Someone, going by the name of “Dan” with the email firstname.lastname@example.org has been visiting this blog and commenting for some time. Dan is an atheist and devotee of Ayn Rand and her books Atlas Shrugged and, to a lesser degree, The Fountainhead. I never really enjoyed Atlas Shrugged, but 40 years ago I was also a devotee of Ayn Rand and The Fountainhead.
In the past two weeks or so, Dan has taken it upon himself to explain why God does not exist and why those (like me) who know or believe otherwise are misguided fools worshipping the “Great Skydaddy” and members of what he calls “magickind”. Dan has relied heavily on the use of “reason” to “prove” that “God does not exist”.
I’m not having his atheistic crap on my blog. I don’t mind that he’s an atheist, but he’s not going to get away with insulting my faith on my blog. Nor will he get away with irrational arguments. We sparred back and forth on a couple of comments on this blog. I eventually posed a list of 20 questions. He didn’t answer most of them at first, but he came around and eventually offered answers for all.
What follows are what became my lengthy responses to his answers. My response was originally intended to be merely a “comment” but it grew so large (about 11,000 words) that it became an article.
I didn’t write all of those words for my audience. I wrote them mostly for myself as I explored the concept of atheism. I wrote this overlong document because it helped me to begin to understand and articulate (for the first time) my own reaction to atheism and to better understand my own faith.
This article is laid out where each of my original questions (at least as Dan wrote them) appears by a number and is written in normal text. Then Dan’s entire answer is presented in bold text. Then I add my responses to his answers—again, in normal text.
I don’t expect many people to read this document. It’s long and often redundant as I repeat ideas that I’m just beginning to learn. But my essential argument and conclusion that I came to recognize for the first time as I wrote this article, is this: So far as I understand, the rules of logic and reasoning (on which Dan claims to rely) declare that it’s impossible to prove a negative statement.
Thus, while it may be logically possible to prove that God does exist, it’s logically impossible for Dan (or any other atheist) to prove that “God does not exist”.
Insofar as Dan has ridiculed the God of the Bible (and my faith), I’m using this document to ridicule Dan’s capacity for “reason”.
If atheism is of any interest to you, you might find something of value in the following:
Thanks for your answers. I have a few additional questions or comments that I’ve interleaved between your answers:
1. As an atheist, what is the basis of your claim to liberty, freedom, equality or justice?
Answer: I possess unalienable rights in accordance with the “Laws of Nature.”
A. Are the “Laws of Nature” on which you rely the same “Laws of Nature” found in the first sentence of the Declaration of Independence that reads in part, “to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them”?
B. Do these “Laws of Nature” emanate from the authority of “Nature’s God”?
C. Is this “Nature’s God” the God of the Bible or some other “god”?
D. Do you deem your “Law of Nature” to be purely “natural” and without any relation to the authority of any would-be “God”?
E. Where are your “Laws of Nature” codified?
F. Are your “Laws of Nature” equally recognized in Kansas, China and Uganda? (Are they of global authority?)
2. What rights can you claim as an absolute that are not subject to being lawfully ignored by anyone who has greater wealth or power than you do?
Answer: The same one’s that Alfred Adask claims.
Let me clarify my original question: Under what authority do you claim any rights as an absolute that are not subject to being lawfully ignored by anyone who has greater wealth or power than you do?
3. Atheism allows for genocide, war, murder, rape, child abuse. In an atheistic world, why shouldn’t I commit those crimes?
Answer: Christianity, as evidenced by its Sacred Scriptures AND by its 2,000 recorded history, allows for genocide, war, murder, rape, child abuse. In a Christian world, why shouldn’t I commit those crimes?
The Old Testament allows for genocide. The God of the Bible ordered the Hebrews to kill all of the men, women, children and even livestock of one or more tribes that the Hebrews were to attack. Thus, Judaism would seem to allow for genocide.
On the other hand, I know of no evidence to support the contention that the principles found in Christianity allow for genocide.
As for the crimes of “genocide, war, murder, rape, child abuse,” in a Christian world, there is reason not to commit those crimes: Even if you are able to escape liability for your crimes in this life, there is another life to come where you cannot escape liability.
However, given that the atheists’ world does not recognize another life to come and a day of judgment for the sins committed in this life, there is no reason (other than fear of being caught punished) for atheists to not commit those crimes in the atheist’s world. You verify this observation by offering no reason why you (as an atheist) should not commit those crimes.
4. If I’m big enough and powerful enough, why shouldn’t I rape your wife, your children or even you?
Answer: Because I will exercise my Second Amendment right and I blow your brains out with my gun.
You are making my point. When push comes to shove, all of your fine atheistic reason and objectivity are ultimately based on nothing but force and violence.
In the atheists’ world, the only way you can absolutely protect your wife and children is to stand guard over them 24/7. But if must leave them to go to work, go to sleep, or to go grocery shopping, they are absolutely exposed to atheistic predators. What makes you think that if I were an atheist, I wouldn’t simply sneak up on you, and blow your brains out, and then have my way with your wife and children?
As an atheist, you can’t be there 24/7 to protect your family.
However, as a Christian, I believe that God is “there” 24/7 to protect your family or at least to later hold me accountable for my sins. My belief in the God of the Bible protects you, your wife and your children since, as a Christian, I am at least less likely to commit major sins.
As an atheist, if one of your fundamental objectives in life is to protect yourself and family, then, even though you don’t believe in the God of the Bible, you would still be well-advised to encourage others to believe in that God since their belief in that higher power/authority will tend to protect you and your family when you can’t.
As an atheist who’s unable to provide 24/7 protection for his family, it seems irrational and potentially self-destructive for you to discourage others from believing in God.
As an atheist, your final authority is not reason, but force. If you’re not there to exert that force, your wife and children are unsafe.
As a Christian, my final authority is a God that tells me to eschew violence. In my world, your wife and children can be safe even when you’re not present.
5. My FEELINGS (and those of most other people) will trump your reason almost every time. In the world of atheism, if it feels good, why shouldn’t I do it?
Answer: Your “FEELINGS” don’t trump ANYTHING; especially NOT reason. You should learn to control your emotions. It is obvious that you think that your emotive ejaculations mean that you can be UNREASONABLE whenever you “feel” like it. This is EXACTLY the behavior and thought process of a spoiled brat child. In the world of Christianity, if it feels bad, do it. Suffering is good, Right? “Builds character.”
Why should I learn to control my emotions? What authority or reason can you identify that will compel me to “control my emotions” other than the threat of subsequent physical violence and pain? It feels good to exercise my emotions without restraint. If it’s clear that I won’t be caught and punished in this life—and, for atheists, there is no later judgment because there is no later life—why shouldn’t I (sometimes secretly) exercise all of my various emotions?
The willful exercise of all emotions is not only an attribute of a spoiled child, it’s probably also an attribute of a sociopath. Do you object to sociopaths? They have their own sense of reason. They reach their own conclusions. Their conclusions differ from yours because their premises are different from yours. But in a world of reason and logic, who can ultimately say that your premises—your personal but unproven and unprovable axioms—are any better than those of the sociopath?
Sure, the sociopath’s are a minority who act according to premises other than those held by the majority of the community. But in an atheistic world where reason is all, should the majority be free to punish a minority simply because they reason from premises not held by the majority? Who knows, in the highly reasoned world of atheism, maybe the sociopaths are right and the majority is wrong?
But if it’s OK to punish sociopaths for reasoning based on a set of premises not shared by the majority, wouldn’t it also be OK the majority who believe in the God of the Bible to punish atheists since you folks are also a minority who espouse premises (non-existence of God) not shared by the majority?
Your ability to espouse your theory of atheism is based in large measure on your confidence that most of your audience are Christians and will therefore not, as you say, “blow your brains out with our guns”. The public’s general faith in God does more to protect your wife and kids than you, your guns, or your personal dedication to reason could ever achieve.
Again, your atheist philosophy ultimately encourages people to degenerate into behavior of beasts.
My Christianity, on the other hand, encourages people to aspire to a behavior that is higher, better, more peaceful, less exploitive.
You atheism seems ultimately based on a kind of elitism. For you, reason appears to be all and you are undoubtedly fairly astute at exercising the ability to reason. But what about the majority of the people who simply lack enough intelligence to “reason” in any meaningful way? What about the people with IQs of 80 or 70? What do you atheists (men of reason) propose to do with those who can’t reason? Kill them? Keep them in camps? Sterilize them so they don’t reproduce? Treat them like animals?
What if one of the people who can’t reason assaults your wife and children? In your Brave New World of Atheism, will you release him? How can a man who can’t reason be held liable for violating any “reasonable” law?
In the Christian world, even those who can’t reason are deemed to be made in the image of God and therefore entitled to certain rights, dignity and even liability.
I sometimes get the impression that atheists are something like spoiled brats who lack the ability to play football, baseball or basketball and are therefore insisting that we all play a game that the atheist can win: reason.
In the end, atheism would seem to lead to an elitism of the same sort attributed to the “Illuminati”. So far as I know, the Illuminati presume to rule based on their intellectual superiority. Based on their superior capacity to reason, they claim the right to rule. They may also be atheists.
Insofar as any Christian embraces suffering, he embraces his own suffering. So far as I know, no true Christian advocates the suffering of others.
Atheism would seem to be nearly opposite. As an atheist, I would rationally seek to avoid all personal suffering. If there’s going to be any suffering, I’ll impose it on someone else.
Judging from your text (“In the world of Christianity, if it feels bad, do it. Suffering is good, Right? Builds character.”) you seem to ridicule suffering as absurd and irrational. (Conversely, your answer implies that as an atheist you embrace the idea that “if it feels good, do it”—the mantra of the spoiled brat.)
Your response is pretty much what I’d expect from a man who is: 1) an atheist; and 2) probably hasn’t ever really suffered (or, if you have experienced real suffering, didn’t learn much from it other than to hate God).
I’ve suffered a number of times. I’ve lost three children in two divorces. When I lost the first two, I went into a depression that lasted for 5 years. I lost virtually everything but my pulse. I wound up living in my pickup truck for a while. I spent those 5 years writing, writing, writing—screaming into my computer—as I tried to understand the incredible injustice I’d suffered.
I never liked one minute of that suffering. But, in retrospect, I also understand that if it weren’t for my suffering, I would not have been able to see or understand concepts that are central to the radio shows I host and the articles I publish on this blog. I understand that over the last 28 years of political activism, I may not have helped myself all that much, but I have helped others who (like you) read my articles and derive some benefit. I guarantee that if it wasn’t for my former suffering, you would never have received any benefit from any of my articles because I’d’ve had no reason—or capacity—to write them.
I have acquired a certain amount of knowledge (not belief) because I have suffered. Because I am a grateful for the knowledge, I am also reluctantly grateful for the suffering that made the knowledge possible.
In A.D. 2002, I was arrested without warrant and ultimately extradited to Missouri where I was held for 344 days in a level-5, maximum security jail. I was never charged with a crime. In the end, they simply released me. I lost my little business (publishing the AntiShyster). I lost my home and most of my personal property. I was rendered essentially homeless.
There was a certain amount of suffering involved in that imprisonment. But as I’ve said for years, if I had known how much I would gain from being in that jail for nearly a year, I would’ve fought my way in years earlier. I didn’t like being in that jail and I don’t ever want to go back. But those 344 days were probably the single most intellectually-fertile period of my life. I learned more in that year, than I’ve learned in any other year. More, I entered that jail with what I thought was fairly strong faith in God. When I left that jail, my faith was two or three times stronger than when I’d entered.
That 344 days in the slammer was one of the greatest blessings in my life.
My point is that while you disparage any Christian tendency to accept personal suffering as irrational, I know from direct, personal experience (I have direct knowledge) that suffering can bestow extraordinary benefits and blessings. I’m not talking about all suffering. I don’t know about all suffering. But I know about my suffering.
You appear to have faith that all suffering is stupid. I have knowledge that at least some suffering can be a blessing.
It occurs to me that an essential premise for atheism may be a denial of the choice seen at Joshua 24:15: Choose this day who you will serve—God or mammon.
For much of my life, I pretty much rejected that idea that I must serve someone other than me. Rationally, I would serve myself.
I suspect that most atheists are of a similar mindset. They may seek to be served, but they don’t intend to serve (an allegedly non-existent) God, nor do they intend to serve a mankind that is fundamentally unable or unwilling to reason. The atheist creed may include a strain of “Atheists, atheists, uber alles!”
However, I have learned that my arrogance was misplaced. Whether I like it or not, I will serve either God or mammon—and my only real freedom may be to choose my master. I strongly suspect that virtually every atheist rejects the idea that they must serve anyone or anything.
I think that much of Ayn Rand’s philosophy was directed at justifying an existence where each of us lived as pure individuals without obligation to others, except insofar as we voluntarily consented to assume that obligation and receive something valuable in return. In Ayn Rand’s philosophy, there would be neither master nor servant—only individuals who entered into contracts that were fair and equally self-serving for both parties to those contracts.
If Rand was right, Joshua’s choice (God or mammon?) was wrong.
If Joshua’s choice was right, Rand was wrong.
I believe that we must each choose who we will serve. More, I believe that we must each accept our role as servant to our master. It’s not an idea that I innately relish. You would be hard-pressed to find anyone who is innately less inclined to be servant than I am. But I’ve come to accept the idea as not merely a truth, but as a fundamental principle.
You (Dan), on the other hand, as a atheist, seem to reject that idea that you must ever serve anyone but your own self-interests. Thirty years ago, twenty years ago, I might’ve agreed with you. Today, I know better.
6. But if I were sharp and patient, and circumstances presented themselves where it would feel good to me to rape someone else and I was confident that I wouldn’t get caught, why not?
Judges 19: 24 “Look, here is my virgin daughter, and his concubine. I will bring them out to you now, and you can use them and do to them whatever you wish.”
Answer: Because it is wrong, it violates their rights, it disrespects them as humans and life forms in general…and you know this.
“Wrong”? Why would it be “wrong” to rape your family? After all, if they’re not men and women, boys and girls made in God’s image and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, they’re just meat. Just animals. You, as a rational objectivist (and probably a believer in evolution) must understand that better than most. Admit it. Your son, your daughter, your wife—even you—are nothing but livestock on the atheistic plantation. If I can rape an animal like a donkey, why couldn’t I rape one of the animals that constitute your atheistic family?
So what’s the big deal if someone rapes or murders members of your family? The big deal is probably that you might go all “emotional” and try to kill me. But aren’t you the guy who told me that we have to “control our emotions”; that emotions and feelings can’t trump “REASON”?
How could your emotional embrace of violence be based on reason?
If your six-year old child is not made in God’s image and endowed by his Creator with certain unalienable Rights, your child seems morally indistinguishable from a six-year old donkey. In the Brave New World of Atheism, the only thing standing between your six-year old child’s survival and being processed for food like a chicken in a Tyson poultry processing plant, is the presence of a daddy who’ll go all “emotional” and start shooting if we try to kill his child.
But isn’t your emotional inclination to protect your child fundamentally unreasonable? After all, given that there are already 7 billion people on this planet, it’s not as if the loss or one of your kids counts for much.
Isn’t it more reasonable to sacrifice your child in order to save the occasional endangered species? In a world overrun by people, isn’t it reasonable to conclude that your children are less valuable than a snail darter or a spotted owl? Your children, snail darters and spotted owls are all just atheistic meat, so it doesn’t much matter which one (if any) survive. Still, given that children like yours are a drug on the market, while the snail darters and spotted owls are very rare, isn’t it more reasonable to sacrifice your daughter and spare the other, more valuable forms of living meat?
More, given that we may be overpopulated and the overpopulation may be destroying the planet’s eco-system, isn’t it reasonable that we thin the population dramatically? So, technically, wouldn’t we be doing the earth a favor if we whacked your kids?
Reasonable and rational people in positions of power agree with that line of thinking. The Club of Rome, the Illuminati and people in our own government are rumored to seek to cause the deaths of several billions of the earth’s population. And, in an atheistic world, why not?
If we need to cull the herd by a couple of billion, why shouldn’t I help out by killing one or two of your kids? Doesn’t reason dictate that the population must be dramatically reduced? What reason can there be that we must 1) thin the population; but 2) that thinning should not include your particular children?
On the other hand, under my faith, Genesis 1:26-28 declares that all men are made in God’s image and given dominion over the animals. Thus, under my faith, your children are exceptional beyond measure and there could never be a moment when the value and worth of the life of your child (made in God’s image) could less or even equal to the life of the last snail darter on earth.
Under my faith, Genesis 9:6 tells us that the reason why we can kill any number of animals but can never murder a man is because “man is made in God’s image”.
Under my faith, your child is perfectly safe from me. I am prohibited from murdering anyone made in God’s image. Thus, my faith provides is authority and reason why I should not kill your child.
But, under your faith (atheism), your children are nothing but meat and the only authority and reason that I can see that prevents them from being killed is your ability to constantly guard them with a gun and your willingness to go all “emotional” if anyone dares harm the meat of your meat.
I know I’m belaboring the point, but I tend to obsess. Plus, I’m learning as I write.
I’m driven by your continuing defense of atheism. If we all come to deny the existence of God, the world will become much less safe. My faith tends to keep your children alive. Your atheism tends to reduce the length and quality of their lives.
Given your persistent defense of atheism, it begins to look that your continuing arguments are based less on reason than ego. It appears to me that you just don’t want to admit that you’re wrong in any regard. You seem to have placed your faith the god of “reason” and, so far, your “god” is failing you.
And where do you atheists derive your concept of “wrong” (as in it would be “wrong” to kill your child)? Under what authority do atheists claim that some things are right and some are wrong?
Same thing with “rights”. What is your authority to claim any rights for your family that are greater than my right to relieve myself on your kin? In an atheists’ world, are there any real “rights”—or only powers?
In my world of faith, Right (flowing from God) makes Might. In the atheist world, Might (power) makes Right. As a reasonable man, which world view would your prefer your children to grow up in?
If you can’t pin your notions of right and wrong to God, you must pin them to man. Where’s that ever worked for long? People in positions of power have routinely violated the rights of other men for centuries. (It seems that power and atheism go hand in hand.)
You claim I shouldn’t kill your kids because they’re “humans” and “life forms”. Insofar as I am also a “human” and “life form,” why should I respect your family’s humanity more than my own? If my emotions move me to commit rape, why should my motives to commit rape be worthy of less respect than your family’s motivation to avoid being raped? Hey, you get horny, you gotta have some relief, right? Besides, you know that they’ll love it . . . right?
As an atheist, what reason and especially what authority can you provide that compels me to subject my desires and my inclinations to the desires of your family? I can see only one reason/authority: If I violate your family and I’m caught I will be punished or even killed.
Your “reason” is based on man’s retribution which is never guaranteed. Lots of crimes go unpunished by man.
My faith is based in part on love also, in part, on retribution—God’s retribution (eternal damnation)—which, in my faith, is inescapable unless I repent and find real faith in the God of the Bible
Under your atheism, I might be able to get away with raping your family.
Under my faith, unless I repent and turn sincerely to God, I cannot get away with such sin.
Who would you rather have for your neighbor or your babysitter? An atheist who thinks he might be able to get away with it? Or a Christian who is convinced that he cannot?
In the end, your atheism may serve you well, but it’s impractical, foolish and even dangerous for your family.
7. How can I trust you or anyone else whose system of values is ultimately based on his pursuit of personal pleasure and determination to avoid personal pain?
Answer: Everyone’s system of values is based on a pleasure/pain mechanism. That’s what emotions are, instantaneous value judgments telling each and every one of us if something is for our values (happy) or against our values (sad). What you REALLY mean is, “How can I trust anyone anywhere?” You will just have to figure that one out for yourself, Al. Yet I suggest that you reason it through by examining the behavioral evidence that people provide you rather than for you to trust someone of faith, which is involves zero evidence.
First, I thought you said we had to “control our emotions”. Yet, here, you seem to celebrate the virtue of emotions as “instantaneous value judgments”. Which is it? Are emotions to controlled or celebrated?
Second, your reliance on “pleasure/pain mechanism” suggests that you see people as nothing but animals who “reason” based on their “emotions”. That’s not too inspiring.
Third, you are laboring under a great disadvantage in this debate: you presume that I have “zero evidence” to support my faith in the God of the Bible. You apparently infer that I have “zero evidence” from the fact that you have “zero evidence”.
But the fact that you haven’t personally seen the Great Wall of China, or the Amazon River, or the South Pole does not prove that they don’t exist.
I might not be able to prove to you that God exists—but under the rules of logic, you never can tell—evidence might one day be forthcoming that proves God’s existence to you. More, under the rules of logic, you can never prove a negative statement. Thus, despite all your fine reasoning and rationales, you will never be able to prove to me, or even to yourself, that God does not exist.
The day might come when I can prove the foundation of my faith (God exists) to others. They day will never come when you can prove that God does not exist to anyone—even yourself. In the end, your reliance on the unprovable contention that God does not exist is simply another form of faith. Your atheism has far more in common with faith than an objective assessment of reality.
The fact that you can’t prove a negative should make anyone dedicated to atheism and reason very freakin’ nervous. Even defensive. You are betting your life and perhaps even the lives of your children on your personal, unprovable belief that, since you haven’t seen God, neither has (or could) anyone else.
That’s pretty arrogant. If you—the mighty Danny-boy—haven’t seen God, He must not exist? Do you suppose that if God is real, surely He would’ve arranged for an audience with the almighty you long before now?
But here’s your fundamental disadvantage in this debate: your presumption (that I have “zero evidence” to support the existence of God) is false.
I have had direct knowledge of God. I don’t merely believe in God. I know that He is real.
I have seen the hand of God. Twice. Once in A.D. 1983 for about ten days. Again in A.D. 1990 for about 90 seconds.
I can even tell you the color of God’s hand. It’s invisible.
I’m not going to give you all the details. I understand how crazy it sounds. I saw an invisible hand. The second time I saw it, He knocked me flat on my back and absolutely imbued me with the “fear of God”.
I expect you say that I must be delusional. I don’t mind.
But you might want to recall that the reason you read this blog is because you have some respect for some of the articles I’ve written. If you think I’m delusional, bear in mind that same “delusional” man wrote the articles that inspired some of your respect.
I know that I can’t prove that I’ve seen His hand to you or others.
I’m somewhat like the first man in my tribe to see the Grand Canyon. I can go back and try to tell ‘em, but they won’t believe me until they actually see that Canyon (or that Hand) for themselves. But the fact that they don’t believe me, doesn’t change the truth of my report. I’ve seen that Canyon and I’ve seen that hand. I know that they both exist.
I therefore know that you will never prove that God does not exist to me because I know for an absolute fact that He does. More, I know that your arguments in favor or atheism can never prevail because they are based on a premise that’s not merely unprovable but is false—that God does not exist.
So, you and I are arguing from two different sets of facts. You argue based on the presumption that God does not exist. I argue based on direct knowledge that He does.
We’re both making arguments that can’t be proved to everyone. You are arguing a negative (God does not exist) that can never be proved to anyone (including you). I am arguing that God does exist based on evidence that I can’t prove to anyone other than myself and others, like me, who’ve also had direct knowledge of God’s existence. I can absolutely prove the existence of God to at least one man (me). You can’t prove the non-existence of God to anyone (including you).
Our argument seems kinda comical. Nevertheless, I like the argument because it helps me to clarify my own understanding of my position.
8. As an atheist, what is the basis for your claim of “unalienable Rights”—or any rights at all—other than your own raw, personal power?
Answer: See answer number one above.
See my comments on answer #1 above.
9. I’d be a hypocrite, of course—but what’s wrong with being a hypocrite if you’re an atheist and hypocrisy increased your pleasure or diminished your pain?
Answer: The same thing that is wrong with you being a hypocrite now as a self-proclaimed Christian.
Not so. Hypocrisy is a kind of lying. You say one thing but do or believe another. For Christians, lying is violates God’s will and may expose hypocrites to public ridicule and even God’s retribution.
For atheists, the only thing wrong with hypocrisy is getting caught and exposed to only public ridicule.
The “wrong” in hypocrisy for Christians is greater than the the “wrong” in hypocrisy for atheists. The two are not the same.
10. I might go to a Catholic church or a Protestant church or a Muslim church–what difference would it make if my belief in the “magic” of a God entitled me to “unalienable Rights” (and maybe some swell tax deductions, besides)?
Answer: Your superstitious belief in magic and magickind entitles you to nothing.
How is your belief in the “Laws of Nature” (see #1, above) less superstitious? Under what chain of logic and reason can you derive any unalienable Rights from the “Laws of Nature” if there is not also a “Nature’s God”?
11. By advocating atheism, you expose yourself, your family, and even people like me to government oppression.
Answer: No I don’t. Like Thomas Jefferson said,” It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” The converse of Jefferson’s words is also true.
Was Thomas Jefferson God? Was he infallible?
Technically, Jefferson was right. There mere belief in one God, twenty gods or no god is, by itself, harmless. But actions based on those beliefs can be beneficial or harmful.
If I recall correctly, Ayn Rand made a real production out of asserting that ideas matter. Why? Because the fundamental ideas and values that each of us embrace compel us to particular conduct. Ideas have consequences. If that weren’t true, why would anyone—including rational objectivists—waste their time on reason or reasoning?
If abstract ideas don’t have tangible consequences, there is no need for ideas and atheists would have nothing left to rely on but their emotions. As you wrote previously, we have an obligation to “control our emotions” and reason will always “trump” emotion.
And yet, here, you appear to argue that reasons—basic belief systems (there is/is not a God)—have no consequence. You’re beginning to sound a little like Elsworth Toohey. I suspect that Ayn might be very disappointed in you.
Clearly, the widespread belief that there is a God will predispose most people to not pick Thomas Jefferson’s pocket or break his leg.
On the other hand, a belief in atheism opens the door to pick Jefferson’s pocket or, if need be, break his leg. If you’re an atheist and it’s in your self-interest to rob or assault—and you’re pretty sure you can get away with it—why not?
Insofar as you’ve dedicated much of your life to the pursuit of “reason,” you must believe that ideas have consequences. For you to argue here that one’s belief or non-belief in God is irrelevant contradicts your belief in “reason” and is absurd and may be evidence of your own hypocrisy.
Go ahead and try telling the Muslims and the Jews that the belief or non-belief in God or a particular religion is irrelevant. See if you can convince the Protestants and the Catholics of that premise. At least 3,000 years of history prove your position is mistaken. Religion matters. It matters big time. Religious disagreements can result in the most deadly form of warfare known to man: holy war.
And don’t suppose that as an atheist, you’re above all that “holy war” nonsense. Try to espouse your atheism in Iraq, Iran or even Egypt and you might easily lose your head.
If Jefferson actually said that one’s particular belief concerning God(s) didn’t matter, Jefferson was wrong to the point of being a fool. Insofar as you rely on Jefferson’s statement rather than an objective assessment of history, you are also a fool.
12. Why do you do that?
Answer: Why do you care what I THINK?
I don’t much care what your think. I do care what is published on my blog. I would like to persuade you (or perhaps other readers) to believe that God is real. I know God is real. I’m not in this debate to change your mind. I’m in this debate primarily to sharpen my own appreciation and understanding of the differences between atheists and those who believe in the God of the Bible. Hopefully, as my understanding grows, my audience’s understanding might also grow.
I’ve answered in this matter as a courtesy to you and to my audience.
In case you’ve forgotten, I did not initiate this debate. I did not reach out to contact you to say Look at what I think! Believe what I think!
I simply publish a blog that’s available to anyone who wants to read it. You came uninvited to my blog. After reading and appreciating some of my articles, you have recently initiated this debate by taking it upon yourself to explain to all the idiots (like me) who believe in the “Skydaddy” just how stupid and misguided we are and why we should believe in the superior “reason” of a mastermind like you.
You started this debate with the apparent presumption that we would or should care you think. No one asked for your opinion. No one came to you begging for enlightenment. Instead, you felt compelled to offer your various insights into how stupid we “believers” really are.
I don’t give a damn about your opinions. But I do care about my faith. You have arrogantly come into my “home” to challenge my faith and you are apparently disappointed that we have resisted your magnificent “reason”.
You claim to be an “objectivist” and yet you think you can directly challenge someone’s faith in his own home? Your “objectivity” is clearly defective. Are you so stupidly arrogant that you’d dare try your “reason” on a roomful of Muslims in Iran or Egypt? Again, you’d be lucky to get out with your head. Do you suppose that because I’m a Christian that I’m weak, passive and likely to simply surrender to your “reason”?
You’re a fool. Your decision to insult my faith in my home is evidence that you be dumb or you be crazy. No one in their right mind starts a fight with someone else based on their religion.
And you claim to be rational? Reasonable? Objectivist?
And your “reason” is far from overpowering or even persuasive. Your only strength is your ability to cut and paste something someone else said. That might work on the great unwashed, but it won’t work here. So far, you have not demonstrated a significant ability to “reason” on your own. What you’ve demonstrated is primarily an inclination to believe what other people have said and then quote them.
That strategy may seem clever to a lot of people, but I’m not “a lot of people”. My guess is that if you want to compete on this blog, you’re going to need another 20 points of IQ—or at least another 3 to 5 years of serious study.
Intellectually speaking, Danny-boy, you’re a light-weight.
13. What is the foundation for atheism?
Answer: Existence exists and there is zero evidence for gods or other magickind existing. Your arguments for the existence of an almighty god are no more valid than a savage’s belief in a rain god, a sex/fertility god, the Great Pumpkin, the Tooth Fairy, or the Underwear Gnomes on Southpark.
“Existence exists,” huh? How profound. But that’s not you talking, is it? That’s Ayn Rand. Maybe John Galt. All you’re doing, Mister Reasonable, is parroting the lines attributed to a fictional character in a book written by a dead author. You may be a great and talented parrot, but can you think for yourself or are you condemned to only believe and copy the words of others?
Why should your faith in the words of admittedly fictional characters like John Galt or Howard Roark carry any more authority than the words of Abraham, Moses and the Messiah—who you ridicule as akin to the Great Pumpkin?
Doesn’t it seem ironic that while you condemn my faith as based on fictions, your argument largely relies on the words of characters (Galt & Roark) who we absolutely know to be every bit as fictional as the “Great Pumpkin, the Tooth Fairy, or the Underwear Gnomes on Southpark”? Even you should admit that Abraham, Moses and the Messiah might be real—after all, several billion people believe they’re real and their stories have continued for most three thousand years. While my God and His prophets may or may not have existed, it’s absolutely certain that your heroes (demi-gods Roark and Galt) are absolutely fictional. When you quote John Galt or Howard Roark, you’re quotes carry just as much authority as quotes from Daffy Duck. Daffy, Howard and John are all equally fictitious.
There is some evidence to support the existence of Abraham, Moses and the Messiah. There is “zero evidence” to support the existence of John Galt or Howard Roark. It’s an absolute fact that Roark and Galt never drew a single breath or took one step on this earth. Between the two of us, you’re the one who’s worshipping fictions akin to the Great Pumpkin and Tooth Fairy.
And yet you claim to be reasonable? Objective?
Your argument is laughable. Almost pathetic. You’re not merely dependent on quotes from other people, your argument depends on quotes from fictions.
Answer: “Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God;”—Thomas Jefferson
Thank you, Mister Parrot.
But, again, you seem to make my case. I think it’s fine for people to “question with boldness even the existence of God”. But doesn’t it follow that atheists should also “boldly question even the non-existence of God”?
But you’re the guy who refuses to question his own fundamental beliefs. Your argument is based on your adamant conclusion that God absolutely, positively, and unquestionably does not exist—a negative statement that the rules of reason dictate can never be proved.
And what “facts” might exist that could prove a negative statement? Isn’t it impossible for there to be any facts that could prove that which reason declares impossible to prove?
Will there ever be a time when you “boldly question” the fundamental facts and reason underlying your own atheism? Or are those premises axiomatic, somehow sacred, and beyond all challenge for all time?
If so, on which of your fictional heroes (Roark, Galt or Daffy) do you rely for your authority to believe without question in atheism?
Answer: “One must never fail to pronounce moral judgment.”—Ayn Rand
Danny wanna cracker?
Once again, you parrot other people’s words. Insofar as you rely on Ayn to do your thinking for you, you seem to rely on the infallibility of Ayn, just as Catholics rely on the infallibility of the Pope. How is your faith in Ayn’s infallibility different from the Catholics’ faith in the infallibility of the Pope? Aren’t you worshipping Ayn just like the Catholics worship the Pope?
If you must always pronounce moral judgments, on what authority do you base your morality? In other words, is there an authority that compels others to pay attention to your “moral judgment”—or are your moral judgments simply self-gratifying and gratuitous?
16. I might also ask you “What is reason?” and “What is morality?”
Answer: Reason is taking into consideration all the evidence of the senses before accepting something as a fact as opposed to faith which is accepting something as fact with zero supporting evidence. Morality is that branch of philosophy that deals with man interacting with other men in a social context.
Again, you allege that faith in God has zero supporting evidence. That’s not true. I can testify under oath that I’ve seen the hand of God. That testimony would be admissible evidence in a court of law. The weight of my testimony would be judged by a jury.
You might say that the testimony of one delusional nut doesn’t count as evidence. Maybe not—but that’s a decision for the jury, isn’t it? In any case, I’d bet there are several million people in the USA alone who could testify to having had direct, personal knowledge of God, the Holy Ghost and/or the Messiah. Their sworn testimony, like my own, is evidence.
Our money (a concept Ayn Rand extolled) is graced with the phrase “IN GOD WE TRUST”. That’s evidence.
Our Declaration of Independence expressly refers to the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God”. That’s evidence.
The Preamble to the federal Constitution refers to the “Blessings of Liberty”. Blessings flow from God. That’s evidence.
The First Amendment’s guarantee of Freedom of Religion is evidence.
The Preamble to The Constitution of The State of Texas declares, “Humbly invoking the blessings of Almighty God, the people of the State of Texas, do ordain and establish this Constitution.” That’s evidence. And I’ll bet that most State constitutions similar recognitions of the God of the Bible. That’s evidence.
Your persistent claim of “zero evidence” to support the existence of God is not simply false—it’s irrational. There’s at least 2,500 years of evidence that God is real. There are between 1 and 2 billion people alive today who believe that God is real. That’s evidence.
Your claim to the contrary is simply absurd. You’re like a man who denies the existence of the Grand Canyon because you haven’t personally seen it—even though millions will tell you that they have seen that Canyon.
And you claim to be a reasonable man? Rational? Objective?
You advise that we must “boldly question even the existence of God”. Fair enough. But when do you “boldly question” your repeated claim that there is “no evidence” to support the existence of God? When do you “boldy question” your own premises and axioms?
As I said, I can testify under oath to the existence of God. And I speculated that there are millions of other Americans who can do the same thing. But even if there were only ten people in the entire country who could testify under oath to the existence of God and thus provide evidence that God exists—that would be ten more than you can find who can testify in support of atheism’s fundamental premise: that God does not exist.
Remember? You can’t prove a negative statement. You can’t prove that God does not exist. There is no supporting evidence for a negative claim. You can testify that you have never had direct, personal knowledge of God, just as you might testify that you’ve never seen the Grand Canyon. But the fact that you’ve never seen that Canyon doesn’t prove the Canyon doesn’t exist. Similarly, the fact that you’ve never seen God (and/or that God has so far refused to reveal Himself to you) does not prove, can not prove, that God does not exist.
So, while I have writings going back 25 centuries, and millions of witnesses who can testify to the existence of God and thus provide evidence of His existence—you have “zero evidence” to support your fundamental premise that God does not exist.
And more, under the rules of evidence and logic, you will never have any evidence to support your fundamental negative contention that God does not exist.
Sure, you may have argument support your contention, but argument is not evidence. Argument is based on premises that some may accept and others may reject. Premises, in themselves, are little more than arguments. But they are not necessarily facts. Premises are largely beliefs. Premises are presumptions. Premises can be defeated by facts.
You may have premises to support your argument that “God does not exist,” but you have no facts, nor can you find any.
You might even be able to one day prove that all of the books written over the past several thousand years and all of the living witnesses (including me) who testify in support of God’s existence were false, fraudulent or delusional. But even if you can defeat all of our evidence, you still can’t prove that God does not exist.
I.e., in the context of the known universe, Earth is a pretty small place. Even if there were absolutely no evidence on the entire Earth to support the existence of God, that lack of evidence would not prove that God does not exist. Perhaps He prefers to spend His time on Phobos or Alpha Centauri and simply hasn’t bothered to visit Earth for the past 50,000 years.
Even if you could prove that God is not here, you cannot prove that He is not somewhere else.
I presume that, as a reasonable man, you believe (without evidence, incidentally) that there is life on other planets in other solar systems in other galaxies. Anyone who is willing to concede the possibility that life exists on other planets, should likewise concede the possibility that God exists on some other planet.
Again, it’s impossible for you to prove that God does not exist. It’s impossible for you to produce evidence that proves that God does not exist. You are arguing in favor of a proposition that you can never, ever prove. Is such argument futile? Is such argument stupid—especially when coming from a man who implicitly claims to be highly rational and a devout servant of the “god” of Reason.
And it is both ironic and hilarious that you—the “objectivist” who falsely denies the existence of any evidence in support of God’s existence—are, in fact, the only party to this contest who has “zero evidence” to prove that God does not exist.
17. I might even ask you “What is the Great Wall of China?
Answer: The Great Wall of China is a series of stone and earthen fortifications in northern China, built originally to protect the northern borders of the Chinese Empire against intrusions by various nomadic groups. Several walls have been built since the 5th century BC that are referred to collectively as the Great Wall, which has been rebuilt and maintained from the 5th century BC through the 16th century. One of the most famous is the wall built between 220–206 BC by the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. Little of that wall remains; the majority of the existing wall was built during the Ming Dynasty.
The Great Wall stretches from Shanhaiguan in the east, to Lop Lake in the west, along an arc that roughly delineates the southern edge of Inner Mongolia. The most comprehensive archaeological survey, using advanced technologies, has concluded that all the walls measure 8,851.8 km (5,500.3 mi). This is made up of 6,259.6 km (3,889.5 mi) sections of actual wall, 359.7 km (223.5 mi) of trenches and 2,232.5 km (1,387.2 mi) of natural defensive barriers such as hills and rivers.
Is that some verifiable evidence or what? Got any proof yourself?
I’ve never been to China. I’ve never seen the Great Wall. I have no direct, personal evidence that the Great Wall exists.
However, I’ve heard from a lot of people who have been to China that the Great Wall does exist. I’ve even heard from others (like you) who apparently have not visited China but nevertheless have evidence (like the description you’ve provided) to support the existence of the Great Wall.
I am prepared (like most people including you) to accept and believe in the multitude of claims that the Great Wall does exist.
Similarly, most people (even if they haven’t yet personally seen direct evidence of God) who are prepared to believe the several thousand years of books and millions of living witnesses who “testify” to the existence of God.
If you can believe in a Great Wall that you’ve never seen, why is wrong me to believe in a God that I have actually seen on two occassions? Shall I give up my own perceptions because they’re contrary to your own? Shall I surrender my truth to embrace yours? Is that what John Galt would do? Is that what Howard Roark would do? Is that what Ayn Rand would recommend—let other people do our thinking for us?
At bottom, your fundamental argument appears to be that, because you haven’t yet seen God, God must not exist. That argument is simply absurd. But, absurd or not, it’s only an argument. Again, you have “zero evidence” to support your contention that God does not exist.
18. In a similar sense, just because you haven’t “seen” spirituality, how do you know that it does not also exist?
Answer: The same way that I know Santa Claus doesn’t exist. A lot of people say he does but there is no proof.
I agree that Santa Claus probably does not exist. But, again, you can’t prove a negative statement. You can’t prove that Santa does not exist from an absence of evidence that he does. Santa Claus reportedly delivers toys each Christmas to all the good little boys and girls. That seems like an impossible task given that there may be a billion children in this world.
But what if there were only 15 or 20 truly “good” little boys and girls in the world at Christmas time? Then it might be possible for Santa to deliver his toys as promised.
My point is that no matter how sensible an argument might appear, you can’t prove a negative. I agree that Santa probably doesn’t exist, but I have enough respect for the concept of reason and logic to know that we can’t prove that Santa does not exist.
Crazy as it sounds, there may be one chance in one quadrillion that we might one day be able to prove that Santa exists. But there is no chance—not even one in 100 quadrillion—that we can ever prove that Santa does not exist.
The fact that some things that are unseen and only imagined (like Santa Claus, Howard Roark and John Galt) are fictions does not prove that all things unseen are fictions.
Nuclear physicists (a fairly rational group) have devised various theories to explain the workings of atomic and sub-atomic particles. These theories routinely postulate the existence of particles that exist for only a millionth of a second and dimensions that range far beyond the four dimensions we seem to inhabit. Are those physicists all crazy people who believe in “magickind”?
I’ve never seen the 5th dimension (other than the music group). I’ve certainly never seen the 12th or 17th dimensions. Have you?
In fact, I doubt that there’s a single witness in this world to the existence of those multiple dimensions. Does the lack of evidence prove that those “extra” dimensions don’t exist? Absolutely not.
The absence of proof does not disprove a fact.
19. As an atheist, you would seem to have a few screws loose to openly deny the existence of God. No God, no Liberty. Is that what you really want?
Answer: As a faithist, one who believes in magic and fantasy, you OBVIOUSLY have a few screws loose. I do NOT accept your premise that just because I don’t believe in Jew-Zeus or Sky Daddy (OR The-Big-Old-Man-in-the-Clouds-That-No-One-Can-See-Nor-Hear) that I don’t believe in liberty. The two are NOT causally connected.
You only presume that I believe in magic and fantasy. Again, I’ve seen God’s hand. I’ve seen it. On one occasion it knocked me to the ground. I have direct personal knowledge that that your premise “That-No-One-Can-See-Nor-Hear” is false.
You claim “No one”. I am one.
Now, you have to dismiss me as a liar or lunatic—or accept my “testimony” as true.
And when you are finished dismissing my testimony, you’ll have to also dismiss the testimony of millions of others.
Again, you need to “boldly question” not only the existence of God, but even the validity of your own presumptions and axioms.
Your assertion that there’s no casual connection between God and Liberty is patently false. All unalienable Rights flow from God. Essentially, the world “unalienable” means describes something that can’t be taken away. “Unalienable” rights are as inherent in each of us as the color of our eyes.
The reason that rights such as Life and Liberty are unalienable is because they flow from God to man. What God has given, only God can take away. Man and earthly government cannot lawfully deprive any of us of rights that were given to us by God. Man and earthly government can grant civil rights and such, and man and government can also revoke those rights. What man gives, man can take. But what God gives, man cannot lawfully take.
If your claim of life and liberty are not based on the grant of unalienable Rights from God, you claim is, at best, weak. If you get your rights to life and liberty from man, I guarantee that man can take them away. If you can’t base your claim of unalienable Rights on God, the courts will instantly reject your claim. There is a causal connection between God and unalienable Rights and the courts and the Congress know it.
Why do you suppose that government has passed a multitude of laws concerning drugs, medical devices and agriculture which expressly define man to be an “animal”? For some evidence of these definitions see: https://adask.wordpress.com/2008/06/17/man-or-other-animals-1/.
The earliest instance of the “man or other animal” definitions that I’ve found is the A.D. 1906 Pure Food & Drug Act. Why do you think government would bother to define the people as “animals” for over a century if there were no “causal connection” between God, man and unalienable Rights?
The answer goes all the way back to Genesis 1:26-28 which declares that “On the sixth day, God created man in His image and gave man dominion over the animals.” A man made in God’s image can’t be an animal. Conversely, those who are animals cannot be a man made in God’s image.
The answer continues with the second sentence of the Declaration of Independence that declares it to be self-evident (no need for supporting evidence and thus a proven fact) that “All men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights”.
Note that the unalienable Rights flow from man’s Creator.
Recall that Genesis 1:26-28 declares that God created man in His image. The God of the Bible is the “Creator” of man. Our unalienable Rights flow from that God. If there is no such God, there are no such unalienable Rights. You atheists play into the hands of dictators and tyrants by helping to convince people that there is no God and thus, men are merely another form of animals. If God does not exist, neither do unalienable Rights.
Note that the unalienable Rights were endowed (under the Declaration) to only Man—not animals. If man does not exist as a being made in God’s image, he is an animal and has no standing to claim his unalienable Rights.
Unalienable Rights are vitally important because the third sentence of the Declaration declares in part, “That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men . . . .”
The “rights” referred in the third sentence are the God-given, unalienable Rights first referenced in the preceding sentence.
Thus, the principle purpose of government, as envisioned by the Founders (including Jefferson) was to secure to every man, woman and even unborn child, their God-given, unalienable Rights. Under this purpose, the government is the people’s public servant.
However, if God does not exist and/or the people are reduced to the status of animals, then: 1) the unalienable Rights do not exist; 2) government is relieved of its primary duty to secure those God-given rights; and 3) government can become the master over the livestock rather than the public servant.
You might want to dismiss this line of reasoning as based on magic and fantasy, but I have evidence that it works. That is, I have evidence that the government of Texas respects this argument as true.
As you may know, a case began in A.D. 2001 that involved six defendants until I was added as the seventh defendant in A.D. 2006. The case involved the manufacture and distribution of a controlled substance (colloidal silver) and was prosecuted by the Attorney General of Texas. The first three defendants (husband, wife and corporation) spent $160,000 on one of the best lawfirms in Texas for their defense, went bankrupt, divorced, and left Texas without stopping the prosecution. The next three defendants (man, his corporation and trust) asked me for counsel. I agreed to act as fiduciary for his trust. The Attorney General added me as a defendant. Each defendant was individually threatened with fines of $25,000/day ($9 million/ year).
I read the relevant drug laws and realized they only applied to animals. As a student of both the Bible and the Declaration of Independence (rather than an atheist), I knew that they couldn’t call us animals without violating our Freedom of Religion. I drafted a religious freedom defense (again, see: https://adask.wordpress.com/2008/06/17/man-or-other-animals-1/ ) and A.D. 2007 the Attorney General of Texas—after investing 6 years and nearly one half million dollars in the pretrial investigations and hearings, dropped the case.
You atheists may think that my arguments and evidence concerning the existence of God is so much crap, but the Attorney General of Texas doesn’t.
Faith works. God exists.
With the grace of God, my freedom of religion stopped the Attorney General of Texas.
As an atheist defendant in the same case, you would’ve been convicted.
So far as I know, that story is unprecedented. So far as I know, I’m the first man to advance such a defense in the 100 years since the A.D. 1906 Pure Food & Drug Act first defined man to be an animal.
Y’know why? Because sometimes the Good LORD lets me “see”. I don’t “see” everything and I don’t necessarily “see” clearly, but I “see” a lot—and I know my ability to “see” flows from God.
My knowledge is evidence that God exists.
20. Are you prepared to abandon Liberty and accept bondage as a fair price for extolling “reason”?
Answer: Once see #19 above.
You see my answer, too.
Now here is one for YOU:
You live in constant fear of something that you MUST say that you love. Don’t you sometimes feel like a battered wife getting screwed in the ass by her mean husband?
It’s true. I have the fear of God. Ever since He knocked me on my back, I “get it”. He scares me. He’s the boss. He’s running the show. I don’t get a vote. When I am called, I merely salute and execute. And I don’t mind a bit. I am living better than I’ve ever lived before. Better than most Americans can imagine.
It’s also true that I’ve suffered some significant losses in this life that I attribute to God’s will. More than once, He broke my heart. It wasn’t my ex-wife that took my kids. It was God. Damn near killed me. I literally screamed for five years. And yet, that loss drove me to study, read and write 60 hours a week. I look back at some of the things I wrote during those five years, and the text is often so exquisite, that I can’t believe it was my work.
It’s a sad and unfortunate fact that people learn mostly through pain. Happy people make lousy philosophers (and lousy atheists, too). Happy people have no reason to think. They have no reason to reason. They simply enjoy their lives.
For most people, the mind does not begin to really function in an intellectual sense until they’ve suffered some devastating loss. Then we start talking to our selves. Then we start trying to understand “What th’ hell just happened?!”
How ‘bout you, Chuckles? I’ll bet your impulse to atheism was not based on an excessively happy childhood. Your fierce dedication to reason and thought are almost certainly evidence of some early, and perhaps continuing, pain your life. It’s even possible that you suffered some pain, correctly blamed God for the pain, and then determined “settle accounts” by denying the existence of God.
My pain is reduced, but it continues. Even today, I look back on some of the losses, and I wonder why God couldn’t have somehow allowed me to avoid those losses and still serve Him. Couldn’t I have kept the kids and still published the AntiShyster, hosted radio shows, and written this blog?
I know the answer is No. If I’d had the kids, I would’ve been so dedicated to being a good father that I would never have spent 60 hours a week studying. Not even 10 hours. If I’d had my kids, I would’ve forgotten God.
It’s not as if I understand all of this, but I accept it. I get it. He’s the boss. I’m going to do it His way. Once called, I have no choice. I’ve made my choice: I will serve God. I will serve our Father YHWH ha Elohiym.
But my association with God is not just pain. There’s plenty of genuine joy, amazement and wonder. I’ve always like to read and study, and every so often the Good LORD literally leads me to a book or page and I learn something so fantastic that I’m elated.
I’ve had a fairly adventurous life. I’ve been in circumstances where I might’ve died more than once, but I skated through in a way that amazed even me. I wasn’t a holy roller at the time, in retrospect, I believe the Good LORD protected me in anticipation of the work I’m now doing in my later life.
So, is there fear involved? Yes. Is there pain? Yes. Is there joy? Yes.
Being with God is just like real life—except you have a different level of understanding.
However, despite the pain and resulting fear of God, I don’t feel like a battered wife. Instead, I feel like a child being disciplined and educated to the truth. I have come to understand that the “Boss” is always right. I’ve always wanted knowledge, and He teaches me. I’m an enrolled student in the best university in the world—God’s school of hard knocks and joy.
I have not simply learned from my various trials and tribulations, I’ve been astonished to learn that every trial and tribulation I’ve faced has only made me stronger, more knowledgeable, more perceptive and hopefully, a little more godly.
Again, it appears to me that people don’t really learn without pain. If so, it follows that people (like atheists) who run from pain, may never really learn.
I wake up each day eager to see what God will teach me.
More, I’ve come to view the abuse of this life as a triviality. If you believe in God, you also probably believe in an eternal afterlife. If there is an eternal afterlife, that’s the real “life”. This life is merely an illusion, a kind of “flight simulator” in this life for would-be “pilots” in the next.
In the context of eternity, this life is no more important than the nightmare you probably had when you were 8 years old and the “boogeyman” was going to get you. You woke up crying, went running down the hall to your mother, and she calmed you down. Today, you don’t even remember that nightmare. You don’t remember that boogeyman.
In the context of eternity, this life is every bit as much a “dream” (or a “nightmare”) as that nightmare you had when you were 8. In the context of eternity, the terror of this life will be forgotten just as the terror of childhood nightmare has been forgotten.
If I lost my kids, my health, my life in this life, it ain’t no thing—not in the context of eternity.
On the other hand, if you lose your kids, health, wealth or life in this life—it’s everything. It’s traumatic, it’s horrific, and it’s devastating. Because you don’t see an eternity coming, this life is everything.
So, while I absolutely fear the LORD, I’ll bet you run around in this life in a constant state of high anxiety wondering where the next assault will come from. While I fear the LORD, I don’t fear much else. I’m not afraid live in poverty, I’m not afraid lose my job, I’m not afraid to live alone, I’m not afraid to die. If the Good LORD want to pull the plug right now, I’m good to go.
I fear just one thing: the Good LORD.
But as an atheist, you probably fear just about everything (poverty, pain, death)—except God.
I’ll bet that psychological study comparing Christians to atheists might find a higher concentration of paranoids among the atheists.
And here is one more:
Why is it that if someone tells a Christian that his wife is cheating on him that he will require proof and more proof and more proof, BUT if you tell a Christian that he will spend eternity after he dies in torment and agony if he doesn’t live by every word that is written in the book that he keeps on his nightstand then he won’t even question it?
There are Christians who are knowledgeable and Christian who are ignorant. Some ignorant Christians may be as you’ve described. Some other Christians don’t fit your description at all.
But again, given your obsession with proof and how stupid people can be to proceed without proof—where is your proof that God does not exist? Because you can’t prove a negative, you don’t have any proof that God does not exist. You can’t have any proof.
You demand proof from others when you can’t provide one iota of proof for yourself.
You make me laugh, bubba.
If you DON’T want my peaches then DON’T shake my tree.
First, I never asked for any of your alleged “peaches”. You took upon yourself to dump your purported “peaches” on my blog without my invitation.
Second, your alleged “peaches” are wormy, corrupt and remind me more of rotten lemons.
So, third, if you want to cling to the illusion that you have peaches that anyone would value, you might not want to deliver them to me since I’ll try to expose them for what they are: fictional and corrupt.
And fourth, if you had any real peaches, you wouldn’t have to dump ‘em. Just make ‘em available on your own blog and if anyone thought they tasted “sweet,” there’d be plenty of people coming to your blog to take some.
Insofar as you’re compelled to dump your “peaches” on a blog where they’re unwanted, that’s pretty good evidence that your alleged “peaches” ain’t so peachy.
What’s the Bible say? By their fruit ye shall judge them? I judge your peaches to be rotten lemons—and I judge you to be a fraud for selling lemons as if they were peaches.
In the end, it’s just like the Bible declares at Psalm 14:1 and 53:1—The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
Atheists are arguing a conclusion that they can’t ever prove. That makes as much sense as me flapping my arms until I can fly. Both endeavors are foolish.
Thus, there is evidence to support the conclusion that you are a fool.
Oh, one other thing. Life is short. I don’t have time to fence with you further. Insofar as you want to argue that God does not exist, I suggest that you take your argument to a blog run by an atheist or objectivist.
You asked (in your response to question #12) why I cared about what you think.
I don’t care.
I only care about your intrusions onto my blog and your attempt to poison my audience with your irrationality.
In one of your most recent comments, you suggested that your might stop visiting this blog. I think that would be best for all concerned.
Therefore, Danny-boy, you’re finished posting on this blog. You may sneak a few more posts onto this blog, but if I see them, they’ll be deleted.