Christian question buffet.

Today we get several questions by J …..

Name: J
Message: As a Christian, I will readily admit that I have faith (as the Bible defines it: “..the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1)

I cannot prove to anyone the existence of God.  In fact the whole idea of being a Christian is to have faith in God without having to prove He exists scientifically or otherwise–and that being a personal decision devoid of coercion.  Though there is some science, history, and fact in the Bible, it is not a book on such topics.  I personally see the need for God and His Bible in my life and in society.

I respect the decisions, philosophy, and path that atheists choose, though I may agree to disagree with them.  Here are my questions to atheists (if I may ask more than one):

-Is religion needed in the world?
-Can atheism become a religion?
-Do you have to have faith to be an atheist?
-Can an atheists prove that God doesn’t exist?
-What’s more beneficial, being an atheist or agnostic?
-Where do atheists get morals?
-Why is it wrong to murder?

Respectfully, J

Those are a lot of questions J. Most have already been answered and you can use the handy search box on the upper right side of this page to search for them. In the mean time I’m going to give you short and to the point answers that can be expanded upon in the comments if you need more info.

Okay? Here we go…

Is religion needed in the world?
I hope not.

Can atheism become a religion?
Religion is the politics of mythology. Since atheism has no such mythology, I would say no. (Read more here.)

Do you have to have faith to be an atheist?
No. Don’t confuse faith with reasonable expectation.

Can an atheist prove that god doesn’t exist?
Can you prove that I don’t have an invisible intangible dragon living in my garage?

What is more beneficial? Being an atheist or an agnostic?
Being both. They are not mutually incompatible. (More here)

Where do atheists get morals?
The same place everyone else does. (More here)

Why is it wrong to murder?
If you don’t know the answer to that you should ask yourself why your god would create you without being able to understand why murder is wrong on your own.

And there you go. Feel free to ask follow up questions in the comment section below.

29 thoughts on “Christian question buffet.”

    1. Sure. Right after you explain why your good couldn’t make humans who understand the obvious reason as to why murder is wrong.

        1. No. You believe that man has to have a god tell him murder is wrong. That doesn’t tell me why murder is wrong. It’s like a parent who tells their child “because I say so. ” without actually explaining why the behavior is wrong.
          So again I ask, why couldn’t your god create man to be able to see the obvious reason why murder is wrong?

            1. So then you believe that man can understand why murder is wrong without a god telling him why it’s wrong? If so, then your question for me to explain why murder is wrong is unnecessary. If not then you admit that you don’t know why murder is wrong other then because your god says it is. There’s your answer.

          1. If I didn’t believe in God, I could say that murder is not necessarily wrong. Seeing that man is only an animal, if I don’t like him, I just kill him. See the logic

            1. The fact that you can come up with an excuse as to why murder wouldn’t be wrong has nothing to do with the obvious reason why it is. Reread my last comment to understand why.

            1. I’ve answered you’re question already. I’ll try to make it simpler since you don’t understand it.

              Murder is wrong for the same reason you believe your god says why it’s wrong. When you understand why your god says that murder is wrong you will understand why I say it’s wrong. So tell me, why does your god say murder is wrong ?

            1. Sure. Let’s go with that answer since you can’t grasp my other answer. Murder is wrong because my parents say it is.
              There. Will that satisfy you since my other answer didn’t?

          2. You didn’t give another answer. OK. Your mother told u so. Why do I believe that murder is wrong? Because God created man in His own image and I have no right in the world to mar what he has done.

            1. So then the only reason you believe that murder is wrong is because of ownership. That’s the same reason slave owners justified killing their slaves. So your god is no better then a slave owner.
              Very immoral.

          3. So now u believe in God because u said that u believe that murder is wrong for the same reason that I believe that it is wrong.

          4. Slave owners and slaves are human. Slave owners have no right to take the life of another human. God is not human. He is the Creator. He makes the rules. He is just. He is holy. He is righteous. He is sovereign.

            1. That’s not what your bible says. It says “slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling” (Ephesians 6:5), or “tell slaves to be submissive to their masters and to give satisfaction in every respect” (Titus 2:9). Or how about where it says how to treat slaves? “However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way. ” (Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT) Not enough? How about, “When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property. ” (Exodus 21:20-21 NAB) So your own holy book not only endorses slavery but it tells you how to treat slaves and how to obey if you’re a slave. Have you ever actually read your bible?

              Like I said. I’m more moral then your god.

            1. That’s a tired old argument that attempts to redefine what a slave was. It had no historical foundation and does nothing to argue against the fact that even if it was indentured servitude, the bible still clearly states that the owner has the right to murder their property.

              To justify your position you have to either ignore what your bible says or redefine the terms. That in and of itself is deceitful.

              I am still more moral then your god.

          5. If I were you, I wouldn’t make the horrible mistake of blaspheming God. It hurts me to see u disrespecting the one who came down to earth in human flesh to die for your sins.

            1. I’m not disrespecting your god. I’m challenging your concept of your god. I can’t disrespect something that hasn’t been proven to exist.

            1. Mik’la I’ve given that question to SmartLX to answer since he can explain it better then I can. If he doesn’t answer in the next few days I’ll my best to do it.

              Be patient okay? 🙂

  1. Umm … to my mind, very crudely, murder is wrong for the simple reciprocity principle of “do unto others as they do unto you”. Some may interpret it to be biblical, I suppose. Which, I think, is what Jake has been trying to point out. But the principle is basically a principle born out of reason (although a lot of philosophers have picked holes in it, I think the principle survives more or less when you consider practical matters).
    Its not that one should not murder because we are all made in the image of god or something like that. Basically, one should not murder because we in turn would not like to be murdered.
    We do not want to be murdered because we find our lives worth living and want to see its full potentiality … see where it will lead us. Even if we find that our lives are not very happy currently, most of us would want to live our unhappy lives still – because we know that things change and nothing (sadness or happiness) goes on forever.

    This goes for everything we do in-fact – the simple principle of doing to others what you’d like them to do to you is a principle that leads to more cooperation and less conflict. It makes us more mindful of the consequences of our actions.

    Another way to look at it is that murder robs the world of a potentiality … the person murdered could have in theory changed a few things in the world for better. One could argue that a murdered person could also have changed things for the worse in the world – and this justifies murder.
    In-fact, there is in some cases a fine line – you may want to murder a tyrant for e.g. (people murdered Ghadaffi in Libya out of anger for e.g.) in order to “set an example”. The death penalty for heinous crimes exists in most states because of this, I suppose.
    This is a conflict of principles, and reason must be used on a case to case basis to see if murder (putting to death) is right or not. We make institutions to rule in such cases (governments, courts) – because we believe that individuals in the heat of passion cannot be trusted to make rational decisions in such cases. The rational decision may be to put a person to death since his/ her potentiality is purely negative/ destructive and in order to turn it positive or neutral a lot of effort and money must be spent (which could be productively spent elsewhere). But different societies will be willing to bear different level of costs to neutralize the negative potentiality. Some (which have banished the death penalty for e.g.) are essentially willing to bear significant costs to keep the person alive but neutralize the negative potential (by therapy or life imprisonment). Others might say that the cost is too much to bear and the case is worth making an example of.
    Either way, the decision should be a decision of an institution and not of an interested/ involved party. The interested/ involved party cannot be trusted to be rational.

    So in a nutshell – murder is wrong due to the reciprocity principle and due to potentiality. Negative potentiality of a person’s continued existence (on the world in general) may be so high that a state/ court may decide to put the person to death and over-ride the reciprocity principle. But an involved/ interested individual must ideally not be allowed to take that decision as he/ she may be driven more by passion in deciding how negative the potentiality of an individual’s existence is than by reason.

  2. Jake,

    Thanks for posting my questions and responding to all of them. After reading your answers, as well as the comments that you’ve made replying to others, I thought it a good idea to respond.

    Religion needed? In a sense I agree with you, and so would God according to the Bible. Religion is man’s best attempt at trying to be something he can never be. As seen throughout history, it is fraught with atrocity, and wrong decisions. History, however, does show us something else as well: every nation, empire, and people that have survived and carved a path, have, at the core of their beliefs, some form of religion. Is it needed?-many, like yourself, “hope not.” Is it crucial to human nature and the cohesiveness of a society–I would argue, yes. Interestingly, almost every major religion in the world today has branched off of the Judeo-Christian bible/belief system.

    Can atheism become a religion? Your answer is somewhat narrow. When you look up the many different definitions of religion, you find that it can be a gathering of people to form a cause or society with or without using a collection of beliefs, and philosophies, to promote said cause, statement, belief system etc. Take a look around and you’ll find atheist conventions, “atheist experience,” live broadcasts, youtube vids, literature, and even asktheathiest.com. John Gray, English philosopher, calls it “zealous atheism,” and “evangelical atheists” that tend to try and convert people while condemning religion itself, which is “peculiarly human”. My contention is that, like the above mentioned paragraph, we all need something to believe in or gravitate towards whether its true or not.

    Questions: Do you have to have faith to be an atheist and can you prove that God doesn’t exist? Your “reasonable expectation” is that there isn’t a God. As mentioned, I admit that I have faith in God’s existence. What, exactly, do you base your “reasonable expectation” on that there isn’t a God, higher power, other life unknown to us, that has creative power. You have already made a bold statement by creating this website, but I see a lack of proof in your cause (unless you are ready to admit that you have faith in your cause); the burden remains on you.

    Here is a short line of thought that I’ve concluded after talking to many atheists: “did a Big Bang happen?-maybe, we weren’t there. What was before that?- we don’t know. And before that?- not sure. Do you believe it was aliens?-some of us. Do you think these answers will conclude someday?-we think so. How do you know?-we’re not sure, but science has come a long way.” So you have, “..the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen,” like me. That’s called faith. God has given to each person a measure of faith (Romans 12:3), what we use it for is up to us.

    No, I can’t prove that you don’t have an invisible intangible dragon in your garage. Have you ever heard of a straw man argument? Does your dragon have the biggest following ever known to written history? Does it contain a compilation of 66 books by 40 different authors, written over the course of centuries that all speak on one common thread, some of which is incredibly detailed, pushing to the limits of probable math? Does your dragon’s book contain scientific fact, proven history, proven geography, all at the same time giving humanity morals, rules, and laws, that, when understood correctly, can benefit a society (and has since the beginning of its writing)? Yes, you may have an invisible dragon in your garage; however, it’s not probable.

    Atheist or agnostic? What’s more beneficial: survival of the fittest, or survival of the logical? Atheists take an absolute stance. Agnostics take an absolute uncertainty. It may not take millions of years to weed out illogical philosophy. There is, however, room for lots of faith.

    Morals and murder? If we got our morals from “the same place everyone else does,” or “our parents,” we’d be in trouble. Suppose you were Hitler’s children: would you make him proud, or would he disown you (or worse). By the way, Hitler along with Haeckel used an evolutionary worldview, combined with human philosophy to carry out one of the worst tragedies know in our recent history; he’s not alone. If one uses evolution to create morals then its survival of the fittest. History shows us, many times over: “I’m bigger, I’ll take over by force” (the reason is trivial). Look at every prospering, country in the world today: their morals came from a biblical foundation. Our rules, laws, and morals have come from the bible. You are free to create your own or ignore the bible’s, but then what basis do you use? When you combine humanism (a secular branch of religion that combines progress, faith, hope, love, morals, –all stemming from the bible) with science, you end up with religion gone wrong in the name of science.

    Murder isn’t wrong because someone said it was; whoever is in charge can change the rules of their society. It isn’t wrong scientifically; science is amoral. Murder isn’t wrong by any standards Darwin put forth; his theory is also amoral. Murder isn’t even wrong for a society that sees fit to engage in it (in fact it would strengthen the murderers or whomever is the stronger force, controlling society as they see fit). In fact, the more we “evolve” and grow “smart” the more we create ways to utterly destroy each other and wipe out our planet. Murder is wrong, because God said it is. We get, and have gotten our morals from the Bible since its writing. If you wish to create your own society based on your own moral standards, you are free to do so.

    Thanks for the time.
    Respectfully,
    J

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