GOD really is proctecting his people.

  26. The Atheist says:

    > You say you know why they wrote what they did. How can
    > you actually believe you know why a person thousands of years
    > ago wrote ANYTHING. thats actually pretty funny. you find an
    > old text and maybe you even through some miracle can match
    > the hand writing to a certain individual. You can’t know what
    > his motives were. That’s silly. I don’t know of any college or
    > university today with classes on Mind Reading, this would be
    > different world if there were. But you can read these peoples minds
    > from thousands of years in the future. C’mon man.

    When I say “I know why they wrote”, I don’t mean it in the sense that I know that some writer was having a bad day, that his dog died and his wife yelled at him, so he write the Book of Revelation. That actually IS pretty funny! :)) What I mean is that textual criticism of the various books of the Bible, along with extra-biblical texts (like the Church Fathers, historical accounts, etc.), reveals the types of conflicts that were around when the authors wrote. They reveal the differing political factions and the various theologies (and christologies in the case of the New Testament) that the authors were either attacking or defending. Much of the criticism is technical but some of it is pretty easy for lay people like us to see first hand – Galatians is a good example (there are MANY examples – this is just one). Paul is writing in opposition of other Christian sects who had gospels different from his, and who required there adherents to practice circumcision. This was the primary occasion for the epistle. So to a large degree, we know why he wrote it. Using similar methods, we can also see why the Bible texts were changed throughout time by scribes who copied them.

    > Why do I Believe? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet
    > beleive. (most people today) and then there are those that have
    > seen. (and we are no less blessed believe me) I will never say more.
    > I believe.
    > I believe the bible for what it is. Yes.

    That helps me understand a bit about what you believe – but it doesn’t really tell me why you believe it. Why do you believe that the bible is true? Regarding your comment: “I will never say more” – 1 Peter 3:15 says: “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”

    > But All this knowledge you supposedly collected that turned
    > you away from the truth. did you dig the documents up from the
    > desert, did you translate them, were your eyes the first to see
    > them in who knows how long. Or are you putting your FAITH
    > into the words and written documents of people you have never
    > seen nor met. People you don’t know. Like I put mine in what
    > I believe is the closest link we have to a God that exists.

    As a matter of fact, I have seen some of the documents “in person” in museums and I’ve also seen photos of many others. But since I’m not an expert in paleography, seeing the documents first hand didn’t turn me away from faith. But your point is correct: I have to put my faith in the scholars. But unlike the faith that you seem to be describing, my faith in scholars is not blind faith. Rather, it is reasoned faith. I don’t take the word of a particular scholar just because he claims to be an expert, I put my faith in him because what he says – no matter how much I scrutinize his work, it seems reasonable. It makes sense under scrutiny.

    > Listen, everyone puts their faith into something. Cause that’s what
    > it’s always come down to in the end, FAITH. You simply went
    > through a FAITH transfer. From God to Whoever, your scholars
    > and archeoligists I guess.

    Agreed (see? I don’t always contradict anything you say! :) ) Just to clarify, I don’t think there is anything wrong with faith. I do think there is something wrong with blind faith though.

    > They forbid the slaughter of the innocent.
    > But as an infidel especially one who denies the existence of Allah
    > are YOU considered innocent in the eyes of Allah. Think about it.
    > They Hate you, you are the opposite of everything they stand for.
    > While I as a Chirstian they believe am simply misinformed.

    I don’t know if I would be considered less innocent than say a Christian off hand. I’d have to do some research. But my recollection is that “slaughter of the innocent” in the Qur’an is about innocence of acts against Muslims, not belief in Allah. But as a practical matter, I haven’t really heard Muslims speak out en mas about hating atheists. In fact, other than the radical Muslim sects, I haven’t heard Muslims speaking out in hate toward any group’s beliefs. Have you?

  27. The Atheist says:

    > A reference for the Jewish Temple? Let me see.
    > How about considering if the Jews in Isreal are really
    > practicing Judeism then they must follow the 613 Laws
    > in the Torah Right?

    I’m not really sure how many laws there are but, yes, I agree: Jews follow the laws in the Torah. But certainly you don’t think they follow all of the laws! They no longer have animal sacrifice and they no longer stone people to death for example.

    > How about the one for building the temple.

    Which one?

    > Their has to atleast be plans for it’s construction if they are
    > practicing Judeism, Right? Aren’t they practicing Judeism?

    I don’t think there has to be plans. Keep in mind that Jews today do not practice the same as the Jews in the Bible. Jews today believe that the Talmud was given orally to Moses, directly by God on Mt. Sinai. They believe it contains the true interpretation of the Torah and that without it, it is impossible to understand what the Torah says. That said, the Rabbis do not believe you have to have a temple to practice Judaism.

    But back to your original claim – do you know of any plans to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem? Earlier, you used that as an example of why you believe that God is real…

    > But the Dome of the Rock mosque is messing everything up.
    > Unless they cut out the outer court from the plans and build
    > only the temple itself. Then side by side they might be able
    > to peacfully exist. But That’s Just An Idea.
    > And yes their are a few Jewish Orthodox groups with plans of
    > their own. But the Israeli govt will not allow it’s construction.
    > Ofcourse cause it would start a war.

    I agree – I don’t believe that Judeo-Islamic conflicts will prevent the Temple from ever being rebuilt.

    > But given Israel’s short history, how long will the threat of war
    > hinder their religious progress, not very long. They don’t fear war
    > very much, cause either they got skills and are great at war, or
    > GOD really is proctecting his people.

    I think everyone fears war – except possibly the radical religious groups. Maybe it’s the US that is protecting them :) If it weren’t for the US, Israel would have been overrun long ago. I think it is more likely that a nuclear war will break out in the Middle East than that the Temple will be rebuilt.

  28. David says:

    The U.S. is protecting them?
    What about the six day war, how many thousands of U.S. troops helped Israel with that little conflict, if you can call it little. We can give them weapons, but they must use them. No American Battalions were sent fight in that war.
    And as far as which Law, I ran itno a website that had the 613 laws separated, three hundred and somethin that were labled positive laws, the other two hundred somethin were labled negative laws, or vice versa, it was number 20 in the positive list.

    LOL. Animal sacrifice and stoning people to death is on a whole nother level compared to rebuilding the temple, especially if it can be done peacefully.

    Wow. Nuclear war, before the temple is built, Why do you think that?
    I have Muslim friends, but I can honestly say I have never hung out with a Jew. So I cant say if the majority of Jews today don’t want or need a temple. But what about the small groups that do. America today is a perfect example that alot of the times it only takes a few individuals to make a big change. Especially with a little divine guidance.

  29. David says:

    you say you have a problem with blind faith.

    Well where I come from most people believe history has been manipulated by the ruling majority in america. That everything you study is a Lie. So from my opinion believing in todays historians and archeoligists takes complete blind faith. Perhaps Like holding my nose and jumping into a burning lake of fire. lol.

    But to listen to people I know and love tell me they have seen with their own eyes, those are reliable sources for me. most times it has been something dark and evilthey have seen, but if there is dark than I know there is Light.

    Military personel, who are also my family members . People who have no reason to lie, people who the govt trusts tell me that they have seen some bad things. I myself have never seen anything like that. But like I said I trust these people. Alot more than I trust some self righteous modern day scholar teaching at a University a thousand miles away, who is probably not a believer telling me their is no God, that the bible has changed. Perhaps. but not the core of our faith, THAT CHRIST DID COME.
    I am sure you know some pretty sane people yourself with tremendous faith, educated people with a sense for god that you can’t understand. You think it’s blind faith but maybe they’ve seen something. Yes even those close to you that simply would’nt tell you for fear of being made fun of and called crazy. lol. That’s where I stand. I believe because I’ve seen something. I was a child and it maybe be a false memory but that’s where my faith comes into play. I didn’t see nothing bad, no ghost or devil or demon, but something.

  30. The Atheist says:

    > The U.S. is protecting them?
    > What about the six day war, how many thousands of
    > U.S. troops helped Israel with that little conflict, if you can
    > call it little. We can give them weapons, but they must use
    > them. No American Battalions were sent fight in that war.

    Then we agree that the US aided Israel by giving them arms. I believe those arms were crucial in aiding Israel in that preemptive strike. I don’t think it’s necessary to believe that God helped them to win to understand how they won.

    > And as far as which Law, I ran itno a website that had the
    > 613 laws separated, three hundred and somethin that were
    > labled positive laws, the other two hundred somethin were
    > labled negative laws, or vice versa, it was number 20 in the
    > positive list.

    I meant which law were you referring to when you said “How about the one for building the temple?”

    > LOL. Animal sacrifice and stoning people to death is on a whole
    > nother level compared to rebuilding the temple, especially if it
    > can be done peacefully.

    Not really. Animal sacrifices can only be performed at the Temple. Weren’t you talking about proof that the Bible is true based on plans to rebuild the Temple?

    > Wow. Nuclear war, before the temple is built, Why do you think that?

    Israel already has nuclear weapons and I believe that Iran is in the process of Acquiring them. Also, there is so much unrest in that region that I can imagine a nuclear retaliation by either of those countries if pressed too hard. The reason I say that it is more likely to happen then the Temple being rebuilt is that I don’t think the Temple will be rebuilt at all.

    > I have Muslim friends, but I can honestly say I have never hung out
    > with a Jew. So I cant say if the majority of Jews today don’t want or
    > need a temple. But what about the small groups that do. America today
    > is a perfect example that alot of the times it only takes a few individuals
    > to make a big change. Especially with a little divine guidance.

    I agree – I think there are Jewish radicals too but I don’t think they will have any influence in Israel’s national policy. They are too few and don’t have enough support from main-stream Jews.

    > you say you have a problem with blind faith.
    > Well where I come from most people believe history has
    > been manipulated by the ruling majority in america. That
    > everything you study is a Lie. So from my opinion believing
    > in todays historians and archeoligists takes complete blind faith.
    > Perhaps Like holding my nose and jumping into a burning lake of fire. Lol.

    “lake of fire” But to listen to people I know and love tell me they have seen
    > with their own eyes, those are reliable sources for me. most times
    > it has been something dark and evilthey have seen, but if there is
    > dark than I know there is Light.

    Well now we’re getting somewhere! That doesn’t sound like the blind faith in your earlier discussion – it sounds like you are saying that you have a good reason to believe. What is it? What did the people close to you see?

    > Military personel, who are also my family members . People who
    > have no reason to lie, people who the govt trusts tell me that they
    > have seen some bad things. I myself have never seen anything like
    > that. But like I said I trust these people. Alot more than I trust some
    > self righteous modern day scholar teaching at a University a thousand
    > miles away, who is probably not a believer telling me their is no
    > God, that the bible has changed. Perhaps. but not the core of our
    > faith, THAT CHRIST DID COME.

    What kind of things did they see?

    Why would you presume that modern-day scholars are self-righteous?

    Though it’s not clear and scholars disagree among themselves, I think Jesus really existed – though I’m not sure if the stories in the Bible are about one man or more than one. However, the story of Jesus does not match the Hebrew Bible’s descriptions of what a Christ is. In the Hebrew Bible, a Christ was a king who was christened as part of the ceremony where he was supposedly appointed to the kingship by God – a ceremony analogous to modern kings being crowned. The Persian king, Cyrus was a Christ for example.

    > I am sure you know some pretty sane people yourself with
    > tremendous faith, educated people with a sense for god that
    > you can’t understand.

    I know some very sane people that have faith (I used to be one of them myself). But none of them claim certainty in their belief. They believe but they recognize that they don’t really know. Most of the sane people I know aren’t prejudiced against others who don’t share their belief – they rather respect the beliefs of others.

    > You think it’s blind faith but maybe they’ve seen something.
    > Yes even those close to you that simply would’nt tell you for
    > fear of being made fun of and called crazy. Lol.

    My close friends and family didn’t share any experiences that seemed supernatural with me, even when they knew I was a believer.

    > That’s where I stand. I believe because I’ve seen something. I
    > was a child and it maybe be a false memory but that’s where
    > my faith comes into play. I didn’t see nothing bad, no ghost or
    > devil or demon, but something.

    So what did you see?

  31. David says:

    Before I tell you what I saw. Let me tell you a few of the things my family has seen. I will start with a cousin of mine who I am proud to say is serving this country well in the Airforce.
    While still a teenager, she used to live up in Minnesota somewhere, well one night her and her future husband were making out like teenagers do. They were parked by the side of a lake that had a hill or steep cliff. My cousin noticed something crawling up the side of that flat cliff. So she mentions it to her then boyfriend. He too sees something so turns on the cars head lights. To their amazement, a ) creature with long brown hair, the body of a man was making his way up this incline at an inhuman speed.
    She described the creatures legs as it crawled, saying that the knees came above the head as it was climbing. They peeled out of there about a minute later.
    She tells me there was no way a man could climb so fast. A man would stumble, pause or hesitate to find a foot hold and so on. My cousin says this thing flew up the cliff.
    Most people would say bigfoot. But she says no. This thing’s hair that covered it’s entire body was long and flowing in the wind like a woman’s hair. I could litteraly write a book on some of the things my family has seen, and most of them aren’t church attending people, they don’t read the bible. They have a strong beleif in the supernatural, though for some reason not about God.
    Another story I will tell for the simple fact that there was a witness besides my family, a neigbor actually. The house my Grand parents, aunts and uncles used to live in even before my mother was born, could only be described as bad. Something was there, hell I could write a book on the house alone.
    Anyways, my grand-father was outside one day working in the yard, when he stopped to talk with a neighbor. During the conversation the neighbor asked my grandfather what he had been working on under the house. My grand father denied working on anything.
    Confused the neighbor tells him, over the past few nights he had been hearing metalic like sounds, and had seen lights under the house. My grand father shook his head and they kinda played it off. Jokingly mentioning the possibility of ghosts.
    So my uncles, who were kids at the time, hear my grandfather talking about the lights under the house. Fearing what they heard they tell my grandparents something Young kid’s that they were, they used to crawl under the house and play. While under there they begin to find change, nickels, dimes and quarters. The deeper they dug the more change they found. Not just a little change either, they said they used to fill coffe cans with nothing but silver change. Now this is in the late 50’s, a coffee can full of silver change would be worth alot of money. They found enough change to fill several coffee cans. And the deeper they dug the more they found.
    (Same house different story, My uncles grown up now, somewhere around 17 yrs old. He’s walking up the side walk to the front door coming from a date and hears my grandparents fighting. They fought brutal back then. Thinking i’t just another bad night, he ignores the yelling. When he notices a black dog sitting at the window of my grandparents bedroom.
    My uncle picks up a brick and walks into the grass to nail this dog. He notices the dog panting heavily it’s tounge hanging out, the dog it seems also appears to be illuminated some what. As if it were a stage, and a spotlight had been trained on the dog. My uncle nails the dog with the brick. a solid hit. And the dog never budges, it seems to hypnotized by my grandparents argument.
    (Same House)
    My grandfather wakes up in the middle of the night and notices the reflection of fire in the corner of his room, he rolls around in bed and looks out the window thinking the neighbors were bar b queing. Their not.
    He lays back down and watches a figure materialize in the flames reflection, the figure is a tall man, dressed in what appears to be old Roman wardrobe, including those sandals they used to strap up their legs. When he sees this man, my grandfather is paralyzed, not by fear. He litteraly cannot speak or move. His hands are the only thing still mobile. He makes the sign of the cross using his thumb and index finger.
    The man comes over to the bed and lifts my grandfather up, carrying him across the room and into the closet. He lays my grandfather on the floor of the closet and shuts the door.
    My grandfather can move almost immidiately. He opens the closet door to find the man gone and my grandmother asleep as if nothing happened. This thing, man, entity, whatever litteraly lifted my grandfather into the air and carried him.

  32. David says:

    one more story

  33. The Atheist says:

    Wow! That’s some really bizarre stuff! I’ve always wanted to see something supernatural with my own eyes. I’ve seen things like shadows moving or menacing shadowy faces and stuff like that (that, at least in my case, all turned out to be something natural when I went up to get a closer look) but nothing like the stuff you described.

    What’s the other story?

  34. David says:

    Like I said there are a lot of stories connected with that house. But the other one I wanted to tell is actually sort of a neighborhood haunting. Everybody in my old neighbor hood knows somebody who has seen this apparition, I guess you’d call it. One person in my family has seen her in the bedroom, our neighbor across the street saw her in his hallway.
    She is dressed in a long black dress, pale skin, dark hair and empty sockets for eyes.
    She has no name.
    When you see her you are paralyzed.
    You can’t turn away, you can even close your’e eyes, it’s as if she is willing you to see her.
    She’s never harmed anybody, she usually just turns around and floats away.
    My uncle saw her when he was 13 yrs old. In his bedroom, he said she was lying in bed with my other uncle who was sound asleep. And she seemed to wake up when my uncle woke up. She floated to him and came face to face with him. Like within two feet. Then she turned and floated through the wall into my aunt’s bedroom. That was it. As you can imagine he says he urinated on himself and cried himself to sleep, he was too afraid he said, to call out or get up out of bed and wake somebody up.
    LOL Scary HuHH! Well I don’t know, my uncle could either be flat out crazy or I dont’ know, Just Lying.
    Eyewitness testimony puts alot of people in jail.
    And like I said before some people who tell us the ghost stories are, not crazy people. They’re testimony in a murder trial would no doubt be considered credible by any court.
    Something is out there. I know it. It just can’t be proven yet. science will eventually be able to explain the existence of god.
    Jesus even said there was a spirit world with it’s King’s and kingdoms, Rulers and Authorities. So I do not give all credit of the supernatural to demons and angels as some Christians do. Rather I Know that there are other things out there, things the bible never gave us details about. only that one quote and I don’t know it off hand, Maybe you do , but i can look it up if you want.

  35. The Atheist says:

    > I could litteraly write a book on some of the things my family has
    > seen, and most of them aren’t church attending people, they don’t
    > read the bible. They have a strong beleif in the supernatural, though
    > for some reason not about God.

    I think I would have to side with your family on this one. Let’s say just for the sake of argument that I had also seen the metaphysical phenomena (I haven’t – I truly wish I had) and let’s also say I believed that what I had seen was real. That is, I was in a normal frame of mind, I was able to see clearly enough so that it wasn’t an optical illusion, etc. Why would I make the leap in faith that God exists, just because other metaphysical phenomena exists? That is, why wouldn’t I just presume that those creatures were products of the universe just as we are. Just because we don’t know enough about them to speculate how they came to exist doesn’t automatically mean they were a creation of God.

    > Something is out there. I know it.

    Then, let’s go a step farther: let’s say that my experience with metaphysical sightings did cause me to make the leap of faith. In other words, let’s say that the experience was enough evidence for me to believe that some sort of God existed. Why would I make another giant leap that, if a God of some sort exists, He must be the God of the Bible? After all, each of the metaphysical sightings you described seemed human (except for the dog :)) ), not God like and not like anything described in the Bible. What other than blind faith would cause me to believe in the God of the Bible?

    By the way, I think the verse you were referring to is:
    ———————————
    Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
    ———————————
    Is that the one you meant?

    On the other hand, there are very good reasons to believe that metaphysical phenomena don’t really exist, even though some people experience it. There’s a very good book called “Why Would Anyone Believe in God?” that explains the psychology behind what makes some people see and believe such things. The book is by Justin L. Barrett who is a Christian author (who promotes the belief in God at the end of the book — so I’m not trying to trick you into reading some author with an atheist agenda). Have a look:
    http://www.amazon.com/Anyone-Believe-Cognitive-Science-Religion/dp/0759106673
    This is a VERY good book and I highly recommend it.

  36. David says:

    And why do you deny that God is probably the Ultimate metaphysical phenomenon. That perhaps God too is a product of the universe. I say that because the Universe is far more than what we see. There are things out there that we just cannot fathom so we cannot see. I believe science calls it dark matter, though they still don’t realize.
    When the first Europeans came to America they sat off the coast for a few days before coming ashore. The Indians could not see these gigantic ships, because their minds didn’t know something like that could exist. The shaman was the first to notice anomolies in the water(dark shaded areas) he went out day after day looking at these dark spots out in the water. Untill one day he saw the ships, he ran and warned his tribe, and since he was the shaman and someone they trusted they went to see and saw the shipsfor themselves.
    This is a story I heard on some show about quantum physics. Now the universe that we see, as enormous as it is with all it’s galaxies, quasars, and so forth makes up only 10 percent of the mass the other 15 or 16 percent is probably hydrogen gass and other minute elements. 75 percent is un accounted for. Dark matter. Or as I see it, those unseen worlds and Kingdoms that Jesus was talking about.
    Humans beings do not know enough about the universe to safely do away with God. I mean as little as we know about outerspace and the universe we know even less about our own oceans. Yet you found proof enough in the Absolutely nothing that we know to throw God to the dogs.
    I laugh at the atheists on the news channels who are so sure and proud of themselves, they read this many books about whatever subject, have a degree in whatever, and yet any quantum physcisist will laugh at them and tell them “WE DON’T KNOW ANYTHING. HUMAN INTELIGENCE HAS ONLY BEGUN.”
    I love quantum mechanics and things that prove how little we know. How effect can come before cause. How we think if the chicken crossed the road he will be on the other side. But quantum physics says if the chicken crossed the road there is an extremely small chance he will end up on the other side of a street in Paris. LOL
    WE DON’T KNOW ANYTHING. WE CAN’T PROVE THAT GOD EXISTS WE CAN’T PROVE HE DOESN’T. WE CAN’T THROW HIM TO THE DOGS JUST BECAUSE WE DONT UNDERSTAND HOW HE DID THINGS. DON’T FRET.
    One of Job’s friends told him we were like animals to God.
    (Speaking in your tounge) ATHEIST HOW DOES A BARELY ADVANCED MONKEY LIKE YOURSELF EXPECT TO UNDERSTAND A BEING WHO CAN MANIPULATE THE STRINGS OF OUR UNIVERSE.
    As far as why the God of the Bible, I thought we discussed that earlier.

  37. Anonymous says:

    I thought we already discussed why the Bible. Why the God of Abraham.
    Yes, Blind faith is the only thing that brings me to the God of the Bible
    And what other than blind faith can cause you to beleive we came from monkeys. Especially when there is absolutely no proof to it.
    There is no missing link.
    Not between man and ape or any other two species for that matter.

    You believe because it makes sense to you. The way it once made sense that the world was flat. Or that the earth was the center of the universe. You just don’t have enough information yet.

    Technologicaly speaking we’ve only begun to understand anything, we know so little about the Universe, and to think we no even less about our own oceans. Yet you already know enough to throw God to the dogs. Not smart.

    I make my decision on faith, you make your’s on cold hard facts, but when you only have five pieces to a puzzle with thousands of pieces, why do you claim to know enough of the whole picture to drop your faith?

    For someone who deals in facts, and more than likely the scientific process, why did you make your decision when we know so little? Does man kind know everything? Are you proud enough to make that statement. Only two generations ago you would probably be sittin on a horse or a carriage. Yet you know enough about the Universe to say that there is no way possible for a God to exist.

    They say the universe is so vast the human brain hasn’t yet developed enough for us to understand the size.
    Do you really expect to understand a being who can manipulate the strings of our Universe? How he came to be. Is he a product of our universe as well, or a product of one of the millions of other universes scietists say exist in the so called eleventh dimension. (M- theory again)

    When we can not even understand the size of the place we live in, did you not expect confusion when you tried to understand God. He is real. He is out there. That’s my faith.

    He Is the ultimate metaphysical phenomenon.

  38. The Atheist says:

    > I thought we already discussed why the Bible. Why the God
    > of Abraham. Yes, Blind faith is the only thing that brings me
    > to the God of the Bible

    …more on this below.

    > And what other than blind faith can cause you to beleive we
    > came from monkeys.

    Er.. we didn’t come from monkeys ;) We and monkeys did come from a common ancestor though – who were not monkeys. But I’ll give a few examples below (and many many more in the course of this discussion) what – other than blind faith – would cause me to believe that we and the great apes evolved from a common ancestor.

    Then, I’d like to come back to your blind faith. For example, what is your opinion of madrashas that teach Muslim children at a very young age to want to kill westerners? Why is your blind faith better than the blind faith of these radical Muslims, or for that matter, any others who hold contradictory versions blind faith? How do you know that these other people are wrong in their beliefs? Can you imagine how these people might answer you if you pointed out the fallacy of their beliefs and their reasoning?

    > Especially when there is absolutely no proof to it. There is no
    > missing link. Not between man and ape or any other two species
    > for that matter.

    By “missing link”, I’m guessing you are referring to the a concept that arose in the 1800’s which referred to a single species that would be an ancestor to both modern apes and modern man. Of course we know a lot more now than we did in the 1800’s. For example, in 1823, Charles Babbage built a mechanical computing device considerably more complex than an abacus. Today, we have supercomputers. I’m guessing you wouldn’t fault Charles Babbage for only building a “computing device” in 1823 and not understanding what a real computer was. The fact is, Babbage’s computing device was a key link in the chain of inventions that lead us to modern-day computers. Darwin’s publication, ‘The Descent of Man’ is the same way. The modern science of evolution is as far advanced from Darwin’s day as the supercomputer is from Babbage’s day.

    Here’s one example of a ‘missing link’ – in July 2002, Sahelanthropus tchadensis was discovered in Chad in Central Africa. It’s the oldest known hominid or near-hominid species – it is dated at between 6 and 7 million years old. The fossil includes a nearly complete cranium, and a number of fragmentary lower jaws and teeth. The skull has a very small brain size of approximately 350 cc. and is close to the common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees.

    Then of course there is Orrorin tugenensis that lived 6 million years ago, Ardipithecus ramidus that lived 4 and a half million years ago, Australopithecus anamensis (which you’ve probably heard about in the media) that lived 4.2 million years ago – and the list goes on and on.

    > You believe because it makes sense to you. The way it
    > once made sense that the world was flat. Or that the earth
    > was the center of the universe.

    Of course you do realize that much of the Bible was written by people that held that the world was flat and the the earth was the center of the universe, don’t you?

    > You just don’t have enough information yet.

    Yet I have more information about the origins of the universe and of life on earth than the writers of the Bible had – and so do you. If human understanding has progressed an enormous amount since the 1800’s, just imagine how much it has progressed since the last pages of the Bible were written some 2000 years ago! Why would you abandon that knowledge in favor of writings that were written before that knowledge was available?

    > Technologicaly speaking we’ve only begun to understand
    > anything, we know so little about the Universe, and to think
    > we no even less about our own oceans.

    However much it is that we know today, it is far more than we know when the books of the Bible were being written. With a few exceptions, new science tends to build on old science, to refine it. Even Einsteins relativity revolution was a refinement of Newtonian physics. Einstein’s theory could predict the same events that Newton’s theory could, but it went way beyond what Newton was able to do.

    > Yet you already know enough to throw God to the dogs. Not smart.

    That’s actually not what I believe :) You might want to check out my article, http://www.askanatheist.org/believe.html, for a better understanding of what I, and most atheists, believe about the existance of God.

    > I make my decision on faith, you make your’s on cold hard facts,
    > but when you only have five pieces to a puzzle with thousands of
    > pieces, why do you claim to know enough of the whole picture to
    > drop your faith?

    I’m glad you clarified that I make my decisions on evidence, rather than on blind faith as you charged at the top of your post :)

    Understanding the universe isn’t at all like understanding pieces of the puzzle – this may have been true in man’s earliest quests but not now. Now, it is more like this: we have a pretty good picture of what the universe is and how it works, but the resolution of the picture isn’t that great. It’s like looking at a comic strip in the newspaper where, if we look closely at the drawing, we can see the individual dots of colored ink on the newspaper because the resolution is very poor. Compare that to images on TV where the pixels are even closer together and give us a clearer view, but we can still see the pixels if we look close enough. We can get more information, better detail through higher resolution, but the content of the picture doesn’t really change that much. Better resolution helps us to understand the picture of the universe to in ever increasing detail.

    > For someone who deals in facts, and more than likely the
    > scientific process, why did you make your decision when we
    > know so little?

    How ever little we know through science today, the writers of the books of the Bible know only the slightest fraction of what we know now. Just as the writers of the Bible made their decisions based on what they know then, we should make our decisions based on the enormously better information we have today.

    > Does man kind know everything? Are you proud enough to make
    > that statement. Only two generations ago you would probably be
    > sittin on a horse or a carriage.

    And if I lived 3000 years ago in Jerusalem, I would have been slaughtering goats for forgiveness and stoning people to death for adultery ;) So however little we know today, we have advanced far beyond what was known during Paul’s day.

    > Yet you know enough about the Universe to say that there is no
    > way possible for a God to exist.

    I’ll refer you once again to http://www.askanatheist.org/believe.html where I discuss this in some detail.

    > They say the universe is so vast the human brain hasn’t yet
    > developed enough for us to understand the size. Do you really
    > expect to understand a being who can manipulate the strings
    > of our Universe? How he came to be. Is he a product of our universe
    > as well, or a product of one of the millions of other universes scietists
    > say exist in the so called eleventh dimension. (M- theory again)
    > When we can not even understand the size of the place we live in, did
    > you not expect confusion when you tried to understand God.

    Nope. I only expect evidence that He exists. I don’t expect to understand Him. Do you have evidence that He exists? So far, all you’ve claimed is blind faith – which could just as easily be directed toward Allah, Zoroaster, Zeus, or whatever.

    > He is real. He is out there. That’s my faith. He Is the ultimate
    > metaphysical phenomenon.

    If all you have is blind faith, how do you hope to convince anyone else that God exists? How can you hope to “preach the Gospel to every creature” if you can’t tell anyone why they should believe? Even Paul used reason to justify his beliefs which you can see in his epistles to the various churches.

  39. The Atheist says:

    David, sorry about your previous post – I just found it (along with my own!!) posts in the spam folder. Seems like WordPress is getting a little aggressive on the filtering. I’ll respond to your previous post shortly. Sorry…
    –The Atheist

  40. The Atheist says:

    > And why do you deny that God is probably the Ultimate
    > metaphysical phenomenon.

    Because I haven’t seen any compelling evidence that God exists. Have you?

    > That perhaps God too is a product of the universe. I say that
    > because the Universe is far more than what we see. There are
    > things out there that we just cannot fathom so we cannot see.
    > I believe science calls it dark matter, though they still don’t realize.

    That’s an interesting perspective. But other theists might argue that the universe needs a creator. A God who is a creature of the universe could not be also be its creator. Any creature of the universe is natural by definition, not supernatural.

    But I agree in principal: we have much to learn about the universe.

    > When the first Europeans came to America… The Indians could
    > not see these gigantic ships… The shaman was the first to notice
    > anomolies… since he was the shaman and someone they trusted…
    > This is a story I heard on some show about quantum physics.
    > Now the universe that we see, as enormous as it is with all it’s
    > galaxies, quasars, and so forth makes up only 10 percent of the
    > mass the other 15 or 16 percent is probably hydrogen gass and
    > other minute elements. 75 percent is un accounted for. Dark
    > matter. Or as I see it, those unseen worlds and Kingdoms that
    > Jesus was talking about.

    The gap (the abode of the “God of the Gaps”) gets narrower and narrower as scientific knowledge grows. Humanity has come a very long way: the belief in the Kingdom of God on earth had to be abandoned when it became clear that Rome had conquered Jerusalem. That belief was replaced with the Kingdom of God in heaven. Now that we know about space and the universe and that there is no heaven “up there”, theists have to find another abode for God. Dark matter is as good a place is any… until science discovers what it is made of, or verifies that it does not really exist.

    > Humans beings do not know enough about the universe to safely do
    > away with God. I mean as little as we know about outerspace and
    > the universe we know even less about our own oceans. Yet you found
    > proof enough in the Absolutely nothing that we know to throw God to
    > the dogs.

    That’s not my position at all. Check out my articles: What is an Atheist and Why Don’t Atheists Believe in God to see what my position really is.

    > I laugh at the atheists on the news channels who are so sure and
    > proud of themselves, they read this many books about whatever
    > subject, have a degree in whatever, and yet any quantum physcisist
    > will laugh at them and tell them “WE DON’T KNOW ANYTHING.
    > HUMAN INTELIGENCE HAS ONLY BEGUN.”

    Many of those quantum physicists are atheists too ;)

    What a coincidence that you like to laugh at the atheists in the news! I love doing that sort of thing too! I love to listen to guys like Benny Hinn, Robert Tilton, Pat Robertson, Ted Haggard, and all the others guys who know what God likes and dislikes and knows God’s plan for America. :)) :))

    But seriously, I don’t think anyone who says they know it all is being very sincere. On the other hand, there are experts who know an awful lot more about their area of expertise than the average person. We ourselves shouldn’t be so proud that we can’t hear what they have to say.

    > I love quantum mechanics and things that prove how little we know.
    > How effect can come before cause. How we think if the chicken
    > crossed the road he will be on the other side. But quantum physics
    > says if the chicken crossed the road there is an extremely small
    > chance he will end up on the other side of a street in Paris. LOL

    Yea, the quantum world is fascinating! String theory holds a lot of promise for “smoothing out” space-time at distances approaching Planck length. As I’m sure you already know, we can’t test the theory given our current technology for accelerators, but that’s expected to change in a few decades. I can hardly wait to see if it pans out!

    > WE DON’T KNOW ANYTHING. WE CAN’T PROVE THAT GOD
    > EXISTS WE CAN’T PROVE HE DOESN’T. WE CAN’T THROW
    > HIM TO THE DOGS JUST BECAUSE WE DONT UNDERSTAND
    > HOW HE DID THINGS. DON’T FRET.

    I agree that we can’t prove that God does not exist (see the links I provided just above). But the fact that we can’t prove that He does exist isn’t the real issue. The issue that we lack even evidence that He exists. That in itself is a pretty good argument that if God exists, He does not have any desire that we know that He exists.

    If God wanted us to know He existed, He could show us even if we don’t have the ability to “understand how He did things.” But our inability to understand how a god might do things is not evidence that such a god exits.

    > One of Job’s friends told him we were like animals to God.
    > (Speaking in your tounge) ATHEIST HOW DOES A BARELY
    > ADVANCED MONKEY LIKE YOURSELF EXPECT TO
    > UNDERSTAND A BEING WHO CAN MANIPULATE THE
    > STRINGS OF OUR UNIVERSE.

    I would expect NOT to be able to understand such a being – but I would expect to be able to understand that such a being exists. A child can understand that a television exists even if he hasn’t the slightest clue how it works.

    > As far as why the God of the Bible, I thought we discussed that earlier.

    I looked for it but I might have missed it. What was your answer to “how do you know that the God of the Bible exists?”

  41. David says:

    You once asked, What did you see?

    Well I saw something, be it an angel or be it Christ himself. I saw something as a child. I don’t know, I hardly remember anything except seeing a man surrounded by a soft pinkish glow by my bed and I waslaughing with him. My grandfather who devoted an hour a night to prayer, said he was in the middle of what he did everynight, when he heard my laughter coming out of the bedroom, next he heard my bed squeak and the sound of my feet coming to the room where I came and stood next to him and at 4 yrs old simply declared “Jesus is Lord” then returned to bed.
    Now I know my Wife exists because I can see her, I know my dead grand father exists because I remember him in my mind. I know there is something eternally good out there because I remember seeing it. Maybe I was temporarily insane but have since gained my sanity because I have never seen anything since then not angels ghosts demons or any other phenomenon, but I remember seeing that.
    THATS WHY I BELEIVE.

    ITS REAL ATHEIST ITS ALL REAL
    (There it is now laugh and call me crazy.)

    As far as Benny Hinn and some of those other crooks, don’t you dare call them Christians, being a christian is not just calling yourself one.
    “But Lord we preached about you and even cast out devils in your name.”
    he replied, “I never knew you.”

    My mother in law sends so much money to some of them preachers that she can’t even pay her bills sometimes.
    If a man calls himself a peacemaker but starts a fight at the local bar everynight, then he’s not a peacemaker is he,
    If someonoe says their a vegetarian while chewing on a Steak then their not a vegetarian are they.
    And so I tell you Benny Hinn is no Christian, and is more than likely an Atheist, I don’t see any other way he can stand their and rob poor people of the little money they have, unless he really didn’t believe in God.
    BENNY HINN. I mean c’mon man. If that’s what you think of Christianity then you ARE foolish sir, I am sorry. You must have not known much when you were a christian if ever you were one. Just because your mom and dad took you to church everymorning and made you read the bible doesn’t mean you were a christian. Just cause you knew the stories as a child it doesn’t mean you were a christian. Being a Christian is a choice that you make when you are mature enough to understand what you are doing. and if you make it with all sincerity in your heart then God opens your eyes and your mind and all that you learned in science class and church makes sense. You will realize that you don’t have to go to church.
    when you have the word of God in your hands. and written in your heart.
    And tithing can suddenly be anything as long as it furthers the kingdom of God. Don’t give it to a church or any organized religion, instead by some bibles hand them out to family members and pray.
    you would expect to understand that such a bieng exists? Here we go again atheist your not that smart O.K. I’m sorry to break it to you, 10 years ago you thought 9 planets existed in our solar system. LOL As did we all Atheist, maybe 100 yrs from now the proof that your searching for will be found. But then it would be to late for you wont it, when your grand children discover the proof of God’s existence.
    It seems your confidence comes from science, but Atheist we have only begun to even unerstand science, we don’t know squat.

    I AM NOT CRAZY ATHEIST, I SAW SOMETHING AND IT WAS REAL.

    And I never thought I would see the day when Jesus Christ would be labled the enemy by most people. That chistians would be labled as hateful people. I am not hateful and only feel remorse for the people who don’t know what I know. I don’t know why God doesn’t reveal himself to the whole world, I really don’t. I don’t know why so many people die at the hands of crazies, innocent people. I don’t know because I am just a Human, still down here relying on the wheel, trying my hardest to understand God. GOD ATHEIST,
    I will never understand untill he reveals it.

  42. The Atheist says:

    > You once asked, What did you see?
    > Well I saw something, be it an angel or be it Christ himself.
    > I saw something as a child. I don’t know, I hardly remember
    > anything except seeing a man surrounded by a soft pinkish
    > glow by my bed and I waslaughing with him…
    > THATS WHY I BELEIVE.
    > ITS REAL ATHEIST ITS ALL REAL
    > (There it is now laugh and call me crazy.)

    I don’t believe you’re crazy. I just think it’s kind of a flimsy thing to base such a strong belief in God on. You were a small child and you hardly remember it. So your interpretation of it is the “small child’s” interpretation – not the adult’s interpretation of something that you remember well. As I pointed out earlier (when I recommended the book, “Why Would Anyone Believe in God?”), there are very good reasons why some people see those sorts of things, even when they don’t exist.

    But let’s presume for a moment that the figure you saw as a child was real. I still don’t understand how you can make the leap that, because you saw something metaphysical, then the Bible is true (i.e., then the God of the Bible, versus say, the God of Spinoza) exists. When people of different cultures report seeing metaphysical phenomena, they usually interpret it in terms of their own local gods, like Krishna, etc. What made you think that the figure you saw was Jesus vs. say, Krishna?

    > Now I know my Wife exists because I can see her, I know
    > my dead grand father exists because I remember him in my
    > mind. I know there is something eternally good out there
    > because I remember seeing it. Maybe I was temporarily insane
    > but have since gained my sanity because I have never seen
    > anything since then not angels ghosts demons or any other
    > phenomenon, but I remember seeing that.

    We can only go on what we experience so if you saw it, you saw it. On the other hand, since you hardly remember it, it is difficult at this point for you to re-evaluate the experience through the eyes of an adult to see if it could have been an illusion (an illusion like we thing we see a face in our dark bedroom but when we get a closer look, it is a funny fold in the shirt hanging on the door knob).

    > As far as Benny Hinn and some of those other crooks, don’t
    > you dare call them Christians, being a christian is not just calling
    > yourself one.

    > “But Lord we preached about you and even cast out devils in your
    > name.” he replied, “I never knew you.”

    Can Satan cast out Satan? I have sheep not of this fold.

    But that said, I tend to agree with you about Benny Hinn, but I’m not as certain about it as you are. Christians use “creative biblical interpretations” all the time to justify unthinkable acts, so Hinn may well have some screwy justification (that neither you nor I would buy) for doing what he’s doing “in the name of God”.

    > My mother in law sends so much money to some of them
    > preachers that she can’t even pay her bills sometimes. If a man
    > calls himself a peacemaker but starts a fight at the local bar
    > everynight, then he’s not a peacemaker is he, If someonoe says
    > their a vegetarian while chewing on a Steak then their not a
    > vegetarian are they.

    I’m with you on that one. I think it’s an absolute crime what those guys do in the name of God (but I’ll include every rich, “big church” evangelists in my indictment).

    > And so I tell you Benny Hinn is no Christian, and is more than
    > likely an Atheist, I don’t see any other way he can stand their
    > and rob poor people of the little money they have, unless he
    > really didn’t believe in God.
    > BENNY HINN. I mean c’mon man. If that’s what you think of
    > Christianity then you ARE foolish sir, I am sorry.

    He may well be! I wonder how many other big time, rich evangelists are really atheists. Maybe more than we imagine.

    But all this about Benny Hinn side steps the 3 points I was trying to make (by illustration) about your earlier comment that you like to laugh at atheists. The first point is: I think it’s fine to notice when people say ridiculous things or take ridiculous postures. I do it all the time with the radio and TV evangelists. The second point is that even if someone makes a laughable statement or takes a ridiculous position, we shouldn’t allow ourselves to miss their point if they have one.

    For example, I listen to Chuck Swindoll all the time (is he what you would consider more main stream). Some of the things he says make me laugh out loud. Like the atheist you saw on TV, Swindall tries to sound like he knows it all, has all the answers. But when he does say something meaningful, I can still learn from him.

    The third and most important point I was trying to make is that if you want to judge a belief (or non-belief in the case of atheism) by the demeanor of one of its adherent, then Christianity is in much more serious trouble then atheism! ;)

    > You must have not known much when you were a christian
    > if ever you were one. Just because your mom and dad took
    > you to church everymorning and made you read the bible
    > doesn’t mean you were a christian…

    Agreed. I was a Christian because I believed that I was a sinner and that Jesus Christ died for my sins and I accepted Him as my personal Lord and savior.

    > you would expect to understand that such a bieng exists?

    Yep. Especially if the God we’re talking about is the God of the Christian Bible who wants us to “know Him”. There is a big difference between being able to understand that something exists vs. having an understanding of the thing. A child understands that a TV exists but he doesn’t understand anything about how the TV operates. We have the capability to understand that God exists, no matter how complex, even if he’s so enormously complex that we couldn’t even begin to understand him. The problem is that there is no good reason to believe he exists. It’s not that our inability to understand how complex such a God would be prevents us from believing that he exists.

    > Here we go again atheist your not that smart O.K. I’m sorry to
    > break it to you,

    Hey, SOMEBODY has to :)

    > 10 years ago you thought 9 planets existed in our solar system.
    > LOL As did we all Atheist, maybe 100 yrs from now the proof
    > that your searching for will be found.

    I hope it is!

    > But then it would be to late for you wont it, when your grand
    > children discover the proof of God’s existence.

    Could be. But that would be a cruel trick for a so-called “loving God” to play on humanity – giving some generations reason to believe but not others; therefore condemning certain generations to eternal agonizing torment (a.k.a. hell), but not others.

    > It seems your confidence comes from science, but Atheist we
    > have only begun to even unerstand science, we don’t know squat.

    Yet science is one of the best tool we have (philosophy is a pretty good tool too). If it isn’t perfect, we shouldn’t abandon it in favor of superstition or just plain guessing. If superstition and guessing were reliable tools, then all of humanity would believe in Jesus instead of other gods.

    > I AM NOT CRAZY ATHEIST, I SAW SOMETHING AND IT
    > WAS REAL.

    Relax. I don’t think you’re crazy – I just think you’re wrong, and possibly not objective enough about the question of the existence of God. :)

    > And I never thought I would see the day when Jesus Christ would
    > be labled the enemy by most people.

    Actually, that was probably true 2000 years ago. But not today (except maybe by radical Jews and radical Muslims). I don’t even think it’s true of most atheists. From conversations I’ve had, I don’t find that most atheists hate religion, though I know that some do. I think if atheists hate anything about religion, it is the authoritarianism an irrationality that surrounds it; the control that religion seeks to impose on people with different beliefs. But that’s not the same as hating religion.

    > That chistians would be labled as hateful people.

    There certainly are Christians today that are hateful people (and I can point you to web sites of some of those groups if you’re not already aware of them) but I don’t believe they are in the majority. There was a time when Christianity was defined by hatefulness – like during the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition for example.

    > I am not hateful and only feel remorse for the people who don’t
    > know what I know.

    That’s a good outlook. I’m not hateful either. I pity people who blindly follow religious dogma and authoritarian leaders who prevent them from thinking for themselves. They go through life in a make-believe world and miss their one and only chance to experience life as it really is.

    > I don’t know why God doesn’t reveal himself to the whole
    > world, I really don’t. I don’t know why so many people die
    > at the hands of crazies, innocent people. I don’t know because
    > I am just a Human, still down here relying on the wheel, trying
    > my hardest to understand God. GOD ATHEIST, I will never
    > understand untill he reveals it.

    That’s fair – to just say that you don’t know and I appreciate the candor. But even if we don’t have an answer, it is still fair to ask this difficult question:
    “Is [God] willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?” (Epicurius 341-270bce)

    I am not saying that, presuming God exists, I can’t agree with Him unless I understand Him. I am rather saying that, unless there is a reason to believe that something exists, then why should I believe it? It’s like the claim that there is an invisible pink unicorn – should I believe it? Why or why not?

    To date, despite much effort, all I find is that 1) the reasons people site for believing in God are not very good reasons and 2) I find no compelling evidence to believe that God exists.

  43. David says:

    Ask Him Yourself.

  44. Geekwad says:

    if you were born only 100 yrs earlier, you’d be riding a frigin horse

    Keeping in mind that “riding a horse” represents the culmination of hundreds of years of technological development. You think it’s primative? Great, you try it. Select a newanimal (I think a giant lizard would be cool), breed out all its undesireable qualities, make it docile so it will allow you to train it and ride it, design and build riding gear from whatever primative materials are on hand, etc etc etc. I suppose you don’t realise that the invention of the stirrup revolutionised the world as much as the pneumatic tire.

    So, what’s Christ done in the last 100 years?

  45. The Atheist says:

    Geekwad,

    Oh my GOD! How could I have missed that. Great catch.

    Here’s some of the things Christ (a.k.a “body of Christ”, “the church”, “body of believers”) did in the last 100 years: http://markhumphrys.com/christianity.killings.html#modern ;)

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