Monday, April 16, 2007


I really did not anticipate this many comments on my post. Thanks to everyone who is participating. There are a lot of different camps out there from I’m a freshman in a junior college Philosophy course with poor grammar and poorer logic, those that agreed with me, and those who think I’m confused. I appreciate the comments – all of them.

That being said, I think there are two common themes that I would like to respond to. First, that God is not responsible for the atrocities done in his name. This is what I’m labeling the “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” argument.

Let’s take a look at one of the comments I received on my first posting from Jania:

The God of the Bible is not an "asshole" because he refuses to "prove his worthiness." We have the Bible, which tells us EXACTLY what to do to understand God and Christianity and go to heaven. It's actually a lot easier than you think...not really worthy of constant bickering.

My ranting is mostly against fundamentalists like this who believe the Bible to be the inspired word of God. If the Bible tells us exactly what we need to do to understand God as Jania claims, I would like to point out that the Bible does not require faith. In the Old Testament, specifically the book of Exodus, God gives Moses a staff that is able to transform from a piece of wood to a serpent and back again. If that weren’t enough, PROOF of God’s existence is amplified through the plagues, the parting of the Red Sea, and raining Manna from heaven. Folks, I’m pretty skeptical but if I saw a major body of water part, I’d probably reevaluate my position.

For those that aren’t too big on the OT, the New Testament gives us many miracles. Jesus walks on water, turns water into wine, raises the dead, feeds people, heals the sick, etc.

If one were to look to the Bible, you will see instances where God intervenes in the affairs of man and PROOVES His existence. He gave Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed very specific instructions as well as PROOF. Since he created religion and doesn’t mind the occasional proof, religion is still His responsibility.

Yes, some atheist regimes did some pretty horrible stuff, but none of it was divinely inspired. The God of the Bible should have been more than willing to bring out some old school fire and brimstone on Germany. It is disputed whether or not Hitler was a believer, but it is indisputable that Germany was (and is) a Christian nation.

God does not get to create religion and then take a two millennia break and not check in on his Creation. I don’t accept that one bit. The God of the Bible has infinite power and has been known to show Himself before, by refusing to do it for the last 2,000 years he is showing himself to be cruel, callous, and evil.

Second, I’ve been challenged on my assertion that religious beliefs are inherited from one’s parents. I’ve provided absolutely zero justification for this claim so I have rightly been called on it. Nice catch. When I have some time I’ll do some research and see what I dig up.

Thanks to all.


Kairii said...

i agree with the people who have said whats the point? %hing being here is contradicting enough that it makes no sence. I agree that its a very clear way of you explaining it. but you have many things on here that are exactly what you say your against. In the beginning of your bliog you haid you didnt want to argue with that girl. why start this then? it kills the whole point of that. its like you belive it but your so into it that its become real.

Andrew said...

There seems to be a flaw in your argument....

Your arguments seem to revolve around God's character and morality. for instance, you say God is evil and cruel, & he must do this and that - implying that he is wrong. As an atheist you believe there is no moral lawgiver - why are you so passionate about fairness and justice? Isn't it problematic to reject a moral lawgiver because you believe that He is immoral?

Jeff said...

in response to andrew:
Morals can easily be based on logic, not just arbitrary written rules.

Tim said...

Dawkins covered theistic beliefs of children in his book, "The god delusion", in quite some detail. It's pretty accurate and fair, and of course points out what doesn't seem obvious to most theistic people: "There is no such thing as a 'Christian' child, just as much as a child might be a 'republican child' or 'democrat child'". Children have this stuff forced on them before they are old enough to understand what they're being fed.

Andrew - there's more to it than just rejecting existance before of the lack of morals, and that's not what he's claiming. The idea is rejected because of lack of logic and evidence. The stories of barbarism are just a side that make it so much easier to point out how pathetic the people are who follow, support, and condone this kind of brutality, regardless of in who's name it may be.

Ross said...

As Tim said, Dawkins covers the issue of theistic beliefs of children. Dawkins quotes a statistic of around 80% of children keep the theistic belief of their parents. So your original comment was correct. As an example, I fit nicely into this category (I am one of 5 children and the only Atheist).
P.S This is a great blog and I look forward to future posts.

Naren said...

Interesting First post and response. It is all about belief. Deeep down inside people believe in something.... They believe that they are Theist or Atheists or Agnostic. All of these are just beliefs. I agree with the author that a person's religion is based on geography and environment.

Paul said...

"I’ve been challenged on my assertion that religious beliefs are inherited from one’s parents."

What idiot challenged that assertion? I suppose the fact that it is self-evident needs to be backed up to show its veracity?

Thinking it through backs it up just fine:

There are 5+ (is it 6 now?) billion people on the earth. Of all those that are Muslim, how many have parents that are Muslim? I would wager the answer is closer to 100% than 0%

Reality is, that unless you start a new religion, your chances of inheriting your belief system from your parents is close to 100%.

As an American your chances are still better than half that this is true - to wit: most Americans are Christians. Most Jewish Americans were born Jewish.

Point to ponder: How are you defining God?