Skip to comments.What the New Atheists Donít See
Posted on 10/28/2007 3:39:04 PM PDT by ventanax5
The British parliaments first avowedly atheist member, Charles Bradlaugh, would stride into public meetings in the 1880s, take out his pocket watch, and challenge God to strike him dead in 60 seconds. God bided his time, but got Bradlaugh in the end. A slightly later atheist, Bertrand Russell, was once asked what he would do if it proved that he was mistaken and if he met his maker in the hereafter. He would demand to know, Russell replied with all the high-pitched fervor of his pedantry, why God had not made the evidence of his existence plainer and more irrefutable. And Jean-Paul Sartre came up with a memorable line: God doesnt existthe bastard!
Sartres wonderful outburst of disappointed rage suggests that it is not as easy as one might suppose to rid oneself of the notion of God. (Perhaps this is the time to declare that I am not myself a believer.) At the very least, Sartres line implies that Gods existence would solve some kind of problemactually, a profound one: the transcendent purpose of human existence. Few of us, especially as we grow older, are entirely comfortable with the idea that life is full of sound and fury but signi-fies nothing. However much philosophers tell us that it is illogical to fear death, and that at worst it is only the process of dying that we should fear, people still fear death as much as ever. In like fashion, however many times philosophers say that it is up to us ourselves, and to no one else, to find the meaning of life, we continue to long for a transcendent purpose immanent in existence itself, independent of our own wills.
(Excerpt) Read more at city-journal.org ...
If you cease to exist after death, not much matters as you wouldn’yt know it anyway. Of course it’s a much different story if you do exist after death. Then ya kinda wish you’d done things differently. I think it’s probably better to go prepared.
Evidently, Mr. Russell's complaint was baseless.
That was Pascal’s idea, too.
In other words, he wanted belief in God to be a foregone conclusion and devoid of any element of faith. Russell was simply a man devoid of faith and, for that, he deserves our pity.
Eh, time will tell one way or another who is correct and who is not, It seems to me that an Atheist has to take in on faith that there is no God nor afterlife.
God made his existence and nature plain in the life, ministry, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, which are historical facts more irrefutable than most of the vague blather Russell did believe in.
A lot of folks never quite get it. I was always very much a "show me" kind of guy, and I wanted to understand how everything works, and what God was thinking when he did certain things. Then my eyes were opened and I realized that the mind of man cannot hold these things. It's not a matter of reason and understanding. Without the centrality of faith, you can't get anywhere.
.... Russell replied with all the high-pitched fervor of his pedantry, why God had not made the evidence of his existence plainer and more irrefutable.
Part of the problem, I think, is that people see misery in the world and think G-d must not exist, else why would he allow it. These people fail to see that we are but pawns on a gigantic chessboard. G-d must take the longview required to win the game, even if it means sacrificing some of us pawns.
The Bible can be proven in one word - Israel.
I've always wondered how someone could come to the conclusion that God did not exist.
“...Bertrand Russell...was once asked what he would do if it proved that he was mistaken and if he met his maker in the hereafter. He would demand to know, Russell replied with all the high-pitched fervor of his pedantry, why God had not made the evidence of his existence plainer and more irrefutable.”
To which He, I hope, replies in a voice quite like Leo McKern’s, “That would be telling.”
Theodore Dalrymple (real name Dr. Anthony Daniels) is an amazingly prolific writer. This is the second piece of his I’ve read this week. And it seems I’ve read dozens of pieces by him this year.
Dalrymple is an outstanding wordsmith and a deep thinker. His work, and his biography, is respected by the other side. When he talks, it’s to the advantage of any truth-seeker to listen.
Odd that Jean Paul Sartre would come up in this discussion.
There was a RC priest who put it this way (paraphrased):
If there is no Almighty and just eternal sleep, then when we die, we won’t know anything more.
However, if the Almighty does exist, then when we die, we will surely know it and be judged accordingly.
Now, with this in mind, how would a reasonable person hedge his bets?
I once heard an interesting debate on the subject of a personal, versus an impersonal God. It began with the statement: “What good is a god that doesn’t kick your ass?”
The debate began with the description of God as a singularity, which automatically negates His description as “a god”, which implies more than one. A true singularity, God, cannot be compared with any thing or any condition, as there is only one of It. No size, shape, color, sound, etc. compares with anything. It also means that God cannot be a dichotomy, say God and the devil.
But within the singularity, even though everything is of the singularity, things can be compared to other things within the singularity. Therefore there can be “gods” within God, or angels, men, whatever, that while subordinate can be contrasted with each other.
God, the singularity, is so unique that It, or He, is hard to communicate with. Moses found this out when he asked God’s name, and God, rather philosophically, replied, “I AM THAT I AM”. Truly one of the most profound philosophical statements of all time. Trouble is, there is not a whole lot else God *can* say. God cannot describe God. The great Jewish philosopher, Martin Buber, made a magnificent short book about these personal pronoun dilemmas entitled “I and Thou”.
Kabbalists point this out as God’s reason for creating the universe in the first place. That is, God wanted to find out if there was anything that was “not God”. So first, He created a true vacuum, an “absence of God”, in which He could put the universe. Then with something like a lightning bolt, he created a single particle within that emptiness, whose purpose was to replicate itself, creating the universe, which would be like a gigantic mirror. And when the universe is “complete”, God will see His reflection, know His answer, and the universe will cease to exist.
In the meantime, how does mankind address God? God took care of this problem by making a series of “contracts” with various figures, such as Adam, Noah, Abraham, and Moses. Conveniently, these were done in the contractual format of the ancient world.
In short, God told mankind, and subsets thereof, of things to do and things not to do. If they obeyed they were to be rewarded, if disobeyed, punished. But it was always as a group, not individually.
In a manner of speaking, after Noah, God even put the rewards and punishments on “auto pilot”, in that if you did what you were told or didn’t the reward or punishment was integral to what you did.
Well, Jesus came along and threw out most of these contracts, and the extrapolated laws, statutes and judgments associated with them, and also created the concept of a personal deity.
The Mohammed came along with a last contractual agreement, making things terribly confusing.
This means that from the Jewish point of view, the original contracts, except Mohammed’s, still apply. Especially the Mosaic (Moses) law, that only applies to them. All other God believers only have to obey the Noachide (Noah) Law, which most people have never heard of, but is not particularly hard to conform to, anyway.
The Christians believe that Jesus is such a significant subset of God that He can alter reality and be a personal savior. And Muslims are only concerned with Mohammed’s contract, generally ignoring the others.
“So what good is Jesus if he doesn’t kick your ass?” This remains a problem with a personal deity, one that Christians accept, but remains a paradoxical problem.
My belief in God has more to do about living this life than worrying about death.
It is a shame that atheists think the whole thing is about the fear of death. It must be an obession with them.
is Dinesh D'Souza's What's So Great About Christianity
Am reading it now...Also was able to watch part of Dinesh's debate with Christopher Hitchens (was on Cspan 2) regarding the Atheist position that there is no God.
Could have listened to that for hours....