The standards of Atheism

Is it reasonable for Atheists to require a standard of evidence or proof from Theists for the existence of God (or veracity of Christianity) to reach the level of undeniability?  The more time I spend on the internet the more I find Atheists assign a threshold of evidence for God that they give nothing else.

Without delving into whether God exists or if Christianity is true, could some of my Atheist readers answer a few questions in earnest?

  • Why does the evidence for God, or the veracity of Christianity need to reach the level of undeniability rather than a preponderance of the evidence by accumulation like anything else?
  • If you were to apply the same standard of evidence and proof to God that you require of other controversial issues, would the threshold be met?
  • Can this be level of certainty be fulfilled with anything and it not be gainsayed?
  • Is it even possible for anything, regardless of subject matter, to reach the level of certainty you require?
  • In my experience it seems that the standard many Atheists require for the existence of God isn’t asked of anything else.  Why do you believe it’s reasonable to require such a higher standard for God than anything else?

Comments

  1. In answer to your questions:

    1. “◾Why does the evidence for God, or the veracity of Christianity need to reach the level of undeniability rather than a preponderance of the evidence by accumulation like anything else? ”

    Atheists are not the ones who set the standard so high. It is Christians who claim inspiration, infallibility and inerrancy to the Bible and a special status for their religion above all others. Christianity fails these high standards and they fail all the other standards, however low the bar is set.

    2. “◾If you were to apply the same standard of evidence and proof to God that you require of other controversial issues, would the threshold be met? ”

    The question is too obscure to merit an answer. What other controversial subject do you have in mind?

    3. “◾Can this be level of certainty be fulfilled with anything and it not be gainsayed? ”

    I need to know exactly what you have in mind in order to answer the question.

    4. “◾Is it even possible for anything, regardless of subject matter, to reach the level of certainty you require? ”

    It is quite possible, I suppose. Again, I do need to know exactly what you have in mind. Making comparisons between unspecified things is pointless.

    5. “◾In my experience it seems that the standard many Atheists require for the existence of God isn’t asked of anything else. Why do you believe it’s reasonable to require such a higher standard for God than anything else? ”

    Actually, atheists have pretty high standards for all philosophical, religious and economic claims. But the subject of comparison must be specified before any valid comparison can begin.

  2. 1. “Why does the evidence for God, or the veracity of Christianity need to reach the level of undeniability rather than a preponderance of the evidence by accumulation like anything else?”

    I don’t it requires any more evidence than anything else. Most things are observable and repeatable. God is not.

    2. “If you were to apply the same standard of evidence and proof to God that you require of other controversial issues, would the threshold be met?”

    Yes. And the verdict is that there is no evidence of a Christian-type God.

    3. “Can this be level of certainty be fulfilled with anything and it not be gainsayed?
    Is it even possible for anything, regardless of subject matter, to reach the level of certainty you require?”

    Yes. I believe in Gravity. It seems that evolution is likely. And most economic models can be tested and repeated. Christian’s can’t even prove that enslaved Jews were ever in Egypt.

    4. “In my experience it seems that the standard many Atheists require for the existence of God isn’t asked of anything else. Why do you believe it’s reasonable to require such a higher standard for God than anything else?”

    Your question is a fallacy given that we require the same evidence for all matters; however, I think religion in general does qualify for special treatment since people are willing to kill others over it, people vote a certain way because of it, people act a certain way because of it, and people’s entire belief systems could be misguided – all because of religion.

    • Atticus

      1. I had pizza for breakfast this morning. What do I have to do to prove that to you? Is the threshold the same for whether God exists?
      2. I don’t think you can say there’s no evidence. I think what you mean is the strength of evidence doesnt meet your standard. Technically, the Bible is evidence for the Christian God, but it’s safe to say you dont believe it meets your standard.
      3. The question is ‘can any evidence be offered for God that cant be gainsayed?’ For example, someone could offer something, and it would seem to me that a skeptic could ALWAYS say, ‘not good enough’. So is there something to which you couldnt say ‘not good enough’?
      4. The question isnt fallacious because you dont require the same amount of evidence for everything as you admit in the very next sentence. BTW, people kill over politics too, and love, and any number of things. Whats the burden of proof your girlfriend or wife must meet to prove they love you, after all, they could be lying and using you for something.

  3. Hello John,

    Instead arguing in abstract and making comparisons between unspecified things, perhaps it would be best if you explained exactly what standards of evidence are sufficient to convince your own self about the existence of God, the trustworthiness of the Bible, and Christianity’s unique status as the world’s only correct religion.

    Then (say) an atheist could explain why the evidences which you offer aren’t up to the task of convincing the atheist about the validity of religious beliefs, dogmas and opinions.

    For example, I will throw this point out as available for discussion:

    * When a Christian talks about “God” I have no idea nor any conception of specifically what entity the Christian has in mind and in my conversations with Christians often gather the suspicion that the Christian also doesn’t know what he or she is talking about. Therefore the claim “God exist” is meaningless and as such, potentially false.

    * When a Christian affirms his or her faith in the Bible, I often discover in conversation that the Christian hasn’t actually read the book, doesn’t comprehend the parts that he or she has read, and conflates modern Christian ideas with the ideas which were actually present among Israelites, Jews and early Christians. As such, the doctrine of Biblical infallibility means little more than Biblical ignorance.

    * When a Christian claims “Christianity is the only true religion” that sounds no different to me than when a Muslim claims “Islam is the only true religion”. Both claims are equally true and equally false whereas neither claim is actually true as both claims are objectively, rationally false.

    And so forth …

  4. David I wanted to comment on this:

    “conflates modern Christian ideas with the ideas which were actually present among Israelites, Jews and early Christians.”

    Can you give an example?

  5. David, regarding this comment:
    “When a Christian claims “Christianity is the only true religion” that sounds no different to me than when a Muslim claims “Islam is the only true religion”. Both claims are equally true and equally false whereas neither claim is actually true as both claims are objectively, rationally false.”

    Yes all religions claim exclusivity. Except the Baha’i. You are right in that either 1 religion is true or they are all false. The problem is that some people think that they are all true or that all paths lead to God. But the fundamentals of religions are too contradictory. My question for you is, do you claim 100% that there is no God? Richard Dawkins stays in the safe zone of 99.9%. Because to claim 100% is to be all knowing and that contradicts your statement that their is no God (ie no one that knows everything).

  6. David regarding this comment:

    ” I have no idea nor any conception of specifically what entity the Christian has in mind and in my conversations with Christians often gather the suspicion that the Christian also doesn’t know what he or she is talking about”

    Are you saying that no Christian has ever described the characteristics of God? Or have the characteristics been tough to grasp? Just because they have been tough to grasp doesn’t mean the Christian did a poor job of explaining them. In actuality if He was explained correctly then we can’t completely grasp Him.God(The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) is the only being that is defined only in himself. God is outside of the spacetime continuum. We who are finite and locked into space and time cannot really understand someone infinite. He is the a priori of everything and anything.

  7. David I would like to engage you in discussion but I’d like some ground rules where I won’t get mad at you for being an unbeliever and you won’t get mad at me for being a believer.

    He who slings mud generally loses ground.
    – Adlai Stevenson

    Don’t wrestle a pig in a mud hole. You both get all dirty, and the pig enjoys it.
    -anonymous

    When you throw mud at others, not only do you lose a lot of ground, you also get your hands dirty. – anonymous

  8. David,

    1). Why not try to answer John’s entire question? Your answer dealt exclusively with Christianity, but the larger question was: “Why does the evidence for God….need to reach the level of undeniablity rather than a preponderance of the evidence by accumulation like anything else?”

    Atticus,

    1). People don’t dispute the existence of Julius Caesar even though there is less evidence for him than for Christ. So don’t tell me that the bar isn’t set higher for Christianity; it most assuredly is.

    2). One piece of evidence is the historical fact of Christ’s existence. It may not speak to His divinity, but it’s still historical fact and any serious discussion of Christianity should take place within this parameter.

    3). There is some evidence that they were slaves to the Egyptians in their own land. Read this article on the matter. http://reformjudaismmag.org/Articles/index.cfm?id=3184

    4). Obviously this isn’t the case with all atheists. Read 1).

  9. Hello Zanspence,

    You ask, “Can you give an example? ”

    There are many examples. For example, Christians often read Genesis 1:1 and assume that the author of the first creation account conceived of a universe identical to the universe described by modern science. Christians read a Bible passage such as “Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been declared to you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? 22It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in … ” ( http://biblehub.com/isaiah/40-22.htm ) and imagine that the author of Isaiah pictured the Earth as spherical and as revealed by satellite photos.

    Christians imagine that Jesus was a capitalist (he wasn’t), God is an American (he isn’t), and that God is a Republican (not so, either!).

    You say, “Are you saying that no Christian has ever described the characteristics of God? Or have the characteristics been tough to grasp? Just because they have been tough to grasp doesn’t mean the Christian did a poor job of explaining them. In actuality if He was explained correctly then we can’t completely grasp Him.God(The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) is the only being that is defined only in himself. God is outside of the spacetime continuum. We who are finite and locked into space and time cannot really understand someone infinite. He is the a priori of everything and anything. ”

    I can only say that the above description of God might serve as your own definition of God but it probably does not represent every Christians’ definition of God and certainly does not reflect all of the different definitions of God which Christians have entertained over the last 2000 years.

    You say, “David I would like to engage you in discussion but I’d like some ground rules where I won’t get mad at you for being an unbeliever and you won’t get mad at me for being a believer. ”

    I never get mad at anyone for either being a believer or an unbeliever.

    • David? You say you dont get mad at people for being a Believer? That makes you pretty inconsistent. For if you think Christians are as hate filled and bigoted as you claim, and you had any morals whatsoever, you should be mad.

  10. Hello Terance,

    You ask, “Why not try to answer John’s entire question? Your answer dealt exclusively with Christianity, but the larger question was: “Why does the evidence for God….need to reach the level of undeniablity rather than a preponderance of the evidence by accumulation like anything else?”

    The question is quite incorrect and that is why it wasn’t answered. Christians imagine that atheists apply some sort of double standard to their own religious claims as opposed to someone else’s and that assumption is incorrect.

    If a Christian tells me that God exist and a Hindu tells me that Ganesh exist, I will either accept both claims or reject both claims but I will not apply a different standard to God than I apply to Ganesh.

    You comment, “People don’t dispute the existence of Julius Caesar even though there is less evidence for him than for Christ. So don’t tell me that the bar isn’t set higher for Christianity; it most assuredly is. ”

    This statement is incorrect because anyone familiar with the methods of history will know that all claims regarding past individuals and events are subjected to scrutiny by historians and then are accepted or rejected based upon the evidence.

    From the standpoint of both history and scholarship there is a near universal consensus that Jesus did exist. That is not to suggest that you won’t find anyone among the 7 billion humans who deny Jesus’ existence. Doubtless you will also discover a handful of humans who also deny Caesar’s existence.

    You comment, “One piece of evidence is the historical fact of Christ’s existence. It may not speak to His divinity, but it’s still historical fact and any serious discussion of Christianity should take place within this parameter. ”

    Jesus did exist. We can agree about this and move on.

  11. Hello John,

    You say, “You say you dont get mad at people for being a Believer? That makes you pretty inconsistent. For if you think Christians are as hate filled and bigoted as you claim, and you had any morals whatsoever, you should be mad. ”

    That’s just silly. I am opposed to hatred, prejudice and bigotry. I am not opposed to religious belief. Whenever I happen to meet a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim, a Hindu or a Buddhist who happens to love their neighbor, love their enemies and live at peace with 7 billion humans I will applaud the faith of the believer and tell everyone to emulate their behavior whether their religion is the same or different or they happen to have no religion at all.

    I will criticize religion when it serves a contrary purpose, that is when religion promotes division, exclusion, hatred and warfare. I will also criticize atheism when it serves the same purposes, as I have done so on numerous occasions.

    I waste no time worrying about what anyone else believers (or does not believe). When asked, I tell the Catholics to remain Catholic, the evangelicals to remain evangelical, the Jehovah’s Witnesses to remain witnesses and the fundamentalists to remain fundamentalist (well, ok, maybe not!).

  12. David,

    There was nothing wrong with the question. You chose not to answer it because you have no answer.

    This statement is incorrect because anyone familiar with the methods of history will know that all claims regarding past individuals and events are subjected to scrutiny by historians and then are accepted or rejected based upon the evidence.

    The statement is not incorrect. There exists more than ten sources for Jesus’ existence and much less for the existence of Caesar, about four times less. All I’m saying is that there is more evidence for Christ than for Caesar.

    And certainly the historicity of Jesus is a point of contention for some atheists. We’ve had them on this very blog denying His existence.

  13. Hello Terrance,

    You said, “There was nothing wrong with the question. You chose not to answer it because you have no answer. ”

    Okay, then, I will ask an analogous question and await your answer: “Terrance, when did you stop beating your wife?”

    If the above question doesn’t explain why some questions don’t merit an answer, I cannot do anything at all for you.

    You said, “The statement is not incorrect. There exists more than ten sources for Jesus’ existence and much less for the existence of Caesar, about four times less. All I’m saying is that there is more evidence for Christ than for Caesar. ”

    Since no one is denying the existence of either Jesus or Caesar it is quite pointless to argue about such things.

    You said, “And certainly the historicity of Jesus is a point of contention for some atheists. We’ve had them on this very blog denying His existence. ”

    I’m not at all concerned about what some minority of atheists might say about any given subject. Atheists are as fallible and prone to error as any other human. I’ve verified this myself through my own extensive interactions with atheists and other humans.

    From a historical and scholarly standpoint, Jesus’ existence isn’t a matter of contention. Jesus existed. Jesus lived, Jesus died, Jesus was crucified. It is only when anyone gets beyond these three certainties that we enter into the thicket of mythology, legends and fiction which the religion of Christianity has constructed around Jesus.

    Jesus disappears altogether once anyone mentions Jesus Christ, an entity which is certainly nonexistent.

    • David, It has been demonstrated that a double-standard exists. John has devoted much of this blog to that idea. You acting like Johhny-Come Lately is not conducive to this discussion. The fact is, many atheists on this blog dispute the historcity of Jesus. You may not, but many do, and that is the double-standard I’m talking about.

  14. David,

    Where does the Christian religion “promote division, exclusion, hatred and warfare“? While I don’t try to posture myself as a scholar, I can’t for the life of me recall anyplace in Scripture where any of those things are promoted as I am certain you think they are. Any “division” or “exclusion” promoted in Scripture is no different than what happens in any society regardless of how religious a society is or isn’t. Mankind will always divide itself between those who it believes is helping or hurting society by their behaviors. Those who hurt it are “sinning” against the society. They will eventually be excluded. Christianity is no different. But more importantly, people exclude themselves by their behavior. If a friend took to peeing on your carpet, you’d likely exclude him from visiting your home, and you wouldn’t care how deeply he felt he had the right to pee on your carpet.

    “Okay, then, I will ask an analogous question and await your answer: “Terrance, when did you stop beating your wife?”

    There is no parallel between this idiotic question and that posed by our humble host. Nice dodge, though. I guess.

  15. Hello Terrance,

    * “David, It has been demonstrated that a double-standard exists. John has devoted much of this blog to that idea. You acting like Johhny-Come Lately is not conducive to this discussion. The fact is, many atheists on this blog dispute the historcity of Jesus. You may not, but many do, and that is the double-standard I’m talking about. ”

    Jesus did exist. So the issue is settled.

    Hello Marshal,

    You say, “While I don’t try to posture myself as a scholar, I can’t for the life of me recall anyplace in Scripture where any of those things are promoted as I am certain you think they are. ”

    If you say so …

    You say, “There is no parallel between this idiotic question and that posed by our humble host. Nice dodge, though. I guess. ”

    Look. I will insist that if anyone wishes to characterize someone else’s beliefs (such as those of the atheists by the Christians here) must provide some reference demonstrating that the other person actually entertains that belief. Without references, all such statements amount to nothing more than speculation and invention. They might also constitute lies and slander.

  16. Hello John,

    You say, “David you seem to argue a lot that’s because you assert something to be true the issue is settled. Youre not that powerful. ”

    Needless to say, what you have said here does not constitute a legitimate argument.

    I express my viewpoints (which you characterize as assertions) and then it is your duty, if you wish to engage in an argument, to express your own views if they are contrary to my own.

    If you want more information it is easy enough to ask. If you have an alternative viewpoint you can express it easily enough.

    If there is some other authority (or scholar or source) which you believe I should consider, you can provide the links easily enough.

    That’s how arguments are conducted.

    • David. Multiple times you complete your viewpoint with “it’s settled” without any argument from you other than stating what your view is. Its not my job to refute your viewpoints, its your job to support them.

  17. Hello John,

    You say, “David. Multiple times you complete your viewpoint with “it’s settled” without any argument from you other than stating what your view is. Its not my job to refute your viewpoints, its your job to support them. ”

    This is silly. Do you really want to count the number of sentences in my posts compared to those of the Christians?

    I’ve quoted my sources and provided links to entire books devoted to the scholarly discussion of the topics under dispute.

    If any Christian wants to argue it is the duty of the Christian to provide the contrary viewpoint. It is not enough to simply say “I believe” and imagine that that serves as an argument.

  18. Hello John,

    If the subject of a book could be condensed down to a single sentence in a blog post the authors of books wouldn’t have wasted their time writing hundreds of pages of text. That’s why I encourage people to read books.

  19. Hello John,

    You say, “But you arent making a case. You assert your viewpoint, then give 4 books saying “its settled, these books say so”. You arent offering anything. ”

    If I provide a link to a book I am suggesting that you read the book. Once you’ve read the book you can provide your own argument(s) against its contents.

  20. Hello John,

    If you want to be informed you must read books. There simply isn’t any other means of gaining an actual knowledge of what you are attempting (and failing) to argue,

    From my own experience, Christians have such an aversion to reading books that they are virtually illiterate. The vast majority of Christians don’t read books and they haven’t even read the Bible.

    For that reason I know that you cannot honestly comment on atheism. You haven’t made the least effort to actually understand why atheists don’t accept your god, your scriptures and all the associated mythologies of Christianity.

  21. Hello John,

    You say, “I have quite a library …. ”

    Okay. Wonderful.

    Since you’ve read all of these books (in your own library) you can quote them or reference them without any extraordinary effort.

    What did Karen Armstrong say in her book(s)? Why do you disagree with Karen Armstrong? Is there someone else whose views are more correct than hers regarding the origin and development of god?

  22. Whose blog is this, anyway?

    David,

    We don’t need to read any of the books you suggest if you are capable of giving us an argument from any of them that you think is irrefutable. From that point, we can discuss and debate. But like John, I don’t feel any obligation to sit down with anything you recommend as if you know enough, or are intelligent enough, to convince me it wouldn’t be a complete waste of time. So just man up and present an argument (referring to whatever author from whom you borrowed it). Believe me, if your argument is a poser, I’d be compelled to perhaps actually find the book and read it. At this point, however, it seems you’re looking for others to do your arguing for you, which is cowardly.

  23. Hello Marshal,

    You say, ” But like John, I don’t feel any obligation to sit down with anything you recommend as if you know enough, or are intelligent enough, to convince me it wouldn’t be a complete waste of time.”

    This sort of intellectual laziness is actually quite common among Christians. I’ve encountered it so many times that it is expected.

    For example, I spent some time talking to a Christian about the contradictions in the gospel’s resurrection narratives. I gave the Christian an entire month to read the narratives and upon speaking to him again discovered that the Christian happened to be too busy to read the Bible.

    There was a time when I was speaking to a Christian and mentioned that the book of Jude quoted from the Book of Enoch. I told the Christian that the Book of Enoch was at that very moment at a local library and suggested that he read the book. The Christian — for whatever reason — couldn’t muster up enough motivation to read the book.

    There was a time in which a Christian preacher wanted to debate me regarding Genesis 1 – 2 and he begin the e-mail proposition for debate with the explicit demand that no reference whatsoever be made to science. I suppose that geology, paleontology, astronomy and cosmology have nothing whatsoever to say about Genesis 1 – 2, so there isn’t any reason to imagine that the preacher had wasted any time learning anything at all about science.

    And so forth. You can always count on a Christian to make a virtue out of ignorance.

  24. David,

    There is no intellectual laziness on my part, unless you’re playing the “No I’m not. YOU are!” game from childhood. As John as said, you make sweeping statements and expect us to sift through what YOU want to believe are solid sources of truth to find an explanation you’re obviously incapable of providing. Normal visitors offer their argument, defend it and THEN perhaps cite a source for backup.

    Your anecdotes are worthless because I must assume you’re relating these stories truthfully and not slanted to your benefit. It also presumes the characters in them are typical or should be regarded as such. I don’t know these people and am not prepared to regard them as studied and trained defenders of the faith. Many people claim allegiance to God without taking the time to become expert in the minutia of the faith. So what? These people are, like everyone, humans with different notions of priority in their lives.

    But I’d wager that for the first example, you did not give that fellow any examples of contradiction, either, but instead sent him to go find them himself. But I maintain there are no contradictions at all. So if you are going to continue to make the charge, it is up to you to provide chapter and verse from two Gospels that illustrate your charge. It is only then that you can honestly expect anyone to truly explain why your charge is the idiocy it is.

    For the second, “for whatever reason” may have included legitimate reasons that you choose to ignore as such for the sake of supporting your flawed contentions about Christians in general. Again, I’d say that’s the safe bet. What was your point? You don’t say here.

    In the third, based on your brief history at this blog, I have little doubt that his reasons for eliminating those areas had much to do with your appeals to them being irrelevant to the actual issue being debated. But again, you give no details. Don’t bother, I don’t want them here. What I want from you is to man up and provide something specific to illustrate your charges against which one could actually argue, instead of you sweeping and cliched generalizations.

  25. Hello Marshal,

    You say, “Normal visitors offer their argument, defend it and THEN perhaps cite a source for backup. ”

    No Christian here has offered any argument. Perhaps you should demand as much from your own self as you demand from the visitors.

    You say, ” I don’t know these people and am not prepared to regard them as studied and trained defenders of the faith. Many people claim allegiance to God without taking the time to become expert in the minutia of the faith. So what? ”

    About 99% of all Christians haven’t even read the Bible. Most Christians don’t know what they believe nor do they know why. Most Christians have no interest in knowing. Most Christians sleep through Sunday worship (when they attend) and don’t know that there is a book called Malachi in the Bible (and have no interest in finding out). Yet in spite of all this ignorance and lack of education they boast about how much better they are then everyone else!

    You say, “But I’d wager that for the first example, you did not give that fellow any examples of contradiction, either, but instead sent him to go find them himself. But I maintain there are no contradictions at all ”

    Have you actually read the gospels, Marshal? Read the accounts of the resurrection and tell me how to fit all those pieces together. Christians have struggled for two thousand years and the puzzle still doesn’t fit together. These differences in the resurrection account are all contradictions.

    Read the birth narratives of Jesus (they are especially popular now) and try to fit all those stories together into a coherent whole. They don’t fit together. Those differences are contradictions.

    Read Genesis 1. Read Genesis 2. The two creation accounts contradict and, as it turns out, they are both wrong. The Universe is 13.7 billion years old, the Earth is 4.5 billion years old, and humankind has evolved from its fellow primates over the last 6 million years. There was no Adam, there was no Eve, there was no Garden of Eden, there was no Original Sin, there was no talking snake, and there were no trees with magical fruit.

    And so forth … there are at least 1000 Bible contradictions which remain unresolved in spite of 2000 years of desperation on the part of Christian scholars and Biblical apologists. Most Christians aren’t aware of these problems because they don’t read the Bible. Ignorance is a form of self defense.

    You say, “What I want from you is to man up and provide something specific to illustrate your charges against which one could actually argue, instead of you sweeping and cliched generalizations. ”

    Well, I’ve done so above. Christians don’t enjoy talking about these things, though, so I’m quite certain that John Barron will censor my post and prevent any discussion of this sort from occurring. This is good behavior, though, compared to what Christians used to do when encountering criticism: Christians used to torture and burn at the stake those who were regarded as heretics.

    Galileo nearly suffered that fate. Yes, Christians have burned people at the stake for telling the truth.

  26. “No Christian here has offered any argument.”

    We do routinely. But as regards dealing with you, we’re all still waiting for you to clearly state support your positions. You’ve only made sweeping statements or vague statements, followed by suggested reading in order that we might figure out just what the hell your point might be.

    “About 99% of all Christians haven’t even read the Bible.”

    Oh, really? Have you taken a poll? Did you even ask of 100 people to arrive at your 99% figure? Perhaps you can cite some study that would confirm this figure. Let’s see it.

    “Most Christians sleep through Sunday worship…”

    Oh, really? Provide a list of all the Christian churches you’ve attended and how often to even dare try to make such a ludicrous statement. I’ve seen people fall asleep in church and it’s never risen to even a fifth of those present, much less “most”. And of those I’ve seen, they were usually either very old men during a boring sermon or infants.

    “Yet in spite of all this ignorance and lack of education they boast about how much better they are then everyone else!”

    What an ignorant thing to say! Most Christians, when asked seriously, would reply that they are indeed no better than anyone else, because they know it to be true. YOU, however, clearly condescend and thus are projecting again.

    “Have you actually read the gospels, Marshal?”

    Yes I have. Still do. I would caution against presuming that because you struggle with the Gospels, then everyone else must struggle as well. There is plenty available to help you understand if you were serious about serious study, rather than just a cursory reading to gain enough to disparage people you hate. And yet again, if you want explanation from me, you’re going to have to provide specific examples of what you think are unresolvable issues between the Gospels. I’m not going to hold a class on the Resurrection story just for you. That goes for the birth of Christ narratives. Chapter and verse, Dave. Chapter and verse. Otherwise, you’re proving you haven’t studied anything.

    “Read Genesis 1. Read Genesis 2. The two creation accounts contradict and, as it turns out, they are both wrong. The Universe is 13.7 billion years old, the Earth is 4.5 billion years old, and humankind has evolved from its fellow primates over the last 6 million years. There was no Adam, there was no Eve, there was no Garden of Eden, there was no Original Sin, there was no talking snake, and there were no trees with magical fruit.”

    You say this as if you have proof at the ready. Strangely, you once again provide none of it here. As regards the origin and age of all things, I will state my position as I always have: Makes no difference to me. I don’t spend much time debating it in my mind. One thing is certain, however. People like yourself put a lot of faith in mankind to perform miracles of science. The age of the universe is a guess based on tools and techniques devised by imperfect man. Imperfect man cannot create perfect tools and/or techniques. People like yourself choose to believe, however, that there is no doubt that these tools and techniques can measure age going back before man existed. They assume there is no possibility that the accuracy of these tools and techniques might greatly degrade the further back they look, and do so exponentially. Does this actually happen? I don’t know, but to pretend it isn’t possible or probable requires faith in the abilities of imperfect people. Good luck with that.

    Regardless of however many “contradictions” people like you believe exists throughout Scripture, the only struggle with them is amongst people like you. Real Biblical scholars do not hold with such nonsense and are easily able to resolve them. What’s YOUR problem? The desperation and ignorance is yours. You’re projecting again.

    Referring to the Resurrection stories is not a specific example of a contradiction. It is an example of your ambiguous references put forth as specifics. Do you not understand what the word “specific” means? I’ve provided more than a hint: Chapter and verse, dude. Chapter and verse. Pick a one specific contradiction that exists between any two or three Gospel books by the use of the chapter and verse(s) of each Gospel that presents the troubling issue. Then, by doing this, we all can easily see what you mean by “contradiction”.

    “Christians don’t enjoy talking about these things”

    You keep saying crap like this (as well as other various pieces of crap) but the Christians here love talking about these things with atheists honorable enough to do more than make vague references and sweeping assertions. But then, perhaps you haven’t the spine for such things.

    “Yes, Christians have burned people at the stake for telling the truth.”

    There was such a period in the history of the world when such things took place. But Christians were used as torches by Nero for telling the truth. Christians in no way ever had the market cornered on such behaviors and can’t hold a candle to the horrors atheists and non-Judeo-Christian despots have inflicted on people of all kinds.

  27. True, John. But the atheist would soil themselves to find how many people wearing lab coats believe in God.

    • @marshall

      They excommunicate lab coat wearing theists. Though only a deist, remember how they treated Anthony Flew? They called him senile, crazy, losing his mental abilities, etc.

      Atheists treat credentialed scientists who believe in God the same way liberals treat black conservatives.

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