Happy Atheist’s Day!

“The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God” (Psalm 14:1, KJV).

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29 Responses to Happy Atheist’s Day!

  1. bruisescolours says:

    Thank you, and happy Atheist day to you. It really is quite nice to know there is a day to celebrate thinking. Just please don’t insult us by telling us “Happy early spring joke day.” We really hate it when our high religious holiday is secularized like that.

  2. Lucy Lowe says:

    “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God”

    I was trying to remember where this quote came from and then I remembered – it’s in that book written in the bronze age by those guys who want everyone to believe there’s a God. Not subtle, but effective it seems.

  3. Sirius says:

    A rational athiest is an oxymoron.

    Atheism is the antithesis of thinking. It is a negative tautology. The only way you could prove atheism is true is by knowing absolutely everything there is to know. We call this omniscience, an attribute of deity. It is wishful thinking. A belief despite the evidence. God’s power and Godhead are obvious through the observation of the ordered, complex universe, so that all are without excuse. The moral law encoded into humanity is God’s law written on our hearts. We know when we are wrong. We have a sense of justice. Some One gave us this universal moral law and it is to Him we answer.

    So Happy Independence Day – Have an Independent thought!

    –Sirius Knott

  4. Lucy Lowe says:

    Hi Sirius,

    “God’s power and Godhead are obvious through the observation of the ordered, complex universe.”

    Would you mind explaining this? How exactly is a creator obvious merely from observing the Universe? The sentence would carry more weight if you were able to support it with some facts or even an argument.

    “(Atheism) is wishful thinking.”

    Religious people believe in eternal bliss after death despite the fact there is no evidence. Atheists believe death is the end. Would you like to explain why it is you think atheists are the ones with their fingers crossed?

    “We have a sense of justice. Some One gave us this universal moral law and it is to Him we answer.”

    Again, you make a leap here, (wishful thinking, perhaps). Yes, we have a sense of justice. You don’t understand how we can have a sense of justice. As you don’t understand you assume, “Well, it must have been given to us by someone”. You then make the further leap that this someone is God.

    Just because there’s something you don’t understand it doesn’t automatically follow that that thing is a God.

    Have a lovely day
    Lucy

  5. billphillips says:

    Lucy,

    I’ll answer your questions, and Sirius can feel free as well.

    One example of how the universe is ordered and complex is the simplest single cell you can find. It is absolutely impossible that the first cell came about by chance. In order to be an atheist, you believe in the amazing miracle of life coming from non-life. Even forming amino acids by chance is ridiculous, much less the amino acids forming into protiens, and the protiens forming into cells.

    If there is a design, there is a designer. There is a universe, so there must be a universe maker. This is obvious to the vast majority of humans.

    I have a lot of evidence that there is life after death. Jesus was crucified to shut him up. However, it didn’t work. His disciples went around preaching (in the very city where Jesus was publicly killed) that He rose from the dead. Why didn’t they drag out His rotting corpse? Also, why when the disciples were threatened with death didn’t they admit to making it all up? If Jesus rose from the dead, He will keep His promise that we will all rise from the dead to be judged.

    How well have you done at obeying your sense of justice? Have you ever told a lie, stolen even a penny, or looked at someone with lust? If you’ve done those things, you’re a lying, thieving, adulterer at heart. Justice must be served. The Bible says all liars will have their part in the lake of fire (Revelation 21:8). I’m sure I deserve that more than you, but we both deserve it.

    I hope you’ll think about it.

    Thanks,
    Bill

  6. Lucy Lowe says:

    Hi Bill, thanks for your reply,

    You seem to have made the common mistake that design is the only possible explanation beside chance. It isn’t. Of course complexity didn’t come about by chance. Neither was it designed by a God. Natural selection is a series of stages. This breaks the problem of improbability down into smaller pieces.

    Of course, if you treat the end product as a single, one-off event it seems wildly, massively, ludicrously improbable. But, it isn’t one single event. It’s a series of slightly improbable events, stacked in series.

    As to the origin of life – it only had to happen once, so we can allow it to be something vastly improbable and still possible. Let’s say it’s a 1 in 10 billion chance.

    There are perhaps 20 billion planets in our Galaxy, and 100 billion galaxies in the Universe, so suddenly a 1 in 10 billion chance doesn’t seem so bad.

    To say there is a designer merely leads you to “who designed the designer?”. It’s not really even an answer but just a shrug of the shoulders, “It’s difficult so it must be God”.

    As to your other point: I suppose the disciples didn’t admit to making it all up for the same reason the Incas sacrificied virgins to make the Sun rise everyday – They believed in what they were doing. Just like the Incas however, believing something doesn’t make it true. There isn’t any reason to believe in Hell beside a book written by men in the Bronze age, so don’t worry about it.

    Love your life while you can and try to make the World a teeny bit better for you having been here…and have a lovely day :)

  7. billphillips says:

    Lucy,

    Natural selection doesn’t add information. It only operates on existing information. For instance how did a snake evolve into a bird. The information required for flight doesn’t just happen–even over billions of years.

    If the odds of the formation of a simple cell were 1 in 10 billion, I would agree that that might happen. However it is estimated that the odds of forming a protien are 1 in 10 to the 40,000th power. That’s 10 billion x 10 billion x 10 billion…3997 more times. What are the odds of that protien forming into a cell? In other words this is impossible, but this is the miracle you believe in. You might want to study up on this subject a little more since you’re betting your eternity on this miracle.

    Who designed the designer? Good question. You have the same problem. Something must be eternal.

    If an Inca sacrifices a virgin, that’s something totally different from giving your own life. First of all, the disciples didn’t give their life for a belief. They gave their life for their first-hand testimony. If they didn’t see Jesus, they must have had a mass hallucination. Hallucinations have never been found to be contagious. They certainly believed they saw Jesus risen, because they guaranteed their testimony with their own blood.

    I hope to make the world a better place, but eternity is much more important than our 80 years we have here.

    Thanks,
    Bill

  8. Lucy Lowe says:

    Hi again Bill,

    I suppose natural selection does operate on existing information. Information based on evidence gathered by experts and repeatedly tested. With such a vast weight of evidence it would be relatively easy to disprove Evolution but despite the amount of time and money thrown at the cause by (mainly) Creationists, Evolution is still accepted by the overwhelming majority of educated people as fact.

    The odds of life developing are astounding, but what are the odds of their being a God? The fact is, there are no odds as there is no evidence whatsoever that would even allow us to calculate odds. The possibility of a creator existing is therefore (to be kind) improbable. The chances of there being a creator AND that creator sharing the exact same characteristics as your religion hopes it does are astronomical in a truly awesome sense.

    On the subject of mass hallucinations: I would imagine the events concerning the Disciples were either invented or exaggerated as they are, after all, written in a book from the Bronze age, 300 years or so after the events, by people whose express purpose in writing the book was to convince others that Jesus was the son of the creator.

    Furthermore, I agree – giving your own life is different to sacrificing someone else’s, as the Inca’s did. But here’s the thing – those sacrificed virgins gave themselves willingly. They volunteered to be sacrified to the Sun, believing it to be God. Believing in something and dying for it doesn’t make that thing real, whether you be an Inca virgin or a disciple.

    Finally, to quote you on one point you make:

    “Who designed the designer? Good question. You have the same problem.”

    It is a problem but as you seem to suggest with this line, a God is not an answer to the problem. The idea of a God simply raises more questions. It’s a very effective comfort blanket, but no more.

    Anyway, good luck making the World a little better, and have a good day,
    Lucy

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  10. billphillips says:

    Lucy,

    As far as I’m concerned the vast quantity of data for evolution is non-existent. I’ve been looking all over for even a theoretical model of how the digestive, circulatory, respiratory, reproductive systems evolved. How did bats evolve? Darwin knew about these things, yet after 150 years of intense research, no one even has a plausible idea of how these things evolved. I’m not talking about hard evidence, but just a simple theory. If a theory can’t explain such basic things it must be thrown out at some point, right?

    You imagine the disciples invented the story. Imagine if you and your friends invented a crazy story, and then for whatever reason, the authorities threatened to decapitate you unless you admit to lying. Knowing full well it’s a crazy story, would you submit to giving your life, or would you admit to making it up? Would all of your friends follow suit? The disciples were willing to die, not just for what they believed, buy what they saw. I’ve never seen any way of getting around the disciples truly believing they saw Jesus alive. They couldn’t have made up a more ridiculous story than the Creator of the universe dying a miserable, drawn-out, humiliating death on the cross in a miserable corner of the Roman empire.

    An eternally existing God, like the God of the Bible, is a solution to the problem of something being eternal. Buddhist, Mormons, Hindus all share your problem of needing matter to be eternal, or having an infinite regress of gods.

    Did you really make the world a better place yesterday, last month, or throughout your lifetime? Did you tell any lies in that time? Have you ever stolen anything?

    Thanks,
    Bill

  11. Lucy Lowe says:

    Hi Bill,

    “As far as I’m concerned the vast quantity of data for Evolution is non-existent.”

    I’m afraid then Bill that you are at odds with reality. Data – Evidence which supports Evolution and has been tested – is not non-existent. It exists. It is a theory in the same way that gravity is a theory.

    Scientists are very open about what would invalidate Evolution (Rabbit fossils in the Pre-Cambrian, for example), but so far none of the evidence found has invalidated Evolution. All of the Evidence found has supported Evolution.

    What you talk about are gaps in knowledge. The face we don’t know everything about how bats evolve does not mean Evolution is proven wrong. It just means Evolution hasn’t explained everything because we don’t have 100% complete records. As an example: I speak English, though there are many words in an English dictionary whose meaning I don’t know. Does this mean I actually don’t speak English?

    If you think about it, gaps are to be expected – it would be absurd to expect to find a perfectly preserved fossil of every species on Earth at every stage of it’s development. However, every fossil that has been found has fitted into place, has supported the Theory of Evolution. No evidence has been found to disprove Evolution in 150 years, despite the best efforts of Creationists. Do you really believe that every single fossil fitting into place has occured purely by chance?

    “I’ve never seen any way of getting around the disciples truly believing they saw Jesus alive.”

    Some ways I’ve thought of: They didn’t see Jesus, it never happened but was invented by the men who wrote the Bible centuries later. Or, they saw something which was greatly exaggerated to make it a better story. Or, the disciples really did honestly believe they saw something but didn’t. If you’ve ever played Chinese Whispers you know how a story can evolve. Every year something crazy like 100,000 people claim to have been kidnapped by Aliens. I find it hard to believe you can base your faith on the words of writers 1700 years ago, quoting the experience of people living 300 years earlier, and not believe that some form of exaggeration, confusion or mistakes were made.

    As to your questions on me (not sure why you think them relevant to this discussion, but) – I made a group of friends wet themselves buckets laughing last night (yaay me), and I always try to treat people with respect and kindness, so yes, I do think I’ve made the World a teeny little bit better for my being here.

    Thanks again, it’s interesting for me to hear your views, have a great day,

    Lucy

  12. billphillips says:

    Lucy,

    If evolution starts with a single cell miracle, and continues with billions of other miracles, like birds evolving the ability to fly, any creature being able to see, or hear, there must be millions and millions of intermediate species. Yet there are zero fossils of these species.

    If no one even has a guess for how the digestive systems evolved, then no one knows how any human, reptile, bird, or amphibian evolved. That’s not just a gap in knowledge. That’s a fundamental flaw in the theory.

    Your dates for the writing of the Bible are way off. Take a look at: http://www.carm.org/bible/biblewhen.htm

    For information on your Chinese Whispers analogy, see:
    http://www.carm.org/bible/textualexample.htm

    For information on the dates of manuscripts we possess today, see:
    http://www.carm.org/bible/p1-p76.htm

    I could see where you’re coming from, if the date of the writing of the New Tesament were what you say it is, but it was written long before you say. If they believe they saw something they didn’t, they were all certain enough to give their lives for what they saw–not what they believed. How can so many people have been tricked?

    You say you always try to treat people with respect and kindness. Have you ever failed to do so, like lying, stealing, adultery, hatred, etc.? I would have to say I’m guilty of not always treating people the way I would want to be treated. Who among us isn’t? If God were to judge you on the standard of the Ten Commandments, would you be guilty of breaking His law–ever in your life?

    Thanks,
    Bill

  13. Lucy Lowe says:

    Hi Bill,

    It’s interesting to see you, a very religious man, use the term “miracle” in a derogatory sense but in any case it is the wrong choice of word. Evolution requires no miracles or magic, only evidence.

    You’re wrong when you state there are zero fossils of intermediate species. Archaeopteryx linking birds and dinosaurs and Tiktaalik linking fish and amphibians are just two examples I would advise you to look up. The number of transitional fossils continues to increase and remember: If just one of these thousands of thousands fossils were to be found in the wrong place, Evolution would be immediately thrown out. It hasn’t happened yet though, what are the chances of that? ;)

    As to the writing of the Bible: As you probably know, the evidence for any particular date is scanty. The source you directed me to seems about the most favourable to Christians, I was referring to the earliest surviving copy of the Gospels, dated to the 4th Century. The fact we can’t be certain of the exact dates doesn’t change my point. We only know the disciples “saw” Jesus and gave their lives for their beliefs from the Bible – A book whose express intent was to convince it’s readers that Jesus was the son of God. Even if the disciples did give their lives for something they believed, it doesn’t make it true. Finally, why should I believe the Disciples saw Jesus anyway, anymore than I should believe a man who claims to have seen a UFO?

    Finally, I agree with you – We’re all guilty of not always treating others as we would like to be treated. I’d certainly fail the first three commandments, but I don’t see the relevance of your last question. What the Christian God demands has no more relevance to my life than that which the Viking God or Greek Gods command.

    P.s. Don’t misinterpret my intentions: It’s your right to believe in and worship whichever God you choose and I’m not trying to convert you. I wouldn’t even say Evolution necessarily invalidates the idea of a God, but I would advise you to be well-informed before making your decisions.

    Thanks again and have a good day,

    Lucy :)

  14. Sirius says:

    Lucy,

    You’re operating on faith. The examples you cited are only evidence for evolution if we ASSUME evolution to be true. We’ve not seen these animals evolve. We’ve not even seen living animals evolve from one species into another. The process allegedly takes many, many, many, many lifetimes. As such, evolution remains an unfalsifiable tautology.

    Show me how evolution is falsifiable.

    Darwin covered his tracks well. In each case that he described how his theory might be falsified, he also theorized how the problem might be overcome. For example, he insists that “the extreme imperfection of the fossil record” when it doesn’t quite fit his theory. If you’ve read Origins, you will note how he never proves his theory, but is careful to say that we can’t say it’s impossible, especially given our present lack of total knowledge.

    Now, your faith might rest on reason, a weight of evidences, authorities and scientific evidence, but in the end you must still believe evolution to be true. Theistic origins models also require faith. We also have our evidences, reason, et cetera. In the end we must ask: which is the more reasonable faith?

    Another thing: You offered a red herring when you attempted your answer to the ojection of existing information required for evolution. Perhaps you misunderstood the objection:

    1. Natural selection is only applicable to living beings: so where did life come from? The information in DNA requires an explanation as does the ordering into the DNA structure.

    2. Where did the mechanism of natural selection come from? It acts like a program for ordering random information [mutations, benefical and harmful] into greater acsendencies of order. Where did the information it processes come from? [Why are their harmful and beneficial mutations?]

    3. For that matter, natural selection would have to apply also to symbiosis [not simply organisms, but ecosystems] on local and even planet-wide scales. How is this level of ascending, complex and inter-related organization possible? A basic process is required for ascending organization, which requires information. Where does the process of natural selection [and on a larger scale, symbiosis] get that raw data to work with?

    Nothing does not produce something.

    Non-life does not produce life.

    Complexity and order require information.

    Information requires a source and an Intellect, if that information is to have complexity and order [in a word, a design]

    This level of complexity requires a Programmer or Designer… at least for the initial code sequence.

    The rest is debatable [though I’ve made up my mind according to the Biblical view], but this simply means that the physical world, when analyzed, will not allow one to deny the existence of Deity. It is evident, not just apparent.

    Therefore, we ought to determine the identity of this Deity and what he expects of us!

    –Sirius Knott

  15. Lucy Lowe says:

    Hi Sirius,

    Rabbit fossils in the Pre-Cambrian is the most famous example given of how Evolution could be proved false. In fact, all it would require is one fossil to contradict the framework of natural selection. All of the thousands and thousands of pieces of data have so far supported Evolution, this despite the determined efforts of (mostly) Creationists to find contrary evidence.

    The Theory of Evolution is unlike religion in that it is falsifiable. Science does not seek to fit facts around it’s already established assumptions. Instead, predictions are made and subsequent evidence tested. As I have said, if the evidence were to contradict the Theory of Evolution, the Theory of Evolution would be abandoned. This hasn’t happened and becomes increasingly more unlikely as the evidence piles up.

    I’m glad you quote Darwin’s uncertainty over the fossil record. He freely admitted that this was the weakness in his theory as any Scientist would. Evolution is not based on faith and is not a religion because if proved false, as it potentially could be, not only would the average person reject the Theory, but so would Darwin himself. By the by, in regards to the fossil record – it has increased enormously since Darwin’s lifetime, (and in any case, the Theory of punctuated equilibrium resolves the issue to a great degree now also).

    Science is based on reason but it is curious to me why you try to persuade yourself it’s faith based. Presumably, as a religious person you have a high regard for faith? It’s also of interest to me that the entire basis of Creationism seems to consist in questioning the Scientific view – Creationism doesn’t even seem to attempt to offer any explanations beyond “It’s really complicated so it must be God”. I’m not sure how the idea of a God even established itself as the only alternative to Evolution, but anyway – if you have time I would be interested to hear your theories on how life developed, etc.

    As to your questions: 1. Natural Selection is not an explanation for the origin of life but an explanation for how life evolved from humble beginnings to it’s present vastness of complexity.

    2. The mechanism for natural selection is the environment, the natural causes which propel an organism to adapt. Genes, stretches of DNA, replicate themselves – that is make exact copies of themselves. Occasionally inexact copies are made which you could call mutations and it is then up to Natural Selection to choose which of these stretches of DNA to copy, the original or the replicant. If the mutation DNA is more “successful” at being copied then Natural Selection will have occured.

    3. Symbiosis supports Evolution, and organisms which rely on one another need not necessarily have come into existence at the same time (I’m not sure if this is your exact point, but it is a common attack against Evolution from Creationists). I’d advise you to read up on facultative symbioses if this is a subject you’re unsure about.

    As to your other sentences (“Nothing does not produce something”, etc), it would be more helpful if you were to place the words “I don’t understand how…” in front of them. As you know, Evolution does not mean a God cannot exist. Neither do any of your points here affect the fact that Evolution is falsifiable but never yet proved false. I hope, like countless people down the generations, that you’re able to accept this new information about the World and adapt your God to fit in with the reality.

    Thanks for your reply and have a great day,
    Lucy

  16. billphillips says:

    Lucy,

    If the Bible was written when you say it was, then all of your objections may be valid. On the other hand, regardless of when it was written, it may still be true. However, your objections fall flat if the Bible was written when the authors claim it was, and they’re who they claim to be. Obviously, we’re not going to convince each other of this, but I would urge you to please not just dismiss the resurrection of Jesus out of hand, but study the subject with an open mind.

    If Jesus really did rise from the dead, the Bible says we will all rise from the dead someday and face our Creator. The penalty for breaking His law (which you’ve already said you’re guilty of doing) is eternity in hell. If I thought begging would motivate you to study all of this and think it through, I would do it. The stakes are so extremely high.

    If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, we should throw the Bible in the trash, and I am to be pitied more than all men (take a look at 1 Corinthians 15:12-19). This is one way to falsify Christianity, which you mentioned to Sirius.

    Thanks for your time and the conversation. I’ve enjoyed it as well.

    Bill

  17. Sirius says:

    Lucy,

    You couldn’t be more wrong.

    You do rely on faith. In fact, you believe that reason alone will give you the answers, but this is a self-defeating proposition, since it includes elements of both faith [you believe] and reason. You simply deny that there’s an element of faith to your beliefs, which means [if you truly believe that] you’re only deceiving yourtself.

    Also, I’m aware that natural selection doesn’t explain origins and is merely a process for the development of life, but you must still eventually answer the question of Where did life come from.

    By placing the qualifiers “I don’t understand how…” in front of axioms like “Nothing does not produce something” or “Non-life does not produce life” BUT then saying that you it happened anyway, you are in fact taking these axioms as false ON FAITH. I don’t know yet, but I will, is a statement of faith. As is, I know it happened, but I don’t know how, but we may someday. Faith.

    We’re on equal ground. except you still can’t tell us where the information came from.

    So which faith is more reasonable?

    –Sirius Knott

  18. Lucy Lowe says:

    Hi Bill,

    Thankyou for your comment about begging me if you thought it would work – Although we disagree (alot!), I do take that comment as a kindness, which I appreciate.

    I don’t regard the stakes in quite the same way as you do, but I wish you all the best. I think my own thoughts on things are best captured in a quote of Marcus Aurelius which you may have come across before:

    “Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

    Thanks for your time and thoughts and have a lovely day,

    Lucy

  19. Lucy Lowe says:

    Hi Sirius,

    I suppose I do have “faith” in Evolution. The faith I have in Evolution is equal to the faith I have in gravity. Every night when I go to bed, I have “faith” that the Sun will rise the next day. I can’t possibly know that it will, but I base my belief on the evidence of the Sun having risen every other day of my life.

    I also have “faith” that Switzerland is in Europe. I have never been to Switzerland but I believe passionately that it is in Europe based on evidence I have observed. I also have faith that the Earth is not flat. All of the things which have overwhelming evidence to support them I believe in, to some extent. So yes, there is an element of faith to my beliefs.

    You said in your last post, “You must still eventually answer the question of where did ife come from”, and I think this is crucial to our different views. I don’t regard the notion of a creator/God as an answer.

    This isn’t to say “there is no God” necessarily, but just that to state flatly “God created the World” doesn’t really answer anything. It’s akin to the common answer to “Why is the sky blue?” in my mind (“because it is”). It just seems like a shrug of the shoulder and an admittance of ignorance.

    I suppose for you saying that “God did it” does seem like a perfect answer, which, as I said, is perhaps our major difference in thinking.

    So, as to your challenge that I “must” answer the question of where life came from, I would say this: Neither of us have offered conclusive ideas on where we come from. (Yours is conclusive to your mind, I suppose that might be enough for you).

    Finally, it’s also important to remember we are not dealing with an either/or question. If Science doesn’t have the answer it doesn’t automatically follow that religion does. I think I would just rather ask a difficult question rather than settle for an oversimplified “answer”.

    Anyway, thanks for helping me to understand your opinions a little better and have a fab day,

    Lucy

  20. billphillips says:

    Lucy,

    My point in asking whether you’ve kept the Ten Commandments was to prove that you haven’t really lived a good life, and if the gods are just, you’re in big trouble. Would a just God overlook lying and stealing? Does a just Judge let guilty criminals go free? If someone killed someone you were close to, and they pled guilty, and asked the judge to forgive them, would you be happy when the judge let them off?

    What IF it really is true that the God of the Bible exists (I realize that’s a big IF for you, but please play along)? The first commandment is to keep Him first in your life. Not only have we all failed to do that, but you deny His existence. Also, He provided a way for your sins to be forgiven, and you reject this gift. You breathe His oxygen every day without giving Him a second thought. You have no intention of acknowledging Him, much less thanking Him. If the Bible is true, and you ignore Him your entire life, what should He do with you?

    Thanks,
    Bill

  21. Lucy Lowe says:

    Hi Bill,

    Despite it being a huuuuge if for me, I will play along. So, lets suppose there is a God AND it’s the Christian one AND it’s the Christian version you think is true.

    Firstly, I think I would be quite depressed. The World would suddenly be revealed to be under the grip of an inescapable dictator, demanding that all worship him. No longer would what I considered to be right and wrong matter, the important thing would be to slavishly follow his rule. (And judging from the oder of the commandments, worshipping him trumps the other important bits).

    Presumably, I would go to hell for placing living a good and happy life above following the bible and praying on my list of priorities. Needless to say, I would be a very unhappy bunny about going to hell, but it would still fit with my Marcus Aurelius quote – “If there are gods, but unjust, you should not want to worship them”. This version of God sounds a bit narcissistic and I wouldn’t want much to do with him/her.

    One important point – I don’t see faith as a virtue. This isn’t to say religious people are bad. There are millions of wonderful Christians, Hindus, Jews, etc, (Though I do think it a teeny shame if someone needs a belief in an afterlife in order to do good things), I’m not saying faith is necessarily bad either, I just don’t think of it as I do of kindness, empathy and generosity. If I got really lucky and my ideal kinda God was, in fact, the God, she wouldn’t care about who believed in her or not.

    The reason I don’t worry about the huuuge if is – I have hundreds and hundreds of equally huuuge ifs. The “What would happen to me if there is a Christian God?” is equal in my mind to the “What would happen to me if there’s a Hindu God/Muslim God/Greek Gods/Pagan God?” etc, etc. None of us can possibly cover all the bases with every god demanding so many different things of us, (oddly enough, as different as they all are, they do share a common trait of all being demanding though!).

    On the subject of the ten commandments: I think I’ve broken 1, 2, 3 and 8 and then also 9 and 10 (assuming the word “covet” means sort of “think about/consider”). I’m a long way from perfect but I don’t think I’ve lived a terribly bad life and I would think that if breaking the commandments sends you to hell that hell’ll be a really busy place.

    Finally, another quote I quite like from (I think) Bertrand Russell, when asked what he would answer God if god asked him why he didn’t believe in him.

    “Not enough evidence god, not enough evidence”

    P.s. Lets hope the Romans or the Muslims or the Incas or the Aborigines or the Buddhists or the Vikings or anybody else isn’t right, otherwise all the Christians and the Atheists would end up outside of heaven, arguing with one another – now wouldn’t that be hell! :)

    Thanks again, and have a fab day,

    Lucy

  22. Lucy Lowe says:

    Oh, and just in case you’re interested, here’s a link to my perfect idea of heaven – it isn’t something I believe in, obviously, but I think it’s a gorgeous idea:

    http://ichigostarfish.wordpress.com/2008/03/19/an-atheists-heaven/

    :)

  23. billphillips says:

    Lucy,

    Interesting thoughts.

    This has been the friendliest conversation with an atheist I’ve ever had, and I appreciate your time. I know I can’t convince you of anything, but God can, and I hope He will.

    Thanks,
    Bill

  24. Sirius says:

    Lucy,

    You seem to be saying that a variety of options negates the possibility of their being a correct option.

    Now some we can dismiss pretty much immediately. For example, pain and suffering are real and not illusory. No matter how much we deny their existence, they inflict themselves upon us and others. Most of us aren’t masochists, so this suffering happens pretty much whether we want it or not! So Buddhism and Christian Science take a nose dive. By a process of elimination, you could come upon the correct answer.

    OR

    You could simply examine the claims of the one option Bill and I are suggesting to you: Christianity. [I call it a SHORT CUT!]

    I should say that no one’s ever been argued into the kingdom of God before, so I’m not trying to convince you. [Don’t scratch your head. I know that might seem to make little sense.] If the Holy Spirit don’t guide you into truth, nothing I could say would convince you. Fortunately, He is found by whomever seeks Him.

    I do not find God to be a dictator. He created me. As my Creator, He knows how I best operate and how I might have life and have it more abundantly. The operations manual [Bible] simply describes how I should operate so that my joy will be full and my life fruitful.

    The fact that I must come to him by faith is only logical, since the sort of God Christendom preaches would be wholly undeniable if He showed up in full glory. Free will would be eliminated. We’d have no choice but to worship! Nothing else would seem appropriate or even possible! You and I only have the freedom to reject Him because he loves us enough to not want a forced, mandatory, robotic sort of love in return.

    Think about it,
    Sirius Knott

  25. Kullervo says:

    Man, you’ll probably get a lot of Atheists to come to Christ by calling them stupid.

  26. Bill says:

    Hey Kullervo,

    I had a very nice conversation with Lucy. Besides that, I just quoted the Bible.

    I haven’t talked to you in a while. Have you repented and put your faith in Jesus?

    Thanks,
    Bill

  27. Kullervo says:

    Frankly, it’s none of your [removed] business, Bill.

  28. Sirius says:

    Pearls. Swine. Kullervo.

    An object lesson.

    –Sirius Knott

  29. Bill says:

    Kullervo,

    I’ll take your comment to mean that you remain in death, and a child of the devil (1 John 3:10, 14).

    Bill

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