Advertisements

This is just . . . WOW! (part II)

In a previous post, I criticized Mark of Proud Atheists for this post. Mark listed 14 things that he simply does not adhere to, given his naturalistic worldview. In all cases, I’ve been finding that Mark misunderstands or mischaracterizes Christianity. Today, we continue exposing his errors on points eight through 14, and offer some concluding thoughts.

I simply do not commit heinous acts towards other human beings simply because I do not have a religious creed. I can stay out of mischief and adhere to human law without needing an imaginary friend to keep me from murdering your pedophile priests and child molesting pastors, too.

Argument by outrage. It is possible to be good relative to other people without God, but is not possible to be wholly good without God. Only the truly ignorant would ever assume that someone would commit heinous acts of evil or are predisposed to such simply because that someone is an atheist.

Conversely, simply believing in God isn’t enough, either. Mental assent to the truth of God and the saving power of Jesus is a step in the right direction, but one must fully repent (or turn from) one’s former bondage to sin. That doesn’t happen overnight, and for many (reference pedophile priests and child molesting pastors) that never happens.

God will work miracles in a person’s life, but that person must submit to the grace God gives first.

I simply do not use terms like “Thank God” or “God bless you” when things are in my favor or when someone sneezes. Do you say, “Bless you” to someone who farts?

Really? Really? I have no comment for this childish drivel.

I simply do not know everything about our universe, nor have I witnessed the existence of a deity or elves and you haven’t either. You were told over and over that “God is watching out for you”. Are you programmed or do you really believe this horseshit? Do you keep a rabbit’s foot in your pocket also? One myth is just as good as another.

“I simply do not know everything about our universe” is the key phrase. You don’t know for certain whether God exists, so why are you arrogantly acting as if he doesn’t?

I really believe what you termed “horseshit.” You don’t know that it’s only a myth; indeed you can’t know that by your own admission. But we don’t have numerous historical, eyewitness claims for the power and majesty of the rabbit’s foot, where we do have the Bible that chronicles the history of man’s dealings with God. And God has been faithful in his promises. And Jesus offers us confirmatory evidence that the God of the Bible is real.

I simply do not understand how one can state that their God can do anything through faith, but yet live on pills and medical treatment. Is your faith limited to your deity only when convenient?

Check here. This objection is common enough, I’ve heard it numerous times before.

I simply do not see most Christians as good or wholesome people. Most people in the U.S. prison system are Christians.

Maybe so, but how many of the “Christians” in the prison system are displaying any signs of repentance? Of the fruits of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23)? How many are acting as Paul describes in Romans 12:9-21? Finally, J.P. Holding, a former prison librarian, comments from experience:

I’ll correct that as one who formerly worked in my state’s prison system as a librarian: Most inmates who sign on to “Christian” are not. Prison inmates profess faiths for many reasons other than true belief: It permits special visits. It often allows certain privileges, including breaks from normal work schedules, or the ability to “stand out” in a crowd of people who dress and live the same every day. When filling out forms, most don’t know they can leave the question of religion blank. And perhaps the most important: The religious buildings have AIR CONDITIONING. Actually, most “theist” inmates are for all intents and purposes deists in orientation. (source)

Continuing with Mark:

I simply do not need the belief in Heaven and Hell…nor do I want it. I don’t want “streets of gold” or to enter “Pearly Gates”. After you guys go to Heaven, the Vatican can supply enough gold for everyone else left behind. Maybe we can finally feed those hungry millions, if we sell it.

This is a typical sentiment of atheists. They don’t want anything to do with heaven. The underlying pretext is that they don’t want heaven because of the eternal fellowship with the God they hate. Therefore, hell is reserved for them, that they may feel the wrath of God rather than fellowship. That’s what they want, after all!

I simply do not believe in an afterlife in which our souls are transcended from our bodies to another place. I do not believe in souls or an afterlife. These things were invented to control the naive masses, not non-believers.

Interesting.

Or, the fact that the belief in some sort of paradise for the righteous and torment for the unrighteous after death is so ubiquitous testifies to the truth of the belief. That humans building a “religion” on it and using it to control the “naive masses” is a corruption of the intent of heaven and hell. Those who falsely teach and mislead the “naive masses” will answer for their transgression in a most severe way (Jms 3:1).

The vast majority of ancient peoples believed in some sort of God or gods, and believed in a concept similar to heaven and hell. Does that mean that all ancient people were ignorant?

My personal experience managing teenagers on what is usually their first job has taught me that with each graduating class, peoples’ intelligences are eroding away. They become more dependent on technology. If that is true, then backing up through time would indicate that the ancient people who believed in God were actually smarter than we are today.

There may be something to that. Our ancestors laid the groundwork for all of the technology that we enjoy today. They invented metallurgy, smelting, food preservation, and figured out which berries were food and which were poisonous (hopefully not the hard way).

However, I do value reality, science, and humanism. These things are my comfort and they are the keys to sanity. Religions such as Christianity and Islam are poisonous to adult thinking. If you believe their doctrines of invasion and conversion are from a god of love, then you should consider changing gods or leaving Christianity (or Islam).

This final statement thus proves Mark’s ignorance of basic Christianity. Christianity is never coerced. The coercive Crusades and the Inquisitions are terrible blemishes forever on the face of Christianity, however they were corruptions of Christian theology, not theology proper.

How one answers the question, “Does God exist?” forever determines the pattern of that person’s life. That is an inescapable fact. Living as though God exists entails repentance from your former self and becoming the person that God desires you to be. This is not an easy choice to make. It is something that I (personally) struggle with everyday. But do it I must, not for the sake of eternity with God but for my own children, that they may learn how to live rightly and love their neighbors better than I ever did.

Christianity was always meant to be a relational religion. We were meant to form bonds and disciple “newbies” in how to live upright lives before God. We Christians were never to try to take over the world; that is something that should never have happened. Mere Discipleship by Lee Camp explains it in much more detail.

Advertisements

About Cory Tucholski

I'm a born-again Christian, amateur apologist and philosopher, father of 3. Want to know more? Check the "About" page!

Posted on May 23, 2010, in Apologetics, God, Marriage, Morality, Religion, Sin, Theology and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. “It is possible to be good relative to other people without God, but is not possible to be wholly good without God.”

    Haha!! Really? You mean good in the ways that we don’t understand (since God has his mysterious ways), like trying as hard as we can not to let gays marry? I prefer be evil then. That’s too much kindness.

    “Really? Really? I have no comment for this childish drivel.”

    Hahaha!! You’re right, it is childish.

    ““I simply do not know everything about our universe” is the key phrase. You don’t know for certain whether God exists, so why are you arrogantly acting as if he doesn’t?”

    You don’t know for certain whether elves exist either, but you WOULD act as if they don’t (and maybe arrogantly). You would probably laugh at the idea that the pope is infallible, which is somewhat supported by scripture.

    I haven’t read everything, I’ve got to run.

  2. I’ve met a couple Christians like you, Cory, but not many. You seem to have been submitted and actually thought over all non-believer arguments, and you still believe. That has always been strange to me. I suspect you must have “felt” God, like Amy Deardon I met on Proud Atheists. Because I don’t understand how one can remain religious after hearing all those arguments, after reading the God Delusion, héhé. I think that feeling is the reason there are so many rational religious people (you seem to be one, héhé, at least more than Mark, he would have cast me out a long time ago in your place, wouldn’t be happy to simply ignore me. He doesn’t believe in free speech on his blog, héhéhé, as an agnostic he almost kicked me out myself). Scientists seem to have explained that “feeling”, it’s “sharable” by all faiths. Hindus, Buddhists, other incompatible faiths. Anyway, I hope you do realize that it can’t be logic and rationality that has brought you such assurance; I can understand a “feeling”, but not that.

    I mean, I recently learned about so many contradictions in the bible. Amongst which some interesting contradictions within the Nativity stories of Luke and Matthew (and I hear you read the God Delusion, where I learned them -> I only recently read the book. I’ve read many explanations for the different genealogies of Joseph (they changed it to Mary, an “in-law” lineage, héhé), ha! How can anyone buy that?). I mean, I’m surprised that doesn’t bother you at least a little. I shared your video “Context!!!” with my friends, héhé, I mean it’s something Christians, including you, do all the time, though maybe not in that fashion. No, I definitely think there is some feeling there.

  3. Héhé, I’m not pretending to have convinced that many Christians (religious people) that they were wrong, but they always seem to hear the arguments for the first time, and said arguments really seem to bother them, to give them a violent shock. My sister has lost her faith, is now an agnostic, héhé, thanks to me. Though she’s the only relative I have managed to convince.

  4. Hmmm, well I may have exaggerated by saying that Mark almost kicked me out, but I felt he almost saw as a religious person at a time, héhé…

  5. “I really believe what you termed “horseshit.” You don’t know that it’s only a myth; indeed you can’t know that by your own admission. But we don’t have numerous historical, eyewitness claims for the power and majesty of the rabbit’s foot, where we do have the Bible that chronicles the history of man’s dealings with God. And God has been faithful in his promises. And Jesus offers us confirmatory evidence that the God of the Bible is real.”

    It was indelicate of him to call your beliefs “horseshit” (héhé, if you want delicacy from non-believers, don’t go look there at all). Yes, he doesn’t know that it’s only a myth, but he doesn’t know that about a lot of other unproven claims, like the Story of Saint Nicolas, or the existence of Zeus. As for the Bible, I’m not sure it is accepted as a historical document, or should be. I’m not a history expert, so I can’t really refute your claims about it being so. I don’t think any document claiming the supernatural can be considered a faithful document anyway. And there are so many contradictions. I recently learned the gospels don’t agree on Jesus’ last words, on Judas’ death, on things concerning the trip of Paul to Damascus, etc. And historians don’t even think the great census happened (the last part is from “The God Delusion”, I know, it’s a biased source, héhé). What about the burning bush: the only person who could have reported it would be Moses. It would, as almost all the apparitions in the Bible, require later people to take a single person’s word for it. I’m not sure I would trust the Bible, really, why is it more reliable than the Iliad? The people may have existed, but their actions and encounters may have been fabricated (maybe the same for the Iliad). But again, I’m no history expert.

    “This is a typical sentiment of atheists. They don’t want anything to do with heaven. The underlying pretext is that they don’t want heaven because of the eternal fellowship with the God they hate. Therefore, hell is reserved for at they may feel the wrath of God rather than fellowship. That’s what they want, after all!”

    You’re being sarcastic? I mean, non-believers don’t even believe in God, Mark is mocking religious people. But I feel you’re just mocking him back.

    “Interesting.

    Or, the fact that the belief in some sort of paradise for the righteous and torment for the unrighteous after death is so ubiquitous testifies to the truth of the belief. That humans building a “religion” on it and using it to control the “naive masses” is a corruption of the intent of heaven and hell. Those who falsely teach and mislead the “naive masses” will answer for their transgression in a most severe way (Jms 3:1).

    The vast majority of ancient peoples believed in some sort of God or gods, and believed in a concept similar to heaven and hell. Does that mean that all ancient people were ignorant?

    My personal experience managing teenagers on what is usually their first job has taught me that with each graduating class, peoples’ intelligences are eroding away. They become more dependent on technology. If that is true, then backing up through time would indicate that the ancient people who believed in God were actually smarter than we are today.

    There may be something to that. Our ancestors laid the groundwork for all of the technology that we enjoy today. They invented metallurgy, smelting, food preservation, and figured out which berries were food and which were poisonous (hopefully not the hard way).”

    Hmmm. That last part is pretty funny actually, héhé. They probably did it the hard way (or maybe the poisonous berries didn’t look appealing).

    First of all, come on. The fact that most people believe in some paradise and some torment of hell only shows that they wanted a motive to do good and not be evil. The Hindus (I think) or the Buddhists have this reincarnation punishment, you become an insignificant creature in your next life or something if you don’t behave (hell) and become a well positioned human, or better, a spirit if you do behave. Doesn’t that make more sense than for some people only agree on the principles of punishment and reward (while completely disagreeing on the most important parts of their theologies?). What, in your opinion, would people be most likely to encounter if a deity appeared to them, their “hell”s or their “heavens” or the deity himself on whom they so disagree (for the record, Israel’s religion was the most incompatible with the various pagan faiths surrounding them; said pagans even used to “fuse” their deities, claim that they were the same (Greeks-Romans), something that WOULD, though weakly, testify to the existence of, say, Zeus/Jupiter.

    I actually don’t believe that people invented religion to control the masses, I think for some reason people start believing certain things (distorting facts very little, the complete distortion being left to future generations which can magnify the tales, etc) and only later, opportunists profit of the naive beliefs to exploit believers (televangelists).

    It doesn’t mean that ancient peoples were stupid. Isaac Newton was religious. One of the smartest people I know is religious. But I do think it shows a lack of independence of thinking in the religious sphere, which can walk hand in hand with intelligence. They come up with the most complicated mathematical theories, but with the lamest things to justify their beliefs. I think (as in your case) they are very practical, but they “feel” God first, and after that point, all bets are off. They will lie to themselves in order to show that he exists because to them, that fact is self-evident. I also think that many people just don’t have enough time to sit down and seriously question themselves about their beliefs.

    Well, I don’t know what to say about your remark concerning intelligence. Héhé, technology is addictive, of course. But the people who are less religious nowadays are not really the ones profiting of technology, they are the ones building it, the ones who use their brains for a living. Our ancestors may have needed to know about evolution maybe (though it is not necessary, the question “Who created God?” is enough for an un-evolved world). I didn’t really know much about evolution when I became an agnostic, I was never a fan of biology. You have to also know that some non-believers had to remain silent in order to avoid arrest at earlier times.

  6. And I don’t even think much pagans believed there would be an afterlife. They didn’t think the gods cared (makes a lot of sense actually). For one thing Egyptians thought they had to be mummified in order to have one.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: