Life without God

What if there was no God?  I am not arguing that there is not a God, and am not arguing that there is one.  I am only going to look at the implications of both scenarios.  Please note, that when I say God, I mean the one true God of Christianity and Israel(Jews).  By that sentence, you know my belief about this rhetorical scenario – but I am going to approach this as objectively as I can.  I feel the need to write on this because there seems to be an emerging movement, as it were, toward people believing there is no God, or creator of the universe – some going so far as to call believers crazy, or persecute them in other ways. 

God Exists

What does it mean that God exists? I believe it means that we have purpose to this life.  We have the ultimate goal of pleasing God, and living for Him, and loving Him.  We have purpose. We also have meaning to life.  There is a reason man is here.  There is meaning for the actions that we have.  Our life has meaning – being loving and kind and generous to all.  Our life means something with God in it.  Our life also has value to it.  Our value is that we are loved by God, the creator of all.  Our actions mean something, our life has purpose to it, and because of this we have value to our lives.  Our life goes past the grave with God existing.  In short, there is hope for man, if God exists.

Now, to the opposing worldview – God does not exist. 

What does this mean, what are the implications of such a statement? Without God, our lives have no meaning, no purpose, no value.  Without God, our lives inevitably will end.  That abyss, that end, is complete.  There is no more me when I die.  I am no more.  My actions in this life then mean absolutely nothing.  Who cares, for I am dead? What does the way I live matter if all it leads to is the grave? Complete and utter nothingness when I die.  The way I treat you means nothing.  There are no morals without God.  Without God, there is nothing that can be called evil or good, for who is the judge of such things? My evil could be your definition of good.  I become the rule maker, and therefore you mean nothing to me.  Self-interest is the only driving force to my life, if God does not exist.  God gives us purpose…meaning…a life worth livinig.  A life worthsomething. Without God – only self-interest.  I live, and I die.  I gain pleasure from my life, even if it is at the expense of your life.  There should be no talk of good and evil, if one is an atheist, as the two are relative to a person, place, and time.  Good and evil do not exist – there is no moral standard without the timeless standards of God.  I mean, who is to say murdering someone is evil? There is no basis for it. 

If you say in response to this that there is a moral consciouness, where does it come from? What does this matter? Why would my hurting someone or being kind to someone matter in the end? I go to the grave, and so does everyone else.  Think of it this way – A man travels to the future (assuming time travel existed), and finds nothing but utter silence.  No sounds of life.  What does his life in the past truly mean, for all it led to is this? This is what we are destined for, in the end.  Even if humans last, the light and survivng force of the universe is fading even as I write this.  Our sun will turn into a black hole – the end of life as we know it.  There is no getting around this without God. 

If one says that there is purpose to life, our procreation or treating others well, again, I ask – what does it matter? Even if I make an influence in my lifetime, there is no true meaning to it.  If I am destined for the grave, then so is everything else. The book of Ecclessiastes is likely the first book of apologetics in my eyes.  Let’s see what it says concerning our lives without God –

2 “Meaningless! Meaningless!”
   says the Teacher.
“Utterly meaningless!
   Everything is meaningless.”

 3 What do people gain from all their labors
   at which they toil under the sun?
4 Generations come and generations go,
   but the earth remains forever.
5 The sun rises and the sun sets,
   and hurries back to where it rises.
6 The wind blows to the south
   and turns to the north;
round and round it goes,
   ever returning on its course.
7 All streams flow into the sea,
   yet the sea is never full.
To the place the streams come from,
   there they return again.
8 All things are wearisome,
   more than one can say.
The eye never has enough of seeing,
   nor the ear its fill of hearing.
9 What has been will be again,
   what has been done will be done again;
   there is nothing new under the sun.
10 Is there anything of which one can say,
   “Look! This is something new”?
It was here already, long ago;
   it was here before our time.
11 No one remembers the former generations,
   and even those yet to come
will not be remembered
   by those who follow them. (Ecc. 1:3-11)

Here is something Richard Dawkins, a famous atheist has to say about evil and good values in the world in his book River out of eden: a Darwinian view of life –

“In a universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice.  The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect, if there is at the bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference…DNA neither knows, nor cares.  DNA just is. And we dance to its music. (p. 133, emphasis mine, retrieved 4/5/12 from http://books.google.com/books?id=DxmKvnPyBSoC&lpg=PA96&vq=purpose&pg=PA133#v=onepage&q=purpose&f=true )

Don’t take my word for what life without God is – look to this leader of atheism.  We have no justice, for  there is no good and evil, only indifference. No purpose, for DNA is our guide.  We do what our DNA says. Our lives lead to the grave, and that is all.  Our life has no meaning, no purpose, no value.  What I find odd is that the two, Richard Dawkins and the author of Ecclesiastes have similar views on this matter – we have no meaning without God, we have no purpose, our lives are meaningless. 

The unfortunate thing is that not many atheists adhere to the inherent beliefs in the statement “God does not exist”.  They may not even understand the implications of it.  If you do, I ask, are you truly happy with your meaningless life? I would venture, not knowing as I have meaning to my life, that you are not happy.  The reason I say this is that without purpose to your life, without meaning, without value – there can be only transient happiness.  To be truly happy, one must create a purpose.  A meaningless purpose, for what does that made up purpose mean to anything outside yourself? How can you be kind, or care about anyone, when self-interest is your only means for life?

Conclusion

I opened this discourse by saying I wouldn’t argue one side or the other.  I feel I failed miserably in this endeavor, and I apologize.  I simply cannot comprehend how someone could believe they have no inherent meaning to their life.  I simply cannot comprehend life without God.

Advertisements

110 comments on “Life without God

  1. Interesting. I am an athiest myself. And I think athiests can have meaning. Only the problem is that it is a different kind of meaning then that which is refered to by christianity.
    I find meaning in my life. Are you saying I am mistaken or that it is just empty meaning?
    It seems I can say the same about your meaning.
    But I see your struggle and I am sympathetic with it. Religious people and athiest have different worldviews. But they are both rational and have meaning. But because they are so different we have a hard time understanding each other.

    Also Dawkin’s is not at all who I would consider a leader in Atheism. For alot of us he is. But a lot of us also can’t stand him.

    • Thank you your comment. Out of curiosity, can you elaborate on the meaning your life has?

      What I meant by an atheist not having meaning to their life is that based on the atheist worldview, there is only death awaiting us. Because of this, I can’t see how any meaning could arise from our ultimate demise. You may live a good life, but as pointed out in my post – what does it mean? For a true atheist will argue that there is no good or evil, as there is no moral standard to give this to us. Only what that individual’s moral standard is, which will differ from person to person. The ‘self-interest’ referred to in my post.

      However, my life as a Christian has meaning. I look forward to life after death. An atheist, by definition, can not have this mindset. For, there is nothing after death. Logically, there is no inherent meaning to our actions if all we have is death. Surely, we can affect those around us, but ultimately their death is inevitable, and the death of those affected by them, and so on. We will be forgotten. If the person next to me shares this view, then their actions toward me has no viable meaning and neither do mine.

      To answer your question in a shorter way – I meant that the meaning you ascribe to your life has only transient meaning. in other words, the meaning dies with you.

      These are my thoughts on atheism and I pray you hear them as such. I am not attacking your belief or anything of the kind. Merely posing a logical view to the core statement of your belief.

  2. Yes, you are totally right! I love your posts. Keep posting. Indeed, life without God is meaningless. I experienced it myself. I searched for the truth and it eventually led me to HIM. Have a blessed Holy Week. :D

  3. I really liked what you had to say. You have a good grasp of what the two worldviews offer. I also want to invite you to check out my blog, and the comments section. I think you’ll find them interesting. I’d love to hear what you thought if you’d like to leave a comment there.

    God bless!

  4. “If you do, I ask, are you truly happy with your meaningless life?”

    Yes.

    Because it isn’t meaningless to me. And it isn’t meaningless to the people I love and who love me back.

    Why should I care if it matters to anyone else?

    “How can you be kind, or care about anyone, when self-interest is your only means for life?”

    Why do you assume that being kind and caring about people ISN’T in my self interest?

    • Let me clarify a few things, for I fear you misunderstood my post. What do I mean by self-interest? Self-interest is where one’s actions are for oneself. A person using self-interest as a guideline for life does all for themself. Being nice to someone isn’t for the other person – its for you to feel good. Self-interest is not about anyone else. You are the center of your universe. An atheist has only self-interest to propel his life forward through this cosmic accident called life. There is no rhyme or reason to life, if you recall. With this in mind, what does your self-interest matter to the world, to humanity? Nothing. Will it bring good will to those around you? Maybe. But, how can there be good or evil if this is an accident? There is no standard on which to base the assumption that your actions are good. So, again, what does it matter?

      As for meaning – your life may have meaning but only to you. Those around you derive their own meaning from their own self-interest. Their self-interest may align with yours, and it may not. I will expound now on what is meant by meaning. Ultimate meaning. Ultimate meaning, purpose, and value are intricately tied to one another. There is no meaning without purpose or value. No value without meaning or purpose. No purpose without meaning or value. For your life to ultimately mean something, there must be value and purpose. If your purpose is to be kind to someone, I can’t say, based on atheistic views, that it is good or bad. Ultimately, your purpose dies with you. In the end, there is no meaning to your life. What value is there in a life that is an accident?

      Also, how can there be love? What is love, based on atheism? There can be no love, for there is no good or evil.

      • “for I fear you misunderstood my post. ”

        Completely possible.

        “Being nice to someone isn’t for the other person – its for you to feel good.”

        So what?

        I’m a pragmatist. If being nice makes the other person feel good, AND makes me feel good, why is that a bad thing?

        “There is no rhyme or reason to life, if you recall. ”

        Sure there is.

        We can still see that there is a cause and effect for a lot of things. My actions have effects, for example.

        “With this in mind, what does your self-interest matter to the world, to humanity?”

        That depends what I do with my life.

        Norman Borlaug, for example, saved a billion lives by developing a form of dwarf wheat that could feed more people with the same farm land.

        I’m no Norman Borlaug, but every human has that much potential to matter to humanity.

        I don’t know what you mean when you ask what it matters to ‘the world’, unless you’re using another word for ‘humanity’.

        “But, how can there be good or evil if this is an accident?”

        It depends what your definition of good and evil are.

        To me, they’re just simplified versions of ‘harm and benefit’.

        “I will expound now on what is meant by meaning. Ultimate meaning. Ultimate meaning, purpose, and value are intricately tied to one another.”

        Yeah, I don’t believe that exists, and therefore don’t feel bad that it doesn’t.

        “For your life to ultimately mean something, there must be value and purpose. ”

        Ultimately to whom?

        My life means something to me. And to those around me. And, again, I don’t care if it means something to anybody else.

        “If your purpose is to be kind to someone, I can’t say, based on atheistic views, that it is good or bad.”

        I don’t think you’ve demonstrated a firm grasp of what atheistic views are. So your opinion of what atheistic views are, since you’re not an atheist, don’t have much impact.

        “In the end, there is no meaning to your life. What value is there in a life that is an accident? ”

        My life isn’t an accident. My parents planned me.

        But if you mean LIFE is an accident. But I’m fine with that. It makes more sense than a creator made life and then let 99% of all species go extinct, with a lot of biological problems existing in the ones that survived.

        “Also, how can there be love? What is love, based on atheism? ”

        It’s a human emotion. As long as there are sentient beings, there will be love.

  5. Whether you feel so or not, you have admitted in your reply here that life has no ultimate meaning. The ultimate meaning is for you, and everyone else. In all ages. The meaning is designed by God. I have demonstrated a firm grasp on the implications of “there is no God”. You agreed with me by saying in effect, ‘so what?’ in response to all my points.

    This Norman guy’s works will come to an end as well. When the universe fades. Therefore, no ultimate meaning to his works, his life. That’s my point that you aren’t grasping. Everything is in vain because it all ends with the grave.

    Also, what defines love? Who defines harm? What harms you may benefit me.

    Cause and effect is not rhyme or reason. It is cause and effect. Separate from life and meaning thereof. Gravity effects water, which is then caused to fall from a cliff. This doesn’t explain my life.

    I am happy for your life. All this post was about was that without God, there is no ultimate meaning. Without God, there is no purpose. Without God, there is no value. And that I, personally, cannot comprehend such a notion. I thank you for your time in responding to it.

    • “Whether you feel so or not, you have admitted in your reply here that life has no ultimate meaning.”

      And that bothers me not one bit.

      “I have demonstrated a firm grasp on the implications of “there is no God”. You agreed with me by saying in effect, ‘so what?’ in response to all my points.”

      No. Your grasp seems to hinge on the fact that no ultimate meaning means I can’t have my own meaning, or can’t live a ‘good’ life, or should despair or go on some sort of bender not caring about anyone. In that, your grasp slips.

      “This Norman guy’s works will come to an end as well. When the universe fades. Therefore, no ultimate meaning to his works”

      I’m sure the people who’s lives he saved don’t care.

      “Everything is in vain because it all ends with the grave. ”

      Which means we should get the most out of this life, obviously, and make it worthwhile, fun and happy for as many people as possible.

      “Also, what defines love?”

      Humans do.

      “Who defines harm?”

      Science does.

      “What harms you may benefit me. ”

      It might in the short term. And then the people who love me find out you harmed me and they harm you. You don’t live in a vacuum.

      “Without God, there is no purpose. Without God, there is no value.”

      Wrong.

      Those things exist. But without a god, there isn’t purpose from a god or value from a god.

      And as I don’t believe a god exists, that doesn’t matter to me.

      Purpose and value exist. But they are human purpose and value. And I’m fine with that. Apparently you aren’t.

  6. We will continue to go in circles with this discussion, so I am going to remove God from it. Ignoring my faith about God, let’s look at the core statement of atheism – there is no God. This means that in the end, we will all die. The earth and it’s life will die. The universe as a whole is going to die – it’s light is giving out even as I write this. All this is inevitable, without the intervention described by believers of a God. Do you argue against these points?

    We are going to die. Life is going to end for all things. That end is what I am talking about, when all life ceases to exist. When all life ceases to exist – what do your actions mean? What purpose did your actions have, in light of this ultimate (end of all things) meaning to life? What value was there, in light of the end, to your life? In the grand scheme of things – nothing, because your actions did nothing to stop this end. There is nothing that can be done to stop this end. That is what I mean by a meaningless life. There is no God, therefore there is an ultimate end to all things living – there is no hope.

    The hope that is in me is that life continues after death. This hope is my life’s blood. It drives my motives, my actions. It gives meaning to all things (for me), this life after death – the meaning that life continues after death and our actions are rewarded according to their kind.

    • “Do you argue against these points?”

      Nope.

      “When all life ceases to exist – what do your actions mean?”

      Nothing.

      But why should I care? I’ll be dead.

      “What purpose did your actions have, in light of this ultimate (end of all things) meaning to life?”

      They had purpose while I was alive, and while the people my actions impacted were still alive. So they did have purpose. If they don’t have purpose in another 100 years…what is that to me?

      “There is no God, therefore there is an ultimate end to all things living – there is no hope. ”

      Hope of what?

      I’m quite content with everything in the world as long as I’m alive. I don’t need more than that.

      Do you?

      “The hope that is in me is that life continues after death. This hope is my life’s blood.”

      If life continues after death, then why does this life matter at all? If you live forever, then 100 years is the blink of an eye, so nothing here matters one bit, right?

      “the meaning that life continues after death and our actions are rewarded according to their kind.”

      That might be nice. But I’d prefer to make this world a better place than to hope it’s better someplace else.

      • Very good points, as usual. Those points happen to be what I was making. When talking about immortality – in that you mention living forever – you are absolutely right about nothing mattering. We may live forever, but still there is no ultimate meaning (meaning that matters in the end).

        Chrisitanity has likely done a poor job of it in America, (I am not certain about this, maybe you could back me up with your personal experiences) but we should be bringing heaven to earth. We should be the salt and the light. Take the genorosity that should be characteristic of the Christian as an example. Or the love that we should be using in all our dealings. This is not to say that our lives will bring immediate change to the world though. I believe this world to be under the power of an adversary, who will do anything to keep that light at bay. However, the hope is for a better place as you say, which is true. That is what I hope for. If I may, I will argue that no matter the attempts you make at changing the world – it will always have the Hitlers, Mussolinis, Neros, Dahmers, etc. If morality is relative, as we have talked about without discussing in detail (your good is my bad, vice versa), these people will always arise and the world will always be such a place as it is now – where evil and good, and harm and benefit, coincide together. I personally choose to have hope for God’s promise of the after life.

        Again, I appreciate your comments.

  7. Thanks so much for stopping by my site and leaving all those comments. You did a good job defending the Christian faith, thank you. I just wanted to let you know I’m changing the rules on my site because of the profanity being used and the inappropriate insults coming from Atheists. So I’m deleting all the comments on that post, and setting it so that only people on WordPress can comment, and all comments with require approval before appearing. This should help uphold a Godly standard of conversation on the site. But again, I want to thank you so much for your comments. :)

    God bless!

  8. In everything I do, I try to be kind, warm-hearted, moral. I feel terrible when I see other people in pain, other people hurt, other people in sorrow. And of course I slip up a lot – and that hurts me. And I do the right thing: I forgive them, I forgive myself, I apologize, and I try to do more good things and less bad.

    I absolutely believe that not only do atheists have morals, they morals are even more justified than religious morals. If you think about it, the religious are doing good / bad things for heaven / hell / God. However, atheists do good things because they want to do good, right things. Because it’s the right thing to do. They’re doing it ONLY for that reason…so does it not stand for more?

    Just some thoughts for you to consider eliezer. I hope you watch the following link AS it will answer all your questions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uq2LqjQrNcw

  9. Looking at it again from an atheist perspective, think of this point Penn Jillette made:

    “Were you alive in 1890?”
    No.
    “Does that scare you?”
    No, why would it?
    “So why does 2090 scare you?”

    The point is eliezer…different people have different purposes, but ultimately our purpose is to live and live. The purpose I give life personally is to become the best I can be at my job, do a service for the community, love and be kind to everybody around me and try to discover as much truth and knowledge about our existence and the universe and life as I possibly can. They’re constant values that give me a purpose. I am a happy person, and I feel that you misunderstand atheism and what it is.

    Do you have any thoughts on that?

    • And do you realize how upset I was with myself after I got mad at you over creationism? I regretted the way I acted, because it wasn’t in congruence with my life values. Sorry for acting that way just because we use different criteria for assessing truth (faith vs logic). I did think afterwards that it was a bit out-of-character for me; I guess it’s because I expected you to see the evidence against the recent creation and realize you were wrong, but for some reason, you couldn’t see that you were. So I am sorry. I hope you understand?

      • Hi Larry. Atheists do everything they do, knowing God exists and not acknowledging Him (Romans 1:18-22). Therefor the “right” things they do are done in prideful and arrogant rebellion against God, and thus do not “stand for more.”

      • Larry, thank you for your responses again. However, I have addressed your concerns multiple times in my replies to others who have commented on here. I invite you to read them. I do not wish to go through a circular debate with multiple atheists over the same issue. I have stated my case clearly in those replies. I am sorry if it keeps being misconstrued to mean things it doesn’t.

        Now, if you would like to continue this discussion – let’s move past the meaning, purpose, and value of life. Also, let us be civil and kind throughout it. Should you lose your cool again, I will not approve anymore of your comments. I understand the reason you lose composure, as it is a very passionate topic for you, others, and myself. However, attacking one another will only lead to more strife.

        If you want to move past this topic as I do, and can do so rationally and calmly, I would like to ask a simple question. Does everything that exists have an explanation to its existence?

  10. Larry, I have removed your most recent comment. While I can see your view point, I would ask that we keep this civil. In that we do not call anyone names.

  11. Philosophical11, what you said is hateful, shameful and pitiful. To deny a group of people due to your bias is saddening.

  12. Eliezer, thanks for your reply. I know cherry-picking is your living, but does it really not occur to you that philosophical11 said something violently immoral? Why do I get all the blame for him lashing out and saying something that I would expect from the mouth of a neo-Nazi?

    • Here is my belief, Larry. Philosophical11 quoted a Bible verse. In our eyes, this is truth. By quoting this verse (and paraphrasing it), he has not put you down, called you a name, or anything of the kind which was found in your original response to this. If you feel offended by it, it isn’t due to anything he personally did. I believe this feeling of anger is a result of the conviction produced by the biblical truth.

      • I don’t see the hatred. Your post was filled with hatred, on the other hand. We each have our views, Larry, as you can see. You are posting on my blog. Therefore, I retain the ability to moderate the comments. Your post had nothing of value, as it pertains to this discussion, only hatred. Therefore, I removed it. I am sorry that you and I view hatred by different standards.

        Let us drop this now, for it is senseless to bring contention into a philosophical discussion.

  13. He believes there are a group of humans in the world who are unable to do anything good. Bigotry. Does he extend his remarks to the Jews? I hear somebody else was big on that idea.

    • Bigoted, as defined by Merriam Webster –

      “: a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance”

      I will allow you to draw your own conclusions from this definition. However, we may adhere to our beliefs here, maybe obstinately, but definitely not intolerantly or hatefully. Take out the intolerably aspect of this definition and we have devotion to a set of beliefs, maybe obstinate devotion, but devotion nonetheless. You are mistaking devotion for bigotry.

      Devotion, when handled properly, is not inherently wrong in my eyes. Devotion to one’s belief is good, otherwise belief can be misconstrued as doubt, wouldn’t you say?

      I need to ask you this, out of curiosity – why are we moving from meaning to a perception of hate? What is it that has moved us this way? If you would like, you can email me at the.hope.that.is.in.me@gmail.com and we can continue this discussion off-line, as I cannot grasp the relevance to my original post that this has.

      • Okay. Let’s start getting back to the real discussion here.

        “Does everything that exists have an explanation to its existence?”

        I don’t know. I think none of us really know, even if some people find beliefs which give them what they feel is an explanation…I find the explanation “God did it” unsatisfactory for so many reasons. So the answer is: I honestly don’t know.

      • Take God out of the question and look at it objectively. Draw your own conclusion to it. Why, or how, is a tree in a field? How did it get there? That’s the essence of my question, but applied to all that exists. Does everything in existence (that is tangible) have an explanation to it?

    • It’s true that you said that. I assumed though, based on your comment concerning God, you had looked at it from my perspective. I apologize for my mistake.

      If you will allow me to pose an answer to the question, I will do so now. I believe that science can answer this question, and reason. Why is a tree there? A tree is there because it grew out of the ground. How about the sky? It is there because light is refracted at a certain angle to creat a blue hue. Why is a car there? It’s there because a man made it. Why are planets and stars and all the wonders of the universe here? Science has accepted the theory of the big bang, so that is the accepted
      explanation. The big bang was caused by something, and whatever that may be (for I don’t know what science has come up with), that is the explanation for it. In essence, there is a cause and effect to these things that exist.

      Do you understand my question now? I hope so.

      These things can stop existing, can’t they?

      • Oh okay, I understand.

        Are you getting to the heart of causation? Because, ultimately, we’re all born on this rock, and we all try to discover and find out what we’re doing here. And the sad and wonderful thing is, none of us even know. And some of us think we know, but I’m not sure if they’re right, and I doubt they do. And that’s the mystery of humankind. And that’s the sad, wonderful thing. That’s the beauty of it. That’s the beauty of the earth and existence.

        Have you consider the notion that the universe has always been here? It’s mind boggling…but so is the idea that the universe exists, amongst millions of planets and billions of galaxies…mind boggling for our human brains, but maybe not impossible.

        Can things stop existing? I’m not so sure. “Matter is neither created nor destroyed”. I think it’s logical that the universe has always been here, and will always be here…that would explain why we can create / destroy nothing, only manipulate atoms. And it would explain where the chemicals came from before the Big Bang. It wouldn’t explain why we’re here, or how something can be infinite in time, though…

      • I agree completely with you in that none of us know for sure, the answers to life. So, no, I am not getting at the heart of causation. What I am getting at is that things exist, until they stop existing. They exist contingently. They have a beggining and an end. A tree dies and decomposes into dirt. Human remains will decompose. A car will rust away. An atom will change into another through chemical reaction. Things can stop existing as they are.

        The universe belongs in this category of existence. I have considered the idea you pose and it seems to me that if the universe has no beginning, it would have no end. Science proves that the universe is dying. Stars fade, become black holes and suck any bodies around it into a black hole. The ever expanding universe points to a beginning of the universe. Science hasn’t been able to explain the existence of the universe but there has to be one, for the universe exists contingently. Do you agree?

  14. Thanks for your patience, by the way. I just become frustrated and angry when people say totally insincere or ridiculous things, as you may have noticed.

    • It’s no problem. I am happy that you and I have been able to maintain a certain level of equality in this conversation. As for you getting mad, I can understand it completely. I have a tendency towards the same reaction a lot of times. It’s important to realize though, we can’t fight fire with fire.

      • We all can react in ways that we don’t like. I’ve done so before and will likely continue to do so. What helps me is I step back for a bit, allow myself to cool, and come back to whatever had irritated me in the first place. I am not trying to say that always keeps me from anger, but it helps me from acting upon my anger.

  15. To reply to all that stuff about things beginning and ending, what does that have to do with life without God? I don’t find it to be something that affects my life at all. I die, and when I die, that’s the end of it. That’s how life works for every other being on the planet, and I’m not arrogant enough to assume I’m special.

    • I’m not saying anyone is special in comparison to anyone else. We are all special.

      I have determined to go a different way with my arguments (not to be taken as fighting, but argument as relating to debates or discussions), and thank you for your participation thus far. I am assuming that you have accepted that all things in existence have an explanation to their contingent existence. Also, that the universe is contingent.

      If so, I would go to my next premise. Which is, there are other things in existence that don’t contingently exist. For example, mathematics, numbers, etc. Math is the universal language, in that it can be understood in any language. There is also no cause to its existence, and no end. Math and numbers exist by the necessity of their nature. They just are. The explanation is their nature.

      In sum, everything that exists has an explanation to its existence, be it contingent existence or existence by necessity. Thoughts?

      • Of course, it’s chance that led Earth to have the right conditions for life on it in the first place. There’s all sorts of variables that could have been different which would have led to life never evolving. But, luckily for us, it did.

        But not everything’s chance – natural selection is a process which is based on selection, and the fact we’re here rather than a bunch of animals less suited to thrive in our environment is not a result of chance. In fact, natural selection pretty much removes ‘chance’ from evolution in that, even though genetic mutations are chance, whether or not they lead to a high survival rate of beneficial mutations are not.

        And yes, everything has an explanation to its existence if you look at it on scientific grounds. You can say, “The tree is there because of the process of…” but it doesn’t give you the “big because” of why we’re ULTIMATELY here.

        And I don’t know that “big because”. And I’m not misguided enough to assume I do like some other schools of thought.

      • Everything that exists has an explanation for its existence. The universe exists. Therefore, the universe has an explanation to its existence. The fact that there is an end and there was a beginning says that the universe exists contingently. So what is that explanation?

        The Big Bang theory essentially says that something came from nothing, which is impossible. I will argue that a disembodied mind outside of the universe (or greater than it) created it, as there is no other choice. The universe couldn’t have created itself, in much the same way you cannot lift yourself up off the ground. There are rules that govern the universe, and these rules exist out of necessity. The universe includes space and time and all matter within it. So, something outside the universe had to create it because the universe won’t break it’s rules to say it exists. For the universe to have created itself, it had to already be in existence…something cannot come from nothing. An abstract object is outside the universe, like a number for instance. The number 2 is an abstract object. Another quality to abstract objects is that they cannot effect change. For instance, the number
        2 cannot make a bottle cap move.

        What else is outside the universe? Well, nothing, other than God. God has no physical form, or is not made of matter. Stands to reason that He is outside the universe.

        Everything in existence has an explanation to its existence. The universe exists and therefore requires an explanation. If the universe exists, God has to be the explanation.

  16. PLEASE can you read a science textbook? It becomes clearer and clearer to me that you haven’t actually read up on what you’re talking about (other than on pathetic creationist sites).

    Read please:
    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA100.html

    If you want more, this should explain it all: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/abioprob/

    I don’t know why you know nothing about all this science stuff yet you pretend you do. It’s bizarre. A result of creationist conditioning perhaps?

    • I’m sorry. Could you explain how your sites here are not biased as well? And I have read up on it. So, please show me where I am missing out in my reply. What scientific revelation is missing from it, in other words.

      • By that definition then, the creationists are not biased either. Peer review has nothing to do with bias.

        Bias- to give a settled and often prejudiced outlook to.

        We are both biased and both sources for our bias are biased. For instance, all sources you have pointed me to have been atheist sites that aim to disprove God or creation; this is bias. My post though was a logical argument. Not coming from the creationists. So, where is science missing from the argument? I’m assuming what science says is true.

  17. Neither of those sites attempt to disprove God or creation. They attempt to explain why the silly young Earth theory is a load of hooey.

    There’s no debate about this in science at all; science is very very sure that it’s a few billion years old. Creationism is pseudoscience, and all their “scientific research” has been refuted; the claims are simply wrong.

    To me it’s very simple. Old Earth comes from science, hypothesis, testing, and is thus true. Young Earth comes from religion which is then tried to be tested and, again and again, shown to be false.

    There’s no debate about it. I don’t understand why you even have a view that imposes theology on science. It doesn’t make any sense. Again, there’s no debate – it’s just wrong to think what you do.

    • I may be wrong in my thoughts on creation. But we aren’t talking about that. We talked about that on the Thoughts on creation blog post of mine. I believe in the young earth. That’s my view but it isn’t relevant here. I’m not arguing for the young earth here.

      Again, what science is missing or is wrong in the logical argument above the point where you brought my views on creation into it?

      • It kicked off again when you said “Everything in existence has an explanation to its existence. The universe exists and therefore requires an explanation. If the universe exists, God has to be the explanation.”

        I then explained why this was an invalid argument through links. And then you started pretending that science was “biased”. No it’s not, because as I keep explaining, they attempt to accumulate evidence for AND against theories. They are not “set in their ways”; they would acknowledge any evidence against evolution or abiogenesis. The point is, there isn’t any.

      • It isn’t an invalid argument at all. I am looking at this from the perspective of science, in that the universe is billions of years old. I never once said, in this argument, that the earth was young. Just that God is the explanation to its existence. I thought you had brought that up in an attempt to attack my credibility, but the credibility is found in the argument itself.

        Please, explain to me how my argument is invalid, in your own words and not through links. You can cite those links if need be, just help me understand how my argument is flawed.

      • And science, everything, is biased to an extent. The scientific model is a hypothesis is posed (biased based on a preconceived notion), it is tested through observable experiments, and the hypothesis is evaluated in the context of the experiments. The experiments chosen may be biased, and they may be truly neutral. The conclusion is then also biased based on preconceived notions. Not all, surely, but just as the creationist scientists are biased, so are the ones to which you provide links to. I believe one link even made reference to attacks by creationists – so the bias of those sites are found in that statement.

  18. All an explanation is, it is something which is a model of reality which gives you the ability to make predictions which has less information than the previous level of explanation.

    If you have “God” as the explanation, you need to have an explanation for God, and so on.

    There can never be an “ultimate explanation”.

    • God does have an explanation. He exists by the necessity of His nature. In the same way that the laws of the universe and math do. He just is, and that’s His explanation. For Him to exist contingently, He would have to have been caused by something else. Which isn’t in line with who He is. He has no cause.

      • Well that’s exactly the same as me saying, the universe does have an explanation. It exists by the necessity of its nature. It just is, and that’s its explanation. The universe has no cause and that’s the way it is.

        Also, even if the universe did need a cause, that doesn’t prove it’s God in any way, shape or form, in the same way disproving evolution does not prove creationism.

      • But the universe exists contingently. So that explanation of existence by necessity does not work. Every tangible thing in the universe can cease to exist. In fact, at one point in time, it didn’t exist (the things in the universe).

  19. Humans are composed of the most abundant things in the universe. From the things that make up stars. And there are 10 million galaxies with millions of planets and stars in each so it’s highly likely, it ain’t just us out there.

    ‘If we assume each star has 1 planet, and not more, and we average a galaxy to 300 billion stars we can deduce:

    The Hubble Deep Field image contains 10,000 galaxies. At 2.5 arcminutes, that’s roughly 1/2,000,000 of the visible universe in any direction. So if we multiply 3,000,000,000 x 10,000 x 2,000,000 we get 6 sextillion or 6,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 planets in the visible universe. It is likely much more than that.’

    Even if a god was real, why would it want anything to do with us?

    • Thank you for this. I am happy that you at least admit that the idea of God is possible, even if a remote possibility. The answer to your question is found in what I believe, which is based on the Bible.

      I believe that God created us to fellowship with Him. To love and be loved by Him. It is most definitely a strange concept, but that is what I believe. God loves us all, but we have the ability to reject that love and to not love Him. If He forced us into love, it wouldn’t be love but enslavement. So, we have the choice to accept His love. And to love Him.

      The stars now, those I believe to be an outcrying of His love. He created them so we can marvel and enjoy His work. They show His glory. They are His art work for us. Sure, we couldn’t always see the beauty of His art, but we can now – thanks to science. He created them for us.

      It may be possible that we aren’t alone, but I think it’s very unlikely. Not every star has a planet, and most that do are not viable for life as we know it. We have yet to find a star that has a planet that can sustain life. I’m not saying there isn’t life out there, just that I don’t see it as likely. The stars, I believe, are God’s painting to us.

      • Okay eliezer, thanks for confirming to me what you believe. I’ve always entertained it as a remote possibility, and as I’ve always said, show me the evidence and I really will convert. But he seems to be so good at hiding – he doesn’t answer any prayers, he doesn’t show himself to anyone, heck, he doesn’t even get rid of anyone bad. If he exists, he certainly doesn’t interfere with his creation.

      • No problem, Larry. Again, I greatly appreciate our discussion. It has been fruitful, in my eyes.

        I think God does interfere with His creation. I think the scientific rules are put in place by Him. Moreover, though, I believe that He gives us free will. With that free will, we have the choice to accept Him or not. If He were to reveal Himself in all His glory, we wouldn’t have a choice but to believe. That wouldn’t be free will, and what worth would our faith be then? I think He hides Himself so that we can seek Him and show Him that we truly desire Him, to know Him. That way He knows which are really His and not those who provide lip service. I think He wants us to seek Him with our whole heart, mind, and soul.

        I also feel that He answers prayers and that He does talk to us. It reminds me of Samuel(I think), who went in search of God’s voice. He looked everywhere, in the wind, the sound of an earthquake, in a storm, everywhere but He couldn’t find the voice of God. He gave up after a bit, and in the silence he heard a still, small voice. It was the voice of God. This says to me that God speaks to us in a still, small voice. I think He does this so that He knows we are listening. He has spoken to prophets in an audible voice to. He does speak to us, we just have to listen. As for prayers, He has answered prayers. I could pray and ask for a million dollars, but maybe that won’t be good for me, and only He knows it. If we ask for bread, He won’t give us a stone.

        Also, I believe in spiritual warfare. Our prayers may be answered, but we could be deceived into thinking otherwise. Like that story joke where a man was in the midst of a flood and God sends a rescue truck to get him out of the area, then a boat to rescue him, then a helicopter when the man was on the roof. The man declined each, saying he was waiting on God to rescue him. The irony is that God did attempt it three times.

        As for bad people, we have free will so God won’t just step in and remove bad people (yet at least). They arise out if the belief that they only answer to themselves.

  20. “I think God does interfere with His creation. I think the scientific rules are put in place by Him.”

    Evidence…? Oh of course not. How foolish of me to expect any evidence to back up a preposterous claim…*rolls eyes*

    “Moreover, though, I believe that He gives us free will. With that free will, we have the choice to accept Him or not. If He were to reveal Himself in all His glory, we wouldn’t have a choice but to believe.”

    But he WANTS us to believe. Wouldn’t that be ideal for him?

    “That wouldn’t be free will, and what worth would our faith be then? I think He hides Himself so that we can seek Him and show Him that we truly desire Him, to know Him. That way He knows which are really His and not those who provide lip service. I think He wants us to seek Him with our whole heart, mind, and soul.”

    Why is he playing this silly game with us? Why did he bother creating a universe just to run some stupid test on his own creation? Why does he want to reward people who irrationally cling to beliefs with no evidence, rather than intelligent people who wish to believe in logical things that have evidence? Why are Cleopatra and Einstein going to hell even though they’ve contributed so much to society?

    What’s wrong with him and why are his values so messed up?! I’d rather go to hell being rational and considered than go to heaven for promoting sheer lunacy. All this stuff about Noah’s ark and talking snakes and whales is just preposterous, and is so far away from the reality we all know, and so close to the mythical fairytales we all know, that I find it hard to believe anybody can become so “into” the belief system they start to perceive these ludicrous events as real.

    So, in your worldview, I’ll go to hell for wanting to have evidence in something before I believe in it? I’m sorry, but your portrayal of God is seriously messed up!

    And how do you know all this? Because you rely on a 2600 year old book written down by humans! … of course, of course, it MUST be true if a bunch of primitive people wrote it down *amongst a bunch of other creation myths and thousands of similar faiths*!

    Well-deserved mockery aside, it all becomes far clearer when we look at this from the outside. It becomes very easy to explain why the Church portrays God as somebody who wants us to believe in him when we realize that, ultimately, everybody in Christanity wants more people to believe in Christianity. How do they do it? “God wants us to believe in him, and if you don’t, you’ll have eternal torture”. Easy way to make people do anything, advocating eternal torture if they don’t.

    “I also feel that He answers prayers and that He does talk to us. It reminds me of Samuel(I think), who went in search of God’s voice. He looked everywhere, in the wind, the sound of an earthquake, in a storm, everywhere but He couldn’t find the voice of God. He gave up after a bit, and in the silence he heard a still, small voice. It was the voice of God.”

    Well, that’s from the Bible, aka a book of superstitious anecdotes.

    “This says to me that God speaks to us in a still, small voice. I think He does this so that He knows we are listening. He has spoken to prophets in an audible voice to. He does speak to us, we just have to listen.”

    He spoke to prophets in the Bible audibly. But again, not here in reality.

    “As for prayers, He has answered prayers. I could pray and ask for a million dollars, but maybe that won’t be good for me, and only He knows it. If we ask for bread, He won’t give us a stone.”

    I’ve prayed for him to reveal himself to me. Why isn’t he doing it? I did it with full intent. He’s obviously busy dealing with poverty…oh wait, no, poverty still exists despite it being on the weekly prayer list of most churches.

    Studies into prayer have shown it’s effective as chance – sorry to burst your bubble. Except, of course, studies and evidence mean nothing to you, do they? Just anecdotes. Well, I’ll write a story about how prayers don’t work, wrapped up with fancy characters and miracles. THEN will you believe it? Is that what it takes for my claims to be heard by you?

    “Also, I believe in spiritual warfare. Our prayers may be answered, but we could be deceived into thinking otherwise.”

    WHY is god making this so damn complicated?!?! He’s perfect, he doesn’t HAVE to…but I’ll read on…

    “Like that story joke where a man was in the midst of a flood and God sends a rescue truck to get him out of the area, then a boat to rescue him, then a helicopter when the man was on the roof. The man declined each, saying he was waiting on God to rescue him. The irony is that God did attempt it three times.”

    It’s a nice story, but it’s only confirming my belief that you’ll only believe something if it’s wrapped up in a nice story…

    Well here goes.

    Once upon a time there was an imperfect world with rife poverty, unhappiness and sorrow. Although there was lots of happiness as well, the world was still, as a whole, definitely imperfect. Now, some people, in years BC, wondered why they were here. So they started writing some stories over many years, picking off from each other. Now, this was at a time where superstition was rife. There were stories about witches and magic, and they were believed, just because people didn’t know better. So, when stories about talking snakes etc came, they were accepted. Of course, in a few thousand years, everybody knew superstition was nonsense, except a large body of people who had grown up through the thousands of years still believing in it. Because they had a very, very circular belief system, and such a large community & crowd, and such profound metaphors which resonated with people, and mouths that allowed them to talk their way out of any logical argument by side-stepping issues by saying things like “God hides himself because he wants us to believe him because…he likes it, because…he likes it and if you disagree you’ll go to hell”. Sadly for many people that was a good argument, so of course they believed. Psychologically reasons for belief were very easy to pinpoint, but people ignored how easy those beliefs were to rationally explain, because magical thinking seemed nicer, and anyway, if all these stories weren’t the answer, then they didn’t have one, and they were scared of not knowing the ultimate explanation. So they all believed it. Of course, in the year 2012, some people were rational, but they were told by the superstitious that they would go to hell for not believing in the old stories.

    Do you get it now I’ve wrapped it up in pretty text? Or do I have to use more metaphors and direct speech and characters?

    “As for bad people, we have free will so God won’t just step in and remove bad people (yet at least). They arise out if the belief that they only answer to themselves.”

    I used that argument when I was a Christian. A lot. I’ll tell you why it’s wrong: because it’s just a side-step of a big issue. It’s like me asking why you believe in Santa when I once caught my parents giving me the presents and not Santa, and you saying, “Santa works THROUGH people. So, he sends his spirit into your parents. It is Santa, in fact if you ask your parents, they won’t even know they did it! Isn’t Santa great?”

  21. Larry, I am sorry to hear that your representation of the gospel is so out of line with how it really is. I am very disheartened to learn that you have lost your faith. I hope that you can find it again.

    • Thanks for ignoring all of my points eliezer. I guess that’s the very definition of somebody who has no answers for glaring errors in their belief system – a bad sign considering you said you wished to “make a completely bulletproof logical argument for God” (good luck with that).

      I, on the other hand, am ecstatic and delighted that I “lost my faith” (a very dramatic term actually meaning “realized faith was not a virtue, and was actually a stupid way to keep people in a belief system”). It has ensured that I have more time now I’m not praying to imaginary daddy in the sky, that I have more money now I’m not donating to the church (read as: religious brainwashing centre), and I can now also laugh at people like you who show concern for my soul because you’ve been brought up for years and years by lunatics who insist that atheists will go to hell.

      Don’t you agree? :)

      • Larry, I simply have realized that there is no convincing you of the truth. Your claim about the age of the Bible has no relevance to its accuracy or meaning for today. So, I ignored it. Your nice story has no meaning. God exists, but you have been misled to think otherwise. It won’t be by any work of mine that you are called back. The heart of the issue is that your faith has dwindled. So, I have decided to let it go and pray for you, seeing as how I won’t convince you of anything. As for if I agree that you’re going to hell-

        1. He shall lose none that are His.
        2. You had faith at one point.
        3. If you were saved then, you are still saved now.
        4. Therefore, I have faith for your soul.

        The errors you see are not errors. They are the gauze that has been pulled over your eyes. The enemy has really done a number with you, but I have faith that your faith will return. You know, at one point in time fairly recently, my faith had suffered a bit too. Don’t think I ever went so far as to say I didn’t believe but I trust that your faith will return again. I was there with you and look at where I am now.

        You may call me a lunatic, you may think my faith crazy or misplaced, but I know the truth. The evidence is the Holy Spirit, who lives in you. Look for that evidence, Larry, and you will find it. Keep on seeking and you will find. Continue knocking and the door will be opened to you.

  22. “Your claim about the age of the Bible has no relevance to its accuracy or meaning for today.”

    I think it does, actually. They had none of the knowledge we now have – they were, in comparison to us, ignorant.

    “Your nice story has no meaning.”

    It has meaning, even if you don’t like the meaning it has.

    “God exists, but you have been misled to think otherwise.”

    I’m not arguing to be right as much as you are. You have no actual reason to believe God exists as far as evidence is concerned, and guess what? I’m only concerned about evidence – not stories, not anecdotes, not superstition, not myth.

    “It won’t be by any work of mine that you are called back. The heart of the issue is that your faith has dwindled. So, I have decided to let it go and pray for you, seeing as how I won’t convince you of anything.”

    Okay. Well, hopefully when you pray for me, God will reveal himself to me, and perhaps explain to me why he is perfect yet managed to screw up in creating a perfect world big time. He could also explain to me why he didn’t write the Bible but let humans write it. He could even let me know why prayer is ineffective, and why his plan overrides prayer, and why there’s any point praying if that’s the case.”

    “As for if I agree that you’re going to hell-

    1. He shall lose none that are His.
    2. You had faith at one point.
    3. If you were saved then, you are still saved now.
    4. Therefore, I have faith for your soul.”

    Lol, I couldn’t care less if the whole world apart from five people thought I was going to hell – I’m not going to hell because there’s a 99.9% chance it doesn’t exist, and if it does and I go there for being rational, then fair play to whatever messed up deity finds that funny.

    “The errors you see are not errors. They are the gauze that has been pulled over your eyes.”

    No, trust me, they’re errors.

    “The enemy has really done a number with you, but I have faith that your faith will return.”

    God I hope not.

    “You know, at one point in time fairly recently, my faith had suffered a bit too. Don’t think I ever went so far as to say I didn’t believe but I trust that your faith will return again. I was there with you and look at where I am now.”

    The fact anybody needs ‘faith’ to begin with makes it a load of hooey to me. Do we need faith in food, the stars, computers? It seems to me that there’s a recurring theme: things that exist and work are just there, and things that don’t require faith, massive belief and a lot of energy.

    “You may call me a lunatic, you may think my faith crazy or misplaced, but I know the truth. The evidence is the Holy Spirit, who lives in you. Look for that evidence, Larry, and you will find it. Keep on seeking and you will find. Continue knocking and the door will be opened to you.”

    The fact I need to believe in God before he’ll show himself to me is very revealing as far as I’m concerned. It proves without a shadow of a doubt that God is simply an illusion, a construction of metaphors and a by-product of human intelligence.

    As I’ve said before, although I think religion is ultimately pointless, if it helps you that’s absolutely fine. I have no issues with your belief, I have issues with your misconceptions about science and reality.

    • Ok. Let’s return to the logical argument, with no ‘superstitions’ as you call them.

      All that exists has an explanation to its existence, be it by contingency, or by necessity.

      If the universe exists, it’s explanation is God (regardless of the age).

      The universe exists and exists continently.

      Now, separate me from this argument, separate my beliefs. Look at it in your eyes, from science. Refer back to my previous comments, if need be, to determine why the explanation is God, and why the universe exists contingently. Let us stay on that topic, because clearly the Bible and faith have no meaning to you.

  23. God makes everything more complicated, because you have to explain how something can be eternal, all-encompassing, psychic, perfect and atrocious at the same time, etc.

    Don’t understand all this talk of things being contingent or how that has anything to do with the idea of God. Sounds to me like a deliberate over-complication. You still haven’t given me (or anybody) a single logical reason that God explains why we’re here because, obviously, my next question is, “Why is God here?”. And apparently that’s an invalid question, because you said so. Okay, well “Why is the universe here?” is now an invalid question, because I said so. Happy with that? Course you aren’t, and rightly so. So why should I be happy with your claim?

    • The question of why God is here is not invalid. It has an answer. God is here in the same way that math and the laws of the universe are here. They just are – there is no need for a reason as the reason is in their nature.

      Contingent existence is this – they begin, and they end.

      • I don’t see it as such. Laws act on the universe, but I don’t think they are if the universe. Our recognition of them lies in the universe. Numbers too, where are they in the universe? Describe things in the universe, but they are abstract objects that aren’t in the universe by definition of abstract, right?

        Thank you for helping me work out the details of this. I appreciate it.

  24. Even if you could prove without a shadow of a doubt the universe was created by a sentient being, the Biblical God would still be the most unlikely explanation of who created it. In my eyes the only feasible God wouldn’t involve perfection, because look around you. This world has no perfection, however beautiful it is.

    • I see the universe as perfect. I don’t see how it could be considered otherwise unless you look at the actions of humans. Sin causes that. God didn’t create sin, we did and the adversary did.

      • Jesus CHRIST. Maybe you are crazy. The universe would be perfect if humans didn’t exist? WHAT?!?! How many braincells has this mythology corroded away at?!

        Floods? Hurricanes? Tsunamis? Earthquakes? All of which kill billions of animals and life? Have you noticed that every animal on the planet suffers pain? Have you noticed every animal dies, and that in nature there is constant fighting, starvation and so on? If we put humans back in the equation, have you noticed the poverty, the droughts, the famine, arrrgh are you seriously beyond help?!

        Think perfect universe. It is NOT this one by ANY description of ‘perfect’.

        And why the hell do you credit God for everything except the bad stuff? HE MADE CREATION in your worldview. HE MADE US. If we’re bad, it’s HIS fault, because he is supposed to be OMNISCIENT. If he could see that, why did he create us? This is sheer LUNACY.

        Oh my god I feel like banging my head against a brick wall…

  25. What a terrible analogy. When my parents gave birth to me, they had no choice in how I would turn out biologically, and barely any input psychologically. But if I believe God made everyone, he designed everything about them. Logically there’s no reason he didn’t just make heaven and leave it there. If there’s a god who had full control over the kind of universe he could make, he is a screwed up narcissistic genocidal maniac who is proud of watching us suffer and die one by one. Don’t you agree?

    • Not at all Larry. You see, God made us just like He made the angels. He made us with free will as a part of our being, so we can freely love Him. The angels rebelled. They became the adversary. The adversary talked us into rebelling against God through twisting God’s word, as I see someone as done for you too.

      God knew this would happen. Do you think He also saw the path where we didn’t rebel? He had hoped that we would choose that path? He knows all the paths we can take, and He offers us His path – which we don’t take. We don’t take it because sin and selfishness and arrogance are an inherent part of our being, due to the initial fall. Our flesh causes us to take the wide path that leads to destruction. God is not evil. Humans are. They are choosing the path God doesn’t want us to take. God, in His infinite wisdom and boundless love still gives us this choice today. We have the choice to love Him and the choice to rebel against Him. He is perfect and He is also just. We will all receive the rewards of our deeds, even Christians.

      To blame God for evil is just like blaming God for the choices you make. He didn’t cause you to make those. Own up to your sin and choose His path.

      Your good, my good, any good, still does not compare to Him and His righteousness. Do you think you would let someone treat you the way we treat Him, and still be able to love them?

      • Free will is a non-factor in perfection. Stop sprouting sermons at me, I’ve heard them all before and they were only satisfying while I still believed the fairy lie that is religion.

      • There’s a flaw in your argument above. He did make a world where everyone was happy. So the happiness wasn’t forced, and our love wasn’t forced, we were given a choice. We made a choice, and that choice changed all of humanity – the earth even was changed by God, so man had to labor for food. He made the perfect world and we chose another. From that point forward, the choice still exists. You may have heard these truths before, but the answer to your questions is found in those truths, so I repeat them.

  26. Let’s assume I’m God, and I’m about to create a universe. Seeing as I’m perfect and all-powerful, I can make any kind of universe.

    Do I:

    A) make a perfect universe where everyone is happy
    B) make an imperfect universe full of pain and death

    Now, bear in mind I’m perfect and omnibenevolent, and of course omniscient and omnipotent.

    • It makes sense, but I see it as a deception designed to fool you. The funny thing about deception is that the deceived doesn’t know they are deceived.

      Life without God is just as you say it is. Dark, bleak, hateful, and ending in the grave. You have no issue with that, and I pray that the veil of deceit is lifted from your eyes.

  27. Life without God is reality, so of course we see the dark, bleak, hateful, and end in the grave, as well as the light, hopeful, joyful existence we have. I just see reality for what it is – and actually, I am an extremely happy person.

    • Ok. I’m happy that you are happy. My point in the initial post was that with God, life isn’t pointless in that it doesn’t end in the grave. Being that this has already been talked about – do you want to go in circles?

      • Yes, life is pointless. A lot of kids get over that. I find this whole religious thing to be a concept which I am amazed is not ditched in the lead-up to adulthood.

      • Maybe that’s why we should look at it with the faith of a child. You are not greater than God. So, stop pretending you are, please. You are set in your ways. No matter how much we talk about it – you will continue what you think about God. I feel sorry for you.

        Again, I appreciate your participation. It doesn’t seem that this conversation is doing anything but causing frustration so lets stop beating a dead horse. Maybe we will come up with a new topic to discuss on another blog sometime. It’s been fun, Larry. Take care.

  28. Why do you not understand I don’t believe in God? Is it really impossible for you to comprehend? I do believe I’m better than God, because I’m a whole human, and God is just a small part of your imagination. I will of course continue to voice what I think about that part of your imagination, in the same way you continue to voice what you think about it. I don’t know why you are offended by me voicing my own opinions when I am not offended by you posting yours (although it did offend me slightly when you offered to pray for me, as somebody who views that as a waste of time, energy and space – still, it was a sincere idea).

    • Never said I was offended, friend. I’m not. And I will pray for you. No need for you to believe, when my belief suffices for my prayer.

      :) goodbye, Larry.

  29. Maybe you missed the point of my comment? You asked “Why do you think you’re better than God?”, which of course presupposes there’s a god somewhere to be better than. All gods are non-existent in my world-view so it’s an irrelevant, unanswerable and possibly even nonsensical question which led me to wonder whether you realized the implications of atheism.

  30. man, i enjoyed reading this. i really only perused the comments, but man they were entertaining too.

    Just a few observations and thoughts.

    1. If there is no love without god, and atheists only act out of selfishness, what do christians do? doing something because they want to believe in a greater purpose to their life, and wanting to do something to gain a reward and avoid a punishment seems selfish too, right?

    2. If god wants his creation to have freewill, will there be freewill in heaven? and if so, wouldn’t it only be a matter of time before everyone gets kicked out because God cant dwell with sin? If there is no freewill in heaven, then god must not be as in to freewill as he gets credit for.

    3. Would heaven be a nice place to go if you knew that your loved ones were in hell? Children, spouse, parents, siblings, friends, etc? Does the thought that god might erase them from your recollection in heaven (so you’re not aware of their absence) not make you the least bit sad now, knowing that those are the options for eternal paradise?

    4. Why does god have to be the answer to the universe?

    5. Hope and purpose. Does our thoughts and current beliefs on such have any bearing on whether those thoughts and beliefs are accurate?

    thanks,
    William

    • Thank you for your comment and questions, William. I will do my best to answer them here. Let us do our best not to become antagonistic toward the other. I will break my responses up as you broke your questions up.

      1. I think that the idea of ‘Christian’ has become commonplace and over used. However, here are my thoughts on the idea of ‘Christian’ – not all who claim to be Christians truly are. Let me give an example – one who is Christian because they only want to get out of hell, does so out of selfishness, as you correctly identify. God knows our hearts, and He will see that. Being Christian does not mean that we are just nice to people and follow the teachings of Jesus, not even close. Being a Christian is the continual growth in Jesus, we get to know Him. It is a personal relationship and not a list of dos and don’ts. I cannot say who will go to heaven and who will not, but your idea of Christian is not the same idea that is espoused in the Bible.

      2. There will be free will in heaven. The difference between then and now is that we will not have Satan to attack us. Only our humanly nature, which at this point has been remade to coincide with God. Also, I feel heaven is a misconstrued idea too. Heaven is a new creation, new earth where there will be no pain, no suffering. The reason there is no pain is because God will walk the earth as He did in the garden of Eden. He says He will wipe away our tears. Wait! Tears?!? This is heaven, how can there be tears, you ask? Because we are still human. He will wipe our pain away, but there has to be pain that can be wiped away. I don’t know how heaven will work, but these truths come from the Bible and that is what I think heaven will be like.

      3. This is a good question. I feel that this can be answered by looking at how our present circumstances will be different in the new earth. We will have God walking with us. Yes, looking at it now, that would not be fun, to have our relatives and those close to us be in hell. However, we don’t know who will be in heaven and who will not. We have to accept God’s will and judgement as being right because He is the one who judges and not us. I do not think He will wipe our recollection of them. I also think that in the present, we should have hope for their souls, lead by example, and pray that God draws them to Him. That really is the only way to look at it.

      4. The answer to this question is found in the above comments. There is no other answer to the universe, other than a disembodied mind.

      5. You may have to be more exact with this one – thoughts don’t prove accuracy, but faith provides the reason to believe. I really don’t have another answer to this question at this time.

      Thank you, William for your thoughts. I hope I answered your questions adequately.

      • Yes, thank you. And actually you answered them better than i expected. 1, 2, & 3 were answered beautifully. I no longer believe as I once did, but I do like the picture paint. This is not to say that your answers have convinced me, but i do think they are good. Thank you.

        #4 still alludes me. The universe is big, and grand, etc, but why does that mean that god or disembodied minds created it? In earlier responses you rhetorically asked where a tree comes from and other things. They come from natural cause and effect, so to speak. Everything we know about does, so why would we think the universe would be different?

        #5 had no real answer, it was more of a thought. Faith isn’t exactly the same as knowledge. You can have all the faith and all the hope and still be wrong… or right – just like the rest of us.

        thanks

      • I am glad that I could answer some of your questions. I agree with what you said to my response to #5, faith isn’t knowledge.

        I’ll expound a little on number 4, in the hopes that I can answer that one as well. The universe couldn’t have created itself. As it would have to have already been in existence to have done so. Something cannot come from nothing, which is my understanding of the big bang. Matter just came into being? That doesn’t compute. It just isn’t possible.

        So, if nothing comes from nothing, something had to have made it or caused it, yes? Doesn’t have to be your idea of God, just that something caused the birthing of the universe. From my limited study on the big bang, it is my understanding that no one knows what came before the bang, am I right? Well, the something had to exist outside of the universe in order to create it. Abstract ideas like numbers and the like are outside of the universe. But, have you ever seen a number make something happen? Numbers may have been invented by man, but they were invented to describe something that was already there – much like the laws that govern the universe.

        An abstract idea couldn’t have created the universe. So, let me pose another idea – a disembodied mind, that is outside the universe (on another plane of existence or however you want to look at it), but can still interact with it created it. Why isn’t this a plausible explanation? I can’t see another that is more plausible – unless something coming from nothing is…

  31. Eliezer,

    I think i can agree with you there, the universe obviously had a cause as well. And let me come clean – I am not necessarily an atheist, more of an agnostic. I’d like to believe in a god, but my biggest issue is with the bible or any other religious text that claims to be the handiwork of god. Of their origins I have no doubt. They are products of man, but that is another discussion, maybe.

    I enjoyed reading what you thought heaven would be like, although I disagree that that is exactly how the bible describes it. I enjoyed how you described what a true christian was, and while I can believe that some christians are truly that way, I do not believe that all who claim to be christian are. But even so, i would imagine that all would claim to want to go to heaven, would claim to want approval from from god, would claim to want to avoid hell, and god’s anger and wrath… These wants and unwants result in a back and forth of “selfish,” “uh, uh. unselfish” much like back and forth in regard to the atheist being selfish or unselfish, loving or unloving, having purpose or not having purpose.” Know what I mean?

    But if everything has a cause, or a beginning, something to create it, then why wouldnt god fit into that as well? I may not know what created the big bang, or whatever, but that doesnt mean then that god did it. maybe he did, maybe he didnt. I think it boil down to evidence and proof to people.

    You can show evidence for god, but you can also show evidence of things happening without god. Evidence for both sides then. Now we begin to get into whose evidence is better, whose faith is better and why. When I was a christian, I thought my faith, my brand of christianity was better, i thought I had better explanations for mine that others did for themselves. the more i learned and studied, and the more i considered those around me, who also seemed sincere, i began to see the flaws and short comings with my book, with my faith, as well those belonging to others. There is a lot I dont know… but I am figuring out somethings as I go along. the bible has flaws, I can admit that now. The solutions that people come up with to get around them are just solutions that people came up with. The problems are still there, just like a hole still exists under its patchwork.

    I appreciate your kind and thoughtful responses though. maybe god is the answer, but why do you think the god of the bible is it?

    • I can understand where you are coming from, in regards to the Bible. However, I don’t see the flaws in it as you do, so I base my faith on it, along with my experiential knowledge. You are right, that is likely a topic for another discussion though. For now, let us take the Bible at its word, and see it as the basis for my faith. I don’t believe you need to see it as God given, at least yet, in order to gain truth and understanding from it.

      I know you don’t see the Bible in the same light that I do, but I’d like to share a few verses about heaven with you.

      “Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
      He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
      He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” (Revelation 21:1-8)

      There a few things to note in this passage- the new heaven and new earth. We will be raised from the dead and God will live among us. But note this also, only those who are victorious will inherit this life with God. The others are thrown into the fire, which is the second death. I personally believe that to be the meaning of hell, but not many others agree with it (thinking it’s eternal pain and suffering), even though the true hell is eternal separation from God. It does say that there will be no more pain, mourning, or death though. But the sentence before this says God will wipe our tears away. Again, there has to be tears to wipe away, right? It could mean that He wipes our tears from our earthly life (which would agree with Him not wiping our memories), but I feel that it means there will be tears to wipe away. Only, God will be there with us to comfort us like never before; because of this there will be no mourning or pain or crying. That’s the depiction I get from it anyway.

      I can see what you mean when talking about the difference between Christian and ‘christian’. I also agree that not everyone is the definition of Christian. Unfortunately, I feel that this type of Christian sets a poor example and causes others to stumble. Believe it or not, there are verse to back this up too. I’ll try to refrain from quoting large portions like the last one from now on.

      “But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger” (Romans 2:8)

      “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21)

      ” I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” (Revelation 3:15-16)

      These people will, who seek God out of selfish ambition, will likely not gain the inheritance. You see, loving God and having faith in Him brings us this salvation. What is love?

      “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13)

      If I lay down my life for God, I will die to my fleshly desires (among which is selfishness).

      “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:24)

      I encourage you, William, to seek God’s heart. You will find it. Man is fallible, so don’t base your faith off of their actions. Your salvation is between you and God. Don’t seek Him out of selfishness, but seek Him out of love. Maybe the first seeking is done out of selfishness, but if one were to grow in God’s love, I am sure that their actions will become actions done for their love of God. For God, we should do His will – which is to love our neighbors as ourselves. We can only love truly because God first loved us.

      “I love God and am getting out of hell!” is not how it is supposed to be. “I love God, and His will for my life and eternity is good and just, for the wretched sinner that I am.” is more of how it should be. None deserve God’s love, for we all fall short.

      Now, about God not having a beginning. Let’s look at the Big Bang and the theory of relativity. All matter, and time itself, came out of this bang. Time itself is inherent to the big bang. All things in the universe have a beginning and an end, a cause and an effect. Cause and effect do not exist without time. A cause happens before the effect. Time is inherent to the universe. There is no time outside of the universe. So, a disembodied mind created the universe, because the universe can’t have created itself and no other thing outside of the universe could have caused it. Time began, cause and effect began, when the universe began. God is outside the universe. God does not follow the rules of the universe. God is timeless, without beginning, without end, without cause. In this paragraph alone, “God” refers to this disembodied mind; not the Judeo-Christian God.

      As for flaws in the Bible…I don’t know of any. Many have posted on here detailing these “flaws” and contradictions. Here are my thoughts on these supposed flaws – we are in a spiritual war. God, and His followers, versus Satan (adversary, not little red man with pitchfork) and its followers. The adversary is an accuser of God’s people. He says, “let me show how faithful your people are,” to God. God allows it, for a time. So, in short, this adversary does everything within its power to coerce, steal, destroy, pillage, and plunder, all the people of God. He sets up stumbling blocks. These are the supposed holes that you see. That’s my thoughts on it. I have looked at a good many of these “contradictions” and simply cannot see them. The explanations you talk about are Christians walking around these false blocks of lies. Granted, perception is reality and if you truly see holes, they are there for you. I am likely going to write a post concerning this very topic, and we can discuss the merits of the Bible there. I am not trying to avoid talking about it, merely wanting to keep us on topic for the moment (I am good at rabbit trails, and I’d like to avoid them right now).

      William, I want to thank you for your responses and comments as well. You are not attacking or anything of the sort, and I appreciate it. I am very passionate of the things we have been discussing, so I apologize if I have ever come across as overbearing or anything like that. Apparently, I have done a decent job with keeping my passion away from my words, so as not to be seen as unreasonable, and I am happy for that. Why do I think the God of the Bible is the answer? I think God is the answer because God is poorly represented by His followers. I don’t look at them to find God. I simply look to Him, and seek Him, and run after Him. I use the Bible as a building block of knowledge about God. I use it as His word, and as a sword in the spiritual warfare I mentioned earlier. I believe in Him as the Bible teaches Him. Seek out that knowledge, and seek His heart, and you may feel the same way I do. God is love, God is kind, God is perfect and beautiful, God is lovely, God is awesome and mighty, God is just. I don’t know if this came close to answering your question or not, but it is the answer I have. I believe it because I have heart-knowledge of it and Him.

  32. “There will be free will in heaven. The difference between then and now is that we will not have Satan to attack us.”

    Hoooold on.

    You posted this on my blog:

    “He created us and the world perfectly, and with free will. Our free will allowed us to be deceived by Satan.”

    If God is powerful enough to kill Satan, then your ideas don’t really add up.

Comments are closed.