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Questions: Don't Most People Turn To God In Times Of Crisis?


darwinfish

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I've had some difficult times in my life. People that I was close with have died. That's never easy. I've also had doubts about my career, or life choices. It's hard sometimes. Everyone deals with this. There's always times in someone's life when they feel hopeless and afraid. It's inevitable. What will happen then? Will we, even as atheists, fall down on our knees and beg for a God, if one could hear us, to come and help us? Death bed conversions are somewhat common stories. What does that say about our beliefs? Does the fact that some do turn to a God they've claimed they don't believe in when they face hard times mean that secretly we really do believe?

 

Some would say that a deathbed conversion shows that deep down we all KNOW there is a God, we just repress that knowledge. Essentially, what they are saying is that all our arguments about evidence is really just posturing. We know in our hearts that a God exists, and when we find ourselves in a hopeless situation that fact that some will turn to a God that they have claimed doesn't exist, demonstrates that as a fact.

 

I actually, find this line of argumentation dishonest. When we talk about the problems of evidence in respect to belief in a God, they argue that testimony alone is enough. When we, as atheists, point out the physical evidence that contradicts the Biblical testimony, they ignore the verifiable, objective evidence in order to continue to accept the subject testimony of the Bible. They use arguments of ignorance, straw men arguments, and circular reasoning. One by one all the arguments are addressed and refuted, logically. Then they pull out a death bed confession story as a way of saying all our arguments are camouflage. What they are trying to argue is what the Apostle Paul argues in Romans:

 

"Romans 1:

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen."

 

How do you address someone who is basically accusing you of lying? I don't think there is a way to address them. They think they know more about your thought processes then you do. And, at this point they've already failed to address all the logical arguments I've discussed above. And, I think this line of argumentation ends any further discussion. They've left reasoning and moved on to an ad hominem. Will there be any evidence that you could bring to this person that would ever convincing them otherwise? They've made up their minds, and they've decided all atheists are lying.

 

We could stoop to their level and turn the argument back on them. Deep down, don't all Christians really know that there is no God? Otherwise, why do they cry at funerals of other Christians? Or why do they go to doctors to get healed? Why not pray instead. Why get a job and go to work? Doesn't God provide? I think you KNOW there's no God, and your just pretending.

 

It's a silly accusation no matter what side your on. It's ridiculous to claim that you could possibly know what a person thinks better than they could know themselves. Sometimes, people act in ways that are counter to previous claims. Maybe it's emotion that's overtaken them, or maybe they've changed their beliefs. But, to expand these instances to an entire group is a giant leap in logic. I can't claim all Christians are intentionally lying to people to steal their money just because there have been Christian leaders in the past that have been exposed for that very thing. So, if the conversation does devolve into this type of argument, it might be best to end the conversation there. Once you are being accused of being dishonest, without any evidence, there truly is nothing more to talk about.

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