“I don’t think...”
“I don’t believe...” and so on, all based on SUBJECTIVE reasoning.
An all-loving god cannot order a man to slaughter infants conceived to be born, but extinguished before they can exercise free will (this is a deficiency no true god can afford to have). Or indulge in other barbarism. If you think it’s good for your god to order so, then even your definition of “love” becomes subjective, trapping you into that same circular logic used to define what “good” is.
Besides, all your information about your god was derived from human sources, beyond the hundredth hand. As such, you must have greater faith in the ability of mere men transmitting you that information without corruption than the faith you have in your deity. Why would a true god arrange for the circumstances to be such that you are dependent on your faith in human integrity to build upon it your faith in the very deity? Your faith is a subjective choice, more to do with the randomness of the things that defined your geography and history than with any objective reasoning on your part.
In using terms like “think” and “believe”, even novice debaters know that those terms are used to assert a way in which we perceive something. If I say that “I believe there is a country called Japan”, this is not some wild assertion just because I have said that I believe it. I have good evidence to back up the claim. Not only do I know that Japan is a country, but I believe it because I know it.
You ignore chaos theory (the butterfly effect) in your assertion that an all-loving god “could not” do something you deem to be terrible. You have no way of knowing if one child’s death might save millions of children hundreds of years later. As I have already stated, your definition of “barbarism” is subjective itself. You are playing god by trying to apply your own ideas of right and wrong (which frankly are no more relevant than a sadist’s) to God. From an atheistic viewpoint, these children who would die are just biological matter anyway, similar to any other kind of biological matter you might find in a garden.
Any value you might place on such children, is simply the result of social conditioning and chemical reactions in the brain you might call ‘empathy’. In reality though, the dying child is of no value.
“If you think its good for your god to order so”
You’re again appealing to my own subjective morality, which I have not appealed to.
Your reasoning is as follows
I believe it to be good -—> it was good when God did it
When the logical reason that would follow from a situation in which God actually existed is as follows
God did it -—> it was good because God did it, even if the goodness is not apparent to me as a finite, non-transcendent being.
You then go on to the old attacks on the historicity of these accounts. Why would God wish me to trust in the Gospels, instead of appearing to me at night in a flowing robe and saying “see, I exist”. Well, there would be no point to my life here on earth if this was the case, unless I was some kind of prophet. Why wouldn’t God just create me in Heaven, and give me the same awareness of Him?
This is you, again, trying to make out that you could understand the workings of a mind that transcended space and time. “why didn’t God do this?” “why didn’t God do that?”. I used the example before of a bug staring in at a mathematician, trying to figure out why he draws a line instead of a circle. Even if the bug were capable of coherent thought, it would be impossible for him to comprehend anything that the mathematician was doing. Your relationship to God would be similar.
Have you ever trusted anything you have heard? How many experiments described in textbooks have you carried out yourself? You trust that people who write these things (however fantastic some seem) are being honest. Look at history. The vast majority of historical knowledge we have comes from accounts. We haven’t gone back in time to see exactly which day Ceaser died, but we take the accounts of his death on good faith.
Don’t take my word for it though. Let’s consult the experts in the field of which we’re talking about. There is no physical evidence that Jesus Christ ever existed. I can’t show you his body, nor can I present a video or a photograph of him at the beach. Despite this however, the vast majority of historians today, of all faiths and backgrounds, will tell you that Jesus of Nazareth was a real person. Granted, a small minority of historians deny his existence, but a small minority of historians also deny the Holocaust.
If you want to argue that they’ve got it all wrong, and that we cannot believe anybody existed unless we have scientifically measurable confirmation of their existence because the source might be “corrupt”, then that’s okay, but I don’t think it carries much weight intellectually. Is it possible that Jesus was simply a legend, that his followers lied, or that his followers themselves were imaginary? I guess. But this doesn’t seem like a very likely conclusion.
“Your faith is a subjective choice, more to do with the randomness of the things that defined your geography and history than with any objective reasoning on your part”
And your lack of belief was not shaped at all by these things? None of the atheistic influences you may have had would have failed to reach you had you grown up somewhere else? Tough to believe to say the least.