Posts

Is Debating Theists Futile?

Many atheist activists take the time to debate and discuss religion with theists while others often assert the futility of such discussions.  I spend a good amount of time in discussion with theists and aside from the fact that I truly enjoy this type of discourse I personally find that the exercise is more often healthy for all parties involved than not.

Consider the following three examples:

Here in the deep south, in a small town where there are almost as many churches as people – many believers have never been exposed to such fundamentally differing opinions as my own rejection of the faith worldview in exchange for a naturalistic and evidence based approach to determining truth. In my discussions with “real life” people here I’ve come to realize that the vast majority of believers are under-prepared for this level of debate and in many cases find themselves admitting that they are ill-prepared and under educated in the tenets of their own faith.  Most of the time I’m the one that has to explain what the Bible says about any certain topic and I think that this fact has had an impact on many local believers in-so-much that they frequently commit themselves to better understanding their faith and even other view points.

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Religion vs Relationship

Recently I put one of my infamous controversial Facebook statuses up that garnered a bit of a response. Some of the responses got me thinking about the subject matter of this post. Here is the status I put up that day:

I rejoice when others doubt the myth and misery of Christianity. I know the pain that pursuing the non-existent can cause a person and it makes me glad when someone escapes it!

I was inspired to put this up when I got to thinking about the rejoicing I would do when I was able to successfully share the “gospel” of Christ with someone and how glad that would make me. I remembered Luke 15:10 which states, “Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.” (KJV) and began thinking about all of the trouble, confusion, and pain that comes with living in the Christian faith.

One of the responses I received was from a local youth pastor of one of the larger Baptist churches in our small town. I’ve met this fellow before, but we really don’t know each other in any way beyond that of a passing acquaintance, he is good at what he does and has always come off as a very nice guy so I am in no way attempting to start beef with him – this is just something I have heard before that I wanted to take the opportunity to address for the edification of my Atheist and Christian friends. Here is what he said:

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Angry At God?

AngryI and many of my Atheist cohorts have been accused over and over of being “Angry at God”. Ray Comfort even recently used our supposed hatred as evidence that we each know that God exists intuitively….seriously, read it here. Since this is occurring with some frequency right now I feel the need to try to deal with the assertion as effectively as possible. The initial reaction of most Atheists is that the assertion is silly, “How can I be mad at a God that does not exist”. I, of course, agree entirely with this but the fact does remain that myself and many of my peers are mad at something…It just isn’t quite what Ray Comfort and other Christians may think.

God the being does not exist, I think I have made that understanding abundantly clear here, however God does exist in another way. God is an idea, a concept, and an institution – three intangible things in one, the true Holy Trinity. These things make me angry, these are the things at which my aggression is truly directed. I am mad at God  because the idea of God makes me sick, the concept of his requirements for man are intolerable, and the institutions that represent him are dangerous.

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Morality and God

Are morality and god interdependent?

In other words, can morals exist outside of the spectrum of theism?

Or, in other other words, is god the originator and defining substance behind morality?

Recently myself and the Rev. Russ Troester had another long chat, this time we touched on the subject of belief in god essentially being the basis for morality (forgive me if I am putting words in your mouth Russ, this is the understanding I have). Since we often talk during the end of my work day I had to cut the conversation off kind of abruptly (always when it starts getting good eh?) in order to drive home.

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