I was neutral. Then I wondered perhaps there is more to life than mere survival, so I became a Christian and gave my life to Christ. In some kind of existential wrestling match between my brain and my imaginary friend (I'm crazy), I somehow, perhaps by my imagination or through an indirect telepathic message from God, figured my purpose in life is to become a philosopher. So I dedicated my life to thought.
... And as I drive deeper and deeper into the bowels of this intellectual pursuit, I'm starting become a hard-hearted agnostic. I still see myself as a Christian because, in some kind of collateral speechcraft to guarantee myself a spot in a possible celestial paradise, I declared with my mouth that I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior and that I believe He rose from the dead.
The reason I was and still am a Christian is because of the religion's promise of hope. I mean, what the heck does atheism have? Nihilistic Nazism evidenced in Hitler's gifting of Mussolini the works of Friedrich Nietzsche. But to maintain my integrity as a philosopher, I have to seek the truth. If God is there, I will find Him. If not, I'll have to adopt a more truthful worldview.
I guess my question is... A lot.
This is honestly a cry for help. I want to be convinced that a loving God is here for us but Goddammit it's so difficult to intellectually believe in Him.
What arguments have competent apologists posed to atheists that are actually worthy of being threatening? There has to be something...
Please, tell me how I can convince you that what I am doubting to be the truth is actually the truth. Namely, the validity of the Christian faith as a coherent worldview.
The more I learn, the tougher further learning becomes. It's frustrating.
So like... Maybe the resurrection of Christ and whether or not it happened? Or the other miracles in the Bible? Those are the only empirical evidence we have.
P.S. = This might seem funny to some of you but it's sincere. I WANT the gospel of Christ to prevail. I really want to. I want to be convinced that it is truthful.
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Or Hitlers first concordance being with the Vatican? With having annexed territories controlled by the church? By having "gott mit uns" 'gods on our side' on all nazi buckles?
How about actually understanding that atheism is not a sodding world view! It's simply an answer to a question.
There is no arguement that has been proposed by an theist, apologist etc... that has met a scrap of the burden of proof.
You have all your work cut out.
To convince me, I would say show empirical evidence to support the claim you are making.
Demonstrate some causal link from the evolution of man to T=0 in which is not of natural phenomena.
@Maxo Goober... ahhh, “been there” “done that”. I can relate to the journey, so to speak.
I’m still waiting for a theist to back the claim, until then I just withhold belief in god (atheist).
So now what? I give my life meaning. The journey you’re on should include you and not just a search for “something” else.
For example...what do you value?
A nihilist approach is an option (imo an extreme option) and a poor example ... sorta like rejecting Christianity based on Jim Jones (so watch yourself and your assumptions)...
Well wishful thinking doesn't validate belief, only sufficient objective evidence does that.
Which makes you feel better/worse...
Hitler dying cowering in his bunker knowing his entire life's work was defeated.
Or Hitler offering a genuine moment of faith based contrition at the end, and spending an eternity of bliss in heaven?
We have to be careful when we speculate based on what we want to be true, rather than where the evidence leads us.
If you want to argue for theism that's easy, produce sufficient objective evidence for any deity, and I would cease to be an atheist.
@I'm starting become a hard-hearted agnostic. Good for you. You are not pretending you KNOW SHIT any more. You are moving. Just keep studying. Pascal's Wager was designed for Agnostic Theists. At least you are not making dip fuck assertions about a creator god.
"The reason I was and still am a Christian is because of the religion's promise of hope." That IS Pascal's Wager. But when you think about HOPE, you have to understand that RELIGION CREATED THE DISEASE and then told you it had the only cure. Heaven and Hell are not in the Old Testament. It is a Christian Creation. The struggle between Satan and God is not in the Old Testament, it is a Christian Creation. (Most likely taken from Zoroastrianism).
My favorite "knock knock joke," explains it all/
Jesus: Knock knock
Sinner: Whose there?
Sinner: What do you want?
Jesus: Let me in.
Sinner: Why should I let you in?
Jesus: So I can save you.
Sinner: Save me from what?
Jesus: From the place I have created for you if you don't let me in.
RE: If God is there, I will find Him. If not, I'll have to adopt a more truthful worldview. (GREAT ATTITUDE) Truth has nothing to fear from rational inquiry.
LOVING GOD???? You mean the child butchering genocidal asshole of the Bible or the Life Threatening Bitch of the Quaran? If there is a loving God out there, I have not seen it.
RE: What arguments have competent apologists posed to atheists that are actually worthy of being threatening?
All Christian / theist apologetics are based on outright lies, irrational assertions, fallacies of logic, appeals to emotion, or just plain ignorance. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM.
RE: "So like... Maybe the resurrection of Christ and whether or not it happened? Or the other miracles in the Bible? Those are the only empirical evidence we have." THESE ARE CLAIMS, NOT EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE. The Bible is a book of stories. The Bible is the CLAIM not the evidence that supports the claim.
RE: Gospel of Christ??? There is no Gospel of Christ. WTF are you talking about. There is a collection of 27 books out of hundreds that were organized into an official church cannon over a period of 2000 years. Even today different bibles are used by different Christian sects.
You need to listen to Bart Eherman, "Who wrote the Bible. " https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-cZncVmtIU
As it is typically presented, it is incredibly incoherent. It's like you're trying to polish a turd; it is still going to be a turd, no matter how well you polish it.
Aw, fuck... *double face palm*.... ANOTHER one???....
Maxos Goober, in your OP you asked, “I mean, what the heck does atheism have?“
It has one thing and one thing only: a response of, “I don’t believe you,” to the assertion of the existence of god(s).
Welcome to Atheist Republic Maxos Goober.
In direct response to your desire to learn more, I simply suggest you hang around and learn what the different arguments are, and the fallacies we frequently encounter.
Do you want to find your god or do you want to find the truth?
But I will summarize the entire "search for god' thing. So far, there has not been any valid evidence to support the existence of a god, it can not be proven, nor can it be disproven. At best there are just arguments.
The bible is not the evidence, it is the claim. For a claim to be supported, it requires external evidence.
Maxos Goober..... Big Dick..... (Just sayin'...)
I have not found an argument for theism that is more than smoke and mirrors. The most convincing comment from a Christian came from pope John Paul who ended one of his books with "Christianity is our best hope". I'm not sure he meant it the way I took it but if he meant he hoped it was true, then I can buy that. I don't hope its true but I won't knock someone else hoping for something they want.
Hmm, I've never heard an atheist saying "Atheism is our best hope" but I wouldn't knock that either.
I wouldn't protect paedophiles who had raped countless children, from justice. The Pope has, so I don't think what he hope's for, and what I hope for need be judged solely on the validity of his religious beliefs.
Whether a deity exists or not, even the one the Pope claims is real, doesn't change the fact his church's influences has been, and is still being a deeply pernicious influence globally. Condemning millions to a short life of suffering and death from disease, and poverty, because they claim using latex to block semen curses you to everlasting damnation.
Now of course someone will point to the good they do, but that can be achieved without the church's pernicious dogma, so one asks oneself, why are religions like the RCC still in the privileged financial position they have so long enjoyed, and why should any decent person view their claims for moral ascendancy with anything but revulsion.
To reiterate, I think what the Pope Hope's for would be some sort of dystopian nightmare to any halfway decent person.
As a humanist my first moral responsibility it to other humans, a Pope's is to his church.
Uh, the RCC has its chance, god’s tool on earth, and blew it - big time.
"Hmm, I've never heard an atheist saying "Atheism is our best hope" but I wouldn't knock that either. "
There are no arguments for atheism. There is no dogma, leaders, or instruction books. Atheism is the simple answer to just one question, a belief in a god.
The position many atheists take is that religion, while being of limited benefit, also has a lot of drawbacks and ills that definitely hurt people. IMO this world would be better off if there was no belief in any gods.
I have identified an evil, and want to get rid of it. I have not proposed a solution or replacement.
....hmmm I would have expected more of an “Agnostic” answer ...hmmmmm
Well, the thing is, Dworkin knows that he believes something, but he just isn't quite sure if he believes he knows anything. OR, it could be that he actually does believe he knows something, but maybe he just doesn't know exactly what he believes. Now, granted, I have no way of really knowing this, but I believe I may be fairly accurate in my evaluation..... (if you believe you know what I mean).
Thank you everyone.
Sorry to break this too you, but this an atheist forum. IF you happen to be able to prove the existence of god, then I'm all ears . If not, then not so much .
" Nihilistic Nazism evidenced in Hitler's gifting of Mussolini the works of Friedrich Nietzche---"***
Using that line of argument is called Godwin's Law (look it up)
IMO there is no such thing as 'atheism .There are atheists .To become one, there is only one requirement; a disbelief in god(s).THAT"S IT. NOTHING ELSE IS IMPLIES OR MAY BE INFERRED. The atheist may be a nihilist or not. Nothing to do with being an atheist . Nor does his/her position on any other philosophical idea..
***IMO both Hitler and Mussolini were too stupid to understand Neitzche. EG the concept of the Herrenvolk was not a racial idea ,but a spiritual one. Nor was Neitzche a nihilist in the sense of life and its meaning as far as I can tell. . HOWEVER, I'm a weak philosopher ,so may well be mistaken. Do yourself a favour and do some research for yourself.
I'll preface this by saying that I'm new to Atheist Republic, and forums in general, so I apologise for any mistakes
"I still see myself as a Christian because, in some kind of collateral speechcraft to guarantee myself a spot in a possible celestial paradise, I declared with my mouth that I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior and that I believe He rose from the dead."
This sounds very much like Pascal's wager. You might want to consider that Christianity is not the only religion out there, so really, even if you do accept Christ in your heart, there is no reason that Allah, or any other such god, would not send you straight to Hell. Even if Christianity is the truth, you might just be stuck in the wrong denomination.
Now, as an atheist, it's a bit hard for me to try and find the 'strongest' argument for the existence of God, seeing as I don't find any I've come across so far as particularly convincing. Having said that, I imagine that the argument from design would have been particularly convincing before Darwin, but in light of the overwhelming evidence supporting evolution form natural selection, it becomes pretty weak.
I think it is important to realise that there are logically consistent ways to arrive at a semblance of morality consistent with atheism (read up on Utilitarianism), and as for purpose, well, I like to think of it the following way:
The universe, or nature, or whatever as a whole, cannot ascribe any purpose to anything, seeing as it is non-sentient. It therefore becomes meaningless to talk about our purposelessness 'in the grand scheme of things', because even if the 'scheme of things' wern't all that 'grand', there'd be no way for it to provide anything a purpose.
Now a hypothetical god, as a sentient entity could certainly give us a purpose, just as us, as sentient entities give things like, say cups, a purpose (to hold liquid), or a pen, a purpose (to write stuff). In the same way, I see no reason, why us, as sentient entities, cannot ascribe a purpose, any that we choose, to any human being, including ourselves.
Perhaps you believe that only if the life given now is followed by an infinite afterlife, does it have purpose. I'd put forth the exact opposite. If the life we have now is followed by a life of infinite joy, or infinite suffering, then by the very nature of infinity, the pains and pleasures of this life are utterly irrelevant. Why should we care that a child is dying painfully on the street? After all, that child is going to a life of infinite pleasure, making their current suffering unimportant.
I hope you find the peace you're looking for. Best of luck :)
Welcome to Atheist Republic massivelySaddening.
Thank you all, I hope I'll be at least somewhat productive here :)
Looks like you will!
Sorry goob, there is just nothing out there objectively evidencing a gawd. Even subjectively, reasoning likeliness leaves such belief squarely in the delusional realm.
If you are personally ok with irrational belief, then you are ok with irrational belief. Simple. The persistent flogging of dogma may be sufficient enough to placate you. Religions are good at that.
However, as a human, you have an innate need to discern truth, for your, and our species survival. That is how our present collective intellectual prowess has developed over time. I suggest you continue on a quest for truth. Truth is the best thing for you, humanity and our species survival as a whole.
However, I am the first one in line to support your right to believe in whatever you want...including someone else's unsupported assertion of a gawd...if that's what you want to believe.
Said doG ....
***mailing your mate a rolling pin with instructions***
Thanks...but my wife has progressed well past a rolling pin...LOL.
@massivelySaddening... welcome. Some good points and well thought out.
“Why should we care that a child is dying painfully on the street? After all, that child is going to a life of infinite pleasure, making their current suffering unimportant.”
Exactly! This question, though, can be “fairly” posed to one who does not believe in “life after death”;
Why should we care that a child is dying painfully on the street? After all, that child is going to die and “know nothing”, making their current suffering unimportant.
So, why should either an atheist or theist or believes life after death or not - care about a child, who is not “their own” (a whole other discussion) dying painfully on the street?
I grew up in the years where “Ethiopian famine” pics and news were played daily...google search “famine boy vulture” images.
"Why should we care that a child is dying painfully on the street? "
As a christian?
Keep in mind Christianity has never provided rational answers to the questions of evil and suffering.
In terms of Christian dogma, Jesus is quoted as saying that after the commandment to love god, the greatest is to love your neighbour. When asked "who is my neighbour?" Jesus replied with the parable of the Good Samaritan. The lesson being that every man is my neighbour.This is arguably the most egregiously ignored commandment by Christians.
Jesus is also reported as saying. Matthew 19:14 "Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come to me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven." (KJV)
The christian has a duty to reduce earthly suffering in others.
As a human being? The simple answer is that there is an evolutionary imperative for most mammals to protect the young of one's own species. For humans, this spills over to baby animals of all kinds . I think we are drawn to the big eyes found in the young of many species.
Compassionate behaviour has been found in chimps and I think in dolphins and in elephants. According to christians, animals don't have souls and consequently have no moral sense. They do have emotions and feel pleasure and pain. It is generally seen as a human moral imperative to relieve the suffering of 'dumb animals'. For most of us that probably means having a suffering old dog put down. Right now that obligation does not extend to humans. Once world population gets big enough It probably will.
There is a fascinating and darkly funny novel by Gore Vidal, called "Messiah";
"Messiah is a satirical novel by Gore Vidal, first published in 1954 in the United States by E.P. Dutton. It is the story of the creation of a new religion, Cavism, which quickly comes to replace the established but failing Christian religion.
The novel is written as the memoir of Eugene Luther, one of the first followers of Cavism, founded by John Cave, an American undertaker. Cave teaches, among other things, not to fear death and to actually desire it under certain circumstances. Later followers come to glorify death, and even enforce it on other members. The founder John Cave is himself killed by his followers when he proves inconvenient for the new religion's development.--------"
Cranky ... tah-dah!!! Love those big eyes, and heads and little feet and fingers and their short arms (get a smaller child to reach above their heads and touch hands - compare to adult)
@HEY TIN!!! The chess game was fun. Now let's play a game of "Hide and Seek." I'm gonna go hide and you try to find me! (I'm not here...)