Skip to comments.Their Head in the Clouds, or, The Atheists' Fear
Posted on 03/02/2013 3:30:22 AM PST by grey_whiskers
Consider looking at the sky. One can often see a layer of clouds, where the sky is completely clear below a certain height, but the clouds seem to mushroom expansively, all emanating from the same height, as though resting on a great unseen glass shelf in the sky. In other, rarer, circumstances, one may happen to see a column of smoke rising, and abruptly halt and spread out horizontally, as though it has hit an invisible ceiling.
The same thing happens in the mind: one travels along the paths of knowledge, absorbing information and learning all one can about a subject, until either one's capacity is full, or (more frighteningly) one reaches the limits of what one can, or is willing ("...it's late, i'm tired, and there's so much left to do, " as Blaufeld observed James Bond in Diamonds Are Forever) to absorb -- whether intrinsically, or whether it is "as far as one has had the stomach to travel". At this point, the mind retreats from rigorous examination, skepticism, back-checking, and resorts either to approximations, stereotypes, or belief.
I often think that one of the reasons so many scientists and other intellectuals reject faith altogether is that they are fearful of this phenomenon in themselves, and therefore despise and reject it in others: and having had no comparison within their own lives, they falsely attribute all piety and devotion to a mere throwing up of the hands and intellectual surrender: which is to them of all evils to commit, the one they fear most. (Being closely aligned as it is with the prospect of being dominated, and compelled to do obeisance without assent: which is how they also characterize the prospect of Worship.)
Consider the birds of the air / You shall see him coming in the clouds *PING*.
How is your characterization of Worship any different?
Loyalty with allegiance to One who deserves it both de facto and de jure.
As opposed to compulsion, unwilling and (in their heart) unacknowledged.
The roots of atheism are almost always moral not intellectual.
Well said, Grey Whiskers!
I don’t have any invisible friends in the sky. And neither does anyone else.
Many scientists begin with the assumption of ‘No God,’ and then conduct their “experiments, hypothesizing, theorizing” accordingly. It’s funny, though, when it comes to discussing origins, when it comes to considering the presence of matter which cannot self-create, when it comes to trying to understand the beginning of beginnings, they have no answer (even the “bang” of the Big Bang Theory” requires that very same non self-creating matter in order to have something to “theorize about.)
As much as science (or the atheist) wants to run from this, this much can be concluded with all certainty: since matter is not self-creating, then the existence of matter has been determined by something (SOMEONE?) non-material, to wit, spiritual. One wonders where would we be in our understanding, in finding cures for diseases, for example, if the scientist would start from the position of “there IS [a]God.”
A scientist walks up to God one day and says, “We don’t need you. We can find the answers to problems on our own, we can find cures for illnesses on our own. We can discover reasons and causes that don’t require You...In fact, I bet you I can go into a lab right now and create life just like You did!”
So, God, reluctantly takes up the bet and the scientist begins. He walks outside his lab and begins to look around until he finds what he believes is a favorable spot in the ground and commences to dig. After he has scooped up a shovelful or two he hears a voice from Heaven say, “You must use your own dirt.”
“The Earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof...”
“All things were made by Him and for Him and in Him all things consist”
“The fool has said in his heart, “[There is] No God”
Are you going to take your ball and go home now?
Do you worship the Great Flying Spaghetti Monster?
If believers are wrong, it makes no difference. If unbelievers are wrong, it means damnation. I’d day the stakes are high.
I meant to type “say” not “day”.
Watched a good youtube of Ravi Zacharais last night called, “The Incoherence of Atheism”. He quotes a great (and amusing) poem about those who deny a Creator and their reasons for doing so. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tThGBThxlx4
For some there is no evidence great enough - it will take the sky peeling away and the throne of God exposed - they’ll have their proof but it will be a little late at that point. For those more willing, God says you can find him if you seeks with all of your heart.
I did. But he owes me money.
Who said God was just in the sky?...lol
I don’t think we have the capacity to fully comprehend God but there do appear to be natural laws and mathematical relationships that strongly suggest an intelligent design and not just attributed to the analysis and interpretation of Man. Whenever I sit and watch nature like say a spider spinning a geometrically perfect spider web and note that her offspring do the very same thing with no training by the mother or a bird that builds a nest in the same manner it suggests to me a higher design. But to each his own I guess. If I’m I will enter into Heaven one day. If I’m wrong I will still have lived a good life in harmony with others doing good deeds and gone to meet twice a week with good friends who have become my extended family. If you’re wrong...not good and I’d hate to see that happen
Who said God was just in the sky?...lol
I don’t think we have the capacity to fully comprehend God but there do appear to be natural laws and mathematical relationships that strongly suggest an intelligent design and not just attributed to the analysis and interpretation of Man. Whenever I sit and watch nature like say a spider spinning a geometrically perfect spider web and note that her offspring do the very same thing with no training by the mother or a bird that builds a nest in the same manner it suggests to me a higher design. But to each his own I guess. If I’m right I will enter into Heaven one day. If I’m wrong I will still have lived a good life in harmony with others doing good deeds and gone to meet twice a week with good friends who have become my extended family. If you’re wrong...not good and I’d hate to see that happen, especially to a fellow conservative...lol
I understood your point, and you are right.
Don't worry, He has a pill for that.
But it's rather bitter going down.
Where did God come from?
How does the sun come up so predictably each day? Why and how is there so much order in the laws of nature?
You attribute the orbit of Earth to God. I attribute it to gravity.
I noticed you didn't explain where the order came from to fashion the law of gravity, which was the essence of the second question.
You should ask yourself where man came from first.
But in any case the answer to your question is that God is the beginning and the end. He did not come form anywhere he is the answer of all other "where did X come from" questions.
He has always been and will be forever.
I know you think this is stupid and of course in your mind everything has to have a beginning and and end. But that is only because our minds are limited in comprehension.
God has given us glimpses of his magnitude in math with the study of infinities which people find very hard to comprehend but which nevertheless are ... Infinite.
I once heard a priest say that if atheists are convinced that there is no God, then why do they spend so much time and effort worrying about those of us that do believe; after all, we are thus nothing but silly, delusional fools..
You answered your own question when you used the word...Nature.
Do you really believe that there is some great being that watches over and cares for every human animal and plant on the planet?
That actually made the earth and all the stars and galaxy’s in the universe? All for its own entertainment. You pray to a dead Jewish rabbi the Romans nailed to a stick over 2000 years ago. A dead Jew you think is going to come down from the sky one day.
You surly understand where some people might raise an eyebrow at that.
Amazing, how much you can find to say about something you obviously know nothing about. How many scientists do you know? How many have you personally talked to to find out the assumptions they make when they begin an experiment?
I can assure you that considerations of God aren't on my mind. When I'm contemplating research, I'm too busy reading the body of work that led up to the point where I want to commence my research. The exercise of thinking about the implications of what is known, identifying the gaps in knowledge, formulating a working hypothesis, and designing a set of experiments to test the hypothesis is intellectually challenging and time-consuming enough that I honestly don't have much time (or interest) in assuming "No God" and wasting my time trying to prove the unprovable. I prefer to stick with what is provable--for example, that a particular set of mutations would cause bird flu to be contagious among humans. I don't know of a single scientist who is wasting time trying to disprove or prove the existence of God--it's a useless exercise, and the government doesn't pay us for pointless research.
Your obtuseness is really quite overwhelming. That you think so highly of yourself and your silly assumptions is quite telling.....
Above all, once again, you didn't address the question, and anyone can see why. You didn't because you can't.
Go ahead, put up another post with a bunch of straw men while you deservedly get laughed at for not addressing a simple question.
Do you have an explanation of time? When was Time Zero? What was an hour before it? What was a millineum before that?
When did eternity begin?
Sometimes I find it helpful addressing God as the Center of Universal Love. An artist creates nothing without love, and quantum mechanics is discovering that faith really may be the building blocks of our universe. I see the beauty of all creation as the artwork it it, with the expressions purpose and message intended by the Artist’s mind, not mine. Sometimes existence seems an empty artist’s studio, but if I really want to meet the Artist, I think how Love itself was necessary to create all existence in beautiful symmetry, and if Love is a universal component then It has a Center, just as the universe has a center, and as faith makes the building blocks of reality those blocks can make a bridge. You can get close enough to the Source to know the Source exists, has purpose and design. If ypu hang around the Center long you may get to share just for a moment, the experience of how a mind actually can be aware of and monitoring every created thing, every speck of dust in the universe, and that nothing is purposeless or intentionless. And that little taste is as much as our little minds can handle.
I believe in evolution, and when you look at man’s ancestord, plenty of them had grey matter to compete with ours, but they weren’t us. Evolution was not intentionless or purposeless. And the huge jumps from one form to another in extremely short periods of time show intervention. The final brushstroke was a mind that could apprehend the existence of God. That was us. We were born. Set on our own two feet to stumble off into existence as small reflections of the Original’s mind...to love, create, appreciate beauty, have compassion, gaze at impossible reaches and wonder, and find ways across the expanse by belief and faith.
Scientists themselves will tell you we’re all eternal. But when our matter reverts to other forms, what identity do we have of us? Faith. Love. Connection. Purpose. Only now they are discovering that all matter is energy, yes, but that all energy is merely the torsion between endless planes of eternity...just as an endless plane of emptiness created matter and energy in “The Big Bang”.
So, everything came from nothing. And nothing IS everything. Faith is the building block, as even some crazy scientists are beginning to discover, that forms reality. Faith requires a mind, and you have a private reality, as you know. Thete is a greater snd eternal reality, as you also know. Whose mind is at the center of that, the reality in which we are real?
Using the same scientific principle that eternal emptiness self-creates, I invite all atheists to purposely clear their mind of any thought of God, to remove every thought, eish or desite that might be God...and if their lives and belief are truly empty, then at the center, there God will be, without belief or mental imagination. Because there is no truly empty place.The center of the Universe created all things from nothing, scientists say it will all collapse and return to the center and this may repeat itself eternally, like the rhythym of a great heart, or the blinking of an eye.
One of my favorite parts of the Bible is when Moses asks God for His Name, and He replies “I Am That I Am”, and the context of the Hebrew words also means “I Am Whoever/Whatever I Choose, I Am Will, I Have No Limits”. It’s as if Moses said “let me give them an idea of You they can understand” and God said “Let them understand I am beyond their understanding”.
And while I believe every religion at it’s basic roots originated as a sincere desire to connect to God, and all have the building blocks of faith, it required an architect to actually build a bridge of that faith so we could all knos we can get to where God is. That architect was Jesus, who Himself is God and not limited by man’s understanding or religious demagoguery. Even an ice age shaman who experiences the realization of the Center can follow that thread, and past this plane it leads to the bridge and it’s Architect. And the only people who end up in darkness were those who never looked for it, or were repelled by it.
Well, I must have been in a quantum preaching mood today. I’m crazy, but I think I’ll hit “post” anyway!
“Amazing, how much you can find to say about something you obviously know nothing about. How many scientists do you know? How many have you personally talked to to find out the assumptions they make when they begin an experiment?
Likewise, it is amazing that YOU can presume to know what I know without knowing me! From the tenor of your missive, it appears that some of the “Dem” is still at work within you, exDemMom.
But more to the point, look at what you’ve said:
“I can assure you that considerations of God aren’t on my mind. When I’m contemplating research, I’m too busy reading the body of work that led up to the point where I want to commence my research.”
Why are you upset at what I’ve said (that the scientist begins with the assumption ‘no God’? You seem to agree with it?
Amazing video! Ravi Zacharias has an incredible breadth of understanding.
A look at the comments section is also very revealing. Someone in here has speculated why atheists bother with those who believe in what they, themselves do not believe in (as if this is not their own form of proselytizing). I believe the atheist, in his/her heart of hearts realizes the house of cards they are living in and the lies that they must consider (as well as they truths they must avoid) offer a harrowing mine field through which they must navigate. When exposed to a potential “booby-trap” (the Gospel) they must (MUST) shout it down/come alongside and try to out-scream, even as some do on forums such as these.
What do you know for sure?....
AND how sure are you that you know it?...
This the difference between a God-Lore believer... AND an atheist..
Atheists tend to be a bit arrogant..
“believers” tend to be more “demure”...
AND how sure are you that you know it?...
connaître vs. savoir.
It's a relationship with Christ, not a series of syllogisms.
Therefore, in order to be saved from the penalty and punishment of my sin I must HUMBLE myself before Almighty God, admit to Him that I am a sinner who is totally incapable of saving myself by "good works" or any human merit and call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and personally ask Him to come into my heart and life to save me from my sin just as He has said He would IF I would accept and receive Him as my savior.
As simple and profound this "Good News" of the spiritually liberating message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is, prideful men would rather die in their sin than to humble themselves before God, bend their knee to Christ, admit their pityable sinful state and receive The Lord Jesus Christ as their savior and their one and only hope of forgiveness and eternal life with God.
It’s a relationship with Christ, not a series of syllogisms.
Nicely put. The atheist assumes knowing God is an intellectual pursuit, whereas the believer knows that it is a Spirit-inspired, Spirit-lead understanding that results in a relationship with a Person.
Paul says in 1Corinthians that the natural man (reasoning/intellectual) cannot receive the things of God because they are spiritually discerned. Elsewhere he notes that these things (the things of God) are foolishness to those who are perishing. The atheist doesn’t like to hear this. One’s not liking it is, in effect, evidence of the problem.
For the Christian: you cannot “reason” with the atheist, because they lack the [spiritual] equipment. All you can do is sow seed...and move on. It is God’s place to reveal Himself. And he does so to the heart that seeks Him. Atheists, by definition, are those dedicated to not seeking, because in their view (the natural view all are born with), there is nothing to seek.
I am not going to spend any time trying to convince some one that God exists, it would be just like some
nut trying to convince me that oil and gas comes from dead animals.
And i also will not be hard on people who do not believe in his son.
No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
. . . . Article and comments # 2 through # 39.
Thanks, Grey_Whiskers. Fascinating thread and responses.
(Sound of grey_whiskers jumping up on the counter and rubbing his cheek along a glass vase, knocking it off onto the floor where it shatters.)
Thank you so much for sharing your insights, dear grey_whiskers!
Thanks to Slings and Arrows for locating the perfect graphic.
Great video, thanks for the link. He is a very common sense preacher, with a sense of humor too!
Lucy....thanks for the ping!
Grey.....thanks for the great thread!
To what do you attribute the law of gravity?
Do the laws of nature emerge from nothing? By virtue of a random "natural" or "physical" process? If so, why do we consider them to be "lawful?"
IOW, can laws ever be the outcome of a random, wholly "natural" (or physical) development?
It seems that you, BigCinBigD, are on a very positivist track: your assumption being that only direct observables can be said to exist. The corollary is phenomena in nature incapable of direct observation have no real existence in principle. Therefore, they must be fictions.
But the problem is, the physical laws themselves fall into this category of non-observables. [Not to mention all of mathematics.]
E.g., have you ever "seen" gravity? [Though you certainly seem to believe in it.] Have you ever seen pi?
If you want to get an atheist going, just start them on "qualia."
Try the wikipedia article for starters.
And then make the obvious segue to beauty, morals, fact vs. meaning (cf regular text vs. xml if you catch my drift, it's still just a hash lookup when all is said and done), and the while "is vs. ought".
All tied in with the soul-mind dichotomy. :-)