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How to prove God to an atheist (no, really)...

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by s2a, Jul 10, 2005.

  1. Majikthise

    Majikthise Guest

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    Those cultures end up self destructing. Nature keeps the balance.
     
  2. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

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    There is still one in existance (can't remember the name). Nevertheless I agree.

    ~Victor
     
  3. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    tk,

    Item 1) Are you SURE???

    Item 4) I see, you asked for a life changing belief, so I gave you one. So instead of accepting the point, you try and reverse it. A case of "God can't exist either because he changes lives, or because he doesn't." Either way you've got your bases covered and do not have to deal with the truth.
     
  4. tkdrocks

    tkdrocks Mellowing with Age

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    Item 1 - Without a doubt. Ancient cultures spent a great deal of time watching the stars and built shrines, pyramids, ziggurats, etc in their observance. The star over Bethlehem would have had to have been their for a great deal of time for the 'wise men' to find the location.

    Item 4 - Actually, I did not ask for an example. I only made a statement. While examples are appreciated. That does not mean they are excempt from scrutiny.
     
  5. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    Scrutiny? You did not deny that it happened. You just changed your position on what a changed life really means. This is pretty typical for those not wishing to examine truth.

    Ancient cultures might have... I don't consider 0BC as that "ancient". I think if you did your research, you would find several references (world wide) to a phenomenon that they could not understand. I you follow THIS LINK you will find some research materials about the available evidence.

    So far, it appears that the evidences for a God are winning! Not that I expect the truth to be accepted or understood by everyone. :D
     
  6. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    Being serious, NetDoc, I just looked at the title of this thread, and read it anew;
    "How to prove God to an atheist?"; is there an onus for us to do so ? -from the point of view that one must want to find God to Love him, and to accept him into our hearts...........

    is it not therefore wrong to try and provide 'proof' to those who don't believe?:)
     
  7. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    I guess my point Michel, is that you CAN'T.

    You can bring a horse to water, BUT...

    The problem with atheists are their big BUTs. :D

    It is my belief (and this will anger some) that those who seek God's face with a humble and sincere heart will find him. If you are intent on proving that God does not exist, he will allow you to believe that lie. We were presented with a challenge: to show how a change in belief changes a life. So with a DRAMATIC example, we demonstrated just how that happens. They can't deny the change, so they attack Paul's former life of hate. Well duh, what about a changed life don't you understand?
     
  8. s2a

    s2a Heretic and part-time (skinny) Santa impersonator

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    Hello NetDoc,

    You said:

    >"I can sense your "conversion" is at hand..."<

    Time to get a new "conversion sensor". Your current one is giving you false readings. ;-)

    >"1) God already reveals himself and his word to believers."<

    Fine, well, and good for believers. Now, what's a believer to do with this revelation of God and His word? Keep it to himself?

    >"Not being overly dramatic, he has chosen the miracle of "Faith" to demonstrate his existence to the world. That and loving your enemies."<

    Ya know, I just can't seem to find one Scriptural reference (within quite a few translations) that specifically mentions the "miracle of Faith" concept you mention.

    I can find...

    "Faith is in general the persuasion of the mind that a certain statement is true (Phil. 1:27; 2 Thess. 2:13). Its primary idea is trust. A thing is true, and therefore worthy of trust. It admits of many degrees up to full assurance of faith, in accordance with the evidence on which it rests."
    - Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
    Source: [ http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/dictionaries/dict_meaning.php?source=1&wid=T0001302 ]
    (Contained within above source are additional subtleties/subtexts of the "variants" of Faith ("Temporary", "Historical", "Saving", etc.).

    Consider me dramatically underwhelmed that a rationalized existential perception of a "truth" is either miraculous (quite ordinary to me), or especial evidence of a claimed existent supernatural entity/deity.

    >"2) These messages already exist in the heavens. If you had but faith, you could read the message easily."<

    That's the fly in the ointment, ain't it? You have to join the club to get the secret decoder ring. If you don't join, you don't get to read all the secret messages. Nyah Nyah!

    >"Here is the rough translation: "Hey people of earth, Jehovah God here. You're going to be a lot happier if you stop hating and killing each other and focus on loving instead. You should listen to my son on this... he died for you while you still hated him.""

    Funny. When I look at the stars and whirling cosmos in the night sky I see...stars, planets, nebulae, galaxies, etc.
    No Divine Billboard. No "Jesus Slept Here" roadside historical markers. No "Eat at God's" Diner. No Pearly Gates. Now maybe, if I could just get a believer to take a picture of...nah. Damned Photoshop.

    I have acquainted myself with a more earthbound "rough translation" of God's Word. In that text, I note that Jehovah was not always a nice guy if you weren't a part of His club. Saying things like...
    "I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me..." (Exodus 20:5)
    "For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God." (Deuteronomy 4:24; See also: Deut. 6:15)
    "The LORD is a jealous and avenging God; the LORD takes vengeance and is filled with wrath. The LORD takes vengeance on his foes and maintains his wrath against his enemies." (Nahum 1:2)
    "'This will be the sign to you that I will punish you in this place,' declares the LORD, 'so that you will know that my threats of harm against you will surely stand.'" (Jeremiah 44:29)

    I get it.

    "Make love, not war...or I'll KILL you."

    >"3) The message is observable any time you look for God. It's under rocks, deep in the ocean, all over the forests and jungles, and yes, even in the celestial firmament."

    4) The language is timeless: the language of love and faith. Anyone can understand it if they seek God's face."<

    Lovely metaphorical sentiments, but not much else.

    ~"Oh I, could tell you why, the ocean meets the shore, I could think of things I never thunk before...and then I'd sit...and think some more...
    ~"If I only had a brain...a heart...the courage..."~

    ...the...faith?

    *snif* *snif*

    I think I made myself cry.

    (My apologies. I tend to get a tad sarcastic before my second cup of coffee).

    >"5) God's message is needed until the heavens and earth pass away. You can expect him to keep reaching out to us since he desires that all of us should be saved. Probably the best place to read it is on the hearts of those committed to serving his children. I think it's clearest there."<

    Which has interestingly enough, led here.
    What you've left me to "read" so far is..."you gotta have faith...FIRST - Then...you get to see God's trademark under every rock."

    You proceeded with an enumerated list:
    >"By the way...

    1) God used a star to show the way to his son and yet many disregarded it."

    And? So? Was such a vain and worthless miracle?

    >"2) Miracles have always been accessible."<

    And? So?

    >"3) People will ALWAYS find reasons to not believe."<

    True enough (and often, for good reason). So?

    >"4) A changed heart is far more impressive then a fabricated celestial event."<

    To you perhaps, but then, you're a "believer".

    "Changed hearts" (for good or ill) are commonplace, often predictable (especially in trying times), and are demonstrable "evidence" of a fickle nature, or perhaps better discretion, but...

    So far, you have provided:
    1) a caveat (ie., "If you believe, you will see") - yet God performs "miracles" even for the benefit of "unbelievers"...so?
    2) lovely metaphors of what may be "seen" with belief.
    3) God wants to "save" us (from "ourselves" now, or from His ultimate retribution - never quite understood that dichotomy).
    Imagine a prospective husband saying to his prospective wife - "I love you. I will always forgive you the little things that you do that sometimes really **** me off. But IF you don't love me and worship me in return, I'll punish you with some really nasty things...before I KILL you."
    Whether I "believe" what the prospective husband is saying is "true" or not, I don't think I'd let my prospective daughter marry him. Your values may differ.
    4) a suggestion that God's "message" can be read in the hearts of His believers.

    You STILL haven't articulated why your God *shouldn't* consider the prayers of His adherent followers to exact such a proposed "miracle" of conversion for the sake of unbelievers (that presumably God - and His "messengers" - really, REALLY wants to "save").

    In lending direction to this end (and akin to your enumerated sentiments), I'll reiterate some of the associative pointed questions from a preceding post (to Michel - which he kinda skirted past), and allow you another opportunity, if you like:

    "Does all Scripture suggest that believers NOT pray that unbelievers "see", "find", or "discover" God (or that He might intervene on their behalf)?

    Does all Scripture suggest/emphatically state that "miracles" are worthless in converting unbelievers?

    Are all "miracles" intended solely for the benefit of believers (in reinforcing faith)?

    Is faith *lessened* in some way by witnessing a "[big] miracle"?

    Are some "miracles" too much (or too generalized) to ask of God (like, say, "World Peace")?

    Is there a cut-off, or a specified number, of "affected" (or resultant) converts requisite before praying for divine intervention (ie, a "miracle") as "worthy"? Would such a proposed "miracle" be "unworthy" (of God's time, attention, and effort) if only ONE convert was realized?

    Does Scripture suggest that witness of/to "miracles" has in fact effected instantaneous and devout conversion and belief, or does it not?

    In essence (though other examples are extant), *these* are the questions that are underlying subtext of, "What's wrong with that?".

    If you would offer, "Yes it's wrong, and here's why..."; well, *that's* the Scriptural reference that I'm seeking as support to that perspective/position.

    If you would offer, "No, there's nothing wrong with that"; then I would suggest that believers get praying. There's a few billion souls at stake, and such a "miracle" would at least deliver one more believer into their midst."

    Some caveats let you off the hook.
    If you've NEVER asked (nor will ever ask) an unbeliever something along the lines of; "What would it take (evidince/proof/testimony/miracle) for you to "believe" in God (and His Word/message)?"
    If you've NEVER "testified" for, or proselytized to, an unbeliever to "believe in God".
    If you believe that God NEVER works "miracles" to "prove" Himself to believers and unbelievers alike.

    Pending those caveats, of the proposed "miracle" (as presented), I ask again; "What's wrong with that?".
     
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  9. s2a

    s2a Heretic and part-time (skinny) Santa impersonator

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    Hello Michel,

    You said:

    >"God is not a 'recruiting officer' going round telling everyone 'Hurry up! roll up! - if you don't pray to me, you'll be in trouble when you die" - he left us his scriptures, with all the 'instruction' in those."<

    Odd. The "instruction book" that God allegedly penned by mortal ghost writers *does* actually quote God (quite often in fact - I'd be glad to provide C&V as support) with that very sentiment...which is, coincidentally enough, echoed even more often by His adherent recruiting "messengers".

    >"You - or any human - NEEDS to WANT to have faith, to join a group where they can worship God - without your willingness,the exercise is futile."<

    Well OK then. "To Hell" with all unbelievers. Even the ones we love and care about the most. Let their "hardened hearts" and unrepentant souls writhe in turmoil and anguish for all eterity.

    Trust in God. God is just. God is loving. God is merciful...

    ...if you WANT to believe it, or can persuade yourself that it MUST be "true".

    ....................

    You also said to NetDoc...

    "Being serious, NetDoc, I just looked at the title of this thread, and read it anew;
    "How to prove God to an atheist?"; is there an onus for us to do so ? -from the point of view that one must want to find God to Love him, and to accept him into our hearts...........

    is it not therefore wrong to try and provide 'proof' to those who don't believe?"

    Two things which are germane.

    If you believe that God places an onus upon HIs believers to spread His "message" (with the associative claims of divine reward/punishment, purpose, reasons "why", and absolute/ultimate "truths), and "help" unbelievers "see the light" (and "save" them from an unpleasant eternal afterlife), or "read the message" resident within the hearts (or on the sleeves) of "true believers", then yeah...you kinda bear the burden put before you - not placed by atheists, mind you...but as instructed by your own God.

    It's not your faith, or my inability to see/hear the "message" that's in question. I have long conceded that "believers" can not provide (compelling or convincing) "proof" of their claims of supernatural deities/spirits/forces, or cause/effect. But maybe, your God can and would, if enough of His believers asked Him to do so.


    Which is why (and this is important), my modest "miracle proposal" places no burden of proof upon believers to provide *anything* to unbelievers. Only believers that would wish to pray that God definitively (miraculously?) "reveal" Himself (by means of the specified celestial "event"), so that unbelievers might seek that salvation and redemption that they "need", and therefore/henceforth "WANT to believe" (as you repeat), and have "faith" in God.

    If you think (or "feel") such a proposed "miracle" is cheating; against the "rules"; or antithetical to what Scripture provides/teaches/dictates - then just say so...but support your conclusion with Scriptural reference.

    ie., "What's wrong with that?"

    *That's* the question that you keep dancing around. ;-)
     
  10. s2a

    s2a Heretic and part-time (skinny) Santa impersonator

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    Hello Firrecat89,

    You said:

    >"*Is staring* This post... is a joke, right?"<

    No, it's not a joke. It's presented earnestly, and with careful forethought. But I'll try to be funny every once and awhile...for tips

    >"The day stars rearrange to form long messages is the day I get a sex change."<

    I confess.

    That's one possible unrepentant reaction I hadn't considered beforehand.

    >"Gee, that rhymed. The more complex the miracle sounds, usually it has less of a chance to work. Of course if he's God he can do anything, but..."<

    I was not aware of Scriptural reference that suggests God being confounded by complexity. After all, He already allegedly "runs" the entire universe, n'est pas?. Why should manipulating such a (relatively) small part of it pose a problem (for Him), or entail especial/extraordinary effort? Heck fire, we can see Him crashing galaxies together; creating new stars, whilst destroying others; whizzing comets around; and generally having a fine old time occasionally aligning planets in our little ole' solar system. He could just take a few minutes and write His name in the celestial snow, don'tcha think?
     
  11. Jaiket

    Jaiket Well-Known Member

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    s2a, that little 'quote' button would make your posts a whole lot more readable. Please, consider using it :).

    Great thread!
     
  12. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    Nope, just time to check your humor sensor. :D


    Love and serve others. Their light will shine all by itself.

    Faith amazed Jesus:


    Luke 7:9 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, "I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel."

    Faith comes from God:

    Matthew 16: 13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?"

    14 They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets."

    15 "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"

    16 Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

    17 Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." 20 Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.

    Faith rests on understanding God:

    I Corinthians 2: 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.

    This would work better if we stuck to English with contemporary logic and sentence structure. I have no idea what you just said.


    Decoder rings are over rated. God gave you a conscience; Use it! If you seek his face you will find it.


    That’s the point. You look at a creation and see no creator. Da Vinci? Prove he painted that picture!

    That’s like saying: “don’t jump off of a 1000ft high cliff… or I’ll KILL you.” Go ahead and jump… it’s not God’s hiney on the line. :D
     
  13. cmotdibbler

    cmotdibbler Member

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    I used to wonder about this topic as a teenager and came up with something similar to messages written in the sky. Other possibilites would be something like making all the lotteries in the world produce the same winning numbers on a given day, or using some divine petition to cause 100 consecutive coin tosses to all come up all heads. But my favorite was George Burns using a card trick in the film "Oh God'
     
  14. Mr Spinkles

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    How about a message written on the Moon? :D
     

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  15. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    Too funny Spinks! :D
     
  16. s2a

    s2a Heretic and part-time (skinny) Santa impersonator

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    Hello NetDoc,

    When I said:
    >>"Time to get a new "conversion sensor". Your current one is giving you false readings. ;-)"

    You said:
    >"Nope, just time to check your humor sensor."<

    I guess my winking and smiling *non-animated* emoticon post-sentence was too subtle for notice...

    I asked:
    >>"Fine, well, and good for believers. Now, what's a believer to do with this revelation of God and His word? Keep it to himself?"<<

    You said:
    >>"Love and serve others. Their light will shine all by itself."<<

    Oh I see...like, Mahatma Gandhi, or Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso?

    Whups, they won't do. I forgot about the Christian evangelizing part...and maybe you did too....

    Jesus told His followers (Matthew 28:19-20); "...Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[to] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.".

    Perhaps you have an exemption. Or maybe, good works as peacemaker and compassionate servant of humanity will garner access to Heaven...you tell me.

    When I said:
    >>"Ya know, I just can't seem to find one Scriptural reference (within quite a few translations) that specifically mentions the "miracle of Faith" concept you mention."<<

    You provided some Scriptural Chapter and Verse as support for the phrase/notion "miracle of faith", to wit:

    Luke 7:9 - Does not include the quoted phrase, nor is Jesus' "amazement" a miracle.

    Matthew 16: 13-20 - does not include the quoted phrase, nor evidences a miracle (beyond revelation...which is a matter of faith itself, and...a circular argument).

    I Corinthians 2: 4 - Noting that the quoted phrase is still absent, and that the referenced Scripture does not directly define such a concept, it does at least touch upon a foundational concept of faith.

    You omitted the preceding couple of sentences from the chapter/verse, where Paul says: "When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified."

    Paul (in 1 Cor.2:1-5) relates the notion that one could not preach using reason, logic, or metaphor. He was self-admitted to be a poor speaker, and not especially knowledgeable. He concedes to operating from a narrowed perspective (singular, in fact). He thought that preaching the "truth" of Christ (a son-of-God Savior crucified and risen), and that alone, was sufficient in instilling faith amongst unbelievers. Yet, if Paul's method was "successful" in gaining converts, his humility (and self-serving argument) would not allow for he (or any "wise and persuasive words") to claim credit, for the "glory" of such a transformation of (accepting belief on faith) could only be attributed to God Himself.

    One could reasonably argue that Paul was an exemplar of "blind faith" (for good or ill), but that's not specifically at issue here.

    If one were to employ and subsequently justify Paul's rationale (I know we're not supposed to use reason, but bear with me), one would conclude that:
    Faith is spread/shared from knowing "nothing among them but Jesus Christ and him crucified", yet...
    ...in the final outcome, all faith (by Paul's explanation) is divinely bestowed. In other words, "bon mots" (or those from preachers) don't "covert" or deliver faithful believers...God does it Himself.
    So...either Paul is exhibiting some form of false humility, or he's reinforcing my perspective.

    Absurd?

    What's an atheist/unbeliever to think, if what Paul is saying is "true"? I've heard the Gospels preached many times (and read them many more), and still...I have no "faith" and I don't "believe". How can this be? If Paul is to be believed, it's because God doesn't want me to believe (since it is HE that ultimately bestows faith). After all, no "wise and persuasive words" can affect or bring about faith - unless...faith is the "persuasion of the mind that a certain statement is true." (Phil. 1:27; 2 Thess. 2:13)

    Which leads us back to your initial statement of....

    >"God already reveals himself and his word to believers. Not being overly dramatic, he has chosen the miracle of "Faith" to demonstrate his existence to the world."<

    Which prompted my reply that you deemed to be of foreign tongue; archaic logic; and ill-constructed:
    >>"Consider me dramatically underwhelmed that a rationalized existential perception of a "truth" is either miraculous (quite ordinary to me), or especial evidence of a claimed existent supernatural entity/deity."<<

    Colloquially reiterated? Let's try this in blunt terms:
    Believers are not evidence of (a) God. Believers are evidence of belief (whether, as claimed, to be "divinely" bestowed faithful, or personally/individually rationalized believers engaging a "persuasion of the mind that a certain statement is true"). Unless or until one "believes", there is no "miracle of faith" (except by begging the question) to perceive (nor evidence to evaluate), beyond belief itself.
    You have your claims. I don't accept them as veritable beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Does that make sense now?

    >"God gave you a conscience; Use it! If you seek his face you will find it."<

    Thank you for inferring that I either have no conscience, or that I choose to ignore it's proddings. Perhaps I can return the favor one day. ;-P

    >"That’s the point. You look at a creation and see no creator. Da Vinci? Prove he painted that picture!"<

    I can provide much tangible and independently verifiable evidence to suggest beyond a reasonable doubt that Da Vinci existed, and that he dabbled in in few oils with brushes. Got a specific picture in mind?

    I invoked a sarcastic aphorism:
    >>"Make love, not war...or I'll KILL you." <<

    You offered:
    >"That’s like saying: “don’t jump off of a 1000ft high cliff… or I’ll KILL you.” Go ahead and jump… it’s not God’s hiney on the line."<

    NO...it's not. According to Biblical claims - Your God made the rules. Your God made the cliff. Your God made gravity. Your God made plummeting off the cliff a lethal consequence.

    While reluctant to do so, I'll employ your "cliff jumping" metaphor (if you're an adherent of divine predestination or "election", then it won't apply in all cases).

    God makes you.
    God makes the cliff.
    God makes gravity, insuring 9.8m/sec2 as maximum downward velocity.
    God says, "You MUST jump off the cliff."
    You ask, "Why?"
    God says, "It's a test. I created you to test you."
    You say, "That's why you created me?"
    God says, "Well yeah, basically. That, and because I could."
    You say, "What happens if I don't jump?"
    God says, "I'll punish you (more on that later) for not obeying me."
    You say, "Hmmm, OK. That's sounds bad. What happens if I do jump?"
    God says, "Well, that's the test. First thing to remember...no matter what, you're gonna die...eventually. My rule."
    You say, "Oh. I kinda figured that. The only bodily resurrections I've seen are in some zombie flicks. Hey! Have you seen...?"
    God says, "Never mind that for now."
    You say, "Sorry."
    God says, "Now, about the test. If you trust and believe that I will catch and save you when you jump, and...you promise to love and worship the very clouds I walk upon, I'll reward you with all the ice cream you can eat...forever."
    You say, "Cool. ANY kind of ice cream?"
    God says, "You'll find out later. Trust me, you'll love it."
    You say, "Umm, OK. But why should I trust you? Heck, I can't even SEE you. What if you're just a bit of undigested potato, tormenting my subconscious mind?"
    God says, "If you don't trust in me, or believe that I'll catch and save you from a squishy and messy death, not only will you be dead, but I promise...no ice cream for you. In fact, I'll make it my personal project (exacted with extreme prejudice) to insure that you suffer and have allergies, hemorroids, and really bad acne, for the rest of eternity...or until I retire to Boca Raton."
    You say, "Geez, doesn't sound like much of a choice. Can I think it over just a bit? Can I at least get a glimpse of your safety net, or a menu of available ice cream flavors??"

    God says, "Look over there!" - and then one of His "helpers" shoves you off the cliff.

    [BTW, you STILL haven't answered (specifically or directly) the premised question at hand, "What's wrong with that?". Can you not, or will you not?]
     
  17. s2a

    s2a Heretic and part-time (skinny) Santa impersonator

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    truthseekingsoul said:

    >"s2a, that little 'quote' button would make your posts a whole lot more readable. Please, consider using it ."<

    Forgive an elder his failings in fully utilizing available html goodies. I am but a living fossil from the pre-cambrian days of the WWW (before 1987!). Old habits (and protocols) die hard and slow. I promise that when time and opportunity permit, I'll indulge a primer to better myself in posting more clearly (until then, think of me as an unfrozen Caveman lawyer).

    >"Great thread!"<

    Thanks. All karmic (or guilt-induced) frubals will donated (eventually) to the "Save the Baby Seals from Inhumane Clubbing by Mean and Pasty-white Canadians" Fund.

    s2a
     
  18. s2a

    s2a Heretic and part-time (skinny) Santa impersonator

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    NetDoc said:

    >>"You can bring a horse to water, BUT...

    The problem with atheists are their big BUTs."<<

    Speaking as one lone atheist, I (at very least) have no drinking problem. In fact, it's the easiest thing I do.

    >>"It is my belief (and this will anger some) that those who seek God's face with a humble and sincere heart will find him. If you are intent on proving that God does not exist, he will allow you to believe that lie."<<

    It would be my sincere hope (in support of your intellectual integrity) that I (for one), DO NOT seek to "disprove" the existence of your God. I have no time to squander in indulging such a pointless and fruitless exercise. I only question the claims (and supportively ascribed rationale) as presented by your textual dogma, and as such, those "beliefs" as espoused/echoed by self-professed devotional adherents like yourself.

    To suggest that anyone lacks the (inferred) "requisite" humility and sincerity (of "heart"), is to irrationally deny the evidently genuine; humble, contrite, and peaceful nature of millions (billions?) of alternate-faith religious adherents (not to mention those heathenistic and heretically atheistic infidels [as opposed to tenuously henotheistic agnostics]).

    Your rationale reminds me of the story of the lost traveller and the hayseed on the corner.
    Our out-of-town intrepid traveller asks for directions to the local mall. The hayseed says, "I'm not sure". The traveller looks to qualify, or narrow the path. "Do you at least know how to get to Elm Street from here?". The hayseed again says, "Not really, no." The traveller asks, "Do you really live here? Can't you give me any useful directions at all?" The hayseed, ponders for a moment, then indignantly replies: "Well...I may be ignorant, but I ain't lost neither."

    I'm sure your confidence and faith serve your needs well enough. You can claim that you're not "lost".

    But with a good map, drafted upon known quantities and established facts, your haughty confidence is useless, and following your "lead" is unlikely the best course to follow.

    >"We were presented with a challenge: to show how a change in belief changes a life. So with a DRAMATIC example, we demonstrated just how that happens. They can't deny the change, so they attack Paul's former life of hate. Well duh, what about a changed life don't you understand?"<

    As illustrated previously, a "changed life" is not extraordinary (quite mundane in the course of human events), nor especially profound (in and of itself), nor even dramatic in any compelling or convincing manner (in providing evidence of the supernatural).

    Sure, I cried at the end of "Old Yeller".
    Doesn't keep me from going to the movies, or from living with a dog.
    Not a compelling argument? Now you know how I feel about your "testimony"...
     
  19. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
    Staff Member

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    S2a;


    You are falling into the typical 'pit' that most atheists and agnostics do.

    Quote "I was not aware of Scriptural reference that suggests God being confounded by complexity. After all, He already allegedly "runs" the entire universe, n'est pas?. Why should manipulating such a (relatively) small part of it pose a problem (for Him), or entail especial/extraordinary effort? Heck fire, we can see Him crashing galaxies together; creating new stars, whilst destroying others; whizzing comets around; and generally having a fine old time occasionally aligning planets in our little ole' solar system. He could just take a few minutes and write His name in the celestial snow, don'tcha think?"

    That portion of what you said is unfortunately 'skewed'; God isn't hanging around, using all the chess pieces that make up the universe - He doesnt crash Galaxies, create new stars, whatsoever.............

    When he created all the tools necessary for the universe to develop, he left the Universe 'to get on with it' - the emergence of Man, his decline; his re emergence.etc. If God really pushed us around the board, do you think he would WANT us to do evil? - just think about it - he wants us to find our own way to him; like a caring parent, he doesn't want to Brainwash his Children. He sent Jesus (others for other faiths) to give us a clue as to how we should behave; that was his sole act of 'manipulation' - he now sits back and sees how all the lonely lost sheep will finally find their shepherd.

    >"God is not a 'recruiting officer' going round telling everyone 'Hurry up! roll up! - if you don't pray to me, you'll be in trouble when you die" - he left us his scriptures, with all the 'instruction' in those."<

    Odd. The "instruction book" that God allegedly penned by mortal ghost writers *does* actually quote God (quite often in fact - I'd be glad to provide C&V as support) with that very sentiment...which is, coincidentally enough, echoed even more often by His adherent recruiting "messengers".

    >"You - or any human - NEEDS to WANT to have faith, to join a group where they can worship God - without your willingness,the exercise is futile."<

    Well OK then. "To Hell" with all unbelievers. Even the ones we love and care about the most. Let their "hardened hearts" and unrepentant souls writhe in turmoil and anguish for all eterity.

    Trust in God. God is just. God is loving. God is merciful...

    ...if you WANT to believe it, or can persuade yourself that it MUST be "true".



    When I said God was not a recruiting officer, I meant it in the context of his appearing in human form to say to you "I am God, I shall prove to you who I am, by whatever means you choose".

    Of course he left us his book of instructions - we could'nt even begin to guess how to 'turn on' our souls, without his manual.

    Unbelievers will be judged more on how they behaved in life; it is my belief (others may not agree) that a Catholic who sins will not be allowed into heaven, without some hefty forfeit, while the atheist who lived a life of purity will be told "OK, you didn't believe in me, but you are a good soul - now you can come to me...if you want"

    ...if you WANT to believe it, or can persuade yourself that it MUST be "true".

    Est ce que vous comprenez maintenant?:)




    NO! The first part is right the second is not.
     
  20. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    You have a problem with Mahatma? I surely don't. I don't know enough about the other two gentlemen or their lives to comment.

    So? I still see faith, especially with people espousing such tripe as yourself as pretty miraculous these days. I have even given biblical references as to how special faith is. Do you have any references that claim that faith is NOT miraculous? Didn't think so.

    But let's cut to the chase:
    You seem to squander time just fine right here. In fact as much as you decry the Christian's evangelism, you are at least as strident about your atheism. It's like the pot calling the china black.
     
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