Active RNS subscribers and members can view this content at the RNS Archives website.

(RNS) Dale McGowan, executive director of Foundation Beyond Belief, was just enlisted to write "Atheism for Dummies," the first book about atheists in the "Dummies" series. McGowan explains what people need to know about atheism, and what they have in common with religious believers. By Kimberly Winston.

48 Comments

  1. One of the big accusations I continually hear against atheists is that they have no ethical system. I think it’s very useful for religions people to realize that atheists have as high or higher standards of ethics in most cases than religious believers. Just because they don’t believe their ethics were handed down from above doesn’t mean they don’t have a powerful sense of right and wrong.

  2. Chris: the problem is you have no basis for your moral value system. It jumps all over the place; my morals are just as good as yours. There are no moral absolutes in atheism. In addition, you simply cannot say your morals are better than Stalin’s. I would ask you based upon what? Obviously, Stalin would pick his, since neither one of you have a basis or rod to compare your moral value systems for superiority.

  3. Atheist as an accusation compared to “Communist” was a very good one as Communists are Atheists, and the top Communist leadership has also been mass murderers.

  4. Bill – you missed the point Chris was trying to make and it isn’t that an atheist’s morals are better than a religious believers. Atheists DO have a basis for their morals and it is based on how our society works. We don’t need a higher being to tell us right from wrong. If we need a ‘good book’ to tell us that murder is wrong, we have bigger problems. In addition, there is so much murder going on, by god’s hand, in the bible that it should not be called good by any stretch of the imagination.

    Mexseiko – Stalin did not kill millions in the name of atheism. He wanted to be the one the Soviets adored and wanted his own ideology. Pol Pot is among communist leaders who killed millions, but wanted the power for themselves, not for any supernatural god. What many don’t know is that Hitler was Catholic. Atheists have morals…you should really do some research before commenting on something you know nothing about and you obviously know very little about atheism.

  5. Thankfully this Atheists thing is in the US, the rest of the civilized world let people believe what they want [other than Muslim countries of course] so people changing what they want to believe or not believe is no ones business but theirs.

    If the US is such a religious country how come they put more of their population in prison than any other country in the world?
    Religion in the US is nothing more than a big business taking billions from the gullible.

  6. Great Grandma

    Every group of people form time immemorial has invented a religion to explain that which they couldn’t explain for themselves. It gives them a list to guide their lives and they don’t have to think they just have to follow the list given them by their religion. Those of us who follow no religion make our own lists from what we were taught and have observed. When we break our own code we have to deal with ourselves, the one person who can’t be fooled. I am grateful that I grew up in a Christian nation. This idealized code of behavior was a good basis for building my own code.

  7. Atheists, generally, are skeptical of any dogmatic system. Religions are just the most prevalent. Communist systems have all been dogmatic to the point of essentially being religious, including leader worship.

    The morals of an atheist are not coerced by fear of deities. What moral or ethical actions have religions monopolized? None.

    With or without religion good people will do good things and evil people will do evil things. It takes religion, or similar dogmatic ideology, for a good person to do evil things. And often without remorse.

  8. Im setting here laughing… because you athiests just dont understand…I feel sorry for you. lol… you have nothing to look forward too. poof! im dead thats it, end of story! at least the muslims have something to look forward too after this life. goodness… its not just about morality. lol…

  9. An atheist understands the importance and urgency of this life, because there is no proof of anything else. The feeling a religious person may get from contemplating eternal bliss may benefit their life, but that doesn’t make it real. And it doesn’t mean it should be forced on others in public schools, courtrooms, or any other time.

    Besides, what do theists have to look forward to? Mansion, robe, and crown? Streets paved in gold? That’s a fairy tale, just like 72 virgins in
    paradise? How moral is it to require incentives like this in order to not rape, murder, lie, or steal?

    How much sense does eternal torture make for minor and temporary transgressions?

  10. “at least the muslims have something to look forward too after this life”

    Let me get this straight. You believe that all religions are right. Only no religion is wrong?

  11. lol… you still dont get it. I didnt say all religiions were right. I said they had something to look forward to, whether its right or not.
    Maybe im the idiot here. I dont know. I just dont really see any purpose for life without something to believe in.

    I just dont know how to say what I wanna say here…but I do know how I want to sum it up… Dont you wonder where consciousness comes from?

  12. “Dont you wonder where consciousness comes from?”

    Most non-theists I have met consider this to be one of the most interesting questions left unanswered actually. So I suppose the answer to your question is YES. A lot of amazing research is happening right now to help us figure it all out.

    A major difference between theists and non-theists is that non-theists do not demand a final conclusive answer to everything in life. Non-theists do not feel compelled to make a claim such as “I don’t know how it works, therefore a god did it”. Unless there is evidence to justify a claim then conclusions are generally left tentative. To summarize, no answer is preferred over a bad answer. Especially about things that you revolve your life around.

    Don’t want to generalize non-theists too much here. Just saying by definition they are comfortable with not having final answers to everything.

  13. “Even today I am not ashamed to say that, overpowered by stormy enthusiasm, I fell down on my knees and thanked Heaven from an overflowing heart for granting me the good fortune of being permitted to live at this time.”

    – Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1 Chapter 5

    “What we have to fight for is the necessary security for the existence and increase of our race and people, the subsistence of its children and the maintenance of our racial stock unmixed, the freedom and independence of the Fatherland; so that our people may be enabled to fulfill the mission assigned to it by the Creator.”

    – Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1 Chapter 8

  14. Mexseiko: What are your moral values? Where do they come from? You or whom?

    You guys are amusing. You have not the slighest idea of where your morals come from. Morals are based upon how our society works? Whose society? Hitler’s, Stalin’s, Hussein’s? Please list me their morals and why? Tell me where you got them. Whose are superior and how do you know this?

    Finally: the atheist faces a fourfold existential predicament:
    1. I will die.
    2. I will die soon.
    3. I will die alone.
    4. I will remain dead forever.

    In addition:
    1. Death is inevitable.
    2. Death is mysterious.
    3. Death must be faced alone.
    4. Death separates you from your loved ones.
    5. Death puts an end to your hopes and aims (maybe tomorrow).
    6. Death ends in oblivion.

    Atheists have no purpose, afterlife, or meaning. You are no better than a skunk or snake.

    It makes no difference what you think. Justice will prevail and you will not like it. How sad that you are blind, but will pay the price in an afterlife of eternal separation from God. Personally, I think you are already dead.

    There is no reason to spend time on you. You are dumb and blind. It’s easy to tell by your response.

  15. Bill

    Morals come from a rational consideration of the consequences of our actions. It does not take belief in a deity to understand that murder, theft, rape, slavery, and deception are harmful to others. Were any society to be founded entirely on deception or theft, for example, it would crumble. History has shown this. The evidence is clear. And obviously were society to be built on a tradition of murder it would eventually cease to exist.

    Not every issue is so cut and dry but most people agree on acceptable social behavior and the anti-socials face a justice system. A justice system that is secular and based on these socially accepted norms. So the answer to your question of who’s society we base morals on, is all societies. And our natural instincts towards solidarity. And the evidence of history.

    The “predicament” you identify is not a predicament at all. How is it a predicament? With the exception of #6 all god believers face this same “predicament”. The problem with #6 is that there is actually no proof that anything BUT this “oblivion” awaits us.

    One thing that you have correct. Or *almost* correct. There is no purpose in life. Except that which YOU give it. If you choose to believe one version of a legend about deities because you:

    A) Are afraid of some punishment
    B) Are seeking a reward
    C) Are anti-social and require either A or B to behave

    Then that is your choice. You have every right to spend your days biding time to a version of oblivion described in one of many ancient books about deities.

  16. Sam: what rational system are you talking about? I can be very rational about taking over what ever I want to. “Might makes right” is my moral strategy in your atheistic system. It is very rational. Actually the Roman Empire was built on might makes right. Stalin was built on that as well as well as many others.

    What is acceptable behavior? Is that what you approve? I may not like your approved behavior. Obviously, you are very naive. You live in a Country defined by Christian principles, which gives you numeroous freedoms and privileges that you don’t even realize you have. The U.S. is the greatest Country ever put together and by Christians. Try Iran my friend and see if you say the same thing. It is under Shiria law and has survived since about 640 AD until the present. I doubt if you understand anything about Islam theology. One thing is for sure, you won’t like it.

    So you have a purpose in life. What is it? I bet it is all about YOU.

    I wonder what you even know about dieties? There is only one correct one my friend. And, it is not YOU. A legend? Interestingly the Judeo/Christian God is over 6000 years old. And, it is obvious you do not know our God and never will. You are blind.

    I am glad you are not afraid of punishment. And, you also are not seeking rewards in your life. Ho Ho, Anti-social? How would you know that about me? I have probably given more to this society (time and money) than you have even dreamed about. This life is not about me, as it is you. I am a 75 year old engineer who retired from Shell Oil Co. and have spent my time helping the poor with dollars and dedicated time. But persons like you who wallow in pride and self glory turn me off. I will always respond to prideful pagans.

    I am again amused about your idea of punishment, reward, and behavior. You also know nothing about the purpose of Christ. He took my punishment for me, my reward is being in His presence eternally, and my social life will be with Him and His family. You won’t be there.

    I certainly have the right to spend my time waiting to be in His presence at death. Where will you be my friend after death? You need to look at a simple decision diagram drawn by Pascal on the belief in God. Pascal was also a great mathematician. I doubt if you could understand him.

    Ancient books about dieties? I doubt if you have ever read one. Would you like to debate religions, truth, science, philosophy, and history addressing Judeo/Christianity? I am sure you are an expert.

    A couple of questions: What started the Big Bang? How did life originate or birth of the first cell? Where did the mind come from and is it immaterial or material? How about the Anthropic Principle, can you explain it? Is man different different in kind or degree from animals?

    These questions are addressed in Scripture in the Bible (God’s revelation to mankind). My friend, you will not find these answers in any religion, but Judeo/Christianity. Your message above is from a person who has no answers. But remember this, it makes no difference whether you believe anything I say. It will not change anything. You are doomed for Hell my friend unless you search for God. Without him you are without purpose, afterlife, or meaning. You will be in a place you will definitely not like. Justice will prevail.

  17. Bill

    Your best argument for being religious, and now obviously being Christian, seems to be that it provides you with a moral system. You suggest that otherwise we would be out of control. You suggest non-theists have a higher tendency towards being out of control. That argument is only valid if you subscribe to the incentive system that is a central to Christian theology (and Islam, and Judaism). I just point this out.

    I do not think that about you personally, or anyone else for that matter. The golden rule, an ethic of reciprocity, is not unique to the Christian bible you know. It is universally accepted, except by the anti-socials, criminals, or otherwise corrupt. Honestly I would be scared of anyone who claims that the only thing preventing them from raping, murdering, and stealing from their neighbors is what some god says in an ancient book. Regardless of the ancient book. We can probably both agree that person would not be considered sane by today’s standards.

    I have read the entire Bible. And continue to. I have read the terrifying Old Testament where slavery, genocide, polygamy, infanticide, and theft are condoned by this god you listen to for moral advice. Whether he changed his mind is irrelevant. I have read the New Testament where both vicarious redemption (scapegoating) and martyrdom are promoted as desirable human values.

    Additionally, my background is dominated by Christianity. In heritage, tradition, and education (informal and formal). To this day I continue to study the Bible, but from a different perspective. In order for it to be either relevant or applicable to the present age you must pick and choose to a point that renders it mostly useless. The baggage carried in the Bible is just too great for the entirety of it to be relevant for the going concern of humanity.

    Are there good morals in it? Sure. But you have to ignore all the atrocities. You have to ignore that we don’t even know who wrote most of it. I’m not making that up by the way, virtually all true scholars (evangelical or not) agree that authorship is by and large mystery. You have to ignore the fact it has been translated through multiple languages, cultures, and political agendas for centuries.

    Regarding the “big bang”, I don’t particularly care what happened before it. I would rather trust the consensus of scientists from history until the present day. In the future we will know more. But simply not knowing is not adequate justification for asserting a deity. At one point an epileptic would have been considered possessed, but thanks to the scientific method we have learned otherwise. The same principle applies to origins. We just don’t know. Nobody does and neither do you.

    Regarding the transition from chemistry to biology, we don’t know. Yet. But again, that is not an adequate justification for asserting the supernatural. We need more research and it doesn’t really matter to me whether it is ever answered. Once we have a self-replicating process that is all I need for evolution to make sense. As an engineer myself I understand how a variety of seemingly complex and sophisticated systems can generate from a steady operation of very basic principles.

    I am familiar with Pascal and his wager. Playing the odds and deciding to trust a specific ancient set of books *just in case* does not in any way *make it real*. Viewing a religion as an insurance policy most certainly does not make it real. I hope you agree but you have given no evidence to suggest otherwise.

    Besides the moral dilemma’s discussed so far, as a Christian you have another one.
    Why Christianity? Why not Islam, Judaism, Mormonism, or Scientology? Is it truly because the Holy Spirit moved you? Or does it have more to do with where you were born, what religion your parents/friends practiced, and where you currently live now?
    How do you go from belief that a god started this thing to Christianity? Go read your William Lane Craig books and get back to me with an argument I’ve already heard.

    Quite honestly I doubt you were born in Saudi Arabia and an apostate Muslim who converted. I doubt you were raised as an Orthodox Jew and came to realize that Jesus Christ was in fact the prophesied Messiah. That *COULD* be the case, but playing the odds it is more likely you were born into a Christian family, in America, and were raised that way. Otherwise you’d likely be here defending Islam or Judaism or LDS. Having never seriously questioned whether it is true. Your story may be more genuine than that, just playing the odds.

    Whatever the case may be is irrelevant beyond what decisions you make that affect those around you. As long as you are maintain a kind, loving, and peaceful attitude towards others then it doesn’t matter if you believe in gods. What matters is how you treat other people. Would you agree?

  18. Sam:

    My note back to you was completly wiped out when entering the word in the image below.

    So, I will make this short. Your message is interesting to me. It shows your lack of knowledge in science and theology.

    Do you tell your children what you believe? That when you die you are just dead. All your life is meaningless. You will never know nothing again or live in hope of an afterlife. Dad and Mom the same way. I always wonder about anyone who wants to think this way. Is it you are so smart you know Judeo/Christianity is false and can actually prove it? Your diatribe above is nothing I have not seen before. It has no answers, only a resistance to God. What drives this?

    Why don’t you tell me why you believe this way and how you derive a moral system that allows everyone else to have theirs too. If there is no measurement rod, who is right? Is it you that you measure from? Tell me also what you think happens after death. Is that your hope? Do you tell your children the same thing?

    Your last statement “What matters is how you treat other people”. Based upon whose moral system are we talking about? Mine or yours? Whose is the best and most correct?

    Stay on the subject and keep it short. I am willing to discuss using email if you want. Are you willing to disclose yours? If not, let me know and I will tell you mine.

    None of your discussion is new and none is any new information. However, I would like to know how you make your moral decisions and do you even have hope.

  19. You avoid everything of substance and resort to ad hominem.

    Reading this book would do you well. You clearly do not know much about atheism. The burden of proof does not rest with the atheist. Atheism makes no claims. Atheism is a point of view about gods. Theists make the claim. The burden of proof rests with the theist as theists claim there IS something. I don’t ask anyone to prove why they don’t believe in Unicorns. I accept it at face value because NO EVIDENCE has ever been produced, beyond fables and fairy tales.

    You keep coming back to morality. It seems that you cannot fathom how morals can come from anything other than a god. So I ask, similar to what Jared said above, what morality is not achievable for the non believer?

    Forget notions of heaven, hell, eternity, science and all that. Just morality and Ethics. What can a theist accomplish in these realms that a non theist cannot? Name one thing.

  20. Hitler was an atheist, vegetarian, couldn’t stand the sight of blood. His goal was to wipe the Jews from the face of the earth. Changing the freedom of religion from what the framers intended is in line with what the nazi regime did. Depriving people of their one source of fulfillment, and replacing it with void seems cruel, and insensitive.

  21. To SamAm july 11 12:42p : From Wikipedia: “According to Hitler’s chief architect Albert Speer, Hitler remained a formal member of the Catholic Church until his death, and even ordered his chief associates to remain members, however it was Speer’s opinion that “he had no real attachment to it.”[18]

    Hitler was a narcissist and truly believed he had the special obligation to deceive the world because he was its savior. He did not believe in Jesus because he did not practice as Jesus sermonized and as the Bible (in its entirety) taught. He cherry picked about religion whatever fed his belief in his own messiah complex and ignored the rest. The central point about Hitler is the same about Stalin, Che, Castro, Pol Pot and like-minded killers, who all had the mistaken notion that they reserved for themselves the right to be wrong. No righteous person who uses religion in this way is truly religious, and none of these people were righteous. Therefore none of these people were religious.

    To be religious means to be righteous. Atheists can therefore say anything about their connection to a G-d or no G-d, but if they profess a morality that is good in the world, then they profess some sort of religion, ie. a connection to G-d. In other words, the connection to G-d is not as important as the connection to being G-d like, and atheism has no separately organized system of morality based on being G-d like. I would simply say atheists are, in terms of morality, living off the product of other religions, whether they understand this or not.

    In sum: atheists deny the connection between atheism and people capable of being killers like Hitler, but there exists a strong and distinct connection between such killers and atheism. Atheism breeds such a contorted frame of mind capable of being evil. Religion does not, but narcissists who call themselves religious certainly can become and do evil.

  22. I understand full well what Atheism stands for, as I used to identify myself as one, but I simply do not believe in its tenets any more. I believe that there is a living, sentient, personal and loving God out there. I believe the premise of the bible, and that Satan is a real entity who lies simply to get us to *doubt God*.

    I only say this, because in all the history of mankind up until now, we kill each other over the stupidest of things… With or without religion. Evil exists, and to deny that is to deny that you are responsible for your own actions.

    Yes, we are ALL sinners, but the great news is that God reached out to us in the man known as Jesus who is Messiah, simply to say “I love you, and I forgive you.” And we, (collectively), killed him for it.

    If seeing is believing, then we are effectively blind to the universe around us. We see only a small fraction of the entire spectrum of energy which is available to us. How can we say “There is no God”, knowing this is true? What unseen forces have we yet to account for? It takes just as much belief/faith to say “there is no God” as it does to say “God exists”.

    It is pride that leads us down this path, and our pride is built up by Satan who whispers in our ears just like he did to Eve all those years ago. We would rather be right no matter what, than admit we are wrong and sinful. And there is more, but short of writing a novel…

    God bless you, ALL of you! :)

  23. Atheism does not claim there is “no god”. That would be a claim that would require proof. Some atheists may claim “there is no god” but in the same manner a Christian claims “there is no unicorn”. Do Christians have proof no Unicorn exists? I don’t believe in Big Foot, but if one ever walked out of the woods I would certainly be inclined to. I’d like to study it first though, to make sure it wasn’t a gimmick.

    Regarding Hitler and god belief. Atheists shouldn’t deny that religion was used politically to advance the party. The same thing has been happening in America actually, which is why so many Atheist are vocal and why so many Americans are turning away from religion.

    But you must be wary of the “no true Scotsman” fallacy. You could look throughout history and claim that every person doing evil in the name of a religion was not a “true” Christian (or Muslim, or Jew, or Scientologist). The argument that Hitler wasn’t a “true” Christian is just weak. That cherry picking from history negates the very argument you make about Hitler was an atheist. An atheist could say, “no true atheist would…”.

    The Hitler/Stalin/Pol Pot/Mao argument is so tired at this point. Christians have to come up with something better than that. I would throw Kim Il Sung in there too. The dogmatic utopia visions these men sold to their followers differs very little from a religion. It’s really time theists drop this argument. It does not stand up very well to scrutiny or history.

    Why? These men suppressed free inquiry, suppressed freedom of expression, used junk science, mythology and even religion to accomplish their goals. Skepticism had no place. What scientist in Nazi Germany would conclude to the Fuhrer that Jews were genetically equal to descendants of pure nordic blood? None. That would not have been allowed because it defied the party “religion”.

    The “atheist moevement” is less about bashing religion and more about abolishing dogma. Dogma that suppresses our very basic human instinct to understand reality and ask questions. something we do as children, before we even know what religion is. Dogma encourages a suspension of reason to just “trust” something on “faith”.

    Faith should be justified with evidence. If a Christian believes their faith leads them to better morality, great. An Atheist can claim that objective consideration of actions and consequences leads them to the VERY SAME ethics and morality.

    We should all object to any suppression of rational objectivity and skepticism. Whether that suppression comes from a religious leader or a political leader it should be resisted. Truth is too important to compromise for a utopia. Can we all agree on that?

  24. And one more point. A major stumbling block for Christians, and even for Atheists, is that Atheism is by definition a negative. It is just a label that describes a position towards the gods (all gods). And by negative I mean “absence of”. Not in a pejorative sense.

    That is not an adequate label to fully describe a person. You cannot logically connect a disbelief in god’s with anything else, other than disbelief in gods. Many Atheists also identify as secularists, humanists, volunteers, philanthropists, libertarians, democrats, carnivores, gun owners, republicans, football fans, nascar haters, animal lovers, and anything else under the sun other than god believers.

    The atheist label is much less informative than the Christian label. Though the Christian label itself has limitations, judging by the variations of it globally.

  25. Part 1
    Sam: You said: “Your best argument for being religious, and now obviously being Christian, seems to be that it provides you with a moral system. You suggest that otherwise we would be out of control. You suggest non-theists have a higher tendency towards being out of control. That argument is only valid if you subscribe to the incentive system that is a central to Christian theology (and Islam, and Judaism). I just point this out.”
    Comment: Judeo/Christianity provides the only system that provides moral absolutes. There is no other. That is because they are developed by the Lord. Most people think, like yourself, it is a system of don’ts that limit your activities. But, it is truly a system that tells you how a life can be lived in stability and ending in happiness. Sometimes I will tell you what “happiness” really means. Hint: it is not an instantaneous feeling at a particular time.
    Actually, you have no basis for your made-up morals. This is because you live in a “closed system” or box that allows you to develop morals. Others can do the same. There is no Universal to compare with to show which one is truly correct. It is Katy bar the door. “My morals are better than yours.” The Mid-East has its morals. The U.S., Russia, Europe, South America, Africa, and even Iceland have their morals too. However, you live in a Country with laws based upon Christian principles/morals. Look at the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution my friend. I doubt if you know much about what our Forefathers created – a Country that allows you to believe any religion you want to (at the beginning it was only Christian denominations), which was later extended to other religions. There were no Atheists, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Mormons, or Jews sitting at the table when the Forefathers wrote our Constitution. You have benefitted as an Atheist from what our Forefathers allowed you to have, freedom of religion. Of course you interpreted it as freedom from religion. Your choice and a bad one at that.
    You stated: ” I do not think that about you personally, or anyone else for that matter. The golden rule, an ethic of reciprocity, is not unique to the Christian bible you know. It is universally accepted, except by the anti-socials, criminals, or otherwise corrupt”.

    Comment: How amusing. Obviously, Stalin, Hitler, or even Putin would laugh at you. The only reason you can even think this is you live in the U.S. What do you mean an “ethic of recipricity”? Actually for the Atheist, the only claim you can use is possibly knowing Natural Moral Law which was implanted into human intellect by God at the beginning. My guess is you really don’t know where Natural Moral Law comes from. Paul the Apostle states in Romans to the Athenians that they will have no excuse for disregarding God, as the Law is “written on the heart”. Do you know how to develop Natural Law? Let me know and show me how you do this. But even then, as Jacques Maritian states in his book “Natural Law”, “if the Natural Law does not involve the divine reason, it is not a law, and if it is not a law, it does not oblige.” Further, Divine Revelation (Bible) validates Natural Law and reveals how it does involve divine reason. Natural Law must be connected to the Divine or it is not a law. Look Maritian up, you will find he originated the main human rights system that is used by the U.N.

    I also don’t think that certain Monarchies were criminals, anti-socials, or even corrupt. But, they made up their own morals until some began to accept Christianity, which reveals moral absolutes.

  26. Part 1A
    You said: ” Honestly I would be scared of anyone who claims that the only thing preventing them from raping, murdering, and stealing from their neighbors is what some god says in an ancient book.”

    Comments: This sentence tells me you are completely ignorant of Christianity. First, the “ancient book” you so try to denegrate is Divine Revelation as communicated and inspired by God to His writers in what is now known by you as the Bible or silly book. However, morals as revealed by God to Humans allow His people to live in harmony with one another. It is quite the opposite as you suggest that Christians only comply with the law to escape punishment. Accepting Christ completely changes a person’s outlook on why a person should want to live his/her life and be in the presence of God eternally. Second, your idea of being scared tells me you no absolutely nothing of the purpose of Jesus Christ and His ministry on Earth. Accepting Christ removes our worry about ending up separated from God forever or being banished to Hell. He took our sins upon Himself so that we are found “not guilty” at death. I am not surprised by your comment, however. Paul the Apostle stated that “For the natural man (you) cannot understand the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him, and they cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised”. Actually my friend, you are blind to understanding, and maybe beyond the point of no return to ever understand Scripture. Maybe you have so fought Christ to be your own God that He has allowed you to do so until death and then judgment. So be it.

    Later I will explain your complete misunderstanding of the God of the Old Testament, as I have probably taken to much room for this message on this Website. I am not surprised at your comments. One other quick thing as you claim to be an engineer. Science is not consensus, nor is consensus science. You should know better.

  27. // Judeo/Christianity provides the only system that provides moral absolutes. //

    God changes his mind. That is clearly demonstrated in the Bible. As an example, we would not have old and new testaments otherwise. How “absolute” is that?

    //There is no other.//

    Billions of peaceful, kind, and loving non-Christians disagree.

    //That is because they are developed by the Lord//

    That is a claim. Where is the proof? How can you prove it wasn’t developed by “man”?

    //Most people think, like yourself, it is a system of don’ts that limit your activities.//

    Actually, that is not what I think. But I know that is a straw man you just built.

    //But, it is truly a system that tells you how a life can be lived in stability and ending in happiness. //

    Possibly, but does that make all the supernatural claims in the Bible true? Are you claiming you only practice Christianity because it is “useful” to you? That seems to be what you are saying but don’t let me misrepresent you. Please explain why you go along with it, beyond “usefulness”.

    //Hint: it is not an instantaneous feeling at a particular time. //

    I don’t need that hint, but thanks.

    //There is no Universal to compare with to show which one is truly correct. It is Katy bar the door. “My morals are better than yours.” //

    Another straw man. I do not advocate for moral relativism. I oppose it. In fact, I’ve never met a non-believer that does advocate for it. That is not to say atheist moral relativists don’t exist. Christian moral relativists certainly do. And I expect you to make a moral relativist argument in defense of the Old Testament, but I’ll wait and see.

    There is zero connection between the positions “I don’t believe in any gods” and “I am a moral relativist”. Again, you display a staggering ignorance about atheism. The world is bearing witness to it. Atheism is just a position about god belief. There is NO moral claim whatsoever with atheism. Just as there is no moral claim implied in Unicorn non belief.

    //I doubt if you know much about what our Forefathers created//

    How on earth do you even come up with these ideas about ME? This isn’t even about ME.

    If you know ANYTHING you would know that many of the “forefathers” would be considered either Agnostic or Atheist by today’s standards, especially so by Evangelical standards. At best, they were as “Christian” as the current President, who I peg as a deist at best. Not that it matters.

    How “Christian” was Thomas Jefferson? There is a monumental difference between Deism and Christianity. Some days I even wake up and think I might be Deist. So what? It makes no difference in how I treat people or daily decisions or planning for the future.

    //Of course you interpreted it as freedom from religion//

    Freedom to think for myself and choose to follow NO religion? Yes. Freedom from state coercion towards a specific religion? Yes. Freedom from any religious test should I choose to run for public office? Yes.

    Freedom to never see a religious symbol? No. Freedom to force others out of religion? No. Freedom to eradicate religion from the record of history? No.

    Freedom of expression, freedom of thought, and freedom to question authority are all freedoms I hold dear and oppose any threat against. That is why I bother with discussions like this. Exercising my freedom and defending yours.

    If you are in any way implying that atheism consists of a desire to wipe out religion, then you are again displaying an astonishing ignorance about atheism. Atheism itself takes no position about freedom of religion or freedom “from religion”. Again, it is a point of view about god belief. That is it. Nothing more. Got it yet?

    In my own opinion, if organized religion is to ever die out, then it has to die out because each individual rejects it based on their own conclusions about reality. Without force. Not only that, but the history of it should be carefully preserved and even taught. Along with all other world religions.

    Suppressing knowledge in any form is tyrannical. Although many religious leaders past and present seek to suppress information, I hope you are sensible enough to agree with me here. Enlightenment is a precious virtue. Agree?

  28. This viewpoint is not unique to me as a non believer by the way. Non believers are in a unique position to understand these particular freedoms as they suffer continually for not believing by being a minority. That’s right, god believers are in the majority (for now). And as you keep saying, might DOES NOT make right. Right? Right?

    //Natural Moral Law which was implanted into human intellect by God at the beginning//

    Proof? Didn’t think so.

    I ask you, what is more plausible? That there is a supernatural being that revealed morals to man? Possibly through a burning bush or a talking snake? Or maybe, just maybe, man used his own intellect at the time to implant morals into the god concept? Which is more plausible?

    And do you know what that divine morality, beyond the 10 commandments, consisted of? Oh right, I have a gross misunderstanding of the Old Testament….yeah right.

    //he originated the main human rights system that is used by the U.N//

    So is the U.N. a standard for you? Really? That same U.N. that consists of a plurality of cultures, ethnicities, religions, and non-religions? That defeats your argument about these values being unique to Christianity and strengthens the argument that they are instead UNIVERSAL to humanity.

    Besides. I thought God was your standard. Not the U.N. Again, are you doing this *only* because it is useful or because it conforms to your intuition about right and wrong? All you present are ideas about the usefulness of Christianity, which in no ways implies that any of the supernatural stuff is real. Or that god interferes on behalf of little old you while the world-over suffers tremendously.

    //Actually my friend, you are blind to understanding,//

    Are you intentionally ignoring where I shared that my background is dominated by religion and religious education? You need to accept that a practicing, faithful, sacrificing, persecuted and theologically sound Christian CAN change their mind for reasons other than “wanting to sin”. That is an intellectually dishonest attempt to discredit an alternative opinion while elevating YOU as a moral authority. Some call that Prideful. Some call that sinful. Granted, some Christians justify it as a healthy rebuke. Make up your minds already.

    You have every right to maintain that opinion but it is a weak opinion. I am proof that it is a weak opinion. And most of my non-believing friends are also proof. And countless other non-believers throughout history are also proof, including many framers of the Constitution. Where is Christ mentioned in the Constitution again? Or any other relevant founding document? Don’t hold your breath while looking.

    //Later I will explain your complete misunderstanding of the God of the Old Testament, //

    Understanding the Bible does not require devotion to it. Many (maybe even most) of the elite biblical scholars are agnostic atheists. That or liberal to the point of Unitarianism. Why? Well, they usually get that way during seminary when they see the evidence. I’m not lying. Do research on your own accord.

    Just because someone does not *believe* does not mean they cannot *understand*. And let me tell you what I understand. In no way is it acceptable to condone stoning a homosexual or adulterer to death. In no way is it acceptable to murder your child, or even attempt it. In no way can genocide or mass murder be rationalized. Or that slavery is acceptable. All of this is status quo in the Old Testament and blessed by your God with his infinite wisdom.

    Whatever “understanding” you offer up I can assure you I have heard it before. You can chalk it up to it all being metaphorical (which opens many more problems for you), or to it all being only applicable to just the Jews to set the stage for the Messiah, or to it being only applicable during that era, or whatever else. Whatever theory you come up with will not excuse this behavior that your God approved of. They are inhumane and unacceptable under ANY circumstance. These blessed practices defy your concept of an omnibenevolent, omniscient, and omnipotent God.

    Or perhaps I misunderstand you. Are you placing limitations on your God? Can he be wrong? To what court does this God appeal to change his mind about acceptable behavior? Maybe you’ve got a new rationalization or apology that I haven’t heard. So I offer you the chance. Let me hear it. Enlighten me. I’m always open to new ideas.

    //Science is not consensus, nor is consensus science.//

    Not that it matters, but I did not claim science was consensus. 2+2 = 4 no matter what the majority says. In reference to certain matters, such as origins, I am willing to accept a consensus opinion. At one point in history you would have accepted the consensus that the Earth was flat. That should not close the door to new evidence.

  29. A scientific theory, by definition, has explanatory and predictive power. New theories, consisting of new evidence, explain new things. Sometimes that invalidates old theories.

    By accepting the best understanding about our origins you are in no way obligating yourself to dogmatically cling to that theory forever. I cannot believe I have to explain this to an adult.

    As an example. Nothing is faster than the speed of light. So far discovered at least. If a scientist can prove that Neutrino’s, or other particle, travels faster then we should accept that. And so should you. Notice how scientists plead for new evidence, even if it proves them wrong. That is a positive.

    That is lacking in Christianity, unless you are extremely liberal like a Unitarian. Christianity is dogmatic and not open to being wrong. No matter the evidence. By definition God is the source of everything and no alternative is acceptable. Christianity is the “closed system”. Christians, and other religions, kill each other over minor doctrinal differences for crying out loud.

    You should really seek out some free thinker or secular humanist groups in your area and get to know some of these people. Chances are you already do. Chances are you sit next to them in Church. And it’s even possible they have been your pastor (http://clergyproject.org/). <– the success of this project has got to be alarming to you.

  30. Wow, this article was much better than I expected. For the author: I would love to hear you explain something about ‘believers’ to me.
    There have been many times in my life when I was chatting with people I had just met, enjoying each others company, laughing, telling stories and the like and then religion comes into the conversation, usually in the form of being invited to their church and I politely respond; “Well thank you, but no thanks, I am an atheist,” and to a person, their reply is always the same thing; “No, you are not.” Well, it seems to me I would know and it also seems to me that they are very rude for calling me a liar. I have never told anyone they are not a Christian, if they say they are, who am I to judge they are not. I would say they are a very poor Christian as they don’t seem to have a grasp on the guidelines. So Mr Author, please either explain to me or explain to them what is wrong with this picture. Thanks.

  31. /God changes his mind. That is clearly demonstrated in the Bible. As an example, we would not have old and new testaments otherwise. How “absolute” is that?
    This answer completely qualifies you as a pagan without any knowledge of Christianity. First, God did not change his mind. The Old Testament is the First Covenant with Abraham, the New Testament is the Second Covenant with Jesus Christ (God). Yes Stalin, Hitler, Hussein and others.
    /That is a claim. Where is the proof? How can you prove it wasn’t developed by “man”?
    You have not proof it does not. But here is a hint. The Natural Moral Law starts from a self-evident truth. Know what it is?
    /Possibly, but does that make all the supernatural claims in the Bible true? Are you claiming you only practice Christianity because it is “useful” to you? That seems to be what you are saying but don’t let me misrepresent you. Please explain why you go along with it, beyond “usefulness”.
    How about you answering some of my questions. Do you teach your childen that they have nothing ahead but death. They will never be in your presence again and when they die, there is nothing ahead and they could die tomorrow. That you make up your morals as you go. If not, what are they and where did you get them. You have never answered this question because you can’t.
    /Another straw man. I do not advocate for moral relativism. I oppose it. In fact, I’ve never met a non-believer that does advocate for it. That is not to say atheist moral relativists don’t exist. Christian moral relativists certainly do.
    Of course you advocate for relativism. Who makes your morals? Is your neighbors better than yours? Again, Hitler’s are just as good as yours. If not, why not?
    /There is zero connection between the positions “I don’t believe in any gods” and “I am a moral relativist”. Again, you display a staggering ignorance about atheism. The world is bearing witness to it. Atheism is just a position about god belief. There is NO moral claim whatsoever with atheism.
    Based upon what I have read, you are a simple moron. Of course you have a moral claim. I shall bet if I took your money from you by force you would be screaming that is mine not yours and you cannot take it. Based upon what moral law? If you have no moral claims, you have no defense of anything. Please.
    /How on earth do you even come up with these ideas about ME? This isn’t even about ME.
    Of course it is about you, an atheist who has no moral claims.
    /If you know ANYTHING you would know that many of the “forefathers” would be considered either Agnostic or Atheist by today’s standards, especially so by Evangelical standards. At best, they were as “Christian” as the current President, who I peg as a deist at best. Not that it matters.
    Wrong again. All but Jefferson and Franklin were Christians. Of those who wrote and signed the Constitution, twenty-nine were Episcopalians, nine Presbyterians, seven Congregationalists, two Lutherans, two Dutch Reformed, two Methodists, two Roman Catholics, one Quaker and one Deist – Jefferson did not sign the Consitution.
    /How “Christian” was Thomas Jefferson? There is a monumental difference between Deism and Christianity. Some days I even wake up and think I might be Deist. So what? It makes no difference in how I treat people or daily decisions or planning for the future.
    Old information.
    /If you are in any way implying that atheism consists of a desire to wipe out religion, then you are again displaying an astonishing ignorance about atheism. Atheism itself takes no position about freedom of religion or freedom “from religion”. Again, it is a point of view about god belief. That is it. Nothing more. Got it yet?
    It is a destructive belief that allows anyone to believe anything they want too without any limits. Your moral claim is might makes right. All laws in this Country are based upon Christian principles. You should be thankful. All other religions are false, but you would not know how to determine that. It would be nice to sit across the table from you and see exactly what you know. From what I have read, not much.
    /Suppressing knowledge in any form is tyrannical. Although many religious leaders past and present seek to suppress information, I hope you are sensible enough to agree with me here. Enlightenment is a precious virtue. Agree?
    Ignorance again. Our Constitution is based upon Christian principles. Read the Amendments, Freedom of speech, Freedom of religion, Freedom of the press, etc. The only suppression comes from the likes of atheism which is endorsed by countries such as Russia. Be glad you live here my friend or you would not be writing your messages on this Website.

  32. //Natural Moral Law which was implanted into human intellect by God at the beginning//
    Proof? Didn’t think so.
    I ask you, what is more plausible? That there is a supernatural being that revealed morals to man? Possibly through a burning bush or a talking snake? Or maybe, just maybe, man used his own intellect at the time to implant morals into the god concept? Which is more plausible?
    And do you know what that divine morality, beyond the 10 commandments, consisted of? Oh right, I have a gross misunderstanding of the Old Testament….yeah right.
    Comment: I have not seen you prove one thing. All you have done is blow hard. Give me some morals you believe as I keep repeating. I will give you one hint of the self-evident truth that Natural Moral Law is built from, but that is all, as I cannot and do not have the time to educate you. The first principle is :”We ought to desire the things that are really good for us.” We never desire the things that are really bad for us. Right. The Natural Moral Law built from this self-evident truth is validated by Divine Revelation. No other religion reveals this. Natural Moral Law is used in the Declaration of Independence. Know where it is? If so explain it to me.
    Positive Law is built from Natural Law and determines “just” law in government. Much can be discussed from this but apparently you have no moral claims as an atheist. You live in a box and cannot get out of it as you have no universals.

  33. Bill

    You have exposed yourself as being so incredibly biased that there is no point in continuing any further. Your bias is reflected in your reading comprehension. Your bias is obvious with your interpretation of philosophy, politics, ethics and even religion. You sidestep defending the horrific Old Testament. We can only conclude that your defense is some form of moral relativism, which you claim to despise.

    If I can summarize where we stand.

    Your value system is tied to god belief, and you cannot fathom a better value system coming from anything other than the Judeo/Christian god. That if a man evades punishment now he will be punished in an after life. That it is acceptable for one person, Jesus, to be tortured, mocked, and slain as a sacrifice for your sins in order to fulfill a prophecy. This sacrifice absolves you from bad behavior so long as you believe and ask forgiveness.

    I maintain that values come from man to begin with. That man invents gods, religions, and traditions to communicate these values. That man is responsible for his own actions, including punishments and rewards, and always has been. Here and now. Not in another life. That responsibility includes admitting when values are broken and need correction. That responsibility comes with the self esteem associated with being virtuous for the sake of your own well being, the well being of your neighbors, and the well being of humanity. The reward is here and now. In this life. No reward beyond that should be necessary to entice compliance. The values are self evident.

    I offer you this challenge. As a parting gift.

    Impart on us some value, some morality, some wisdom that is exclusive to Jesus. That cannot also be attributed to Confucianism, Taoism, or some other system of ethics that predates Jesus and developed independently. Morality that led the Forefathers to set up American government the way they did.

    Give us Book, Chapter, and Verse of this wisdom you claim Christianity has monopolized. That god non believers cannot participate in. Here’s your chance to prove all your claims.

  34. Sam: How condescending, but I can summarize as well. For one thing, you have not provided any proof of your own as an atheist, but only biased comments, who is actually blind, and without knowledge. You want me to prove everything, but you provide nothing for what you believe. The reason is you have nothing. Respond to Flew below.

    I make you the same offer as a parting gift.

    Your most famous worldwide atheist, Anthony Flew, woke up in 2004 and decided there was a God. Read his book “There is no God, How the world’s most notorious atheist changed his mind.” I have read his book. His five main reasons for rejecting atheism was First; the rationality implicit in all our experience of the physical world; Second, life, the capacity to act autonomously; third, consciousness, the ability to be aware; fourth, conceptual thought, the power of articulating and understanding meaningful symbols such as are embedded in language; and fifth, the human self, the “center” of consciousness, thought, and action.

    In addition, atheist, new and old, have complained that there is no evidence for God’s existence, and some theists have responded that our free will can be preserved only if such evidence is noncoercive. The approach taken here is that we have all the evidence we need in our immediate experience, and that only a deliberate refusal to “look” is responsible for atheism of any variety. You simply don’t look.

    As regards Jesus, there is no other religion whereby God Himself incarnated Himself into a human being on Earth, laid down His human life for anyone’s sins who recognizes Him as saviour, even though we did not deserve it. His sacrifice paid the justice for my sins past, present and future. To say a person can take advantage of this sacrifice to do what he pleases is a person who does not truly know Him and never will. It changes a person’s life.

    Lastly, I suppose you have told your children they have no hope after death. I attended a funeral yesterday for a 35 year old woman who was mentally sick and commited sucide. It would be interesting to see what they would have thought of you after you told all of the people attending that she is just dead, she had no meaning, there is no afterlife, she is in oblivion.

    You are simply a pagan, and you will have to deal with an afterlife of Hell whether you believe it or not. In Scripture, Jesus mentions Hell seven times for persons of your lot. Most likely you are completely blind and have passed over the turning point of being able to understand who God really is and does exist. May God have mercy on your soul.

  35. Person’s on this site, notice Sam and his dodges. He cannot answer what his own leader states about atheism and its fallacy. He knows nothing about God or Christ except only as a name. He cannot counter Anthony Flew’s reasons for not accepting atheism. Flew was smart enough to see the light.

    I wanted to ask Sam where evil comes from, but I know he cannot answer that question. So I will answer it. Remember Adam and Eve the historical event that Sam cannot understand (Sam is blind by free choice). It is profound and answers the question of evil.

    God told Adam and Eve not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Of course they did what all of us would have done. They ate. We want to be independent and run our own lives as Sam does. They ate in defiance.

    As a result, they separated themselves from God, they separated themselves from each other, they separated themselves from themselves, they separated themselves from Nature, and they caused Nature to be separated from itself. This is separational chaos. These separations explain mental sickness, wars, hurricanes, earthquakes, murders, and all sins ever performed by humans. Man is the cause of sin separation, not God.

    The bottom line is, universal evil resulted from Adam and Eve’s sin against God. They moved away from God in their independence. God did not move. God is immutable. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Men such as Sam continue to reject Him, and they will pay the cost, their souls will end up in Hell for eternity. It is a free choice.

    As regards where evil came from, this is not just an answer, it is the only answer.

  36. The Poe runs strong in you Bill. But just in case I’m not mistaken, I’ll respond.

    So an Atheist wakes up one day and decides to be a Deist, still rejecting a personal god, Jesus, miracles, and all the other nonsense? Cool. He could decide to believe in space aliens or unicorns and it wouldn’t really matter to me. You fail.

    Regarding sources of evil? You REALLY shouldn’t have opened that one up. Especially since you are an avowed moral relativist. Here’s a whole lot of evil Mr. Relativist. Deal with it.

    According to your god, it is acceptable to murder your child. As long as god tells you. I guess you think Andrea Yates should be set free then? (Genesis 22:1-18)

    Well, god didn’t let Abraham pull the trigger there. Close one. But mass infanticide is certainly acceptable under the right conditions. (Exodus 13:2)

    Your god wipes out virtually the entire planet. And you thought Stalin was bad? (Genesis 6-9)

    If that weren’t enough to prove infanticide is acceptable to your god. (Judges 11:29-40 )

    If a child back talks their parents, we should murder them according to your god. (Matthew 15:4-7) (Proverbs 20:20) (Leviticus 20:9)

    If burning your child isn’t enough, how about just people in general. (Joshua 7:15)

    Your god sure has a fascination with sex and burning people to death. (Leviticus 21:9)

    Not burning here, but death certainly. Just for allegedly messing around? (Leviticus 20:10)

    Jesus is complicit with this one. Sure glad nobody threw that stone that he authorized.
    (John 7:53-8:11)

    And I suppose in your moral relativistic world we could, at any moment, just burn an entire town up along with its people if they are immoral by YOUR relativistic standards (Deuteronomy 13:13-19 )

    And Rape? According to your god it’s ok to just pay a fine. And then marry her, whether she likes it or not, and she can’t divorce the rapist. After all, it’s the law! (Deuteronomy 22:28-29)

    And if the rape victim happened to be married? Stone her to death. It’s ok. Your god says so. No guilt necessary. (Deuteronomy 22:23-24)

    Women make good slaves according to your god. Here are some rules about how to trade them. (Exodus 21:7-11)

    I suppose you think, in the right time and context, it’s ok to murder me for blasphemy, or following another religion? (Deuteronomy 13:7-12) (Leviticus 24:10-16)

    And my kids too. You can kill them according to your god in certain circumstances.
    Moral Relativism must be awesome for you. (Isaiah 14:21)

    What is with all this rape and baby killing your god sanctions? (Isaiah 13:15-18)

    Again with the mass murder? (1 Samuel 15:2-3) (Joshua 8:1-29) (Joshua 6:20-21) (1 Kings 14:9-16 ) (Jeremiah 50:21-22)

    Careful Bill, you are on thin ice as a false prophet. Depending on which time and country you lived in this could mean death. Rethinking relativism yet? (Deuteronomy 13:1-5)

    Every now and then your god likes to help out in all this raping and plundering. (Zechariah 14:1-2 )

    Kind of hard to ignore that Old Testament, as much as you’d like Mr. Relativism. (Luke 16:17) (Matthew 5:18-19)

    Yep, your god owns up to these things. (2 Timothy 3:16)

    I’ll stop there, but I could go on.

  37. And I’ll take your one Atheist turned Deist, and raise you COUNTLESS theists de-converting constantly. I’m one of them.

    Clergy right and left are leaving as well According to your relativistic standards, should they be stoned or not? I’m confused all of a sudden.

    Life is a lot easier when you learn you can be great without God. I don’t think you’re a bad person Bill. Your world just seems so small. You are probably a really nice fellow, but you need to let the anger and hate go.

    This is the only life you have. Be kind to others and enjoy it.

  38. And I JUST REMEMBERED something. Guess I’m a little rusty on my verses.

    You are bound to respond to EVERYTHING that I have thrown out so far.

    1 Peter 3:15 says “…Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect”

    You are therefore called to provide Book, Chapter, Verse of the requested value system that is exclusive to Christianity, which otherwise would not be self evident. That is not found in any other system of ethics developed independently. That our country is based on as you claimed. That our founding fathers would not have otherwise used..

    And remember that defense of the Old Testament that I asked for. Still waiting.

    Here are a few more things I am curious about (Don’t forget 1 Peter 3:15).

    To start, you owe me and your fellow Christians an apology according to Matthew 7:1. I don’t personally care for an apology, but you probably should publicly repent.

    1. “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

    Lastly, you sure hate Communists and Socialists. But isn’t essentially called for in scripture?

    “All that believed were together, and had all things in common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.”
    (Acts 2:44-45)

    “There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. They laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. There was a Levite, a native of Cyprus, Joseph, to whom the apostles gave the name Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”). He sold a field that belonged to him, then brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet. ”
    (Acts 4:34-37)

    “Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Matthew 19:21)

    Kinda sucks having to defend all this baggage. It isn’t necessary but according to 1 Peter 3:15 you are bound to.

    I love learning. Especially about theology and the Bible. Maybe there’s still hope! Look forward to hearing back.

  39. Wow Sam: what a bunch of confused nonsense. You are the perfect atheist. Still you have ignored all my questions because you have no answers. Tell me what is wrong with your famous atheist, Mr. Anthony Flew’s reasons for deciding there is a Supernatual? The problem is you cannot. You also have no idea where evil started except what I told you.

    The other problem is, the Old Testament Laws do not apply to the Second Covenant of Jesus Christ. Those laws were revoked. However, you would not know that.

    As far as judging, I can judge pagans actions. There is only one sin that is not forgivable, that is rejecting God. This is easy for me to see where you stand, so I can judge you as a pagan. Paul the Apostle makes this statement as well as others.

    I rocked back in my chair with much laughter at your diatribe. It shows your ignorance and tells any Christian who knows anything you are just harmless and ignorant. You are grasping for stawmen that are old as the hills.

    I don’t have time to answer all of your kindergarten questions. But, in the next message I will answer the Old Testament kindergarten question you raised. Remember, this subject is complex and one small question can require me much time to educate your simple brain. But, as Paul said, you are a natural man and cannot understand the things of the Spirit of God, because they are foolishness to you, because they are spiritually appraised. You are simply blind. However, I also you find you simple. You cannot get out of the box. You have not answered one of my questions yet.

    One simple question is do you tell your childen that you believe there is no afterlife? Yet not heard an answer. How about Flew’s reasons, not heard. How about where did evil come from? not heard. How about what your morals are and where did you get them? not heard.

    The reason is you absolutely have no answers. All you can do is attack my beliefs, but not defend and identify sources of your own beliefs. What are they Mr. atheist? Lets talk about your beliefs and where you got them. not heard. I bet I can rip them apart. How fun this is.

  40. A simple Sunday School Lesson for you Sam.

    After God removed many people from this earth, because of sin like yours Sam (Flood and Sodom/Gomorra), He recognized Abraham was a man who really loved Him and wanted to follow Him. God made a Covenant with Abraham that He would make him a father of many nations starting in Canaan. However, Abraham would not be a part of leading these nations. The reason was this movement of his families into Canaan would not occur for the next 400 years. The reason was God would not allow movement into Canaan until the “iniquity of the Amorites was complete” Genesis 15:15. What this meant was there would be Amorites who may believe in God for the next 400 years. After the 400 years pass, there will not be one Amorite (man, woman or child) who will ever believe or follow God.

    Remember, God is outside of time and knows each person’s lifetime actions. His being outside of time is proven by the fact that there was a Supernatural behind the Big Bang. The Universe was created from nothing. As reported by “The Star.Com” on the Higgs-Boson (July 8, 2012): “There are nearly 10,000 highly educated people working on the project, which rivals only the space program in its scope. It’s an army that has worked on proving that mass can come from nothing.” Apparently, the Supernatural made a Universe from nothing which is supported by Science. As a result, God knows what you are going to do over your complete lifetime Sam because, He is not in time. He knows “most likely” (my guess, but hope you change your mind) you will stay an atheist. As a result when you come before Him after death, you can only confess “guilty’ that what you did was wrong, as He has the evidence. God already knows what Sam will do, as He did the Amorites

  41. Contd:
    So, Joshua was directed by God to kill all the men, women, and children, because He knew they would never believe in Him. Why let them live if they are simply going to Hell. He also did not want them to be present to intimidate or influence His people while going into Canaan to began residence, as God told them to do. This land was theirs. After all, God made the Heavens and Earth, so He can assign any land to His people that He wants to. And, He did. The fight for this land even continues even today in Israel.
    Sam, the people in this incident who were killed by Joshua would never believe in God, so He had Joshua destroy them. They were held accountable (guilty) for their beliefs like you will be. Atheist simply will go to Hell. Got it.
    The Old Testament is a recorded history of a known people (archeology proves this). No other religion can claim this fact. It is a fascinating history if you could understand it. Your understanding is pagan, kindergarten nonsense. If you only knew. Remember, God is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent. You are standing up against power you cannot even fathom. God help you .

    “He who provides for this life and makes no care for eternity, is wise for a moment, but a fool forever.” Tillotson

  42. Nothing new there. Just theological gymnastics to accomplish Moral Relativism. What I expected. It is still horrible and a violation of human rights.

    Besides, I’ve heard all that before. I’ve even provided those defenses. At least you finally provided this defense you kept patting yourself on the back for. Meanwhile, you have dodged everything else of substance.

    You have contradicted yourself so badly. Your only defense is some form of moral relativism. That is a major contradiction which apparently you are too biased to recognize. And you continue to proclaim these moral absolutes your religion offers, yet state there were multiple covenants. That god does in fact change his mind, which is so anthropomorphic. If that’s the case then nothing prevents a new covenant where all of these practices are back on the table. To suggest otherwise puts limitations on the power of your god, which would be yet another contradiction. And that was only one example.

    The bottom line is those old laws come from men. Over time, as we slowly shed our superstitions and learned more about the world, we dropped them because we recognized they were wrong and they are indefensible. They violate the self evident natural law you continue referencing. Only in the worst theocracies do you find anything close still in practice. The very fact that you feel as if you are being attacked by simply having to endure the word of your own god should indicate something to you.

    You like to stack up body counts? It is not even possible to quantify the bloodshed and torture carried out in the name of your god. Starting from the Old Testament times and continuing all the way until now, including all the witch hunts, crusades, conquests, missions and wars. In Africa, right now, people are dying of AIDS that could be prevented were it not for religious superstition about condoms. Pile up all those bodies of infants that die from malnutrition that could have been prevented with basic access to contraception, blocked or discouraged in the name of the Christian god. All the turmoil and bloodshed in the Middle East right now. Consider the lives lost by delayed scientific advancements in medicine. Advancement that were, and still are, retarded by ancient myths. How can you be so blind to it all? How can you just excuse it all?

    You humbly pontificate from this lofty throne of moral superiority, damning sinners to an eternal torment you have no proof of, from comfortable America. You proclaim exclusive access to all this special revelation that is inaccessible to the non-believer, all the while ignoring that virtually ALL atheists are former Christians. A great deal of them, such as myself, are actually well versed in scripture. And many, including myself, have studied Theology and Apologetics. How many times do I have to repeat myself about this? I have been on the other side of this very conversation in fact. How do you like them apples?

    You exemplify everything that is wrong with fundamentalism, and religion in general. You are dogmatic and closed off to new information. You cannot even accept the most basic definition of the word atheism because it conflicts with a preconceived idea, which conveniently offers a platform for self-righteous grand standing. This very same dogmatic, utopian, and uncompromising world view is precisely what is responsible for the deaths of millions in pursuit of communism, socialism, and fascism worldwide.
    Atheism, alone, has no moral claims. Theism, alone, has no moral claims either. That does not mean Theists do not have morals. That does not mean Atheists do not have morals. As educated as you tout yourself as being on these matters, this very basic academic understanding seems to elude you.

  43. The evidence for personal god(s) is so underwhelming to me. And the authenticity of the Bible is far too questionable for me to revolve my life around it. I prefer the beauty of reality, not delusions. No matter how much consolation these delusions might offer, they are false. That does not at all mean I, as an atheist, must reject all Christian principles. Quite the opposite in fact. I do recognize, however, that the serviceable tenets of Christianity are just not unique to it at all. They are human values. Created by man.

    You were born Atheist. You only learned one form of Theism later. That is undeniable. Not only that, but you are still Atheist towards every god in history but one (or three, depending on your Theology).

    You are likely not a dummy, so don’t take this the wrong way. But you are definitely the target audience for this book. I really hope you don’t continue burying your head in the sand. Buy the book, you’ll be a better debater. And you might find some happiness in knowing that your doubts are shared.

    I engage in these conversations across the web to learn, to exchange ideas, to educate others. Not to vent anger or bring people down. Unfortunately, you are not offering anything positive. You have nothing new that I haven’t heard. And I have no more time for it.

    Take the last word. Have your site back. I am finished.

  44. Of course you are finished. You have not answered one question I have asked about your beliefs, and you have not countered any reasons by Flew. As regards you travel around websites to learn. How amusing.

    Again, One simple question is do you tell your childen that you believe there is no afterlife? Yet not heard an answer. How about Flew’s reasons, not heard. How about where did evil come from? not heard. How about what your morals are and where did you get them? not heard.

    The reason is you absolutely have no answers. All you can do is attack my beliefs, but not defend and identify sources of your own beliefs. What are they Mr. atheist? Lets talk about your beliefs and where you got them. not heard. I bet I can rip them apart. How fun this is.

    Sam, you are not an engineer or you would try and counter Flew and my challenges in regard to Science and Faith correlatiing. All you do is type words with littler meaning. You like to read your own garbage. It is harmless though. An invitation: the Discovery Institute and find out when the next Science and Faith Conference is. You will meet many people much more educated than you are. They willl toss you into the swamp my friend. Give it a try.

    Simply remember, it is your free choice to deny Christ. To Hell you go my friend. So be it . But when you stand before God at judgement, you have no defense. And you ain’t gong to like it.

  45. Sam above on his rantings about deaths in Africa, Christian killings, etc. is, as said, due to sin against God by anyone. Many causes of deaths on Earth blamed on Christians are really false. There were persons who used the name of Christianity to perform atrocities. But, they are not Christians. Lets look at the number of deaths caused by atheists throughout the world.

    Concerning atheism and mass murder, Christian apologist Gregory Koukl wrote that “the assertion is that religion has caused most of the killing and bloodshed in the world. There are people who make accusations and assertions that are empirically false. This is one of them. Koukl details the number of people killed in various events involving theism and compares them to the much higher tens of millions of people killed under communist atheistic regimes. It has been estimated that in less than the past 100 years, governments under the banner of communism have caused the death of somewhere between 40,472,000 to 259,432,000 human lives.Dr. R. J. Rummel, professor emeritus of political science at the University of Hawaii, is the scholar who first coined the term democide (death by government). Dr. R. J. Rummel’s mid estimate regarding the loss of life due to communism is that communism caused the death of approximately 110,286,000 people between 1917 and 1987. Add on Hitler’s numbers as listed in World War II including 6 million helpless Jews. This is nothing new and can be found on the Internet or in books by anyone.

    Sam is in never, never land and without any clothes. He also is ignorant of Christianity as can be seen in most of his rants. Much of it is confused nonsense. Sam just wants to be his own god and so be it, he is. But he must pay the price of accountability. That price is eternal Hell. I hope he wakes up in time and uses science, philosophy, history, mathematics and theology to find out his mistake and repent. The answers are there. GOD EXISTS.

  46. Dr. James Gilligan got some intersting information on why people do some evils.
    Starting point http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36HquPzdxf4