Ask An Atheist

Ask an Atheist

 

I don’t expect this post to get any traffic right away, but I hope to have conversations with people over time that will help to normalize how the religious see the non religious. I also realize I don’t have many believers following my blog. This will have to be an investment in the long game.

So, anyone, but especially the religious feel free to ask me anything about my atheism. I’ll answer as best I can.

Author’s note:

Carmen has suggested that some would feel more comfortable asking their questions privately. I don’t have a way to do that currently, but if you’re a first time commenter, your comment will go to moderation. Include that you’d like to remain anonymous and I’ll answer with just the edited question and no personal details.

My Good Friend Migarium Has given us some “get the ball rolling” questions!

Question 1: Have you ever thought “what if god exists?”

Yes, I have. It’s a possibility. There might be, at some point in our existence, the discovery of a deistic god, one that Einstein talked about as “part of the universe”.  I’m fairly confident that there isn’t a god that the monotheistic religions describe. Those gods are anthropomorphic imbuements of early man’s need for myth to explain the poorly understood things about the world they lived in.  Their source documents [holy text] all have proven inconsistencies, and we know from observations and deductions from science that what they say can’t be true in the way they claim them. So when I say “I don’t believe there’s a god” what I’m saying is there’s been no credible direct evidence for one revealed.

Question 2: “Aren’t you afraid of afterlife?”

No, I’m not, much in the same way I don’t have any knowledge of “before life”. What you’re actually asking is if I think I have what some call a soul and that a soul exists eternally. I don’t think I have a soul. I believe when I die, that is the end. As a result, I value each and every day as if it might be my last. We have studied extensively the brain function and every indication is that the brain is the seat of the emergent property we call consciousness. When brain activity ceases, “we” lose our agency and stop existing.

Question 3: It is being said that “atheists are unhappy”; are you unhappy?

Good question. I’m as happy and unhappy on average as the rest of the people on earth are. I experience emotion in the very same way the religious do.  We’re both influenced by the same circumstances and environments. I know both religious and non religious people who suffer from depression. Both kinds of people are capable of feeling euphoria or ecstasy from an experience. There’s no indication at all that one feels things differently due to their beliefs.

Question 4: If the Big Bang theory is accepted as the beginning of the universe; the beginning of something must have a creator?

This is a BIG question for a little space. I’m going to give the answer appropriate for my level of knowledge and let the scientists who study these things provide their theories. Honestly, I don’t know if the Big Bang was the beginning of the universe. Most think so now, but there’s some who have other ideas. For the sake of clarity I’m going to adjust the question in an important way. Beginnings of things have causes. There are many catalysts for things and so far, in the entire history of scientific endeavor, none of them have been determined to be a god/creator. Also, we have no way of knowing the state of the universe prior to the big bang. The “something from nothing” paradigm is a bit premature in my opinion. The lack of evidence for a creator doesn’t infer automatically that one exists.

Question 5: How am I so sure God doesn’t exist; do you have a proof about nonexistence of it?

I’m not absolutely sure no god exists. I don’t claim to have that knowledge. I do know from personal experience that no god has manifested itself to me in an observable, testable way. That is what I need in order to believe one exists. The absence of belief is what atheism means. It’s an noun we use to describe the state of our belief in regard to a god. We have many words we use to describe things. Heat indicates warmth. Cold indicates lack of heat. It’s a simple concept that gets bogged down in the mire of philosophical discussion on the way to apologetics. To make it out to be more than that is like trying to stuff 50 marbles in a 5 marble sack.  I don’t have proof that Santa Claus doesn’t exist. Yet there’s ample mythology to support it. Heathens and christians alike decorate their homes, buy gifts, celebrate Yuletide cheer, in December. Using the inferred conclusion of your question, christians should then believe Santa is real because they can’t prove he isn’t.  We can apply the same logic to all the other gods of religion despite the claims of Christianity [and vice versa] that Allah doesn’t exist. Do they require proof of Allah’s non existence in order to not believe? I think you’ll find they don’t.   Why should anyone reasonably expect it of atheists?

Question 6: Don’t you think your belief,  atheism, is kind of nonfoundational?

Or to restate this another way, is atheism true? This overlaps what I addressed in question #5 but I’ll try and elaborate to make myself clear as this is a frequently asked question. Much like the relationship between heat and cold, atheism isn’t a positive belief. It’s an absence of belief, an opposite of Theism which IS a belief gods exist. Atheism is objectively true to the extent that it describes the state of belief in regard to the existence of gods. It’s not an explanation for anything else. It’s not a statement on whether evolution is true, or whether or not evolution is a belief rather than a conclusion based in science. It’s not an explanation of the foundations of the universe or a source of morality, or any of the myriad other things religious people like to include along the way. What is unfounded to atheists and rational thinkers is a belief in something there’s absolutely no evidence for.

Question 7: If you would have believed in God, what would you lose?

This is a variation of Pascal’s Wager. A metaphoric buying of the spiritual fire insurance to get a “get out of eternal punishment” card for the savvy. My answer is a simple one. I’d lose my personal integrity claiming to believe something I really didn’t in order to gain a reward. If god is as his adherents claims he is, then an all knowing, all powerful god would know whether or not I believed, and the consequence would be the same as “not believing.” Pascal’s wager is like me whistling gaily past the graveyard at night because I’m afraid of the boogey man.

Question 8: If we would promise heaven to you, why won’t you believe?

Well sure. If I told you you could have all the money in the world but had to wait until you died in order to claim it, you’d think that was legit wouldn’t you? 🙂

Question 9: Are there atheists on falling airplanes?

There are atheists everywhere including falling airplanes. There are atheists in the ministry/priesthood. Where ever there are people, there are atheists.  I’m an atheist. I’m also old. I could die any time now. Those are very real prospects I think about fairly often. I’m apprehensive in the sense that I want to continue to live, but the prospect of what happens after I die doesn’t frighten me in the least. It doesn’t even enter into my thinking. That won’t change even if I’m crashing in an airplane. How do I know? How can I be confident that’s how I’ll feel? I’ve died once already clinically. I was an atheist before the experience, and I’m still an atheist now. The calculations haven’t changed.

************************************************************************************

Many thanks again to Migo for the excellent questions.

For believers: If you feel I didn’t answer a question clearly or would like me to clarify my positions, don’t hesitate to ask.

One final note: I’m not the pope of atheism so one can’t reasonably expect all the other atheists feel the same way I do about things. My answers are my own. I don’t speak for anyone else.

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53 Responses to Ask An Atheist

  1. Carmen says:

    Just one little observation before I get to my tasks for the day. If you had a ‘Contact’ address, you might get more attention from the genuine question-seekers. Often, they don’t want to be public with their dissonance. Just a suggestion!

    Liked by 1 person

    • persedeplume says:

      I’ve considered adding a POC here. It’s a bit of an uphill climb in the format I’m using so I haven’t just yet. I’ll add an edit to my post, and then see what happens. Thanks for the suggestion.

      Like

  2. Drexus says:

    Perhaps you could add a few tags not traditionally used. It seems to many that posting an article tagged with “atheism” is meant to be relevant to said audience. However, looking at the atheism stream reveals much religious content having no bearing on atheism — for unknown reasons.

    Perhaps this effect reveals a certain aspect of people with faith not considered in the scope of your study. Also, you might open the floor to writers of the atheist stream asking for unbiased metrics on the reactions to articles they’ve written in the past. This might get the ball rolling.

    I can’t comment on the latter as my research does not require feedback from the community. Still, I’m interested in the material you gather here.

    Lastly, you might want to change the title to “Religious People Ask An Atheist…”

    Like

    • persedeplume says:

      Thank you for your suggestions. Any input is always helpful. I used popular tags from the religious community. In the past, I’ve gotten no discernible traffic from outside the WP network even when promoted. As I’m open to questions from anyone I’ll leave it as it is for now. I don’t think it’ll skew the results appreciably.
      Welcome!

      Like

  3. Steve Ruis says:

    I just finished a series of posts as to why such interchanges are basically ineffective. Granted, I accept your honest attempt, but I think little can come from such dialogues.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Carmen says:

      . . .and yet there are some who say that their interchanges with atheists sparked their own ‘deconversion’. (KIA is one)

      Liked by 2 people

    • persedeplume says:

      I have held views similar to yours on the subject. I don’t “debate” them on social media for the most part. Mostly because my interactions are with those who are in it for the argy bargy or wouldn’t be persuaded no matter what. I like the framework of the question rather than the invitation to share an opinion which is more confrontational. I don’t imagine I’ll move the dial of public opinion much, but I’m going to see where this takes me. If you’re right, I’ll still have not lost anything. If I’m right then progress might be made.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. migarium says:

    I don’t have any question for asking, as an atheist extraterrestrial, my Earthling friend.:) But I do have some questions which are asked to me by the people constantly. If you accept that, may I ask these to you? Here some of them:

    Have you ever thought “what if god exists?”

    Aren’t you afraid of afterlife?

    It is being said that “atheists are unhappy”; are you unhappy?

    If the Big Bang theory is accepted as the beginning of the universe; the beginning of something must have a creator?

    How do you so much sure about God doesn’t exist; do you have a proof about nonexistence of it?

    Don’t you think your belief, so atheism, is it kind of nonfoundational?

    If you would have believed in God, what would you lose?

    And this one is little bit enjoyable:)

    If we would promise the heaven to you, still won’t you believe?

    Like

    • persedeplume says:

      Yes! We have questions from outer space! You’ll be delighted to find I have answers for all of them. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • persedeplume says:

      Your answers are up, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

      • migarium says:

        Wow! These are quite excellent answers! Thank you so much my dear Earthling friend! By the way, you can call me shortly Migo, my Earthling friends use Migo:)

        And I have recorded this page, sometimes I can be need in of looking at this page:). And may I have permission for ask one more question? It is about when people are faced with shock death fear. This one was lately a discussion subject on a Turkish social web page (this social web page is used and popular more than twitter in Turkey last 15 years) in here:

        https://eksisozluk.com/dusen-bir-ucakta-ateist-olmaz–541859?p=1

        Here’s the question:

        Is there an atheist in a falling airplane? 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

        • Carmen says:

          The old, “There are no atheists in foxholes” statement. . . sigh. .. yes marliesvonn, there certainly are. Did you ever hear of Christopher Hitchens?

          Liked by 1 person

          • migarium says:

            No I didn’t hear Christpher Hitchens. Has he got an answer for this question?

            Like

            • Carmen says:

              Christopher Hitches was an atheist who died of cancer in December, 2011. He lived and died an atheist, as do millions of people. Why on earth do you think terrified people would call out for a god they have no belief in, on their deathbed? Besides, anything I have ever read about death/dying suggests that most people call out for their mothers.

              Liked by 2 people

            • migarium says:

              Thank you for your answer! I have learnt another thing I didn’t know:) And, I really don’t know that the people call out a god while they are in deathbed; this was one of the question the religionist people ask constantly.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Carmen says:

              I would probably have said, “It’s another stupid questions religionists ask constantly”. 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

        • persedeplume says:

          Dear Migo, you can ask as many questions as you like. I’m glad to help.

          Liked by 1 person

        • persedeplume says:

          I looked at your link, Migo. I’m afraid you understand english far better than I’ll ever understand Turkish even with the help of “Translate”. From what I can understand, it’s a very vigorous debate going on there. Go Atheists!

          Liked by 1 person

          • migarium says:

            Yes, it’s a very vigorous debate. Actually people don’t know too much (it is because of mainstream media propaganda effect) that there are many deists and atheists in Turkey.

            According to gallup poll in 2013 there were 4,5 million atheist, deist and agnostic in Turkey. And 63% of these 4,5 millon was atheist.

            According to a gallup poll in 2015 there are 5,5 million atheists, deists and agnostics in Turkey. This is a huge increase of the population of atheists in Turkey, only in two years. The population of Turkey about 81 million people, so 6,5% of the population is atheist, agnostic and deist. And according to same gallup poll 83% of atheist population age is between 25-38 old.

            I have just wanted to give these informations:)

            Also, thank you for your effort and the support to the other atheists even if they are on the another corner on this planet, my dear Earthling friend:)

            Liked by 1 person

  5. marliesvonn says:

    Once I have crawled out from under my bed and have shaken off the black mental tar I have accumulated, I have some thoughts on this post. Tomorrow. Tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Carmen says:

    Persedeplume,
    Excellent answers to marlie’s questions above. Oh, and Marlie. You might want to Google ‘Kissing Hank’s Ass’ on YouTube; it will illustrate the answer to question 8 nicely. 🙂

    Like

  7. Carmen says:

    For your viewing pleasure –

    Like

  8. judyt54 says:

    lol perfect, just perfect

    Liked by 1 person

  9. tony5516 says:

    First, let me say, the tone by which this article is presented is refreshing and helpful. Second, I must confess I rather enjoy ‘sparring’ with the typical ‘militant’ version of atheism.

    With those caveats; can I ask if you’ve ever considered the ramifications of the Earliest known Christian Creed that proclaimed Jesus rose from the dead? Some scholars estimate to within 5 years of Jesus death (though personally I think 10-15 is more provable).

    Thank you and I promise to play nice.

    Liked by 1 person

    • persedeplume says:

      Welcome. I’m not sure what you’re referring to specifically when you say “earliest known Christian Creed.” Could you be more specific please? I’m not aware of any writing “that contemporary” to Jesus death. Most scholarship cites 50-70 years.

      Liked by 1 person

      • tony5516 says:

        Paul describes the Creed, atheist scholar Bart Ehrman thinks goes back to 25 years of Jesus death. This is no time for a ‘legend’ to begin -remember many scholars think the Creed is traceable to within 5 years, but I think that is a stretch.

        It is, as given to Paul, “For I gave to you first of all what was handed down to me, how Christ underwent death for our sins, as it says in the Writings;
        And he was put in the place of the dead; and on the third day he came back from the dead, as it says in the Writings;
        And he was seen by Cephas; then by the twelve;
        Then by more than five hundred brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, but some are sleeping;
        Then he was seen by James; then by all the Apostles.” This is found in Paul’s writing, a letter he sent to the church at Corinth, written around 55 AD. As you can see it is only 20-25 years after the accepted date of Jesus’ death. Of course what Paul received was earlier than that writing.
        What you must ask yourself, why would the promotion of the risen Jesus be so prominent in such a short period of time (15-25 years), why would an enemy of Christianity be promoting this Creed, and what does that demonstrate to the veracity of Christian’s claim of a risen Jesus.

        Like

        • persedeplume says:

          As this may run to a lengthy back and forth, it might be practical to reply to the post rather than the individual response. That way we won’t end up without a reply function and/or a column an inch wide by pages long. It’ll be inconvenient for notifications though, I apologize.

          Liked by 1 person

    • persedeplume says:

      I suppose I should add that I’m a mythicist to a certain extent. I’m not convinced a historical divine Jesus existed. I would consider any new information, though.

      Like

  10. persedeplume says:

    @Tony : I’m rather glad you brought up the resurrection. It’s key to christian apologetics and comes up frequently as offered evidence for atheists to consider. It’s not going to be without some overlap from the specifics of your question. I’m afraid you’ll have to bear with me on this if it seems I’m digressing.
    As you have cited biblical writing as an authority, and so far, lone source of information I have to analyze the information in the context it’s offered. [In the interest of some brevity, I’ll try and stay with key issues rather than concentrating on the minutia.] So, in what context is the bible a reliable source of information? I’d apply the same weight to it as other “like” sources. Let’s take a textbook as an example. Can the information in it be verified? Yes/no. Is it factual? Yes/no. That would be a threshold of minimum standard in order for it to be considered a “textbook”. The closer you get to 100% inerrancy the less I would have to rely on independent sources for confirmation. Now lets consider a book whose subject matter can’t be verified as factual. The less inerrant the text, the more independent verification is required. To the bible specifically, I would say that any single error in the text would disqualify it from the status of authority, to the realm of significantly less reliability. Further textual analysis isn’t possible because original texts have been lost to time. So I would say that in order for me to consider the bible as the sole source of information, it must be demonstrated to be inerrant. Are you making that claim? If not, then I’d think it a matter of practicality to look to independent corroborating sources of the time period. Do you have any of those? Are there written testimonials from Cephas, the twelve, or the later five hundred? Eyewitness testimony is firsthand or it isn’t “eyewitness testimony”. Are there any contemporary accounts of the resurrection from local scholars?
    Where does this leave me on the continuum of significance of the Pauline writings of the bible? Lacking any other information, I’d say it’s interesting as folklore but has a long way to go to get to justified truth. I don’t find it persuasive.

    Like

  11. tony5516 says:

    You mistakenly believe the Gospels are late, and let’s use your ‘verifiable’ outside test to show why. What happened in Israel, specifically Jerusalem in 70AD, we have ample evidence of its occurrence? Titus, the Roman general, destroyed it! Now it is significant for Biblical evidence, as you rightly point out! We have no reference of its destruction, only Jesus’ prophecy of it. I would actual argue that EVERY book of the Bible was written prior to 70AD, conceding John and Revelations as exceptions (though I think there is slim evidence for them as pre-70 as well). We are very confident, as scholars from Jewish, agnostic, atheist, liberal, & to the most evangelical of textual scholars place a date of 53-54 for 1 Corinthians…and that is very significant as Paul quotes Luke twice, once in 1 Corinthians and once in 1 Timothy. I grant 1Tim is not as good as 1Cor in evidence but it is still one of the most accepted Pauline authorship letters. Some scholars, on the conservative side, date 1Tim in the 50’s while others push it to the late 60’s (which I believe somewhere in between seems quite reasonable). Again, why does this matter? It tells us Luke was written pre-Pauline (at least 1Cor&1Tim). Thus, Luke was written decades from Jesus’ death, and resurrection (😉). Luke claims to have ‘investigated’ the evidence and eye-witnesses and his account has to be from the early 50’s at the latest (remember being quoted by Paul). Mark’s account is agreed to be the earliest Gospel, thus the early 50’s or even late 40’s, within a decade of the events described…a much different witness than 50-70 year later biography.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. persedeplume says:

    The timing of the writing pales in significance next to the issue of inerrancy. Are you conceding the bible isn’t inerrant? If so, we should be concentrating on extra-biblical sources of information. Have you any of those to consider?

    Like

  13. tony5516 says:

    I’ll concede (for sake of argument) ‘inerrancy’ if you’ll concede that we treat the writings of Paul, Luke, etc are sources, as legitimate as any other…

    Like

    • persedeplume says:

      I’ve already acknowledged the bible is a book. I’ve already stipulated the standards I use to establish the reliability of the bible. [errancy/inerrancy] We’re at the stage of determining it’s accuracy, not who wrote it and when. The date something is written does little beyond ruling out people who didn’t live during that time period in establishing who wrote them. I’ll concede they were written by authors that can’t be confirmed. [If your claim about those authors is verifiably true, then please provide evidence for it.] Also, when they’re written doesn’t bring us any closer to a complete assessment of a books accuracy. A book is either accurate or it isn’t. If the bible isn’t inerrant it can’t be used as a sole source. Your next step will either be demonstrating biblical inerrancy or providing an extra biblical source for Jesus’s resurrection. {please} 🙂

      Like

  14. tony5516 says:

    Again, I’ll plead that the writings of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and Paul are legitimate sources. Paul’s are indisputable in historical scholarship (that is about 7 of his letters). The Gospel writers were not writing the ‘New’ Testament but accounts that they were witnesses to or others were. Interestingly, the reason we know that their names are attached to the writings are from 2nd and 3rd century writings of Church historians and we know of no OTHER names attached to them (besides Mark called Peter’s Gospel-which we believe it is).

    With that said, let’s start with Cornelius Tacitus. He is a Roman, non-Christian, who lived at the end of the first to beginning of the second. He mentions Christus.

    Like

  15. persedeplume says:

    They may be. I have no way of knowing it confidently. You clearly value your claim as being true and I have no problem with you believing it. I’m not interested in dissuading you about it. Whether it’s true isn’t going to be a determining factor in relation to the resurrection. I can use a medical textbook and be confident of the soundness of the methods in it without knowing who the author is or when it was written because the material can be tested.
    I’m familiar with Tacitus. I accept he existed. He wrote things of some historical value. I’m unaware of his eyewitness account of the resurrection in his writings. That would certainly be of interest to me. Here’s what you’re referencing:

    “But not all the relief that could come from man, not all the Bounties that the prince could bestow, nor all the atonements Which could be presented to the gods, availed to relieve Nero From the infamy of being believed to have ordered the Conflagration, the fire of Rome. Hence to suppress the rumor, he Falsely charged with the guilt, and punished Christians, who were Hated for their enormities. Christus, the founder of the name, was Put to death by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea in the reign Of Tiberius: but the pernicious superstition, repressed for a time Broke out again, not only through Judea, where the mischief Originated, but through the city of Rome also, where all things Hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their Center and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first Made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an Immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of Firing the city, as of hatred against mankind.” [Annals 15.44]

    I’d welcome any further writing by Tacitus that addresses the resurrection specifically. That would be a significant event that he and others would have reason to write about and would have some probative value.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. tony5516 says:

    No, he doesn’t of course, but it is evidence it was being told and the ‘sect’ had arisen because of it. My point in bringing him up was your Mythist comment-lol

    Like

    • persedeplume says:

      As a mythicist, I’ve never taken the position that christianity or the early church never existed. I’m not surprised the christians got a general mention albeit in the context of Nero trying to distract from the heinous burning of Rome by dredging up controversy about the Jews. You’ll note Tacitus doesn’t say “Jesus” at all. I find it ironic that there’s more extra biblical evidence for Tacitus than there is Jesus.

      Like

      • tony5516 says:

        Your prejudice against ‘Biblical’ sources is disheartening. You take a position that automatically assumes that if it is in ‘the’ Bible it is to be discounted. If you would only count them, the Gospel accounts, Paul’s epistles, and early church writings as simply historical documents then Jesus is the most attested to figure of ancient history. The manuscript evidence, over 5000, is all within a few centuries. Using a late date for the writings our earliest copy is in the second century, less than a hundred years. Ah…good ol’ Tacitus, 1000 years is the earliest copy of a manuscript and 20 copies survive. Please

        Like

        • persedeplume says:

          I’m sorry you find my views discouraging, Tony. I *do* view the bible as having some historical value, just not a reliable one. Things that are corroborated in it from other sources I would consider to be correct. What I won’t do is read the bible and then stop looking for answers to my questions elsewhere. That’s not a path to justified truth.
          I’d like to ask you a question, if I may. How did you determine the bible to be true over all the other holy texts? Can you describe your methodology please?

          Like

          • Carmen says:

            I think the term ‘historical fiction’ has been used . . . 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          • tony5516 says:

            I greatly respect your ideas and view. So in the simplest terms I could put it, here is why:

            Why I believe the Bible…
            MY reasons for trusting it.

            1st-Basically I was brought up to believe it. I admit my upbringing has influenced me, I will not deny. It is why I put it first, not necessarily in importance but the first (numerically) why.

            2nd-My own personal investigation of its veracity. I’ve studied for years, dug thru scholarly work, and researched much about the Bible-convincing me that my upbringing was spot on.

            3rd-The evidence. I’m now speaking of it from a historical, archeological, and even scientific point of view. Numerous discoveries over the century continue to show that there is strong evidence to believe the Bible.

            4th-My own personal feelings. I am reluctantly admitting this is the first, in importance, to me. God’s Word nourishes my soul, It brings strength to my spirit, and it proves itself time and time again to be reliable in spiritual matters, for which it is mainly for.
            So there you go…it is simple and to the point!

            Liked by 1 person

  17. tony5516 says:

    I’d be interested in what you think makes the Bible errant…a few examples?

    Like

  18. persedeplume says:

    Observation and testing of the natural world in comparison with claims made by the bible. Those conclusions refute: a) Creation b) Adam and Eve [see genetic bottlenecking] c) Garden of Eden and by extension, the fall of Man. d) The Great Flood e) Longevity f) Transubstantiation g) Dualism to name a quick seven or eight.
    Just the fact that archaeological and historical evidence exists that humanity and polytheism predates Judaism and its offshoot monotheistic religions Christianity and Islam by literally thousands of years should give apologists pause to think.

    Like

  19. persedeplume says:

    Thanks for your kind words, Tony. I deeply appreciate being able to build bridges with people in general.
    Based on your answer, I think I may have framed my question incorrectly. It’s obvious to me from our previous comments to each other that you’re deeply immersed in the bible and that you believe it to be true. Perhaps I should have asked “How did you rule out all the other holy books as not being true?” Surely you didn’t come to your beliefs by ignoring what other texts had to offer. Did you use comparative methodology? Some form of textual analysis? How did you ascertain that Judaism, for example, wasn’t correct? It came before Christianity, and a large percentage of the OT uses it for its core values, prophecy, and commandments. The bible acknowledges the existence of other gods. How did you determine any of them to be less true than the Christian one?
    How is the inspiration, strength, and comfort you get from your beliefs different from those of a Buddhist or Hindu?

    Like

  20. tony5516 says:

    “How did you rule out all other holy books…” Is a legitimate question, indeed. I am surely ready to defend the Bible as accurate documents of historical value (and I’m not claiming inerrancy-though I believe it is) and should be willing to give other ‘religious text’ as much considerations, I agree.

    I will not claim a vast knowledge of EVERY religious text of antiquity (or otherwise), but I have studied or read many. My conclusion has to do with historical records, theological, and practical. The practical I will address.

    What ‘holy’ book sheds a negative light on God and man like the Bible? What ‘holy book’ describes sin’s origin and its solution?

    There is an intuitive sense of scriptures ‘rightness’ (I call it that but my theology professionals probably wouldn’t). The Paul’s, David’s, & JohnMark’s are shown in negative lights…disqualifying in a sense as ‘heroic’ characters. Yet, they demonstrate this sense of urgency for redemption that only the Bible speaks to.

    Like

  21. Elohim says:

    In a world swarming with chaos, confusion, and disappointments, I must say that I have been there.
    I do not argue the why and why not’s because I know the answer.
    You, the vulnerable one, prey and target for he I call the Foolish Man to take complete advantage of. It’s certainly not your fault because you have questions with no answers. You escape your reality only to find you are still where you started, at the beginning.
    We all have a purpose in this life and being born was a part of said purpose.
    I can tell you that you in fact have a soul. Your soul is no longer in your possession. Every dream, desire, intent, purpose with the ability to do all things through Jesus Christ is in the possession of the Foolish Man, Satan. He has stolen your identity while you are holding on to his with the rhetoric for excuses and justification.
    I can enlighten you now, rather challenge you to take back what’s yours. Your soul is your being. Otherwise, the Truth of your reality will open your eyes to where you have been all your existence, sitting in darkness as it has become your light.
    There is in fact a heaven, a glorious place. And yes Jesus, Holy Spirit and Father are most certainly real and yet alive. Nothing is stopping you from experiencing this reality but yourself. All you have to do is LOOK. Chose to open your eyes and SEE. It’s right in front of you.

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  22. I enjoyed your frank and concise answered to these most common questions for atheists. I like your approach, as well.

    Liked by 1 person

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