Replying Athiests...

I am not adult yet, but tension has already sparked. Please (especially catholics) evaluate the criticisms and responeses of my schoolmates. (me - Roman rite Catholic… supposedly there are “denominations” of atheists as well?) The four scenarios.

i. Atheist: “If God is all loving, why are there lots of suffering in this world?”
Me: Original sin. Therefore God did not promise each one of us an easy life. (i.e. carry the cross like Jesus)
Athiest: " Then why did he let Adam and Eve Sin?"
Me: Because it is God’s decision to give free will to men.

ii. Athiest: “The bible says the world is created in seven days. Clearly it contradicts the theory of evolution.”
Me: No. If anything, the theory only supports our faith. It is six, not seven btw.
Athiest: You should be mathematical and scientific enough to know that the two don’t go together.
Me: O rly? It’s not your seven days, but God’s.
Athiestic agnostic: He has a point here. (Me told him) “A day” could mean million years to us.
Athiest: But why would God lie to us that it is not seven human days, if the Bible is God-inspired?
Me: The problem is not how long seven days is. (My view: It’s about what it means. Try explaing in years and months to a person living in time before calander is invented, and you probably won’t get your point down to him. God has probably got some more esoteric functions…)

iii. Athiest: “Suppose God is omnipotent. Can he create a stone that he cannot lift?” (Then he explained the theory of course)
Seventh day: I think this is irrelevant. The faith is that you either believe in or you do not.
Me: Since God can manipulate all things he made, (including lifting), the question can be rephrased as “Can God make an object that is not made by God?” No. But does the question even have the power to challenge anything? ("Hey, draw a non-triangular triangle…)

Iv. Seventh day: *deduces using bible why Jesus has no decendents on internet"
Athiest: “I believe that Jesus was married. And his decendents are living within us today. Science prooves it.”
Me: wtf
Anglican: The voice of science really needs to be heard.
(The athiest apparently liked that sentence)
Anglican: Actually that was directed at you, athiest. Show some proof.
Me: Jesus is ascended into heaven. Enough said.
Anglican: Looks like the typical athiest. Bashing christians but providing no proof.
Atheist: Why can’t you lazy people just google yourselves? Jesus’ bones are found.
Me: (even more wtf) You are the one presenting counterclaim. Of course you are the one to provide the evidence.
Atheist: Actually, some people believed in Jesus because of his bones.
Me: (self-note: did that even make sense?)
Seventh day: This conversation is pretty messed up. DIscussion is good but this is not where it is supposed to go.

In response to this arugument:


iii. Athiest: “Suppose God is omnipotent. Can he create a stone that he cannot lift?” (Then he explained the theory of course)
Seventh day: I think this is irrelevant. The faith is that you either believe in or you do not.
Me: Since God can manipulate all things he made, (including lifting), the question can be rephrased as “Can God make an object that is not made by God?” No. But does the question even have the power to challenge anything? ("Hey, draw a non-triangular triangle…)

I have heard apologist on Catholic Answers Live that even God is bound by the laws of logic. My opinion: Does that make him any less powerful, maybe, but it is a frivolous discussion. If necessary I would concede on this one.

To this argument:

Atheist: Why can’t you lazy people just google yourselves? Jesus’ bones are found.

I would just reply that Jesus was a common name at that time and yes, maybe they did find some bones in a grave that even said “Jesus, son of Joesph” but Joseph was also a common name.

You will never be able to convert a true athiest with logic alone. Convert them by your example and your faith, it is much easier that way.

I am an atheist and I agree with this statement. The most convincing arguments for theism involve theists ‘walking the walk’ as opposed to ‘talking the talk’. I understand the fact that everyone sins, however when people try to convince me of the reality of God but then blatantly ignore His rules for their own benefit the arguments become much less convincing.

If I punch you in teh face and break your nose, who caused your suffering?

I have the free will to punch you in the face. One could argue that because God gave me free will he is partly to blame, but if I apologised and bought you a car and you purposefully ran down three old ladies carrying their shopping home, who caused their suffering? Am I responsible also because I got you the car?

I’m a big fan of Gallalio’s quote “I do not beleive the same God who endowed us with sense and reason intended us to forgo their use”.

Evolution is a perfectly acceptable means of God crafting the world, to accept evolution as a possible method is not to denouce God or faith. Science and religion don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

There’s actually also two creation stories in Genesis, God wasn’t “lying” to man when He “inspired” those stories to be written. He was simply attempting to explain to a people who had very little knowledge regarding thing sciencifitic. Say, if a five year old asked where babies come from, would you go into detail about the sperm production, the ovum, menses, sexual intercourse in detail, and the resulting zygote’s journey of development? Of course not, you’d say something “age appropriate” about mummy and daddy loving each other and making a baby which is now growing in mummy’s tummy. Or some equally simplistic explanation.

And I’m pretty sure Jesus’ bones haven’t been found. It’d be like two thousand years from now someone claiming they found John Smith’s bones. Its a common name and you couldn’t prove it was the JS you wanted.

All of this typically boils down to one question… “why do you believe X?”

Best answer I’ve EVER heard from my insanely intelligent girlfriend… “Because I choose to.” In other words “I don’t need to justify my beliefs because they’re MINE, you believe what you want and if you have questions about my beliefs then by all means ask them but do not take it upon yourself to try to invalidate them.”

I tend to follow the path of Fr. Corapi – he teaches us what Holy Mother Church teaches through the Catechism. He will answer sincere questions and do his best to explain what someone doesn’t understand. He does not waste his time in arguing with people that aren’t really interested in learning the Catholic Faith. I will also do the same for those that have sincere questions.

My personal knowledge is not even close to that of true apologists that deal with the tougher discussions and public debates. They are so well versed in the Bible, Church Tradition and Magisterial Teaching and true defenders of the faith.

know your faith and be willing to share. if you find yourself getting into difficult discussions with those really not interested, but just wanting to argue, walk away. Unfortunately the overwhelming majority of those types are not interested in learning the truth. Just 2 cents worth.

God Bless you for sharing your faith.

That’s good reasoning!
Perhaps also show them who rules the world at the moment.

Luke 4:5,6. “So he brought him (Jesus) up and showed him all the kingdoms of the inhabited earth in an instant of time; and the Devil said to him: “I will give you all this authority and the glory of them, because it has been delivered to me, and to whomever I wish I give it.”

If the devil is in control of the world at the moment, what should they expect the world to be like? War, crime, injustice, hatred… etc.

While some arguments are not fully answered, I really thank you all for giving your efforts. But isn’t it our duty to spread the gospel, even the ones who reject it? (well evangelising willing people are easier…)

It’s not just a question of whether you believe Christ. There is a certain logic why we become Catholics. I mean:

What happened before the big bang? (God existed)

So, it shouldn’t matter that non believers don’t believe what you believe either.

Rom 1:20For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. 21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.

If you have time watch a Netflix movie I recently veiwed. It’s called “Expelled: No intelligence allowed”. It will at least begin to help you understand what’s happening in the world around us and how long this has been going on. The scientific community is being irrational by the strong armed methods they use to expel brilliant scientists that choose to address “intelligent design”. The specifics on time is really bogus. That’s not even the issue. Metaphor, hyperbole, over stating, and other literary tools are contained within the bible. I’ve studied enough science to know problems with rejecting God and defining our existence only with evolution mechanisms. Most of this is really a smoke screen to get you to doubt. Once they get you open to discussing it you’ll find yourself having to turn to scientists that were expelled by the new mainstream scientific community. Watch the video, read deeper into Darwin, Hitler and Stalin, etc. Believe in their ideas too rigidly and we’ll have another Auschwitz on our hands.

It’s good learn, but take care of your own faith for now. I wouldn’t waste too much time on them at this age. If its a real issue to you, then read some of the newer research that’s come out. Learn why intelligent design has been growing. Learn about the political ramifications of policies set in motion. People are truly selfish, atheists openly admit they accept this by adopting evolution as absolute and unquestionable. It’s become a religion. I have a nephew that recently came out and proclaimed to be atheist. His life is a wreck, just like the other atheists I know. They have no hope. I believe the hatred coming from such people breeds misery. The funniest thing about atheism to me is that many of them not only live in misery, but for no reason at all. Modern University was created by the Catholic Church and now they intend to corrupt it too, like the Huckleberry Fin books in schools. Why not, historians are rewriting history, Protestants, as well as many so called Catholics, are recreating God daily. Why, we want same sex marriage already. What’s next? Legalized poligomy, bestiality, perihelia, aborting children 2 years and below, euthanizing undesirables? Don’t say it won’t happen. Years ago they said the same thing about a lot of things legal today.

:rotfl::rotfl::rotfl:
:thumbsup:

It is our duty, but I think there’s this imaginary barrier between atheists and theists and it’s automatically there because we’re supposed to disagree with each other. Sometimes it’s even there between Catholics and other Christians, because someone told us it should be there.

When someone rejects the gospel to your face doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t be affected by it later. I think if they see you doing good or hear you applying your faith to everyday life it plants what I call a “mind nuke”. They might not know it at the time, but how you treated so-and-so or a verse you mentioned will come back to them when they least expect it (probably while they’re reading the newspaper or getting ready for bed)…the little nuclear God-bomb will go off… and they’ll finally “get it”. In my experience, those little mind nukes have been more effective than an actual debate. (i.e. After seeing how my life has changed, my Baptist friends no longer think I’m going to Hell for choosing to be Catholic :thumbsup: )

Then you are not a true atheist.:wink:

I am not too sure what his girlfriend means… the catch is this though.

Christians are obliged to spread Christianity. Otherwise they should be labelled as followers of Christ (sounds similar, but the difference is that the former requires you to serve like Jesus did, the latter being just “walking” behind Christ).

Something made easy to argue as athiests is in fact, Protestanism. It’s not really the people of the protestanism’s fault, but what they did was they made the holy bible look like it is a history book. As much as it would contain historical facts, it is about the story of creation, early faithfuls, the kings, prophecies, psalms, the story of Jesus Christ, Apostles, letters, and the revelation.

To me it doesn’t. I don’t particularly care what other people believe and given my history I will never try to “actively” convert anyone. I will treat them as equals regardless of what they believe… because they are… I will never tell anyone they are wrong for what they believe because that is not my place to say. The door to Christianity is always there, I will gladly open it for someone that wants in but will never try to shove them through it.

Christians are obliged to spread Christianity.

Did I make any statement to the contrary? I said that people can believe what they want… they can, free will… God provided it to us. There’s a fine line between showing someone Christianity and forcing it on them. Using myself as an example, my decision to convert is fairly recent… and it didn’t come from anyone telling me I should… it came from my girlfriend simply telling me about Catholicism she never once told me I needed to believe in any of it…I choose to.

Which comes to the discussion of what is forcing. In my opinion, it means that it is my duty to nag non-believers to the true faith continually. Not by the sword like the imperial Romans, definitely not. It’s like the teacher who keeps reminding you that you have to work hard or else, but he doesn’t actually have the authority or even power to force you to work hard. (oh wait, they can…:()

Hi PLAT,
Maybe it should be more like a student who actually lives his faith, rather than verbalizing about it. Very often you can preach much more effectively through your actions than you can by arguing about it. Christian love and humility can go a long way in convincing someone that what you believe in is worthwhile.

For the most part I would say it’s very subjective… but as someone who until recently made it a point to stay away from Christianity I can tell you what does and doesn’t work or at least what did and did not work for me. Prior to my girlfriend the only people who made me actually consider my spirituality were people who simply presented it as an option… on the other hand someone telling me “you should do this” drove me further away.

Things that didn’t work for me these are very general and I heard them often especially when I was younger:

“If you don’t accept Jesus into your life you won’t go to heaven.”
“You should go to Church”
“You need to accept Jesus into your life”
“You should pray”

Things that did work, these are more specific for the simple fact that they actually had an impact:

A mutual tenant in the building my band used to rent space in was a Pastor who ran a Bible study group there and said “If you ever want to, feel free to stop by”

My girlfriend asking me “do you want to go to Christmas Mass?” This one is important… I’ve repeated it numerous times on these boards that had she said “You should”, “I want you to” or “Will you” I’d have declined.

Her parents telling me after hanging out there on a Friday or Saturday evening “you’re welcome to come over Sunday after Mass and you can come to Mass if you’d like as well”

This (again something I’ve brought up repeatedly) is where spirituality and psychology cross paths. You can’t tell someone what to do and expect them to comply. The power of suggestion however is amazing.

Well reaffirming is one thing. I mean that is telling you the basis of our Catholic practices.

This is the thing about school. And my personality, even though I know things don’t come the next day.

What I think that prevent my school friends to participate/observe our faith is drinking, playing COD (which I don’t), and that sort of thing. (one even had sex… imagine someone doing that at 16)

At at our age parents still play a large role in our faith right? I mean how is a kid going to tell his dad “Daddy I am going to his church to be baptised with my friend?” when thfather is not Christian? (non-athiestic irreligion at least, the outright athiests are even worse I think)

btw, my OP says to discuss the athiests’ challenges. Please.

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