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My Dialogue With An Atheist

July 17, 2008

Here is a discussion I had with an atheist over the internet. I wanted to post this for a few reasons. First, I would like for all Christians out there to pray for this atheist to come to know Jesus Christ as his Savior, Lord, and friend. His name is Eric.

Secondly, I would like Christians and Atheists to read this. For Atheists I hope this raises some good discussions. For Christians, I hope this might crystallize your faith and give you some apologetic substance.

Lastly, I want to demonstrate a bit of how everyone assumes the Lord Jesus Christ’s existence. Especially when arguing against His existence. Within the word “atheist” we find the phrase “a theist”. One may claim to be an atheist but is always a theist beyond the claim. Look for this as you read the dialogue.

Remember, our apologetics are not the gospel, only a tool unto the gospel. Only the gospel that shows us how holy and perfect God is, thus how unholy and imperfect we are, will lead us to Christ our only hope. Only at the cross will God’s infinite love cover our infinite debt. That is, for those who believe and turn to Jesus Christ.

Me: If you don’t mind me asking, why don’t you believe in life after death?

Atheist: its no problem at all, It just never really made sense to me that you live .. die and the only proof that it exists is that someone said that it does.

Me: So just because the Bible or some religious dude says life after death exists, why should you blindly take their word for it? That’s what you mean?

Atheist: Pretty much, I feel that the most important thing in the world is to be a good, honest person and if there is an all loving God, he or she will understand that you have lived your life as a good person and judge you on that instead of how many days you missed church

Works based salvation

Me: What is being a “good” person in God’s eyes?

Atheist: being a good person is treating others kindly, helping out others in need, being honest, and accepting of all different kinds of people.

Me: I believe all these things define a good person too. All these things sum up “the golden rule”, to treat others as you would want to be treated. This is the second greatest commandment that Christ gives. Do you by any chance know what the greatest commandment is that Christ gives?

Atheist: The first commandment is to love God above all else.

Me: If Christ says He is exclusively the “way the truth and the life” and someone claims there is another way, is that loving God above all else?

On the other hand if Christ is the way the truth and the life, and no one or nothing else is, then it would be loving for Christ to tell us He is, that way we know who it is and are no deceived.

Atheist: I personally believe that if there is a god or supreme being of any kind, he or she would exist in all of his or her creations and that being loving to all of his or her creations would be more significant than simply saying that you love God above all else because I am a strong believer that your actions speak louder than words.

Me: But then that wouldn’t make God all loving if He loved everyone, because then He wouldn’t be loving towards Himself. If we’ve distort who He really is and make Him out to be something He’s not, then that’s blaspheming Him. That’s breaking God’s laws. A good judge doesn’t let people off the hook when they break laws because they love justice. If God is loving to Himself, then He wants to uphold justice.

Atheist: First of all, I feel that of all of the gods or spiritual beings in all the religions of the world, the only one that is all loving is Buddhism, in some instance in every religion everywhere else in the world, their god has commanded them to go to war or has personally killed an innocent person. Even the Christian God has done this when he killed Moses’ son as a test. Buddhists are the only spiritual people that attempt to reach happiness through being a peaceful people instead of proving themselves worthy to a supernatural being.

Me: I’m afraid even Buddhism is works based. To achieve nirvana you have to fulfill the “eightfold path” by having a correct view, correct intention, correct speech, correct action, correct livelihood, correct effort, correct mindfulness and correct concentration.

The God of Scripture has every right to kill all people, if in fact we have rebelled against Him because of our profound lawlessness of denying Him and being prideful. But it is really only the gospel that offers a works free way of salvation. Because we aren’t good enough God Himself had to become a man and receive the death that we deserved. Those who believe in him will effortlessly know they are forever right with Him. Then they get to live for Him and give their lives to Him in return. Not so they will be accepted by God but because they already have been and want to love Him more then their own lives, for the greater life is after this one.

And I think you meant Abraham’s son Isaac. He wasn’t actually killed. God stopped him before and slaughtered a ram instead which was to represent Christ dying for us and letting us off the hook as an act of profound undeserved grace.

It’s like what C. S. Lewis said. “God does not love us because we are good. Rather, because He loves us He makes us good. ”

Religion controlling people

Atheist: Regardless, all religions span from the same idea of leaders getting orders from a supreme being to justify their own personal agendas. They use it as a tool to keep people in line with the fear of eternal suffering if they don’t obey orders from a being that only their leaders can communicate with. Religion in all forms is just a type of control to keep people in fear of an eternal torture that doesn’t really exist. The problem is that people didn’t question authority when religions started. If you look at the structure of all religions, they are all the same. They were all created for control, and when their authority is questioned, they do whatever they can to stop it. Throughout history Christianity has lost its power because it has no basis in realty, the Earth was never flat and never has been. Yet the church murdered and oppressed the people who said it was round. All religions including Christianity are made up for power. None of them exist, there is no heaven, no hell, and there are no gods of any kind. The time we have on earth is the only existence any one in the past or present has ever experienced.

Me: I completely agree with you that religion has been used to control people. Horrible things have happened in the name of Christianity and other religions. But my definition of religion is a set of principles that are believed at the exclusion of others. This is true for even atheist. Horrible atrocities have happened at the hands of atheists such as the annihilation of those who opposed atheist leaders during the French Revolution, especially Vladamir Lennon. Thousands were killed.

The Scriptures do not prescribe killing but love of God and others. The Triune God of Scripture accounts for science but Scripture itself is not a science text book. For centuries people have attempted to use the Bible to believe false things. That is a problem with sinful men, which Scripture accounts for and atheism can’t account for, not a problem with Scripture itself. It actually was theists, Galileo and Copernicus, who discovered the world was round.

Lastly, you believe in morality I assume (things are right and wrong) given your replies to me. Yet, I would argue that a real morality can’t exist without first assuming Christ’s (God) existence. If Scripture is true then we are all morally difficient and are at odds with the one who enables us to even know we have done wrong things. Like Blaise Pascal said, “atheism shows strength of mind, but only to a certain degree. ” Atheism can’t account for morality, but must assume morality say things like “God is immoral”, etc. If there is a morality it is only because God exists. If God exists then we must all answer to Him. That is why we must look to what Christ (God) Himself has done for us. He is our last and only hope. This is good news, not bad news! He is freedom, not tyranny. Our rejection of Christ, our sin, and our death is what keeps us in darkness. It has control over us. Christ sets us free.

What is the bases for morality?

Atheist: I agree with most of what you are saying about having morals and beliefs and that everyone does adhere to them to some degree. I however don’t believe your views on right and wrong, as far as I am concerned it only exists because someone says it does. A good example is that vegetarians feel eating meat is wrong and most other people feel it is perfectly normal and natural. Even though they think it is wrong, I think it is fine. I personally believe that there is no god of any kind because, almost all the gods in all religions follow the same structure of being born on December 25th, having 12 deciples, being killed and resurrecting 3 days later.

If you go to www. zeitgeistmovie. com and watch from about 11 minutes into the video until the section wich is like 45 minutes long (the movie is about a bunch of other stuff too) they explain how all the stories are related to the stars and sun and that there is no real god, and the same life story is repeated over and over.

My belief is that religion was created as a means of control through fear. I believe that it was created to give people an incentive to take orders from a “holy” individual who had other plans. It is just playing the blame game by saying “God told me to do it” and letting this

Me: I’ll watch the movie if I get around to it. I also want to reiterate that God is necessary for a real morality to even exist. Looking at morality, it can’t just be determined by one’s actions. One’s intentions and one’s circumstance in a situation must be considered as well. In a naturalistic universe “intentions” can’t even be accounted for as they are immaterial. Yet, if we are created in God’s image and likeness we can have intentions built into us and be held accountable when they are out of line with God’s own good character.

Atheist: God is not need for morality, he only exists in the mind just like morals, they only exist because someone said that they did or that you believe they do. Morality is judged differently depending on the person. the Mayan Indians felt there was nothing wrong with human sacrifice, but nowadays we think it is wrong. Right and wrong only exist because we say that they do.

Me: If that were really the case, and there is no real moral standard because we just invent rights and wrongs as a waste of time, then anything is permissible. You have no right to condemn the person who breaks in your house and rapes your family and shoots them execution style. That’s a graphic illustration, but that’s the logic conclusion to what you’re saying.

Atheist: first off, most cases of right and wrong are to keep from hurting others and are not a waste of time, and if in a different society, someone does something that might be acceptable to them by their standards, we have the right to have our opinions and views, but we have no right to condemn them for what they have done.

Morals are different for each person and culture. For example, some of the tribes in South America had would eat their own dead. To the society we live in now, we would think that is wrong, but to them, they had no problem with that and it was nobody’s place to put an end to that practice.

When you live in a society you are expected to follow the main moral guidelines for how they are expected to act, but the big idea is that these guidelines are determined by people to help benefit their society.

Me: And what if society someday determines that either 1. societies don’t determine morality or 2. that killing each other is beneficial? Your view of morality depends upon a majority of people “benefiting” from the common morals they presently do. Yet, if these morals change, and popular consensus changes its mind as to what morals should be followed, then anything in the end is still permissible. Eventually, you must realize, as other atheists have, that moral truths must exist independently of what we want them to be (Theodore Schick). Lastly, atheism has no reason to account for why preserving life is moral acceptable as opposed to not preserving life. We were all created in God’s image and likeness therefore cherish life. That is why cats can kill mice for the fun of it. They were not created in God’s image. Humans shouldn’t kill others for the fun it it, however.

Atheist: yet many people do kill each other for entertainment, are they still created in God’s image, is every kid that likes violent video games not part of God’s image? Also cats don’t kill mice for fun, they do it because they need to eat like every other being on earth. And you are right about anything being permissible if the general consensus is that there is no harm in that action, it will be permissible. Morals are not independent of what people want them to be and are not created by the imaginary being we call God. Atheism doesn’t have a reason to preserve or destroy life. In the end, we will all die and cease to exist so it really doesn’t matter.

Me: My world view account for killing. People kill because they are born sinners, because the first human Adam sinned after being created with out any sin. Further, killing is sinful, lawless, and rebellious because it is out of line with God’s own eternal good character. Once again, a prerequisite for real morality which atheism can’t account for. Not all cats kill for food. I have dead mice laying around my garage which were never eaten by my cats. But the larger point is that I don’t go lock my cat up in prison like I would a human created in God’s image and likeness.

You’ve spoken like a true atheist, but you don’t live your life like one. You still abide by a commonly followed morality which is really no morality when closely examined.

True morality must exist independent of us because it must not be subject to change. Your view or morality is not a true morality, just a made up morality that wants to have the best of both worlds. It seeks to say God doesn’t exist, yet borrows only what He can supply.

Atheist: but man CAN create a morality, we can all make intelligent decisions on what to do and not to do to benefit each other and society which, in a nutshell, is all morality really is, morality is constantly changing, 50 years ago, if someone said that music with lyrics about murder and violence would be acceptable they would have been considered crazy. God did not come down and tell society to accept this, we did it on our own. We can all think for ourselves and can define wright and wrong for ourselves. We do not need a supreme being of any kind to run the world for us. If there was a God, I think the world would be a completely different place.

Me: The world is a perfect place because it is being used for the greatest good, which is to demonstrate God’s glory and love by saving those who believe in Him from such a prideful, self-righteous, and evil world.

If you can create morality then you can say that murdering is OK. Even if the majority of people disagree with you, you’re still right. Majorities can’t hold the market on what is right and wrong because they could potentially change their majority view as well.

Atheist: Exactly, morals can be easily changed, people already do think murder is ok. Morals are always changing to fit whatever group holds the majority for however long they are the majority, nothing is set in stone. They are constantly changing.

Me: Yes, but that is not a ‘real’ morality. Morality, by definition, tells us how thing ‘ought’ to be, not how they are. If “morality” can change, then it is not a real morality and we are left only to conclude that morality doesn’t even exist. If killing innocent people for the fun of it is morally courageous one day for some people, and morally wrong for other on another day, then this is not true morality which says our intentions ‘should’ be aligned with what is good. All this is nothing more then acting a certain way, nothing less and nothing more. Again, as an atheist, you can only theorize that there is no morality, but in practice you have a conscious which keeps your motives and intentions in line with God’s good character.

Atheist: We as a society determine how things ought to be, your imaginary friend in the clouds doesn’t. If you want to go by a supreme being setting morality, then you are right in saying that there is no morality. Morals are different in every society, it determines what their definition of right and wrong are, and we have no right to tell them that they are wrong just because we believe differently. There is nothing set in stone with morality, anything can become acceptable, people will always find problems with their society’s morals. It is just that they have different morals than everyone else, so, in a sense, there are no “true” morals.

Christian people generally reject the idea that anything is acceptable because it means that they cannot force their beliefs on people with the fear of torture in an imaginary place that doesn’t exist for doing wrong when the ideas of right and wrong are all in your head. This questions all the lies and deceit that the church is based upon.

Me: If things can change then you can never say they ought to be a certain way and have it ever be taken seriously.

God’s character is eternal and unchanging. You would be more consistent in your belief in morality if you at least made up an imaginary friend.

You said “morals aren’t set in stone”. Really, but you also believe we can determine how they “ought” to be? These two statements cancel each other out. You still abide by morality as though you were created in God’s image, yet you supress the truth and are intellectually hostile to it.

Atheist: Everything changes, the way things should be, morals, leaders, the church that tries to run the world, the statement that morals aren’t set in stone doesn’t cancel out that we determine how things “ought” to be, in fact, because we determine how things “ought” to be, it keeps morals changing. In time, the world we know will be completely different, maybe even unrecognizable, the society of the future may have different needs and have a different view on how things should be, with completely different morals. I abide by morals because I am not like you, I don’t blindly follow, I think for myself and make my own decisions about what I personally feel is just.

You are the typical religious man who just goes through life letting the church tell you what is the “just” thing to do instead of thinking about you decisions by yourself. You give them donations every Sunday and assume that they are going to do good with it, Did you ever think who pays for all the supplies for the priests? The candles? The bills and all the other essentials to living? It all adds up, but it doesn’t really matter to you because you think that if you please God by giving to his church you are going to get a foot in the door to his big, nonexistent paradise.

Me: I’m actually not Catholic. I’m the greatest sinner of all, yet God loves me still because of the gospel. God will love me no more and no less then He already does, only because of Christ.

Again, a morality that can change it not a real morality. It is just dressed up like morality. Morality means you can say something is right and wrong. Yet, with your view of right and wrong being able to change, you don’t really believe in morality because nothing can ever be said to really be wrong and really be right.

Atheist: In a sense, you are right about the sense of right and wrong not being a real morality I guess, As I said before, there is nothing in this world that is set in stone, the whole world can change in a couple of days like it did on September 11th, weather anyone likes it or not, that changed what we in society held important, and has also changed the world and the way it works, granted this is not the best example because it didn’t have a large effect on what people believed in, but it did change the way people acted in general and more specifically towards Muslims.

There are no rules on what is right and wrong in this world, going bac to 9/11, the terrorists who destroyed the world trade center believed that they were doing the right thing even though I see it as the wrong thing to do. I personally don’t believe you should do what is right in you mind if it involves harming innocent people who have done nothing to provoke you.

Right and wrong differ based on your own personal views, and there is nothing wrong with that, just so long as you let people make their own decisions and have their own beliefs.

The consequences of not having a REAL morality

Me: You say “let people make their own decisions and have their own beliefs”. Isn’t this dangerous? Beliefs become a free for all. All is permissible. We are free to live how we want right? No one can and should hold us accountable to our actions. Police just arrest people arbitrarily because they’ve bought into this lie that it’s bad for laws to be broken. Dump cops. These laws are just man made and invented. There is no real right and wrong.

Atheist: It is dangerous, but everyone has a right to their own beliefs, we have authority and laws to prevent harm, we need to be held accountable for our actions in the eyes of the law, weather we like it or not. We are part of a society and must abide by the rules that it sets forth. Most laws have the intent of the people in mind and are there to make sure everyone has a fair life. If people don’t like the laws, they can either get over it, try to change them, or leave whatever society they live in. Laws are, for the most part, designed to help people live better lives. They are man made and are not all necessarily good.

Me: But as an atheist I can believe that there are no laws that are good. The only good law is to kill everyone.

Atheist: Ok now you are just twisting words around and going to extremes. I can say that you approve of the mindless killing of innocent people because you associate with Christianity because it has been one of the most violent organizations ever created. You can believe whatever you want, Christians believe that if they go to church every Sunday, they will be accepted into heaven. I believe that there is no afterlife of any kind and that Christianity and Jesus are just the latest spin off on the same story that has been going on ever since religion started. He is just the latest name on the list of people who were born on December 25th, had 12 deciples, were killed and arose from the dead 3 days later. It is the same story over and over.

There is a huge difference between knowing that right and wrong are man made and being irrational. You are only seeing the extreme possibilities of the situation

Me: No, I’m not twisting words around and going to extremes. You’re an atheist! There are only extremes to you, not me. What is extreme to you is not extreme to me. You are not eternal. You are not God. You evolved randomly like I did. You can’t absolutely say that going around killing people is extreme. How dare you! You need to be a consistent atheist.

Atheist: I can’t go around telling other people what is right and wrong, it is not my place, and it isn’t yours either. I identify myself as an atheist because, as far as I am concerned, there are no supernatural or divine entities at all, and THAT is the principle behind atheism. I think for myself and follow logic, I hold myself to my own moral standards that I created, I am not a blind follower. You on the other hand are. If more people would just think instead of accepting everything authority says, the world would be a much better place.

Me: You blindly follow moral principles that you pulled out of thin air for arbitrary reasons. If atheism were true no one could possibly tell someone they were wrong. If you were really consistent you wouldn’t be able to even say I was wrong. I hold to a real morality, and it so happens to conform to your supposed “invented” one.

Atheist: I don’t blindly follow moral principles I pulled out of thin air. They are my views of right and wrong, and I didn’t let anyone tell me what they should be I cannot tell you that you decisions are wrong, but I can tell you that you believe in an imaginary being that doesn’t exist and are too closed minded to think for yourself and make your own decisions on what is right and wrong. You are the blind follower who accepts the church as absolute truth even though they have been wrong countless times.

Me: Your views of right and wrong are 1. based on nothing and 2. they mean nothing.

you said “I can tell you that you believe in an imaginary being that doesn’t exist and are too closed minded to think for yourself and make your own decisions on what is right and wrong. ”

1. I believe in a real right and wrong which is consistent with belief in an eternal unchanging being. 2. if I’m closed minded then what is that to you? I’m just the by-product of my makeup. I can’t help it. Why do you condemn that which I can’t control?

Again, you are profoundly inconsistent.

Atheist: I condemn your imaginary god because he is a lie, all why should I take someones word for it that he exists? He has shown me no proof of existence, yet people who cant think for themselves seem to feel obliged to shove their god down everyone else’s throat like you are doing. Just because someone wrote a book about him doesn’t make him real. Someone wrote a book on a person called Harry Potter but we don’t actually believe that there are witches and wizards?

Universal meanings prove the natural world isn’t all there is

Me: the fact that you use logic proves God.

Atheist: and how exactly did you come to that conclusion?

Me: like morality, logic also has an ought-ness to it. The things we identify, such as an “apple”, ought to be an apple as opposed to something else. But what in the physical world tells us this?

Atheist: The only reason we identify an apple as an apple is because someone decided that apple would be the word used to identify that kind of fruit. Whoever decided to call an apple an apple could have decided to call it anything he wanted. It is just a word that man created to help with communication. We identify an apple with the word apple because that is what we have been brought up with.

Me: But identity is an immaterial thing. You can’t say an apple ought to be identified as an apple as opposed to an elephant because that requires an immaterial identity which is also unchanging. The same with morality. We were once all star dust, but now want to say our behavior should only be certain ways. Should star dust’s behavior only be certain ways?

Atheist: An object’s identity is just a word created by man and can change at any time, we only call apples apples because someone told us that is what they are called. Identities can change just like morals, they are just words thought up like morals are guidelines thought up by man.

What differs man from stardust is that we think for ourselves and try to alter our reality. Stardust doesn’t think, it is acted upon bu outside forces and behaves as a result of these forces. It doesn’t make choices like we do.

Me: You are rationally proving God’s existence to me.

The first law of logic says A = A. This means that if an apple is agreed to be an apple, not because of what we call it but because of what it IS, then it cannot also be a non-apple. This law of logic allows us to identify things. This is the building block for knowledge and communication. If an apple is something different to me then what it is to you then we cannot communicate about an apple. We would be talking about different things. If what an apple is to me can change then I cannot myself know what I’m talking about. One day I’m talking about an apple, the next day I’m talking about a non-apple.

So you see, things we identify CANNOT change. Otherwise there would be no rationality and not communication. Absolutes must exist independent of us.

Since this is so, it requires one to ask. Where did that which is identifiable come from? Where did minds come from? Minds can only come from minds. Logic can only operate the way it does, otherwise it wouldn’t be logical.

Atheist: I am in no way proving Gods existence, apple is an arbitrary word for a certain fruit, it is entirely manmade, it is not an absolute, for some reason, society could say apples and oranges should switch names, identity is a fundamental of language, not logic. You are right that we cannot change what an apple is, but we could call it whatever we want.

Rationality is independent of communication, solitary animals like cats must use logic and think in order to survive, people who are stranded by themselves have no need for communication except when they are trying to get rescued, they can do everything that they need without communicating with any other being. Logic is completely independent of communication.

Me: My fundamental point is not that we can name things but that there is nothing in mindless matter which has the ability to identify things so that they can fall into classes of things. Every apple is different but they all fall into this one class of “apples” as opposed to “elephants”. This is supernatural activity.

Even the dude who’s stranded on an island must identify things in order to survive.

Rationality is independent of communication? So someone can communicate successfully by being irrational? How?

What you mean by apple is what I mean by apple because we are both created in God’s image and God knows what an apple is because He created it and put the knowledge of it in us. If this did not happen then we would have no bases to even dialogue about apples. We wouldn’t even know anything, and if we did we’d be lucky if we agreed on it. Yes animals identify things but this only beggs the question. The reason we know they identify things is because we can too. So again, how did we come to do this? What part of matter tells us what classes there are in a universe only made up of mindless atoms?

Atheist: Language developed over hundreds of years, we identify an apple as an apple because that is what we have been told since birth. This is an example of humans simply classifying objects that are in essence the same like two different apples is not supernatural activity, it is just mankind using thought to say that these two things that look taste and feel similar are the same thing. Weather you believe it or not, man can do all this by himself. There is no need for a god to decide what something is. Man is perfectly capable of free thought and intelligence.

And with the rationality thing again, you are twisting words your ability to think rationally has nothing to do with your ability to communicate. You can do the math problem four plus four equals eight in your head, you don’t need to communicate it with other people. Look at Albert Einstein, he was one of the smartest people to ever live, yet he dropped out of school. This was because of his communication problem.

I never said being irrational makes you better at communication. I simply said you don’t need to communicate to think rationally.

Me: So you can communicate irrationally?

If not, you do in some sense, need rationality to communicate.

What in nature tells us that an apple is an apple then? Identity is immaterial. And what tell us that it ought to be an apple? If you say an apple ought to be an apple then you agree with the laws of logic, but what in nature says we must go by the laws of logic?

Atheist: Again, you are twisting words, I said you do not need to communicate to think rationally, I am simply saying that rational thought requires no communication, not that communication requires no thought.

We call an apple an apple because we have been told that thats what an apple is called. Nothing told us what it ought to be, someone, thousands of years ago decided that this certain kind of fruit should be called an apple.

Nature itself tells us that we must go by the laws of logic. The universe we live in is ruled by the laws of physics and math. We use numbers and measurements to describe the world around us, and we use the changes in these to describe how the universe works with formulas. For example, if you have X number of planets in a solar system and add 5 to get a total of 9 planets, the formula would be X+5=9. therefore we could use logic to determine that you had 4 planets to begin with. We have to use logic because it is what runs the world in which we live. Humanity would never exist without logic.

Me: No one ever said you needed communication to think rationally.

If the laws of nature change you still have nature. If the laws of logic change you don’t have logic. Again, logic has an ought-ness to it. Again, where in nature do we find the laws of logic?

Atheist: First of all, the laws of nature are the laws of physics and will never change. They are the rules that all things in the universe follow, the only absolutes. The laws of physics give us logic. For example, two catlike animals evolve from one common ancestor. One turns the color black and the other turns tan. If both of them live in the desert, the tan cats will survive much better because they are able to hide in the tan environment better than the black cats. Logic says that a tan animal in a tan environment will be harder to see than a black animal, allowing the tan cat to be a better hunter and survive better than the black cat.

These are the laws of physics in action, they say that the molecules in the tan cats fur will reflect the same wavelength of light that the sand will reflect, therefore, making it blend in with its environment better and making its prey less aware.

Logic tells us that the black cat will be easier to spot in the desert so it will be less likely to catch as much food as the tan cat.

Me: The laws of physics will never change? Based on what? God?

The laws of physics only explain uniformity in nature that is already there. There could be other uniformities in nature than what we presently see, and thus form laws based on those uniformities.

Secondly, your natural selection argument begs the question. How does mindless matter determine something is “better”. It doesn’t and it can’t. These type of language assumes a prior logic.

The real problem with survival of the fittest is that it fails to explain 1) why mindless nature prefers survival over non-survival and fitness of non-fitness and 2) how mindless matter “knows” what survival and fitness even are so that it may choose it! Again, this begs the question because it assumes that something void of logic magically uses logic in order to bring about logic.

Logic is the ability to identify things. There are 3 established laws of logic. Without them we don’t have logic and can’t know anything. Again, where are these laws found in nature? Are they material? Are they growing somewhere in Africa?

Your atheism can’t account for these things. Every time you respond to me and prove that you know things, such as the words used to argue against God’s existence, you prove His existence by borrowing only what He can provide.

Atheist: If there are other uniformities in the universe, that just means there are more laws of physics that are yet to be discovered, it doesn’t make them new, they have been in effect for all eternity, just unknown to man.

Matter doesn’t determine what is better at all. Humanity determines what is better. Matter is indifferent to what it is. Logic is simply another invention of man to explain actions and their consequences, like god is created to explain what is unknown or hard to comprehend.

Matter doesn’t decide what is better, it is just what naturally happens. The tan cat can hunt better than the black cat, the matter doesn’t care what happens to it or which cat it is in. The tan cats simply can produce more and competition for food with the black cats will drive the black cats to extinction. Matter doesn’t prefer survival or extinction. Survival simply is something a species that has enough resources does. There is no underlying goal or awareness of the species, they survive because they naturally reproduce.

God has provided humanity nothing, we created him to help us explain the unexplainable, people say the universe cannot have existed forever because it is hard to comprehend that no matter how far back in time you go, the universe still existed before it, and that no matter how far out into space you go, you can still keep going.

We create supreme beings to account for these things because the human mind is flawed, we are not as smart as we think we are, despite all our achievements, we can’t comprehend the concept of something being infinite. We live on a planet where everything has a limit. We have mastered lengths and amounts because it is what we are used to.

People claim only god can give them something because where it actually comes from. Logic is a part of human thought. It is our ability to analyze our environment. We use it to make decisions and learn it from observing cause and effect.

Me: Humanity determines what is “better”? This makes no sense in your worldview. Something can only be better when compared to a standard. You have no standard, just empty and meaningless opinions. If atheism is true then you’re wasting your time trying to prove atheism is right. If atheism is true, then there are no real truths.

You believe the universe is eternal? That belief is so 5 minutes ago. The universe can’t be eternally old because we wouldn’t be here if it were. That means an infinite amount of time would have to pass first, which is impossible, because infinity doesn’t end. If you actually believe that you’ll have to change that.

Your likening logic to thinking. But we can’t think without logic. There are 3 laws of logic. These laws must be in place or else we can’t have logic and thus think rationally. But where in the physical universe to we see the laws? Tan cats doesn’t explain that.

Begging the question alert! You said, “Matter doesn’t prefer survival or extinction. Survival simply is something a species that has enough resources does.”

So survival is prefers that which has enough resources. What does that even mean and why does it prefer resources to non-resources?

The problem of an infinite universe, natural selection, and the problem of induction

Atheist: The only reason something is better is because someone said it is, the only standards are the ones man creates. The only truths in the world are the laws of physics, they are what determine what will happen.

Why cant the universe be eternal, if it isn’t and god created it, I can say the same thing about him, it would require an infinite amount of time to pass before god created the universe. As I said before, the human mind has trouble understanding the concept of infinity. Why couldn’t an infinite amount of time have passed? We say it had to have began sometime, but then what created it? And wouldn’t whatever created time have to exist before the beginning of time? There was no beginning of time, just like there was no creation of space. It has simply always been there and always will.

Again, the human mind has a hard time comprehending the concept of infinity. We are not all knowing beings, we can simply think better than any other creature on earth. It doesn’t mean we are all knowing and perfect.

I said a species will reproduce and survive if is has enough resources. There is no force guiding the species to do anything, they have the ability to reproduce, and that is why they survive. The example of the black cats shows that they will not be able to eat enough to survive, and they will eventually die of starvation. The matter in the cats doesn’t have any preference, mankind has determined that it is better to survive, the species doesn’t care, the cats simply reproduce. The species is oblivious to if it is thriving or struggling.

A species that survives prefers resources because that is what the individuals want. The species has no inner consciousness, they do what there bodies tell them, they are hungry so they eat, they are in heat so they mate, and so on. Through evolution and adaptation, creatures who don’t have these signals die off, leaving the healthiest individuals left to reproduce.

Me: we invent standards? Again, I’m going to have to call the begging the question police on you. Who’s standard is correct then? If none, then nothing is really “better”. It’s a word without meaning floating in your mind.

Saying God is eternal does not mean He has existed an infinite amount of time. That would place Him within time and space which had a beginning. God is outside time and space. He is the 4th dimension to this 3rd dimension if you will. That is what is meant by eternal. You’ll have to update your beliefs on saying the universe is infinite. That’s utterly impossible. If the universe is infinite then we wouldn’t be here because an infinite amount of time first must pass. That’s impossible!

Again, you just responded back to my previous reply and proved once again that God exists and that you are wrong as an atheist.

If the laws of physics change we will still have physics, just with different laws. If the laws of logic are different, we will no longer have logic. But the laws of logic don’t evolve or come from natural selection. They are immaterial and must function they way they do. Physical matter can’t account for the non-physical, especially when the non-physical must perform a certain way, and no other way.

Atheist: Standards are invented by mankind, we might say it is cold outside, we are holding it to our standard of comfortable. It is not really cold outside, we just say that -2 celcius is cold.

nothing is really better in the universe, it is just an opinion, I might say that this band is better than that band, it is just my opinion, just like survival is better than extinction.

How is an infinite amount of time impossible? if the universe had a beginning, then when was it? and when will it end? If space doesn’t go on forever, then where does it end? You are just proving that the human mind has a hard time comprehending the idea of infinity, you can’t grasp the idea that the universe is already infinitely old so you say it is impossible to have it exist forever.

As for the fourth dimension, it is time, everything has a certain height, width, depth, and time of existence right? the other three dimensions are all infinite, so why cant the fourth one be?

The laws of physics will never change, they are what give us nature and the universe, they are the only set rules that the universe must abide by. The laws of logic, however are man made, we weren’t born knowing the laws of logic, they were told to us. If they ever changed, wouldn’t logic still exist? It would simply follow different rules just like if the laws of physics changed.

Me: You assume the laws of nature will never change, but can’t prove that. You can only study what laws are there. You can’t study them to see if they will ever change.

The “4th dimension” is where time does not exist, and where the uncreated exists. You need to keep up on current atheist scientists and learn that it is scientifically and philosophically impossible for time, space, and matter as we know it to be infinitely old.

We can be in process to infinity, but can never reach it. I think you are confusing those two concepts.

Again, you are responding to my responses and proving God’s existence all the more. You are assuming absolute truths by using logic and reason. Atoms banging around can’t account for immaterial and fixed truths. Or if you believe atoms banging around can account for these things, I’m waiting to hear how.

Atheist: I can assume that the laws of nature will never change, they are simply the laws of physics, and those will never change, they are the entire reason the universe is able to exist.

You still haven’t answered my question of when time began. You have only proved that you know nothing of science like almost every Christian in the world, you say something you cant back up, just saying it cant happen doesn’t prove anything.

You say that time had a start because you believe the lies that you have been fed through the bible from day one. You take what they said for truth without an explanation.

the universe is made up of ten dimensions, all of which require the others to exist. therefore a dimension that is independent of the universe would be unable to interact with our universe. The first three dimensions are height, width, and depth, the fourth is time. The other six deal with string theory.

There are no immaterial or fixed truths only the laws of physics, atoms cant account for everything because they are not everything. We still know very little about the universe in which we live, we don’t know what is really going on around us yet. A light particle is theoretically impossible because it has no mass, but it still exists. Science still cannot explain everything but it doesn’t mean that religion is right, the earth was always round, it was not flat before the idea of a round planet was introduced. Religion falls short on its explanations all the time, the only time it holds ground when science cant explain it yet.

Me: It was theists who believed the earth was round, namely, Copernicus and Galileo. The majority of scientists back then didn’t believe the world was round.

So the laws of physics will never change? Wow, you must know everything somehow. Just because the universe presently exists doesn’t mean it always will. You’re raising a logic fallacy.

Of course time as we know it had to start. Like I said though, don’t take my word for it, study proponents of the Big Bang to help you understand this.

Atheist: You are right that Copernicus and Galileo were theists, but they questioned the church. That is what makes them different, they proved the church WRONG, and didn’t accept them as all knowing.

As for the laws of physics what makes you think they will change? God, your imaginary friend? They are the only reason our universe can exist. You cannot prove that time has started or has ended.

I am an Atheist, not a scientist. I have come to the conclusion that there is no god or supernatural being of any kind. I don’t understand or care how the universe works, just as long as it keeps working. I just choose to think for myself and not let other people tell me that I am a lesser being or that I have done something wrong by simply existing.

I determine what is wright and wrong for me as you should do for yourself. there is no reason you should accept that there is a god because a book says all these great things happened. Where are all these miracles now? Where are the great plagues and floods? or has god just given up on humanity? Has he accepted that there is no point in proving his existence to those who are smart enough to think for themselves and put faith in them to make good decisions? Or, does he not exist at all? Could religion be used entirely for control and be simply made up? Could it be used to pass the blame on? The ruler was told by god to send his people to war, its not his fault, he is just doing what he is told, talk to the big man upstairs.

Me: “The church”? Which church are you talking about? The church at that time was Rome, but one does not have to be Roman Catholic to accept that the supernatural exists.

Again, you assume the supernatural every time you reply to me. Universal meanings do not grow on trees, and you need to use universal meanings to write a response to me. God mostly reveals Himself on this side of Heaven through His gospel message and His Holy Spirit. He does so as He pleases according to Scripture.

I believe the laws of physics will stay the same because God is consistent in His character and can will to hold them together. Whatever force is holding the laws of physics together in your worldview must be just as consistent as the force in my worldview. But we both have no certainty that such as force will continue to do what it has. This is what the atheist Hume understood. Past experiences can’t prove or garauntee future experiences. This is the “problem of induction”.

Again, simple math shows that infinity can’t exist, but only be in process. We can only be in process of infinity in this universe, it can never be completed because infinity by definition means never ending. Thus, the universe can’t be infinitely old. Scripture teaches that God is eternal, meaning existing out side of time as we know it. Some scientists call this the 4th dimension because they don’t want to admit that Christ upholds all.

The lies you believe and assume could be used to control you as well. Jesus says the truth will set us free and we will be very free. I know you believe lies by seeing how inconsistent you are with your beliefs. I’m not trying to be mean but to just point out that apart from Christ, all is inconsistent and unfulfilling.

Neither of us can determine right or wrong for ourselves because to have wrong you must first have right. So what is it that defines what is right? It must be an eternal, unchanging, omniscient, omnipresent, all good standard. Otherwise, morality is nothing but a word that means nothing and we follow it for no reason. Where does your standard of right come from?

Atheist: With church I am talking about all religions, Christian Muslim, etc. I believe that all religions are lies.

There is no god or supreme being of any kind, as I said before, they are simply a scapegoat for rulers to blame bad decisions on. The laws of physics are what holds the universe together, they are the only things that will not change, instead of a force holding them together, they are the force that holds the universe together.

Infinity cannot ever be reached. But it is the idea of never ending. Time decreases with speed and is a relative measure. At the speed of light, time stands still, but time still passes for us when we see light, the light experiences time standing still. so how can you really prove it even exists? So from the lights perspective it never reaches its destination. So how can you prove time exists?

Why can’t I determine right and wrong for myself? I make decisions every day about right and wrong and you do without even knowing it, If all of a sudden the church you go to said we are going to kill all black people because god said to and it is the right thing to do, would you believe them? I can only hope that you are not that blind and will listen to you brain. We define right and wrong by ourselves weather you think we do or not. I is the exact same thing with morals too, we define them for ourselves, not god.

Me: Galileo and Copernicus were under the church of Rome. Your clarification has no relevance to your previous statement.

All religions are lies? First, what is a religion to you? To me it is a set of beliefs. You are religious if that is true, just in a different way than others, yet not that different. Further, to say something is a “lie” assumes that there is truth. But truth is non-physical and must be absolute. It only comes from being created in God’s image. Again, your atheism crumbles with simple logic.

Simply by you asserting there is no God does not make it so. An assertion is not a good argument, just an assertion.

I can prove time exists in the sense that past, present, and future exist. Did you write your last response to me in the past or future? Either answer proves that time exists. So moving along, just as you admitted, “infinity can never be reached”, this proves that an endless amount of successions into the past can never be reached, because it is of course ENDLESS.

You say right and wrong come from the brain? So right and wrong, which are non-physical realities, comes from random neuron firings? If this is true, then Hitler’s neuron firings told him that killing Jews and black would be virtuous. But you can’t say he is wrong. His neuron firings told him what was right just how your neuron firings tell you what is right. Really though, to say something is right or wrong first assumes there is an absolute ‘right’. What is established as right must come first, then what is wrong can follow after that is established. Where does your standard of ‘right’ come from? If you don’t have one then you have no basis to say something is REALLY right, thus REALLY wrong.

Psalms 14:1 says the fool says in his heart there is no God. Rom 1 says that those with evil natures supress the truth. I’m not trying to be a jerk, but with the arguements you are still providing it is clear that you are doing both of these. But it’s no suprise. We are all evil by nature and hate God and his truth, especially when his truth only makes sense with him in the picture. I pray that Jesus Christ would save both your soul and your intellect.

Back to morality. What is required for a REAL morality to even exist?

Atheist: A religion to me is an organization or belief that there is a higher power.

Through all the violence and wars that a so called “all loving” being has supposedly started I have come to the conclusion that they are all started for personal gain of someone other than god. The truth is that there is no being or force that is telling us what to do. We are in charge of our own lives and some people are stupid enough to believe that they don’t have to think for themselves, so some people will take advantage of them and use them for whatever they want. Truth was never created by god, is just simply a fact, saying the world is round is the truth, god did not create the fact that the earth is round, it is just a property of the earth.

Right and wrong are relative. Hitler killing Jews and blacks was right in his mind, not in mine, right and wrong are not absolutes, they are controlled by each individual, not set in stone. Your views of right and wrong are going to be different than mine, and different from Hitler’s. The only absolutes in this universe are the laws of physics. The definition of right and wrong HAS changed and will change again in the future. Up until the civil war, many people did not feel that owning slaves was wrong. There is no basis for determining what is right and wrong, it is all an individual decision.

We are not all evil in nature, why should I be condemned just for my existence? So I can believe that there is a god who can save me? Why should I believe anyone? Why can’t god show me he exists? And why did he create people that can think for themselves? So he can play his sick little game and make us think that he doesn’t exist and then cast us into a lake of fire for all eternity? If he will not prove his existence to me personally I will acknowledge him as real.

Me: You can’t believe in God and can’t want to be His friend even if you did see Him. You hate God. But an experiment which will allow you to actually see Him is dying. That is, if He exists.

You’ve also proved that morality doesn’t exist. When you say morality your not saying there are real right and real wrongs. You’re just saying each of us prefers murder and some don’t. Some prefer green doors, some don’t.

Your nature is to hate God, love yourself, be jealous of others, disobey even helpful authority, lust in your heart, hate in your heart, steal, and lie. You are no different then me. Jesus Christ practiced what He preached. He never had a bad thought for a millisecond and even forgave those who murdered Him, something you and I could never do. You are not a good person. I you say you are then you are all the more a bad person because you are hiding your guilt which is done out of pride and idolatry, the worst of all sins. If you die and God judges you for these things, He is being loving to Himself because He is perfectly sinless and good.

Atheist: I do not hate god if he exists, I hate people who tell me what to believe. None of us here on earth can know if he exists because none of us have ever died and came back.

I’ve never said that morality existed as an absolute. It is just another standard that is made up in our minds, like the idea of right and wrong. I hold myself to a different moral standard than you, it doesn’t make either of them better, just different.

I don’t hate a being that might not exist, I have resentment for those who act like they know everything and try and force their beliefs on me. I do not think that god will judge me on what thoughts I have had, but how I have treated others. If I see someone I know that I don’t really like and never got along with on the side of the road with a flat tire and helped him change it, that is what god would judge me on, not my feelings toward that person, but how I acted instead. I know I am not perfect and never will be, but I try to be as good of a person as I can and follow my standards for right and wrong.

Me: I haven’t told you what to believe, but I have pointed out the profound inconsistencies with your views. If you tell me I should believe morality is relative, then I do not hate you. Why do you hate me if I tell you right must really be right, otherwise right and wrong can’t really exist?

The Scriptures teach that God judges us on how we treated Him. Remember the first commandment is to love God. Jesus Christ said “who do you say I am?” If Jesus Christ exists, who is the God of Scripture, then we blaspheme Him by rejecting Him. Yet, everyone does this. All are sinners. Only Jesus Christ is good. When we compare ourselves to others we may think we are the shit. But when we compare ourselves to God’s standard, Jesus Christ, we are evil beyond words. But this is why the gospel is such good news.

Atheist: First of all I never said I hate you, I hate people who tell me what to believe, not people who have different views. You are the one who messaged me about religion, it is a two way street, if you want to dish it out be ready to receive it.

Secondly right and wrong are very similar to morals, I have different views on right and wrong than you do, for example, I think if you get a tattoo or body piercing it is not wrong, it is your body and you can do whatever you want to it. But other people think it is wrong to get tattoos and piercing, they have a different standard for right and wrong than you or I might. It is the same thing with Hitler, I think it is wrong to kill innocent people but he didn’t, I think his actions are unjustifiable but in his mind, he was doing the right thing. It becomes an issue when other people get involved in someone’s choice.

I am not perfect and never will be, maybe I’m too skeptical, I have had too many people who I thought were my friends stab me in the back when I gave them the benefit of the doubt to take anyone’s word for anything. I always try to be the best person I can. I am holding myself to that standard, and nobody else’s.

Me: OK, I’m glad we don’t hate each other. I hope we can be friends. Even over myspace.

I think we have some common ground on the topic of morality, yet some un-common ground. Please hear me out as I try to bridge the connection. From all that I have studied about God’s nature, Scripture, the Ten Commandments, etc, I can honestly tell you that it is not always wrong to get a tattoo and many other things that most “Christians” flip out about. but let me not just say that but give a Biblical bases for it. Morals can’t be determined by mere actions, hence, either getting a tattoo or not. Rather, morality also entails 1. the circumstance in which we do or don’t do something and 2. our inner intentions as to why we do or don’t do something. I gladly grant you, in this sense, morality is relative. BUT… only relative to the circumstances and intentions by which our thought, words, and actions are carried out! Some may want a tattoo to blaspheme God, and intend for it to be that. If the Triune God exists, then that is morally wrong. If a tattoo is intended to give glory to God, then that is not sin. Scripture says, “Whether you eat or drink do so unto the glory of God” and likens sin with “falling short of God’s glory.”

In addition, morality is not an invented list of rights and wrongs. If the Christian says that God invented morality then he finds himself in the same predicament as the atheist for trying to account for morality. Rather, morality, and the Ten Commandments (summing up the moral law of loving God and others) all stem from God’s own NATURE and CHARACTER. God is Triune, therefore loving to Himself. What God is like within Himself defines what is right. Thus anything contrary is by definition “wrong”.

Moving on to Hitler. It can’t be said that murdering people for racial reasons is morally good, no matter what one’s intentions are or circumstances are. This is because racism always, without exception, carries the intention of murder. It is hatred for someone we deem inferior to us or wish was inferior to us. Jesus basically said in Mat 5 that inner hatred for someone is the first cousin to murder.

To sum it all up: morality is relative but not entirely relative. It is absolute but not entirely based upon mere actions. Morality is better said to be relative to given absolutes which must take into account not only actions, words, and thoughts, but circumstances and intentions by which those actions, words, and thoughts are carried out.

Atheist: I understand what you are saying, but you must remember that thousands of years ago, the moral standards in a society were completely different. Now we think it is wrong to own slaves, wrong to commit human sacrifice, and so on and so forth. People just accepted these things as daily life and didn’t give them a second thought. Now we say these things are bad and immoral, and a thousand years from now, there will be a different moral standard. We will pick out flaws in our moral standard and change them.

As a society we have a pretty good consensus on what is morally acceptable. I think this is best represented by the main laws in our country, for example, 99% of people in the world are going to say that it is bad to go out and murder people, so we will say that it is illegal to commit murder, the entire idea of morals are in our heads, and all of us create our own standards based on what we grow up around. People who grow up in a highly religious home are probably going to have morals that are going to be much more strict than other people who grew up in a nonreligious home. Neither one is a better moral standard. They are just different.

Morals and right and wrong are all on an individual standard, not determined for us, we have free thought, and we have made so many great achievements in our existence from living like animals. Why can’t we use our mind to determine what our right and wrong are?

Me: What you are talking about, however, is a change in 1. people’s behaviors and/or 2. people’s opinions about morality. It appears as though morality is changing by looking at these 2 things, but these 2 things are not what is required for a real morality. Let’s put our assumptions about societies aside for a moment and just look at what is required for morality to really exist from the ground up. Call it a though experiment. An eternal standard must exist and must be unchanging. This standard must define all which is good, right, and true. This standard must take into account intention and circumstance, not just action. Again, I’m talking about for a real morality to exist, one where there is a real right and wrong, not an opinion of right and wrong, which ultimately is no good if what were trying to account for is a real right and wrong. I would appreciate it if you addressed this more.

Again, if circumstance and intention is taken into account with slavery then “some” forms of it can be morally right and some forms be morally wrong. I agree with most atheists that morality is not black and white, thus relative. But I also believe that it is relative to intentions and circumstances which only God can rightfully judge.

As a Christian I can account for why 99% of people agree that murder is bad. We are created in God’s image. If consensus determines what is right and wrong then that consensus can eventually tell us that murder is courageous. Thus, morality ceases to be a real morality with real rights and wrongs, but is nothing other than a blank word meaning “preference”. I do not use the term morality or real morality as a synonym for “preference”, when logically examined. I use the word morality to represent what must first be established for things to be really right and really wrong.

Atheist: I understand what you are saying about true morality, the problem is that even if it exists, people will make their own decisions on what is true morality. We cannot prove that it exists, just like we cannot prove that the bible is all true and not using metaphors to teach a lesson. If true morality exists, how will you know that what you are doing is truly moral and not just what you think is truly moral?

We cannot be 100% sure that what we are doing is truly good if such a think even exists. We can make generalizations and say that murder is wrong, but what about the death penalty? It is a fair punishment but is it wrong, an eye for an eye a life for a life. I don’t think that we can ever be 100% on a situation like that, But we do have our own judgment to use. We can say what we think is morally right or wrong, but we will never be sure if it is truly moral.

Me: Even if we still make our own opinions about morality, that does not mean those opinions become right. They remain as nothing other than opinions. How we determine which morality is the right morality is step 2 in the process. We’re getting way ahead of ourselves here. What we need to first do is “account” for morality. In other words, provide a bases to even say there ARE real rights and wrongs. Without first doing this, it’s utterly pointless to talk about our opinions of morality. Because then we’re only talking about ways of doing things, not whether they’re really right or really wrong. We need first give good reasons as to why things are really right and really wrong. If we can’t have good reason to believe things are really right and really wrong it’s utterly pointless to talk about what’s right and wrong! We’re then sawing off the tree limb we’re sitting on.

Atheist: Right and wrong are opinions, as far as I am concerned they are personal opinions of right and wrong, I think murder is wrong so when I say that murder is wrong, I am speaking my opinion on the action, others may have different views, but in their minds they are morally right. Nobody should tell anybody what there opinion of right and wrong is. There are no absolutes with it so we cannot say something is truly right. It might be the right thing to do in your mind, but not in somebody else’s.

The logical consequences of atheism

Me: Thank you. You are proving what I want to prove what atheists can’t account for in their worldview. You do not and cannot consistently say there is a real right and wrong, thus there is no such thing as a real morality. Morality means nothing and is only short hand for “preference”.

Since this is reality to you, you have no real reason to even do what you have made up as “right”. You are doing something that doesn’t exist for arbitrary reasons.

Atheist: I have never said that there is a real right and wrong, I said that it is all in your head, just like morality. I don’t have to do anything that I deem as “right”. But I may make a personal gain from doing it or something like that.

Me: OK, you can say anything is right and do anything you want.

Atheist: Exactly, there is no way to prove that there is a real right and wrong. You make your own decisions for yourself, but other people will judge you based on your decisions and their personal views of right and wrong.

Me: And if there is no REAL right and wrong by which we will someday be judged then the rights and wrongs I decide to go by are entirely made up. I can believe that brushing your teeth is wrong.

Atheist: You could say that. Nobody else should tell you what you should think. Just as long as your views don’t let you hurt anyone you can follow your sense of right and wrong

Me: There is a double standard in your reasoning. Let’s reason together. You said “nobody else should tell you what you should think”. Then you say “just as long as your views don’t let you hurt anyone”. It is only YOUR opinion that we shouldn’t hurt people. According to everything you’ve said about “morality” so far, we decide for ourselves right and wrong. Therefore, someone can believe that hurting others is right.

Atheist: everything is just an opinion, there is no real right and no real wrong. You can do anything you want. If you think that hurting people is right, you can hurt people. I only said that because then you would have to deal with consequences for your actions

Me: OK, fair enough. I’m just seeing if you’re consistent. I’m glad you are. And even the consequences that are enforced are arbitrary and based on opinion.

Atheist: Exactly, there is no definition of what is truly right. Everyone makes there own standard which means that almost everybody has a different standard. Neither one is truly right, not even laws.

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29 comments

  1. Dear Cameron: Much of what I would like to share with you, you won’t agree with…Please forgive me in advance, I’m the Fearless Leader of the LA Brights.

    Brights are people who base our ethics and actions on a naturalistic worldview, without supernatural elements.

    My intention is to trade some thoughts with you, and I don’t INTEND to confront or upset you…education is all I offer and is my true purpose.

    My observation is that most people need to seek a higher power, and that’s just one (of several!) indication it is genetically based!

    The overwhelming majority of humanity (85% or more!) have a need to seek a higher power. This need to seek, and finding such, has been a tremendously valuable advantage, genetically speaking, and that’s why it is so widespread!

    Atheists and Brights and Agnostics simply don’t have the need to seek a higher power. Why not? Well, I have some ideas about this too…

    It’s just that easy. MOST EVERYONE HAS A NEED TO SEEK, SOME DON’T!

    If you’d like to discuss this further, I’m happy to continue to post here.

    It is wonderful that your inborn need to seek a higher power is so well suited to being fulfilled with Christianity.

    The reason the need to believe in a higher power is so widespread is that is has been of tremendous evolutionary benefit.

    Of course, as you may guess, I maintain that simply because 85+% of humanity has a need to seek a higher power, and many believe there ought to be (or is) a higher power, doesn’t mean there is really is one!

    If you would care to dialog, simply define for me your conception of god so we can at least start with a common definition.

    I’ll quit now since my purpose is to educate, not confront and you obviously are comfortable with the belief system you hold, good for you!

    Since it is in our genes to seek or not to seek, you may be wasting your time trying to convert an atheist to the one and true god.


  2. labright, I’m happy to dialogue with you! I feel blessed that the leader of the LA Brights would even want to dialogue with me. How did you come across my thread if you don’t mind me asking? I guess we can begin another theist/atheist discussion on this thread which already lays out a theist/atheist discussion. Sounds good to me. 🙂

    I agree with you that everyone has a need to “seek”. As I always point out, Christianity touches on the two most pressing concerns of the human heart. Namely, to no longer hide from our guilt and to have the eternal longing of our hearts eternally fulfilled by Christ. As an atheist I’m sure you are in awe of lightning, supernovas, etc, and respect hurricanes. I do the same but only add Jesus Christ to this list.

    The overall point you raise, “mostly everyone seeks a higher power”, is not an argument that a “higher power” doesn’t exist. It is an argument that people seek one, which I agree. You basically stated “just because people want there to be a higher power doesn’t mean there really is one!” I would also say “that doesn’t mean there really ISN’T one!” You point out that 85%+ people seek a “higher power”. This notion perfectly harmonizes with the Christian worldview, yet does not with an atheistic one. To “seek” something is better accounted for in this world as people, not animals, have ‘souls’, ‘consciences’, and ‘personal desires’. These are non-physical things, however, and can’t be accounted for in a purely physical world, as atheism would have it.

    You also stated, “This need to seek, and finding such, has been a tremendously valuable advantage, genetically speaking, and that’s why it is so widespread!” It makes me sip my coffee with a smile to know that seeking the supernatural can be deemed “advantageous” by an atheist for a change. I would point out, however, that it is a logical fallacy to say that something is automatically advantageous by virtue of how widespread it is. It’s widespread in human nature to steal, hence why we have car alarms, locks, and put our wives in karate lessons.


  3. labright, I haven’t heard from you in a while. If you’re still wanting to continue our discussion please let me know. Thanks.


  4. if you don’t mind, i’ll step in and comment on this topic.

    whether there is or isn’t is not provable.

    cameron, you say non physical things that atheism can’t account for. i’m not sure what you were getting at but you would need to show that there is non physical things if you want them to be a part of your argument.

    you correlated labrights statistic of 85% of humanity needing to seek a higher power with theft to show that assuming the percentage of participation implies advantage would be fallacious. this may be true but you need a better example than theft. 85% is an overwhelming percentage but all crime statistics combined, including theft do not reach that percentage. if they did, we would probably not be online with free time to blog:) i’m willing to accept the possibility of the fallaciousness of his point but only if you can present a proper example.


  5. Cirri, he actually said “finding a higher purpose was widespread because it was genetically advantageous”. Not the other way around. So I actually presented my argument to him wrong. I’d like to know what he means by “genetically advantageous”, but he never came back.

    i’m not sure what you were getting at but you would need to show that there is non physical things if you want them to be a part of your argument.

    OK. The laws of logic are a non-physical reality. What is it in nature that governs our way of thinking to where contradicting would be illogical. Something is saying there is a logical way of thinking, and what in nature could that possibly be?


  6. i would have to say that at this point all evidence that we have available to us shows that the laws of logic while seemingly nonphysical, rely on material. without synapse we would not think. now, whether or not our impressions that thought is actually in a realm separate from material are true can not at this point be determined. as far as we know these notions are in themselves, purely physical.


  7. Here is why your Naturalism isn’t natural, and why your presupposition is inconsistent with itself. According to your rationality if we were to burn all these ‘physical notions’ then there would no longer be such a thing as the law of non-contradiction. And here is the problem with saying that the law of non-contradiction is physical. It prescribes how we should think, not merely how we do think.

    There is no other way to think then with this law. Matter does not make ‘ought’ statements, unless it were personal somehow. You take away the universe and its laws then you have no more natural laws. You take away the universe and it’s laws, you still must use the law of non-contradiction to think logically. You are a theist like me. You just believe Nature is your God. Mine is a personal God and can account for immaterial realities, yours can’t.


  8. here’s what you say;

    “You take away the universe and its laws then you have no more natural laws. You take away the universe and it’s laws, you still must use the law of non-contradiction to think logically.”

    can’t you see how this is wrong? if you take away the universe and its laws and there is no “you” or “i” let alone a framework for contradiction to even be applied.

    it’s really easy to comprehend if you just think for a moment beyond the solipsism of the theist. everything that we are doing on this forum relies on matter. everything that we do relies on matter. it’s that simple, anything else is pure guesswork.

    now, since you are so stuck on the non contradiction argument lets see how it really affects your worldview.

    1.is logic logic because god says so?

    if so, then logic is arbitrary and we have a supernatural relativism with nothing more than a “logic policeman to enforce it.

    furthermore, can this god break its law of contradiction? if not then it is subservient to its creation which i’m sure that you’re not ok with.

    if this god can break the law of contradiction then it can both exist and not exist at the same time making the statement, “god does not exist” true.


  9. forgot to sign the above


  10. can’t you see how this is wrong? if you take away the universe and its laws and there is no “you” or “i” let alone a framework for contradiction to even be applied.

    And here is still what is inconsistant with your views. You assume that the law of non-contradiction only started existing when we existed. But this law must always be intact of anyone to even eventually come along and think logically. That’s my point.

    everything that we do relies on matter.

    God did not invent the laws of logic. The laws of logic are how God’s mind eternally functions outside of time. This is why God can’t change the laws, because He is God and there is no standard above, thus He doesn’t change Himself. In otherwords, God is eternal and immutable. In fact, this is a prerequisite for the laws of logic to be a possibility and to be taken seriously.


  11. there is really no way that we can come to terms on this because just as easily as you can say a magical being spoke all into existence i can say that a pure vacuum fluctuated all into existence. you are going off of faith and i am going off of what we know can happen in as close to a pure vacuum as we can get. matter is nothing more than vacuum fluctuations.

    besides, you are able to grant god any attributes that you wish to dodge logic. it’s simple, if it is omnipotent then it has the capability to change itself in whatever way it wishes.


  12. Where did this vacuum come from? Did it create itself, come from nothing, has it always existed in time, or it is outside of time and eternal?

    In that sense God is not omnipotent. God’s omnipotence doesn’t override His other attributes but coincides with them. He is omnipotent as His power does coincide with all else in His nature. That is what ensures that His power is good, not random and chaotic like Naturalism.


  13. a pure vacuum needs no thing. that’s what a pure vacuum is, nothing, the void.

    i you wish to use logic to affirm your beliefs then you can’t have a necessary being that is “logic” or is “good” and then choose that the arbitrary nature of that statement doesn’t apply because it is “good” or “logical”. this just leaves us with the possibility that it is not good.


  14. So where is this pure vacuum? Is it made by Hoover? Has it always existed? If so, has it always existed in time or outside of time?


  15. it’s a philosophical concept that’s unobservable but supported by the fact that partial vacuums have been shown to fluctuate and these fluctuations make matter.

    as far as the philosophical concept, once again, it’s a void. it doesn’t require an origin.


  16. So you’re saying something comes out of nothing? That is your claim? And does this nothingness exist in our outside of time?


  17. i’m not making a claim. i’m submitting one possibility that has at least some observable viability.


  18. Cirri, I gave up on Cameron. He is not really reading the stuff you write, he just scans for keywords, rips them out of context and reacts to them.

    And he deliberately misinterprets you even if you clarify your writings.

    Definitely not worth the time. 😦


  19. i’m not making a claim. i’m submitting one possibility that has at least some observable viability.

    So am I. I’m submitting the possibility that God created the universe. I believe God is eternal, kind of like your vacuum. I only go further and say God is personal thus can account for the abstract laws of logic which are needed to do science. I can observe that only information comes from information. Thus I have a positive case for how intelligent beings are accounted for by an intelligent source.


  20. rolf,

    i’m pretty sure you’re right but even knowing that i can’t change a persons mind overall, maybe i can point out the ways in which they promote personal opinion as fact. maybe at least i can show them how disingenuous that is, especially if they believe they’re coming from a supposed moral high ground. maybe then they’d want to be very sure before claiming knowledge. hopefully.


  21. Of course you can’t change my mind. According to your worldview, I’m a byproduct of my biological makeup. I have no free will because I’m just controlled by the laws of nature. And you keep assuming that seeing is believing, while all along, your belief can’t be seen. Why do you blindly believe you have belief?


  22. you’re being silly and it seems purposefully ignorant of nuance. i’m not a determinist. i make no claim about free will. i’m not a materialist either, though contrary to what you are arguing, materialism makes no claim as to the characteristics of material. this is another one of your opinions you are parading as fact. you should learn to make the necessary distinctions between the philosophies you’re arguing against before you argue against them from an incorrect position.

    and once again, i’m not claiming a belief. i’m acknowledging the practicality of what our senses have led us to understand. i make no absolute statements regarding that understanding. this isn’t belief. now you’re just projecting.


  23. I have no idea what you’re saying the first paragraph. Sounds like you’re a meterialist but then not. If not what are you? A supernaturalist as well?

    i’m acknowledging the practicality of what our senses have led us to understand. i make no absolute statements regarding that understanding. this isn’t belief. now you’re just projecting.

    So what sense out of the 5 senses do you use to believe your senses? In other words, do you trust what your senses tell you? If so, what sense enables you to trust them?


  24. i’m neither. i’m a person who has a limited understanding of myself, the people and the world directly around me, let alone the whole universe so i make no absolute statements regarding them. this doesn’t negate my ability to acknowledge the practicality of the here and now.

    i don’t need to believe or trust my senses. this is where practicality comes in. i could give you many examples that seem blatantly obvious to me so maybe to simplify you could give me an example of an occasion in which i would need to place trust or have a belief in any particular sense.


  25. Then are you absolutely sure that you’re “acknowledging the practicality of the here and now”? If so, how are you absolutely sure of this?

    If you’re going to have all this faith, you might as well believe the gospel already and become a Christian.

    Your arguments so far prove Romans 1:20-22, which says “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools”.

    What if there is a God? What if His name is Jesus Christ? What if He will judge us all soon? What if He requires us to be without sin? What would you and I need to do?


  26. you refuse to acknowledge the difference between our acceptance of day to day experiences and how those are evident, even if a possible illusion and between having faith in an unseen, unfalsifiable being. this is where an honest person would admit the disingenuous nature of this approach, ok. and your bible verses prove absolutely nothing. you’ve left the realm of logical discourse and are now evangelizing. i guess, before i leave, the one thing that i hope you someday realize, is that no matter how much you believe a personal opinion to be true, it is not honest to act as if it is true. opinions are not truth.


  27. Your “acceptance” is short-hand for believing. Again, what sense are you using for this?

    The reason I’m evangelizing is because only God can change a heart of stone. May God restore your soul and your argumentation.

    i guess, before i leave, the one thing that i hope you someday realize

    1. why would you hope I realize anything? We are all matter in motion. If your going to suggest that my matter “should” function or behave differently then it is then your advocating the supernatural (something beyond the natural).

    2. According to your worldview I’m just a byproduct of my biological make up. So blame the atoms, not “me”.


  28. are you truly that thick? will you continue to refuse to acknowledge the difference between having a belief system in an unfalsifiable being that permeates every thing about your life and having and acceptance and understanding that for all practical purposes, if i have two apples, i have two apples. if you continue to refuse to acknowledge the difference then congratulations, you just showed me and anyone who may be reading how little your belief system really means.

    may your ignorance be plagued by reason all your days. (since we’re sharing pointless platitudes)

    your idea of materialism has already been questioned and you are continuing to present that idea as if it were valid and even absolute. i’ll try again/ all we can attest to is matter. we appear to have volition. our volition appears to be reliant on matter.

    i’m blaming you because you have what appears to be a choice and what appears to be at the least the potential for rational thought and yet you continue to falsely characterize my views so that you can attempt to hold on to the shred of rationality that you think your belief system displays. why would i blame the atoms when you have a brain? you’re creating a false dilemma by saying that either there is only matter with no volition or matter with supernatural volitional forces behind it. you can do this, of course, if you want to. just realize that no one with an ounce of sense takes anyone who proposes false dilemmas seriously.


  29. I think that about wraps up this discussion on this thread. I’ve enjoyed our discussion. 🙂



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