Arguing with Atheists = Part 2 – The Atheists Respond

Having posted my original article Arguing with Atheists on Saturday, I avoided social media on the Lords Day, and returned to find, much as I expected, the normal reactions that one gets when one touches the sacred cows of the New Fundamentalist Atheism. It would be too tiresome to list all the abuse and insults but suffice it to say that the main points of my article were empirically proven by the reaction! Thanks to all my NFA friends who wrote in and provided me with proof of my contentions. And to Douglas McLellan who provided the most thought out and reasonable response.

Before we go on to part two lets recap some of the main points I wanted to make – with some of the responses which prove them.

1) NFAs are not interested in asking questions in order to find out information, they ask only to accuse.

2) NFAs believe that their position is the only intelligent and rational position and that anyone who disagrees therefore cannot be intelligent and rational. There is no discussion! “Again, David, you simply miss the point. Atheism (or other non-supernatural positions) is more rational – by definition – than any position based on superstitions (beliefs about supernatural things). It just is. You keep trying to make this a discussion, but it’s not.”

3) NFAs think that they are the only tolerant ones and anyone who does not see this should not be tolerated.

4) NFAs use the same Internet memes and post them as though they were original brilliant thought out rational points. And then they demand that you answer them immediately. I got several messages from people basically crying ‘answer me now, you idiot..I’m waiting…..I’m still waiting’ As though they really were waiting for an answer. Of course when you do answer they just get upset and go on to another round of invective or different questions/accusations.

5) NFAs don’t believe there is no God. They just don’t believe there is a God (I’ll leave you to work out the difference!). ‘Somanygods’ ignored virtually all the points because he wanted to argue that atheists are not people who believe there is no God, they are people who don’t think there is enough evidence for God, and therefore they don’t believe. It seems that modern day atheists not only want to rewrite the dictionary for Christians, they also want to rewrite it for themselves. If you don’t know there is a God, you are an agnostic. If you believe there is no God, you are an atheist. Most children manage to grasp that concept. I suspect that most adult atheists instinctively realise the logical weakness of their position and so resort to this kind of sophistry.

6) NFAs say there is no evidence for God, but seem unable to say what evidence they would accept.

7) NFAs know nothing about Christian theology so they just make up what Christians believe and then spend time arguing against themselves.

8) NFAs repeat the same doctrines over and over again.

9) The New Atheist Fundamentalism is not primarily about intellect and reason, but rather about emotion and an irrational hatred of anything religious. Ironically Garry Otton, an officer bearer of the SSS, demonstrated this when, in response to being presented with the abusive messages he permits and encourages, he suggested that some members of SS were not exactly the sharpest. “No, they are not all university graduates and they have different ways of expressing their feelings. But intelligent or not, there is a pretty universal disgust for religious extremism of any kind.” Apparently Garry agrees that the level of abuse indicates an emotional reaction and a lack of intellectual capacity! I wonder if he would post this on the SS page! By the way when Garry uses the phrase ‘religious extremism’ it means any religion that dares to question his fundamental beliefs.

10) NFAs don’t like it when you critique their faith and get very upset if you dare to challenge them. This is apparently not very nice nor ‘Christian’.

I now want to turn to the one response that was well written, thought out, and insofar as it is possible for atheism, made some sense. This was by Douglas McLellan, the new chairman of the Scottish Secular Society – who is in grave danger of making it appear reasonable (at least he would be if he could control its FB page!).

Douglas McLellan Blog I won’t respond to everything in it but I will make the following observations.

 

No Positive Beliefs – “Atheism, by the definition accepted by most atheists, has no positive beliefs intrinsic to it, and thereby no doctrine. It is only defined as a lack of belief in any of the many gods found in holy books throughout the world. There is no set of people who can be considered “more atheist” than the mainstream or moderate belief and hence there is no distinction between a “fundamentalist” and any other kind of atheist.” I am grateful to Douglas for proving my point that atheists think they don’t have any positive beliefs. Ironically he clearly demonstrates the falsity of that when he goes on to elaborate some of his own atheistic beliefs. There are different types of atheist. The ones I am writing about here are the more fundamentalist type.

Anger – Whilst Douglas attempts to deny that he also attributes to me a motive in using the term that is not true. Apparently its because I am ‘angry’ and want to introduce emotion into the debate. This is completely made up. I use the term because it is true and because it distinguishes the softer atheist/agnostic from the emotional angry atheist who every time you touch one of their beliefs immediately shouts we don’t have any beliefs! I feel no anger at all…just sorrow.

Atheist States – Douglas then goes on to say that I am using a debating trick by pointing out that the only atheistic states in the world have been oppressive ones. Usually atheists say you are using a trick when they can’t answer you (because again they want to discredit your case by questioning your morality!). But it’s not a trick…it’s the truth.

Secular States – Douglas then tries to cite ‘secular’ states such as the USA, Australia and France. Yet he conveniently forgets that the only secular states that have existed like that, are those that have been founded on Christian principles. It is Christianity that teaches the separation of Church and State. Fundamentalist religion like Islam sees them as being the same. As does fundamentalist atheism – which seeks to replace the role of God with the Almighty, all-powerful State.

Tolerance – “An organisation that he helps lead called SOLAS-CPC tweeted, just after the Paris attack, that Paganism is the biggest threat to the West and to Christian values. Not sure where the tolerance is there David.” Again this is not too difficult to answer. Firstly let me point out that Douglas’s organisation regularly posts on its FB page items that tell us that all religions are a threat. This may be a difficult concept for the NFA’s to grasp but yes Christianity did bring the West out of pagan darkness, and it would be a threat to our Christian values if we were to return to that. It is difficult to see why Douglas cannot see the obvious logical truth in that. But then the pagans were never great on logic either, so perhaps a return to our pagan past would suit atheists and pagans!

Abuse – Then to my point about the NFAs being abusive online, Douglas plays the tit of tat card, or what I call the ‘na, na, na, na, na….you do it too”. It is an obvious truism that there will always be people on the Internet of whatever persuasion who behave in an intolerant and abusive manner. But the point that Douglas is missing is that this seems to be a particular problem for the NFA’s – which is why so many atheists are desperately trying to distance themselves from Richard Dawkins advice to mock and ridicule the religious whenever you can.

Planned Parenthood – He talks about the ‘delight of Christians who were happy at the recent Planned Parenthood attack”. This is a strange example. I know of no Christian who would be happy at that insane attack. We feel sorrow over the death of any person. The difference between the NFA and us is that we feel sorrow for the millions killed in the womb as well, whereas the NFA seem to exult in the deaths of these babies. Have you seen the sickening t-shirts proudly proclaiming ‘I had an abortion?’. Incidentally I have noticed that for people who have no ‘doctrine’ they all seem to think the same thing about many issues, including abortion. Is that a) because it is the obvious truth or b) because the groupthink is in so deep that they just believe it is the obvious truth? (except of course they don’t believe it is the obvious truth because they don’t have any beliefs…its just the truth!).

Somanygods – And then we come on to the point about somanygods. “Some religions are monotheistic and others polytheistic. The issue is that each religion claims to be the correct one and they cant all be correct.” That’s not the issue. I agree with that statement. The issue is the NFA which says because there are different religions, none of them can be right. This is not a logical or reasonable position, and yet is continually presented as some kind of fact! The only religious position that is correct is the NFA one!

What is an Atheist? For evangelicals, an atheist is anyone who lives as if there were no God. It is not fundamentally about belief, for you see they have been taught that everyone believes in God. That’s just simply wrong. An atheist is someone who believes that there is no God. There are plenty people who say they believe in God or who are not sure, but are not Christians. If Douglas actually spoke to Christians and asked us what we thought, instead of relying on ‘Godless in Dixie’ he might be able to comment more accurately. It is for this reason I spend a great deal of time reading books by atheists, not books about them. I would suggest that NFAs should do the same for Christians.

Defining Faith – David then argues that the definition of faith has been shorn of its association with religion towards the end of the 20th century   Again this is just simply false. In fact it is the very opposite of what I said. Faith at the beginning of the 20th Century has become entirely associated with religion. My position is the old one, that everyone has faith. I can’t believe that Douglas managed to miss the point that was being made – that the NFA definition of faith has now become ‘belief in spite of, or contrary to the evidence’, whereas the old definition was as he point out, ‘trust’. `So rather than my Alice-in-Wonderland treatment, I was just sticking with the historical use.

Naturalism – Douglas then goes on to say that my saying atheists are naturalists is a ‘strawman’ argument before going on to admit that he is a naturalist, ironically undermining his own case. I have yet to come across an atheist who is not a naturalist. Perhaps Douglas can provide examples?

Free Will – Douglas then goes on to admit my point that atheists in general find it difficult to believe in free will. He admits that he does not, which immediately begs the question, if free will does not exist, then Douglas is not an atheist because it is a rationally chosen position of his own free will, but rather is just a result of his own brain processes and chemical reactions. Which then immediately calls into question everything he says. Why should his random chemical reactions lead us into truth? Indeed can there be truth?

Evidence – And again I am grateful for Douglas confirming what I wrote – that NFAs who demand evidence actually would not accept any evidence. “I have seen and read enough science fiction and seen how we have developed as a species over the last 200 years to know that mere “miracles” of those described in the Bible and the miracles claimed in the name of God since will not persuade me. I would think that instead there were some kind of alien with ulterior motives rather than a god.

Jesus’s Return  – I also wonder how religious people would react if Jesus returned. For me, (notwithstanding my high levels of evidence required) this would be both a slight problem (in that I now have an after life to worry about) but I would also sit back and get some popcorn ready. This shows a crass misunderstanding and a dreadful arrogance. It’s the daftest remark in what otherwise was a more or less sensible response. Christ’s return on judgement day won’t be about popcorn. It will be about repentance, remorse, sorrow and anger. As for me – I expect there to be many surprises and for Jesus to let me see that I have got many things wrong….but thankfully my trust is not in myself, but in Him.

Morality – Once again Douglas agrees with me about morality. At least to a point. If there is a failure of atheist morality then it is the same failure of religious morality – human beings. The difference between an atheist and an evangelical on this point though is how this can be made better. This is spot on. I think that human beings need to be changed. And ultimately only Christ can do that.

Who does the Checking?  David fears an unchecked humanity free of religion yet unchecked religion has provided no better moral structure. Again I agree totally. The question is – who does the checking? My argument is God and his Word, working through human agencies. Douglas argues that there is no check upon humanity. We just make up our own rules as we go along.

Authority for Morality? David states that to believe in God is to have a moral absolute authority to appeal to. Again though, it is mankind that does the appealing. Hence there was authority for slavery, the crusades, the inquisition, the burning of people at the stake. When evangelical Christians call for their Gods moral authority I have to say I don’t want any of that brought back. We have enough problems with ISIS and their claims of divine moral authority. Douglas avoids answering where the morality comes from – and because he can’t answer he lumps together all religions as being the same. I disagree that the bible gives authority for slavery, the crusades, the inquisition, and burning people at the stake. I go with the morality of Jesus Christ. Where do the NFAs get their authority for morality from?

Privatisation of Faith – I have no problem with what David believes in. I have no problem in there being a Free Church of Scotland. Or indeed any other denomination or faith. My problem, my fear, is the intense desire for those of an evangelical bent to have a world that suits them and suits them alone. I could of course make the same charge against the NFAs. Of course they don’t have a problem with any faith or denomination – as long as you keep it private, don’t let it interfere with any one else, and that is has nothing to do with any aspect of public life. They don’t of course say this about their atheistic secular faith – where they demand that all society must be governed by their principles alone. And because they don’t believe in an authority outside the State (unlike Christianity which does have a secular/church divide), there is a far more absolutist totalitarian faith than biblical Christianity.

SSM – We have seen religious opposition to same sex marriage but not a single person says that David must go against his faith to conduct one. Yet David not only rejects same sex marriage for him and his faith (as is his unequivocal right), he sought to deny it to those who did want it. To me, that is frightening. To me, telling other people that they cannot having something that other people have, merely because I don’t agree with it, is a hatred of certain human beings. To some people this appears as a sensible point. But unless you are an absolute libertarian (an impossible position in practice) it is difficult to see how it has any logical rationale. Let’s examine this. Does Douglas and the SSS believe that polygamy should be allowed? Do they believe that two brothers should be allowed to marry? If they don’t then exactly the same argument applies. They are telling some people they cannot have something that other people have, they are seeking to deny it those who want it. They don’t have to marry their brothers, so why deny it to others? I have yet to hear any satisfactory answer to this. Douglas, over to you!

A Challenge to Debate – After all, its what underpinned the morality of slavery for so long? And still does for ISIS. Yes, it’s a hatred that stems from the instructed love in a religious text, but it causes harm, it causes pain and it causes distress. To think that is a Glorious message is frightening. And it is why evangelical Christians must be debated. Not insulted, not ignored, not name called. But challenged, not about their faith, but their desire for people who do not share their beliefs to have to live by them. This again illustrates the illogicality of the NFA position. Apparently if you are opposed to SSM you are equivalent to ISIS, support slavery and live on hatred! It would be wonderful if Douglas and his SS colleagues would be prepared to debate. I have offered them many times. But they don’t. They just ridicule and name call. I hope that Douglas, as the new chairperson, will change this and will take up the challenge. Instead of demonising Christians why not debate us? My suspicion is that they won’t or can’t because immediately the narrative they use to demonise us would be proved false.

Atheist Intolerance – One thing we will of course immediately point out is that they actually are the ones who demand that people who do not share their beliefs must live by them. After all it is not the Christians who demand that atheists must all go to Christian schools – it is the atheistic secularists who demand that everyone must be educated in schools that reflect their views. It is not the Christians who are demanding that atheists must bake cakes with messages on them that they disagree with.

Obnoxious Critiques – Challenged, not about their religion, but their obnoxious “critiques” (read insult and hatred) of other religious. It is possible for all of humanity to live happy, moral lives together where we follow different faiths and ideologies. Where we are all equal in the eyes of the law. That is the point of debating evangelicals. Interesting that the chairman of an organisation that consistently abuses, mocks and attacks religions speaks of obnoxious ‘critiques’. I have never personally and have rarely seen any evangelical Christian abuse the Catholic faith as much as SS (a church full of child abusers or those who cover up child abusers), never mind what they say about evangelical Christians, republicans, anyone against abortion, Muslims (although they are more careful here – I wonder why?!).

Atheist Faith- You will note here the ‘faith’ that Douglas has. All humans can live happy, moral lives together where we follow different faiths and ideologies? It’s such a Disneyesque statement that ignores questions such as what is happiness? And who decides what is moral? (And it is empirically proven wrong by the SS FB page where you can see the kind of treatment offered to those who don’t buy into the secularist nirvana).

Equal in the Eyes of the Law – I agree that we should all be equal in the eyes of the law. But in the atheistic secularist version, where the state is God, this means that some will be more equal than others.

Hatred And if you don’t buy into this secularist version of ‘equality’ then beware. My own experience of the NFA’s is that there is an irrational hatred of Christianity which quickly moves beyond the kind of discussion and engagement that I believe Douglas and others like him genuinely want (and for what its worth I don’t include Douglas in this group). They hate Christ and his people so much that they will seek to silence us.

This is my experience.

First they mock and abuse. Enough said about that.

Secondly they misrepresent or deliberately lie about you. Another member of the SS executive wrote in response to Douglas’s article “It is indeed the desire to force everyone to live by a certain set of religious rules, regardless of whether they share that religion, which makes evangelicals so toxic. They do Not contend merely to spread their faith and convert, but to enforce it.” That is simply an out and out lie. By definition an evangelical is someone who believes the Gospel and follows Christ. The Christ who told us not only that we should not seek to force people to believe, but that we could not. Unless people are born again they cannot even see the kingdom of God, never mind enter it! But sadly it is this kind of ignorance which leads to the sort of prejudice and fear that goes on to the next step.

Thirdly they attack your character and sanity – Garry Otton of the SSS, suggested to the readers of the UK Unbelievable FB page that I was a sociopath who had been psychologically damaged by being brought up in an abusive Christian home where I was not allowed to watch TV, listen to the radio, or sit at a table with non-believers! None of this is true – but then the concept of truth does not seem to have a high currency amongst some of the NFAs. This is not the first time this has happened. There have been consistent attempts to smear my character and question my sanity….it usually goes along the lines of ‘I have spoken to professional people who are worried about him”. Although it is hurtful, in some ways I don’t mind being accused of being insane. I am in good company – they accused Christ and they accused Paul. “24 At this point Festus interrupted Paul’s defence. “You are out of your mind, Paul!” he shouted. “Your great learning is driving you insane.”25 “I am not insane, most excellent Festus,” Paul replied. “What I am saying is true and reasonable.” (Romans 26).

Finally they use ‘the law’. People who in theory have been ‘freedom loving rebels’ seeking to defy the law so that ‘equality’ can be obtained, morph into the strongest ‘law and order’ advocates. ‘It’s the law’ goes up the cry. And again, because they do not trust any internal law, or law of God, they like to make lots of laws, just to ensure that their views are enforced. Concepts of hate speech will be used to silence those who dare to disagree with their absolutist morals. Again I have personal experience of this. I have been threatened several times and one day I do expect to be taken to court for just teaching the Bible.

That is why we have to challenge the fundamentalism of this new atheism, and ensure that we continue to have the freedom to proclaim and live the Gospel of Christ. Not just for our own sakes, but for the benefit of all the people. Even our Atheist friends. As Peter Hitchens puts it. “The worst place to be an atheist is in an atheist country, the best place to be one, is in a Christian country’.


25 thoughts on “Arguing with Atheists = Part 2 – The Atheists Respond

  1. Do you conclude that there is any point in arguing with NFAs? I don’t think that they will ever change their mind, as your evidence concludes. So what it the objetive? I guess it hones up skills in spotting fallacies and other diversionary tactics, but I concluded that it is better for me to spend my time with more reasonable open-minded people who appreciate polite and graceful discussion, and by living my life as a non-verbal example of what Christ was talking about.

      1. Absolutely.

        And it is rewarding and deeply satisfying to be involved where the Holy Spirit is at work in power love and sound mind. I just had an online conversation where I shared of my spiritual journey with an atheist that concluded the “your god certainly exists”. Further in the conversation he expressed the view of “clear evidence of the non-existence of an all powerful and benevolent god”. So I explained my “god” is Jesus, God of the bible.

        As asked him to explain how he could perceive both of his assertions to be true. Then the NFA “tricks” came out with personal comments “you don’t understand etc”, building a straw man to know down. So what did I do – steared the conversation back to either God exists or God doesn’t exist. There can be no subjectivity about it. It’s not about if it works for you or if it doesn’t – and that would be silly to argue.

        Then made the point that for those in unspeakable suffering at the immoral conduct of others to take away the hope in God that offers them comfort for justice my mocking with contempt any belief they have in that is cruel. “Dacau is wrong” is a fact, it is not morally subjective. Bertrand Russel is wrong about that. It is wrong because all are created in the image of God and therefore it is right to treat all with dignity.

        And in the power of the Spirit, you don’t have to worry about what to say to any authority, because he will give you the words to speak.

        So a question could be – do you to sacrifice, risk being mocked, your reputation spoiled, losing friends and family etc for the sake of Christ to make a stand against dark forces in the world at such times. Or do you do what is “comfortable”.

  2. As always David, you congratulate yourself in all your writings for being right, yet again. Praise the lord, he’s on your side. Every point you make in your Part 2 could be applied to yourself. Self righteous, arrogant, don’t like other opinions to conflict with your own, act offended etc etc. Even the title of your posts could be turned around, Arguing with Christians, what is the point? You people have learnt a lot about debating in the public sphere. A tried and trusted method it seems to me, is to accuse the opponent of the exact thing they accuse you of. One of these being ‘Emotion’. I was baptised [full emersion] at the end of 2005, and in the following years went to church twice on a Sunday, must have been for a good 8 years. In this time I began to see what was really the crux of the matter as far as I was concerned. It’s like walking past a church board with the poster of ‘Jesus lives here, come and worship him’. So you go in and think there really must be something here. After years of going to church and being involved and actively praying and the like, slowly it dawned on me that Jesus only lives inside peoples minds. You might say that enough for him to be a reality. They whip themselves up into believing they have a personal invisible friend. If this isn’t emotion, then I don’t know what is. So from you, I want to know that if your god exists and we can’t prove he exists within the physical realm or by physical experiment, then how do we identify the supernatural when it happens? When we live our daily lives by evidence in the physical world we inhabit, then how do you know when it’s god who’s taken over or controlled things? You can’t keep answering with fancy word games, techniques you use when debating the likes of Dilahunty. Where does god exist, except in peoples minds? Where does it differ from a conjuring trick? And at what point do you decide that the bible is the word of god?

    1. Michael – take a deep breath. Calm yourself. And when/if you write again then please make some substantive point that actually deals with the issues. We will take the name calling as a given.

      1) I do a lot of debating in the public square – I find that many of the NFAs refuse to do so – either because like Dawkins they think it is beneath them, or because they are online warriors – hiding behind their keyboards where they can quickly reach for google or Wiki to provide the confirmation bias they are looking for.

      2) Thanks for the relation of your experience which tells us a great deal. If you think that the crux of the matter is that “Jesus lives here, come and worship him’ then you indicate that you had no idea of what Christianity is about. Christ does not ‘live’ in a particular building. It seems to me that you never knew Christ so could not be called a Christian. You of course admit this because you deny that Christ even exists – so how could you have known him?

      3) Your point about Jesus only lives inside peoples minds would be a good one – except for this – you could say the same thing about anything else. How do you know that anything exists outside your own mind? Indeed because you have made your mind the judge of all things, you cannot say or prove that anything exists outside your mind. Indeed its worse than that. Because you believe your mind is a collection of random chemicals, you cannot even trust it – including when it tells you that you are just a random bunch of chemicals. You are in a real mess!

      1. 1. Many atheists debate Christians. There are far more Christians, and most Christians who have gone to Seminary are trained in public speaking and would, therefore, be far more prone to debate – especially when every Christian debate is really just another way to Witness to people about Jesus.
        As for “hiding behind keyboards”, I see that from both sides, but you will notice I use my real name, and have a very public presence on the internet. Sorry to be the living proof you are wrong…. again.

        2. Is that really your analysis? It’s like a teenager wrote that. You do realize, David, that people can believe in something then find out it isn’t true, later, right? Can you answer that without your usual pyrotechnics?

        3. We are all a bunch of chemicals, do you deny the way “God” made you?! What kind of idiot thinks we aren’t made of chemicals? Did you go to school? Do you know ANYTHING about the world?
        We are made of chemicals and knowing things is a complex issue. Claiming to KNOW Jesus doesn’t suddenly make you able to step outside of the chemical world you inhabit.

        This is why I think you are a troll and sham, David. Your responses betray you. They show a person who has thought very little about the subject he claims to know so much about.

        And notice you didn’t answer his question, you played word games… again.

        Can’t you simply say “Jesus doesn’t live inside people’s minds because of evidence A, B and C. A is….., B is……., C is…….”

        See how simple that is?

        For example, we are made of chemicals. Here is some evidence:

        Element Percent by Mass
        Oxygen 65
        Carbon 18
        Hydrogen 10
        Nitrogen 3
        Calcium 1.5
        Phosphorus 1.2
        Potassium 0.2
        Sulfur 0.2
        Chlorine 0.2
        Sodium 0.1
        Magnesium 0.05
        Iron, Cobalt, Copper, Zinc, Iodine
        Selenium, Fluorine

        (Please check this with any source you’d like, but don’t expect to find it in the Bible. Those goat herders didn’t know about chemicals.)

        Here is more evidence you can test.

        Get a chemistry set, and take some blood, spit, urine, or whatever and see if it reacts as if a chemical would.

        Here is more evidence about the chemicals in the brain:

        Here’s an article on the effects of different chemicals on brain development:
        http://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2014/02/15/11-toxic-chemicals-afffecting-brain-development-in-children/

        Now, I know you’re going to say “Oh, Brent thinks we are ONLY chemicals, that we aren’t MORE!”

        As if saying “only chemicals” is deflationary. What have you got against chemicals? What is it, gays, atheists, chemicals and politicians are among your least favorite things? It’s funny because they are also the things you least understand! haha

      2. Brent – again thanks. You have just espoused the classic naturalistic materialist philosophy -that we are just chemicals. (of course we know that we are chemicals – but we deny that we are just chemicals). Mind you, you have provided an original and somewhat amusing twist to the usual argument. Apparently to say we are just chemicals is a form of discrimination against chemicals. Maybe hate speech against chemicals should be a crime. Although you are the one who is claiming that it is scientifically true that we are no more than chemicals – therefore we are just chemicals. But as the article states – reason, evidence, language and meaning all are thrown out the window when someone blinds themselves with the atheist faith.

  3. By the way, can you explain the beginning of point 4, regarding memes and posting questions as though they were an original thought? My initial question, I never thought of as an original question. [We probably have different ideas about originality anyway] it was a question that many non believers have asked and feel they have not received a justifiable answer to.

  4. Good stuff flea-

    I’ve said it a dozen times atheism is a religion, as in extreme devotion to a cause, but it is certainly not ‘pure’ religion, as it would be impossible.

    When people ask me if I am ‘religious,’ I ask them to define what they mean. After they put forth something bizarre, I then say that I suppose I am not religious at all. It is a good way to diffuse an argument, and lends credibility to the fact that believers are not stamped from a cookie cutter.

    One point worth highlighting. To hear ‘atheists’ teach the scriptures is a sight for sore eyes, as there is zero credibility, no context, no belief, and absolute hatred for anything of faith. Proof? Uh yeah, just read the comments of they who boast of life apart from God, and you will see some of the most depraved comments on earth. This is an undisputed fact that atheists should pay attention to, that the so called intellect of the godless is so wicked.

  5. The thing really comes down to the simple fact that no one can show that any god actually exists. Old books, philosophy, appeals to emotions are all very well but one would hardly settle for such as that to do anything else in life. An all-powerful god who actually affects the world by way of miracles of healings (or so it is claimed) could easily make himself know to us all and there would only be one religion and no atheists. If an all-powerful god either can’t or won’t do this, any arguments by the supposed god’s followers are simply making up excuses to justify their chosen deity.

    1. It is indeed a simple thing – but its not a fact is it. Many of us have been shown that God exists. I realise that the appeal to an emotional atheism, which leaves you in charge, is of course a high one. The logic of your second part is faulty. It presupposes that human beings would believe if they were given the evidence. That is clearly not the case…

      1. You make another claim, David. WHO has shown you that God exists? Why won’t you show us?

        What did God look like? Or is “seeing” God more like a feeling… an emotion?

        Come on, David, you’re not the dumbest man on Earth. Stop acting like it.

      2. Brent – first a word of warning/explanation. This is my personal blog – I don’t want it to turn into the usual atheist blog/FB page – full of name calling and irrational rants – so just to warn you I won’t post a lot of your posts. When you are rude to me other guests for example. I am only posting this one because it says far more about you than I ever could. And it is a great illustration of the original article. As for who has shown me that God exists? – Himself. He also does the same to anyone who asks because he promises that those who seek him will find him. Now if you have anything constructive or intelligent to say, feel free to post – otherwise I would not bother…

  6. No positive beliefs intrinsic to atheism? I recall seeing, in a publication of the HSS, some sort of declaration as to the fundamentals of secular humanism, as agreed by some get together (possibly of an international nature). This was some years ago now.

    Three thoughts on the subject of marriage: firstly, I don’t understand how pagans are all for recognising the cycles of life, fertility and nature and then in the next breath say it is discriminatory to recognise natural marriage.

    As for the arguments for “extending” marriage to all and sundry – the usual atheist position is that Christians are just disgusted by SSM and our argument is built on nothing more than that. But if they believe their own arguments on SSM are valid and they are merely disgusted at “extending marriage rights” further….they are in a right pickle.

    “To me, telling other people that they cannot having something that other people have, merely because I don’t agree with it, is a hatred of certain human beings.”

    They cannot have what other people have, simply because they have the wrong person for the purpose. We’re being sold the idea that a male-female partnership shouldn’t be recognised as such, merely because some people… don’t agree that it should exist because they aren’t interested in it themselves! Does that work out as hatred for a very large chunk of society?

    If they knew what we believe, they’d know that believers will get a world which will suit them at some point in the future, when time is through. Or rather, we’ll be made suitable for that world.

  7. Michael

    Thanks for your contribution to this debate. David is a pugnacious debater, and I respect him for this. Too many of our church leaders simply sit on their hands and look sorrowful when challenged by the new atheists, and never attempt to discuss or engage the issues in a robust manner. If David, at times, seems too aggressive when responding then you need to accept the fact that the vitriol flung at him by many of your NFA colleagues on a daily basis can be very emotionally damaging and exhausting.

    I was very interested in learning that you had been baptised as a Christian in 2005 but had subsequently concluded that “Jesus only lives inside people’s minds” and had, in consequence, denied the faith.

    I would be very interested to know what type of church you belonged to. There are some excellent, but relatively few, churches in the UK where there is a coherent rational presentation of the Christian faith by gifted preachers. But over the last 50 years the quality of preaching and teaching in many churches has steadily declined in the UK (I will not bother you with the reasons for this, but the responsibility lies definitely with the church leaders).

    Many seemingly lively churches often have a very poor quality of teaching and preaching, and substitute sentimentalism and emotion for sound biblical truth. (Sentimental in this context means emotion without truth). This does not provide a good basis for a robust Christian faith, and many fall away. I wonder if this was the sort of church you belonged to?

    Luke chapter 15 contains three parables of Jesus which are really one parable, and although are well known to the Sunday school they are really not for children, but adults. The lost sheep and the lost coin are completely helpless until they are found, and the lesson is not that we are seeking God, but rather that he is seeking us. The prodigal (and the elder brother) are equally lost, but the way back to the Father is humbling, costly and hard and most would prefer not to bother. But there is great joy in heaven when one prodigal returns.

    I know that your immediate instinct will be to reject all this as fairy stories – but I do ask you to thinks and meditate on this chapter and perhaps pray that if there is a God then he would speak to you through these words of Jesus.

    If you would like to access cogent biblical teaching then could I suggest this link. Worth a look!

    http://sthelens.audiop.org.uk/search/series/168

  8. Thanks for your comment. I totally agree with your sentence about sentimentality. Two of my favourite books are ‘Amusing Ourselves To Death’ by Neil Postman and ‘The Toxic Cult Of Sentimentality’ by Darymple. I’m very interested in the idea of the message is the medium. So yes, as time went on in the church that I went to, a pervading sense of the sentimental was gradually taking over. Which I think is very much TV based and therefore leaks into everyday life and attitudes. Just examine many of the programmes and adverts on television, especially ITV. Also recently I heard the BBC on the radio advertising the FA cup, because now they televise it, as the peoples FA cup. So at the end of the day it seems very much a selling tool but then becomes a tool used against people who see it as a festering influence.
    Also, I must confess to an intolerance of the modern worship songs. To me they sound like 1980s Bonnie Tyler songs. A total eclipse of the heart etc. I think someone who criticised the modern worship songs described them as sentimental durges.
    Anyway, I will have a look at the link you sent at some point.

    1. Michael – I would be careful about lumping all modern worship songs together, as I would all traditional hymns etc. There are some that are superb – In Christ Alone etc.

  9. But…..

    I agree with David that there are some excellent modern worship songs, my favourite being Robert Critchley’s “What a faithful God”. However I agree with Michael that many are dreadful and completely impossible to sing. They contain little or no meaningful biblical truth but are stuffed with emotionalism and over-hyped expressions of love and commitment, which seem great on Sunday evening but which can rapidly disappear on Monday morning.

    Perhaps it is a generational thing – but I do crave a few hymns with “content” from time to time. The Wesley brothers knew a thing or two!

    From David’s list provided elsewhere it seems that St. Pete’s is more discerning than many other churches with regard to songs.

    Gosh! Michael Collins and I agree on something! There is hope.

    1. Hi Douglas – just a few quick points in reply – We will leave out the ones I agree with and I am sorry I don’t have time to give a more detailed response.

      “There is no statement of faith to be an NFA” – That is a naïve comment. Of course there is. Maybe unwritten, but you will soon find out if you go against it.

      I’m glad that you acknowledge that NFAs have doctrine!
      There is no evangelical fixation about what people do in their own bedrooms – that is a cheap caricature.

      You keep attributing motives and emotions to me that you do not know. Again not the best way to go.

      You state there ‘are no entry requirements to be a Christian”. Actually there are – you can’t even see the kingdom of God unless you are born again!

      Materialism is based on naturalism. Whats the difference?

      The only thing that will convert you is the Holy Spirit.

      Mentioning the judgement is not arrogant if it is true!

      I don’t accept that Christ is the inspiration and justification for many moral failures. And your trust in humans to eventually get things right is a blind fantasy! As is your belief that we are in a better place and the inevitability of human progress.

      Science says nothing about morality!

      I too don’t want atheistic secular humanists interfering with my faith. I agree no one group should have a privilege – including secular humanists.

      Thanks for confirming you are for polygamy and not sure about incest.

      I’m up for doing a debate….e-mail me with a suggested title.

      You do make many demands on me! You insist that education, welfare and every government function be governed by your ever changing rules.
      I think anyone should be entitled not to print material they fundamentally disagree with.

  10. Most of the claims of atheist atrocities are theistic propaganda. Look at Hitlers ss killers. Atheists were completely banned from joining the ss,half were Protestants,half of the remainder were catholics and the remainder testified that they believed in some form of deity.
    Then there are the two ss divisions raised specifically in the name of the abrahamic god,they even had special uniforms to show this. This is historical fact,not made up or exaggerated. I have scores of books on the ss and there crimes,I am happy to give sources(from reputable historians) if anyone asks.

    As for the rest,pol pots killers were certain atheists, so were at least some of Stalins. No historian of repute claims they killed specifically FOR atheistic reasons or to specifically”advance”atheism however. The ss divisions skanderberg and handschar killed many specifically for religious reasons though.

    PS even if atheism directly made people eat each other,burn kittens and marry horses it would not be evidence either against atheism or in support of Quetzalcoatl/Zues/Shiva/Thor etc.

    I would be curious (as one currently studying for a history degree)what reputable historian publishing in a reputable journal specifically claims this or that atrocity was carried out specifically “for atheism”and not some other political/social/economic/military/racial/religious goal.

    1. Is this a spoof? Can you actually provide any peer-reviewed historical evidence for this hysterical conspiracy filled rant? This is a classic example of how dumbed down our society has become – atheists believe anything they read on the internet – and then cite it as fact! Wacko….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s