Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Atheist Chat

I'm not sure why, exactly, but atheism fascinates me. I used to spend a lot of time in online chatrooms, particularly those antagonistic to Christianity. (Come to think of it, that was most of them.) During that time I made "friends" with a handful of atheists who displayed a willingness to do more than hurl insults but rather to discuss matters of faith and philosophy intelligently and civilly. One of those dialogue partners frequently engaged Christians in debate yet was reluctant to offer an argument in support of his own position. His rationale for this was that since he was a negative atheist (one who lacks a belief in God but does not assert that God does not exist), he was making no assertion and therefore was under no obligation to offer a defense.

This is a very common ploy but I think it's flawed. Objections to Christianity are not acontextual. They arise from alternative systems of belief which have their own presuppositions about the nature and limits of reality and human knowing, and how it is we should live. What's often needed is for the Christian to unearth the implicit worldview from which objections arise rather than simply responding as though the atheist's starting point is neutral or the default position that does not stand in need of defense.

Here's an excerpt of an exchange with the atheist I mentioned above, whom I'll call Raven. To his credit, he saw the problem with having to defend the assertion that God does not exist so he sought refuge in the more modest claim that he does not believe that God exists. However, if one listened closely, he or she could detect that Raven spoke as though he was doing more than merely describing his mental furniture.

Raven: How would you define atheism in the philosophical sense? The reason I ask is that I find myself having to defend my definition time and time again, and not to Christians as you might think, but more often to self-styled agnostics.

KP: I’d define atheism as the belief that there is no God or gods. I know some try to make the “a” prefix (no) modify “theism” (a belief in a God or gods) but that is not the etymology of the word. You’ve said yourself that atheism is an ontological and not merely an epistemological position, haven't you?

Raven: I opt for the two-pronged definition: disbelief and denial. Yes I have. That has always been my understanding.

KP: And if it is ontological, isn't it making an assertion about what is? If not, then it is merely describing one's belief system and is therefore epistemological.

Raven: I checked Barnhart's Etymology tonight and it defines the word as disbelief. I'm really not sure that atheism, in the negative/implicit sense, does make an assertion.

KP: Then in what sense is it ontological and not simply epistemological?

Raven: Barnhart does not define it as disbelief but allows it.

KP: In what sense is it ontological if it is only describing one's psychology?

Raven: As atheism is a position on existence, not knowledge of existence, wouldn't it be ontological?

KP: But if it’s a position on existence, then it’s making some sort of claim about the nature of reality.

Raven: Yes, positive atheism makes a claim. But does negative atheism make a claim?

KP: If I define atheism simply as a lack of a particular belief I’m not making an ontological claim but an epistemological one; namely that person A does not hold this belief.

Raven: Obviously I'll have to do some more study on this.

KP: That's why I think the negative atheism argument ends up reducing to subjectivism.

Raven: Yes, perhaps it does at that.

KP: It's simply a description of a person's psyche but says nothing about anything outside the individual's mind.

Raven: Very good point.

KP: Granted, it's a pretty good attempt at avoiding having to defend anything, but it doesn't say anything except about the person claiming to lack the belief.

Raven: Well, I can't in all honesty declare that a God does not exist. I'm not one to cut my nose off to spite my face.

KP: I think you've hidden behind that "I'm not making any claims" position while still wanting to regard it as ontological. The two don't fit.

Raven: I see your point.

KP: Had that ever occurred to you?

Raven: Yes, it had.

KP: And how did you try to resolve the tension?

Raven: I haven't as of yet.

KP: And what if you cannot?

Raven: I'll burn that bridge while I am crossing it.

KP: :-)

Raven: As I see it, if I have to abandon the notion that my particular brand of atheism is ontological, so be it. The effect is minimal.

KP: But then would you be able to say that others who don’t share your brand of atheism are irrational or without justification?

Raven: That remains to be seen, though to be honest, I do feel that the positive atheism position is irrational and without justification.

KP: So what would cause your position to differ from subjectivism?

Raven: We'll have to wait and see.

KP: Do you see any difference now?

Raven: No, should I?

KP: I meant do you see anything that would distinguish that form of negative atheism from subjectivism?

Raven: Not off the top of my head, no.

KP: Would you be willing to live with that?

Raven: I'm willing to 'live' with anything I may discover.

KP: If everything ultimately reduces to subjectivism, then nothing is actually discovered. I'd like to talk with you more about this topic and hear how your thinking unfolds.


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41 comments:

Rock Slatestone - Editor said...

Very interesting, Keith. Thanks for posting this. There is much to learn here.

-Steven-

Mark Hunsaker said...

Keith,

Just so you know, these interchanges are my favorites of all of your posts. Your example is an excellent learning tool on how to properly unpack the real issues.

Thank you for these!

Mark

KP said...

Steve and Mark,

Thanks so much for letting me know of your appreciation. It's gratifying to know that these exchanges may be beneficial to others. I'll scour my files and see what more I can come up with.

Thanks again for your encouragement!

unmuzzled said...

hey kp,
i have a friend who says he is an atheist. this post has given me great insight. it will give him a lot to consider. thanx

Dean McConnell said...

Very interesting dialogue.

While atheists deny it, am am convinced all people have an inate knowledge of God's exixstence. But we ignor or repress it.

Most assertive atheists seem to know God exists, but are very angry at God, or angry that God exists. So they come up with the worst attack on God they can manage - to try to convince others that God does not exist.

KP said...

Hi, unmuzzled. You're most welcome. Please let me know what your friend says in the event that you bring some of these issues up with him.

KP said...

Dean, I'd say that based on Romans 1 you're on sure footing with respect to our suppressing the inescapable truth that God is there.

As you note, anger can take many forms besides overt rage. That's certainly true on a horizontal plane. Giving someone the silent treatment or ignoring them are both potent expressions of hostility.

Tony Soprano, when angered by his mother told himself and anyone who asked about her, "She's dead to me!" Atheists are saying the same thing with respect to God.

unmuzzled said...

Most atheist I have known are very caring and deep feeling people. They just can not reconcile God with all the injustices in the world. Hence the reason they want to debate, I think they are looking for someone to explain it.

Nick said...

unmuzzled- The reason for debate is that atheist (me anyway) see the violence associated with religion, and the anger, or frustration, atheist's display- I believe- is the simalar to the frustration a mother feels when her child tells her "no!".

Eamonn said...

No you all misunderstand.

Most atheists are very thoughful logical pragmatic people who have realised that religion is a social invention and that god is invented by man. we are not annoyed by god or are even negative. We just dislike fuzzy thinking and when you really crystalize in your head the consequences of a god who modifies the universe, appears to random people and listens to peoples thoughts it seems very unlikely that he exists and is without doubt (in my mind) an invention by man to try to make sense of the world

Diana Wilson said...

You are such a poor liar. First...it is obvious you wrote what you might think and atheist thinks...your "lie" is that atheism is a "belief." No, atheism is not a belief in any sense of the word. Atheism is a conclusion that god does not exist, because there is no proof. For more than 5,000 years of religious history, there has not been any proof of any kind of god or deity. When you come up with some proof then we will believe in your god. diana wilson

Diana Wilson said...

Oh yes, please look at Isaiah 45:5....where it says "god created evil" Now that would do it for me....why would one believe in a god who created evil? You then, believe in an evil god. Now what kind of excuse are you going to make? That evil god punishes us for our own good? Don't you really get tired making all of these incredible excuses what what you "believe?" Try operating in a world of proof and reality...not fantasy, and religious magic. diana wilson

islam said...

provie he/she existed?

ISLAM said...

god is a tiletle not a name

Brandon said...

Atheists are not angry at God. We legitimately do not believe a god exists. If you think that deep down we all know a god exists but we won't accept it or are just looking for excuses to sin etc., there's nothing I can say to convince you otherwise. I just want to point out how frustrating it is to listen to people presume to know my feelings and thoughts better than I do. I don't believe a God exists and if you can't accept that I'm telling the truth, I don't know what else to tell you.

greedyfortruth said...

God is the end result of a failed search for truth by a very shallow mind.

Judy Weismonger said...

This is so simple as to defy the imagination....actually that is what believers do, they suspend disbelief and what ever comes up out of their imagination is real to them.

There is no god. Why? Because there is no proof of a god. For over 10,000 years of religious experimentation about how to get god to do something for someone, or get god's attention, it has not worked. No god, or gods have cured any illnesses, made any mountains move, did not come back from the dead a second time, has not made the sun stop, not cured cancer, stopped retarded babies from being born...and on, and on, and on.

There is no proof of a god, not in any sense....but only in the minds of those who want and need to believe. Poor things.

KP said...

Bold assertions, greedyforthruth and Judy. How about offering an actual argument refuting anything I presented in the chat? That would be much more enlightening. Thanks.

John said...

You're utterly, backwardly wrong, of course. Atheism, at least the sort where one merely lacks a positive belief in a deity, requires absolutely no defense, as it's a default position.

You are an atheist as well, towards all the gods you don't believe in. Are you obligated to defend your lack of belief in all the other deities except the one you choose to believe in? Of course not. It's not a "common ploy", because it's not any sort of ploy. It's stating the incredibly obvious.

In the end, it boils down to burden of proof. The burden of proof is not on the skeptic, it's on the one making the claim. Even someone who actively disbelieves isn't required to justify their position, as they haven't made the claim that a thing exists. Like it or not, it's your responsibility in a debate to prove your claim true, not an atheists'. Their role in the debate is to make you show evidence, and to do their best to call that evidence into question by providing contrary evidence, not to prove there is/are no god(s).

Judy Weismonger said...

I don't get it...you are not an Atheist. You have no idea what Atheism means, or how one comes to be an Atheist, or the various types of Atheists there are...therefore, why are you telling me, an Atheist with a PhD, near a second doctorate, with 20 years of research in understanding concepts...what Atheism is?

Not once in 10,000 years of known recorded history has there been proof of a diety, ie. something divine which can at will interrupt the laws of physics. Not once in all of known cosmological history for the past 13.6 billion years, or 4.5 billion years of earth's history is there a shred of evidence that indicates something with the power to either create, or destroy by interrupting the laws of physics been noted or observed, or even "found" through deductive reasoning at the very least.

Your "belief" in god is part of evolution, which for some was badly mutated in that creativity and fantasy, overwhelmed the brain's abilty for logic and reason. Some of us have evolved past that primitive state to include such person's as Einstein and nearly 95% of all scientists.

Now if Einstein was an Atheist, which he said he was...and the most brilliant minds in the world are by majority Atheists...why would we believe you or want to buy into your religious fantasy that preaches a belief in magic?

Judy Weismonger said...

I don't get it...you are not an Atheist. You have no idea what Atheism means, or how one comes to be an Atheist, or the various types of Atheists there are...therefore, why are you telling me, an Atheist with a PhD, near a second doctorate, with 20 years of research in understanding concepts...what Atheism is?

Not once in 10,000 years of known recorded history has there been proof of a diety, ie. something divine which can at will interrupt the laws of physics. Not once in all of known cosmological history for the past 13.6 billion years, or 4.5 billion years of earth's history is there a shred of evidence that indicates something with the power to either create, or destroy by interrupting the laws of physics been noted or observed, or even "found" through deductive reasoning at the very least.

Your "belief" in god is part of evolution, which for some was badly mutated in that creativity and fantasy, overwhelmed the brain's abilty for logic and reason. Some of us have evolved past that primitive state to include such person's as Einstein and nearly 95% of all scientists.

Now if Einstein was an Atheist, which he said he was...and the most brilliant minds in the world are by majority Atheists...why would we believe you or want to buy into your religious fantasy that preaches a belief in magic?

cribe to comments on this post.

Posted by John to The Christian Mind at April 02, 2009 5:13 PM

Andrew said...

Judy,

Clearly you don't know Einstein as he was a deist not an atheist. Einstein believed in a god that didn't intervene in private lives, he was never an atheist check your facts.

Next, you claim that in 10,000 years there was never proof, were you there to measure it? observe it? I doubt it. Most of reordered history prior to A.D has been lost with events such as the burning of the library of Alexandria. Also, who decides what is proof of god? you, scientists, people? What a person determines as proof without being there is nothing more than a opinion, which does not count the bible, obviously; even though real historians not scientist find the bible to filled with information of the past, most particularly geography. God, religion, faith, are not part of physics nor this universe all together these are examples of philosophy, real science doesn't care for religion, only people who bring science into this philosophical debate are atheist trying to convince others they are right, even though science will never take an official stance on god.

Finally, an example of this is in 1979, a meteor was five hours away from colliding with the earth killing all human life, why did it miss? you would say chance, we just got lucky, but some one else could have an equal claim to say it was god; who is right? no one because neither can prove their point fully, you should no by now that science can never prove any thing a hundred percent true.

shanelle said...

The LORD is coming soon. This may not make sense to some people, but its the truth. Turning to the LORD and Christianity is enlightening. It really does save your life. All of life's problems seem to make sense, no matter how bad they might seem. There are a lot of critics, when it comes to Christianity and the Bible, and I used to be one of them. However, the more you read, the more you will understand and see the Bible is good and holy. Jesus himself says in Matthew 7:7 "Keep asking and it will be given to you. Keep searching and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you". This is true. As long as you are on a quest for GOD, I believe you are likly to find Jesus.

Psalms 147:3
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Isaiah 40:29-31
He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength…Those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

Isaiah 54:14, 15
In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you. Indeed they shall surely assemble, but not because of Me. Whoever assembles against you shall fall for your sake.

Isaiah 61:3
…To give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness…

Lance said...

sorry Sheila, but I am a bit confused. How does one go on a quest for a mythical being? I mean i suppose I could read through the bible, but then I am filled with knowledge that also turns out to be mythical adn leaves out any sense of logic and reason. Where can I go from ther?

Judy Weismonger said...

I find lots of christians and believers strangely attracted to Atheism. And my best guess is that down deep, in the subconscious mind that often acts as the "judge" of what is logical or not, christian believers "know" that their religion is bogus and without proof or substance. They cling to religion, the same as a five year old child, clings to the idea that there is a special sky god fairy who cares about them, and makes them special. They know down deep and we ATheists know for a fact, there is no god...and they know this.

Judy Weismonger said...

Albert Einstein was an ATHEIST....a "deist" is someone who perceives nature as the only force in the universe. Deism is not any kind of worship of god, or any supernatural divine thingy of any kind.

I am ALWAYS amused when someone misuses the word "deism" wrongly. Einstein wrote a letter to a particular minister who claimed wrongly that Einstein believed in a god. Einstein made it abundantly clear, he was an ATHEIST.

In fact, 85% of all scientists polled are Atheists....and the rest are Agnostic.

I can be assured of one thing...Xians will make things up to prove there is a god...which makes them constant, genetic liars and fabricators, and one of the reasons....why religion is failing and will be gone in the next 200 years or less.

Religion does nothing, it does not improve anything, change people, or interrupt the laws of physics, or consequences. Religion is a 3000 year old lie that has to be put down like a rabid dog.

Judy Weismonger said...

How can anyone be "angry" at something that does not exist?

Atheists like myself, are angry at the religionists and believers who use blackmail, threats, and extortion to force belief in an imaginary god.

Religion demands no proof, no truth, no facts, no tests of reality...religion never corrects its mistakes.

Religion demands that you "believe" no matter how stupid or ridiculous the bible sounds...i.e. the earth is flat, rabbits have cloven feet, jesus can move mountains, the sun revolves around the earth, the entire universe was created in six days...and the list of conflicts is just nearly endless.

Through out the new and old testament...it says continually...to "kill" nonbelievers.

Now why in the 21st century would anyone believe in this garbage....and think like an adult? Religion is something like a five year old child believes in...

Being an ATheist...is being and thinking like a grownup.

Judy Weismonger said...

You can't even name the comet that "almost hit the earth" in 1979....and it missed, because it missed...it was NEVER ever on a direct trajectory to earth. It missed by 1000s of miles. So what, thousands of comets burn up in the earth's atmosphere every year.

Some have hit the earth....in Siberia, the Egyptian desert and other places. So what? This has been going on for millions of years.

It is always amazing...when the silly religious begin to create "bogus" and religious science to prove there is a god.

Unless you have a PhD in physics, and have published in a peer reviewed science journal...as a "xian" you just sound stupid and clueless when you talk about science.

You know nothing about science....but, I will tell you one thing. Science corrects its mistakes, it enlarges it knowledge base....and religion does not.

Religion demands that you believe its garbage....and WILL NOT supply any proof of a god.

If there was proof of a god...Scientists would have found it a long, long time ago.

What a god does...is interrupt the laws of physics, or interrupt the consequences of a certain action. At no time in all of history...has any such "religious magic" ever occurred..

Jesus was a magician...one of many, and the entire myth of jesus...was based on Mithraism...of which every single story or claim, existed with Mithra in 600 BC.

Jesus is not original...

greedyfortruth said...

God is the end result of a failed search for truth by a very shallow mind.

Judy Weismonger said...

Truth is backed up by facts, evidence, documentation, science, logic and rational thought...now if the religious could "prove" in any way, or provide evidence for a "god" of any kind or version...we would stop being Atheists.

Until then......

Judy Weismonger said...

I always ask the Christians this question:

Which version of god do you want us to believe in?

However, I never get an answer...because the religious are just clueless.

Judy Weismonger said...

Liar, Liar, your pants are on Fire! ALBERT EINSTEIN WAS AN ATHEIST...AND STATED SO PUBLICALLY IN A PUBLISHED REPLY TO A PREACHER WHO CLAIMED....EINSTEIN WAS A "DEIST." Einstein said the religious were "childish and weak"....to wit:

Einstein: The mystical trend of our time, which shows itself particularly in the rampant growth of the so-called Theosophy and Spiritualism, is for me no more than a symptom of weakness and confusion. Since our inner experiences consist of reproductions, and combinations of sensory impressions, the concept of a soul without a body seem to me to be empty and devoid of meaning.
The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. The religion which based on experience, which refuses to be dogmatic. If there's any religion that would cope with scientific needs it will be Buddhism....
If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.
The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge.
Immortality? There are two kinds. The first lives in the imagination of the people, and is thus an illusion. There is a relative immortality which may conserve the memory of an individual for some generations. But there is only one true immortality, on a cosmic scale, and that is the immortality of the cosmos itself. There is no other.
-- Albert Einstein, quoted in Madalyn Murray O'Hair, All the Questions You Ever Wanted to Ask American Atheists (1982) vol. ii., p. 29

Einstein: Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre (and religious) minds.

-- Albert Einstein, echoing Robert Green Ingersoll ("I admit that reason is a small and feeble flame, a flickering torch by stumblers carried in the star-less night, -- blown and flared by passion's storm, -- and yet, it is the only light. Extinguish that, and nought remains." from the Field-Ingersoll Debate).

I suggest you read exactly what Einstein said, rather than believe the lies and BS told to you by your religious leaders...

THOSE WHO CLAIM EINSTEIN WAS A DEIST OR BELIEVED IN GOD...ARE EITHER LIARS, DELUSIONAL, OR HAVE NEVER READ ANYTHING EINSTEIN SAID:

Judy Weismonger said...

EINSTEIN SAID...THAT ANYONE WHO CLAIMED HE BELIEVED IN GOD....WAS A LIAR:

EINSTEIN: It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.
-- Albert Einstein, 1954, from Albert Einstein: The Human Side, edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, Princeton University Press

BUT THEN BECAUSE THERE IS NO GOD, THE RELIGIOUS GOD-BELIEVERS HAVE TO RESORT TO OUTRAGEOUS CLAIMS AND LIES...TO TRY AND FOOL PEOPLE INTO BELIEVING THERE IS A GOD.

IF THERE WAS ANY PROOF OF A GOD...EINSTEIN AND 85% OF ALL SCIENTISTS WHO ARE ALSO ATHEISTS...WOULD BELIEVE IN A GOD.

BUT, THERE IS NO GOD...

AND TO ALSO STATE, THAT GOD "BINDS" UP WOUNDS, HEALS THE SICK, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH...IS A JOKE, BECAUSE IF A GOD DID THIS, WE WOULD NOW HAVE A NEED FOR DOCTORS, HOSPITALS, OR HEALTH INSURANCE. NOW WOULD WE>

Dan Jacobs said...

It is true that no one, at this time, can prove the existence or non-existence of "God" if one defines God as a conscious being who created the universe. But if that's how you define God, he could be somebody who picks his nose, pees in the shower, and is laughed at by the other Gods. That definition of God does not imply a creature with dignity, morals, or awareness of what he created, much less infinite intelligence or awareness and love for the denizens of Earth.

If you stick with a definition of God that reflects the usage of most Christians (at least, that I've encountered), then God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and good. But I find it impossible to reconcile that definition with reality. There are innocent creatures of all kinds, and little girls, and babies, beautiful children, who are tortured, burned, dismembered, drowned while crying for their mothers, in absolute terror that would rend the heart of an observer with an ounce of empathy. Yet YOUR God stands there and does nothing. I cannot grant respect to a creature that, at no cost to itself, cannot lend a hand to a tortured creature.

Christians do. They grant not only respect, but they get on their knees and beg their God for eternal life. They sacrifice their intellectual and moral integrity for an empty promise. They sell out their souls, their minds, their self-respect.

Their behavior is contemptible and cowardly. A man of conscience, with at least an ounce of empathy and even a modest intelligence can see the contradiction between their God and the evil we observe on this Earth. But the Christian doesn't rise to that level. He denies the pain, he makes excuses and rationalizes. He dare not let his God think that he strays because he fears that he might not get the ultimate reward of an eternal life of ecstasy. For this, he sells his soul like a cheap whore.

That there is no "God" by the usual definition is not in doubt. It is a certainty, proven by this contradiction between the definition and what we see all around us. There is no need to cast doubt by mentioning how pitifully average words of the Bible are, or bring up the astonishing lack of any historical record of Jesus outside of the Bible, or the fact that the Bible is a collection of stories of unproven origin collected hundreds of years after the fact, or that Christianity is just another in a long line of parallel lies produced to quell Man's fear of death. This is all silly and unnecessary and deflects us from the truth that logic reveals. There is Evil, so there is no God.

steve said...

"His rationale for this was that since he was a negative atheist (one who lacks a belief in God but does not assert that God does not exist), he was making no assertion and therefore was under no obligation to offer a defense."

This "rationale" is perfectly sound, even without the addition of "negative" to the term atheist.

Theism and atheism deal with belief, not knowledge. You either believe the claim that a god exists, or you don't.

Gnosticism and agnosticism are a different scale entirely, dealing with claims of special knowledge.

To summarise, there are technically 4 positions that one could hold:

Agnostic atheist; One cannot know for certain, but sees no evidence to justify belief in any god

Agnostic theist; One cannot know for certain, but believes that a god exists

Gnostic atheist; Knows there is no god

Gnostic theist; Knows there is a god


Now, I suggest that, by definition, we are all agnostic, as no-one is capable of knowing, with absolute certainty, either way. Anyone who claims to do so is either deluded or lying.

This leaves us with the choice of either believing the claim, or not. As a rational individual (who cares whether or not his beliefs are true), I cannot claim to believe in something for which I see no evidence.



Please explain to me, with which part of this position do you take issue?

steve said...

Why have you not approved or responded to my comment? There was nothing in it that warrented moderation, other than the fact that it contridicted your post.

KP said...

Steve,
I take it from your impatience that your Labor Day weekend was not as full as my own. You posted your original comment on Sunday afternoon and are incredulous that I neither posted nor commented on your post over the holiday weekend? Come now. Relax a little. Believe it or not, I have more than this blog to tend to. As a matter of fact, my Labor Day was spent actually laboring.

Now, as to your points, first, knowledge, is a subset or particular kind of belief according to the philosophical definition: "justified, true, belief." So, to suggest, as you do, that there can be no overlap between the two is erroneous.

I'm curious about how you move from the statement "I see no evidence for the existence of God and therefore remain agnostic on the question of his existence" to the conclusion that no one can know whether there is a God. While that sounds open minded it is, in essence, to claim to know that the God of the Bible who is claimed to have revealed himself so clearly that knowledge of him is inescapable (see Rom. 1:18ff), does not exist.

The idea of combining the words "agnostic" and "atheist" or "theist" is novel, to say the least.

Now, so as to preempt any further protestations, steve, I'll tell you that I may not publish or respond to future comments on a schedule that suits you. In fact, I make no promises concerning publication or response as I don't regard the ability to comment here an entitlement.

Judy Weismonger said...

And how exactly do the forgeries in the bible prove there us a god?

Gregar7777 said...

I feel bad for you man. All these atheists infecting your own blog. They just don't know when they're wrong

Chico Guerra said...

Judy,

Your presupposition is that science has no evidence for God, but that is only an opinion.
Science looks at natural phenomena through measuring, weighing, seeing, etc. God, by definition, is not limited to the universe. Therefore, it would not be expected that physical detection of God would be found. Although there are many scientists who affirm evidence for God's existence through science.

Have you ever heard of Laminin? The cell adhesion molecule found in the "extracellular matrix", the sheets of protein that form the substrate of all internal organs also called the 'basement membrane'. Laminin is vital to making sure overall body structures HOLD TOGETHER.
Basically laminin is the glue of the human body. What makes it even more astounding is that if you search an image of laminin you come across that it is in the form of a cross. Which blew away many of my friends that were former atheists who have now converted.
Look at Colossians 1:15-20

Chico Guerra said...

Yeah that is pretty cool science evidence. Basically showing that God himself will hold us together through the hard times, through the pain, the suffering, he will never forsake I nor you. I love it. Check out Louie Giglio's sermon on the protein molecule Laminin on youtube.com

You may believe that the Bible has many contradictions and is difficult to believe, due to evidence, and documentation. But as you said as above that the Bible says the universe was created in 6 days (which it does say). Is very well misinterpreted by the majority of its readers. We can't even begin to compare our modern day lives to the very beginning of the Earth, it did not rely on a 24-hour day period so we can't put the two together and say the universe was created in a 144-hour period. Which I stand with you there because it does quite sound ridiculous, that is just a very well misinterpreted scripture in the Bible as well as many others I can inform you on if you'd like?

i. The Bible is extremely reliable. The Bible is 98½ percent textually pure. This means that through all the copying of the Biblical manuscripts of the entire Bible, only 1½% has any question about it. Nothing in all of the ancient writings of the entire world even approaches the accuracy of transmission found in the biblical documents.

ii. The 1½ percent that is in question does not affect doctrine. The areas of interest are called variants and they consist mainly in variations of wording and spelling.

iii. The OT does not have as many supporting manuscripts as the NT but it is, nevertheless, remarkably reliable.
a. The Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Hebrew OT done around 250 B.C., attests to the reliability and consistency of the OT when it is compared to existing Hebrew manuscripts.
b. The Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in 1947 also verify the reliability of the OT manuscripts.
c. The Dead Sea Scrolls were ancient documents that were hidden in a cave in Israel about 2000 years ago. The scrolls contained many OT books, one of them being Isaiah.
i.Before the Dead Sea scrolls, the earliest existing manuscript of the OT was dated around 900 A.D. called the Masoretic Text. The Scrolls contained OT documents 1000 years earlier. A comparison between the manuscripts revealed an incredible accuracy of transmission through copying, so much so that critics were silenced.

iv. The NT has over 5000 supporting Greek manuscripts existing today with another 20,000 manuscripts in other languages. Some of the manuscript evidence dates to within 100 years of the original writing. There is less than a 1% textual variation in the NT manuscripts.

v. Estimated time of writing of the NT documents:
-Paul's Letters, 50-66 A.D.
-Matthew, 70-80 A.D.
-Mark, 50-65 A.D.
-Luke, early 60's
-John, 80-100 A.D.
-Revelation 96 A.D.

vi. Some of the supporting manuscripts of the NT are:
-John Rylands MS written around 130 A.D., the oldest existing fragment of the NT
-Bodmer Papyrus II (150-200 A.D.)
-Chester Beatty Papyri (200 A.D.), contains major portions of the NT
-Codex Vaticanus (325-350 A.D.), contains nearly all the Bible.
-Codex Sinaiticus (350 A.D.), contains almost all the NT and over half of the OT
-No other ancient writing can boast of having copies so close to the original time of writing. With the Bible, the difference is about 50 years. With Plato and Aristotle, for example, the difference is measured in hundreds of years.

Please respond I'd like to hear what you have to say. Thank you for considering this too.