God Talk: Debates and Discussions with Believers
These are actual conversations that have taken place between religious believers and myself, through forums, email, dialogue, etc. This discussion has been kept in its original format, with spelling and grammatical errors in tact.
Delusions of Evidence
Christian: I ran across your website and I am sad for you. If you would truly (not marginally) trust in Jesus, you would understand the truth. You spent hours if not days trying to debunk Jesus but in truth God is tugging at your conscience this very minute.
Why do you not mention Isaiah 9:6 - is it too scary for you?
I will be praying for your soul! Do you really believe that we are here by accident? God loves you and he died for YOU! You have but a blindness on your eyes that only God can remove. You still have time to accept the Messiah. The only God.
Jesus loves you.
Rebuttal: I think the reason you're responding isn't for me as much as it's for yourself. You're clearly bothered by what I have to say, which isn't surprising, since it can be difficult stuff for a believer to deal with. Your insistence on faith in spite of the debunking I've done is proof of how my debunking bothers you. Faith is no use against reason, though, as you would know from reading my All Faith is Blind article (which you should read if you haven't). Your reference to Isaiah 9:6 shows how little you understand about your own bible too. Explain to me when Jesus ever had "the government on his shoulders." Ah, but I know you'll say that's the future Jesus from the second coming. The trouble is that the Old Testament never says the messiah will die and return to earth to fulfill his mission - that's a Christian invention to make Jesus seem to fit the "prophecies." And then there's the fact in Matthew 16:27-28 that Jesus did not return in the lifetime of his audience. Your religion debunks itself, my friend.
Learn to use reason. Faith will only get you into gullibility, deceit, and possibly even violence.
Christian: Jesus is God and King now and forever. Merry Christmas. I will continue to pray for you and ask God to heal your heart.
Rebuttal: Marvelous response. Instead of addressing any of what I say, you utter mindless affirmations of your own faith. Very religious (a.k.a. delusional) of you. You go ahead and pray as hard as you can and I promise to email you the minute I convert. If it takes a while, or doesn't happen at all, you may want to rethink the effectiveness of prayer. Happy holidays to you.
Christian: Just remember that someone does care about you. Also I think the word "convert" has been destroyed. Believing in Jesus is not converting from something else. He raises from the dead. He makes that which was previously dead alive. He makes the destroyed and dilapidated brand new. It is much more than a mere change in idea or form.
Rebuttal: I think that Christians, like many religious believers, are so lost in their own fantasies that they try to redefine perfectly fitting words to match their delusional view of reality. There is no evidence whatsoever to suggest that Jesus actually rose from the dead or can renew anything. Your delusion is not fact, it's faith. The word "convert" fits just fine for the event of becoming a believer in Jesus. One converts from a state of disbelief into belief. You don't get to redefine or exclude certain words because you're so infatuated with your religion that you think it transcends everything else. It's just not true.
Christian: Sure there is evidence of The resurrection of Jesus, eyewitness accounts. Criminals in America have been convicted on much less evidence.
You say faith is delusion but you believe millions of years ago a Big Bang happened and just through mere chance the human intellect evolved. Yet there is no proof. I call that deluded. You see, it takes faith for you to believe that there is no God and that you and me happened by chance.
So why not realize that there is a higher power? We did not happen by chance. Can you at least start there?
Rebuttal: Eyewitness accounts? Only conservative bible scholars still believe that, and it's only out of faith, not evidence. The gospels are anonymous and did not receive their names until the 2nd century, decades after they were written. Even if you could prove that the gospels are eyewitness accounts, you're investing way too much faith in eyewitness testimony. Studies have been done that show just how unreliable it is, and we all know how easy it is to fool the mind with things like stage magic and optical illusions. Courts value DNA and forensic evidence a lot more than eyewitness testimony, so you clearly don't know the American legal system.
There is no proof? There is cosmic microwave background radiation left over from the Big Bang. There is the distribution of the celestial bodies that points to everything expanding outward from a single point in space. As for the evolution of intellect, there are studies that show consciousness and intelligence among other animals like chimps and elephants, and all of neuroscience points to the mind being like the software of the brain, thus the power of the mind evolves along with the development of the brain. So, on the contrary, there is evidence for what I believe. It doesn't take faith to doubt something for which there is no evidence, like god. It takes faith to believe something for which there is no evidence. You wouldn't be so absurd as to say you have faith that Santa Claus is a fictional character, would you?
Actually, I do agree that there is a higher power. In fact, there are several. I am bound by the laws of gravity. I have no power to violate physics. I can't make a logical contradiction true. There are many higher powers, but what you're talking about is a sentient super being for which there is no evidence (starting to see a pattern here?). As for chance, I'm not in any place to say at the moment. The Big Bang only takes us back to the expansion of space-time, not before. It's possible that there was something that caused the Big Bang, but it's also possible that the cause was nothing like your god at all, and it's even possible - as weird as it may seem - that there was no cause. A cause is an event that takes place in time, so how can there be a cause outside of time?
You seem to have an unstated aversion to the idea that the universe emerged by chance. Why is this? It looks as though you really want to believe it was all the design of some benevolent deity, but what we want is not often what's true, is it? I'd much rather follow the evidence where it leads, and if the current answer is unknown, then I'm perfectly comfortable saying "I don't know." Yet this doesn't leave room for gods any more than it leaves room for leprechauns, fairies, gnomes, or other superstitious explanations. I say I don't know about the origins of the universe, but I can say without conflict that I disbelieve in god because there is no reason to think a god exists.
Christian: No reason to believe God exists? Really? Have you ever witnessed a live birth? Have you had your own child run from across the room when he or she sees you just to jump in your arms? Have you studied the beauty of a piece of grass? You have no excuse. God is evident in nature. As for your "theories" -they are just theories. And it certainly does take a special brand of faith to make yourself God.
To reiterate, I am not sending you emails because I doubt. I am sending you emails for one reason- bc I love you with the love of Jesus and as I try to do with everyone I meet, tell them the Good News, that God became human and died for all of us. He has prepared a way for us to escape evil and death and hell. Just believe.
As far as the eyewitness account, I am am eyewitness. I have seen God's work. Do you understand? If you put your wet hand in a socket you will believe in electricity.
I guess I am here to give you a chance, you may have another but once you die you have no choice any more. You have also had an encounter with God, haven't you? Have you ever seen a miraculous healing? I have. Deaf hear, quadrapalegic suddenly got up out of his bed. Epileptic healed. Not in TV, no, right before my very eyes. I have seen drug addicts quit and never come back. I have seen with my eyes cancer be eliminated. But most of all I have seen lives changed. Bad people become good.
Let me ask you one more question and I will stop if you want me too. Don't you believe that there is good and evil? Don't you believe that Hitler was evil? Don't you believe that the love of a mother is good? Or do you believe that there is no good and evil? How do you reconcile the moral code within us? Is it ever good to kill an innocent person? Haven't you ever been angry bc someone intentionally hurt you?
Paul says some need a sign and others need to be convinced through logic. I truly believe that no matter how hard you fight with your logic, you are really asking God deep down to give you a sign. Just ask God. Say, "God, if you are truly real, give me a sign."
Rebuttal: Wow. Where to begin with this mish-mash of garbage... You think a live birth, children, and grass are evidence of god? You are ridiculously naive and simplistic in your belief. Are parasites evidence of your god too? Stillborn infants? If god is evident in nature, that should be all of nature, shouldn't it? If that's true, your god is one sadistic monster.
A theory in the scientific sense is an explanation of facts that may be supported by all available evidence and can be 99.99% proven. Faith like yours, however, isn't even a theory, or an hypothesis - it's just blind belief. You have no evidence, all you have are subjective anecdotes, assumptions, and distorted facts. Example: I have never claimed to make myself god. Like many believers, you are fond of strawman fallacies because you carry so many assumptions in your worldview.
What reason should I have to believe your eyewitness testimony? How can I understand your experience when it was your experience and not mine? Your comment on electricity is hilarious because there is evidence of electricity - it isn't just an experience, and you can know it exists without sticking a wet hand in a socket. I used to believe I had encountered god, but Muslims say they have encountered Allah, Hindus say they've encountered Vishnu, and on and on. Why should I accept my interpretation of an experience unless there's evidence that it is correct? I don't know anything about your experiences, but it doesn't seem like you have a skeptical bone in your body, so I'm far less inclined to believe you. I have no reason to accept your extraordinary claims when you have yet to present any objective evidence for them.
Yes, I believe in morality and immorality, but what moral code do you think is within us? Do you not see Christians who kill, atheists who help the poor, and everything in between? We may have certain commonalities in morality, but there is no reason to presume that it's because there is a moral code inside us. It's because we are social animals, and as social animals we have developed standards conducive to the success of society, and personal freedoms are likewise enumerated under a teaching like the golden rule. In other words, it's self-interest that motivates morality, not some imaginary inner spirit or code. Religious morality was eviscerated thousands of years ago in the Euthyphro dilemma. You should look it up if you're unfamiliar with it.
I love how presumptuous Christians like you are when they talk to an atheist. You all think you know the answers. If only I'd pray, god would prove me wrong! Why would I prostrate myself before such a malevolent deity that, according to your religion, wiped out nearly all of humanity in a flood, burned cities to ash for sexual immorality, sent his "chosen" people to slaughter tribes and take the women as property, and promises to finally destroy all life on earth in a blaze of terror, just before damning the majority of its creation to eternal torment for something as ego-maniacal as not worshiping it? You say Hitler was evil and you'll tell me with a straight face that your god is good? Ha! I could never bring myself to pray to such a tyrannical beast, but thank reality that there's no evidence for such a blight in the first place!
Christian: Okay. Yay! Now we finally found something we agree on. Why are humans the only creatures on earth that really have a true moral code? I know your answer is going to be: we aren't. But I think you have not read enough anthropology and society books, if you truly believe that any species of animal has a moral code like humans. Is there any other creature other than humans that are guilty of pollution and destruction of nature? It is a paradox. Humans destroying nature proves the Gospel. haha
For the record, I never claimed I was superior to anyone. The God that pursued me and saved me, offers freedom to all. I am not special. Humans have created their own evils. God created free will. Why? God created free will in humans and he knew humans use of it would cause many many evils and the eventual destruction of nature. But you know what free will allows humans to do also: Love. To make a solid real and completely human choice to Love God. To seek after God because I WANT too. I want to discover the beauty of God. That is what existence is about: learning how to Love and want God.
As far as what other people have done in the name of God, just because someone says He or she is a Christian that does not mean anything. A true worshipper is worshipping in Totality which means out of choice.
Just come to God and give up. He loves you. And He has made me to love you too. I will continue to pray for you every day. Merry Christmas!
Rebuttal: No other species of animal has a moral code like humans because we are a different species. You can't expect lions to behave like humans or humans to behave like whales because lions aren't humans and humans aren't whales. This is very simple stuff and it confounds me how it often seems to elude religious believers like yourself. Moral codes vary among species because different species have different kinds of social groups. Humans destroying nature only proves that we've evolved to such a level that our rate of resource consumption is disproportionate to what we give back to the environment. This is not at all as unique as you think either, which is why so many species have gone extinct through the course of history. In fact, many animals do destroy their own environment, just not on the scale that we do, because we are more numerous and we have evolved the ability to drain more resources in many ways (including completely unnecessary ways).
Christianity provides no grounds for free will. Think about this: if god knows everything before it happens, including our futures, and he created it all, setting in motion every person's life and destiny, then you can only do what god has determined you will do. This means that you don't make your own choices, though you have the illusion of choice. God is the puppet master who pulls every string, and yet you think you're moving your arms and legs of your own will! This holds grim truth about your idea of god's "love," because a being that has predetermined some people for heaven and many others for hell is not loving in any meaningful sense of the word. It would be as if you led your dog on a leash right over a steep crevice, causing it to plummet to its death. No one in their right mind would say the dog had free will because it moved its own legs.
According to your own beliefs, no one worships out of choice. But still, the "true Christian" rhetoric is a fallacy known as the No True Scotsman fallacy. There is no universal definition of what it takes to be a Christian, and many Christians disagree with each other over the issue, so there's no reason to favor your idea of what a real Christian looks like over the idea of any other person.
I find it fitting that you say "give up" and come to god. Boy, isn't that exactly what faith is! Don't understand something? Having a hard time reconciling the conflicting and irrational doctrines of Christianity? Then give up, stop thinking, and just believe anyway! It's never harmed anyone before, right? Except for the ancient tribes who slaughtered each other over different names for their imaginary friends. Except for the thousands of innocent women executed as witches. Except for the massive amount of bloodshed committed for the holy land and other religious symbols. Except for the insane oppression of freedoms that comes from people whose faith tells them that their religion is superior to all others. Why don't I just give up and join the mindless masses who have caused so much damage for surrendering their reason to scriptures, delusions, and wolves in sheep's clothing?
You go ahead and pray for me and remember what I said. I will tell you the moment I've changed my mind. If prayer is effective, it shouldn't be long, because - hey - god can do anything, right? But if it takes a while or never happens at all, I hope you'll reconsider the effectiveness of ancient superstitions like prayer. They're really the equivalent of a magic 8 ball, except that an 8 ball will actually give you a visible answer that you don't have to imagine.
© Copyright 2008-2012. All rights reserved.