This is What I Would Need in Order to Believe
I distinctly remember where I was sitting when I became self aware that atheists don't exist.
When I left the Watchtower, I wrote off anything of a spiritual / religious nature. I felt it was my logical duty. Self-preservation was a noble endeavor I reasoned. Atheist/Agnosticism was my attempt at "not being something", and I was initially comfortable with settling for that.
Then, comes my atheist philosophy professor. I thought, finally I'll get to learn some real logic for a change instead of all this religious B. S.
I was shocked when after we had learned the basics of a logical argument, that he spent the rest of the semester bashing Christianity. In order to show how illogical Christianity was, he first had to explain some of academic Christians basic arguments. He introduced me to Tozer, C.S. Lewis and others.
This was mind-blowing to me that he was so serious about such a monumental waste of time. While the arguments were good, that was not what prompted me to pop the hood of Christianity again for another look. It was his incessant critique of Christianity that piqued my interest. I thought, Really? This is what higher education is doing.
I was ready for the meat, and I was getting empty served vegetable plates. Reluctantly, I had to plow through the arguments to get a good grade. And then boom! I realized that the assumptions that my professor had were infinitely far greater hoops to jump through than the Christian had. I then realized there was no escape from reason.
I guess if God can preach his message to a hard headed prophet through a talking ass, he had no problem witnessing to me through my atheist college professor. I am eternally grateful to him for his obsessiveness.
Here's a nice read for those new to thinking outside the Watchtower box.
The source appears to be from a Catholic website, and while I think the Catholic brand has some serious doctrinal problems, I give credit where credit is due. Other non catholic sources are here, no particular order.
- Norm Geisler: normangeisler.net.
- William Lane Craig: Reasonable Faith.org
- Ravi Zacharias: RZIM.org
- John Lennox: John Lennox.org
- Greg Koukl: STR.org
- J. Warner Wallace: ColdCaseChristianity.com
- Paul Copan: PaulCopan.com
- Ed Feser: http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/
- Lee Strobel: Lee Strobel.com
- Josh McDowell: Josh.org
- Discovery Institute (Dembski, Meyer, Richards, Luskin, Wells): www.Discovery.org
- C.S. Lewis: CSLewis.org
- Gary Habermas: GaryHabermas.com
- Timothy McGrew: http://historicalapologetics.org/
- Dr. Michael Brown: AskDrBRown.org
- Richard Howe: Richardghowe.com
- Tim Keller: TimothyKeller.com
- J. Budziszewski: Undergroundthomist.org
- Hank Hanegraaff: Equip.org
- Hugh Ross: Reasons.org
Cold Steel " happiness and prosperity is all tied to prosperity". That is a crock of shit and you know it. There are many prosperous and happy people who do not believe in any sort of religious ideology, much less the craziness of Mormons.
All religions make up shit to further whatever agenda they have. Mormons made up a whole book, given to a crook on golden tablets only he could read. It tells of the Lamanites, Nephites, and others who supposedly came to North America, and yet there is not a shred of historical evidence to support it. All religions have their own delusions. Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses just think their beliefs make them morally superior to everyone else. It must be hard being the chosen one of God.
Perry how typical of you to totally ignore every word of my OP and resort to generic rhetoric.
Anybody can copy- paste a list of links. I guarantee there won't be a single word in this links that could not explain even more clearly than you can.
Deal with the actual argument please.
perry you took philosophy too literarlly - it is only really meant to clarify arguments
I have no desire to upset the poorly constructed faith of believers......however it is very apparent that all of the so called 'holy' books are simply bad translations of a belief construct that represents a culture's historic and traditional past.
No religion can exist apart from their culture. Be it the Hindu tradition, the Egyptian, the Jewish tradition, the Christian, Islam.............all are based on traditional beliefs.
The strength of most belief system is that............ they evolved. As their culture evolved so did the beliefs.
Unfortunately misinformation is the cornerstone of belief.
In our own times most of us know that the WTBTS was about as ignorant a religion that one could find....reckless, evil, and foolish. That's also a description that would fit just about any belief system.
if God exists and is all powerful, surely he could make it clear.
Surely he could get His ideas across so that it's not so confusing and thus results is 1000s of "christian" sects all of whom contradict the others (and often go to war and kill each other). He could surely have found some better representation on Earth than the Churches of Christendom (or JWs, if you prefer).
And I'm sure George Carlin would add, that He could have had a better control on His money, because we are constantly told that God is always in need of money.
I'm sure you don't either.
Don't be do sure cofty. There is a lot that you have not seen or know about.
It is like a person who won't listen to reason, does what he wants, sees things his way, you try to to show him -but he refuses to see. He will see alright. It is something like that.
What you are saying about slavery and the horrific things that happen, those who see God also see and experience that too but don't blame God, They realize that God gave someone a lot of power and trust, someone whom he loved very dearly and that person betrayed God and God is going to stop that person but such person is causing the horror, not God. That is what the Bible says is his defense against charges against him.
A big problem with believing in God is the lack of consistency. Take Christianity for example, there are thousands of denominations, each one claiming that all the other ones are wrong. Within each denomination, each Christian claims to know what God does and wants. My next door neighbor, for example, claimed that my parked car and house fence were totaled by a car driving out of control as punishment to me because I fail to comply with a ridiculous request of hers. Her example is the norm, not the rule. It's the narcissistic approach. She believes God disturbed the lives of police officers and insurance agents, not to mention the danger to the two persons in the car, just to please her desire for vengeance.
Oh I forget, I profited handsomely from that accident, I got a good payment for a car that I hated and kept about $15,000.00 after repairing the fence myself. I guess God was on my side, not hers.
At least atheists and agnostics who rely on science to guide their beliefs, have more consistency because they base their beliefs on evidence that everyone can agree on.
I agree with Cofty and Noam Chomsky. Why do Christian apologists ignore the obvious facts in order to defend the invisible fables?
There's something gone wrong at the end of this thread.
The opneing post seems to demand a number of specific things from God in order for us to believe in him: 1) nature shouldn't be full of death and destruction 2) mass extinctions 3) parasites and predators 4) Bible prophecy should be specific and true 5) the Bible should be clearly ethically superior 6) ahead of its time 7) miracles should be happening with proof 8) no natural disasters 9) prayers would be answered.
But it strikes me that a God could easily exist without doing any of those things. Why not? This list speaks no so much to the probability of a God existing, but his likability according to a set of criteria which are culturally conditioned by our religious background. (Why on earth should clear provable "prophecy" be an essential characteristic for God? Why can't he supply obscure and ambiguous prophecy if he wishes? Other than we would prefer otherwise, I can see no logical reason why a God who provides frustrating prophetic statements is therefore a God who cannot exist.)
And beside all the demands for prophecies and healing and a world without predators and so on. What about the extraordinary things that do exist in this world? What about consciousness and the appearance of beings who can contemplate their origin and fate? What about the very fact that anything exists at all? Are not these things miraculous? In some sense more miraculous than anything in the gospels?