Christian Theology

November 25, 2008

Atheists Don’t Exist

I do not believe in the existence of atheists. No, this is not a play on words or a trick statement. Atheists don’t exist. By “atheist” I am referring to the ideal person who does not believe in the existence of God, not the person who labels themselves as an atheist. Clear as mud? All people who label themselves as “atheist” are not, by definition, atheists, because they all believe in the existence of God.

I know they believe in the existence of God by their irrational behavior. I am not referring to the inconsistency of their lives with their claims. For instance, the nonbeliever (I believe I will refer to our “atheist” friends by that term for the duration of this article) necessarily holds the belief that we are the result of time plus matter plus chance, merely evolving accidents, the product of random collisions of matter. Yet they wish to believe that these accidental collisions produce truth, fact, and a coherent understanding of the universe. They are an accident producing accidents. As C.S. Lewis said, “It’s like expecting that the accidental shape taken by the splash when you upset a milk jug should give you a correct account of how the jug was made and why it was upset.” I am not referring to that irrational behavior, though I did enjoy pointing that out.

The irrational behavior I am referring to is the nonbeliever’s inability to admit when they have been defeated. Many nonbelievers are well educated people. They have done well to keep Theists on the hot seat. But when a well educated man — especially one schooled in logic — has his entire belief system completely dismantled and displayed as inconsistent and false, everybody else knows that this smart person knows he has been defeated. But he refuses to concede. He will not admit defeat. Instead, he retreats to his study to continue his search for one — just one — argument or proof that God does not exist. And he will repeat this over and over.

This irrational behavior is indicative of the real issue, and that is, that God exists, they know it, and they don’t like Him. If they admit He exists, then they have to bow the knee. Their rules no longer apply, God’s law does. That law of God that is written on the heart of every man is eating them alive, and they want very badly to make Him go away so that hopefully the guilt will go away as well. And so despite the evidences to prove the existence of God and the inconsistency of their own worldview, they continue to irrationally hold on to these beliefs.

To further my point, compare the debate over the existence of God to the debate over the existence of unicorns. I could just stop there, right? What debate? And who cares? What bearing does that have on my life? If an intelligent person were clearly shown that belief or non belief in unicorns were unfounded and false, and unicorns did or did not exist, then for them to continue to hold that belief would be an insult to their intelligence. If God were just some unicorn theory that had no real affect on a person’s life, as some nonbelievers claim, then why don’t they treat it as such? Why don’t they just shrug and go on?

Here is how this works, and how I know I’m right. When the believer is discussing the existence of God with a nonbeliever, ask them why they don’t like God. Every one of them will present a list. That list will ultimately consist of areas of God’s law and His character that interfere with the self-law of the nonbeliever. They don’t want a God to tell them what to do and not to do: don’t fornicate, don’t steal, love your neighbor, go to church. They will also likely present a number of misunderstandings about God and the Church. They don’t understand grace. God to them is one big meanie and that if they don’t follow all of His rules perfectly, all the time, God will have no mercy and fry them like Uzza. And most of the time, the list usually begins and ends with Christians being such big jerks, which is, unfortunately, one thing the nonbeliever got right. They don’t want to believe in God because they don’t want to end up like us.

Whatever the list of reasons, they are the subjective beliefs of the nonbeliever. Proofs for the existence of God don’t address a person’s subjective arguments, which is why most apologists don’t ever address them. For some reason it is beneath the apologist to talk to a nonbeliever like he is a human being and not a broken math equation. By all means, use truth, logic, evidences, and arguments. After all, we have truth on our side. But after you have handed their worldview back to them in a broken heap, and they break into irrational behavior, find out what their real problem is with God.

There are no atheists. If you were to find one real atheist, as G.K. Chesterton says, you will have found a madman.

Dante Tremayne

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99 Comments »

  1. “he retreats to his study to continue his search for one — just one — argument or proof that God does not exist.”

    I have absolutely no proof that a God doesn’t exist and I’m aware of the futility of searching for proof for the non-existence of anything. As there is no proof for a God (and certainly no proof for any particular God) I don’t believe there is one (or more).

    “If they admit He exists, then they have to bow the knee.”

    You seem to be confused here between what is true and what you want to be true. It doesn’t matter what I want to be real as that has no bearing on reality. I don’t believe things because I want them to be true or untrue, I believe things based on the evidence.

    “If God were just some unicorn theory that had no real affect on a person’s life, as some nonbelievers claim, then why don’t they treat it as such?”

    Unfortunately, the God theory does have an effect on an atheists life. To me, God is as real as unicorns but of course lots of people do believe in God and this has implications on my and my families life. For example, there aren’t any people believing in unicorns seeking to challenge Evolution or flying aeroplanes into buildings. Of course, there are lots of wonderful religious people in the World just as there are wonderful non-believers. I’d like to live in a World where both groups can respectfully disagree with one another, and I don’t think you should view the existence of atheists as a threat to your religious beliefs.

    “When the believer is discussing the existence of God with a nonbeliever, ask them why they don’t like God. Every one of them will present a list.”

    The reason I don’t believe in a God is because no evidence has been presented for the existence of a God. The reason I don’t believe in a particular God (Christian, Greek, etc) is that I’ve seen no reason why one might be more plausible than another.

    I could make a list of things I like about the Christian version of God and things I don’t like, but this would have no bearing on whether a God does or does not exist.

    Anyway, have a lovely day :)

    Lucy

    Comment by Lucy — November 25, 2008 @ 10:18 am | Reply

  2. I think you will find something of interest in Psalm 10:4. Look at the Hebrew for thoughts… “All his thoughts are, “There is no God.” ”

    Also consider Psalm 14:1 & 53:1

    I like the rest of that CS Lewis quote… “If the solar system was brought about by an accidental collision, then the appearance of organic life on this planet was also an accident, and the whole evolution of Man was an accident too. If so, then all our present thoughts are mere accidents – the accidental by-product of the movement of atoms. And this holds for the thoughts of the materialists and astronomers as well as for anyone else’s. But if their thoughts – i.e., of Materialism and Astronomy – are merely accidental by-products, why should we believe them to be true?I see no reason for believing that one accident should be able to give me a correct account of all the other accidents.”

    Thank you for your thoughts Dante,
    Cris Jesse

    Comment by Cris Jesse — November 25, 2008 @ 10:29 am | Reply

  3. Glad to know you’re another Christian who thinks they can read minds.

    Comment by morsec0de — November 25, 2008 @ 12:49 pm | Reply

  4. Dante, thanks for the article. Though I would agree with the arguments of the article, I would say that these kind of arguments might be a hindrance to getting us close to winning the heart of an ‘atheist’. Just a thought.

    Comment by ScottL — November 25, 2008 @ 2:53 pm | Reply

  5. I agree. If an athiest did happen upon this article they would feel more like they are being judged, than they are being loved. In order for a person to come to God and Christ they must WANT to, you can’t force them. To make them WANT God in their life they look to the ACTIONS of other Christians. If they see Christians as people who JUDGE JUDGE JUDGE all the time and act self righteous well then who would want to be part of that. In the end a Christian’s goal on this earth is to win over others to Christ. Plain and simple. So why is it that “Christians” are on TV and protesting (JUDGING) others and attacking every non believer views. Jesus was not seen hanging around the pharisees (self righteous) he was seen among the sinners (abortionist,liars,thieves,drunks,prostitutes,athiests) showing them that they are accepted by Christ that ANYONE is accepted by him. NO MAN is denied CHRIST!!!! The door is there. So STOP JUDGING people who don’t fit your point of view, stop getting on a soap box saying LOOK HOW HOLY I AM, LOOK WHAT I WRITE and start having a meaningful open discussion with those you people who have different points of views. Show them that anyone person can come to Christ, no one is judged. A SIN is a SIN. No matter how big or small. All sins are forgiven through Christ.

    Comment by Jason — November 25, 2008 @ 7:52 pm | Reply

  6. You guys are very weird (and seemingly, very stupid).

    Dante essentially argues that atheists claim not to believe in the existence of God because they don’t *like* God.

    Meanwhile Jason comments that in order to win over the atheists, they have to be enticed to *want* to believe — that is, essentially, they have to be made to *like* the ideas being presented for belief.

    It’s as if you guys decide what to believe based on what you’d *like* to be true, and you think everyone else thinks that way too.

    What you’d *like* or don’t like has nothing to do with whether something is believable.

    And Dante’s claim that atheists merely claim not to believe while secretly believing is idiotic. How dumb do you take people to be? You think people are sitting around thinking, gee, I really don’t like God at all, so if I pretend he doesn’t exist, then I don’t have to pay attention to him! This despite the fact that this God is supposedly omniscient. You think people are *that* stupid, eh? Well, with the stupidity levels you are currently exhibiting, I suppose there might be people that stupid, but most people aren’t, and the vast majority of atheists certainly aren’t.

    As for your “unicorns” argument, you’re comparing apples and oranges. There is no debate whether unicorns exist, because nobody believes they exist. If, say, 90% of people *did* believe they existed, and there were special unicorn hunting holidays, and tax-exempt sporting goods stores specializing in unicorn hunting gear, and there were petitions to get unicorn-biology taught in the schools and so on, you can bet the debate would be much livelier. So you completely miss when you make that particular comparison.

    As for being able to make a list of attributes of God which one might find objectionable, I could do the same thing about Hannibal Lechter. Guess what? Hannibal Lechter is, like your God, a fictional character. You don’t have to believe a fictional character exists in order to read a book which is about that fictional character, and be able to discuss that fictional character’s actions.

    I think you’re just believing what you want to be true. You want it to be true that there are really no atheists. You want it to be true that there is at least one non-retarded argument for the truth of your religion. You want it to be true that the arguments against your religion aren’t utterly devastating. Unfortunately for you, what you want to be true has nothing to do with what actually is true.

    Comment by scaryreasoner — November 25, 2008 @ 11:34 pm | Reply

  7. Thanks for the comments. Everyone so far has something great to say. Let me try to address as much as I can.

    First, the actions of the atheist. I am catching quite a bit of flak for judging the atheist and painting him or her in a bad light. That is not my intention. I deliberately called the atheist intelligent and a friend. The irrational behavior of clinging to a belief despite the evidence is for the point of this post meant to be the equivalent of catching a friend with their pants zipper down. We’ve all done it, and I would rather someone tell me than me spend the rest of the party walking around with my fly open. Yes, my brethren, it’s a sin, but that is not the point I’m addressing here. Relax a bit.

    An underlying point of the post is for my Christian brethren to consider Romans 1 when dealing with our atheist friends, which tells us that what may be known of God is manifest in all men, and that His attributes are clearly seen but suppressed by all men. From a biblical perspective, Christians need to believe that the atheist is merely suppressing the truth.

    And for my atheist friends, I want you to think about why you don’t believe. How many of those reasons are based on those listed above. The point is for you to think about your reasons. How much of it is based on your subjective dislike for this things of God? That is the question. Christians too struggle with our selfishness. I’m stepping on my own toes as I tell you what I believe you are feeling.

    So for some of you who were offended because you misread what I said, I apologize for my failure to communicate. For those who are still offended, that is the first sign of guilt. :-)

    That was general stuff, next, a few specific answers.

    Dante Tremayne

    Comment by thedante — November 26, 2008 @ 3:11 am | Reply

  8. Joey: Thanks (That was easy).

    Dante

    Comment by thedante — November 26, 2008 @ 3:13 am | Reply

  9. Lucy, thank you especially for the nice send off at the end of your comment. While I know you are serious, I also appreciate that you don’t appear to mean ill will. If you do not mind, I would like to use your comments as an example of part of what I am talking about.

    When I stated that every atheist has at the heart a dislike for the things of God, you did a splendid job of pointing that out. Again, this is not a wag-my-finger-at-you indictment. It’s cool. The thing is, as you have pointed out on your page, there are many views of God, and many are messed up. Which proves one of my points that when the atheist presents a list, part of it has to do with a wrong understanding of God. If I could spend time with you, I would love to clear a lot of that up. You also addressed evolution, which, for you not only is a scientific issue, but an ethical one as well.

    Thanks for mentioning that the “God theory” has a bearing on an atheist’s life. Some like to think not, while wasting a lot of time debating about it anyway. Glad you’re honest.

    Sorry you misunderstood the “If > Then” statement. IF God (I guess any God would do here) were true, THEN you would have to bow the knee. That is, once you understand that God exists, then you are obligated to bow the knee (submit to His authority). Granted, I have not tried to prove the Christian God, but truth of the matter is, any god is still going to be sovereign over us, which still implies that IF true, THEN you have to submit.

    As for proof, I don’t know what you have read on the subject. We have the ontological, teleological, cosmological arguments, the argument of miracles, the transcendental argument, proofs for the validity of the Bible and so forth. The one I like most is based on what I posted. If God did not exist, then you have no basis for explaining truth, because you have no foundation of truth, for you are a cosmic accident. The only way you can explain anything is to start with the foundation that God exists and that He is the arbiter of truth and fact. Or to put it another way, God exists because the contrary is ridiculous and irrational. It’s not mean, it’s just logic.

    Blessings,
    Dante Tremayne

    Comment by thedante — November 26, 2008 @ 3:40 am | Reply

  10. Morsecode,

    I can’t read minds, though it would be nice, because I’m married and I still can’t figure out what she is thinking. Love her to pieces, just can’t figure the woman thing out.

    I can read minds like I know that eventually you have to go to the bathroom. It is a natural human thing to do. I also believe that you (like me) are a proud man, who does not want to be told what to do by a God who lets all this stuff happen.

    But just because I don’t like it doesn’t change the fact that it is. I’m too stupid and fallible to be in charge.

    Dante

    Comment by thedante — November 26, 2008 @ 3:47 am | Reply

  11. Scott, thanks. No matter what you say, someone won’t like it. That is not my intention, but it is inevitable. My first comment should clarify.

    Blessings,
    Dante

    Comment by thedante — November 26, 2008 @ 3:51 am | Reply

  12. Jason,

    Stop being so judgmental. And calm down. If you are nearly as worked up as your comment applies, you are at risk of a heart attack. ;-)

    Here is a tip: this response is so overused that I could make millions by licensing the patented response — you know, the one you just read. In short, the quote from the Bible that you are using, which comes from Matthew chapter 7, is badly misinterpreted. The passage means that we need to be careful in our judgment, to consider our own sins before casting judgment on others. And believe me, I stomp on my own feet a lot before coming to tell others.

    Dante

    Comment by thedante — November 26, 2008 @ 4:01 am | Reply

  13. ScaryDude, thanks. Being stupid keeps me from having a lot of responsibilities. And being weird makes the ladies swoon. And I’m sorry I offended you so badly, otherwise you might have understood my post.

    Dante

    Comment by thedante — November 26, 2008 @ 4:18 am | Reply

  14. Dante,

    Nice post, your rebuke on facebook sent me here, I read it, it was life changing yet I am still illiterate. No hope for me I guess. Romans 1 heh? Our little secret, makes it so un fair when we engage the unbeliever, to have that insight, doesn’t it?

    Comment by Clay — November 26, 2008 @ 6:03 am | Reply

  15. Why is it so hard for the religious belief-pusher (yes, you!) to accept that there Atheists exist? Almost every time I read an article on the ‘net written by someone who is religious, it is about their discontent with Atheists and Atheist belief, or the lack thereof. Do you really need Atheists to not exist to be able to celebrate your own beliefs?

    Dante Tremayne, you should almost NEVER use absolutes or assumptions in any debate. An absolute rules out the possibility of exceptions (there are ALWAYS exceptions), and an assumption just makes you look like an ass (to use the true half of an old, annoying saying).

    Atheism is NOT organized in its non-belief. It is a phrase used to describe someone who lacks belief or religion. There are very few instances of Atheists gathering. Atheists do not make a point of having large Atheists gathering to point out just how extremely Atheist they are, or how much a higher power doesn’t exist. There would be no point to it. To assume that every single Atheist will spew out a list of reasons they disbelieve in any given religion is absurd. They do not share the same reasons. Mine, for instance, is that I simply cannot believe. I used to be Christian. Church every Sunday, singing the songs of praise, hearing the sermons and having fun with my youth group, but I slowly stopped being able to believe. There are no biblical stories we can absolutely confirm as true, one of the exceptions (remember those?) being that a man named Jesus may have actually existed.

    I do not care for the commandments, true. I also do not care to think that your God loves everyone, yet will allow them to burn in Hell forever simply for their non belief. Burn, forever, even if they followed the 10 Big Cs to the dot, which means they would have had to go against everything evolution has written into their genes.

    One thing I ask is that you clarify your following statements:
    “They will also likely present a number of misunderstandings about God and the Church. They don’t understand grace. God to them is one big meanie and that if they don’t follow all of His rules perfectly, all the time, God will have no mercy and fry them like Uzza.”

    Specifically:
    Can you name specific instances or give specific examples of misunderstandings about “God and the Church?” I am extremely put off at the assumption you make that the decision to be an Atheist was taken lightly and not researched; that it was just something the Atheist decided to do on a whim.
    What do you mean by grace? That can be taken in multiple ways.
    About frying in Hell, are we wrong? Does the bible not say that the penalty for non-belief or disobeying the Big Cs is an eternity in Hell?

    Comment by The Cynic — December 12, 2008 @ 7:59 pm | Reply

  16. Seriously? This is what you believe?

    Alright, I’m tolerant of other religions, creeds, and cultures, but this is just beyond me. You’re saying that deep inside we believe in a god? Why? I find it perfectly reasonable that life can end up by chance. You simply cannot see all the steps that it takes to get to complex life. do you believe in microevolution? Most theists do, but they do not believe in macroevolution. That’s like saying squares are ok but rectangles aren’t. Truth, fact, and reason are all man’s constructs. They have no bearing on the natural world. Am I to believe that gravity is not real and we are just weighed down by sin?

    Comment by Brian — December 14, 2008 @ 1:01 pm | Reply

  17. Cynic,

    First, please don’t use absolutes while telling people to never use absolutes. You contradict yourself. Of course, it’s impossible to avoid using them. Besides, why do post-moderns think that it is more cool to shun absolute language? Different topic.

    I never said God loved everybody. Romans 9 explains that pretty well. But as for grace, biblically speaking, every one of us deserve to fry like Uzza (and what I meant was that God struck Uzza on the spot and killed him), and we all deserve to burn in hell. But God is merciful and compassionate, and you have food to eat and a place to live and at any given time God can take that all away and make you suffer for your lack of thankfulness for those things that He has given you. But He doesn’t, and you continue to breathe His air without any care for Him. That is grace.

    But in the end, yes, a lack of belief in God and trust in His Son Jesus will lead you to an eternity in Hell, getting the one thing you never wanted: being face-to-face with God, but this time, His angry side. But that too is a different subject.

    Comment by thedante — December 17, 2008 @ 1:47 pm | Reply

    • Excuse me Dante, but reading through the cynic’s comment, I see no absolutes. Hence the modifier “almost” in conjunction with the absolute “always”. Meaning that the situations he describes are not quite absolute, leaving room for the inevitable exception. I would assume you know this and I wouldn’t go to the minor trouble of explaining it, had you not demonstrated in your comment a complete ignorance of this concept. At least it looks that way to me. Please don’t take offense to this, I will accept any rational explanation to the contrary

      I must also argue, along with the other atheists commenting on this page, that I DO exist, and that I have no belief in god. It may be that your bible dictates that we cannot exist, and that we must believe and yet wish not to. I would say to this that you should try thinking outside the constraints of your holy book. If you simply think from an objective viewpoint, its easy to see logically that a person can not believe in god. I am sorry to say this, but I am a tad miffed that you would assume that I go about my life constantly denying a belief in such an irrational manner.

      I would enjoy a good argument with you in an intelligent manner about the existence of atheists, god, jesus, etc. However, I must point out that every single one of your arguments thus far has depended on the actual existence of god and the bible being his word, or at least a human transcription of his word. Now, I have seen no proof of this, and I must regrettably decline any of your further arguments along this vein as irrational and unfalsifiable until you can prove the existence of your specific god. This is my only condition, and I see it as fair, since all of my arguments come from objective and provable concepts. On the other hand, if you can also argue using objective evidence and logic, then I believe we can have a quite pleasant and intelligent discussion.

      Respectfully,

      Mr. Disbelief

      Comment by Mr. Disbelief — September 28, 2009 @ 1:41 am | Reply

      • Mr. Disbelief,

        You’re right. Although he did go on to use absolutes in his argument, my argument wasn’t against those, but that first statement. It is a good catch on your part.

        As for the use of logic and objective truths in proving the existence of God, that wasn’t the point of the post, as you well know. Although I can argue logically quite well in my defense, I don’t care to. I don’t plan to argue into the kingdom, as you can just as easily be argued out (who said that? I can’t remember. Good line though.). My argument is that fundamentally all atheists really do believe in a God, they just won’t admit it. The atheist banner is: “God doesn’t exist, and I hate Him.”

        But I will give you a quick argument, one that I have stated already. You desire to debate using logic and objective truth. However, to do so, you have to assume 2 things, that there is a right and wrong, and that there is a truth that is objective and apart from you. How is that possible in an atheist worldview. Logically, you are a product of time, matter, and chance, and all your answers are thus a product of that product. How does chaos produce order? Also, To use logic is to assume right and wrong, that one answer is correct and another incorrect. How? To do so, you have to assume that there is an objective and ideal “right” for which all “rights” are held to standard. Thing is, you, and your universe are a big cosmic accident. There is no right and wrong, there just “is”. To assume good, evil, right, and wrong is to step into my belief system.

        So, I can argue logically, because I have a rational explanation for logic. You don’t. Therefore, your arguments are invalid.

        Hope that helps.
        D

        Comment by Dante — October 1, 2009 @ 1:42 pm | Reply

  18. Brian,
    Sorry, but chance does not lend itself to reason. Revisit your logic books. You are a process of chance reactions producing chance responses with absolutely no guarantee nor standard for knowing whether those responses are even remotely close to describing the ever changing chance “driven” accidental accumulation of events called reality. What you just said, according to chance, just adds up, er, correction, jumbles in to “nmcapnaidfnqpvjq;oprvnaofgefvp99qovnoq;a;”

    Atheists won’t admit this, hence my article.

    Comment by thedante — December 17, 2008 @ 1:54 pm | Reply

  19. No, that’s what I just admitted. When you do the right random reactions, life pops up. That’s evolution. That’s how stars formed. Order comes out of chaos. But you must not confuse order with thought and reason. Order, as described for this argument, just means sustained chemical reactions going on in the human body, giving me free will to do whatever. Order simply arises from chaos. It’s like evolution.

    Comment by Brian — December 17, 2008 @ 7:49 pm | Reply

  20. By the way, I think you should read the bible a little more. Specifically, an OLDER version of the bible. Like I think you should read the Dead Sea Scrolls. You will find that Christianity, Judaism, and Islam descended from ancient Judaism, which was a multi-theistic religion consisting of 11 gods, the greatest being Elohim (or just El), and lesser gods including Damon, Baal, and Yahweh. This is in Genesis, it’s just been edited in newer versions so people won’t catch it. El gives Yahweh the task of creating the universe, for reasons unknown. And then Baal is everywhere else in the bible. I know, I was a Christian once. Ancient Judaism was a pantheon of gods, not one god.

    Comment by Brian — December 23, 2008 @ 8:28 am | Reply

  21. I DEMAND A REBUTTAL GOOD SIR!

    Comment by Brian — December 23, 2008 @ 3:00 pm | Reply

  22. Hey Brian. Are you the same Brian on the last 2 posts here, as well as the one further up? If so, that makes this post easier. Sorry for not rebutting you sooner for your post #20. I was thinking that maybe someone else would read and respond — y’know, interact.

    I’ll start at the bottom. Not to disrespect you, but rather the colorful history lesson you provided on the history of the Bible and old manuscripts … wow. With countless thousands of reliable manuscripts to attest to the Bible as it is, these strange “older” manuscripts that no one has ever really heard of don’t stand much of a chance to be taken with any seriousness. That is all.

    For your evolution and order argument, I think we may have missed eachother on that point. What I am asserting, is that evolution, order from chaos, deals both with thought as well as matter, for in this worldview, thought is also a reaction of matter. As I stated earlier, if it was chaos and accidental then, then there is no way to determine if it is not chaos and random now. You have no objective standard of truth and order to base anything. What is is a random collection of stuff. Matter and thought. You have to believe in objective truth (something you cannot do in atheism) in order to state that this or that is true. Hope that helps.

    Comment by thedante — December 24, 2008 @ 7:42 am | Reply

  23. Evolution is not the same as the concept of order from chaos. The fundamental rules of the universe that govern the heavenly bodies can never change. Technically there is chaos now, it’s just put into a different form.

    There were about 250 documents that comprised The Dead Sea Scrolls. 39 copies of Psalms. But I will ask you this: how do you know that what you’re believing in (the Christian God) is true, and not the more ancient Pantheon of gods?

    Comment by Brian — December 24, 2008 @ 5:48 pm | Reply

  24. And also, what is your proof that your god is real and not another god or gods?

    Comment by Brian — December 27, 2008 @ 2:41 pm | Reply

  25. By the way, I’m the same Brian. What happened to my posts, man?

    Comment by Brian — December 28, 2008 @ 10:49 am | Reply

  26. Brian, I’m not sure what you mean by, “Where’s my posts?” other than that they are delayed in getting posted and responded to. Sorry, but most of us writers here have other jobs and can’t get to all the questions very quickly.

    There is plenty of reason to believe that the Christian God is the true God and not one of a pantheon or whatever, such as the Mormon’s believe. However, that is not the subject here. We are addressing whether or not God exists, not which one He is. I need you to recognize first that you cannot have a consistent worldview as an atheist.

    Now, you stated that “Evolution is not the same as the concept of order from chaos,” but that the “rules of the universe that govern … can never change.” There are a couple of problems here. In evolution, all things change. What is today, will likely be different tomorrow. The “laws” you refer to merely explain what is happening, not enforcing how those things come about. At any given moment, some colossal cosmic occurrence can throw everything we know (which ain’t much in the grand scheme of things) out of order and render all the laws we now know obsolete. That’s how your evolution thing works. Yet, what you are actually trying to assert is that there is this objective body of “laws” that govern and order the universe, some “thing” or “idea” that stands outside of the universe, an objective truth, that orders this chaos. Where did this omniscient and eternal “ideal” come from?

    Comment by thedante — December 29, 2008 @ 11:54 am | Reply

  27. I can’t have a consistent world view? What nonsense is that?

    Evolution is not the same as order from chaos, not really. Evolution is kind of the same, but it acts on biological entities (which, duh, are made of atomic particles). You don’t start out stong molecules and weak molecules, then the weak molecules die…. well I think you get my point.

    The order of the universe is in the universe, it is not separate. There is no objective truth, not the way you see it. There is no cosmic entity that will change the laws of the universe except a black hole. The laws that dictate how the universe will act can never change, not unless a black hole is present where you are looking. Certainly the things that come about as a result of these laws (planets, starts, nebulae) change. But the laws themselves do not, because on the fundamental level of interaction particles do not change. There is no omniscient ideal present. The universe is here, we don’t know how it came into existence but we can theorize.

    As for your god, until you prove that he, she, or it exists you cannot tell me that you know how the universe came about. But really, can you prove to me that the god you worship is the real one? You can’t because there is no evidence of it.

    Comment by The Antichrist — January 6, 2009 @ 3:49 pm | Reply

  28. Antichrist,

    Whenever someone doesn’t get what your saying, blame yourself first. That’s how I look at things. So I think I must not be getting my point across very well as you have gone and repeated what the folks posted just before you. Maybe if some other folks would chime in and rephrase what I have been saying it might help. I’m sorry that you don’t understand what I have written.

    On another note, are you an atheist? You named yourself “Antichrist” which is another name for the Devil, the fallen angel. Not a really consistent name to have if you don’t believe this stuff to begin with.

    Comment by thedante — January 8, 2009 @ 7:25 am | Reply

    • When a misunderstanding occurs, it is sometimes because it was not explained well. At other times, the problem lies with the reader or listener.

      You have explained yourself clearly, Dante, and those who disagree with you have also explained themselves clearly. It is you who do not understand what those who disagree with you are saying, but you are either unable or unwilling to think outside the box you have created for yourself.

      I won’t waste my time on a long post here, since there were already so many good points made that you have simply dismissed, and also because I don’t know if you’ll even read this a year after your last post to this thread. However, on the off chance that you are actually interested in trying to understand the viewpoints that you do not share, I will ask that you re-read the comments in this thread that disagree with your beliefs, and also read what science really has to say about the subjects you think you disagree with. I say you “think” you disagree with them, because it’s apparent that your views concerning certain scientific topics were obtained from sources that don’t understand them at all.

      Kind regards,

      Neith

      Comment by Neith — January 31, 2011 @ 8:30 pm | Reply

  29. Dante, I understand perfectly the point you’re trying to get across. The problem is that it doesn’t hold water. There doesn’t have to be an objective truth for the universe to work. The properties inherent in the chemicals that make up the universe are the order you speak of. There isn’t an objective truth and there are no morals based upon it because it doesn’t exist. Thus, we could say that murdering babies is fine. But since there isn’t any religion, we base our morals upon the community and kindness to others. Look at EVERY other religion and they say the same thing. Be kind to your neighbor. Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you. We base these morals on tested ways that make a civilization work. And as for the consistent world view? What, because there’s no objective truth in my life? Rubbish. There is no need for an objective truth.

    Comment by The Antichrist — January 9, 2009 @ 8:42 am | Reply

  30. What a horrifying and preposterous piece of logic. On one hand, if convincing yourself and others that atheists don’t exist really makes you feel better about yourselves and your delusions, then by all means, don’t let me stop you from reveling in your delusions. On the other hand, what’s the point in convincing the people who will inevitably agree with you upon recital of scripture? That seems like a redundancy, and a general waste of time.

    Your arguments are weak and presumptuous at best, arrogant and thick-headed at worst. All I’ve gathered from this post is that you’ve probably talked at more than a few atheists in your lifetime, but you’ve never listened to what any of them actually have to say. Instead, you’ve spent that time waiting for your turn to talk about how they’re apparently deluded “by design” (via, the presence of god being inherent in all of creation) but what if there is no designer? Most atheists will concede that they are not absolutely certain about the existence of god, but will remain thoroughly convinced that there is no god unless presented with substantial evidence.

    Evidence uncovered by evolutionary biologists is in direct conflict with the idea of an intelligent designer, supporting instead a sort of “unintelligent design,” even though few are willing to admit this for the sake of political correctness. To suggest an intelligent designer even despite the mountain of evidence against it, however, is an ass-like stubbornness. Your argument is akin to saying that unicorns absolutely exist, and anyone who denies it just hates unicorns. Perhaps the next time I encounter a nonbeliever in unicorns, I’ll ask him, “Well what do you have against unicorns? Why do you hate them so much?”

    The point you either completely miss, or are afraid to admit, is that flying invisible pink unicorns and the like are brought up because most rational people are thoroughly convinced that unicorns are present only in fantasy. By that same rationale, encountering the very same lack of substantial evidence supporting the existential hypothesis of god, we must logically assume that the hypothesis is false. It is to illustrate the logical inconsistency present in arguing the existence of god while denying the existence of unicorns with equal certainty.

    If you can prove the absolute truth of the bible, then perhaps the field of evolutionary biology can come into question, but I seem to recall the bible being wrong about some remarkably important concepts such as the value of pi and the heliocentric nature of the solar system (i.e. the bible says the sun revolves around the earth). Shouldn’t “God” know the value of pi? If “God” is in omniscient, then “he” ought to be able to see the solar system and therefore realize that it is the earth which revolves around the sun, is that not also true? We must conclude that either the bible is true and that God is an incompetent moron, or that the bible is false and the existence of God as described by the bible must be examined with a critical eye and ultimately rejected.

    The truly irrational act is the clinging to a book of fairy tales as if it contained some kind of absolute truth.

    Comment by Archangel Chuck — January 14, 2009 @ 7:35 am | Reply

  31. Oh come on! You’re not giving up, are you?

    Comment by The Antichrist — January 14, 2009 @ 8:24 pm | Reply

  32. Brian,

    Sorry for the delay. I do have other things that are more pressing. And thanks, but I already know what in vitro means. But you don’t understand anything I have said. This is my last word on this. The universe, from your perspective, just is. The laws “inherent” in the universe, aren’t. These laws you speak of are merely our perception of how the universe is functioning. The laws we know now will likely change as they do every hundred years, because we (or you, that is) don’t know what the universe is doing. From your perspective, as I quoted C.S. Lewis in the post, you are spilled milk trying to describe the upset milk jug and why it was upset. You can’t. And science has already told us that it can’t figure it out. In short, you don’t know if there are actual laws that govern the universe. But you insist that there is some set of eternal laws that govern this eternal universe. But you can’t know for you are part of it and you, just as much as the universe, can change, evolve, or mutate and become something completely different.

    Of course, I could just end with your quote, “There isn’t an objective truth and there are no morals based upon it because it doesn’t exist.” With no objective truth, there is no foundation for you to base your statements or anything. Everything means everything and nothing at the same time. That, and you just made an objective truth statement that there is no objective truth. For you to say, “it is true that there is no truth,” you just contradict yourself. If there is no objective truth, everything you just said is meaningless. Go step in front of a bus. It’s not really there. And neither are we.

    Listen, you have contradicted yourself several times in the last few responses you have made. Even your more intelligent atheist friends will point that out. Go take a few courses in logic before you try this again.

    Comment by thedante — January 15, 2009 @ 7:45 am | Reply

  33. Hey Chuck, don’t call yourself an archangel if you don’t believe in this stuff.

    It’s either logic, or a preposterous piece of illogic. You made no sense there.

    I did not intend for this piece to be a logical argument, but a subjective argument based on observing and talking to lots of atheists. Just as you can’t give a logical argument for why some girl loves you (if that were possible), I’m not giving one either. More proof? Listen to yourself. Your comment would have been one-fifth the length it is had you not used the plethora of angry and defensive adjectives you used to describe my despicable post.

    And to shoot you down on your weak understanding of evolutionary biology, try reading a book a little more recent than 1902. Even your own scientists are in doubt as to the nature of evolution. As with every other scientific theory, the scientists change their minds and ideas like I change my underwear.

    And no, the Bible doesn’t promote a geocentric system. It’s called phenomenological language. Read up on that too.

    Comment by thedante — January 15, 2009 @ 8:03 am | Reply

  34. And you’re stepping on your toes when you assume that there really is a god when you have no proof of such a claim. Objective truth, as you put it, is a grand almighty being. You can’t assume that because you haven’t met god and you don’t know if it’s there. What you’re asserting cannot be proven. Your argument is a complete waste. There is no objective truth, only the mind perceiving what is here. Morals are present, but they are relative. Just look at Muslims and Americans, the difference is astounding. Had you been born in India you would be praising Krishna. Had you been born in Afghanistan you would be praising Allah. There is not an objective truth present. Of course, we perceive the laws of physics and chemistry, but our perceptions is still unclear, as we don’t know how the universe works entirely.

    Comment by The Antichrist — January 15, 2009 @ 2:56 pm | Reply

  35. It all depends on what “is” is…

    So stuff is here. It came from non stuff. It came from another dimension (or something). It came with explosive power and energy. But that power and energy does not govern or organize, it just “is.” And the stuff just bounces around randomly until some principle of unorganized interaction causes an effect — and the effect structures a new construction of stuff — all within a universe where (according to the stuff of numbers)there is more unseen stuff than observable. But what we observe is lots of stuff spinning around black holes that are smaller than the O right there. Spinning round and round, (Why spinning? Hmmmm.) Stuff and energy bouncing, evolving, and sucking into black holes.

    I think it is poetic! I think it is true. I think there is a reason for it.

    Comment by RevK — January 16, 2009 @ 1:18 am | Reply

  36. Basically that’s the unadulterated truth. We don’t know where we came from, our best guess is that the universe sprang into being in the big bang. Before that we don’t know. But it’s better than making up stories (religion).

    Comment by The Antichrist — January 16, 2009 @ 3:26 pm | Reply

  37. Regarding “AC’s” post of January 15, 2009 @ 2:56 pm –

    How does the observation that Muslims and (non-Muslim, presumably) Americans hold to different morals support the conclusion that morals are *merely* relative and that there is no objective truth? That’s quite a leap, and not a logical one at all.

    And if only to beat a horse who surely has been pushing up daisies for quite a while now, I must point out the self-contradictory nature of the assertion that there is no objective truth. AC, you set this statement forth as truth, and, moreover, you implicitly call your readers to account to their (transcendent, ethical) obligation to acknowledge and affirm truth. Even in falsely denying the existence of truth, you inevitably do what your made-in-the-image-of-God human nature requires you to do: you (unwittingly) affirm the existence of ultimate Truth.

    Comment by Jim A. — January 18, 2009 @ 3:17 pm | Reply

  38. Because morality is relative. It’s perfectly logical. I’m not affirming the existence of any god (for you it’s the ultimate truth). You are illogical for following a religion that has no substantial proof. Don’t quote the bible just yet, as it hasn’t been proving. The “truth” I am asserting is that the universe just is. It’s just here. There is no reason to interject a god. Other than that, there is no objective truth. Truth is relative.

    Comment by The Antichrist — January 22, 2009 @ 8:16 pm | Reply

  39. *Proven*
    Sorry.

    Comment by The Antichrist — January 25, 2009 @ 2:05 pm | Reply

  40. dante posted this in responce to lucys post

    “The only way you can explain anything is to start with the foundation that God exists and that He is the arbiter of truth and fact. Or to put it another way, God exists because the contrary is ridiculous and irrational. It’s not mean, it’s just logic.”

    just because the ideas of an atheist are riduculous and irrational does not make them true or untrue. even if they are untrue, it does not mean that god is the answer to the universe.

    you should stop just accepting your “god” and start questioning this ideology because what your doing at the moment is looking at god but not actually testing if he is real.

    the basis for science is producing a theory that you think might be correct, and then you test the theory to see if it is correct.

    what religeon has done is that it has thought of a theory but has just left it at that and not tested it.

    i believe that god does not exist because there is no evidence to show him trying to help or contact us in anyway. even if god does exist, the world would be better off without him because religeon is one of the main causes for pain in this world.

    Comment by mikey — January 25, 2009 @ 5:28 pm | Reply

  41. Greetings All: I just happened across this forum. I am a Christian. I am not intelligent enough to argue the “finer” points of the sciences. The truth of the matter for me is that I wasn’t around when all the stuff came to be. All the information I have as knowledge goes, comes from someone else, just like you. I wouldn’t even attempt to encounter the “non-believer” on an intellectual basis. All I know is that I thought I was logical in being open minded enough to listen to what another Christian was telling me about God and Christ. With that, I can affirm and confirm what I KNOW has happened in MY life as a result. All I can do with that is put it out there as information for others to decide for themselves whether they want to believe it or not. I don’t judge you if you don’t believe because I understand the Word of God’s teaching to say that you are judged already. If you do not believe in God (or any god), that is totally up to you. As long as you have (at least) the same information I had to make a decision.

    As far as the atheist view of not wanting to be told what to do or say or believe, I have this to say on the matter: When I was in high school (even now for that matter), I hated math. I wasn’t any good at it. I was required to take take algebra for a couple of years and some other math to be considered for college. I didn’t understand the need to use up all that time trying to learn something that I KNEW I would never use in life. However, I was required to not only endure the classes, but participate. I would have been put in some kind of prison for kids if I were to picket the school for “requiring” me to take math. On the other hand, one poster commented that the Christian view is upsetting to them because it touches their personal lives. That is why prayer was taken out of schools. There was enough people screaming about it. It wasn’t being forced on anyone. If you didn’t believe in it, you just didn’t participate. While, like I said earlier, I was FORCED to participate in MATH!! Yuk.

    I think this is my bottom line: If Christians REALLY did what they were supposed to do according to our ultimate truth, this whole thing would be moot. I beleive that atheists work off logic and reason. To be intelligent enough to understand all the sciences is certainly commendable. The only thing is…Christianity is neither logical or a religion. It is a relationship. You will never be able to explain it with science. It can only be explained by experience. I am not a Christian because somebody was able to prove anything for me. I am because in my own little world I saw myself as in need of the relationship (if it could be had) with the Christ. If you could prove everything, there is no need for faith, which is the basis for the relationship with Christ.

    I know I rambled alot. That is probably the reason I can never have a job being a writer. Not trying to add or take away from anything being said in this forum, just putting out a comment. Not looking for rebuttal. Just plain ol’ me putting in my two cents. Have a great day!!

    Comment by ScottW — January 29, 2009 @ 8:57 am | Reply

  42. There is no god. There is no reason to believe in god. There’s no evidence that god, allah, jehovah, zeus, jupiter, pan or any other god has ever existed.

    Your ‘argument’ doesn’t even make any sense.

    Atheists lack the belief in your imaginary friend. Claiming that we actually do makes you sound like a Nazi.

    Comment by Jimnoir — April 7, 2009 @ 12:06 am | Reply

  43. If God was real, he wouldn’t have given us the facility to deny his existence.

    If God was real, everyone would automatically believe in God. It would be “hard-wired” into us, just like self-preservation is.

    Comment by Sarah Bilogi — April 7, 2009 @ 12:08 am | Reply

  44. @Sarah: Wow, that sounds like one tyrannical God. Forced belief eh?

    Comment by Ray — June 19, 2009 @ 3:01 am | Reply

  45. I am an atheist. Not a nonbeliever. Sorry that you don’t think I’m real, or, rather, that my beliefs are real, but it is what a truly believe. I have taken a long hard look at religion (not just Christianity, but most religions) and I can’t see any reason to believe in them. Pagans believe in magic, which I find to be false. Buddhist believe in nirvana, which I also find to be false. Christians, in salvation through Jesus. To me, false. But I’m not going to discredit what you believe.

    The problem here, as ScottW pointed out in a most excellent way, is that theists, atheists, and non-theists all try to argue for or against religion with logic. Religion CANNOT be logical. That’s the whole point. You don’t know or believe that you’re saved from the fires of hell thanks to Jesus dying for your sins because it can be proven with logic; you know or believe it because you have FAITH. FAITH is the ultimate “get out of jail free” card for theists, because atheists cannot argue against it. Atheists can argue logic all day and, apparently, so can Christians. However, your arguments for God look a bit too much like what ancient Greek orators would do, in that you’re attempting to make people look more and more ridiculous based on assumptions of knowledge. Your arguments presented for proving God’s existence are dis-proven on the Wikipedia page for those arguments.

    Look, I’m no genius. I know that when I look at the stars and the heavens, that what’s there makes no sense to my brain. Someone somewhere may understand it, but I don’t. That’s not the point. I don’t know where the universe came from. I don’t know why there’s suffering and injustice. I know that I don’t want to line the pockets of some “preacher” somewhere and I know that religion shouldn’t be so closely tied to philosophy, or if it’s going to be, it should be looked at from the same eye (do you believe the Matrix? That’s philosophically just as plausible as God).

    All I know is that from my own process of thinking, I don’t believe that there’s anything more to this life than what we experience. Mine experience is an atheist one, uninhibited by the laws of religion (though I do still have morals. Killing people is wrong and it doesn’t take religion to teach that). Yours is one of a believer, filled with joy from praising your savior and the chastity you embrace. Both are okay.

    So, please, atheists, stop being ignorant and arguing with people you can’t win against.

    And believers, stop trying to use logic to explain the wonders of your system based on faith.

    We can all get along if both sides just accept the other for who they are. It’s what Jesus would have wanted (yeah, I believe he was a good guy and had some really great ideas about how to live).

    Comment by AndyG — October 12, 2009 @ 12:19 pm | Reply

  46. You seem to be confused. As an atheist, I do not believe in God. I also do not like him. These are two separate conclusions that I have reached based on two completely different pools of information. One does not necessarily go with the other (though it is true that they often do).

    I don’t like God because of what I have read in the Bible and experienced in other forms of media. He’s cruel, petty, arrogant, immature….the list goes on. But God’s various negative qualities have no bearing whatsoever on the matter of the likelihood of his existence. I do not believe in God because I have yet to encounter sufficient evidence to support the claim that he exists. I may dislike something, I may hate and abhor it, but I know that this has no relevance to the question of its. existence. Perhaps an example. I don’t like illegal drugs such as cocaine or heroin because I think they’re dangerous and addictive and a detriment to society. They create many problems and solve none (that I can think of). But I know that they certainly do exist, and denying that fact won’t get me anywhere. There are numerous people, places or things in this world that I dislike or abhor, but I know it does me to good to delude myself into believing they aren’t real.

    I don’t believe in God, not because, as you seem to think, I dislike him, but because there is no proof. I will also readily admit that there is no proof he doesn’t exist, either. But this does not mean that the chances of his existence are likely. Various factual, historical, and scientific inaccuracies in the Bible have led me to the conclusion that the probability of God’s existence is extremely small, so small that I’m not going to bother myself with the possibility that he does.

    I also think that Christian arguments that believing in God is ‘good’, that it will make you happy or that God loves you are utter bull. Just because something is nice or good does not mean that it is true. I think it would be nice if magic was real and we could fix things with a wave of a wand, but I know that won’t make it true. It is believers who are deluding themselves. Believe in something because there is evidence for it, not because you’d like to. You also seem to think that belief is a conscious choice-it’s not. I can change my mind as a response to new information, but not spontaneously, just because I feel like it.

    I think your biggest problem is that you truly cannot comprehend (or do not wish to know) what goes through the mind of an atheist, so your entire thesis was doomed at the outset.

    Comment by Carolyn — March 22, 2010 @ 10:06 pm | Reply

  47. Thanks Carolyn,

    For showing us “…what goes through the mind of an atheist.”

    Comment by RevK — March 27, 2010 @ 12:24 am | Reply

  48. Honestly just because you believe something to be true doesn’t mean it is. EVERYONE who makes this sort of argument is severely close minded and ridiculously ignorant. I am an atheist (and by atheist I mean that I believe that there is no “higher power” be it “God” or Ala or any other religious figure and the fact that you are personally denying me of the right to my own belief makes you a genuinely bad person whether you mean to be or not. All of you ridiculous Christians need to look at the world as a whole and realize that you are not the only belief system out there and that just because you believe in something does not mean it is necessarily true and it CERTAINLY doesn’t mean that everyone secretly agrees with you.
    another thing despite being an atheist I still believe in doing the “right” thing. meaning being kind to others and helping people who need a hand as I actually do quite often. And I do this not because I think I will benifit from it in the future (go to heaven) or even because someone more powerful than me is telling me this. but when I help someone out in any way I do it because I GENUINELY believe it is a nice thing to do and I GENUINELY try to be a nice person.

    Comment by sam — March 29, 2010 @ 7:31 pm | Reply

  49. These reasons are why I didn’t believe in god when I was five. Then I got a little older and read a science book. When it comes down to it: You have no proof. That’s it. You can’t say you have “The Truth” because you have no proof to back this up. Religion says: Believe Me. Science says: Here, let me show you.

    Look up the word “Cthia” and think about it for awhile.

    I’m not worried about following your god’s laws, or the laws of other gods. Maybe when I was 14 maybe that worried me, but I am way past that. I don’t need a pat answer of god did it to satisfy me. I feel bad for a lot of you because in a lot of ways you make your god not so great.

    BTW, even if your god is real, and you know what he actually wants [unlikely] I don’t have to kneel, or care. Your concept of free will means I am perfectly free to march into Hell on my own regard. You choose what you worship, and I’ll choose to ignore your egotism.

    Comment by Sad face — October 21, 2010 @ 10:34 am | Reply

  50. Really? No one here has quoted Stephen Roberts yet? “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” In other words, think about why you don’t believe in Zeus or Poseidon or Vishnu or Shiva or, well, you get the point. Then you will understand why atheists don’t believe in God, because the reasoning is *exactly* the same. You don’t disbelieve in these other gods because you hate them or dislike their law. You just have no reason to believe in them and think of them as pretty obvious fictions. The only reason you don’t feel that way about the Christian god is because you happened to born into an environment that exposed you to those beliefs in a context where they didn’t seem absolutely ridiculous. If you had been born into ancient Greek society, or into a contemporary Hindu family, or whatever, you’d have no belief whatsoever in the Christian Bible. That’s all it really takes to be an atheist, enough imagination to be able to put yourself in the shoes of anyone of a different faith from your own. The more different the faith of this person, the more glaring obvious that all religious beliefs are social constructs with no inherent truth value.

    Comment by Richard — October 21, 2010 @ 9:52 pm | Reply

  51. Well, that was a heaping pile of insanity.

    Comment by Here4Years — January 31, 2011 @ 4:18 am | Reply

  52. Hello Dante. I am an atheist, and I do not believe that any gods exist. I’d like to respond to your article.

    Dante: “I do not believe in the existence of atheists. No, this is not a play on words or a trick statement. Atheists don’t exist. By “atheist” I am referring to the ideal person who does not believe in the existence of God, not the person who labels themselves as an atheist. Clear as mud? All people who label themselves as “atheist” are not, by definition, atheists, because they all believe in the existence of God.”
    Response: I am a person who does not believe in God. I know perfectly well who He is supposed to be, and I don’t think He exists. I believe this makes me an atheist.

    Dante:”I know they believe in the existence of God by their irrational behavior. I am not referring to the inconsistency of their lives with their claims. For instance, the nonbeliever (I believe I will refer to our “atheist” friends by that term for the duration of this article) necessarily holds the belief that we are the result of time plus matter plus chance, merely evolving accidents, the product of random collisions of matter. Yet they wish to believe that these accidental collisions produce truth, fact, and a coherent understanding of the universe. They are an accident producing accidents.
    Response: I could be wrong, but I believe the theory of evolution can quite readily account for beings who are able to distinguish reality; basically, it would give them an evolutionary advantage. Starting at the lowest level, an organism that was able to distinguish edible from non-edible would have a bigger advantage than one who was not. Accidents producing accidents – yes, certainly. But the results of these accidents are then tested by the environment, which is a non-random element.

    Dante: “The irrational behavior I am referring to is the nonbeliever’s inability to admit when they have been defeated. Many nonbelievers are well educated people. They have done well to keep Theists on the hot seat. But when a well educated man — especially one schooled in logic — has his entire belief system completely dismantled and displayed as inconsistent and false, everybody else knows that this smart person knows he has been defeated. But he refuses to concede. He will not admit defeat. Instead, he retreats to his study to continue his search for one — just one — argument or proof that God does not exist. And he will repeat this over and over.”
    Response: Sorry, these are just empty assertions. Provide some arguments that utterly prove the existence of God, and we will see.

    Dante: “This irrational behavior is indicative of the real issue, and that is, that God exists, they know it, and they don’t like Him. If they admit He exists, then they have to bow the knee. Their rules no longer apply, God’s law does. That law of God that is written on the heart of every man is eating them alive, and they want very badly to make Him go away so that hopefully the guilt will go away as well. And so despite the evidences to prove the existence of God and the inconsistency of their own worldview, they continue to irrationally hold on to these beliefs.”
    Response: So we know that God exists, and we’re brave enough to defy him, knowing that we will go to hell? Do we strike you as that stupid?
    Look – why don’t you just take my word for it – I don’t believe God exists. Are you calling me a liar?

    Dante:” To further my point, compare the debate over the existence of God to the debate over the existence of unicorns. I could just stop there, right? What debate? And who cares? What bearing does that have on my life? If an intelligent person were clearly shown that belief or non belief in unicorns were unfounded and false, and unicorns did or did not exist, then for them to continue to hold that belief would be an insult to their intelligence. If God were just some unicorn theory that had no real affect on a person’s life, as some nonbelievers claim, then why don’t they treat it as such? Why don’t they just shrug and go on?”
    Response: Welcome to Equestria! http://blog.evangelicalrealism.com/2008/12/10/welcome-to-equestria/ – read it, and understand that your argument is incorrect.

    Dante: “Here is how this works, and how I know I’m right.”
    Response: This strikes me as premature.

    Dante: “When the believer is discussing the existence of God with a nonbeliever, ask them why they don’t like God. Every one of them will present a list. That list will ultimately consist of areas of God’s law and His character that interfere with the self-law of the nonbeliever.”
    Response: Really? I’ve heard Christians say that often, but generally when I hear the atheists themselves presenting their objections to the fictional character named The God of the Bible, they usually concentrate on his genocidal, misogynistic and homophobic impulses. I can understand, though, why you would want to misrepresent atheists as whiners saying they want to lie in on Sunday and go out and steal and sleep around as much as they like. Makes their positions much easier to knock over if you do that.

    Dante: “They don’t want a God to tell them what to do and not to do: don’t fornicate, don’t steal, love your neighbor, go to church.”
    Response: I know not to fornicate already – I don’t think my wife would like it. I know not to steal without the Bible telling me; there’s a high risk involved, and I have a sense of morality based on a sense of empathy. That same sense, and experience, tells me that loving my neighbour is a good idea for many reasons. Not going to church…OK, you got me. But you seem to think that we atheists will happily take a lifetime of lying in on Sundays if the price is eternity in hell. You keep implying that we’re stupid. That’s not very nice of you.

    Dante: “They will also likely present a number of misunderstandings about God and the Church.”
    Response: Can I point out that you yourself seem to have a number of misunderstandings about what an theists is and thinks?

    Dante: “They don’t understand grace. God to them is one big meanie and that if they don’t follow all of His rules perfectly, all the time, God will have no mercy and fry them like Uzza.”
    Response: That sounds more or less right, yes. Condensed and trite, but accurate enough. Reading the character of the Bible God, he does come across as a big meanie.

    Dante: “And most of the time, the list usually begins and ends with Christians being such big jerks, which is, unfortunately, one thing the nonbeliever got right. They don’t want to believe in God because they don’t want to end up like us.”
    Response: Dante, why don’t you look up Fred Clark, of the Slacktivist website? He manages to be an extremely un-jerkish Christian.
    However, whether we like Christians or not is irrelevant. We don’t believe God exists for the same reason you don’t believe Odin exists.

    Dante: “Whatever the list of reasons, they are the subjective beliefs of the nonbeliever. Proofs for the existence of God don’t address a person’s subjective arguments, which is why most apologists don’t ever address them. For some reason it is beneath the apologist to talk to a nonbeliever like he is a human being and not a broken math equation. By all means, use truth, logic, evidences, and arguments. After all, we have truth on our side. But after you have handed their worldview back to them in a broken heap, and they break into irrational behavior, find out what their real problem is with God.
    Response: Dante, in this article, you have implied that atheists are lacking in intelligence, irrational, greedy, selfish and lazy. I think I prefer being talked to by someone who regards me as a broken math equation. You haven’t handed my worldview to me in a broken heap, and from what you say about the kind of arguments you can use I don’t think you are capable of doing it.
    What’s my real problem with God? That people think he exists and that he wants them to do stupid and dangerous things.
    Dante: “There are no atheists. If you were to find one real atheist, as G.K. Chesterton says, you will have found a madman.”
    Response: And as Dan Barker said: You believe in a book that has talking animals, wizards, witches, demons, sticks turning into snakes, food falling from the sky, people walking on water, and all sorts of magical, absurd and primitive stories, and you say that we are the ones that need help?

    Comment by Korou — January 31, 2011 @ 4:57 am | Reply

  53. Since Lucy beat me to the points I wanted to make, and several other people as well as Lucy have already pointed out the difference between unicorns and God, I will say only this: I see this argument–the “atheists don’t exist” argument–and it feels to me like nothing so much as an attempt to troll atheists, for lack of a better term, “using their own weapons against them” so to speak. If you are capable of using sound philosophy and factual evidence to back up your theological opinions, there should be no reason to fall back on “I know you are, but what am I” arguments.

    I see that I am very late to the conversation but I am hoping that you are notified of comments so that you can see this.

    Comment by Nicole — January 31, 2011 @ 6:07 am | Reply

  54. I have read a lot of stupid baseless and illogical arguments against atheism. Your’s will simply be another one.
    Have a nice day.

    Comment by Berny — January 31, 2011 @ 6:45 am | Reply

  55. Sir, by the same type of impeccable reasoning I deny the existence of Theists, Deists and all manner of worshiping folk. All doubt the existence of their flavour of deity at many points in their various lives experiencing doubt, fear and an inexplicable sense of purposelessness. They cannot point to anything in this universe and say with certainty that the is the work of their God.

    Your reference to the undoubtedly devout C S Lewis ignores his own, self admitted, doubt; his simile, at which you smile in your ignorance, is false. The shape of the splash tells you much about physics and mechanics. If you are not foolish enough to restrict your studies to the shape but include materials involved then you cannot find a history but you can find out and theorise about biology, chemistry, ceramics and the remarkable, but not inexplicable, properties of water.

    The silence that greets you when you make your clever argument is not the inability to answer but the sheer wonder at your foolishness. If you do find someone with the quick wits to reply as if you were sane then you probably will fall back on the old staple of Sagan’s “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence,”

    This, of course shows that Sagan knew the difference between evidence, data and proof but you do not. You lack the intellectual honesty to learn the disciplines that can give you a grasp of such things. Sagan also knew the difference between defeat and victory, again something you do not. All of the believers arguments have been shattered, there is no “Firmament” and so no physical heaven or hell. No telescope can see god(s), angels or demons in the sky and so believers are forced to insist on their non-physicality. Miracles are claimed but are shown to be either false reporting, the workings of random chance or lies. Everything the believer says comes down to “magic”; wiggle your fingers, say certain mystic words, perhaps bow or spin a prayer wheel and everything will be “alright”.

    In contrast the ideas of the non-believers are stunningly successful. There is understanding of the mechanisms of matter and energy, of space and time. The magnificent complexity of organisms can be understood, not just stared at in wonder muttering the magic word “Goddidit”. The mystery of how non-reproducing chemicals came together and were able to reproduce is close to being solved, though not yet imitated. Even consciousness is becoming less of a mystery as each year passes.

    Comment by Thrutch Grenadine — January 31, 2011 @ 7:54 am | Reply

  56. Well, by this “logic” I refute that chcristians should be called christians and simply be called theists. Because they, too, therefore know that the gods they reject must exist.

    Comment by Rebecca A (MD) — January 31, 2011 @ 10:17 am | Reply

  57. “he retreats to his study to continue his search for one — just one — argument or proof that God does not exist. And he will repeat this over and over.” The very fact that this is what you think atheists do means you have no idea what your talking about. If you are seriously going to say and put out that god has been proven and atheists are simply ignoring it please do prove your god while your at it and writing. Don’t just assert things. I’m completely cool with ignoring god’s character flaws so long as you can actually prove it to exist, until then however I can merely assume that you have some problem yourself. And as far as your redefinition project go’s, if you change the meaning of the word I suppose any word can mean anything, however, as the dictionary puts it now, I am clearly an atheist and not a theist. It’s ridiculously presumptuous of you to think you “know” I actually do believe in your particular god. If you ask me what I wouldn’t like about your god, that’s hypothetical in the same way I hypothetically would not like Emperor Palpatine. Just because I could come up with reasons based on that character’s actions to not to like something does not mean I believe it exists.

    Comment by Anon — January 31, 2011 @ 11:40 am | Reply

  58. Before reading this article I was a firm atheist, now I see that I was mistaken. The universe simply couldn’t have been a product of chance alone. Praise Zeus for the knowledge I have acquired today!

    Comment by Bob Loblaw — January 31, 2011 @ 12:45 pm | Reply

  59. Huh?

    Watch my lips. Allow me to make this perfectly clear. I’m going to say this very slowly. Are you ready? Good, here goes.

    I do not believe in the existence of a god or gods.

    I don’t hate your god just like I don’t hate Leprechauns or Purple Unicorn or Pink Pachyderms even though I don’t believe in them either.

    Feel free to say that I’m wrong. You certainly have that right. However you do not have the right to say I don’t exist. When you say that you are effectively calling me a liar. Trust me, I don’t lie. Not ever, not no how. I don’t believe in your god. Live with it.

    Comment by Alencon — January 31, 2011 @ 7:18 pm | Reply

  60. Oh, I miss 2008!

    Comment by RevK — February 3, 2011 @ 12:17 pm | Reply

  61. Dante here, and many others like him, literally cannot comprehend any thought process that does not function around a central absolute with which to base all judgement.

    Be it belief in a deity or absolutes of good and evil.

    Be it belief that science and reason explains absolutely everything.

    Be it belief in karma, where your actions always come back in subtle ways.

    Be it belief the ego and self determination.

    To those who cannot function without an Infallible Truth, these become surrogates for their concept of God which they then project onto everyone else around them because any other way of thinking is just too alien for them to handle. It would literally drive them insane to remove that core dynamic and thus incapable of believing anyone else can function that way.

    Comment by Passerby — February 9, 2011 @ 9:53 am | Reply

  62. I want to reiterate my point in the post that many seemed to miss. This wasn’t meant to be a logically sound rational argument, just a series of observations. Nothing I stated can be “proved” by syllogisms or evidence or whatever. This is just looking down the corridor of history and observing the animosity displayed toward God. That is all. Hope that helps.

    Comment by Dante — February 11, 2011 @ 12:52 pm | Reply

  63. Passerby,
    Does it bother you that you wasted so much energy to write something that is not true? For if there is no infallible truth, then anything you say is by definition, wrong.

    Comment by Dante — February 11, 2011 @ 12:55 pm | Reply

  64. Dear Lord Kelvin! Animosity toward “God”? No. Animosity towards self deception and deceit of others? Yes.

    It is true that the “God” you idealise has to shrink into ever smaller gaps thus vanishing from sight as time goes by; but that “God” has little to do with the deity of the Abrahamic traditions. That “God,” as described by the authors and editors of that holy book, is vindictive, abusive and used as the justification of mass murders, rapes and enslavement.

    Read the bible, not just cherry pick the nice bits. Read and see that it is not a cohesive story but an hodge-podge of legend and myth that, at a later date, has been shoehorned into a theology serving the purposes of kings, despots and emperors.

    Read the “New Testament;” do not just follow the commentators and the glosses, but see the conflicts and lies that begin in the synoptic gospels. Wonder at how these errors are magnified, exalted and added to in every successive book and epistle. Even if an early date for Mark or the probably mythic “Q” text is assumed see how history is distorted by the author(s).

    Lastly look at the church fathers, the devout liars for God. Learn about Eusebius, the possible forger of Josephus’ 2 comments upon Christ and Origen the man whose belief in the power of God was so strong he castrated himself to stop himself sinning.

    It may be pointless, but I get angry at the people who distorted a simple folklore into an all encompassing group of religions. Paul, John the Apostle and John the Divine and later Mohamed and the early caliphs; these and others of their time may have thought they were doing “good” but ended doing ill. I feel fury toward these deceivers and their successors to the present day but I feel no animosity toward a concept named “God”.

    There is a point to my animosity towards the simperers who say “but my God isn’t like that” and then break bread the wholly disreputable faithful who admit that their god is “like that.” Look at the welcome given by the “harmless” Church of England to the harmful witch destroying faiths out of Africa. Look at how the fundamentalists of Christianity and Islam are feted by the less muscular faithful of those faiths.

    Comment by Thrutch Grenadine — February 14, 2011 @ 1:40 am | Reply

  65. Thank you Thrutch Grenadine, for a well written and thought-provoking post. It certainly resonates with me.

    All of what you have asked us to do, I have. You have encouraged us to, “take up and read” and to “look.”

    In response, I ask, “Have you chosen to ignore?” The claim of “self deception and deceit” is a charge that ought to humble anyone alleging.

    Honestly, over the course of human history, we must admit that, “mass murders, rapes and enslavement,” have characterized all civilizations but especially of those not defined by the Old the New Testament canon. I recognize that the conquests of Joshua and the Judges and the Kings of Israel are replete. But in their context, when properly executed, they were instruments of holy judgment – which have seen their end at the cross of Christ, who has detached God’s sword of judgment from the Heavenly Kingdom of which Christ now rules (that is, until a “Day” selected by God alone – not us).

    You have made judgments – with appeals to words and reason. This is the Christian tradition (regrettably, not learned quickly enough), but there is nothing Christian about “mass murders, rapes and enslavement.” To this day this seems to be practiced by humanistic, communistic, and Islamic societies as standard tactics for control. Am I deceived about this?

    I have read the Bible through and through and now politely state that you have overlooked the grander themes that exalt only one true and eternal King. Are you not aware of the many Puritans who were murdered by their earthly monarchs simply because they would have no king, but Christ? Again, it is a Christian world-view that has advocated representative republics, freedom of speech, rights of redress, and the consent of the governed that ensures the protection of the weak and marginalized. Am I missing something?

    I have read of your judgments of the New Testament — a text of antiquity which has no equal in its manuscript documentation. Are you able to direct me to any other collection of writings of history so thoroughly preserved and analysed? You are claiming, “distortion,” and I am wondering if the same can be labeled at your presentation. The entire New Testament and speculations regarding other “gospels” is completely open to the public and the scholarly community — who is “distorting” this record? Do “Christian publishers” dominate the industry? We have had two thousand years of critique of the New Testament, and in my short life, have only witnessed scholars and historians support its testimony with increasing credibility. The New Testament constantly references people, places, and practices that have been confirmed by other scientific disciplines (It did not take place in “Middle Earth”). Even those disputing the details of this text know that Paul and Ephesus and Jewish burial practices (for example) are realities of which the New Testament reports. What is being distorted here? Is it the theology? Has it failed to communicate the duty to love God and neighbor?

    I have read much of the church fathers. You have claimed that they are “liars.” Were they ever mistaken, or were they maliciously perverting the truth in order to deceive for some end? To what extent do the church fathers impact our society today? Thankfully we have the Bible by which to judge their testimonies. To which authority do you point in order to defend what anyone ought to do with their body?

    You post is not pointless. I agree that deception and distortion are damaging to a society. I am interested in promoting a society that is free pursue the the true, the good, and beautiful. Am I deceived already?

    I find this to be your conclusion: you have more disdain for ‘interpreters’ than the original writers. Surely, the writers intended something! Therefore, interpretation is everything! I have had some disagreement with your “interpretations,” but I bless you for them! A variety of voices should be heard in a free society. What still remains to be determined is if there is indeed a society that will actually embrace the truth of anything? Who is truthful during regime change? Who has the truth regarding economic policy? Who should we trust with public education? Who should determine our morality? I believe that God knows the truth; but it takes some work on our part to apprehend it — humbly, without threat of harm or coercion.

    (Which ‘writings’ have been the greatest threat to tyrants, politburos, and ‘Great Leaders?’)

    With your last sentence I am in full agreement. The final interpreter of ‘the writings’ should not be Popes, Mullahs, or parsons; but individual practitioners who have the freedom to associate, and in a Christian sense, with those who recognize that the foolishness of preaching is all that is needed to persuade. This is quite “harmless,” isn’t it?

    So, I believe you ought to keep preaching too. You may garner a following (and I trust you’ll be able to properly control them, as well).

    Peace,

    Comment by RevK — February 19, 2011 @ 1:16 pm | Reply

  66. Thank you for your comment about Hitchens, although I have never depended on him and wrote my entire text and it’s references largely from the memory which genetics, education and circumstance have blessed me. In regard to spelling, “Practise” is acceptable English but poor American, blame Webster not me.

    Thank you also for applying the term harangue, I now regard myself as an ally of the “Lone Haranguer” from the “Wizard of Id.” For the why of my harangue let me point out, again, that you are an apologist for a religion that assumes to itself too much; a religion that ignores the verities of other faiths before attempting to subvert and ultimately destroy them. If you doubt this then examine Charlemagne’s behaviour in Northern Europe; the Reconquista of Spain and Portugal; the slaughter of Hypatia and many other old religionists of the Near East. Please note that my reference to holy Christian slaughter ends at 1492 and even then is but a fraction of the butchers bill to that time.

    When it comes to context you accuse me of ignoring biblical context in quoting examples from the New Testament. Excuse my error but I thought you would be aware of the context of those particular references. Let me enlighten you.

    Telling people to sell clothes to buy swords? The Last Supper, Luke 22:35 – 38, and when they showed him two swords he said “It is enough,” Before you begin the defence that it was only metaphorical, it was not. and the other excuse is that it was “just for that occasion” does not excuse it at all.

    Abandonment of family? The context here is the entire New Testament. See Matthew 10:21, 10:35, 10:37 (in this same chapter the putative saviour states he comes not “to send peace, but a sword”). Again when discussing salvation the necessary destruction of the family comes up, Matthew 19:29, Mark 10:29 – 30 and Luke 18:29 – 30. In Luke also we are fed the juicy detail that those “holy” men, Peter, James and John, abandoned their wives and children, Luke 5:11. I have only selected a few of the choicest examples but I know there are more.

    Just as you plead ignorance of the context of ideas in the Bible you ignore context in my post and persist your ignorance of modern history. Firstly let me deal with your foolish ideas about “Communism.” There has never been a true Communist state. Many states have described themselves a being communist, in the same way that Mormons and “Moonies” describe themselves as Christians.

    You now include “Fascism” as a bad thing, but why I do not know. Fascist states were Christian states, indeed you could hardly get more Christian than the original 20th century Fascists, the Italians or the Catholic, Hitler, and his Lutheran supporters. Japan was not Fascist except in its alliances and a particularly nasty military caste.

    In respect of the Hadith, I have no respect for it as I thought was clear from context.

    Now onto humanism – again. I do not know how to make it clear to you but let me try. Humanism is a philosophy, not a method of governance. Humanism can be simplistically described as saying that man is the measure of all things and that measure, applied with reason, shall be used as your guide. This does not of necessity lead to “bad things.”

    An example;
    1) The only state that was founded primarily on humanist principles was the United States of America.
    2) The primary document of the USA, the Constitution, is largely a humanist document.
    3) The First Amendment of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, is a humanist document.
    4) Because the USA was founded on humanist, not Christian, principles the Treaty of Tripoli could be signed and then ratified by unanimous vote of the Congress. Ratification means it became part of the law of the USA. That treaty begins “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion …” and this treaty has never been abrogated.

    Can you tell me, is living in a non-Christian nation with a humanist foundation for your governance a bad thing? Or do you wish to tell me that Washington, Jefferson and all the members of that Congress lied?

    I said earlier that you are an apologist for a religion that assumes for itself too much, and now you claim that only nations that are Christian can be humanist. What a fine example that is and all because I mentioned 3 states, unfortunate enough to have been within Christendom, that had strong humanist guidelines to their current policy. You ignored Japan, of course, and will claim that they now use humanism because it was forced on them following World War II.

    Those states you so falsely claimed for Christianity have done well but all owe a debt to Europe’s pagan roots. Humanism, you see, has its roots in paganism as it was an outgrowth of the Renaissance which saw the re-examination of pagan philosophies from Greece and Rome. It was given a further boost in the Enlightenment which is why the US Founding Fathers used so much that was humanist.

    In the same vein you, laughably, imply that Deism is an off shoot of Christianity and that the Deists amongst the US Founding Fathers had some sort of special understanding about Christianity. In a sense you are correct about the special understanding, for Deism denies the divinity of Christ and denies the Bible any special place in revelation because it is the work of men. In Deist terms Christianity is puerile. In Christian terms Deism is the blackest heresy.

    Enlightenment humanism made itself so widely felt that many believers were forced to examine their faith and use humanist insights to inform what they believed and to identify injustice. Hence Wilberforce and Plimsoll et al in the UK and Lincoln with many others in the US. It also informed the arts including the works of Voltaire. (Amongst Voltaire’s works was a novel “Candide” which destroyed the philosophy of “Optimism” espoused by Leibniz. Now go and do your own research and learn.)

    Having dealt with your “annexation of territory” for Jesus let me see where else your ramblings take you. Let me begin with a great divide.

    Unfortunately my good memory and my poor intellect does not enable me to decypher your non sequitur regarding the Grand Canyon and I can only assume you wish to imply that its beauty is dependent upon a god; which is rubbish. I would contend that for me the wonder and beauty of that landmark becomes greater when considered along with the vast depth of time over which it, and its geological context, formed.

    The same applies to your reference to the Marshall Plan, which had nothing to do with Christianity and everything to do with holding back the economic depression that was likely to follow WWII. Europe, including the UK, benefited from it but so did America. Oh and it was Keynesian not Christian.

    You ask what do I believe and here I get a glimpse of a nasty excrescence called “Presuppositional Apologetics,” a method of argument which insists that those arguing against religion must have some faith or belief. Sorry, I have no belief in that sense. I do believe that the sun will apparently rise tomorrow, but that is based on a minor knowledge of orbital mechanics. I also believe most humans are unselfish based on my own and others behaviours. So I use not belief, but reason, logic, experience and hope as guides.

    The same cannot be said for you for you cling to your beliefs at the expense of accuracy. You castigate me for ignoring evidence in the bible of democracy. You cite as proof “elders, prophets, priests, and kings,” being the rulers of Israel. Well, rule by elders is gerontocracy, rule by prophets and priests is theocracy and rule by monarchs is monarchy. No democracy there.

    Just as you mischaracterise humanism and communism you deceive about democracy and shoehorn it into a sick little fantasy of an eternal dictator who thinks us all his slaves (Luke 12:46). You are probably correct when you say the early very church did have elected elders, however much of the New Testament is the Epistles which often overrule these local committees. No democracy there either.

    Quite rightly you say that there were early church councils but these were not democratic, any more than European Commission is democratic. These councils and synods were filled with the ecclesiarchs who ruled different churches in different areas. Worse is the submission they owed to their local monarchs and emperors and hence the early divisions within the church.

    I am tempted to ignore your little dig at pagan societies, based as it is upon a near complete ignorance of history, but I will not. Are your supposed pagans worse than Christian communities that condemn a mother to extended and agonising death for carrying a heavily deformed child or a still birth or an ectopic pregnancy? Because that is what a ban on late abortion does. Women die because of such conditions and the death is not pleasant but I suppose that too is just another “just” punishment for woman’s role in original sin.

    Your ignorance continues with your support of Exodus. Using your reasoning we would have to assume that Richard Sharpe existed during the time of the Napoleonic War. To you the lack of any other supporting evidence is inconsequential because the books have so many surrounding facts correct.

    I will say again there is no evidence at all for the Exodus except the folklore of one small group of tribes. The bible, which contains that folklore, states there were more than one half million Israelites but there is not one sign of them anywhere in the archaeological record. There is not one discarded shoe, nor yet one heavily trampled camp site, not even coprolites to show that 1/2 a million people passed. The Jewish nations have always been particular about burials yet there are none to mark the passing of the many elderly on that 40 year trek.

    No other tribes or kingdoms have inscriptions warning of such a horde or mention them as a threat to others. Not one Egyptian record mentions any of the plagues even in passing. There is nothing about the death of a Pharaoh so soon after the death of his first born son. There is no sign of the starvation that would have followed so many slaves vanishing. No kingdom takes advantage of the vanquishing of the Egyptian army to plunder gold or silver or people from the stricken kingdoms.

    You claim the bible must be telling the truth, because the bible says it is. This is a classic statement of circular logic and to break free of that charge you must produce outside evidence – but you deny the necessity of outside evidence. I repeat , circular logic, and add a closed mind.

    Evidence for my views on the verities? Well I can see a pile of decomposing bodies and say “This is not beautiful,” and for me that is true but I still cannot say what is guaranteed to be beautiful, only that it will not include a pile of decomposing bodies. This is not circular logic it is empiricism. Equally I can decide empirically if the Grand Canyon is beautiful to all by taking a person suffering from vertigo to the edge and asking them if they find it beautiful. There is an excellent chance they will say “No”.

    The same applies to truth, I can say that “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” is not truth. It is 2 unconnected of statements purportedly made by a rabbinical figure whose name was not Jesus. This collection of words is meaningless and could equally be described as a comment in support of the Tao.

    I can also say that you are misleading and concealing the truth when you cite Augustus and Josephus as saying there were censuses. I did not say there were not censuses, just that there were none during the times your saviour might have been born and that is supported by the evidence from Augustus and Josephus amongst others. I can also state with certainty that such censuses did not require the populace to move to their place of birth.

    You obviously support “Biblical Inerrancy”, but which bible? Eastern Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Coptic, Ethiop, Maronite, Vulgate? All are perfectly valid bibles and all, by containing or omitting text, are objectionable to an American Protestant.

    How many verses are in Mark? 666 or 678? The oldest copies of Mark all omit those last 12 verses. How do you know, except by accepting the authority of others, that your particular bible is the inerrant one?

    If your particular bible is inerrant, why does it contain contradictions and lies? You quote the second epistle of Peter, ignoring that the vast majority of scholars believe it to be a forgery, sorry “pseudographical”. You claim authority for the apostles but Matthew, Mark and John were not written by the apostles of those names and Luke admits he was not an apostle but a copyist.

    I ask that you stop deceiving yourself and others. I ask that you stop believing lies …

    I know, I ask too much of you, for you are too weak to face the world without your fantastical, dictatorial, murderous and error prone deity.

    Comment by Thrutch Grenadine — February 25, 2011 @ 1:32 pm | Reply

    • Dizzying,

      I’ve been particularly busy of late taking every thought captive in order to make them obedient to Christ.

      I would like to respond soon.

      Circumstance bless you,

      Comment by RevK — March 2, 2011 @ 11:08 pm | Reply

    • Thank you for your patience,
      I won’t blame you (nor Webster, who appears to be a fine Christian man) for the differences in spelling of English words; but I do find faults in your reasoning and conclusions.
      I am in agreement with your assessment of the goals of the Christian religion; but not with your supposed application of it. An important slogan of the Protestant Reformation was, “post tenebre lux.” There is a particular task at hand for the Christian faith which is to bring more light to the world through the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, who himself came to serve and not to be served and to give his life as a ransom from many. Accompanying that proclamation is the consequence of exposing falsehood and championing the truth. Therefore, a consistent thread of teaching has issued from churchmen critical of the rule of those who secure their positions by authoritarian, subversive, and intimidating means while claiming to be the sole arbiter of truth. Reformation, interpretation, perspective, and a host of other “lenses” are needed to be sorted through in order to arrive at genuine life, liberty, and the pursuit of holiness.
      With a very broad brush, you characterize a Christianity represented by individuals and historic events which I also condemn. Correspondingly, there have been hundreds of failed scientific propositions and charlatans promoting concepts entirely ill-founded and even fabricated; but in no way to I condemn the whole of the scientific endeavor because of it. It seems reasonable that the same should be applied to Christian history (Believe me, we Christians have a penchant for holding our folks in the broader tradition to task.) Related to this, you seem to be fond of stating that there has been no perfect Communist state; and therefore, outside of Christ, there has not been a perfect Christian – the church has been less pure at times.
      - Luke 22 and passages of swords and families: Let the dead bury the dead!
      Again it appears that you believe that from a few lines of scripture, you can construct a maniacal home-wrecker in Jesus who is intent on overthrowing the world with armed conquest. That has never really had much traction, really. The charges of cannibalism and atheism at least were easier to allege in Christianity’s early history. Contextually, the same savior who said “buy a sword” is the same savior who said, “if you live by it, you will die by it.” The same savior who warned people that they ought not love their parents more than he is the same savior who commands honor of father and mothers and furthermore accuses the Pharisees of abandoning their parents solely by inventing selfish interpretations of the law. Jesus is a savior to be held in context. He is a savior who quotes the Old Testament to make a fuller application for the New. He is a savior who advocates appropriate measures for self defense in days of darkness, directions for fleeing during days of persecution, and promises to raise temples in three days. But you can never get from Jesus a Genghis Kahn or “wife beating” prophet. Your agenda of advocating a Jesus as an armed destroyer of families and societies is such a misapplication.
      That being said, Jesus did not worship the family (in fact he came to establish a new one)! He did judge obstacles to discipleship, while at the same time, spoke of “children” being rightly related to their Father – this, along with the rest of scripture which extols both marriage and family relationships as among the most profound analogies for the structure and identity of the Christian church: “Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, 2 older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity. 3 Honor widows who are truly widows. 4 But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God.”
      You wrote: “There has never been a true Communist state. Many states have described themselves a being communist, in the same way that Mormons and “Moonies” describe themselves as Christians.” I appreciate this comparison and would also apply it to “Bible interpreters.”
      As far as our discussion goes regarding various regimes of government, I think we can agree that utopia does not exist. Labeling Fascism as a proper outworking of Christianity is facetious! Among those denominations guilty of aligning with a godless state were also sacrificial saints who spoke frequently and eloquently against such a union. In Nazi Germany, Barth, Bonnhoeffer, Nioemoeller, and others of the Confessing Churches produced the Barmen Declaration which condemned totalitarian assertions of the state and echoed the Reformation principle of the 2 Kingdom view of the church and state. Their Declaration, admittedly did not condemn every atrocity of the Nazi’s, but this minority of pastors and theologians suffered consequences for their convictions. Although a 2 Kingdom view of church and state is rooted in Augustinianism, unfortunately the Roman Catholic Church has had many defects in their application of such. However, some Catholic priests who did oppose the aims of the Fascist Police in Italy were murdered as a result.
      I’m encouraged to know that you possess disdain for the Haddith! I pray your countrymen learn to rise up against it’s teachings before you witness the most brutal of totalitarian governments straight from the Middle Ages to a football stadium near you.
      “Humanism = philosophy.” Got it!
      You have referred to a well known statement, “Man is the measure of all things.” Of course, I have to ask, “Which man?” You assert, “A man who can apply reason.” So let’s be reasonable! Which “man” is the best measure of all things? I recognize that you are advocating some plurality of well reasoned individuals, and you further assert that the Founders of America are a suitable representation of such a “man.” But I am challenging you on the appeal to some transcendental concept such as “reason” to buttress your theoretical “man?” From where do logic and ethics and virtues arise? Pure materialism? Is this ‘reasonable man’ simply well studied in history, art, economics, law, etc.? Maybe at the end of the day, it is not “reason” that wins; but a general historic milieu prepared for colonial independence? We seem to be having quite a political fight here in the USA over the reasonableness of many public policies and what the Framers sought to enshrine here. (Besides, I know you wouldn’t be advocating some type of “anthropantheism!”)
      My sense is that the type of humanism which you cite as commendable existed during a specific time of history for some very specific reasons – the timing and circumstances present in the 1700’s flowed from convictions deeply rooted in the Protestant Reformation. The Reformation returned to notions of separation of church and state, freedom of conscience, and egalitarian governance. So I will restate that I would welcome a return to the common sense of America’s Framers in our day and age, of whom, though many were clearly not members of Christian churches, were still demonstrably in favor of the governing principles originating from the formulations of the colonial churches – but rightly kept them disestablished from the state.
      Therefore, if the Constitution is merely a humanist document; then it is a thoroughgoing Protestant Humanist document. It is well known that floor debates regarding religious references and ‘professions of faith’ were had when writing our founding documents. Since the Founders were well aware of religious wars in Europe (and the Middle East), and since the Constitution was written after the Great Awakening – which actually led to a plurality of Protestant denominations dominating the colonies; a fairly amenable relationship among Protestants promoted the desire to refrain from endorsing a particular “brand” of religion in the colonies. Even a humanist like Thomas Jefferson did not ignore the earlier articulations of the Hanover Presbytery of Virginia and their Memorials discussing the separation of church and state (I commend them to you! To quote a friend, “read this one so as not to have a lopsided view of the scope of the Unitarian Rationalism, Ceremonial Deism and Civic Pacifism (as) our singular view of the founder’s religious temper.”)
      As far at the Treaty of Tripoli is concerned, it takes a Christian worldview to determine that a secular government ought to be separated from the religion of the people. Jesus Christ does not go to war when the USA shoots pirates! Again, context is needed. I have no problem stating that America “on paper” is not a “Christian” nation; but it took Protestant Christians to articulate this. The empires under the Pope and Kings who were “Head of the Church” just couldn’t say this. It is patently obvious to anyone reading American history that our raison d’etre was religious freedom! We could exchange quotes on this all day long from the Founders, but the overall character and social climate of America was derived from Protestant Christians. The parallels between the government of a Presbyterian Church and our Federal Government are beyond coincidence.
      You wrote: “Those states you so falsely claimed for Christianity have done well but all owe a debt to Europe’s pagan roots. Humanism, you see, has its roots in paganism as it was an outgrowth of the Renaissance which saw the re-examination of pagan philosophies from Greece and Rome. It was given a further boost in the Enlightenment which is why the US Founding Fathers used so much that was humanist.” I think you are partly right. However, not including the Protestant Reformation in between the Renaissance and the Enlightenment is beyond glaring! The Reformation has had far more impact on Western Civilization that the other 2 movements listed, especially since the Enlightenment flourished once the freedom of interpretation and conscience was afforded the common man by the Reformation. It was the Enlightenment that drove Humanism in a negative direction, manifesting itself in the French Revolution, while thankfully, not in the American. I think “Enlightened” Europe consistently depends on Protestant America to come to her rescue – of course, only when we remain true to our own foundations.
      As far as the “Deism” of many of our Founding Fathers is concerned, it still cannot be denied that they also attended churches and gave special privileges to those representing the church. Over time, the Deism of the 1700 has no connection to the Unitarian-Universalists of today. So while I agree that Deism is heretical in orthodox terms and is damning as a conviction before God, I again say that I’d welcome it again over the “Humanism” that is espoused today. It is very interesting to me to notice that while in the rotunda of our nation’s capitol building, a depiction of George Washington is painted at the highest point with him staring down from the heavenlies in a deified state! While on the walls of the same room are the paintings of the Pilgrims praying to God with their open Bible and another painting of the baptism of Pocahontas. Either way, it is a real mixture of religion and not humanism!
      “Candide.” Really, if it was so good, where is the movie? Actually, I did not read the globetrotting adventures but did access a review. How can you say that it “destroyed Optimism?” And I apologize that I’m not sure what you are actually attempting to teach me in way of reference to it. I do agree that many trials in life are very difficult to endure; but it surely does not eclipse my hopes for the future. As I read of ‘Candide’ I did learn that scholars are convinced that the work does not advocate any real philosophy except skepticism. Of course, that is a French Humanist view of the world – good luck with it. But what does it really offer in the end? All is vanity?
      This is funny: “I would contend that for me the wonder and beauty of that landmark (Grand Canyon) becomes greater when considered along with the vast depth of time over which it, and its geological context, formed.” OK! The older, the more beautiful! The Universe = Beautiful. Babies = not so much. I don’t get it, are you saying “Time and random processes” are the true work of beauty in the world? Serious? You refuse to see a Divine plan in anything that exists? No meaning, no purpose? Just a long cacophony of bouncing molecules that randomly appear in shapes and then return to dust? Or do you admire “time and apparent consequential order?” Candide, indeed! I would love to hear the proposition for “beauty” (throw in ‘wonder’ if you’d like…) simply because time and material changes.
      This is interesting to me. You detest Bible stories; but you still find beauty in meaningless shapes. Do you see beauty in physical forces? Lightening, earthquakes, volcanoes? Bugs are beautiful too, because over time, they have found a function! I think “beauty” is a very human-based category. I believe it exists! But I don’t know why you use the word, unless you were only trying to accommodate me. (You force me to the presuppositional!)
      You wrote: . “I also believe most humans are unselfish based on my own and others behaviours. So I use not belief, but reason, logic, experience and hope as guides.” WOW! Got some “hope” out of you! So you are not Humean! But you have “beliefs” that are not “faith.” That’s some fancy dissecting! Yet everything about what you have defended makes me believe that you are a materialist. What am I missing here? Reason and logic are not material; they are timeless, non-sensational, non-spatial realities that we humans have come to “believe” “exist” in order to make “sense” of our world and life! Almost on par with a God.
      Everyone knows that faulty logic and reasoning exists. Our experiences and hope can betray us. Why do you even mention the words? You really are genuinely smart. You obviously know that VOLUMES have been written about these words in philosophical and religious texts – will “Love” finally come from you? I don’t understand why you are immune from the deficiencies of these words being misapplied unless you are Zeus.
      I suppose you miss my point about Israel’s government. All the offices and elders operated in concert with one another to establish a more perfect union. The Old Testament is filled with kings ignoring prophets and priests perverting kings to their own demise. All this to simply say that God never advocated a government of a single ruler calling all the shots – there have always been checks and balances in Biblical government – that is until the full measure of the true man came! There may never have been representatives elected directly by the people in a democratic sense (except for King Saul and Jeroboam); but never in the Old Testament was one person solely in charge. However, the New Testament church advocated the election of Deacons and Elders. The Apostles themselves even held councils to determine ultimate issues related to church doctrine (outside of the teaching of the resurrection, of course) – so no Popes! So in both Testaments, a plurality of leadership was the model, with the New Testament preserving a system of leadership that would permit congregations to elect their leadership after the Apostles. Much of this is demonstrated in American representative democracy which enshrines the consent of the governed.
      Again, it is far better to live in a Christian society than any other! And here I can say precisely because of “reason, logic, experience, and hope!” You wrote, “Are your supposed pagans worse than Christian communities that condemn a mother to extended and agonising death for carrying a heavily deformed child or a still birth or an ectopic pregnancy? Because that is what a ban on late abortion does. Women die because of such conditions and the death is not pleasant but I suppose that too is just another “just” punishment for woman’s role in original sin.” Based upon what moral principle do you advocate abortion in any situation?
      I understand that the pagan Chinese practice abortion with impunity. I suppose you support such a “one Child” policy based upon logic and reason and experience – until a horrendous earthquake comes along and finishes off every single-child-family child. Does reason and logic tell you that our discussion of abortion is far different and practiced in vastly disproportional extremes? Your seething over the death of a very few in comparison to the millions is hallow on my account. Christian societies have always defended life and have always sought to preserve it in every possible way. In your example, even including accounts of rape and incest, even these do not compare to the dehumanizing way the abortion industry effects every other area of society – just ask all those fatherless families of Chinese coal miners! Ask the Tibetans, the Taiwanese, the bloggers. You are lost on this account.
      You wrote: “I will say again there is no evidence at all for the Exodus except the folklore of one small group of tribes.” No evidence at all that you will accept. I believe the numbers of the Exodus exceeded 3 million and I believe they were accompanied by a Pillar of Fire and Cloud, and I can account for the God of revelation who preserved their clothing, directed them to bury their waste, and taught them to carry their bones with more evidence than you can account for the existence logic and morality. I don’t rely on the Ipuwer Papyrus or the Merneptah Stele to direct my faith in the Scriptures, but I do recognize that the names of places, people, and practices described therein do indicate that they are historic accounts. My goodness, Egypt is still plagued with locust swarms to this day! Would that necessarily make it in the Daily Hieroglyph?

      You also wrote: “There is nothing about the death of a Pharaoh so soon after the death of his first born son. There is no sign of the starvation that would have followed so many slaves vanishing. No kingdom takes advantage of the vanquishing of the Egyptian army to plunder gold or silver or people from the stricken kingdoms.” Are you suggesting that the Bible teaches such things, or are you inferring such? I think I need references.
      You wrote, “You claim the bible must be telling the truth, because the bible says it is. This is a classic statement of circular logic…” And I must reply to you: You appeal to logic and reason but have no evidence for the reality of such concepts as well! How do you prove logic? Is it a universal? Is it presumed? I advocate a book of historic revelation with which you find no corroborating evidence at all; but you expect me to believe in a logic that satisfies your standards yet there is no evidence anywhere to believe it “exists.” Furthermore, you place confidence in empiricism, but I would like you to prove the reality of such a tenant empirically. You finally assert that the words of Jesus are “meaningless,” and I wonder how you can justify your own words in a world that you did not create and cannot ultimately explain with consistent honesty, for your borrow and choose concepts that are only contingent upon a Christian worldview.
      You say, “I can also state with certainty that such censuses (of Caesar) did not require the populace to move to their place of birth.” Meaningless!
      The Bible I prefer is the one based upon the majority texts that brought us the Geneva Bible and today’s New American Standard, of course! I do believe that the originals were inspired and for the most part have been preserved for us today. I think we may have a bit more than was originally written; but every generation has always had what God intended for His people to have in order to know Him and the Christ whom He has sent. I do trust the cumulative work of the church more than Bart Ehrman and I believe that God has providentially preserved the texts of Scripture, keeping them free from malicious error. The expansive weight of these combined texts and manuscripts are a tremendous witness to the reliability of the Scripture and altogether are unparalleled among all other works of antiquity. The Apostles taught the saints, and approved writers compiled, among them: Mark, Luke, Tertius, etc.
      I pray for you to stop deceiving yourself and others. I pray that you stop believing lies …
      I know, I ask much of you, for you are too proud to face the world without your fantastical, dictatorial, murderous and error prone deification of self. But I will continue to pray for your heart and mind to be renewed by the redemptive work of Jesus Christ.

      Peace,

      Comment by RevK — April 6, 2011 @ 1:01 am | Reply

      • Should be “Post Tenebras Lux” or “after deepest shadow light” and is a Latin misquote of a text from Job. It is the motto of Calvinist movement, which is rather laughable as Calvinism argues predestination. More precisely it argues that God already knows who is saved and who is not, this means it matters not what you do you are condemned, or not, and there is nothing you can do about it. The most extreme forms of Calvinism argue that there are only 144,000 of the Elect (the saved) in all of history.

        You quote articles of faith as if they were reality but there is no proof of that, indeed there cannot be such proof otherwise they would not be articles of faith. You follow that with an ill-edited comment that churchmen (presumably protestant churchmen) expose falsehood, criticise those in power, fight for those threatened or intimidated, and expose all manner of wrong doing. Do you truly expect me to believe it? Where were such men during the Salem Witch Trials when women and girls were starved, tortured and executed? Where were they when an 80 year old man was crushed to death for failing to plead in a show trial?

        You say I “characterise” Christianity with a broad brush using events and individuals you also condemn; well then Matthew 7:16 – 20 I think applies. It begins “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” and ends “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” Christianity, and probably all other faiths, produces these bad fruits in an unending stream. Not being bound by faith I can assert that the progenitors of these abuses were but humans and should be condemned as human.

        You then try to paint, using that same broad brush, science. You cannot see the truth that science is self correcting, in fact it is the whole idea behind the scientific method. Theology and religion, on the other hand are far from self correcting. Personally I do not characterise Jesus as anything because I do not believe that the Jesus portrayed in the bible existed. It is your interpretation of those passages which I quoted to contrast them with the usual touchy-feely, “Christianity is a religion of Love and Peace” type of proselytisation. Then, perhaps after realising you might be saying the bible is in error you accept the passages on the grounds Jesus was advocating “self defense”, please make up your mind and whilst you are at it remember your saviour supposedly said, “I come not to bring peace, but to bring a sword,” Matthew 10:34. Of course I am quote mining the bible, but I am not bound to accept the bible as true either by inerrancy or as metaphor.

        Obviously you cling to your bible and to the authority of your teachers but which bible do you follow? Whichever one you choose you have to admit it was interpreted – unless you are one of those fools who claim the KJV was a new revelation. The committees who worked on the KJV did not have access to the earliest copies of the New Testament (Codex Siniaticus late 4th early 5th century CE) nor to the Didache. To their credit they seem to have made use of the Syriac bible to inform their translation.

        Your ignorance of the history of the bible is more than matched by your ignorance of modern history. Firstly Pastor Niemoller (if you are going to suborn him to your cause please bother spell his name correctly) was condemned by his own church – the same Lutheran church that supported the rise and rule of the Catholic Hitler. Secondly Barth, was a theologian and philosopher and, yes, he was responsible for the Barmen Declaration. He was also Swiss and comparatively immune to threats of the Nazis. He criticised the “Church” for siding with “anti-socialist and conservative forces.” Barth never criticised the Swiss government for their compliance with the Fascist regimes. Lastly Bonnhoeffer was again disowned by his church. There is a common thread in their example and that is their abandonment by the majority of the Christian congregations they thought they represented.

        Likewise the ” few” Catholic churchmen who opposed Fascism were condemned their superiors. All of those clergy did so in disobedience to their superiors and in conflict with the majority of their equals. You seem unsure whether to praise thethe Catholics for their humanity or condemn them for being Catholic; let me give you a clue, they acted a humans first and churchmen second.

        You seem to have been taught that only Germany and Italy were Fascist and ignore the connection with religion. Well let me get rid of that idea for many states have been Fascist. Vichy France and the Norwegian reich were both fascist though both fell with their sponsors. France was largely Catholic and Norway Calvinist and Lutheran. Norway is difficult because it may have been a minority coup by Quisling. Spain, Portugal, Argentina, Chile and Paraguay were all Fascist states, all highly religious and all supported by the religions present in their countries.

        Now look at some of the states that did not become Fascist. The United Kingdom had a hotch-potch of religions and a generally derided established church. Republic of Ireland did not go towards Fascism but that might have been because the IRA wanted to be Communist. Sweden owed fascism no favours and was very much a secular state even though the Church of Sweden was the established faith. Finland sided with the Germans against Russian aggression but remained democratic and was heavily Lutheran – rather like Switzerland. Turkey with it’s highly militaristic and Islamic background did not choose fascism, perhaps because it vaunts itself as a secular state.

        Where you get your ideas about the position of Islam in the UK I do not know. It might be the right wing echo chamber that you seem to hold dear, it might be “The Sun” or the “Daily Mail,” whatever your source you are wrong. Islam is one of many faiths present in the UK and it is split into varying sects and practises – much like Christianity. Like all faiths in the UK it is dying as more and more of the young live secular lives and take up secular habits – like smoking, drinking and going out with girls or boys. Many attendees at worship are there for the sake of appearance only.

        The remainder of your unenlightened (pun intended) rant is hardly worth the effort but to stop you claiming “Victory!” I will keep going. At no point did I say that Humanism is the only philosophy or in your illiterate manner “Humanism=Philosophy.” Humanism is a (please note the indefinite article) philosophy. Likewise Platonism is philosophy (note the lower case letter) and Neo-Platonism, from which the “Church” steals so generously, is philosophy. Of course you then proceed to further highlight your stupidity by claiming I must be talking about an idealised man in relation to Humanism. I know it is difficult for you but imagine a sufferer from Downs syndrome, are that persons achievements any the less because those achievements would be easy for you? The measure is the man or woman, not some unattainable ideal.

        You also raise the terrifying spectre of ” where do logic and ethics and virtues arise?” Does it frighten you so much that the answer to that silly little question is that logic, ethics and virtues arose from humans? Language, poetry, music, dance, alcohol, beds, hygiene, jokes and a near infinity of good and bad things arose from humans. What is so frightening about that?

        Like many fundamentalist fools you persist in claiming the achievements of the DEIST Founding Fathers to the protestant reformation. You say that they lied to all other people in the diplomatic world and to the people USA about the treaty of Tripoli and you regard that as righteous.

        As to the rest well I’ll leave it to others to decide on your reasoning ability, or even your sanity. It is the usual farrago of quote mining, deliberate distortion and non sequitor that I expect from a delusional fundamentalist.

        You wish me peace and as that is the peace offered by your simplistic, vengeful dictator of a god, I’ll pass. In the unlikely event there is an afterlife I would rather be with the opposition planning the defeat of the Fuhrer. From my p.o.v. this conversation is closed.

        Comment by Thrutch Grenadine — April 10, 2011 @ 3:48 pm | Reply

        • Perhaps you prefer the peace of Neville Chamberlain, fine.

          You don’t understand Calvinism. Name one reputable Calvinist who would assert anything as ridiculous as the number of the elect being 144,000 and you will have the name of a marginalized fringe.

          You like fringe manifestations of Christianity – they produce low hanging fruit for criticism; but that’s so simple. Yet, somehow you quote the Bible and apply it’s standard and then equally criticize what is written in it. Fruitcake.

          You also have a faith, a final resting place for truth and authority and it is your assessment of all. God-like. You wish for science and reason to “prove,” but they are only “self correcting” tools that never ultimately prove anything except, “Wait, something more is coming…” Sounds religious.

          The Bible I prefer is written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. The translations I consult are many. My interpretation is the plain sense of the literature with the tools that I have acquired to interpret anything.

          You make my case in the discussion of German theologians rejected by the majority of their church. In this way, the church is also “self-correcting.” The church of Nazi Germany no longer exists as it did then (and I trust will never return) while the respect for Bonnhoeffer, etc. continues.

          I appreciate the lesson of Fascism in Europe and abroad.

          As far as Islam in the UK, if you are at peace with it, then so be it. News is news because it sells papers. If Geert Wilders arrives in London and I see video of enraged Muslims spewing diatribes of violence, I admit that I’m receiving one editor’s opinion. May you all live long going out smoking and drinking!

          You wrote (and this is the crux of this conversation): “You also raise the terrifying spectre of “where do logic and ethics and virtues arise?” Does it frighten you so much that the answer to that silly little question is that logic, ethics and virtues arose from humans? Language, poetry, music, dance, alcohol, beds, hygiene, jokes and a near infinity of good and bad things arose from humans. What is so frightening about that?”

          It frightens me that you will not acknowledge the transcendental and eternal reality of these concepts being an expression of the mind of God; but only human concepts contingent upon human convention. There are too many dead people because some group was able to redefine who was truly human. And while performing the specter of their horrors, still went home everyday to their families to eat good food and listen to classical music. It frightens me that you will not acknowledge that the best of art and medicine and law and science and morality has been championed by societies that have been most influenced by Christianity. I know you despise this; but even if non-Christian cultures produce wonderful fruits of life – these have been continued and propagated by a Christian worldview. If a culture produces anti-social and destructive fruit, it is the very Christian worldview that has the moral and philosophical worldview to condemn it. Round and round.

          I did not say that the ‘Founders’ “lied” about the Treaty of Tripoli. I said that we were wise enough to recognize that the charter of our nation was not to establish a National Christian church. Christians and Deists understood that. England will need to smoke and drink a lot more to figure that out on their own.

          Let the reader decide. Amen. You write well, but you parrot your own echo chamber too. I still stand by my statement that you and Hitchens speak from the same section of the choir. Even if you don’t follow him, you both still say the same things.

          I can understand not wanting to listen to me — there are others who communicate far better. But I chose to write to YOU because YOU are fun! Victory!

          Here is someone who also writes well and takes us both to task: http://www.thenation.com/article/160236/same-old-new-atheism-sam-harris?page=full

          Comment by RevK — May 23, 2011 @ 1:07 am

        • P.O.V. Bless you!

          Comment by RevK — May 23, 2011 @ 1:07 am

  67. “I do not believe in the existence of atheists.”

    You’re off to a really bad start. What you believe, or do not believe, is irrlevant. Reality has a way of persisting in spite of our “beliefs.”

    “Instead, he retreats to his study to continue his search for one — just one — argument or proof that God does not exist.”

    Err, no, you have it backwards. The atheist has no burden of proof as he makes no positive claim. Disbelief is the null hypothesis; the default position. If you claim that a god exists, that is a positive statement and the burden of proof is upon you. If you don’t understand what I’m saying, then you don’t understand what an atheist is. Perhaps that’s why you, mistakenly, don’t believe they exist.

    “When the believer is discussing the existence of God with a nonbeliever, ask them why they don’t like God. Every one of them will present a list.”

    Whoa, hold up a second there Tonto. That list relates to the believer’s CONCEPT of god and not to god as a real entity. Concepts can exist in and of themselves. I can acknowledge the “concept” of a unicorn and the “concept” of a leprechaun without accepting that these things exist. Similarly I can recognize the existence of the “concept” of a god, such as the Christian god, without having to accept his (her? its?) existence. The point is that it is unclear to us why you would even desire such a god to exist. Luckily, he doesn’t.

    “There are no atheists. If you were to find one real atheist, as G.K. Chesterton says, you will have found a madman.”

    Nope. Sorry, but you folks are wrong again. I’m a true atheist and I’m about as sane as anyone can be in this insane world. Actually, I wish I was insane, then perhaps the world might actually be sane and I could sleep much better at night.

    Comment by Alencon — March 7, 2011 @ 8:26 am | Reply

  68. To truly define an atheist you fist must define god. If god is the traditional christian god then there is such a thing as an atheist. If god is simply the idea of a “first mover” which could be sentient or simply an act of chance devoid of intention, than to not consider the possibility would be illogical and therefore be a hole in atheist’s beliefs.
    If all religions are based on faith and the teachings of those with more knowledge, what makes the faith in one god any different (more true) than the belief in many gods or no god at all.

    Comment by Jay — April 4, 2011 @ 9:53 am | Reply

  69. > necessarily holds the belief that we are the result of time plus matter plus
    > chance, merely evolving accidents, the product of random collisions of
    > matter.

    The collisions are governed by laws. They are *not* purely random. Note that you are profoundly, utterly wrong on your most basic assumption about how atheists think. It’s no wonder that you’re profoundly wrong on almost everything else.

    > he retreats to his study to continue his search for one — just one — argument or proof that God does not exist

    That which can be posited without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. The burden is proof is on the person *making* the claim. Until you can provide one — just one — argument that Zeus doesn’t exist, you shouldn’t expect others to prove *your* claims for you.

    > the real issue is that God exists, they know it, and they don’t like Him. If
    > they admit He exists, then they have to bow the knee. Their rules no longer
    > apply, God’s law does.

    This is absolutely absurd reasoning. By that logic, atheists would not believe in police officers, or courts, or anything else that places rules on their behavior. For that matter, they wouldn’t believe in pain or suffering — after all, if you don’t like something, just don’t believe in it, right?

    The real irony is that this much better describes *theist* behavior. That can’t handle the knowledge that they will die, or that there is genuine injustice in the world, so they refuse to believe. They take refuge from reality in comforting fairytale where they are immortal and a magic sky daddy rights all injustices.

    > they want very badly to make Him go away so that hopefully the guilt will go away as well.

    Again you are projecting. I don’t feel guilt over being human. You do, because you were brain washed from a child to be ashamed of normal, healthy human thoughts and feelings, especially where sexuality is concerned.

    > despite the evidences to prove the existence of God

    There is none. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

    > If God were just some unicorn theory that had no real affect on a person’s life, as some nonbelievers claim, then why don’t they treat it as such? Why don’t they just shrug and go on?

    Atheists do. God has no affect on our life, because He doesn’t exist. But BELIEVERS IN GOD DO affect our lives, because they DO exist, and they hold public positions, they vote, they try to teach the ramblings of cattle sacrificing barbarians on our schools, they outlaw life saving research, they start innumerable wars. Gods don’t have to actually exist for BELIEVERS in gods to affect us.

    Also, you define atheist far too narrowly. There were atheists long before your god (Yahweh) was even invented.

    Comment by Eric — September 21, 2011 @ 2:08 pm | Reply

    • >The collisions are governed by laws. They are *not* purely random. Note that you are profoundly, utterly wrong on your most basic assumption about how atheists think. It’s no wonder that you’re profoundly wrong on almost everything else.I don’t feel guilt over being human. You do, because you were brain washed from a child to be ashamed of normal, healthy human thoughts and feelings, especially where sexuality is concerned.<

      Are you married? Do you have children yet? It's a very normal, healthy thing! I sure hope you don't brain wash your children with your dogma!

      Comment by RevK — January 11, 2012 @ 1:21 pm | Reply

      • Sorry, a random glitch greatly augmented my post… it’s too much to recreate it right now. Sorry!

        Comment by RevK — January 11, 2012 @ 1:25 pm | Reply

  70. I’m a real Atheist.
    I’m perfectly healthy and sane.
    Thanks for your innapropriate biased choice of expressing your ignorant opinion.

    Comment by Shelly — November 26, 2011 @ 5:59 am | Reply

  71. So I i don’t want god to exist? Is that it? Noooo, sir, you don’t know what i think. , don’t put thoughts in my head. I believe that their is no Supernatural Deity, any. That we are here by mere chance and science. And if God is proven to exist, then I will gladly accept. But until further proven, I DON’T BELIEVE IN GOD

    Comment by The Average Atheist — January 11, 2012 @ 5:04 pm | Reply

  72. “All people who label themselves as “atheist” are not, by definition, atheists, because they all believe in the existence of God.”

    Stopped reading there. This is moronic.

    Comment by Herpy McDerp — January 27, 2012 @ 8:18 am | Reply

  73. The premise of this is hard to understand as it simply negates what people can and can’t believe….

    Eric

    http://www.eacology.com/2012/05/could-god-exist-antipode.html

    Comment by ecrawford333 — June 5, 2012 @ 8:12 pm | Reply

  74. How many Gods are there? You believe in the Christian God? Christianity is not even the biggest religion in the world. If you believe in the Christian God, then you must believe that the vast majority of the people who have lived in the past, and are alive today, will never know Christ, and that is God’s will – That only a small proportion of people will be Christians, and the remainder will never know christ, and this is how “God” wants it. Religious people are absolutely crazy!

    Comment by Anonymous — July 5, 2012 @ 1:55 pm | Reply

    • Hello anon.

      May I know how you came to the conclusion of ” will never know Christ, and that is God’s will – That only a small proportion of people will be Christians, and the remainder will never know christ, and this is how “God” wants it.”

      Please explain ^^

      Comment by Kelvin — November 27, 2012 @ 8:56 am | Reply

  75. Dante Tremayne doesn’t exist… But seriously, I am darned proud of all my fellow atheists that have made so much sense here!

    Not bad for a group that doesn’t even exist!

    At the same time it is good to know that so many intelligent people have the ability to articulate the silliness inherent in this writer’s main exertion, no matter how cleverly worded/warped/gift-wrapped/and presented as fact it might be – - something that basically happens during every sermon/radio broadcast by all silver-tongued evangelists, soap box preachers and especially those who mimic philosophers or rational thinkers – - I am still filled with dread that so many other equally seemingly intelligent people choose to waste theirs and our time and effort trying to influence the masses with primitive mythology and false promises and faulty thinking and we feel we have to scramble around and try to help you see “the light”, so to speak.

    I do appreciate that most of this discussion is mature and the points (the real ones, anyway), have been stated without malice or judgment. For the atheists, I sense and share the collective frustration and consternation that god-fearing folks DO exist. Those people that use the “word of God” as a blunt instrument, like Thor’s hammer on the heads of the easily impressionable, the easily manipulated, the easily impressed, to gain control over their lives and thoughts and strip away critical thinking and make having a rational point of view seem blasphemous or the ideas of a traitor or heretic.

    By and large, atheists are people who are confident we have a firmer foot on the ground because we are concerned with evidence. We are not making outlandish claims. We are simply stating there is no reason for us to believe that an almighty God exists. But, sadly, at the same time, our ideas don’t fit into what is dubbed “conventional wisdom” by our religion dominated culture (although this may be changing, I hope), theologists or whoever else purports to know the unknowable and dictate their dogma to all of us as though it were as concrete or as understood as the periodic table.

    I remember when a self-proclaimed evangelist was President of the United States – and this country, based on religious fervor and fear, was manipulated into invasions and wars and that whole march to destruction was sold and packaged to the masses and rubber stamped with the slogan – God Bless America. That was a dark time. Just think what we may have avoided if we would have been thinking; think of how rational thought and not zealous silliness could have saved so many lives and resources and not ruined so many futures. I don’t know – maybe atheists need to mobilize and send missionaries to all the ends of the earth to combat this brainwashing effect.

    Taking a step back now, with some 20/20 hindsight, I would hope that as a nation – hell, a global community – we would have learned a great deal about the manipulation of the masses and the role that religion has played in it.

    Just considering that religion has so many seemingly sane people arguing over what essentially CAN’T be proven, therefore not even something worthy of discussion, and seems like the ultimate waste of time. Maybe if we’d had a few extra eyes on what really matters, we’d have woken up in a better world this morning; a world where people try to bridge their differences, and work towards understanding each other on a human and rewarding level, devoid of silliness and myth and cluttering up our minds with useless fluff.

    Amen.

    Comment by J Michael Brown — July 5, 2012 @ 4:44 pm | Reply

  76. This was quite interesting to read. There are some valuable points here.

    I personally believe in God and Jesus. But here’s the thing: I’m not good at saving souls. If there was one weakness I have, it’s debating. I dislike it. I’m not fond of debating. So all I can do is speak to Him about my problem – that 80% of my friends are atheist.

    That’s all I wanted to share. I can’t win a soul by proving their system wrong.

    Comment by Kelvin — November 27, 2012 @ 8:55 am | Reply

  77. “Atheists Dont Exist Christian Theology” in fact enables me contemplate
    a small bit further. I loved each and every single element of it.
    Thank you -Kelvin

    Comment by http://tinyurl.com/amercroft46517 — January 13, 2013 @ 5:14 pm | Reply

  78. I have to respectfully disagree with your assertion Dante.

    I grew up a Baptist (I’m not one to lump all Christians together since many of the sects of Christianity contradict each other quite a bit and many cannot even come to a consensus on how to get into Heaven.)

    I believed, I was saved, I went to church every Sunday, and did everything the good Lord wanted me to do. But once I started utilizing my critical thinking skills, the less God’s existence made sense to me. I studied not only my religion, but many others and I had the same problem, none of them made sense to me to believe in.

    It wasn’t that I didn’t like God, didn’t trust God, and in fact the existence of God would have made my life easier in some ways. But when being honest with myself, I just couldn’t believe in a God when there was no evidence for the existence of it. I don’t go around trying to disprove God, because technically other than using paradoxes, it isn’t really possible, just as you cannot really prove there is one.

    I respect many religions, most of my friends are religious and I have absolutely no problem with their beliefs as long as they aren’t trying to force them down my throat (and I don’t try to force my belief that there is no God down theirs).

    But we do exist whether you want to believe it or not.

    Comment by Gehenna — February 18, 2013 @ 6:55 pm | Reply

  79. Hello I felt your blog was very well planned and that you kept to the point while sustaining a level of individuality you don’t see in a lot of other blogs. I would love to share articles and ideas sometime or maybe you would even like to co-write an blog with me.

    Comment by regzooka review — March 14, 2013 @ 4:19 pm | Reply

  80. Your argument seems to be largely made up of saying that all atheists hate God, which is untrue. There are many atheists who really just don’t care. Do you hate the deities worshipped in other religions. Probably not, because if you did, according to your argument, you would secretly believe in them.

    Comment by Anonymous — March 30, 2013 @ 3:13 am | Reply

  81. Your argument seems to be largely made up of saying that all atheists hate God, which is untrue. There are many atheists who really just don’t care. Do you hate the deities worshipped in other religions? Probably not, because if you did, according to your argument, you would secretly believe in them.

    Comment by Anonymous — March 30, 2013 @ 3:18 am | Reply

  82. You’re confusing apostate with atheist. A Christian apostate denounces the Christian god but still believes in a god, they are still theists.

    Atheists don’t believe in any gods because there is no evidence.

    Comment by Hey Zeus — September 19, 2013 @ 1:21 am | Reply

  83. “I don’t know what you have read on the subject. We have the ontological, teleological, cosmological arguments, the argument of miracles, the transcendental argument, proofs for the validity of the Bible and so forth. The one I like most is based on what I posted. If God did not exist, then you have no basis for explaining truth, because you have no foundation of truth, for you are a cosmic accident. ”

    Sound like arguments and hypothesis to me. And if you are going to use unicorns as leverage, steer clear of miracles as some sort of validity.

    Comment by Anonymous — November 22, 2013 @ 2:51 am | Reply

  84. If atheists believe in in deities, eventhough they claim not to believe, then you are also one of Father OdIn’s Valahalla warriors! Come and join the Norse Aesir in his bloody kingdom, where you will feast on boar meat and decapitate others all day! You must believe, you’re just in denial! Idiot….the reason we don’t “shrug it off” is because you theists are forcing your opinions and religion on us, saying we are scumbags for not having the same imaginary friend! If someone worshipped a devil, you might even prefer them to us! No that devils or gods exist…. If i came to convert you to a deity that openly encourages murder, slavery and rape, you wouldn’t agree to become a follower….OH WAIT, That’s your god i was talking about. For us, your god is, before anything, FICTIONAL. NON EXISTENT, IMAGINARY, COMPLETE VOID…. There is as much proof for him existing as there is proof for unicorns or Odin existing, Ans as far as i know, Unicorns have a much bigger impact on the lives of people who enjoy watching unicorn cartoons than god has. But if he were to be real, than you can’t expect us to like him, seeing that the “holy scriptures” prove he must be an asshole. As for you calling us madmen, in case you find we still don’t belive in anything….at least we’re not the ones who would slaughter people if it weren’t written there in a 2000 year old book

    Comment by X — February 4, 2014 @ 5:41 am | Reply


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