New Research: It’s the Atheists Who are Closed-Minded

By Tom Gilson Published on July 8, 2017

A new research study released to the press this week says atheists may have a problem with closed-mindedness. Two problems, actually: Compared to believers, they have real trouble seeing both sides of an issue, and they don’t do as well handling contradictions.

This may come as a shock to the so-called “free-thinking” atheist community, many of whom consider Christians closed-minded. It’s no surprise to me, though. I’ve experienced it often, including once very recently. A couple of days ago, an atheist Facebook friend mentioned me on his page. I stopped by, and as we chatted there I got treated to gems like these:

Theology is the particular field of those who don’t like to get out in the real world and find things out, but who prefer to sit in their enclave and pretend their imaginations are reality.

The religionist watched science debunk every god-claim, but rather than admit defeat, continues to seek gaps in human knowledge in which to insert his magic being.

I used to think that all christians [sic] went through the debilitating doubt I did in the 3 teenage years I believed it. And that they were pretending not to. Because you CAN’T “know”. Only now, 40 years later, am I getting hints that some simpletons really don’t ever get the doubts.

The Other Way Around?

There’s more, but you get the picture. It’s rude, stereotypical and dismissive. But note what the last commenter said, in effect: Christians are so simple-minded, they haven’t even considered the possibility their beliefs might not be true. This recently released research shows that in fact, it’s mostly the other way around: Atheists and agnostics in secular, Western countries are less likely than believers to open their minds to the possibility they might be wrong.

“In highly secularized religious contexts,” says the report, “non-believers, compared to their religionist peers, [are] less prone to be interested in, consider, understand and appreciate perspectives that oppose their own.”

I’ll say. I’ve seen it many times, not just during this latest Facebook foray.

Take a look at Craig Keener’s massive two-volume Miracles and you’ll have to wonder who’s really resisting the evidence.

Who’s the Real Dogmatist?

The study was led by Dr. Filip Uzarevic, of the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium. Some might pounce on that as proof of research bias: “There were Catholics involved!” Let me set your mind at ease. The researchers were biased against belief.

This is clear from the way they defined dogmatism. To be dogmatic, in their view, means to have a firm belief in “ideas that seem implausible or even contrary to evidence (e.g. miraculous phenomena).” The researchers seem to think the evidence against miracles is so strong, only “dogmatism” could cause anyone to believe in them.

That’s hardly the case, however. Take a look at Craig Keener’s massive two-volume Miracles, with its many examples and its strict controls guarding against doubtful miracle claims, and you’ll have to wonder who’s really resisting the evidence. (Eric Metaxas’ much shorter book on miracles covers much of the same ground.)

Naturally, believers scored higher than atheists or agnostics on the “dogmatism” scale, which supposedly shows there’s something inflexible — and therefore wrong — about the way we think. I’d say instead that the scale was misnamed. At any rate, it’s quite clear the researchers weren’t biased in favor of belief.

Richard Dawkins’ Closed-Mindedness

The research results remind me of the nonsense Richard Dawkins spouted in his 2006 bestseller, The God Delusion. Scholar after scholar (I could link to dozens more) criticized the book severely, demonstrating how amazingly little Dawkins knew about what or why Christians believe. When they showed him his errors — which he obviously made in pure ignorance — his answer (colorfully crafted by fellow atheist P. Z. Myers) was essentially this: “That’s no problem! Religion is so silly, I don’t need to know what I’m talking about.”

I’ve learned from both Scripture and experience to avoid lengthy debates with people so unwilling to listen.

It’s a near-perfect picture of a closed mind.

Four years ago Dawkins was voted Britain’s “top public intellectual.” That vote sealed a standard for Western secularists. Do you want look smart, without bothering to do the hard work of actually learning? Just do like the atheists quoted above did: Dismiss Christianity with nothing more than a smug sneer. Christians are “simpletons,” “religionists” who “pretend their imaginations are reality.”

Can Atheists Open Their Minds?

Or say something like this, which just came in while I was writing this article: “I think that Mr. Gilson is intelligent, but then that means that he realizes how weak his apologetics is and must therefore be deliberately lying to his readership.”

I don’t visit atheist Facebook pages like these very often. I haven’t dived very deep into this particular discussion, and I’m not staying for long. I’ve learned from both Scripture and experience to avoid lengthy debates with people so unwilling to listen. It doesn’t do much good to try.

Now, I won’t let this research mislead me into thinking it describes every atheist. It’s about group tendencies, which may not be the case for any one person in that group. So I won’t assume it’s true for any individual — not until I have good reason to think it is.

Still, it helps to know that if some atheists can’t imagine an intelligent person choosing to believe in Christ, part of the reason could be that they’re too closed-minded to consider the possibility they might be wrong themselves.

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  • Gary

    If you don’t believe in God (the God of the Bible) as an eternal being, then you either have to believe the universe and life came to exist by chance, or you have to believe the universe and life have always existed and made themselves into what they are now. As far as I know, there is no way to prove that either of those theories is true.

    People deny God is real for their own reasons, but not because of anything they can prove.

  • JP

    This same thing is true of many that a pro abortion and homosexuality. Their reasons are so shallow.

  • bfast

    Is it just me, or is the link to the research article broken?

    • LgVt

      Bad formatting. Copy the link, and take out everything except what’s in the parentheses to get to the article.

    • Fixed. Sorry about that.

  • john appleseed

    “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, their deeds are vile” (Psalm 14:1).
    The word ‘fool’ here in the Bible is not referring to mere stupidity. It’s moral stupidity.
    Let me illustrate: Bill Clinton is an extremely intelligent man. But it was incredibly foolish of him to have sex (yes, Mr Clinton, it was sex) with an intern in the Oval Office of the White House.
    You can be very intelligent yet very foolish at the same time. Such is the case with folks like Mr Dawkins.

  • john appleseed

    The Bible already warned us about this mass denial by unbelievers. The apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Rome, chapter one, verses 18-32, tells us that people suppress the truth of God. Paul says that creation testifies clearly of a Creator, yet they would rather trust in “mortal human beings” than in “the immortal God” (verse 23).

  • Hannah

    I currently work with a self-professed atheist and logic-based thinker. We’ve had many discussions over the past two months since he was hired and I’ve come to realize several key truths about him and, by association, those like him:

    1) He claims to be open-minded and willing to admit errors if proven to him, yet when I and several others have done so, he squirms and argues himself into a “right” position. Example: we were “discussing” religion (more on the “discussing” bit later) and when I used his own logic against him to prove God’s existence, he then began running around the issue to try and redefine “truth” and “fact”.

    2) He claims that he enjoys debating because it gets people talking, but when during a professed “debate” he is in a position to either confess his faulty thinking or provide a rebuttal, he’ll go for the rebuttal every time – even when there’s no rebuttal to offer. Example: (going back to the conversation about proving God’s existence) I pointed several key flaws in the theory of evolution, but rather than admitting that they were debilitating flaws that had no answer, he goes with, “Well, I’m not that well versed in evolution, so it doesn’t really matter.”

    3) When debating, he refuses to abide by the rules of the procedure (e.g. if your stance is proven erroneous or not as stoic as your opponent’s, you must acknowledge and concede the point to your opponent). I took Speech and Debate for three years in high school and from what (little) I know, his version of “debating” is just self-worship: spout facts and try your hardest to avoid reaching any conclusion that violates your already established truth. He’d rather talk in circles than even hint at being in the wrong (this has been proven elsewhere in his life, but that’s a story for another day).

    Point is, my coworker has shown me how the majority of secularists/atheists behave when confronted with truth: they either run, hide, or pontificate about nothing until they’re blue in the mouth. Anything to get away from absolutism. It’s sad, but altogether too real.

    • Dant e

      John 3 pretty much sums up why.

      • Pigdowndog

        By that logic Harry Potter is alive and well.

    • Pigdowndog

      “when I used his own logic against him to prove God’s existence”
      Can you share that piece of information that “proves” god’s existence please?

      • davidrev17

        In order to save yourself any further embarrassment on this blog – since you’re dealing with many Christian theist’s (i.e., this article’s author for starters), of whom are acutely aware of the profoundly illogical & irrational parameters, or particulars, associated with your intellectually vacuous “worldview”; I humbly suggest that you at least consider studying this preeminent “philosophical argument,” from the perspective of academic scholars who’ve been at the forefront of this planet’s “Naturalism v. Theism” wars.

        So I offer just a few books – and there are so many helpful ones in print – whose powerful insights should clearly give you “pause,” to perhaps begin rethinking your whimsically ethereal, ideological position. Because according to your words here on this article, and elsewhere on ‘The Stream’ – it seems as though you’ve also “been imbibing rather heavily from the wells of naturalistic thinking.”

        * * *

        “Stealing From God,” Dr. Frank Turek, (2014).

        “Dawkins’ God: From the Selfish Gene to The God Delusion,” (2015 –
        Second Edition), Dr. Alister McGrath, Oxford University. (Dr. McGrath holds three Ph.D’s., and was a former atheist/molecular biophysicist, now world-class “Christian” (Biblical) theologian. Any of his many books on this topic will greatly reward your diligent efforts.)

        “The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions,” (2008), Dr. David Berlinski, Distinguished Mathematician & Philosopher of Science. This still UNchallenged, or UNanswered book, was written as a direct refutation of Richard Dawkins’ (’06/’07) atheistic polemic, “The God Delusion.”

        “The Atheist Who Didn’t Exist Or: The Dreadful Consequences of Bad Arguments,” Andy Bannister, (2015).

        “Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion & Naturalism,” (2011), world-renowned analytic “Christian” philosopher, Alvin Plantinga.

        “Illogical Atheism: A Comprehensive Response to the Contemporary ‘Freethinker’ From a Lapsed Agnostic,” (2013), Bo Jinn.

        “God’s Undertaker: Has Science Buried God,” (2009), Dr. John Lennox, “Christian” mathematician & philosopher of science, Oxford University. (See also: Dr. Lennox’s powerful, “Gunning for God: Why the New Atheists are Missing the Target,” (2011) & “God and Stephen Hawking: Whose Design Is It Anyway?” 2011.)

        Good day!

        • Pigdowndog

          I’m afraid you’re the one who should be embarrassed.
          I specifically asked for evidence that proved the existence of god not a list of random author’s opinions.
          Especially the ones you’ve recommended!
          Not good enough.
          Must try harder.
          “been imbibing rather heavily from the wells of naturalistic thinking.”
          I shall sup long and hard at that blushful Hippocrene as it’s the only antidote to superstition.

          • davidrev17

            Since you ignored my statement re: the question of God’s existence, or NON-existence, being a preeminently “philosophical question” – then perhaps you’ll provide me with some scholarly literature as well, written by recognized scholars of course, of which conclusively demonstrates the NON-existence of this “Sky-Wizard,” or fairy-like “Flying Spaghetti Monster,” to whom you make such pejorative reference?

            After all, I gave you a long list – surely you can return the favor by satisfying the intellectual demands you place upon others, huh?? Do tell, please.

          • Pigdowndog

            Nice use of onus probandi there.
            I never claimed anything. All I asked for was evidence for the claim of the existence of god.
            Any god will do as there are millions of the buggers to choose from
            You take your pick..
            I can’t, like you, prove god doesn’t or does exist, no-one can, but until I am presented with verifiable evidence for his/her/its existence then I shall adopt the logical position of “unbelief”.
            To do otherwise is intellectually lazy.
            As to whether the cosmos is “all there is , was, or ever will be” I have no clue and neither do you.
            One thing I do know though is that I’ll get my scientific information from the world of science and not from the pulpit.

          • davidrev17

            Talk about being “intellectually lazy”! Your entire statement personifies such. So you choose to exercise fideistic faith, in the existence of ultimate NOthingness?

            Yet you, and every other brilliant atheistic materialist scientist, remains “scientifically” clueless as to the “origin” of this universe & all of its exquisitely-tuned “laws” upon which nature operates; all “life” itself; the still UNanswered conundrum re: the emergence/origin of Homo sapiens’ consciousness (or mind); our sophisticated language of symbolism; the origin of non-physical numbers, thus OUR unique ability to engage in highly-complex, abstract mathematical equations, of which both accurately and mysteriously describe the very physical structure of the known universe – and the origin of objective moral laws amongst Homo sapiens. (I’m only scratching the surface here too!)

            And please keep in mind the difference, in kind, between epistemological claims, and ontological ones, in these questions of ultimate significance. No wonder you’re so ill-equipped to engage in this sort of dialogue: you’re trusting in “science,” thus scientists alone, to educate you. Yet science is virtually silent and/or clueless when it comes to ultimate matters my friend.

            Science doesn’t DO God, morality, values, politics etc. my friend. However, scientists themselves routinely pontificate upon matters such as what I just described; thus projecting the erroneous illusion, or image, that their personal ideological pronouncements – are somehow “scientific” in content???

          • Pigdowndog

            That’s quite a word salad you’ve produced there but sadly says nothing.
            Just because science can’t answer every question doesn’t give you licence to insert a god into that gap in knowledge.
            Absolutely pointless quoting a professor from a creationist university.
            Another eminent professor Richard Dawkins will give you a completely polar opposite quote.
            You still haven’t fulfilled my request of verifiable evidence for a god.

          • davidrev17

            You sound quite a bit like “Timothy Horton” in disguise, and not on atheistic steroids either; particularly when it comes to your sophomoric reliance upon the genetic fallacy, as well as refusing to admit that your own worldview is purely faith-based – just like all those theist’s you thrive on attacking. And using the name Richard Dawkins, is utterly laughable in this particular context, because he’s been totally embarrassed in this philosophical debate, time and time again. Brilliant scientist…yet “crummy philosopher”!

            Now, the Biblical Christian worldview – thus the Judeo-Christian Creator God “YHWH,” self-revealed to mankind in the historical person of Yeshua [Jesus] of Nazareth – unambiguously asserts that “Mind” represents Ultimate reality – whose God is both simultaneously “personal” in our four-dimensions, yet self-existently “transcendent.” (Hence our feeble, pea-brained attempts to describe His presence as being both near and far….simultaneously,)

            (BTW: such an “other-worldly” description of the biblical Creator God, immediately renders null-and-void, all those “this-worldly” petty mythological caricatures upon which Dawkins and his ilk [you included] have so foolishly relied.)

            Thus the conceptual parameters of such a “quantum” worldview found throughout the pages of the Judeo-Christian Scriptures, have been nicely captured by theologians through their long-standing use of the term “general revelation” – as opposed to the biblical Creator’s communicative method of “special revelation.”

            So naturally [no pun intended] this frame-of-reference indicated throughout nature, includes that long list of nature’s 20th-21st century scientific implications, or inferences, to which I made just above (can you say quantum mechanics, or a quantum universe?); whose manifestations beautifully comport with the simplicity of not only Occam’s Razor, but also the biblical worldview inference that “Mind” represents Ultimate reality. Please note however: this is still the case IN nature, notwithstanding the tired ol’ “heads-I-win, tails-you-lose” excuse one typically encounters in ontological debates, ever since Methodological Naturalism became the required default, knee-jerk explanatory-grid in scientific – I mean epistemological matters.

            Obviously naturalistic [i.e., MIND-less] philosophy, with which you’ve inevitably (or tragically) become enamored in your faith-based UNbelief, has never even gotten-off the proverbial ground in addressing ANY of these 20th/21st-century “quantum” (or MIND-like) mysteries of nature – let alone coming close to having ever resolved them! (“It’s the epistemology stupid”! A prescient observation made by the Christian philosopher, professor Dr. Francis Beckwith, Baylor University.)

            Thus your pitifully misguided, once again faith-based hope in “Promissory Materialism” –
            aka “naturalism of the gaps” thinking – doesn’t amount to a hill-of-beans in this purely philosophical pursuit of arriving at valid, coherent ontological answers, to the questions about which only rational/moral Homo sapiens concern themselves my friend.

            There IS a Creator God, yet we’re NOT Him! And “Facts are [still] stubborn things…” Have a very blessed day & week…and Don’t forget to thank the biblical Creator, for your very life’s [non-physical] sustaining breath!

          • Pigdowndog

            I had no idea who Timothy Horton was until I Googled him but still don’t understand the reference.
            I’m English so ice hockey doesn’t feature large in my life.
            You’ve also produced another lengthy word salad with sod all to back up your assertions.
            “There IS a Creator God”
            Show me the evidence. A simple request that doesn’t require a boring diatribe.

            “Don’t forget to thank the biblical Creator, for your very life’s [non-physical] sustaining breath!”
            I’ll thank my mum and dad for that privilege.
            Not sure why I would thank that vicious and vile creature that’s portrayed in the bible!
            A brutal tyrant if ever I’ve read about one. Give me Harry Potter any day, far better fantasy story.

          • davidrev17

            Sadly, you’re outta’ your league in this ontological debate my friend – primarily due to the sound, and still-compelling scientific (or epistemological) implications found throughout nature, and established during the last perhaps 100-years, or so. (BTW: If you started receiving your theological/religious factual information from “theologians” [say Oxford’s Alister McGrath?], instead of atheists, perhaps this approach would begin to shed some badly-needed “light” in your otherwise darkened “spiritual” understanding??)

            “The universe is mental, spiritual…” Just Google this quote by the very non-religious Dr. Richard Conn Henry, distinguished astrophysicist @ Johns Hopkins University, in an article he’d written for the prestigious Journal ‘Nature’, back in 2005, I believe?

          • Pigdowndog

            “Sadly, you’re outta’ your league”
            I must grant you the accolade of being the master of irony. Bravo!
            Can you give me any examples of the bible being scientifically correct?
            Bats are birds for example!

            “Just Google this quote”
            I’m afraid quotes don’t count as evidence mate.
            I could just as easily quote Harry Potter for all the difference it makes.

          • davidrev17

            We’re not going to make any headway in this dialogue, evidenced by your question about valid 21st-century scientific “inferences to the best explanation” (IBE), not being found throughout the Holy Bible; whose “realities” detected throughout nature are beautifully consistent with the worldview revealed in the Holy Scriptures.

            Why have you simply ignored the dozen, or so implications of contemporaneous scientific research, of which I’ve painstakingly, thus objectively stated, in I believe my last-three posts to you? I believe you’re naturally challenged by H@#o sapiens typically “fallen” volitional intransigence – and NOT the Bible’s lack of containing “credible scientific implications,” of which is normally associated with our reason, logic, and intellect.

            And one last observation my friend: I’m almost 63 years-old; and I was reared in a clearly religiously “neutral,” though highly dysfunctional family; having been required to attend church as a child/adolescent, maybe 3-5 times.

            However, that Non-existent Creator God, “who is Spirit,” began to powerfully invade my utterly pathetic, SIN-SICK 40 year-old life, as I was separated from my then wife, while going through our divorce, which took roughly 17-months before it was finalized. As I began to respond back in ’95 & ’96 to His almost inscrutable methods of communicating with me, in a variety of ways – many times directly through my reading the Holy Scriptures – I finally bowed-my-knee, and gave my heart to the Lord Jesus Christ just before my 41st birthday; and He has graciously enabled me to “follow” Him for the last, almost 21-years.

            And He’d do the same for you my friend – if you’d just “allow” Him to personally confirm, and thus reveal His eternal love and care for you; of which He’s lavishly poured-out upon humanity through the death & physical/bodily resurrectuon of Yeshua of Nazareth.

            Also, He will NEVER force Himself upon anyone…as He must be willingly received, through and by His inscrutably “supernatural” drawing process, targeting the non-physical “heart” of each-and-every person who “receives” Him! (i.e., please read the first 14-verses in the Gospel of John.)

          • Pigdowndog

            “Why have you simply ignored the dozen, or so implications of contemporaneous scientific research”
            Simply because they’re not scientific.
            If there was absolute evidence of any god it would be headline news around the world with Nobel Prizes bestowed on the purveyors of that evidence so stop trying to qualify supposition as science.

            “credible scientific implications”
            As I said, please provide an example of where the bible is scientifically correct.

            ” I’m almost 63 years-old”
            I’m 74 years old so I also beat you in years and experience.
            I also attended church as a child and was exposed to the same indoctrination as you.
            I’ve been through two divorces but unlike you I don’t believe in sin as it’s just a religious concept outside of reality.

            “His almost inscrutable methods of communicating with me”
            Please explain how he communicated with you, email, text, letter, telegram, ‘phone call or a voice in your head?

            “Holy Scriptures”
            I’ve read the bible twice and it doesn’t make any sense to a rational thinker.

            “”Hound of Heaven,”
            The impression I got of the god of the bible is that he should be labelled “The Vile and Vicious Beast of Heaven”

            “He’s lavishly poured-out upon humanity”
            Tell that to the starving kids of this world, tsunami victims, cancer victims, war victims (usually in the name of your god) etc.

            “through the death & physical/bodily resurrection of Yeshua of Nazareth.”
            No evidence for his existence either.

            “please read the first 14-verses in the Gospel of John.”
            I have and it’s complete nonsense.
            Gullibility isn’t part of my make up.

          • davidrev17

            Sadly, and most tragically for you, is the fact that blatant foolish “gullibility,” has indeed become your entire “make up”; due to your allowing the “father of lies,” and his fallen minions to profoundly deceive you throughout your 74-years.

            And the fact that you’re still railing-against this NON-EXISTENT Creator God of the Holy Bible – also bears solid witness to the undeniable fact, that logic & reason have actually deserted you – and as such, they’ve become anything BUT available to you anymore, in this area of “ultimate” ontological concerns.

            Jesus said in John 6:44, that “No one can come unto the Son, unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise them up on the last day.” My friend, there had to have been many times during your life, that the Spirit of God was actually “drawing you”; yet it sounds as though (from your own heart & lips) you very well may have consistently resisted, and rejected His overtures, so much so that He might’ve since “turned you over to a reprobate mind,” for eternity, so you COULD HAVE THINGS YOUR WAY?? Just consider all the loving, concerned people you’ve spurned just on this blog (including myself), whose wholehearted pleading you’ve flatly and/or pejoratively dismissed?

            So the thought of this “final” spiritual condition having potentially become a reality in your life, frankly scares the pants-off-me, so to speak. This is certainly a plausible scenario where you’re concerned too; given the very angry, hate-filled words you speak about this NON-EXISTENT God, for someone who’s still living/breathing at such an advanced physical-age in this life??

            Now, if that unthinkable scenario has actually become the case for you, due to your own volitional decision-making alone, throughout your lifetime – then the following passage from Romans chapter one, will provide the downward, progressive nuts-and-bolts re: your chosen path to an eternity “away from the presence of the Lord”:

            ☆ ☆ ☆

            “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

            “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.” (Romans 1:18-25)

          • Pigdowndog

            “Sadly, and most tragically for you, is the fact that blatant foolish “gullibility,” has indeed become your entire “make up””
            There you go again with that mastery of irony! I salute you sir.

            “And the fact that you’re still railing-against this NON-EXISTENT Creator God ”
            I’m not “railing”. I couldn’t care less about your god.

            “So the thought of this “final” spiritual condition having potentially become a reality in your life, frankly scares the pants-off-me”
            I’m not scared. I tell you what, I challenge your god to strike me down dead this very minute.
            Ooh look! I’m still typing. Either he’s not that powerful or more than likely not there.

            “given the very angry, hate-filled words you speak about this NON-EXISTENT God, ”
            I described the god of the bible. Read it if you don’t believe me. His favourite hobby is smiting and killing. The more the merrier.

            I think I might have mentioned before that bible quotes are about as effective as Harry Potter quotes.
            Just a fairy tale.

          • Hannah

            Interesting – you’ve used this same argument before elsewhere. All that you’ve proven is that you’re arrogant enough to think the God of this universe caters to your whims and childish commands. He is the One Who directs the lightning (Job 37:15). He is the One to whom the rocks cry out when others refuse (Luke 19:40). Though you mock Him, He still allows you breath. Someday, your time will come and I sincerely pray these words do not fall upon deaf ears for too long. Though you hate Him, He loves you. Though you ridicule Him and His children, He and I still care for you. Though you worship other gods, He still remains your Creator and woos you in your darkness. He abhors your sin but ever still seeks your heart.

            I mean this with everything in me: I hope that one day, I will kneel alongside you and proclaim, “Jesus is Lord!” in unison with all the others. He grieves for you, even more so than I.

          • Pigdowndog

            What on Earth is wrong with using the same argument that I’ve used before?
            Theists do it all the time!

            “All that you’ve proven is that you’re arrogant enough to think the God of this universe caters to your whims and childish commands. ”
            Why do believers pray then if that’s the case?

            Bible quotes, as you’ve probably read before are as relevant as Harry Potter quotes (I’ve used that line before and no doubt will again)

            “I hope that one day, I will kneel alongside you and proclaim, “Jesus is Lord!” in unison with all the others. ”
            I advise you not to hold your breath on that one.
            My atheism is solid.

            “He grieves for you, even more so than I.”
            Doesn’t seem to grieve much for the starving of this world or the cancer victims or the tsunami victims etc. (I’ve used that argument before as well)

            You believe what you like. I’ll stick with reality.

          • Hannah

            My mentioning your penchant for repetitious one-liners seems to have struck a nerve. It was meant to illustrate that your heart isn’t open to an opinion contrary to your own. “Reality”, as you dub it, doesn’t allow for fairy tales and sky wizards (yet Harry Potter is your go-to comparison against the Bible). Thankfully, reality isn’t all there is, else Christianity would’ve dissipated long ago. It is no coincidence that in the most oppressive regimes will you find the strongest Christian presence in the people. But I digress…

            We pray with humble hearts because we cannot make it on our own. That’s the difference between you and me – I am willing to admit my own weakness and foolishness, whereas in your pride, you are unyielding.

            I could wax eloquent on how the existence of pain and suffering is proof *of* God, not *against* God, but I think Lewis says it far better in his essay “Problem of Pain.” He once was as you are now, if not more bitter and angry. If he, a staunch defender of atheism, could change, you can too. I pray that will happen.

          • Gary

            What would be some of the characteristics of a “god” you would believe is real?

          • Pigdowndog

            I haven’t a clue.
            You claim there is one. What do you base that belief on?

          • Gary

            If you don’t know how to recognize a god, then why do you keep asking for proof of a god? If someone provided proof, you wouldn’t know whether to believe it. So showing you proof would not accomplish anything.

          • Pigdowndog

            If you claim to recognise a god I’m quite sure I would be able too as well.
            How do you recognise your god?

          • Gary

            I believe the universe had a beginning. And I believe life had a beginning. I don’t believe either have always existed. I believe the universe and life were made. They couldn’t happen by chance, and they didn’t make themselves. Something that made itself would have to exist before it came to exist. That is impossible. Since the universe exists, it must have been made by someone that is not part of the universe. I believe that someone is the God of the Bible. The Creator had to already exist when the universe was made, and had to have the ability to make the universe. The only being I know of who fits that criteria is the God of the Bible.

          • Pigdowndog

            “I believe the universe had a beginning”
            I agree, it did have a beginning which is called The Big Bang confirmed by scientific evidence.

            “I believe life had a beginning”
            Life did have a beginning through a chemical reaction.

            “They couldn’t happen by chance”
            Why couldn’t it happen by chance?

            ” Since the universe exists, it must have been made by someone that is not part of the universe.”
            If you plant a seed it can become a flower. No-one had to make that. It’s perfectly natural.

            “I believe that someone is the God of the Bible.”
            That’s because you were told that as a child. It’s called “indoctrination”.

            “The Creator had to already exist when the universe was made”
            If everything has to have a creator who or what created your creator?

            “The only being I know of who fits that criteria is the God of the Bible.”
            And a Hindu believes it was his gods so who’s right?

            Geography plays an enormous role in defining your beliefs.

          • Gary

            What you believe is true is impossible. Things don’t come into existence by chance. Chance is nothing. It does not exist. Things that don’t exist can’t do anything. And yet, you believe that something that does not exist can make things. I have tried to be nice to you, but I might as well say it, you are stupid.

          • GPS Daddy

            Your mistaken that you do not have a burden of proof. The fact the you are alive means you have a worldview. No human can live life without a worldview. Ever decision you make, every judgement you pass, every opinion you offer… all of your life defines the worldview you hold.

            You are responsible to that worldview. As an example, if you hold that racism is wrong then how does that view square with your stated worldview? More so how does it square with your lived worldview?

            Being responsible to the worldview you LIVE is hard. Making what you LIVE be in sync with what you claim to be your worldview is harder.

          • Pigdowndog

            I have a worldview certainly but I haven’t made any claim.
            All I asked was for verifiable evidence for a god.
            Any one will do. You choose.
            If you claim that god exists then the burden of proof is on the claimant.

          • GPS Daddy

            So a worldview is always a positive statement. It can never be anything else. None belief cannot be a part of a worldview.

          • Pigdowndog

            Non-belief is part of my worldview positive or not.
            A belief system based on faith seems to me intellectually lazy.
            That doesn’t mean I would deny the right of anyone to believe whatever they like as long as that belief doesn’t contain impositions on other lives.
            If irrefutable evidence was presented to me that a god exists then I would change my unbelief in an instant.
            Until then I’ll take the default position of atheism.

          • GPS Daddy

            You do not understand what a worldview is. A worldview is a positive statement about life. Here is the definition:

            “a particular philosophy of life or conception of the world.”

            So un-belief or a lack of belief cannot be a part of a worldview. It may be a consiquence of it. For example I reject Allah exists. But that is a conclusion of my worldview not a part of it.

            Now back to your worldview. Like I wrote in my first post we all have our stated worldview and then we have our actual worldview that is defined by how we live, the judgements we make, and the opinions we offer.

            You claim it is wrong for anyone to impose their worldview on someone else. Is that correct?

          • Pigdowndog

            Hmmm! A little patronising methinks.
            I know very well what a “worldview” is and mine includes a disbelief that a god exists.
            In my worldview that’s a positive thing.
            How that doesn’t fit into “a particular philosophy of life or conception of the world.” I’m not sure.
            I’m assuming you are a believer and I’m assuming you believe in the god of the bible.
            I apologise if I’m wrong.
            You go on to say you “reject Allah exists”
            You do realise that the word “Allah” is just the Arabic word for the same god that I assume you believe in don’t you?
            You believe in the same deity as a Muslim.
            My claim was that it’s wrong for any religion to impose on people who don’t subscribe to those beliefs.

          • GPS Daddy

            Your understanding of Islam is lacking. Now there is a difference between the claim that God does not exist and the new atheist position of “lacking belief, or un-belief” in a god. One, the first one, can be a part of a worldview for its a positive statement. But the second cannot be. The second statement can only be a consiquence of a worldview.

          • davidrev17

            He can’t help it brother…he gets his theology, and religious information from atheists??

          • Pigdowndog

            Wrong. I get my information from logic.
            Try it sometime.

          • davidrev17

            Logic? Then please provide a strictly naturalistic, empirical explanation (from any scientific journal) for “its” operational, or factual reality/existence amongst we H@#o sapiens.

          • Pigdowndog

            First you must explain what a “H@#o sapien” is.
            Never heard of it.

          • GPS Daddy

            I’ll be more direct. What I am trying to do is ask you questions that leads you to ‘ordinary’ things that speak of God’s existence.

            You wrote, “I have no clue as to what the evidence of any god will look like…”

            When I stand outside my house and see the leaves on the trees in my yard I stand amazed. My trees are flush with leaves. You may say so what. A good tree will be flush with leaves. But what I did not mention yet is that a few weeks ago I had a hail storm that destroyed the young leaves on these trees. I found out that trees have a backup system of buds ready to sprout in case the first set of leaves are destroyed.

            Do you know how hard a backup system is to design? Very hard. Especially one that takes over and fully replaces the primary system. Those are extremely hard to design.

            Take another area. When you cry foul because soneone has done something ‘wrong’ do you contimplate the philosophy of why your able to say that person was wrong? Is your claim just your opinion that will die with you? Are you expressing something that transcends you?

            Let me ask that last question differently: does justice end at the grave? There are many people who have been so wronged in this life that there is no way that justice can be brought to them. Yet, if the material world is all that exists then justice is an illusion. The more sever the crime the more we see justice is an illusion on a materialistic worldview.

            But let’s look at the positive side of human interactions. As you have lived life I hope you have had people who have loved you. And I hope you have had people which whom you have loved. (And I’m not speaking sexually)

            Does that love end at the grave? When you die or a loved one dies are they dead like Rover, dead all over? Does not love demand that it goes beyond the grave?

            There are MANY, MANY more things like this in life. The ordinary things about life that are really extraordinary…

          • Pigdowndog

            “Do you know how hard a backup system is to design? Very hard. Especially one that takes over and fully replaces the primary system. Those are extremely hard to design.”
            That’s evolution at work beautifully. Evolution which has been established as a fact by verifiable evidence.
            No supernatural “designer” required.

            “When you cry foul because someone has done something ‘wrong’ do you contemplate the philosophy of why you’re able to say that person was wrong?”
            Once more.Evolution has given me the power of thought and speech.

            “Are you expressing something that transcends you?”
            I have no idea what you mean by “transcends” me. If you mean a higher power then absolutely no.

            ” does justice end at the grave?”
            Once again. Absolutely.
            You can wish all you like that there’s justice for the evil doer after death but sadly there ain’t.

            “Yet, if the material world is all that exists then justice is an illusion.”
            That’s why we have a justice system to punish wrong doers so how is that an illusion?
            If they escape justice through death then hard luck.

            “Does that love end at the grave?”
            It does for the deceased.

            “Does not love demand that it goes beyond the grave?”
            “Love” cannot demand anything. It’s an emotion.

            “The ordinary things about life that are really extraordinary…”
            That I’ll agree with. Life is great.
            No need for a celestial dictator.

          • GPS Daddy

            You have amply shown in this response that the research on atheists is true for you.

            How does that make you feel that it can be shown scientifically that your closed minded?

          • Pigdowndog

            “You have amply shown in this response that the research on atheists is true for you”
            Research by whom? I suggest you look into the website “ResearchGate” where this article got its information. Not very reliable.
            As to being closed minded I’m completely the opposite.
            I, unlike the vast majority of theists actually questioned what I was indoctrinated into, namely Christianity.
            I made it my business to research the subject and it came up wanting badly.
            my questions just lead me down a blind alley with nothing to back up its claims.
            Not one scrap of verifiable evidence for any of it.
            So you can forget calling me “close minded” as I’ve probably opened my mind far wider than you have.
            Why on Earth do you think there are atheists?
            It’s because they stepped outside of the information they were given as “truth” and realised it’s all nonsense.
            The closed minded ones who are those who never question.

          • Pigdowndog

            I certainly don’t have all the answers but I put forward my personal conclusions.
            You are under no obligation to believe those conclusions just to point out where I’m wrong with your evidence.

          • davidrev17

            “Evidence for God: 50 Arguments for Faith from the Bible, History, Philosophy, and Science,” (2010), Edited by mathematician, philosopher and Theologian, Dr. William A. Dembski, (2 Ph.D’s.), and Dr. Michael Licona, New Testament scholar, Historian, Christian Apologist, and Associate Professor in Theology at Houston Baptist University.

            (And please don’t turn a blind-eye, or deaf ear to this single book!)

            * * *

            Now just above, when you mention your “personal [thus subjective] conclusions” – for which, incidentally, you continue to offer nothing but emotionally-laden, opinionated diatribe (like Dawkins et al.) masquerading as these non-answer, answers we keep reading – you really do seem to be engaging in rational/logical suicide not only above with GPS, but throughout most of your replies to all of us as well when giving your opinions in this area?

            Then you’ll almost simultaneously flip-flop, by openly admitting that you’re heart/mind has effectively become a steel-trap-door in this area of God’s existence – in much the same manner in which this article indicates no less? How so??

            Should we Christian believers, both honestly and earnestly reaching-out to you, simply conclude that you’ve left-no-stone-unturned during the last 74-years; while exhaustively exposing your personal theories/assumptions in this critical area of thought to relentless examination – in an honest, objective attempt to falsify such? (You know, just like the manner in which the rigorous methods of scientific research are utilized?)

            Sir, according to your own words, I sense a profound example of intellectual/logical inconsistency, cacophony, disharmony, or just blatant irrationality that’s been taking place within you re: this issue; and I say this as an objective “observer” too.

            Case in point: you begrudgingly admit that “I don’t have all the answers”; yet you turn right around and mind-numbingly (i.e., incoherently) seem to express NO desire whatsoever to even consider evaluating solid, compelling evidence for the existence of the Creator God of the Judeo-Christian Scriptures, of which people have painstakingly and/or patiently offered? What’s wrong with this picture anyway??

            I’m being honest here, and certainly not disrespectful: but you beautifully typify the image of a one-armed-man trying to successfully row-a-boat! Is it just too difficult, or humbling for you to learn something from scholarly types of whom AREN’T atheists? (Perhaps this is the sole reason you so plainly remain mired in the “Genetic Fallacy,” typified in many of your replies??) Yet you keep affirming that you’re a reason & logic sort of person? Facts are still facts my friend – regardless of their “source origin.”

            And finally, all the highly reasonable evidence contained in the above book, is of the unambiguously peer-reviewed type that’s been amassed by some of the most distinguished theistic scholars on this planet – from several academic disciplines too… scientific as well.

            So taken as a whole, this “preponderance of evidence” has the potential to logically & rationally provide a compelling, clear-cut cumulative case – just like during courtroom trials – for one to at least consider that they might in fact be wrong in their personal opinions on these matters; opinions to which you’ve so tenaciously, and dogmatically been clinging – while not actually pursuing all the evidence…”wherever it leads.”

            So please….I earnestly plead, and wholeheartedly pray you diligently examine the scholarly essay content in this book (only $10 USD on Amazon Kindle too), to see if it’s at all possible that you just might’ve missed something – of critically relevant importance – during your last 74 years sir; because your eternal soul hangs-in-the-balance.

          • Pigdowndog

            “Evidence for God”
            There is no evidence for god. If there was it would be headline news across the planet with the discoverer of that evidence being handed the Nobel Prize and all of the riches that would follow.

            ” you continue to offer nothing but emotionally-laden, opinionated diatribe”
            The “diatribe” accusation is a tad ironic looking at your input to this discussion.
            I’m not at all emotional one way or another and yes it is my opinion much the same as your comments are your opinion. What’s wrong with that?

            “express NO desire whatsoever to even consider evaluating solid, compelling evidence for the existence of the Creator God of the Judeo-Christian Scriptures,”
            Do you honestly think I just woke up one morning and decided to “not believe in god”?
            On the contrary!
            It was a slow and revealing process of reading articles and books of the same ilk as you’re promoting and nothing had a cogent reason for believing there is an god of any flavour let alone the one you and I were indoctrinated in.
            If you were born in India there would be a very high chance that you would be a Hindu or a Sikh. If you had been born in Belize you would probably follow the Bahá’í faith.
            It’s all about geography as to which “god” you follow.
            The one thing all of those “gods” have in common is that there’s not one scrap of verifiable evidence for any of them no matter how many scholarly books are written about them.
            The odd thing is that all of these books are written by believers so no bias there then!

            “but you beautifully typify the image of a one-armed-man trying to successfully row-a-boat! ”
            You beautifully typify the image of the three wise monkeys when it comes to confronting the problem of evidence. Personal testament is not evidence.

            ” all the highly reasonable evidence contained in the above book, is of the unambiguously peer-reviewed ”
            Peer reviewed by whom?
            I doubt any proper scientist would put his name to such ambiguous nonsense.

            ” while curiously not “pursuing all the evidence, wherever it leads.”
            That’s exactly what I have done and it’s lead me to the only logical conclusion. Atheism.
            I’m afraid it’s you who hasn’t pursued the evidence.

            “wholeheartedly pray”
            Because prayer has worked wonders in the past hasn’t it!

            “”Why do you seek the living, among the dead. For He [Jesus] is not here but is risen.” (Luke 24:5-6)”
            Once again bible quotes are about as relevant as Harry Potter quotes.

            “when you ultimately bow-the-knee before the “Judge of both the Living and the dead.
            I won’t, you won’t, nobody will as it’s all fiction.
            When we die, that’s it.
            We return to stardust.
            I find that beautiful.

          • davidrev17

            “There is no evidence for god.”

            “When we die, that’s it.
            We return to stardust. I find that beautiful.”

            ▪ ▪ ▪

            Let’s start right there. Now, since you openly and proudly profess to be the rational/logical Pigdowndog “The Science Guy,” it’s therefore incumbent upon you to provide the hard, “scientific” evidence affirming those purely faith-based, a priori metaphysical assumptions above; which includes the scientific evidence for beauty and/or “beautiful.” No cop-outs, or any of those anemic smoke-and-mirrors excuses, either. Your metaphysical demands cut-both-ways!

            But since I already know you can’t marshal ANY evidence whatsoever in this regard, contra your tail-chasing, vacuous assertions to the contrary; it’s obvious once again, that we’re treated to the epitome of UN-reason and IL-logic through your evasive excuses stated so cryptically, like “my mind’s already made-up, so don’t confuse me with the facts.” You’ve unwittingly UN-reasoned yourself into the logical straitjacket of the “Law of Noncontradiction,” as is evident in so many of your posts.

            Additionally, I have just a few more suggestions, or questions for you: in your wholly faith-based worldview belief that MINDLESS, Apersonal, unguided purposeless materialistic processes of mass/energy in “chaotic billiard motion” no less, are solely responsible for fashioning this universe and everything within it over a period of some 14-billion years, including we rational/moral human beings – hence Carl Sagan’s famous UN-scientific, metaphysical mantra of “The Cosmos is all there is or was or ever will be, aka the scientific method called “Methodological Naturalism”; it would be most helpful if you could provide ANY evidence affirming the following scientifically accurate observation: “just how did [inanimate] nature go digital?? (World renowned physicist/astrobiologist, Dr. Paul Davies.)

            This is asked, simply because nature itself is now described in the 21st-century, as actually representing both the “hardware & software” systems of which computers are comprised.

            Or said another way: please give us the scientific evidence for how absolute inanimate mindlessness, instantiated mindfulness (i.e., human consciousness and/or cognition); or just how the blind/unguided PURPOSELESS processes of chemistry & physics, instantiated WE rational/moral creatures, of whom are literally obsessed with PURPOSE in almost every area of our lives?

            And finally, please tell us how an inanimate, Amoral, thus totally indifferent “nature red in tooth and claw,” had simultaneously conferred upon its accidental byproducts – aka WE rational/moral human beings – the obvious cross-cultural experiential reality of absolute, objective moral laws??

            I must confess Pigdowndog: “I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist.” Yet you claim to have arrived at this woefully irrational/incoherent belief-system, through sound reason & logic??? Hmmm… Have it your way my friend!

          • Pigdowndog

            My word! You do have a talent for writing gobbledegook.
            Your latest word salad is no improvement on the former comments.and is akin to wading through syrup.

            “the scientific evidence for beauty and/or “beautiful.”
            Beauty is bought by judgement of the eye,
            Not utter’d by base sale of chapmen’s tongues W.Shakespeare.

            “my mind’s already made-up, so don’t confuse me with the facts”
            Irony of the finest quality.

            “”just how did [inanimate] nature go digital”
            “The Cambridge cosmologist Martin Rees, president of The Royal Society, suggests the laws of physics aren’t absolute and universal but more akin to local bylaws, varying from place to place on a mega-cosmic scale. A God’s-eye view would show our universe as merely a single representative amid a vast assemblage of universes, each with its own bylaws. Rees calls this system “the multiverse”, and it is an increasingly popular idea among cosmologists. Only rarely within the variegated cosmic quilt will a universe possess bio-friendly laws and spawn life. It would then be no surprise that we find ourselves in a universe apparently customised for habitation; we could hardly exist in one where life is impossible. If Rees is right, the impression of design is illusory: our universe has simply hit the jackpot in a gigantic cosmic lottery.”
            Professor Paul Davies.

            “The multiverse theory certainly cuts the ground from beneath intelligent design”
            Professor Paul Davies

            “The root cause of all the difficulty can be traced to the fact that both religion and science appeal to some agency outside the universe to explain its lawlike order. Dumping the problem in the lap of a pre-existing designer is no explanation at all, as it merely begs the question of who designed the designer.”
            Professor Paul Davies.

            “We will never fully explain the world by appealing to something outside it that must simply be accepted on faith, be it an unexplained God or an unexplained set of mathematical laws.”
            Professor Paul Davies.

            “I propose instead that the laws are more like computer software: programs being run on the great cosmic computer. They emerge with the universe at the big bang and are inherent in it, not stamped on it from without like a maker’s mark.”
            Professor Paul Davies.

            “In the first split second of cosmic existence, the laws must therefore have been seriously fuzzy. Then, as the information content of the universe climbed, the laws focused and homed in on the life-encouraging form we observe today. But the flaws in the laws left enough wiggle room for the universe to engineer its own bio-friendliness.”
            Professor Paul Davies.

            Random chance, not some blood-stained god, is a sufficient explanation.

            “Have it your way my friend, because you’ve been mercifully warned!”
            Ah! The good ol’ threat of hell if I don’t bend the knee to the celestial dictator.
            Save your empty threats for the gullible.

          • davidrev17

            Gobbledygook? “Word salad”? I see you clearly lack the conceptual resources enabling you to effectively “see” the contours of the playing-field in this ongoing cultural debate between high-octane Naturalism, and sound biblical Theism. Because in every post that I’ve given you, and others who’ve done the same on this particular article, these valid conceptual elements found throughout cutting-edge debate on this issue – just seem to have sail-right-over your head?? So then you just conveniently disparage, dismiss, or ignore them; since you appear to be incapable (or unwilling?) to effectively engage them directly.

            Yet for some strange reason, you continue parroting those highly-evasive counterexamples of rational dialogue, by substituting such with personal ad hominem attacks; ostensibly because your worldview is comprehensively bereft of containing any logical/rational structure, that just might. provide you with some intellectual aid and comfort.

            So in all actuality, your faith-based, naturalistic worldview assertion, that MINDless matter & energy IS somehow the de facto “CAUSE of ITSELF” – not to mention everything else within itself – is logically incoherent, irrational, thus unsustainable in terms of sound reason and logic. (Was that clear enough?)

            And for that last bit of logically strained, thus unilluminating info you provided at the end: “random chance” is NO part of any quantifiable aspect of credible cosmological models – nor can “random chance” be assessed in any empirically detectable manner. It’s simply “assumed” to do all the naturalistic heavy-lifting – i.e., like in ALL those “naturalism of the gaps” presuppositions – within the grand metanarrative of naturalism’s bizarre MINDless bedtime story.

            And you obviously didn’t notice, carefully camouflaged within all of Paul Davies’ naturalistic hand-waving metaphysical speculation; that to this very day, neither Davies, Rees, Hawking – or any other distinguished scientist – has ever come close to scientifically resolving Davies’ still-valid, 64-million dollar inquiry, i.e., “just how did nature go digital?” All I hear is crickets chirping in the world of scientific luminaries in this regard.

            And as for the ever-elusive, thoroughly UNscientific speculation re: the multiverse, the many-worlds hypothesis etc: you should quickly realize that all of those metaphysical musings, are indeed nothing more than that. The scientific literature is simply awash in caustic, castigating references to this continued sort of pseudoscientific sleight-of-hand, taking place amongst those overly-giddy metaphysical materialists.

            If you doubt that, just try and find ANY valid scientific theories gaining currency in ANY reputable cosmological journals?? They’ve been gaining popularity in private conversations amongst atheistic materialist hopefuls, in an utterly futile/desperate attempt, to AVOID the obvious implications of a BIBLICALLY-REVEALED “beginning” to EVERYTHING – from absolute scientific nothingness as well; whose paradigmatic credibility is still central to the “Standard Model of Physics,” called “Big Bang Cosmology” by the late atheist astrophysicist, Fred Hoyle.

            (If you’re still experiencing that volitional upheaval, or discomfort over the facts, then simply Google Stephen Hawking’s 70th birthday celebration @ Cambridge University, in Jan., 2012, entitled “The State of the Universe”; whereby 26/27 of this planet’s top physicists, cosmologists etc., we’re invited to present a series of papers.)

            You should find the summation of this occasion in a short editorial, plus the article of course – written in the very non-religious ‘New Scientist’ – to be just as philosophically depressing & heartbreaking as did Hawking, and all the other intransigent metaphysical atheists in attendance; simply due to the still-valid SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE revealed for an “absolute beginning” to this universe…just like the Bible has taught for roughly 3 & 1/2 millenia now.

            And the final “nail” in their ideological, or metaphysical coffin re: the continued speculation about the supposed “multiverse” etc., was revealed in the airtight facts presented for an “absolute beginning” to this SINGLE, ONE-TIME universe – in a paper by world-renowned cosmologist Alexander Vilenkin, of Tufts University. Nothing has changed to invalidate, or falsify the hard-facts undergirding this research in cosmology & astrophysics either, during the last 5-plus years since Hawking’s historic gathering.

            And personally, I find that sort of “science denying” response to sound scientific evidence – by distinguished scientists at this event – to be a textbook example of personally biased philosophical rigidity – aka volitional intransigence – when it comes to their collective resistance to processing the hard-facts of scientific research in this area. Or maybe it was just associated with the ongoing pesky Biblical implications and/or ramifications of said scientific evidence, huh? Hmmm…

            Anyway, “Facts are [indeed] stubborn things…”

          • Pigdowndog

            Once again I’ve trawled through your pompous twaddle and it boils down once again to evidence which by the way you don’t seem to understand how that works
            Personal testament and supposition don’t count.
            I really can’t be arsed to go through your verbal treacle point by point so to get to the nub of the matter.
            Present me with irrefutable empirical evidence of any god.
            Bible quotes, theological texts, books or “scholarly” essays mean sod all.
            Point me to a peer reviewed paper that establishes the existence of a deity.
            Do try to cut down on your meaningless loquacious verbosity. It’s boring!

          • GPS Daddy

            May I suggest that you spend some time studying love. There are feels associated with love but love is not an emotion.

            I also suggest a book by John Burke called “Imagin Heaven”. It’s his research into near death experiences.

          • Pigdowndog

            Love is not an emotion????
            What is it then a disease?
            Love is an emotion exactly the same as hate, fear, apprehension etc.

            a strong feeling deriving from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationships with others.
            It’s the accepted word we use generically to define our moods.

            As to near death experiences, not sure what they have to do with anything.
            There’s no evidence that they are real. Just brain activity.

          • GPS Daddy

            You have all the answers. So what I say will simply be dismissed with the way of your hand.

          • What would you count as evidence?

            Usually I find that atheists with demands like yours are looking for absolutely incontrovertible, irresistible proof. We don’t claim to have that, in fact, our view of God doesn’t predict that there should ever be such proof.

            Other atheists I’ve inferacted with want evidence that would in effect disprove the God we believe in, viz., proof that reduces God to a part of material creation.

            So if you’re going to suggest, as you have here, that producing evidence for God is difficult, it seems fair for us to ask what you would consider evidence.


          • Pigdowndog

            I have no clue as to what the evidence of any god will look like but just claiming there is one seems to me just a bit silly.
            What do you base that belief on?

          • On what do you base your belief that we’re just claiming there’s a God? Have you ever examined to see whether there’s evidence for God?

            I suspect you have, no you’ve rejected it vpbecause it hasn’t met some standard you think it should reach. I could be wrong. I’d be interested to know.

          • Pigdowndog

            May I respectfully ask you to answer my question. What do you base your belief on?

            “Have you ever examined to see whether there’s evidence for God?”

            I’ve read the bible, twice in fact. Credibility is lacking badly.
            If that’s supposed to be the inerrant word of god then he’s not the most lovable character to behold.
            The fact that it’s just another book doesn’t help matters either.
            In fact I would be terrified of such a deity much less be in awe of it
            I used to attend church as a believer due to the indoctrination we all go through as a child.
            Nothing said from the pulpit convinced me.
            Maybe you could point me in the direction of verifiable evidence for him/her/it.
            It seems you have to be like the Queen in Through the Looking Glass, “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” That I can’t do.
            It makes much more sense to me that science can explain the natural world and not a book written by men, and it’s always men, who knew nothing of how this natural world works.
            Science doesn’t know everything, far from it, but I’d place my bet on it that it knows far more than supposition.
            It’s mainly a beautiful world without the need of the supernatural.
            Are you certain that you’ve chosen the right god as there appears to be millions to choose from or is it coincidentally the one you were taught about as a child?
            Geography plays a big part in faith.

          • Hannah

            I’ll shoot straight with you: a common issue in churches today is their inability to teach proper apologetics. As J. Warner Wallace talks about in his book “Forensic Faith”, it’s an epidemic in the modern church; so many believers go out into the world not having a solid argument for why they believe what they believe, and that falls on the shoulders of the pastor, whose job is to guide the flock of Christ and keep us accountable. Many churches and pastors are content with simply saying to “believe,” which is only a part of the equation – a very important and pivotal part, mind, but still only a part.

            One common misconception about the Bible is that it is, as you say, “just a book.” It is quite the opposite. It’s a collection of historical documents, poetry, prose, scientific texts that predate the discovery of that which they describe (some examples being a spherical earth, the suspension of the earth in space, the water cycle, and quantum physics) verified eyewitness accounts of Jesus, and letters to the early church. All of these have passed the test of time and multiple examination via early church leaders, and all 66 books are still here in their earliest form. Not even Joseph Smith’s own book is so accurate, having been revised at least 90 times since its first printing. Others have already given you texts to peruse at your own leisure, so I shan’t repeat any here; if you’re willing to keep a truly open mind to the possibility (it already sounds like you’ve decided), I’d check out “Mere Christianity” by former atheist C. S. Lewis.

          • Pigdowndog

            I fully understand that the bible is just a collection of writings.

            “verified eyewitness accounts of Jesus”
            There is not one eye witness account of this bloke called Jesus.
            He, if he existed, never wrote anything down.
            The Roman authorities seemed to have ignored this fellow going around performing miracles a la David Blaine. Not one mention from them.
            Joseph Smith, if it’s the one who founded the Mormons that you mean was a religious conman in the same vein as L.Ron Hubbard.

            “Others have already given you texts to peruse at your own leisure”
            I can read Harry Potter but that doesn’t make him true!

            “I’d check out “Mere Christianity” by former atheist C. S. Lewis”
            I prefer Christopher Hitchen’s take on religion. Much more palatable.
            Thanks for responding though.

          • Hannah

            Actually not true on both accounts. A quick Google search reveals that writings of Tacitus, particularly in “Annals” which was written in A.D. 113, and famed Roman-Jewish scholar Flavius Josephus’ “The Jewish Antiquities, volumes 18 and 20” which are dated A.D 93 and 94 respectively, have the earliest and most reliable evidence of Jesus of Nazareth’s existence. Tacitus references His trial by Pontius Pilate and His death, and Josephus gives a brief but enlightening account of His ministry, calling Him a “wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man.” Keep in mind that Josephus doesn’t profess to be a Christian, yet he doesn’t hesitate to recognize that “…The tribe of Christians, so named after him, have not disappeared to this day.” It’s also worthy of note that culturally speaking, the eyewitness accounts of Levi (Matthew), Peter (written and named as Mark), Luke, and John the Beloved underwent rigorous analysis, because in Jewish culture, all histories were oral and repeated endlessly amongst the people. If someone had a detail wrong, there were guaranteed several in the crowd to who were there to correct him, especially on recent history like the ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. The early church was converting thousands daily, so much so that ten consecutive Roman emperors relentlessly persecuted the church. Are those the actions of individuals who believe a lie? Thousands of people tortured and executed over refusal to deny the “alleged” resurrection of a Jewish sage? I think not.

            He lived. He taught. He changed the course of history. That much even secular scholars are not above admitting.

            You’ve mentioned Hitchens before, and while he may suit your already preconceived notions about life, he won’t challenge you to question and test your beliefs as one of an opposing stance will. If you refuse to put your beliefs through the fire, they will eventually bend like metal untried.

            You’re quite welcome. Anytime.

          • I’m sorry, but your facts are wrong. We do have eyewitness accounts. Roman authorities did mention him, and especially his followers.

            Unless you explain what you would consider evidence, it would do no good for me to showman you my reasons or evidence.

            But you could for starters, Google “Touchstone magazine Gilson Jesus legend” and find part of my answer to your question. It’s one of dozens of reasons I believe, part of a cumulative case that convinces me it’s true. It would be not only impossible but unproductive for me to list all of the reasons here, so I’ll start with just this one.

          • Pigdowndog

            I’m not wrong I’m afraid.
            Outside of the bible there are no contemporaneous accounts of Jesus.
            The only one that comes close is Paul and then he says he only saw him through revelation.
            Hardly convincing!
            Thanks for the recommendation but it’s still only someone’s opinion.
            Don’t you think that if there was concrete proof of god it would be headline news around the world?
            I’ll stick with science thanks. it has verifiable answers.

          • Then you are proving yourself to illustrate the point I’m making in the article here.

          • Pigdowndog

            You’re probably right. My mind is now very nearly closed when it comes to the existence of a god as I’ve yet to be presented with any convincing evidence for one, and believe me I’ve tried.
            Science is far more beautiful and logical that ancient fireside stories.
            Thanks for the exchange though.

          • Josephus, Pliny, Tacitus, … not contemporaneous during his lifetime but soon after. They mention Him and/or the movement ne founded, quite undeniably.

            “Still only someone’s opinion”? Do you know an arument with supporting evidence when you see one? Do you realize that such a thing isn’t mere opinion? Can you tell the difference? To wave it off that way is to demonstrate the very lack of ability to consider another perspective that the researchers identified as atheist closed-mindedness. Do you want to be that way?

    • davidrev17

      Amen! Isn’t it mind-boggling to consider their own self-refuting, thus incoherent (illogical) position of fideistically retaining a priori “absolute certainty” – in one’s no doubt wholly faith-based “belief(s)” in atheism, or skepticism? Absolutely certain of their skepticism, or UNbelief?? Come again?? And these “Brights” call this reason! (:

    • As a convinced, committed and in fact published Christian apologist, I’d still be interested in hearing what you shared to prove God. It’s always good to hear how people share when in conversation with unbelievers.

      • Hannah

        Honestly, it seems pathetically small in comparison to what you’ve used in your books and blogs. I used primarily Lewis’ analysis of evil found in “Problem with Pain” (using the existence of pain and suffering as proof of God), smattered with examples of how evolution doesn’t provide any solid evidence to support a naturalistic, atheist creation whereas the theory of Intelligent Design holds water. He then tried countering with the “actual” definition of truth and moral, basically twisting it to fit his beliefs. In the end, he just bowed out, like you described in that interview for “How Would Jesus Blog?”. He wasn’t adversarial, exactly; he was more than willing to talk, so long as it never reached a conclusion or a resolution at the very least.

        • Sounds great! I wouldn’t dismiss that for a moment. I don’t know how quickly you could count on getting to proof in any conversation like that, but sounds like strong evidence at least.

  • OldBut YoungMoney

    I would say that the link is liberalism. Most agnostics or atheists also happen to be liberal. I believe the more conservative the agnostic/atheist is the more likely they’d rank higher in open mindedness and tolerance.

    • john appleseed

      Indeed, though i think they should be called “leftists,” not liberals.
      The latter implies good things such as “free thinking” & “generous,” neither of which accurately describe most leftists.

  • Gary

    If someone is really convinced what they can see is all there is, and that it either came to exist by chance, or made itself, they will probably never change their minds. That means that trying to get them to see that what they believe is impossible will prove to be unproductive.

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