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Friday, November 15, 2013

Mailvox: don't struggle

TS writes of his difficulties in attempting to find belief in the existence of God:
Vox, I've read your blog for quite some time now and have enjoyed it immensely. Right now I am a struggling theist. More and more I am doubting the existence of God and it's plaguing my thoughts and causing some serious depression.

My biggest hurdle in my mind right now is the fact that you can't see God. You come across as very intelligent so I ask you personally: what helped you get past the fact that you can't see God or hear from him. My mind continues to tell me I am being irrational for believing in a life form I can't see. Am I missing something?  Is this truly a matter of "blind faith" as an atheist would mockingly say? Your thoughts are much appreciated. I genuinely want rational reasons that can help me get past this mental hurdle
It has become apparent to me that there are three primary causes for atheism. One is a simple neural anomaly where the atheist lacks something in the brain that is necessary for some forms of belief. This doesn't merely relate to belief in God, but also in the ability to connect with other beings, hence the strong correlation between atheism and higher levels on the autism spectrum.

The second cause produces the most common and irritating variety, the intellectual perma-adolescent. This is the Religion Minus variety, which is nothing more than a parasitic Do What Thou Wilt Society. Combine it with the first cause and one has the typical New Atheist: smug, juvenile, and socially autistic.

The third cause is what I would describe as a failure of understanding. It is, I submit, a category error at its core. To me, it seems quite literally crazy to refuse to believe in ANYTHING simply because one has not seen it or heard it. We live in an age of virtual reality, where what we see and hear are entirely false. We live in an age of quantum physics, where what happens on one side of a galaxy has chaotic and unknown, but theoretically observable effects on the other side of it.

So, to think that because one has never personally seen nor heard something is any sort of indication that it doesn't exist strikes me as solipsism of the first order. As for me, I have absolutely no problem whatsoever in believing in God's existence. There is nothing to get past. Perhaps this paragraph explaining why I am a Christian, taken from my exchange of letters with Luke of Common Sense Atheism, will help you understand my perspective on the readily observable fact of God's existence.

Why am I a Christian? Because I believe in evil. I believe in objective, material, tangible evil that insensibly envelops every single one of us sooner or later. I believe in the fallen nature of Man, and I am aware that there is no shortage of evidence, scientific, testimonial, documentary, and archeological, to demonstrate that no individual is perfect or even perfectible by the moral standards described in the Bible. I am a Christian because I believe that Jesus Christ is the only means of freeing Man from the grip of that evil. God may not be falsifiable, but Christianity definitely is, and it has never been falsified. The only philosophical problem of evil that could ever trouble the rational Christian is its absence; to the extent that evil can be said to exist, it proves not only the validity of Christianity but its necessity as well. The fact that we live in a world of pain, suffering, injustice, and cruelty is not evidence of God's nonexistence or maleficence, it is exactly the worldview that is described in the Bible. In my own experience and observations, I find that worldview to be far more accurate than any other, including the shiny science fiction utopianism of the secular humanists.

My advice to TS is to stop struggling to understand how God functions or why God hasn't submitted to a personal belief audit and start simply experiencing the effects of God in this fallen world.

Stand outside in the cold autum breeze, close your eyes, spread your arms, and feel the unseen wind on your face. Read the Book of Proverbs, read the latest professional manual on child-rearing, written with the benefit of more than two thousand years of collective human experience, then go to a park and observe the children interacting with their parents. Go drop one rock on top of another 500 times and do your best to convince yourself that all the life you see around you began as a result of a singular accidental collision. Go to a funeral of a stranger, observe the grief of the friends and family, and tell yourself that the rearrangement of atoms involved in the transition of the deceased from life to death was of no more material import or significance than the shattering of a rock into dust.

Speak to a murderer and ask him to tell you why he committed his horrific crimes. Look at the pictures of the aftermath. Then look deep into his eyes and try to tell yourself that neither good nor evil exist.

Immerse yourself in the atheist arguments with your eyes and your mind open. Not until you fully understand them, not until you reconstruct them from their foundational assumptions, can you grasp how superficial and foolish they are from a purely rational perspective.

Empirical mysticism isn't a path I would recommend for everyone, but the excessively logical often struggle with the reality of the mystery. They simply cannot accept that Man is not capable of formulating the questions, let alone finding the answers. That is why allowing themselves to experience and accept the manifold mysteries of life, the universe, and everything can be necessary for them to permit themselves to be convicted of things not seen.

In the end, one is advised to make The Castrate's Choice: It is so or it is not so. Because the life lived seated on a fence makes for a poorly lived one. Choose, and then live accordingly.

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327 Comments:

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Anonymous PhillipGeorge(c)2013 November 15, 2013 6:12 AM  

I'm in Australia VD so apparently about 10 hours infront of you.
I'd like to chip in with what might seem lame or inane but works for me every time.

When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable is the truth.

That is, of course, a Sir Arthur Conan Doyle paraphrased misquote.

The fact that abiogenesis is impossible makes the stranger bits of Old Testament that much easier to believe. The fact that a pinhead of Zero Point Energy could power the observable Universe till the end of your life makes some of the bigger miracles look kind of 'easy'.

Joshua's long day could be a complex three body gravitational interaction of celestial matter. Or it could be "God" just acted on fiat volition.

The thing that really make Christianity stand out is that it altogether looks very "non man made". The events claimed, the things spoken of, within the Holy Bible are not the stuff of ordinary men in the common experiences of life.

I humbly submit that the very strangeness of it, is a sign and seal of authenticity.

Only God could have dreamt that up.

Anonymous Peter Garstig November 15, 2013 6:47 AM  

My mind continues to tell me I am being irrational for believing in a life form I can't see.

There are at least 2 levels of stupidity in this statement. You most certainly believe in things you can't see and you most certainly see things that are evidence of the existence of God.

But I'm harsh. VD nails it again in his last sentence.

Anonymous Carlotta November 15, 2013 6:59 AM  

TS
Hello dear one.
Read the first few chapters of Genesis and then look in the mirror. You are made in His image Just like my children look just like my husband, Himself, and I. In fact, explaining to my littlest what does God look like I toldhim to run at his Daddy when he got home from work at look at his face. That is what God looks like.

Look at how those who reject Him distort this image. Why bother if His very existence is not written on their face? When going through a very hard time with my parents it was hard for me to look in the mirror. I literally look like the twin of one.

And follow Vox's advice. I grew up quite steeped in evil with parents who thought they could get rid of it themselves. Nothing they did or said was stronger then a 6 year old little girl crying out to God in the name of Jesus. There is quite simply nothing more powerful on this earth but the evil except God.

Anonymous Bob Ramar November 15, 2013 7:00 AM  

Well said!
Peter also needs to be born again. You cannot understand spiritual matters without having the spirit to guide you (I Corinthians 2:7-16, John 3:1-21, Romans 10:9-11).

Blogger tz November 15, 2013 7:02 AM  

From Michael Card's "God's own Fool": "So surrender the hunger tomsay you must know / have the courage tonsay 'I believe'".

You can not see infrared nor ultraviolet, yet can feel heat or see things flouresce. You can't see the photons, but can see the effect.

Jesus was God incarnate and was here. For everyone to see. He did miracles. Yet he wasn't accepted and crucified.

One other key. You may be trying to believe in your idea of God, perhaps absentee creator, pantheistic force, or something else. You won't find much evidence because you are looking formthe wrong thing.

Remember the Devil is real too, but God is right there all around you and He - a Father - loves you and is calling for his lost child, and wants reconciliation. The doubts are temptation to sin, just like greedy or lustful thoughts. God is calling you out of the dark to the light, the devil to a pit.

Peter Kreeft has an audio on proofs of God's existence (maybe on youtube). One is beauty. Listen to JS Bach. No, really. The music of Bach exists, therefore so does God has been the path of a few.

Pray and humbly ask God to reveal himself - he will answer if you aren't accusing or demanding. And be ready to act on faith. Knowledge of God is not a bunch of answers to trivia, it is life changing faith. And the more you know the more you realize that you know nothing. And your sins will be healed - not in the order you want, the annoying nasty habit may stay, while some enjoyable bit of anger may go. You are a Son of God, but he says "No son of mine..." and will act.

That is what you are really asking for if you truly want an answer. To know a Father, Friend, and Family (the church, with all its sibling conflicts).

"I just want to know he exists in some amorphous, unthreatening, non-disruptive, dry fact way" doesn't work.

Either you are growing in faith - including mature and faithful christians - DAILY, or you are growing away. You either see his hand and the spiritual battle more and more and in more things, or God slowly fades into the back of your mind and you think the world is all there is in practice.

In one sense, Mysticism is all there is - this is the eyes with which we see God, and the ears with which we hear him, short of a miracle - and those can be dismissed (The Catholic Church still canonizes saints and miracles are honestly investigated, but Atheists will not accept any evidence).

Anonymous Carlotta November 15, 2013 7:03 AM  

OT
I said this to give hope.

Himself came to the faith this week. It has been nearly 20 years of prayer but he has accepted Christ as his Savior. He always believed in God, but he has been quite the road.

Praise His Name.
Death where is thy sting?

Anonymous Vic November 15, 2013 7:05 AM  

The Bible claims that God spoke everything into existence.

Does this gentleman not find it ironic that life itself appears to be based on a language with a four letter alphabet? How about matter itself which consist of different combinations of an nighty-eight letter alphabet?

Or does he doubt the existence of DNA and atoms because he can't see them?

Anonymous hardscrabble farmer November 15, 2013 7:08 AM  

I can't speak to Vox's summation on the types of atheism out there, but I certainly believe that there is a strong connection between man no longer being a part of Nature- living in a house, commuting in a car, working in an office- these purposeful withdrawls from the World and the Order callous and harden the spirits ability to perceive Deity in all things. This is not to say he cannot be found in these places, indeed a humble village church or one's own bedroom is often one of the best spots for teet a tete with our Father.

I see Creation virtually every hour of my waking day, the linked processes of being and dissoloution, of life and death, of clarion beauty and the immutable workings of time and Nature like a magnificent machine perfectly tuned.

I had a crisis of faith about ten years ago- my prayers that had once been alive with communications back and forth had become hollow and prefunctory. None of this was God's fault, but my own. One day I was in my car and this doubt had risen in me to the point that I felt real anguish over it and as I was driving into the gloaming a flock of Autumn birds rose across a fat full moon. Inside me there was a voice that was literally calling out "Can't you see? There He is!" but that doubting, unhappy, negative side of my own character, the weakest part of my self formed the question in my head "Why can't you just show yourself?" As the words had become clear, before the last syllable had finished I was less than a hundred yards from a highway overpass and across the top of that overpass was a semi towing a trailer for Guaranteed Overnite Delivery, the moon rising white and whole behind it.

G.O.D.

I laughed so hard I cried. In that single moment all doubt I ever had washed away like darkness when a light goes on suddenly. The only niche in my armor was humor- all the serious talks I'd had with my friends and family, all the sermons I'd heard had left me empty, but getting me to see in an instant and mean within a nano second of asking for conformation after I had already been deluged with evidence- the rising flocks of birds, the pink sky, the rhythymic cadence of the lunar orbit- none of that was enough, but that punchline, delivered with such panache and impecible timing, laid out in block letters on the side of a tractor trailer was the key.

I think we have come to expect, like we do with family, with friends, with communities, organizations, governments and shops, that we are due something, that the very fact of our existence indebts the world to us. We are the recipients of largesse beyond our imagining and far beyond our capacity to repay. To understand God's existence in our life requires us to for once be the ones to give something that cannot always be repaid and that is our faith. It may be the only thing that we really and truly give out of pure and selfless love- faith that all our hard work raising our children will allow them to live their own lives without us. Faith that all of our love given to our spouses will be returned, that all of our unseen honesty and trusts will make us part of the larger community, that our toil and work will provide some benefit to someone you may never see or even know- Good people live like this, constantly casting out pearls before swine because they are responding to a call from the Father.

Who, incidentally, has a great sense of humor.

Good luck with your struggle.

Blogger Old Harry November 15, 2013 7:09 AM  

VD, where you see proof of God's existence as a counter to observable evil, I see Him in the order that exists. There is no reason Newton's laws of motion should work or that they correlate to the first and second derivatives. There's no reason why the behavior of mechanical systems should parallel that of electrical systems. I've said it here before, but Euler's formula was the icing on the cake for me. There is no reason for unity, zero, the natural log funtion, i, and pi to come together that way, unless there is a creator/designer. I will admit that it's a huge leap from creator to the God and Savior of scripture, but the apostle Paul seemed to indicate that recognition of the creator was the first step.

TS, I don't remember a time when I didn't believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but academia did its best to steal that from me. The soft sciences and humanities were the worse, but the hand of the creator was apparent in the hard sciences.
I would encourage you to embrace the creator and the order in his creation and then seek him as your creator and Lord.

Anonymous jay c November 15, 2013 7:21 AM  

It was the astonishing historical reliability of the bible that convinced me initially. I don't have to see god myself if enough reliable witnesses testify on his behalf.

The bizarre irrationality of the self-described rational atheists and the apparently coordinated evil of generations of incompetent men have reinforced my faith in God's existence.

Anonymous VD November 15, 2013 7:28 AM  

the apparently coordinated evil of generations of incompetent men have reinforced my faith in God's existence.

That, too, is key. History makes considerably more sense if one posits there is a long-lived evil intelligence that is guiding the actions of thousands of not particularly brilliant men over a period of centuries....

Anonymous Richard November 15, 2013 7:38 AM  

My own experience: I have concluded that ultimately the only source of knowledge of God that one can have will come FROM God. The logic and reasoning of man is always suspect. In my personal season of doubt, I said to myself, "Well, I don't know if there is a god or not, but in the absence of that knowledge, I will, at least, dedicate my life to doing that which I perceive to be 'good.' Having been raised in a devout Mormon home, I naturally looked to the scriptures for a definition of 'good' and tried very hard to be consistently 'good' (good father, good son, good neighbor, brother's keeper & etc.). Slowly (very slowly--over a period of about 10 years), I came to realize that these doctrines and principles simply could not have come from the mind of man---and I am grateful for that knowledge.

"If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself."
(John 7:17)

Anonymous Sam the Man November 15, 2013 7:44 AM  

Great column

Anonymous PCA November 15, 2013 7:53 AM  

The apostle Paul rather bluntly said, "The wrath of God is revealed ... for what can be known about God IS PLAIN TO THEM, because God has showed it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely his eternal power and divine nature, have been CLEARLY PERCEIVED ever since the foundation of the world in the things that have been made."

So the bible teaches that while men cannot see God, they are responsible to observe the obvious effects and draw a conclusion.

Everyone I have met who has originally claimed to be agnostic has slipped at one point or another and acknowledged the existence of God. They may not like the idea of him, but at the bottom of it they know he's there.

Naturally the specific revelation of Christ and salvation require explanation in language rather than through natural revelation, but these have been provided in God's word. It is there to be accepted or rejected, but like nature, one cannot avoid passing judgment on these things.

Many of the most significant forces we encounter in the world are invisible. We can't see light, love, gravity or electricity. But we can observe their effects. Would you step off the roof of a building because you can't see gravity or stick a fork in an electrical socket because you can't see electricity? Stepping into eternity without intelligently dealing with the concept of God is on the same level of deliberate ignorance.

Anonymous Anonymous November 15, 2013 7:56 AM  

TS Have you told God about this?
Have you told Him you doubt His existence?
Have you called Him out on His wrongs?

You would be doing Him a disservice if you have not.

The price of your sin has been paid by Him, so you can talk to Him freely--voice your doubts, cuss Him out for what you see as His wrongs, call bullshit when you see it.

He took delight in wrestling with Joshua, I am sure He is up for a brawl with you--and being Man, enjoys the fight.

The key is to never lie and never fake it. Always tell the truth to God.

To the natural man, it is a very uncomfortable feeling. Perhaps you are going through the perfectly normal christian growth pains that C.S. Lewis describes in his parable of a Tin Soldier becoming flesh.

You are not the first, nor the last Christian soul who will go through this.

That was the process this sinner went through. It may not be your experience. For me--now--after going through what you describe--I honestly, experience God as more real than reality.

t

Anonymous Salt November 15, 2013 7:58 AM  

I take the historical approach. It's not denied, in the all in all, that Jesus lived. Given the circumstances of his death, produce the body.

Anonymous Anonymous November 15, 2013 8:09 AM  

Human attempts to understand the cause of creation remind me of a dog's hypothetical attempt to understand Euclidean geometry. It's not that I think it's impossible, but I don't see any reason to believe that it is possible, much less explainable.

Vox, I enjoyed your description of "feeling the effects of God in this fallen world", and I empathize with some of your reactions. For whatever reason, I have some similar reactions but do not proceed to a belief in Christianity.

Anonymous Tom November 15, 2013 8:10 AM  

Sorry, just realized I'm not allowed to post anonymously. The above comment was mine.

Anonymous Jeigh Di November 15, 2013 8:25 AM  

You missed the big one, Vox.
"No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him..."
The faith to believe can not be summoned up through one's intellect, it is the gift of God. Until, and unless, He extends that gift to you, if doesn't matter what evidence you're presented with, you won't be able to believe.
But we do have the promise, "he who seeks will find".

Blogger Unknown November 15, 2013 8:29 AM  

"The Bible claims that God spoke everything into existence.

Does this gentleman not find it ironic that life itself appears to be based on a language with a four letter alphabet? How about matter itself which consist of different combinations of an nighty-eight letter alphabet?

Or does he doubt the existence of DNA and atoms because he can't see them? "


DNA is not a language. its a set of bio structures to which we assign letters out of convenience.

Blogger Doom November 15, 2013 8:33 AM  

I think, rather than evil, which I saw everywhere and thought normal, it was good, in people, that brought me around. I knew it wasn't theirs, not really natively, not this particular good, so I went looking for the source. The Spirit really does move people to be greater than they are. If they don't get stuck on it, thinking it is their own goodness, they make for fine people.

As for not seeing, so not believing. When, exactly, have you physically been in the presence of Vox? And yet you reached out, sending something you could not see, to contact him. And you hoped to be contacted back... somehow. It doesn't matter that you think you know how electrons work. The truth is, from your own studies and experiments and functions, you don't know how those work, or how computers really function, or... even how your will manipulates your flesh to allow your fingers to press the keys. You trust, but you don't know.

I doubt if I am really hitting the right points well, but... That's my two digital cents.

Blogger Unknown November 15, 2013 8:33 AM  

there's really no reason not to believe in God...it is the belief in specific dogmas and religious creeds that requires one to check their brains at the door.

Blogger IM2L844 November 15, 2013 8:40 AM  

Yes, TS, it's a matter of faith, but it's not a "blind faith" without rational justifications. There is a plethora of compelling evidence for the existence of God that is perfectly logical and reasonable. It's easy to get sidetracked with trying to fit God in a box that is understandable in terms of our experiences, but, as Vox implied, the functional mechanics of a being that is not constrained by space-time is simply beyond our ability to comprehend let alone describe.

Since you seem like a perfectly reasonable person and apparently have access to the internet, my advice to you would be to drill down and just keep on drilling until you have resolved the issue to you personal satisfaction one way or the other. Resources to all the evidence is readily available and free.

If you will do that with sustained integrity and without a bias for supporting any presuppositions, I'm confident you will conclude that Christianity is the most rational position to hold.

Anonymous Stickwick November 15, 2013 8:42 AM  

This is one of the most moving and eloquent posts I've read at this blog in more than four years. A fitting end to the week. May it help TS with his struggle, and inspire non-believers to come to faith.

Anonymous Lazybug November 15, 2013 8:57 AM  

Think of it this way TJ, when it comes to all the other non visible forces in the world, like electricity, gravity etc... we do not see them directly, but we do see their effects, and in many cases we harness them, and so we know they are true.
I do not say we can harness God, but that we can examine the sort of life proposed by the Bible, can you see how good and straight the path is, how true and fitting it is.
Immerse yourself in the Bible or apologetics, pray on your knees, we are all weak, and in need of streangth beyond this mortal coil, ask and you shall receive.

Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call on him while he is near. Isaiah 55,6.

There is more, read it, the word of God will draw you in.

Anonymous Roger Tutor November 15, 2013 9:00 AM  

Dear TS:

You are not only so much better off not merely ignoring the simpleton ideas of VD and the rest of those in the Believers Ditch, but then better equipped to suss out intellectual sorcery as you move through this one life you have.

Don't buy the fairytale of "evil", TS. Evil is not a thing. Evil is merely what groups of people say it is. Remember, there was a time when those who held humans in bondage for their own economic gain explained it was "evil" to release the black man on his own and that it was "God's Will" that he serve the white man.

The simple grandeur of the world and your own life and your family is all you need to believe in. Set aside childish thoughts of gods and angels and devils. You are right to doubt. You are smart to doubt. You would be wise to set aside this belief in a god the same way you set aside belief in unicorns and ogres.

The reason you cannot see god, TS, is that there is no God to see. Take and run with the simplest explanation and you'll live a better life, a happier life and more productive life, your depression will disappear and you will be a better man.

Anonymous VD November 15, 2013 9:08 AM  

there's really no reason not to believe in God...it is the belief in specific dogmas and religious creeds that requires one to check their brains at the door.

Come on, Lud. You've been here through the Calvin Wars. Can you obviously claim, in light of those discussions, that anyone has checked their brain at the door? You might be able to argue that we're all crazy, from your perspective. But on the basis of the expanses of knowledge, the vocabularies and logical capabilities being mustered on behalf of one side or the other, you can't reasonably claim that anyone is even functionally stupid.

That's low-level rhetoric that is really beneath your own abilities.

Anonymous VD November 15, 2013 9:11 AM  

Juxtaposition:

"Evil is merely what groups of people say it is."

vs

"you'll live a better life, a happier life and more productive life, your depression will disappear and you will be a better man."

I repeat: "Not until you fully understand them, not until you reconstruct them from their foundational assumptions, can you grasp how superficial and foolish they are from a purely rational perspective." They truly have trivial minds.

Anonymous Athor Pel November 15, 2013 9:13 AM  

In my Bible there are translation notes down the middle of the page. These give alternate translations for many of the Hebrew and Greek words and phrases. Many times the alternate meaning sheds a great deal of light on the meaning of the verses being read.

One note in particular that I see over and over is for the word 'truth'. The alternate meaning is 'faithfulness'. This is almost always in the context of God's truth and faithfulness. Meaning that it is true because God made it so and because God is faithful to keep it true.

__________________
Strong's Number : 571
emeth: firmness, faithfulness, truth
Original Word: אֱמֶת
Part of Speech: noun feminine; adverb
Transliteration: emeth
Phonetic Spelling: (eh'-meth)
Short Definition: truth
__________________



"I Am" is more than just a name, it's a promise.

Anonymous praetorian November 15, 2013 9:13 AM  

TS,

I found that when I finally understood Godel's Incompleteness Theorem:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6del's_incompleteness_theorems

a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. God has set reality itself up so that no non-trivial logical system can be both complete and consistent. So, if you grant that logic is consistent (and why are we talking if it isn't?) then you must accept that it is not complete, and there are truths that cannot be reasoned to directly.

Once I stopped laughing hysterically about that fact, I put it together with the obvious Big-Bang based Cosmological Argument to get to, yes, a god.

Since then it's been a process of observation much like Vox describes to move me to yes, the Christian God.

Anonymous John Regan November 15, 2013 9:18 AM  

St. Anselm's "proof" of God's existence (often called the 'ontological' proof) cand be helpful to certain people who think a certain way, although it may not be so much a demonstration of God's existence as it is a demonstration that we cannot think of God as not existing.

In practical terms this may amount to the same thing.

An interesting corollary to this is that the atheist position would have to be incoherent, a denial of what cannot be rationally denied. Which would make it blameworthy, I suppose, although I have a lot of tolerance for atheists, and in the end a lot of sympathy. Typically they wind up trapped in their own self-reinforcing mental loop that gets harder and harder to escape as they get older, just as it gets more and more important that they do precisely that.

Kierkegaard thought it was foolish to try to prove God's existence, not because it wouldn't work but because it was so obvious; at one point he says let go of such efforts and the existence is just there.

And VD is of course correct that Chritianity is definitely falsifiable. There used to be a joke about Christianity that I can't remember but the punch line was "they found the body". The point was that if anyone ever did, Christianity would be proven false.

In any case ancient Greek thinkers like Parmenides reasoned their way to a belief in God, though they often did not call it that. But it was the same idea.

Last thing I'll say on this point is that if you could really intellectually grasp anything about God you would have to be his superior, or at least his equal. That's a principle of epistemology, for whatever that is worth. The irony being that if any human being could really and truly and fully understand anything about God that would prove that God as we have always understood him does NOT exist, not that he does.

Anonymous My Take November 15, 2013 9:18 AM  

“For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.” Romans 1:20

Anonymous Athor Pel November 15, 2013 9:23 AM  

This particular book and the evidence it presents is what solidified my faith.

____________________

For those that seek truth or at least want to see how an atheist fared when he set out to disprove the historical validity of Jesus, please try to read through the following book.

There are various versions of it. I found a downloadable pdf of it, you might be able to find a better version. From looking at it, it looks like it was scanned and OCR software used on it; it has lots of OCR misspelling artifacts.

Josh McDowell, The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict


Here's the Amazon page so you can get a hardcopy.

Josh McDowell, The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict



Here's another pdf from McDowell's website of a similar book
Josh McDowell, Skeptics Who Demanded a Verdict

Anonymous Stickwick November 15, 2013 9:25 AM  

Roger Tutor: The simple grandeur of the world and your own life and your family is all you need to believe in.

A perfect example of the second cause. This is the same sort of arrogance, born of time and place, exhibited by Dawkins and Hitchens. Yes, Roger will find meaning in the enjoyment of the simple grandeur of his world, his family, and his own privileged life. Meanwhile, there are millions of people living lives in places that fall short of grandeur, without families, and with memories and futures filled with brutal misfortune. What shall we tell them?

Perhaps Roger would offer the same wisdom to a young girl in Rwanda, whose only wish is that her arms might grow back after being chopped off by a soldier from a rival tribe. Forget it, little girl. That fantasy is no more real than the one of salvation and renewed life that the missionary told you about. Enjoy the grandeur of your world. Enjoy what little family remains after the slaughter. Yes, little girl, don't give in to simpleton ideas. Enjoy the short life of fear and deprivation that misfortune has handed you, this one shot at existence with which the universe's lottery has bequeathed you, and take comfort that men in more prosperous places enjoy lives of contentment, love, and peace, unshackled by childish thoughts of gods and angels and devils. And, never forget there is no such thing as "evil," that it is only what other people say it is. For the powerful men who deprived you of your limbs and your beloved father and brothers certainly wouldn't call it evil.

Anonymous Sigyn November 15, 2013 9:28 AM  

there's really no reason not to believe in God...it is the belief in specific dogmas and religious creeds that requires one to check their brains at the door.

Those dogmas and creeds are the products of many men asking God what He wants and trying to understand the answers. Some may be tainted with self-serving over time, but whether the interpretations are correct or not, you have no business spitting on those men for exercising their human faculties of intellectual curiosity, reason, and devotion to something greater than themselves. They used/use their brains more than you've ever demonstrated you do.

DNA is not a language. its a set of bio structures to which we assign letters out of convenience.

Is machine code language?

Blogger Bogey November 15, 2013 9:34 AM  

I know a lot young people enter college and leave atheists. I didn't. It's appalling that so many people aren't up to the intellectual challenge. Worst of all I understand now that the arguments were purely rhetorical.

Anonymous complexgeometry November 15, 2013 9:38 AM  

No one who believes has any convincing evidence, but they all love to share their half developed speculations as if that's exactly what they were. Belief gives people a license to be morons and not worry about it.

Anonymous Sigyn November 15, 2013 9:38 AM  

"you'll live a better life, a happier life and more productive life, your depression will disappear and you will be a better man."

Because higher rates of suicide make all of this possible.

TS, I think Roger wants you dead.

Blogger Bogey November 15, 2013 9:38 AM  

"History makes considerably more sense if one posits there is a long-lived evil intelligence that is guiding the actions of thousands of not particularly brilliant men over a period of centuries...."

That's good, I'm going to use that if you don't mind.

Anonymous Sigyn November 15, 2013 9:41 AM  

No one who believes has any convincing evidence,

To you, personally. Plenty of other people have been convinced on that body of evidence.

Belief gives people a license to be morons and not worry about it.

That license looks like it's mostly for people who want to drop in and take reality-impaired potshots at people who believe in something.

Anonymous Myrddin November 15, 2013 9:42 AM  

Here's how I look at it.

At some point, non-life became life. Perhaps lighting striking primordial soup, perhaps God breathing in thennostrils of a thing of dust. However it happened, it did.

The second point is that according to the historical evidence, Jesus rose from the dead.

For a run down of this evidence, I recommend Lee Strobel's The Case For Christ. I also recommend searching for The Impossible Faith by James Patrick Holding, which is a free online article running down why Christianity wouldn't have worked in the first century without evidence to back it up.

The argument against this evidence rests on the assumption that the dead cannot rise. That is, that the unliving cannot be made alive.

But we know this assumption is false. If the unliving never becomes living, life wouldn't exist in the first place.

So the most likely explanation of the evidence for the resurrection is that it happened.

And while it could be that Christ rose because he's demonic, or alien, or some kind of zombie, the conclusion that he is, as he said, God the Son, is not unreasonable.

Paul said that the faith stands or falls on the resurrection. So that's where I look.

Anonymous Mark Call November 15, 2013 9:42 AM  

This one's easy, particularly for anyone who's studied engineering and has ever tried to design, build, and DEBUG anything "high-tech".

By His handiwork you know the Creator (to the point, given what we CAN clearly see, that only a fool says "there is no God." Psalms 14:1, 53:1) Astronomers like Fred Hoyle, and others, have even estimated the odds against complex structures (forget self-replicating cells or DNA - just complex proteins). One in ten to the 200th power may be tough to grasp - but the conclusion certainly isn't!

THEN - study His Word, as Written. And if you REALLY want proof of the Authorship, study it as closely as possible in the original Hebrew. (Even in Bereshiet - or Genesis - 1:1 you see an amazing thing: the original texts have no spaces or vowel pointings; there are at least SEVEN unique, and CORRECT understandings in just the first few characters, and parsing them with spaces constrains any translation. Thus, "In the beginning, Elohim created..." [ex nihilo] is ONLY one of them!)

Just as His 'handiwork' demonstrates beyond doubt the hand of the Creator at work, so does His authorship.

I know many intelligent people who have come to reject "church doctrine," however, because it is often NOT based on Scripture. As the Messiah Himself said (Matthew 5, repeatedly) in His 'very first major public address,' though,
"what you have HEARD it said is NOT what is Written."

Don't make the mistake of assuming that what is taught as the 'traditions of men' in "Sun-day school" is the same thing. He never changed ONE Word, nor did away with even one character of it, "old" or "new". Study for yourself. "Rightly divide" the Truth. Even to the point where Elohim is "TRUE, and every man a liar." (Matthew 5:17-19, Heb 13:8, etc, etc.)

Once you lose the baggage of bogus traditions and twistings of texts, it's a LOT easier to come to the Truth. His "teaching and instruction" is the work of the Creator Himself.

Anonymous Stickwick November 15, 2013 9:43 AM  

This post sure is bringing out the Wormwoods. The lovelier the message, the more strongly these minor demons are compelled to sully it.

Anonymous Myrddin November 15, 2013 9:46 AM  

it is the belief in specific dogmas and religious creeds that requires one to check their brains at the door.

This could be considered a creed. One that I find is accepted quite dogmatically by the culture at large.

Anonymous VD November 15, 2013 9:48 AM  

No one who believes has any convincing evidence, but they all love to share their half developed speculations as if that's exactly what they were.

Define "evidence".

Anonymous jay c November 15, 2013 9:49 AM  

DNA is not a language. its a set of bio structures to which we assign letters out of convenience.

English is not a language. It's a set of audio waves and biochemical reactions to which we assign meaning out of convenience.

Anonymous Anonymous November 15, 2013 9:50 AM  

Well, ask yourself if you did see God, if you did talk to him and you went and told an Atheist friend, would he believe you? If he didn’t and said you were delusional, had a temporary brain malfunction, whatever, how would you prove him wrong, how would you know what you saw was really real?

I think you are going to have to come to grips with the fact that you aren’t going to “know” like you seem to want to “know”. There is always going to be room to doubt. All it takes is a mustard seed.

As far as depression, my advice is to stop dwelling on whatever is causing you distress, at least take a break from it. If you have been thinking that if you just study enough, read enough, focus enough, that you are going to eliminate all your doubts you a bound to wind up stressed and push yourself into anxiety and depression.

That and change your thinking, instead of focusing on your doubt, focus on your love for your family, think of what all of God’s creation might be like, think of the lost love ones you may get to speak to again, think of speaking with CS Lewis, think of all of the wrongs that are going to be made right. A part of me wants to die to this life.

Blogger JartStar November 15, 2013 9:50 AM  

Eloquently said Stickwick.

Blogger Bogey November 15, 2013 9:53 AM  

This post sure is bringing out the Wormwoods. The lovelier the message, the more strongly these minor demons are compelled to sully it.

I see what you mean Stickwick, regular readers of this blog can't possibly come into this comment section with such ignorance.

Anonymous Roger Tutor November 15, 2013 9:53 AM  

Dear TS:

Please remember, the fools taken in by the christian god theory are trying to lead you to the most expansive Dealth/Blood Cult ever conceived.

You will find everlasting love—When You Die!
You will be with God—When You Die
You were saved because a person—Was mutilated and Died on a Cross
You are to worship—A Sadistic God with Blood On His Hands

If there is any kind of real objective evil in the world, just look to this Christian Death Cult as a perfect example of it.

But this issue of evil, forget it. Those that claim there is an objective evil in the world can't show you where it is, let alone why it might demonstrate there is some sort of god in the sky.

Be a real man. Accept reality for what it is. Live your life loving those who deserve to be loved. Make your life mean something by giving to others rather than giving yourself up to the Cult of Blood and Death.

Blogger IM2L844 November 15, 2013 9:53 AM  

"Take and run with the simplest explanation..."

Willful ignorance only make things easier if you can be absolutely certain God does not exist. You can't.

If God does, in fact, exist, this miniscule speck of time we spend in this temporal existence, even if wholly experienced with maximum pain or maximum pleasure, is effectively insignificant by comparison to what's in store. This is what makes the search for self-preservation truth logically obligatory.

Blogger JartStar November 15, 2013 9:54 AM  

Stickwick, if you don't mind me asking is everything on track for this December? I've tried to keep you in my prayers.

Anonymous Carlotta November 15, 2013 9:56 AM  

TS, I think Roger wants you dead.

He wants him to stay dead and not wake up to life in Christ.

TS, read Genesis and the conversation between Eve and the serpent. Then read Roger's comment again. Same exact thing.

What Bible do you use? @ Athor Pel

Anonymous Roger Tutor November 15, 2013 9:58 AM  

"He wants him to stay dead and not wake up to life in Christ."

One does not "wake up to life in Christ". One lets go of reason and their intellect when they fall into the Death/Blood Cult of Christ.

Beware of these sophists and fools, TS. You are on the right path.

Anonymous Dr. J November 15, 2013 10:01 AM  

@Athor Pel

What's your Bible called - something I can find on Amazon? The layout with notes in the middle sounds user friendly. Anyone else have suggestions on this?

I disagree that one cannot come to a belief in God using rational methods. There is tremendouse evidence in favor of the Christian God, and fair evidence of his opposite. I only think that coming to a rational belief in God does not necessisarily translate into the sort of submission that He requires. I've never had any doubt about God or the significance of his sacrifice through Christ. It's coming to grips with my own sin, loving my neighbor, and loving God as we are instructed that present the challenge. I'll confess I love my children more than I love God, and yet they are a gift from him. How does one go from being a believer to something more?

Anonymous Anonymous November 15, 2013 10:01 AM  

If there is any kind of real objective evil in the world, just look to this Christian Death Cult as a perfect example of it.
But this issue of evil, forget it. Those that claim there is an objective evil in the world can't show you where it is,


I mean really, seriously, LOL. THAT is priceless.

There is NO evil…well except Christianity, that’s evil, Sadistic Blood Cult and all that, LOL!!

Anonymous Brother Thomas November 15, 2013 10:02 AM  

The typical atheist I’ve encountered is an adolescent. He is a young man that stridently professes atheism of the lips, not of the heart. He believes in God, but rejects him out of feelings of abandonment. His understanding of Christian theology is exactly backward. God didn’t abandon man, man abandoned God. Man sought knowledge of good and evil. He chose exile. And now he rails against it.

However there is redemption, but that’s a longer discussion.

If you consider Christianity fantasy, an absurdity, that’s fine. All I ask is that you have a basic understanding of the theology you’re criticizing. It would really help your cause enourmously to know something about that which you criticize. A knowledgeable critic has credibility.

Anonymous complexgeometry November 15, 2013 10:03 AM  

This post sure is bringing out the Wormwoods. The lovelier the message, the more strongly these minor demons are compelled to sully it.

That's the thing exactly. "Lovely" to believers means people leaking their devotion all over the place like they're on their period. And no utterance is too stupid as long as it's in harmony with your feels, bro. It's disgusting, but hey, I'm a demon, get your crosses out.

Define "evidence".

Evidence is defined in the dictionary, you must mean "define convincing evidence". Convincing evidence of an omnipotent, omniscient creator is a tall order, in my opinion. Call me crazy, but somehow "Godel did it", or the rest of the nonsense you guys come up with doesn't meet the challenge.

Anonymous Sigyn November 15, 2013 10:03 AM  

I provided scientific proof of the destructive, anti-life effects of atheist beliefs and all Roger has is slogans and empty promises that he expects TS to just believe without proof.

And he wants to paint other beliefs as cults. Heh.

Blogger IM2L844 November 15, 2013 10:06 AM  

Beware of these sophists and fools

Be careful. You'll eventually need to substantiate your derogatory aspersions and naked assertions to continue. Might as well put up or shut up now.

Blogger JartStar November 15, 2013 10:06 AM  

The bitter replies to Vox are arguably more persuasive to run to God than Vox's own post. TS, do see the alternative placed before you in this thread?

Anonymous Sigyn November 15, 2013 10:07 AM  

That's the thing exactly. "Lovely" to believers means people leaking their devotion all over the place like they're on their period.

Misogyny.

And no utterance is too stupid as long as it's in harmony with your feels, bro.

Personal insult.

It's disgusting, but hey, I'm a demon, get your crosses out.

Aspie inability to grasp metaphor.

Evidence is defined in the dictionary, you must mean "define convincing evidence".

Aspie hair-splitting

Convincing evidence of an omnipotent, omniscient creator is a tall order, in my opinion.

Subjective metric.

Call me crazy, but somehow "Godel did it", or the rest of the nonsense you guys come up with doesn't meet the challenge.

Application of subjective metric and demonstrated lack of intellectual curiosity.

If you guys are trying to prove that atheists are more rational...um, yeah, keep going. Please.

Anonymous ZhukovG November 15, 2013 10:08 AM  

I was an Atheist myself for a, fortunately short, part of my life. I have to admit I had a hell of a lot of fun as an Atheist and I wasn’t very happy, at least at first, to give it up.

But, when you expand your view, to the whole sweep and scope of the history of the universe and what science teaches us about it operation, the only rational choice is belief in God, inconvenient as that may be.

Also, don’t get hung up with the conflicting teaching of various religious faiths, your first hurdle is getting past your doubts about the existence of God. I redirect you back to Vox’s original posting as the advice there was excellent.

Blogger Bogey November 15, 2013 10:08 AM  

That's the thing exactly. "Lovely" to believers means people leaking their devotion all over the place like they're on their period. And no utterance is too stupid as long as it's in harmony with your feels, bro. It's disgusting, but hey, I'm a demon, get your crosses out.

"..the New Atheist: smug, juvenile, and socially autistic."

Anonymous Stickwick November 15, 2013 10:09 AM  

JartStar: Stickwick, if you don't mind me asking is everything on track for this December? I've tried to keep you in my prayers.

Thank you, JartStar, your prayers are much appreciated. Our baby girl is due mid-January, and so far everything looks fine. She's about a week ahead of schedule in terms of growth, which is good -- the doc says a big baby is a healthy baby. What's been amusing these last couple of months is that she is the most active when I'm engaged in scientific discussions. I gave a seminar talk yesterday, and the whole time she was kicking and wiggling like crazy.

This whole process of bringing life into the world is, in the opinion of this scientist, nothing short of miraculous. If I hadn't already been a believer, I would be by now.

Anonymous Carlotta November 15, 2013 10:11 AM  

Ask yourself TS,
Why when you come looking for God does one commenter try so desperately to stop you?

His only hope for eternity is that he is right when he dies. That there is nothing. Have you ever understood something one way and then realized you were horribly wrong? I have.

If he is wrong though....and God is right it will matter little what Roger's opinion is. Much like gravity could care less that some one thinks they can jump out a window and fly. It isnt that He does not exist, it is that they hate Him. They want to hurt Him by deceiving His children. They are of their father, the devil.

If there is nothing, if God is nothing, why does he seek to turn you away with rhetoric? We dont oppose what does not exist. There are no campaigns against the toothfairy.

Vox told you to test them. Take them at their word.
Roger tells you to take on faith what he says. Some random internet commenter.

Father, we lift up both Roger and TS to you in the name of your Son Jesus. We ask you open their eyes to see the Truth of your saving Grace. We pray that any evil coming against this would stop right now in the name of Jesus and that you would use that evil as evidence of opposition.. Show them both Lord.
In Jesus name we pray.

Anonymous Tex November 15, 2013 10:11 AM  

"My biggest hurdle in my mind right now is the fact that you can't see God."

My advice for TS:

Try TALKING to God -- specifically Jesus.

You are trying to use your eyes. That doesn't work. Wrong senses. For example, you can't see ME (physically) at this moment, though you can read my words (a visual form of listening). Do you doubt the existence of me, the person writing you right now?

How to talk with God?

1) Read his Word... the Bible. I would start with the books of Matthew or John. Try reading one book in the next week. Don't read it critically, just read it like it was a letter from a friend.

2) Pray. And pray specifically for Jesus Christ to talk to you. Be honest: "Jesus, I don't know you. Can you show yourself to me? Can you talk back? If you're real, can you make yourself known to me?" It really can be this simple.

3) Consider talking with other Christians, maybe at a church, but it could be privately over email like you are doing with Vox. Attend a few services at a local church -- based on his sermons, is the pastor a man you'd respect? If so, maybe reach out and talk to him. You'll find God moves through other people ....

4) When the moment is right, you might feel terribly convicted for your sins. That's OK. That's what happens. In fact, that is the Holy Spirit talking to you. The good news is you have a Savior that can forgive you. So don't despair. Keep your guard up -- the Enemy will try to thwart your efforts. "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they (YOU ) may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:10

See you on the other side, TS.

Anonymous Sigyn November 15, 2013 10:11 AM  

Also, don’t get hung up with the conflicting teaching of various religious faiths, your first hurdle is getting past your doubts about the existence of God.

Agreed. "What do you want?" comes after "Are you there?"

Anonymous Carlotta November 15, 2013 10:13 AM  

You are in our prayers Stickwick.

Anonymous PCA November 15, 2013 10:13 AM  

Wow, Roger, what a pack of misrepresentations of the Christian faith!

"You will find everlasting love—When You Die!"

No, love will be perfected when we see Christ. We find it in the here and now. This is where Stickwick's hypothetical Rwandan girl is a perfect example. If you've ever stepped out of the western world for five seconds you'll find people with horrible stories like hers that have found love and life in Christ and are full of joy.

"You will be with God—When You Die"

Yes, but he is with you now in the person of the Holy Spirit in your heart.

"You were saved because a person—Was mutilated and Died on a Cross"

Can't argue with that, except that the person was God Himself.

"You are to worship—A Sadistic God with Blood On His Hands"

Or perhaps we can assign the blame for Christ's murder where it actually belongs: To Pilate who failed to deliver justice, to the Jews of the time who cried out for his death, to the Romans who nailed him up, to centuries of sinners who made his sacrificial death necessary, including you and me.

Let's see: If you're right and Christianity is a "Death Cult", what is the consequence? The believer 1) Fails to find everlasting love when he dies, but doesn't know it because he's ceased to exist for eternity; 2) Fails to meet God when he dies, but doesn't know it because he's ceased to exist for a eternity; 3) Worships a person who was mutilated and died on a cross, which leads him to follow the example of self-sacrifice in this life, which benefits society; and 4) Worships an allegedly "sadistic" God - which hurts anyone how exactly?

On the other hand, if Christianity is true, you're recommending that TS do absolutely nothing and arrive in eternity to find that things were not remotely like you told him and that he now has to give an account for himself. He's missed joy, love and peace in this life and eternal blessing in the next.

Really? THAT'S what your offering? Good deal.

Anonymous Sigyn November 15, 2013 10:14 AM  

What's been amusing these last couple of months is that she is the most active when I'm engaged in scientific discussions. I gave a seminar talk yesterday, and the whole time she was kicking and wiggling like crazy.

She likes Mommy's voice! Either that, or she wants you to pipe down so she can get a nap.

Anonymous MendoScot November 15, 2013 10:16 AM  

My biggest hurdle in my mind right now is the fact that you can't see God.
TS

Why am I a Christian? Because I believe in evil. I believe in objective, material, tangible evil that insensibly envelops every single one of us sooner or later.
VD

I have a story to tell about evil you can’t see.

I’ve always loved the outdoors and have camped all my life – my father was a famous explorer who taught us climbing, camping and orienteering from a young age. Most of all, I like camping alone, and the event I’m going to describe happened only once and when I was alone, which is why I don’t often tell the story.

It was in Bryce Canyon, early Spring of 1990. I was driving coast to coast, hitting the ski resorts and National Parks along the way. I had arrived at Bryce rather late in the day, so only hiked in a couple of hours before picking my campsite – in a copse of trees for shelter, where the canyon wasn’t too narrow to avoid funnelling. I set up my tent aligned with the canyon, dug my fire pit, collected fuel, and cooked and ate my dinner.

While I was waiting for the dusk to fade before lighting the fire, I started to feel uneasy. Since your senses can pick up on things you don’t consciously perceive, I got up and walked a spiral out of the campsite, picking up extra firewood along the way, and a couple of good staves for defense, but there was nothing out of the ordinary. Back at camp with the fire going, the feeling only got stronger, becoming oppressive and then turning to outright fear.

Eventually, I became convinced that what I was sensing was malice. I couldn’t see it, or hear it or smell it but whatever it was it hated me with a terrible intensity. I tried to fight back. I prayed and called on my Saviour. I invoked the Blood of the Lamb. Finally I gave up, and just huddled there. Whether it was my surrender or Thy will be done, the sensation gradually withdrew, like a man slowly walking away.

I spent the coldest night of my life, camped there in Bryce Canyon, and I’ve bivouacked in an ice storm at 15,000 feet. I can’t tell you what it was, but it was real, it was there and it was evil.

Anonymous Stickwick November 15, 2013 10:16 AM  

Sigyn: And he wants to paint other beliefs as cults. Heh.

Speaking of cults, what's the over/under on Roger being an Objectivist?

Anonymous Carlotta November 15, 2013 10:20 AM  

Roger, please provide three examples of how belief in Christianity equals letting go of reason and intellect. Please define reason, intellect and Christianity in your answer.

See Blog Rules.

Blogger JartStar November 15, 2013 10:21 AM  

Stickwick, so glad to read that! I'll keep praying.

Blogger IM2L844 November 15, 2013 10:22 AM  

Convincing evidence of an omnipotent, omniscient creator is a tall order, in my opinion.

The evidence doesn't need to rise to the level of "beyond any reasonable doubt". It doesn't even need to rise to the level of more likely than not by "a preponderance of the evidence". It only needs to show there is some non-zero probability, however small, to necessitate Pascal's Wager.

Anonymous Dr. J November 15, 2013 10:23 AM  

@Athor Pel

What's your Bible called - something I can find on Amazon? The layout with notes in the middle sounds user friendly. Anyone else have suggestions on this?

I disagree that one cannot come to a belief in God using rational methods. There is tremendouse evidence in favor of the Christian God, and fair evidence of his opposite. I only think that coming to a rational belief in God does not necessisarily translate into the sort of submission that He requires. I've never had any doubt about God or the significance of his sacrifice through Christ. It's coming to grips with my own sin, loving my neighbor, and loving God as we are instructed that present the challenge. I'll confess I love my children more than I love God, and yet they are a gift from him. How does one go from being a believer to something more?

Anonymous AD November 15, 2013 10:24 AM  

"The simple grandeur of the world and your own life and your family is all you need to believe in."

How did that work out for Friedrich Nietzsche?

Anonymous Stickwick November 15, 2013 10:24 AM  

Thank you, Carlotta.

Sigyn: She likes Mommy's voice! Either that, or she wants you to pipe down so she can get a nap.

Heh heh. She may also have been trying to warn me: *kick* *wiggle* Mummy! Hello? Your assumption that these new correlations are consistent with the old calibrated equations for black hole mass is unwarranted!" *kick* Are you listening?? *kick*

How are things going with you and your little one, by the way?

Anonymous Sigyn November 15, 2013 10:28 AM  

Oh it's so socially autistic to refuse to engage in collective emotional incontinence. Waahhhh, mommy, Katy won't share feels!

Personal insults, with invoked toilet humor.

It really wouldn't be a problem, I would be all for it, if it wasn't fueled by delusion.

Narcissistic solipsism (insofar as it denies any reality outside of CG's personal perspective).

That really is a major part of the appeal of religion. People have a need to be emotional and religion provides a conduit.

Obliviousness to demonstrably large bodies of intellectual endeavor and logic, including the entire field of philosophy. Demonstrates lack of intellectual curiosity.

Just stop trying to attach it to "reality".

Bossy as hell.

Keep 'em comin', CG.

Anonymous Anonymous November 15, 2013 10:28 AM  

DNA is not a language. its a set of bio structures to which we assign letters out of convenience.

English is not a language. It's a set of audio waves and biochemical reactions to which we assign meaning out of convenience.


And the changes in voltages in tiny transistors to which we assign the labels of True/False, 1/0, On/Off where the only things that resulted in the original post and the reply. It would be the height of irrationality to presume some unifying principle. Certainly nothing as ridiculous as a 'boolean logic' or 'computer language' could be behind such a happy chance.

Zeroes and Ones convey meaning? Balderdash.

Anonymous Carlotta November 15, 2013 10:29 AM  

@ MendoScot
I believe you.
I lived with that exact feeling growing up. I believed in God because once I turned to Him that evil could no longer torment me. But it was still there for many years because of things others brought into the household.
It is akin to the difference between walking with a stick in Africa and having a lion chase you and visting a zoo with it in a cage where it stares you down. Same intent, same ability but made impotant by the wall between you. That is the power the demons fear.

Anonymous Sigyn November 15, 2013 10:31 AM  

I only think that coming to a rational belief in God does not necessisarily translate into the sort of submission that He requires.

Well put. If it doesn't translate to one's own life, then one may as well not believe. Christianity is about living as well as believing!

Anonymous complexgeometry November 15, 2013 10:31 AM  

The evidence doesn't need to rise to the level of "beyond any reasonable doubt". It doesn't even need to rise to the level of more likely than not by "a preponderance of the evidence". It only needs to show there is some non-zero probability, however small, to necessitate Pascal's Wager.

Pascal's wager is a good example actually. It's litmus test for how willing people are to toss away potential unseen consequences on hypotheticals that allow them to depend on something. For Austrian economists, you people should be all over it.

The subtext of Pascal's wager is not that you trade one 'nothing - or - loss' for a 'nothing - or -win', it's that you allow yourself to make a cynical calculation that has implications for your integrity. It's somewhat telling that so many believers resort to it unthoughtfully as a 'might-as-well'.

Blogger IM2L844 November 15, 2013 10:31 AM  

Zeroes and Ones convey meaning? Balderdash.

Laughed out loud, I did. Thanks.

Anonymous Carlotta November 15, 2013 10:33 AM  

I have to say Sigyn. I so enjoy your commentary on the comments. It is a "sick day" for us here and you cheered me up.

I also enjoy when Stickwick gives some beat downs :)

Anonymous ZhukovG November 15, 2013 10:33 AM  

Roger,

I have to say you do bring back some memories. I think you have almost as much angst driven foolishness as I did. Of course I thought I was quite the intellectual, living free from the confines of antiquated belief. Fun times.

I’d love to say I’m laughing with you and not at you, but I’d be lying.

Anonymous Roger Tutor November 15, 2013 10:33 AM  

TS:

Note how these Christian Deceivers continue to promise you love and happiness and life after death...if only you have faith. But look where you are now as you try to reconcile the obvious absurdity of the christian claims and christian faith with reality. Plagued with depression.

Trust your mind, TS, when it tells you the Blood Cult is irrational. Trust what you see. Trust what you hear. Do not trust those that tell you to put your faith in the invisible and unheard, in the millennial-old false claims that come with evidence that can only be accepted as good if you are also willing to accept the idea that faeries, unicorns and ogres live under bridges and sprinkle magic dust at night.

Take my advice, TS, and walk boldly out from behind the black curtain of faith. Appreciate your life. Love those deserving love. Make your community a better place. Help the less fortunate. See the world.

But don't waste the precious time you have in depression because you think you need to explain the unexplainable. You don't.

Keep your eyes open, TS. You are half way back to the realm of reality.

Anonymous Tex November 15, 2013 10:38 AM  

"Note how these Christian Deceivers continue to promise you love and happiness and life after death..."

vs.

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:10

Anonymous Sigyn November 15, 2013 10:38 AM  

Pascal's wager is a good example actually. It's litmus test for how willing people are to toss away potential unseen consequences on hypotheticals that allow them to depend on something.

Hypocrisy.

For Austrian economists, you people should be all over it.

Attempt at ad hominem.

The subtext of Pascal's wager is not that you trade one 'nothing - or - loss' for a 'nothing - or -win', it's that you allow yourself to make a cynical calculation that has implications for your integrity.

Goalpost move, from "emotional incontinence" to "cynical calculation", indicating that neither emotional nor rational reasons for adopting a contrary belief are acceptable to CG. Note that, at this point, CG has not defined any means to faith that he will respect.

It's somewhat telling that so many believers resort to it unthoughtfully as a 'might-as-well'.

Rational calculation characterized as "unthoughtful".

He's like a gift that keeps on giving.

Blogger Kentucky Packrat November 15, 2013 10:39 AM  

As far as depression, my advice is to stop dwelling on whatever is causing you distress, at least take a break from it. If you have been thinking that if you just study enough, read enough, focus enough, that you are going to eliminate all your doubts you a bound to wind up stressed and push yourself into anxiety and depression.

I am a strange little snowflake: Ecclesiastes and Job helped me out of many a significant depressive state in high school. "The Teacher" ("Ecclesiastes", maybe Solomon) helped me realize that outside of the context of God, life really is small and insignificant, but that that was OK when you keep God in the mix. The Book of Job helped point out just how big God really was compared to us, and how contending with Him really was useless.

TS, depression in a believer is either a chemical issue in your brain or an attack of the enemy. I have friends who have clinical depression who need medication, and it helps them. If depression doesn't yield to prayer and every effort to break from its reach, you may need the assistance of a Christian practitioner who has a prescription pad and the skills to know how to use it.

If your depression yields to prayer, understand that you may be under attack directly, or that you may be in an area that has a large sphere of depressive influence. Lexington KY gets it in double-doses (from my experiences); the demonic influence starts just before finals week at UK and doesn't stop until at least Christmas and sometimes into January. Prayer and a turn of focus can help a lot here. When it doesn't, then you skip back to the previous paragraph.

Blogger IM2L844 November 15, 2013 10:39 AM  

A non-zero probability is not a hypothetical, complexgeometry. What makes the calculation cynical rather than optimistic? I'm glad you admit there are implications, but I'm not sure you fully understand them.

Anonymous Tex November 15, 2013 10:39 AM  

Indeed, trust your mind, TS... but will you trust Roger based on his trolling? Notice how he dodges and spins and spews venom like a snake?

Anonymous Roger Tutor November 15, 2013 10:40 AM  

""The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; "

A perfect description of the Death/Blood Cult called Christianity.

Anonymous Jed November 15, 2013 10:40 AM  

Countdown till Roger mentions the Easter Bunny and Santa...

5, 4, 3, 2....

Anonymous patrick kelly November 15, 2013 10:42 AM  

" My mind continues to tell me I am being irrational for believing in a life form I can't see. "

"life form" ?!?!?!? All the scriptures, testimony, debates,even from skeptics and scoffers, and someone describes our creator God as a "life form"?

He created life, He may be considered alive in a sense, but God is not part of that creation, He is separate from it.

My own doubts are more along the line of questioning my own faith and resolve. Do I really believe? Sometimes I confess my unbelief to the God I'm not sure I believe in. (Pretty messed up eh?)..........let the skeptics and scoffers wrap their heads around that.....


Anonymous Toby Temple November 15, 2013 10:43 AM  

I must say that this thread did conjure Satan so fast.

Anonymous Sigyn November 15, 2013 10:43 AM  

Take my advice, TS, and walk boldly out from behind the black curtain of faith. Appreciate your life. Love those deserving love. Make your community a better place. Help the less fortunate. See the world.

And here is the invitation to join a belief system of goodfeels and self-elevation, and with no proofs except Roger saying it's so. Believe him. Stop asking questions. Don't listen to those who doubt him. He has the ultimate truth. Do what he says, and your life will be suddenly awesome.

Ignore the scientific evidence that has been provided, today and in the past, and the evidences of history that his is a belief system of misery and destruction. Go on the strength of Roger's reassurances alone.

I hope you're seeing this for what it is, TS.

Anonymous Mark Call November 15, 2013 10:46 AM  

complexgeometry [sic]: "... you must mean "define convincing evidence". Convincing evidence of an omnipotent, omniscient creator is a tall order, in my opinion. Call me crazy..."

No, mathematically ignorant comes closer. "Convincing evidence" of an incredibly INTELLIGENT and capable Creator comes in the form of understanding the odds against self-replicating designs originating by chance from 'primordial muck' (wherever THAT came from).

I worked for years designing servo and control mechanisms for tape and disk storage devices. Have a pretty good understanding of physics, mechanics, and especially electronics and software. I've seen LOTS of well-designed, apparently properly-built devices FAIL to work, but I've yet to see even parts randomly assemble themselves - whether shaken or stirred.

You wouldn't know "convincing evidence" if you saw it in a mirror. QED.

Anonymous Tex November 15, 2013 10:47 AM  

"A perfect description of the Death/Blood Cult called Christianity."

Roger: So you are saying Christ lied -- that He was dishonest about His promise that we "may have life, and have it to the full"?

Anonymous patrick kelly November 15, 2013 10:47 AM  

"You will find everlasting love—When You Die!
You will be with God—When You Die
You were saved because a person—Was mutilated and Died on a Cross
You are to worship—A Sadistic God with Blood On His Hands"

This is not the Christian Faith I know, love, and believe in (on good days). A very dry, straw man presented on a blog with lots of fire to go around I'm sure....I haven't read all the replies.....it's wearisome.......

Anonymous Sigyn November 15, 2013 10:48 AM  

This is not the Christian Faith I know, love, and believe in (on good days). A very dry, straw man presented on a blog with lots of fire to go around I'm sure....

Well, cults usually operate by slandering their "competition".

Anonymous AnalogMan November 15, 2013 10:50 AM  

You say:

to the extent that evil can be said to exist, it proves not only the validity of Christianity but its necessity as well.

This reminds me of a book I read many years ago, which was old even then. It was called The Documents in the Case, by Dorothy Sayers. I enjoyed it for two reasons: One, it taught me something that I didn't know previously, about left-handed molecules and biology. Two, it beautifully illustrated how understanding of the world changes over time.

The specific situation was somebody asking a priest or pastor exactly the question you're discussing here, to which he replied something similar (but not identical, I understand that) to what you said. He said, in effect, "I know that God exists in the same way that you know that the ether exists; because of the necessity of his existence".

We no longer believe in the necessity of ether. But this illustrates something about both science and, I believe, religion. Neither can be proven, and neither is reality. They are both models of reality, or rather, within both there are many models of reality. Not all of them can be accurate models. You pays your money, and you takes your choice.

Anonymous Heath Ledger November 15, 2013 10:51 AM  

Walk boldly out from behind the black curtain of faith. Appreciate your life. F/ck a goat. Love those deserving love. Murder the weak. Make your community a better place. Walk over that bum sleeping in your doorway. Help the less fortunate. Steal from your grandma. See the world burn. Why so serious?

Anonymous Roger Tutor November 15, 2013 10:52 AM  

TS:

Observe the tendency of the faithful to say white is black and black is white. They are the most potent deceivers.

While I urge you to help OTHERS, to love OTHERS, to contribute to Others, they call this

"the invitation to join a belief system of goodfeels and self-elevation"

Can you really bare the thought of associating yourself with these kinds of deceivers in the time you have to live your life? Can you bare the thought of the pain that comes with the honest and rational doubt you will always have about these people and why they always say that "on is off", "up is down" and "right is wrong"?

There is no need to believe in faeries and gods or to worship unseen and unheard deities and unicorns to live a good life that will be bring you joy and meaning.

You only need to dismiss these fools, conjurers and sophists and breath on your own. The air is quite nice up hear. Don't foul your brain and mind by dwelling with them down in the ditch of sorrow, lies and despair.

Anonymous Sigyn November 15, 2013 10:56 AM  

Cynical is someone who goes through the motions because they're expecting a payout.

Lack of intellectual curiosity demonstrated by incorrect definitions of words. Additional element of hypocrisy insofar as he had referred to using a dictionary earlier.

I suppose the question here is whether one can really decide to believe, and subsequently to be a truly religious man, based on a calculation of the expected outcome of it.

Self-contradiction, in that his previous objections were to emotional facets of faith and now his objection appears to be that rational calculations are inapplicable. Goalpost move.

There is just no way CG is going to accept that a person can reasonably disagree with his personal beliefs.

Blogger JartStar November 15, 2013 10:56 AM  

"faeries, unicorns " My atheist BINGO card is filling out quickly. Come on Sky Wizard, Crusades, Inquisition, and FSM!

Blogger IM2L844 November 15, 2013 10:59 AM  

A perfect description of the Death/Blood Cult called Christianity.

Roger the dodger ain't got no chili. Shut-up, Roger.

Anonymous Lord Abacus November 15, 2013 11:02 AM  

TS,

Should you find that your reason and intuition do not lead you to Christianity or another form of Theism, let me assure you that not all atheists are depressed perpetual juveniles with Ass Burgers. Granted, it may add to Vox and some of his Ilk's already robust sense of self-satisfaction to think this, and my fellow nonbelievers at times do a poor job of demonstrating that they need not dwell in derision. Nevertheless, you should know that there are some of us who have made sincere attempts -- both through intellectual pursuit and spiritual practice -- to connect to the Divine, and yet have found Theistic explanations of reality wanting.

Of course, if you do choose to become Christian, I hope it helps you to live a fuller life. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. Furthermore, it has a fine moral tradition, probably the best of any of the major religions for establishing a flourishing society. Certainly better than the barbaric directives of Islam or the relativism of Hinduism (in which morals change according to social status), and probably better than the blanket pacifism of Jainism. I would encourage you to also read some Buddhist sacred texts like the Dhammapada, since they deal with issues of consciousness and mental health that Christianity tends to address in only a cursory fashion.

The one thing you absolutely CANNOT do is exchange faith in God for faith in the State or some similar human institution. If you reject Theism, you will have to embrace imperfection, to admit there is no single book, or teacher, or God-man who had it all figured out and can always be relied upon in your time of need. If you can live with that, great. If not, for the sake of yourself and your fellow human beings, by all means put a mysterious, transcendent, multidimensional God on that pedestal rather than a Marx or an Obama or some other Dear Leader.

Anonymous Sigyn November 15, 2013 11:04 AM  

While I urge you to help OTHERS, to love OTHERS, to contribute to Others, they call this

"the invitation to join a belief system of goodfeels and self-elevation"


Willful mischaracterization of opposing belief system in an effort to recruit for one's own.

Can you really bare the thought of associating yourself with these kinds of deceivers in the time you have to live your life?

Plea to emotion.

Can you bare the thought of the pain that comes with the honest and rational doubt you will always have about these people and why they always say that "on is off", "up is down" and "right is wrong"?

Mischaracterization of content of potential recruit's doubt, as well as more unsupported assertions.

There is no need to believe in faeries and gods or to worship unseen and unheard deities and unicorns to live a good life that will be bring you joy and meaning.

Contradiction of offered scientific proofs, with no support offered for own assertions.

You only need to dismiss these fools, conjurers and sophists and breath on your own. The air is quite nice up hear. Don't foul your brain and mind by dwelling with them down in the ditch of sorrow, lies and despair.

Promise of self-elevation by association with advertised belief system. Personal insults of adherents to opposing belief system. Promise of things actively disproven by evidence.


Res ipsa loquitur, TS.

Anonymous complexgeometry November 15, 2013 11:04 AM  

Give it a rest Sigyn, go take a nap already.

Anonymous Roger Tutor November 15, 2013 11:04 AM  

Dear TS,

I urge you to take note of just how easily the deceiving members of the Blood/Death cult imagine ways to hurt others when confronted with simple calls for kindness:

"Walk boldly out from behind the black curtain of faith. Appreciate your life. F/ck a goat. Love those deserving love. Murder the weak. Make your community a better place. Walk over that bum sleeping in your doorway. Help the less fortunate. Steal from your grandma. See the world burn. Why so serious?"

I urge you, TS, do not associate your life with these kinds of thinkers.

Blogger WATYF November 15, 2013 11:06 AM  

One would think that the stark contrast between the rational reasons being given by theists and the irrational rhetoric being sputtered by atheists in this thread would be enough to at least inch TS towards a conclusion about which view makes more sense.

For me, it came down to moral philosophy (there can be no good/evil, right/wrong, even in a subjective sense, without a Creator), and history (both of the Bible itself and of events since the Bible) showing evidence for Christianity being true. Many of the philosophical arguments that I was exposed to after that only solidified the view.

Oh yeah, but it all started with a book which obliterated most of the common atheist arguments (and showed them for the emotionally-driven rhetoric that they are) which just so happened to come out right when I was falling prey to them. Can't quite remember the name of it, though. :Op

WATYF

Anonymous Hoots November 15, 2013 11:06 AM  

TS,

I don't know what sort of circles you travel in, but It's very common for Christians to talk about their relationship with God, and about how God told them something or led them to do something. It can be very discouraging to the more analytically-minded when it seems like God is present to everyone else, but not to me.

Without judging others who describe their communication with God, we need to read and understand the history of God's interaction with people. It is characterized by long periods of silence, punctuated by divine action and fleeting (often cryptic) communication. Are God's words from Isaiah 57 describing a source of your doubt?

"Is it not because I have long been silent that you do not fear me?" -God

Don't let anyone tell you that God owes you anything. He has His reasons for everything he does, and we ought to stand in wonder of what he has given, not one speck of which is deserved. Remember something else he said:

"You are evil" -Jesus

Blogger IM2L844 November 15, 2013 11:08 AM  

Res ipsa loquitur, TS

Girls with common sense are hot.

Anonymous Sigyn November 15, 2013 11:08 AM  

*tips hat to Lord Abacus*

Blogger WATYF November 15, 2013 11:09 AM  

"faeries, unicorns " My atheist BINGO card is filling out quickly. Come on Sky Wizard, Crusades, Inquisition, and FSM!

I've been playing the Internet Atheist Drinking Game this whole time.

Needless to say, I'm completely wasted.

WATYF

Anonymous Jed November 15, 2013 11:11 AM  

I like how the guy who calls Christians a "Blood/Death Cult" gets to lecture everyone about the merits of "kindness"...

Anonymous Sigyn November 15, 2013 11:11 AM  

I urge you to take note of just how easily the deceiving members of the Blood/Death cult imagine ways to hurt others when confronted with simple calls for kindness:

Translation: "You have no business noticing that the negative things you listed have all been not only done, but openly condoned by subscribers to my worldview."

Attempt at blame-shifting and mischaracterization of opponents...ongoing.

Anonymous Sigyn November 15, 2013 11:14 AM  

Give it a rest Sigyn, go take a nap already.

Your concerns for my health are touching.

Anonymous Roger Tutor November 15, 2013 11:17 AM  

Dear TS:

Please take note again of how the Members of the Death/Blood Cult here ridicule the very idea of kindness:

"I like how the guy who calls Christians a "Blood/Death Cult" gets to lecture everyone about the merits of "kindness"...

Kindness is not something that Christians put first or even anywhere near the top of the list of life's pursuits. Rather is is for them something to put quotation marks around.

If you finally are able to muster the reason, rationality, good sense and self respect to throw off the shackles of the Death Cult of Christianity, you will find you no longer are burdened by associating yourself with this kind disrespect for kindness and good acts.

Anonymous Stickwick November 15, 2013 11:18 AM  

Screwtape sez: You only need to dismiss these fools, conjurers and sophists and breath on your own. The air is quite nice up hear. Don't foul your brain and mind by dwelling with them down in the ditch of sorrow, lies and despair.

By their multitudes of spelling errors shall ye know them.

The fool speaks bitterly of Cults of Death, but his worldview ultimately has nothing to offer the struggling believer but everlasting death. He does not recognize the irony of offering temporary joy and the illusion of meaning in a finite existence that ultimately ends in annihilation. Eat, drink and be merry, gentlemen, for tomorrow we cease to exist.

Blogger Giraffe November 15, 2013 11:20 AM  

Roger doesn't believe there is such thing as evil, so you could just as well do anything you want to people and call it kindness.

Anonymous Sigyn November 15, 2013 11:21 AM  

Kindness is not something that Christians put first or even anywhere near the top of the list of life's pursuits. Rather is is for them something to put quotation marks around.

Unreasonable construction of others' words used to mischaracterize demonstrated beliefs and practices of opposing system.

Value his "arguments" at their true worth, TS.

Anonymous Sensei November 15, 2013 11:23 AM  

TS, a turning point in my struggles with occasional strong doubt came when God helped me see that the doubts were very manifestly coming in from outside. I.e., I wasn't really doubting, I was being attacked with doubting thoughts that didn't even make sense once I analyzed them rationally. I then realized that the doubts themselves were proof that what I was being tempted to doubt was actually true. One need only ask the question "if not from myself, from where/whom would attacks of ultimately nonsensical doubts be coming?" to realize the worldview Scripture presents is indeed reality.

Similarly, one thing that points to the truth of the gospel (and Vox's excellent post supporting this) is how suddenly opposition will pop out of nowhere to condemn it. When you argue powerfully for the existence of God (and by connection satan), the immediate, mocking (and somehow vaguely sulphur-scented) attacks that rise up should not dissuade anyone, but rather suggest they're right on track.

Eventually, I became convinced that what I was sensing was malice. I couldn’t see it, or hear it or smell it but whatever it was it hated me with a terrible intensity. MendoScott

I have experienced exactly this thing, repeatedly. It happened a lot when I was moving into full-time ministry. The sudden presence of cold rage and malice had me wondering what on earth was wrong with me until I realized that, on the contrary, it was that I was a servant of God trying to follow His will as best I could see it... and was hated for it.

Once you realize you really are fighting a war against an enemy you can't see, you stop seriously doubting either the Scripture that told you about that enemy, or about the God whose presence becomes ever clearer as you know Him.

Anonymous Tlu November 15, 2013 11:25 AM  

Roger claims there is no such thing as evil and yet talks about good as though it could exist without its opposite.

Interesting...

Anonymous Roger Tutor November 15, 2013 11:26 AM  

Dear TS,

You must beware anyone who offers you life after death. It's the wise man who understands that remarkable promises of magic, of piles of gold, of immortality and of perfection are in fact nothing more than invitations to live outside reality. Christianity is no different than cocaine and heroin and the Christian no different than the cocaine or herion addict. They believe in order to escape reality.

There is life and there is death. What matters is what happens in between. These deceiving Christians try to tell you that meaning only comes AFTER death, when yo will live forever. Nothing lives forever.

Dislodge yourself from your christian hiding place and step out into the light of reality. Don't believe the fantastic promises that are too good to be true.

Simply live a good life, help others, cherish the life you have. Take time to love others that have earned your love. You don't need a Death Cult of Blood Cult to do this.

Anonymous complexgeometry November 15, 2013 11:27 AM  

Eat, drink and be merry, gentlemen, for tomorrow we cease to exist.

On the other hand, what do you have to offer?

Fill your head with apparitions of angels and devils, wrestle with arcane interpretations and misinterpretations, and interpretations of interpretations! Walk the path or burn in hell! Spend your life whipping yourself into shape, for your death! Share meat and mead with your fellow believers, and don't forget the hollow incantations that hint at a doubt so profound it's more dreadful than the most shallow atheism!

Blogger Desiderius November 15, 2013 11:28 AM  

Roger Tutor,

Ok, ok, I'll step into the van if you'll give me the candy. Just don't try any funny stuff - I wasn't born yesterday, you know. You wouldn't happen to have a mess of pottage in there would you? Candy doesn't agree with me on an empty stomach...

Anonymous Sigyn November 15, 2013 11:28 AM  

Roger doesn't believe there is such thing as evil, so you could just as well do anything you want to people and call it kindness.

Which is why I said it's all "goodfeels". He's provided nothing else, just "be nice to people", by whatever metric your immediate neighbors describe "nice".

In the meantime, he's slandering Christians right and left, and knows very well he's doing it. Apparently honesty is not part of his concept of morality. His neighborhood must be pretty crappy. Maybe he lives in Chicago or D.C.

Anonymous VanDerMerwe November 15, 2013 11:29 AM  

Lud said:

"DNA is not a language. its a set of bio structures to which we assign letters out of convenience."

Of course we name adenine, cytosine etc different names, based on the structures of the bases. But duh, this does not stop these 4 bases representing different amino acids, promotor regions, punctutation and the like in a form of programming language which codes for amino acids, and then proteins and then larger structures which make up cells and the extracellular matrix around them, all to yield organs and tissues and finally the complete organism. Duh.

Blogger Desiderius November 15, 2013 11:29 AM  

"the hollow incantations"

They told me they would be hollow, but oddly enough they're not. That tricksy empiricism - never know where its going to lead...

Blogger Desiderius November 15, 2013 11:31 AM  

"Nothing lives forever."

Yes, indeed you do, which is why the fight is never over, though it is already won in the end.

Anonymous Anonymous November 15, 2013 11:35 AM  

TS, if you became an Atheist, do you think you would no longer have any doubts?

Faith and doubt are just a part/fact of life, at a certain level you have to accept them, and your world view really isn’t even relevant when it comes to that.

Perhaps it may help for you to not focus on the fact that you have doubts (you always will), but to focus on where you should put your faith, because no matter what your decision is, you are going to have to make one.

My guess is you have worked yourself into a depression trying to fight a battle that can’t be won. If you thought you could one day eliminate doubt, I am afraid you are wrong. I think you can get to the point you have very little doubt, but that takes time, it is not some magic thing that happens suddenly, I would guess that is why you want to “see” God and “talk” to God, in your mind you want to remove all doubt, instantly, I humbly submit to you, for the VAST majority of people, it doesn’t work like that.

Anonymous Athor Pel November 15, 2013 11:37 AM  

"Carlotta November 15, 2013 9:56 AM
...
What Bible do you use? @ Athor Pel"



The translation is New American Standard Version.
I don't remember the publisher. I'll look at it once I get off work.

The middle column contains two things with either letter or number references back to the word or verse; first are scripture references for things mentioned multiple times over the span of multiple books, second are the alternate or expanded translations of single words or phrases.

The text itself denotes with italics which words are not literally in the original Hebrew or Greek but were added by the English translators for clarity of meaning. Sometimes it makes no difference in meaning, sometimes it can make a big difference, not usually in core meaning but definitely in connected meanings or implications.

It's a red letter Bible with all the words spoken directly by Jesus in red.

The index is mediocre.

It does not contain Strong's numbers.


But here's the thing, if I want to go deep I go to my copy of eSword.



Here's a repost of a previous comment.
______________


Another source for digital bibles is E-Sword.

www.e-sword.net

Lots of translations available.

Text is available in the original languages as well.

Their free viewing tool allows all kinds of searches. You will not be limited to just a premade index.

Strong's numbers are provided.

Side by side comparison of different translations and languages is possible.

It's shareware.

But if it is useful I encourage giving a donation.

Anonymous Roger Tutor November 15, 2013 11:38 AM  

TS:

When you finally decide to scrape off the scab of the Death Cult, they will tell you that you will have no moral bearings:

"Roger doesn't believe there is such thing as evil, so you could just as well do anything you want to people and call it kindness."

Laugh at this claim as it deserves no more. And when they make the claim again, remind them that their Death Cult has endorsed slavery, the subjugation of women, the torture of non believers, and worse.

Laugh at them for this claim and ask them what they will do when they are convinced their god tells them to kill small children for no other reason than that they are told to.

Laugh at them for their claims of the existence of some sort of objective good and objective evil and then condemn them for not ever attempting to think on their own.

You know in your heart that their claims can't be true. You known in your heart that good will is defined by supporting the well being of your fellow man.

Leave the games to the members of the Death/Blood cult. They will only lead you into a wasted life.

Blogger Desiderius November 15, 2013 11:40 AM  

Lord Abacus,

Your tone is greatly appreciated and exhibits much wisdom.

"If you reject Theism, you will have to embrace imperfection"

Here, though, you mistake the essence of Theism. It is (only) in the context of God that man's imperfection can be safely, and thus honestly, embraced. Without God, history shows it to be too terrifying a concept. Perhaps you are the exception that proves the rule. The rule stands.

Anonymous Sigyn November 15, 2013 11:40 AM  

You must beware anyone who offers you life after death. It's the wise man who understands that remarkable promises of magic, of piles of gold, of immortality and of perfection are in fact nothing more than invitations to live outside reality.

Unsupported implication that any of those things are unattainable by any means.

Christianity is no different than cocaine and heroin and the Christian no different than the cocaine or herion addict.

Analogy unsupported by reality. Drug addicts are incapable of ordinary societal function. Christians constructed the society.

They believe in order to escape reality.

Alternate reality unproven by other than Roger's assertions.

There is life and there is death. What matters is what happens in between. These deceiving Christians try to tell you that meaning only comes AFTER death, when yo will live forever.

Mischaracterization of tenets of opposing belief system.

Nothing lives forever.

Assertion unsupported by other than Roger's insistence.

Dislodge yourself from your christian hiding place and step out into the light of reality. Don't believe the fantastic promises that are too good to be true.

Demonstrates inability to separate the truth of a proposition from its appeal.

Simply live a good life,

Metric not provided at this time.

cherish the life you have.

Scientific evidence provided indicates that advertised belief system inhibits one's ability to do this. Scientific evidence is ignored by this assertion.

Take time to love others that have earned your love.

Parasitic approach to love indicated by requiring others to carry out acts of love to merit them in return. Implied promise that this exchange will occur.


Why does he have to make this so easy? It's starting to get boring.

Anonymous Tex November 15, 2013 11:40 AM  

"These deceiving Christians try to tell you that meaning only comes AFTER death"

Roger: You never addressed my question about John 10:10.

I will now ask you again, and I KINDLY ask you to reply:

Are you saying Christ lied -- that He was dishonest about His promise that we "may have life, and have it to the full"? (per John 10:10)

Blogger Desiderius November 15, 2013 11:41 AM  

"When you finally decide to scrape off the scab of the Death Cult"

Be sure to let us know when you decide to do so, not holding my breath...

Blogger Giraffe November 15, 2013 11:42 AM  

My biggest hurdle in my mind right now is the fact that you can't see God. You come across as very intelligent so I ask you personally: what helped you get past the fact that you can't see God or hear from him.

God is like the wind. You can't see him, but you can see his effects.

The universe being the most obvious effect. Science shows the universe had a beginning. That which begins to exist has a cause. It follows that the cause has to be nonphysical, timeless, spaceless, and powerful, since space, time and energy/matter all came into existence in the beginning.

Anonymous Stickwick November 15, 2013 11:49 AM  

Screwtape deceives: What matters is what happens in between.

Death renders the in-between meaningless. You will cease to exist. Everyone who ever knew you will cease to exist. All memory of you and your in-between will cease to exist. There is no such thing as meaning in this hollow Cult of Annihilation.

These deceiving Christians try to tell you that meaning only comes AFTER death, when yo will live forever. Nothing lives forever.

As Vox has repeatedly admonished, do not take theology lessons from these fools, for they literally have no idea what they're talking about.

Christians do not tell you that meaning only comes after death. Christians tell you there is meaning because something comes after death.

Blogger RobertT November 15, 2013 11:50 AM  

" ...theoretically observable effects on the other side of it."

Chaos theory ... the butterfly effect.

You can't see your mind, nor pain, nor elation, nor any of the emotions that differentiate us from anything else ever created.

Regarding your statement about blaming God for everything that goes wrong on Earth, people who think like that have taken absolutely no effort to learn even the barest fundamentals about the Christian faith, or have even the barest understanding why Christ came to earth and sacrificed himself. These people are sitting in a vacuum seeking no outside information and making fundamental decisions that will affect their survival forever relying on their feelings, which, by the way, they cannot see. How egotistical is that?

Anonymous Sigyn November 15, 2013 11:51 AM  

Finally, Roger has a complete meltdown, attempting to subject opposing belief system to derision, for no reason other than failing to measure up to the moral standards of his own, which thus far remain undefined and unexplained beyond generic "kindness", being nice to people who proved themselves worthy, and blatantly slandering anyone who dares disagree with him.

He has failed to prove the truth of his own beliefs, but expects it to be adopted nonetheless on the strength of his assurances that it is true. The same is true of his assertions regarding opposing belief systems, expecting them to be adopted wholesale without providing evidence. He appeals to emotion and how adopting his beliefs will cure you of feeling sad.

I wouldn't have pointed these things out except that he keeps using the word "cult". I'm not sure he fully grasps how that works.

Anonymous Jed November 15, 2013 11:55 AM  

The choice comes down: Put your faith in the words of God Himself... or or put your faith in the words of Roger The Typical Atheist Troll.

Another day, another bore.

Anonymous VD November 15, 2013 11:56 AM  

Evidence is defined in the dictionary, you must mean "define convincing evidence".

No, I was actually seeking to understand if you grasped the difference between "evidence" and "scientific evidence". You do, that's good.

Now, what do you consider "convincing evidence"? There is no such thing as "a tall order"; that would imply that different levels of evidence are required for different concepts, which is intrinsically illogical.

Give us an example, such as what you consider to be "convincing evidence" that Abraham Lincoln was the president of the United States and died after being assassinated?

Roger Tutor, if you don't answer the questions that are directed to you, your comments will be spammed. Those are the rules of the blog. Please either abide by them or stop commenting.

Anonymous Roger Tutor November 15, 2013 11:56 AM  

DEAR TS:

Please take note of the obtuse and bizarre questions that members of the Blood cult demand others answer:

"Are you saying Christ lied -- that He was dishonest about His promise that we "may have life, and have it to the full"? (per John 10:10)"

My only response and the only rational response to such a query by a Blood Cult Members is that if Jesus offered life after death he was either delusional or a liar; that if he promised due only to his coming one may have life, the he was delusional.

TS, you do not need to rely on delusions to have a good life.

Anonymous Wild Bill November 15, 2013 11:59 AM  

TS, it is common for skeptics to ask, "why doesn't God just appear to us right now so we can believe?" Recently I heard a very good response from Pastor Bill Johnson of Bethel Church. He replied, "Because if God appeared now we would all worship him. He doesn't want involuntary worship. God wants people who choose to worship Him."

God is so holy that the Bible says every knee will bow down to him on the final day. His holiness keeps him from revealing himself to us right now - but for our own good. Not that He doesn't manifest himself in many ways from time to time though (theophanies).

Anonymous Lord Abacus November 15, 2013 12:06 PM  

Desiderius,

I was beginning to think my remarks were wholly uncontroversial, which would have been disappointing. What I meant by embracing imperfection is that the honest nonbeliever has to come to terms with the fact that perfection cannot be found ANYWHERE, whereas the Christian must merely acknowledge the imperfection of man (and all things of this world, for that matter). It may be true that no human society is yet ready to live based on this principle. Either way, that doesn't much help TS in his personal struggle.

I would add that a wholly evolutionary view of man's origins would honestly, and I would even argue safely, imply that man is imperfect and imperfectible. Misuses of Darwin may lead to the horrific social phenomena that we have witnessed. But if I really believe that man's nature and origin is biological, I must believe that he, like every other organism, is born with certain capacities, none of which are limitless.

Anonymous Stickwick November 15, 2013 12:06 PM  

Screwtape obfuscates: My only response and the only rational response to such a query by a Blood Cult Members is that if Jesus offered life after death he was either delusional or a liar; that if he promised due only to his coming one may have life, the he was delusional.

What evidence does the Cult of Annihilation present that Jesus lied?

Anonymous Athor Pel November 15, 2013 12:10 PM  

"
Wild Bill November 15, 2013 11:59 AM

TS, it is common for skeptics to ask, "why doesn't God just appear to us right now so we can believe?" Recently I heard a very good response from Pastor Bill Johnson of Bethel Church. He replied, "Because if God appeared now we would all worship him. He doesn't want involuntary worship. God wants people who choose to worship Him."

God is so holy that the Bible says every knee will bow down to him on the final day. His holiness keeps him from revealing himself to us right now - but for our own good. Not that He doesn't manifest himself in many ways from time to time though (theophanies)."




Naw, if God showed up all non-Christians would die on the spot because unrepentant and uncovered sin cannot exist in His presence.

Can't very well get dead people to accept Jesus as savior now can you?


Another repost:
____________________________
Here is why God doesn't talk to us directly. Israel couldn't stand it. They said it would kill them. God agreed. He said He would send prophets from then on.


Deuteronomy 18 (New American Standard Bible)

15 “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him. 16 This is according to all that you asked of the Lord your God in Horeb on the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, let me not see this great fire anymore, or I will die.’ 17 The Lord said to me, ‘They have spoken well. 18 I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. 19 It shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him. 20 But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.’ 21 You may say in your heart, ‘How will we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?’ 22 When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.

_______________________

I also found :

Numbers 12

New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Murmuring of Miriam and Aaron

12 Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married (for he had married a Cushite woman); 2 and they said, “Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses? Has He not spoken through us as well?” And the Lord heard it. 3 (Now the man Moses was very humble, more than any man who was on the face of the earth.) 4 Suddenly the Lord said to Moses and Aaron and to Miriam, “You three come out to the tent of meeting.” So the three of them came out. 5 Then the Lord came down in a pillar of cloud and stood at the doorway of the tent, and He called [a]Aaron and Miriam. When they had both come forward, 6 He said,

“Hear now My words:
If there is a prophet among you,
I, the Lord, shall make Myself known to him in a vision.
I shall speak with him in a dream.
7 “Not so, with My servant Moses,
He is faithful in all My household;
8 With him I speak mouth to mouth,
Even openly, and not in dark sayings,
And he beholds the form of the Lord.
Why then were you not afraid
To speak against My servant, against Moses?”
____________________________

Blogger Unknown November 15, 2013 12:14 PM  

"Those dogmas and creeds are the products of many men asking God what He wants and trying to understand the answers. Some may be tainted with self-serving over time, but whether the interpretations are correct or not, you have no business spitting on those men for exercising their human faculties of intellectual curiosity, reason, and devotion to something greater than themselves. They used/use their brains more than you've ever demonstrated you do."


I m not spitting on anyone...I m saying basically what you re all saying...this whole thing only makes sense when you don't think about it. But my point here is that every single religious creed calls itself THE TRUTH...hell even you particular brand of spiritual Vodka has been sharding into multiple sects ever since day one and since truth is singular they cant all be right...but they can all be wrong and that's pretty much where the safe money is at this point. you have the exact same reason to believe or not believe Christianity as you do Hinduism. And DNA isent a language...its a chemical structure.

Anonymous CS Looney November 15, 2013 12:17 PM  

"that if Jesus offered life after death he was either delusional or a liar; that if he promised due only to his coming one may have life, the he was delusional." <<-- Liar, Lunatic, or Lord.

Blogger Giraffe November 15, 2013 12:19 PM  

you have the exact same reason to believe or not believe Christianity as you do Hinduism.

I don't think the evidence for Hinduism is the same as for Christianity.

And DNA isent a language...its a chemical structure.

It is a specific chemical structure. It is analogous to a language.

Anonymous Athor Pel November 15, 2013 12:20 PM  

" Roger Tutor November 15, 2013 11:56 AM
...
My only response and the only rational response to such a query by a Blood Cult Members is that if Jesus offered life after death he was either delusional or a liar; that if he promised due only to his coming one may have life, the he was delusional.
..."




So you admit that you believe that when you die, that's you Roger Tutor, there will be nothing else; no life after death for you?

And you call believers in Jesus, Jesus who promises life after death, a death cult.

That's funny.


Just so we are clear here.

Roger Tutor offers death and only an earthly existence before that final death.

Jesus offers life eternal and life more abundantly now and after this body dies.

Good luck with that Roger.

Blogger Unknown November 15, 2013 12:21 PM  

"TS, it is common for skeptics to ask, "why doesn't God just appear to us right now so we can believe?" Recently I heard a very good response from Pastor Bill Johnson of Bethel Church. He replied, "Because if God appeared now we would all worship him. He doesn't want involuntary worship. God wants people who choose to worship Him."


yeah...your pastor needs to realize that worship by definition is always voluntary...people might be awed by the physical presence of God but being awed and worshipping aren't the same thing

Blogger Unknown November 15, 2013 12:24 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous Christian in Hollyweird November 15, 2013 12:27 PM  

Read the Gospels. Pray to God, and ask Him to open your eyes. Do everything Vox said.

If all else fails, drop acid and watch the sunrise.

Around 5 hits will quickly disabuse you of your materialistic notions.

(yes im being facetious i dont actually recommend tripping due to the possibility of demonic encounters and/or false revelation)

Blogger Unknown November 15, 2013 12:29 PM  

"I don't think the evidence for Hinduism is the same as for Christianity."

evidence isent what convinces people to practice their respective faith.

"It is a specific chemical structure. It is analogous to a language."

every chemical structure is a specific chemical structure and they can all be said to be analogous to language and for he same reason...because WE assign the analogy for the sake of convenience

Anonymous Stickwick November 15, 2013 12:29 PM  

When one's philosophy of life is more laughable than something from The Onion, it's probably time to give it up:

Six months after deciding his life was just too hard and fleeing over the border to Ethiopia, cowardly Eritrean man Ismael Semed continues to hide from his problems at the Berahle refugee camp, sources confirmed this week. ...

Sources went on to report that Semed, a big crybaby widower who shouldn’t be using the murder of his wife and children as an excuse to just utterly give up, would rather live off humanitarian handouts for the rest of his life than snap out of it and get his act together.

“Ismael needs to realize that everyone faces challenges in their lives, and that you can’t just pull a blanket over your head and expect someone else to take care of everything for you,” said State Department official John Pollard, who echoed the sentiments of all those familiar with Semed by asserting that the oversensitive refugee needs to “suck it up” and “grow a pair.” “When my computer died, I lost everything. But I didn’t turn tail and run 100 miles to a United Nations relief camp just because things didn’t go my way. No, I went to Best Buy and bought an external hard drive so it wouldn’t happen again.”


This is only slightly less preposterous than offering the life-affirming philosophy of a privileged Westerner as an existential balm for the woes of this world. Semed, buddy, there is life and there is death. What matters is what happens in between.

Anonymous Sigyn November 15, 2013 12:31 PM  

I m not spitting on anyone...I m saying basically what you re all saying...this whole thing only makes sense when you don't think about it.

On the contrary. It only doesn't make sense if you give it only a cursory consideration and then proceed to rationalize your lack of intellectual curiosity by turning the images into cartoons. Like you.

But my point here is that every single religious creed calls itself THE TRUTH...

Including yours, whatever it is. Insisting that there is no Truth is a claim of THE TRUTH.

hell even you particular brand of spiritual Vodka

Analogy fail. Christianity built society. Drugs/alcohol impair one's ability to function in it.

has been sharding into multiple sects ever since day one and since truth is singular they cant all be right...but they can all be wrong and that's pretty much where the safe money is at this point.

And yet they continue to agree on certain central tenets.

you have the exact same reason to believe or not believe Christianity as you do Hinduism.

Nope. The evidences for the truth of Christianity vary wildly from the evidences for the truth of Hinduism. If you had taken more than a brief glance at them (you know, without your smug hipster certainty that anything "mainstream" is lame-o), you'd understand this. But it's more fun to argue from ignorance, isn't it?

And DNA isent a language...its a chemical structure.

That somehow, magically, transmits information anyway. But if you keep saying it, maybe it'll come true.

Anonymous Anonymous November 15, 2013 12:32 PM  

"Empirical mysticism isn't a path I would recommend for everyone, but the excessively logical often struggle with the reality of the mystery. They simply cannot accept that Man is not capable of formulating the questions, let alone finding the answers. That is why allowing themselves to experience and accept the manifold mysteries of life, the universe, and everything can be necessary for them to permit themselves to be convicted of things not seen"

"The Maniac" in Chesterton's Orthodoxy goes into some depth on that subject.

T.S. when I was struggling much as you are, I found Lewis' description of his conversion from atheism to be instructive--. Not so much in the particulars--as my process of conversion was not his--but in the description of his wrestling with the issue and the very real pain and confusion we experience during our conviction of sin, repentance, trust (neigh impossible for me) and rebirth.

Another wonderful thing about becoming a Christian is the individuality of it. Nobody can do it for me. I have to do it. It doesn't make a damn bit of difference what others think or do. I have to see with my own eyes, hear with my own ears, think for myself--but its also more real than that in a way that can only be conveyed by metaphor and parable until one meets God.

And yes, knock and He will answer. During my conversion, I was so confused and disoriented I could only pray 'God, if you are there, knock-knock".

But, you have to do the talking to God--even if you doubt He is there. Nobody can do it for you, no argument or reason can take its place. Its just you and God.



Blogger Giraffe November 15, 2013 12:32 PM  

every chemical structure is a specific structure and all of them can be said to be analogous to language and for the same reason....because WE assign the analogy for the sake of convenience.

Right. So now it is a dog is a pig is a boy is a....rock? Nothing special about DNA is there? Just chemistry. Someone must have replaced a few sequences in yours.

Anonymous Christian in Hollyweird November 15, 2013 12:33 PM  

blood cult member thats all you got? weve been called cannibals since the first century. do get some new material, satan.

Anonymous Sigyn November 15, 2013 12:34 PM  

evidence isent what convinces people to practice their respective faith.

There you're right. Evidence alone is not enough for faith. You have to be willing to accept it and embrace the implications, to yourself and to everything. As long as you are unwilling, then no amount of evidence will convince you of anything.

But the truth of a thing...ah, that is something else.

Anonymous Toby Temple November 15, 2013 12:37 PM  

When was the last time a blog post here summoned such clowns?

Blogger Kentucky Packrat November 15, 2013 12:37 PM  

Roger: Laugh at them for this claim and ask them what they will do when they are convinced their god tells them to kill small children for no other reason than that they are told to.

Roger, why is it evil to kill small children?

Now, don't start with the blustering of "see, he's a member of the blood cult" crap. You're making the assertion here that I don't know why it's wrong to be commanded to kill small children. So, time to put up: without referring to God, your feelings, or any part of Judeo-Christian ethics, why is it wrong to kill children?

The problem Roger is that you are a moral parasite. You are incapable of defining right and wrong, good and evil, without the backing of the Judeo-Christian moral system you condemn with your mouth but have soaked into your very conscience like a sponge. You are like a goldfish in a pond, laughing because the coral catfish believes that there is something called "water" surrounding all fish.

You criticize your opponents as "unthinking" and simplistic, when it's you who have accepted your opponents' moral code as your own, and are incapable of articulating a single reason to believe your own position.

Heck, you are so cocky you don't even realize how poor your arguments are. I can argue for materialism better than you can, and I've never been an atheist. Many of the ilk have been non-Christians before, and have argued better than you. We aren't so stupid that we can't comprehend your argument; we are so experienced with this subject that we think your argument is beneath contempt.

I'd prefer you come back a Christian, but at the very least, come back when you can actually argue what you think you believe.

And just so you can't criticize me on this: Judaism and Christianity both recognize that God can command nations and governments to take actions that, when done by individuals, would violate legal and moral restrictions. When an individual takes a life, it's murder. When a state does so, it can be justice. In the Old Testament, Israel wasn't given full-time police, so a relative of the murdered person was deputized to seek justice in the spilling of blood, but even then there were restrictions and the potential to remove the license.

God used Israel to exact His judgement upon several nations in Canaan, all of whom had been warned. (The people of Jericho knew fully well why Israel was camped at its door, and were afraid but NOT repentant.) God used Babylon and Rome to punish Israel. IMHO, God even used the Soviet Union to punish Nazi Germany, and then the US to punish the Soviet Union.

If the Lord God of Israel is the Creator God, then He has the power, authority, and right to say "I give you X seconds of life, and no more". Those children did not lose anything that they hadn't been given in the first place. (Now, I happen to believe that, being under the age of responsibility, that they will be in Paradise after judgement. You don't believe in that, though.)

Materialists like you preciously cling to something even you admit is worthless. You hold cheap plastic beads in your hand, bragging about your shining pearl to the entire world. It's the Christian who (gladly or reluctantly) trades his beads in for true jewelry, both in this life and the next.

Anonymous Jed November 15, 2013 12:38 PM  

some of you dudes are "on fire" today... watching Proverbs 26:4-5 in action is pretty sweet. I think Roger has triangle-choked himself out a few times already!

Blogger Giraffe November 15, 2013 12:42 PM  

God even used the Soviet Union to punish Nazi Germany, and then the US to punish the Soviet Union.

And then the US to punish the US.

Blogger Unknown November 15, 2013 12:44 PM  

"Including yours, whatever it is. Insisting that there is no Truth is a claim of THE TRUTH."

I didn't say there is no truth...I said that truth is singular and that only one truth claim can be correct but that ALL truth claim can be incorrect.

"Analogy fail. Christianity built society. Drugs/alcohol impair one's ability to function in it."

figure of speech.

"And yet they continue to agree on certain central tenets."

just enough that they can be said to still broadly belong to the same religion but not enough to inspire confidence that the central tenets they agree on is THE truth.

"That somehow, magically, transmits information anyway. But if you keep saying it, maybe it'll come true."

its a structure that distribute the chemicals in the cell and there's nothing magical about it.



Blogger Unknown November 15, 2013 12:53 PM  

"There you're right. Evidence alone is not enough for faith. You have to be willing to accept it and embrace the implications, to yourself and to everything. As long as you are unwilling, then no amount of evidence will convince you of anything."

Faith is the accepting of a given proposition REGARDLESS of the presence or absence of supporting evidence because the proposition appeals to you on an emotional level which is what makes it such a terrible means of objective truth discovery.

But the truth of a thing...ah, that is something else.

Anonymous Jed November 15, 2013 12:56 PM  

I have no faith in Lud's definition of faith. I lack Pistis in Lud's definition.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pistis

Blogger Giraffe November 15, 2013 12:57 PM  

Faith is the accepting of a given proposition REGARDLESS of the presence or absence of supporting evidence because the proposition appeals to you on an emotional level which is what makes it such a terrible means of objective truth discovery.

Well, maybe that's what faith is to an atheist, but most people don't have that much faith.

Anonymous Sigyn November 15, 2013 1:03 PM  

Well, I need to go clean up a mess Fenris made and then find some lunch. So I'll be taking off for a bit.

On topic:

TS, I hear you. I'm depressed, too--for different reasons, but the effects are the same. Because the beauty has gone out of life, you start to question everything you think you believe, and you are more inclined to doubt that there is anything good and true. It's odd how the human mind functions--we aren't perfectly rational after all, but at war with our own flesh--but there it is. Reason actually means less to us in these moments than it does when we are more energetic, cheerful, and joyful, so it may or may not help you right now.

You can get stuck in an endless feedback loop of doubt and misery, spiraling deeper with no end in sight. It has its bizarre satisfactions at times, too, so it can be hard to even want to pull out of.

TS, you know whether you rationally and intellectually accept the existence of God or not. If you are a theist, then you have seen enough evidence to convince you. Don't confuse your immediate experience with reason. You may think you're rational right now, but you are not. You are tired and you are arguably ill. Your mind is not right. You are more susceptible to emotional appeals than to reason.

Come back to these questions when you are able to see clearly. Don't dwell on them TODAY. Get out of this dark place you're in first, clear away the clutter, and then you will see better whether these things are true. Like Vox said, get out and experience Creation. You may not enjoy it right now, but be open.

We are not given to understand everything perfectly today. None of us may ever understand perfectly. But that doesn't mean that the things we believe are false!

I'll be praying for you, TS. You pray for you, too. Faith, true faith (which is living, not just believing), is a gift from God. It's not something we generate entirely by ourselves; we have to receive it, and be willing to receive it. Ask Him for it, and be willing to receive it.

Anonymous christian in hollyweird November 15, 2013 1:05 PM  

You will find everlasting love—When You Die!
You will be with God—When You Die


God, love, and eternal life exists now in the hearts of his believers. For they have already died.

You were saved because a person—Was mutilated and Died on a Cross

You were saved because that man was innocent - and because he took your place.

You are to worship—A Sadistic God with Blood On His Hands

The blood is on your hands. You whipped him, you nailed his hands and feet to the cross. But Jesus let you, because he knew it was your sins that were being crucified. He layed down his life for you because of his great love.

Dude, it's pretty simple. You are sick, and your heart is evil. You have cut yourself off from your Creator. Forever. You are going to hell. You deserve to be mutilated and crucified and scorned as a common criminal. But God came down to earth and lived the perfect life you should have lived and died the death you deserved to die. Then He rose from the dead. Repent and accept Christ as your savior so that you may have eternal life in fellowship with God.

Anonymous the bandit November 15, 2013 1:10 PM  

From his very first comment, I couldn't help but wonder whether taking Roger Tutor seriously runs afoul of Poe's Law. He's just too perfect.

its a structure that distribute the chemicals in the cell and there's nothing magical about it.

Creating and fostering life is pretty magical, if you ask me.

Language is just a structure that distributes meaning between organisms. Convincingly casting DNA as "not a language, just chemicals" requires more than simply repeating the assertion that we're just linguomorphizing chemicals. You would have to define language in a way to which it's definition properly encapsulates language while not applying to DNA. Please do so, for I would like to see you try.

Anonymous Sigyn November 15, 2013 1:11 PM  

Oh, and guys? Don't ask Roger what the content of his personal cult is. He doesn't know, either. It's just vague ideas about niceness to people you like, helping people you like, liking people you like, and not doing things your neighbors would think are Not Done. Honesty isn't a thing for him, so you won't get an honest answer out of him.

But the one thing he does know is that he doesn't like us, so that makes us Very Bad People, and he'll prove it by making up anything he has to in order to show a complete stranger that he's Good People.

He's doing exactly what Vox said atheists would do, if TS just watched them long enough.

Anonymous the bandit November 15, 2013 1:13 PM  

Well, maybe that's what faith is to an atheist, but most people don't have that much faith.

Always with the concise, witty, and yet deep retort, Giraffe! *hat tip*

Anonymous CS Looney November 15, 2013 1:20 PM  

"Do you need any other reason to drop this malignant tumor of a cult? "

Sounds like a call to mass murder ... why do you support the mass murder of Christians, Roger?

Is this how you demonstrate your kindness ... by labeling Christian as "tumor" -- i.e. a cancer to be cut out?

Anonymous Carlotta November 15, 2013 1:20 PM  

Without judging others who describe their communication with God, we need to read and understand the history of God's interaction with people. It is characterized by long periods of silence, punctuated by divine action and fleeting (often cryptic) communication. Are God's words from Isaiah 57 describing a source of your doubt?

"You are evil" -Jesus

@ Hoots

Provide chapter and verse for what you have said from the Bible. PUOSU


Blogger Giraffe November 15, 2013 1:23 PM  

Thanks, bandit.

Roger is going to get spammed, because he won't answer VD's question. Lud is still a Luddite. This is a pretty lively thread for a Friday.

I hope TS finds what he seeks, and Sigyn feels better.

Anonymous Anonymous November 15, 2013 1:24 PM  

This is one of the most moving and eloquent posts I've read at this blog in more than four years.

Agreed. Other than my thanks, I have nothing to offer except this: Once you understand that evil -- real, intelligent, personified evil -- exists and has its foot-soldiers in this world, look around to see what they hate the most, what they attack most virulently and consistently. There you will find God and His faithful.

Anonymous Carlotta November 15, 2013 1:25 PM  

Thanks AP.

Anonymous TWS November 15, 2013 1:27 PM  

May just be my biased Christian perspective but I don't think you gain anything by 'being nice to the people I like'.

I think the death cultists are supposed to, "love thy neighbor" and "be a light to the world".

Wormwood can't help himself, even the demons in Hell say Jesus is Lord. And they tremble.

Anonymous vandermerwe November 15, 2013 1:29 PM  

Roger Tutor, the most evil regimes, when it comes to suppression of open minded thinking, principled action and actions based on ones' conscience, were atheist regimes, run by dedicated atheists (and anti-theists) and staffed by atheism indoctrinated foot soldiers. By contrast you raise some unrealistic notion of Christians calling for the killing of children, which has no basis in reality, all in all despite the mostly atheist sanctioned murders via abortion and Communist atheists did not mind killing large numbers of children either. Even today we see atheist North Korea, a perfectly atheist utopia, with apologies to Thomas Moore, which presents itself as a great example of hell on earth.

Anonymous vandermerwe November 15, 2013 1:34 PM  

I just don't see the justification in atheism per se to be nice to anybody. I do see Jesus command to "Love They Neighbour" and even Love thy Enemy. I just don't see anything logical following atheism which would demand that. And in life we've seen millions of examples of atheists, when given enough power, acting in most inhuman ways. Even if Christianity were false, it would be a beautiful ideology worth pursuing because it creates beautiful ideals, of love, justice, self sacrifice for the good of others, etc.

Blogger JartStar November 15, 2013 1:35 PM  

Walk away from the Death Cult, the Blood Cult, and come into the light of reason and happiness.

This is approaching a parody.

Anonymous Krul November 15, 2013 1:36 PM  

This reminds me of a time when I was struggling with my faith, right after college.

It just so happened that a spider made a very large and impressive web in the doorway of my shed. When I saw the web I was struck by the shear immensity of the project from the point of view of the tiny spider (I had studied engineering, you see). I realized that the spider couldn't think. It didn't examine the area, calculated the right quantity of web, create a blueprint or plan its actions like a human would.

Acting on mere blind instinct, the spider was able to construct and make use of an engineering marvel to provide for itself and its children. The spider couldn't hope to conceive of such a construct, much less build one, yet there it was in all its glory. Here, I thought, is the hand of God acting through the lowly spider. What wonderous things does His hand create through us?

Blogger JartStar November 15, 2013 1:38 PM  

run with the simplest explanation and you'll live a better life, a happier life and more productive life, your depression will disappear and you will be a better man.

Why do you hate science?

Anonymous TWS November 15, 2013 1:38 PM  

Direct question Roger Tudor, since Christians believe all men will suffer for eternity if they do not accept Christ, would you prefer us to be hypocritical or hateful and remain silent or worse lie about it?

Second question, what would that say about our character.

If you prefer we remain silent or lie simply say so.

Anonymous Jed November 15, 2013 1:40 PM  

"Don't associate yourself with this kind of cynicism and disrespect"

First kindness, now Roger's lecturing us on "disrespect"? I just love the "respect" he's shown by calling us a malignant tumor.

If this is a parody Poe, then dial it back, dude... because I'm going from mildly entertained to annoyed.

Blogger IM2L844 November 15, 2013 1:43 PM  

Don't associate yourself with this kind of cynicism and disrespect, TS. You will be worse off for it.

You really shouldn't be so patronizing. TS is obviously smarter than you are.

Anonymous Anonymous November 15, 2013 1:43 PM  

This is approaching a parody.

Approaching??

Anonymous vandermerwe November 15, 2013 1:43 PM  

The type of "disrespect" shown by Christians is nothing compared to the hate shown by atheists from 1918 (and even before when these scumbags were perpetrating terrorist actions against civilians) right to modern day hell holes like North Korea. If this is the worst Christianity can throw at you, and if you compare to the worst (and pretty common among atheist countries) treatment of people, one would have to be evil to choose atheism.

Anonymous Shagrat's Friend November 15, 2013 1:52 PM  

…quod fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt.

Anonymous christian in hollyweird November 15, 2013 1:56 PM  

right. christians dont know anything about kindness or charity or almsgiving. is that why they open up all those hospitals and start all those charities and pray for their enemies?

Anonymous Mark Call November 15, 2013 1:59 PM  

RT makes the same mistake that HE hopes those who buy into his BS will make:
confusing the general with the specific.

(Since he can't, or won't, follow the logic -- that means confusing the misdeeds of specific examples of his "death cult" with the Truth of Scripture in general, and specifically in WHOLE, as Written. And not even "as twisted" -- see II Peter 3:15-16 -- by fallen men and their 'denominations'.)

Were he actually interested in learning -- as some of who ONCE drank from the same Kool-Aid he dispenses were -- he might actually try READING for himself rather than just parroting what other men say "God" shoulda-outta said.

Otherwise, his prattle doesn't merit a response, other than "been there, done that, have the T-shirt." And homey don't wear it no more.

Anonymous Jed November 15, 2013 2:03 PM  

So when does Roger-boy get the iron hook out of here for trolling?

Anonymous NewAnubis November 15, 2013 2:12 PM  

Gobleki Tepe is orders of time more ancient than the Fertile Crescent placing it in an era consistent with that of the Garden of Eden.

A pluralization to 'Our Fathers, who art in the Heavens' is an interesting rethink and not without historical support.

I find it amazingly arrogant that humans believe that the chief constructor of all that is everywhere and for all time has man at the core of this achievement.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a deity. (And this may well be a hierarchical chain of beings/events)

Still, akin to the writer that prompted this exchange, I sit on the fence as well. I've not heard the 'calling' but alas, something about my tools (intellect, reason) does not feel sufficient to analyze such a complex and spiritually bound issue.

Also, this seemingly never-ending waffling grows tiresome. Help!

Anonymous Salt November 15, 2013 2:12 PM  

But let me remind you that it's OK to remind the Fairytellers that they all they need to know about your relationship with kindness and truth is in observing your deeds as an individuals.

I once had an atheist answer my question concerning love in just that way. Now who is to say what motivation lies behind such? Your heart could be stone cold yet your deeds appearing righteous, like secretly desiring your grandmother's speedy demise while doing everything you can to ensure your inheritance.

From the Christian perspective, deeds are sackcloth and earn no one anything.

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