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My Ex-pastor's Views On Atheism


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Hello everyone. I'm an ex-Christian who has been conversing with my ex-pastor through email. Below is a section of his most recent reply. I am just interested in hearing feedback from anyone, Christian and non-Christian on what he wrote. Thank you.

 

 

The atheist must suppress the demands oflogic:

 

He is like the man who finds an encyclopedialying in the woods and refuses to believe it is the product of intelligentdesign. Everything about the book suggests intelligent cause. But, if heaccepted such a possibility, he might be forced to conclude that livingcreatures composed of millions of DNA-controlled cells (each cell containingthe amount of information in an encyclopedia) have an intelligent cause. Hiscontrolling bias against God will not allow him to accept this.

 

Yet, ironically, the atheist has to believein miracles without believing in God:

 

Why? Well, one law that nature seems to obeyis this: whatever begins to exist is caused to exist. The atheist knows thatthe universe began to exist and since the universe is, according to theatheist, all there is, the very existence of the universe seems to be acolossal violation of the laws of nature (i.e., a miracle). It’s hard tobelieve in miracles without God.

 

An atheist must also suppress all notions ofmorality:

 

How do we move from the “is” of the naturalworld to the “ought” of ethics? Naturalism doesn’t inspire confidence that wereally have duties and that we ought to be virtuous. The atheist is not able todeclare any quality to be morally superior to another without violating thedemands of rational and logical conclusions. To make such claims wouldlogically require an absolute standard of goodness and duty. He may offer hispreferences, but he has no basis for claims of moral superiority– only forpersonal choices. For an atheist to declare peace better than war or lovebetter than hate, he must answer the question: “Says Whom?” Unless morality isestablished by some transcendent source of authority to whom all people mustanswer, it cannot be more than alternative choices based on personalpreferences. The atheist is stuck believing that morality has no real claim onyou or anyone else.

 

In fact, the atheist must conclude that evilis an illusion:

 

For there to be evil, there must also besome real, objective standard of right and wrong. But if the physical universeis all there is, there can be no such standard (How could arrangements ofmatter and energy make judgments about good and evil true?). So, there are noreal evils, just violations of human customs or conventions. How hard it wouldbe to think of murderers as merely having bad manners.

 

 

If he accepted the standard rules fortesting the truth claims of historical documents, he would be forced to acceptthe resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The account of Jesus’resurrection is strongly validated by standard rules for judging historicalaccuracy. The extensive manuscript evidence of eyewitnesses to the resurrectionis presented in an unbiased, authentic manner. It is the atheist’santi-supernatural bias that keeps him from allowing history to prove anything.

 

Finally, the atheist must admit that humanbeings are not importantly different from other animals:

 

According to the atheist, we are simply theresult of blind chance operating on the primordial ooze, and differing from animalsby only a few genes. Yet, the wonders of human achievement and the moraldignity we ascribe to human beings just do not fit with the claim that we areno different than the animals. The realities of human creativity, love, reason,and moral value seem to indicate that humans are creatures uniquely made in theimage of God.

 

The atheist’s problem with belief in God isnot an absence of evidence but suppression of it. “For since the creation ofthe world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–havebeen clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men arewithout excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as Godnor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolishhearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools”(Romans 1:20-22).

 

 

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Guest Valk0010

Wherever I am reading something like this, my first thing to say glibly is,alright I am a deist then, next, Ohh and I also believe in ghosts and aliens and magic. There is well documented and more current information(and therefore usually more reliable) on that stuff. You can't have it both ways when appealing to historical veracity. If your going to say that stuff 2000 years ago that is not experienced or seen today and is often reserved in most other instances for the realm of folklore is historically proven to have happened. Then I guess you should believe ghosts exist and take my word for it when I say I experienced something on par with a ghost story.

 

Also ask the pastor this. If the resurrection has been so soundly proven, why don't we see that god act at all today. He raises one dead person who happens also to circularly be him(proves god to be a real idiot if he is omniscient and evil if he isn't) yet doesn't answer the prayers of people dying of a famine. Its inconsistent at best. There is a reason miracles fly in ancient writings, and yet we see a fairly uniform and unsupernatural world today. The shit didn't happen then. Show me that miracles can even happen, then we can talk about what is proven by historical inquiry. You can't prove what can't happen. And if miracles are even possible, then we can move on to what can be proven.

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The atheist must suppress the demands of logic: He is like the man who finds an encyclopedia lying in the woods and refuses to believe it is the product of intelligent design.

Creation doesn't prove there is or isn't a God. Creation is here - we don't know where it came from. It doesn't matter where it came from.

Yet, ironically, the atheist has to believe in miracles without believing in God:

What is he referring to as a miracle? A child being healed by medicine in a hospital?

An atheist must also suppress all notions of morality:

Has he ever read the OT? All the killings that God commanded? To me, humanism which believes in the intrinsic value of every person, is a more logical system, than trying to justify all God's killings.

In fact, the atheist must conclude that evil is an illusion:

So is goodness, then.

 

If he accepted the standard rules for testing the truth claims of historical documents, he would be forced to acceptthe resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The account of Jesus’resurrection is strongly validated by standard rules for judging historical accuracy. The extensive manuscript evidence of eyewitnesses to the resurrectionis presented in an unbiased, authentic manner. It is the atheist’s anti-supernatural bias that keeps him from allowing history to prove anything.

There are many sons of Gods, born to virgins which also later died and rose again. So which one is the real one. That type of belief is what was popular during the time period in which Christianity started.

Finally, the atheist must admit that human beings are not importantly different from other animals:

 

What is so important about that? I have a much stronger connection to the animal world now that I have left the idea that I am ruler over it. I co-exist with the plants and animals.

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Hello everyone. I'm an ex-Christian who has been conversing with my ex-pastor through email. Below is a section of his most recent reply. [...]

 

 

Quite astonighing. A very intelligent, philosophically minded pastor. His flock are probably much luckier than they realise. He seemed just about right in everything until he got to

"If he accepted the standard rules fortesting the truth claims of historical documents, he would be forced to acceptthe resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."

 

There is no evidence for the resurrection. It has all the hallmarks of the pagan resurrection stories. None of the oldest Bibles -- the Vatican Bible, the Alexandrian Bible and the Sinaiticus -- so much as mention the resurrection. Sad to say, the sole piece of extra-Biblical testimony about anything to do with Jesus' life -- that is, Josephus' 'Golden Testimony', has been known for centuries to be a forgery.

 

That said, the whole concept of order in the cosmos is inexplicable by naturalistic methods. God is as real as everything you can touch.

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Ask him why he's plagiarizing the work of Steven W. Cornell rather than speaking to you in his own words. :grin:

 

Then ask him why he's willing to make an exception for his god existing without cause.

 

Finally, say something like "You have a lot of nerve, implying that atheists are immoral. I can see there's no point in discussing this further with you; goodbye."

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This pastor may be smart, but only in the sense of expectorating the usual apologist talking points. I don't see anything particularly insightful in what he says. It's just evangelical propaganda.

 

 

 

 

The atheist must suppress the demands oflogic:

 

Since when? Most atheists employ massive uses of logic in order to conclude that one of the strongest social forces in the U.S. - the South especially - is based on nothing but vapor. This pastor is attacking a straw man. He shows utter lack of respect for people who do not believe like he does by saying such a preposterous thing.

 

He is like the man who finds an encyclopedialying in the woods and refuses to believe it is the product of intelligentdesign. Everything about the book suggests intelligent cause. But, if heaccepted such a possibility, he might be forced to conclude that livingcreatures composed of millions of DNA-controlled cells (each cell containingthe amount of information in an encyclopedia) have an intelligent cause. Hiscontrolling bias against God will not allow him to accept this.

 

His position here is refuted in books like Dawkin's "Greatest Show on Earth," or Coyne's "Why Evolution is True." The evidence does not tilt in favor of design because so much evidence of bad design is in the fossil record and in the anatomy of current species today.

 

These apologists spout the word "information" like they know what they're saying. I may have incomplete knowlege here, but do evolutionary biologists even speak in terms of "information" in DNA? Or is this another creationist straw man?

 

Yet, ironically, the atheist has to believein miracles without believing in God:

 

Why? Well, one law that nature seems to obeyis this: whatever begins to exist is caused to exist. The atheist knows thatthe universe began to exist and since the universe is, according to theatheist, all there is, the very existence of the universe seems to be acolossal violation of the laws of nature (i.e., a miracle). It’s hard tobelieve in miracles without God.

 

He's using an arguable premise to the Kalim Cosmological argument as a law of nature. He demonstrates here a pathetic lack of understanding of what constitutes a "law of nature. " No physisist, biologist, astronomer or other scientist that I know of looks at "Everything that begins to exist has a cause.' as a "law" of nature. Gravity? Law of nature. Thermodynamics? Law of nature. William lane Craig's first premise to Kalim? NOT a law a nature. it's a premise to a sophist's attempt to play word game.

 

Many atheists say "the universe could be eternal and self existent." Others say, it began to exist, but there is no need or no evidence to posit a "God" as described in the torah, the Koran or the New Testament to explain that cause. Hawkins, in "The Grand Design" painted a scenario where, due to quantum effects, the universe could be self caused with no need for a God to explain this causing to come into being.

 

 

 

An atheist must also suppress all notions ofmorality:

. . . etc. etc. etc. . . .

 

Again, old, tired arguments. Once again we have a straw man argument. There are many atheists who do not suppress all notions of morality and who struggle with moral issues and coming to an idea of what is right and how to do good by our fellow humans in this world. The notion of "absolute" or "objective" morals is as vacuous as is the notion of "God." This pastor would like to think that there is some monolithic standard for morals, but he has as little credible evidence for such a thing. What we do have evidence for is that morality is a system of social values with varying degrees of enforcement and sanction that involves language systems, economic systems, genetics and culture. Moral standards shift and change over time, but most atheists do have notions of what is good and what is evil and what an ethical individual's duty to their fellow human is.

 

Pastor just doesn't know enough atheists to understand this.

 

 

The atheist’s problem with belief in God isnot an absence of evidence but suppression of it. “For since the creation ofthe world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–havebeen clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men arewithout excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as Godnor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolishhearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools”(Romans 1:20-22).

 

This pastor now takes out his magic fairy dust and tosses it out to the reader. If his logic and argumentation fail to persuade, we now have the magical, mysterious Word of GAWWWW-UUUD to cut our hearts in twain.

 

This is merely an argument from authority cast upon the reader with the verbal equivalent of Harry Potter's magic wand.

 

This guy is not intimidating or persuasive. He is , in fact, unoriginal and unimpressive.

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The pastor fails to differentiate between those atheists who were never Christians and those who are exchristians. Here I'll speak only for myself and not try to speak for other exchristians.

 

He likes to speak of suppressing logic, suggesting that if one were truly to employ logic, the only conclusion would be to agree with him. What I now know and understand is that it was through the suppression of the full measure of logic that I remained a Christian for so long. As a Christian, I began with faith that the core doctrines of Christianity were true. That was my beginning premise and, out of necessity, everything else flowed from that. By beginning there, my logic and reasoning were hampered because I was forced to twist logic to keep my premise in tact. The correct employment of logic requires one to question even their premise. But to question the premise that the core Christian doctrines were true clashed with my faith and for too many years it was my faith which trumped everything else. For Christians, the greatest virtue is faith, not logical exposition. Logic (or some form of it) may only be employed beyond the core faith. So, if I accepted that Jesus was the son of god who sacrificed himself as an atonement for my sins and it is only through accepting his sacrifice on my behalf that I would be saved from hell, then I could not truly question whether:

 

1. There really is a god.

2. The Jesus as depicted in the New Testament actually existed.

3. If he did exist, Jesus was the son of this god.

4. I was sinful and in need of redemption and salvation.

5. The only way to obtain redemption and salvation was through the sacrifice of Jesus.

6. There is a place of eternal torment called hell.

7. I am destined for hell if I do not accept Jesus as my lord and savior.

 

My Christian logic began with all of the above (and much more). It was only when I was able to overcome my faith enough to question the above in an earnest fashion that I came to see that the premises from which I began were false and thus could begin my inquiries into other matters free from the Christian baggage. It was then and only then that I was free to employ a degree of logic which my faith had denied me. When I was a Christian, I would have applauded this pastor because my reasoning would have begun where he began. But as an exchristian, having rejected the premises, I am able to see that his "logic" is false and incomplete.

 

This is the reality of having a discussion with someone like this pastor. He begins at a point which I have rejected. I no longer accept his premises and the reason I do not is because logic dictates that his premises are false. That is why he probably sees someone like me as having been blinded by satan's deception, though he did not state that in his communication to you. But you can believe that is what he thinks. On the other hand, I see him as blinded by his faith and, until he is ready to challenge his faith, he will be unable to understand of what I speak. I know this because I, too, rejected true logic for many years.

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The morality issue is completely silly. Let's assume for the sake of argument that Atheists in fact have to abandon any notions of morality (which of course is absolutely absurd). So what!!! This says absolutely nothing about whether or not any god exists.

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Another Christian beating a dead horse. Essentially what his arguments boils down to are these points:

 

There is more faith to being an atheist than a Christian

There is no morality without religion

There is historical proof for the resurrection

 

Going point by point:

 

1. It takes more faith to be an atheist argument:

 

An atheist doesn't have faith in anything. An atheist is by and large someone who bases their beliefs through an evidentialistic approach. If there is no evidence then there is no belief. Furthermore, if God supposedly has existed for all time, why can't the universe? Also, one must realize that the Christian's beliefs are entirely based on faith. There is no evidence for any moral beliefs, biblical characters or anything else regarding Christianity and it's scriptures. It takes far more faith to be a Christian than an atheist. To claim otherwise is being foolish and deceptive.

 

2. There is no morality without religion argument:

 

So what? Humanity, other animals and the universe as a whole has gotten along so far without morality so I don't think we'll be needing it any time soon. To try to argue that without religion the world would be in chaos is utter rubbish. America is one of the most religious countries there are and despite that it's prison population is the largest in the world. Most inmates are religious as well might I add. Interestingly enough, the more secular countries have lower crime rates and higher rates of humanitarian efforts. If you're attempting to argue that we need absolutes in our moral framework; guess what? Christianity doesn't provide that either. I'm sure most of us have heard of the dilemma where a mine cart has gone down a mine shaft and it will kill several people stuck down and if you pull the lever to take it down another path, you save their lives, but at the cost of someone else's life. Which do you choose: Leave it down its current path where it will kill several people? Or, switch paths where you will save their lives, but cause 1 person to die? Tell me where the Bible gives directions about that.

 

3. There is historical proof for the resurrection argument:

 

No, there isn't. Aside from the Bible there is no documents that even talk about Jesus (Yes, I'm aware of Josephus but that's obviously a Christian extrapolation and even Christians will agree that it's been tampered with, if only just a little bit). there are documents that talk about Christians, but not Jesus. Now, the reason we can't take the Bible seriously is a long and complex argument but it suffices to say that one cannot take as historic fact a document that exhibits so many similarities to other mythological documents of the era that it came from.

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Honestly, everything the Pastor wrote sounds like he read it in a few apologetic books and is regurgitating it here. Nothing new, nothing intellectually honest, nothing scientific, nothing logical all of it is simply based on emotional appeal that there JUST HAS to be a God out there who loves us and that we are special! Christian apologetics excuses haven't changed much since it's beginning, just switch in different terms and it's all the same. Apologetics is just a giant game of moving the goal posts.

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The atheist must suppress the demands of logic:

 

 

One needs to understand logic before one can claim what is or is not logical.

One does not stumble on an encyclopaedia in a forest, one is more likely to step on shit.

Which is fundamentally what his argument is based upon.

 

Yet, ironically, the atheist has to believein miracles without believing in God:

Why? Well, one law that nature seems to obeyis this: whatever begins to exist is caused to exist. The atheist knows thatthe universe began to exist and since the universe is, according to theatheist, all there is, the very existence of the universe seems to be acolossal violation of the laws of nature (i.e., a miracle). It’s hard tobelieve in miracles without God.

 

Which is the bigger "miracle" of these two:

1) The Universe coming into existence and over billions of years things evolve to be more complex.

2) Out of no where God comes into existence, who has full and utter control of the Universe and is omnipotent which means his brain is far more complex and huge than our Universe.

 

When he says God didn't come into existence he was always here, then say, in that case so was the far less complex Universe.

 

An atheist must also suppress all notions ofmorality:

 

How do we move from the “is” of the naturalworld to the “ought” of ethics? Naturalism doesn’t inspire confidence that wereally have duties and that we ought to be virtuous. The atheist is not able todeclare any quality to be morally superior to another without violating thedemands of rational and logical conclusions. To make such claims wouldlogically require an absolute standard of goodness and duty. He may offer hispreferences, but he has no basis for claims of moral superiority– only forpersonal choices. For an atheist to declare peace better than war or lovebetter than hate, he must answer the question: “Says Whom?” Unless morality isestablished by some transcendent source of authority to whom all people mustanswer, it cannot be more than alternative choices based on personalpreferences. The atheist is stuck believing that morality has no real claim onyou or anyone else.

 

And yet religion causes so many wars. Where's the logic in that?

Ask him if he knows what is up your friends ass.

When he looks insulted, respond, you can tell what's in his brain which is far harder to do yet you can't tell me what's up his ass?

Christians do the right thing due to fear of eternal punishment.

Atheists do the right thing because they think its the right thing to do.

Then quote the prison system in the USA. More Christians in there than atheists.

Who's more moral now?

 

In fact, the atheist must conclude that evilis an illusion:

 

For there to be evil, there must also besome real, objective standard of right and wrong. But if the physical universeis all there is, there can be no such standard (How could arrangements ofmatter and energy make judgments about good and evil true?). So, there are noreal evils, just violations of human customs or conventions. How hard it wouldbe to think of murderers as merely having bad manners.

 

Again, what's up my ass?

He can tell me what I have to conclude yet he has no clue who I am or what I do. That is illogical. Then point out that one needs to understand logic if they are to avoid stupidly illogical statements such as his.

Then throw out the prison statistics for him again.

Christians under fear of eternal death still do more crime than atheists who have no such fear.

Please explain why so many Christians are evil yet so few atheists are.

Touched any kids lately father?

 

If he accepted the standard rules fortesting the truth claims of historical documents, he would be forced to acceptthe resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The account of Jesus’resurrection is strongly validated by standard rules for judging historicalaccuracy. The extensive manuscript evidence of eyewitnesses to the resurrectionis presented in an unbiased, authentic manner. It is the atheist’santi-supernatural bias that keeps him from allowing history to prove anything.

 

Single source of biased writers. Not one unbiased eyewitness exists for there even being a "Jeebus".

You'd think someone some where would write about the "greatest" sacrifice ever made.

Nope. Not one.

Kinda says a lot for our fictional little wanker called Jeebus.

 

Finally, the atheist must admit that humanbeings are not importantly different from other animals:

 

According to the atheist, we are simply theresult of blind chance operating on the primordial ooze, and differing from animalsby only a few genes. Yet, the wonders of human achievement and the moraldignity we ascribe to human beings just do not fit with the claim that we areno different than the animals. The realities of human creativity, love, reason,and moral value seem to indicate that humans are creatures uniquely made in theimage of God.

 

The atheist’s problem with belief in God isnot an absence of evidence but suppression of it. “For since the creation ofthe world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–havebeen clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men arewithout excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as Godnor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolishhearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools”(Romans 1:20-22).

 

What exactly is faith?

When you have proof of something, do you need faith to support its truth or can it stand on its own.

 

If this wanker has proof of God etc then he has no need for faith at all.

Its like God is there talking to him, something he can't deny.

Yet, all religion asks you to have faith.

Ask him if he's ever seen the love of mother towards her offspring.

Then ask if he automatically assumed you were talking about a human woman.

Chimps, elephants etc etc all feel love for their offspring.

Nothing unique about it unless he closes his eyes and mind to it.

They also feel loss at the death of a friend.

 

 

 

 

 

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Note that atheists, being a moderate proportion of the USA population (about 8-16%) are disproportionately less in the prison populations (0.21%)

Christians are about represented by the same figures in both general population and prison population about 80%.

Atheists however are say the lower figure of 8% in the general population but are 0.2% in the prison population.

8/0.2 = 40

So atheists are 40 times more moral than Christians going by prison records.

That's not a small statistical difference. Its huge.

Now, let's just deal with the nasty Christian types, no?Catholic 29267 39.164%Protestant 26162 35.008%Rasta 1485 1.987%Jewish 1325 1.773%Church of Christ 1303 1.744%Pentecostal 1093 1.463%Jehovah Witness 665 0.890%Adventist 621 0.831%Orthodox 375 0.502%Mormon 298 0.399%Judeo-Christian Total 62594 83.761% (of the 74731 total responses)Total Known Responses 74731

So how exactly are atheists the immoral ones?

Your ex pastor will fit in one of these three categories:

1)If he didn't know of the statistics then he is preaching through ignorance. Why trust anything he says when he doesn't check anything for facts or accuracy. Not like its hard to do.

2)If he does know of them then he is a deceitful lying POS.

3)If he refuses to accept the statistics then he is an ignoramus and will continue to lie to suit his personal agenda.

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BTW, he's trying to re-convert you.

What you should do is make it your mission to de-Christianise him.

Look at the points you can get:

 

25 points for preventing the "saving" of a non Christian.

50 points for de-Christianising someone

75 points for de-Christianising someone who was truly devout.

100 points for de_Christianising a priest or pastor

200 points for de-Christianising a bishop

500 points for de-Christianising a cardinal

1,000,000 points for de_Christianising the Pope.

 

You could get 100 points!

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The atheist must suppress the demands oflogic:

 

He is like the man who finds an encyclopedialying in the woods and refuses to believe it is the product of intelligentdesign. Everything about the book suggests intelligent cause. But, if heaccepted such a possibility, he might be forced to conclude that livingcreatures composed of millions of DNA-controlled cells (each cell containingthe amount of information in an encyclopedia) have an intelligent cause. Hiscontrolling bias against God will not allow him to accept this.

 

Here your ex-pastor is suggesting that an atheist would not recognize the intelligence behind an encyclopedia. Clearly, he is delusional. No atheist would think that an encyclopedia, regardless of where it's found, came into existence on its own.

 

What the atheist does is go with observations. Nobody has ever observed a book coming into existence by natural means, but only as a product of mankind, so a book is recognized as such. On the other hand, we have also observed how things work in the natural world as well. We know how trees reproduce naturally, etc. And scientists have studied how DNA works.

 

Your ex-pastor is basically ignoring how the natural world has been observed to work and is merely assuming that there must be a supernatural element, despite the fact that no thoroughly documented, verifiable supernatural event has ever been observed.

 

Yet, ironically, the atheist has to believein miracles without believing in God:

 

Why? Well, one law that nature seems to obeyis this: whatever begins to exist is caused to exist. The atheist knows thatthe universe began to exist and since the universe is, according to theatheist, all there is, the very existence of the universe seems to be acolossal violation of the laws of nature (i.e., a miracle). It’s hard tobelieve in miracles without God.

 

I'm not up on origins theories, and I don't presume to know how the whole shebang got going. As such, I make no assertion that the universe (ie, the matter making up the universe as we know it) came into existence. Perhaps it has always been here. How would I know? And how would this pastor know?

 

Christians usually assert that complexity requires a creator. That is a flawed argument, simply because a creator would have to be at least as complex as his creation, and if complexity requires a creator, then that very creator would also require a creator. Thus we're left with an endless regression of creators.

 

Christians also assert that life requires a creator. Yet their Bible says that God is living, and therefore if life requires a creator, then that living God would also require a creator. And, assuming that God's creator is also a living being, then he would require a creator as well. Again, we're left with an endless regression of creators.

 

It seems to me that resorting to an argument of "whatever begins to exist" could simply be an attempt to avoid the pitfalls of the last two points I made. However, your ex-pastor has not established that his God did not have a beginning and that the universe (or its matter) did have a beginning, he is merely assuming such.

 

An atheist must also suppress all notions ofmorality:

 

How do we move from the “is” of the naturalworld to the “ought” of ethics? Naturalism doesn’t inspire confidence that wereally have duties and that we ought to be virtuous. The atheist is not able todeclare any quality to be morally superior to another without violating thedemands of rational and logical conclusions. To make such claims wouldlogically require an absolute standard of goodness and duty. He may offer hispreferences, but he has no basis for claims of moral superiority– only forpersonal choices. For an atheist to declare peace better than war or lovebetter than hate, he must answer the question: “Says Whom?” Unless morality isestablished by some transcendent source of authority to whom all people mustanswer, it cannot be more than alternative choices based on personalpreferences. The atheist is stuck believing that morality has no real claim onyou or anyone else.

 

He seems to be suggesting that it would be correct to see peace as better than war, to which I would wholeheartedly agree. As such, though, why does he support a God who over and over and over again in his Bible commands war? What about the God-sanctioned killing of children and infants? What about the God-sanctioned slavery? What about the God-sanctioned practice of forcing female prisoners of war into marriage with the Israelite men (in other words, rape)? What about the God-sanctioned prejudice against those who disagree?

 

Where does he get off suggesting that he has a superior understanding of morality solely on the basis of the God of his religion, a God of genocide and injustice?

 

In fact, the atheist must conclude that evilis an illusion:

 

For there to be evil, there must also besome real, objective standard of right and wrong. But if the physical universeis all there is, there can be no such standard (How could arrangements ofmatter and energy make judgments about good and evil true?). So, there are noreal evils, just violations of human customs or conventions. How hard it wouldbe to think of murderers as merely having bad manners.

 

Yet your ex-pastor's Bible's God is perfectly fine with genocide and murder. Sure, the Bible says in a few places not to kill, but in many, many, many more places it gives commands to kill, including even killing little children and babies. Does your ex-pastor's God simply have "bad manners"? Or is this vile behavior something one would expect from an evil dictator?

 

If he accepted the standard rules fortesting the truth claims of historical documents, he would be forced to acceptthe resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The account of Jesus’resurrection is strongly validated by standard rules for judging historicalaccuracy. The extensive manuscript evidence of eyewitnesses to the resurrectionis presented in an unbiased, authentic manner. It is the atheist’santi-supernatural bias that keeps him from allowing history to prove anything.

 

It is precisely because of "standard rules for testing the truth claims" that we DON'T "accept the resurrection." There is not one single verified "eyewitness" account. The accounts we do have are not the least bit "unbiased." The whole thing is rife with problems. It is the Christian's pro-supernatural bias despite the lack of any real evidence that keeps him from considering the possibility that he could be wrong.

 

Finally, the atheist must admit that humanbeings are not importantly different from other animals:

 

According to the atheist, we are simply theresult of blind chance operating on the primordial ooze, and differing from animalsby only a few genes. Yet, the wonders of human achievement and the moraldignity we ascribe to human beings just do not fit with the claim that we areno different than the animals. The realities of human creativity, love, reason,and moral value seem to indicate that humans are creatures uniquely made in theimage of God.

 

I don't know of any atheist who would say that humans aren't different from other animals. Indeed, every species of animal is classified differently precisely because we/they ARE different, and those differences (not just humans' differences, but all differences) are important.

 

I'm no scientist, but even I can see that your ex-pastor has greatly oversimplified evolution and morality.

 

The atheist’s problem with belief in God isnot an absence of evidence but suppression of it. “For since the creation ofthe world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–havebeen clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men arewithout excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as Godnor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolishhearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools”(Romans 1:20-22).

 

This is so ridiculous that it's laughable. I do not suppress evidence, I simply don't see any real evidence. If I really did see good evidence that Christianity was true and that I would roast for eternity if I rejected it, then I would have to be utterly and completely stupid to sacrifice myself into everlasting torture simply for the sake of suppressing evidence!!!! I don't claim to be the brightest person in the world, but I'm certainly not idiotic enough to do that!

 

Your ex-pastor has asserted that we suppress evidence, yet he has offered not one single shred of real evidence. If his so-called "evidence" claimed in the Bible verses he quoted really did point to his particular God, then EVERYONE who saw "God" in the natural world around them would automatically believe in HIS God. Yet, that is not at all what we have, is it? Why is it that many, many sincere religious believers around the world look at the same "creation" and see an entirely different God? Could it be that it's all simply envisioned in their heads rather than actually being clearly displayed in nature?

 

In a nut-shell, your ex-pastor is merely deceiving himself with flimsy arguments. (Or worse, he may even realize that they're flimsy arguments and be disingenuously attempting to persuade you with them.)

 

Anyway, good luck with your future correspondence with him.

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This guy is simply reiterating what has already been said by every creationist fundamentalist who has tried their hand at apologetics.

 

I guess you can try and refute this stuff but don't get your hopes up. Good luck though.

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For there to be evil, there must also besome real, objective standard of right and wrong. But if the physical universeis all there is, there can be no such standard (How could arrangements ofmatter and energy make judgments about good and evil true?). So, there are noreal evils, just violations of human customs or conventions. How hard it wouldbe to think of murderers as merely having bad manners.

 

I'm late to the table, but I'd like to add one thing. Christians hold the same moral standards as non-christians. They accuse the non-religious because they want to take the credit for the humanistic morals we all believe in. It's hypocritical, because christians are unable to identify biblical morality other than saying the 10 commandments, Golden Rule, and God's love are the standards while ignoring all the imperfections and evil of the biblegod's actions. These standards crumble when examined, so they have no basis for morals except perfection based upon an extra-biblical, supernatural, superhuman mind.

 

Sam Harris said something in a video that stuck in my mind (paraphrased): "An objective paradigm is based on some axiomatic judgement that is not self-justifying. 2+2=4...says who?[sarcasm] The is/ought gap is stupid." Christians have no supernatural objective basis for their morals except in their heads.

 

Christians can live moral lives the same as us, so there is no difference. Nobody considers murder to be merely bad manners. Their conclusion is false, because most of us, if not all (except for psychopaths), are not total moral relativists or nihilists. Morality has developed as a result of human interactions, not handed down by a God. This is easily proven when the Bible is read cover-to-cover. The argument of a necessary, sterile objective basis for morals is a fantasy. Without the "physical" universe and humanity, there can be no morality.

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Christians have no supernatural objective basis for their morals except in their heads.

So true.

 

I have recently witnessed a rather remarkable (to me, anyway) instance of a complex, self-reinforcing belief system constructed between someone's ears that I think explains a great deal and illustrates the nearly endless ability for humans to self-deceive and for these self-deceptions to seem arbitrarily "real". It's all the more interesting because it's outside any religious context, but works exactly the same way.

 

A certain mother of my acquaintance has children, now out of the nest. I, and others I know and trust, are well enough acquainted with this person to know her to be a completely responsible adult and an excellent parent. She is a very light social drinker, who might have a glass or two of wine on social occasions once or twice a month, more frequently during travel, that kind of thing. Never had a DUI (I've seen the background report), never behaved in an erratic or embarrassing manner, never has drank alone in a bar even (a behavior in a woman that she considers too pathetic to contemplate, even if she were so disposed) yet her children basically think she's a drunken sot and recently explained her going out to shop by herself for a couple hours as an opportunity to secretly drink.

 

They base all this on an unfortunate experience when they were very young in which the mother, a chronic insomniac, had an unforeseen bad reaction to Ambien that placed them in an uncomfortable but not unsafe situation, but one in which, at their age, they unfortunately felt unsafe in. They had seen her have a glass of wine earlier in the day, made the bogus connection, and presto, they discussed it among themselves and built this whole mythology around it. In subsequent years this poor woman was vigilantly watched and every time she was angry, distracted, disapproving or confused, as life sometimes will make a person, sure enough, she'd had (or probably had!) a glass of wine sometime recently and this was seen as further proof of her "drunkenness". Sort of like the one baby surviving a catastrophe being "proof" of god's mercy and grace, conveniently forgetting massive evidence of god's indifference / nonexistence in the death of a hundred others.

 

Ironically these kids had no experience of actual alcohol abuse in their extended family, as I have, and thus have no concept of what it's actually like.

 

At any rate these kids are now ego-invested in the idea that their mother has a "drinking problem" and no amount of reasoning will dissuade them from their opinion. It's been a source of much heartache for the mother but she wisely just doesn't even try to defend herself, as it's rather like defending yourself from someone claiming that you have nightly sex with Martians. How do you even begin to address it? You can't. Schizophrenically, her kids love her and have a fine relationship with her in other respects, but periodically slip into a judgy, rebellious mode when they want their own way, based on the "fact" that their mother has no credibility, as she has a "problem" she "refuses" to "get help for". Some of their behavior toward her is shameful and mother's "problem" is the justification for it all. As if someone deserved to be treated unkindly, even if they have a problem or a blind spot.

 

I'm sure we've all been accused of something completely off the wall that has total reality for the accuser but has no actual basis from which you can address it. Such is the power of the human mind, and such is the basis of religion. It would never work if people couldn't convince themselves of pretty much anything.

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I have run into many fundies on ID's and what strikes me as weird is the concept that atheists are somehow redeemable people that kinda never really hear the true grosspill; hence we are somehow deluded in rejecting the woo woo shit.

 

I find it really hard to contemplate folk are this fucked up top think they somehow can teach us anything new about the buybull.

 

I cannot say how others are in other countries as the most I have run into are on US forums. You share with these folk logical refutations, demonstrate you have more than adequate knowledge of their fairy tale but they all seem to hold to the idea we can learn from them.

 

Are US fundies really this fucking stupid? I would say yes as when you try to enter into some form of intelligent discussion, their obvious lack of biblical knowledge is astounding.

/mini rant

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Are US fundies really this fucking stupid? I would say yes as when you try to enter into some form of intelligent discussion, their obvious lack of biblical knowledge is astounding.

Probably stupider, I know I was. Fundamentalism is fundamentally (ha) anti-intellectual. It's easily threatened by logical argument. Threatened, annoyed, offended, irritated ... because everything is based on a mind closed to actual experience and data and open only to dogma. When you are taught that anything that contradicts the Holy Book is Evil, a temptation, a snare ... then you are closed to objective analysis and discussion.

 

I completely discounted honest inquiry as invalid if it "contradicted" revealed Truth. Didn't even give it the time of day. If I allowed a doubter to blather, it was only so I could collect my thoughts for my next "rebuttal".

 

The thing that amazes me more than the above-described state of affairs is that any of us bother to engage so much, and that we allow ourselves to be so upset by how much they disrespect actual facts. We just don't understand that you can't open a closed mind, it has to open itself.

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The atheist must suppress the demands oflogic:

 

He is like the man who finds an encyclopedialying in the woods and refuses to believe it is the product of intelligentdesign. Everything about the book suggests intelligent cause. But, if heaccepted such a possibility, he might be forced to conclude that livingcreatures composed of millions of DNA-controlled cells (each cell containingthe amount of information in an encyclopedia) have an intelligent cause. Hiscontrolling bias against God will not allow him to accept this.

Finally, the atheist must admit that humanbeings are not importantly different from other animals:

 

According to the atheist, we are simply theresult of blind chance operating on the primordial ooze, and differing from animalsby only a few genes. Yet, the wonders of human achievement and the moraldignity we ascribe to human beings just do not fit with the claim that we areno different than the animals. The realities of human creativity, love, reason,and moral value seem to indicate that humans are creatures uniquely made in theimage of God.

 

 

 

lol this man may be a philosopher but he is a crappy one. i like to consider my self a minior philospher and i would never suppress the posobility of the book being made by intligent design but with no definition of prove to where it came from means infinante posobility. his idea that it had to be made by inteligent design is a convinient answer for him as he does not haft to specualte in the darkness of infinante posobility. the book could exist as some natural phenomonon or all things could exist becuase of the book. stating the book has a purpose made by intligent design is actualy to throw away ultimate logic in its self as you are attempting to biuld the contours of reality and the laws of the universe based on your own inturpritation spawned from the influences in your existance.

 

this is lol. so is he stating that animal species arnt difrent in the first part? then when he moves on to part two he is proving nothing by stating that becuase humans are complex that we were created by some god. look at social insects such as bees, ants wasp and termites, they all have their own complex societies defined by their brain power and the functions of their biology. it s the same with humans, the idea of god creating us is a product of us existing in the society we do today. it is not, we exist and have complex societies becuase of a god. the idea we were created by god is a fundamental need in humans to ocntrol the situation around us. thus they biuld their god to fit the contours of their reality based on the influences around them in order to control their situations subconciously.

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  • 4 months later...

Are US fundies really this fucking stupid? I would say yes as when you try to enter into some form of intelligent discussion, their obvious lack of biblical knowledge is astounding.

Probably stupider, I know I was. Fundamentalism is fundamentally (ha) anti-intellectual. It's easily threatened by logical argument. Threatened, annoyed, offended, irritated ... because everything is based on a mind closed to actual experience and data and open only to dogma.

 

The Amish are a good example of this. I had a family do some remodeling for me. They were excellent at their trade but beyond that, ignorant as the day they were born,.......... and stinky too! I thought maybe it was just that family but after I went to an Amish auction in the middle of summer I figured out soap must be an instrument of the debil.

 

Anyway, back to the OP. Like your minister there Mr. Hammer, I had a minister regurgitate those stupid Lee Strobel books to me and try to pass the arguments off as his own. Your ministers flock must hang on his every word. Sounds convincing until you scratch the surface. What a racket though and how could you ask for a better market?!! 200 million gullible christards on standby to gobble up the latest self-affirming trash.

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The Amish are a good example of this. I had a family do some remodeling for me. They were excellent at their trade but beyond that, ignorant as the day they were born,.......... and stinky too! I thought maybe it was just that family but after I went to an Amish auction in the middle of summer I figured out soap must be an instrument of the debil.

I think they make their own lye soap and such but it's deodorant that they lack ... it falls under the rubric of "modern conveniences" and that is specifically what they say is of the devil. Regrettably "modern" is a relative term. They use band saws and plows and hammers and once upon a time those things were "modern" too.

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It's ignoramuses like this that are the reason for the US educational system being as awful as it is in recent years.

 

Who says that Atheists (or any non-believer) have no sense of morality? I see just as many non-believers hold doors for people, help to pick up dropped things, participate in non-Christian charities and in general do incredibly selfless things that a Christian would expect some sort of other-worldly reward for.

 

Also, we are no different from animals because we ARE animals. We are animals with an evolutionary advantage over most other animals. However, just because I have developed a higher degree of intelligence doesn't mean that I can't love, cherish and have a relationship with an animal. Personally, I think the Christian notion of "well they don't have souls anyway" is asinine and devalues the true importance of the bonds human and other animals can share.

 

Your ex-pastor knows nothing other than what his old-as-dirt books and brainwashed brethren tell him. Maybe if he can toss out his assumptions and spend a day with some non-believers without talking about BibleGod, he'll be able to get some insight into how they really are.

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