Email thread with pastor
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 1 Votes - 4 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
22-12-2015, 09:42 AM
RE: Email thread with pastor
His reply:

I know of exactly zero atheists who would characterize the thought I gave, just like I know of exactly zero theists who would surmise belief in God as you did. And for you to say atheism is a non-belief is a bit sheepish. One can't argue or convince from a non-point. You have a belief about God's non-existence you're basing your reasoning on. Arguments need bases. A non-belief is a belief. In our worldviews, we are actually deciding before we look at evidence how we will interpret the evidence. If you were honestly looking at the Bible through increased knowledge being gained through further study and the disciplines of science (biology, sociology, archaeology, psychology, etc.), why wouldn't you be an agnostic rather than an atheist? To conclude that there is no God is to base your premises on all knowledge ever, not just known.

The bible is an organic (loaded term as well) document. I will be the first to admit that Christians have ignorantly used Scriptures to justify absurd and immoral things. And I've already told you that God's 'divine concessions' (as termed by respected theologians) remain a curiosity for me (it's a theological black). In saying the bible is organic is to say that it has to be considered within the varying genres of writing that are contained in it, but also that Jesus is revealed consistently through it's storyline of creation, fall, redemption, and consummation. How do we know it's God's Word? We see that it's self-affirming.

Jesus spoke of the OT history as literal events and prophecies as signposts of his mission. The apostle Peter spoke of Paul's writings as equal to OT Scripture. Early church history has produced the understanding there was strict criteria for acceptance into the NT canon (lit: rule/standard). Proximity to Jesus was paramount, but confirming the message and mission of Jesus was preeminent. The Bible has several contradictions, but none that I've found subvert the message and mission of Jesus. A letter that Paul may do that to is Philemon...it really is a letter to a friend with faint theological content. But, it gives us an understanding into Paul, the man, which helps our interpretation of his other letters.

My not reading the Koran is not to say I haven't read about the Koran...which I have. But a clear criteria for my acceptance of other theological works as God-inspired is the person and work of Jesus. It doesn't take long to discover that other religious works do not all agree on Jesus. Since he is the crux of the Bible's interpretation, he must be the crux of all others to be God's word. And, if I come across a Muslim who asks me to dialogue about God, you bet your britches I'll be reading it...as I will ask him to read the Bible.

In reference to evidence for God with the five senses, why does that have to be the only criteria? What about our ability to know things intuitively as humans? We know love intuitively, not by our five senses. If not known intuitively, how do our five senses evidence love?

I'd still like to know your thoughts on Dr. Provine's statement...not asking for you to speak for him. He was a leading historical evolutionary biologist (died a few months ago). Do his thoughts churn your desire for discovery?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
22-12-2015, 10:00 AM
RE: Email thread with pastor
Quote:A non-belief is a belief.

That's where I stopped reading.

Don't let those gnomes and their illusions get you down. They're just gnomes and illusions.

--Jake the Dog, Adventure Time

Alouette, je te plumerai.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like Old Man Marsh's post
22-12-2015, 10:28 AM
RE: Email thread with pastor
I always wonder why theist require a middleman (god) to be present at the beginning of time. The simplest explanation is always the best. The fastest line between two points need not have a god pushing it or pulling it. It's unnecessary.

Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors.... on Donald J. Trump:

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
22-12-2015, 10:43 AM
RE: Email thread with pastor
Der, dance42. Because God would have messed up free will. He needs the prophets to tell his message because they have the purist hearts. And if he talked to people directory free will wouldn't exist.

peh. So simple.

Hobo

Don't Live each day like it's your last. Live each day like you have 541 days after that one where every choice you make will have lasting implications to you and the world around you. ~ Tim Minchin
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
22-12-2015, 02:05 PM
RE: Email thread with pastor
My little "manifesto" about why I don't believe has grown to 5 1/2 pages. Here's my answer to his intuition bit:

Having lost my religious faith once, what would it take for me to believe again? I've asked myself this question more than once. I have spent decades overcoming my religious indoctrination and still find it difficult to put it all firmly behind me. So God should have a bit of an advantage, one would think. Still, having found simple faith insufficient, I'm going to need something more than promises and threats; I'm going to have to be shown something that can have no other possible explanation. What would that be? To be fair (why am I worried about giving God a fair shake?), I can't demand something that would set God up to fail (a rock so heavy that even He can't lift it). It's a problem. Then I realized it isn't my problem, it's God's. If He is everything He's supposed to be, He knows better than anyone, even me, how to bring me back. In other words I should let go and let God, to borrow a favorite phrase of the faithful, and that is exactly what I've done. So far, though, the aether has been silent.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like jabeady's post
22-12-2015, 02:15 PM
RE: Email thread with pastor
(22-12-2015 10:43 AM)Commonsensei Wrote:  Der, dance42. Because God would have messed up free will. He needs the prophets to tell his message because they have the purist hearts. And if he talked to people directory free will wouldn't exist.

peh. So simple.

Hobo

Laugh out loadLaugh out load So simple and sooooooo stupid too.

Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors.... on Donald J. Trump:

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
24-12-2015, 06:53 AM
RE: Email thread with pastor
My reply:

It’s amazing how many theists try to obfuscate this issue by claiming that atheists are against God. How can anyone be against something they don’t believe exists? I mentioned in my first reply to your request for dialogue how I think the terms agnostic and atheist are best defined. I don’t actively believe in a god; therefore, I’m an atheist. Could a god exist? Certainly. Not once have I made the argument that one couldn’t. I just haven’t seen evidence that one does. Thought I had made that clear, but maybe I hadn’t.

You make the claim that a non-belief is a belief. You’ll have to explain that one to me. Can you think of any other situation in which a non-something is actually that something? Is a non-refrigerator a refrigerator? Is non-love love? Is a non-parent a parent? How is a non-belief a belief?

So the bible being self-affirming is your best argument for it being the word of God? The bible says it’s the word of God; therefore, it is. That’s a circular argument. Does the Koran make claims about its veracity? Do those claims legitimize it in your mind? Did the early Muslim church history produce the understanding there was a strict criteria for acceptance into the Koran canon? Was proximity to Mohammed paramount? Do the books confirm the message and mission of Mohammed? Looking at things as objectively as you can, what makes one book rate higher in your mind than the other? You mentioned it was the bible’s discussion of ‘the person and work of Jesus,’ but how do you know what that was, except for what you’ve learned from the bible itself?

You may have missed my point in bringing up the Koran. Obviously, I think it’s hogwash as well, and certainly am not advocating its superiority over the bible or any other ‘holy’ book. It just seems that you, like most Christians, were presented with one religion and embraced it wholeheartedly without exploring your options. For you, obviously, that occurred when you were young, but as an adult, red flags should be popping up in your mind about the hastiness of that choice. Did you have all the information? Did you analyze all the possibilities? Did you make an intelligent decision based on the strongest evidence? Or were/are you relying on the tenuous gelatin of feelings and emotions? Most Christians start with the premise that God is real because they can feel him and the bible is true because they’ve been taught that it is, and all those wise people couldn’t be wrong. No mountain of facts, no matter how immense or how heavily it’s dropped on them, will change their minds. William Lane Craig once said before a debate that his sparring partner could prove to him beyond any doubt that there was no god, and he would still believe in him. Is that reasonable or rational? Or maybe you believe reason has no place in religion.

Not sure your point in bringing up Dr. Provine’s statement again, but I went back to re-read it. It’s certainly forceful. I don’t know a whole lot of atheists who say definitively there is no god or life after death. As I mentioned earlier, it’s impossible to prove a negative. Regarding Provine’s statement about lack of free will, I’m guessing his sentiment was that we’re all products of nature and nurture, and behave precisely as we do because of those two factors, neither of which we can control.

You said in your previous response that “atheists are claiming that an unseen, unheard, unfelt, untasted, odorless force spun a process into motion that has resulted in intricate genetic spinoffs very much wanting for you to believe in it so you can live in a world that is another link in the chain void of purpose." When I asked you which atheists have made that claim, you said you know of 'exactly zero.' Which is it?

You also said you know of ‘exactly zero theists who would surmise belief in God as (I) did.’ Can you expound on that so we can parse it? I’m not sure where I errantly surmised a belief in God.

I’ll close with this question: What does your faith do with someone like me? To put a finer point on it, will I go to heaven when I die? Why, or why not?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like NolaToad's post
24-12-2015, 08:03 AM
RE: Email thread with pastor
(24-12-2015 06:53 AM)NolaToad Wrote:  Or were/are you relying on the tenuous gelatin of feelings and emotions?

You are doing an excellent job. I especially liked the "tenuous gelatin" and will probably be stealing that.

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
America July 4 1776 - November 8 2016 RIP
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes unfogged's post
24-12-2015, 09:20 AM
RE: Email thread with pastor
(24-12-2015 06:53 AM)NolaToad Wrote:  You make the claim that a non-belief is a belief. You’ll have to explain that one to me. Can you think of any other situation in which a non-something is actually that something? Is a non-refrigerator a refrigerator? Is non-love love? Is a non-parent a parent? How is a non-belief a belief?

Great job in challenging him.

As for the quote above I’ve heard it put in other ways such as:
Atheism is a belief the same way...
that not collecting stamps is a hobby
&
that bald is a hair color

Keep hammering away, he’ll either lose his grip on religion or his temper.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Full Circle's post
24-12-2015, 09:50 AM
RE: Email thread with pastor
(24-12-2015 09:20 AM)Full Circle Wrote:  Atheism is a belief the same way...
that not collecting stamps is a hobby.

I've always enjoyed this analogy.

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: