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2 Tenets of Atheism


Gail

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Yes, but this hatred is not usually on a conscious level. They are rejecting the God they see in the Bible, but they would say there is no such God in reality for them to hate. If the truth were told, they would also say they hope to God that this God doesn't exist.

This reminds of the atheist friend of mine who was in a car accident with me. He was severely hurt and when I came up to him lying on the ground, some of his first words were, "Do you think God is punishing us for not believing in Him?"

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There may be some truth in it... but for most of my atheist friends it's a bit more nuanced than that. They really believe there's no God, but they hate the effect that other people believing in God has in the world. So they hate 'God', the concept, not God the real being.

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So there are a few things here that get entangled and are worth trying to tease out.

One is that many of the most vocal atheists are ex-Christians of one kind or another. Those who have been atheists all their lives tend to be quieter about it. (In general.)

So for many there has been a divorce. And part of that process is often reinterpreting all that went before in a negative light. They may come to see tithing as extortion, for example, or teachings about the judgement as abusive.

This are all big generalisations, but when we see atheists who seem to 'hate God', it is usually these kinds of things that are actually going on.

Then, of course, there are the ones who were subject to absolutely real abuse - sexual or physical - and who saw the church do nothing, or even damn them and support their abusers. It's unsurprising that these people hate the church - and the church claims to represent God.

I don't agree with these people - I think they tend to focus on the negative aspects of religions impacts on the world and ignore the positive impacts. Or some are more doctrinaire, and even reject the positive impacts as rising from 'delusion'.

My point, though, is that if our goal is to win people back, making triumphalist statements that belittle their views from a perspective that completely fails to understand their views is not the way to go about it. The original statement Gail quoted has an unpleasant whiff of 'gotcha' about it...

It is possible to believe that God is a human delusion and hate that human delusion. That doesn't make one hypocritical or confused, and is entirely logically consistent.

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The fact is that many atheists also reject the God of the Bible who condemns the wicked and saves the righteous. Many also simply reject the whole idea that this God has laws He requires them to obey.

As you point out, Bravus, much atheism has its roots in the emotions and feelings people have rather than in reason and intellect.

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I have wondered if these debates hold any value, since the participants are so vehemently opposed. But then, I guess that is what a debate is.

That statement that I quoted is from a Christian apologist who squares off against Christopher Hitchens in another debate. It's the second such DVD that has come my way.

I grew up with a father who is atheistic. His view of life comes right from the homestead (Albertan homestead). You are born, you live, you die and that is it. Religion just wasn't a part of our lifestyle when I was growing up.

Yet he holds no particular animosity against Christians or against God that I know of. He just doesn't talk religion. He and my brother are about the closest atheists that I know of.

I wonder if his point of view was born of his NOT having any really negative past experiences.

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Exactly- and Hitchens has certainly been treated poorly by some Christians. I get the feeling that he speaks more charitably towards them than they do of him, and I don't know why that is.

I like that concept- of those claiming to be Christians acting in the manner of Christ. That would be an argument that could not be refuted- the miracle of a changed life.

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The fact is that many atheists also reject the God of the Bible who condemns the wicked and saves the righteous. Many also simply reject the whole idea that this God has laws He requires them to obey.

As you point out, Bravus, much atheism has its roots in the emotions and feelings people have rather than in reason and intellect.

Atheists are far more educated and less violent than their theist counter parts. And while there is emotion involved it is not directed at a being they don't believe exists.

That would be like saying I hated Santa Claus when I found out he wasn't real. I might be angry with the people that told me he was real. And I might feel some anger toward my friends who kept telling me he was real after I pointed out that there was absolutely no evidence that Santa Clause existed.

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__

"Fear is a darkroom where negatives develop.”

I would suggest that if those claiming to be Christian acted in the manner of Christ on this earth and His dealing with mankind we would not be having this discussion. Was Christs mission to continue the belief of a vengeful, wrathful and condemning God that was being depicted to the world by His chosen people? Is Christianity doing any better today in their depiction of God?

If you have no fear........

Manassah, the most evil king of the early body of believers in Almighty God, who essentially had an end of life conversion with an attendant repentance about his past sins, was forgiven by God even as all Christians will be, as at last they will enter into the heavenly kingdom and subsequently share a heavenly home with the Savior to Whom he/she gave his/her heart.

A problem with the continuing unbelievers who choose to look at the behavior of professing Christians to draw their conclusions about the God they serve, only see God in the light of the recipients unworthy to receive God's grace, rather than seeing the One Who holds out His mercy to the least deserving until that same God knows there is no longer any hope of them ever changing their mind about whom they choose to serve, whether the god of this world or the God Who remembers His mercy to a thousand generations of those who serve Him.

If one really wishes to see what God is like today, through his servants, go down to New Orleans and view the ones who have given up home and hearth to travel there to continue to help those who remain without almost every earthly comfort, those going to help the helpless when a good portion of the world, including some Christians, have all but forgotten the devastation hurricane Katrina brought about.

I could name innumerable other places around the world in which similar circumstances prevail, where not only are there many who shoulder the work of Christ for the sake of His disenfranchised children, but multiplied thousands who find it difficult to turn away from responsibilities at home and therefor shift their emphasis to send large amounts of funds to support those who can go.

A person with myopic spiritual vision cannot see this as good reason to worship a God that allows these circumstances to exist, making it necessary for others to step up and sacrifice for the benefit of those who appear less fortunate. However it does provide room for all, freedom of choice, something more important to God than enforced obedience in order to receive salvation.

Some choose comfort for themselves rather than comfort for others. In the end, it will be up to God to determine what weaknesses and what strengths a person has that will accuse or excuse them from the rewards they will receive.

"Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap."Gal 6:7 NKJV

"Seek the LORD while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near."Isaiah 55:6 NKJV

"For God says,“At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation."

2 Corinthians 6:2 NLT

"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

Romans 5:8 NASB

God Blesses!! peace

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GreatLakesGramma

I grew up with a father who is atheistic. His view of life comes right from the homestead (Albertan homestead). You are born, you live, you die and that is it. Religion just wasn't a part of our lifestyle when I was growing up.

Yet he holds no particular animosity against Christians or against God that I know of. He just doesn't talk religion. He and my brother are about the closest atheists that I know of.

I wonder if his point of view was born of his NOT having any really negative past experiences.

That is exactly the way my maternal grandfather was. He had nothing against Christians or Christianity, he just didn't believe there is anything other than what we see and experience in this life, plain and simple.

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Atheists are far more educated and less violent than their theist counter parts. And while there is emotion involved it is not directed at a being they don't believe exists.

That would be like saying I hated Santa Claus when I found out he wasn't real. I might be angry with the people that told me he was real. And I might feel some anger toward my friends who kept telling me he was real after I pointed out that there was absolutely no evidence that Santa Clause existed.

Yes I've noticed that about Trotsky,Stalin,Hitler,Mao,Kim Jong-il,and other nice athiests.
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Originally Posted By: cardw
Atheists are far more educated and less violent than their theist counter parts. And while there is emotion involved it is not directed at a being they don't believe exists.

That would be like saying I hated Santa Claus when I found out he wasn't real. I might be angry with the people that told me he was real. And I might feel some anger toward my friends who kept telling me he was real after I pointed out that there was absolutely no evidence that Santa Clause existed.

Yes I've noticed that about Trotsky,Stalin,Hitler,Mao,Kim Jong-il,and other nice athiests.

What you are suggesting is that these men are a typical representation of atheists. Where are your facts that this is true?

I can give you a much longer list of Christian rulers who were just as cruel and violent. This list would include Martin Luther, John Calvin, many popes, Christian kings, and even Church fathers. And in Martin Luther's case I could show you his book called The Jews and their Lies as being one of the inspirations behind Hitler's policies toward the Jews.

This is another example of lazy thinking. You would rather deal in sound bytes and innuendo than factual research. This type of thinking permeates Christianity today and you are simply continuing to promote it.

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[What you are suggesting is that these men are a typical representation of atheists. Where are your facts that this is true?

I can give you a much longer list of Christian rulers who were just as cruel and violent. This list would include Martin Luther, John Calvin, many popes, Christian kings, and even Church fathers. And in Martin Luther's case I could show you his book called The Jews and their Lies as being one of the inspirations behind Hitler's policies toward the Jews.

This is another example of lazy thinking. You would rather deal in sound bytes and innuendo than factual research. This type of thinking permeates Christianity today and you are simply continuing to promote it.

Ah yes, the old lazy thinking argument. Very impressive.I notice you didn't list anyone living in the past,say,hundred years, to the list of cold blooded Christian killers.Any reason why? Would you like to total all the deaths directly linked to Luther,Calvin,popes and the much longer list of Christian rulers (you're not suggesting that these men are typical representatives of Christianity are you?)to the totals of Stalin and Mao(we'll leave out the rest)?
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Exactly- and Hitchens has certainly been treated poorly by some Christians. I get the feeling that he speaks more charitably towards them than they do of him, and I don't know why that is.

I like that concept- of those claiming to be Christians acting in the manner of Christ. That would be an argument that could not be refuted- the miracle of a changed life.

Actually,in fairness, Hitchens has been treated well by many Christians.Hitchens has continued to label Christianity as some sorta dangerous mental bloc and invites the respectful yet sometimes animated response that his myopic ideas project.The idea that the miracle of a changed life is irrefutable is not to be confused with the irresistable change that will occur as a result in the life of the one who cannot refute the miracle they see.
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Originally Posted By: Bravus
Not to mention that Hitler wasn't an atheist at all, but an adherent of some odd syncretic mixture of Christian and pagan beliefs.
Which,of course, would mean that he wasn't really a Christian at all.

Exactly, and agreed. His crimes cannot fairly be laid at the door of Christianity. But neither can they be fairly laid at the door of atheism.

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I suspect if we were to do a simple tally, the Communists of the 20th century would 'win' in terms of numbers of deaths, simply because of far greater world population. There probably weren't 20 million people in total in the Europe of Luther's time. Some kind of proportional calculation would make more sense... but this bandying of human lives to make rhetorical points is distasteful in itself. There are better grounds on which to make the case.

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Actually,in fairness, Hitchens has been treated well by many Christians.Hitchens has continued to label Christianity as some sorta dangerous mental bloc and invites the respectful yet sometimes animated response that his myopic ideas project.
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