Sunday, 6 January 2013

Twelve good arguments atheists advance against Christianity

Are there any good arguments for Christianity? Of course! That’s why so many intelligent thinking people are Christians (here are twenty).

Are there any good arguments against Christianity? Of course! That’s why so many intelligent thinking people are not Christians.

So what are the best arguments against Christianity? Well it depends on whether you are a Muslim, a Jew, an atheist, a Hindu or something else. Every ‘worldview’ has its own particular set of arguments.

But given that atheism seems to be the most rapidly growing ‘worldview’ in Britain, and at least in part at the expense of Christianity, what are the best arguments atheists bring against Christianity?

Here’s a list of twelve of the most common ones I have heard over my twenty years working with Christian Medical Fellowship.

In listing them, I’m not saying that I find any of them particularly convincing (I don’t and none of them have led me personally to doubt any of the teachings of Jesus Christ).

But some intelligent people do find them convincing and cite them as reasons why they either lost the faith of their childhood or chose not to believe. This is why I am calling them ‘good arguments’ – they are, in other words, good enough to persuade some people.

Some of these arguments I have already posted responses to on this blog. If so they are hyperlinked. I’ll link others as I post new answers.

The most common response I receive today for people not believing is simply ‘because there is no evidence’. This is interesting in itself as I don’t actually know any Christian who would say that their faith is not based on evidence which they personally find plausible.

This suggests to me that Christians, for some reason, are not very effective at explaining to non-Christians why they do believe. Or, alternatively, that atheists for some reason are reluctant to give up their 'unbelief'. Or both.

If you are an atheist please let us know which of these arguments you find most convincing. If you are a Christian then let us know which ones you find hardest to answer. Are there any important ones that you think I have left out? Anonymous posts are welcome.

So, in no particular order:

1.There’s so much suffering in the world
If God is omnipotent, omniscient and wholly benevolent then he would eradicate evil and suffering but the world is full of it. Therefore he is either not all powerful, not all knowing, not benevolent or (most likely) does not actually exist.

2.Jesus can’t be the only way to God
There are many different religions in the world, all followed by many intelligent educated people. Isn’t it simply arrogant and narrow-minded to suggest that all of them apart from Christianity are wrong?

3.Christian faith is just psychological
Christians believe in Christ largely for psychological reasons: because it comforts them, because they were brought up that way or because they are afraid not to believe in case they go to Hell.

4.Miracles can’t happen
The world operates according to observable laws of nature meaning that miracles simply cannot occur. Regardless there is no evidence to suggest either that they do or that they ever did.

5.A good God wouldn’t send people to Hell
An allegedly omnipotent, omniscient, benevolent God has seemingly freely chosen to sentence most human beings to hell. Why? Should such a God (if he exists) be trusted?

6.The problem of those who have never heard
There are many people who have died without hearing the Christian gospel and many today have not heard and will never hear it. If Christianity is true God and people are damned without believing it God would surely have found a way for them to have heard.

7.The Bible is full of errors
Many events in the Bible, such as the creation narrative, the flood, much Old Testament history and the Gospel accounts are not backed up by science or archaeology and much of the history is not even internally consistent. They were also written long after the events they claim to describe are are in the main just 'stories'.

8.Christianity may be true for you but it isn’t true for me
I can see that believing in Christianity ‘helps’ you, that it is ‘true for you’. But it is not ‘true for me’. Everybody should be free to choose his or her own belief.

9.The God of the Bible is a moral monster and restricts human freedom
God, particularly as depicted in the Old Testament, is a vengeful, genocidal, pestilential megalomaniac who does not act morally. Furthermore his restrictions on such things as sexual behaviour, abortion and euthanasia are undermining of human autonomy.

10.It is no longer necessary to invoke God as an explanation for anything
Now that we have the theories of evolution and big bang/multiverse theory there is no need for a designer to explain the origin and complexity of living things or the physical universe.

11.The church is full of hypocrites
Christianity has been responsible for a huge amount of killing and wars throughout history and the newspapers are full of supposed Christians who are paedophiles, liars, adulterers, murderers and abusers. If Christianity were true it would make people better.

12.Christians cherry-pick what they want out of the Bible
Christians do not consistently apply the Bible’s commands but pick and choose what they want. For example they forbid sex outside marriage but are happy to eat shellfish and wear polyester although these are forbidden in exactly the same books of the Bible. Furthermore Christians disagree profoundly amongst themselves about what is right and wrong.



216 comments:

  1. The "hiddenness" of God might be worth mentioning....although I don't think it's a great objection, it gets a lot of philosophical and popular attention.

    Basically - if God is real, why isn't his existence more obvious?

    I think that God's existence is obvious...the atheist objection is "but why isn't it more so?"

    Graham

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    1. Thanks Graham. I agree.

      As I say above the 'most common response I receive today for people not believing is simply "because there is no evidence"'

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    2. God is all around us. Creation shouts of His presence, we just choose to ignore it. If He did come and say, 'Hey, here I am! Do you believe now?' We would probably makes excuses for not following Him. Besides, He did come in physical appearance. You've just missed Him by 2,000 years. And because creation shows Him, people who don't hear of the good news (e.g, in remote areas) still say that there is a God, because they do not deny that creation must have been intelligently and creatively planned to be the way it is.

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    3. Peter Saunders do you have a daughter named Brianna Saunders

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    4. God is apparently absent from us for 'our' benefit, not His. Those of us who have been priviledged to meet and experience Him in the flesh, He is soooooooo awesome, soooooooo powerful yet soooooooo loving, that His love is just sooooo attractive to us, that we want to end our existence in the here and now, vacate this life with immediate effect and be with Him. That is not what He wants for us in the here and now. He wants us to live, experience and grow. We can't do that, if we want to leave this earthly existence.

      His apparent absence is the greatest illusion since He is actually everywhere except for in human comprehension.

      I have often heard folk say what they would want to do with their eternity, believe me, when you come to experience Him for real, you will not want to do anything except to be with Him, against which everything else pales into insignificance and everything else becomes totally meaningless and valueless. His love for us in my hard experience is absolutely awesome.

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    5. How is the devil bad if he punishes people for doing bad things?

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    6. He does not punish people, he looks to kill, steal what's ours, and destroy.

      He is not working with God, as you imply but against us.



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    7. you say Satan is not working for God, that is utterly false, if you knew more of the bible you would know GOd uses the DEvil for his biding...now if i were to use someone that is evil to get what i want, am i not evil as well? therefore contradicting most of the bible.

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    8. Rubbish...

      Bible says in James 1:13 God CANNOT be tempted by evil nor does He tempt anyone

      Its in the bible, check it out, its a good book!

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    9. Job 1:9 “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied.
      Job 1:10 “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land.
      Job 1:11 But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.”

      Job 1:12 The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.”

      Try again.

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    10. In Job1:8 God questions Satan “Hast thou set thy heart against My servant Job?”

      In Job 1:9 Satan is challenging God’s assessment of Job saying Job only serves God because of all the advantages it brings him.

      In Job 1:11 Satan challenges God to remove all His blessings from Job and believes Job will deny Him. Satan cannot reverse God’s blessing

      Job 1:12 shows that the Lord merely reminded Satan he already had dominion over fallen man, Job was already in Satan’s power, but Satan still had to obey God and could not take Job’s life.

      This clearly reveals that God does not tempt anyone. God did not use Satan for his bidding. He is not the One who brings destruction in our lives. Without the devil none of the bad things that happened to Job would have happened. God is not the author of our problems.

      And the good news lesson is…..

      All this was prior to Abraham and Moses. Job was basically covenant-less. God wanted to bless him, and He did. But when Satan protested, God had to turn him over to Satan because there was no legal contract (covenant) between Job and God that provided for this type of blessing.

      This is one reason why the Lord started making covenants with man. He wanted to bless us but needed a legal way to circumvent the fact that all humanity had corrupted themselves and made Satan their lord

      All covenants were only partial because fallen man failed to live up to them, until Jesus came. Then God made covenant with Jesus, and all who put their faith and trust in Him as Savior get in on God’s covenant with Jesus.

      All New Testament believers have been delivered from the power of Satan’s kingdom and translated into the kingdom of God’s dear Son. Satan doesn’t have the authority over any born-again believer that he had over Job. And we have a covenant with the Lord full of promises that Job didn’t have.

      Thanks for pointing out how good God is…..

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    11. i can't speak to his relationship with the devil, but i would say that the devil took a ton of misdirected blame since in Isaiah god stated that he was both the light and the dark; the good and the evil. so much for "being good all the time" and having nothing to do with the suffering of the innocent. ptthhhrrrp!

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    12. Darkness is the absence of light. The absence of light existed before God created light (Genesis 1:2). So, God didn’t really “create” darkness. But God forms the light and defines anything other than light as darkness. Likewise, the Lord doesn’t create evil, but establishes peace and calls anything else evil.

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    13. I don't get this whole devil thing. Jews originally understood Satan to be the prosecutor, putting Job's love for God on trial. Satan was just a servant of God, not some big bad devil like in Greek, Persian, or Babylonian myth (and eventually Roman and Islam). Wonder if the empires that defeated the Jews had anything to do with the change in beliefs. All throughout the Tanakh, it is said that God rewards us in THIS lifetime and those who follow his commandments and honor his covenant will be blessed. After being wiped off the soles of the sandals of many nations, the Jews had to account for their many defeats and thus concluded that rewards will come after all are judged. They could not blame God, so they created someone powerful to take all the blame (mimicking the Zoroastrian beliefs of a dual-natured god: half good and half evil)

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    14. My friend you are all over the place.
      I agree you don’t understand the whole devil thing.
      You try and throw some seed of doubt into what is written by asserting that other empires have influenced God’s word, yet the evidence shows that the Word of God we have today is the same word of God that we had 3500 years ago. (Dead Sea scrolls as one of many examples)
      God does reward us in this life time. Old Testament, do good get good, still have to do something to get it. New Testament, Jesus did all, choose him, get good, has, past tense now all been done.
      How are the Jews defeated? Persian and Babylonian are not empires today. The Israel people with their culture still exist so how are the Jews defeated? And, Jews are simply people with a covenant with God. All who choose Jesus are Jews.

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    15. I accept that this response is a bit late :-) but i only just found this site and Chantelles argument (second reply) is very common and worth addressing.

      Even if you managed to prove that our world needed a designer (not a view i hold at all but for the sake of this argument....) that wouldn't mean your god is that designer. In fact it doesn't get you any closer to your god, at all. This will sound crazy to you if you have grown up in a country where your religion holds the majority but on this planet alone we have created gods numbered in the thousands...
      This is just a list of some of the human gods that we know the name of... http://machineslikeus.com/news/global-gods (evidence of Neanderthals and Cro-Magnums performing ritualistic burials as far back as 50,000 years suggests it's possible there could be a few names missing off that list)

      The stories and rules of those gods are often so conflicting that if you pick just one of those gods and then just one culture/periods outline of it, then one of the main divisions and then one of the branches from that division...you have managed to get all the way down to an image of god that contains the pnbc (a black social justic group) and godhatesfags.com! But as bad as this seems, when you factor in that the human race may (or to me most likely) not know the actual truth, with the fact that a being that isn't limited by the laws of our universe contains an infinite number of possible forms by definition. irrefutable proof of the deist position is mathematically equally as far from your personal idea of a god as an atheistic world view. So using a design argument as proof of a theistic position is demonstrably as bad an argument as logic dictates it is possible to make, try not to take this too personally as it's a common argument in both Christianity and Islam which means it's an argument used by 2/3 of the planet :-)

      I think an omniscient being would be able to think of a way to convince me what it was, if that same being was also omnipresent and non temporal it would be an incredibly strange move to pick a remote dessert at a time in it's history where the majority of the population were illiterate and at the time when human messiah claims were at their highest. But don't worry he is going to break the laws of physics to perform magic tricks to a few of those people quite often but then when he is to be crucified and all eyes are on him he will appear to die like any other human messiah....but....then he will reveal it was all a ploy!...to the people who already believed him.... by leaving the earth without visiting any other people on the planet to let them know that the information he just revealed to a few dessert folk is essential for their not burning and suffering for all eternity.....genius? And the bible says clearly the only way to heaven is through the spirit and the truth so even after the revelation the majority of the world didn't stand a chance. Or even worse they created their own gods, and your god used up 4 of his 10 commandments making clear to people this wasn't going to fly.
      And he doesn't explain why all this torment has suddenly become so prevalent? All of human history and the first revealed word of god and other then some benign retrofit translations of adversary there's no sign of satan!. Then jesus turns up to take away all of our sins..... at the same time as he introduces us to this new concept of a place where those same humans are tortured for all eternity for *drum roll* their sins?? He then reveals to his friends that belief in him is the way to avoid hell and then goes home without even popping in to inform the chinese on the way.

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    16. I think i've just figured out the surprise twist and big reveal in bible 3!!!

      So far the devil doesn't seem to exist before the arrival of christ, God however now informs us that he is a massively powerful shape shifting liar whose goal is to deceive us, create war on earth and get everyone into hell.
      Jesus shows up on a mission to absolve humanity of their sins, he instead announces that not believing in him is now an ultimate sin which instantly guaranteed 99.9% of humans alive on the planet at that time would end up in hell, and then he buggers off without telling many people the 'gospel' leading to religious war that has gripped the entire globe to this day....uummm...
      You thought the Da Vinci code was good? Wait till I write this book hahaha :-)

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    17. Pretty much everything you said is incorrect
      No Satan before Jesus.....please read your bible its a good book!

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    18. I rather enjoyed this little discussion. I am a non believer and I have my reasons, none of witch you would agree with based on the comments below, but in the same example, you could not answer the questions any better than your spiritual leader (pastor, priest, whatever the case may be) can, and therefore are a poor representation of your faith. You are doing more ham to yourselves than good people. I suggest you read the good book yourselves.

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    19. More ham! Haha! I just did myself more harm than good didn't I?

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    20. You do know that Jesus talked to quite a lot of people after rising from the dead? He talked to more like 300+ people. And what do you think he did, just leave the Chinese in the dark? What do you think the apostles were for? The teachers , the preachers, and... Well... Pretty much every Christian that is saved by grace is put on this dying earth to spread the word. Since Jesus was in the middle east the people around him could easily travel to Asia and tell the people over there.

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  2. The arguments above are, shall I say very simplistic in a theistic sense, which I guess is how theists like their arguments. The onus is on the theists to produce evidence without reference to their books of preference ( Bible, Torah, Qu'ran) which are all incontrivertibly contrivances by man and thus works of fiction. Good luck with that - in my 50 years thus far, though I have searched, I have not encountered one decent argument to convince any rational being of the existence of any omnipotent deity.

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    1. Really? Well I suspect then that your 'encountering' over these 50 years has been at a rather superficial level as many rational beings have been already convinced by decent arguments of the existence of an omnipotent deity. Just as others haven't.

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    2. I just don't understand what there is to be rational about if you deny God. Turning human reason into God is what some people have done. It does not lead to good things.

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    3. I love how we theists are required "to produce evidence without reference to their books of preference." In other words, we're not allowed to use the evidence that already exists. We have God's Word, but we can't appeal to that. Why? Because it demonstrates the existence of God. Well, yeah, if you *a priori* discard all the evidence for theism, sure enough -- there's no more evidence for theism.

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    4. 1. You say that the arguments above are very simplistic, then you go and commit to several of them by claiming that the Bible is fiction.
      2. You claim that the bible is fiction because it is "incontrivertibly" (spell-check my friend...) contrived by men. I take it that anything that is contrived by men is fiction? In that case your argument is too, so it is self defeating.
      3. 50 years searching isn't really that long. It's an infinitesimal drop in the bucket of eternity. This might be worth further consideration.
      4. The majority of "rational" atheists and agnostics whom I have talked to, when pressed to their rational limits, will admit that their lack of faith is mainly due to moral or emotional reason.

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    5. There is of course a problem in demanding evidence from a God who asks you to have faith - what sort of evidence would it take.

      You may say why doesnt God appear - and I expect He would say: but I sent you my Son, who is my exact image, so you could see me and hear His testimony, if only you would believe Him.

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    6. The mortal enemy of faith is knowledge, a scientific fact that has been demonstrated by researchers at the University of British Columbia.The basis of any religion is that you must believe something someone else tells you is true, even though your mind tells you it is a lie and it makes no sense. There is name for that: fideism. Without fideism, the concept of religion would not exist.

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    7. Bryan
      For one thing there is no need to spell check other people, you knew what was meant, so that's just being rude. Point on 2, is that just because something is written in a book does not make it true, or untrue for that matter. There is some evidence for event written in the bible, but much of it is not proven, and written, translated and edited by perfectly fallible people. That's a gives a lot of opportunity for it to be wrong, and for my money, I can't see how it can be claimed to be true. The only evidence for it all to be true is in the book itself, and that's appalling circular logic. If I write on a piece of paper that what it says is true and God told me to say that, then it's still just a bit of paper and I still just wrote what I wanted to write.
      On point 3, Christianity has been around for 2000 years, not all of eternity, or anything like it, and once again you are being rude about the poster's personal experience which seems pretty thorough to me.
      On point 4, my atheism is rational, comes after bible study and church attendance and comes from a total lack of any logic in the system of belief. Point1 in the original post seals it for me. There is horrendous desperate suffering in this world, suffering that most cannot even contemplate, and those of us lucky enough to be in the western world, with education, computers, safety, roofs over our heads cannot being to understand that sort of suffering that comes to others through the pure accident of their birth. There cannot be any benevolent hand on the tiller while such things happen.

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    8. Suedonym,

      On point 4, How is it that you can read the bible, accept that God gave us all power and authority and free will; that the very nature of God will not allow him to take back what he has given us, and yet you still want to blame God.

      It is the same thing as if someone buys you a brand new car, gives you title and use of for free, and than after driving around for awhile you run out of petrol so blame the person that gave you the gift saying it was faulty, or worse you have an accident deny the car was yours and try and blame the person that gave you the car for the accident.

      That make no sense and either does denying God when you don't like the results of your choices.

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    9. Don't bother. I don't for the most part any more. What the theist mind cannot comprehend, is not logical arguments. No, not at all. They fail to realize that MOST atheist come from a theistic background with more or less zeal than those on this site. Yet, they'll play the "No true scotsman" fallacy and say that you were "never" really a believer.

      They cannot fathom the idea of someone who was willing to die for their faith, losing the same faith. They preach from a podium of ignorance with their vile words, not even realizing that many of us stood on the same podiums and spewed the same filth from our mouths.

      My one question that shuts theist down 99.9% of the time. I belonged to an Evangelical Church for 20 some odd years. I was leader of my youth group and taking steps to go to seminary. I've been in your shoes and I've looked through your eyes. When was the last time you where an atheist?

      Trust me silly little theist. Most atheist are quite sure and comfortable with our non belief. We had to lose a part of ourselves and be "reborn" just to make it this far. If you think that we did this willy nilly without tears and loss and sacrifice, you will NEVER understand our position as you cuddle up with your warm blanket of ignorance and CHOOSE to ignore reality.

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    10. I'm offended!!! How can you say that? While I admit some people (on both sides) refuse to see the others arguments, all the people I know certainly CAN comprehend logical arguments! It doesn't matter if you originally came from a church or not and became an atheist. Most do understand. It's only the radicals that go too far. And how is belief a "podium of ignorance"? I know atheists and theists who BELIEVE in gay rights and so on. Does that make their speeches and rallies "vile words" and "spewed filth" because they believe it and others don't?

      I don't know what religion people you know are from, but all the ones I know are not "silly" at all! Personally, I'm from the Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints (LDS), and my group has never tried to tell anyone, atheist or other religions, they are wrong. Its your choice how you live and not our job to judge you.

      This "choice" of ours to ignore reality?? Ya right. What I see is the reality of a small portion of both sides attacking the other because they are different!! Both sides have had tears, loss, and sacrifice. Get off your high horse!

      I believe we have the right to freedom OF religion (or none if you don't want a faith), not in freedom FROM religion. I have never told an atheist they were silly or ignorant or spewing filth just because they don't think the same. I expect the same courtesy. You have the right not to believe in God if you want, but leave MY beliefs alone and stop telling me I am stupid for having faith in a greater plan instead of seeing the world as one giant hell hole!!!


      Now that I got my frustration out, here's my response to some of the arguments:

      The reality of suffering around the world is the whole point we're here. He never promised a perfect world without pain or violence. We are supposed to go through trials. We are also given free will. How are the actions of others causing pain the fault of God? If we want to end it we need to act instead of thinking "If Hitler gets the land he wants, he will stop expanding" and ignoring when people are being killed or repressed.

      As to the Bible being written by men so therefor fiction, does that make history fiction? Text books are written by men. Using the same logic that we can't see for ourselves what the text book says happened, history shouldn't be listened to. And some countries are known to change what is taught in history or suppress it all together! Take things with a grain of salt, but don't claim it is false just because it was "written by man". Who else would it be written by?

      To the church is full of hypocrites. Last time I checked a persons actions are their own responsibility. If a 20 year old steals a car, its not his parents that will get arrested right? So why should we base our faith in God on the actions of other people? Those in power can become corrupt, and bad people will try to get into power to abuse it. There are plenty of hypocrites, liars, and adulterers in government and they have caused just as many deaths and wars as religion. Government is also supposed to make us better, so since it seems to have failed should we not believe governments exist?

      People are entitled to their own opinions. The debate I hear most often is the prove/disprove God. I personally feel that God exists in a realm separate from ours, so we can never find proof. Using science to disprove His existence won't work because he created the universe and all the laws and physics we observe. Its like using the rules of a video games' program to prove the programmer doesn't exist.

      We don't have to agree, but we should at least be polite to each other.

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    11. A little salt in the wounds of the "believer". FREE WILL IS AN ILLUSION!

      Dan Barker explains this clearly, and Dan Barker WAS a preacher who converted to Atheism because even he couldn't believe the words he preached.

      He writes:

      "The Christian God is defined as a personal being who knows everything. According to Christians, personal beings have free will.

      In order to have free will, you must have more than one option, each of which is avoidable. This means that before you make a choice, there must be a state of uncertainty during a period of potential: you cannot know the future. Even if you think you can predict your decision, if you claim to have free will, you must admit the potential (if not the desire) to change your mind before the decision is final.

      A being who knows everything can have no "state of uncertainty." It knows its choices in advance. This means that it has no potential to avoid its choices, and therefore lacks free will. Since a being that lacks free will is not a personal being, a personal being who knows everything cannot exist.

      Therefore, the Christian God does not exist."

      Free Will is an illusion because what you describe as free will means that you are "free" to make any choice you want, follow any path you want while being free to change that choice at any time... Now here is the fallacy in your logic.

      You believe God is all knowing... Without a doubt, he knows what you do every second, before he even created you. If he knows every choice you will ever make in your short existence... and you are part of "his plan".... then You are already on a set path laid out prior to your birth...THIS is not Free will if it has already been foreseen... He knew before even your Grandparents were born, exactly what you will do in your life... What religion you will follow.. when you drink your first beer... when you played with yourself in bed for the first time... Everything up until the moment you die. THIS is not Free will... It is the Illusion of Free will that you Theists can't seem to grasp... Yet you constantly use it to throw in people's face, and scoff because you think you're soooo intelligent that you came up with the little argument yourself... According to you... God already knew you were going to say that when Caesar was King... God Already knew you were going to say that when Noah supposedly sailed 40 days and Nights with EVERY animal on the planet on his tiny little boat with a skeleton crew able to miraculously feed and provide the environment for Every living thing on a tiny ship. What about insects that only live 24 hours.. how did they survive the 40 day trip if Noah only brought one male and one female of their kind?

      Please visit a Children's Hospital ward... In there you will see 2 kinds of people, Religious to the bone people, and those who are Atheists... Their children have the exact chance to survive their illness whether being prayed for or not. This is also another Fallacy in the Christian belief... that Prayer would heal anyone when you're not really doing anything.. You still have to wait for Science to fix the problem... Coincidentally, your kid happens to be cured just after your prayer... NO God answered your prayer... The child's health was already set in motion regardless of your faith...

      Your life is a lie...

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    12. Barker is wrong

      God had a freewill choice. He had the choice to create or not to create.

      Your premise is wrong so the rest of barkers assertions fall over.

      Further, God knows every choice you could make, not that you would make it, you still have freewill.

      Nothing you said about freewill shows that we don't have it. All you have done is just confirmed that God knew what we would do. So what?

      You made no argument here.

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    13. @ Dowden, Your premise of Free Will is slightly flawed since you do not know the traditional definition of free will in Christianity which was established by many Church fathers. 1. Thomas Aquinas defines free will as a will which is its own, not a will free from influence. 2. John Cassian points out that though the will is free, it is weak, as Paul says "That which I want to do I do not, and that which I don't want to do I do, for though I find it in me to will, I do not find it in me to do." - Romans 7:18-21. In this case it is fallacious for you to argue that God has no free will, since God has a will which is freely his own, and a will which is strong and is "not tempted by evil." James 1:13. Your premise is flawed, therefore your argument is false.

      @ Stewpid Monkey: As a Christian I have always hated that argument, and have found it to merely be a cop out in many situations as your own. Hebrews 6 even expresses that if someone who knew and followed the truth turns from it, they cannot turn back to it unless they sacrifice Christ a second time. They take the argument from elsewhere in scripture, which I believe is in Revelations, and twists it to mean anyone who leaves was never Christian at all which obviously do to the reference of Hebrews 6 and where Paul speaks in the letters to Timothy what is being said isn't that they were not Christian, but that they were not strong and willing to stand firm. That aside let me counter your statement of "I was once Christian," by pointing out to you that some of the greatest Christian Apologists were once Atheist. To list just a few, C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, Lee Strobel, etc. So you having once been Christian and becoming an atheist is no more a proof to the ignorance of Christianity than these individuals becoming Christian is a proof to the ignorance of atheism.

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    14. Well put Corey. I really want to hear what an atheist has to say about most of Lee Strobel's writings. Very good information to look into.

      Two things that I want to mention:

      1. Atheists do not "believe nothing" as some claim. They do have a "belief", and that is that they believe God does not exist. (to not have a belief would require ignorance of the option of even believing it).
      2. I am very aware that: I don't understand everything, but I do make an effort to understand things that I believe matter. The things I don't understand, I do hope to understand someday. (which is why research and study are not pointless) As I have grown through my life, many things that I have not understood begin to make sense as my knowledge and experience allow. Think of any difficult college/high school course you have ever had. Understanding is a process. This process will undoubtedly continue as I grow (both physically and spiritually) and continue making the effort to learn. The Bible does not all make sense at once (wouldn't that be nice), but the more I read it, I find things that didn't make any sense become clear and I wonder why it was ever difficult to understand previously.

      To any atheist, I would say this: I disagree with your belief that there is no God, but I do not disagree with those questions that have been asked about God and other questions relevant to Him. Those questions (if you believe they matter, which most obviously do based off their well thought-out arguments) deserve to be asked, and answered with the greatest amount of research and rationality possible.

      I could go on, but this is already too long.

      Peace.

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    15. You want evidence of this faith, yet none is allowed to use any books or teachings to prove to you this existence? Were is the evidence that counters God's existence. Also I must say the tone non believers use is to suggest that people who believe are "stupid/dumb" lets show each other a little respect. Thank you oh and God is great all the time!

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  3. JB in Alabama

    To me as a Christian, 1, 5 and 9 are all related. Together, they are the hardest aspect of God for me to grasp. I think previous generations of the western church had a better handle on God’s holiness and “otherness” than we do today. For me, thinking of the vastness of space and how small we all are help to put God into perspective, if such a thing is truly possible. He just will not fit in our limited knowledge. I do not believe it is wrong to question God about perceived injustice. Several Old Testament prophets and Job did just that. I have done it. Most every Christian has at some point. And he does promise to give wisdom to those who seek it.

    I think we do not understand the brevity of our time here on earth, either. When seen from eternity, we will wonder why we cared so much about, what will then appear like, temporary inconveniences. Who can really grasp that and live in the knowledge of eternity without having been there? It’s all toil, frustration and pain down here, but if we could only understand where we were going…

    The most compelling argument on this list is 11, and I appreciate that people are honestly put off by the way we Christians misrepresent Christ. I really believe there are many people in the western church today that are merely following “church culture” or a political philosophy or other trappings of Christianity that really have nothing to do with following Christ. But even earnest Christians are prone to fail as we will remain in the process of being made perfect for a lifetime. Some elements of the Christian faith will always be offensive to some, but our behavior is not supposed to be one of them.

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  4. I was raised in fundamentalist (i.e., "born again") Christian churches, and now consider myself an atheist. My sticking point is number 5. I accept the point JB makes above in his second paragraph, about the brevity and relative irrelevance of suffering on earth; I can grasp how this can be "part of God's plan" which we will only understand after death. But by the same token (i.e., eternity), I cannot accept that God is good when he has created, or at least is failing to stop, a system which human reason can (in my view, at least) only perceive as evil: namely, the eternal torture of human beings. Even the worst criminal here on earth does not deserve ETERNAL torture, much less the ordinary souls who will apparently be sent to hell and tortured eternally for simply failing to believe in God. I would be very curious to hear how Christians deal with #5.

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    1. The answer is pretty straightforward. Do you believe in punishing criminals? A murderer, for example, deserves to die or possibly be locked up for the rest of his life (depending on which one you think is appropriate), right? You would consider it good to inflict death or permanent loss of freedom on a murderer.

      How can you be *good* while endorsing a system which a criminal can only perceive as evil: namely, forcible deprivation of his life and liberty?

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    2. Thanks for the answer, Eric. I'm sure more objections will come to me, but here are the first few.

      1. I believe murderers should be locked up for life. However, I do not believe that they should be brutally tortured every day of their imprisonment for years and years until they die. I certainly do not think they should be tortured for eternity. If you were to place the worst mass murderer you can think of in a magic torture chamber where he would suffer the sensation of being burnt to death without ever having the release of death, where you could hear him scream in agony, how long would it take you to press a button that would allow him to die? Could you walk away and leave him there, screaming and suffering? For how long? If you gave in and pressed the button that allowed him to die and put him out of his misery, would it be everything that is weak, corrupt, and sinful in you inciting you to press that button? Or everything that is kind, merciful, and good?

      2. I believe murderers should be locked up for life. However, I don't think that anyone should be locked up for life because he or she said to the President or the King or the Prime Minister, "I don't believe that you are a legitimate ruler. I refuse to belong to your party. I refuse to sing songs in your honour, go to rallies to praise your government, and show you all the love, respect, and obedience that you think you deserve." A person who is locked up for life for doing that is not a criminal, to my way of thinking: he or she is a political prisoner, and the person who has inflicted the punishment is a Dictator of the worst kind. I suspect you would agree.

      3. What is the crime that I have committed in God's eyes? As far as I understand it, the reason that I will go to Hell unless I accept Christ as my Saviour is because I was born with Original Sin. It doesn't matter how good a person I am: I can be the kindest, most loving, most charitable person on earth, and without Christ in my heart, all my righteousness is as filthy rags. So my true crime, the crime for which I deserve eternal torture, is a crime committed by my ancestors, Adam and Eve. Now, imagine that my grandfather committed a heinous murder, back before I was born, and was locked up for life because of it. How many generations of his family do you think deserve to be locked up after him in order to atone for his crime? What would you think of a Ruler who arrested you and threw you in prison for a murder committed by your grandfather before you were born?

      4. In other matters, Christianity usually expects that we can use our human reason to understand good from bad. Most people can understand why it is good to keep the Ten Commandments (even if they don't do it) or good to love thy neighbour as thyself (even if they don't do it). Murderers, when they murder people, usually understand that murder is not good and that laws against murder are good for society, even if they're not keen on the idea of life in prison when they're caught. Your analogy relies on the assumption that murderers have entirely different concepts of good and evil than law-abiding people, which I don't think they do. I don't think you could find many people who would argue that our torturer, our dictator who imprisons his political opponents, or our ruler who makes grandchildren pay for the crimes of their grandparents, is "good" by any normal definition of the concept. I do not see how I can be expected to reverse my concepts of good and evil when it is God, rather than man, performing similar actions.

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    3. You've transitioned to a slightly different subject now. Let me wrap up the first issue before answering the rest. You originally asked for an explanation of how God can be good even though He punishes sin. You admit that it's good to punish murderers. More generally, you admit that punishment can be a good thing in the right circumstances. Therefore you acknowledge that "God is good," and "God punishes sin," do not logically or morally exclude each other. Both can be true at the same time.

      1. You are indicting God for being too severe in His punishment. But really, what law or ethical code do you appeal to when you accuse God of being cruel? Certainly if I invented arbitrary moral standards and tried to impose them on you, you would laugh and ignore them, and that's just between two humans -- two relative equals. How much more ridiculous is it to suggest that a human (inferior) can judge God (supreme) and hold Him accountable to some arbitrary ethical standard? He is the creator; you are the creature. He is the judge; you are the defendant. God is the definition of good and the standard of goodness. Whatever He does is defined as good, and whatever He hates is defined as evil. Any other standard of good and evil is demonstrably irrational.

      2. Again, you are indicting God for making supposedly unreasonable demands of His creatures. On whose authority do you judge Him? "Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord ... and taught him in the path of judgment?" The reason earthly rulers are not permitted to demand worship of their subjects is that God is jealous and will not share His throne with anyone. "I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another." You wrongly assume that because earthly rulers cannot require absolute submission from subjects, neither can God. Non sequitur.

      3. So your argument is that you're perfect except for original sin? You've never violated any portion of God's law in thought, word, or deed? If you believe that, then you have no knowledge of God's law or no awareness of yourself (or both). Sit down and spend 30 minutes reading Questions 98-148 of the Westminster Larger Catechism (available online). Read that and tell me you've followed God's law perfectly and completely for your entire life. Just within this conversation, I can assure you that your paragraphs numbered 1 and 2 are highly blasphemous. I say that in humility as a fellow sinner, because I'm guilty of those same thoughts. Nevertheless, to think or speak in that way is a significant violation of God's law. This attitude that you know better than God, that you are more righteous than Him, that your sense of justice and goodness is better than His -- that is your "true crime," as you termed it. It's the same crime that Eve committed when she decided to redefine good and evil because she knew better than God.

      [continued in the following post...]

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    4. [...continued from the previous post]

      I think you misunderstand original sin. It's not that we're innocent but unjustly get punished for the sin of our ancestors. It's that our ancestors declared war on God, and God cursed them for it. He imposed immediate spiritual death and eventual physical death on them. As their descendants, we inherit every aspect of their nature, including their hatred for God and the curse that goes along with that. We were born into the war against God, and we willingly participate in it. Without Christ, we are incapable of doing even ONE thing that is pleasing to God, because our very essence is abhorrent to Him. "The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be; so then they that are in the flesh cannot please God." It's not that they sinned and we inherited their punishment despite our innocence and perfection. No. It's that they rebelled and genetically passed their rebellion on to us. (To be accurate, it's the father that transmits the sin nature to his children.) We come into existence with a rebellious hatred for God. That's why we're guilty, and that's what damns us.

      4. This argument is invalid because you have inverted the authority chain. You claim that because it's wrong for humans to torture each other, it must be wrong for God to torture someone. Again I ask, what law can possibly indict God? In fact, the only way we know it's wrong for humans to torture each other is because God tells us so. Why does He not allow it? Because He reserves that right for Himself. "Avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord."

      You've taken a restriction that God has placed upon man and tried to restrict God with it. That doesn't work logically or pragmatically. God has every right to say, "Don't do [fill in the blank] because I will take care of that." We have no right to say, "Hey, if I can't do that, then neither can you, God." God can do whatever He wants. He answers to no one and is constrained by nothing but His own good pleasure.

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    5. Many thanks, Eric. That is pretty much the argument that I expected, and probably the only one that is unanswerable by anyone trying to stay within its logic. If your starting premise is this-- "God is the definition of good and the standard of goodness. Whatever He does is defined as good, and whatever He hates is defined as evil"--then there is nothing whatsoever that anyone can argue to convince you otherwise.

      I do take strong exception to your assertion that I think I am perfect except for original sin. I think no such thing, nor did my argument at any point rely on such an assertion. My argument in point #3 was positing a hypothetical case: even IF there could be such person, that person would still need Christ to be saved, as no human goodness is sufficiently good for God. Your point, that the existence of such a person (given the effects of original sin) is an impossibility, is well taken.

      I wish you the best. Be kind to the people around you. I sincerely hope that your belief in the God you believe in brings you peace and joy in this life, as well as hope for eternal bliss in the next. For my part, I'm willing to gamble that there is no next life, so that I can find a modicum of peace and joy in this one. I used to believe pretty much what you believe, and all it gave me was torment. And yes, I know that what one feels in this life is pretty much irrelevant to you, except perhaps as a tool for diagnosing one's standing with God. It was nice talking to you. I'm going back to the secular world now.

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    6. If you can provide some other starting premise that is logical and consistent, I would be interested to see that. What is your ethical standard that defines good and evil? Where did it come from? Whom does it apply to? What makes it authoritative?

      Thanks for the clarification on point 3. I apologize for misunderstanding that the scenario was hypothetical. However, if God does not exist (as you hope), there can be no law of God to condemn you, so you must be perfect. "I had not known sin, but by the law.... Without the law sin was dead."

      Best wishes to you, too. If you ever want to discuss further, feel free to look me up.

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    7. Oh, okay, one more time. Just in case you genuinely want to know. My answer is extremely straightforward, and I'm going to keep it short.

      My ethical standard that defines good and evil--for human behaviour--is more or less the same as yours, minus, probably, some of the specific taboos that you may uphold based on Christian doctrine (e.g., a complete ban on pre-marital sex) . We were both raised (I assume you were) in Judaeo-Christian cultures, but most cultures, whatever their religion, have the same broadly defined ethical standards: things like stealing, lying, and cruelty are bad, while honesty, kindness, and treating other people as you would like to be treated are good. No rocket science here.

      The only difference is that as I understand it, these ethical standards were developed by human beings over the course of human civilization because they ensure that the individual, the group, and the species as a whole will thrive. (Very basic example: you're not going to get far in propagating yourself if you're so greedy or cruel that you continually snatch food away from the female nursing your helpless infant.) Over the course of time, these ethics were codified by various civilizations and (often) assumed to be the will of, or otherwise ascribed to, various supernatural deities. Why it was--and often still is--useful for humans to believe in supernatural deities who wanted them to be good and might punish them for being bad is a question too various and complex to get into here.

      The answers to your last two questions should by now be evident. These ethical standards apply to humankind. They are authorized by millennia of human understanding of how one can live in a way which is conducive to the well-being of oneself and the people around one, and minimize behaviour that is not conducive to human well-being.

      Of course, all ethical standards have ideals. Individual human beings, having as much capacity for bad as they do for good (and some individuals, for a variety of complex reasons, more capacity for one than for the other), are most probably incapable of reaching any ideal of "perfect" goodness, although they are capable of conceiving of such ideals. I am not as compassionate as my ideal of compassion, nor as generous as my ideal of generosity. I try to be as honest as my ideal of honesty, but sometimes I fall short and reproach myself. I do not need to believe in a supernatural deity and a divine definition of sin to realize that I am far from perfect and to strive to be a human being who reduces rather than increases the unhappiness of those around me.

      Finally, I'd like to add that belief in a supernatural deity who is exempted from human standards of ethics and goodness (i.e., the belief that what God does and wills must be good because he is God, even though it would be evil if one human were to do the same to another), is, to my mind, potentially dangerous. For some people, it is a small step from believing in such a God to exempting some of their own behaviour from human standards of ethics because they firmly believe that they are acting in this God's name and in service to his will. Christianity, like all religions, has examples both large and small of such behaviour, from Protestants burning Catholic heretics at the stake (and vice versa), to the evangelical husband who rules his wife with a rod of iron in the belief he is enacting Godly headship.

      And now I shall go, and reproach myself for not living up to the ethical ideal of not wasting time when one is meant to be working!

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    8. Just wanted to say, anonymous, how refreshing it is to read an atheist argument that is free from vitriol and condescension. I really appreciated the way you conducted this debate.

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    9. It sounds like your ethical standard is something you make up on the fly. You just declare things to be good whenever you want them to be so. If you get to decide good and evil for yourself, surely I have as much right to decide for myself. You've decided that premarital sex is good. I, on the other hand, have decided that atheism is evil.

      You admit to being your own standard -- you have some ideal of compassion or honesty. If you live up to that ideal, you are perfect. If not, you reproach yourself. Now, if I get to make up my own ideals, then I can always be perfect. I just set my ideal low enough that my actions are always above it. Therefore, by atheistic standards, I am perfect (and I can't be wrong in believing that atheism is false).

      Your ethical standards were developed by human beings. Which human beings? People disagree about what's right and wrong. Some people say it's wrong to get married; some say it has to be one man and one woman; some say one man and multiple women; some say men and men. Who's right? Which culture created the perfect standard? How do you know it's perfect? And what is the standard? (Did they write it down somewhere? How can I get a copy?)

      Who gets to decide what is conducive to human well-being? Some people say abortion is *good* because it's conducive to the well-being of the mother. Some call it *evil* because it's not conducive to the well-being of the baby. So is abortion good or evil? If human understanding is the final authority to answer this question, why do humans disagree on this? Shouldn't there be one unified answer? Your source of ethics is inherently self-contradictory and irrational.

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    10. Believing in a system of ethical standards that were created over time by human reason and continue to evolve (e.g., slavery went, in the mind of most reasonable people, from morally neutral to morally abhorrent) is complicated, and involves a great deal of thinking things through on a case-by-case basis. This is not really the same as "making it up on the fly," although it may seem that way to someone who believes that all the answers to human dilemmas have been written down by an infallible God.

      For instance, did I say, as you claim I did, "that premarital sex is good"? I did not. Show me an individual instance of premarital sex and I will consider whether it is good, bad, or morally neutral. Another person may come to another conclusion, and we could argue about it. And ultimately, I hope we would realize that as long as the sexual act in question involved consenting adults in private and did not produce unwanted babies or diseases, that the only people whose understanding really mattered in that case were the people actually having the sex.

      Human understanding provides no "final authority" and some complicated moral questions will probably never have "one unified answer." This does not mean that the system of ethics itself is self-contradictory or irrational.

      Christians, I should point out, also often disagree with each other concerning the interpretation of the Bible and while one group may think it has the "one unified answer" to a certain question, other Christians may disagree. Does this make Christianity inherently self-contradictory and irrational?

      Many people find it more comfortable to believe in a simplified moral universe where what is good and evil is dictated by an infallible deity, at least insofar as they interpret the word of this deity. I do not believe that these people or their religion(s) are evil. What I do think is bad or wrong (evil seems too strong a word here, though in some cases it would apply) is when people who believe in this simplified moral universe try to use the laws of the state to impose it on people who don't share their beliefs. Now, before you go jumping off into abortion and same-sex marriage, consider your statement: "I . . . have decided that atheism is evil." You absolutely have the right to decide that for yourself. However, since you believe that atheism is evil, would you like to see the state enact anti-atheism legislation under which I would be punished if I refused to publicly confess that God exists? How about anti-blasphemy legislation? You called me a blasphemer earlier, and you believe that blasphemy is evil. Would you like to see a federal law under which I would face a fine, or jail time, or worse, for blasphemy? If your instinct is to say no to anti-atheism and anti-blasphemy laws--but, perhaps, you would not object to legislation against abortion and same-sex marriage--then you yourself are making moral distinctions based on human reason about what is conducive to human well-being.

      Finally, you seem a bit fixated on this idea of human perfection, which is baffling to me. Yes, to some extent, each individual does set his or her own ideals of honesty, compassion, etc. But anyone who set them low enough that he or she would be able to meet or surpass them and thus consider him or herself to be perfect would be a delusional narcissist and probably a sociopath. I imagine such people might exist, but I sincerely hope I never have to meet one. The logical leap, however, from this supposed ideal of moral perfection to a concept of therefore having perfect KNOWLEDGE--"Therefore, by atheistic standards, I am perfect (and I can't be wrong in believing that atheism is false)"--is utterly incorrect. If a (hypothetical) morally perfect being believed that the world is flat or the blood is pumped by the brain, he or she would still be factually wrong. And if by "atheism is false" you mean "God exists," then you just might be factually wrong too. Just maybe.

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    11. Let's consider your ideas about sex. You require (1) consent, (2) adulthood, (3) privacy, (4) no pregnancy, and (5) no disease. First of all, where did you come up with all those rules? Those are amazingly restrictive. Second, what gives you the right to force those rules on other people? According to you, ethical standards evolve over time, so maybe you're just unevolved in your sexual ethics. Maybe a rapist is more evolved and has shed the prejudice you have against non-consent.

      Human understanding is the source of your ethics, yet you deny it as a final authority. If it's not final, then there must be some higher authority it has to conform to. What authority is that? Who or what, in your opinion, makes the final, ultimate, unquestionable determination that something is good or evil?

      Christians disagree on how to *interpret* the Bible. That doesn't imply the Bible contains contradictions. But "human understanding" (which is the authority you appealed to) certainly does contain contradictions. The entity itself cannot provide consistent answers, much less authoritative standards.

      If you're referring to the anti-blasphemy laws given in the Bible, then yes, I advocate such legislation. Blasphemy is a capital crime. Your previous comments that I labeled blasphemous would not be worthy of death. What makes it capital is a public, profane, persistent, unrepentant violation.

      Let me restate my comments about perfection. From atheistic standards I can reason that I am morally perfect. I'm the judge of my own perfection, so I simply declare myself perfect and it's true. Now I assert that atheism is evil. That's a moral judgment from a morally perfect being, so the statement is true. Incidentally, I can make the same argument about factual perfection. (Just go back through and replace "moral" with "factual" and you get the same result.)

      I'm interested in this idea that the world is not flat, no matter what anyone says. You almost make truth sound absolute and transcendent. Does that work for ethics, too? Is it always wrong to murder and rape?

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    12. Okay, this debate is now just going in circles. I'm clearly not getting my point across, so I'm going to bow out of this conversation. For good, this time. I did not hope to change your mind. I did hope to show that reasonable people can hold the position that I've laid out here. My argument about anti-blasphemy laws, incidentally, relied on my (mistaken) assumption that you would not support an attempt by the government to curtail its citizens' right to freedom of speech. As you in fact would support a theocracy where the government executes its citizens for blasphemy, my argument that you too make distinctions based on human reason falls apart. Evidently, you believe that human reason is so incontrovertibly corrupt that you wish to distance yourself from it as much as possible.

      Be good, Eric Mote. Don't let your certainty that you've grasped God's truth cause misery for the people around you. I find it funny that your name is Mote: Matthew 7:5 (King James or American Standard version) should show you why. And now you're perfectly free to have the last word, declare me vanquished, whatever you like. I won't be posting here again.

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    13. You say your goal was to show that atheism is reasonable and rational. In order to do that, you needed to unravel its logical contradictions. First you said your ethical standards originate from human understanding; then you decided that human understanding actually isn't the final authority. In fact, you can't identify your final authority. When you make a judgment that an action is morally good or bad, you appeal to *something* for the answer, but you won't tell me what that is. You want to force all kinds of rules on society (e.g., sex must be between consenting adults), but you don't know where those rules came from or why they have any authority. That doesn't make your position look very rational.

      Let me just reiterate the fundamental question that remains unanswered. Who or what, according to atheism, makes the final and unquestionable determination that something is good or evil?

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    14. The problem with the anonymous aetheist is that he is under the mistaken belief that he is living, and therefore has no need to come to Jesus to receive eternal life. The real question is whether God is living, because if He is - and He is the one who saved me -He is the one that gives life, the aethist is not living.

      You cite the murderer: should he be eternally tortured. Ask a different question: should he be in heaven, where perfection is the standard (it doesnt matter what personal standard you have, our hearts deceive us - I mean how much love does an aethist have if he has never loved He who is love), and he has rejected the one who would give him life and who loved him - loved him enough to die even for a murderer and even for me.

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    15. guys, please continue debating, you are getting me extremely interested in hearing your arguments and I am growing with every Exchange. I am a Christian with lots of doubts and I really appreciate all the above. Don´t bow out please. Its not about who is going to win the argument but about hearing both sides and deciding which is more convincing or at least edifying. Thankyou sincerely.You are doing lots of good.

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    16. i find Anonymous pretty much convincing. to me what makes the final and unquestionable determination that something is good or evil is human experience, we have been here long enough to know what is good for our society. thats why there is the Law. im a christian like wiskers. and what i find 'awkward' about christianity is that we are not allowed to think outside the box. ie the only evidence we have of Jesus that most christians know is the bible, are there any other evidence of Jesus? apparently,Yes there is! but according to church leaders and my mum :) checking on this other evidence is wrong...(im not as good as eric and anonymous at this, but u get the point)

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    17. Eric mote, As a Christian that's been wrestling with his faith for a good many years, I sincerely hoped you would prove anonymous' arguments to be faulty, however all you presented in response were more of the "smoke and mirrors" that I had become accustomed to.

      I came here seeking answers and found them in abundance. You may want to consider completely overhauling your argument on behalf of Christianity as it just pushed another away from your ranks.

      - W. James

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    18. On number 5, you might consider the resolution to that argument to be found in the views of Edward Fudge on conditional immortality/Annihilationism. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHUPpmbTOV4

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    19. Well said good sir, well said.

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    20. The way I see it is because God gave us free will, he can't just take away all suffering. He gave us the freedom to choose what we wanted to do and we have to pay the price of our mistakes. Now of course, you might say that "he's all powerful, he could stop it" and yes that is still true, but if we didn't suffer while on Earth what would be so special about going to heaven.
      One thing I've noticed about Atheists is that they generally cant wrap their minds around the fact that the only thing you have to do to get to heaven is by believing that God sacrificed his son to save everyone. Whether it's because they can't imagine anything loving anyone that much or because they get caught up in what they can and cannot see, that is one of the more difficult things I've had to explain.
      The point is, God is all powerful but he can't just make life perfect for us. He can't simply appear to everyone and say "I'm here do you believe me now?" because he has to leave room for us to make our own decisions. We have to look at the evidence and decide if we believe for ourselves. We have to have our own faith.
      To be honest it comes down to this for me personally: I would rather live my life like there is a God and find out I'm wrong when I die than live my life as if there is no God only to find out that I was wrong and there is.

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  5. I think christianity is the only religion, apart from islam, which talks of an eternal hell (I think islam teaches the same, but am not 100% sure. Perhaps Peter will know). Hell exists even in hinduism (and probably most other religions, if I am not mistaken), but it is for a finite period. The soul is punished, but given an opportunity to repent and reach God eventually.

    I do not think Jesus ever said that those who do not believe in Him will be destined to go to hell. I think this is a gross misinterpretation by christians. After all, there are examples, throughout history, of people who believed but continued to commit heinous crimes against humanity (Of course the same applies to so-called devout hindus, etc.).

    So it is not such a simple solution as Peter makes out.

    I agree with and appreciate many of the things Peter raises in this blog, but his mind is closed like that of many other christians, when it comes to "doctrine". He will perhaps be surprised to learn that the Bible is not that different from the hindu scriptures in many ways. He should try and read the Vedas one day.

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    1. Actually, Jesus said, "... ye shall die in your sins if ye believe not that I am he. Ye shall die in your sins." I understand that isn't directly saying that an unbelieving soul is destined for hell, but knowing scripture-wise what dying in one's sins entails, one has to do some pretty complex mental gymnastics interpret that as something else.

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    2. Raghu, your statement about Christians grossly misinterpreting Jesus about nonbelievers being destined to hell is simply not true. What was the mission of Jesus? It was to redeem humanity to God by shedding his blood as a ransom for our sinfulness. In doing so, you and I could be rescued from the holy wrath of YAWEH. John 14:6-Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. It would seem incredibly absurd to assume that Christ could have lived the life he lived, and died the death he died, while still allowing for nonbelievers to enjoy the reward of his sacrifice. If anyone could be saved and go to heaven apart from the Cross of Jesus Christ, then it would seem that it was necessary for Jesus to have suffered, and die such a brutal, painful death. It doesn't add up. And your statement about people continuing to believe while also committing heinous crimes against humanity must revisit the standard by which you qualify "belief."-James 2:19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
      A true follower of Christ will have a transformed life and will demonstrate growth in holiness and deviation from the former life of sin. Those "believers" you speak of simply don't necessarily measure up to the biblical call put to death their flesh and take on the Spirit. It is not a sound, nor respectful interpretation of Jesus or the Bible.

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  6. Peter's mind is closed about very many things, not just other religions! HIS interpretation of biblical events and doctrine are the only correct ones, ever. If you don't believe me, just ask him - I'm sure he'll confirm that he's always right :)

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  7. Hell is the total absence of God. The possibility of hell is a consequence of our freedom. In this sense God does not send people to hell. Hell exists but we hope noone is there. If you are worries about Hell the best thing to do is abandon yourself in God's mercy. He will allay your fears. However much you are concerned about other people going to Hell, God is infinitely more concerned. He will give people every chance.

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    1. If Hell exists, if someone is in there (God would know, right?), and if God is omnipotent, why doesn't God shut hell down and put whomever's in their out of his/her/their eternal misery?

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    2. He would know. That person prefers to be on their own. Hell does not exist in its own right - only as an absence of God. As such it cannot be shut down.

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    3. Could you please explain further what it means when people say that "Hell is the absence of God"? I've heard it a few times recently, but it wasn't current (as far as I ever knew) back in my evangelical upbringing, and I honestly don't know what it's supposed to mean. I was taught that Hell was a fiery place of torment where the souls of everyone who hadn't accepted Christ as saviour would be tortured for eternity, along with Satan and his demons. Obviously, God was not in Hell, and would not take anyone out of it, so in that sense, Hell was also "an absence of God." But this doesn't seem to be the same thing that the commenters above are using the expression to mean.

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    4. Have a read of what John Paul ii send on heaven and hell http://www.ewtn.com/library/papaldoc/jp2heavn.htm

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    5. Ah. So it's more or less just the concept that people freely choose to go to hell by choosing not to believe in God (I assume that simple non-belief is included in "rejecting God's mercy," as I can't imagine what lunatic would believe in God and yet reject His mercy), and therefore God is not responsible for sending people to hell. Not a different concept of hell, just a slightly different take on how you get there.

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    6. We can give no simplistic answers on this. It is certainly not the case that we can say such and such people go to hell. I think one of the reasons we have been told not to judge is simply that we are very bad at it.John Paul thought this.

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  8. "The purpose of an open mind, like that of an open mouth, is to close it upon something solid."
    I do find in daily life that those who say they have no faith are the most dogmatic in day to day affairs, politics, science etc. I find that believers generally are much more sceptical about these things. Non believers tend to take on uncritically the prevalent beliefs of their age e.g.

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  9. Many of these are not really arguments against God's existence or against the Christian faith. "The church is full of hypocrites," and "Christians cherry-pick". for example, may be true, but it could still be the case that God exists.

    #3 - People may think that God had no right to take lives in the Old Testament, but it could still be the case that God exists.

    #10, that God is not necessary as an explanation. This could be true, but it could still be the case that God exists. God's existence is not contingent upon his being invoked as some explanatory hypothesis.

    The one that I find most interesting though is "Christianity is true for you, but not for me." This sort of hearsay is becoming more popular. I dealt with this claim in my article Does Truth Exist? http://thereforegodexists.com/2013/01/does-truth-exist/

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  10. If you don't mind me doing a little "self"-promotion here, I have a blog series I'm working on that addresses #7 and #12 (more-so #7).

    http://rhindon.xanga.com/764917142/biblical-contradictions-series/

    It's not a finished series - there are 46 points to answer and I only have 20% answered. I hope this helps. :)

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  11. I think I'll also add this article to my blog to-do list and start a new series to answer these 12 points many critics site. I constantly encounter them, myself. So it'll be good to work on a series of answers for other Christians to equip themselves with.

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  12. Are you sure the people claiming Jesus can't be the only way to God are actually atheists and not just nonChristians? This just doesn't sound like an atheistic claim.

    I am a nonChristian because
    1 God would have written a better book than the Bible
    2 Concepts like the Trinity and atonement don't make sense.
    3 I don't want to have a personal relationship with Jesus.
    4 Church is boring.

    I am a nontheist because
    1the hiddeness of God
    2 the wide variety of concepts about God leads me conclude that there is no all powerful being who cares whether humans actually know him.
    3 the problem of suffering from natural causes undermines my belief in an all powerful and beneficent being.

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    1. #1 and #2 in the non-theist section are essentially the same. #3 is simple fix: You can not have a world both free and good, human imperfection will not allow for it. If we are free to only be good, then we are not free. Once you wrap your mind around the concept of freedom you will understand why suffering exists. Christianity calls us to be responsible, as Christ was on the cross, for the suffering of everyone. Each is responsible for all. If we felt that responsibility keenly enough we could abolish suffering.

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  13. 1. Sounds like you have not really studied the Bible
    2. A man made religion would not have bothered with Trinity. It was an especially difficult doctrine for the early Christians to teach to the Jews. Why would they have made it up. It does make sense in cosidering God as a relational being, Love itself. Atonement does maksense even on a purely human level.
    3It is certainly your choice, but have you tried to understand who he is.
    4.Yes, it can be so. To go deeper you sometimes have to detach yourself from the things of this life. This can be boring but sooner or later you come closer to the reality of who you are and what you should do.
    Is he hidden or are we blinded by his pervading presence?
    There are a wide variety of concepts or maybe not, depending on how you consider it. It is true that humans cannot in words express what God is or describe him. He just is. That is why he revealed himself.
    The problem of suffering is the one we find hard to understand. No philosophy or religion can explain it. Or did God himself hint at an answer in the crucified Christ?

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  14. “Christians believe in Christ largely for psychological reasons: because it comforts them, because they were brought up that way or because they are afraid not to believe in case they go to Hell.”

    Comfort just sounds ridiculous from anyone that has truly partaken in the Way. He is the Comforter, but it is a hard life.

    Being “brought up that way" flatly denies the atheists that were raised amidst it and all of the atheists, Muslims, Buddhist, etc. that have some to the LORD.

    Anyone that knows Orthodox doctrine knows that buying into the premise of Pacal’s Wager is not what keeps you from hell.

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  15. In fact a religious upbringing is more honest and gives the receiver a perspective that differs from the prevalent ones in society. He or she is therefore more conscious of the choice he or she has. A Catholic school for example is open about the doctrine it teaches. A secular school pretends to be 'neautral' and gives lip service to students thinking independently and making up their own minds whereas in fact it is actually teaching a series of doctrines. E.g. sex is fine as ling as it is between consensual adults and health risks are averted.

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    1. i respectfully disagree. parochial schooled both for primary and secondary, and in alabama no less. what it taught me and my classmates and friends was that women were secondary, faith without works is dead, extreme forms of christianity (americanized - i.e. mormons) are totally wrong. i had access to a great education but was admonished for asking too many questions to the wrong priests and nuns. and biology dictates that we are sexual beings, so yes age appropriate sex ed and access to contraceptives would actually drastically reduce the number of abortions annually. alas, studying the history of my own faith is what brought me to the age of reason. i will not abide by an incomplete book VOTED on at the council of nicea (by a wife batterer, no less) that integrates pagan holidays as their own and then slaughters them, that has personally aided and abetted pedophiles, demands % of my annual income ( and here i thought indulgences were no longer allowed) when the vatican alone could feed a nation of hungry children. I don't believe in deities, but if i did - reading what i have read about his beliefs and behviors: 1) the political christian right would ostracize him as a dirty, socialist hippie 2) he, in turn, would have a moment with christian leaders throughout the world much like he did with the money changers. it would literally be, as we say in the south, a "coming to jesus meeting". or reading someone the riot act - for the laypeople in the audience.

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    2. What does any of that have to do with God?

      By your own admission you sort advice from the WRONG priest or nuns. Maybe you should check things out for yourself.

      Your choice dictates WHO you are, nothing else.

      Complaining that a lack of birth control is responsible for abortions is like blaming McDonald’s for making you fat. You have the choice to eat it or not. That is when you make your choice.

      As for the council of Nicea, pagan holidays and everything else you seem to be blaming God for. What has any of that got to do with God? The smallest amount of research will refute any of the arguments you thing you just made.

      The Catholic Church does not speak for God. Some people misuse the name of God, claim things that are not true and then you want to say that God’s fault. How do you arrive at that conclusion? You sound like you’re at school again and some bully wants to punch you in the head because someone told them something about you that was not true. Made no sense at school, makes no sense what you claim now.

      God speaks. He is called the word of God. Jesus is his name. The bible is his word.

      Please stop getting an education from Dan Brown novels and Hollywood and claim facts that are not in evidence.

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  16. I followed the link to #7 but the article didn't actually offer a rebuttal. I'm curious about this number, #9 and #12 and what devout Christians offer as a rebuttal for these three entries.

    I ask, how can Christians condone the killing of innocent children such as in 2 Kings 2:23-24 where God allowed a bear to maul 42 children for calling Elisha "baldy" and telling him to "get out of here"? Or in Psalm 137:9 (Happy is the one who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks).

    Or Genesis 19:4-8 where Lot himself offers up his virgin daughters to be raped in the stead of his guests. (A similar story came up later in Judges 19:22-30 where an old man offered his virgin daughter to the rapists in the stead of his guests and after the rapists refused, the guest gave them his wife who they raped and murdered, and after he had gotten her home, he chopped up her body and sent it to different places in Israel as a lesson to the leaders.)

    What do devout female Christians say when they are shown the passage 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 (Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.) or 1 Timothy 2 (A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.). Would that not make female readers/commentators and female teachers sinners?

    How about Ezekiel 9:5-6 (As I listened, he said to the others, “Follow him through the city and kill, without showing pity or compassion. Slaughter the old men, the young men and women, the mothers and children, but do not touch anyone who has the mark. Begin at my sanctuary.” So they began with the old men who were in front of the temple.)

    The bible contains entries that condone human sacrifices (often one's own children), genocide, misogyny, slavery, rape, infanticide, incest. It also contains less grave, but no less ridiculous entries that say we cannot eat shellfish and pork, wear mixed fabrics, plants mixed crops and other rules. It says women must be *sorry* for having committed the sin of having menstruation. It says women must give birth because this is practically the only thing they are good for.

    It's no wonder Christians cherry pick.

    But then here's the kicker: if you refuse to obey some Biblical rules, why should you obey the others, especially since Christians proclaim that there is *nothing* incorrect in the Bible? Could it be that the Bible is, in fact, fallible? Maybe because it was written by a bunch of poor shepherds who thought the Earth was flat?

    And if, in fact, the Bible is fallible, would that not cast doubt on the existence of God whose only "evidence" for existence is based on this flawed book?

    Enlighten me, please.

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    1. Pretty much everything you have said is untrue. Taking just one example, the bible does not condone child sacrifice. When was any child actually killed by a parent and this was approved by God? The closest you can get is Jesus dying on the cross for the sins of the world. God allowed this to happen to His own son because He loves you so much. You don't have to accept that sacrifice but anything else is rejecting it.

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    2. That is not the definition of child sacrifice - by a parent?! But this one is my most favorite.....HOSEA 13:16 Because Israel had rebelled, a wind from the Lord would blow in. They "will fall by the sword; their little ones will be dashed to the ground, and their pregnant women ripped open."

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    3. are you implying that it doesn't encourage rape and support slavery and the submission of women?

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    4. Not implying anything, stating it.

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  17. Apologists and spin doctors like WLC, Ravi Zacharias, John Lennox and CS Lewis are good arguments against Christianity. Here's my take on The Problem of Pain.

    "Copouts, Evasions and Hidden Assumptions Aplenty

    CS Lewis is held by many to be the premier Christian apologist of the 20th century. Unless one is morbidly naive, or has yet to encounter the counterarguments to Christianity in particular and theism in general, I honestly cannot see where his appeal lies.

    The Problem of Evil is an insurmountable one for Christians (and all other theists who believe in a perfectly loving, all-powerful and all-knowing god). There have been intense and motivated efforts over the past two millennia to defend such a position rationally, and they have all failed. Miserably. Utterly. And in many cases, dishonestly."

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  18. "Some approached involve invoking an unknown "greater good" defense (which throws god's omnipotence under the bus. An omnipotent deity could simply actualise a desired goal without needing to use suffering as a "middle man"). Attempts to shift the problem by asserting that human happiness is not the goal of life (but knowing god is) removes the omnibenevolence and omnipotence of god (if you love someone, you don't want them to suffer. It really is that simple). On page 104, Lewis concedes that not everyone suffers equally. He does not give a reason for this, and indeed, admits that our puny human minds cannot understand why god would allow some to live decades in comfort and luxury while others suffer for months or years on end. To quote Lewis himself: "The causes of this distribution I do not know; but from our present point of view it ought to be clear that the real problem is not why some humble, pious, believing people suffer, but why some do NOT (emphasis Lewis', in italics)."

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  19. "Lewis also, perhaps unwittingly, advocates a social Darwinism in which the rich and physically powerful are able to murder, rape and steal from weaker individuals (and are therefore less able to exercise their own free will to prevent their own suffering). Lewis worships a cosmic pedophile who revels in granting freedom to abhorrent individuals while getting his jollies from seeing the most vulnerable suffer and die in agony (only to get thrown into even more torture in the Christian vision of hell).

    Lastly, a loving god would take away free will from those who would willingly surrender it in return for a life without suffering. Funnily enough, Lewis seems to believe in a heaven without suffering but with all the bells and whistles of freedom. So why not create that universe from the get-go and stick with it? Why create a universe with even the possibility of corruption? It certainly is not something a perfect god would do. Then again, a perfect god would not blackmail beings he supposedly loves for eternal worship.

    While Lewis is usually a good writer, capable of spinning yarns to attract the attention of children and young teenagers, he also assumes that there is a deep, overriding purpose behind suffering. This purpose is so important that it is more critical to his god to NOT end suffering now, but to let things run their "natural" course until his plan is complete. In service of this goal, he creates a short story that is akin to an essay on theistic evolution, and how man is ultimately responsible for the Fall and his own corruption. If god knows everything, including the future, then he orchestrated the fall (and everything else) before setting his plan into motion. Arguing that god exists outside of time is a lazy copout, nothing more.

    As a 'loudspeaker' for the Christian god, pain has done more to drive people away from him than anything else. An all-knowing, all-powerful and all-good god would not allow any suffering, even in the service of a so-called "greater good." And if such a god desires suffering for a greater good, then it would follow logically that his followers should cause suffering to convert more people. After all, that is god's best tool for getting our attention, is it not? Fortunately, CS Lewis and most Christians today do not follow this logic to its end point. Those who do open hospitals and hospices and waste money on bibles rather than food (explaining why only 25% of tithes go to benefit indigent people around the world). CS Lewis realised this, which is why he asserted, in chapter 7, that while evil acts can lead to "greater" goods such as pity and compassion, the individual who commits evil is not justified simply because positive benefits will flow.

    The hypocrisy here is glaringly apparent when Lewis moves on to depict his god as using good men as "sons" and evil men as "tools" to achieve his goals. Such an obvious double standard is patently hypocritical and serves to do little except expose Lewis' advocacy of divine fiat for what it is - blind obedience (which is the antithesis of sound moral reasoning).

    His childishly puerile attempts to justify hell are perhaps the only thing worse. According to Lewis' theology, pain is used by god as a teacher, a "flag of truth in a rebel fortress" (p. 122). This obviously misses the point - an omnipotent god would not need to use pain. If a tri-omni deity knows good from evil without needing to suffer, why couldn't he have simply created humans who were likewise omniscient? This is yet another obvious point that is glossed over by a highly overrated apologist."

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  20. ""Our Lord Himself, it will be remembered, explained the salvation of those who are fortunate in this world only by referring to the unsearchable omnipotence of God."

    That's not an explanation. Lewis is falling back on the ancient and ubiquitous appeal to ignorance. God's mysterious ways are beyond us. Well, by that "logic," he could send all Christians to hell and everyone else to heaven, and Lewis, by his own admission, would just have to suck up an eternity of torture.

    The old canard of free will is often invoked. Unfortunately, free will is meaningless unless everyone has an equal amount of it. This is undeniably NOT the case. Not everyone is given the same lifespan, physical strength, mental acuity, political clout, financial resources, and so on. Lewis is pontificating from the luxurious confines of his residence, funded by conveniently gullible sheep. This has certainly damaged his ability to empathise with the billions who live on less than a dollar each day. And the thousands who starve to death every time the Earth completes a full rotation."

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  21. A novel twist on the problem of evil is Stephen Law's paper "The Evil God Challenge" - http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayFulltext?type=1&fid=7247672&jid=RES&volumeId=-1&issueId=-1&aid=7247664&fromPage=cupadmin&pdftype=6316268&repository=authInst - I really do think he should now write a book to take in some of the more recent responces. However, it's still worth a read in it's original form.

    A good responce is (Kiwi) Glenn People's podcast: http://www.rightreason.org/2011/episode-045-what-if-god-was-really-bad/

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  22. I speed read through to see if someone has tackled point 6, i cant find anyone that has. Could someone link it? i get about 6 posts in and the dyslexia hammer strikes.

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  23. The atheist is without excuse . Christians wise up . Evidential arguments are contrary to Gods word . Giving man authority to try God is what Pilate did to Christ . It's not about the evidence . Presuppositional apologetics is the way to go . Let God be God and don't go over to the other side and wear his suit . If you do you're just piddlin' against the wind .
    John Donnelly in6days@gmail.com

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    1. Believe it for the sake of believing it? because some book that has been edited, torn apart, put back together, rebranded, re-written, and finally had all the bits that your not entirely happy with removed then edited a bit more to the extent that occasionally it manages to say something that it wont later contradict? If i were to believe a religion i can honestly tell you that christianity would just be the last one i would choose. i have heard better arguments from brain damaged children. If the bible was taken, as it has always been throughout history, as a book of reference instead of the word for word bullshit that the small group of morons take it for today it would at least hold some credibility as a way to lead a life. Am i really going to go to hell for not believing that some sky ghost sacrificed his son? sounds like propaganda to me, are my dead relatives in a better place? are any of us an authority on that? the majority of it is screaming outright arrogance wrapped in an eternal weave of implied fear.

      "The atheist is without excuse", bitch please. go kill yourself and find out who's right. everything happens for a reason doesn't it? so realistically you shouldn't have a problem.. or... just another example of christians making it up as they go along, go ahead find me the bit of the bible that actually suggests this is correct.

      Be good, be brave, have fun, have sex, be gay, be vile, swear, hit people that piss you off, don't marry and if I'm wrong, who gives a fuck at least you'll get an eternal tan, but really..?

      I'm Jason, I am an atheist and i say God can go spin.

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    2. I'm Geoff and I say Jason just vented

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    3. Yes, a bit, maybe. I don't mean to be disrespectful, although i was (very deliberately) just that. I would never persecute someone because of their religion except in retaliation, i would class that as bad as persecuting someone for their, lets say for instance, sexuality (i think we all recognise the significance). Christians, on the other hand, are very very good at persecuting everyone for everything unless you conform to a very strict set of rules that would leave a huge amount of the population, good honest people, in misery. what kind of god would allow a situation where a person will be persecuted by his own kind for having feelings, things he has no control over, that contradict that which is dictated by their lord? i don't just mean sexuality, i include atheism, agnosticism and all those other words i cant remember that basically describe someone who blankly refuses or is highly critical of religion, not to mention the other non christian religions.

      Lets make something VERY clear here, truth and faith are two very different things. They do not rely on each other. Anyone that says the truth is.. is inherently wrong, no one knows what the truth is, that is the whole point. Faith is what religious rely on, evidence is what supports science which is what the non religious rely on. The truth doesn't come in to it because no one knows the truth being that no one was there to document anything first hand. If you claim to know the truth i suggest you take a long hard look at that book again, because its pretty specific about belief and faith in the absence of evidence. i would also say that the term truth rarely has a place in science, owing to the fact (as with religion) no one was there for quite allot of it, theres a great deal that science can explain but theres allot more that it cannot (some, me included, would argue "yet").

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    4. God is apparently absent from us for 'our' benefit, not His. Those of us who have been priviledged to meet and experience Him, He is soooooooo awesome, soooooooo powerful yet soooooooo loving, that His love is just sooooo attractive to us, that we want to end our existence in the here and now, vacate this life with immediate effect and be with Him. That is not what He wants for us in the here and now. He wants us to live, experience and grow. We can't do that, if we want to leave this earthly existence.

      My wish now is only to live for Him and to do what is pleasing to Him and to want to love Him with all my heart and I constantly pray to the Awesome Holy Spirit for this.

      May the peace of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour be with you all.

      His apparent absence is the greatest illusion since He is actually everywhere except for in human comprehension.

      I have often heard folk say what they would want to do with their eternity, believe me, when you come to experience Him for real, you will not want to do anything except to be with Him, against which everything else pales into insignificance and everything else becomes totally meaningless and valueless. His love for us in my hard experience is absolutely awesome.

      For those Secularists who argue I was dilusional or dreaming and that it didn't really happen, then I cannot convince you, nor am I bothered if anyone or no one believes me. I know the truth of what happened and that is the only reality I care about, other people's 'subjective opinions' count for nothing. I was not expecting this experience. Infact, it could not have been further from my mind and even when it started to happen, I did not understand what was going on. It was only whe I heard the mighty wind and started to feel the intense love and peace all around me, that I began to understand. Also, my description of what I experienced, this is a very limitd description as I have realised language is inadequate to explain, because language is designed for natural phenomena, there is no language to describe the supernatural so the actual depth of the experience cannot be explained. Above is a very superficial explanation that does no justice whatsoever to the actual event.

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    5. Or you're just mental.

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    6. Please....."no one knows what the truth is"
      Do you know that???

      Truth can be known. To claim that the truth cannot be known is to claim a truth.

      That's called a self defeating argument
      A self defeating argument can not be true...that's what you just did

      Truth is not changed by belief, or what the majority thinks.


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    7. it is certainly about the evidence, or lack thereof - especially when it keeps butting its rind into social policy and the private lives of people worldwide. the south is trying to have creationism taught alongside science. would you allow greek mythology to be taught alongside a subject and being presented as factual. it began as a business, it crusaded and conquested rivaling the great monarchs of europe. further, bible was kept out of the hands of the masses and was told what was in it, up until the reformation.

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    8. Trying to make argument that teaching Christianity is the same as teaching Greek Mythology is trying to join non like statements/groups in an effort to tar them with the same brush. It is incorrect.

      The Bible was originally taught to every man woman and child. Children were expected to know and be able to quote the first 5 books of the bible by the time they were 8. How is that withholding it from the masses?

      What your pointing out is that men, representing themselves and their own agenda came and tried to withhold and control and profit from the bible during the age of "enlightenment". Again what's that got to do with God?

      Don't you agree that its awesome that God has turned that around now and all people have access to his word again. He is a good God.

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  24. Interesting concept. Here's my view on the arguments:

    1.There’s so much suffering in the world
    A big argument, with the emphasis on “so much”. And pointing out that God, if He exists, does not just allow suffering but causes it. He causes suffering beyond the extent that could have any value and in opposition to any reasonable meta-ethics.

    2.Jesus can’t be the only way to God
    Not this one: alleged “narrow-mindedness” and “arrogance” have nothing to do with truth.

    3.Christian faith is just psychological
    Not really an argument against Christianity. But it does, somewhat, undermine arguments for Christianity.

    4.Miracles can’t happen
    Not so much that they can’t happen, but that they haven’t. Hume’s argument that miracles cannot happen may be mistaken, his crack about the virgin birth is still spot on.

    5.A good God wouldn’t send people to Hell
    Yes. As written. I find the counter-arguments not only unpersuasive but also indicative of a wholly moribund ethics. (eg parking on a double yellow line is bad. Invading Poland is worse. The demand for perfection in Christian ethics denies that invading Poland is worse than parking on a double yellow line. Christian ethics is, therefore, wrong).

    6.The problem of those who have never heard
    Well, combined with John 14:6 this is a pretty powerful argument.

    7.The Bible is full of errors
    Not an argument against the truth of God, nor an argument against Christianity per se but an argument against literalist/inerrantist interpretations of the Bible.

    8.Christianity may be true for you but it isn’t true for me
    No, no, no! Relativism, ugh.

    9.The God of the Bible is a moral monster and restricts human freedom
    Not an argument against the truth of God, nor an argument against Christianity per se but an argument against literalist/inerrantist interpretations of the Bible.

    10.It is no longer necessary to invoke God as an explanation for anything
    Sort of. Not from holding that “science explains it all” but denying that God explains anything. Not so much “I have no need of that hypothesis” but “that hypothesis is no use”

    11.The church is full of hypocrites
    Not a good argument against the truth of God, but a good argument as to the pointlessness of Christian practice. Some who have committed quite appalling crimes were priests. Priests have the religious education, the prayers, the full advantages of the religious life and it did not help them avoid terrible acts. What is the point of religion if it does not make you a better person?

    12.Christians cherry-pick what they want out of the Bible
    Not an argument against the truth of God, nor an argument against Christianity per se but an argument against literalist/inerrantist interpretations of the Bible.

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  25. Jesus was Jewish wasn't he? why are you all Jewish?

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  26. Hm. I suspect that a number of these '12 good arguments' boil down to prior acceptance of Evolution, denial of verbal inspiration of the Biblical books and thus that they really were written by the people they say wrote them, and just not really wanting to rub shoulders with other very imperfect people in church.

    Really now, 'church is full of hypocrites' is such a juvenile comment that christians should never, ever respect it. By that logic, a person should not get involved in any social group that stands for anything whatsoever; they should go and live on an island by themselves. The city council where I live claim to care about rubbish collection, claim that it is done in an environmentally-friendly way. In fact, several of my neighbours caught them out chucking all the different types of waste from recycling bins into one place. This is, obviously, hypocritical. However, nobody suggested that the council as a whole is 'full of hypocrites' therefore we should not vote in council elections and not pay or council tax.
    It's no different, logically, with church.

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  27. But we preach Christ crucified a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles.
    Of course the Good News about Jesus is foolish. Either he was the Son of God or he was a liar but if he was who he claimed to be then his words are true and he is the only way we can be saved from hell.
    I believe and I urge you to believe too. It is the only way you will know peace with God and life everlasting. You can bring your intellectual arguments but they are simply your efforts to claim superiority over God. Somehow He does not make sense to you or you have to have all your ducks in a line before you can believe. Why not just ask God to show you if he is real. If you really want to know that is...

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    1. I would be willing to bet nearly every single atheist has earnestly and honestly asked god to show them if he is real. They stay atheists because god never shows up.

      As for the comment that atheists are are trying claim superiority over god. You do realize that atheists don't believe in god, right? So we can be trying to prove our superiority over something we don't think exists. Why, with that logic I can claim that with your theistic claims you're simply trying to claim superiority over the flying spaghetti monster. Surely you can't deny the existence of FSM - evidence is all around us.

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    2. Every atheist earnestly and honestly asked God to show them he is real.

      God says he has shown himself

      So what your saying is you want even more proof of God.

      What is the proof that you want to see. What piece of evidence do you require that is not there?

      You claim all atheist have sort God but then claim you are not claiming superiority over God because you don't believe he exists. I'm confused. Have you earnestly sort a God that you don't believe in or are you claiming there is no God?

      Atheists assert that believing in God is akin to believing in the tooth fairy (or flying spaghetti monster) in an effort to claim some intellectual superiority and discredit Christianity in the mistaken belief that drawing non existed absurd parallels is somehow making any sort or argument?

      That not only trying to fool other, but you are fooling yourself.

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  28. The answer to #5 is simple - God gives us free will to choose our fates and we choose to damn ourselves. He doesnt damn people, we damn ourselves! God doesn't cause the pain and suffering, the majority has chosen it. Perhaps its part of the Design that people endure pain and suffering and "babies die" to bring them to God, otherwise they may not be saved under any other circumstances.

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    1. that negates that god is all good. innocent and pointless suffering; if that's true, god would be an asshole, and i would reject him anyway. have you ever seen a baby starving to death with a vulture hopping ever so gently behind it waiting to pick the barely there meat off its bones, yeah real easy to cooo over how your rocky marriage is painful or whatever our first world problems are....sell that craziness to someone who is buying

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  29. I was born a Sikh and am now a Christian. Have spent time on Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism and Judaism. From the age of about 10, I looked up at the night sky,at the wonder of creation. My love was science at the time. I never got used to the idea of a big bang that created order throughout the known universe. In fact an explosion usually causes chaos. Whilst by chance (according to atheism) there was somehow order(physical laws) that govern our universe, we also appeared in a universe that was created by chance! I would like to know of any experiment carried out by scientists to date whereby a mixture of elements was blown up and perfect order was obtained. Any order or plan involves a mind behind it. The mind behind the universe was obviously far greater than ours (as we are just discovering the wonders of the universe and still know very little). We are like infants to a mind that can create such a universe and as such would not be able to comprehend the fullness of that mind. (like explaining atomic theory to a baby). In time we would be able to understand how what why and where but until then we have to have faith. Just as we have to have faith in our parents to lead us into an adult life when we are too small to understand our surroundings. This faith is not asking us to do anything bad but in actual fact is asking us to be good citizens and to love one another. Why would anyone want NOT to do this? Unless of course your objective is different.
    Also the created universe and everything in it belongs to God and we have no right to anything in it except what authority is given us (ie., we did not create the universe or anything in it). So therefore the superior mind of God tells us how we must live (as we are the equivalent of very young children compared to God). We have been given free will to choose. If we choose to ignore our parents as children, harm usually follows. So it does in this universe when we choose to ignore God. Everything that is happening to man is happening because of his choice as we choose to ignore God. God knows your heart and if you truly seek Him and ask Him for his guidance you will get it. If you ask Him and it does not happen within the next 5 minutes, you were never serious in the first place.

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  30. It's not only the absence of evidence that is problematic, but also absence of any reason to believe. For example, I don't know if alien life exists, but I do believe that it does given that there are hundreds of billions of galaxies, so the probability that alien life exists is very high, thus I have a good reason to believe there may be alien life. On the other hand, I have as many reason to believe that god(s) exists as to believe that Santa Claus exists, in other words - none. Not only there is no evidence to support the evidence of existence of Santa Claus, but really I have no logical reason to believe so.

    Another thing from the article that I'd like to discuss is that the author mentioned couple of times that atheists "choose not to believe". It simply does not work that way. I did not choose not to believe in God any more than I chose not to believe in Santa. It's not a matter of choosing to believe, but rather of a conlusion that presents itself in one's mind based on facts, knowledge, observations and logical thinking. Nobody ever chooses (as in 'makes a decision') not to believe in Santa - you simply come to a conlusion that there is no basis for that belief.

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    1. Rubbish

      What sort of logic is that???

      You choose not to believe in santa based on the evidence presented to you (like seeing your parents delivering presents) EVERYBODY make that choice.

      People choose to believe in God because God is the best answer supported by the evidence.

      You made a decision to choose not to believe in God when, according to you, facts, knowledge, observations and logical thinking made you reach a conclusion.

      To say you made no choice is to completely inconsistent with what you stated.

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  31. I think until someone who does not believe in God can prove there is no God, then I would say they are basing their belief from a faith standpoint also ;)

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    1. actually the burden of proof lies with the one making the claim, i.e. god exists. and it is not the responsibility of the opposing viewpoint to provide evidence that you are wrong.

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    2. God has proved himself again and again and again.

      Your failure to see, understand and comprehend is yours alone.

      He created, He guided, He loved and He restored.

      He proved himself when He left His word on how he did it. No other religion in the world claims how creation happened, He is the only one. (They all come in at some latter fixed point)

      God makes a claim; we say he has proved himself. He has nothing else to prove.

      You are incorrect. It is the responsibility of the opposing viewpoint to state what part of the evidence already given is insufficient for them and why is it insufficient.

      You have the free will right to believe what you want. You’re just not free to choose the consequence of your choice.

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  32. Thank you 'January guest'. Absolutely agree with your comments - the thoughts of a logical mind. I too would say that i have a logical mind as i spent my younger life as an electronics engineer ( a profession based on logical thinking).
    But we have both reached an entirely different conclusion.' Anonymous' also made a valid comment.
    We all have a desire to live and think the way we want in this world. I choose to believe in the living God for reasons outlined above. Faith. I do not believe in the infallibility of man but i choose to believe in the infallibility of God.
    A common saying that religion has caused so many wars throughout history is rubbish. Take religion out of this world and would we have no wars? Man will find plenty of reasons to kill e.g., money, greed, power, land. oil etc., as is going on this very moment in this world.
    Yes i choose to believe in the infallible God because i do not put my faith in fallible man. I cannot prove to you the existence of God as only God can. You have nothing to lose by choosing your beliefs - until you are confronted by God. On that day too i believe you will have an option to deny Him... i choose not go down that path as i know my limits.
    I also believe 'January guest' that you too are a child of God none the less, as i am. So may you go in peace and i will pray that God enriches your life as he has done mine :)

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  33. The main problem with all of the above comments is that people are assuming that a "god" exists. Sorry but I come from a family of scientists and when you assume something it must be something that you have proven before. Therefore most of the arguments are invalid and ignorant. Christians seem to make up their own rules to prove their beliefs and disregard existing rules that have been proven by generations of scholars.

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  34. Please....existing rules proven by generations of scholars....what? ....like the earth is flat, or that the sun goes around the earth or that bloodletting by leeches will fix what ails you?

    Your assertion is flawed, invalid and ignorant. Science is being held back by centuries-old assumptions that have hardened into dogmas.

    Your ASSUMPTION is that science is testable and provable. Your assumption does not stand up under the scrutiny of the very science you say supports it.

    Science says that knowledge is knowable by cause.

    The scientific evidence overwhelmingly confirms that the universe exploded into being out of nothing. Either someone created it out of nothing, or no one created something out of nothing. Which view is more reasonable? Which view requires more faith? Everything that had a beginning had a cause; this is known as the law of causality. Science says that knowledge is knowable by cause. Without the law of causality it is impossible to know knowledge. Since a cause cannot come after its affect, natural forces cannot account for the big bang

    Scientific fundamentalists do not realize that their opinions are based on faith. They think they know the truth. They believe that science has already solved the fundamental questions. The details still need working out, but in principle the answers are known. They believe that there is no reality but material or physical reality. Consciousness is a by-product of the physical activity of the brain. Matter is unconscious. Nature is mechanical. Evolution is purposeless. God exists only as an idea in human minds, and hence in human heads.

    Scientists are sustained by the implicit faith that scientific discoveries will justify their beliefs, not because they have thought about them critically, but because they haven’t. Science is issuing promissory notes for discoveries not yet made. Many promises have been issued, but few redeemed.

    In physics, too, the problems are multiplying. Since the beginning of the 21st century, it has become apparent that known kinds of matter and energy make up only about 4 percent of the universe. The rest consists of "dark matter" and "dark energy." The nature of 96 percent of physical reality is Contemporary theoretical physics which is dominated by superstring and M theories, with 10 and 11 dimensions respectively, which remain untestable. The multiverse theory, which asserts that there are trillions of universes besides our own, is popular among cosmologists in the absence of any experimental evidence. These are interesting speculations, but they are not hard science. They are a shaky foundation for the claim that everything can be explained in terms of physics.

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    1. So your saying something created the matter that exploded into life as we know it.
      If I use the same thought process you're using towards evolution, then my question to you is what or who created god? He is supposedly uncreated but according to you everything has a creator.
      I agree that the matter had to come from somewhere, but we haven't realized that answer yet. But I have an easier time believing scientific evidence than a notion that we are the handy work of an invisible man.
      If I started hating and criticizing people or hurt or kill them all in the name of an invisible friend I'd be labeled insane, medicated and/or locked up. Even if I wrote a book to prove his or her existence.

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    2. Yes I'm saying SOMEONE created all matter that exploded into life.

      Why do you believe God needs to be created? By very definition he is
      "uncreated"

      A circle has no beginning and no end, there is no start point or end point, but it still exists. It does not even need to be drawn for the concept to exist.

      I understand that you have an easier time believing scientific evidence, but that's just what you believe, there is no truth or proof in that statement against God.

      God is not invisible, he is clearly seen in creation.

      When your Husband/Wife cleans the house and your not home. Did the invisible man/woman do it or was it your husband/wife?

      Look at the answers even on this post for rebuttal to every point you think you made. If you are open there are many more points to make you think, If your closed you will never understand anything.

      Whether you like the answers or not is irrelevant, it still proves God (or at least the possibility of God)

      Think for yourself, do some investigation. Don't believe what sounds good or already fits into what you think you know or what you want it to say....actually investigate the claims Jesus made, look at the evidence, otherwise your just lying to yourself.

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    3. but you haven't proved he exists.....and science is seen in creation

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    4. How can science ever answer the question of why?

      Why is there something rather than nothing?

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  35. Despite the confident claim in the late 20th century that genes and molecular biology would soon explain the nature of life, no one knows how plants and animals develop from fertilized eggs. Many details have been discovered, hundreds of genomes have been sequenced, but there is still no proof that life and minds can be explained by physics and chemistry alone. The technical triumph of the Human Genome Project led to big surprises. There are far fewer human genes than anticipated, a mere 23,000 instead of 100,000. Sea urchins have about 26,000 and rice plants 38,000.

    The existing rules you say exist, actually point away from what you assume they prove.

    People do not assume God exists, they believe he exists, because he has told them he does. He shows himself in all of creation, from start to finish. People believe he exists because God is the best answer supported by the evidence.

    Your logic of calling for others to prove their belief, and your inability to prove or offer your own valid theory invalidates any claim you think you make. Belief that discrediting another believe somehow strengthens your own case is flawed logic
    Ridiculing others and shouting louder does not make you somehow right.

    All you can prove is what you believe, and whatever you say your belief is, I agree with you. That is exactly what you believe.

    Any honest investigation of the facts can only conclude that Jesus Christ is exactly who he claimed to be. There is more recorded evidence of the life death and resurrection of Jesus Christ than any other person or event in history. There is more evidence for Christ in history than there is that your great grandfather existed, yet you don’t question that he existed. Your thinking is so darkened that you don’t even question that maybe you should investigate this, you just think you know. And you call Christians closed minded…wow.

    I could agree with you, but than we would both be wrong.

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  36. I think the biggest problem with the existence of god is the problem of evil and suffering. If god is omnipotent and benevolent why is there suffering? There is 4 explanations: 1. god is not omnipotent 2. god is not benevolent (maybe even cruel ) 3. god is neither omnipotent nor benevolent 4. God doesn't exist

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    1. Or...
      God exists
      God gave you all power and authority
      God's love gives us freewill and choice
      God will not take back his gift and interfere with man's freewill
      Man introduces evil and suffering, than want to blame God for the gift he has given.
      Denying that God exists because you don't like the result of the choices that you made is neither reasonable, logical and it offers no proof to your claim that God does not exist. It purely explains what you believe, but you offer your belief as statement of fact.

      There is no explanation made here or logical conclusion reached.

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    2. I'm not saying God doesn't exist, I'm saying that if He exists He can't be both benevolent and omnipotent. Free will might explain moral evil, but what about natural evil. Earthquakes and tsunamis don't happen because man chooses them to happen.

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    3. Does natural evil exist?

      For instance, lightning helps fertilize soil, if that same lighting hits a person, does that make natural evil?

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    4. The point is that omnipotent God can surely make it so that the lightning doesn't hit a person

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    5. Are your now agreeing with me and saying that natural evil does not exist?

      By very definition an omnipotent God can surely make it that the lighting does not strike a person.

      What your actually asking is, according to you, why doesn't he, from our limited understanding of what's going on, not stop the lightning strike a person?

      What your actually asking for is an exemption from the consequences to the freewill choice that has been made.

      People complain about the consequences and call into question God's righteous character in an effort to justify to themselves and everybody else that they are a victim, it was not their fault, they did not think they were hurting anybody, the punishment is to server or they just didn't know. I believe there are a lot of people in prison that feel the exact same way.

      Yet as absurd as it is to us that people want to complain about the consequences of their freewill choice. It makes less sense to do that to a righteous, omnipotent, loving, perfect God.

      I guarantee you that when you bend your knee before a perfect God, you will lose any argument you think your going to make to justify your choice. In fact I believe you will know and fully agree with God that judgement is correct and you deserve exactly the consequence of your free will choice.

      The free gift of salvation offered through Jesus will be the only argument that will hold water with God.

      Remember your free to choose, your just not free to choose the consequences of your choice.

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  37. So children die in natural disasters because of the poor choices they made. Now I get it. Thanks for clearing that up.

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    1. Saying that evil exists because we have free will, doesn't explain any suffering caused by natural disasters such as tsunamis or earthquakes

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    2. I think if you think about it, it explains it exactly.

      At creation there was no death and suffering.

      There may have been tsunamis and earthquakes in the garden before the fall, but there was no consequence. There was no natural evil because there was no death.

      There is no natural evil now either, we just don't like the consequences of natural laws.

      You don't get the benefit of natural laws without the consequences. For example we can't enjoy the benefit of gravity(not floating off into outer space) than claim because the same gravity made you fall off a ladder and break your arm, that the gravity is evil.

      And again, before the fall, you got the benefit of gravity but no suffering from falling off a ladder because those things did not exist. They came about as a result of a wrong free will choice.

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    3. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that you're saying that suffering came about as a result of one wrong choice (your last sentence) and now we are all paying for that choice even though God always knew man was going to choose the "wrong" choice

      Of course there's good and bad sides in gravity and of course gravity is not evil, it is just the way the world works, but the fact that tsunamis are not evil doesn't mean they can't cause needless suffering. Suffering that omnipotent God could have avoided by making different laws of physics for example. Or is God creating power limited by laws of physics if so then He isn't omnipotent

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    4. Also saying that "there was no natural evil because there was no death" is like saying raping isn't evil if the victim lives. There can be suffering without death.

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    5. Yes that’s what I am saying; creation was marred when a wrong choice was introduced into a perfect creation. It was never God’s plan.

      You are just saying that you don’t like the consequences of breaking the law and are blaming God for the results.

      It is the same thing as if someone buys you a brand new car, gives you title and use of for free, and then after driving around for a while you run out of petrol so blame the person that gave you the gift saying it was faulty, or that they should of given you a car that never runs out of petrol. Or worse you have an accident deny the car was yours and try and blame the person that gave you the car for the accident.

      Again nothing you have tried to argue suggests that God is not omnipotent. It suggests you don’t like the consequences.

      As for your analogy it was nonsense.

      If you think it unfair that this all happened because of one man’s choice and you didn’t have a say, then there is great news, God provided a way back by His Son Jesus. So now you have your own choice. Remember that not making a choice is choosing.

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    6. Omniscient God would have known that man was going to make the wrong choice, so it must have been part of his plan (at least not to interfere). And yes you could say that it's free will, but is it really?
      Ultimately it was God's choice between stopping man making the wrong choice or allowing man to make it. It is important to remember that God knew where both of these choices would lead us. That brings me to your car accident comparison: Damn right I would hold the person that gave me the car responsible IF he always knew that I was going to crash (would probably happen, I'm a terrible driver) and yet did nothing to stop it.

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    7. Oh, forgot to mention that the point is that God can't be both omnipotent and benevolent.
      What I fail to understand, is why does suffering from natural causes (tsunamis and etc.) has to come in the same package with free will. Surely God could shield us from tsunamis without affecting our free will (Given that it truly is free will).

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    8. God knew you COULD make that decision, not that you would make it. He gave you freewill. He guided you not to, he told you not to. You still had the free will choice to do it or not. But God is omniscient, he KNEW you COULD.

      Now you’re saying you don’t like the car at all? Are you saying that you would prefer that you never received a car, that you were never created? That God should have given you a different kind of car?

      To say it was God’s choice to stop us is incorrect. By very definition, if God stops you doing anything, there is no freewill.

      You buy you husband/wife a computer so that they can learn, grow, be entertained, do work on it, use it as a tool. You do this because you want that growth/gift for them, you love them. They use it to look up porn, speak to people they should not, end up having an affair and destroying your marriage. Is that the computers fault? Is that your fault that you gave them a gift and they used it contrary to your intent? You could have known that was going to happen?? It than make no sense when the husband/wife wants to turn around and blame you for the gift, for their actions. It is the same as your argument here. It makes no sense to me.

      By very definition God is omnipotent and therefore fully capable of being benevolent at the same time.

      What you’re actually asking when you say you don’t understand why doesn’t God shield us from natural causes that cause suffering is for an exemption from the consequences to the freewill choice. It’s like an alcoholic told not to drink. And the alcoholic responds, ok, I shouldn’t drink, but what’s better, bourbon on gin? Your trying to make argument past the point of the issue being dealt with.

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  38. A man rejects God neither because of intellectual demands nor because of the scarcity of evidence.

    A man rejects God because of a moral resistance that refuses to admit his need for God.

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    1. I don't deny there is some greater force than myself, but it is obvious that the Christian version of God is not the god that created our universe and everything it. Look at the post, yes, it's mine, "The Bible is easy to disprove", below...

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  39. All the arguments, for and against the existence of some higher power is a tiresome thing. Ancient manuscripts. Theological discussions about good and evil. No amount of nonevidence (yes, I made that word up) can persuade the unbeliever. It all sounds likes Charlie Brown's mother. Church and it's teachings never made sense to me as a child. If you can't convince me as a child, impressionable as I was, it will never happen to me as adult. Religion, faith of all types in a supernatural power, just doesn't answer enough questions for me. I've read the bible many times, trying to have the "holy spirit" in my heart. The more I read, the more I could not believe. Many attributes of your christian god are distasteful. Murderous, petulant, pedantic, vengeful, petty and really immature. Jesus died on the cross for my sins? That's kinda weird. Ok. Oh, yeah, it is a mystery and I should just have faith? How does one thing relate to the other? I smash my foot with a hammer to offset your mortgage. Questions? It's all conjecture. Charlie Brown's mom. I've read many holy books, I've been on a quest for 25 years. I've read the bible in many translations, from Greek to English, the Catholic bible, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Nag Hammadi. There are some good parables in these writings as there are in other religions. Don't screw people over. Be Nice. Be charitable. Xtianity does not have a monopoly of these values. Science has produced a theory to why being nice promotes us a species.

    Xtians, you cannot have your cake and it eat it, too. Either it is all true or all is about transmutation. You want me to believe and have faith. Me thinks, you are insecure and need others to agree to bolster your insecurities.

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  40. I am no theist, I am no atheist. I am agnostic. I was raised in a Christian Lutheran environment. My beliefs changed over time because they no longer made sense to me. I was taught that the Christian God was omniscient, omnipresent, atemporal, and benevolent. At some point, my mind encountered the same question that one commenter above mentions: If God knows everything, is not limited by space, and exists outside of time, it follows that he would also know exactly what the outcome in Eden would be. Creating beings, giving them will, then giving them rules, then expressing anger and punishing those beings for their disobedience - all while knowing full well that those beings are going to break the rules - seems like the exact opposite of any definition of benevolence to which I've been exposed. In fact, that kind of behaviour could be defined as abusive or pathological were it to present in a human.

    I no longer understand people who think that the above is a reasonable basis for morality and ethics. I have lost respect for zealots who regurgitate epithets without reflection and spew dogma that creates an environment of fear and guilt. Not every Christian lives this way - I understand that and generally enjoy those who offer discussion and mutual respect. My problem with Christianity in general is that large amounts of people seem essentially brainwashed into their beliefs by negative and harmful control measures handed down by parents and authority figures. Modern Christianity seems to have, for the most part, completely forgotten about the love and compassion that Jesus teaches and gone back to living like the judgmental Pharisees that Jesus admonished.

    I got tired of living in a world where people think that this life is meant to be ENDURED instead of enjoyed. If there is a God (or any higher power that's aware of us and involved in our existence), it feels very disrespectful to take the gift of this life and experience every day of it as a burden.

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  41. Is it possible that God has a morally sufficient reason for allowing suffering (of which we are unaware)? Google 'John Piper: Is God A Megalomaniac?' I read his thoughts some time ago and he makes a few points not yet mentioned in this discussion.

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  42. The Bible is easy to disprove:

    1) Oldest Living Trees (Bristlcone Pines in California are close to 5,000 years old, the Tjikko Spruce in Norway is nearly 10,000 years old, the Creosote bushes in the Mojave desert are almost 12,000 years old, the Pando Quaking Aspens in Utah have been estimated between 80,000 and 1 million years old). If Noah's flood happened, these would not exist today.

    2) The Tower of Babel (There were multiple language forms hundreds of years before this supposedly happened in the Bible)

    3) Starlight and Astronomical Anomalies (These prove without a doubt that our universe is billions of years old by their sheer distances from earth and the speed at which light travels; plus, if the creation happened only 6,000 years ago then we are seeing light from distant stars that have yet to exist, ergo, God is a lier)

    4) All four Gospels contradict each other on almost everything they discuss

    5) Much of the Bible was written well after events happened by unknown sources, then altered, edited, changed, and final chosen by Constatine at Nicaea who paid religious leaders handsomely for creating the 66 "Canons" as we know them today

    6) Read the story of Jacob and God's understanding of genetics...somehow an all-powerful, perfect, all-knowing God believes goats can look at slats or spots and have offspring that have slats and spots...interesting.

    7) Two different accounts of the creation in Genesis

    8) Two different accounts of Ten Commandments and only the second set was actually called "The Ten Commandments" by God

    I'm tired, but I can go on and on...the Bible is a collection of myths and stories during a time where people knew very little about their physical world. The Christian faith is the greatest show on earth!

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    1. 1) Don't know enough about the trees to talk about it

      2) I may be wrong, but, according to the Bible, it happened a few generations after the flood. To invent many languages after that event, when everyone spoke only one language (as Noah + his family were the only survivors, and I presume the spoke the same tongue) is ludicrous. As for archaeological evidence, Egyptian is the oldest written language, being around 2650BC, and then, although there were other languages, how do we know they weren't adopted at the Tower of Babel a few hundred years before?

      3) There have been recent ideas of the speed of light slowing (sounds nuts, I know, but remember, everything decays over time, law of entropy/ 2nd law of thermodynamics). Also, it's spelt liar :P

      4) Not true. They relate very well. One of the few problems with the gospels (well, gospel and Acts) is the death of Judas, and, if you look online, they have very reasonable responses which shows the seeming apparent conflicting views actually are the same.

      5) The Old Testament, as proven by the dead sea scrolls, is almost exactly the same as the original, apart from the obvious problem of translation. The New Testament almost always opens with who wrote the letters. We know these people existed, because outside sources (within the Italian archives) tell us so.

      6) I haven't read the whole bible, so I don't know the account.

      7) Where? Ch. 2 is more detail on Ch. 1

      8) Again, where? The known one is Exodus 20, and the other ones after that say the same things. Before that, I don't remember there being any other 10 Commandments, though if I'm wrong, please correct :)

      I'd say Christians are not a show, though we can sometimes be a bit rash. As for fake Christians (Joel Osteen, Westborough Baptist Church etc.), well, what do you expect from a big thing such as Christianity? Like anything that big, you'll always get fakes, but it doesn't match the original :D

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  43. It is irrefutably clear that the god of the bible does not exist. Of course if you grew up in a christian country to christian parents and went to a christian school then its gonna be almost impossible for your lil brainwashed head to see the facts. Anyone and EVERYONE who has studied the scientific evidence WITH AN OPEN MIND will conclude that the bible, god, and the whole of christian doctrine is unquestionably ludicrous. And so are all other religions. Still, apart from the paedophile rampant catholic church, the genocide of various christian denominations, the hate and intolerance of those with alternative sexualities, the oppression of women, the fearmongering threat of hell, the cruel indoctrination of children and the sheer bloody hypocrisy of so called christians owning stereos, cars, tvs, golf clubs, laptops etc while millions of kids on the planet starve for want of a bowl of rice, then what harm can it do? Grow up you selfish hate filled hypocrites.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Saying you don't believe in God because of the Church and the behaviour of people that call themselves Christians

      is like saying

      You don't like the gym because fat people go there!

      Makes no sense, does not mean that the gym is bad or that you don't need it.

      As for EVERYONE who has studied scientific evidence WITH AN OPEN MIND.....please, that's just a statement.....Stating what you BELIEVE with no evidence is hardly scientific.


      Delete
    2. Look at my reply above msj's and you will get a small taste of the evidence which you crave. ;-)

      Delete
  44. May 2, 2014

    I am tired of church and the costumery and symbolism of stuff that now seems very dated, controversial, and missing the mark for me. I’ve been exposed to too much religion:

    Church of Christ, Christian Centers, multiple and diverse prayer groups who prayed in tongues and got all ecstatic, Assembly of God, Christian Church, Old Catholic (Jansenist), evangelical, charismatic, Vineyard, Messianic Jewish Christian hybrid, megachurches, Anglican.

    And this doesn’t begin to ouch the 7000 spin offs from the New Testament “faith” or “faithless,” take your pick.

    So I’ve been reading atheist websites and am finding the same questions I’ve been asking myself for some time now:

    Why does God need praise?
    Why does He punish His creation for being what it is? That bit about satan (see Job) just doesn't ring true.
    Why is His personality different from OT to NT?
    Why is there a hell? And why should Revelations boast that the redeemed will witness the suffering of sinners forever? Who wants to see something like that?
    If there is a heaven, why don’t we know more about it?
    What is the Revelation but a rehash of elements of Daniel and Ezekiel?
    Why don’t people get that Jews turned against their beliefs from the first? Maybe because it just wasn’t believable?
    Where is the spotless Bride that’s supposed to represent unity and purity? Which among the 7000 Whore of Babylon offspring are her? Hidden, you say. Hmmm. How does that work?
    Why did the Roman Catholic thing get started and why was it allowed to continue? See Crusades, Inquisitions, hideous tortures, Knights Templar, and more nonsense that cause misery, pain, and bloodshed for centuries.
    Why were terrible popes granted sainthood and what’s up with saints anyway?
    Why don't Lutherans get the point that Martin Luther was a madman and antisemitic?
    Where does Calvin get off interpreting predestination the way he did and how can
    intelligent people believe it?
    Why are the majority of prayers left in the air?
    How can any sane person accept that the world was created in 6 days?
    Why can’t churched people understand that the Jewish faith is just one local religion among many?
    Why do believers have such a burden of proof re: the resurrection of Jesus? So many contradictory reports are touted as proof of the “truth.” Really?


    WHO SPEAKS FOR GOD? Televangelists? Hack writers? Latter Day Saints?
    Latter Day prophets?

    No one touches these questions with a ten foot pole except for unbelievers.
    And pariahs like I asking for answers.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Mary Mc

      Sounds like you have been over exposed to religion

      You’re in good company.

      Jesus was tired of the same thing. He actually said in Mark 7:6 and 7:7

      (Mar 7:6) But He answered and said to them, Well has Isaiah prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, "This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.

      (Mar 7:7) However, they worship Me in vain, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."

      But, just as these peoples actions have nothing to do with Jesus in his day, so too all that pomp and ceremony you experience today has nothing to do with Jesus.

      All these different named church’s you are quoting are just that, people calling themselves something. It does not make it true. Remember I can sit in the garage day and night, it’s not going to make me a car.

      There are no holy bricks. There is one church, where God lives, and that is in all believers.

      God does not need praise; he is wholly complete within himself. He is not like an earthly megalomaniac king saying you must bow down before me. He is exactly the opposite. He gave us praise because it helps us in a fallen world, not him.

      What was the part about Job that you had trouble with?

      God does not punish his creation. He loves all his creation. He gave all a choice. He is merely accepting the freewill choice you have made. If you have rejected God your whole life and then God snatched you up when you died and forced you to live with him forever, that would be a punishment.

      God’s character is the same yesterday, today and forever. He has not changed. He called out in the garden “”Adam where are you” He’s God, he knew where he was, God called for the restoration of man from the beginning.

      There is a hell, because there needs to be a place where people that don’t want to live with God get to go. Hell is the total absence of God. You don’t get to reject the giver and keep all the gifts. God made everybody to exist forever. It’s your choice that determines your address.

      Free will choice allows for the crusades, inquisitions and all the other nonsense. Again, you are judging Jesus by association of people that claim something that he is not.

      A saint is any and all believers that have asked Jesus to be Lord of their lives. Some title granted to some pope does not mean anything

      As for how Calvin gets off interpreting predestination the way he did, again explained by his freewill choice to believe that.

      No prayer is left up in the air. God’s has (past tense) already blessed us (spoken well of us) with every spiritual blessing. You need to accept what Jesus has done for you and receive it. Jesus said ask anything, and not doubt it and you will have it. Have you asked and not doubted that you have it? The problem again is not with God but with us.

      As for creation in 6 days, have you really looked at what the scripture says? Scientific arguments can be made that the speed of light and gravity and time are affected differently at different points in creation and may account for a literal 24 hour day BUT have you read what the scripture says –

      Gen 1:5 God called the light day, not our literal days.

      Further consider evening and morning on the first day, evening morning on the second day etc., we never have night. God is talking about different creation periods, not a 6 day/night period

      Further Gen 2:4 says: These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens.

      Notice that it was in the DAY that Jesus (Lord God) made it all. Clearly God is talking about a creation period.

      The good news is we are in the seventh day of creation now, and there is no evening, it goes on forever!

      Delete
    2. As for the proof for the resurrection of Jesus, again, any simple amount of effort on the internet can find vast amounts of evidence that any person can find, from the bible being a creditable reliable historic account, to early books outside of the bible that mention Jesus, to accounts outside of religious or philosophical intent that mention Jesus as a by-product of say, reporting on grain totals, how quickly the way flourished in an oppressive religious culture, the eye witness testimony. The list really does go on once you start looking for it. There is an embarrassing amount of evidence available to those who seek.

      As for who speak for God? God speaks for himself. He is called the word of God. Jesus is his name. The bible is his word. Every answer you want in this life is in there, you just need to seek it. The Holy Spirit will help you understand if you ask him. You can’t understand it yourself. Your carnal self cannot grasp a spiritual truth.

      I hope this helped answer some of your questions.

      I don’t have all the answers, but I know someone that does. Ask God. He wants you to know more him more than you want the answers to some questions

      Delete
    3. I have done all this, have read C.S. Lewis's apologies, all of that. Have heard half baked testimonies from wishful thinkers. It's all a mess and lonely out here with or without "faith."

      Delete
    4. Mary somebody wrote a great comment below "Believe and you will see."

      All apologetics (defence of the faith) is intellectual answers to tough questions that believers have to strengthen their faith. We use questions from sceptics to share the truth, and remove stumbling blocks that they genuinely may have.

      But the rub is, it may help you to understand the answers, it may help your activate you faith, but it’s never going to argue you into true belief.

      The believing part has to come first. You have to trust God.

      The bible mentions believe many times as the catalyst and the lynch pin to activate all of the blessings God has for us. Everyone says you must believe, but nobody tells you what this is

      In the Old Testament people saw God and then had to believe. They also had not seen Jesus but had to believe he was coming because God told them he was.

      In the New Testament it is the exact opposite way around. We know that Jesus lived and we have to believe first than God says we will see.

      You may say it should not work that way but remember, seeing miracles and signs from God in no way guarantees that you going to believe in him. Remember the Israelites who saw 10 miracles from God in Egypt, were led by the finger of God, had food drop from heaven, saw the parting of the red sea where God delivered them and what did they do? They built a Golden Calf. Clearly seeing won’t get you to believe.

      You see it because you believe; you don’t see it than believe. There is no way around this.

      The Church will tell you, you must believe, but seldom explain what this is. A lot of times they don’t know, or they just rush over the word to get to the thing God has promised. Spend some time understanding what that one word means.

      To me believe is… I agree, trust and rely on what God says, certain it is the truth and then make a quality decision to follow whatever he says. Interestingly, the Noah Webster dictionary defines Be as “Ä present Existence” and lieve as “the same as the beloved is”. So together it means “A present state of being the same as Jesus is”

      God made every person with just enough faith to believe in him. Your faith is than completely used up and he gives you his faith. God never gave anyone enough faith to reject him once they made a quality decision for him. As you’re still questioning things it seems to me that you still need to make a quality decision to believe what Jesus did. It’s than He’s job to answer your questions.

      The good news is, once you have done that, you can never ever be lonely. God said he will never leave us or forsake us, he will live in you forever. He is than all you need, want and desire.

      Delete
  45. I will tell you why I am an atheist. It's because of 3 simple points. The first being that perfection is impossible and Christians claim their god is. The very point of existing is to grow and better ourselves so what purpose does a perfect being have? If god were real he would have gone insane from the endless boredom that is inevitable when it comes to immortality. My second point is history. We're told we must learn from our history or we're doomed to repeat it but I see people worshiping gods and joining religions. Did we learn nothing from the greeks and romans? Today their beliefs seem hilarious and we could never see ourselves believing in Zeus/Jupiter or Ares/Mars but we can't see that back then these deities were as real to them as Jesus is to christians. In a couple thousands years our descendants will look to Jesus and see the same thing we see when we think of Aphrodite or Hades. Maybe they will have their own religion but they'll still see our religions as obsolete and absurd. My final point is that life is short. I wouldn't forgive myself is I spent so much time worshiping a god that may or may not exist. Religion has caused war, judgement, and persecution (remember the salem witch trials?). I'd rather try and be a better human then a better worshiper. Still everyone has the right to believe what they want just be nice others and respect their right to believe and to NOT believe :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As far as I can see, your only correct point is you do have the freewill right to believe whatever you want. God gave us that right.

      As to your three reasons, can I suggest you have another think?

      1. How is comparing Gods capabilities to man’s impossibilities the same. The calculator can’t comprehend what the computer can do?

      2. Again, something else being false (another religion) does not make Christianity false. That’s like saying my first car was a Ford and a heap of junk so all Fords must be junk (Ok that one might be true :-) )

      3. Life is not short; it is the longest thing you will do while you’re on earth. Also, do you know what worship means? It means your commitment to follow. I don’t see a problem with this.

      If the only point to existence is to grow and better ourselves, and you’re going to die anyway, what is the point in that?

      As for Religion causes wars the truth on the matter is Philip and Axelrod’s three-volume Encyclopedia of Wars, which chronicles some 1,763 wars that have been waged over the course of human history. Of those wars, the authors categorize 123 as being religious in nature, which is an astonishingly low 6.98% of all wars. When one subtracts out those waged in the name of Islam (66), the percentage is cut by more than half to 3.23%

      Delete
  46. Peter Saunders, y so much of arguments when God does not exist, your hatred to God shows that God exist bcoz its simple we hate only those who exist

    ReplyDelete
  47. Bad things don't come from GOD, for He is completely righteous.

    "To see is to believe" is a human tendency. And I also had doubts before.
    But HE opened my eyes. What I've learned is, it's not about us, it's all about HIM.


    "Believe, and you will see."

    ReplyDelete
  48. No disrespect, but these arguments against christianity are pretty weak.

    ReplyDelete
  49. There's a fallacy in one of your arguments.

    Number 4 on your list was as follows:."Miracles can’t happen
    The world operates according to observable laws of nature meaning that miracles simply cannot occur. Regardless there is no evidence to suggest either that they do or that they ever did."

    That's fallacious reasoning, because built it involves building into the definition of "law" an element of necessity. But what is it that science gives us in the way of "laws"? It gives us a whole lot of data in which predictable patterns emerge. Now assuming that these patters always hold true certainly makes the world a more manageable place, but are we warranted in assuming that these patterns MUST always hold? "Necessity" is a metaphysical concept; whereas science deals with only physical phenomena. We have no experience of "necessity," we have never observed "necessity," we cannot test or evaluate whether there is an element of "necessity" in a pattern. We assume it.

    So having assumed that these "laws" are necessary, we cannot then use that assumption to prove itself. When a Christian says God can perform a miracle, that is not to deny that this is an event outside the normal observed patterns in nature--that's why it's called a miracle. A Christian is just saying that there is something (or rather, Someone) outside of (figurative language--maybe saying "not limited to or by the material universe" would be better) the material universe, and so He is not bound by the regular patterns that we observe in nature. And the Christian is also denying that these patterns are strictly necessary and unalterable.
    See also,
    http://www.meditations-on-life.com/why-i-am-not-an-atheist-christianity-atheism-faith-reason/atheism-vs-christianity-atheist-faith-vs-christian-faith/

    ReplyDelete
  50. None of this really makes sense. And the things that kind of do have nothing to do with anything really or the reasons make no sense. For example, people sin and they get punished accordingly for it. Just because they get punished, doesn't mean that it's so cruel and there's no God because of it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why should sin exist? God is omnipotent. He can simply not make it exist, and there'd be no need for punishment.

      Delete
    2. That part is coming! Hope you're ready.

      Delete
  51. This makes me sad, the people that will burn for their hatred and disbelief, there is wickedness in the world because of things like this, not because of god, he let us do as we want and we use our freedom b sinning, disappointing.....and atheists I have a single, simple, question, if the Big Bang theory did happen, how did those first two particles come from? Hm? Believe, I need this to happen I don't want people to burn but to live in eternal glory, what would you rather do?

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  52. The burden of proof still lies with those who make the god claim. Until sufficient, demonstrable, repeatable, and objectively verifiable evidence is provided, I will remain unconvinced.
    Call me an agnostic instead of an atheist if you wish - just know that the two terms are not mutually exclusive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Really??

      In the atheist or agnostic world view... WHAT sufficient, demonstrable, repeatable, and objectively verifiable evidence is provided?

      Delete
    2. Really??

      Could you please explain to me what you believe by science?

      Science does not account for anything, it may physically explain how some things work but by very definition, it cannot ever explain the why.

      Why is there something rather than nothing?

      And again, even in the terms of this post, what repeatable evidence is provided? Where has life popped into existence again? Where is one species changing into another species? Is there any proof that at any time in all of creation where one species changed to another? No.

      Im interested to know what you mean by science.

      Delete
  53. Our mind is limited and can never answer all questions using our reason. Life is full of meaning and purpose because there's a God.

    ReplyDelete
  54. If anyone is curious, here is a link that might be found interesting/educational:

    http://www.alwaysbeready.com/bible-evidence

    I have very much enjoyed reading this debate, and appreciate the civil (for the most part) manner it has been conducted. Keep searching for truth, always question why you believe what you believe! I personally found that website very helpful in answering many of the questions that have been brought forth and discussed in length here. I still do have other questions/struggles as a Christian that keep me engaged in researching my faith.

    Peace.



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  55. Did the writer actually read the bible? Hell is a roman catholic doctrine and was designed to scare people yes, but also in the grand scheme of things to be able to used later saying " what kind of God would let people burn forever?" Read the bible and then write this.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Can someone answer these questions? I've encountered all of them but I can't answer them. And that's dealt a blow to my faith because honestly, I've never really heard God talk to me.
    The main issue I have here is this: If God is in complete control of everyone- their genes, their character, their lives- then doesn't He make people sin? We sin because of who we are; our character dictates how we make choices, and He makes us this way. Also, why didn't he just make Adam NOT sin?
    I'd appreciate answers. Thanks a lot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Joshua

      God speaks. He is called the word of God. Jesus is his name. The bible is his word. If you have read the bible you have heard God talk to you.

      How is it that you started with the premise that God is in “Complete Control” of everything?

      The bible says God gave you all power and authority. God's love gives us freewill and choice. God will not take back his gift and interfere with man's freewill.

      God did create Adam not to sin. But God loves us. Real love involves a wilful choice. If you are without choice and compelled to love, this is not real love.

      Your choice dictates your character, not the other way around.

      Hope that helps!

      Delete
  57. This is an intriguing post! I'm a confirmed catholic and I have been going to a catholic school for my whole life. I do have a lot of doubts about my own faith and I am glad I came across blogs like this to see the points made for and against Christianity. The biggest issue I have is being able to have a civilized debate against someone who wants me to change and someone who is informing me about the flaws of the faith. They both make very good points and I have encountered both at one point or another. They both have the same points but different reactions to answers (this seems vice versa when debating against Christians) and I probably would have a terrible time debating against these points without doubting myself.

    The biggest thing I have found is that science and faith have been compared (not just Christianity). I feel like its a major debate topic because both are not the same when one is about the physical world and one is about the spiritual world. Science, there are theories of the world about how the world works and faith can be considered more of the why and I just want to say this because it should be brought up into these statements.

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  58. If God exist and is good, why, when he decided to create the universe, he created the evil?
    And if wanted us free in thinking and taking our own decisions why he created Adam and Eve less smarter than the evil?

    This argument is the best one to trap any believer in the corner.

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  59. If God exist and is good, why, when he decided to create the universe, he created the evil?
    And if he wanted us free of thinking and taking our own decisions why he created Adam and Eve less smarter than the evil?

    This argument is the best one to trap any believer in the corner.

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    Replies
    1. Darkness is the absence of light. The absence of light existed before God created light (Genesis 1:2). So, God didn’t "create” darkness. But God forms the light and defines anything other than light as darkness. Likewise, the Lord doesn’t create evil, but establishes peace and calls anything else evil.

      God didn't want us free of thinking but free to think, free to choose.

      People make choices contrary to what's good for them all the time. Why do people smoke, drink, cheat on their spouses etc. Because they choose to when all evidence to the contrary tells them not to, tells them it is damaging. They want to decide.

      Likewise people choose not to believe in God contrary to the abundance of evidence that their is a loving, good, all powerful God.

      The word of God is rounded, free from traps or corners. There is no corner here.

      Delete
  60. If God really exists and he's that powerfull and good, why he didn't  create us more smart with more good sense and foresight to take the good decisions?  

    Why he decided that billions of human been have to pay with endless suffering, misery and death because of the bad choice of a single man (Adam) ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. God exists

      God is all powerful and good

      God made us smart, unique and set us above all his creation. If the result of any choice leads to the same result, this is not really choice. Without choice you cannot have freewill.

      God gave us freewill and made us capable of making good decisions. He helped us and told us what to do. He even made it easy. He set a multiple choice test in front of you. He said today I set before you life and death, blessings and cursing. Choose life. He even gave us the correct answer A. Life. But many did not believe God and choose B.

      God gave a way back through his son Jesus, but many today still choose B. Today you have the same choice Adam did, and still you make the same choice as Adam.

      God never decided that billions of people will be separated from him. People choose that, and still do.

      You want to be free to choose what you want to do, and free to choose the consequences of that choice. Nothing works like that. We have children that behave like that. We call them spoilt brats.

      God is a perfect Father and loves you too much to let you remain like that

      Delete
  61. God exists

    God is all powerful and good

    God made us smart, unique and set us above all his creation. If the result of any choice leads to the same result, this is not really choice. Without choice you cannot have freewill.

    God gave us freewill and made us capable of making good decisions. He helped us and told us what to do. He even made it easy. He set a multiple choice test in front of you. He said today I set before you life and death, blessings and cursing. Choose life. He even gave us the correct answer A. Life. But many did not believe God and choose B.

    God gave a way back through his son Jesus, but many today still choose B. Today you have the same choice Adam did, and still you make the same choice as Adam.

    God never decided that billions of people will be separated from him. People choose that, and still do.

    You want to be free to choose what you want to do, and free to choose the consequences of that choice. Nothing works like that. We have children that behave like that. We call them spoilt brats.

    God is a perfect Father and loves you too much to let you remain like that

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  62. If there is no God, then all that exists is time and chance acting on matter. If this is true then the difference between your thoughts and mine correspond to the difference between shaking up a bottle of Mountain Dew and a bottle of Dr. Pepper. You simply fizz atheistically and I fizz theistically. This means that you do not hold to atheism because it is true , but rather because of a series of chemical reactions. Morality, tragedy, and sorrow are equally evanescent. They are all empty sensations created by the chemical reactions of the brain, in turn created by too much pizza the night before. If there is no God, then all abstractions are chemical epiphenomena, like swamp gas over fetid water. This means that we have no reason for assigning truth and falsity to the chemical fizz we call reasoning or right and wrong to the irrational reaction we call morality. If no God, mankind is a set of bi-pedal carbon units of mostly water. And nothing else. - Douglas Wilson

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  63. The truth is that God is All-Powerful and will eradicate evil and suffering. If God chose to eradicate evil and suffering out now that would include each and everyone of you as we all sin. If you have ever lied or stolen or lusted or hated or murder or done any wrong we have sinned against a Holy God and therefore as any who broke a law would be condemned in the court of law and as a crime results in consequences...breaking God's laws results in eternal separation from him. See, God wishes none would perish and repent and turn to him for forgiveness. Because we sin we are evil. God could wipe us all out right now. But there is coming a day when we will all have an appointment with the Judgement of God and do you stand innocent or guilty? If you broken one commandment you would still be guilty but those who accepted Christ are washed clean and forgiven and we stand redeemed from judgement because of Christ's sacrifice on the Cross. There is plenty of evidence that points to God's existence. Don't let your misdirected anger towards God and don't let your arrogance prevent you from repenting and finding peace with God. By pretending or sincerely believing God does not exist will not give you plausible deniability or an excuse to escape being held accountable for your sins.

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  64. All these arguments seem very feeble. They take ideas that a lot of people (even some Christians!) believe and argues against them. Most people have a very basic idea of Christianity and that beliefs it entitles so they make deductions. The Church would probably readily agree with some of these arguments.

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  65. The question which I have the most trouble with is the one "what about those who've never heard of him.

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  66. Does that person exist?

    God said in Rom 1:19 that which is known about God is evident and made plain in their inner consciousness, because God himself has shown it to them.

    People have an inbuilt knowledge that there is a God. God put it there.

    Indeed there are example of children, with no knowledge of God, separated from society, found years later worshiping the Sun. Why? Its in them. Everybody knows there is a God.

    There are none that have not "heard" of him. It does not exist.

    It's a silly question that's causing you trouble. Its like the silly argument that says God cant make a rock bigger than he can lift so he must not be all powerful. Its a illogical, incoherent question, than tries to infer a negative, and make you ponder or something that can not be.

    All know of God. Lots refuse to acknowledge, but that is not the same as know.

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  67. Wait till judgment day

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  68. Faith has many facets to it, creating a complexity that some find hard to build a foundation on. When life provides empirical proof of the things around you, it is easy to find faith. When stepping outside of empirical proof, faith becomes a matter of personal perspective that differs from individual to individual, creating division and also is the foundation for doubt.
    To have faith in something generally requires having a foundation, a history and a history of proven outcomes. People that I let into my life are great examples of what I mean.
    1) I have met them, establishing a foundation.
    2) Over a course of time a relationship is built.
    3) They have proven to possess characteristics that align with my values. (Trust being a good example of values one might hold)
    Having faith in the God of scripture is a matter that is complex, for me it’s hard to follow suit. It goes against the grain of any other relationship you have, trying to have a relationship with God sometimes feels like having a relationship with an inanimate object, it’s going be shallow. It takes years for a solid relationship to be formed, yet with God people engage immediately with someone they have never met their entire life.
    When thinking about faith, what is involved? What are characteristics of having faith that personally apply to you? In answering these questions, do you have an internal battle between heart and head?
    Josh McDowell states a truth about our world we live in, through an article titled, 7 A’s: Steps to a loving Family Relationship. “To connect relationally with our children, we need to show them affirmation, acceptance, appreciation, affection, availability, and a sincere enthusiasm to approach their world.” If you read further into this article he ties it back to Jesus, this does not surprise me, but I struggle with it. For many years, I have battled with knowing what authentic faith really means and what it truly feels like. In my opinion it is easy enough to walk into a church and speak the words of the Apostles Creed, the Lord’s Prayer or sing the worship songs being played that Sunday, is that enough though? What if I know them by heart?
    I believe that faith requires more than just words out of your mouth; I believe faith is like a human relationship and it requires heart, a deep connection and a strong bond. Assuming that all of this is true, that God is real and faith is more than just spoken words, then I am left with a dilemma. Scripture speaks of discipline and accountability from God; this authority is established through faith and quality of the relationship, apart from this there is no authority or accountability from God. A question I ask on a daily basis is; Who broke the bond, me or God? Many will reply saying I am the one who broke the bond, my struggle accepting that is when I read Genesis 6:6. “The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. So the LORD said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.”
    Can you imagine how you would feel if your earthly father came to you one day and said, “I wish you were never born.” It would break a bond you once had. Walking away unwounded, claiming its okay because he was involved in making me would be impossible. What makes God the acceptation? Is it that he’s all knowing? If that holds true, then why make us to begin with, he would have known it was a mistake.

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    1. God does not make mistakes.

      God never broke a bond with his Son. God’s son Adam was dead. God did not have a son again until Jesus came. No were in the Old Testament are people referred to as Gods son’s. They were his servants.

      A Servant works for a master not a father, has no relationship to the master except as slave, is driven by fear and not love, has no inheritance, is no heir, punishment and rewards in effect, begs or asks for things, has no say in the masters affairs, has no knowledge of the masters private life, has no future, has no hope, has no free will, his choices are made for him and then enforced and he has no authority.

      Every son has more rights than the greatest servant in the house.

      God broke no bond with his son.

      You seem to be saying that God should not have made us because some would not choose him. Should the ones that chose God be disadvantaged because of the ones that decided not to choose God? Should all receive a doctorate when some decided not to study and apply themselves?

      You have the same freewill right to choose God or not. Same as Adam had, same as me. You can choose to be God’s son or you can remain God’s servant. Your choice is yours alone.

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  69. I've always described the fundamental flaw with your god as the superman complex. He was made to godly, so godly that he can't actually be a god...not the type of god he is described as being anyway.

    I have heard he is omnipotent, omniscient and non temporal! these terms are fine to throw around cosmically, with some form of deistic reverence of the universe but the moment things get personal everything breaks.

    I'm guessing your familiar with the common issues people raise with this, like the bizarre part in Genesis where Adam hides from god...behind a tree?
    But the problem is much deeper, every time god reacts to something i am puzzled. How can an action of men make him angry or upset? he didn't see it coming a long time ago....or i guess ALL time ago?

    And it's HIS creation. But not in the way that creations sometimes get out of hand and act unexpectedly, from the moment he created the first moment he has known every single moment that would come to pass and yet the entire first testament seems to be testament to the drastic mood swings over a creator that can't seem to get his creation under control, and what's more this new development really seams to upset him?

    And with the superman god, all talks of anything resembling human characteristics just can't happen. People often site his decision that a human sacrifice was the way to deal with a problem as being a bit 'clearly writtin by the men of that time' but it gets worse when you analyze what was actually going on in the context of supergod. He apparently sacrificed HIMSELF, to HIMSELF, to gain the forgivness of HIMSELF for HIS creation that HE created...in his image and whats weirder is he would of known that the commiting of those crimes was a guaranteed circumstance of his deciding to create us.
    ***note to all would be feminist hystericals (etymological pun intended) whilst i may have both capitalized and repeated the word many times, contextually the gender of the being had no importance in that paragraph*** hahaha

    So my greatest argument is that when you get down to the foundations, the principals the religion is built on, it doesn't just lack evidence but appears to logically unravel itself.

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    1. Could your problem be that you fail to understand God's purpose so you don't understand the why, hence are incapable of perceiving Gods perfect master plan? Than in your ignorance you call it illogical?

      I am not aware of the supposed common issue of Adam hiding behind a tree. Why is Adam hiding behind a tree God’s issue at all? God loves you more than any other thing in all creation and gives you the freewill right to make your own choices and now you want to blame Him for giving the gift and not controlling His creation. That is illogical.

      Again, it’s your understanding that’s in error. God reacts to nothing. As you rightly said he knew what was going to happen. He does not make mistakes. He does not get upset. He does not fall off his throne surprised at anything man does. His mood has always been one of love and correction.

      Scripture says that without the shedding of blood that there is no remission of sin. Nowhere does God ask for a human sacrifice. Again if you understood God’s purpose you may understand how a loving father, God, gave himself for us. He knew what would happen, He chose us anyway.

      As for lacking evidence: Surely you are being disingenuous? Theist say there is evidence in all creation. The bible is a historically accurate document there is physical and archaeological evidence to support what is in the bible, we have an embarrassing number of bible copies, over 5,700 more than any ancient literature document. We have 1000’s of teachings from 1st century teachers quoting the bible, so much so that a complete bible can be recreated from these teachings. 1st century people were in a position to know if the testimony of Jesus was true, people were named and readers were challenged to go and ask them the truth of what they heard, giving the bible the flavour of testimony. Jesus is spoken about in over 60 documents outside of the bible. A lot of these documents were Roman and Jewish, the very groups that were anti Jesus. Indeed they tried to explain away the things he did by saying he was a worker of magic which he learnt from the Egyptians.

      No the Theist claims evidence provided proves why we believe what we do. The Question to ask is what part of the evidence already given is insufficient and why is it insufficient.

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  70. need proof that God exist? well thank God i see miracles through my church: dead baby resurrected, baby born without blood arteries miraculously have it, blind man since birth can see, and even many dead bodies of the church members are still undamaged after being buried for more than 7-10 years (scientists cannot explain the cause, but we do anointed the bodies, and pray to have heavenly body for the end of days), and still many more...i know i sound crazy, but it is worth knowing if you are a believer. i believe the pastor is what the revelation book called as "two witnesses or the two olive trees that will come before the second coming of christ" here's the link to the church website:http://tiberias.or.id/#/menu/PASTORS-YESAYA-and-DARNIATY-PARIADJI.html

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    1. i forget to tell that there are many churches with the same name, but what i'm telling you is tiberias church in singapore-indonesia-australia (i don't think they have church outside these countries yet although it is getting bigger)

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  71. Romans 2:15
    They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them. God will hold all accountable, since if they seek "him" aka seeking the "idea" of God, then he will reveal himself. God doesn't want anyone to go to hell, but for those who reject him, his nature will not allow that. Miracles are not immpossible, they are above science, supernatural coming down to the physical. The Big Bang is actualy a huge proof for God, read Creator and the Cosmos by Hugh Ross, and what "kickstarted" creation? FUnny cartoon, two guys in a room, one says, "I'd like to ask God why there is so much suffering" other guy, "Im afraid he'd say the same to me" Its man, and from the New ENgland Primer "In Adams fall, we sinned all". Unforutnatly truem there are hypocrits, and that is a problem. BUt, on balance, has Christianity harmed or helped the world more? IN fact, CHristianity was how people were able to be at peace long enough to advance, it was Europe, a primarily Christian area, that advanced far above all others. And finally, if we could all "pick and choose" then the world would be in total chaos. How can most of us agree on facts like the Holacaust was bad, we all have a conscience that can help guide us to do right. If there was no "moral law" then how could we decide what was good or bad? Try running a Justice system on that mentality.

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  72. i HAVE THE ANSWER TO ALL THOSE OVERLY INTELLIGENT NON BELIEVERS.... I HAVE SOLID EVIDENCE THAT THERE IS A LIVING GOD.& IF YOU REALLY WANT WANT PROOF THAT GOD EXISTS, I'LL GLADLY TELL YOU! THE FASTEST WAY FOR ANYONE TO SEE GOD FACE TO FACE AT ANY GIVEN TIME & DAY! UNDER ONE CONDITION...FIRST, YOU HAVE TO BE EXALTED....by that, I mean, change out of your earthly birthday suit into your immortal attire (yes, die!!!) I've been there and back AND THAT'S THE HONEST TRUTH!!! SO WHAT YOU WAITING FOR >>>>GO HANG YOURSELF NOW!!! HURRY, JUMP OFF A TALL BUILDING! THROW YOUR MISERABLE LIFE UNDER A MOVING TRAIN! QUICKLY GET YOUR PROOF!! but before you do whatever you gotta do, make sure you've been baptized, cause it's so much easier for a boney camel with all of its hump to go trough the eye of a needle than for a smart mule+donkey-like human to enter into GOD'S PRESENCE!

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  73. I find the bible wrong in many many ways but if you look at the Quran, you wouldn't be able to find a single mistake. All the science you Atheist (or whatever you are) discover today has already been told in the Quran, which was written 1400 years ago. Also Never changed unlike the bible, which has sooo many edit versions. And there is still so many knowledge still to understand. So, If you have never read the Quran, I'd advise you not to reply to this comment. Thank You

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    1. In your opinion were is the Bible wrong?

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  74. 1. The Bible is not inerrant. It contains many, many errors, contradictions, and deliberate alterations and additions by the scribes who copied it. The originals are lost, therefore we have no idea what "God" originally" said. Yes, its true---Christians can give "harmonizations" for every alleged error and contradiction, but so can the Muslims for errors in the Koran, and Mormons for errors in the Book of Mormon. One can harmonize anything if you allow for the supernatural.

    2. How do we know that the New Testament is the Word of God? Did Jesus leave a list of inspired books? Did the Apostles? Paul? The answer is, no. The books of the New Testament were added to the canon over several hundred years. Second Peter was not officially accepted into the canon until almost the FIFTH century! So why do all Christians accept every book of the New Testament as the word of God and reject every non-canonical "gospel"? Answer: the ancient (catholic) Church voted these books into your Bible. Period.

    There is nowhere in the OT or the NT where God gives men the authority to determine what is and what is not his Word. If Second Peter was really God's Word, the entire Church should have known so in the first century.

    3. Who wrote the Gospels? We have NO idea! The belief that they were written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John is based on hearsay and assumptions---catholic tradition. Protestants denounce most of the traditions of the Catholic Church but have retained two of the most blatant, evidence-lacking traditions, which have no basis in historical fact or in the Bible: the canon of the NT and the authorship of the Gospels.

    The only shred of evidence that Christians use to support the traditional authorship of the Gospels is one brief statement by a guy named Papias in 130 AD that someone told him that John Mark had written a gospel. That's it! Papias did not even identify this "gospel". Yet in 180 AD, Irenaeus, a bishop in FRANCE, declares to the world that the apostles Matthew and John and the associates of Peter and Paul---Mark and Luke---wrote the Gospels. But Irenaeus gives ZERO evidence for his assignment of authorship to these four books. It is well known to historians that it was a common practice at that time for anonymously written books to be ascribed to famous people to give them more authority. For all we know, this is what Irenaeus did in the case of the Gospels.

    The foundation of the Christian Faith is the bodily resurrection of Jesus. If the story of the Resurrection comes from four anonymous books, three of which borrow heavily from the first, often word for word, how do we know that the unheard of, fantastically supernatural, story of the re-animation of a first century dead man, actually happened??

    Maybe the first book written, "Mark", was written for the same purpose that most books were written in that time period---for the benefit of one wealthy benefactor, and maybe it was written simply as an historical novel, like Homer's Iliad; not meant to be 100% factual in every detail, but a mix of true historical events as a background, with a real messiah pretender in Palestine, Jesus, but with myth and fiction added to embellish the story and help sell the book! We just do not know for what purpose these books were written!

    I slowly came to realize that there is zero verifiable evidence for the Resurrection, and, the Bible is not a reliable document. After four months of desperate attempts to save my faith, I came to the sad conclusion that my faith was based on an ancient superstition; a superstition not based on lies, but based on the sincere but false beliefs of uneducated, superstitious, first century peasants.

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  75. Child of the One True King23 February 2015 at 13:05

    God exists simply because I exist. When you have a way to prove, without a doubt, that the universe wasn't created by a creator, that is when I will step down. Other than that, all creation points to a creator because for anything to live, everything would have to been made almost instantly with everything in the right place at the right time. And that is only for one organism, yet there are billions of organisms on this planet alone, and there are still a lot more that we haven't discovered yet. If you want to know more about this then read Case for a Creator. I know that most atheists are good at doing research (I actually wish that Christians were more like you guys in that aspect) so you will find this interesting, and if you still don't believe a in God after reading the bible and reading this book along with Case for Christ, then nothing will.

    The answer to the first one is simply that God isn't Santa Clause. Just because you are saved doesn't mean you get a free pass on life. We all Have sinned and weather you are saved or not, you will have to pay for it. When Adam and Eve chose to Eat the forbidden fruit, they chose to live lives of sin. I know that we didn't personally come into existence saying "God I choose to live a life of evil", but can you really say that you would have known better than them without knowing the consequences? The idea is to trust God because he knows what is best. He also is all knowing. He knew that they were going to eat the apple, but because he doesn't want us to blindly follow him like robots, he gave us free will. What would be the point of having a creation that couldn't think for itself? It would seem kind of pointless because everyone wants to see their children grow. We are his children and we all have the choice to continue sinning or to walk towards holiness.

    If God said in the bible that Jesus is the only way to heaven, then he is the only way to heaven. And maybe the people that don't believe this are pretty smart, but are they smarter than the God of the universe? Are they smarter than the God that allows their brain (the same brain that is sooo intelligent and believes in these false ideas) to tell their heart to beat and their lungs to pump air?


    In the case of number three, yes, I will admit that it is comforting to live for an all powerful creator who has my back in the battle again sin, and I will admit that I was brought up to love Christ and to love all he has given humans as a whole, but I didn't put my faith in him to live a comfy life or to please my parents. I believe because I came to know him on a personal level after the Holy Spirit came to dwell within me. I know it sounds totally psycho and maybe kind of tree-hugger hippie-ish, but that's the only way I can explain it. I don't live life thinking "If God isn't real, I'm still okay because I'll just go into the ground. And if He is real, I'm still okay because I'm going to heaven." That right there isn't real faith! Real faith is believing without a doubt that there is a God and that you will be going to heaven or hell. There I no "just going into the ground," there is only "OHMERGERSH, THERE'S ONLY A HEAVEN OR A HELL! I gotta get myself right with Jesus!" I don't believe because of psychological reasons, I believe because of the relationship He invited me to have with Him, and it is real and gives my life a purpose other than personal happiness. What else could I want that is better than my Lord and Creator?


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