While stumbling across the internet, I came across this blog post. While reading this, I thought to myself, “Self, which of these claims are legitimate and which are just random stabs at Christianity.” You see, my biggest beef with atheists (and anyone that holds a belief system) is when instead of supporting their own argument, they want to dismantle other people’s beliefs. In my opinion, this is a waste of time, but what I call ‘waste,’ another might call ‘well spent.’ Anyway, I’ve decided to respond to each section, some of the author’s comments are quite legitimate, the other comments, of course, just end up being an attack.
“…understand the need for humans to collectively subscribe to mythology and claim it as reality.”
Fair enough. Unfortunately, what the author calls mythology, others would call truth, so a better terminology would be a belief system. In this case, even atheism can be questioned in the same manner.
“…care if I offend you, your clergy or even your imaginary savior. Since when do many Christians care if they offend others outside of their worldview?”
Outside of my lack of acknowledging clerical positions, I think God can take care of Himself – I don’t need to defend Him from anyone offending Him. I don’t enjoy hearing or reading something that goes against God, but I also know that He allows it and I think it’s health to question religion and belief systems, but I think it’s a waste to attack any belief system. As for Christians offending other worldviews, all I can say is that any worldview is going to offend another worldview. That’s part of life. Get over it.
“…condemn gays or gay marriage because homosexuality is “an abomination to God” as many Christians repeat over and over, but yet ignore the warnings of heterosexual adultery in Luke 16:18 when re-marrying.”
People in general take the wrong approach to both problems. With homosexuality, it is not anyone’s right to judge another person’s heart or actions, but at the same time, Christians have to acknowledge the teachings against homosexuality. All I know is there isn’t one man or woman right now on this planet who isn’t dealing with the problem of sin, Christian or not. Some sin is very obvious and some can be well hidden, and people will always point out the obvious ones, whether homosexuality or remarriage. All I know is no one is perfect, but we should all strive to be. We are also all on a journey, so I don’t expect to see any one that is perfect, let alone right away. One this is for sure, that if a Christian is sinning and is openly advertising it as a great way to live, it is obvious they have no interest in God.
“…feel the presence of any deity or “supreme being” that can control us human beings. Has this deity stopped any diseases/illnesses, natural disasters or crimes against humanity. I’m not blaming your skydaddy for these things, I’m pointing out the flaws in your interpretation of “God”. You are the ones always reminding us that “God loves everyone”.”
God has never been about feelings. There is a lot of hype about “feeling the presence of God,” but that’s all it is. Some of it might be legitimate, others not as much. All I know is that God knows what He’s doing – yes, that could be a cop-out answer, but that’s the best I can give. I can’t justify God’s actions: I leave that up to Him.
“…see anything beneficial or special about being a Christian. Human compassion is not exclusive to Christianity. In fact, I’ve witnessed more compassion outside of the circle of “Born Agains”.”
I agree, there are many people who are compassionate; some are Christians, some are not. I also have to agree with your implication, that there can be more compassion outside of Christian circles. I would explain that, from my Christian perspective, that God’s grace for compassion isn’t limited by someone’s Christian commitment, but God uses anyone that is open to being compassionate. I think it’s a great testimony when a Christian is compassionate in a situation, but Christians aren’t always compassionate. I guess that’s part of humanities ability to choose.
“…believe everything was created in six days, nor created by someone who needed to rest on the day after. Why do you go to a church and pray to someone on their day off?”
As far as Creation goes, we could say the same: I simply can’t believe everything was created by a seemingly random bang that brought about planets and ooze that eventually evolved into life. *shrugs* That’s just part of different belief systems, as I mention: we’re not always going to agree. As to the second part, I really hope Christians pray more often than Sundays.
“…kneel, bow down or pray to any imaginary supernatural forces or the idols that represent those forces. Get off your knees. You look very silly talking to the air too! And tell your Christian professional ball players that thanking God for homeruns or touchdowns is a sign of ignorance.”
There is a time to pray and a time to act. I believe that prayer is essential to Christianity, but there are often times in scripture that God wanted things done, not things prayed about. As far as looking silly, people pray in different ways. And I definitely agree that praising God for winning a sport seems silly, and I think there are things much more important to pray about, if you were to do any sort of praying.
“…commit heinous acts towards other human beings simply because I do not have a religious creed. I can stay out of mischief and adhere to human law without needing an imaginary friend to keep me from murdering your pedophile priests and child molesting pastors, too.”
This sounds like a Catholic prod, but to respond, all I can say is people who do that have no right to be a religious leader at all. I would even go as far to say that people that do that need to be stoned to death because it is so heinous to, pardon my wording, screw with a child’s well being.
“…use terms like “Thank God” or “God bless you” when things are in my favor or when someone sneezes. Do you say, “Bless you” to someone who farts?”
All I can say is, point taken.
“…know everything about our universe, nor have I witnessed the existence of a deity or elves and you haven’t either. You were told over and over that “God is watching out for you”. Are you programmed or do you really believe this horseshit? Do you keep a rabbit’s foot in your pocket also? One myth is just as good as another.”
I also don’t know everything about the universe. I haven’t seen God in the sense of seeing a person, but maybe it isn’t about that. If it were all about seeing God, then Jesus would have appear at the moment Adam and Eve sinned, and everything would be alright. If God were constantly on a physical display, there would be no need for a lot of the religious garbage we put into our lives because we could just see God and go, “Wow, now THAT is God!” If I were to reverse that, you could also say you haven’t seen macro-evolution. I think there are a lot of unknowns in our universe (and even just on our planet, Earth), and there is never a simple explanation.
“…understand how one can state that their God can do anything through faith, but yet live on pills and medical treatment. Is your faith limited to your deity only when convenient?”
This is one of those “easy in theory but difficult in implementation” sort of problems. Here is what I say: God is capable of doing absolutely everything (even divide by zero!) but that does not mean God will do absolutely everything. I don’t know how God thinks, but I know that He obviously limits His actions to what He decides to do. It’s not a matter of someone’s faith, because God is in no way dependent on humanity (or any created thing). People want a god they can control, so in Christianity, it is easier to believe in a God that is limited by our own understanding than it is to believe in God, who is unlimited in all things.
“…see most Christians as good or wholesome people. Most people in the U.S. prison system are Christians.”
Christians aren’t perfect. I don’t know what else to say. We’re a mess, just like everyone else.
“…need the belief in Heaven and Hell…nor do I want it. I don’t want “streets of gold” or to enter “Pearly Gates”. After you guys go to Heaven, the Vatican can supply enough gold for everyone else left behind. Maybe we can finally feed those hungry millions, if we sell it.”
I don’t need a belief in evolution, or the greater idea of science. But, back to the original statement, I think heaven and hell are often misrepresented. They are both limited by our own understanding, but I think this is sufficient to say: heaven is good, and hell is bad. There is some imagery in the bible for both, but often in an allegorical sense, so I stand with my original definitions. Anything else is just interpretation on limited information. As far as the jab at Catholicism, feeding hungry people is far more important than a fancy plot of land and building.
“…believe in an afterlife in which our souls are transcended from our bodies to another place. I do not believe in souls or an afterlife. These things were invented to control the naive masses, not non-believers.”
Well, I don’t know that they were invented to control anyone, but that’s my opinion. Believe what you desire, and I guess we’ll all find out sooner or later.
“However, I do value reality, science, and humanism. These things are my comfort and they are the keys to sanity. Religions such as Christianity and Islam are poisonous to adult thinking. If you believe their doctrines of invasion and conversion are from a god of love, then you should consider changing gods or leaving Christianity (or Islam).”
I am all for reality and science, but not humanism. Humanism didn’t even really exist before Aristotle, and wasn’t even popular until the Renaissance. This either means that it was a well kept secret from the beginning of humanity (where ever you want to place that wonderful event), or it was invented, just like religion, as a way to control the “naive masses.” I agree that religion is poisonous, because it puts God into a system and limits His awesomeness by means of, yours and my friend, humanism. My God is the God of fatherly love, the kind of love that blesses good behaviour, and judges bad behaviour. When there is rebellion there is punishment, and when there is respect there is blessing. I wouldn’t ever recommend invasion and conversion, but I’m not God. Conversion by force is always a bad idea, that much I do know.
Anyway, Mark, I do respect you for your stance, so don’t take this as an attack, just a critique. Take care,