Sunday School August 27th 2017
September 3, 2017 at 4:10 am #4585
In the Bible: miracle = seas literally part before you
Later in the Bible: Gideon asks for sign = multiple impossible things physically happen.
New testament: miracle = walking on liquid water as if it were solid.
Miracle today: A database designed to find information did in fact find the information it was asked to find.
My my, it’s like we’re seeing the wonders of God before our very eyes.
Could it be that you just decided a long time ago that you didn’t believe in God and you’re hardened to even considering the idea of one?
Well certainly, that’s possible. It’s just not what really happened. I can’t speak for Reg, but I know I was a Christian for a long time, and I really wanted to remain a Christian. I wanted to find God. I wanted to see what he might have to tell me. The reason I slowly came to not believe in God was nothing supernatural ever happened, and I started to look at the Bible more closely and consider whether it really made sense.
It’s absolutely possible that some people might just “decide” not to believe in God, and harden their hearts against hearing him…but if those people exist, I don’t hear their stories. I hear about people saying their exit from faith was like a “painful divorce”, because they were still in love with their god and didn’t want him to be fake after all. I hear these stories all the time, of atheists leaving the faith in spite of being so eager to hear God…and yet in spite of these stories, Christians continue to claim exactly what you said. Christians claim atheists just “decide” to ignore their god. Why would this be? Why would so many Christians make this claim? Do Christians really know what’s going on in an atheist’s heart better than the atheist himself? Or just maybe could it be that the Christian has to believe that, because to believe anything else would suggest the atheist might have good reason for what he believes.September 3, 2017 at 4:26 am #4586
Ok. Whats the method for determining if an interpretation is wrong?
One way is using the commentary and cross references in the margin, and cross checking with other passages. I also don’t believe you can form a doctrine based solely on a historical event. Historical passages are really just good lessons. Not meant to build your morality from. And while I see things that happen in my life always subjectively and sometimes that informs how I understand a passage differently from one day to the next (Like one day I might really understand a passage in a new light and it becomes more powerful to me at that time…)…, I don’t base my subjective experiences on how I interpret a passage. I think it’s always important to look at the context and the historical information behind it. Taking any part of the Bible out of context skews the meaning. I’ve also seen this done a TON on TA…which is another reason it turned me off. That’s just what came to mind for now as a starting point to answer your question.September 3, 2017 at 4:37 am #4587
Christians claim atheists just “decide” to ignore their god. Why would this be? Why would so many Christians make this claim? Do Christians really know what’s going on in an atheist’s heart better than the atheist himself?
I don’t know, but I’ve been on this site for a long time now and it’s the same tired arguments over and over. No one moves on from them. It’s akin to sitting in domestic violence support group and watching women bitch about their ex being an asshole over and over…and it gets old. I mean I tried to join in and be part of the crowd and maybe at some point I actually stopped believing in God……….but I really don’t think so. I think I was trying to be something else. To conform for the wrong reason. Perhaps the antithesis of what atheists do sitting in a church pew. I don’t know. But when I’m really honest I don’t think I ever truly was an atheist. I think I wanted to be to people please. For acceptance. For love. Whatever. I didn’t really believe it for myself for the right reasons. So I didn’t really form my sense of self. That’s something that I never got to do. So I’m trying to do that now.
Or just maybe could it be that the Christian has to believe that, because to believe anything else would suggest the atheist might have good reason for what he believes.
I think there’s plenty of reason for what atheists believe. But when I really analyzed it all for myself I realized I didn’t believe it. There were too many things that were way off base for me. And trust me…I mean I really looked at it honestly. I really did. I found all of my own evidence and reasons why it wasn’t true. Not just from the Bible….sigh it was a very long process. So honestly I don’t know. God’s existence is clear as day to me. But that’s my own….subjective reality. I can’t capture him like a butterfly and put him under a microscope for you. Sorry it doesn’t work that way. But that’s just me honestly.September 3, 2017 at 5:34 am #4588
Nothing needs to be proven to me. I just need to see some evidence. If I find it credible I will work to see if I consider believing it justifiable as evidence for the supernatural. If it cannot be justified it will be dismissed. If it can, I will alter my position. I just won’t take a leap of faith when it comes to deciding what can or cannot be true.
There’s lots of evidence out there…this book might be one you can sink your teeth into….
Collins, F.S. (2006). The language of God: A scientist presents evidence for belief. New York: Free Press (a division of Simon and Schuster).
About the author:
Collins, who earned a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Yale and an M.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, gained worldwide name recognition as head of the Human Genome Project and is considered one of the world’s leading scientists. The ground-breaking work of the Human Genome Project succeeded in unlocking the genetic codes embedded in the famous and wondrous aspect of organic chemistry known as DNA.
So Ironic that you say I should thank the scientists behind the DNA test that led me to my biological family…and look…he’s a believer! Hahahahaha lmfao!September 3, 2017 at 2:15 pm #4593
I might suggest that the arguments against a god are the same because all the arguments for god are also the same, and the same old arguments work best–but I think I’d be missing your point.
I hear what you’re saying here–like a group bitching about their asshole ex over and over? Yuck. Who wants to be part of that? Maybe that’s why I left the site, more or less, and have posted so rarely here in the last two years. I became active in a secret ex-Christian Facebook group. We make some of the same old arguments there, but mostly it’s not that. Mostly it’s comforting and supporting each other, and talking about how to get ahead in this world without the supports we used to enjoy. Maybe it’s venting (My crazy fundamentalist mother just said this horrible thing to me, and I don’t need advice, but I need to tell somebody how it hurt me). Maybe it’s advice (How do I raise my child to have morals without taking them to church? What do I do when a teacher tries to force religion on my child? Where do I turn for a social group without going to church? What’s the best way to have a good conversation with a religious family member, instead of another argument?). Maybe it’s sharing discoveries (I always was raised to believe THIS, but look at this new research explaining THAT, and it makes so much more sense!). Or memes laughing at what we used to believe. There’s not a lot of wallowing in old arguments, because frankly that doesn’t do anybody any good.
I have become more involved in my local real-life atheist group. We don’t talk the same arguments every week–mostly we commiserate the U.S. political situation, and talk about if there are things we can do to fight back. We talk about gay rights and trans rights. We invite in speakers. We raise money for scholarships for college kids, and for back-to-school supplies to donate locally. I convinced one old atheist couple to start going to the Unitarian Universalist “church”, even though they are not churchy people — because they were impressed with how UU was working in the community to support Hispanics/Latinos/other immigrants in the era of Trump, plus their trans rights activism.
I find myself more and more reading blogs like BarrierBreaker, who talks about equality, not just about religious matters. I’m more and more drawn to Christian bloggers like Fred Clark and John Pavlovitz and Rachel Held Evans — not because I feel like I need a god, or like I need Christianity, but because those bloggers write with a clear-headed, well-spoken style about love and transformation and social justice, and things that are much more important to the world than whether or not you believe in god.
I have more to say, but I’ll post this now and return hopefully after going to church with my parents. I guess my point is that yes, I understand wanting more. I understand wanting to get away from a lackluster intellectual-only atheism that doesn’t create change or help people.September 3, 2017 at 6:36 pm #4599
Maybe it’s advice (How do I raise my child to have morals without taking them to church? What do I do when a teacher tries to force religion on my child? Where do I turn for a social group without going to church?
This sort of thing was huge for me. For weeks I wanted to go to atheist events but never could because I had a kid and they didn’t offer childcare. I have a VERY difficult son to raise with a ton of special needs and quite frankly I just couldn’t find the support I needed even being involved in every community resource (secular) that was applicable to us in the county – nothing works. Being an atheist single mother is quite frankly…lonely and impossible. Which made me start asking if this is the Truth then why am I so miserable and isolated? Because there’s NOTHING for me in the community. If there’s nothing to support you? A single young guy…Imagine for a single mother…. If I’m somehow supposed to be more “enlightened” then why did I feel increasingly more depressed with no one around me?
I don’t have family or really close friends here. I have nothing and no one. So I NEEDED to be part of a community. Badly. We die without community. And I just didn’t fit into the mold or the club. It’s really a club for single white males. Sorry but as far as teaching morals….there is no guiding principles to go off of either. It’s a free for all. Children need guidance than that. Espcially a child like mine.September 3, 2017 at 6:59 pm #4601
I might suggest that the arguments against a god are the same because all the arguments for god are also the same, and the same old arguments work best
Round and round and round we go……September 3, 2017 at 8:15 pm #4602
@bellerose – this is definitely one of the reasons why we need to keep religion.September 3, 2017 at 8:28 pm #4603
this is definitely one of the reasons why we need to keep religion.
It’s definitely one of the reasons that most atheists are men.September 3, 2017 at 8:28 pm #4604
If it’s “The truth” then why are women under a more severe hardship to embrace it? That to me is not truth.September 3, 2017 at 8:41 pm #4605
I have known of F.S. Collins work for years. This book, of which I have a copy, is just another rehash of the design and fine tuning arguments which argue for the god he is culturally familiar with. It offers no “evidence” for any god and is basically another “god did it” appeal. He is only arguing for his reasons for his belief – that is his personal opinion. He
He too makes the mistake of thinking that his arguments for his belief are actually evidence for his god. Not a deistic creator god but his particular and very personal god. He cannot see how we can be moral without his god (the vanity and piety slimes of some of the pages) while also failing to show how evolutionary moral behavior is evidence of a Creator God. He also believes that the dead come back to life as if their DNA is keep alive when the rest of their body is not functioning.
Being a believer is not evidence for his god or any other god. It is only evidence that he believes his own arguments without being critically minded enough to see their weaknesses. In the book he is just another Christian apologist who makes the same debunked arguments that other theists make. There is a hint of the NOMA about it as if religion is a valuable tool that can work in parallel with Science as a means of discovering reality. But I will park that for now.
This is almost a repeat of the Ravi Zacharias post we did 5 years ago.September 3, 2017 at 8:44 pm #4606
The same old arguments are debunked. We only keep hearing them because theists keep repeating them and will not recognise this. They are evidence for nothing.September 3, 2017 at 8:48 pm #4607
Belle just to be clear – there is no evidence in that book. It is all argument. I don’t know how you cannot understand the difference between the meaning of those 2 terms.September 3, 2017 at 8:53 pm #4608
If there is no God then why have we evolved to believe in one?September 3, 2017 at 8:53 pm #4609
That has been PROVEN by neuroscience.
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