Any atheists here? Have you come to terms with your new reality?

by kpop 102 Replies latest jw friends

  • cofty
    cofty
    If you say you can't believe in the God of Jesus in light of suffering from natural disasters. It is of course relevant to point out that Jesus himself apparently believed in his God despite natural disasters that he spoke about.

    1 - A tower collapsing is NOT a natural disaster.

    2 - The Galileans did not die in a natural disaster; they were murdered by Herod.

    3 - Jesus gave an explanation for the death of the men in the tower. They were unrepentant sinners.

    4 - Jesus said his hearers would similarly perish UNLESS they repent.

    5 - He never said a single word about natural disasters.

    6 - Natural disasters kill people indiscriminately including repentant sinners, babies and infants.

    7 - Jesus taught a god who is love

    8 - The god who created a world that randomly kills millions of its inhabitants would be a evil god.

    Therefore the god of Jesus does not exist.

    Every post you have made in the past few pages is nothing but obfuscation. But you already know that. As usual it's all a dishonest game to you.

  • slimboyfat
    slimboyfat
    1 - A tower collapsing is NOT a natural disaster.

    It could or it could not be depending on your definition. If it was because of an earthquake I think most people would call it a natural disaster. If it collapsed because of human intervention of carelessness I guess most would say that's not a natural disaster.

    On the other extreme you get some believers who insist that even earthquakes are not natural disasters and claim they are man made.

    I am not sure the distinction is terribly meaningful or helpful anyway. In as much as, in either case, people suffer, and an almighty God could stop it if he wished.

    2 - The Galileans did not die in a natural disaster; they were murdered by Herod.

    I never said otherwise.

    3 - Jesus gave an explanation for the death of the men in the tower. They were unrepentant sinners.

    Jesus pointed out that they were no more sinful than others. And Matthew Henry comments: "He [Jesus] cautioned his hearers not to blame great sufferers, as if they were therefore to be accounted great sinners." Which is the basic point I am making to you.

    4 - Jesus said his hearers would similarly perish UNLESS they repent.

    Yes Jesus said they would perish if they didn't repent.


    5 - He never said a single word about natural disasters.

    I counted the collapse of the tower as a natural disaster. But as you point out it's the indiscriminate nature of such events, rather than whether they are "natural" or not, which is the main focus here.

    6 - Natural disasters kill people indiscriminately including repentant sinners, babies and infants.

    Jesus' point was precisely this. The people who died in the tower collapse were not more sinful than others.

    7 - Jesus taught a god who is love

    Yes and this apparently was compatible with Jesus' belief that people who die in disasters are not being punished for being especially sinful but that such events can happen to all sinners.

    8 - The god who created a world that randomly kills millions of its inhabitants would be a evil god.

    That does seem like a reasonable conclusion. And I don't know what the answer is. And none of the answers to the problem of suffering I have seen are satisfying. But that doesn't mean there is no answer or there can't be something about the situation I am not aware of or don't understand properly.

    People who believe in God on other grounds often don't have an answer to this question either. But they trust that God is more perfect than their own minds,

    Every post you have made in the past few pages is nothing but obfuscation. But you already know that. As usual it's all a dishonest game to you.

    I make my arguments honestly and with sincerity. Cut out the snide rhetoric it does you no credit.


  • slimboyfat
    slimboyfat

    I guess believers might view the situation a bit like this:

    You have a trusted friend that you know very well. Some event happens and some money goes missing. In their absence everything seems to point to the conclusion that your trusted friend stole the money. The people present discussing the situation point out that all the evidence shows your trusted friend stole the money. There is simply no other logical conclusion that can reasonably be drawn. And you have to admit that you can't think of any other explanation either. Yet you insist that you don't believe your trusted friend stole the money because you trust them, and you believe they wouldn't do that. The other people mock you and insist there simply is no other explanation and demand that you explain what other explanation can there be. You rack your brain and you can't think of any other explanation. Yet you still trust your friend, and even if you can't think of the explanation, you believe that there must nevertheless be some explanation.

  • cofty
    cofty
    I am not sure the distinction is terribly meaningful or helpful anyway. In as much as, in either case, people suffer, and an almighty God could stop it if he wished.

    There is a huge difference. There are excuses for why a loving god might permit some suffering. There are no good reasons why he would create a world that keeps blowing up and killing hundred of thousands of its inhabitants. My argument against christian theism has always focussed very narrowly on "natural evil". Like most apologists you prefer to change the subject to an easier question.

    Jesus pointed out that they were no more sinful than others. And Matthew Henry comments: "He [Jesus] cautioned his hearers not to blame great sufferers, as if they were therefore to be accounted great sinners." Which is the basic point I am making to you.
    Your "point" contributes absolutely nothing to the conversation. Jesus said they were unrepentant sinners and that is why they perished. My argument against christian theism centres on the indiscriminate killing of hundreds of thousands including repentant christians and innocent babies and infants. A disaster that god did not just permit he actually caused. Your lengthy and tediously repetitive rhetoric is completely unconnected to my actual argument. But you know that already.
    as you point out it's the indiscriminate nature of such events, rather than whether they are "natural" or not, which is the main focus here

    As I explained above you could not be more wrong about what the focus is. Natural evil proves beyond all doubt that the god of Jesus cannot exist. Other forms of evil - indiscriminate or not - do not.

    The people who died in the tower collapse were not more sinful than others.

    Irrelevant. All unrepentant sinners are worthy of destruction on Jesus' world.

    Yes and this apparently was compatible with Jesus' belief that people who die in disasters are not being punished for being especially sinful but that such events can happen to all sinners.

    I never at any time claimed they were "especially sinful". Just not accepting Jesus is enough to warrant destruction according to Jesus. But I have explained that at least 6 times.

    that doesn't mean there is no answer or there can't be something about the situation I am not aware of or don't understand properly.

    Yes it does. We have all the data we could possibly need. Jesus claimed that god is love. God designed a world that causes immeasurable harm. Jesus explained at length what love means in practical terms. By his own definition god is not love. Therefore Jesus was deluded or he was a liar.

    I make my arguments honestly and with sincerity.

    You have made remarks in recent months that make it very difficult for me to believe that.

    Yet you still trust your friend, and even if you can't think of the explanation, you believe that there must nevertheless be some explanation.

    The situation is absolutely nothing like that. Imagine you discover irrefutable evidence that your friend beats his wife and tortures his children. He doesn't even deny it, he just gets angry that anybody has the audacity to judge him for his actions. So you go on making excuses for him anyway.

  • Perry
    Perry

    kpop,

    Are you sure that when you die - nothing?

    After studying this topic for many years, I am convinced that the greatest threat to my well-being isn't death, cults, atheists, political parties, or taxes etc. The greatest threat to me is: unending consciousness after death.

    Imagine eternity, alone, bored, separated from anything that might be considered "good". God is good. No heat, no laughter, no human touch, no cool water, no art, no beauty, no love; just barren nothingness... experiencing only yourself for eternity.

    My mother recently died. Because I am so brazen as to enter into Christian belief apart from the Watchtower, my father and elder brothers didn't even call me while she was in hospice. (Previously, this wasn't a problem when one needed to borrow some money)

    When I found out a month later, by only the sheer power of the Holy Spirit was I able to calmly sit down with my father and get the details of what happened....without so much as feeling the slightest bit of anger with him. (plenty of anger at other times, that's for sure).

    Because of this, I was able to hear the bone-chilling story of my mother's demise. My mother's soul was in deep distress before her passing. The doctors had her drugged up with double the amount necessary to knock someone out. Yet, she would "break out" of her listlessness at times and scream out.. "I don't wan't to die!"

    She would "break through" at other times and yell out other fears shortly before her death. She was experiencing what is know as "terminal lucidity". It is quite common for patients to be completely coherent shortly before death.... even if their brain has been destroyed from Alzheimers, cancer and the like.

    How can someone be lucid when their brain is all eaten up with cancer, Alzheimer etc? This is powerful evidence of the existence of the soul (mind) that survives the demise of the body.

    This is consistent with what the bible says. We were made in the image of an eternal God. So, in order for us to enjoy him forever, the soul is eternal.... even in the case of the body being destroyed.

    Just do a search on - TERMINAL LUCIDITY

    You'll find all kinds of data on this.

  • slimboyfat
    slimboyfat

    Well I went to the library today and looked up a few commentaries on Luke and they all said Jesus was saying that people who suffer "natural calamities" (the term used by I. Howard Marshall) are not singled out because they are especially sinful. But that everyone is sinful and all need to repent if they want to survive in the end.

    At which point I forgot how or why you even disagree with that. It seems pretty obscure to me now.

    Anyway I ended up coming away with a book on congectural emendation. So all's well that ends well.

    Something I find interesting about the approach of yourself and some other atheists to the problem of evil. There seems to be a lot of anger, resentment and even contempt directed toward a God you claim you are sure does not exist.

    There is a similar phenomenon in the famous clip of Stephen Fry explaining what he would say if he could confront God.

    You would think that if you are committed to the idea of a universe that sprang from nothing, no higher intelligence or divine being, or at least no personal God. In that case you'd think an atheist would be adjusted to a world without purpose or a divine being providing meaning and explanation. In this scenario the universe is not evil or capricious it is just indifferent. You'd think in this case the most natural response to the question: what would you say to God? Would be simply to say there is none, the universe just exists and doesn't care, so there no point investing emotion in the hypothetical scenario.

    Yet many atheists such as Fry and yourself, seem to invest a tremendous amount of thought and emotion into the question of how evil God would be if he really created this world, and that you would give him a piece of your mind if you ever met him. To be honest, such sentiments don't really sound like you have really fully given up on a world without a supreme being.

    Which reminds me of the sarcastic (but somewhat true) remark that "atheists are boring because all they ever talk about is God".

    And Jean Paul Sartre's contradictory complaint: "God doesn't exist, the bastard".

    Believers and atheists are much closer than either often admit. As Derrida put it, true believers experience atheist all the time. Apparently the converse is also true.

  • Saethydd
    Saethydd

    How can someone be lucid when their brain is all eaten up with cancer, Alzheimer etc? This is powerful evidence of the existence of the soul (mind) that survives the demise of the body.

    Not really, it's evidence that when something as complex as the brain breaks it may still work occasionally. Unless you would also make the argument that a kitchen appliance with a defective control board that works inconsistently has a "soul."

    There is actually an interesting debate in the field of Psychology as to whether the "mind" really exists. Behaviorists say that everything traditionally attributed to the "mind" can be explained by the brain. Freudian students of psychoanalysis, however, are firm believers in the mind. Of course, as with God, it is hard to provide empirical evidence for something that cannot be physically perceived.

  • cofty
    cofty

    It's as if you go out your way to misunderstand and misrepresent my views at every opportunity.

    I can't be bothered correcting your latest serving of disingenuous PoMo bullshit SBF.

  • slimboyfat
    slimboyfat

    Ah well, normal Cofty service resumed I see, insults and all.

  • cofty
    cofty

    There are just so many examples of strawman attacks, misrepresentations and distortions of my position every single time I engage with you.

    I am convinced you are wilfully dishonest for reasons of your own self-aggrandisement. I have no interest in wasting time and energy trying to hold a conversation with you.

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