Atheism


#1

I am a strong atheist, and a proud one. I was just wondering if any of you ever have doubts about the existence of God, and the credibility of the stories in the Bible? I am interested in this as when I was younger I believed in God, then seriously doubted his existence when I was about 14, and now at 18 I firmly belive that he does not exist. Please reply to this post, this is not a personal attack on any of you.


#2

We’ve had some lively discussions already on several other threads. You might want to have a look.


#3

Hi Atheist,

Welcome. :slight_smile:

I was an atheist at 14, 18 and for many years (decades). Believing in God wasn’t part of my experience until I was way into adulthood.

Now I’m a theist. Do I ever doubt? Yup. I do. It’s part of my nature, and I may or may not reach a point where I never doubt.
Such is life.

There are quite a few atheists on this board and a good number of conservations regarding atheism. Feel free to jump in on any of those … or on the ones involving theism.


#4

You say that you are 18, correct? This is not meant to minimize your life experience, but at 14 it is unlikely, unless you were an incredibly gifted and mature kid, that you could have studied enough of the faith to make a rational judgement as to its validity. Since that time you have been sliding down the slope of doubt; therefore, it’s not likely that you have even been open to the existence of God.

I’m a scientist and work with scientists and engineers, some of whom are atheists. In my discussions with the atheists I find that not one of them has studied the case for the Christian faith to a degree that would allow them to give it a fair “trial.”

To answer your question, yes, during several periods in my life I have questioned my faith. Although those periods were difficult, I found that through each period my faith was stronger and based on deeper examination and testing. I read what the rationalists, humanists and materialists had to say and was fully prepared to accept truth. Each time I found the case for Christianity so compelling and so sound that I simply cannot not believe.

Keep searching.


#5

I have been Catholic my whole life. Still, the answer to your question is yes. Like Jim O though, I have found the convergence of evidences overwhelming and am solid now in my belief.

If I could pose some brief topics that lead me to that conviction:

I look at the lifechanging power of belief in God (the people who have overcome addictions, abuse, pornography resulting from the belief…can we say the same for atheism?)

I look at life of Jesus who claimed to be God, fulfilling literally hundreds of messianic prophesies written hundreds of years before He walked the earth, many of which depended on the actions of others to some true.

I look at the objectiveness of Moral Law…that prompting toward good that we all feel, to act in certain ways, whether we want to or not.

I look at how we value human life above all other creatures.

I look at the knowlege of self we all feel, which transcends our physical nature. We all have a sense of self (our soul).

I look at my children and cannot fathom how someone could regard them as a chance occurrance.

I could go on, but hopefully you can see there is much more to the question than scientific evidence, which is often the subject of debate between atheists and theists.

Whether you will see value in it or not, I will keep you in my prayers.


#6

[quote=JimO]You say that you are 18, correct? This is not meant to minimize your life experience, but at 14 it is unlikely, unless you were an incredibly gifted and mature kid, that you could have studied enough of the faith to make a rational judgement as to its validity.
[/quote]

Ahh, yes. The old ‘your not old enough to make a rational judgement yet’ argument. If atheist was a christian though, you wouldn’t care how much he was able to rationalize (unless he was the wrong denomination).


#7

Athiest - Here’s something that in my mind is more doubtful than the existance of God - That is EVOLUTION - to the extent that they theorize that Humans Evolved from monkees or other animals. If evolution really occurs at the level proposed - why haven’t humans develped natural physical protections to SHARP OBJECTS - we’ve obviously been prone to DYING that way for many many years now. For me, a CREATOR behind the existance of the human race makes more sense than anything.

Further, think about this - eleven out of the twelve apostles - all of which who were contemporaries with Jesus all suffered brutal horrible agonizing deaths - Would so many die for a lie? These facts about all the apostles are not in much doubt. Consider the life of Paul, who was an attacker of Christianity and who had a sudden conversion and who also suffered a great deal for this faith which he had been fighting against. These are a just a few examples to me of there being SOMETHING special to Christianity - especially Catholic Christianity.


#8

No Monarchy, my point was that many atheists don’t give the Christian faith a fair “trial” based on examination of the huge volumes of information available. I admit that I presumed, based on Atheist’s stated age, that he has not had the time or the faculty (as a teenager) to weigh the evidence. If he has an extraordinary mind, I could be wrong.

However, I meant no condescension and Atheist, I apologize if that’s how it came across.

Monarchy, if atheist was a Christian, I would advise him to continue to study, question and examine so that his faith matures with him. Otherwise, his faith would have no foundation and not stand the test of rigorous philosophical debate. That kind of “christianity” leads to insecurity and “fear of collapse.” That’s no way to go through life.

Believe me, I’m not one of those “get 'em baptised and keep 'em ignorant types” if that is what you are suggesting. But, you cannot tell me that you honestly believe that there is no limit to a person’s ability to make rational judgement based on age. Even if a person’s rational mind is far ahead of their developmental stage, how many teenagers do you know who have read enough philosophy to fairly conclude that God does not exist? The intellectual content of such material aside, there is a time factor. It takes more time than most teens are willing to give to do that kind of reading.
Assuming that you are older than Atheist by at least a few years, would you not say that you are better equipped now to evaluate religious and philosophical questions than you were when you were 14 or 18?


#9

[quote=Chris W]I have been Catholic my whole life. Still, the answer to your question is yes. Like Jim O though, I have found the convergence of evidences overwhelming and am solid now in my belief.

If I could pose some brief topics that lead me to that conviction:

I look at the lifechanging power of belief in God (the people who have overcome addictions, abuse, pornography resulting from the belief…can we say the same for atheism?)
[/quote]

Rational Recovery

I look at life of Jesus who claimed to be God, fulfilling literally hundreds of messianic prophesies written hundreds of years before He walked the earth, many of which depended on the actions of others to some true.

The NT was written after the OT and could easily have been made to match the OT ‘prophesies’. BTW could you list a few?

I look at the objectiveness of Moral Law…that prompting toward good that we all feel, to act in certain ways, whether we want to or not.[/QOUTE]

Moral law is hardly objective. Many people have done things I find moraly reprehensible, but they where absoulutely sure of the morality of their actions.

[quote]I look at how we value human life above all other creatures

.

Then why do people get so much angrier at someone who tourtures dogs that a murderer?

I look at the knowlege of self we all feel, which transcends our physical nature. We all have a sense of self (our soul).

This proves we are sentient beings, how does it prove we have a ‘soul’.

I look at my children and cannot fathom how someone could regard them as a chance occurrance.

Just because you can’t fathom how they were created by chance doesn’t mean they were not. Your children would not be who they are if a different sperm had gotten through to the egg, or if you and your wife had made love on a different night which didn’t result in pregnacy…

I could go on, but hopefully you can see there is much more to the question than scientific evidence, which is often the subject of debate between atheists and theists.

Whether you will see value in it or not, I will keep you in my prayers.

It’s your time, man
[/quote]


#10

Monarchy - Each of those are good topics. It would be difficult to tackle them all in this thread, although they are being discussed in other threads (have a look around if you are curious).

My response was to atheist, and my recommendation is soimply for him to explore the topics for himself, if he hasn’t already…not to debate them in this thread.

I will pray for you too, Monarchy. God Loves you…He wants to save all of mankind. :slight_smile:


#11

I’ve often been a skeptic (and still am) and have often not put my faith into practice, but I’ve never actually been an atheist. Amazing at it probably seems to an atheist, theism always just seemed more reasonable to me. A co-worker of mine who calls himself an atheist actually strikes me as more a non-believer than an atheist. That is, he is doubtful about the validity of the bible, the divinity of Christ, all the “religious” stuff. But he seems less sure of whether or not a supreme being actually exists.

JimG


#12

Monarchy,

What’s your point here? Are you going to pick apart every sentence offered when someone is trying to share their personal experience (with someone who asked for input I might add) with cynical and smug running commentary?

You’re an atheist? You consider Christianity a crutch? You despise hope? Fine. No big deal. If someone wants to debate philosophy point by point, then jump on in.

However, please show some respect when people are offering their own life experiences and beliefs in response to someone else’s question. If Atheist himself wants to make a response, then let him. Otherwise, maybe you should start your own thread where you can make it clear that you want a confrontation.

Jim


#13

Monarchy - Do you doubt that Jesus lived?


#14

[quote=JimO]Monarchy,

What’s your point here? Are you going to pick apart every sentence offered when someone is trying to share their personal experience (with someone who asked for input I might add) with cynical and smug running commentary?

[/quote]

Hi Jim,

Thread drift …

One of the nicest features of this forum is the ‘ignore’ option. :wink:

I find it’s one of the best ways to avoid meeting up with people with whom I really have no desire to converse. (So far, I only have 2 people, both Catholics, on my list … it sure can make forum participation more enjoyable. :slight_smile: )


#15

[quote=atheist]I am a strong atheist, and a proud one. I was just wondering if any of you ever have doubts about the existence of God, and the credibility of the stories in the Bible? I am interested in this as when I was younger I believed in God, then seriously doubted his existence when I was about 14, and now at 18 I firmly belive that he does not exist. Please reply to this post, this is not a personal attack on any of you.
[/quote]

Atheist - something I learned awhile ago - walk outside and show yourself anything that was created by man.


#16

[quote=GordonBOPS]Athiest - Here’s something that in my mind is more doubtful than the existance of God - That is EVOLUTION - to the extent that they theorize that Humans Evolved from monkees or other animals. If evolution really occurs at the level proposed - why haven’t humans develped natural physical protections to SHARP OBJECTS - we’ve obviously been prone to DYING that way for many many years now. For me, a CREATOR behind the existance of the human race makes more sense than anything.
[/quote]

Must… fight… urge… to chime in… Oh well, couldn’t do it. Gordon, your lack of understanding evolutionary biology does not make it any less truthful. It is evident by your “sharp object” and “humans evolved from monkees” examples that you don’t have a clue about evolution. You should also consider the ramifications of invoking a super natural being as a means of explaining, well, anything. What have you accomplished? Well, God did it. What does that mean? It has no explanatory power and it doesn’t make sense. Science attempts to answer these problems so that we don’t have to give a non-answer such as “God did it.”

Further, think about this - eleven out of the twelve apostles - all of which who were contemporaries with Jesus all suffered brutal horrible agonizing deaths - Would so many die for a lie?

Why would so many die for a lie? Let’s assume for the sake of the argument that it was a lie. What if they didn’t know? What if they did know? What difference does it make? Maybe they would have died for a lie. You don’t know that they wouldn’t have. The amount of conviction that these individual’s possessed does not make their faith any more genuine or true. If that was true, then all faiths that have faithful followers with strong faith would be true because of the strong convictions of its followers. If their belief was strong enough, then that was a good enough reason for them to die for it. That doesn’t mean that they were right.


#17

Boog,

So what don’t I understand about evolutionary biology? In other words, one day a Monkey all of a sudden gave birth to a being that was less hairy…etc…etc… eventually they all develop different skin tones, and a language and viola, if I trace my family tree back through time, somehow I come across an animal with no intellect? Is that the idea? To me, the only explaination of human being, who are so far advanced beyond any animal, is that we were put here by another intelligent being. I mean, its at least no less rational than believing the evolutionary argument.

As for your point about the apostles dying for their cause, maybe I need to make my point in a different way. If Jesus hadn’t died and risen from the dead - just what were they doing? The apostles had gone into hiding after Jesus was arrested. Peter denied knowing him and fled the scene. Next thing we know, he’s the HEAD of this church belonging to a man he publicly denied

PS - how did you cut and paste from my earlier post like that?


#18

Do any of the atheist posting ever have doubt about their belief that God does not exist?


#19

[quote=GordonBOPS]Boog,

So what don’t I understand about evolutionary biology? In other words, one day a Monkey all of a sudden gave birth to a being that was less hairy…etc…etc… eventually they all develop different skin tones, and a language and viola, if I trace my family tree back through time, somehow I come across an animal with no intellect? Is that the idea? To me, the only explaination of human being, who are so far advanced beyond any animal, is that we were put here by another intelligent being. I mean, its at least no less rational than believing the evolutionary argument.
[/quote]

I don’t recall any theories of humans having evolved from monkeys or apes. Except maybe from people who don’t give any credence to evolution.

A couple of books worth reading are Dawkin’s “The Selfish Gene” and Kenneth Miller’s “Finding Darwin’s God”. One is written by an atheist biologist, the other by a Catholic biologist. Both find evolutionary theories to be credible.


#20

Squirt - Doesn’t sound like you have any answers then - what did humans evolve from then… a tree? A dolphin?


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