Dear Daniel,

Blind acceptance is not faith as it is taught in the Bible. Faith is like holding a title or a ticket for something you have not received yet. If you buy property from a stranger and pay cash for a photocopied title that is not faith. If you go to church and a preacher says the bible says this and the bible says that and you just believe it, that is not faith. If my parents told me things about God and i don’t investigate for myself that is not faith. I do blame parents who teach their children things they don’t believe.
When we look at the world around us with our naked eyes or thru microscopes or telescopes we see something about God. If we honestly accept what we see in the world God created around us we must conclude that God is worthy to be worshiped and obeyed. We don’t want to submit to God so we say that He can not be known or does not exist. Some of us make up a god and write rules for him to suit our desires.

I have a daughter who went to college. While she was there we got a letter from a religious group identifying a problem group on campus. I think they wanted donations to help protect our children. The group was made up of leaders from three different religious groups. All the groups historically had significant differences in regards to truth and what the scriptures taught. The group they were afraid of was stating that truth about God could be known for certain. Do you think that students in a top rated liberal arts school need to be protected from teaching about God?

Daniel

To answer your direct question: I don’t think students, or children for that matter, should be protected from being taught about God. But I’d much prefer it if they were taught about all religions not just about the Christian God.

BUT, I do believe students and children should be protected from being indoctrinated.

And, in the case of children, it is very hard for someone to make the case that when they are “taught” the religion of their parents they are not indoctrinated; simply because they are often told it is fact.

To address your point about religious organisation working together: Please do not think I wish to target people who do kind acts. But in most cases it is in the persons nature to be kind, and not just because their religion told them so.

I must point out Christopher Hickens argument that to say a person only does kind acts because of a supernatural being called “God” is insulting to both the person and humanity as a whole.

Now, on to the trickier parts of you comment.

Faith is belief without proof, hence the phase “with good-faith”. 

I must counter your point: “We don’t want to submit to God so we say that He can not be known or does not exist.”

It can not be known that God created the Universe, and even if it could we do not have the technology to confirm or deny. Therefore, accepting that God created the universe is accepting an idea without proof. Which is faith.

You may say that you had a feeling or an intervention and you know this to be true.

If so, why haven’t the other 6 billion of the race not experienced this same intervention?

I’m not sure what else to address. If there is anything else you’d like me to explain, please leave a comment.

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11 comments so far

  1. Daniel on

    I would be interested in how you came to be an atheist.
    I was taught that there is a God and that He is revealed in the Bible. I don’t think that there was any honest doubt at least for any length of time. There was a time when I chose to be an agnostic but I avoided the Bible or any one who believed it. I believe that the reason I avoided it was that I knew it was true. I didn’t like it. I did not want to submit to God. I thought that I would be happier without obeying God. Eventually I became miserable and felt a weight of guilt.
    I called to Christ to save me from the just penalty of His law. He caused me to become a Christian by a process the Bible calls regeneration.
    I agree with Mr. Dawkins one point. You don’t become a christian because your parents want you to become one. One needs to be born of the Spirit of God in order to be a Christian. When I say Christian I am using the Bible definition. Very few people who claim to be Christians are Christians by the Bible definition.
    I know you consider the Bible to be babble but there is no point in arguing about Christ without a standard.

    I have gone on and on about myself. Would you like to tell me about how you became an atheist?

  2. […] September 8, 2008 Re: Why are you an Atheist? Posted by Irish Atheist under Intelligent Discussion | Tags: atheist, how come |   This is a post in response to this comment. […]

  3. Irish Atheist on

    Right, finally got that post up. But I just want to ask you, when you say, “arguing about Christ without a standard”, would you mind going into a bit more detail?

  4. Daniel on

    Thanks for the background. Most of the Irish i know are Americans of Irish decent. I spent 30 years in the Philadelphia area and there are a lot of Irish Americans there.

    I was brought up in Baptist churches. Baptist is a broad term it is hard to know what someone means when they say they are Baptist. The term Christian is worse as far as being unclear. I think that most of the Christian churches started out claiming to believe the Bible. The Bible makes extreme claims about what it’s authority.
    If a such a book is untrue than anything based on the book is untrue. If the Bible is untrue than Christianity is useless. If the book is untrue you don’t have to be intimidated by anyone who preaches it.
    I would say that the Bible is a standard. If it is not a good standard than all Christian Churches are is worthless with respect to knowing God. I don’t mean to imply that am wondering if it is a good standard. I am referring only to the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments.

    Daniel

  5. Irish Atheist on

    “If the book is untrue you don’t have to be intimidated by anyone who preaches it.”

    Woo! That needs another look. There are plenty of reasons why I should be afraid of people who believe in the literal meaning of the bible.

    There’s numerous public Christian figures that want World War 3 in order to bring the second coming of Christ… that’s a fairly good reason to be afraid!

    BTW, good luck on your new blog, no reason we can’t be civil.

  6. Daniel on

    Thank you for that perspective. I wouldn’t have imagined that from where i am. Daniel interpreted a vision about a rock cut from a mountain without human hands which would crush all the other kingdoms. He says God would do it without human hands.(Daniel 2) Jesus said that His kingdom was not of this world and if it was of this world His servants would fight. (since it is not of this world it will not be won by the military actions of His servants) (John 18) The apostle Paul taught that we should pray for those in authority so that we should lead quiet and peaceable lives.

    Many in the USA would call themselves Christians but few would be genuine by the Bible definitions.

    If you are afraid of Americans starting WW3 I don’t think we can afford it. We owe so much to the world I think our credit would be denied when we tried to borrow more to finance a war. If you are thinking nuclear war, we know that we are not the only ones with that capability. We have a saying “What goes around comes around”

    I can remember news stories about fighting in Ireland between Protestant and Catholic people. (1970’s) I have not heard of any lately. Is it resolved or is it continuing? Have you been personally affected by that? Was that fighting about religious issues or Political? I am guessing it had to do with colonization and terrible treatment during the potato famine.

    I guess you could give me examples of wars that were fought about Christianity and other religions. I wonder, are there groups of Atheists that have peacefully coexisted? I have been told that the communists were or are Atheists. Do you think that is true?

    I am not even sure i know what an Atheist is. I was taught that an Atheist believes there is no God. An agnostic says that God is unknowable. I would guess that an Anti-theist would say there is a God and I am opposed to Him. I guess they mean different things to you. Is there a standard definition for these terms?

    Thank you for your communication

    Daniel

  7. Irish Atheist on

    The Northern Ireland issue was political, but based on religious lines.

    So you had the Unionists against the Republicans: the Unionists being Protestants and Republicans being Catholics.

    It didn’t affect me directly. I live in the South-West of Ireland. The Troubles mainly affected those in the area bordering Northern Ireland. Wikipedia does a very good background http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Troubles

    And yes, it is over. Both sides have gone political and democratic.

    Now back to religion.

    Your definitions of Atheists and Agnostics are mostly right, but anti-theists are more opposed to religion. The board definition for Atheists would be a lack of belief in a supernatural being known as god.

    Communists are a different story. Communists believed that religion was an oppressive force against the working class. But in the place of the worshipping of god you had the worshipping of the party and the motherland.

    There’s never really been a Atheist society. For two reasons: 1)Religious organisations have had a powerful grip on societies. 2) We never had the amount of Scientific information about the universe and life in general.

    One last thing, what is a Christian by the bible definition? ‘Cause I think we can both agree that the bible says a lot of things.

  8. rejoicingtheheart on

    I didn’t have a good definition and it took me a while to write one down.

    A Christian by the Bible definition.

    …the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch. Acts 11:26 ASV

    We can read in Acts 11: 26 that a people were called Christians in Antioch. The chapter describes the people as ones; who heard The Lord Jesus preached , who believed and turned to the Lord, they were a people who were added to the Lord , and they were encouraged to hold fast to the Lord. In verse 17, He is called the Lord Jesus Christ.

    In order to have a useful definition we must find out who is this person called ‘The Lord Jesus Christ’. I will try to trace Him through the Old and New Testaments. Jesus said of himself that he was spoken of in Moses and all the prophets. Luke 24:27

    This just the introduction. I posted the whole thing on my blog. It got big. Like you said “the bible says a lot of things”

    Daniel

  9. Irish Atheist on

    Well Jesus goal was to position himself as the Jewish Messiah(Christ). He even quoted prophets from the Old Testament to make himself out to be the Christ.

    But good luck looking.

  10. Daniel on

    If a a man understood the description of the Messiah in Isaiah’ prophecy it would be quite a goal to position himself as the Messiah.

    Isa 53:3 He was despised, and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and as one from whom men hide their face he was despised; and we esteemed him not.
    Isa 53:4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
    Isa 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

    If there is a God and He is holy it would be good to have a Messiah who would be wounded for your transgressions.

    I believe He is Messiah and was bruised by God in my place. I didn’t want to believe in God but He was kind and showed himself to me in spite of my deliberate unbelief. Because of that i love Him and i wish the same for you.

    Daniel

  11. Irish Atheist on

    1 Samuel 15:3: Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.

    So did the Amaleks die for god’s sins?


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