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How to talk to an atheist (and you must)
Townhall.com ^ | January 24, 2005 | Mike S. Adams

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. I’m 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 ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Philosophy; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: atheist; christian; christianity; convertordie; cslewis; god; jesuschrist; mikesadams; religion; wrongforum
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To: MontanaCowgirlCop
It will matter to you because ultimately you will be where you wish you weren't ....

Your decision to find actions to be moral based upon whether or not you will feel pain or pleasure from them is common...it's called hedonism.
441 posted on 01/26/2005 5:32:13 PM PST by BikerNYC
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To: exnavychick
With a screenname like yours, I guess I ought not be surprised that you like to argue. :)

Who me????? :^}

What's your excuse?

442 posted on 01/26/2005 5:45:23 PM PST by Protagoras (No one is fit to be a master and no one deserves to be a slave. GWB 1-20-05)
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To: newgeezer
If you honestly don't get it, there's no point in taking it any further.

The point is, I honestly do get it.

You posted to me on a personal level because of some past exchange we have had and you were looking to insult me. The fact that you can't admit it is shame.

Think some happy thoughts for a change. Rejoice, even.

You will never know how happy I am. And I certainly rejoice in many things.

Your sour attitude,personal animosity towards me and inability to admit it are nothing to rejoice about however.

But I'm not worried for you, you know what it was all about and after you admit it to yourself, you'll feel better.

I don't anticipate you being big enough to admit it on the forum however, so I understand why you would like to "give it a rest". It must be uncomfortable for you.

443 posted on 01/26/2005 5:53:38 PM PST by Protagoras (No one is fit to be a master and no one deserves to be a slave. GWB 1-20-05)
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To: tortoise
For those things outside those constraints, there are few assertions we can make. The point is not that we can discern everything without limits, but that the limits are universal; there are no special exceptions that transcend the underlying math, no matter how much we wish this was not the case.

There is a reason the math side of my brain never worked to well. And it is likely for that reason I can never accept that math will ever be able to give you the answer to where a tree or a seed came from.

And I prefer it that way. I would not want to be so buried in numbers that I could not see forest for the trees and seeds.

444 posted on 01/26/2005 5:59:29 PM PST by BJungNan (National sale tax - end all this insane tax records paperwork.)
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To: GLDNGUN

I believe that we should have the widest possible latitude to practice what ever we want to when it comes to religion....so long as we do not harm or abrogate the rights of others.

I do not think that the power of the state should be used to force others to to follow my chosen philosophy of life, however, or to believe what I believe.

As an atheist, I think that Christians violated my rights when they changed the Pledge of Allegiance by inserting the words "under God"...fifty years after the Pledge was written...and contrary (if we are to believe those who should know) to the wishes of the author.

How would Christians like it if our money had the tag line "In Vishnu We Trust", or if the Pledge read, "one nation under Allah"?


445 posted on 01/26/2005 6:33:20 PM PST by Guilliamus
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To: annalex
. So while that place is a good illustration of atheism put to practice, as a monument it is still a monument to Christian martyrs.

Two can play that game

Here's a place that's a good illustration of Christianity put to practice

Salem Witch Trials Memorial

as a monument it's still a monument to Christianity's victims

Atheism cannot have a monument.

Here's one


446 posted on 01/26/2005 6:38:46 PM PST by qam1 (There's been a huge party. All plates and the bottles are empty, all that's left is the bill to pay)
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To: Guilliamus
I don't believe that the power of the state should be used to force others to follow any particular philosophy, either; however, it is beyond argument that our nation's heritage is firmly rooted in religious principles. Besides the pledge of allegiance, our national anthem, money, unique form of government and our founding fathers' beliefs clearly demonstrate it.

Our founding fathers believed that national prosperity and morality were inseparably linked to religious principles. This fact is evidenced by the following founding fathers quotes:

George Washington "It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible."

Noah Webster "No truth is more evident to any mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people."

Benjamin Rush "The only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments... Without religion, I believe learning does much mischief to the morals and principles of mankind."

James Madison "The future and success of America is not in this Constitution, but in the laws of God upon which this Constitution is founded."

Our Founding Father's principles clearly show that our nation's heritage is deeply rooted in religious principles. This was at the core of our founding fathers' beliefs. Our forefathers took God's Word seriously. They established a nation founded on Biblical principles that publicly acknowledged God's headship and providential protection.

Our founding fathers understood fundamental Biblical truths and structured our government accordingly. They established three branches of government to protect against unrestrained pursuit of self-interest and abuse of power.

Our founding fathers debated at length whether good government was a function of good laws or a function of good men. William Penn determined that although good laws were important, good leaders were paramount to good government.

"Governments, like clocks, go from the motion men give them... Wherefore governments rather depend upon men, than men upon governments. Let men be good, and the government cannot be bad... But if men be bad, the government [will] never [be] good."

Our forefathers realized that neither good laws nor the Constitution could restrain wicked men and corrupt leaders. They understood that the corrupt nature of man's heart, left unrestrained, would inevitably lead to moral decline. As John Adams eloquently stated:

We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion..."

Our forefathers also left us numerous warnings concerning what would happen if we violated the principles that they had put in place. Our forefathers admonished us to continue to seek God's direction in the affairs of our nation. They warned that to do otherwise would bring confusion, division and doom to our country.

Our founding fathers believed that a constitutional government was inadequate to control an immoral people. They warned that a nation's morality was conditional on its citizens acknowledging God and submitting to His principles. To do otherwise would result in a divided nation that would experience a deteriorating political prosperity, leading ultimately to the national denial of God's headship and authority. This final act would bring God's judgment on America and her people.

Consider the following warnings from our founding father's:

Thomas Jefferson "And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever."

George Washington "..And let us indulge with caution the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion... Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail to the exclusion of religious principle."

James Madison "We've staked the whole future of American civilization not on the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future ...upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God. The future and success of America is not in this Constitution, but in the laws of God upon which this Constitution is founded."

John Adams "Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

Of course these inspired men said it much more eloquently than I could hope to. The point is, while we do enjoy our freedoms and liberties, to abuse them and ignore the laws of God will bring about disastrous consequences.

Remember, our form of government was established with the idea that God exists and, as our Creator, we owe it to Him to govern accordingly. Now, if you want to disagree with these men that is your right, but I will stand with them.

447 posted on 01/26/2005 7:09:11 PM PST by GLDNGUN
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To: frog_jerk_2004

He said it out of humility.


448 posted on 01/26/2005 7:53:58 PM PST by little jeremiah (Moral Absolutes are what make the world go round.)
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To: GLDNGUN

I do not disagree...many of the nations founders were firm believers in their chosen Christian God.

But, I still feel that Christians would object if the Government forced them to state a belief in some other God or to defer to some other God for whatever reason.

The power of the state should not be used to impose personal God beliefs on others....we should all be free to hold and state our beliefs openly..but the fact that Mr XYZ Founder was a Christian does not give the Government the right to force me to practice Christianity. When it comes to practice, the Government should be neutral.


449 posted on 01/26/2005 7:56:48 PM PST by Guilliamus
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To: Lindykim; DirtyHarryY2K; Siamese Princess; Ed Current; Grampa Dave; Luircin; gonow; John O; ...

Moral Absolutes Ping + Late to the Party Alert.

Only got to 200 comments, interesting fodder for discussion. So far reasonably respectful too, which such threads aren't always.

My little .02 - talk to atheists or non-believers in God if they're interested in talking; otherwise don't. That's my policy, FWIW.

Let me know if anyone wants on/off this pinglist.


450 posted on 01/26/2005 7:56:56 PM PST by little jeremiah (Moral Absolutes are what make the world go round.)
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To: 7thson

Nietzsche: "God is dead."

God: "Nietzsche is dead."

Nietzsche: "That makes two of us."


451 posted on 01/26/2005 8:21:16 PM PST by Vast Buffalo Wing Conspiracy
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To: qam1
The difference is that while bad things were done in defence of Christianity, I can think of any amount of positive accomplishments in the name of Christ; can you think of anything positive that was accomplished in the name of atheism?

That monument is a grave which has the religious orientation of those memorialized marked as atheist. It is no more an atheist monument than a grave of a shoemaker is a monument to shoes.

452 posted on 01/26/2005 8:23:59 PM PST by annalex
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To: Guilliamus
The power of the state should not be used to impose personal God beliefs on others....we should all be free to hold and state our beliefs openly..but the fact that Mr XYZ Founder was a Christian does not give the Government the right to force me to practice Christianity.

WHO is suggesting otherwise?

453 posted on 01/26/2005 8:24:46 PM PST by GLDNGUN
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To: annalex; qam1
The difference is that while bad things were done in defence of Christianity, I can think of any amount of positive accomplishments in the name of Christ; can you think of anything positive that was accomplished in the name of atheism?

So when a Christian does good deeds, that's "in the name of Christ", but when an atheist does good deeds, that's by your definition never in the name of atheism? Has it occurred to you that most atheists aren't interested in doing things "in the name of atheism"?

Have you ever considered the possibility that atheists do good deeds because they think that it is the right thing to do, and not something that they need to do in order to "validate" their atheism?

And you can substitute "atheism" for any other -ism or belief or religion or tendency you can think of. The same principle applies: just because you center your entire belief system around a religion and try to "validate" it in certain ways, does not follow that everyone else behaves the same way or thinks they have something to prove in this regard.

I'm not an atheist myself, but I always am amused by those who set out to "prove" that only theists can be moral, good, rational, or what have you. It's a profoundly blinkered point of view, and does not help the public image of Christians or other theists who argue that way. It makes them look rather silly, in fact, to those who have eyes to see how real people - atheists and Christians alike - actually behave. Most atheists aren't leftist Marxist totalitarians, just as most theists aren't fundamentalist religious terrorists.

I knew I should not have clicked on this thread. This is a topic that sheds more heat than light; just igore me. I shouldn't have come in in the middle of this conversation.

454 posted on 01/26/2005 8:44:00 PM PST by Vast Buffalo Wing Conspiracy
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To: orionblamblam
Hardly. Who will be President in 2007? Be honest... you *don't* know. But I bet you care. Lack of data does not imply lack of interest.

Fair enough. But when the fate of your immortal soul is at stake, "I dunno" definitely equals "I don't care." But that's not what I was getting at anyway. I wanted you to tell me what YOU think happens after we die--even in very vague terms. I want your opinion. Surely you must have given the matter some thought and come to some conclusion?

Because some conglomerations have greater value than others.

Says who? Who decides what is valuable and what is not? What is "value" anyway? Sounds like another insensible abstraction to me.
455 posted on 01/26/2005 9:04:29 PM PST by Antoninus (In hoc sign, vinces )
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To: Stone Mountain
No, but if there is no ultimate source of right and wrong, then anything goes. There's a reason that the bloodiest dictatorships have all been atheistic.
456 posted on 01/26/2005 9:52:30 PM PST by radicalamericannationalist (The Senate is our new goal: 60 in '06.)
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To: Vast Buffalo Wing Conspiracy; qam1

I never said that an atheist cannot be good or moral. I know that others say that, -- I did not. I do think that a religion impulse is the foundation of any morals, but I would not say that atheists necessarily lack morals -- or that all theists are moral. That is because religious instinct may or may not be recognized as such.

When an atheist does a good deed he does it because he knows from some source that it is good. But atheism cannot be that source, because it does not say anything positive, it is an absence of a concept rather than a concept. For example, many atheists died in WWII. But they did not die saying: - "Because God does not exist I will risk my life liberating Europe". They said, - "Because liberating Europe is good I will risk my life doing so". Atheism is irrelevant to their heroism. Many Russian soldiers were atheists and did heroic things, but they did them in the name of they motherland, or their leader, or to avenge suffering of others, -- all positive reasons. Atheism is not a reason to do anything.

A Christian, on the other hand, can say - "Christ taught me to sacrifice my life for others, so I go to war".


457 posted on 01/26/2005 9:52:49 PM PST by annalex
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To: BikerNYC
You are deciding, for better or worse, that it is good to listen to God for all of those reasons, yet the only grounding for those reasons is your own choice. Accordingly, you are making your own morality and the "pure standard" you speak of is nothing but one standard among many.

It's true that it's my decision to listen to God and I've chosen that based on reasons that seem logical and right to me. But I don't think it's true that the only grounding for those reasons is my own choice.

Accordingly, you are making your own morality and the "pure standard" you speak of is nothing but one standard among many

No, I might be living according to the decisions I make and thstandards I set for myself, but ultimately I'm measured against the standards He set for me. The same pure standard will be applied to all.

I don't know that all the reasons I gave are rules per se, but I think God Himself is the source of them. It doesn't seem right to reject our Creator or not love or have mercy or do justice, or return His love. It doesn't seem wise, to not listen to the Lord's council, or fear His power.

For example, why should we do what our creator tells us to do? Just because he tells us to? That sounds rather circular.

I don't think it's circular. Perhaps the question should be "why not?" or what's the alternative? When you look at what He's asked us to do, your question becomes, "Why should we love others just because God tells us to?" Because it's the right thing to do, and it doesn't matter that our knowledge of right and wrong comes from Him.

You decide what is right and wrong for yourself whether you believe in God or not.

I believe that knowledge of right and wrong is universal and comes from outside of ourselves. Yes we decide whether to accept that universal knowledge or reject it. And we live accordingly. But it is the universal standard that we are judged against.

And here's the deal... God has already judged us against His standard and found us lacking. "none are righteous". We have already been condemned. But then God chose to offer a substitute payment, Himself. Through Jesus we can be pardoned. Our failure to live up to His standard can be washed clean.

It is His creation. It is His rules. But I can find no fault in them. Not only can I find no fault in the standard that He condemns me by. How can I reject His grace when it is freely offered? It makes no sense not to.

458 posted on 01/26/2005 10:12:46 PM PST by DannyTN
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To: Modernman

I'm not the one saying he doesn't exists. You are. That's like saying the onus is on me to prove I exist or you exist.

Atheists go around saying he doesn't. They can't and don't prove it. They won't admit to doubt on the issue, so the onus is on atheist to tell us poor, intellectually challenged rubes why you adhere to this adamant surety, this doubt-free certitude of man as supreme being.

Let me make it easy for you: If there is no God, then atheists imply that man is the supreme being. They should prove it or admit doubt.

You are trying to use semantic flim flam to avoid answering the question. Why no doubt?


459 posted on 01/26/2005 10:16:54 PM PST by RinaseaofDs (The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money.)
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To: DannyTN
I see that you are an ex-Muslim. I'm glad that you could see clearly enough to get out. But don't make the mistake of thinking all religions are man made. One is not

ROFL!!!
Dude, you need to trade that crystal ball in on a new one.
I'm not an ex anything. I'm a Deist. My european ancestors were Deists who sailed to the new world to escape Christianity. It just runs in the family the same as Christianity runs in yours.

The Muslim prophet Mahomet was deified...Same as Jesus.
Just because I'm not Christian does not mean I haven't studied Christianity. I have read the Bible and the Quran and many other "Holy Books". I'd wager I know more about your religion than you. I'm not limited to the King James version of the Bible.

I am not anti Christian. I love Christmas and am not offended by displays of the Christ child and the wise men. I don't mind the ten commandments at the court house. I think In God We Trust is a great motto!

What does bother me is the zealot attitude that America is a Christian country founded by Christians and if you're not a Christian you're not a real American. Only 17% of Americans were Christian in 1776.

We are fighting a war against religious fanatics who want to destroy our Republic. It is a just war. To proclaim ourselves a Christian nation just turns our cause into another religious crusade.
...
460 posted on 01/26/2005 10:21:05 PM PST by mugs99 (Restore the Constitution)
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