Skip to comments.How to talk to an atheist (and you must)
Posted on 01/26/2005 9:46:21 AM PST by 7thson
When I pulled into the parking lot this morning, I saw a car covered with sacrilegious bumper stickers. It seemed obvious to me that the owner was craving attention. Im sure he was also seeking to elicit anger from people of faith. The anger helps the atheist to justify his atheism. And, all too often, the atheist gets exactly what he is looking for.
(Excerpt) Read more at townhall.com ...
> if a tough guy wants your girl, I hope you have more than just talk about "co-operation and empathy being *generally* stronger survival tools" to defend her with.
It's called a Para Ordnance P-14. Built by a bunch of weenie Canucks. Can drop the biggest He-Man with one shot. As they said... God made man, but Sam Colt made them equal.
Good question. Possible arguments include:
It can't come from God, for we can always ask why we should listen to him on the issue.
Sure it can come from God. I don't see why not. But you are right, we can always ask.
"Are you making it up? Is it just a preference of yours? Are you jsut going with the crowd or what your parents taught you? "
I don't believe it's made up or simply a preference. Certainly my parents influenced me and guided me. But in the end it was the preponderance of evidence, which included answered prayers.
"Does something make us believe it? If so, is it not freely chosen?"
Good Point. I think that is why God doesn't manifest Himself in all of His glory. That and the fact that we would die. You know He started to do that with Israel, and as His glory shown over the mountains, Israel told Him to go away, they couldn't stand it.
But I don't think if confronted by certain knowledge of the Almighty, that we would have much choice left. We would worship Him because we had to, and not because we wanted to.
Believing in God does absolutely nothing about relieving us of the responsibility of choosing for ourselves what is right and wrong. Both theists and atheists create our own morality.
I agree with the first part, but not the second. We all have that responsibility of determining right from wrong and doing right. But in the Atheists case, it's meaningless. But then why do they feel that is a responsibility? But we've seen that man can believe that he is doing right and do great wrong. Man, himself, cannot be the determiner of what is right and wrong. The human heart is too deceptive.
What the God of the Bible does is offer us a pure standard. And it's more than just don't do wrong to others, it includes loving others.
> Except that Mr. T handled an AK-47.
Have you ever seen how successful thugs are with AK-47's? Hit everybody *but* the target.
> Anyone who would use a shotgun to defend himself is, by definition, not a weenie.
No? Then what is?
Of course our actions matter here, even if athiests believe they'll end up in nothingness. They still have to get to that place first, don't they? It's obvious to anyone that wanton killing, raping, and robbing is a detriment to society. Total chaos.
Common sense can tell you that, and you don't have believe in God to understand that it's wrong for your neighbor to come in and take what you have earned, or kill someone.
If for no other reason that materialistic, here and now reasons...having a code of ethics or morals helps everyone get along. Why is that so hard to understand? Self interest alone is reason enough for people to behave themselves and do right.
> I just cannot understand atheism because in my view of atheism there would be no reason to be alive or to even be born. What is the purpose?
Consider this: according to many Christians, non-humans don't ahve souls. Fine, whatever. But ahve you ever known of a mammal - a cat, dog or raccoon, say - that was injured and facing immanent death that did *not* appear to fear for its life, and look to be willing to fight to retain it? Hell, often enough they'll fight to the death against a greater foe they could easily escape for the purpose of protecting their young.
Right, wrong and a fear of death are something not restricted to humans or the religious.
"If all of life is meaningless, and ultimately absurd , why bother to march straight forward, why stand in the queue as though life as a whole makes sense?" ---Francis Schaeffer, The God Who Is There
Who says life is meaningless? Not this atheist.
If everyone completely passes out of existence when they die, what ultimate meaning has life? Even if a man's life is important because of his influence on others or by his effect on the course of history, of what ultimate significance is that if there is no immortality and all other lives, events, and even history itself is ultimately meaningless?
Who says life has to have an "ultimate" meaning? The word "ultimate" is meaningless in this question. My life has meaning because it is my life. Whether that life means anything to you is open to question. To me, it obviously has meaning.
Suppose the universe had never existed. Apart form God, what ultimate difference would that make?
There's that "ultimate" word again. If the universe had never existed, it would make no difference to me, since I would never have existed either.
In a universe without God or immortality, how is mankind ultimately different from a swarm of mosquitoes or a barnyard of pigs?
Ultimately? Again? To a human, mankind is different from mosquitos and pigs. It matters not whether there is a deity or not. I can recognize the difference, therefore it exists.
What viable basis exists for justice or law if man is nothing but a sophisticated, programmed machine? Why does research, discovery, diplomacy, art, music, sacrifice, compassion, feelings of love, or affectionate and caring relationships mean anything if it all ultimately comes to naught anyway?
Man has created laws and systems of justice under many different belief systems. The things you mention mean a great deal to those who do them or who are affected by them. "It all" does not come to naught, "ultimately" or otherwise. Beethoven's Symphonic works have not come to naught, even though he is long dead. As far as I am concerned, once I'm dead, Beethoven is no longer relevant to me, since is have ceased to exist. I'm sure his music will be relevant to others, though, for long into the future.
Without absolute morals, what ultimate difference is there between Saddam Hussein and Billy Graham? If there is no immortality, why shouldn't all things be permitted?(Dostoyevsky)
It does not take a Christian to see the difference between those two men. One has preached Christianity and has benefitted many lives. The other has been a despot and a tyrant and has killed many people. As a human, I value my own life, which leads me to value the lives of others. As a human, I can think and make decisions on morality. Dostoevsky was asking a stupid question, for effect. He knew the answer to that question. How much Dostoevsky have you read.
If morality is only a relative social construct, on what basis could or should anyone ever move to interfere with cultures that practice apartheid, female circumcision, cannibalism, or ethnic cleansing?
On the basis of one's own societal moral values. I live in a society that condemns all of those things. I believe in the rules of my society because they make sense to me. On that basis, I condemn all those acts. Do not make the mistake of believing that Judaims and Christianity have presented a single moral stance throughout its history. It has not. All morality is social. All morality is relative.
If there is no God, on what basis is there any meaning or hope for fairness, comfort, or better times?
Hope is human. We all hope, deity or no deity. I hope for better times, but celebrate the times I am in. I hope for good health, but try to do things to continue in good health. Like all humans, I will die one day. I hope I will be remembered kindly by those whose lives I have touched. No deity is required for hope.
Without a personal Creator-God, how are you anything other than the coincidental, purposeless miscarriage of nature, spinning round and round on a lonely planet in the blackness of space for just a little while before you and all memory of your futile, pointless, meaningless life finally blinks out forever in the endless darkness?
I am nothing more than that, nor do I pretend to be. The negative words, "miscarriage, futile, pointless, and meaningless," however, do not describe my perception of my life on this planet. Those are subjective words, and do not describe my experience.
If you once embraced GOD and were attempting to do his work, how do you know Satan did not lure you away from GOD.
This kind of struggle happens to people on a daily basis when it comes to tempatations and faith Satan can tempt somebody to the point of leading them away from GOD how do you know that did not happen to you?
Are you also to the point that you need to see Jesus appear right in front of you for you to believe again?
Somebody who counts on cooperation and empathy to guarantee his additions to the gene pool.
Thanks for your comment about Sam Colt. Again, you made my point.
"I would like to ask you a question: Are you afraid to die?
And when you die where do you think you are going?
And what purpose do you think you have in being part of the earth.
Nope, I'm not afraid to die. Everyone does it pretty successfully, so I figure I'll probably succeed at it too. I'm afraid of not living to my fullest potential. When I die, my body will disintegrate into the various chemicals and molecules that make it up.
Whatever purpose I have in being alive and on this planet is whatever purpose I assign to that. I have many purposes, some of which I actually manage to fulfil. Others remain for the future.
In order to come to the conclusion that something is in fact illogical, then you must be able to show, or prove how it is illogical. You can not come to such a conclusion based on an empty set. It's illogical.
" I notice you didn't answer, but instead changed the subject back to my conclusion. "
Your conclusion is the subject.
"If you once embraced GOD and were attempting to do his work, how do you know Satan did not lure you away from GOD.
Sorry, but disbelief in deities also includes disbelief in Satan, another supernatural entity I don't believe in. The two go together.
Seems like we've been down this road before.
A logical course for your posts to take given what you have posted so far on this thread. Very thoughtful.
Why would it matter in the end?
Is it truly Death that is the fear or is the fear of the unknown? If you really know where your going when you die, there is no fear as in an animal they know life by there instinct I don't know if an animal has the ability to know the fear of death rather than they know the emotion of fear.
I don't know if I fear death because I hope and believe I will go to heaven but as a human being I fear or maybe cannot understand would be more like it what I will do everyday.
So, killing someone doesn't matter unless you think it matters?
Now tell me, how does it matter if there is a God?
Because we will be separated from him forever. That matters to me, and him.
Unfortunately, it will probably matter to you as well. But I'm not an authority on that and it doesn't matter what my speculation is.
Really? I've never seen anything like this.
Once I did see a Christian bumper sticker that annoyed me, something along the lines of "King James is the only true Bible" or somesuch nonsense.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.