Todays question comes from DK who asks…
Message: I have read enough of the questions and responses to gain a general understanding of why you have chosen to be an atheist… In saying that, I do believe there is a God. I was raised in a Christian home, and have been taught Biblical principles my entire life. I am actually a student pastor at the church I attend, and I am in the process of creating a message series proving the existence of God through Biblical and physical evidence. My belief, much like yours, is that Christians, as a whole, are viewed as ignorant and hypocritical, because their behavior and the claims they make personally, come from very little understanding of who God is and why they actually believe in him. For most, Christianity is just what they were always taught was “the right thing to believe.” Without a belief in God being built on a firm foundation of evidence, any belief you express in that regard, whether in word or deed, will lack conviction and lead to instability. While I am still searching for all the answers, my conviction comes from having personally experienced God’s intervention in my life. I am not referring to a sense of a being I have never seen that I have made a blind assumption is the presence of God; I am referring to him making a way for me in times when I, despite my greatest effort, could not accomplish something or meet a desperate need. Ultimately, whether you believe in Christianity or science, Creation or Evolution, we will all be searching for answers until the day we die, some of which we may never be able to answer completely or even at all. In an effort to gain a better understand of your perspective as an atheist, have you considered the possibility that you are attempting to justify your position from an intellectually finite perspective, when the answers we are all looking for come from an infinite origin? The Bible says in Proverbs that men judge the outward appearance; God judges the heart. While having enough understanding of God to be confident in your belief of Him is im!
portant, we can allow our relentless pursuit of understanding God through everything we see to push us away from Him when we don’t find all the answers, when the truth is, we will never have all the answers. Even a scientist when he verifies a hypothesis understands that, while he may have uncovered a portion of the truth, there is still much left to discover. Does that make his belief in his original findings any less true? God does not expect us to have all the answers before we trust Him. He only wants to bring us peace in the midst of uncertainty – to bring joy and hope to our hearts in a world that is in a constant state of moral decay. He wants us to trust that if we believe in Him instead of working tirelessly to solve a problem on our own, He can help us through the trials we face. However, He has given us the free will to choose whether we give Him the chance to do so. I say these things not to preach at you, but from the first hand experience of, at one time, being in your shoes-of questioning the existence of God. You cannot experience God’s true purpose until you stop trying to answer everything with your head, and give Him the opportunity to change your heart. That is the choice He has given you. What are your thoughts?
Great question and I want to get right to what’s bothering me about what you just said, in fact, it’s one of my biggest problems with the judeo-christian belief system.
Let’s for a minute assume that there is a god and that it wants us to find it. How has it set things up for us to determine how everything else exists? What is the criteria for determining existence? In short, ( I go into greater detail here. ) it’s through objective, verifiable means. So why is it, then when religion comes around, it says that “god” wants us to find it not with the rational, the intelligence, and the brain that said god gave to us, but in a way that’s exactly the opposite? Remember, god through it’s creation has already taught us how to determine what exists and what doesn’t. So why ask it’s creations to toss that out the window? It’s like telling us that dirt is water, the sun is dark, things fall upwards, and that women get pregnant from kissing. We know it’s not how the world, ( which in this scenario has a god ) was set up.
If there is a god, faith would be insulting to it.
A lot of believers at this point like to tell me that faith is a test, and that we need to let go of everything that said god has already taught us, and believe in it despite all of that. Well isn’t that exactly what a person or organization who wants you to think that god is on their side would tell you since they can’t actually produce a god? They would try to convince you to stop thinking about it. After all, you’re human and can’t begin to understand the ways of god. They would tell you that it’s better to believe without evidence because it would show their god that you really trust it. They would show you places in the world that match places in their stories and try to use that as evidence. They would villainize anyone who didn’t agree with them, telling you how evil and immoral everyone else is, and how you need to convince them to believe as you do for their own sake. They would tell you that everything good in your life was given to you by their invisible, anti irrational criteria for a god. It’s insidious and it’s dishonest. I believe that it can be said that the only honest seekers of the divine are atheists.
There was one more thing that you said that bothers me. You said, “I am referring to him making a way for me in times when I, despite my greatest effort, could not accomplish something or meet a desperate need.” I hear this from time to time from believers, and it disturbs me not only because of the underline message of human devaluation, but because I can’t believe that a loving god would want it’s creation to think so low of itself. I go into deeper explanation in my post titled “How do I overcome adversity without a god?”
I hope this and the other two articles I mentioned here answered your question for you. If you have any further thoughts please feel free to use the comment section below.