Atheist looking for answers


#21

[quote=Daedalus]also I have some questions, Is it the christian beleif that atheist are nothing but pure evil? Do you beleive that because the atheists will be your “enemy” when the apocolypse rolls around, we might as well count them as enemies now? And if you had a close friend who one day decided he was atheist, would you then disown that friend?
[/quote]

I have many secular friends, I don’t disown them, nor would I if they were atheist. Christians don’t see atheists as evil, just prideful and hopelessly mislead… :smiley:

I’ll pray for you…

Check this out:

“Sykes analyzed samples from native Europeans to determine that modern humans are not at all related to Neanderthals. The book’s most complex and controversial find that the ancient European hunter-gatherers predominated over the farmers and not vice versa leads Sykes to another stunning conclusion: by chance, nearly all modern Europeans are descendants of one of seven “clan mothers” who lived at different times during the Ice Age. Drawing upon archeological and climatic records, Sykes spins seven informative and gracefully imagined tales of how these “daughters of Eve” eked out a living on the frozen plains”

It’s from a book called “Seven Daughters of Eve”. It essentially traces all Europens to seven women. It is done by a secular scientist. I find it incredibly interesting, but it definitely adds fuel to the long running debate of human origins.

amazon.com/gp/product/0393020185/103-7364793-5880613?v=glance&n=283155


#22

[quote=Daedalus]Think of what christianity wants us to beleive. Some all-knowing being, while he was sitting in his abyss, decided to make a universe. So he went around poofing everything into existence. sound believable?

Here’s a question if god is so omnipotent then wouldn’t he know if, before he even created someone, if any given person was going to heaven or hell. Dont say that god thinks they may change because if he is truely omnipotent then he would know if they would change or not.

How about the fact that whichever of the 60 some versions of the bible (but of course they all the original) you chose to beleive they all contradict themselves. such as the bible teaches that god is the only god there is no others and that the one god the bible mentions created everything and the entire universe. Although on the otherhand, the bible states that god is a very Jealous God and doesn’t like people worshiping other gods. Now if there is only one god why would that god be jealous of people worshiping a non existant god??

Another one that comes to mind, god created man and loves man, but says man deserves nothing but death and eternal hell because he is born with sin. Why would a god that created man create him with sin? Why set him up for a fall with only one option “Believe in me or perish”?

well, If the chances are astronomical then it is a good thing we are refering to the Universe in this matter. an astronomical chance of something happening in the universe is still a pretty fair chance. thats like saying that there is a one in a million chance of someone will win at a game that is played by a trillion people, It is astronomical NOT for it to happen.

What bounds of reason are you refering to? the human understanding of the universe? The human understanding of the universe is minute and we may not even be headed in the right direction. take black holes for instance, they almost completely contradict science up to this point.

You dont have to beleive in the Big Bang Theory. There are thousands maybe even millions of other theories that we could put together even with our science being as limited as it is at this point. I dont necessarily beleive in the Big Bang Theory, but just that the universe was created naturally. And dont ask me how that is possible because I dont know, it is ignorant to claim you know something like that its only what you beleive.

also I have some questions, Is it the christian beleif that atheist are nothing but pure evil? Do you beleive that because the atheists will be your “enemy” when the apocolypse rolls around, we might as well count them as enemies now? And if you had a close friend who one day decided he was atheist, would you then disown that friend?
[/quote]

You are challenging your faith, which is a good thing, as you will emerge stronger in your convictions because of it. Christ said that if you honestly pursue truth, you will find it, and within it, you will find Him. So if we are to believe what He said (which I do), then your search will eventually lead you back to Him.

If you are seriously looking for answers, I would recommend picking up Frank Sheed’s “Theology and Sanity” to start with. It will provide you with a philosophical discussion of the Catholic faith that should answer some of your questions.


#23

I feel really sorry for you that you have such a pescimistic attitude towards being Catholic and believing in God. You know what, maybe I’ll become an athiest myself since if God is not the source of happiness then might as well enjoy life the fullest and say screw it. Oh and if I were an athiest why in the world would I want to believe in God if it was going to bring me even more misery than I already have. Oh, and if you want to start a debate about whether my argument is valid or not and how we al suffer and are going to get persecuted, whihc I don’t think will happen, then do it in another thread. My arguement was more valid and meaningful than all of yours since he probably has heard the same old bulshit that you all said. So, not that he was ever going to convert in the first place, but if it were me, I would remain an athiest after reading this thread since setting yourself up for a life of persecution and suffering sure wouldn’t convince me. Not to mention you only briefly touched upon eternal life in Heaven if at all.


#24

[quote=Daedalus]Ok, with the billions upon billions of systems in our galaxy and billions upon billions of galaxies in the universe how can you say it is not logical for at least one of those planets in the trillions of system to be a certain distance from the sun without the need of help fro a higher power.

acually there is not too much order in the universe, have you ever heard of the chaos theory. It states that the universe is extremely chaotic in nature and that is true. Stars exploding and black holes forming the random series of explosions in space that were caused by nuetron stars that they thought could threaten the earth (and in fact still do) that does not sound very orderly.
[/quote]

As a mathematician I can tell you that this is not at all what Chaos theory teaches. Chaos theory actually states that there is order in everything, especialy causal order; it is just that the ordered system of the universe is so complex that we, as limited human beings, cannot always tell what effect of certain actions are going to be. Have you ever looked at the computer generated mathematical images created by chaos functions? They are highly ordered. I think perhaps you might need to reevaluate your understanding of Caos Theory.


#25

I was looking forward to how you would reply these statements the most.

Here’s a question if god is so omnipotent then wouldn’t he know if, before he even created someone, if any given person was going to heaven or hell. Dont say that god thinks they may change because if he is truely omnipotent then he would know if they would change or not.

the bible teaches that god is the only god there is no others and that the one god the bible mentions created everything and the entire universe. Although on the otherhand, the bible states that god is a very Jealous God and doesn’t like people worshiping other gods. Now if there is only one god why would that god be jealous of people worshiping a non existant god??

god created man and loves man, but says man deserves nothing but death and eternal hell because he is born with sin. Why would a god that created man create him with sin? Why set him up for a fall with only one option “Believe in me or perish”?

also I came here to see the christian side of the story so you might want to go see the atheist side of the story. If nothing else just humor me because I was once a devote catholic and then I went to this site and heard the other side of the story

www.abovetopsecret.com


#26

Daedalus,

When you say you are an aetheist, do you really mean agnostic?

If you remain steadfast that you are an aetheist, would the following statement apply to you?

“There is no God!”


#27

[quote=Daedalus]so I came here to see the christian side of the story so you might want to go see the atheist side of the story. If nothing else just humor me because I was once a devote catholic and then I went to this site and heard the other side of the story

www.abovetopsecret.com
[/quote]

I’m sorry Daedalus, but if the site turned you from a devout Catholic to an atheist you need to reassess that decision ASAP!

God bless


#28

This is not really intended to convince you, but just out of curiosity: if any of the following happened to you, would you believe in God? Which ones would make you rethink your beliefs?

  1. You are hungry and pray silently for food, and a moment later someone walking by gives you a box of cookies.
  2. You pray for help breaking an addiction to a computer game, and the website immediately goes (and stays) down.
  3. You pray for fifty dollars while walking home, and find an unexpected check for that exact amount in the mailbox when you get there.
  4. Jesus and/or Mary appears to you in a vision.
  5. Jesus appears to you in a dream, after which you experience healing of a lifelong psychological problem.
  6. You pray for healing and are cured of a supposedly incurable illness.
  7. When visiting the site of a promised miracle, you witness the sun apparently dancing in the sky.
  8. You see someone cured of an incurable disease by touching a bishop’s shadow.
  9. After praying to the Holy Spirit, you suddenly obtain the ability to speak a (real) foreign language.
  10. A cross appears in the sky/four horsemen ride across the sky/the ground opens up revealing Hell.

#29

Here’s a question if god is so omnipotent then wouldn’t he know if, before he even created someone, if any given person was going to heaven or hell. Dont say that god thinks they may change because if he is truely omnipotent then he would know if they would change or not.

Yes, he does know before hand. Does this challenge free will? No. For example, Jesus knew that Judas would betray him. Did this foreknowledge somehow prevent Judas from acting in another way and limit his free will? No, rather time is linear so we naturally only get one chance with each decision. Judas didn’t betray Jesus because it was foretold, rather it was foreknown because it was the one decision he made when it was allowed to him.

The other angle you may be looking for is why would God bother to create people who will go to hell? I suppose my best guess is that God’s knowledge of their failure to reach heaven corresponds to his knowledge of their actions. Here I am using knowledge in the ancient sense of intimate experience.

the bible teaches that god is the only god there is no others and that the one god the bible mentions created everything and the entire universe. Although on the otherhand, the bible states that god is a very Jealous God and doesn’t like people worshiping other gods. Now if there is only one god why would that god be jealous of people worshiping a non existant god??

Hebrews 1:1 “In times past, God spoke in partial and various ways to our ancestors through the prophets.” As for myself, I don’t particularly care when the OT writers got something wrong. It shows an inaccuracy in their view of God rather than any inconsistency in God’s actions or being. Jesus came in the fullness of time and fulfilled revelation. Only with him is the OT brought into the fullness of truth.

god created man and loves man, but says man deserves nothing but death and eternal hell because he is born with sin. Why would a god that created man create him with sin? Why set him up for a fall with only one option “Believe in me or perish”?

Realize that God’s justice isn’t arbitrary. When he says that we merit death, he means that the objective state of our souls are such that it is literally impossible for our souls to enter into heaven. To remedy this he opens his grace to us. Regardless of what we have done, we may turn to this grace and our souls will be transformed and the path to heaven will be opened to us. The “believe in me or perish” option is hardly cold-hearted. Rather it is God offering salvation to everyone. It is as ridiculous to deride God for this as it would be to mock the doctor who tells you to “take this medication or perish.”

One thing to keep in mind, Daedalus, is what has been from the beginning? Either something has always existed, or something spontaneously came from nothing. The latter is singularly ridiculous. Even though it may be possible for life to come from non-life as evolution would suggest, this can only happen with the laws of nature in existence. These same laws can’t have existed without matter because they assert that matter cannot be created or destroyed. This means that matter came first or at the very least at the same time as the laws of nature. So you’re left with two propositions. On the one hand, matter just is. Period. Matter is uncaused and merely exists. Not only does this seem unlikely because matter will eventually end, but it is absurd that something to the effect of matter would just happen to exist. The much more satisfying answer (to philosophy as well as common sense) is belief in a God. I’m not getting into specifics here. I’m just saying that an all-powerful, all-encompassing being that is existence itself makes a lot of sense. You have to believe that something came first (or you could ignore the issue, but I’d say it’s much too important for that), and I don’t see any reasonable person visualizing some infinitesimal, super-dense mass as simply existing.

One book you may find interesting is The Everlasting Man by G.K. Chesterton. It was instrumental in C.S. Lewis’ conversion from atheism. I hope you’ll give it a shot.


#30

Just to start with one of your questions:

the bible teaches that god is the only god there is no others and that the one god the bible mentions created everything and the entire universe. Although on the otherhand, the bible states that god is a very Jealous God and doesn’t like people worshiping other gods. Now if there is only one god why would that god be jealous of people worshiping a non existant god??

God’s love for us is like that of a mother who tends over her children with a jealous care that they not be harmed. God certainly knows He is the Only God and He also knows that mankind in its spiritual, intellectual and moral weakness is prone to worship false gods of its own creation. Sometimes this false worship arises from a true search to transcend human frailty and encounter a realm that is above the foibles of humanity - but even the Greeks with their intellectual gifts were unable to construct a heaven where the “gods” themselves weren’t also liable to tend to the same foolishness as mortals; sometimes the worship of many gods arises from a desire to control nature and thus appeasement must be attempted in the worship a god of fire, wind, earth, etc; sometimes human lust finds excuse in fertility cults. Sometimes - often - it’s a combination of all three. God knows that worship of these false "gods’’ only serves to bring man to folly, sin, self-loathing, and leads man away from worship of He Who Alone is our good; He Who Alone is the answer to all human longing; He Who Alone is worthy of our knowing, loving and serving Him in this world in order to be happy with Him in the next.


#31

Daedalus:

Just welcoming you here. I appreciate the openness that you’ve invited everyone to chime in. Passion for truth is important for as Chesterton said; the mind, like the mouth is not meant to be always open, it is meant to chomp down on truth when it comes by.

All of your questions are legitimate and classic…in the sense that every man who walked this earth has wondered exactly the same thing in varying degrees.

Great books await you young man. I would start with Mere Christianity by CS Lewis. Easy to read and understand…but that’s just an appetizer, wait till you get into St. Thomas, Chesterton, John Paul II, the Catechism, etc. etc.

If you’re truly passionate about finding the bottomline of things, and invest the time and energy in doing so, you will get there. The truth will reveal itself to you. As John Paul II said: each man is a mystery, even to himself, and that Jesus Christ fully reveals man to himself. This bold statement will eventually make sense to someone who seeks the truth with sincerity as you seem to present.

So let’s go at it, one topic at a time and see where it all gets us.

God is playing Hide and Seek with you right now, enjoy the game!!!

in XT.


#32

Atheist: “I’m an atheist! There is no god! All religion is stupid/man-made/illogical/fear-based/et cetera! I’m going to keep shouting and denying everything to the contrary of atheism until I convince myself I’m right!”

– Mark L. Chance.


#33

[quote=mlchance]Atheist: “I’m an atheist! There is no god! All religion is stupid/man-made/illogical/fear-based/et cetera! I’m going to keep shouting and denying everything to the contrary of atheism until I convince myself I’m right!”

– Mark L. Chance.
[/quote]

C’mon, Mark. Read Aquinas’ post and then reread yours. One of them can be affective, the other only serves to mock. I admit I make comments like that as well, but it is always in jest while talking with my friends. Treat people with respect while you deal with them, especially when they have been respectful thus far.


#34

I’ve read your comments and questions subsequent to your original post, and I have a few suggestions of a general nature as opposed addressing the specific content and opinions submitted thus far.

I applaud the effort on your part to keep an open mind while seeking a serious discussion. Please be advised that IMHO it would serve you well to “live” for the truth and let the debate take you where it will. To live for the debate will accomplish little or nothing. I’ve been there and done that.


#35

[quote=Aaron I.]Treat people with respect while you deal with them, especially when they have been respectful thus far.
[/quote]

This isn’t respectful:

I beleive that religion is a means of control and a way for man to deal with death, nothing more. … I guess I think too much and lack the ability to do something without trying to figure out why.

IOW, religious people are cowards and dupes who lack the ability to think critically.

Nor is this respectful:

Some all-knowing being, while he was sitting in his abyss, decided to make a universe. So he went around poofing everything into existence.

Instead, it is an intellectually dishonest strawman that uses mocking language.

Also not respectful is posting links to sites as ludicrous as abovetopsecret.com/, touted as “the other side of the story.”

IOW, it is the same tired nonsense that every other “open-minded” atheist who comes here spouts off. We’ve got plenty of this going on already.

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=98851

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=98545

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=98708

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=97489

Et cetera.

Now, I guess with all that ranted about, I can admit that I was rude. Mea culpa maxima.

– Mark L. Chance.


#36

Hi Daedalus,

How do you think you got here? What was the sequence of events that led to your existence? And what is your explanation for that sequence of events?

As an aside, I stopped believing when I was about your age, and stayed that way for about 30 years. Without going into details about what brought me back to God and the Church, it had absolutely nothing with fear or worry of death.


#37

[quote=Daedalus]Think of what christianity wants us to beleive. Some all-knowing being, while he was sitting in his abyss, decided to make a universe. So he went around poofing everything into existence. sound believable?
[/quote]

How would you have done it if you were God? If you don’t think God’s way is believable, what would be a believable way?

And what’s believable about the non-God version? “Everything just happened”? Give me a believable explanation of existence of the universe, life in general, and human life. This should be good. :slight_smile:


#38

[quote=Daedalus]I am an atheist and have been for a while now. I have lost my faith do to a lack evidence and inconsistencies in its founding. I beleive that religion is a means of control and a way for man to deal with death, nothing more.
[/quote]

It can be - and so can anything by which one person influences another.

I am only 15 but I grew up in a predominanty cathloc family

That is a start in life a lot of us have not had

and yet still managed to come out atheist.

“Staying in a garage won’t make us cars” - our family life is not what gives us faith: though it can certainly help it grow.

I guess I think too much and lack the ability to do something without trying to figure out why. I cannot worship someone who I have never seen or heard from and whos only indication of existence is written in a book whos only claim to legitimacy is written in the book its self!?

God is no more limited to His book than you are limited to your computer. It is a means, and a hugely valuable one, by which we can learn about what sort of thing God is - but it is not at all the only means.

You say you think a lot - in that case, why not tell God you don’t believe in Him ? IOW, turn your thoughts into prayer. If you want to believe in God, say so. If you can’t believe, say that too. Prayer is a matter of lifting up our hearts to God in love - not of saying fine words; not that there is anything wrong with those. It’s like swimming: we can do it only by doing it. There is nothing that cannot be taken to God in prayer.

When you say “see”, do you mean with the eyes of the body ? No one can see God with those; for God is Spirit, not matter, and can be seen only by the sight He gives. If we see with that faculty of sight, we shall see Him: but not otherwise.

Our bodily eyes are material, and see material things - to see the God Who is beyond matter and in Whom all things (ourselves included) exist, we need the eyes of our souls to be opened. Bodily eyes are no good in a lightless room, but need an environment in which there is light if they are to see; and our souls need an environment in which they can see - and that environment is God’s Love, which is at work in us before we ask for it. We can always close our eyes - that does not stop God seeing us; He remains as real as ever. We can refuse to want to see God - that does not mean God is non-existent or absent ##

Basically what I am looking for here is a discussion with people who know something about the faith. So give it your best shot to convert me and I will do my best to be open minded through it all. be prepared to argue though because I live for debate :thumbsup:

By all means let’s argue: but nothing we do could convert anyone - not even ourselves. So we could not convert you - God alone does that. Do you want to be converted ? IOW - what do you want out of life ? Only you can answer that.


#39

first of all

Atheist: “I’m an atheist! There is no god! All religion is stupid/man-made/illogical/fear-based/et cetera! I’m going to keep shouting and denying everything to the contrary of atheism until I convince myself I’m right!”

come now, I dont believe I have come out and intentionally said anything offensive and if I did I apologize. And though I do not agree with what you say sir, I will defend to the death your right to say it. :thumbsup: but seriously, I dont want to offend anyone so if Im getting out of line just tell me.

secondly

How would you have done it if you were God? If you don’t think God’s way is believable, what would be a believable way?

And what’s believable about the non-God version? “Everything just happened”? Give me a believable explanation of existence of the universe, life in general, and human life. This should be good.

I have said this before but I will reiterate, I dont necessarily beleive that the way scientist think it happened is the way that it happened, only that the universe was created naturally. Saying that matter cannot be created or destroyed is only according to our knowledge of the universe and grasp of physics which is incredibly small and quite possibly incorrect altogether. So no human can state to a certainty how the universe was created, nor can they rule out any possiblity to a certainty, they can only believe what they chose to believe.


#40

Also not respectful is posting links to sites as ludicrous as abovetopsecret.com/, touted as “the other side of the story.”

I did not then and still do not see how this offensive so I am claiming ignorance here, but nonetheless apologize to anyone it may offend. I realize that I am kind of the intruder here being an atheist on a catholic site but I honestly came here with no intentions of attacking your religion or trying to turn you into atheists. I only came here seeking answers to questions.


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