Atheists Claim To Be More Rational — How Does That Stack Up?

By Tom Gilson Published on March 2, 2018

Atheists claim to be more rational than Christians. It’s at the core of their identity. Look at the websites of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science and Project Reason, or the people who call themselves the “Brights.” I’ve spent hundreds of hours interacting with atheists online and in person (including the “Reason Rally“), and over and over again I’ve heard Christianity mocked as belief in an “invisible magic friend,” for whom there is “no evidence whatsoever.”

The “invisible magic friend” taunt is schoolyard-level name-calling, and we can safely ignore it. The part about “no evidence” puzzles me, though. It’s odd on the face of it. A lot of people — not just Christians, by the way — would agree with me. Because honestly, anyone ought to be able to see evidence of God. I see God’s design everywhere I look, don’t you?

The saying goes, “This couldn’t have all just come about by accident!” And it’s true. The Apostle Paul put it this way in Romans 1:19-20, “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.”

From the tiniest cell to the hugest galaxy, all creation cries out “Glory!” and “Power!” to the One who made it.

“Clearly perceived,” he says. It’s not hard to see; it’s hard to miss! From the tiniest cell to the hugest galaxy, all creation cries out “Glory!” and “Power!” to the One who made it. Isn’t that evidence? Why do some people still say there’s no evidence for God? How is that rational? Are atheists really more rational than Christians?

Atheism as the “Default” Position

One way they get there is by telling each other that atheism is the “default” position. We can’t see God, they say, and there’s certainly no scientific test for Him. So before we go around making wild and crazy claims like, “There really is a God,” we have to prove it.

Our “feeling” that God is there won’t cut it, they say, and that includes the “feeling” that “this couldn’t have all come about by accident.” It smells of wish-fulfillment: We want there to be a God, so we decide there must be one. Obviously that’s an irrational way to decide what’s real. No, we need proof. Real proof. Scientific proof.

So no matter how obvious it might be to you or me that the whole world screams “God created this!” we have to put that on hold until we find evidence for God. And if you thought the whole world was sufficient for the job, their answer is no, it only seems like evidence for God.

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For it’s all so easy to explain in other ways, they tell us — scientific ways, ways that follow the laws of nature. (We know the laws of nature are real!) The Big Bang banged, and it banged just right to produce the right kind of galaxies for us, and the right kind of solar system, and a planet that really turned out to be just right. It’s so right, it was right enough for life to have created itself here out of non-life, and for simple life to have evolved into all the complexity we see in nature now.

The odds for that are really, really, really low, but they have an answer to that. Maybe we were really, really, really lucky. Or maybe there are zillions of universes, and here we are in the one where it all worked out just right. Either way, it’s all about the laws of nature doing what they do, all on their own, no guiding hand needed. Definitely no God or gods needed. So we really ought to default back to disbelief. It’s more rational.

No Thinking Here (On Their Own Admission!)

Suppose they’re right about that. They’re not, but just suppose for the moment. They still don’t get to claim the “Reason” brand. Why? Because in being what they think rational, they destroy the possibility of rationality. 

Duke University philosopher Alex Rosenberg has written a book titled The Atheist’s Guide to Reality: Enjoying Life Without Illusions. Which illusions? Several, but the main one is the illusion that we can think. Seriously. Starting from an atheistic worldview, he says we have to “give up as illusory … the notion that when we think, our thoughts are about anything at all, inside or outside our minds. … Thinking about things is an overwhelmingly powerful illusion.” (The emphasis is his.) When Rosenberg thinks about thinking, he thinks it’s impossible to think about anything.

“I hope there is no God! I don’t want there to be a God.”

Thomas Nagel, one of the world’s major philosophers, agrees that standard atheism leads to the same conclusion. He hold out hope that some new, non-standard atheistic worldview might solve the problem someday. But for now, he has to argue that consciousness itself is an illusion.

In the meantime, though, they’re both right. Or rather, their conclusions would be true if their starting point were true. If humans really were purely material objects — if the laws of nature controlled us completely, the way they control everything else — then we’d be stuck. Rosenberg thinks (that’s right, thinks) we are. That’s what his atheism requires him to think.

Still Claiming Atheism Is More Rational?

Now if that sounds like completely confused, upside-down thinking to you, congratulations. The conclusion is obviously wrong. But it’s not the logic that’s faulty, it’s the starting point: atheism. See the problem? Atheism claims to be the only truly rational view, yet it makes being rational impossible.

Yet atheists still claim the “Reason” brand. If that seems upside-down, there’s a reason for it. I’ll explain more in another article coming soon. 

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  • “We Think, You Don’t”

    Is THAT what they call it?!?!?

    I used to BE one. I’m glad I’m not anymore.

  • JP

    One thing you can count on with an atheist is that you will never get one fact from them that proves atheism i.e. no god exist, is true. They merely assert it so. They don’t even bother to dismantle the arguments for the existence of God. They just claim they don’t find them compelling.
    If you dialogue with an atheist online be sure to ask them for any fact that proves not gods exist.
    You might also tell them that you have more evidence for the existence of God than you do for the person who you are dialoguing online. Just ask him to prove his existence to you. Then tell him you don’t find any of his arguments convincing and therefore he does not exist. Easy.

    • Andrew Mason

      That’s actually quite a clever point.

    • GLT

      Atheists provide nothing but rhetoric.

    • Stephen Cooke

      I think you will find that most atheists don’t believe in the existence of God, as opposed to believing there is no God. You can’t prove there definitely is no God, but it certainly seems that way.

      • JP

        The positive evidence for God is overwhelming. It takes a lot of work to deny this evidence.

        • Stephen Cooke

          So you are saying, if a baby was brought up without hearing about God, they would one day look up at the stars or a beautiful painting and think there must be a God.Surely if atheists know there is a God, then man wouldn’t need to tell him there was a God.

          • JP

            Yes. A baby who reaches the ability to think would realize that a God exist by looking at creation. Those that deny His existence are suppressing this truth.

          • Stephen Cooke

            Can you give me evidence of this? Can you put me in contact with people who have never heard of God, yet knew he existed?

      • GPS Daddy

        >>but it certainly seems that way

        Hmmm, well, Stephen lets take a look.

        Life always comes from life. Always.
        Intelligence always comes from intelligence. Always
        Personhood always comes from personhood. Always

        This is what we observe in life. Always. There is no scientific evidence that says anything differently. None.

        But also consider: Purpose is always backed by either intention or design. Intention and design always requires intelligence. Always.

        Life clearly has purpose therefore it clearly has an intelligent agent behind it. We then know that this agent is living, intelligent and has personhood.

        • Stephen Cooke

          There is no scientific evidence that life comes from non-living things so far. But, if life comes from life etc. then God would have to get his life from another life.

          • GLT

            Stephen Cooke,

            “But, if life comes from life etc. then God would have to get his life from another life.”

            Two things need to be considered here. First; if that is true you would need to deal with the fallacy of infinite regression.

            Second; on what basis do you assume God’s existence is life in the same manner as we experience life? Is God just another living being like you and I or is he something beyond what we understand?

      • GLT

        Stephen Cooke,

        “I think you will find that most atheists don’t believe in the existence of God, as opposed to believing there is no God.”

        Would you be so kind as to explain the difference? I have heard this drivel from virtually every atheist I have ever encountered. I have yet to hear one give a logical explanation as to why they believe there is a difference. Perhaps you will have more success.

        • Stephen Cooke

          To say that God doesn’t exist is to make a claim about his existence. To believe God doesn’t exist is to make a claim about what you believe. A person could say God doesn’t exist if his characteristics are contradictory. If you know the claim to be true then you wouldn’t believe in the existence of God. A person could believe that God doesn’t exist if there is no evidence, therefore they don’t know there is no God, so they can’t say that God doesn’t exist, but they still would believe there is no God.
          So, an atheist is a person who not a theist, who doesn’t believe in the existence of God. There are two types of argument that these two different Atheists rely on. The one knows there is no God, because the characteristics of God contradict (this is a strong atheism), and those who have no evidence for a God, and therefore do not believe (this is weak atheism).

          Therefore Atheism is that lack of the belief in the existence of God,.

          Now agnosticism is a (meaning without) and gnosticism (meaning knowledge), so an agnostic is one who doesn’t have knowledge and a gnostic is one who has knowldge.

          So, Atheism is the lack of theism and agnosticism is the absence of knowledge.

          I hope this has clarified the difference.

          I think the reason you don’t like the term Atheist goes back to Romans 1 etc, and you therefore don’t believe anyone doesn’t know of the existence of God. This is why the believers in God try to get Atheists to admit they are agnostics. I have admitted that I am an agnostic, but you still want to convince me that I am not an atheist. I am an atheist agnostic, but I see why you don’t believe it.

          • GLT

            “To say that God doesn’t exist is to make a claim about his existence. To believe God doesn’t exist is to make a claim about what you believe.”

            Is English not your first language? This is simply more nonsensical semantics. To believe and promote the idea that God does not exist is the same as claiming he does not exist. You really have to get away from the nonsensical atheist web pages and seriously apply yourself to the study of logic and critical thought.

            “A person could believe that God doesn’t exist if there is no evidence,…”

            But there is evidence for his existence. Your refusal to accept it as evidence does not mean there is no evidence, it only means you personally reject the evidence. I and billions of others see an abundance of evidence for the existence of God. Why are we wrong and you and atheists in general, right? Can you provide evidence to support your claim there is no evidence for God?

            “The one knows there is no God, because the characteristics of God contradict (this is a strong atheism), and those who have no evidence for a God, and therefore do not believe (this is weak atheism).”

            Both deny the existence of God so there is absolutely no difference between the two. It is simply more semantic games designed to distract.

            “Therefore Atheism is that lack of the belief in the existence of God,.”

            Exactly, atheism is a denial of the existence of a god or gods.

            “So, Atheism is the lack of theism,…”

            No, atheism is an outright denial of the existence of any and all gods. In Greek A = without; Theos = God. Atheism does not mean without theism, it specifically means ‘without god’. Theism and Theos are not the same thing. Theos is the Greek origin for our word theology; from whence comes theism; which is the study of God.

            “I have admitted that I am an agnostic,…”

            If you were a sincere agnostic you would be busy trying to arrive at answers. However, you seem to be the typical agnostic who wants to claim he does not know but lives and acts as if he does know. If you live and act as if you do know then you are not an agnostic, you are an atheist.

          • Stephen Cooke

            “Is English not your first language?”

            First of all you probably aware that English is my first language, so take it this is a veiled insult. You complain about other atheists attacking you, but I don’t attack you, you seem to think that insulting me is the Christian thing to do.

            “To believe and promote the idea that God does not exist is the same as claiming he does not exist.”

            I’m not on here to claim God does not exist, I am here to see if I can find out any good arguments for the existence of God. You are the one who is saying I am making the claim God doesn’t exist. I am trying to help you to understand that I do not believe in God exists, not that he doesn’t exist.

            “But there is evidence for his existence.”

            Only Christians can see this evidence, Atheists don’t see the evidence. You can’t chose what you see as evidence, you either believe is evidence or you don’t. I repeat I see no evidence. Unfortunately your mind set seems to be that you think a particular way and therefore everyone else thinks that way, which just isn’t true.

            “Why are we wrong and you and atheists in general, right? Can you provide evidence to support your claim there is no evidence for God?”

            I could ask the same thing, but I won’t. No I cannot provide evidence that there is no God as I am not saying that there is no God. I am saying I don’t know whether there is a God, and I don’t see any evidence that there is a God.

            “Both deny the existence of God so there is absolutely no difference between the two. It is simply more semantic games designed to distract.”

            They don’t both deny the existence of God, as I have said before I don’t no if there is a God and I see no evidence that there is a God. And it isn’t just a semantic game, it’s a matter of using language to describe what you believe to be true. You don’t want me to admit that I’m an atheist, because you believe the bible says everyone knows there is a God. I don’t know whether there is a God or not, so I won’t admit to that.

            “Exactly, atheism is a denial of the existence of a god or gods. ”

            I have explained this a number of times. I don’t know God exists, he might do he might not, but I see no evidence for his existence so I don’t believe he exists. Believing something doesn’t exist is not the same as saying it doesn’t exist. It’s just saying I believe it doesn’t exist,as there is not enough evidence.

            “No, atheism is an outright denial of the existence of any and all gods. In Greek A = without; Theos = God. Atheism does not mean without theism, it specifically means ‘without god’. Theism and Theos are not the same thing. Theos is the Greek origin for our word theology; from whence comes theism; which is the study of God.”

            No Atheism is a lack of theism, which is a lack of the belief in God. The ism on the end means a belief. Theos is God in the Greek, very true, but I’m not an Atheos I’m an Atheist and therefore don’t believe in the existence of God. You can try to eliminate the word Atheism if you like.

            “If you were a sincere agnostic you would be busy trying to arrive at answers. However, you seem to be the typical agnostic who wants to claim he does not know but lives and acts as if he does know. If you live and act as if you do know then you are not an agnostic, you are an atheist.”

            I am a sincere agnostic and I am trying to arrive at answers, but unfortunately I don’t find them here. You don’t believe what I am saying, and I don’t seem to be able to explain it in a way that you will understand. How do I live and act if I know?

            No offence GLT, but this conversation really is going no where. You can’t understand what an Atheist is, and I see no evidence. So, I guess we have reached a stalemate. It’s been nice chatting to you.

          • GLT

            “First of all you probably aware that English is my first language, so take it this is a veiled insult.”

            No, it was not meant as an insult, it was a honest question.

            “You are the one who is saying I am making the claim God doesn’t exist.”

            You have stated consistently and repeatedly you do not believe God exist. How else is one supposed to interpret your comments?

            “Only Christians can see this evidence, Atheists don’t see the evidence.”

            Wrong. Everyone is privy to the same evidence. The difference is Christians are willing to accept the evidence and atheists reject the evidence. Evidence is always open to interpretation depending on an individual’s presuppositions. You presuppose God does not exist and therefore reject as evidence the things which attest to his existence. Christians presuppose God’s existence and see the evidence for what it is.

            “You can’t chose what you see as evidence, you either believe is evidence or you don’t.”

            Correct. But that is exactly what atheists do consistently. When evidence is presented you reject it on the basis that you do not accept it as evidence. You have done it yourself several times over the last few days when you continually say there is no evidence for the existence of God. So, on one hand you say you can’t choose what you see as evidence and then proceed to do just that. Are you really not aware of that?

            “I repeat I see no evidence.”

            There you go. Thank you for proving my point.

            “Unfortunately your mind set seems to be that you think a particular way and therefore everyone else thinks that way, which just isn’t true.”

            The fact I am engaged with you is proof that is nonsense. In fact I used to think like you, so obviously your comment is fallacious.

            “I don’t see any evidence that there is a God.”

            Once again you make this assertion and once again you do not provide any evidence to support it. Why is it I and billions of other Christians throughout history see evidence for the existence of God and atheists insist it simply does not exist? On what basis do you make the claim evidence for the existence of God simply does not exist. It’s a simple question, why will you not answer it?

            “I don’t know whether there is a God or not,…”

            Fine, but that is a fundamentally different position from stating ‘I don’t believe God exists’. This is why I asked you if English was your first language. You don’t seem to grasp the difference between those two statements.

            “Believing something doesn’t exist is not the same as saying it doesn’t exist.”

            Do you always say you believe things you do not know to be true? I doubt it as you seem to be an intelligent person. So why do you think this is a viable position in this case? Why do you say you do not believe God exists and why do you say there is no evidence for his existence if you really don’t know if either of those comments are actually true?

            “No Atheism is a lack of theism,…”

            I already demonstrated how that was not correct given the meaning of the word Theos in Greek. Our words theism and theology come from the same word but atheism is more than just a rejection of theism, it is directly a rejection of God.

            “but I’m not an Atheos I’m an Atheist and therefore don’t believe in the existence of God. You can try to eliminate the word Atheism if you like.”

            I am not trying to eliminate the word atheism, I am simply trying to demonstrate the origin of the word. If you were in ancient Greece you would be called an atheos; one without God. In modern English you are called an atheist. There is no difference other than the language being used. Both words describe the same condition.

            “You can’t understand what an Atheist is, and I see no evidence.”

            I certainly do understand what an atheist is, I think you are the one who is confused. You say you do not believe God exists and repeatedly state there is no evidence for his existence. You then state you are looking for answers. If you are really looking for answers then you must be willing to be objective and open minded to what people say. However, you do not seem to appreciate the need to do that as is demonstrated by your continual rejection of any evidence laid before you. You do not seem to be willing to admit you may be wrong in your insistence that there is no evidence for God. If that continues to be your approach it is guaranteed you will never find answers to your questions.

            Take care and I sincerely hope you will open your mind and your heart to what God is trying to show you.

          • Stephen Cooke

            Not believing something exists is not the same as knowing something doesn’t exist. One is a knowledge claim and one is what you believe. If I know that unicorns exist, then I can’t believe they do not exist. Because that would be contradictory. It isn’t semantics. It’s trying to be precise with the terms I am using. I have defined them.

          • GLT

            Stephen Cooke,

            “Not believing something exists is not the same as knowing something doesn’t exist.”

            But why would you believe something does not exist when you admit you have no way of knowing it does not exist? If you were truly agnostic in your beliefs you would say, I do not know if God exists and leave it at that point. You would not proceed to say, I do not believe in the existence of God. It is when you take that step that you cross into atheism. If you were truly agnostic you would be looking for answers, not trying to give them.

          • Stephen Cooke

            “why would you believe something does not exist when you admit you have no way of knowing it does not exist?”

            Why would I believe something exists, when I don’t see any evidence that it does exist. I don’t believe in dragons, because I have seen no evidence that they do exist. So, would it be wise to believe they do exist. Do you believe in dragons, the Gorgan, the Minotaur. No, because you don’t have any compelling evidence that they do exist.

            I neither know God exists nor know God does not exist, but I have no evidence to show that he does exist. As other atheists might have told you, the default position is to not believe in something if you don’t see any evidence for its existence. Do you believe in anything you don’t see any evidence for the existence of?

            “If you were truly agnostic you would be looking for answers, not trying to give them.”

            I give answers to show you how I see things. Looking for answers is not the same thing as looking for compelling evidence. Are you saying I should blindly accept what you are saying,, without evidence?

            I see why you have the views you do, but I don’t see things the way you do. Just because you don’t understand me, doesn’t mean I am wrong, illogical or irrational. .

          • GLT

            Stephen Cooke,

            “Do you believe in dragons,…”

            I believe creatures existed which were called dragons. There is plenty of evidence to support that belief. Let me qualify my statement by defining what I believe dragons were. No, I don’t believe in the dragons of folklore like one sees portrayed in Game of Thrones for example. Those dragons are the result of common folk tales being embellished.

            This is a rabbit trail I am not wanting to go down at this time. However, if you google dragons in history it will bring up some interesting material that may surprise you.

            I will present you with one interesting point to consider. Have you ever wondered why the Chinese Zodiac which features animals we are all familiar with, would include one which is fictional, the dragon?

          • Stephen Cooke

            We clearly don’t agree on many things. It’s been nice to have a discussion on here. Have a good day.

          • GLT

            “To say that God doesn’t exist is to make a claim about his existence. To believe God doesn’t exist is to make a claim about what you believe.”

            You’re saying the same thing. To say you believe God does not exist is no different than saying God does not exist. Simply semantics.

            “So, Atheism is the lack of theism,…”

            No, atheism is not simply the lack of theism. Atheism is literally the denial of the existence of God. In Greek A is ‘without’ and Theos is God, which results in the Greek term atheos meaning literally ‘without God’. The word becomes atheism in English. The difference may seem subtle but it is important.

          • Stephen Cooke

            I think some of my posts keep disappearing, have you got a problem with your server?

            “To say you believe God does not exist is no different than saying God does not exist.”

            I can believe something, but it doesn’t make it fact. You seem to be having a problem distinguishing beliefs from knowledge. I’m not sure why that is. So, i’m not sure how I can explain it to you.

  • Like believing the Tooth Fairy exists,and all that Christianity has,was taken from Paganism,is “Rational Thinking”,every time you Point the Finger outward,there’s a Million pointing back at you. Take care of your own Corrupt House first,then,just then,maybe we’ll talk.

    • Patmos

      The least you could do is properly punctuate your debunked talking points that you failed to even investigate for yourself. Good grief, is life really that hard for you?

      • GPS Daddy

        Did you notice that Arron is an atheistic satanist?

    • GLT

      All that Christianity has was taken from paganism? How about you provide some evidence for that claim?

      • Ken Abbott

        He won’t be able to, aside from appeals to certain evangelical atheist websites and publications. The charge has been repeatedly refuted, but most who espouse it ignore the mountain of evidence against them.

        • GLT

          I know he won’t. He probably watched Zietgeist, the Movie and fell for it hook, line and sinker.

  • Eric L

    They’re not rational at all. A study confirmed that more than half of them believe in extra-terrestrials, for which there is not one shred of proof. They’re about as rational as a Magic 8 Ball.

    • swordfish

      There isn’t any proof that alien life exists, but there’s also no known reason why it couldn’t. It can hardy be described as “irrational” to believe that alien life exists. There’s nothing that unusual about the Earth, and Earth-like planets have been discovered only a few light years away, in a universe which is over 90 billion light years across.

  • Patmos

    My favorite is how so many secularists are quick to lean on “Mother Nature”. Yes, Mother Nature, which I guess is the baby of Santa Claus and Big Foot or some such thing.

    • Stephen Cooke

      What?

  • I became a Christian after I started thinking for myself rather than following the (liberal) herd. Part of thinking for myself was the realization that I wasn’t as smart and wise as I thought and that I could and should learn from those who were smarter and wiser than me. That included God.

    • Stephen Cooke

      How does God teach you?

      • Do you really want to know? Primarily through the Bible, but also through prayer, which is, after all, two way communication. Then there is the Holy Spirit who (for me) speaks primarily during prayer, but sometimes I just get a nudge (or a kick) or an answer to a question I have been mulling over in my mind. There is creation, which really does, as the Bible says, declare the glory of God. Finally, there is conscience, which I believe is God created in us. Of course, you need to be receptive. If you refuse to listen, you are unlikely to hear. And even if you hear, you might, like Scrooge, write it off to a bit of indigestion.

        Now you will naturally say that none of this is “proof.” If you are waiting for absolute certainty based on evidence that you can present to others and be certain that they will accept that evidence as well, then you will probably wait forever. I used to have that attitude myself, what with being a mathematician. I told my wife, who was a believer, that if God wanted me to believe then he’d just have to hit me over the head with a 2×4 and make it obvious to me. Well, God may have done that with Paul, but I finally recognized that expecting the same was rather arrogant of me. Suffice it to say that I have come to recognize that the Bible accurately describes human nature and the human condition, man’s relationship to his creator, and why mankind was in need of a Savior.

        My faith has gotten me through some tough times. And only relatively late in life have I recognized that accepting Christ is just a first step. We may be new creations in Christ, but unless we take active steps to realize that “new life” (rather than passively expecting God to do it all for us), not much will change in our lives. Speaking for myself, God has changed my life significantly for the better now that I spend more time with him. And I can look forward with confidence to life with God after I depart this world. What a deal!

    • Stephen Cooke

      How is this thinking for yourself Topcat69 the Deplorable?

      • To think for yourself, you need to absorb information that is available to you – by reading, listening and whatever, from a wide variety of sources – and relate that information to that which you can see and observe. Which information have you gleaned that conforms to the reality you observe? Which does not? Are you letting your observed “reality” be dictated by you views, or vice versa? This is all part of the process of thinking for yourself.

        Thinking for yourself does not include going along with group-think because it is fashionable or because you get a lot of atta-boys for it. But it does mean absorbing all the information that you can and making informed judgments based on it.

        Now I have wasted a lot of my time addressing what you apparently think are “gotcha” questions. I would be pleased if you actually have anything worthwhile to offer in response to what I have said. If not, I believe I am done.

        • Stephen Cooke

          Ok, take care.

  • GLT

    When atheists start voicing their rationalism I am reminded of the old Art Linkletter program, Kids Say the Darndest Things.

    • Andy6M

      The kids are funnier though – the atheists are just sad.

      • GLT

        I would have to agree in most cases, however, I have had a few atheists give me a good laugh.

      • Stephen Cooke

        Sad in which respect. Lacking joy or pitiful?

  • Kevin Quillen

    I contend that there is no such thing as an atheist. Down deep inside they all know God exists, for He put that knowledge in every ones heart. They just ignore it, for acknowledging it would mean that they are not in charge. Their knee WILL bow someday though!

    • Nobody Specific

      Kevin, I believe there are some sincere atheists out there.

      This people are actually a greater enigma to me than most of the Dawkins types. You know them by the fact they are not hostile our own Christian views. They are not bothered by what other people think and they are not out there trying to change anyones heart or mind. They simply are uninterested and don’t see the Holy Spirt in action all around as we do. I say they are more enigmatic to me because I do see God all around. I see his signature written on my own soul when I look in the mirror, I see him in the face of friends and family. I see his many gifts to us when I look out at creation. I feel hopeful, loved and secure when I recall what Christ did for us. I find my self praying “I love you Lord, I know I am saved by your grace alone but please guide me that I may be more like you.” Its really challenge mentally to understand others who do not see and feel these things.

      On the other hand I kinda get the ‘militant’ atheist types. I think you are dead on about them. They know God exists but they don’t know him. They for whatever stubborn reasons they possess refuse to get to know him. Maybe Satan has whispered some false promises in their ear – I don’t know – but they are committed to rejecting the Lord. That makes them desperate to deny his sovereignty. They walk every day in terror their decision to reject the Lord will cost them everything. One day their mortal life will come to an end and he won’t be them to lift them up because they have refused him. So they cope thru denial. They want you and I to deny him as well because it will help them feel secure in that belief; that is why they have to attack us constantly. They have not choice really.

      • Stephen Cooke

        There are people who actually don’t believe God exists. I think the reason that you say there are no atheists,is based on Romans 1. What makes you think, other than the verse in Romans 1, that Atheists know God exists?

        • GPS Daddy

          >>What makes you think, other than the verse in Romans 1, that Atheists know God exists

          This is, in part, a worldview question right? If atheism is true then they really do not know that God exists. But if Christianity is true then they do, right? Point being, only God can look into the heart and know it. We cannot look into each other’s hearts.

          But this begs the question of how do we know that God exists, right? Well,

          Life ALWAYS comes from life.
          Intelligence ALWAYS comes from Intelligence.
          Personhood ALWAYS comes from personhood.

          All of these and more are properly found in God.

          • Stephen Cooke

            So, if life always comes from life,intelligence always comes from intelligence and personhood always comes from personhood, then which life, personhood and intelligence did God come from. Your answer will probably be, sorry to assume, that no one made God, so, what you said is illogical.

          • GPS Daddy

            Did you really post that kind of a reply? The atheist, the rational one, and you are asking me “who created the creator?” as a question that defeats my argument? Are you really going to put forth THAT kind of reasoning?

          • Stephen Cooke

            You was the one who said life always comes from life, but if you believe God exists then you would not believe this. So, you are stating something you don’t actually believe. This kind of argument would only work if God didn’t exist. You are using something you don’t believe to be true to convince me of the truth of your conclusion. A different method of argument to be sure. This truly is a case of word games.

          • GPS Daddy

            >>You was the one who said life always comes from life

            Hmm, so you have examples of where life does not come from life?

            Please show me this evidence?

          • Stephen Cooke

            Life doesn’t always come from life. The reason I say this is that if God exists he is life and you are claiming he doesn’t come from life, and if God doesn’t exist then life would still not have come from life, as life would have had to come from some form of non-living material. So, your argument is fallacious.

            You claim to know there is a God, so you don’t actually believe that life always comes from life.

          • GPS Daddy

            Wow, its hard to reason with such irrationality.

          • Stephen Cooke

            I find it intriguing that you can’t understand the fallacy.

            Lets put your argument in syllogistic form:

            Premise 1: Life always comes from life.
            Premise 2: Inorganic molecules are not life.
            Conclusion: Therefore, life comes from Life in the form of God..

            Premise 1 is wrong if there is a God, because you claim he never came from life.
            The conclusion would be wrong if there was no God.

          • Stephen Cooke

            Its not putting forward reasoning, it’s showing that you are being irrational and illogical. You are putting forward an argument in which you and I know that the premise is false. You tell me does life ever come from non-life? If you say yes then your premise is destroyed, if you say no then your premise is also destroyed.

        • GLT

          Stephen Cooke,

          “What makes you think, other than the verse in Romans 1, that Atheists know God exists?”

          Their incessant attacks on all things religious may be one clue. If atheists simply believed no god existed I would expect them to go about their lives and leave those who do to believe otherwise. However, their constant harassment of people of faith appears to me to be more about convincing themselves God does not exist than it is about convincing others.

          • Stephen Cooke

            I think that both Christians and Atheists have problems. What harassment have you received from Atheists?

          • GLT

            Stephen Cooke,

            Humans in general have problems, thus their need for God.

            As for harassment from atheists one need look no further than organisations such as The Freedom From Religion Foundation which attempt, by force of law, to eradicate any public display of Christian worship.

            If you are wondering about harassment against me personally, it goes beyond nothing more than the usual ridicule and name calling. Personally, it does not bother me one iota.

          • GPS Daddy

            GLT has it right. Humans have problems. I assume that your a member of the human race? If so, you have problems just like GLT and I do.

        • Nobody Specific

          I do believe there are atheists, read what I wrote. I don’t think Dawkins is one though for the reasons I cite.

          You might be one I don’t know you. I hope one day you see the living God, but that is me being friendly and wanting what’s best for you. I bet you wish I’d see that it’s all a fantasy. If you wish that because you think it’s true and it would be better for me fine; I don’t begrudge you for that. No reason we can’t be friends and just recognize our minds are unlikely to be changed. If that isn’t good enough, than I’d question your motives and I would suspect a part of you believes

      • Stephen Cooke

        You only see God’s hand in things because you first believed there is a God. I guess ,it’s a case of confirmation bias.

        • GPS Daddy

          >>You only see God’s hand in things because you first believed there is a God

          Most atheists have one dimension spiritual thinking. They live in flatland when in fact the spiritual world is multi-dimensional. You cannot see the hand of God because your living in flatland.

          • John Connor

            Most atheists started out in the church

          • GPS Daddy

            Thats a load of crap. Some have. But your issue with God are from the church.

          • John Connor

            Look it up.

          • GPS Daddy

            John Connor and his fact-free facts.

          • John Connor

            American atheists and agnostics tend to be people who grew up in a religious tradition and consciously gave it up, often after a great deal of reflection and study, said Alan Cooperman, associate director for research at the Pew Forum.

          • GPS Daddy

            Ah, I see, another atheists option.

          • Stephen Cooke

            Some of my issues come from Churches. I just didn’t see any difference between people in the Church and those who weren’t Christians. Perhaps those who were outside the church were more likely to swear.

          • GPS Daddy

            >>I just didn’t see any difference between people in the Church and those who weren’t Christians

            Its interesting how you gravitate towards a worldview that undermines meaning/purpose/wright/wrong because you don’t like the way people act in the church. Maybe you need to rethink that one.

          • GPS Daddy

            Where is the evidence for this? References please.

          • Stephen Cooke

            I started out agnostic, even though I didn’t recognise it, but then I became a Christian and gradually lost my faith after that.

        • GLT

          Stephen Cooke,

          “You only see God’s hand in things because you first believed there is a God. I guess ,it’s a case of confirmation bias.”

          You reject the idea of God’s hand in things because you deny his existence. I guess it’s a case of confirmation bias.

          Now what?

          • Stephen Cooke

            I don’t deny God’s existence, I just don’t know whether he exists or not, and I see no evidence, so I chose not to believe.

        • Nobody Specific

          Presumably you can’t see it because you don’t believe. This is my point, in away. I find it more difficult to understand the sincere atheist than the vehement denier because I recognize there are those who don’t see. I have no experience not seeing so I can’t understand well.

          • Stephen Cooke

            You was born into a religious home NS. So, I see why you find it difficult to understand people who don’t see your God, as it has probably been taught to you from a young age. I didn’t have any beliefs about the existence of God until I reached the age of 19, when I became a Christian, then I gradually lost my belief in the existence of God.

        • GPS Daddy

          That is a seriously arrogant statement, Stephen. You think you have the life experience to conclude that “You only see God’s hand in things because you first believed there is a God”?

          Has it occurred to you that others may have in fact had a direct encounter with God? But a direct encounter with God is not needed. It obvious form what has been made (creation) that God exists.

          • Stephen Cooke

            If I had a direct encounter with God I would believe in him, but I am not sure what that means.

          • GPS Daddy

            Stephen, I cannot say it will happen. But I can say that it has, and does, happen. The first problem you have Stephen is that your approach to God is one of arrogance. I don’t mean this in a mean way. I have my flaws as well, one of them is also arrogance.

            You step over clear evidence that clearly shows life is designed. Do you really want your life to end in nothing? There is way more than enough evidence for God existence to seek Him. That is the starting point with God.

          • Stephen Cooke

            What you see as evidence for God’s existence, I actually don’t see as such. How am I being arrogant?

            So, you’re saying I have to chose to believe those things that you say are evidence, even though at the moment I don’t see them as evidence.

          • GPS Daddy

            >>chose to believe those things that you say are evidence

            Your rejection of these things as evidence is a heart issue, Stephen. It has nothing to do with the evidence. And yes, your statement is very arrogant because in it you take the roll of knowing all. That is the only way to make that kind of a statement.

          • Stephen Cooke

            What makes me arrogant?

      • Stephen Cooke

        Have you ever not been a Christian?

    • John Connor

      I’ve seen this statement several times on here. As someone who spent 18 years in the church, I definitely have zero belief in any gods

    • Stephen Cooke

      KQ, this contention is based on scripture. What does it mean that deep inside we all know that God exists? Where is this knowledge to be found? When you say in your heart, do you mean in your head? I literally don’t know that a God exists. Before you became a Christian did you know God existed?

  • Concerned Christian

    “confused, upside-down thinking ” is your refusal to answer two previous questions concerning the standard that you’re holding Obama to versus Trump and your definition of a liberal.

    Can you defend the statements that you make? If not, maybe atheist are not that different after all.

    • GPS Daddy

      >>maybe atheist are not that different after all

      So you think that atheism is a viable world view?

      • John Connor

        It’s worked well for me over the last 35 years. Why wouldn’t it be viable? My religious beliefs have absolutely zero impact on my daily life.

        • GPS Daddy

          >>My religious beliefs have absolutely zero impact on my daily life

          Ah, the first admission from the great John Connor that he has religious beliefs…

    • Politics, politics. Could you just give it a rest once in a while?

      • Concerned Christian

        When i asked the questions on the relevant articles you refused to answer them there.

        Now you’re once again making a broad assertion about a group, in this case atheist.

        Does your brain work differently when you make assertions about the left vs the right or Obama vs Trump? I don’t think we have a brain for religion and a different one for politics.

        if you want to make assertions, you should be able to defend them. Am I really asking to much? Am I asking any more of you than what you’ve declared to be true of others?

        • I answered the questions there, and you’re still changing the subject here, trying to argue ad hominem, and generally not contributing anything of substance. Give it a rest, okay?

          • Concerned Christian

            you and i both know you didn’t. As a matter of fact if you did, copy and paste it here. You won’t because you can’t.

            “trying to argue ad hominem, and generally not contributing anything of substance.”

            i completely disagree. You have shown in your refusal to answer those questions, the same deflection and obfuscation that we see with Trump and other conservatives. Much like when trump makes an assertion and then has no facts to back it up, you’ve done the same exact thing.

            I will keep bringing this point up until you answer those questions. Of course like trump you can refuse to do so and like trump you will get away with it.

            My first goal is that you will hopefully feel some conviction about this.

            My second is that conservative Christians will begin to hold themselves to a higher standard. Right now you and others are sinking further and further into the gutter that trump has created for all those that get involved with him.

          • GPS Daddy

            >>My second is that conservative Christians will begin to hold themselves to a higher standard

            One that you do not hold yourself too. Your only reason for being here is to play mind games with Christians and demoralize them. your part of the progressive left that is trying to shut Christians back into the four walls of the church building.

          • Give it a rest.

          • Concerned Christian

            Until you actually respond to my questions, you can feel free not to respond to anything that I write. Others can do the same as well! I enjoy the conversation but If you don’t feel the same way, I understand.

            If I state that the difference between your criticism of Obama causing division vs your non-criticism of trump, doing the same, is that one is black and the other is white, what does it matter?

            You don’t care to put context around what you’re saying so I will make my comments and you don’t have to care what I say as well.

    • John Flaherty

      How on earth did a compare/contrast of two Presidents land in a conversation about the reason–or lack thereof–of atheists?

      • Concerned Christian

        Glad you asked. Here are three articles that Tom has written:

        Why Liberals Can’t Listen
        https://stream(dot)org/why-liberals-cant-listen/

        How Jesus Would Deal With Liberals
        https://stream(dot)org/liberals-wont-listen/

        Mr Obama, Would You Please Stop Dividing America?
        https://stream(dot)org/obama-stop-dividing-our-country/

        From those articles I asked the following questions:

        1. What is your definition of a liberal?

        To which he answered:

        “As for the “definition” of a liberal, you’re just baiting me. Do I think liberalism/progressivism is wrong and harmful? ”

        So, he didn’t answer it.

        2. For the article on Obama I stated:

        “Trump has repeatedly made comments that have offended blacks, Hispanics, and Muslims. Have you ever called him divisive? If not, what’s the difference?”

        He never provided any answer to this question.

        So i think he’s being at best hypocritical when throwing out blanket statements like the ones above this one concerning atheist:

        “confused, upside-down thinking”

        This is a discussion alias and I can backup any statement that I make and give examples. Now you may not like what I say and I might even be mistaken, however, I will always backup what I say.

        It’s easy for Tom to write an article telling people what they want to hear concerning people that disagree with them. It’s another to be able to backup those statements. Tom is failing in this area.

        • John Flaherty

          Unfortunately, I believe you have confirmed his appraisal of your “confused, upside-down thinking”. Your comment demonstrates intent to demand a different answer to a question asked about a previous article. Well, what you call “discussion alias”, I call “theft”. Or, if you consider that harsh, I call this “irrelevant”, “failure to discuss the matter on hand”.
          He’s hypocritical because he doesn’t discuss matters or define them as you would wish? He’s not required to allow you to set the terms of discussion. He doesn’t look hypocritical. Rather you look…incompetent.

          • Concerned Christian

            Well, Tom should feel honored. He’s getting the same type of defense that conservative Christians give trump!

      • Concerned Christian

        Glad you asked:

        Why Liberals Can’t Listen
        https://stream(dot)org/why-liberals-cant-listen/

        How Jesus Would Deal With Liberals
        https://stream(dot)org/liberals-wont-listen/

        Mr Obama, Would You Please Stop Dividing America?
        https://stream(dot)org/obama-stop-dividing-our-country/

        I asked him two questions from those articles:

        1. What is your definition of a liberal?

        To which he answered:

        “As for the “definition” of a liberal, you’re just baiting me. Do I think liberalism/progressivism is wrong and harmful? ”

        So, he didn’t answer it.

        2. Trump has repeatedly made comments that have offended blacks, Hispanics, and Muslims. Have you ever called him divisive? If not, what’s the difference?

        Again, he never responded.

        Tom is always making blanket statements that he knows people want to hear. Then when he’s asked to justify his position, he refuses to. This article is nothing but another generalization that he knows is pretty much like throwing red meat to the base.

        I believe Tom is better than this! Maybe I’m wrong but hopefully if people like me point this out, it will at least cause him some self reflection.

        If i make a statement I will justify it. If you don’t like what I say that’s fine, you will at least have my justification for it.

        Tom’s behavior is no different than trump. throw out a statement for the base and never worry about justifying it. Conservative Christians should be different.

  • Stephen D

    Atheism is a worldview, just like Christianity. But Christianity has much greater explanatory power.

    Atheists often say that religion cannot explain things because it is not science. However they themselves explain just about everything without science, particularly their own behaviour. It is unavoidable, wherever there is a personal agent at work, that science ceases to operate, and human motivations and intentions become the operative explanatory factor. Christianity can explain atheism. But Atheism cannot explain Christianity.

    Atheists often cite the theory of evolution as the explanation for our existence. But this is not a rational explanation. This is just wishful thinking. The evidence for evolution is defective. The theory itself is defective. The non-biblical evidence against it is overwhelming. It is rational in form but not in fact. Evolution is in fact a form of religion, and is taught in schools as such.

    But the most prominent feature of atheism is that without Christianity it has no point. The whole point of Atheism is to oppose theism. Atheism is not just not believing in God. Atheism is an irrational crusade directed against Christianity. Richard Dawkins, the demigod of atheism, persistently deploys irrational arguments and misleads his young followers, by promoting unscientific views to the effect that religion is the source of all the evil and wars in the world.

    The great atheist powers, Communist Russia, and now Communist China and North Korea, are also the powers directly responsible for more death and destruction than any other in history. If atheists think Christianity is compromised by violence such as the crusades, their own position is utterly untenable in view of the vast scale of the democides and genocides carried out by the adherents of atheism.

    Dawkin’s big fallacy is that without Christianity there is no such thing as evil. The difference between good and evil cannot exist within a purely scientific worldview. Science cannot detect ethical or moral attributes in the physical universe. You cannot find evil under a microscope, or good through a telescope. Dawkins himself is a highly emotional person driven by a desire to oppose belief in God, and to promote Reason, because of his irrational belief that this undertaking is ‘scientific’.

    • Stephen Cooke

      Atheism is not a worldview it is simply the lack of belief in the existence of God. A worldview is more encompassing than a single lack of belief. Atheists have different non religious world views.

      • GPS Daddy

        >>Atheism is not a worldview it is simply the lack of belief in the existence of God

        You’ve bought into the new atheist lie. Every person has a worldview. If you claim your worldview is that God does not exist then this is a positive statement not a “lack of belief.” Your a living, Breathing human being. You are living this life.. You have a worldview about it.

        • Stephen Cooke

          My world view does not include a claim that God doesn’t exist but that I do not believe in the existence of God. I don’t claim to have full knowledge that God does not exist, but I do have the belief that there is not enough evidence to support the claim that God exists.

          • GPS Daddy

            Thank you for this definition. Its a serious wordplay and it seriously hinders your ability to see God. But that is your choice. I will keep it, though, for future use.

          • Stephen Cooke

            Which definition? And what is my choice?

          • GLT

            Stephen Cooke,

            “I don’t claim to have full knowledge that God does not exist, but I do have the belief that there is not enough evidence to support the claim that God exists.”

            You’re saying you lack the necessary knowledge to determine whether or not God exists while at the same saying you have sufficient knowledge to know there is not enough evidence to say God exists.

            That leads to an obvious question. Why do you say you lack the necessary knowledge to determine whether or not God exists but, at the same time, are convinced you possess sufficient knowledge to know for certain there is not enough evidence to support the claim God exists? Are you aware of all the evidence which may exist to demonstrate God’s existence and on that basis have reached the conclusion you have?

          • Stephen Cooke

            When I say there is not enough evidence, what I mean is I have encountered anything that suggests God exists, I therefore don’t believe in his existence.

            “Why do you say you lack the necessary knowledge to determine whether or not God exists but, at the same time, are convinced you possess sufficient knowledge to know for certain there is not enough evidence to support the claim God exists? Are you aware of all the evidence which may exist to demonstrate God’s existence and on that basis have reached the conclusion you have?”

            I’ll alter what I said to make it clearer, because I don’t think I expressed it very well. I don’t claim to have full knowledge that God does not exist, but I haven’t found any convincing evidence for God’s existence.

            “Are you aware of all the evidence which may exist to demonstrate God’s existence and on that basis have reached the conclusion you have?”

            I’m not aware if there is any evidence that I haven’t encountered, but you’re welcome to try to provide any new evidence you have. I have examined all the evidence so far presented me, and none of it is compelling enough for me to say there is a God.

          • GLT

            Stephen Cooke,

            “When I say there is not enough evidence, what I mean is I have encountered anything that suggests God exists, I therefore don’t believe in his existence.”

            Now you say there is not enough evidence when before you were saying there was not any evidence. So, you are now admitting there is evidence for the existence of God just not the right amount or the right quality to satisfy you.

            “I have examined all the evidence so far presented me, and none of it is compelling enough for me to say there is a God.”

            Fair enough. However, when faced with the facts coming to light in the realms of genetics, biology and the sciences in general, all indicating the evolutionary narrative is woefully inadequate in explaining not only the origin of life but how life could have evolved via the Darwinian path once it came into existence; can you still firmly say you do not see any evidence for the existence of God? Science is clearly demonstrating this could not happen by the process of natural selection working on random mutations but that the process clearly reflects the presence of design and intelligence at the root. This is not something which can simply be hand waved away, this is becoming more and more the paradigm with each passing day. To ignore what is happening in the realm of science as it relates to life and how it began and the role design and intelligence obviously played in that origin and variety of life is akin to whistling past the graveyard.

            Stephen, the evidence is there and it is clearly to be seen. But you must be willing to accept it for what it is and not continue to deny what is so painfully obvious to any objective mind. As Paul said in Romans 1; it is there to see in all that has been made and it is so obvious that no man has an excuse for not seeing it.

            You’re not seeing the evidence because you do not want to see it. The reason for that only you know.

          • Stephen Cooke

            “Now you say there is not enough evidence when before you were saying there was not any evidence. ”

            None of the evidence is compelling. To me it doesn’t show God exists. I’m getting tired and therefore my thinking is getting a little skewed. I think I better go to bed. I’ll continue tomorrow.

          • GLT

            Stephen Cooke,

            “None of the evidence is compelling. To me it doesn’t show God exists.”

            You do not find it compelling, fine, I cannot argue with that as that is completely your prerogative. However, as I asked you in that post, do you not see the latest findings in the sciences, especially genetics and biology as posing serious challenges to the evolutionary view? Remember, today’s evolutionary scenario is built upon knowledge which did not include what we know today about the incredible complexity of what was once referred to as the ‘simple cell’. What we see today simply cannot be explained by random chance. There can be no doubt intelligence is behind what we see.

            Have good rest. I know sometimes I have kept going when I should have stopped. I just would up making silly mistakes.

          • Stephen Cooke

            It’s all getting a little repetitive. You are coming from a different perspective from myself. No amount of saying that “You’re not seeing the evidence because you do not want to see”, is going to convince me. You are simply wrong about that. You only believe that I’m ignoring the evidence because of what you think the bible says. Good night.

          • GLT

            Stephen Cooke,

            “You only believe that I’m ignoring the evidence because of what you think the bible says.”

            No, I truly believe you are ignoring the evidence. What Paul says is true but that is not the reason I think you’re not accepting the evidence. I think you’re not accepting it simply because you do not want God to exist and you therefore hand wave away anything which challenges that desire. That may sound harsh but it is not meant to be, it is simply reflective of my experience over many years of talking to people about God.

          • Stephen Cooke

            What gives you the impression that I am ignoring the evidence?

          • GLT

            Stephen Cooke,

            Your constant clams there is no evidence. Have you actually thought through the implications of your insistent claim that there is no evidence for God? Do you actually understand what you are saying when you make such a claim?

      • I know there are different atheistic beliefs, including Buddhism in some forms. In the Western world, though, the overwhelming majority of atheists subscribe to a positive belief in materialism/naturalism, which is most definitely a worldview. In this article I didn’t explicitly mention that I was focusing on that set of atheists, but since they are such a huge proportion of the atheists population in the Western world, I don’t always think that’s necessary.

        • Stephen Cooke

          I agree, materialism/ naturalism is a worldview.

      • GLT

        Stephen Cooke,

        “Atheism is not a worldview it is simply the lack of belief in the existence of God.”

        “Atheists have different non religious world views.”

        Well, which is it? Is atheism not a worldview or is it a different worldview?

        • Stephen Cooke

          Both, Atheism is not a world view, but the person, who is an atheist has a world view. For example an atheist could be a Humanist, which is a world view. What is your definition of a worldview? Atheism could possibly be part of someones worldview.

          • GLT

            Stephen Cooke,

            “Atheism could possibly be part of someones worldview.”

            Of course atheism is a world view. If one is an atheist he, by definition, has a view of the world which does not include a belief in God and all the consequential results that position entails. To argue atheism is not a world view is the same as atheists trying to claim they are not making a statement of belief when they claim there is no God.

          • Stephen Cooke

            “has a view of the world which does not include God”.

            The world view includes Atheism, but his Atheism is not the world view. Atheists have many different world views, some stated before in this thread are religious, such as Buddhism, some are more secular, such as Humanism. Atheism is just one part of a persons world view. Just as Christians have different world views, depending on their denomination.

          • GLT

            Stephen Cooke,

            “The world view includes Atheism, but his Atheism is not the world view.”

            Seriously, Stephen, this is nothing more than the usual semantic game playing atheists are known for. Atheism is a position which denies the existence of God. This position is fundamentally basic to how they view the world. Yes, there may be variant forms of an atheistic world view, but in its basic nature it is one world view, a world view which excludes the existence of God.

          • Stephen Cooke

            No there is a strong and weak atheism. Strong atheism says that there is no God, and weak atheism says that I don’t know whether there is a God. In point of fact, I am an agnostic atheist, I don’t KNOW whether there is or isn’t a God, and I don’t BELIEVE that there is a God. The reason being that I don’t see evidence pointing towards there being a God.

          • GLT

            Stephen Cooke,

            “Strong atheism says that there is no God, and weak atheism says that I don’t know whether there is a God.”

            No, Stephen, there is not weak atheism and strong atheism, there is atheism and there is agnosticism. However, most agnostics, while saying they don’t know whether or not God exists, lead their lives as if they are certain he does not exist.

            “and I don’t BELIEVE that there is a God.”

            Then you’re an atheist. There is no such thing as an agnostic atheist. You are either one or the other. Any one who truly believes he is an agnostic atheist is suffering from a form of cognitive dissonance. He is telling himself he is sure, while at the same time telling himself he does not know.

          • Stephen Cooke

            There is such thing as an agnostic atheist. Atheism is to do with belief and agnosticism is to do with knowledge. Belief and knowledge are separate things. I am not sure whether there is a God(Agnostic) and I don’t believe there is a God (Atheist). That’s how I see it.

          • GLT

            Stephen Cooke,

            “There is such thing as an agnostic atheist.”

            No, Stephen, there is not. Atheism is a clam to knowledge; ie, there is no God. Agnosticism is a claim to a lack of knowledge; ie, I do not know if there is a God. The two are mutually exclusive in nature. Play all the semantic games you wish, they do not change the facts. One cannot say I know and I do not know at the same time in relation to the same question. Either you believe there is no God; atheism; or you claim not to know whether or not there is a God; agnosticism.

            “I am not sure whether there is a God(Agnostic) and I don’t believe there is a God (Atheist). That’s how I see it.”

            Then why to claim to believe something; there is no God; about which you admit ignorance; I don’t know if there is a God? That is simply irrational, to say the least.

          • Stephen Cooke

            Which dictionary did you get your definition of Atheism from?

          • GLT

            Stephen Cooke,

            My understanding of atheism does not come from a single dictionary definition, it comes from many years of philosophical discourse and study. I would suggest you take some time and study basic philosophical positions regarding atheism. You will find a wide range of discussions relating to the definitions of atheism but will also notice a common thread indicating that atheism is the denial of the existence of God or gods.

          • Stephen Cooke

            I’m not sure about the existence of God, although I believe he does not exist.

          • GPS Daddy

            What is religion?

          • Stephen Cooke

            You tell me.

          • GPS Daddy

            Can’t do it? Yet, how many comments have you referenced religion in this thread? It obvious to me. Since its not to you I need to understand what you call religion.

            So what is religion?

          • Stephen Cooke

            My definition of a religion is a system of beliefs that includes the worship of a God or gods.

          • GPS Daddy

            I have never understood religion like that… ever. So I’d say that you have an understanding problem.

          • Stephen Cooke

            How would you define it?

          • GPS Daddy

            Religious is a persons life. Everything you do, everything you think, every interaction you have, every thought, every time you do not act when you can, etc… defines what you say this life is. How your life defines this life is your religion. It comes with all the trappings of what you call religion. You have things that you assume to be true about life. You have the thing you consider where life comes form and where it is going and your response that that knowledge.

            All the “religions” that you consider religions are simply a subset of this.

          • Stephen Cooke

            I have seriously never read this definition in a dictionary. I think your definition is trying to define all people as having a religion which makes no sense. Which dictionary did you get the definition from?

          • GPS Daddy

            Waiting for you to tell me what you say religion is.

          • GPS Daddy

            Still waiting for you to tell me what religion is.

          • GPS Daddy

            And still waiting for the definition of religion that you are using.

    • Stephen Cooke

      How is evolution a form of religion? What is it about that tells you it’s a religion? If I believe something to be true, it doesn’t make it a religion. For instance I believe my wife loves me. Does that make it a religion?

  • Howard Rosenbaum

    Yeah – they “think “ & we believe.
    Truth is a revelation. One that is way above their “pay grade” …!

  • swordfish

    “I see God’s design everywhere I look, don’t you?”

    No, I see nature.

    “From the tiniest cell to the hugest galaxy, all creation cries out “Glory!” and “Power!” to the One who made it. Isn’t that evidence?”

    No, it isn’t, because the universe is completely consistent with a naturalistic explanation. Something which is consistent with a naturalistic explanation can’t be evidence for something supernatural.

    Also, I’m struck by the fact that theists go on about how glorious the universe is one minute, then about how obviously ‘fallen’ and flawed it is the next.

    • GLT

      swordfish,

      “because the universe is completely consistent with a naturalistic explanation.”

      Really? How did the universe arise via natural means?

      “how glorious the universe is one minute, then about how obviously ‘fallen’ and flawed it is the next.”

      It is not at all inconsistent for something to be glorious and beautiful and flawed at the same time.

      • swordfish

        “Really, how did the universe arise via natural means?”

        It isn’t known if the universe has ever not existed, so your question isn’t necessarily meaningful, but I’d say: I don’t know, but that doesn’t mean God did it.

        • GPS Daddy

          >>It isn’t known if the universe has ever not existed

          Our best science shows that the space-time continuum has a beginning. You must assume that the universe has no beginning in order to make that statement. But like I pointed out before, we know that time is not infinite in the past. Since time and the physical universe are inseparably linked, then the physical universe has a beginning.

          • John Connor

            Not entirely true as there are many scientists who believe that the universe has always existed.

          • GPS Daddy

            A religious position.

          • John Connor

            Scientific

          • GPS Daddy

            Religious. You must assume this to be true. There is no scientific test for it.

          • John Connor

            No religion needed to believe in scientific theories.

          • GPS Daddy

            Since that is not a scientific theory, then that position is religious. Show me the scientific studies that demonstrate that the universe has always existed.

          • John Connor

            Do your own research. It only takes a few taps on the keyboard.

          • GPS Daddy

            Ah, I see you can’t deliver.

          • John Connor

            ….yawn…..

          • GPS Daddy

            Don’t fall over.

          • Hey, GPS, you can’t reason with the unreasonable. Most atheists, and I would almost say all, couldn’t reason themselves out of a paper bag. I’m almost beginning to think that they have a mental incapacity for logic. We know, however, that it’s a moral obtuseness, and not an intellectual one, as Paul clearly states in Romans 1.

          • GPS Daddy

            I know. But I’m not trying to reason intellectually with John. I don’t know if my approach will work. But I try in most of my interactions (not this one yet) to present John with how atheism views him and how God views him. You see its worth having the school-yard scraps with the bullies giving their stuff back to them (ending in how God see them) if someday the light goes on in their hearts.

          • Well, I would say “good luck,” but we don’t believe in that!

          • Stephen Cooke

            Are school yard scraps of any benefit when it comes to winning people for Christ?

          • GPS Daddy

            Yea, good point. But my interaction with John is more complex than this article. The school yard scraps are about many things that we sharply disagree on. That is what I mean by school yard scraps. But school yard scraps are perfectly fine on Darwinian Evolution.So you should have no problem with them.

          • John Connor

            I’m now a bully? Wow…sounds more like christian persecution syndrome.

          • GPS Daddy

            Yes, you are John, Your a bully to that elderly lady who is wrongly being prosecuted in Washington State to name one example.

          • John Connor

            She broke her he law. No bullying necessary

          • GPS Daddy

            So, are school yard scraps any benefit in winning people to Christ?

          • Stephen Cooke

            You sound very proud when you say this mike. I think a feeling of intellectual superiority is a sign that perhaps your religion is not all it is cut out to be. Doesn’t the bible say God likes humility (paraphrase). The bible also says that you should love people. How are you going to win Atheists to Christ, when you aren’t showing Christian love.

          • Stephen, I guess this depends on what you mean by love, doesn’t it? Have you ever read the Bible? Read the gospels sometime, and notice carefully the life of Jesus. Even though Jesus was perfect in humility (because he was/is God), he was no mild-mannered pushover. And I believe with everything in me, and engagements with atheists in forums like this only confirms it, that Christianity is infinitely superior to atheism. That has nothing to do with me. I personally am not intellectually superior. In fact, one of my favorite verses in the Bible is I Corinthians 8:2: The man who knows something does not yet know as he ought to know, Paul tells us. But this is not cause for skepticism, but epistemological humility, as Paul implies in the previous verse when he says, “We all have knowledge.” So there is infinitely more I do not know than I do know. And truth and knowledge exist outside of me. I do not possess or own them, so it has nothing to do with me. The issue is the objective nature of reality and can we have knowledge of it, and logic is part of that reality. And logic tells us that atheism is self-contradictory nonsense. By telling an atheist this, you are truly loving them because you are telling them the truth.

            I’m clearly not perfect, so I can display wrong or sinful attitudes, but it’s sometimes difficult to be generous to online atheists. And I’m only taking the time to write all this because you appear to be reasonable, and maybe you really are seeking the truth. It is there to be found. Maybe one day you’ll agree with C.S. Lewis. He said he believes in Christianity like he believes in the sun. Not because he see it, but because by it he sees everything else. Only in Christianity and Christ does everything ultimately make sense. He is the ultimate universe to all the particulars of existence. He is puzzle picture that makes sense of all the pieces. All atheism gives us is pieces.

          • Stephen Cooke

            “I believe with everything in me, and engagements with atheists in forums like this only confirms it, that Christianity is infinitely superior to atheism.”

            Your comments come across as if you think you are superior, whether you think that your religion is superior or not.I’m

            “I’m clearly not perfect, so I can display wrong or sinful attitudes, but it’s sometimes difficult to be generous to online atheists.”

            Have I attacked you character. If you admit that you may have sinful attitudes to atheists, have you ever apologised to an atheist for a wrong or sinful act? Do you love atheists?

          • GPS Daddy

            >>How are you going to win Atheists to Christ, when you aren’t showing Christian love

            I love it when atheists hold up the Christian ideal when it servers them but then trash it when it does not. Either its true or its not. Either Jesus is who He said He is or He is not. If He is not then these Christian ideals have no foundation.

            Darwinian Evolution that you claim is true is meaning and value agnostic. Its does not care how people are treated. Is it not survival of the fittest? Then anything goes.

          • Stephen Cooke

            “I love it when atheists hold up the Christian ideal when it servers them but then trash it when it does not.”

            Are you judging me on the basis of what other people have said GPS? I haven’t trashed it, I agree love is a great motivation for action. How did I trash the Christian ideal?

            I care how people are treated. I have treated Mike with respect, and he has resorted to using personal attack. I’m not talking to you to win arguments,but I am a person who enjoys thinking and discussing these things.

            Can I ask you a question Mike. Do you love Atheists?

          • GPS Daddy

            >>Are you judging me on the basis of what other people have said GPS

            I’m not judging you at all. Just pointing out that you reject God and you reject the bible yet hold up its ideals as if they are real. If God does not exist then there is no good or evil. There is no right or wrong. Yet you hold up the bible as if it is real.

          • Stephen Cooke

            “Just pointing out that you reject God”

            Can you reject someone you don’t believe exists.

            “If God does not exist then there is no good or evil.”

            How so? Good and evil are words people use to define actions that they deem to be right or wrong. My morality doesn’t come from God or the bible, it is something that comes about through our interaction with society and our own reflection on the effects of our actions on others. It is possible that some actions I deem to be wrong might have the origin in the BIble, but not on the whole.

          • GLT

            Stephen Cooke,

            “My morality on the whole doesn’t come from a Bible,…”

            Then where does your morality come from?

          • Stephen Cooke

            My morality comes from a combination of places. From society, from thinking about issues, from my parents and friends views and possibly even from the Bible.

          • GLT

            Stephen Cooke,

            “Can you reject someone you don’t believe exists.”

            Yes. Because you do not believe God exists does not mean he does not exist. You have stated as much yourself on many occasions. So, it logically follows, if God may exist, as you freely admit, you most certainly can reject that which you do not believe exists.

          • Stephen Cooke

            You are right, you could be rejecting him if you don’t believe he exists

          • John Connor

            zzzzzzz………..

          • GPS Daddy

            While your sleeping, John, pay attention to your dreams… that is one way God can talk to us. If I were a betting man, John, I would say you have dreams from time to time where you feel valued, cared for, and that you have a hope and a future… God’s talking..

          • GLT

            John Connor,

            Typical response of an atheist who depends solely on rhetoric. When he is challenged to provide evidence to support his claims he takes on the air of superior intellect in an effort to avoid having to deliver on his claims.

            You’ve made several claims so far, John, but have yet to provide even the slightest amount of support for those claims.

          • Stephen Cooke

            GPS, What makes a hypothesis religious?

          • GPS Daddy

            Good question, Stephen. What is a religion is a key question here. All worldviews have assumptions that are made that cannot be “proven.” When you make a claim that the universe has always existed you are stating one of these assumptions. There is no way to show this scientifically. There is no experiment that we can devise to show that the universe has always existed. The scientists that claim this are making a worldview claim. This is a religious position not a scientific one.

            Other examples of worldview claims that impact the scientific claims of scientists:

            The physical world is not real.
            The spiritual world is not real.
            Time is infinite into the past.
            The multiverse.
            etc…

            The error a number of scientists make today is not recognizing that they are actually assuming somethings to be true that they cannot “prove.” Atheists are especially bad about this.

          • Stephen Cooke

            I don’t see what makes assumptions religious.

          • GPS Daddy

            Assumptions in and of themselves are not religious. Assumptions about life are.

          • Stephen Cooke

            What makes assumptions about life religious?

          • Stephen Cooke

            I assume Pumas give birth to Pumas, I haven’t actually seen a Puma giving birth. As this is an assumption about life, if this a religion.

          • GPS Daddy

            Is this assumption a part of a worldview? That’s the key. But in fact this cannot be your assumption if you accept Darwinian Evolution. Do you accept Darwinian Evolution?

          • Stephen Cooke

            This assumption is based on my world view and part of my current world view is that Darwinian evolution is the best explanation for what I see in nature.

          • GPS Daddy

            Have you really thought that though, Stephen? Be honest with the evidence. There is no “evidence” for Darwinian Evolution that does not first assume Darwinian Evolution to be true. But going further, if Darwinian Evolution is true then life as we experience it is a lie. There is no good, no evil, no right, no wrong. There is no love, no hate, no joy, no purpose, no meaning. All of these things are nothing more that chemical reactions brought about by random mutations acted upon by natural selection.

            A completely irrational view of life. Few atheists have the courage to really face this fact.

            Here is a test to see if Darwinian Evolution is true:

            Lets define some terms first:

            DW: Darwinian Evolution.
            PIL: Purpose In Life

            If DW Then not PIL.

            This is clearly seen. If Darwinian Evolution is true then there can be no purpose in life.
            But the contropositive of this is also true:

            If PIL then Not DW.

            If there is purpose in life then life has not evolved by random mutations acted upon by natural selection.

            Do you find purpose in life, Stephen?

          • Stephen Cooke

            I think there is purpose in life, whether you’re a Christian or an Atheist. It’s just Christians get there purpose from the Bible, but Atheists give themselves a purpose. So, I don’t agree with “If DW then Not PIL.”

            Of course there is joy and love if you’re not a believer. As for morality, that varies amongst the population of the world. Different groups have different beliefs about what is and is not right. For example some groups have polygamy for males, some have polygamy for females and some people believe that monogamy is right.

            As for the chemical reaction side of love,joy etc. I don’t necessarily go along with the purely materialistic explanation for the universe, so one of the mysteries that science has yet to answer is how physical objects give rise to consciousness, emotions and such. Christianity has an explanation of a sorts for this, but just because you can explain something doesn’t mean that the explanation is correct.

          • GPS Daddy

            >>I think there is purpose in life
            >> but Atheists give themselves a purpose
            >>I don’t necessarily go along with the purely materialistic explanation for the universe

            Is the physical universe real?

          • Stephen Cooke

            The universe is real.

          • GPS Daddy

            Ok, Stephen you did not answer my question. Maybe you mean the same thing but we need to fully clarify it.

            Is the physical universe real? Do atoms really exist?

            My next question is: Is the non-physical spiritual world real? Note the non-physical.

          • Stephen Cooke

            The physical universe is real. Atoms exist. The non-physical world is real, in the sense that I experience emotions, peace, consciousness, but I’m not sure what spiritual means, so I can’t say whether a spiritual world exists. There is something about the physical universe, that causes parts of the physical universe to manifest consciousness. Scientists can’t explain this at the moment.

          • GPS Daddy

            Well, Stephen, lets back the horse up. You claim you believe that the “non-physical world is real” but then say that “one of the mysteries that science has yet to answer is how physical objects give rise to consciousness, emotions and such”. Science can ONLY give us insight into the physical realm. Thats ALL it can do. So if consciousness has a non-physical part to it how can science detect it? If your waiting for a scientific answer to these things then your waiting for a materialistic answer.

          • Stephen Cooke

            When I say the non-physical world is real, I am referring to the experiences we have. The explanation for them could well be that matter has properties that we haven’t thus far discovered. Science might have to have a paradigm shift in order to discover how matter gives rise to the experiences we have. I was’t saying that there is some ethereal material that produces consciousness.

          • GPS Daddy

            Do you not know, Stepehen, that all of these things have a physical presence in your brain? Are you trying to tell me that emotions, peace, consciousness have an existence that is not physical in nature?

          • GLT

            Stephen Cooke,

            “It’s just Christians get there purpose from the Bible, but Atheists give themselves a purpose.”

            Atheists give themselves purpose? Really ? Upon what do they base their ‘purposes? What is the source?

          • Stephen Cooke

            The source is themselves.

          • John Connor

            One can still believe in the evolutionary process and still have purpose in life. My purpose in life is to care and provide for my family and provide high quality care to my patients. The fact that I no longer believe in an afterlife has nothing to do with having purpose in life.

          • GPS Daddy

            >>One can still believe in the evolutionary process and still have purpose in life

            The cornerstone of atheism… irrational thinking.

          • John Connor

            Irrational thinking = supernatural being

          • GLT

            John Connor,

            “Irrational thinking = supernatural being”

            Really? Why would that be? Would you argue it is rational to believe everything came from nothing as a result of nothing exploding? Please, I would like to see a rational defense of that proposal.

          • swordfish

            There is no “evidence” for God that does not first assume God to be true.

          • GPS Daddy

            That’s totally not true, swordfish. There is design in life. Life exhibits design. This is evidence for a designer. The fine tuning of the universe. Consciousness is another example. Consciousness shows us were are more than just a physical being. Just because you dismiss these a wave of your hand does not mean they are less credible evidence.

          • GLT

            Stephen Cooke,

            “my current world view is that Darwinian evolution is the best explanation for what I see in nature.”

            Yet nature does not show you descent from a single common ancestor, it shows you equines remaining equines, canines remaining canines, etc., etc. Nature never shows A turning into B. Never. Descent from a single common ancestor should also show you a relationship between homology and genomes but it does not.

            As such, the question must be asked. If you see Darwinian evolution as the best explanation for what you see in nature, what are you looking at?

          • Stephen Cooke

            As evolution happens over a long period of time, it is true you will never see macro evolution happen. If this is the case, then why would you expect to see A turning into B in your life time? Speciation is a slow process. Evolution never says that one animal species will give birth to another species. It is a slow process.Gradual change, usually by the separation of two colonies of the same species.

            “As such, the question must be asked. If you see Darwinian evolution as the best explanation for what you see in nature, what are you looking at?”

            You have to look at the fossil record, and examine the DNA to construct the tree of life.

            Could you explain what you mean by “descent from a single common ancestor should show a relationship between homology and genomes”. We don’t fully understand how DNA expresses itself in living things, let alone in all things that have ever lived.

          • Acroevolution should be happening in the experiments with e. coli at Michigan State University. There have been enough generations for it to have shown up. But it hasn’t.

          • Stephen Cooke

            Why would it have happened by now? How do you know how long it would take macro-evolution to occur? How many generations does it take for macro-evolution to occur?

          • GLT

            Stephen Cooke,

            “How many generations does it take for macro-evolution to occur?”

            Based on the vast array of life we see today, if it hasn’t occurred by now it never will occur.

          • Stephen Cooke

            This doesn’t answer the question I was asking, as it didn’t include the context of the discussion I was having.

          • GLT

            As of October 2017 Lenski’s ongoing work with bacteria has produced 68,000 generations of bacteria and to this point has produced nothing but more bacteria. I think the results speak for themselves.

          • Stephen Cooke

            Was that Lenski’s conclusion or yours? Can you tell me where I can find Lenski’s paper, so that I can read it for myself.

          • GLT

            Stephen Cooke,

            If you google Lenski and bacteria it should get you there.

          • It’s a pretty easy math problem. How many years since the first plants appeared? The first mammals appeared? The first primates? How many years is the average generation? How many species have supposedly evolved in that number of generations?

            I don’t have the numbers on hand and I can’t take time to track them down right now, but if you do the research you’ll find that Lenski’s experiment at MSU has run long enough to outnumber the expected number of generations by far.

          • Stephen Cooke

            Is that what Lenski concluded, or is that your understanding of Lenski’s results. Where can I find Lenski’s paper?

          • swordfish

            Does this answer mean that you don’t accept evolution?

          • GLT

            Stephen Cooke,

            “Evolution never says that one animal species will give birth to another species. It is a slow process.Gradual change, usually by the separation of two colonies of the same species.”

            That is exactly what evolution says, Stephen. It also claims it has happened hundreds of millions of times. The rate at which it happens has absolutely no bearing on the fact that that is what evolutionary theory teaches. Evolution also teaches you and a pine cone are related. That is the logical result of the claim all life descended from a single common ancestor. A single common ancestor results in all living organisms being ultimately related. Apply a little logic and critical thought and do not simply accept the rhetoric and this will become obvious.

            “You have to look at the fossil record, and examine the DNA to construct the tree of life.”

            That is my point, it does not line up. There is not a single tree, it is more akin to an orchard.

            “Could you explain what you mean by “descent from a single common ancestor should show a relationship between homology and genomes”.”

            If all life on Earth is descended from a single common ancestor animals with similar homology should display a similar genetic make up.

          • Stephen Cooke

            Can you give me an example?

          • GPS Daddy

            What is religion?

          • Stephen Cooke

            What do you think a religion is?

          • John Flaherty

            I think that will be remarkably difficult. One may recognize that the Second Law of Thermodynamics–a well recognized scientific law–implies that the universe had to begin at some definable time in the past. If not, we would not expect to see the Doppler shift in starlight from stars moving away from us. If the universe might be expanding, it logically had to begin to expand from some location at some time. …Thus the Big Bang Theory came to exist.

          • GPS Daddy

            Well said. Atheists tend to rail against the big band theory because it forces a beginning. This syncs very well with Gen 1:1. I’m not trying to reason intellectually with John. That has proven a futile effort. But I hold out hope that some comment may break through that iron cast heart. In the mean time if John wants to throw school yard jabs back and forth then so be it. I will remind him of how atheism views him and how God views him.

          • John Flaherty

            I think you’ve just proven the author’s point, Mr. Connor. In order to “believe” scientific theories, one must first “believe” that such theories may be properly reconciled with the scientific method. Such a belief requires believing that Man may accurately observe the universe surrounding him. THAT, in itself, requires a belief in Man, or the capability of Man. Such a belief, itself, constitutes a form of religion.

            Perhaps not organized, which gives atheists, secularists, rationalists, and the like the “out” they need to sustain their professed unbelief. Such means causes a someone like myself, a firm believer in Christ who also holds a degree in atmospheric science, to be very skeptical about precisely how “rational” you can really claim to be.

          • swordfish

            “Such a belief requires believing that Man may accurately observe the universe surrounding him. THAT, in itself, requires a belief in Man, or the capability of Man. Such a belief, itself, constitutes a form of religion.”

            Science doesn’t depend on our view of the universe being accurate, only that we have a view. I don’t see how that simple fact can be interpreted as a form of religion. Try looking up the definition of religion in a dictionary.

            As for accusing atheists of being less rational, I’m not sure I’d make such a claim if I believed that a person existed who could walk on water.

          • GLT

            John Connor,

            If it is a scientific position demonstrate it scientifically. At the very least you should be able to provide references which would provide scientific support.

          • Actually, John, that’s not a scientific position at all. There’s no scientific way, not even in principle, to show the universe has always existed. It’s literally out of the reach of science to say that, and to assert that science can say it is to show that you’re out of touch with what is known about the competencies and limits of science.

            What scientists might be able to do is say that there’s no way science can prove the universe isn’t eternal. But that’s a negative: “We can’t prove it’s impossible, using science.” That’s a long way from showing there’s any scientific reason to believe it’s true.

          • swordfish

            “There’s no scientific way, not even in principle, to show the universe has always existed.”

            What is your reason for making this claim?

          • Science has no way in principle to reach back to infinitely early history.

          • swordfish

            Have you not heard of extrapolation?

          • GLT

            swordfish,

            “Have you not heard of extrapolation?”

            Otherwise known as an educated guess. Hardly scientific in the real sense of the term.

          • Yes, I have, thank you. Have you not heard of its theoretical and epistemological limits?

          • swordfish

            Please explain how you think this is relevant.

          • swordfish

            We don’t know what happened (if anything) before the big bang, so we don’t know if time was infinite in the past. All we know is that the universe exists, but even if it were true that time (and everything else) had a beginning, that isn’t evidence that it was created by a god.

            Why could it not just be self-contained?

          • GPS Daddy

            >>that isn’t evidence that it was created by a god

            One dimensional thinking again.

        • John Connor

          It’s their universal fall back for what they can’t explain.

          • GPS Daddy

            Ah, I see the one who worships dirt showed up.

          • John Connor

            Lol!

          • GPS Daddy

            Yes, that is part of your worship.

          • John Connor

            Nonsensical at best.

          • GPS Daddy

            Dirt worship is nonsensical. Your making progress.

          • John Connor

            Keep trying.

          • That’s an interesting answer, John, when the swordfish just spoke about what he couldn’t explain.

        • GLT

          swordfish,

          “It isn’t known if the universe has ever not existed, so your question isn’t necessarily meaningful, but I’d say: I don’t know, but that doesn’t mean God did it.”

          Yes, it is known the universe began to exist. If the universe was eternal it would have reached heat death an eternity ago.

          As the only options are an eternal universe or a universe which was caused; and as the eternal universe option is impossible; you are left with a universe which had a beginning. And as it follows that all things which begin to exist must have cause, the universe, which began to exist, must have a cause. Admitting to this fact, but maintaining a position that the cause is not necessarily God is an argument based on a complete lack of objectivity and is nonsensical, to say the least.

          If the only options for the existence of the universe is its eternal nature, which is impossible, or it being the result of creation, how can any rational, objective person still maintain it did not come about via the actions of an omnipotent being?

          • Stephen Cooke

            “Admitting to this fact, but maintaining a position that the cause is not necessarily God is an argument based on a complete lack of objectivity and is nonsensical”

            It’s an argument based on lack of information, not based on complete lack of objectivity. As a person without faith, I do not have enough evidence to say there is a God, which leaves open the possibility that there could be other explanations for the existence of this particular universe. Science, at the moment is trying to answer questions of this very nature. Who knows perhaps if there is a God he might reveal himself to me, but I’ve been around churches for a long time, and I haven’t found him there.

          • GLT

            Stephen Cooke,

            “As a person without faith, I do not have enough evidence to say there is a God,…”

            First, there is no such being as a person without faith. You will put your faith in something. It sounds as if you put your faith in science in the hope it will find answers to your questions.

            Second. You claim you do not have enough evidence to say there is a God, which logically leads one to the conclusion that you at present believe you have enough evidence to believe there is not a God. What is the evidence which leads you to conclude there is no God and what evidence would be required to convince you God does exist?

            “but I’ve been around churches for a long time, and I haven’t found him there.”

            Are you looking for God when you attend church or are you looking at the people and expecting to find God through them? Try seeking God on his own apart from people, you might have better success.

          • Stephen Cooke

            Firstly, I think you no what I mean when a say a person of faith and I do put my faith in science, as it seems to me to be the only credible option.

            Secondly, the statements that I do not have enough evidence to say there is a God, does not logically lead to the conclusion that I have enough evidence to believe there is not a God. As far as I can tell there is no evidence pointing towards the existence of a God.

            As for evidence that could prove the existence of a God, I would accept seeing the limbs growing back on amputees.

          • GPS Daddy

            What we observe in life is this:

            Life always comes from life. always
            Intelligence always comes from intelligence. Always.
            Personhood always comes from personahood. Always.

            Purpose is always backed by either intention or design. Intention and design always comes from intelligence.

            All of these are properly found in God. None of these are properly found in purposeless and meaningless “process”. This is basic life 101.

          • Stephen Cooke

            “As for putting your faith in science you do realise that simply means putting your faith in man to answer the basic questions of life, do you not?”

            If I don’t have any evidence that God exists, and science has been quite successful at finding out how the world works, then why should I not trust science to answer the deeper questions of life? That seems logical to me.

            “lack of evidence, for that is truly illogical as lack of evidence of existence is not evidence of nonexistence.”

            I am an agnostic atheist, so I don’t believe in the existence of God. I’m not saying there is no God, just that I don’t believe in his existence. Why is it illogical? Why should I believe in someone existing, when there is no evidence for them existing?

            “Do you believe science can explain why you love someone, why you find certain things funny and other things sad? Why you find some paintings beautiful and other paintings ugly. Do you believe science can explain itself?”

            Science can’t answer these things at the moment, but someday it might very well do.

            “What is the evidence supporting your claim there is no evidence?”

            One bit of evidence supporting the claim that I don’t see any evidence pointing towards the existence of God, is that I would recognise it is evidence.

          • GPS Daddy

            First, Stephen, you replied to the wrong post.

            But,

            >>is that I would recognise it is evidence

            Yea, right. The evidence is slapping you in the face and you cannot see it.

          • Stephen Cooke

            Are you saying that I can choose whether something is evidence for either the existence of God or the non-existence of God. That doesn’t seem logical.

          • GPS Daddy

            You like putting words in my mouth. No, I am not. I am saying that you ignore the evidence that is all around you.

          • GPS Daddy

            >>I am an agnostic atheist

            Translation: I stand on atheism when it server me and agnosticism when it servers me. That way I can avoid responsibility.

          • Stephen Cooke

            No, I’m an atheist in that I don’t believe in the existence of God (the keyword is believe) and I am an agnostic in that I don’t know whether there is a God. Atheism and Agnosticism are not mutually exclusive.

          • GPS Daddy

            Just like others have pointed out to you. This is just nonsense.

          • GLT

            Stephen Cooke,

            “Firstly, I think you no what I mean when a say a person of faith and I do put my faith in science, as it seems to me to be the only credible option.”

            I was simply pointing out you do practice faith, a point you have now confirmed.

            As for putting your faith in science you do realise that simply means putting your faith in man to answer the basic questions of life, do you not?

            Do you believe science can provide the answers as to why something exists instead of nothing? Do you believe science can explain why you love someone, why you find certain things funny and other things sad? Why you find some paintings beautiful and other paintings ugly. Do you believe science can explain itself?

            Science is simply a tool, it is not a fount of hidden knowledge. It is a gift to man given by God to allow him to explore God’s creation and draw closer to him. Look at the founders of modern science as an example; Newton, Farady, Kepler, Copernicus, Galileo, Mendel, etc., etc. They were all Christians doing what Kepler referred to as ‘thinking God’s thoughts after him’.

            “Secondly, the statements that I do not have enough evidence to say there is a God, does not logically lead to the conclusion that I have enough evidence to believe there is not a God.”

            Then why do you believe there is no God? Have you arrived at that conclusion with no evidence to support your claim? I hope you have not based your conclusion solely on what you see as a lack of evidence, for that is truly illogical as lack of evidence of existence is not evidence of nonexistence. There was no evidence Pluto existed until 1930, but it was there nonetheless. Many scientists speak of the multiverse as if it existed and there is absolutely no evidence to support that idea.

            God, on the other hand has provided an absolute abundance of evidence attesting to his existence but you choose to attribute it to nature instead of to the one who is the creator of nature. Does that sound logical to you?

            “As far as I can tell there is no evidence pointing towards the existence of a God.”

            As far as you can tell? What is the evidence supporting your claim there is no evidence?

            “I would accept seeing the limbs growing back on amputees.”

            No, you wouldn’t, because some scientist would roll out a ‘naturalistic’ explanation which you would immediately grab onto as THE explanation which would allow you to continue in your denial. If you will not accept the vast array and complexity of life which surrounds you constantly as evidence for God’s existence, you will certainly not accept an amputee’s limb growing back. Restoring a limb is child’s play compared to the origin and variety and complexity of life upon which you look daily and continue to deny God existence, believing it simply arose spontaneously from nothing.

          • swordfish

            “Yes, it is known the universe began to exist. If the universe was eternal it would have reached heat death an eternity ago.”

            You’re assuming that our universe is everything which has ever existed, but that may not be the case. It may be just part of a multiverse which has ‘always’ existed, or it may have existed in a different form previously.

            “As the only options are an eternal universe or a universe which was caused […]”

            This is a false dillema. There may very well be other options which you haven’t considered, some of which I mentioned above.

            “all things which begin to exist must have cause”

            Nothing inside the universe ‘begins to exist’, as everything is simple existing matter and energy rearranged.

            “If the only options for the existence of the universe is its eternal nature, which is impossible, or it being the result of creation, how can any rational, objective person still maintain it did not come about via the actions of an omnipotent being?”

            Pretty easily actually. Even assuming that your ideas about the universe being created are correct, how do you know the thing resonsible isn’t a “abstract creation field”? Assuming it’s some sort of “being” makes no sense at all.

          • Michael

            Sir, I am no expert, but it seems to me that every answer you make relies upon suppositions that are unproven, potentially unprovable, and/or question begging. When faced with the improbability of it all you simply expand the statistical base (without proof). You seem content with explanations that avoid the actual question(s): Why is there something rather than nothing? and How did something come from nothing? Saying that things have always existed simply avoids the question “How”? Your problem is to demonstrate that no Creator is needed, and you completely avoid that issue in every answer. The article, therefore, very correctly points out that the mind – devoid of such sophistry – is immediately aware that the underpinnings of such a place as we occupy is something vastly different in kind and power than the things we immediately perceive. We thus perceive in the things themselves the hand of He who created them.

          • swordfish

            “Sir, I am no expert, but it seems to me that every answer you make relies upon suppositions that are unproven, potentially unprovable, and/or question begging.”

            Yes, it’s called being honest. If something isn’t known, I say so. In any case, the claim that the universe was created by God is also unproven and reliant on (false) suppositions and/or question begging.

            “When faced with the improbability of it all you simply expand the statistical base (without proof).”

            According to the best available scientific estimates, our universe is most likely to be flat, meaning that it’s infinite in size.

            “You seem content with explanations that avoid the actual question(s):”

            “Why is there something rather than nothing?”

            That wasn’t a question in the article, but I’d say IMHO the answer is because nothing would be an infinitely finely-tuned state which couldn’t exist. I could also answer by saying I DON’T KNOW.

            “How did something come from nothing?”

            Prove that something came from nothing, then I might start thinking up an answer.

            “Saying that things have always existed simply avoids the question ‘How’?”

            So what? If the universe has always existed, the question becomes meaningless.

            “Your problem is to demonstrate that no Creator is needed, and you completely avoid that issue in every answer.”

            I don’t have to demonstrate any such thing. Assuming that God exists isn’t the default position. That said, the idea that the universe might always have existed in one form or another, or might simply be self-contained does “demonstrate that no Creator is needed”, so I don’t see how I can be “avoiding the issue”?

            “The article, therefore, very correctly points out that the mind – devoid of such sophistry – is immediately aware that the underpinnings of such a place as we occupy is something vastly different in kind and power than the things we immediately perceive. We thus perceive in the things themselves the hand of He who created them.”

            You might, I don’t. The mind is also immediately aware that the Earth is flat and the Sun goes around the Earth, but luckily we’ve got science available to us to work out that many of the things we think we percieve are illusions.

          • Michael

            Well, wow, as I said, sophistry. Flailing sophistry. And this gibberish is the tip of the iceberg for your problems. Consider human beings: they long for meaning, purpose. Your gymnastics here is all in aid of the proposition that, get this, your life, my life, is devoid of meaning. Ours, on the other hand, is the position of revealed religion, wherein the only religious “leader” who was prophesied some 300 times in preparation for His incarnation in human flesh, founded a Church on the premise that God would give Himself over to death for you, Mr swordfish, even if you were the only one needing redemption, and even though you reject it. No matter what you’ve done, what you look like, whatever flaws failings and foibles you possess, your life has this value: that the God who made everything died to save JUST YOU! You have infinite value.
            So it’s astonishing to me that, given that your arguments are obvious horse hooey, you work so diligently to defend them with the object being to convince others that their lives are as meaningless and empty as yours. I wish I could say good luck. How about this, I will say a prayer for you.

          • swordfish

            You can say a prayer if you want, but prayers don’t work. And my life is full of meaning, thank you very much.

          • GLT

            swordfish,

            “but prayers don’t work.”

            And you know this how?

          • swordfish

            Because there isn’t a disproportionate number of Christians winning the lottery 🙂

          • GLT

            You might have a point there. 🙂

            However, do you have a serious argument to make when you claim prayers don’t work?

          • swordfish

            There have been several studies done on prayer, which couldn’t find any effect. They got Christian prayer groups to pray for people who underwent major surgery. In fact, the people who were being prayed for actually had a slightly lower survival rate.

          • GLT

            swordfish,

            “There have been several studies done on prayer,…”

            Have you actually thought this argument through critically? I don’t think so because if you had you would see the horrendous flaws immediately.

            How would you control the study? Are people going to not pray for a sick friend or relative because they are included in a study looking at the effectiveness of prayer and they’re friend or relative is on the list of participants who are to be without prayer? Is God going to jump through your hoops and deny his sovereignty because you want to study whether prayer is effective? How do you determine whether a prayer has been answered? Has it only been answered if you get the answer you want? Remember, no is an answer, so if someone dies despite many people praying for his recovery that does not mean the prayer was not answered, it only means it was not answered the way you expected and wanted. Sometimes people are so sick and aged their friends and family pray for an end to their suffering. If that happens is that not an answer to prayer?

            These are just a few of the problems with the so-called studies on the effectiveness of prayer. There could not be a study more fraught with problems and as meaningless as these studies. God does not allow his sovereignty to be usurped so science can determine whether or not prayers offered to him are deemed to be effective or not. God does not hop into a test tube to satisfy your desires. Sorry.

          • swordfish

            So God would allow people to die just to stop science proving that prayer works? Just when I think I’ve heard it all, along comes an even more ridiculous claim.

            Incidentally, my lottery argument was serious.

          • GLT

            swordfish,

            “So God would allow people to die just to stop science proving that prayer works?”

            No, God does not allow people to die just to stop science proving prayer works. God is sovereign, he is not a puppet who responds to our whims and fancies. He does not act capriciously or out of malice. He is not under our control, he does not play our little games. He does not jump into a test tube to let man test him. As the sovereign God he decides when we die and he does so without regard to some clown in a lab coat who thinks he can make God set aside his sovereignty to do his bidding.

            “Incidentally, my lottery argument was serious.”

            That’s really too bad.

          • swordfish

            “No, God does not allow people to die just to stop science proving prayer works.”

            So if researchers are studying the results of particular prayers, God *doesn’t* answer those prayers to avoid being tested, or *does* answer those prayers to assert His sovereignty?

          • That is quite clearly a false dichotomy, as should be clear from what GLT has said, and from any careful consideration of what you’ve been talking about.

            Are atheists rational? That was part of the question being asked in the original post. Your responses are rife with fallacies, including this one just identified. Do you see that?

          • swordfish

            How is answering prayers or not a false dichotomy? Is there a third option? I’m just trying to establish whether GLT thinks the effect of prayer should be detectable or not. There’s nothing magical about the word ‘science’, it’s just a method of finding out how the world works. If prayer works, it should be possible to detect that using the scientific method.

            As for atheists being rational or not, if atheists were all totally irrational, it wouldn’t provide an atom of evidence that God exists.

          • GLT

            swordfish,

            “If prayer works, it should be possible to detect that using the scientific method.”

            Why should the effectiveness of prayer be detectable by using the scientific method? Not everything is subject to testing using the scientific method. Is humour detectable by using the scientific method? Why do so many think Seinfeld is the greatest comedy ever and I think it was a complete waste of air time? Can the scientific method answer that for you? How about beauty? How about the effectiveness of the scientific method itself, is that detectable via the scientific method? The scientific method is not all it is built it up to be. There is much more to life and the acquisition of knowledge and understanding than what is subjectable to the scientific method.

            Maybe you should start by defining what you mean when you ask the question ‘does prayer works’? Does prayer ‘work’ only if God gives you the answer you are looking for? Who are you to presume you know better than God what his response to prayer should be?

            What has been made painfully obvious during the course of this discussion is that you understand very little about the nature and purpose of prayer and very little about the nature of God and his sovereignty.

          • Change the wording like that and poof! all appearance of fallacy disappears. But the original wording was still a false dichotomy.

            The scientific method for these studies restores controls that are impossible to attain. If you understand the issues you can see that.

          • swordfish

            It isn’t a false dichotomy to point out that someone appears to be arguing both for and against something at the same time.

            The study I read about did have controls.

          • GLT

            swordfish,

            Perhaps I need to be clearer so you can understand. God does not care about research into the ‘effectiveness’ of prayer. That sort of goes along with being sovereign. God will do his will without any concern as to whether he is upsetting someone’s experiment.

          • swordfish

            I understand you position now. It was unclear earlier because your – “He does not jump into a test tube to let man test him” – strongly implies that he would somehow avoid being tested.

            I wonder if this research had found that prayer worked, if you’d still dispute it? I suspect not.

          • GLT

            swordfish,

            “I wonder if this research had found that prayer worked, if you’d still dispute it? I suspect not.”

            Your suspicions are wrong. I think you fail to grasp the fact not everyone puts their faith in the scientific method as wholeheartedly as do you. Science has its purposes but experiencing and understanding the love of God is not among them. That is far, far beyond the purview of the scientific method

          • swordfish

            You seem to be claiming that prayer works but in a way which is undetectable to science, but all science does is to look at the evidence, so that’s like saying there isn’t any evidence that prayer works.

          • GLT

            swordfish,

            “You seem to be claiming that prayer works but in a way which is undetectable to science, but all science does is to look at the evidence, so that’s like saying there isn’t any evidence that prayer works.”

            Critical thinking is not your forte’, is it.

            Yes, I am saying the effectiveness of prayer and many other things are not detectable or measurable by science. I’m glad that has finally sunk in.

            However, you obviously missed the content of the argument completely. Because something is undetectable or cannot be measured by the scientific method does not mean that thing does not exist. I gave you the examples of humour and beauty. Both things which I am sure you would agree exist. How are they detectable and measurable by science? Why do some like the music of Beethoven but not Brahms? Why do some laugh at Seinfeld and others yawn with boredom? These are things which science cannot measure. In fact science cannot investigate itself.

          • swordfish

            “Because something is undetectable or cannot be measured by the scientific method does not mean that thing does not exist. […] Critical thinking is not your forte, is it.”

            You’re suggesting that the effect of praying for people to survive operations is undetectable because it’s (somehow) the same as humour and beauty, yet I’m the one who’s no good at critical thinking? Doh!

          • GLT

            swordfish,

            “You’re suggesting that the effect of praying for people to survive operations is undetectable because it’s (somehow) the same as humour and beauty, yet I’m the one who’s no good at critical thinking? Doh!”

            Yeah, I am. And I must thank you for demonstrating that fact once again with this latest statement.

            Think it through. God is sovereign, therefore, whatever he does is correct and is good. We may prayer for someone to survive an illness and God can choose to say no to that request. Because he is sovereign his choice is correct and it is good. It is the fact we are not sovereign that we cannot understand why God would allow someone to die and see that has correct and good. It is that very element which puts prayer in the same realm as beauty and humour. They are simply areas that are outside the realm of science to quantify and measure.

            So, yeah, you are the one who is not good at critical thinking.

          • GLT

            swordfish,

            “It may be just part of a multiverse which has ‘always’ existed, or it may have existed in a different form previously.”

            And it may be made out of Lego. Your arguments carry no more weight. In fact they carry less weight as I can demonstrate the existence of Lego whereas the multiverse only exists within your imagination.

            “This is a false dillema. There may very well be other options which you haven’t considered, some of which I mentioned above.”

            You’re right, it could be just a computer simulation. It is a false dilemma only if you can come up with a rational and logical alternative. Flights of fancy are not sufficient.

            “Nothing inside the universe ‘begins to exist’, as everything is simple existing matter and energy rearranged.”

            Did you not begin to exist? Perhaps you can explain how you and everyone else on Earth are nothing more than rearranged energy and matter?

            “Pretty easily actually. Even assuming that your ideas about the universe being created are correct, how do you know the thing resonsible isn’t a “abstract creation field”?”

            I think you must have missed the words rational and objective in my comment. Want to try again?

            “Assuming it’s some sort of “being” makes no sense at all.”

            Really? Why not?

          • swordfish

            “the multiverse only exists within your imagination.”

            You should do some more research.

            “it could be just a computer simulation. It is a false dilemma only if you can come up with a rational and logical alternative. Flights of fancy are not sufficient.”

            God is a flight of fancy. The universe actually *could* be a Matrix-style computer simulation, although it would be extremely unlikely IMHO.

            “Perhaps you can explain how you and everyone else on Earth are nothing more than rearranged energy and matter?”

            It’s a basic fact of nature, consistent with the first law of thermodynamics. Most of the atoms in our bodies came from supernovae explosions billions of years ago.

            [Assuming it’s some sort of “being” makes no sense at all.]

            “Really? Why not?”

            The universe was created by a being with moral values and a son?

          • GLT

            swordfish,

            “You should do some more research.”

            Are you serious? You’re the one proposing a multiverse and I need to do more research? That’s hilarious.

            In case you were not aware the multiverse exists only in science fiction and the wishful thinking of atheists. There is not one shred of evidence to support the concept. Nothing, zip, nada.

            “God is a flight of fancy.”

            This coming from someone who believes in the multiverse. That is the very definition of a flight of fancy.

            “It’s a basic fact of nature, consistent with the first law of thermodynamics.”

            Really? So perhaps you would like to explain what configuration of energy and matter you took before you were conceived?

            “The universe was created by a being with moral values and a son?”

            As incredible as that sounds to you, that would appear to be the case. Unless of course, you would like to take another shot at providing a rational and cogent alternative explanation.

          • Okay, the multiverse exists in more than just your imagination. It also exists in some scientists’ untestable theoretical frameworks.

            And yes, I’ve done my research.

            Multiverse theory is consistent with the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum physics, but the Copenhagen interpretation isn’t the only one that’s consistent with observations and theory. That makes it a not-impossible view (as far as we know) provided that the Copenhagen interpretation isn’t wrong.

            So the multiverse is not physically impossible as far as physics can tell, but there’s no positive evidence for it, and most physicists seem to think there never could be, even in principle. There certainly isn’t any test for it now or in the foreseeable future.

            So you ought to at least use due caution in supposing the multiverse explains the world in which we live.

            And you ought to do research yourself on how it is that it’s gained as much traction as it has. Have you read the Discover article I linked to on that yet? (Actually he link is t9 some comments of mine, but you really ought to follow the link from there to the original source.)

            Discover is not a bastion of pro-theistic bias. But there’s one principal reason scientists propose a multiverse, according to that article, and other sources besides. It’s a way of explaining reality without God. Note the quote from non-theistic physicist Bernard Carr near the end: “If you don’t want God, you’d better have a multiverse.”

            He speaks for many. Their reason for favoring multiverse theory isn’t scientific, it’s based on their (a)theological preferences.

          • swordfish

            “It explains that there’s one principal reason scientists propose a multiverse and hope they can demonstrate its reality: it’s a way of explaining our observed universe without God”

            “Their reason for favoring multiverse theory isn’t scientific, it’s based on their (a)theological preferences.”

            Scientists aren’t trying to disprove God. It’s just that every time it’s been claimed that god (or God) is the explanation to a question about the world, it’s turned out to be the wrong explanation. Imagine if we’d have stopped investigating the world when it was claimed that god was responsible for trees, the weather, or tides?

        • If you don’t know the answer to questions like this, then you’re running ahead of yourself to assert so confidently that the universe is completely consistent with naturalistic explanations. (Besides the other good answer others have given here.)

          • swordfish

            For a start, It isn’t that “I don’t know”, it’s that it isn’t known to science, nor is it knwn to you either. Secondly. just because some things aren’t known doesn’t mean that what is known isn’t consistent with a naturalistic explanation.

    • GPS Daddy

      >>because the universe is completely consistent with a naturalistic explanation

      Be honest, swordfish. You MUST make huge assumptions to make this statement. What this leads you too is:

      Life comes from non-life.
      Intelligence comes from non-intelligence.
      Personhood comes from non-personhood.

      We NEVER see this in life, EVER. But your assumptions you make force you into accepting these. And this is just the tip of the iceberg in regards to what atheism brings to the table… none of which is good.

      I’m glad to see your reading the bible. Don’t just look to new atheists to answer questions. Look to GOOD Christian resources. Some that I suggest are Dr. William Lane Craig. Others are: Drawin’s God Blog Spot, Evolution News; CrossExamined(dot)org; coldcasechristianity(dot)com; etc…

      Noticed that I pointed you to sites that take an old-earth view.

      Also, start trying to think spiritually. The one dimension thinking of atheists will lead you down the wrong path every time. Its also important that you make personal contact with someone who will answer questions.

      You have an enemy of your soul, swordfish. No man is that enemy. Your in a spiritual battle. Fight like it.

    • If you want to tell us the universe is completely consistent with a naturalistic explanation, it would help if you’d respond to the reasons I wrote in the article for doubting that could be true. Bald assertions aren’t very persuasive, especially in answer to actual reasons.

      • Ken Abbott

        Bald assertions are swordfish’s stock in trade.

        • swordfish

          Really? I provide evidence or reasons for most of my claims, within the limitation of being unable to add links to external sources.

          • GLT

            swordfish,

            “I provide evidence or reasons for most of my claims,…”

            Really? I have yet to notice any. What is your evidence for the existence of the multiverse?

          • swordfish

            “Really? I have yet to notice any.”

            Try reading them again.

            I didn’t claim the multiverse exists, only that it might. One piece of evidence would be apparent fine-tuning!

          • GLT

            swordfish,

            “Try reading them again.”

            Still nothing.

            “If God had finely-tuned the universe for life, it would look very different indeed.”

            This claim is based on what?

          • swordfish

            “Still nothing.”

            Then I can’t help you.

            [If God had finely-tuned the universe for life, it would look very different indeed.]

            “This claim is based on what?”

            It’s sean Carrol’s claim, not mine, so I can’t be sure exactly what reason he was using. Having said that, I agree with the claim, and I would say that I would expect a universe fine-tuned for life to have more than one inhabited planet in a universe more than 90 billion light years across, and for space not to be filled with deadly high vacuum, cosmic radiation, unshielded nuclear fusion reactors, and black holes.

            Even the Earth is 70% covered in undrinkable water, has an average temperature too low for us to survive without clothes, is dark half the time, and is full of poisonous plants, predatory animals, diseases, and dangerous weather like hurricanes and tornados.

          • GLT

            “Then I can’t help you.”

            I know you can’t. I was once where you are so I know the game. Atheists function on rhetoric and when pressed to defend their position they simply cannot do so.

            “It’s sean Carrol’s claim, not mine, so I can’t be sure exactly what reason he was using. Having said that, I agree with the claim,…”

            Thank you for confirming my statement, atheists simply function on rhetoric. Why repeat the claims of others when you freely admit you do not understand the reasoning behind the statement? Do you really not see the palpable nonsense of that process?

            “I would expect a universe fine-tuned for life to have more than one inhabited planet in a universe more than 90 billion light years across,…”

            What you would expect is irrelevant. On what basis do you presume to know better than God how he should construct his creation?

            “Even the Earth is 70% covered in undrinkable water, has an average temperature too low for us to survive without clothes, is dark half the time, and is full of poisonous plants, predatory animals, diseases, and dangerous weather like hurricanes and tornados.”

            And yet here we are 7 billion+ strong. If atheists understood Christian theology as much as they pretend they do, they would understand we do not live in a perfect world. It was created perfect but we missed it up and it is now dying a slow death.

          • swordfish

            “Atheists function on rhetoric and when pressed to defend their position they simply cannot do so.”

            Yawn. We don’t need to defend our position at all! It’s up to theists to provide evidence for God, which they can’t do. You are no exception.

            “Why repeat the claims of others when you freely admit you do not understand the reasoning behind the statement? Do you really not see the palpable nonsense of that process?”

            Doh. You can agree with someone’s conclusion without knowing how they arrived at that conclusion. I provided the reason why I agreed with it in the very next paragraph.

            “What you would expect is irrelevant. On what basis do you presume to know better than God how he should construct his creation?”

            Because I would expect God to create things in such a way that they aren’t totally the same as if He hadn’t created them.

            “If atheists understood Christian theology as much as they pretend they do, they would understand we do not live in a perfect world. It was created perfect but we missed it up and it is now dying a slow death.”

            We do know your fantasy about the world being ‘fallen’, but it isn’t true. Adam and Eve never existed. There have never been less than 10,000 humans, according to genetic research. There’s no evidence for a previous perfect state of the world, nor would such a thing even make sense.

          • GLT

            swordfish,

            “Yawn. We don’t need to defend our position at all! It’s up to theists to provide evidence for God, which they can’t do. You are no exception.”

            Chapter one, page one of the Atheist Debater Handbook; Avoidance Techniques: Always try to put the ball in the other guy’s court. Tell him he’s responsible to provide evidence because he is the one making the claim. If you do this right he will believe he is responsible for supporting his position while you are not. If you do not succeed in convincing him of this false premise you’re sunk because he will actually expect you to provide answers to support your beliefs and it will quickly become apparent that you do not have any.”

            that is where you find yourself, swordfish. Much to your dismay you really do need to defend your position. Not that I expect any defence beyond the usual rhetoric.

            “You can agree with someone’s conclusion without knowing how they arrived at that conclusion.”

            Of course you can. The only problem with that is that you freely admit you have no idea how he came to the conclusion he did and therefore you really don’t understand the full implications of what you’re agreeing with. In other words, you have no clue what the guy is talking about, it just happens his opinion fits in with your preconceptions. Not a very reasonable process.

            “Because I would expect God to create things in such a way that they aren’t totally the same as if He hadn’t created them.”

            You really think that is a good answer, don’t you? I am curious, how do you presume to tell God how to create and what to do with his creation? How do you know how the world would look if it hadn’t been created by God? As this is the only world you have any knowledge of you really can’t draw that conclusion based on any rational process. It would all be nothing more than pure conjecture.

            “There have never been less than 10,000 humans, according to genetic research.”

            You might want to think that one through as it does not make any sense at all, even from an evolutionary view.

      • swordfish

        Having read your article three times, it doesn’t seem like you put many reasons in.

        1. “From the tiniest cell to the hugest galaxy, all creation cries out “Glory!” and “Power!” to the One who made it.”

        This is pure assertion. You even say “It’s obvious!”. Also, *all* creation? Do cancer and smallpox cry out “Glory”?

        2. “The odds for that [Habitable universe] are really, really, really low.”

        There are many objections to this, some of which, like the multiverse hypothesis, you mention. There’s also the anthropic principle. You object to life ‘coming from non-life’, but that would apply equally to a god-created universe.

        Any claim that life is unlikely can be invalidated depending on how big the universe is. According to a 2011 study, it’s no less than 250 times bigger than the observable universe (the part we can see), which is itself more than 90 billion light years across, and may very well be infinite.

        3. “Because in being what they think rational, they destroy the possibility of rationality.”

        Again, this would equally apply if God had created the universe, but this kind of philosophical ‘problem’ is irrelevant. Atheism doesn’t neccessitate any particular philosophical position.

        • swordfish, no, those objections don’t apply to God. God isn’t life coming from non-life. Neither would his creating the world be that way. By saying what you have, you show that you don’t understand what you’re objecting to. Would you like to know more about it?

          Same with your statement on point 3. As for atheism necessitating any philosophical position, that’s true to a certain extent, but the overwhelming majority of atheists in the Western world support the materialistic naturaralism I was discussing here. If you do, Odom then this applies to an actual philosophical position that you hold.

          Your answer in point 2 just shows that you didn’t read the article I linked to.

          Please be willing to understand rather than to reject in ignorance! For your own sake, that is.

          • swordfish

            “God isn’t life coming from non-life. Neither would his creating the world be that way.”

            I suppose that depends on the specific religious beliefs you have. There’s somewhat of a gulf between Catholicism and Young Earth Creationism here, for instance. But if you accept the big bang, I assume you think there was no life in the universe initially, so it therefore developed later from non-living matter. This situation is the same if the universe is naturalistic or created by God.

            “the overwhelming majority of atheists in the Western world support the materialistic naturaralism I was discussing here.”

            In my experience, the majority of atheists today are simply people who have never had any religious beliefs. They certainly don’t hold to a particular materialist position, but even if that were true, there’s nothing self-refuting about materialism.

            “Your answer in point 2 just shows that you didn’t read the article I linked to.”

            Your article contains nine links, so I’m not sure which one you’re referring to. I see two links which you may be referring to:

            One argues that the multiverse isn’t a proper theory because it can explain everything, which isn’t true anyway, but could also be applied to God. This doesn’t refute my objections.

            The other basically explains how unlikely fine-tuning is. This is obvious, otherwise it wouldn’t be called fine tuning(!) but there are numerous possible explanations for fine-tuning, even if you reject the multiverse hypothesis. Here are four from Sean Carrol:

            1. We don’t really know that the universe is tuned specifically for life, since we don’t know the conditions under which life is possible.

            2. Fine-tuning for life would only potentially be relevant if we already accepted naturalism; God could create life under arbitrary physical conditions.

            3. Apparent fine-tuning may be explained by dynamical mechanisms or improved notions of probability.

            4. If God had finely-tuned the universe for life, it would look very different indeed.

            “Please be willing to understand rather than to reject in ignorance! For your own sake, that is.”

            I am willing to understand, that’s why I’ve changed from a Christian to an atheist.

          • GPS Daddy

            >>so it therefore developed later from non-living matter

            I thought you were reading the bible to find an answer to this question, swordfish? Did you lie to me?

          • swordfish

            I’m assuming that I’m arguing with the majority Christian view, which is that the Earth is billions of years old and life evolved, not with Genesis.

            As for reading the Bible, I’m not doing it to get answers to questions which are best answered by science.

          • GPS Daddy

            Ah, so you did lie to me. So much for atheistic honesty.

          • swordfish

            I said I was reading the Bible. That’s what I’m doing, so it wasn’t a lie.

          • GPS Daddy

            My bad, swordfish. I jumped to conclusion. I’m sorry.

          • There’s a lot here, swordfish, and the thread is getting old. I’ve answered all of those objections on my Thinking Christian blog. The one clarification I need to make is this: God’s creation of life would be biological life coming from non-biological life, but in a different sense God is alive, so in that sense it’s not life from non-life. I should have stated that more clearly.

            The link I wanted you to look at was the one titled “If You Don’t Want God…”

            The overwhelming majority of atheists who actually think about these things are naturalists/materialists. I’ll bracket those who don’t bother thinking.

            Sean Carroll is simply wrong. We do know that biological life requires chemical complexity, and the universe is fine-tuned for that. Change certain parameters by an infinitesimal amount, and nothing more complex than a hydrogen atom or an infinitely dense sphere can result.

            Point 2 is an argument for a God in which no one actually believes, so I don’t know why it would be interesting, besides the fact that it still leaves the materialist problem of fine-tuning a problem.

            Point 3 is nothing but flailing; it’s hoping for an unknown; it’s atheism of the gaps.

            Point 4 is an atheist’s theologizing, and therefore not to be taken seriously.

            But how about we call it a halt here? You’ll probably want to get one last word in, I’m sure, but I’m ready to move on to other conversations.

          • swordfish

            Yes, I will get one final point in. Sean Carrol is a physicist and knows a lot more about (so-called) fine -tuning than you do.

          • See you somewhere else someday.

  • Stephen Cooke

    “Suppose they’re right about that. They’re not, but just suppose for the moment. They still don’t get to claim the “Reason” brand. Why? Because in being what they think rational, they destroy the possibility of rationality. ”

    I don’t agree with this. Just because an atheist claims it doesn’t make it so. I know I think because I experience it, that is I am conscious of it. As it happens I think Christians and Atheists are capable of being rational. Obviously not everyone and all of the time.

  • Stephen Cooke

    What is your problem with the big bang? Some Christians accept it as correct. I don’t think even William Lane Craig has said that the big bang never happened, although I could be incorrect.

  • Stephen Cooke

    “It’s so right, it was right enough for life to have created itself here out of non-life”

    No one is claiming that life created itself. What we would say is that some form of replicating molecule came about which led to the formation of life. That’s how I understand it.

    • GLT

      Stephen Cooke,

      “No one is claiming that life created itself. What we would say is that some form of replicating molecule came about which led to the formation of life.”

      Did the replicating molecule have a source outside of itself or did it just ‘pop’ into existence?

      • Stephen Cooke

        We don’t know yet, how it came about. Please could you explain what you mean by a source outside itself?

        • GLT

          Stephen Cooke,

          There would only be three options when explaining the existence of the molecule. The molecule was created by something already in existence, that is to say, something outside of the molecule itself, the molecule created itself or the molecule is eternal and has always existed.

    • GPS Daddy

      Ok, one last time, Stephen.

      What we observe is this life is:

      Life always comes from life. Always
      Intelligence always comes from intelligence. Always
      Personood always comes from personhood. Always

      These are properly found in God. Why is this? You argue that my reasoning is invalid because if life always comes from life then God’s life must come from somewhere. But you reject what you should have learned when you claimed to have been a Christian: God is the everlasting life. He alone is the living God. All life comes from Him.

      Gen 2:7, “Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being”

      God formed man from the dust of the ground. This requires that God created a fine tuned universe. Our bodies are finely tuned machines. But this alone does not make us living beings. God breathed the breath of life into us. Its AFTER this that we become a living being.

      Science ONLY investigates the material world. It will never and cannot investigate the life force that God breaths into us. This is spirit. This is why science cannot understand consciousness.

      You claim that one day science will understand how consciousness has arisen. But you also claim that things like consciousness are non-physical. If science can explain consciousness then we are nothing more than a physical being. If we arose by random mutations acted upon by “natural selection” then consciousness is nothing more than chemical reactions in our brains that will die when we die. On this view life has no ultimate meaning or purpose. You have traded the eternal life for death, Stephen.

      You now put your hope in fantasy replicating molecules and, I assume, the imaginary multiverse. I put my hope in the living God. You put your hope in imaginary ideas that will take the life and meaning you have never to be regained. I put my hope in the living God who will every expand the meaning and purpose I have in life.

      Its your choice, Stephen.

      • Stephen Cooke

        Is God life?

        If so your first premise (life always comes from life) is false if God exists. Because then God being life would have to come from life.

        You’re just making me laugh now.

        Just because we have always observed life coming from life doesn’t mean it has always happened.

        You’re free to do as you wish, but your arguments are clearly fallacious.You try to convince people with fallacious arguments and then tell them they are irrational. Some may fall for your false arguments, but I don’t intend to.

        “You now put your hope in fantasy replicating molecules and, I assume, the imaginary multiverse.”

        What does this even mean? How can I put my hope in replicating molecules and the multiverse? This just doesn’t make sense. Again, this is irrational.

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