September 28, 2009
Answering A Commenter on Motivations
You might consider one more argument (thought) to tackle. Why have you dedicated so much time and effort to destroying “pixies in space?”
Well, I think maybe you’ve misinterpreted the mission of this site. As it says right up there on the top of the screen, I write this blog to evaluate apologetic arguments for Christianity. If you have some personal faith in Jesus that makes you happy, and you’ve got a live-and-let-live mentality, then we’re not going to have much to discuss. Most of my family members are Christians; most of the people I interact with on a daily basis are religious. My favorite baseball player is a Christian. And so on. Believe what you believe and be happy with it!
On the other hand, if you think you have a good argument why I should believe in Jesus, then I’d like to hear it. So far, I’ve found those arguments pretty unavailing, but who knows — maybe you’ll come up with a good one. Until then, all I can do is evaluate and answer the arguments that people make to me.
I encounter oodles of crazy people who have strange beliefs. It usually does not cause me to change my schedule. But, if I believe that it matters (i.e. if a person believes that he or she may walk down the center of a 4 lain hwy at night in all black), I take action to try to keep this belief from continuing. This is harmful behavior.
My conclusion is that you must see a danger in Christianity. Is it Dangerous for me to believe that God created you and therefore I ought to respect you and love you as my own brother. What are you saving me from?
I agree entirely with the premise you set out here. I would not try to “de-convert” anyone from Christianity (defined broadly) unless I thought those beliefs were harmful to that person or to others. Of course, some Christian beliefs do fall into this category — when Christians encourage intolerance against homosexuals, for example, or when they block scientific and medical research that could save lives — and I think those beliefs are worth argung against on your harm principle.
Most Christians that I know are decent normal everyday people who don’t protest, or file lawsuits. They believe in two basic rules 1. Love God and 2. Love your neighbor. I think that a lot of them find it difficult to believe that others can take such huge offense to this way of life.
They want their kids to enjoy this life too and get miffed (typical lack of faith) when others try to destroy this belief system with unsubstantiated conjecture on what is wrong with believing in God.
I would humbly submit here that you’re engaging in what psychologists call “projection.” As far as I know, atheists aren’t out there with a powerful lobby trying to indoctrinate your kinds into being atheists. But some of your co-religionists — maybe not you — are actively trying to get your religion sponsored by the government and back into public schools.
Your arguments must elevate your feeling of “knowing” the truth. You seem to have such a good handle on the here and now, but what about death. How do you explain away the resurrection of Christ? Takes a lot of historic ‘hoops’ to jump through to deny this. Please don’t think me naive, I know that a man of your intelligence would have no problem coming up with explanations, but have you ever wondered why it is so necessary to your existence to do so?
This is kind of a strange question. I guess the simplest answer is that there was no resurrection to “explain away.” This isn’t jumping through hoops; it’s a question of whether we believe uncritically stories in ancient books that talk about magic. I submit to you that we both apply the same level of skepticism to the miraculous tales of Mohammed, of Odysseus, of Achilles, and so on — it’s just that I also apply that same skepticism to the Bible, while you give it a pass.
I don’t think it is a big deal that you are wanting to convince the world that there is no God. But I do find it curious that many who do this don’t seem to have direction. It is popular to say that reality does not have a point, but why have we started buying that?
It occurs to me that there might be a denial of the fact that belief in God is, indeed, an intelligent alternative to atheism, and that it stands as the antithesis of what it is you are arguing. My problem is that you don’t seem to know, in the end, where your argument leads you.
I’m not sure I understand your point here. I can’t “force” myself to believe in something, even if I wanted to. All I can do is state that I find the arguments for God unconvincing. If I’ve missed something; if there are better ones, please let me know.