What Atheists Don’t Understand About Faith

I’m not a physically violent person. I’m not even physically intimidating, but I have to say, there are times in my discussions in the FB atheist group I visit, I would like to shake one or two people.

The problem comes from their complete dismissal of faith. They simply don’t believe anyone should have faith. Ever. Because THEY certainly don’t. Oh, no, all their cherished beliefs stem from their reason and from science.

Never mind that I have said over and over that they haven’t done any of the scientific experiments or observations or mathematical calculations they are constantly trotting out as evidence. No! They are simply trusting that some scientist they’ve heard about has done the work and drawn the conclusions they parrot. In other words, they are simply putting their faith in a scientist rather than, say, in a pastor or mentor or in the Bible.

And horrors if you use the Bible as part of the discussion about how you know there is a God. Because that’s a circular argument. The Bible says there’s a God, so you look to the Bible to find evidence for God.

In other words, the Bible in its whole must be dismissed because it claims there is a God. You can’t look at the history, the testimony of any of the authors, the reports of miracles, none of it.

Basically, any evidence or documentation must be of the approved sort. No personal experience because that can’t be verified. No Biblical evidence because that’s circular. No supernatural evidence because that hasn’t been proven to exist.

So just cross out anything that leads to God and then claim that you don’t believe in God because there’s no evidence of His existence.

But faith is all around us. If you are sitting down, you have faith that the piece of furniture you’re on will hold your weight. When you drive a car, you have faith in the men and women who built the car. You also have faith in the drivers before and behind you, on your left and right, and the ones coming in the opposite direction. You have faith in the mechanic that put on your tires.

I could go on and on.

When I was in the hospital after my stroke, I put my life in the hands of the medical personal who cared for me. I took the medicine they gave me, ate the food they provided, followed the directions of the therapists. I was putting my faith in these people who I didn’t know because I believed they had knowledge I did’t.

Every passenger on an airplane does the same thing.

Faith is nothing more than believing that someone is not lying to you and that they really can do what you’ve been led to believe they can do. So the pilot is sitting in the cockpit, and no one is asking to see his credentials, or his flight record, or his medical record. Generally speaking passengers trust that the guy saying “Good morning ladies and gentlemen . . .” over the intercom, would not have access to the controls of the plane if he weren’t qualified. We let him do his job and we sit back and enjoy the flight, as we’ve been told to do.

Now that’s faith.

I’m going to trust the guy that’s flying the plane, not because I have proof that he’s able to do the job, but because . . . it’s his job. He wouldn’t be working with the airline if he wasn’t qualified. We assume. We trust. We believe.

We believed our teachers when they taught us that 2+2=4. We believed our teachers when they said that George Washington was the first President of the United States. We believed our teachers when they showed us how to write starting from the left and going to the right. (Who knew not every culture writes that way).

There is so much more. All these things in the past and the present are simply faith at work. Us believing someone we trust to the point that we do what they say or form a conviction based on what they taught.

So what’s the surprising thing about faith that atheists miss? First, that they too have faith, that they depend on it every single day. Second, that faith is placed in a source you believe to be trustworthy.

I might add that people who believe are not stupid for having faith (otherwise, you’d have to say everyone in the whole world is stupid). But further, if someone trusts a source you believe to be unsound, they still aren’t stupid.

There are people who put their faith in parachutes every day. I’m not one of them. But I don’t think they’re stupid for doing so. I simply have no desire to trust my life to the thing they are willing to trust.

Same with tightrope walkers or high wire acrobats. Same with platform divers. Same with window washers. All those people have lots of reason to do what they do. I don’t want to put my faith in the things they trust.

It’s self protection, I guess.

And I wonder if that isn’t what’s at the bottom of the atheists’ unwillingness to trust God. It’s not that there isn’t evidence, because there is. It’s that they don’t trust the source of that evidence as a means of self-protection.

From what?

My guess is, from God. From a sovereign authority who defines right and wrong. They’d rather be in charge because then they can move the lines whenever they want.

Apart from that guess, I have no idea why someone wouldn’t believe the source material pointing to God. It is comprehensive and coherent—logical and consistent—and the alternative seems to be chaos and chance. And at the end of life, annihilation. Really?

The atheist conclusions don’t fit the facts. Including the fact that they are just as dependent upon faith as the rest of us.

Published in: on October 19, 2017 at 5:20 pm  Comments (60)  
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60 Comments

  1. Great article with some good points about faith. The example I’ve used recently (apologetically speaking) is Socrates.

    Socrates is held up as the father of western philosophy. We all believe he lived and did all the things history says he did. In reality, we only have word of mouth – and that from one or two students – that he existed.

    There are mountains of evidence that support the life of Jesus, his teaching, his death and resurrection et al; even extra-biblical writings.

    Socrates’ veracity comes from Plato, who in turn taught Aristotle, who in turn taught Alexander the great (https://www.ancient.eu/socrates/). Yet we all take it as the gospel (no pun intended) truth that Socrates is who history says he is.

    Why Socrates, but not Jesus?

    Because if one believes the historical evidence for Jesus, one must then also strongly consider the truth of his divine nature.

    Talk about an uncomfortable truth… at least for atheists.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Excellent, Michael. I want to remember Socrates as an example. I’ve used that same argument before, but I picked people that had more documented evidence for their lives, so the comparison isn’t as dramatic as this one. Really powerful.

      Becky

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    • I read a similar article recently on Socrates. Very interesting. Why would this be an uncomfortable truth for Atheist? I wasn’t aware it was only Atheists who believe Socrates existed? On the other hand, no historian (ie Josephus) has any record of Jesus. Strange that someone who performed miracles, claimed to be the son of god and was a good wholesome person would have been missed by Josephus. Oh, there WAS an entry in a forgery….
      http://www.truthbeknown.com/josephus.htm

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I have done scientific experiments. For example the double slit experiment – used a laser to do it not electrons but same behavior. I love the quantum world – it’s awe inspiring. That all matter, everything is made up of quarks, gluons, etc. and categorized as barions and fermions.

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    • Truth, I wasn’t saying that the atheist who believe science over and above all else have done no experiments, but let’s face it. When it comes to evolution, as an example, most people are only taking the word of someone else who says the fossil record shows this and that. They haven’t observed or even drawn their own conclusion. They simply are taking the word of someone else who they believe is a credible source. They have faith in whom they will have faith!

      Becky

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  3. Rebecca, I am quite sure you are confused between faith based beliefs and scientific based beliefs. Religious belief is “strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof,” whereas normal faith “is complete trust or confidence in someone or something.” Both are taken from an online dictionary and the context is very different.

    The point you make about atheists have not done experiments and are trusting some scientist who they have put their faith in. Well you have just explained how creationist people certainly draw their conclusions but not atheists and I will explain why.

    The main issue we shall consider that you disagree with such as biological evolution has the backing of the majority of the world’s top scientists and has been tested under stringent scientific methods many times for over 150 years by many great scientists. This is a very good reason to believe what they say and is far from one or two crack pot scientists making outrageous claims.

    Similar examples apply to scientists who uncover the formation of the Earth over billions of years and can determine the age of our planet and the major events that have taken place on our planet such as massive floods, earthquakes, meteorite impacts and temperature changes etc. These scientists are not out of the cereal packet, they number in thousands and most likely have higher intelligence than most of us.

    The beauty about science is that it can be changed and adjusted when new evidence is found or previous evidence is discredited and anybody can submit their views supported by evidence to be scrutinised and tested. It is quite strange don’t you think that creationist scientists have not considered this and the ones that have tried this approach do not appear to have succeeded?

    You say “In other words, the Bible in its whole must be dismissed because it claims there is a God. You can’t look at the history, the testimony of any of the authors, the reports of miracles, none of it.”

    Believe me Rebecca, scientists have looked at the history, the authors and the miracles for hundreds of years and most of it does not meet the accuracy, authenticity, consistency, comprehensiveness and coherent or logic claims that Christian faith places on it.

    You are correct in a way, science is far tougher than faith, science demands real evidence and religious faith does not, it is that simple and this is the main reason non-believers and atheists exist and are growing in numbers.

    As I must reiterate, the faith in an airplane and the pilots is not the same as believing in a doctrine written thousands of years ago and the secret to everlasting life. More accurately we actually trust that the mechanics serviced the aircraft and trust that the pilots are not insane and know what they are doing, your religious faith is not comparable with anything else.

    You say about atheists, “They’d rather be in charge because then they can move the lines whenever they want.”

    You also have no idea how atheists think. We do not recognise, believe, have faith, consider, rely on, expect, assume or credit any higher authority such as a Christian God because this god and no other god exists today or has ever existed. So yes, we are in charge of ourselves and that is called taking responsibility for your own life and we are as happy or as sad as anyone else.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Steve, thanks again for engaging with this topic.

      What you say about scientists only reinforces my point. You are giving the credentials of those you believe. You trust them because of their years in the field and so on. But you’re missing the fact that you are putting your faith in a source.

      You say that the claims of Christianity have been examined and been found wanting. But, Steve, that’s not the case in every instance. There are any number of atheists who did a study of the facts with the specific purpose of disproving Christianity’s claims, and they did just the opposite. Some who operate from a worldview that dismisses the supernatural will reach a different conclusion, but that’s not the same as saying there is no historical, archeological, scientific, philosophical truth to support the claims of Christianity.

      I also have to disagree with you about your idea that the number of atheists is growing because science is harder. First, that’s not logical. People tend toward what’s easier, not what’s harder.

      Second, you don’t realize but many people have replaced God with their own heart. They become the god of their own story. They decide what’s right and true because they want that to be right and true, whatever “that” might be. So in other words, they have replaced a belief in God, not with atheism, but with idolatry.

      But third, faith is not blind. That’s the thing atheists can’t seem to grasp. Just because you don’t agree with our reasons is no reason to suppose we have no reason for what we believe. I don’t agree with yours either. But I acknowledge you have reasons. I just think the idea of matter and energy miraculously (minus a miracle worker) coming together and then developing into an increasingly ordered substance until, Voila, life—I find that to be of the silliest kind of belief. But I understand you have reasons for it, the number one being that you’ve dismissed the idea of God, so there has to be something else, as illogical as it may be.

      I’m afraid, Steve, that I’ve been in discussion with atheists long enough that I DO know a bit about what you all think. You presume to know there is no God though the universe (or universes) is so vast that we will never be able to explore all that exists. But you and other atheists know that whatever else may be out there, God is not. That’s quite a belief, I’d say. Groundless.

      In case you don’t realize it, Christians also take responsibility, but we conclude that by doing so we come up short. We are either doomed or we need someone to rescue us. And who can do that? Only God Himself.

      Of course when we speak of the peace that passes understanding, that must seem, well, incomprehensible. So I wouldn’t expect you to think there is something different about you and the Christians you know. We all cry when someone we love dies. We all rejoice when our sports team wins. We aren’t different in those kinds of ways. But Christians aren’t alone.

      Becky

      Liked by 2 people

      • A very interesting post Rebecca and thank you for your reply, however a couple of your statements to essiep caught my eye, “I was told I needed a Savior because I was a sinner.” and “All have sinned, me included. And therefore all are in need of a Savior.”

        Did you not consider for one single minute during your investigation and integration into this faith that the worshiping of a god to save your soul is not exclusive to Christianity and similar to other religions in the world? Did you not think that maybe this is just an old rehashed legend or a concocted story to convince people that a god exists who can destroy you or deliver everyone’s ultimate desire of an afterlife only if you worship him?

        Did you also not understand what indoctrination was and discover how it works and how it alters the mind before you committed yourself to this ideology? Neuroscientists these days understand more than ever and can identify how the religious concepts create a range of emotions and an excitement that portrays a personal reality for the faithful.

        Not only should these issues be critically important when dedicating your life to a religion, the fact that history can be unreliable is most important with everything we study not just religious history. Many stories about historic figures are not factual, constructed from myth just as the stories in Biblical examples have proven to be and in other holly books where almost exact copies exist of earlier religious myths.

        If this is not enough, the interpretation and context of the Bible is not unified but imprecise and argued among Christians, and who wrote the Bible is generally unclear, and if Jesus was exactly as he is described in the Bible this is also uncertain, not to mention the conjecture and literal acceptance of the virgin birth, the rising of dead people from the graves, Adam and Eve, talking snakes and it goes on…and on…and on.

        There are so many of these uncorroborated events and claims made by religious scriptures from a long time ago by mostly illiterate ancient people who were mesmerised in the Earth’s natural events believing they were spiritually controlled just as many people including yourself still do today.

        I reiterate, the facts are that Theoretical Physicist Stephen Hawking, naturalist Richard Attenborough, Biologists Peter H. Raven, Edward Osborne Wilson, Richard Lewontin and many others estimated at about 3 million scientists in the world including religious ones will not make up stories to support evolution because it would be professionally suicidal to do that and impossible to achieve. You will also find the peer-reviewed biological journal is where you will find articles that support and extend evolutionary studies because it is accepted as a factual occurrence, a fundamental concept and a guiding principle of evolution that nonetheless is universal in biology.

        It is fundamentally obvious that you only became a Christian because you were born and raised into a Christian world and it is fundamental that you would be persuaded that most scientists had atheist views and how this was detrimental to Christianity. With this understanding, it is easy for you to speculate with conspiracies such as scientific faith claims without evidence, exaggerations or lies about the truth. Therefore, it is understandable that you and your brethren became a product of your ideology and desiring followers of creationist web sites.

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        • Sky:
          ” Did you not think that maybe this is just an old rehashed legend or a concocted story to convince people that a god exists who can destroy you or deliver everyone’s ultimate desire of an afterlife only if you worship him?”
          A God such as he is not worth worshipping.

          “Neuroscientists these days understand more than ever and can identify how the religious concepts create a range of emotions and an excitement that portrays a personal reality for the faithful.”
          I understand this arguement to be saying that since scientists have explained X as a state of mind, X has no reason to exist apart from the mind. Is that what your aiming for?

          “the fact that history can be unreliable is most important”
          Agreed.

          “Biblical examples have proven to be and in other holy books where almost exact copies exist of earlier religious myths.”
          It wouldn’t suprise me that the earlier religions had an ounce of truth in them. If God created Human Beings and walked with them in Eden, it wouldn’t shock me if thier descendances knew anything about him, or any events that happened by his hand.

          “If this is not enough, the interpretation and context of the Bible is not unified but imprecise and argued among Christians”
          Perhaps God made it so as to not drive any man further from the truth than was necissary to reach him?

          ” made by religious scriptures from a long time ago by mostly illiterate ancient people who were mesmerised in the Earth’s natural events believing they were spiritually controlled just as many people including yourself still do today.”
          Perhaps man’s natural tendancy is religion becuase man was made so?

          “I reiterate, the facts are that Theoretical Physicist Stephen Hawking, naturalist Richard Attenborough, Biologists Peter H. Raven, Edward Osborne Wilson, Richard Lewontin and many others estimated at about 3 million scientists in the world including religious ones will not make up stories to support evolution because it would be professionally suicidal to do that and impossible to achieve. You will also find the peer-reviewed biological journal is where you will find articles that support and extend evolutionary studies because it is accepted as a factual occurrence, a fundamental concept and a guiding principle of evolution that nonetheless is universal in biology.”
          It is rational to be a creationist on the fundamental rejection of the whole need for evolution; an Origin of Species outside of God.

          Liked by 1 person

          • The brain is the absolute power that controls everything, we do not yet understand how to harness a great deal of it, but we do know that science is slowly exposing how and why the brain operates the way it does. For example, human emotions influence the ability to learn and learning can change the brains structure. This basically may explain why religious and political indoctrination is such a powerful tool.

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          • “Perhaps man’s natural tendancy is religion becuase man was made so?”

            I agree with this Keith. Man evolved this feature along with community and sociability characteristics that helped humans to survive as a species. Religion is fundamentally a social event and goes back to the first religions when primitive man decided that the natural world was controlled by a god or gods.

            “It is rational to be a creationist on the fundamental rejection of the whole need for evolution; an Origin of Species outside of God.”

            I also agree with this. If we were not created by God or we did not crawl out of a life giving chemical pond it is feasible that the Earth was seeded from a meteorite with life giving elements or planted on Earth by a highly advanced life form. In fact, with the record numbers of UFO sightings it would be argued that we should attach more credibility to this notion than any others.

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          • The Prometheus notion is a good one, though it pushes the problem a step back. Who made our creators?

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  4. Faith and trust are quite diffident things. You can trust scientists, or teachers or medics because if you investigate their fields for yourself, then you find their claims justified. You can’t do that with religious claims.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Actually, you can, essiep. You can apply your reason, logic, and your powers of observation. You can study the facts of history and even science. There have been atheists who have done so, purposefully to prove the Christian record wrong, and have arrived at the opposite conclusion.

      As to faith and trust being different issues, you’re right in the sense that trust implies you are acting upon what you believe. But what I soon learned in the atheist/theist FB group I mentioned in the article, is that the atheists all think of faith as “blind faith,” while none of the theists do. None of us is putting our trust in Jesus just because. Without thought, without a reason behind what we are believing. Some of us do so after the fact, me included. I became a Christian when I was very young and I didn’t know all the questions to ask. But I did ask questions, as far as my understanding went. I was told I needed a Savior because I was a sinner. Well, I didn’t have any big horrible sins that made me jump at this idea. But everyone I knew seemed to have some problem I could lay at the feet of sin. I figured if I could just thing of one person who was perfect, then maybe I could be like them and therefore escape on my own. So I figured the best place to look was the Bible. But no. First I though of Moses. But I learned he had committed murder. Well, maybe King David. But further investigation showed he was an adulterer AND a murderer. Jonah was out. Samson. Every person I could think of. You see, that was me, doing the best I could as a young person to find reasons NOT to believe. And I didn’t find any. As an adult, I still have not encountered one perfect person. And the results are clear—God’s word says, The wages of sin is death, and I can observe that one out of every one person dies. Conclusion. All have sinned, me included. And therefore all are in need of a Savior.

      Becky

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    • “You can trust scientists, or teachers or medics because if you investigate their fields for yourself, then you find their claims justified. ”
      Amen. I’m with Rebecca that this can also be extended to Religion; God is personal, and, therefore, without begging a naturalistic explanation, it is reasonable to accept any personal encounter with him as a justification for him.

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      • “I’m with Rebecca that this can also be extended to Religion; God is personal, and, therefore, without begging a naturalistic explanation, it is reasonable to accept any personal encounter with him as a justification for him.”

        How can a so called personal encounter be justification if you go through the investigative process as you do for anything else?
        If I were to see someone claiming to be a god, a satan or Santa Claus at the end of my bed talking with me, I would not put that down to reality or spiritual apparitions.

        This could become a serious medical problem and it has been proven to be just that most of the time. The facts are that the majority of individuals who attend psychiatrists’ sessions saying they hear and see things that no one else can see or hear are likely to receive a diagnosis of schizophrenia.

        A voice in your head that is not a product of your own brain is impossible and we can all invent a voice that guides us or calms us emotionally. Voices in your head can be diagnosed as a meaningful response to painful life events, particularly childhood events, however to have faith that this voice is somehow a god is purely pretence, just like we did as children.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sky, why do you trust you eye sight? Your hearing? Your reason? They are all faculties of the mind that can be delirious. Should I investigate them?

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      • That’s not the same as saying god really exists. The idea is just inside your head,

        Liked by 1 person

        • I won’t deny that, but Reason falls in the same category; you believe it because it is rather obvious. What I’m talking about isn’t simply some emotional “He loves me” kind of thing; He made himself rather obvious to me. Like knowing that your electronic device exists, or perhaps a good book.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. It is difficult at times to respond to posts like yours because we are only seeing one side. We don’t know what you posted on that facebook page in reference to “Faith”, we don’t know what it is inside the bible you are pointing to in order to prove a God. Those are some factors to consider.

    Having been involved in various debates between Atheists vs. Theists, one of the first questions is often to define specific terms: “How do you define Faith?”. You would figure between both parties, they could settle on a definition they could agree on?!? …. but normally it is still debated for 30 minutes before it’s time to move on.

    Bottom line, if we define faith as “trust in the airline pilot”, yes, an Atheist would agree. If you state faith with a religious connotation, no.

    Is it a circular argument to point to the bible as proof of God? Again, it depends on what you are pointing to. We have the Tanakh, Old Testament, New Testament, Quran, Hindu Texts..etc (of course some of these texts come from the same source). I can easily say there is a God because it says to in “Legend of Etana”. If someone asks me to prove it and I say “Read, ‘Legend of Etana'”… that’s kind of a circular argument. Scientific experiments are documented, tested and can be proven by recreating the experiment. The “Big Bang” is a theory and Creation is a belief. (although the Big Bang is not necessarily a theory that is believed by an Atheist)

    I don’t believe that religious people are stupid. But you are basically calling Atheists stupid when you say you are not a violent person but want to “shake one or two people.” and then make comments such as the ones that start with “atheists’ unwillingness to trust God…” It sounds like you are calling Atheists stupid, maybe those you debate are returning your comments in kind?

    Why are you in such disbelief that someone would have a different belief than you? Along with your comment “The atheist conclusions don’t fit the facts”, is this what you say about Buddhists? Those of Jewish faith? Hindu? (and various other religions, worldviews and philosophies). Hmm… Is it you or your religion that is causing so much angst inside you? Acceptance of others is key.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sorry your comment got lost in the shuffle, David. Hope you find this response. First, perhaps I wasn’t clear—I was talking about the meaning of faith because, as you said, that issue is key in nearly all our discussions. The thing that I don’t understand is the atheists who insist that a Christian’s faith is one thing when we repeatedly say, No, it’s not. No matter. They want to tell me what my faith is, even though I say it is something else. That doesn’t make sense to me.

      I’m not calling those in our group who make such statements “stupid.” I do think I am talking past them, that they have already made up their minds, so it doesn’t matter what I say.

      I am not in disbelief that there are people who hold different views. When I said, the atheist views don’t fit the facts, I was primarily addressing the fact that they say they use reason, not faith. I just listed out ways in which we all use faith. So they are ignoring a set of facts in order to elevate their own position. If a Buddhist said the same thing or a Hindu or whoever, of course I would say the same thing. Faith is not something unique to the religious, however, and the atheists I’ve encountered, particularly in that FB group, can’t hear this fact.

      Angst? Sorry, but I have to chuckle at that one. No angst here, David. And I have no trouble “accepting” other people, unless by that you mean I’m supposed to agree with them or come to some relative conclusion—“whatever works for them.” No, that’s one of those troublesome facts that so many nowdays seem to have a hard time with. Buddhist who believe in an inner light, Hindus who believe in many gods, atheists who believe in no god, Jews who believe in a monotheistic God, Muslims who believe in Allah, and Christians who believe in a triune God, can’t all be right. One belief system must fit the facts in a more logical, coherent way, and I find that to be Christianity.

      Becky

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      • Again, It’s difficult to respond because you are giving me one side of the story. For example, if you posted the facebook group and allowed me to review what Atheists are saying, I’d probably have a better answer for you. In your response you are telling me that atheists are defining what your/Christian belief is. Without knowing the details, I can only say that even people of the same faith may have different beliefs… seriously, I’m atheist and I find it humorous how other people define me too.

        I will have to say that I’ve been in the mix of Atheist vs. Theist debates and if you are involved in one of these debates, you first need both parties to define “Faith” and “Belief”, I’ve seen too many debates where someone comes in saying atheists have a “belief in god” and twist it religiously.

        It always seems “Whatever works for them” turns into a Christian saying “They can’t all be true…” and then claim Christianity is true. I get it, that is your belief but then I hear debates between Catholics and Protestants (and various Christian denominations) each claiming their way is true. Just to point out, those of the Christian, Muslim and Jewish belief- all believe in the same God (Yes, Allah is the same god as yours), all read more or less from the same texts.. (with one big exception to yours, Jesus). As with other religions the Buddhist, their religion/philosophy is true to them. While anyone of them could possibly be true.. there is always the possibility that they could all be wrong.

        While I don’t believe in any of the above, I take the time to understand each one (including atheism) and none are more important than the other to me. They are equally important to the individual who follows along with it.

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      • David, here’s the link to the FB group, though I’m not sure what you’ll see. It’s a closed group, which I think means you can read and not comment. You need to be member to comment, I’m pretty sure. Whether you can read or not, I don’t know. (Oops! Forgot to paste it. https://www.facebook.com/groups/theocross/ Sorry about that!)

        And we did have that discussion about the definition of faith, but it keeps coming up because the atheists in the group can’t accept the theist assertion that we are not operating on “blind faith.” To them all faith is blind, though they have conceded that they “trust” scientists, which of course is not the same as “having faith” in them.

        Ironically I just said “they can’t all be true” in my last comment to you. Because they can’t be. Hindus believe in multiple gods. Christians believe in one God in three persons. That’s nonsense to Jews and Muslims who believe in a monotheistic God. The simply can’t all be true. Either there is God or there is not. Both positions can’t be true. If there is God, what’s He like? He can’t be one and also be many; He can’t be triune and a God without (without the Son and the Spirit) at the same time. They simply are different.

        Is one right and the others wrong? There’s only one way to find out: by investigating, not using the disciplines that can’t touch the supernatural, but by employing the kinds of techniques that historians, philosophers and theologians use.

        And here’s the thing: if one is right, it ought to matter, not just to the person who believes it, but to everyone else as well. Because it affects life now, and it affects life after this life.

        Again, I appreciate you’re willingness to dialogue on these issues, David.

        Becky

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  6. The word ‘faith’ is used in many different ways. Shifting the meaning around like this in the course of an argument is little other than equivocation.

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    • Daniel, I’m not sure who you’re directing this comment toward, but i actually don’t think either David or I am “shifting the meaning around.” We simply define faith differently. David thinks faith means what I refer to as blind faith—more akin to wishful thinking than any thing. I don’t think he wavers from that position.

      I, as well as other Christians, say that faith is built on something—a reason, an agreement with an authority, an experience. Probably all those and more, but it is not blind. It is not wishful thinking. And it isn’t so different from what atheists experience.

      Becky

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      • Becky, the Faith synonyms are: trust, belief, confidence, conviction, credence, reliance, dependence, optimism, hopefulness, hope, expectation.

        You suggest “faith is built on something—a reason, an agreement with an authority, an experience. Probably all those and more, but it is not blind. It is not wishful thinking. And it isn’t so different from what atheists experience.”

        Faith is not built on an agreement with an authority or an experience because they are not recognised as practical contact with\ and observation of facts or events. They are real only to you and witnessed only by yourself. “Faith” is the word used for all religions because that is as good as it can get. It is built by nothing more than the above synonyms.

        Atheists have nothing to do with faith, they have more than enough evidence to know that no gods exist. If they have some doubt they will be more agnostic.

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        • How does non-existence leave evidence of its self?

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          • Exactly, it cannot. If it does not exist, no evidence, therefore that equals non-existence.

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          • No evidence can also equal ignorance.

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          • “No evidence can also equal ignorance.” How does that work?
            Surely if there is no evidence that somebody exists apart from your conclusions drawn from an ancient book written by unsubstantiated people it is not conclusive or a creditable source.
            Pretending the evidence exists is ignorance.

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          • God has spoken to me in my mind several times. One time he told me there would be a couple hitchhiking outside of Phoenix and I was to pick them up.

            They were there and I did pick them up.Your knowledge of Christianity is sheer ignorance.

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          • OK your own mind talks to you and behold they are there, on the road hitchhiking. Now tell me why this coincidence is arranged and spoken by God?

            I also have incidences where my mind spoke to me about something that may happen and sure enough a coincidence similar to this has happened many times, but I am not indoctrinated into a religious ideology and it is not God, this is the big difference, if I was, I would be preaching God’s voice is in my brain just as you do.

            I would also question, why would God bother with mundane rubbish such as this with the privileged middle class when he could be saving a child from rape or starvation in Africa?

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          • So you now know what goes on inside my head. Remarkable since you don’t know what goes on inside your own head. Your responses jump around like a drop of water on a hot griddle before it turns into vapor. This may be appropriate since eventually you are to be an ephemeral spiritual vapor just before you cease to exist. Sorry about that but it is what you have in your “infinite” wisdom chosen.

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          • Everything you do goes on inside your head. Your brain is controlling your beliefs and science will never say for definite that there is no God because that is how science operates, it leaves the door open no matter how impossible the concept may be. However, the evidence that no gods exist is compelling.

            “While there’s still much to be learned about the neuroscience of religious belief, they’ve already made some intriguing discoveries that may help us to better understand this powerful force in many of our lives.”

            “But neuroscience now seems to show that there is no single “God spot,” according to Dr. Andrew Newberg, who’s spent decades studying spiritual beliefs and practices. “Prayer, meditation, speaking in tongues – there are lots of different parts of the brain that get involved in these kinds of religious and spiritual practices and experiences,”

            “Spirituality is a much more dynamic concept that uses many parts of the brain,” University of Missouri brain researcher Brick Johnstone told the Huffington Post in 2012. “Certain parts of the brain play more predominant roles, but they all work together to facilitate individuals’ spiritual experiences.”

            http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/brain-games/articles/your-brain-on-god/

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          • Steve, you keep making that same assertion and I will continue to challenge it. You have presented some pretty weak and nebulous evidence “for” some things, but you have yet to produce any evidence “against” the existence of God. NONE. You have repeatedly made this assertion, repeatedly been asked to defend it and repeatedly produce any evidence that would disprove God, other than the force of your own repetition. I think it is high time you back up you assertion that God does not exists. Oh…and again, you are going to get in trouble with the other atheists LOL. They seem to think atheism is content free, and merely disbelief in gods of any sort. You on the other hand, assert His non existence.

            Your turn, Steve…evidence against God?

            Eh, I will make it easy for you Steve. There is none. On the other hand, your constant, never ending flailing against Him is pretty compelling evidence that God has placed in YOUR heart the same knowledge of Him that He places in all hearts. I have yet to see you chase Muslims, Hindus, Krishnas or any other faith. You chase Christian. Why? Romans 1:20. If you don’t know it, look it up, especially that last part about how we have no excuse.We….you…none of us. Open your heart Steve. I issue the same challenge to you Becky has. Quit relying on what others tell you about God’s Word, or what you think you learned a a child in Sunday School, or snip of Scripture you probably only look up because some atheist preacher told you to. Pick up a Bible and read it for yourself. I suggest the Book of John. It’s deep enough for a smart fellow like you, yet simple enough for a starter, again like you.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Wally, you really make me laugh, you like playing your little theist games because you know you cannot prove God exists, therefore logic tells me that as God cannot be proven to exist this obviously means he does not exist. I would love to have someone claim they have solid evidence that God exists before I could debunk their evidence.

            To answer your question, I have blogged with Muslims, Jews on the odd occasions, however I find Christians have different views and beliefs of Christianity often mixed with political idealism that makes it more interesting and it is the main religion of the English-speaking world.

            What advantages as a Christian on a daily basis do you have compared to me as an atheist? I have a stroke of luck or a huge problem is easily resolved from time to time and this event would be claimed by Christians as God answered prayers. I have talked to atheists who have beaten a disease or hardship and Christians claim these as Gods miracles. I have had a conversation with a voice inside my brain on many occasions, Christians claim this is a communication with God. When a disaster strikes me or a community I am devastated, however this is claimed by Christians as part of Gods plan and they pray.

            The way I see it is you have completely fooled yourselves in life and I would bet my house that you have been fooled about the rest of it, such as eternal life, heaven and hell etc. Where is he, time for a Christian rethink?

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          • I am glad I amuse you Steve. You are correct in that I cannot prove God to exist. So what? I have never claimed I could. I will come back to that. Oh the other hand, you have clearly stated that the evidence against God proves He does not exist. Positive assertion made, Steve. Back it.

            Anyway back to this proof thing. One of your atheist handlers once tole me that “proofs are reserved for maths.” Now, since you are such a power house of science I assume you know this is likely true. You could probably ask your handler. At any rate, if proofs are reserved for maths, then apparently nothing exist outside of math, because according to you if some thing cannot be proven to exist, then logic says it does not exists. Ooopsy!

            Back to the reading though, Steve. You have a lot to say about the Bible even though you admit you have not read it in a true sense. Why don’t you? John is great. I also agree with Becky, Acts is awesome too. Read it, Steve, then you have the right to critique it.

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          • Steve, I was not done, but wanted this next thing to be alone, you you can see it. You said this.

            “When a disaster strikes me or a community I am devastated, however this is claimed by Christians as part of Gods plan and they pray.”

            Steve, that is frankly a stupid, baseless assertion designed to do nothing more than paint a person you disagree with in a negative light. When a disaster strikes, you(along with the other atheists I suppose) are devastated, and Christians are not. We just pray and claim is is God’s plan. That’s a quote Steve. “however this is claimed by Christians as part of God’s plan and they pray.” Interesting. May I ask how you have concluded that Christians are not devastated by disasters? I am pretty sure I am without fail distressed by human suffering. I bet Becky is also. That’s two right there. Immediately your statement goes up in smoke. Not only are Christians distressed by these things, just like any other human, but are also the ones putting boots on the ground to do something about it. My point is, Steve, adult discourse with you starts becoming impossible when you say things like that.

            Peace

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          • Prove is the word that you use as much as anyone Wally and you are splitting hairs.

            The evidence I believe that atheists have had for thousands of years is that not one god since the first man walked the Earth can be verified by modern humans is as good as it gets and is an Earth shattering logical deduction.

            I do not have time to read science books and the Bible in their entirety. I nod off for a nana nap after ten minutes of reading.

            I also did not say that Christians do not get distressed, however if you are inclined to look for discrepancies you have found one and I apologise profusely. I am correct in that I have heard many comments suggesting it is Gods plan and the dead are in a better place at the side of the lord and let us pray for them.

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          • “Prove is the word that you use as much as anyone Wally and you are splitting hairs”

            No..you are mistaken. I have not once stated I can prove anything I say.

            “I do not have time to read science books and the Bible in their entirety. I nod off for a nana nap after ten minutes of reading”

            I find that an astounding admission when compared to the amount of time you spend pontificating about both of those subjects. Very telling.

            “I also did not say that Christians do not get distressed”

            Yes, you did. Apology accepted

            Prayer. Yep. I pray lots of them including for those suffering distress. I know many Christian who do. You say that as if it is a failure on the part of folks to do that. Let me share this, Steve. You may be familiar with the recent hurricane in the Houston area, which is less than a day trip for us. We, as a church, spend much time in prayer for them down there, as they are quite distressed. Want to know something else? We also have people in our assembly who have made repeated trips to the area to provide real, boots on the ground help, because the need is ongoing. Yes, the world has forgotten those people, but the church continues to assist. Do you know something else, Steve? If you do go down there, it’s quite telling that secular agencies have almost no presence one can see. The people helping for the most part….are churches. So, I suggest you be careful as you step off or your high horse of “Christians just pray and wish.”

            Peace out, Steve. When you feel in the mood to present your evidence against God, I will hear it.

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          • Wally, you do live in a country and possibly an area where the majority of people are Christian no doubt, therefore obviously most of the arranged groups will be from churches. I think this may have a bearing on your biased view against the secular agencies. One thing I cannot figure is how do you spot atheist individuals amongst Christians; do they look different?

            Just in case you did not realise, I have in my previous comment explained how not one religion has any solid evidence to confirm their god’s existence, and therefore the outcome of their non-existence is obvious and the best confirmation that all the gods ever heard of, including the Christian God is invented by man. God’s are installed by humans through an indoctrination process into the heads of other humans where this evolved human socialistic feature can develop into highly emotional beliefs and firm doctrines.

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          • “One thing I cannot figure is how do you spot atheist individuals amongst Christians; do they look different?”

            Um..pretty much any group helping has a sign so people know who they are LOL. Steve, when you declare truths about things you have never seen, you look quite foolish.

            “Wally, you do live in a country and possibly an area where the majority of people are Christian no doubt, therefore obviously most of the arranged groups will be from churches”

            That is factually incorrect. Most “arranged groups” Are not from churches overall in my part of the world. It is completely and absolutely true, however, that the overwhelming majority of live, daily assistance to these people is coming from churches. That is fact, based on observation. Unless you have been there, Steve, you cannot counter that. Nice try.

            Again. The fact that you declare all evidence presented to you as not real evidence does not undo the fact that you declared their is enough evidence against God to prove Him non existent. The fact that my evidence, in your opinion, is lousy….does not make my lousy evidence into evidence to prove your assertion. I will withhold further comment to you on this thread until you cough it up, as all I am doing is giving you an opportunity to preach atheist sermons, and not especially spectacular ones at that.

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          • See the problem, Steve? Wally and I and Walt and other Christians tell you of our personal experience with God, and you discount that. We show you God in nature, and you discount that. We show you God in the Bible and you discount that. In truth, there is nothing we can show you because you immediately rule it out as not valid.

            Why? Just because you rule it out.

            And then you conclude, Non-evidence for God is evidence that He doesn’t exist.

            As if that weren’t bad enough, you ignore what I’ve said before—in all the multiverses before us, which we have not and can not explore, you say that one thing is true, regardless: God is not there. HOW could you know such a thing??

            But there’s more. You want finite and visible evidence of that which is infinite and invisible. Jesus came for just such people as you, Steve. And Thomas who said he wouldn’t believe Jesus was really raised from the dead unless he could put his fingers in the nail prints in his hands.

            Whatever other intervention into the physical plane that God makes, you simply label “imagination” or “myth.” You simply can’t accept any evidence for God because He isn’t human.

            I’ve used the analogy before of trying to categorize the word “beautiful” as an adjective by using math terms. Clearly you can’t. You need to go beyond mathematics to grammar in order to understand the idea, the concept, the existence, of an adjective. In the same way, to have a glimpse of God, you have to go beyond the empirical type data you seem to demand. You won’t get it. You can’t get it.

            But Walt is not talking to himself in his head when God speaks to him. Or to me. or to any other Christian. You can’t know that because you haven’t heard His voice.

            The bottom line, Steve, is that it takes a lot of hubris to hold the positions atheists hold. They know what they cannot know. They even know that what Christians say isn’t so and didn’t happen, though it happened to us. Atheists even know the Bible isn’t true, though many haven’t read it. And on and on. It makes me sad, Steve. I really do think you’re better than all this.

            Becky

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          • Your comments like this one Rebecca. “Wally and I and Walt and other Christians tell you of our personal experience with God, and you discount that.”

            I have not discounted any of it, I have indicated where your experiences come from, inside your head, and many neuroscientists are working on this and many other aspects of brain functions.

            Your comment “And then you conclude, Non-evidence for God is evidence that He doesn’t exist.”

            Considering I do not spend my life being subservient to an icon God the fact is I am asking who do you pray to, the air or the space around you? I have already mentioned that Christian theists do not benefit any more than atheists with personally answered prayers or miracles.

            You said “you ignore what I’ve said before—in all the multiverses before us, which we have not and can not explore, you say that one thing is true, regardless: God is not there. HOW could you know such a thing??”

            I would never assume any Earthly worshipped god is anywhere on Earth apart from within the human mind. I would never pretend I know anything apart from my many lines of reasoning that I know there is no gods, anywhere, anytime, anyway.

            Your quote “And Thomas who said he wouldn’t believe Jesus was really raised from the dead unless he could put his fingers in the nail prints in his hands.”

            That is the problem, you have nothing else but to quote the Bible that regardless of your belief is not an accurate document.

            Your comment ”You simply can’t accept any evidence for God because He isn’t human.”

            Absolutely correct, I do not believe in supermen and amazing beings that control everything without compelling evidence. I do believe in amazing human beings and their struggles on this Earth and that a guiding powerful god can be of benefit to them.

            You claim “But Walt is not talking to himself in his head when God speaks to him. Or to me. or to any other Christian. You can’t know that because you haven’t heard His voice.”

            If there is a voice in my head I can call it whatever I want, even God, so can everybody. Because of indoctrination the voices for Christians will be God, that’s fine, but it’s not exclusively a Christian thing.

            Everything that happens to Christians happens to everyone else, take it as gospel from the real world and I hate to break it to you, but you are not exclusive or privileged in any way shape or form. You are mostly very nice people but all to easily led by emotion into an ideology that is as full of holes as a Swiss cheese.

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          • Ah, Steve. More of the same. You simply think you know more about our experiences with God than we do. You are blind.

            We are not special people at all. Anyone can have a relationship with God, but not if they claim He doesn’t exist. He does not force Himself on anyone.

            And of course you once again dismiss eyewitness accounts written in the Bible because they don’t agree with your paradigm. You have no other reason to do so.

            You say God might be somewhere, just not on earth, which is pure nonsense. If He is all powerful, then what would stop Him from being on earth. You’re not thinking clearly, Steve, because your mind is blinded to the truth.

            Frankly I don’t understand why you want to discuss things that you’ve already made up your mind about. Are you trying to convince someone that God doesn’t exist? That’s nonsensical too because how do you convince someone who has a relationship with another Person that He isn’t actually there?

            Even if God were in our minds, which He clearly isn’t—I had nothing to do with the Bible, nothing to do with Wally or Walt or any of the other Christians I’ve met on line and still, our understanding and experience of God is remarkably similar—your saying He doesn’t exist, without offering any evidence is totally ineffective.

            On the contrary, believers ought not have anything in common with ones in Africa or China or France because we should be driven by our cultural experience, but that’s not the case either. Instead, there’s a unique unity and recognition that we all have the same Father, that what I know about God, they know about God. Has nothing to do with tricks of the mind, Steve. That’s something that you and the “scientists” who have dreamed it up and cannot find evidence for it, simply imagined. These “studies” you’ve mentioned without reference, which may or may not indicate some connection with religion and the brain obviously have not dealt with the knotty subject of whether that which might be in the brain is the cause of religious experience or a result of religious experience.

            Who is the one deluding himself here? Clearly not Christians.

            Becky

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          • I am not completely stupid Rebecca and I know a bit more than you assume. My stepmother was a missionary in Africa and my father became a devout Christian after realising what a prick he was and after my mother left him.

            My father told me he saw a large Christian cross glowing in the sky and God communicated with him during his emotional life situation and transformation to religion. Now, I asked him if this was not his imagination and he said he did not believe so, however nobody else saw this cross and it happened in the middle of the day in suburbia. No reports in the paper or on the news. It happened for him and sure enough he mellowed with his faith into a reasonable Christian person. I do not deny that what he saw was real to him and I do not deny that you and the faithful do in fact believe you communicate with God.

            I do not want to ruin your day with explaining how this happens inside your head, however it is only fair I give you the chance and try to convince you to investigate further and for the fact Christians have been trying to convert me since Sunday School, “fair’s fair” as they say.

            Believers in all religious faiths have the same experiences as you do, therefore it is not exclusive for Christians. You have already decided that science is not real and it is dreamed up and imagined only because it is detrimental to your ideology. I understand this, as many scientists including Darwin had to deal with this attitude.

            Indoctrination is a very powerful tool used by religions and political regimes. This is because you must follow a doctrine that supports an ideology. You are also not encouraged to accept new or unsupported ideas that are not true to your faith, you will not speak out against the doctrine if there is a problem with what others will say, unanimity should not be forced, just because the majority thinks that they are right does not mean that they are. Regularly some Christians use derogatory or judgmental terms about outsiders of the ideology and others that do not agree with the philosophies.

            http://articles.exchristian.net/2007/03/how-christian-mind-control-works.html

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/kathleen-taylor-religious-fundamentalism-mental-illness_n_3365896

            https://www.cnet.com/news/scientists-apple-makes-your-brain-go-all-religious/

            https://www.mitchmedical.us/neuroscience-religion/childhood-indoctrination.html

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          • Steve, I’m not sure why you had to say you’re not completely stupid. I never said you were. I did say you are blind. It’s spiritually blind to say some of the things you do. For example, you completely ignored what I said about an all powerful God and how ridiculous it is to say He might exist but just not on earth. That flies in the face of what “all powerful” means. Only someone spiritually blind could reason that way, and I know this because of the very fact that you are NOT stupid.

            And I’m sorry but you don’t know what the relationship of a Christian is with God. You don’t know about forgiveness of sin or peace with Him. You can talk about our experiences being just like those of other religions but you CAN’T know this. For one, it just isn’t so, but since you don’t believe in any god, you don’t know what their religious beliefs are like and their experience in comparison to what a Christian believes and experiences.

            And the fact that I can relate to someone like Wally, for example, on a totally different level than I can with my Buddhist cousin, should show you that Christians have something in common with each other that does not exist with someone of just any religion.

            The idea of indoctrination is actually kind of amusing, Steve, especially in light of the sermon I heard on the radio today addressing the disunity of the Philippian church in the first century and what Paul had to say to them. The reality is, we don’t all agree with doctrine. My best friend believes things that are a bit different from what I believe (she believes in infant baptism, for example, and I believe in believers baptism), but on the main things—the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, for instance, we don’t disagree. Why? Because we were both indoctrinated? if that were true, then you tell me, why do we have any different beliefs at all? Shouldn’t we be in lock step when it comes to doctrine? We aren’t, but she’s a dear Christian sister. That’s the kind of thing that atheists have no answer for, Steve. The easy belief is that we’ve been indoctrinated, but that doesn’t account for the FACTS.

            What you’re actually witnessing is people who read the Bible and believe what it says. Nobody brainwashed us into doing so. And yes, some things we interpret differently, which is why Christians discuss things like the end times and being filled by the Holy Spirit and what exactly the sovereignty of God means, and many other topics about which we don’t always agree. But the essentials, the “plain things” written large throughout the Bible, we all get those and agree on those.

            Have some people been indoctrinated in the name of Christianity? Probably so. But pointing to false cults does not identify what Christians experience.

            As to your father’s experience, Steve, did he imagine the cross or did he see a vision? How are you in a position to say that what he witnessed wasn’t something God sent him?

            I don’t think that’s how God deals with us usually, but I know He appeared to the Apostle Paul in a vision that the men with him didn’t witness in the same way as he did, so I know it’s possible. Remember, what isn’t possible with an all powerful God?

            Don’t get me wrong. God is not yanking people’s chains or telling people to do things that are weird or dangerous. Whatever He communicates to us is either pointing to His word or is consistent with His word. Like showing your father a cross would be.

            I wish I could explain better, Steve. I’m sorry you’re getting your ideas about Christians from some internet sites and not from actual people you might encounter who are Christians.

            Becky

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          • Hi Rebecca, I apologise, I did not mean that you had called me stupid, I wrote it with an emphasis on myself for myself without thinking about how it would be received. You have been nothing but gracious and polite in our debates and a few others could take your lead😊

            I understand that Christians are basically all singing from the same basic song book and that is what indoctrination is about. The differences individuals have such as young earth, old earth, evolution or creation is dependent usually on the denomination they choose. Minor personal preferences are beside the point when you consider the many commandments from the Bible that are discarded regarding food, clothing, head coverings, women’s roles and divorce etc.

            Is it not inevitable that people are brainwashed if they are bought up within a religious environment and educated with religious doctrine on a regular basis by parents, schools, the community and church leaders? Religious beliefs are originated on propositional statements for doctrine, but also on periodic memory and imagery. The fact is many are born and raised into religions not knowing anything else exists and are basically unaware of their indoctrination.

            It has been recognised that the brain changes considerably, this is called neuroplasticity and changes with what you learn, what you eat and how much exercise throughout your life.

            People will be resolute that God is communicating with them or they had a real life vision, however this is on a parallel with people who experience apparitions or talk to dead people. There is also an increase in the serotonin levels during meditation. Serotonin has effects on depression and anxiety and 5HT2 receptor stimulation can result in hallucinogenic effects. These phenomena are totally realistic if not a physical experience filled with emotional stimulation and cannot possibly be anything but have really happened, therefore deeply emotional beliefs of any persuasion overcome and suppresses logical and critical reasoning.

            Many ex-Christians including decades long former devoted church ministers have experienced the same feelings as any Christian has before they had the courage to ask the critical questions.

            References:
            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3190564/
            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3929007/

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          • The truth is, God does exist, but until Jesus came He only showed Himself in ways that differ from our existence. But Jesus, who IS God, clearly existed in human form. He came, in part, to show us the Father, who so many were missing. Instead of convincing everyone, even the Jews who were waiting for their Messiah, rejected Jesus. People today continue to miss Him. That fact does not negate His existence.

            Becky

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        • Steve Hi

          Evidence against God. Yeah…ok. I issue this challenge to you. Using the “scientific method” you constantly claim must be the measure of all things, show me the scientific evidence that clearly illustrates God does not exist. Hint…there is none. A being that exists outside of time, space, and physical laws cannot be proven nor disproved using those methods. Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t atheism simply the lack of belief in God or “gods?” The constant claim is that atheists make no positive claim that must be proven. You said the following:

          “Atheists have nothing to do with faith, they have more than enough evidence to know that no gods exist”

          That, my friend, is a positive claim against God, touting evidence. I suggest you show it.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Hi Wally, I thought I may have caught your eye.
            The evidence is exactly the undisputable fact that no gods can be found. That is probably one of the best parts of evidence against all gods because humans have claimed that gods are real since the cave man days, and they, like your God and all the others that are a little more sophisticated they have never been found to exist and never will.
            Oh, I tell a lie, ask some neuroscientists where in your brain your God and all gods exist and have existed for all religions for all time. If you think there is anything like a god that exists outside of the human brain it is surely up to you to provide the evidence.

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          • Steve, you claim that no evidence of “gods” has been found, but every Christian will tell you that’s not true. You are making your conclusions with faulty evidence. Really, no evidence at all. Just your own eye witness—“I haven’t seen any gods, so there must not be any.” Have you looked in the Bible?

            Just wondering.

            Becky

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      • Steve, you saying faith is not based on authority does not make it so. I think I addressed that line of reasoning in my article. But there’s one more important point: what’s your authority to believe you have the right definition of faith and I don’t? Besides the obvious—that you are using faith to make your argument—I find it ironic that the people who say they do not have faith also declare themselves experts in it. The logical approach would be to give credit to those you say are dependent on faith to actually explain what it is we depend upon. BTW, we do depend on faith, but so do you. Just not in something that evidence shows is trustworthy or deserving of faith.

        Becky

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        • Your claim of authority can only be based on the religious ideology you follow and the church hierarchy, whereas my authority is the ongoing evidence provided by science.

          I understand that I am no expert on religious faith but I do understand the dependence of some people on this faith and if it is doing good for an individual in a personal situation so be it, I am not making my arguments with those people, only with theist bloggers, preachers, apologetics and any other life form.

          I do not use faith to make an argument. If science cannot answer something then nobody will know anything more about that particular subject and usually logical and rational conjecture is provided. Evidence eliminates faith, hope or an unsupported belief something exists.

          For example, “evidence” in the dictionary means the available body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid, and “faith” means a strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof.

          Can you not see the difference here Rebecca?

          Liked by 1 person

          • Certainly I see the difference, Steve. But there are two factors here: you ignore or discount the evidence for God–His revelation, which is the only way the physical can know the non-physical. And you seem oblivious to your own faith.

            For instance, what is the evidence of the supposed non-repeatable act known as The Big Bang? You can’t observe it, test it, or replicate it. So how do you “know” it existed? There are no “available facts or information indicating whether” that belief is “true or valid.” None. You simply believe it because you put your faith in fallible scientists who also don’t believe in God and who have put forth this hypothesis as an alternative to creation.

            So clearly, you do use faith, Steve. You either don’t realize it or you don’t want to admit it because you’ve determined that’s a “religious” thing.

            And by the way, I don’t know what definition you’re using for “faith” but Oxford New American says, as the #1 definition, ” complete trust or confidence in someone or something.” There’s no qualification that this trust is related only to something having to do with religion.

            Which reminds me that you’re mistaken if you think the authority I’m referring to is some church hierarchy. The authority I’m talking about is Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us believers are all part of a priesthood. Jesus Himself intercedes for us with the Father. We have no need for another priest to tell us what to believe. I know Catholics differ on this point, but it’s pretty clear.

            Becky

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          • Becky, science is always evolving, and it gets things wrong for sure, however it also gets most of what it does right. Scientists on the cutting edge of discoveries will speculate and that is exactly what the big bang is. Even though it is based on their current knowledge no scientist has ever said that this “big bang” is a fact.

            Science is about finding out what makes this universe tick and the creativity that comes with it. I support science as a way to the future unlike religions because they are based on a ideological superstitious past and are static in nature. Science is not just based on reality, but it is dynamic and progressive.

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  7. The problem with atheists finding God is they don’t know what they are looking for. And it is clear they won’t be given the knowledge they need to “see” him. God gives people what they desire and so he provides atheists with the ignorance of himself they so eagerly pursue.

    You are a kind person so you may not want to point out to the atheists that unless they change their desires [more properly, the Holy Spirit comes to them at God’s direction] their blindness will persist until they no longer exist. That’s how it works, no matter how much damage it does to their ego.

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    • I deal with evidence and facts. Where is the evidence what you say is true? There are numerous gods and thousands of religions and I have no evidence that any one of them is real. If this Christian God gave us free will to use our logical thought and common sense it must be expected considering the atheists must have received much more freer will than the theists.

      Only joking, I know of many Christians who were devout or even priests and converted to atheists.

      The “Holy Spirit comes to them at God’s direction” you claim.

      This is a fancy way of saying when you are indoctrinated into the ideology. I do not live in fear of any god and I never will, dead or alive.

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      • That’s why God does not reveal himself to you. Eat drink and be merry, it is far wiser than doing self-justification on the internet.

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      • Oh, Steve, you only think you deal with facts and evidence. Were you there to observe the supposed “Big Bang”? Have you ever seen one specie morph into another? How deluded you are to think that what science proclaims is the absolute truth. We know that science has got it wrong in the past and that it is constantly offering various hypotheses for things we do not fully understand (string theory, multiverse, dark matter, gravity, sleep, black holes, the existence of other life in the universe, and any number of other things). That’s because these are human interpretations of the data. But they do not even allow consideration that God might be the cause. That what they observe might have a different explanation, one God revealed, instead of the one humans dreamed up.

        Indoctrination has nothing to do with what a person believes, Steve. Else your so called “former Christians” would have stuck to their guns and atheists like Anthony Flue would not have decided the only sense he could make of the world pointed to a Creator.

        When you say you “do not live in fear of any god” you’re also admitting you don’t live with His love or forgiveness or grace or peace. And surprisingly, believers don’t live in fear of God either. “Perfect love casts out fear.” We may, and should, revere Him, but mostly we feel grateful for what He has done and what He continues to do.

        Becky

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