Does God Exist? (Part 2)
Hello! This is a continuation of a debate Con and I had last week. I would like this to be more of a discussion than a debate. So, vote if you'd like, but I'm not trying to "win" this one.
Our last debate focused a lot on your questions about Christianity. I would like to now ask you questions about Atheism. These are the main problems I have with atheism:
1) Everything is an accident. Atheism says that all life is essentially an accident of numerous helpful mutations. Jellyfish just happened to sprout legs who happened to develop lungs who happened to grow brains who happened to walk upright. Atheism says that all life is the result of a string of accidents, and I cannot accept that is all life is. How do random amino acids and proteins spring to life by accident?
2) If there is no supernatural, then we are all just lumps of carbon and water waiting to die. I cannot accept that we are just masses of raw organic matter. If this is true, then all human consciousness, emotion, love, art, and creativity is nothing more than electric synapses and chemical hormones pumping through our brains. All of our deepest feelings and desires are nothing more than chemical reactions. This is very hard to believe.
3) Atheism does not provide a satisfying meaning for life. It is very hard to draw meaning from the thought that when we die, we simply become food for worms and the world keeps moving on without us and that's it. That means we are nothing more than wild animals in fancy clothes - our only job is to reproduce to keep the species going and then we can die an evolutionary success. That is very hard to accept.
4) Morality. If there is no supernatural, then our only job on Earth is to reproduce and to keep our species surviving. Therefore, morality is simply behavior that help humans survive. This kind of makes sense, because things like telling the truth and sharing can be things that help people survive. The problem is, different people have different opinions about what helps humanity. Hitler thought he was helping the human race survive by killing Jews. Osama bin Laden thought he was doing humanity a favor by killing infidels. Who is to say they are wrong and we are right? On what authority can we judge our morals as better than someone else's if there is no higher authority?
I would like you to explain how your worldview answers these four points. If you'd like, feel free to ask me questions about Christianity and I will answer you in the next round.
2)Yes, technically yes. But" it"s like saying music is just a bunch of chords together " of course it is " but with that music can make us feel different feelings, we can get emotional just by hearing a single song, music sometimes makes us feel better, sometimes it makes us cry.
I would like you to explain why Christianity presents a better point of view. For the simple minds, who don"t bother to ask questions, it all makes sense, but when you look at the Christian afterlife belief, you can end up asking the same questions, for example:
*According to Christianity when we die God judges us to heaven or hell. By actions? If he judges by our actions, he can send good people to hell, because there are some people who do bad things according to Christianity, but as a result of poverty, lack of education, and more. So that doesn't make sense. And if judges by whether the persons is purely good or purely bad, then God is actually judging a person by the personality that according to religion, is created by God. So it is logically incorrect for God to judge his very own creation.
*In afterlife, according to Christianity, are we to continue living, with our own personality, in heaven/hell? According to that, then we would still make mistakes, and still ""sin"" etc. I think you can agree it is human to make mistakes. If we will still make mistakes in heaven, then our lives wouldn't be perfect there, so it will be just like this life? And can God judge a person in heaven? What is heaven? Is it the same for everybody?
*Why did God create men? Christianity doesn"t give an answer to that. Are we like toys to God? Is he looking for company? I can't see a good reason which isn't selfish for God to create humanity, and God can't be selfish, right?
*Is hell the same for everyone? Is an atheist man who had a sexual relationship with his girlfriend before marriage supposed to suffer in hell just like a person who is a murderer and a rapist?
3) Well, let me tell you something: Before the early 17th century, it was believed that the earth is in the middle of the world. When real scientists started to appear, they discovered and proved it is untrue. It was extremely hard for the people of that time to accept that theory, because it is also very much philosophical. It means that we are not the center of the world. The earth is not special, our solar system is not special, and that there"s nothing in the universe that is. It was actually, so hard, to accept, that the church of that time put Galileo"s book about that theory in the "forbidden books collection" and he was judged for heresy and sentenced for life arrest. (Hope I got it right " google translate)
You are looking at it the wrong way. Again, like I said in the debate, Christianity provides a simpler, easier answers. The fact that it"s hard to accept doesn"t make it less true.
Ludwig Wittgenstein, a philosopher, once said: ""the purpose of life is a life with purpose.""
The question of the purpose of life is something very personal, for example, one man can want to make a mark in the human history, and for him that"s the purpose of life. One man can love his family very much, and for him his family is his purpose of life. Of course it doesn't have to be just one thing. I, for example, love traveling, my family, my dogs, I love art and design, and politics" all these are just a part of my life"s purpose. All these are just a part of my life"s purpose. You're right that according to science nothing happens when we die, and we just stop living, period, but" I think that can even encourage people to do valuable things in their life, not because they will be rewarded in the afterlife, but because they won't have a second chance to do it. And you know what, if living forever means so much to you, science is the place to be ;) Some scientists are working on projects that will make our lives longer and better, I think that"s a better approach than believing in God and hoping that heaven exists for your life to have meaning. I hope you got my point.
4)Well, there are two videos I attached that I think can answer your question.
And also " the bible and the holy testaments don"t always teach GOOD morals, and I think you can agree with that. I think I gave you some examples in the debate last week.
I have some questions to you too:
"How did you come to a conclusion that God is real? That Christianity is the right religion? In what age exactly? Were there other people involved in your process?"
"In the debate you stated that we have limited logic/mind, something like that I think, how does that come together, if you said that you became a Christian because it made sense to you? How does that go together?
"Do you accept ALL aspects of Christianity? Is there something that you DON'T agree with?
From your first question, I realized that you didn't study evolution, and you don't understand it. I want to recommend you to open up "Evolution" and "Natural Selection" on Wikipedia, and read a little about it. There are also some very helpful YouTube videos about that. If you'd like, you can recommend me some reading material about Christianity that will be helpful for me to understand your point of view.
And I hope it's not too personal, but how old are you?
Before I start, I’d like to respectfully correct your assumption that religious people are blind, dumb, and simple. You’ve made several statements such as Christians having “simple minds, who don’t bother to ask questions.” This is really offensive and wrong. There are lots of brilliant, creative religious people who love asking questions. Please stop assuming this.
I’d like to respond to your belief that I have never studied or do not understand evolution. I actually have studied it. I have a college degree and I’ve taken numerous classes on biology, chemistry, and physics. I understand that evolution is the process by which all life diversity emerged from small changes within species over billions of years. I admit I gave a very simple and silly example of evolution in the first round, but that is because you told me you have trouble understanding complex sentences in English. If you’d like, I’d be happy to write more complex versions of my arguments.
I had to laugh a little after seeing that your recommended reading was from Wikipedia and YouTube. These are not reliable or scientific sources. I am not trying to be rude, I’m just trying to be honest – please provide better sources.
1) Atheism/evolution DOES say everything is essentially an accident. According to evolution, those fish you mention developed gills because some fish, by complete chance of genetic mutation, developed gills which by accident turned out to be better adapted to their environment. According to natural selection, the fish with gills survived better than those without them, and so all the fish without gills eventually died off. According to natural selection, this all happens by genetic mutation, which is another way of saying genetic accident.
You claim that modern humanity is smarter. People like Aristotle, Sir Isaac Newton, and Leonardo DiVinci are no less brilliant than our modern thinkers. Having better technology does not mean we are smarter. Our “dumb” ancestors somehow figured out how to build the Great Pyramids to mathematical precision without power tools and invented calculus without calculators. It is wrong to believe we are smarter than these people – most everything we know today is BECAUSE of the work and discoveries they made.
2) You bring up a good point about music creating emotion, but you miss the deeper issue. Under your worldview these emotions are not real, they are just chemical reactions to vibrating sound waves in our ears. That’s it. If you are ok with accepting that, then there is not much more I can say. I believe there must be something deeper to human emotion and desire. I will answer your questions about Christianity in the next section.
3) Saying “the purpose of life is a life with purpose” is meaningless. It is a circular statement. You might as well say “the answer to the question is the question’s answer.” While these statements may be true, they do not help us understand exactly what the purpose or answer is. You basically suggest life’s meaning is just made up. This thinking goes along the lines of Viktor Frankl and other existentialist philosophers, but it makes no sense to me. If the meaning of life is just made up – then that is not real meaning.
I believe you are wrong by saying people are encouraged to live better lives if they know death is the end. This would make people live more selfish lives. It means your own life is the most valuable thing you own. What would motivate soldiers to face death for the innocent, or for someone to run into a burning building to save a stranger? If your life is all you have, you would be stupid to risk losing it.
As far as science goes, simply living longer is not a good option. I refuse to believe that just making myself comfortable and healthy for 80 or so years is the best thing I can hope for. That’s a very depressing thought in my opinion.
4) I watched your videos, and they still do not answer the central problem I see in your view. The man in the video says himself, “you kind of shape your own morality.” If you make up your own morality, then that is not morality - it is an opinion! If each person has the right to “kind of shape their own morality” then how do we have the right to say someone else’s moral code is wrong? By what authority do we claim that our morals are better than someone else’s? We as humans lose the ability to judge someone else’s actions as “good” or “bad” if there is no higher judge to appeal to. Those definitions are purely subjective if humans are the highest authority.
Now, on to your questions about Christianity:
1) I came to the conclusion God is real at age 19 because I was not satisfied with atheism’s explanations of morality, life origins, death, and purpose. I chose Christianity over other religions because all other religions focus on man – pray here, wear this, eat that – Christianity is the only religion I found that actually puts the focus on God. A pastor I listen to said it best, “Religion is about what we do for God, Christianity is about what God did for us.” It is also the only religion whose god conquered death and has some kind of historical/eyewitness evidence for doing so other than mere legend. Yes, there were many teachers, friends, mentors, and books who influenced me during this process.
2) Yes, I believe we have limited logic. This goes together with Christianity for me because we believe God is all wise and powerful. I would have to be all wise and powerful myself to fully understand something like that. Because I obviously am not, it makes sense that I cannot fully understand everything about god. If I could, He would not be a god worth worshipping. Not fully understanding and not making sense are two different things. God can still make sense even though I don’t fully understand him – just like quantum physics can still make sense even if we don’t fully understand it.
3) I do accept all CENTRAL aspects of Christianity. I say central because there are many side aspects that Christians debate about such as how old the Earth is and stuff.
I also believe in evolution, which I can explain later if you want.
4) Judgment – No, god does not judge based on actions or “pure goodness.” The Bible is clear that god judges based on faith alone. That is what makes Christianity unique.
5) Heaven – no, the Bible teaches we do not keep our human imperfections in heaven. Everything is perfect, there are no more mistakes.
6) Creating men – the Bible is very clear that God created man for his own glory. Yes, this is “selfish.” The Bible often describes God as a “jealous” God. What makes selfishness wrong however is demanding attention when you don’t deserve it. Demanding attention when you DO deserve it is called respect. If God is perfect and holy, then he DOES deserve attention and His “selfishness” is not wrong.
7) Yes, hell is the same according to Christianity. But the Bible says any and all bad actions are erased as if they never even happened through true faith.
8) I am 27 years old.
2) Well, first of all, i don't think you can say that emotions AREN'T chemical reactions, but... why does that bother you? It's just how it works. It's like getting disappointed that a diamond is made out of the same material as coal. Why does it matter? How is the Christian approach deeper? I really don't understand.
3) How is life more meaningful if you accept Christianity? It would be nice if you would explain it to me. How does believing in an afterlife make life more meaningful?
Well, I am a Pacifist, so your argument actually works in my position. If you couldn't motivate soldiers, there would be less wars. That's actually a good thing. Why, really, risk your life? I don't think that knowing death is at the end makes people more selfish, and even if it makes certain people more selfish, so what? The majority of people have other people they care about, other people they love... I think almost all men/women would risk their lives to save their children, for example, no matter what their theological belief is. It's not like their saying: well, I'll risk my life because I have another one, they risk their lives because they care. And I think this is a very good thing. I hope that all people will risk their lives only for people they care about, and not because someone tells them to.
4) The main thing he said, was that even religious people shape their morality, just like atheists. If I could prove you that for a 100% there is no afterlife and no God, it's not like you will start running around, killing, raping etc. And if you say the your morals come from the bible, why not kill homosexuals? because according to the bible you need to. Why not marry two women? The bible says it's fine. If you'd like it or not, your morality doesn't come from the bible.
If God judges upon faith alone, then all atheists, according to your religion, will go to hell. I can be a good person and still go to hell, just because I didn't think that he exists? So he's punishing me for something that I think. That seems fair.
And a Christian who did bad things, but believed in God and went to church on Sundays, should go to heaven? How is that fair? I really don't understand.
There are many many rich men, who donate lots of money. Some choose to donate in exchange for their name on the walls, or in exchange of respect. Some choose to donate without saying their name, they just want to give. I think we can both say that a man who chooses not to reveal himself is a better man, because he just wants to do good, but doesn't need people around him thanking him. Same thing about God. And you said God is perfect and holy, but he can be jealous? and selfish?
I am very sorry if you got the feeling that I think theists are blind, dumb and simple. I really don't. I went over the last round, and I didn't find statements of this kind, but again, I'm sorry if that's the feeling you got.
I would like you to answer this question: What is hell? Is it the same for EVERYONE who goes there? You said that God judges upon faith alone - but does that mean ALL people who aren't christians go to hell?
1) I believe in micro-evolution. Micro-evolution is the observation of small changes within species over time. This is what Darwin observed – finches grow different sized beaks, dogs change into different kinds of dogs. Science clearly supports this and we can obviously see it in our world today. I accept the fact that the animals we see today probably look different than they did millions of years ago.
However, changing finches are still birds, and changing dogs are still canines. I do not believe in macro-evolution, which says these small changes eventually result in different orders of animals. Macro-evolution states that all life on earth evolved from a single-celled life forms, similar to bacteria, which then grew into algae, and then there was an event called the Cambrian Explosion, where all the complex life as we know it rapidly began to evolve. I find it very hard to believe that bacteria became fish, then birds, then elephants. This contradicts our modern understating of evolution.
Our understanding of evolution depends on natural selection. Certain traits get weeded out of the gene pool after they become non-advantageous. Evolution shows a LOSS of genetic information over time, not a gain. For macro-evolution to have worked, life forms must have somehow GAINED a huge amount of genetic information in order to transform into more complex organisms. Science gives us no answer for how this could have happened. We see this in our own study of human evolution – the Human Genome Project showed that as human populations begin to establish, their gene pools get less diverse (they lose information).
Therefore, I believe God created animals, who then slowly began to change over time like we observe today.
2) This bothers me because it means all our deepest loves, desires, and dreams are not really real. All our best music, art, and poetry is simply the result of hormones going through our brain cells and nothing deeper. I cannot accept that is all there is to human consciousness. I believe the religious view makes more sense because it allows for some kind of human spirit, or soul, that we tap into in our deepest moments. Your example about the diamond is not the same. A diamond is an inanimate object that humans (through emotion) decided has beauty and value. Emotions and ambitions are not inanimate objects you can dig up from the ground.
3) Of course we would risk our lives for people and family we care about. That was not my argument. I was talking about strangers. Why would a fire fighter rush into a burning building to save a stranger? Why would a police officer jump into a river to save a drowning person? If we could all be 100% sure this life was all we had, then we would be foolish if we did not seek our own pleasure and comfort for as long as possible. Sure, some people would still be selfless and generous, but do you honestly think MOST people would be? I do not.
As far as less soldiers = less wars, I will leave that alone. We can just ask Poland if having less soldiers helped them have less war with Hitler.
4) You are right, if God went away tomorrow I would not start raping and killing, and I don’t think you would either. That is not my argument though. My argument is that choosing to not rape and kill would then only be a choice – not morality. Morality is a code that appeals to some objective sense of right and wrong. Without a higher authority, there is no real objectivity to right or wrong. You are simply left with how people CHOOSE to act based on what they think is good – moral anarchy. Some people like you and me would choose to not lie and steal. Others would. The difference is that if there is no objectivity, then I cannot call Osama bin Laden’s choice of “good” any more correct than my own. We are simply two men making two different choices, and the one who is most convincing and powerful will win out. That is not a world I wish to live in.
I think you have a misunderstanding of Christianity’s concept of salvation. Yes, in short, anyone who doesn’t believe, including atheists, will go to hell. But you still seem to think it is based on whether someone is a “good person” or not. The Bible teaches that no one is good. Romans 3:23 says that ALL have sinned and fallen short of God’s standards. You cannot make yourself good enough to earn heaven. This is good because God does not want us to idolize ourselves – and if we are focused on making ourselves “good” enough, then we are idolizing ourselves. Since we cannot be good people in God’s eyes, we need to be saved, which is why Jesus came. This is why salvation through faith is so important, because we must have faith and accept Jesus’ sacrifice to be clean in God’s eyes. It has nothing to do with being a good person. However, the Bible also teaches that a Christian who does bad things cannot truly believe in God, because true belief transforms the heart. Going to church on Sundays has nothing to do with it. It’s not about fairness, it’s about faith and true heart transformation. I am not trying to use this as an argument, I’m just explaining what Christians believe.
The Bible does not command us to kill homosexuals. Yes, I'm sure you can pull a verse out of the Old Testament from somewhere. But when Jesus came he said we are now subject to a New Covenant that involves loving our neighbors and not judging others. We must consider the whole Bible in context.
God is selfish and jealous because He loves us so much. Is it bad to say a loving and devoted husband is jealous for his wife’s love and affection? That a father wants his children to love him and walk in relationship with him?
Hell – yes, my understanding of Christian doctrine is it is the same for everyone. Anyone who does not believe in god is separated from him eternally. Is that fair? Would we consider a court judge fair if he looked at a convicted prisoner and said, “never mind what you did, you’re free to go!” Of course not. We call it “justice.” It would be unfair if God said, “I don’t care what you believed or did on earth, come on in!” I think whenever we claim that the idea of hell is unfair, we are really saying we don’t want to be held accountable for the choices we make in life. I don’t mean to sound harsh, but I think it makes sense that we must be accountable for how we live our lives, and that we need a source of forgiveness for the mistakes we make. If anything, God is being unfair with offering heaven – it’s a free ride! We don’t even have to do anything accept believe.
* According to the bible, plants were created before stars (sun) which is scientifically impossible.
* Light was created before the stars , also impossible
*There are TWO creation stories, and you can know there are separate, because in the first one God created the man and the woman together, and in the second the man was created first.
* Then God said, "Let us make mankind in OUR image' I guess God has an identity crisis?
In the hebrew version, God is called EloHim, im is the addition to the word that makes it plural.
2) 'result of hormones going through our brain cells...' That's how our emotions work, or 'soul'. Why aren't they real if they can be explained scientifically? In the first 'argument' you explained why micro evolution is real and macro evolution isn't.
The fact that that's how our emotions work, is proven scientifically, I don't think someone ever questioned that. The fact that that's how emotions are explained in science, and atheism, is just like the fact that our body is made out of cells of muscle cells, and fat cells, and more, other than dust, as it says in the bible. I don't think that you believe our body is really made of dust.
3) MOST people aren't firefighters and police officers, and it's not like all firefighters choose that profession thinking: 'oh well, there's an afterlife, so why not risk this life?' it's not what they think about. It's not life if all people were to stop believing in God nobody would risk their lives for other people. In fact, you believe in afterlife, but it probably won't make you risk your life just because of that belief.
Less soldiers IN THE WHOLE WORLD = less wars. MORE PEOPLE NOT READY TO GIVE AWAY THEIR LIVES IN WAR = LESS WARS.
4) You are very wrong. Based on your assumption, all God believers are good people, which is obviously wrong. For a higher authority, we have the law system, which 100% exists. And what happened to 'Going to heaven based on faith alone'? If God doesn't care about our actions more than about our faith, then even the morals he invented our useless.
Just look at reality though, according to the federal bureau of prisoners, 39.164% of the prisoners in the US are catholic, 35.008% are Christian Protestants. Only 0.209% are atheists. I'm not saying atheists are better people, but I am trying to say that those Catholics and Protestants, even if they believe in God, they can do bad things. So what does it matter if they have a moral code, that to you, is the right one? Japan, who most of its citizens are atheists, is one of the safest places in the world. If you look at what's really happening, and not focus on philosophy, you will see that God or Godless, people can be good regardless of their faith, and people can also be 'bad' regardless of their faith. There's a reason Osama Bin Laden is called a terrorist. There's a reason why most people you'd ask will say they hate Hitler. The majority of people know what's good and what's bad, no matter what their faith is.
5) Yes, in the old testament, GOD says that homosexuals must be killed, and according to Christianity that's the same God, so what's happening here? God says something and then Jesus says it's wrong ?
In Leviticus 20, God says to Moses: 'If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.'
He loves us so much so he has human feelings ... OK... and he send the people who don't believe in him to hell ?
To me, the whole idea of heaven and hell according to Christianity is like the perfect way to get believers. Saying that all you need to do is believe and then you'll go to heaven, and if you don't believe, even if you're a good person, you'll go to hell - sounds like the hope of many religious people - we are SURELY going to heaven, and you - who think differently - WILL GO TO HELL.
I would like you to write down a few reasons why God does exist. That would be very helpful.
Is there something that will make you stop believing in God? That would be really interesting to hear.
Thank you again, looking forward to your entry.
1) I admit there are questions we cannot answer about the creation theory. But there are also lots of questions science cannot answer about the macroevolution theory. That means we both accept our positions on a degree of faith. Science is based on what we can observe and test. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the scientific problems with evolution:
* We observe microevolution. Small changes over time can change a bass into a salmon. But after all those changes they are both still fish. We do not observe salmon changing into lions and pigs. Yet, macroevolution claims an even larger shift – bacteria eventually turned into Beethoven. There are a few theories, but no scientific proof that this can happen.
* We observe that animals lose genetic information over time (this is natural selection), they do not gain it. To create more complex organisms, bacteria must have somehow gained vast amounts of genetic information. There is no proof for how this could happen.
* Evolution says that life came from non-life. There is no clear explanation for how life actually “sparked” into existence. Macroevolution claims that non-living proteins and amino acids eventually gained the ability to self-replicate and became conscious. But science cannot answer how this jump to life occurred.
* Scientists do not know what caused the Big Bang, nor can they explain where all the elements that “banged” into existence came from (they could not just have exploded from nothing).
These are just a few. There are holes in evolution just like there are holes in creationism.
To answer your questions, I do not personally believe Genesis is meant to be a totally literal account. I believe God still created everything, but I believe the point of Genesis 1 is to show us through metaphor how god works and what he values.
As a side note, God referring to himself as “Our” confirms the Christian belief of god as trinity. Christians believe god is made of three united parts – father, son, holy spirit.
2) How things work and what they mean are two different things. Of course I understand that is how emotions physically work. But we must then draw meaning from that. Going back to your diamond example, you are right that diamonds really have no value beyond what humans decide. If emotions are the same, then they have no real value either. This is a philosophy called Existentialism, and I disagree with it. I choose to believe that there is something more, something deeper to human consciousness than simply muscle, bone, and hormones. If you do not, then we can agree to disagree.
3) You contradict yourself when you say atheism would help soldiers not want to risk their lives, which will reduce wars. But then you say people like firefighters risk their lives anyway because that’s “not what they think about.” Why are soldiers different then?
You told me to look at reality instead of focusing on philosophy – so I will tell you the same thing: Believing less soldiers in the whole world = less wars is purely philosophical and does not happen in reality. We simply need to read history to see this.
4) You are right by saying it is obviously wrong to assume all God believers are good people. I never said this in any of my arguments. I said the opposite – that no one is a good person, including Christians. That is the whole point of Christianity – that we all need to be saved from sin. Your prison percentages prove nothing. They just prove that 39% of prisoners CLAIM they are catholic. It does not prove they actually are, or that they actually believe. Plus, a lot of people convert AFTER they enter prison. It is easy for someone to claim a religion – it is hard to actually believe it and live it.
It is interesting you claim Japan is one of the safest countries in the world, yet according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, it has the third highest suicide rate in the world.
I understand your point that atheists can be “good” people and that law systems can declare laws. But I again challenge you to look deeper at the bigger picture. Morality is a very deep and philosophical issue, you cannot just brush over it by assuming most people know what good is (which is very false). Yes, law systems exist and act as higher authorities. But Nazi Germany also had a law system. North Korea has a law system. Saddam Hussein had a law system. Humans are very unreliable higher authorities, which is my whole point.
Saying that most people know what’s good and bad is very wrong. Not everyone calls Bin Laden a terrorist. Millions of people call him a hero. At one time Germans loved Hitler and voted him into power. I would challenge you to broaden your assumptions about history and human nature.
The central point is that morality must either be objective or subjective. Objective morality means it is a fact, Subjective morality means it is up to interpretation. The definitions of “good” and “bad” are completely subjective without god. Yes, people like us can still choose to act according to our definitions of good. But those are just personal preferences, they are not objectively good or bad. With subjective morality, your personal opinion about what is good is no better than anyone else’s. The moment you impose your personal belief on someone else and say “hey, what you’re doing is wrong!” you are appealing to objectivity. I have never heard a convincing argument for how objective morality can exist without god.
5) Like I said, I am fully aware of what the Old Testament says. The Bible teaches that the price of sin is death. Anything that is sinful invites death. The whole message of the Bible though is that we are all sinners in need of saving. I am just as deserving of death because of my sin as a murderer is. That is why after Jesus died the Bible says we are now free under a New Covenant – because his death paid for all sin. It is easy to shoot down individual verses by themselves, but this is typically called "taking things out of context."
To answer if hell is unfair, I ask you if prison is unfair? We do the same type of thing to each other here on earth and we call it "justice." If people break the law, they are separated from society and thrown in jail - sometimes for life. Is this unfair? Is this unloving? No, it is holding people accountable for their choices. I do not understand how when God does the same thing - holds us accountable for our choices - he is seen as an unfair tyrant, especially when he offers freedom with an open hand.
I like to think I have an open mind, I love reading and asking questions. I have even read atheist books by Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens. But I have never found satisfying answers to life's deepest questions in atheism. At this point, I have not seen anything that would make me lose my faith in God.
Thanks for this great discussion. I love this topic and I enjoyed thinking about your points. I would be happy to talk with you again sometime.
First of all, I would like to thank you too for this discussion.
1) I'm only 15 years old. I didn't study biology for enough time to choose my own theory about how the universe began. Not knowing is also an answer. I would like to ask you this: If you are discounting macro evolution because of its holes, why don't you discount creationism because of its holes ?
If Genesis is a metaphor, maybe GOD is a metaphor. You know that many of the bible stories are taken out of other religions and cultures? Noah's ark, for example, cannot be true, because it is drawn out of another story, in which one god wanted to destroy earth because humans were noisy, and one god wanted to save humanity by saving 'Noah'. I don't remember from which culture it was taken. God, in many times, is acting in the bible, in the way that it is likely for the people of that time to want. God wins battles for him, kills their enemies (aren't they his sons, too?) etc. It also seems a bit wrong for God to choose one small tribe, in that time, and just ignore all the others. That's something that goes well with those people minds' - they wanted to be special, they wanted to feel like someone is taking care of them (just like today)
2) I guess we must agree to disagree, but the fact that we gave value to diamonds doesn't make it less real! We gave meaning to art, and culture, and music, and so many different things that don't have anything to do with God. You can't say Beethoven's music doesn't have meaning because music doesn't have meaning because of how it works.
3) Well, soldiers are trained well before battle, the army must make them fell hatred toward the enemies, it must make them feel like even if they'll die, they'll be heroes. If you take God away, the soldiers will say: What are we nuts? We're really going to risk our only life for killing people just because they are from the other side of a conflict? Firefighters know they are doing GOOD by risking their lives for people who will DIE without them. Additionally, NO ONE needs firefighters to die, if they die it's because of an unfortunate mistake. In war, it is impossible for people not to die. That's the difference. And you are missing the whole point! I gave the soldiers war statement as a contradiction to what you said. I'm not saying if a country decided to stop training soldiers it would have less wars, I'm saying if all soldiers in the world will stop believing in an afterlife, maybe a lot of them wouldn't want to risk their lives for...practically nothing... a firefighter saves a person, a soldier kills a person. This whole argument started when you said not all people would risk their lives for another person, I answered by telling you not all people have to, and risking your life for other people comes from pure caring, conscious and good nature, not because people say; what the hell, I have another life just in case.
4) I'll try to answer shortly. I will not try to explain why I am right, but I'll explain why you are wrong. According to you, without a higher power, there is no morality, there is no good and bad. Look at the history yourself! The slavery in America: Almost all people who owned slaves were Christians. I think you and me can agree today, that SLAVERY is BAD. RACISM is BAD, yet those people who were Christians didn't know that. God has nothing to do with morality.
People who do good to themselves and the people around them, are good people. When you own a slave, the slave is feeling bad? then what you are doing is wrong. If you're insulting another person because he's from another race, and that persons fells bad about it, then you are doing wrong. You are right, there are some issues that are not black and white, but you can't ask God! All we can do is try to figure it out ourselves.
I really tried to find the word 'atheist' 'faith' etc. but I really didn't find any... not always things are related to each other. It's not a coincidence that you find that information in the Organization for ECONOMIC Cooperation and Development, because
'Factors in suicide include unemployment (due to the economic recession in the 1990s), depression, and social pressures'
It has nothing to do with faith.
5) So God says sinning is wrong and should be punished by death, then he kills his son, and says we are all sinners and we can be saved by our faith alone, no matter what we did. I think I said that before - If we are all sinners, and we can be all saved by faith, then God's morals are meaningless. There are many Christian groups that encourage racism and other bad morals, I'm pretty sure they believe in God. They are worthy of heaven ?
No, it is not unfair. Prison is meant to punish people who broke the law, hopefully make them stop breaking the law, warn other people from breaking the law. Remove a man from society because he is dangerous. That's not like heaven and hell at all! You know what, I don't even see the point in having hell. To punish people for not believing? It's not like the US court throws people to jail because they are not Christians. You can agree, I hope, it's useless. Other than it being wrong, what's the point? You are basing your opinion of it being OK, I guess, because of another opinion that God is always right (?).
Let me just tell you, that 1.5 years ago I believed in God myself. I didn't give up my faith because I found the answers in atheism, but because I didn't see a satisfying reason for why God exists. Try that.
I'll open 'Does God Exist part 3' in a few days, 'accept the challenge' if you'd like.