Ask The Atheist: Part 1

Hello everyone. Once again I have come to a point my my blogging where I have a difficult time thinking up new things to blog about, so, I need your help!

I want to do a series of Q & A style posts, where someone—anyone really, simply asks a question in as much detail as possible and I attempt to answer that question to the best of my ability. So, all i need you to do is comment below and ask the question you want to ask, if it is chosen it will be featured in a blog post shortly with a link to your own blog or website of your choice if you so choose to have that done…don’t worry though, anonymous questions are fine and i will be honest.

Questions should be at least generally related to religious topics or Atheism, but questions about my personal life that have not been adequately answered on this blog are just fine too.

Tweet this or email it to anyone that you know may want to ask an Atheist Ex-Christian a question!

  • Looking forward to the questions and answers.

  • SOMBRERO

    Amigo Ox, it is Sombrero here again. Buenos dias!

    If you are a real atheist, then do you hold to the belief that there is NO metaphysical dimension to life and the universe? (In other words, that the universe is only "particular" matter with no other dimension whatsoever?) Also, if you believe that there is no metaphysical dimension, then do you believe in the concept or idea of "absolutes"? (It has always been my general understanding of atheists that they believe only in a "material, concrete physical" world and universe — i.e. — no other dimension.)
    Hasta luego amigo Oxley,
    Sombrero

    • Hmm…interesting…im gonna answer this in short right here and perhaps answer it later in more detail

      First…I do not hold a Belief that there is no metaphysical dimension or what have you, i just happen to not hold the belief that there IS….I lack that belief that you may have. I do not BELIEVE in things that cannot be proven, though I may have UNDERSTANDINGS as to their existence or nature…I do not write something off just because I can't touch it or see it, but I may have a harder time accepting those things..

      I imagine most other Atheists are much the same way, I was an exorcist 3 years ago, I saw things that would be considered metaphysical….currently though i can explain those things differently, as if they are merely figments of one's very powerful imagination…my stance is that many of the things that are seemingly metaphysical may have more scientific explanations than we may want to admit.

  • Sombrero

    By absolutes, I mean a thing or object is what it is and is not something else. By this I mean it is absolutely what it is and is not something else. Another way of asking this is: Do you believe that particular matter (right down to protons, neutrons, and electrons) is relative (i.e. — can be something other than what it actually is?) Is matter relative (just whatever you or someone else wants it to be)? Or do protons, neutrons and electrons have certain identifiable parameters and characteristics that are stable, constant and unchanging (i.e. — NOT relative)? Don't be a lightweight amigo. Answer — if you can.
    Sombrero

    • not trying to be a lightweight, I think what you are getting into is something similar to Quantum Physics a realm of study that I am far from qualified to speak about at all….I wouldn't be suprised if there were variables withing quarks and protons and such…I just wouldn't know…so i don't hold any belief, opinion, or understanding about those things because I am not qualified to make that judgment…sorry

  • There are absolutely no absolutes.

  • Sombrero

    If you believe ONLY in those things that you can PROVE (reference your own statement above), then do you believe in yourself (i.e. — that you exist)? If so, PROVE it. If your proof of your existence is that you can see and touch yourself (use of the physical senses to prove your existence), then prove that your physical senses are reliable? How do you know that that are "proveable" and that they are reliable? If you say that they are "absolutely" reliable, then here we go back to the issue of absolutes. And I personally believe that this issue of absolutes (constant, unchanging, stable) is the place at which all discussion of truth and non-truth should begin. That is my personal belief. (I know I'm deviating a little here, but I believe that the issue of "absolutes" is highly relevant here.) If you're talking about believing in only what you can PROVE (i.e. — your statement above), then YOU must be using some type of assumed standard or notion of "absolutes"

    Maybe the best place to begin any discussion of religion or lack thereof (i.e. atheism, Christianity, etc.) is to begin with the issue of existence and then logically follow that with a serious look at this issue of absolutes. (This issue of absolutes, I believe, is very important here. Are there absolutes (constant, stable, unchanging) at work in the universe? Or is everything just relative? I'm talking first purely about the visible physical, molecular, particular universe — nothing else at this point. Accurately assessed, these two questions alone can form a solid basis for any discussion about religion, philosophy, etc.

    You seem to be ignorant of some of the deeper, more intellectual issues and topics of philosophy, physics, chemistry (the physical and molecular world that you so desperately cling to in your arguments). If you are going to "argue" your own brand of the "atheistic" drug, maybe you should up the ante a little (no, A LOT), and do some extensive reading and research. Maybe start with the Greek philosophers and work your way up to present day. Don't be a lightweight. Go deeper, my amigo. Go deeper into the molecular world. Again, don't be a lightweight.
    Sombrero

  • SOMBRERO

    WRONG MONOLITH!!! You just have just stated an ABSOLUTE by stating that there are NO ABSOLUTES. You even used the word "ABSOLUTELY" in your statement. Wrong, monolith, wrong. Try again later.
    Monolith, just study numbers, and you will see very quickly that there ARE absolutes. One is absolutely one, NOT two. If you don't believe this, try giving a $5 bill for $20 worth of groceries next time, and see how far you get.
    Sombrero

    • his point was to make a joke btw

      • "his point was to make a joke btw" Thank you. yes, it was.

  • Sombrero

    Till we meet again, amigo Oxley!
    Ole!
    Sombrero

  • My question to you is since you're an atheist what do you shout out when you experience an orgasm?

    Me – I don't say a word. I just shout like a pirate.

  • I like to shout out "Pollo Frito". That will make more sense after reading the following: http://www.fmylife.com/sex/837103

  • anon

    religion is no more than a state of mind, although the bible has some good quotes these can be applied with out the religion factor for example and in ref to this post as a person believes so are they or those type words, believe there is a god and yes there will be one.

  • Dax

    If you knew how many times I have gone back to the question to figure out the answer you would how much cheap wine we have had.
    THE ANSWER TO THE QUESTION
    IS.
    AND Salsa or Walza
    Well is isn’t Salsa
    If there are good looking people doing it.
    Get jealous or join in.
    Dax

  • I don't think it wise to start using the term "real atheist". Off the bat it appears as if you are constructing a specific image of atheism in order to disregard atheiss that don't fit into that mold. I'm not accusing you of anything, but "real atheist" here is suspicious rhetoric.

    Atheism is largley defined by the atheist community, and greek etymology, as a lack of belief in a god. That is all that is required to be an atheist. Being an atheist does not mean you subscribe to any other belief or philosophical system and Atheist beliefs are as diverse as non-atheist beliefs.

    There also seems to be some confusion in this conversation about metaphysical and supernatural.

  • You seem to be confusing universal and objective. The opposite of subjective is not universal, it's objective. Also in physics matter does change under specific circumstances so this seems a very odd example.

    Your definition of absolute seems somewhat off. "A is A" doesn't mean anything. I can say that a hammer is a hammer but that doesn't rule out any philosophical questions. One could still ask if that hammer is real, if it is mind-independent, or what the nature of the matter making up the hammer is.

  • SOMBRERO

    Amigo ox! It is Sombrero here again. Here is something you should keep in mind from here on out — for the rest of your linear life. If god is NOT real, if god does NOT exist, then you can NOT disprove him — because he is not there, he is not real. If in fact there is no god, all of your efforts to disprove something that does not exist are really meaningless. On the other hand, if god is real, if in fact he does exist, then your efforts to disprove him are meaningless in this case also. If god is real, then your efforts to disprove him are in vain because he is real whether you believe that he is real or not. In other words, no one's belief or non-belief (and attempts to prove or disprove) in a god or supreme being is going to change the reality of his existence or non-existence. And if god is real, then the only way for him to NOT be real would be for some other person, force or being to overpower him and destroy (completely annihilate) his existence. One more thing for you to think about (just a suggestion): What are the linear destinations and goals of your own life (regardless of whether god exists or not)?
    I will bring these points to your attention from time to time. Again, don't be a lightweight.
    Adios amigo Oxcart,
    Sombrero

  • In your post, "Ex-Timony," you said, "…alot of the stories, the book of Job in particular, really make g-d look like a huge asshole if you think about it more critically…" can you explain this further?

    http://ragingrev.com/2008/08/21/and-here-it-is/

    • sure, i will see what I can do. thanks for providing the idea..

  • Well, I mean, God did kill everything Job loved just to prove Satan wrong….

  • If not from God, what is the source of pure altruism? That is, not looking out for the betterment of society to see society progress, but a pure, selfless act of altruism. No benefit to self or even to one's family/offspring. Simply doing something for someone else because it's the right thing to do – no reward, no payoff, not even a sense of gratification or satisfaction. Pure, unadulterated, altruism. (Forgive any redundancy here – I'm just attempting to be as clear as possible).

    • I don't understand that question. Are you saying that human beings would never do anything for someone else if not for the interference of some deity? That's not my experience. The source of pure altruism is us.

      • Sorry, this stems off another conversation on another post of Matt's. He can correct me if what I'm about to say is inaccurate, but basically I believe his contention was that altruism is the result – somehow – of evolution. In other words, that being kind to others was a trait that evolved over time. It just doesn't make sense to me how something like that evolves so I'm just curious as to where it comes from. To simply say "we're the source" doesn't really answer the question, IMO. My understanding as a Christian is that altruism is a reflection of being created in God's image. However, since we are living post-fall that image is now tainted which is why we aren't always altruistic but often selfish. Does that make any more sense? I'm not asking if you agree with me, just if you understand the point I'm making.

    • I know this will sound "snarky" or antagonistic, but that's truly not my intent – just wanted to get that disclaimer out up front.

      In answering this question Matt, I'd prefer that you stick to your own criteria that we have hard, solid proof. In other words, speculation and conjecture will simply not due. If you truly believe that altruism is the result of evolution, I'd like to see scientific data backing that up from primary sources. Again, I'm not trying to be a jerk here, just want you to hold up to your own standard for proof. For others reading this, lest you think I'm imposing a double standard (i.e. because I don't require complete "proof" for the existence of God), again – I just want to make sure Matt is consistent with his own demands.

  • I realize that this is probably a really old topic for discussion, and I apologize for not doing my due diligence before suggesting a new round. For it has probably already been cussed and discussed to death in earlier posts and related comments to be found here, but I would like to know why you now want to believe that our Heavenly Father does not exist.

    Now, I can understand why you would want to believe that most of those who claim to know Him well have no clue, and that the doctrines they generally promote are shameful. For the vast majority of all who claim to have full and complete faith in God actually only have faith in their faith, and their faith is based upon the understandings of others not so different from themselves.

    On the other hand, none of that makes the existence of our Heavenly Father any less real–does it? Therefore, since I would like to people that you are a reasonable man and very sincere in your convictions. I have a "feeling" that there is more to it than just that.

    Anyway, I hope you will consider reopening the subject for discussion here, and I hope you would find it most interesting to say the least. For our Heavenly Father made Himself real to me in 1993, and I am quite confident that I can help you understand some things if you are willing to accept it.

    To be more clear, what I am proposing is for you to post an article about why you now believe that there is no God, which could be as short as you like, and then let the comments go where they may. You would need to participate in the commentary in order for it go where I hope it will, of course.

    • Thanks for the comment, sorry it took so long to respond, for some reason your comments were hitting my spam folder in Intense Debate…that should be fixed now though.

      You asked:

      "I would like to know why you now want to believe that our Heavenly Father does not exist. "

      I can't in the least believe that I wanted not to believe in God…I would have been able to avoid the most painful 2 years of my life had I kept up my attempt to believe. I wanted to, i fought to keep my faith…i tried and did everything I knew to do…I tried to give it all over to him and he just wasn't there….once you don't believe…you just DON"T believe…I can't believe now…not a choice really…just like you didn't choose to believe in him, you do because you do.

      you are right though, most Christians are ignorant sheep that know nothing of their own bible and doctrine…and I always had a hard time coping with those people…I never let that stop my faith, though it did run me from a few churches here and there….

      One's understanding of God does not make him any more or less real, that is a very true statement…he either is or he is not, and if he is he is either malevolent or benevolent, if he is benevolent he failed and if he is malevolent he is doing a damn fine job!

      I am open, of course, to discussing anything at all with you…im very open like that and I try my damndest to keep things on a respectful level, so you can email me or keep commenting…whichever you prefer.

      • I considered myself a Christian for over 25 years. I even pastored a small Southern Baptist church for 2 years. Then everything changed when our Heavenly Father started making Himself real to me, which He did by answering a prayer to Stan that I had made because of being convinced that I could never be good enough to please Him.

        No, this is not at all to say that no longer consider myself to be a Christian. For it is just that I now understand what it means to truly be one of His children by faith to a much greater degree than I ever thought possible.

        Now, when I say that our Heavenly Father started making Himself real to me, I am talking about being allowed and enabled to truly hear His voice, mostly in my thoughts, and it is by this that you can come to have faith in Him again. For what He actually says is absolutely true about Himself and the righteousness of all of His most awesome ways is quite contrary to what we used to preach and what most have been led to believe. I hope we can discuss this further.

  • RagingRev…
    Do you believe that there is absolutely no god? That is to say beyond a shadow of a doubt?

    Or do you believe that the god of the Bible is a lie? And could there be a god that remains untold of? I know that Muslims believe that Jesus was a prophet and the religious leaders after him altered the Bible to suit their needs.

    • im 99.99999% sure that there is no god, because I understand that we do not need a god to exist and the character that a god would have to have if he were to exist would be incongruous to his stated claims and expected nature.

      I believe most definately that BibleGod is a lie, created by men who were greedy…I am open to the IDEA of Deism, but it sounds to me that Deism is just as much a belief in God as Atheism is….it is still disconnected, and there is no proof for it.

      Are you familiar with the process by which the Bible was canonized? Most Christians are not.

      • "99.99999% sure" is not absolute… (To be absolute, you would have to be god…)
        and you are "open to the IDEA of Deism."

        Would you consider yourself more Agnostic? Or Atheist?

  • I am always interested in learning and would love to hear what you have to share.

    I have read a little bit on the history of things like how the King James Version came to be. There was disunion in the churches in England. Everyone was preaching out of their own translation. The reigning king (King James) put together six groups to translate the manuscripts they had access to. Now the entire country of England had one translation to teach from. This was despite the fact that there was no official proclamation making it the "authorized" version.

    But even today, there is error coming from the pulpit. I have a major issue with how one can promote tithing and say it is from the Bible. To the best of my knowledge, the first churches (like in the book of Acts) did not teach the 10% rule of today. They gave what they could to support the church. There was no exact number, it was based upon your abilities. But that is another issue, for another time.

    • rather than worrying about the King James version, i suggest you look into the first 7 Ecumenical Councils of Christianity, far predating King James…as well as take a look at the actual process of canonization, how things were voted on, how doctrine was decided during these councils.

      I also recommend you look into the apocrypha…very interesting things in there, the Book of Thomas is especially interesting.

      as far as tithing goes, the Early Church in acts was CLEARLY a commune…all of their resources went into one pot, not just 10%.

      • Since you are implying you are so knowledgeable on the topic, perhaps you could provide us with some resources that explain the process of canonization and exactly how things were voted on.

        • someone is in a mood today eh russ?

          Apocrypha:
          http://www.amazon.com/LOST-SCRIPTURES-DIVERGENT-D

          http://www.amazon.com/Lost-Book-Enoch-Joseph-Lump

          Here is the whole Nag Hamadi library: http://www.gnosis.org/naghamm/nhl.html

          Cannonization:

          pretty much any book on the History of the Christian Church., some of those above touch on it as well..

          • Just asking you to back up your statement, that's all. How does that make me moody?

            More to the point, you seem to be implying that there's something dubious about the process of canonization (ala DaVinci Code), so perhaps you could elaborate on exactly what it is you're getting at. That's all I'm asking.

          • im gonna start asking you for evidence of things I know are true 😉

            there is a lot of power in the ability to decide that a book his holy and how that book should be interpreted.

      • The apocrypha… I have heard about it, but rarely does anyone know much about it – other than it is controversial. And the tithing thing… I plan on a blog post on that.

        I have only begun to study up on the Ecumenical Councils … I started here…
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_seven_Ecumenic

        But I found it most intriguing the info about a man named Philip Schaff. He set out "to recover the church before the schisms." What a noble idea!!!

  • Hi, I have two questions. 1) Why do atheists think they are so fascinating? and 2) Why do atheists focus so much on pushing evolution (old and well established) instead of some newer science that's far more important, like climate change? Every time an atheist lectures the world yet again on evolution I can't help but think — can't we move beyond this into something more important? Climate change is going to end civilization if we don't do something about it ASAP and I only see *most* atheists writing about evolution.

    • 1: damn, im pretty fascinating, im amazing….what the hell do you mean? Why wouldn't I think that?

      2: People still don't accept evolution, but science is more or less what I would like to promote, the same people that deny the evidence of Evolution deny the evidence of global warming….two birds really.

  • Give me the scientific evidence that not only proves the tangible existence of human emotion, but an agreed upon description from the scientific community for the following two emotions:

    1.) Love
    2.) Hate

  • Are you sure you are an atheist and not an anti-Bibleist? Or anti-what-they-taught-me-in- Sunday-school-ist? You seem not to separate some people you’ve met in church and the idea of God as such.
    My question is: don’t you have a need in God? (And I don’t mean necessarily the Christian God)

    Irenem

    • Irene,

      Yea, im pretty sure I am an Atheist, and an Anti-Bibleist lol….I don't believe…thats pretty simplistic as a concept, what i attack however is the idea of God rather than the actual person of god (because he doesnt exist).

      I don't have a need for god…at all…why would I?

  • Rev… you once said that you were "open to the IDEA of Deism" but not God. (I assume that you refer to the god of the Bible.)

    Would that make you agnostic and not atheist?