My recent debate with a Theist/Christian

49 posts / 0 new
Last post
Sky Pilot's picture


"Virtually all New Testament scholars and Near East historians, applying the standard criteria of historical investigation, find that the historicity of Jesus is effectively certain"

Jesus didn't exist 2,000 years ago because the name "Jesus" didn't exist until about 388 years ago.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Titus - For since the

Titus - For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
Romans 1:20 NASB

Couldn't leave out the innuendo huh?

Sheldon's picture
"Unfortunately most

"Unfortunately most Christians are like this. I am also a Christian but freely admit there is no verifiable proof to prove there is a God. Just like there is no verifiable proof to prove there is not one. "

Well firstly you could apply that nonsense to anything that doesn't exist, it's an appeal to ignorance, argumentum ad ignorantiam. The problem is partly caused by your use of the phrase verifiable proof, if it's meant as an absolute then I don't think it's epistemologically possible anyway. However start by demonstration objective evidence for your claim, as others have asked. This would be a start, but I have yet to see anything demonstrated by anyone approaching objective evidence for a deity, or anything supernatural.

Titusfury's picture
With respect, it is an

Couldn't leave out the innuendo huh?

With respect, it is an insightful verse for both sides. It provides us with insight to what is said to be enough evidence to make decision about God "according to the bible". That is a critical point to consider when talking to Christians about what is believable based on the evidence.

It also was related to my points. I did not mean to put it there for hostility but for fitting context for my comment. Sorry if it affended in any way.

As for other comments. I am not ignoring them but I am at work and would need more time to respond to them. Thanks for your patience as I may not be able to get to them in a timely manner.

Sheldon's picture
" It provides us with insight

" It provides us with insight to what is said to be enough evidence to make decision about God "according to the bible". That is a critical point to consider when talking to Christians about what is believable based on the evidence."

No, I think if we're going to claim evidence then for it to have any meaning it must be objectively verifiable and secondly commensurate to the claim being made. The bible can no more validate it's own claims than Harry Potter books can, that's axiomatic.

Otherwise all claims would have equal merit, and sailors giving detailed accounts of how they rescued by mermaids, and alien abduction stories would all be classed "evidence". The term becomes meaningless when used in such a broad sense.
"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made,"

Even as argument this is fallacious, it's simply begging the question by calling everything 'creation'. As allegory any objective person should'n't be able to suppress a chuckle at such a tortured metaphor as "invisible attributes" what are these one wonders?

"His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen"

Dear oh dear, begging the question.

" understood through what has been made"

Now that sounds like a falsifiable claim, so why don;t we test it, all you have to do is demonstrate objective evidence for it? Or is this simply another assumption that believing a deity exists and created everything can really be asserted by pointing at everything and saying 'see', as if that means anything at all, let alone represents evidence.

Tin-Man's picture
Uhhhhh..... How, exactly,

Uhhhhh..... How, exactly, does one see an "invisible attribute"? *scratching head dumbfounded*

Sky Pilot's picture


"It provides us with insight to what is said to be enough evidence to make decision about God "according to the bible"."

According to the Bible even the people who supposedly saw Yahweh and his works didn't believe in him. And Yeshua's own family thought that he was nuts. So why are you more gullible 2,000 years later than first hand witnesses were?

Titusfury's picture
I understand where many that

I understand where many that are commenting are coming from. In essence it goes back to this argument:

The idea that if said God exists why does he not reveal himself right now so we can take a picture. Why would he only have revealed himself in ages where we did not have the means to verify more evidence then witness accounts or religious texts?

I personally feel like this is a valid point to make and ask.

As far as the Christian God goes I do not feel like anyone will ever find in the Christian bible that God intends to be fully revealed in the way an atheist would want in order to warrent their trust. Not until what the bible prophesied will happen in the end times when it will be too late for the most part.

This is evident in the verse I quoted earlier:

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
Romans 1:20 NASB

This verse would be pointless if God planned to provide irrefutable evidence in his existence. This is a huge issue to many atheists because they do not agree that the above information is enough to put ones trust into. This is unfortinately an inpass that will not change.

Therefore requesting more proof then the above will never be possible. If the lack of 100% certainty prevents someone to believe, I respect their decision but as for me and others like me. I do feel like what is infront of us is enough to place ones trust into.

That is why I believe in science and God. Not because science proves God but because the more science reveals about the truth of the universe the more it reveals an intelligent design, the fact that the universe was indeed created and if the universe was created it would take something outside the universe to create it. The more we know the harder it is to imagine possibilities outside of God that could explain them.

I choose to believe in something that is more probable in my mind, not something that is scientifically proven.

Armando Perez's picture


I fail to see why you think that what science has discovered proves in any way that the Universe was created. According to religion, the universe was created for mankind to exist and worship god. What science has demonstrated is that humans are a complete nothing in the Universe. The whole solar system, even more, the whole galaxy could disappear tomorrow and the Universe would not even hiccup. So much for such an supposedly important component of the Universe. Now, if you go to smaller things, biological nature is amazing and complex but also horribly messing, imprecise, ill-designed and horribly cruel. A all- good, omniscient, all-powerful creator, even being half-witted could have designed something better working and more compassionate.

Of course, you can choose to believe what you want if you make an exception to your standard, daily behavior and throw logic and reason overboard in respect to this god- claim.

hiwaystar's picture
Same old unfalsifiable dragon

Same old unfalsifiable dragon-in-my-garage statements...

Besides, the chance that the Christian God exists is just as low as fairies, leprechauns, Zeus, Thor, and dinosaurs on Venus.

Sky Pilot's picture


"That is why I believe in science and God."

The only reason to believe in a deity such as Yeshua or Allah other than for purely social or financial reasons is because they can supposedly give you eternal life. Paul said that if the dead do not rise then Yeshua didn't return from the dead. In your experience have you ever seen a long dead corpse return to life?

IMO you are simply deluding yourself.

Cognostic's picture

"I believe there is such an intelligent design ." NOTE THE TOPIC BEGINS

FIRST: Before you can claim design, you have to demonstrate it. Calling things designed does not make them designed. "INTELLIGENTLY DESIGNED OR NATURALLY DESIGNED" why can't they just be NATURALLY OCCURRING after all, snowflakes look designed, crystals look designed, and the fact that you are bilaterally symmetrical looks designed. LOOKS is not PROOF!

You are confusing things that occur naturally with things that are designed. Anyone can spot design. Men take NATURALLY occurring phenomena and alter it into something different and thereby designing it. We know nothing of the origin of naturally occurring phenomena beyond the fact that each thing came into the world from something that was related to and very much like the thing it came from.

" @"Unfortunately most Christians are like this." Titus makes the previous comment in regard to Christians bounding about from topic to topic implying that he is religious, believes in god, but does not do this.

What happens now is classic....
"I freely admit there is no verifiable proof to prove there is a God."

"I personally believe in God because I believe there is such an intelligent design." I'M SORRY???? ARE WE PLAYING - SPOT THE CONTRADICTION NOW?

"Also like others have said the big bang does not prove there is a God."
(HE SAYS THIS - IGNORING ALL THAT CAME BEFORE as numerous people, including myself, pointed out that the "Big Bang" is a known fact with all evidence supporting it - for the EXPANSION OF THE UNIVERSE not its ORIGIN.

He then asserts -----
"The BIG BANG provides us with enough feasible evidence to believe that the universe had a beginning. (NO - THE BIG BANG HAS NOTHING AT ALL TO DO WITH THE ORIGIN OF THE UNIVERSE. NOTHING! HOW MANY TIMES MUST WE POINT THIS OUT?)

"@ All that we know that could be left is nothingness."

FOR FK SAKE! How in the hell do you get from the big bang to nothing? We have no example of nothing anywhere. And how in the hell do you get from nothing to a magical, non-corporal, invisible, omnipotent being in that mass of nothing. Are you nuts? You do not get to assert "nothing" any more than you get to assert "A god." Physics breaks down at Plank Time. We have no idea what is beyond Plank Time. You do not get to make any assertion without evidence.

"@ So we are left in the dark from here. I believe these to be attributes of God. "
Yes we are in the dark and know nothing. These are the exact attributes of the fantasy God you have created. We are in complete agreement. Your God is NOTHING but a made up idea you are sticking into an area about which we know nothing. WELCOME TO THE GOD OF THE GAPS. You do not get to explain a mystery with a bigger mystery. you do not get to invent an answer AND THEN CALL IT REAL OR LOGICAL.

And most importantly - notice that we are no longer talking about the universe is designed. We jumped from that to a designer without ever proving that there actually was design.

And then we SHIFT TOPICS AGAIN - something that Titus does not do....
"Christianity requires Jesus to have risen from the dead to be true. This is something I also believe has enough evidence to put ones trust into. "

Top that off with the fact that he wants us to go and read a bunch of debunked garbage about Jesus, who man not have even existed, rising from the dead along with the thousands of other people that raised from the dead in the bible. But Jesus was special? All the other people that were raised from the dead don't count. BULLSHT!!!

Cognostic's picture


NOW WITH THAT SAID - BACK TO THE ORIGINAL STATEMENT - IS THE UNIVERSE DESIGNED? Perhaps we can keep you from jumping around all over the place.

Thomas Aquinas - Argument from a first cause - Things that move are caused by movers. The universe is moving, so, there must be a prime mover. An un-moving mover. Even if this was true, it does not take you to a God. It does not take you to a specific Christian God. If you can assert your god into the unmoved mover, I can assert a unicorn turd with exactly the same evidence.

The argument from causation is no different. There must be a first cause as you can not have an infinite regress. So, what caused your god. No no, God is the un-caused cause. The argument does not take us to GOD. It takes us to a magical answer without facts or evidence. Just insert your version of god here. Another magical pile of unicorn shit.

The universe seems created so there must be a creator. Never mind that we have only one universe to look at and have no idea what another universe might or might not entail. Never mind that this assertion assume that we are the goal of the universe in question. Never mind that 99.999% of this universe is deadly to us as a species. You might as well assert that this universe was designed for "Black Holes.' An observation made by the late Stephen Hawking. With Andromeda racing towards the Milky Way at breakneck speed. With solar flares threatening to fry the earth at any moment. With massive comets and asteroids flailing about in space and taking out worlds. With space itself expanding so fast that in a few millennia we will no longer be able to see the stars or the other galaxies around us. With disease, death, deformity, natural disasters, and more - this universe was designed just for us. You gotta be nuts.

Please prove the universe was designed. A three year old child with a box of crayons could have come up with a more well designed universe. One perhaps where life did not need to feed on life to exist.

Milo234's picture
I strongly agree with the

I strongly agree with the previous comment that you should not let your opponent change topics in a debate. I have found in my relatively limited informal debating that if you tell someone, "you just changed the topic. That is often a sign that you are wrong and are changing topics to try to get away" is a very powerful statement. Another extremely powerful tactic in debates like this is to ask extremely pointed questions to force the opponent to address and define the stupidity of their position. In this case you could ask things like the following:

So where do souls come from?
Does God infuse them at birth?
Does God infuse them at conception or later?
We evolved from a common ancestor with chimpanzees. When did God start infusing the souls? Was it before or after our common ancestor.
Chimpanzees and Bonobos have been taught vocabularies of 500 words in sign language. Do they use souls to learn their vocularies?
What exactly is it about humans that you think a soul controls? How does it control these things?
Why do strokes cause people to lose the ability to speak and forget memories? Does rupturing a blood vessel in the brain harm a soul?
Why do children not remember anything before turning two? Why do old people often get dementia? Intelligence is extremely strongly influenced by genetics and heredity. Do we really need souls to explain it?

Anyway, this is very hard to do. You have to be extremely focused and have a good memory and be able to think on your feet. I tend to find in discussions like this that theists very frequently change topics and say one dumb thing after another and it is just so hard to even know where to begin due to the frustration so you have to pin them down and address one thing at a time before moving on.

Re the Jesus debate that spontaneously occurred in this thread:
Mark made up the Easter story. Matthew and Luke literally copied it directly from Mark. Go learn about the universally accepted Markan Priority solution to the synoptic problem. The two authors of John probably knew both Mark and Luke rendering them unable to independently corroborate anything. One man made up the Easter story. Once you realize the chain of dependence on the gospels, the explanation for every miracle story is the same: one anonymous man writing long after the fact who tells us nothing about where he got his information made it up and no one else corroborated it. The Pauline version of the Easter myth that predates the gospels is just a very generic Resurrection myth and hardly does anything to help the case for the Easter story.

LogicFTW's picture
TLDR: I have been having fun

TLDR: I have been having fun with the "souls" one lately. I lead apologist down a trap they fall into every time. Theist can not reconcile souls/conception with the reality of twins. Creating a basic question they can not answer.

The lines that start with a "-" denotes the common theist apologist response.


Do you believe in souls?
Do you believe to be human you must have a god given soul?
Do you believe that god giving everyone souls occurs at the moment of conception?
Is the moment of conception the moment the successful sperm enters the egg to fertilize the egg?
-*uncomfortable* yes (some of the smarter apologists begin to sense a trap.)

So do identical twins each share half a soul each? How about triplets? One third? Let me answer for you, ofcourse not! Are souls cloned from same source like twins are from same dna? Again, let me answer for you, ofcourse not!
- .. well...*pauses while thinking* God is omniscient and knows there will be twins, triplets etc and supplies all the souls as needed when needed.

Are you aware that the split to form twins or greater does not occur until up to 72 hours, (and possibly, but rarely, even longer) after the "winning" sperm enters the egg?
- well.. *theist starts to get angry* god already knew there would be twins and supplied the necessary souls as needed when needed!

So, in the case of identical twins, twins do not receive souls until the split occurs that creates twins. Which can be 72 hours or more after the winning sperm enters the egg. And as you just agreed 1 minute ago that: conception of a human which is when a soul is inserted. "conception" which you said: is when the winning sperm enters the egg, so in the case of identical twins this is not the case? But instead possibly 72 hours or later after fertilization? That in the special case of identical twins or triplets or greater that conception does not occur at "fertilization" or more specifically when the winning sperm enters the egg? Why such a special case rarely? Why is an egg otherwise fertilized normally not get souls until up to 3-4 days later? Is that special fertilized egg that god already knew about that is lacking souls for the time being not human? If we humans knew it was going to be twins, in this case it is not "murder of a human being at all to have an "abortion" if it occurs before the egg split necessary for twins? Because no souls?

-No, god supplied all the necessary souls at the moment of conception because already knew their would be identical twins, triplets etc.

So, the souls just hang out? In the very rare case of identical octuplets, 8 souls just all share one "body" until the "body" (cells) splits? Can you be a "human" person with 8 souls in you? Does each soul have 1/8 ownership until they get their own "body"? How do these souls decide which split to take?


Usually around here, the theist apologist is at loss for words. If they continue to ponder it, they realize they cannot answer it. A core concept of: a human = has a soul, and soul/human starts at conception, which is when sperm enters egg (or any other specific moment in time) is at its core, flawed. A simple basic answer about what is it to be human, that framed by the "god/conception/soul that cannot be answered within that framework.

Sky Pilot's picture


"So where do souls come from?"

I think you will be hard pressed to find any culture from any time period that hasn't believed in the concept or idea of "souls". It's the most basic and universal human superstition because people want eternal life more than anything.

It's the hunger for eternal life that requires a soul as a vehicle for achieving it. So because that's what people want more than anything else it enabled con men to establish religions and to come up with all kinds of rules and taboos to force the people to do what they wanted. Deviations are punished by torture in hell.

Where Paul deviated from the script is that he had his hero rise from the grave in real time instead of in the future. And then he tried to sell the idea that everyday dead people get resurrected all the time. We know that is a false reality.

Most religions are basically identical. People have souls. They have to follow the rules if they want to get eternal life in some paradise or happy hunting ground. If they deviate they will be punished in hell. The head god will do the rewarding and punishing. Some religions have "holy books" that contain the rules and illustrative stories. The idea is to keep the people buying into the superstition so that the con men will maintain power and influence and continue to enrich themselves.

Moses was a master of the con.

Cognostic's picture

"I think you will be hard pressed to find any culture from any time period that hasn't believed in the concept or idea of "souls".

"Argument from Popularity" There was a time when people believed the earth was the center of the universe, that diseases were caused by evil spirits, that millions of other Gods were real. The percent of the population that believes a claim is not - IS NOT EVIDENCE FOR ITS VALIDITY.

@Moses was a master of the con.
There is no evidence at all that Moses was a real person. It's just made up stories that never happened.

Milo234's picture
I think actually that the

I think actually that the idea that people made up souls in every culture due to a fear of death is not a very compelling explanation. Daniel Dennet's book Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon provides a much more compelling explanation in my opinion. In short, as people's brains got bigger they evolved Theory of Mind and the ability to create complex mental models of other people. These models persist even when the person isn't physically present and can even be made for people you have never met as well as fictitious people. The big breakdown that leads to souls is death, not fear of death, but the fact that our mental models of the dead remain relatively unchanged after a person dies. We still remember them, their personality, their strengths and weaknesses, opinions, what their voice sounds like, etc. We don't just break down the entire mental model and think of the deceased the same way we think of a steak on our dinner plates. Once you have highly developed complex mental models of people in your brain and they are dead, it's just a matter of time before someone gets the idea that the deceased person is still alive in some form influencing the world whether due to dreams, hallucinations, or superstitious thinking, eg "if my recently deceased father who was an excellent hunter were here we'd definitely capture a big animal today and have a feast" then whamo you luck out. This is in my opinion a far more compelling explanation for the origin of souls. Fear of death certainly could contribute, but by itself is a gross oversimplification without a lot of plausibility in my opinion.

Dennet's book goes on to cover a lot of other topics including how religions could be made up without being deliberately created by conmen to steal people's money. I think that too is a major gross oversimplification.


Donating = Loving

Heart Icon

Bringing you atheist articles and building active godless communities takes hundreds of hours and resources each month. If you find any joy or stimulation at Atheist Republic, please consider becoming a Supporting Member with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of tea and a good dinner.

Or make a one-time donation in any amount.