Why answering atheists?

**Why answering atheists? is a following-up to the closed thread WHY WE BELIEVE IN GOD
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=323756&goto=newpost

[quote=Leela]You are really nodding in satisfaction at the idea of me burning in hell, aren’t you?
[/quote]

A firm and true NO to this Leela! Never! All Christians do all they can, to avoid such thing to happen to atheists. Why else do you think we care so much about you? Why would so many CAF-members spend so much time on answering you? How come you don’t see all this happens out of love?

Ok – I admit, my little story was sarcasm. But what else should I do to make you listen, when you ridiculed many former answers given to you in love. Such behavior hurts all who answered you and spend a lot of time on yours questions. And it hurts God. Surely you can’t figure out any other reason but love. It is love. Christian love.

You must also admit, that before, you answered all well thought replies, denying shapely. Only this time, when for a change I was sarcastic, you kind of “woke up”. Good so. Don’t go back into continuous rejection.

[quote=Leela]There is something deeply perverse going on here.
[/quote]

Absolutely wrong indeed!
What’s really going on here, are continuous loving efforts to show you and other atheists, the beauty of faith in God. You, being a avowing, convinced atheist as you say, never hesitate to call our doing perverse. Careless of abusing, insulting and hurting feeling of many. Christians however, you must admit, reacted over your 900 posts in loving explanations. Hundred’s of hours just spend on you. What’s perverse about so much love. Nobody spends time on someone he doesn’t love.

[quote=Leela]I’m surprised your fellow Christians haven’t called you on it
[/quote]

Oh, that’s clear, for they know quite contrary to how you took it, how my little fairy tale is meant (though written in my poor English).

Atheists, as you too do, always look upon Christian word of a suspicious angle. I have experienced this by many of them I cared about strongly, ever since I was even 10, when I asked friends of mine to join Holy mass with me, and told them how God is with his people who believe in God. That was well over 60 years ago.

Why don’t they recognize that our efforts are nothing but love. They ought to, for they must know, that we could do more pleasant things in that time, but caring about people we earn cynicism and mockery only.

We want to met you in heaven. Never, never never see you elsewhere! No Christian in he world would ever - as you said: “Be satisfied at the idea of you or any atheist burning in hell”. NEVER!
If we would, we wouldn’t care about you.

**

Two silly spelling mistakes I detected in my previous post - it’s so weird one only can edit 20 minutes :(:
It must not be:
you answered all well thought replies, denying shapely
.”
But
you answered all well thought replies, denying sharply."
It must not be:
We want to met you in heaven.”
But
We want to meet you in heaven.”

(wouldn’t that be wonderful?!)

**

That is all very nice, all this concern and professing love. But I doubt that you really thought it through just what will be your attitude toward those who are in hell?

If there is a hell, and it is not empty, then you (in heaven) will either not know about them, or you will. Heaven is supposed to be perfect happiness, or bliss.

If you will not know about those in hell, then it will not disturb you in the least. However, this implies a serious “brainwashing”, taking a considerable amount of “you” away. Besides, some of those whom you know here on Earth will not be found in heaven, and quite possibly you will be aware of this fact. Therefore you must know that hell exists, and it is not empty.

The corollary is that you will be aware of some people suffering eternally, while you enjoy eternal happiness. Can you be happy with such a knowledge? Doubtful, since you are a nice person, who is concerned about others (as you said in your OP).

So what is the result of all this? Either you will not be happy in heaven, or you will be, and then you will be happy about the sufferers (good old Schadenfreude. :)) As they say you are between a rock and a hard place…

Or is this just another one of those “mysteries”, which are the “get out of jail cards” when the beliefs run into a contradiction?

Spock

*The corollary is that you will be aware of some people suffering eternally, while you enjoy eternal happiness. Can you be happy with such a knowledge? Doubtful, since you are a nice person, who is concerned about others (as you said in your OP). *

This is the kind of taunt I have learned to expect from atheists. Always looking for a way to dig … never willing to give Christians the benefit of the doubt. Cynical to the end … and bitter. What drives such antagonism?

The true Christian does not rejoice in the suffering of others, even when it is merited. That would be sadistic. Don’t you get it? Love is at the heart of everything. Even the person who chooses hell is getting what he asked for. But it’s** his** choice, not the choice of one who is in heaven. God will not cause those in heaven to grieve the lost, because they will know (if they are allowed even to know it) that God gave them what they preferred … hell rather than heaven.

What we will know or not know in heaven is not disclosed to us on earth. But we are certainly not going to heaven to suffer.

**Why do atheists care about “what will be those in heaven’s attitude toward those who are in hell?” as they don’t believe in either heaven nor hell… Somewhat anarchistic and inconsequent.

One answer of many possible, is:
In spite of the fact, that there is greatest misery with others today, you have moments in your life of highest, overwhelming, enthusiastic joy, you for hours forget all misery of the world, and even what you suffered yourself.

We don’t know what heaven is like, but most likely we won’t even think of hell there, and who knows – then, after the worlds existence, hell might be even more Universes away from heaven than in Luke 16:26 explained.

We are concerned in highest interest about those denying God.

Surely, after those who lived in faith live with God in Gods kingdom, all memories about those who choose the other way, is wiped out.

Sorry, but it’s a very childish idea, that those in heaven would feel spitefulness about those away from God! Most unrealistic too – for why would Christians then care about irreligious?! There are more pleasant things to be done.
**

However, this implies a serious “brainwashing”, taking a considerable amount of “you” away.

Nonsense.

May God grant you a million miracles. Annem

Sorry, it is not a “taunt”, it is a serious question, and no antagonism is involved.

Of course I get it. That is the point. Obviously you would not rejoice at the suffering of others, and neither would I. Seeing such a suffering would make my assumed “happiness” decrease, at the minimum.

I really wish this nonsense would stop. No one “chooses” hell. You may say that some people make choices that will be punished by hell, but no one - literally - no one ever “chooses” eternal punishment. You can use the analogy that some people make choices that will be punished by incarceration, but those people do not “choose” to get in jail… they will be put there - against their wishes. At least those people are aware that their choices will be punished by jail, but I am not aware of such punishment vis-a-vis to “mortal sins”. Oh, I know that you (in general) assert that some actions will “merit” eternal punishment, but your credibility is nil when you say that some people will “choose” hell.

If you are aware of other’s fate in hell, and you can retain your decent, loving attitude toward others, then how can you not be “dismayed” at their fate???

Yes, indeed, for a short time, you may. But to say that such attitude is pervasive, that you will never be concerned about the fate of the “others” is rather farfetched.

Which is very kind of you… but then your presentation of the questions pertaining to God is quite inadequate. You can not substantiate that God is a loving being or that God actually exists.

Aha! So you think that being “united” with God will actually “wipe out” your knowledge aoubt the “rest”, even if they happen to be close to you?

I see. Your present concern about the fate of the “irreligious” ends in heaven. You will have “better” things to do there, and forget about the others, who are punished… that is why I said that you will not be the same person you are now, with your professed concern about us, atheists…

The truth is not nonsense. Those that go to jail go there because they “chose” to do whatever warranted jail time. Those who end up in hell “chose” to do the things for which “hell time” is the just judgement.

If you are aware of other’s fate in hell, and you can retain your decent, loving attitude toward others, then how can you not be “dismayed” at their fate???

Since am not of aware anothers fate in hell, how can I be dismayed? Once another is in hell, I am no longer in any position to do anything about. While they are alive, I can present to truth, and in so doing maybe convince them to avoid the things that come with a “hell sentence”.

Just one or two would suffice. :slight_smile: But, you see, when I asked why those miracles are not forthcoming, I was told that the time for miracles is “over”, I cannot expect to see the wounds of Jesus (like doubting Thomas did), I must accept the testimonials of the current believers, and those testimonials leave a lot to be desired. I was told that “happy are those who have not seen, yet they believe”… and if I wish to see the same sign, then I am simply out of luck. :slight_smile:

Indeed. They can read the laws, and learn about the consequences of their actions. Where is the equivalent for the sins which will tell me (black on white) that doing “this” act will be punished by “hell-time”?

Well, that is what you say. How am I to know that your assessment is correct? There is no “book” which would enumerate the deeds and their “just” sentences. Is there?

You can still care about them, can’t you?

Excellent. So present your case. Quote me the facts (not personal convictions) that such-and-such behavior merits “hell-time”. Make it convincing. As Perot said: “I am all ears!” :slight_smile:

Spock

However, this implies a serious “brainwashing”, taking a considerable amount of “you” away.

Dear Spock, I was responding to this statement of yours, which I believe to be nonsense. Unlike Hinduism or the original Buddhism, Christianity does not believe that you and your individuality will be extinguished, not at death, and, in fact, never. Quite the contrary.

There are differences between the angels and there will be vast differences between those of us who make it to heaven. Why shouldn’t we retain our individual preferences for red instead of gray, all our individual memories, and all our individual interests?

So present your case. Quote me the facts (not personal convictions) that such-and-such behavior merits “hell-time”. Make it convincing. As Perot said: “I am all ears!”

The reality of evil on earth is proof enough.

As for deciding who merits punishment and who does not, that is for God to decide.

May God grant you a million miracles, Annem

Well, if our personality is not extinguished, then our knowldge will not be taken away. Therefore we shall know who is in hell and who is in heaven. Unless you have an exceptionally wonderful set of family, friends and acquintances, there will be at least a few who are in hell and you know it.

Very well. If that is the case, then I can reasonably ask if your knowledge of people suffering in hell will or will not influence your happiness and bliss? Knowing about the constant suffering here on Earth does not allow you to be “perfectly” happy all the time. If you expect not to bothered by other people’s suffering in hell, while basking in the presence of God, then you will be changed considerably.

Proof of what? Not the existence of an enumerated list of what to do and what to avoid?

Right on. So why does God not reveal - in an absolutely unambiguous manner - just what are those proscribed behaviors, which he wants us to avoid?

The old saying: “ignorance of laws excuses nothing” is not to be taken literally. It is applied as: “if you can be reasonably expected to know the law, and you neglected to investigate it, then you will be held responsible regardless of your ignorance”.

That does not apply here. There is no concensus aboung Christians either. And even if there were a concensus, why should I believe your assertions?

It not just what I say. It has been taught since the birth of Judaism.

How am I to know that your assessment is correct?

Compare it to what others say.

There is no “book” which would enumerate the deeds and their “just” sentences. Is there?

Not like the US Penal Code.

However, no list is required. All that is required is that one believe Jesus is who He claimed and obey the Royal Law. The Royal Law is love God and love your neighbor. All actions and thoughts can be judged against this Law to determine their acceptability.

You can still care about them, can’t you?

Excellent. So present your case. Quote me the facts (not personal convictions) that such-and-such behavior merits “hell-time”. Make it convincing. As Perot said: “I am all ears!” :slight_smile:

The “case” has been presented to you on these fora more than once. You have rejected the case. Now what?

**

The facts and nothing but the facts, had been presented 2000 years ago by a man called Jesus Christ. He is risen from death as He is Son of God. And he appeared to over 500 after his death and before his ascension to heaven, where He will judge any of us, when we will stand before Him after our death, as we came from Him.

Now, if that Jesus Christ would have been a man as anybody, or even just one of the greatest philosophers of all times, his words would have made a book out of many of the world literature. Forgotten by most. Imagine how many know Plato, Homer, Confucius of the ancient world or any of the many of 19th and 20th century.

With Jesus Christ, things where different. There is no educated person in the world who doesn’t know of the New Testament (Jesus Word). Our entire civilization is based on Jesus Christ. Every single atheist of the Western hemisphere profits of it.

You want other Christians to tell you?
Why don’t you put your nose into that book called bible, and try to disprove a single sequence of it?

If atheists believe it or not, in 2000 years after Christ, innumerable amounts of humans, have build their life on Jesus word, and where deeply satisfied.
I myself am as countless others, as I was helped out of deepest points of my life.

Now, quote me the facts of your falsification - I am all ears!
**

Well, if our personality is not extinguished, then our knowldge will not be taken away. Therefore we shall know who is in hell and who is in heaven. Unless you have an exceptionally wonderful set of family, friends and acquintances, there will be at least a few who are in hell and you know it.

All true

Very well. If that is the case, then I can reasonably ask if your knowledge of people suffering in hell will or will not influence your happiness and bliss?

I can hardly wait for you to explain to me why you think spirits have feelings

Proof of what? Not the existence of an enumerated list of what to do and what to avoid?

Confusing statement. Evil exists. So does a list what what to do and what not to do.

So why does God not reveal - in an absolutely unambiguous manner - just what are those proscribed behaviors, which he wants us to avoid?

Ever heard of the ten commandments?

There is no concensus aboung Christians either. And even if there were a concensus, why should I believe your assertions?

You’d be pretty stupid to follow the assertions of any human. Try following God’s.

May God grant you a million miracles, Annem

Right. So why should I accept something that was taught for a long time? It does not lend credence just because it was around for a few millenia. Especially since the ancient authors were pretty uneducated and superstitious by modern standars.

I did, and I am sorry to say, that all the religious arguments came up short. “Mene, tekel, ufarsin”… you know.

Yes, indeed. And that is presicely what is the problem. Without a specific, unambiguous list of what to do and what to avoid, we are left to our own devices, and likely make mistakes. However, according to the teachings of the Church, some of these have “eternal” consequences.

And what about those who do not believe in Jesus?

Never has it been presented! Not once. Only the personal convictions of fallible human beings have been presented, and that is far from being persuasive.

So sorry, that does not wash. The Bible needs “interpretation”, and different people interpret it differently. Why should I accept your version? The Magistretium or the Pope are unacceptable as “authorities”.

Argumentum ad populum…

Nonsense. Our civilization is not based on Jesus, not even the Western civilization, not even the US, which is the most religious society in the Western hemisphere. The Constitution of the USA is a fully secular document, and according to the Treaty of Tripoli, it is not based on the Christian religion.

No problem at all… see below.

Yet another argumentum ad populum…

No problem. Here it comes:

Kings 7:23 (New International Version)

He made the Sea of cast metal, circular in shape, measuring ten cubits from rim to rim and five cubits high. It took a line of thirty cubits to measure around it.

According to this passage the value of “pi” is exactly “3”… and even in those times there were better approximations. Please don’t say that the Bible is not a math textbook. It is an error, due to the fact that the authors had no idea about math. God is supposed to know better… Just one of such errors invalidate your claim that the Bible is of divine origin. (And there are many more…)

Where is that list???

Which ones? There are several versions in the Bible… and none of them mentions homosexuality, or the “evil” of masturbation, or other, supposedly “mortal” sins.

Except God does not talk to me in any way, shape or form that I can recognize. I am “stuck” with the assertions of fallible human beings. And even though I accept that these humans mean well, and their convictions are serious, that does not help one little bit.

But…Christians, it could be argued, are complaining only because they no longer hold the whip-hand. “Giving others the benefit of the doubt” is not something people bother with when they don’t have to: & for too long, atheists were not given any such benefit. Atheists have no cause to love Christians, & ample cause to hate them bitterly; the wonder is, that so few seem to. So it’s a bit rich for us to expect “the benefit of the doubt” from those whom the Churches have despised, persecuted, rejected, slandered, hated, and killed. Christians today are merely getting a small dose of their own medicine, & IMO we are getting far less of it than we deserve.

BTW - people have a lot to say about the persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire; less is said about the persecution, by Christians, of the adherents of the old religions. No sooner did Christians cease to be martyred, than they became persecutors in their turn. It’s a pretty grotty religion :frowning:

The true Christian does not rejoice in the suffering of others, even when it is merited. That would be sadistic. Don’t you get it? Love is at the heart of everything. Even the person who chooses hell is getting what he asked for. But it’s** his** choice, not the choice of one who is in heaven. God will not cause those in heaven to grieve the lost, because they will know (if they are allowed even to know it) that God gave them what they preferred … hell rather than heaven.

:thumbsup: That point is very profound - Dante makes it too :cool:

What we will know or not know in heaven is not disclosed to us on earth. But we are certainly not going to heaven to suffer.

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