Atheism Issues


#1

Hi,

I’ve been reading “Radio Replies” as one way to discuss apologetics and found it to be adequate for most of the issues that come up with Protestants.

Just recently, an acquaintance has brought up issues from the atheist point of view. I’ve found some good answers in Radio Replies, but not all.

Following are his questions, and then my replies:

  1. Why does a person who lives a life of as little as 20 years and only as much as 90 years owe an eternity of punishment for not measuring up (he says the punishment is too severe for the crime)?

    My Reply: We are eternal souls when we are born.

  2. Doesn’t it seem irresponsible to create billions of people, knowing that most will go to hell?

My Reply: God loves everyone He created and made a way back to Him. Just repent.

  1. Why did God fear man’s meager and physically impossible efforts with the tower of babel, when you compare it with our present day science i.e. space travel, medical and computer science?

My Reply: Maybe God stopped the tower of babel to stall man’s advancement.

Could someone come up with replies that are maybe more direct in answering the questions?

Thanks so much!

God Bless!!


#2
  1. It ain’t for not measuring up, because none of us could do that, but it’s for rejecting one’s chance for salvation.

  2. That’s putting the blame on God for man’s failure. We do have an out.

  3. Fear? LOL. I don’t think so, Tim. The question implies facts not in evidence.


#3

These questions have to do with OUR pride, and it almost seems like this person does not want to take responsibity for his own actions.

  1. God will give us what we want when we die, if it is not Him then he will not force us to be with him.

  2. Number one again, with a slight twist. Unconditional love is not something that can be demanded only given freely. God wants us to love Him freely otherwise it is not true love.

  3. Read the story again.

Gen 11:4
and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth

or let us build up ourselves lest we become nothing. This has pride writen all over it, with nothing to do about technology.


#4

Too severe? Hardly!

Imagine, if you will, God. He’s standing next to you in a field and he says to you, “Son/Daughter, I created you when I didn’t have to, loved you when I didn’t have to, and if you let me, I will raise you up higher than the angels to stand with me in eternal bliss.” You say, “Yeah, about that. I’m better than you. I know more than you. And this eternal bliss thing? I don’t really see how it could work, nor do I need you to ‘raise me up’ or anything, so go bleep yourself.” God sits there, shocked. I mean, what did you just say to him? He’s perfect, literally utterly without imperfection. By definition, nothing is greater than him. He’s just given you a wonderful present, better than anything else you could ever ask for, and after opening it, you throw it in the ground, stomp on it, and tell him he doesn’t know you at all. What’s more, you then started running around beating up the other kids in the playground just to show them how much better you are. If we’re talking about a punishment to fit the crime, eternal torture sounds about right, as you’ve put yourself over and spit in the face of someone who deserves it the least.

That no matter how badly you sin, God will forgive you, well, that’s not justice, but mercy! Your acquaintance has things backwards: it’s not that God punishes people too much, but that he gives us every opportunity to completely escape the punishment we so rightly deserve!

2. Doesn’t it seem irresponsible to create billions of people, knowing that most will go to hell?

We have no idea how many people are in hell. If you had ten kids skating on the ice and you knew that there was a chance that one of them would fall in, would you say “Eh, it’s just one,” or would you cry out in mortal pain? Not once in the entire bible is a statistic cited telling us what percentage of people will go to hell.

However, the core of the question is, “Doesn’t it seem irresponsible to create a person if you know that that person will go to hell?” We have free will, and no one is destined to go to hell. Indeed, viewing the creation of individual humans like this presupposes that they don’t have free will. It wouldn’t really be freedom if God only made people who would go to heaven; we would be robots with set tracks.

3. Why did God fear man’s meager and physically impossible efforts with the tower of babel, when you compare it with our present day science i.e. space travel, medical and computer science?

It was the intent behind the tower that God objected to. The makes of the tower were trying to rival God, tried to “one-up” him. That’s pride right there, and pride is the root of all sin.


#5

Thanks! This all helps. Its funny, I wan’t to get this guy past the believing aspect, and into realizing the joy that could be his by following Jesus.

Thanks much!!!

Al:)


#6

Talk to God for me, k? Could you ask him to come down here and say that to me please? Because I spent a good while actively straining to listen - but never letting myself succumb to merely my own imagination - and heard nothing so clear. Aparently your cell phone has a clearer signal or something, because my request hasn’t gotten through.

Seriously though, if God seriously sat me down and said that, I would believe in him and do what he said. It’s really that simple.


#7

Right, and then you wouldn’t have the freedom to choose. Faith is more than a byword; it’s an absolutely necessary part of the formula for what it means to be human. God could make it literally impossible for anyone to doubt him or do wrong, but he doesn’t, because that would be akin to rape, and he allows us to choose.

Believing in God can’t be because “Oh look, there he is!” because then it isn’t a matter of choice but merely a matter of logic.


#8

Belief is one matter, love and worship another.


#9

But they are connected, and the certainty you’re asking for would make love and worship pretty much a forgone conclusion. Though frankly, I don’t see your objection. Belief needs to be a matter of choice as well.


#10

Connected in that one can only love and worship that which one first believes in, I agree. But I do not think the connection is any deeper than that.

If God revealed himself to me, and if God was Moloch or Baal or Marduk or Wotan, I would believe he existed; however, I would not love him and I would not consider him worthy of worship. Respect, yes, as he would be a far greater being than I – but still unworthy of my love and devotion. If God revealed himself to me as Yahweh, I would believe, and I might worship; honestly, I’d want to ask a few questions first, however impertinent they might be.

The choice between salvation and damnation is preserved even if the existence of God is taken as obvious. Why would belief need to be a matter of choice – something I do not agree it always is even now? I am not an unbeliever by choice; and the apostle Thomas, according to the gospel accounts, was not exactly a believer by choice.


#11

so if there is a flood coming, and I tell people, “get to high ground, there’s a flood coming” and point them to absolute evidence of the flood, is that taking away their free will? Did I just do a bad thing?

So any decision based on logic is not really a decision at all? And why, by that definition, is taking away someone’s choice a bad thing? If there’s no choice then why do people make decisions contrary to logic all the time?

And, as a side note, why do you believe in god?


#12

Those questions imply a lack of belief. Belief that God is who he says he is means those questions all melt away.

The choice between salvation and damnation is preserved even if the existence of God is taken as obvious. Why would belief need to be a matter of choice – something I do not agree it always is even now? I am not an unbeliever by choice; and the apostle Thomas, according to the gospel accounts, was not exactly a believer by choice.

Yes, and it would have been better if he had been a believer by choice.

:confused:

So any decision based on logic is not really a decision at all?

Not to answer your question with a question, but do you “decide” that 1 + 1 = 2, or do you merely recognize the obviousness of the fact?

And why, by that definition, is taking away someone’s choice a bad thing?

For many things, it’s not. In the case of whether or not they choose God, most definitely.

If there’s no choice then why do people make decisions contrary to logic all the time?

First, they can make mistakes. Second, as mentioned above, using the word “choice” with regard to logic is odd. Third, decisions can be made based on any of a number of reasons, logic being only one of them. Fourth, it’s 3 in the morning.

And, as a side note, why do you believe in god?

Because he glows.


#13

That’s absolutely ridiculous. I didn’t say that God should make it impossible for people to do wrong. On the contrary, I simply restated what you said in a previous post (He’s standing next to you in a field and he says to you, “Son/Daughter, I created you when I didn’t have to, loved you when I didn’t have to, and if you let me, I will raise you up higher than the angels to stand with me in eternal bliss.”). Is it rape for a loving father to sit down with his child and say “I love you”?

No. Not even close.

There’s a big difference between making bad actions impossible and just showing yourself. God, if he actually exists, hides out of human view and lets prayers go continually unanswered. He’s like a deadbeat father who doesn’t even send child support or write letters.

And the more likely answer is that he just doesn’t exist. In any case, no worship is due to him at all.

(All that said, my previous statement still stands. All God has to do, if he exists, is just sit me down in a clear way, when my mind/body is healthy, altert, and critical, and tell me that he exists and what religion is the right one, if any. A little direction would be nice, but it’s not neccessary. That’s all it would take for me to become a theist, and is the *least *God could do if he actually cared at all.)


#14

Don’t think of hell as punishment. Think of hell as what those people have chosen. What would be real punishement for those people would be to be with God forever.

  1. Doesn’t it seem irresponsible to create billions of people, knowing that most will go to hell?

Does it seem irresponsible to create people who will receive exactly what they want? I don’t think so.

  1. Why did God fear man’s meager and physically impossible efforts with the tower of babel, when you compare it with our present day science i.e. space travel, medical and computer science?

God fears nothing. He rejoices when we use our God-given gifts for i.e. space travel, medical and computer science. But because he loves us he does what he can (within the limits of our free will, which he will not violate) to prevent us from deceiving ourselves about who and what we are, and who and what he is.


#15

The deepest personal experiences of millions of people simply deny your claim.


#16

It is for God. For God to do that, he would be harming your ability to choose, for his splendor itself is infinitely persuasive. This doesn’t make it impossible to choose something other than him, just harder, and exactly how hard the choice should be for each person is variable and controlled by God, presumably for many and varied reasons.

*(All that said, my previous statement still stands. All God has to do, if he exists, is just sit me down in a clear way, when my mind/body is healthy, altert, and critical, and tell me that he exists and what religion is the right one, if any. A little direction would be nice, but it’s not neccessary. That’s all it would take for me to become a theist, and is the *least **God could do if he actually cared at all.)

Now you’re giving God an ultimatum: my way or the high way. You’re asserting yourself over God, to the exclusion of God. In doing this, you make it impossible for God to reveal himself; you close your eyes tight and cover your ears, and the only way for God to make you believe would be to bind your hands and cut off your eyelids, in a spiritual sense, and that’s hardly something a loving God would do.

The door between us and God has hundreds of locks on it, and they’re all on the inside, with us, and the keys with them.


#17

Just because a deadbeat dad talks to half his kids and not the other half doesn’t mean he isn’t a deadbeat dad.


#18

Sometimes, ultimatums are reasonable.

The door between us and God has hundreds of locks on it, and they’re all on the inside, with us, and the keys with them.

Keep telling yourself that buddy.


#19

Deadbeat dad?:rolleyes:

God rarely “talks” to us. I for one haven’t heard voices in the night… ever. And yet I believe.

And God gave believers in Him the responsibility to tell the world. Now it’s time for a really lame analogy:thumbsup::

My dad tells me to go get my brothers when it’s dinnertime. He could go and get them himself, but he tells me to go and do it. If my brothers don’t come even though I’ve called them, they don’t get dinner or dessert. If I don’t tell anyone it’s time to eat, then I’m going to be punished.

Just because my dad doesn’t want to go and get everyone himself and delegates the task to me, he’s not a deadbeat by any means.

Comprende?


#20

That view is simply unsupportable. Every single person who comes to know God will tell you that he seeks out all people, not just some. Those who move from unbelief to belief will tell you that they came to realize God was calling them the entire time they didn’t believe, only they weren’t listening. But let me ask you to explain your own view. Why would God talk to half his children and ignore the other half? Defend your own assertion.

BTW, you seem to think “more contact” is some magic formula to make everything better, but you ignore the reality that the angels were in the very presence of God and that didn’t stop 1/3 of them from turning away from him.


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