The Atheist Challenge

10 Questions to ask an Atheist 

I thought this would be interesting, because I’ve seen several questionnaires like this, but I wanted something that would go deep and to get people someone thinking.  (Please give realistic and honest answers.)

1. If there is NO God, then there is no Measurement or Standard for morality?  Then What will define morality?

2. If there is NO God, then there is NO meaning or purpose to Life.  So without a God, does life have purpose or meaning?  Without God, does the Atheist have purpose?

3. Are you an advocate of New Atheism and Darwinism?  If so, then the most extreme and logical form of Darwinism is Eugenics.  Would you support this?  Why or Why Not?

4. If we are ancesoters/descendants of Apes, then why are there no transitional fossils or species to support this theory?

5. Do you believe in Human Nature?  It is Human Nature to believe in God, if so, why do you go against human nature and not believe in God?

6. Can ‘Something come from Nothing’?  Doesn’t that violate The First Law of Thermodynamics?

7. It seems that a society of Atheist are immoral and self-destructing.  Why would anyone want a Godless Society, just look at our examples: North Korea, Maoist China, Stalin, & Pot Pol?

8. If you were to die, and you were before God.  And he was getting ready to pass judgement on you,  What would be your reaction or thoughts?  What plea would you give him so he does not judge you harshly?

9. What would convince you atheism is wrong?  And that Christianity is Right?

10. Why are you an Atheist?  Why do you NOT believe in God?  Why do you reject God?  (You can be as detailed as you want.)

*An explanation to the Atheist Challenge is found HERE and why the question loaded with the premis and conclusion that God already exist.
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About M. Rodriguez

When I first received Christ salvation, I made it a priority to read the whole bible and I did. But it was the Bible that made me question my faith. For I found it flawed and lacking. Due to this I launched a personal inquiry/investigation into my faith, and ultimately realized that the Christian God of the Bible was indeed man-made. Now I Blog about those findings and life after Christ.
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185 Responses to The Atheist Challenge

  1. Nate says:

    Some of these are tough to answer quickly, but I’ll do my best.

    1) I think morality is sort of hard-wired into human nature through our conscience. As we progress in society, we refine our moral standards in a way that strives for better equality: minority rights, gay rights, ethics, etc. When Euclid wrote the principles of geometry, not everyone understood it, but they were still true. I think morality works the same way. Not everyone agrees on what’s moral, but that doesn’t mean true morality doesn’t exist, or that we can’t come to a knowledge of it.

    2) We make our own purpose in the lives of those around us. And if we’re the highest form of life in the universe, and that somehow means that our lives are purposeless, then if God existed his life would also be purposeless. So I don’t view this as an argument for or against the existence of God.

    3) I’m an atheist and I believe in evolution, but I don’t think I’d label myself a New Atheist or Darwinist. However, even if I were, I don’t think eugenics would be okay. For one, it violates morality. But it’s also not an accurate portrayal of evolution or Darwinism. Evolution relies on natural selection. Eugenics is not natural selection, it’s breeding.

    4) There are transitional fossils. Australopithecus afarensis is just one example.

    5) I believe in human nature — we do have instincts, after all. I don’t think belief in God is part of human nature, but I think it was the best explanation people had for their existence for a very long time. And because we tend to teach such “truths” to our children when they’re very young, belief in God probably seems a bit like human nature, because we see it across all age groups and cultures. But when children are asked about it in detail, it always seems that their belief in God is at the same level as their belief in Santa Claus, fairies, and monsters.

    6) Why is there something rather than nothing? This question plagues us all. The theist believes he’s answered it by supposing God, but this really doesn’t answer anything. God is still a “something” that has no explanation, so they’ve only pushed the problem back one step (and created many more problems to solve in the process). Honestly, no one knows why anything exists. This is a question that we may never have an answer to.

    7) The examples of “atheist” countries that you listed are (were) all under the sway of tyrants. Tyrants push dogma, religious or otherwise. Better examples would be the democratic societies in Sweden or Japan, where stats on morality (murder rates, theft, etc) fare better per capita than they do in religious countries.

    8) I’ve always searched for truth. When I was a dedicated Christian, it was because I believed I had the truth. When further study led me from Christianity and into atheism, it was still with the goal of finding truth. I’m an atheist because I find the evidence for Christianity completely unconvincing, not because I’ve decided to rebel against God — an idea I find completely idiotic.

    9) A genuine miracle or a direct communication from God would convince me.

    10) I first rejected Christianity because I realized the Bible was not inerrant. At that point, I didn’t see what there was about it that was any better than any other religion. However, I still believed in God. But I gradually realized that I had no information about this god. The only evidence for him that I could see was the universe, but I didn’t believe he had given us any divine revelation. When I read Dawkins’ book The God Delusion, I was struck by a point he made. Essentially, he asked what was more likely: a universe coming into existence (or being eternal) on its own, or a god coming into existence (or being eternal) on its own? There’s no way to know the answer to that question, but since a god who’s complex enough to create this universe would probably be more complex than said universe, it just seemed more likely that the universe could exist without him/her/it. So my progression was from Christian to agnostic deist, to agnostic, to agnostic atheist. In other words, I’m an atheist by process of elimination. There is no god that I believe in, even though I think it’s possible that a god could exist.

    • mj says:

      Great reply – I think we have walked very similar paths. I’m still pretty quiet about the fact that after 30+ years, I am no longer a believer.

  2. 1. Many of our “morals” boil down to the fact that we shouldn’t kill each other or do anything that would harm another person. This exists in all organisms and it comes down to every organisms’ will for self-preservation. Morality is just a by-product of our evolutionary instinct to survive. Saying that without God, there is no morality or no way to judge it does not really state anything; it’s only a claim.

    2. I agree with Nate’s answer. We don’t all have the same purpose (unless you consider the fact that every organism attempts to reproduce). We create our meaning. I don’t believe in God, but I don’t find it very hard to find a purpose in my life. Just because you don’t believe in God doesn’t mean you all of a sudden find your life meaningless. If anything, you find more meaning because you believe that this is the only life you have and you have to make sure you made the best of it.

    3. I support survival of the fittest in the sense that I believe in evolution and natural selection and that this is an aspect of natural selection. This doesn’t imply that I think that all of those who are un-fit should die. I don’t decide that. Natural selection decides that based on who or what has the best genes for survival of the species. Those who do not eventually die off. This isn’t an immoral act in the way it seemed to be implied, but a fact of nature.

    4. Nate covered that one. A lot of these evolution arguments are because one side doesn’t fully understand evolution or doesn’t want to.

    5. I believe it is human nature to want an explanation for everything. God is an easy way to explain anything. Therefore, I believe God is merely a fabrication of mankind to explain what we can’t explain. We used to think that thunder and lightning was some angry deity, but now we know it is not at all.

    6. Again, I agree with Nate’s answer. Plus, you are simply using an unexplained theory to fuel your argument. I don’t claim to know 100% exactly how the universe began and I’m comfortable with saying, “I don’t know”. Will we ever find the answer in my lifetime? I don’t know and that’s okay. We have found the answers to many unexplained things in this universe and I don’t believe that anything that isn’t explained yet has to be “God”.

    7. You used a society of Communists for your example. They don’t represent atheists, they just happen to be atheist. There are also many immoral acts in the name of religion. This isn’t really a justified argument.

    8. I can’t say that I would plea. I am very capable of admitting I’m wrong and accepting the consequences. My atheism came from one of the most dangerous deployments to Afghanistan I’ve ever had (a time when I really really wanted to believe in a God) and I found the stories, claims, and so-called evidence to be mostly false. I don’t hate God or the idea of God, I merely chose to use reason and rational thinking.

    9. You would either have to convince me that rational thinking is wrong or I would need some divine intervention from God himself that I could never explain otherwise.

    10. I don’t necessarily “reject” God. I believe religion can offer hope and encouragement to people. The only time I really have a problem with religion is when negative actions stem from religion or when politics and laws are influenced by religion. I stated above that I wanted to believe in God during my deployment. I read my bible everyday and prayed everyday, yet unimaginably horrible things continued to happen and the contradictions in the bible led me to believe that it was nothing more than a story. Add to that that many stories in the bible are claimed to be completely false by many historians due to a lack of evidence that they ever occurred except for in the bible.

  3. I’m going to attempt to give these as short answers as possible.

    1. Harm and benefit. It’s as simple as taking ‘Fire hot. Bad.’ And extrapolating.
    2. We make our own purpose. Why should I care about the purpose of anyone else?
    3. Evolution is a science, not a political view. To turn it into one is as silly as thinking that the theory of gravitation means we should throw everyone off cliffs.
    4. There are. You are (I assume) misinformed.
    5. I do not accept that it is human nature to believe in a god.
    6. Maybe?
    7. Your examples are flawed. Look at Scandinavia to see mostly godless countries and then get back to us.
    8. I’d tell him I used my brain and the available evidence and came to the conclusion I thought was the right one. If he wants to punish me for that, that’s his prerogative.
    9. Good, empirical, repeatable evidence.
    10. I explored the claims that religion made and found no good reason to believe them.

  4. I didn’t read the above comments before writing this, not because I don’t value them, but because I wanted to go into it ‘fresh.’ If I’m repeating anything anybody else said, please bear with me. I’ll try to keep the responses brief.
    1. I’m not sure God helps us with morality. Is there a standard independent of God or is the standard whatever God says? In the one case, morality is objective, but not dependent on God. In the other, it’s dependent on God but subjective. I’m stealing this from Plato. I think morality is partially defined by nature, the kind of beings we are. If we had exoskeletons, we might have a different experience of pain, and thus a different morality.
    2. There can be purposes in life even if there is no purpose to life. In fact, it can be liberating to realize that there is no cosmic purpose; you have the responsibility of forging purpose for yourself.
    3. I wouldn’t describe myself as a ‘New Atheist.’ I’m not a social Darwinist either. There’s a difference between the empirical theory of evolution and an ideology like social Darwinism.
    4. I’m not a scientist, so I don’t know for sure, but I think we have the remains of several hominid species, Neanderthal etc. Do these count as transitional forms? In any case, the genetic evidence that all life is related is overwhelming. Francis Collins, director of the human genome project and an evangelical Christian, has said as much.
    5. Yes, I suspect humans have a nature. It’s debatable whether it’s human nature to believe in God, however. If anything we have a predisposition to believe in animism.
    6. I don’t know. Perhaps the big bang is not an absolute beginning. Maybe there is something beyond it. I’m just not convinced it’s the God of the Bible.
    7. I don’t think these are good examples of atheist societies. In just about all the cases you mention, the leader is essentially deified. Besides, I don’t want an atheist society, I want a liberal society.
    8. I don’t know. I’d probably say that I wanted to believe, that I gave it an honest try for 25 years, but just couldn’t. Does God prefer honest skeptics or people who ‘wager’ on him out of fear?
    9. I have a hard time answering this one. I usually tell my Christian friends who ask, ‘Presumably if there’s a God, he knows what it would take to convince me.’ Maybe a knock-down rational argument, maybe a miracle, or religious experience. I’m open to any or all of those.
    10. Because it seems to me that it’s true. Isn’t that the best reason to believe something?

  5. I haven’t read the comments above before writing this, not because I don’t value them, but because I want to go into this ‘fresh.’ So if I’m repeating anything, please bear with me.
    1. I’m not sure God helps us with morality. Is the standard independent of God or just whatever God says? If the former, it’s objective but not dependent on God. If the latter, it’s dependent on God but subjective. I’m stealing this from Plato. I think morality is based to some extent on our nature. If we had exoskeletons and a different experience of pain, we might have different morality.
    2. There might be meaning and purpose in life even if there is no purpose to life. In fact, it can be liberating to realize that there is no cosmic purpose; you have the responsibility of forging purpose yourself.
    3. I wouldn’t describe myself as a New Atheist or Social Darwinist. There’s a distinction between the empirical theory of evolution and a particular ideological application of it.
    4. There are remains of several hominid species. Do these count? In any case the genetic evidence that all life is related is overwhelming. Francis Collins, director of the human genome project and an evangelical Christian, has said as much.
    5. I think humans have a nature, yes. It’s not clear that it’s human nature to believe in God, however. If anything, we have a predisposition to believe in animism.
    6. I don’t know. Maybe the big bang isn’t an absolute beginning. Maybe there’s something beyond it. I’m just not convinced it’s the God of the Bible.
    7. I don’t think those are good examples of atheist societies. In almost all of them, the leader is essentially deified. Besides, I don’t want an atheist society. I want a liberal society.
    8. I’d say that I really wanted to believe, that I gave it an honest try for 25 years, but just couldn’t.
    9. My Christian friends always ask me this and I say, ‘Presumably if God exists, he knows what it would take to convince me.’ Maybe a knock-down argument, maybe a miracle or religious experience. I’m open to any or all of these.
    10. Because I think it’s probably true. Isn’t that the best reason for believing something?

  6. Sorry for the double post. I thought I’d lost the first one. I wrote the second one from memory. How did I do? :P

  7. Grundy says:

    What they said.

  8. Lorena says:

    1. If there is NO God, then their is no Measurement or Standard for morality? Then what will define morality?

    ** The Golden Rule isn’t owned by Christians. It’s common sense. Most of us–except psychopaths–are born with some sort of empathy for others. Plus common sense tells us that if we punch someone on the nose, we’ll get it right back. So, we live carefully knowing that behaviour brings consequences and that we don’t want do to others what we wouldn’t want for ourselves.

    2. If there is NO God, then there is NO meaning or purpose to Life; So not everything meaningless since there is no God? So what will the purpose of living? Without God, does the Atheist have purpose?

    ** Friends and loved ones are a stronger reason to live than an invisible, mass killer god.

    3. Are you an advocate of New Atheism and Darwinism? If so then the most extreme and logical form of Darwinism is Eugenics, Survival of the fittest. Would you support this? Why or Why Not?

    ** Neither. I’m an atheist because the god of the Bible makes no sense and couldn’t possibly be for real.

    4. If we are ancesoters/descentdents of Apes, then why are there no transitional fossils or species to support this theory?

    ** well, because it didn’t happen overnight. The transition happened seamlessly through millions and millions of years.

    5. Do you believe in Human Nature? It is Human Nature to believe in God, if so, why do you go against human nature and not believe in God?

    ** I believe in human nature. Furthermore, I believe I’m part of human nature. I believe that nature is self-sustaining and doesn’t need an outside force to propel it.

    6. Can Nothing come from Something? Doesn’t that violate The First Law of Thermodynamics?

    ** I don’t think there was ever nothing. The idea that in the beginning there was nothing comes from the believe, which I believe to be a book of myths.

    7. It seems that a society of Atheist are immoral and self-destructing. Why would anyone want a Godless Society, just look at our examples, North Korea, Maoist China, Stalin, & Pot Pol?

    That’s an unfair generalization. Should we say that all Christians are immoral because Hittler was a Catholic?

    8. If you were to die, and you were before God. And he was getting ready to pass judgement on you, What would be your reaction or thoughts? What plea would you give him so he does not judge you harshly?

    ** That will never happen. But if it does, god would embrace me and say, “Thank you for not believing all the trash Christians said about me.”

    9. What would convince you atheism is wrong? And that Christianity is Right?

    ** Nothing. Absolutely nothing. If there is a god outside of nature, he or she is disgusted with the defamation he suffers at the hands of Christians.

    10. Why are you an Atheist? Why do you NOT believe in God? Why do you reject God? (You can be as detailed as you want.)

    ** Simply because the macho, genocidal, vengeful god Christianity promotes is illogical and impossible to believe in. That god can’t possibly exist. If there is some sort of deity above us, it has to be a loving one, not someone who says, “Worship me or I’ll send you to hell for ever and ever.”

  9. Pingback: On Leaving Fundamentalist Christianity

  10. ubi dubium says:

    I’m going to answer these without reading the other comments, so they won’t influence my answers. So sorry if any of this is repetitive.
    1. If there is NO God, then there is no Measurement or Standard for morality? Then what will define morality?
    We are an aggressive species, but our success comes from being a social species as well. Morality is just the set of rules that we have developed that allow us to live and function in groups. As our connectedness with the rest of the world grows, we have to rework these rules. “What works” is the standard.
    2. If there is NO God, then there is NO meaning or purpose to Life; So not everything meaningless since there is no God? So what will the purpose of living? Without God, does the Atheist have purpose?
    We are not given a purpose. Purpose is something we have to create for ourselves.
    3. Are you an advocate of New Atheism and Darwinism? If so then the most extreme and logical form of Darwinism is Eugenics, Survival of the fittest. Would you support this? Why or Why Not?
    New Atheism is just the same as Old Atheism, except that we have gotten sick and tired of having to be quiet and pretend like we don’t exist. So we’re not being quiet anymore.
    I think Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection is the right answer to the problem of how organisms change over time. Eugenics has nothing to do with natural selection; it is an attempt to use artificial selection to produce better humans than three million years of the battle for survival has been able to. Farmers have used artificial selection for thousands of years, and produced many useful plants and animals, but they always come with a trade-off. We have plants that can’t reproduce without our help, purebred dogs with physical, temperamental and neurological problems, and sheep that are docile, fleecy, and completely helpless. Using this idea to try to improve humans in some areas would produce humans that would completely suck in others. It’s a terrible idea.
    Survival of the fittest describes how we got here, not how we should live cooperatively in the present.
    4. If we are ancestors/descendants of Apes, then why are there no transitional fossils or species to support this theory?
    There are tons of transitional fossils, and we are finding new ones every day. Pretending there aren’t any doesn’t make it so.
    5. Do you believe in Human Nature? It is Human Nature to believe in God, if so, why do you go against human nature and not believe in God?
    I think that humans have a psychology that developed to help us survive. Part of that includes built-in mental shortcuts that help us make quick decisions under stress and with limited information. Unfortunately, those shortcuts often lead us to jump to conclusions about whether a pattern exists, and whether an intentional agency is involved. (Better to assume every time that the rustle in the grass is a tiger who wants to eat you, even when it isn’t, than to get it wrong and be devoured.) With our over-active pattern and agency detectors, we default to thinking “who is responsible” instead of “what is responsible”. Nothing about this indicates that a god exists.
    6. Can Nothing come from Something? Doesn’t that violate The First Law of Thermodynamics?
    I think you meant “something come from nothing”. In quantum physics, something comes from nothing all the time. We don’t even know if “nothing” is stable, maybe it isn’t. And we don’t know what “preceded” the singularity at the beginning of our space-time universe, so we can’t assume it was “nothing”. We also can’t assume it was the war god of a mid-eastern Bronze-Age tribe of goatherders.
    7. It seems that a society of Atheist are immoral and self-destructing. Why would anyone want a Godless Society, just look at our examples, North Korea, Maoist China, Stalin, & Pot Pol?
    You listed totalitarian states, where blind devotion to a religion has been replaced, by force, with blind devotion to a leader, or to a political ideology. I would not call any society where blind devotion is mandatory an “atheist state”. They’ve just replaced one “religion” with another.
    A better example is Sweden. They are prosperous, happy, and one of the healthiest nations in the world. The government does not try to force the people to be devoted to anything. Religion is allowed, but most of the people don’t give a flip about it. That’s a goal to aspire to.
    8. If you were to die, and you were before God. And he was getting ready to pass judgment on you, What would be your reaction or thoughts? What plea would you give him so he does not judge you harshly?
    I’d tell him he has a lot of explaining to do! How dare he presume to pass judgment on us! If he created us, then he created us as we are – imperfect. Then he hid himself and made it impossible to tell for sure whether he was there or not. He allowed horrible human suffering, not just from how we treat each other, but from natural disasters outside our control. He allowed thousands of different religions to spring up, none clearly superior to any other. And then, since belief in various religions is clustered geographically, correct belief is highly dependent on what region one happens to be born into. So he would presume to judge us for being born in the wrong place or the wrong time or not being gullible enough, or just plain being imperfect? WTF? I will grovel to no such incompetent tyrant.
    9. What would convince you atheism is wrong? And that Christianity is Right?
    I have a pass-phrase. I’ve never told anybody what it is, or written it down. It’s not a phrase that you will find in any book, to anybody else it will sound like nonsense. I’ve thought it in my head many times, very loudly. If your god is omniscient he knows what it is. If he is omnipotent, he can communicate to someone what it is. And if he wants me to know he exists, then all he has to do is tell a True Believer to come up to me and say this phrase. When that happens, that’s the person I will listen to. Until then, I assume all evangelists are equally full of crap.
    Or – I suppose if the tree in my front yard started growing KJV bibles, that would get my attention. Or if the stars rearranged themselves into a different bible verse every night. But faith healing? Faces on grilled cheese sandwiches? Prayers that work no better than placebos? Exhortations from TV preachers? Give me a break. If that kind of stuff would convince me, I would never have left religion.
    10. Why are you an Atheist? Why do you NOT believe in God? Why do you reject God? (You can be as detailed as you want.)
    I have insufficient evidence to support such a hypothesis.
    If you don’t require evidence for believing in things, you might as well believe in the tooth-fairy, or the invisible space pickle or Flying Spaghetti Monster (pesto be upon Him).

  11. ubi dubium says:

    Reblogged this on Question With Boldness.

  12. Jim Jones says:

    ==> 1. If there is NO God, then [there] is no Measurement or Standard for morality? Then what will define morality?

    If you are alone on a desert island, what is the purpose of morality? What are the rules? Who cares?

    Morality does not, in any way, come from religion (morality can come from people who are religious). Religious and non religious people fought against slavery all over the world, however they were opposed by far greater numbers of religious people who fully and violently supported slavery.

    The OT, NT, Qur’an and Mormon books all got racism and slavery and much else wrong. They are immoral books.

    IME atheists are much more moral than theists. They have no “get out of jail free” card.

    ==> 2. If there is NO God, then there is NO meaning or purpose to Life; So not everything meaningless since there is no God? So what will the purpose of living? Without God, does the Atheist have purpose?

    Much more purpose than theists. Atheists live and enjoy their one and only life. Theists wear blinders and follow silly rules made up by ignorant people and don’t enjoy life.

    ==> 3. Are you an advocate of New Atheism and Darwinism? If so then the most extreme and logical form of Darwinism is Eugenics, Survival of the fittest. Would you support this? Why or Why Not?

    There is no such thing as Darwinism. Eugenics is mathematically impossible for humans, since we cannot control all breeding. Eugenics was employed by ignorant theists out of hatred, not science. Science was the excuse they used for evil. Theists have hundreds of excuses they use for evil.

    ==> 4. If we are [ancestors/descendents] of Apes, then why are there no transitional fossils or species to support this theory?

    Don’t need them. We know it is true because most species have two sexes. However we have an extraordinary number of fossils which prove the case.

    ==> 5. Do you believe in Human Nature? It is Human Nature to believe in God, if so, why do you go against human nature and not believe in God?

    It isn’t human nature to believe in god. It is human nature to believe in bullshit.

    ==> 6. Can Nothing come from Something? Doesn’t that violate The First Law of Thermodynamics?

    You don’t understand those laws. Something didn’t come from nothing.

    ==> 7. It seems that a society of Atheist are immoral and self-destructing. Why would anyone want a Godless Society, just look at our examples, North Korea, Maoist China, Stalin, & [Pol Pot]?

    They are in no way godless. They worshipped a leader as a god. They are perfect examples of what our society would be if Christians were in charge and could do what they want. But first, they’d have to figure out which of the over 38,000 sects is the correct one.

    ==> 8. If you were to die, and you were before God. And he was getting ready to pass judg[]ment on you, What would be your reaction or thoughts? What plea would you give him so he does not judge you harshly?

    Where were you during the wars, plagues, pogroms, famines? And why are you pissing on my leg?

    ==> 9. What would convince you atheism is wrong? And that Christianity is Right?

    Evidence. So far there’s none

    ==> 10. Why are you an Atheist? Why do you NOT believe in God? Why do you reject God? (You can be as detailed as you want.)

    >> Why are you an Atheist?

    It makes sense.

    >> Why do you NOT believe in God?

    Which one?

    >>Why do you reject God?

    Which one?

    • Thanks, for your answers…and just to let you know, this is more of a skeptics blog. Look around and check it out.

    • ignorantianescia says:

      Sorry for commenting on somebody’s else’s answers, but I think this one is a little off:

      “They are in no way godless. They worshipped a leader as a god. They are perfect examples of what our society would be if Christians were in charge and could do what they want. But first, they’d have to figure out which of the over 38,000 sects is the correct one.”

      We can nitpick about the meaning of “god” for how long we like, but it is clear that the state ideology of these countries is materialist, so whatever “god” is worshipped, it is by necessity an atheistic “god”, since theism is incompatible with materialism. They are godless in the traditional sense that they deny a theistic God.

      Though I must say, I don’t think that the human rights failure of atheistic states is an issue for secular atheism.

    • Simple Theologian says:

      Just because you are so positive…

      1) Do you give to the poor? Do you feed those who are hungry? Do you care for the needy? Do you respect those who believe differently than you? Do you lie? Do you hold grudges? Do you get drunk? Do you speed? Do you want me to continue?
      2) I have wonderful family and friends. I enjoy my job. I enjoy celebrating the life that God has given me. I enjoy worshiping God to the best of my abilities. I enjoy life…A LOT. It would be hard for you to prove to me that you enjoy life more than I do???
      3) I’m sorry, I don’t make excuses. Yeah, I make mistakes and get things wrong but when I realize it or confronted with it I agree that I made a mistake or got something wrong and do what is necessary to correct it. Do you? Or is it just easier for you to make an excuse and believe that you are not at fault or didn’t do anything wrong? (don’t forget about what you said to number 1 about being more moral).
      4) No Response
      5) Read “The God Gene” if I remember correctly. Scientists have possibly found a gene linked to belief in a supernatural power (i.e. “god/gods”) so yeah, it might be part of our human nature.
      6) You’re right, something didn’t come from nothing but the Universe is expanding so what is the driving force or what is sustaining the universe’s existence?
      7) Good thing the Bible doesn’t teach that Christians will be in charge then huh? It teaches that Jesus will return and rule the world not His followers!
      8) Same place God was when you were conceived, born, and breathing today! And are you sure you didn’t just wet yourself because you found out God was real???
      9) Is it possible that you’ve been looking in the wrong places or with the wrong perception for your evidence?
      10) No Response

      • Simple Theologian says:

        5) perhaps its more accurate to say “supernatural” than supernatural power. As it includes the concept of god/gods but does not imply only to god beliefs.

  13. Robert says:

    I love questions like this, so here goes:

    1.) I think that some general ethical propositions are just necessarily true and/or brute facts; such as “it is wrong to cause suffering”. More specific ethical propositions, such as “It is wrong to punch your friend in the face” get their truth value from these, with a bit of a virtue ethics/consequentalist bent thrown in.

    2.) I think that while there’s no “ultimate” purpose or meaning, we can derive it internally. i.e. friendship has meaning to me just because I value it. This isn’t entirely subjective though, because it ties into morality as described above and the nature of moral obligation; and to a lesser extent aesthetics.

    3.) Ugh, no way. Dawkins et. al make atheists look bad when they make comments like “religion is child abuse”. I’m not sure how you’re using “darwinism” here, so I’ll say this: I believe that the modern scientific consensus on evolution is true, but not in applying it sociologically.

    4.) There are. Here’s a list of most of them: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_hominid_fossils In addition, we *are* apes. Members of a monophyletic clade never stop being members of that clade, regardless of any evolutionary changes.

    5.) I believe that we have genetic as well as environmental predispositions to think or act in certain ways; however, this doesn’t mean that these things are true. I’m not sure if religious belief is one of these predispositions or not, as I’ve seen arguments for both sides – but it doesn’t matter. God either exists or doesn’t exist independent of our predispositions. My genetics predispose me to early baldness, but there’s nothing wrong with “going against my nature” and using Rogaine.

    6.) I have no idea whether something can come from nothing, or even if those terms are coherent. They look suspiciously like dummy sortals to me (http://maverickphilosopher.typepad.com/maverick_philosopher/2012/05/must-we-stop-asking-why-theres-anything.html). However, physical laws are descriptive, not prescriptive. If we one day witness something coming from nothing, it’s the law that needs to be modified.

    7.) Those societies were/are bad, yes. But not all atheists act that way, and some theists do. The key to a thriving society isn’t atheism or theism, it’s citizens that work toward the good of the society in which they live, regardless of their religious beliefs, or lack thereof.

    8.) I’ve thought about this one a lot actually. I think that I wouldn’t try to justify myself; rather, I’d ask where I went wrong in my reasoning. I would hope that he would explain it to me, and then give me another chance; because my atheism isn’t based on any anger or malice toward God or religion, but on philosophy.

    9.) Two things. First, if I were to have some kind of religious experience (and I could be sure that no one had slipped me any drugs or that I was suffering from psychosis), that would probably convince me. Failing that, the arguments that convince me of atheism would have to be convincingly defeated, and my objections to arguments for theism/Christianity would have to be shown not to work.

    10.) I think that the argument from divine hiddenness as formulated by J.L. Schellenberg, and a form of the argument from evil that focuses on the amount of natural evil, are sound. I also don’t find any of the arguments for theism convincing. There are a few other arguments for atheism that I find mildly convincing, however they’re not very important since they only shift me away from theism a tiny bit.

  14. 1. Reduce harm. Killing somebody causes quite a lot of harm, but if killing that person saves the life of 100 others then it is the right thing to do.

    2. There doesn’t have to be purpose, but if there has to be one, and it is my purpose in life, it is to have 2 children so that my genes are passed onto the next generation, and so on so on, son that my genes survive through the generations.

    3. Survival of the fittest is not a good moral system, as it causes a lot of harm to people, and it is not like evolution in that evolution is natural processes, where as eugenics is not natural, its intentional breeding.

    4. There are transitions all the way down the line, from an ape-like ancestor to modern humans.

    5. What the hell is that even supposed to mean? Its human nature for a man to have sexual relations with as many women as possible, to get his genes through the generations, but that doesn’t mean its the right thing to do, because we in this instance we now have morals which prevent it from happening. In religion, we have laws of logic and evidence which go against this human nature.

    6. I think you mean something from nothing, and yes it can happen. Read Lawrence Krauss’ book ‘can something come from nothing?’

    7. That doesn’t make it not true, but on the other side of the coin, the three worst dictators and killers of the last century, Adolf Hitler, Osama bin Laden & Joseph Kony, have all had obviously religious motivations. The best societies in homicide and stealing and other immoral things… are clearly secular countries, Sweden and Japan.

    8. I’m not worried about that, but if it did happen…
    I used to be Christian, and I said the sinners prayer, so my current doubts should be covered under the sin which is doubt, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gnQz32c5EA/ for an example.

    9. The burden of proof is on religion, to prove that god MUST or SHOULD exist under reasonable rules of logic and evidence.

    10. I don’t believe religious claims because the burden of proof is on religion, and there has been no proof, either logical, evidential or otherwise, to support the claims of religion. “When you understand why you reject all other religions, you’ll understand why I reject yours.” – Stephen Roberts.
    There is no evidence which supports the claims of religion.

  15. Christopher says:

    make it simple:

    1- Social Behavior. Morals are always relative, to country, culture, and the sacred book of CHOICE.
    2- Sadly, for Christians life without god is worthless. The purpose of life is to live.
    3- I am against discrimination and bulling, so I disagree with the called spiritual “supremacy” and the eternal destruction of the “weak of spirit”. I disagree on “the most powerful rules”
    4- Science is 98% sure of this, and more data is welcome. Evolution contradicts some sacred scriptures but not all gods.
    5- We are in nature: superstitious, emotionally attachable, afraid of death and transcendental. To date , Gods fills this needs for the majority and sells well.
    6- God came from nothing.
    7-these are small examples of theocracy: The worshiping of the leader and absolute authority. in some cases eternal authority (North Korea and their eternal dead president).
    8- I will openly disagree with his politics. I will not be afraid of freedom of speech, if i get unfair punishment i will still consider it unfair.
    9- When atheism state it is never wrong.
    When Christianity state it is not always right.
    10- Because Christians and bible are the best evidence against god.

  16. sleekvintage says:

    1. The morals of religion have always been based on the morals of humanity. NOT the other way around. We choose to live in communities and as such we have all over time constructed very similar laws for that society so that we can survive as a species and make progress. If you look into every religion, philosophy etc you will find there are certain “inalienable rights” that we all tend to agree upon without the need for any supernatural guidance. Even animals figured out how to survive as communities without worshiping anyone.

    2. Looking for purpose is pointless. You may as well ask “why” art exists. There doesn’t have to be a why. I’m am okay with this. It means bad things actually happen to good people. It means you can mourne a loss because it is permanent. It means we can learn from our mistakes as not to repeat them because all the blame (AND all the praise) belongs on our shoulders. That is a great thing and I am welcome to embracing the responsibility.

    3. I have no idea what you are talking about as I’m not some label fanatic who likes being part of a group. As for “survival of the fittest” that wasn’t Darwin. All he did was point out a pattern. OTHER people have built on and created their own theories since then. Unlike you religious folk, I don’t “follow” some outdated information from over a century ago. I follow modern science and my “beliefs” are constantly changing. What I hold true is that there is more we DON’T understand than what we do. But I am confident that without the shackles of religion, we will understand much more about ourselves and those things that surround us. As far as your loaded question goes, no I don’t think genocide is a good thing. But I also don’t think we should coddle the ignorant or the weak. Everyone can be encouraged to do their best without telling them they are limited and useless and “need” help.

    4. First off, you are wrong. We are not “descended from apes”. We share a common ancestor. Like a Protestant and Catholic both “evolved” from original Christians. And yet they both exist today. And there are plenty of “filler” fossils, all one needs to do is spend 5 minutes in any natural history museum and see them for yourself.. However every time one is found, creationists tend to ignore the new evidence and instead say there are two new holes. -_-

    5. Lol.. it is not “human nature” to do any ONE thing. It is common for SOME people to have imaginary friends or look for stories and purpose in life. Thus it makes it easier for those people to believe in things like fairy tales, Santa Claus and yes, god. The fact remains that those of us who are now atheists as adults were always inquisitive, curious children who never truly believed all the fairy tales fed to us by adults. We weren’t fighting “human nature” we were embracing our OWN personalities.

    6. No it doesn’t. And you are forgetting the second and third laws of thermodynamics. It is about balance, not “nothingness”. There is hardly enough time to try and explain the big bang theory here, but suffice to say that no it does not violate thermodynamics. Whereas supernatural intervention DOES violate thermodynamics.

    7. First off, you are extremely wrong and biased in who you choose to label as “atheist”. China and North Korea are hardly atheist. They are actually very religious people with a devout fear of supernatural demons, gods and karma. As for Stalin, he is one man, not a “society”. There are few historical records of “atheist societies” as they have been small and quickly persecuted by theists. If you’d like to see a more modern Atheist society then look at Denmark where last census recorded over 90% of the citizens claimed “Atheist or Agnostic”. The simple fact remains, most of the atrocities committed throughout humanity were committed in the name of religious belief, not belief in science. Galileo never burned down a church for disagreeing with him. Newton did not bomb embassies. However, it is Jews versus Muslims in the mideast and has been for thousands of years. It was prophets who enslaved other humans and force-converted them. Even the KKK and Mormons both hold only racist beliefs because their interpretation of the Bible tells them white is the original color and others are “abominations”. You won’t find many modern day atheists holding outdated, biased ideals about other humans.

    8. Lol.. this won’t happen. I will assume I am dreaming and just laugh and wait to wake up. I love how people ask this as if it matters. You may as well say “what if you won the lottery tomorrow from some country you never visited?!”

    9. You would have to find real proof (NOT anecdotal hearsay) of the supernatural and then prove that said violation of physics created the world and is still controlling the universe. But I haven’t seen anything even close to that outside of comic books and movies. Even “god” speaking to me himself would have to PROVE he’s not just some whack job branch dividian or Tom Cruise. lol

    10. I am an atheist because I find no need or proof of god in my life. Everything that happens to me is in my control and all the bad that has happened can be easily held accountable to humans and myself included. Therefore, once I realized WE have control, it gave me hope. That if more people would stop “letting go and letting god” then we could actually advance in science and human rights. I am an Atheist because that is the label society gave me for letting go of a fairy tale. But to me, god is just like Santa Clause or Tinkerbell. They served no real purpose in my life other than a tool used by adults to tell me stories. But I am an adult now. I have no need for the supernatural.

  17. Jobrag says:

    1 Morality comes from treating people in a way that conforms to your own self esteem, I don’t steal because I would feel bad about it, I do things in bed that many Christians would call immoral because I enjoy them and couldn’t give a dam about the sexual morality of a band of middle eastern nomads several thousand years ago. The morality of society keeps in check the behavior of those who don’t have the self esteem to act reasonably.
    I would add that the foundation of my morality is stronger then the foundation of a morality that says if you do wrong you go to Hell, but there is a get out clause if you are really really sorry.

    2 If there is any purpose to life it is to pass on its genes, why should life have a purpose?

    3 I wouldn’t, see one above.

    4 We are not ancestors or descendents from apes; both humans and apes are descendents from a common ancestor, as to lack of a fossil record if you went to a scrap yard and were shown 20% of two Ford Cortinas would you be able to distinguish between a Mk1 and Mk2?

    5 Who says that it’s human nature to believe in God? It is human nature to want to understand the universe and when it is inexplicable it is perhaps reasonable to invoke a God to explain it; I live in the world of the Hubble Telescope, The LHR, The Human Genome Project and COBE, I don’t need a Supreme Being to understand the universe.

    6 Same goes for God move on.

    7 All those it seems are close to any society that can’t tolerate dissent Spanish Inquisition, Albigensian Crusades or any fundamentalist Muslim Regime.

    8 I am what I am I’ve tried to live my life to my own standards.

    9 A thunderbolt destroying The Vatican accompanied by a voice booming “You have taken my name in vain”.

    10 How can I reject God when (S)He doesn’t exist. I’m an atheist because of 5 above, because as I type this there are children in Africa going blind because a parasitic worm is boring into their eyeball, and I cannot believe that a benevolent God would allow that.

    • Robert says:

      You’re wrong about humans not being descended from apes (and this goes for sleekvintage as well). We are apes, we are descended from apes, and we share a common ancestor with other apes. See my answer to question 4 earlier: Members of a monophyletic clade never stop being members of that clade, regardless of any evolutionary changes.. Everything in the superfamily Hominoidea, including the common ancestors of the extant species, are apes.

      If you’re going to criticize religious people for not understanding evolution,
      at least understand it yourself.

      • lol…. I actually agree with that

      • Jobrag says:

        What has the minutae of taxanomic phraseology got to do with a broad understanding of evolution? Assuming that it was a lone single celled organism that got lucky you might as well say that all living things are in a monophyetic clade.

      • Robert says:

        It’s relevant because “we are not descended from apes” is a misunderstanding of common descent. You may have heard the quote “nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution”. Here’s another one for you: nothing in evolution makes sense except in the light of cladistics.

        And, all living things *are* in a monophyletic clade. It’s called “life”.

      • sleekvintage says:

        So it’s a semantics debate now? Our labels do not precede nor change the MEANING of the question which I answered. And said question was loaded with the idea that the creatures we are descended from still exist today by simply labeling them as “apes”. THIS is the fallacy. We do not descend from the same genus of “ape” walking about today. Rather we and they are both mutations from a common strain dating back thousands of years. If you want to get all label happy about it, then we are all Pangeans in nationality and merely single-celled bacteria. But of course, you know this isn’t true any more than all Catholics today would appreciate being called Pagans just because it’s what their ancestors used to be called.

  18. drgfunk says:

    1) “If there is NO God, then their is no Measurement or Standard for morality? Then what will define morality?”

    I don’t know.

    2) “If there is NO God, then there is NO meaning or purpose to Life; So not everything meaningless since there is no God? So what will the purpose of living? Without God, does the Atheist have purpose?”

    Which God are you talking about? Not all Gods concepts offer up a purpose for live. An atheists purpose is the same as everyone else’s: we make it up as we go along. How would a theist who believes in an afterlife have any more purpose? What is the purpose of the afterlife? And so on and so on…

    3) “Are you an advocate of New Atheism and Darwinism? If so then the most extreme and logical form of Darwinism is Eugenics, Survival of the fittest. Would you support this? Why or Why Not?”

    Neither.

    4) “If we are ancesoters/descentdents of Apes, then why are there no transitional fossils or species to support this theory?”

    We are all transitional fossils. Homo-sapiens are not the final product of evolution.

    5) “Do you believe in Human Nature? It is Human Nature to believe in God, if so, why do you go against human nature and not believe in God?”

    As we exist in nature, everything we do is natural for a human todo. How could it be otherwise?

    6) “Can Nothing come from Something? Doesn’t that violate The First Law of Thermodynamics?”

    I don’t know.

    7) “It seems that a society of Atheist are immoral and self-destructing. Why would anyone want a Godless Society, just look at our examples, North Korea, Maoist China, Stalin, & Pot Pol?”

    As far as I know we all live in Godless societies and have no choice in the matter.

    8) “If you were to die, and you were before God. And he was getting ready to pass judgement on you, What would be your reaction or thoughts? What plea would you give him so he does not judge you harshly?”

    I don’t care about any gods judgement.

    9) “What would convince you atheism is wrong? And that Christianity is Right?”

    Nothing. The entire premiss of Christianity is false. Evolution proves that humans were not created by a God therefor there was no “fall of man” or original sin rendering Jesus unnecessary.

    10) “Why are you an Atheist? Why do you NOT believe in God? Why do you reject God?”

    Lack of evidence and a coherent god theory suggest that no god or gods exist.

  19. kevinbbg says:

    1. If there is NO God, then their is no Measurement or Standard for morality?  Then what will define morality?
    “There is no…” If you are going to write a blog learn grammar. We humans have been defining morality for thousands of years in thousands of different places and societies, I don’t see what your problem is with this. The bible mirrors human morality, not the other way around, and that morality continually changes. For instance, a disobedient child is supposed to be stoned to death by the whole community but not even those who claim the bible is without flaw would do that because they’d be arrested and spend the rest of their lives in jail, because the morality of the bible is outdated.
    2. If there is NO God, then there is NO meaning or purpose to Life;  So not everything meaningless since there is no God?  So what will the purpose of living?  Without God, does the Atheist have purpose?
    No, there is no purpose or meaning to life, learn to live with it, it can be very liberating. We survive even without meaning because our ancestors who fought for survival no matter what were the ones most likely to pass on their genes. But you can learn to have fun occasionally if you try. But if there was a god ALL purpose would be his, not ours. Without a god I would be free to find or create my own purpose, with a god I would have no purpose at all, it would all be God’s Purpose.
    3. Are you an advocate of New Atheism and Darwinism?  If so then the most extreme and logical form of Darwinism is Eugenics, Survival of the fittest.  Would you support this?  Why or Why Not?
    Darwinism is a creation of Christians who don’t know what they are talking about, which means it doesn’t really exist. Survival of the fittest doesn’t exist either, except in the minds of Christians and the ignorant. What the Theory of Evolution speaks to is adaptation of a species to the environment, so there is no getting better and better or creating a super race, evolution is not about that, it is about surviving a specific environment. Move a species to a different environment that they aren’t adapted for and the whole “fittest” nonsense goes out the window. Eugenics was created by racists as a justification for their racism and also has nothing to do with the Theory of Evolution.
    4. If we are ancesoters/descentdents of Apes, then why are there no transitional fossils or species to support this theory?
    ALL fossils are transitional fossils.
    5. Do you believe in Human Nature?  It is Human Nature to believe in God, if so, why do you go against human nature and not believe in God?
    It’s human nature to go to war, too, but I don’t do that either. It was once human nature to have slaves, even the bible says it’s OK and prescribes how to treat them, but society has improved on that.
    6. Can Nothing come from Something?  Doesn’t that violate The First Law of Thermodynamics?
    I have no idea – has something come from nothing? I must have missed that.
    7. It seems that a society of Atheist are immoral and self-destructing.  Why would anyone want a Godless Society, just look at our examples, North Korea, Maoist China, Stalin, & Pot Pol?
    Those were societies with the ideology of Communism replacing the ideology of religion because the dictators who ran them didn’t want any competition for the hearts and minds of the masses. And considering that these “Atheist” societies only existed for around a hundred years means they don’t hold a candle to 2,000 years of Christian atrocities. Spanish Inquisition, anyone?
    8. If you were to die, and you were before God.  And he was getting ready to pass judgement on you,  What would be your reaction or thoughts?  What plea would you give him so he does not judge you harshly?
    I’m always amazed how Christians seem to fail to understand their own god. He would already know everything I ever did or thought over my entire life and why I did or thought them, there would be no point of saying anything. My entire life would be my statement and parts of it have been quite excellent, I’m ashamed of none of it. I did the best I could with what I had and it would be more than enough for any god that wasn’t insane or deliberately cruel, which leaves out the Christian god.
    9. What would convince you atheism is wrong?  And that Christianity is Right?
    Nothing can convince me of something so absurd, the Christian god isn’t possible. Other, more generic forms of god might be possible – but I will still lack belief until they are proven – but the Christian god isn’t even a little bit possible.
    10. Why are you an Atheist?  Why do you NOT believe in God?  Why do you reject God?  (You can be as detailed as you want.)
    I am an atheist because there is no proof of a god, I don’t believe in fairy tales. Every god-concept I’ve ever heard of is self-contradictory and can’t possibly be true or is clearly a human invention, not many believe in Thor anymore. The very idea that faith is required is proof there is no god. Something that is real does not require faith to believe, it is self-evident. The fact that this is still a debate after 5,000 years of human history is very telling, why have we gotten no closer to solving this thing in that entire time? If something is true the more we look for it the more evidence we accumulate yet we have no more proof of god than we ever had and have more religions than ever before, and sub-groups within religions because they can’t even agree with themselves.

    • Robert says:

      Regarding your answer to question 9, did you really just admit that your belief that Christianity is false is unfalsifiable?

      • kevinbbg says:

        No, I was saying it is quite easily falsifiable.

      • Robert says:

        You said “Nothing can convince me of something so absurd, the Christian god isn’t possible.” So, how would you falsify “The Christian God does not exist”? And if there is a way to falsify this, then how can you say that nothing would convince you that the Christian God exists?

      • kevinbbg says:

        “The Christian god does not exist” IS the falsification, not a statement that needs falsifying unless you think it’s turtles all the way down. There are clear definitions of the Christian god that are logically impossible, the myth doesn’t hold up under it’s own weight which means proven false. The only way to change that is to change the definitions of of the guy, at which point he would no longer be the christian god.

      • ubi dubium says:

        I have an example of this. In the bible, I find the following three statements:
        God is jealous
        God is love
        Love is not jealous.
        (This is only one contradiction among many)
        So if you define the christian god as biblegod, that is, god as specifically defined in the bible, then that god is self-contradictory and so cannot exist. There could still possibly be some kind of a god, and it could be one that matches some but not all of the descriptions in the bible, but that would not be exactly the “christian god”. (At least not the “fundamentalist christian god”.)

      • Robert says:

        @ubi dubium: that’s equivocation. “God is love” doesn’t mean that God is an emotion. It’s a metaphor.

        @kevinbbg: “The Christian god does not exist” is a positive claim. Even if its truth serves as the falsification of some other, related claim, it still needs its own falsification. If you simply assume that it’s true then you’re no better off than extreme fundamentalist Christians.

        As for definitions, there are debates within Christianity and theism in general over the scope of omnipotence, the nature of omniscience, etc. I don’t see how modifying these to account for, let’s say, future contingent propositions makes the god in question incompatible with Christianity.

      • kevinbbg says:

        That the Christian god does not exist is the conclusion based on evidence and logic, it IS the falsification. When you say it has to be falsified you are then saying that THAT statement would also have to be falsified etc. etc. etc. and it’s turtles all the way down. It is not a belief like Christianity. Do you need to falsify the statement “There is no Santa Claus”?

        And as for modifying the god-concept, I always find that hilarious. Since when did making things up to suit yourself (or to fix logica flaws) become acceptable? The fact that everyone makes up the god they like best is part of what falsifies the entire concept – no one knows what this guy is.

      • Robert says:

        “That the Christian god does not exist is the conclusion based on evidence and logic”

        That’s fine. But obviously conclusions can be wrong. What if you’ve misinterpreted the evidence, or overlooked an argument somewhere? The point is that you need some way to check your conclusions for accuracy.

        “When you say it has to be falsified you are then saying that THAT statement would also have to be falsified etc. etc. etc. and it’s turtles all the way down.”

        No I’m not. There are some core beliefs that can’t be falsified, but we have to assume they’re true in order to get anything done. “The external world exists” is a good example. Unfortunately for you, “Christianity is false” and “The Christian God does not exist” are not among these.

        “Do you need to falsify the statement “There is no Santa Claus”?”

        Yes. Assuming that santa doesn’t exist is just as bad as assuming that he does.

        “Since when did making things up to suit yourself (or to fix logica flaws) become acceptable?”

        That’s not what’s going on; theists are simply modifying their theory, so to speak, to account for advancements in philosophy. Science does this too; are you going to criticize that as well?

        “The fact that everyone makes up the god they like best is part of what falsifies the entire concept – no one knows what this guy is.”

        That’s a genetic fallacy; the origin of the proposition doesn’t make it false.

      • kevinbbg says:

        I’ve checked all the evidence very carefully and been very careful for accuracy, it’s done and finished and will remain so until you can present new evidence.

        The idea that the statement “There is no Santa Claus” needs to be falsified is beyond absurd. Do you check to make sure there is ground beneath you with every step you take? It must take you forever to get anywhere.

        And yes, theists continue to make it up as they go along. When scientists look at things it’s because they have a new experiment to try or have new evidence, and then they can reach a new conclusion based on the results. When it comes to describing god there is nothing anchoring it except the bible and that contradicts itself so no true description is even possible. When they come up with something new it is entirely made up, there is no evidence, no equations, no experiments to do. To compare religious debate to science is beyond ridiculous and I’m done with this argument.

      • Robert says:

        Two final points to make, I guess:
        1) kevinbbg doesn’t understand philosophy or theology.
        2) ” I’m leaving” is not a valid argument.

      • ignorantianescia says:

        Hello Robert,

        Do you think it’s correct to say that an unfalsifiable (and unverified) belief in Christianity’s falsehood would be a type of fideism?

      • Robert says:

        ignorantianescia,

        I’d say that it can be, but generally is not. Fideism includes the explicit denial of reason in favor of “blind faith” by itself. The people who hold “Christianity is false” as both true and unverifiable/unfalsifiable are most often simply being irrational, or basing it on a misunderstanding of epistemology.

      • That actually looks like sound logic….

        God is jealous
        God is love
        Love is not jealous

        that looks like a sound syllogism to me, with sound logic, I never thought of it that way. However, God is a personality, u can’t really apply fundamentalist logic like that becuase God has a round personality not a flat personality.

    • Simple Theologian says:

      @ubi dubium and @thebiblereader.

      God is jealous
      God is love
      Love is not jealous

      While this apparently seems sound logically and provides a contradiction in the attributes of God…we must take a closer look because we must consider that our current definition/understanding of the word may not be the same as the original meaning. Words change meaning or have different meanings depending on situations.

      We don’t even have to consider them as metaphors as @Robert points out.

      Our understanding of the word jealous is often limited to an emotion as is love. But each has a deeper definition. Dictionary.com defines jealousy in 4 ways one being “vigilance in maintaining or guarding something.” I believe this to be an accurate definition in the jealous attribute of God. God’s jealousy=his vigilance in maintain or guarding humanity/creation.

      The English word “love” also has many definitions. When a Christian refers to God is Love, the word being used is the Greek word agape…this is a sacrificial love it gives without expectation of receiving anything in return.

      This shows that there is no contradiction in regards to God being jealous and love…it is only a contradiction if you use a wrong definition.

      One could say that love (greek word eros) can be quite jealous. Emotional love can very well lead to emotional jealousy. So Love is jealous.

      Sacrificial selfless love can lead to vigilance in maintaining or guarding something. Which we can again conclude that Love is jealous.

      • Simple Theologian says:

        I re-read and noticed the part about the bible verse that states that “Love is not jealous”

        This comes from 1 Corinthians 13. Love (agape) is not jealous (envious/resentment).

        Again, not a contradiction. Since the OT is originally in Hebrew and the NT (source documents) are originally in Greek, the use of lexical aids or study bibles are almost a must when using an English translated bible.

  20. ignorantianescia says:

    Another general comment, on question 7, from a eurofag: Scandinavian countries are overall not as godless as they are made out to be, Sweden has the highest proportion of atheists but still no majority, Denmark comes next, while Norway is actually quite religious compared to other West-European countries. The most atheist countries in Europe are France and the Czech Republic.

    And the worst killers of the previous century were arguably Mao, Stalin and Hitler, of whom only Hitler was religious (though not a practising Roman Catholic).

  21. Harvey says:

    By now, after reading many thoughtful responses to your (loaded) questionaire, most of which agree with each other on salient issues, have you had any thoughts or insights that you did not have when you posed these (standard theistic arguments) questions?
    It would encourage some of us no end to have finally encountered an open-minded (at least a little bit) theist who had sufficient strength of belief that he/she could withstand the possibility that we might present thought-provoking answers to these (talking points/arguments/apologistics) questions.

    • I was already open-minded about the questions and answers before i even posted the questions.

      • Harvey says:

        My only point is that these are standard “talking point” questions, often recommended to Theists to enable them to engage atheists, while setting up strawman assumptions. Atheists see no credible evidence for the existance of any god, let alone the Abrahamic one. As a result, all of these “questions” are intended to put us in the position of defending belief, rather than a simple lack thereof. In many cases, it appears to me that Believers simply cannot accept that someone could be happy. productive, caring about his/her fellow man, etc, absent belief in “something”. Atheism is not a substitute for religion; it is the absence of one for those of us who do not have a “God-shaped” void in our psyches.

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  23. 5ecular4umanist says:

    Before I give my answers, let me say that these are straight from my own head, based on my own secular humanist atheist views, with no immediate reference to sources. I am not a scientist, so don’t quote me as such.

    1. Humans are not the only animals that express moral values, although we perhaps have the most obvious moral behaviours. Moral behaviour has been demonstrated in other animals, including elephants, mice and chimpanzees.

    2. As an atheist, I find meaning in life through my relationships with other people and in doing my bit to make the world a better place.

    3. I don’t recognise the terms “New Atheism” or “Darwinism”. The former seems to be a term used frequently to stress a kind of aggressive secular atheist movement. The latter is used by Creationists trying to present the science of biological evolution by natural selection as some kind of “belief system”.

    As for the eugenics charge, no, this is not the “logical” result of evolution. Eugenics involves the artifical selection of mating partners.

    4. There *are* transitional fossils. Fossils are not the only evidence for humans’ shared ancestry with other species of ape. DNA sequencing, in particular, demonstrates that this is true, reflecting the same tree of life as has been produced by study of fossils, comparative anatomy and geographical distribution of species.

    5. We are animals and have innate instincts. As children, we trust and learn from the teachings of our parents and other elders. This evolved behaviour protects us from danger but also means religious belief can be instilled at an early age.

    Without that indoctrination, belief in god does not naturally occur. Through education and rational thinking, those who were indoctrinated see the falsity of those religous beliefs.

    6. Science does not have definite answers for the origin of the universe, but that does not mean “God did it”. In recent centuries, the religious interpretation of reality has had to change time and time again, as scientific discovery has shown earlier beliefs to be incorrect.

    7. This question makes a false link between selected ideologies and apparent atheist beliefs. There are plenty of examples of religious wars and atoricities in history, not least the Catholic underpinning of the Nazi Germans.

    8. If there is an afterlife and a god to judge me, it would not be the god of the Bible, the Quran or any other man-made religion. Such a god is unlikely to judge followers of such religions any differently from non-believers. In fact, perhaps the non-believers would be viewed as more deserving of good treatment, given their honest efforts to see the true nature of the universe.

    9. To believe in a god I would require undeniable evidence of such a diety.
    To believe that “Christianity is right” would require a lot of additonal evidence to support the stories of the Bible. Given the contradictions in the Bible, I doubt this is possible.

    10. Firstly, look around the world. There are thousands of religions, each claiming to be the one true faith. Do you really think that your particular brand of religion is the right one. It is far more likely that all religions are wrong.

    Secondly, there is no evidence to justify religious belief. The Bible is a cobbled-together collection of parables and myths written by men over a period of centuries, with no historical evidence to support any of it.

    Thirdly, religious belief is, on balance, harmful to human society and the planet as a whole. The myth that we are made in a god’s image lends power to those who wnat to control other people, and gives them a sense of justification for exploiting and destroying the natural resources of the world.

    There is more than enough natural beauty and mystery in the universe to keep us occupied and enthralled. We don’t need the simplistic fairy tales of religion.

  24. Pingback: The Atheist Challenge « 5ecular4umanist

  25. Paul Manocchio says:

    1. If there is NO God, then their is no Measurement or Standard for morality? Then what will define morality? Society defines morality. As a collective body we conclude what is best for survival, and what best will make our stay in our own time a pleasant one. All living creatures find these conclusions and live by them.
    2. If there is NO God, then there is NO meaning or purpose to Life; So not everything meaningless since there is no God? So what will the purpose of living? Without God, does the Atheist have purpose? The is no meaning of life whether or not you believe in god. The purpose a believer supports is the same as an atheist. The purpose of life by any definition is man made. Your born, you live, you die. Whatever happens in between can only be defined by the individuals you knew; in an individual capacity.
    3. Are you an advocate of New Atheism and Darwinism? If so then the most extreme and logical form of Darwinism is Eugenics, Survival of the fittest. Would you support this? Why or Why Not?
    First, Darwin never used the term “Survival of the Fittest.” Evolution occurs as a result of natural selection.
    4. If we are ancesoters/descentdents of Apes, then why are there no transitional fossils or species to support this theory? It archeological study the fossils that remain and are found a minute scattering of bones left behind during epoch where animal eat dead animal and little if anything was left behind. Some creationist will argue, why it is we do not see transitional animal today. There are plenty of transitional animals, Ostrich (bird that can’t fly), lung fish, (breathes with lungs instead of gills), platypus (mammal that lays eggs) Penguin (bird that not only doesn/t fly it swims. Kiwis (birds that don’t fly).
    5. Do you believe in Human Nature? It is Human Nature to believe in God, if so, why do you go against human nature and not believe in God? Human nature is genetic and has nothing to do with god.
    6. Can Nothing come from Something? Doesn’t that violate The First Law of Thermodynamics? There has always been something. The need to believe that there was nothing is a lack of understanding of how large the universe is and how many there are. Plus there are more pressing issues that what happened almost 14 billion years ago.
    7. It seems that a society of Atheist are immoral and self-destructing. Why would anyone want a Godless Society, just look at our examples, North Korea, Maoist China, Stalin, & Pot Pol? There are bad people and bad leaders from every walk of life,
    8. If you were to die, and you were before God. And he was getting ready to pass judgement on you, What would be your reaction or thoughts? What plea would you give him so he does not judge you harshly? If there is a god and I have been wrong, I believe if he was a smart spirit he will understand my skepticism. If I am wrong and there is a god and he is vengeful, jealous and a violent tyrant as he is depicted in the Old Testament, I would punch him in the mouth for sentencing so many to life of cruel and unusual punishment.
    9. What would convince you atheism is wrong? And that Christianity is Right? Physical scientifically tested proof.
    10. Why are you an Atheist? Why do you NOT believe in God? Why do you reject God? (You can be as detailed as you want.) Because there is no proof of a supernatural being who who determines fate and passes judgment. Thus I will not live by the tenants of an ancient numerously translated plagiarized book of myths.

    • Robert says:

      “First, Darwin never used the term “Survival of the Fittest.” ”

      Yes he did. From the 5th edition of Origin, page 92: “This preservation of favourable variations, and the destruction of injurious variations, I call Natural Selection, or the Survival of the Fittest.” Check for yourself if you don’t believe me: http://darwin-online.org.uk/content/frameset?viewtype=side&itemID=F387&pageseq=121 (and the phrase is in the 6th edition too, by the way).

      What really bothers me is that I found this in about 30 seconds. I googled “darwin survival of the fittest”, and found the Wikipedia page for the phrase. Then I just clicked a citation in the third paragraph down, and there it was. Whatever happened to fact checking? :(

      On a more general note, I find myself disappointed with the answers of many of my fellow atheists here. Is there really a reason to be so hostile toward religion? What’s the point in referring to the bible as a fairy tale, saying you would punch God in the mouth, or calling religion “bullshit”? Can’t you just respectfully answer a set of questions that, while they may have been a bit misinformed, were asked in good faith?

      • ubi dubium says:

        In a way, I understand some of the hostility. Some atheists are upset at the amount of time and energy and money they spent on religion, the amount of guilt that was dumped on them, the amount of abuse they had to endure. Now that they’ve left religion, they are still living in a society that pummels them with constant preaching, dire warnings, and outright threats, and they are still enduring abuse and social ostracism. Some of this is often coming from close family members and former friends. And we see the real harm that religion is doing to people every day, and we see the unearned privilege that religion claims. It’s no wonder that some of us are lashing out. I don’t think it’s always the best strategy for changing minds, but the anger is real. I’d recommend Greta Christina’s wonderful talk on “Why are you atheists so angry?” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUI_ML1qkQE)

        I can also see it as a reaction to these particular sorts of questions. Our blogger seems to be asking these questions with an honest interest in what our answers are, which is refreshing. But this sort of question is so often thrown at us as a “gotcha!” question. The Fundie preachers who spout these things all the time don’t care what our answers are. They are using it to solidify their hold on their own flock, by throwing out one of these as if it’s something that should change an unbeliever’s mind on the spot, essentially saying, “Look, those unbelievers can’t answer that can they? So therefore we are so righteous in thinking what we think!” Ken Ham and Kent Hovind and their lot do this all the time, and it’s really annoying to see their flock just buy into it. So when we see these questions AGAIN (because we see them a lot), some of us tend to react badly.

      • sleekvintage says:

        Calling religion a fairytale is fair, imo. After all, is it really any different than other stories devised to teach a moral lesson and instill fear? And the reason we say things like “Darwin is not responsible for “survival of the fittest” is not a QUOTING issue, it’s the idea being pushed that he is responsible for “inventing” eugenics. When in reality is was racists who READ Darwin and created their own interpretations from the information. It would be like me saying Jesus is evil because some of his readers misused the Bible to own slaves, commit murders, rape women, etc etc Misplaced blame should be corrected, THAT is why we are constantly trying to make people understand that Darwin was just a scientist who wrote an outdated book over 100 years ago. It is what has been DONE with evolution science since that truly matters. Unfortunately, most theists are following even older, more outdated “knowledge” and cannot understand why we don’t “worship Darwin”.

  26. Paul Manocchio says:

    I stand corrected about Darwin using the phrase, ‘survival of the fittest.’ Thank you. About being hostile towards religion, I will never back down. The faithful have been rude, distructive and mean to me. I will not recount the many episodes, only to say that the victims of similar intolerance stain the past and present of those who worship something that is without proof or evidence.
    I am not an Atheist, I am an Anti-Theist. I am convinced by the history of the church, that this world would have flourished beyond today’s standards with out religion.

    • Harvey says:

      Paul:
      We are herein somewhat confusing anti-theism with anti religion. At least here in the USA, our Constitution pays lip service to freedom of religion, but also implies freedom from religion. In other words, I,for one, have no problem with whatever anyone chooses to believe or to worship, for that matter, as long as they do not seekto impose any of those beliefs or observances upon the rest of humanity against our will, particularly in otherwise secular or public settings. Belief is harmless, providing its observance does not impinge upon others.

    • Robert says:

      Here is a list of some social groups:

      Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Deists, Atheists, Agnostics, White People, Black People, Asian People, Spanish People, Men, Women, Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Anarchists, Heterosexuals, Homosexuals, Bisexuals, Asexuals, Transgender People, Young People, Middle Aged People, Elderly People.

      Now some observations:

      1) Every one of these groups contains a few members who have been rude, destructive, and mean to me.
      2) Every one of these groups also contains a few members who have been polite, supporting, and kind to me.
      3) The vast majority of the members of every one of these groups are not aware of my existence, and thus are completely neutral toward me.

      Paul, do you know what you’re doing when, in response to a few of “the faithful” acting toward you negatively, you rail against the entire group? You’re stereotyping.

  27. Hoover says:

    You use “their” instead of “there” in your first question. Why would anyone want to read past that one blatant error. Typical sloppy theist illiterate.

    • I stand by the grammar of my question?

      I’ll be waiting for your answer.

    • Robert says:

      The intention of the question in nonetheless clear. This isn’t a good reason not to answer. Stop being such a grammar nazi, it just makes you look arrogant.

      • its somewhat ironic, prior to this post, I never encountered any hostile or angry atheist, but this post has seem to set some on fire…or maybe the fire was already there, they just wanted to vent some of it on whoever or whatever

      • Nate says:

        I’m not even sure that calling you a theist is even all that accurate at this point. I guess some of these guys haven’t checked out any of your other posts?

      • lol…in name i still consider myself a christian, but in belief…ur probably correct. I find myself more and more disinterested in the typical christian sermon…In fact I caught myself rolling my eyeballs (to what I felt what was rubbish) on I think was youtube or moody radio. I can’t remember exactly what i was listening too, but the feeling of wanting to listen to something else.

      • Robert says:

        @thebiblereader:

        Unfortunately, you should probably get used to it. These kind of atheists are more and more prevalent on the internet these days. They’re the fundamentalists of atheism, and make the rest of us look bad.

      • thanks robert,

        no harm no fowl..I realized a while ago, that there were rude atheist, just like there are rude christians. It’s just that prior to this blog post, all the atheist that visited this blog were extremely courteous.

        And the ironic thing about this…is that the post after this is the Christian-Theist Challenge, with 10 challenging questions which I think present bigger obstacles to the believer.

      • Simple Theologian says:

        @Robert Re:@thebiblereader

        Thank you for being an atheist that understands there are fundamental atheists out there. So often when I try explaining it to them the simply don’t understand…I guess that is the nature of fundamentalism???

        I would also like to admit that theists can fall victim to fundamentalism as well.

        Is it safe to assume that there is a spectrum from fundamentalist atheist to fundamentalist theist and everyone falls somewhere in that spectrum?

  28. 1. Well, I think you are wrong to say that there cannot be a moral standard without a deity. In fact, I see it the exact opposite way; with a God, there can be no moral standard since morality would become God’s whim and anything would be permissible as long as you believe that your God commanded it. Morality is about our sense of empathy and compassion. The measurement of a moral proposition is grounded in human wellbeing (both societally and individually). For more on this, see my Atheism 101 article: Is there moral grounding without God? – http://exm.nr/K9QQtZ

    2. Again, I think you are projecting your opinion into the question. I don’t think you are asking the question honestly. But I want to answer it anyway. Why bother going to see a movie if you know that the movie will be over in two hours? What is the purpose in going? Life is like a movie. The purpose comes in experiencing it, not in dwelling on the fact that it will end. Also, by pretending that the movie will never end and sitting there watching a blank screen after the two hours are up, you are missing out on other movies and wasting what little time you have to live life. For more on this, see my Atheism 101 article: The Purpose of Life. – http://exm.nr/Nj7Jo1

    3. Again, you are projection your opinion into the question and this is dishonest. If you genuinely care about the answer, then you should ask the question honestly. “New Atheism” isn’t new. I have been a vocal atheist long before the media started labeling people “New Atheists.” This label is simply a way to discount atheist criticisms of religion by implying that it is just a fad.

    “Darwinism” is a similar type label invented by Christians to try to equate science with religion. Evolution is not a faith based belief; it is a science based observation of the facts. Evolutions isn’t about the survival of the fittest, it is about the survival of the best able to adapt. It isn’t a prescription, it is a description.

    Are you a Newtonist? Because if you believe in gravity, then you most realize that the most extreme and logical form of Newtonism is throwing babies out a window, right? Obviously, your argument is invalid. Just because something is a certain way doesn’t mean that it ought to be a certain way. Just because people do evolve doesn’t mean that we have to kill those who we believe to be inferior.

    Throwing eugenics into the conversation is simply an attempt to avoid dealing with reality. It amounts to an ad hominem attack.

    4. The fact is that we aren’t descendants of apes, we ARE apes! All fossils are transitional fossils. Now here is a question for you. If Christianity came from Judaism, why are there still Jews? Where are the transitional deities?

    5. Again, you are injecting your opinions into the question. Belief in deities is not human nature. Human nature is trying to make sense of the world. When people were ignorant sheep herders, deities were the best explanation people could come up with to explain the world around them. Now we have science and it worlds much better. We know now that gods don’t cause droughts because someone in the village offended them. Curiosity and learning are also human nature, so why do you go against human nature by refusing to learn about the world around you?

    6. As Dr. Lawrence Krauss explains in his book, “A Universe From Nothing,” nothing is the only thing that something can come from. The First Law of Thermodynamics deals with closed systems. We have no evidence that the Universe is or was a closed system. In fact, the evidence provided by Dr. Krauss suggests that the Universe is not a closed system since quantum particles are created out of nothing all the time. But while we are on the subject, doesn’t God violate the First Law of Thermodynamics?

    7. First, you are mixing your countries with your dictators. In North Korea, they worship a God and his name is Kim Jong Un. The other nations and dictators you named are similar. There is also the issue that atheism isn’t a doctrine of belief. It is simply the lack of a belief in deities. So even if those dictators were atheists, it doesn’t reflect on me at all. On the other hand, Hitler was a Catholic and it goes without saying that Joseph Kony is a Christian. So where does that leave you? I should also point out that there are other atheistic nations in the world like Denmark, the Netherlands, and Sweden which all rank much higher than America on the quality of life markers. I’m with them. ;-)

    8. Well, that is a pretty far-fetched hypothetical. Let me ask you the same question. What if you were to die and were before Allah and he was getting ready to pass judgment on you? For me, I wouldn’t plead with any deities (mainly because it is doubtful any deities actually exist in reality). If it is the God of the Bible, then I would fight against such evil tyranny with my last undead breath. Any deity who demands worship and threatens those who refuse with eternal torture doesn’t deserve worship. You might as well ask if Hitler were God, how would you plead with him so he does not judge you harshly.

    9. I don’t know, but I know who might know… your all-knowing God. If your God does exist, then he would know exactly what would convince me of his existence and if he wanted to convince me, he would have. He certainly wouldn’t need you to do his dirty work for him… unless he is a pretty impotent deity. Maybe your God is just an incompetent buffoon. One thing is certain and that is that if your God does exist, he knows how to convince me and hasn’t. So the fault of my atheism doesn’t lie with me, but with him.

    10. The simple answer is that the God of the Bible is ridiculous. I grew up believing in such a deity, but after reading the Bible cover-to-cover, I realized just how silly the stories were and how petty and evil the character of God was. When I started learning about the world around me (i.e. science and history) it became clear that the Bible is a fictional book. Other deities just haven’t convinced me of their existence either, so I’m not just picking on Christianity. I was like you once, believing ancient stories were real no matter how ridiculous and nonsensical they might be. But somewhere in my heart of hearts and my brain of brains, I knew something was off. I had doubts. I was told that doubting was evil so I kept my doubts hidden from the world and even tried to fool myself into thinking that I was absolutely certain of my beliefs. But how can any of us really be certain of anything? You belief that humans are flawed right from the start, so how can you be certain of anything when you know you are flawed?

    • Robert says:

      “The fact is that we aren’t descendants of apes, we ARE apes!”

      See my comment on this earlier in the thread: http://bittersweetend.wordpress.com/2012/05/28/the-atheist-challenge/#comment-785

    • Robert says:

      Just want to add a comment about this statement too: ““Darwinism” is a similar type label invented by Christians to try to equate science with religion.”

      Dawkins, R. (1976). “Universal Darwinism”. In Bendall, D.S.. Evolution from Molecules to Men. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 403–425.

      Yeah, that’s a citation for a paper written by Richard Dawkins. Look it up. A paper which uses the term “Darwinism” in the title. Is Dawkins, the man with a science fetish, the man who rips on religion every chance he gets, trying to equate science with religion?

      • ubi dubium says:

        “Universal Darwinism” is certainly not a religion. Wikipedia defines it like this:

        “The idea is to formulate a generalized version of the mechanisms of variation, selection and heredity proposed by Charles Darwin, so that they can be applied to explain evolution in a wide variety of other domains, including psychology, economics, culture, medicine, computer science and physics.”

        I don’t see anything in this about believing in supernatural beings without evidence. This is just expanding a powerful and useful idea from one field of science into other fields.

      • ignorantianescia says:

        @ubi

        When you put it like that, it sounds awfully like the laws of history and other stuff that have plagued society in the past. Considering that Darwinism depends on individuals producing offspring with variance in traits (by some non-experts directly linked to genes), then competition in traits and reinforcement of some “victorious” traits, you’d wonder how that could possibly apply in psychology, culture or physics (aside biophysics, of course).

    • ignorantianescia says:

      “I should also point out that there are other atheistic nations in the world like Denmark, the Netherlands, and Sweden which all rank much higher than America on the quality of life markers.”

      ???

      Quantitative research has indicated that if the population is divided into atheists, agnostics, spirituals and theists, atheists are the smallest demographic of them all.

      • ubi dubium says:

        Self-identified “atheists” are often a small minority. But in these countries, a much larger segment of the population identifies as “not religious” than in the US. And that’s the goal, really. There’s no need to identify as “atheist” if nobody else in your society cares anything about religion either. I’d love it if religion was such a non-issue in the world that I didn’t have to concern myself with it.

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  30. I think it is unfair to pose such poorly thought out and poorly written questions and ask for “thoughtful” responses when you didn’t make much of an effort yourself. You are setting a rhetorical trap. I explain, and provide some answers here. I appreciate that you are engaging in a dialogue with atheists, but I would also appreciate a bit more effort on your part to come into it with a better understanding of atheists’ positions.

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  32. i’ve not read any of the above answers so i apologise if there are repeats here.

    also i’d like to start this out by saying i’m accepting your questions as hypotheticals as you have not defined what a god is – i am using your argument from ignorance in order to play this game but in referring to god in my replies i am not by any means accepting that such things exist.

    1. If there is NO God, then their is no Measurement or Standard for morality? Then what will define morality?

    you have started here with a mixed question and statement? You have added your opinion instead of asking a straight question.

    if your questions is “if there is no god then what will define morality?” i would say that morality itself is defined by the individual. what i find moral may not be the same as the person sitting next to me. the standard Murder/Rape things that arise are in fact Crimes rather than immoral acts, in that the person who committed them felt them to comply with their own moral code at the time. MOST of us know that killing someone is a bad thing, simply through learned response and empathy! but there really are people on this planet who would consider murder “moral”

    2. If there is NO God, then there is NO meaning or purpose to Life; So not everything meaningless since there is no God? So what will the purpose of living? Without God, does the Atheist have purpose?

    Again your telling me YOUR opinion within your question? … very strange angle to this “challenge” and this is the saddest thing i have ever read. It makes my heart hurt to think that you don’t appreciate fully the one life your parents gave you. My purpose in life is to enjoy it! simple as that. i’m not wishing it away waiting to die just to spend eternity in a heaven where i have to be near the “repented soul” who raped me when i was 15 then asked god to forgive him! for example, what a shitty place to be!

    3. Are you an advocate of New Atheism and Darwinism? If so then the most extreme and logical form of Darwinism is Eugenics, Survival of the fittest. Would you support this? Why or Why Not?

    No such thins as New Atheism, that’s just a label that believers and non believers alike have added recently because there has been a surge in more outspoken atheists. Eugenics has nothing to do with Darwinism, these questions are poorly researched and AGAIN you’re adding opinion to these questions, they are ALL loaded so far and hard to answer for that fact alone. Eugenics is NOT survival of the fittest, it is control of who breeds with who in order to weed out what the “controllers” imagine to be weaknesses. it’s nothing to do with “NATURAL selection”

    4. If we are ancesoters/descentdents of Apes, then why are there no transitional fossils or species to support this theory?

    oh dear? really! you actually asked this questions. Human beings and Apes share a common ancestor somewhere along the line, millions and millions of years and we get closer and closer each year in finding more evidence towards this. It is not hearsay or chinese whispers. Do a little research in the RIGHT places and you’ll get much more information about it.

    5. Do you believe in Human Nature? It is Human Nature to believe in God, if so, why do you go against human nature and not believe in God?

    yikes another loaded question. NO it is NOT human nature to believe in gods – its YOUR choice to believe in the god you believe in…..im human and do not believe in god, therefore it is NOT human nature to believe in gods, it’s just a choice whether you do or not. I am a humanist, that’s much closer to advocating human nature than using a supernatural entity that has never been proven to exist!

    6. Can Nothing come from Something? Doesn’t that violate The First Law of Thermodynamics?

    This is a stupid question and i’m pretty sure you don’t even know anything about the first or second laws of thermodynamics so i’m not going to answer it on that basis alone. You’re better off getting this answer from a science book or website.

    7. It seems that a society of Atheist are immoral and self-destructing. Why would anyone want a Godless Society, just look at our examples, North Korea, Maoist China, Stalin, & Pot Pol?

    Really? what societies of Atheists do you know that are immoral and self destructing? Do you know that Atheists Supply Less Than 1% Of Prison Populations in USA, While Christians Make -Up 75%. who’s more immoral now (based on YOUR definition of immoral, not mine!)

    8. If you were to die, and you were before God. And he was getting ready to pass judgement on you, What would be your reaction or thoughts? What plea would you give him so he does not judge you harshly?

    none because that will never happen. BUT in the spirit of the question, i would claim my right to judge him first! if he created man (me) in the image of himself then i also have just as much right as he does to pass judgement!

    9. What would convince you atheism is wrong? And that Christianity is Right?

    Nothing will convince me it’s wrong as its just an opposing position to religion and nothing more, it cannot by definition be right. what would convince you that Islam was Right and that Christianity was wrong? …. i know your answer: “nothing” …. see where i’m coming from?

    10. Why are you an Atheist? Why do you NOT believe in God? Why do you reject God? (You can be as detailed as you want.)

    because gods don’t exist. i have never seen any proof for any of them. If you can demonstrate to me what a god is first, empirically enough for me to accept it without reasonable doubt then i will absolutely completely acknowledge their existence but what is true for one must be true for all so i think you have your work cut out.. The bible does not count as evidence. it its just a collection of books written in the middle east by goat herders 2000 years ago. before the dawn of science and exploration and is therefore just an old story book that the people of that age used as a guideline. it worked for them then, it does not stand up in 21st century and needs to be filed under “history” now.

    God to you, is the creator you love and have forged in your mine throughout your religious journey. he is personal to you. he is NOT the same as the god who belongs to the man sitting next to you in your very own church though, because this man’s journey has been different. he lives in the same town, same street and attends the same church as you…but HIS god is different to yours. now imagine that for some reason you had both formed the exact same version of god over the course of your lives, he will not be the same as the muslim in the next state’s god.

    in closing:

    You tell the muslim his god is a false god. The muslim tells you YOUR god is a false god. I tell you both that your gods are false. the hindu’s tell you the muslim god and your god are both false gods. you tell the hindu that ALL his gods are false.

    can you see the pattern up there

    NONE OF THOSE GODS END UP BEING TRUE. AT ANY POINT

    by claiming that all other gods are false whilst other people also claim YOURS is false you are by definition negating EVERY god.

    • Robert says:

      “This is a stupid question”

      Your answers aren’t exactly shining beacons of insight themselves.

      • Re-read the question. “Can Nothing come from Something” — I’m pretty sure what the asker meant was “can something come from nothing” hence it being a “stupid” question.

        as for my answers i don’t profess them to be insightful, they’re pretty standard atheist responses. there should be no revelation within them. i have since learnt that the person running this page has given up faith – i’m wondering if it was the atheist replies to these 10 questions that played a part in it?

      • Actually I’ve edited the questions for grammatical errors…but I wouldn’t necessarily given up faith I guess I’m kind of in religious limbo. I still serve in my leadership position, I have not expressed my doubt-skepticism openly.

        But Nate is right, it is hard to say I still in the Christian God, when I am skeptical of the whole thing, starting with the foundation of christianity which is the bible.

        No it was not these questions that began this whole ordeal, but I came up with ten questions, for both sides the atheist and christian, that they must be answer in regards to their faith.

        The are somewhat loaded, because when I am with my christian friends, these are the questions we discuss about the atheist, and the questions they must be able to answer. To the christian all morality comes from God, so how can the atheist have morality, if they don’t believe in god…And this is actual conversation i had 3 days ago with another christian…(And of course I nodded in agreement, cause that’s what we Christians do…We nod and agree with eachother in everything.) And also, because they have no knowledge of this blog.

        however one thing that has changed, I feel like I could answer the my own atheist challenge questions more honestly and openly than the christian challenge.

      • @thebiblereader (in reply the your reply to my other reply)

        have you tried answering your 10 atheist questions yourself yet?! :) could be interesting.

        you’ll have to forgive my “stupid” comment, with 3 kids running around it was quicker to type than “i think this question may have been worded incorrectly” excuses aside, i apologise.

        Skepticism is the opening of the eyes of reason x once i realised i was in fact atheist other superstitions fell away from me bit by bit. i stopped reading tarot cards, i stopped saluting magpies, i started opening umbrellas indoors!, i stopped any fleeting notions of the possibilities of ghosts……

        realising there are no gods is like waking up from a very long and grey sleep into a fantastic colourful world of curiosity and wonder

  33. TWF says:

    Hi thebiblereader. I found this post from Lorena’s blog post. I thought you asked some interesting question, so that set the hook in me. I’ve answered your questions back on one of my blogs here. So if you are not tired of reading answers, feel free to check it out.

    Best of luck on your journey.

  34. Bette says:

    These are loaded questions. If you really wanted to know what atheists think, the questions shouldn’t have assumed the answers. That said:
    1. If there is NO God, then their is no Measurement or Standard for morality? Then what will define morality?
    - This is a claim, not a question. In any event, it should be clear that morals are not derived from a god or gods or we’d all have the same morality, but we don’t. Morals differ in time, and from culture to culture. If we derived our morals from the christian bible, we’d be stoning disrespectful children, people who work on the “sabbath,” etc. We’d own slaves, rape victims would have to marry their rapist, etc. All social animals have “morals.” It’s how they’re able to function as a group.
    2. If there is NO God, then there is NO meaning or purpose to Life; So not everything meaningless since there is no God? So what will the purpose of living? Without God, does the Atheist have purpose?
    - Again, you assume the answer. You assume that a god is necessary for life to have meaning to an individual, but each of us decides, for ourselves, what meaning and purpose our life has, even god believers.
    3. Are you an advocate of New Atheism and Darwinism? If so then the most extreme and logical form of Darwinism is Eugenics, Survival of the fittest. Would you support this? Why or Why Not?
    - You assume that “New Atheism” and “Darwinism” are valid terms, and that they have something to do with each other. Atheism is simply not having any god belief. There’s nothing new about it. What is new is that some atheists are finally speaking out against undeserved christian privilege.
    Evolution has nothing to do with atheism. Atheism existed long before Darwin advanced his theory. Eugenics has nothing to do evolution. Survival of the fittest refers to genetic traits. Those traits that contribute to the survival of a species will most likely be passed on, because they enable members of the species to live long enough to pass those genes to the next generation.
    4. If we are ancesoters/descentdents of Apes, then why are there no transitional fossils or species to support this theory?
    - We aren’t ancestors/descendants of apes, we are apes. There are transitional fossils (see Talk Origins), but DNA alone proves not only our recent ancestry, but that all life on Earth is related, however distantly, to all other life on Earth.
    By the way, in science, the word “theory” has a very different meaning than it does in common usage: “a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that can incorporate facts, laws, inferences, and tested hypotheses.”
    5. Do you believe in Human Nature? It is Human Nature to believe in God, if so, why do you go against human nature and not believe in God?
    - Human nature: “The general psychological characteristics, feelings, and behavioral traits of humankind, regarded as shared by all humans.”
    You assume it’s human nature to believe in gods, yet there have always been some humans who didn’t, therefore, belief in gods may be a natural consequence of certain human traits, but it’s not “shared by all humans.”
    All animals, predator and pray, are pattern-seeking, whether to find prey or to avoid being preyed upon. Animals that see patterns where there are none are more likely to survive than animals that don’t see patterns that are there. Humans see patterns in the world around them, and personify them, hence, gods, demons, etc.
    Children learn from adults, thus, unthinking obedience is necessary in the first few years of life. Early human children who didn’t obey orders from adults could have become a predator’s meal, or wandered off and died, hence, their genes wouldn’t have passed to the next generation. Unfortunately, not all things adults teach children are valid, such as superstitions, but children don’t know the difference. They’re “programmed” to believe adults, even when the adults are wrong.
    6. Can Nothing come from Something? Doesn’t that violate The First Law of Thermodynamics?
    - I don’t know whether something can come from nothing. The First Law of Thermodynamics: “Heat and work are forms of energy transfer.” [Wikipedia] I have no idea what that has to do with something coming from nothing. In any event, if there were a god, where did it come from? If it could have “always” existed, the matter/energy that makes up the universe could also have “always” existed. We have evidence the universe exists, but not one shred of credible evidence for the existence of any god.
    7. It seems that a society of Atheist are immoral and self-destructing. Why would anyone want a Godless Society, just look at our examples, North Korea, Maoist China, Stalin, & Pot Pol?
    - More assumptions. Those were not “godless” societies, they were brutal dictatorships in which the dictator didn’t want to compete with religious loyalties. Atheism is simply having no god beliefs. It has no dogma. Societies in which religion is in power are just as brutal, but their brutality is justified by their dogma.
    8. If you were to die, and you were before God. And he was getting ready to pass judgement on you, What would be your reaction or thoughts? What plea would you give him so he does not judge you harshly?
    - Which god? By what right would a god, if it existed, pass judgment on me? By what right would a god, if it existed, judge me harshly? If a god existed, and created everything, it would be that god’s fault if things didn’t go the way it wanted. The “free will” argument doesn’t cut it, because there’s no “free will” if the only choices are to be a slave or be tortured forever.
    9. What would convince you atheism is wrong? And that Christianity is Right?
    - I’m an atheist because there’s no credible evidence that any god exists, therefore, it would take credible evidence that a god does exist for me to believe that it does. If a god did exist, and it was the god of the christian bible, I would be a christian to the extent that I’d believe in the christ, but I wouldn’t be a christian in the religious sense. Slavery doesn’t appeal to me.
    10. Why are you an Atheist? Why do you NOT believe in God? Why do you reject God? (You can be as detailed as you want.)
    I don’t “reject God,” I reject baseless claims made about gods.

  35. Daniel Knipfer says:

    1. If there is NO God, then their is no Measurement or Standard for morality? Then what will define morality?
    Ever hear of empathy? Empathy is the ability to comprehend what other people are feeling. If somebody is being abused, most people feel sympathy for them because humanity can imagine what it’s like to be abused; and we know that we wouldn’t like it if it happened to us. That is empathy at work and it is where we get our sense of morality from. You would not wish to be treated like crap because it would make you feel bad, so you do not treat other people like crap. That is the simple and basic origin of morality. This idea is summed up in the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” It is not a perfect rule, but it works as a basic starting point. It predates Christianity by at least 6 centuries and very likely predates Judaism as well so it is hard to see this as divinely inspired by the Christian faith.
    2. If there is NO God, then there is NO meaning or purpose to Life; So not everything meaningless since there is no God? So what will the purpose of living? Without God, does the Atheist have purpose?
    Close, but not quite. If there are no gods then the only meaning life has is the continuation of life. This is 100% true and unsatisfying to us thinking humans; so we look for greater meaning. What we should be doing however is creating greater meaning. Life has whatever meaning you can give to it and we have whatever purpose we aspire too. To be honest, if the only meaning in your life is serving whatever cosmic entity you believe in then your own life has no meaning. If you exist only to serve your God, then you are a slave to your God and you have a sorry life indeed.
    3. Are you an advocate of New Atheism and Darwinism? If so then the most extreme and logical form of Darwinism is Eugenics, Survival of the fittest. Would you support this? Why or Why Not?
    What a load of crap. Eugenics is not logical and it is not good science. Social Darwinism would have made Darwin himself sick to the stomach. Evolution is not Survival of the Strongest. Evolution is survival or the reproductively most successful. This does not mean that you should run around raping people either. That’s sick, twisted, and it fails our modern moral understanding completely. We as humans are social creatures. We thrive when we support and help each other. This has made us more successful at reproducing and has allowed humanity to cover the globe. That is a lesson that Darwin would have understood too. It is also one that the so-called New Atheists will find appropriate. It is the lesson of Humanism; we are stronger as a group than we are as individuals even as we celebrate the accomplishments of individuals. After all, their success is ours. It is our unity and compassion for each other that makes humanity such a strong and successful species and survival of the fittest favors the most successful species over the most successful individual. So no, I do not support the idea of eugenics nor do most atheists.
    4. If we are ancesoters/descentdents of Apes, then why are there no transitional fossils or species to support this theory?
    I am a student of geology and I hate this really stupid question. All fossils are transitional fossils. All of them. Every single fossil is a snap shot in evolutionary development. Okay, I know you don’t quite get it. It is a simple enough concept yet one that is not naturally intuitive. Next time you are at a family reunion get the oldest person there to stand behind their children and then have the grandchildren sit in front of them and the great-grandchildren in front of the grandchildren. Look at them. Each is a transitional step to the next generation. Even the oldest person there is a transitional form between his parents and his children. Each generation is slightly different from the last generation. Even you are a transitional form between your parents and your children.

    The reason that you don’t see this in the fossil record the way you expect to see it is because you expect an example of each generation to fossilize. That isn’t how it works. Fossils are very rare events in larger animals. They only fossilize if, at the point of death, their body is covered quickly in a low oxygen material like mud, then undisturbed long enough to harden and go through a process of mineral replacement without becoming weathered and uncovered before we in the modern age can discover them. Animals that are not killed by carnivores are picked over by scavengers so only in events like catastrophic floods or massive sand storms, or in rare locations like trap caves and tar pits do we see many fossils, and even those are only a tiny percentage of all the creatures that lived at any moment. Digging for fossils is kind of like exploring the past through a slightly bent straw. You’re lucky if you can see anything and you’re only going to see a tiny part of the picture.
    5. Do you believe in Human Nature? It is Human Nature to believe in God, if so, why do you go against human nature and not believe in God?
    Human nature is far more varied than you seem to presume. It is human nature to seek meaning and patterns in nature. When we can’t find an actual meaning or an actual pattern our minds tend to fill in the gaps based on our own know experiences and knowledge. That is what science helps us filter out; our own preconceptions. People believe in gods because they have been taught to believe in gods and because they have been taught that things happen for a reason; and we tend to think that the reason must be an intelligence like us, but this just is not true. That is why you see the hand of God in perfectly mundane events. You expect something to be there, so your minds fill in a reason for events that have no actual reason. Most important of all, just because the human mind is prone to accept the supernatural does not make belief in that supernatural experience true.
    6. Can Nothing come from Something? Doesn’t that violate The First Law of Thermodynamics?
    No, something does not come from nothing. The universe as we know it today was created in a massive explosive expanse of time and space that we call the Big Bang. That does not mean that the universe exploded out of nothing. It means that we can at this time only reason out what happened so far back into the history of the universe. We do not know what existed before the Big Bang or what caused the Big Bang, but we have no evidence that the cause was intelligent or guided. We also have no evidence that there was nothing before the Big Band as anything that existed before the Big Bang is beyond our current ability to observe. This does not imply the existence of any supreme entity. It simply is what we have been able to deduce from limited observation so far. That does not mean that we should quit looking and it does not mean that God did it. So there is no violation of the Laws of Thermodynamics.

    Ask yourself this, If God always existed, where did he come from? Is the existence of God not something from nothing if there was nothing before God? Your answer is no for the same reason my answer is no. You intuitively know that there must have been something and you’ve been trained to think of that something as God. I simply accept that the first measurable event came from something and do not ascribe an identity or personality to it.
    7. It seems that a society of Atheist are immoral and self-destructing. Why would anyone want a Godless Society, just look at our examples, North Korea, Maoist China, Stalin, & Pot Pol?
    Bad people do bad things and the moral teachings they use to excuse them do not justify such acts. You use examples of Twentieth Century non-Christians to claim that atheism is bad but correlation does not imply causation. Stalin was not evil because of his atheism. He was evil because he was very mentally disturbed and twisted even before he lost faith. Don’t forget that I too can pull up scary examples of monstrous behavior by religious people in the Twentieth Century. Let us start at the top of the list with Hitler, a known practicing Catholic and a very superstitious madman who used his Christian promoted belief that the Jews killed Jesus as part of his justification for slaughtering millions. He may have tried to dress it up as science but his actions where the direct result of 1600 years of Christian bigotry against the Jewish people.
    Let’s look at your examples too. We’ll start with Communist China; which is officially an atheist government, but except for a short period of time (1966 to the late 1970s) has allowed traditional Chinese religious practices to continue peacefully, though they are more inclined to resist western religions like Christianity due to it not being of Chinese origin. People in China are not oppressed in the name of atheism either, but as a requirement for the government to retain power if religious activities oppose or interfere in the state. Religious faiths that don’t interfere in politics are thriving in China so only when religion demands privilege does oppression occur. SO atheism is not the cause of oppression, immorality, and suffering in China. Marxist Communism is.
    North Korea is a classic example of a cult of personality where the people are required to, for all intent and purpose, worship the supreme ruler of that country. In effect, the people are required to follow the religion of Kimism, or worship of the Kim family making this a religious state and not an atheist state. Failure to do so can be harshly punished; kind of like how Jews and other non-Christians were tortured until they converted during the inquisition. You probably don’t want to talk about the Inquisition where Christian leaders like Cardinal Juan de Torquemada tortured people of other beliefs, stole their property and lives, then turned them loose on the streets to die, broke and broken but only if Torquemada didn’t kill them outright? I did not think so.

    And what about Pol Pot? He started off as a rebel backed first by the Chinese, and then later by the US and British governments in the cold war against the Soviet Union. That’s right, we supported him and helped his government in exile keep its seat in the UN. Had it not been for the Christian dominated U.S.A. the rule of Pol Pot would have likely come to an end far sooner. It wasn’t Pol Pot’s atheism that allowed him to cause so much damage, it was his outside supporters; both atheist and religious. All that blood and death that could have been stopped if good Christians had simply not supported a murderous bastard. How about that.

    Then we look at Stalin. Did you know that Stalin attended a Seminary School as a teen? Yep, this clearly sociopathic paranoid schizophrenic was educated in Eastern Orthodox Catholicism during the last days of the Tsarist rule of the Russian Empire. During that time Stalin saw the horrible excesses of both the church and the royal family, how they abused the peasantry, and then was forced to watch his Georgian countrymen fight for the Russian army against the Germans and Austro-Hungarians. Stalin himself was drafted by the Russian army, but was unable to serve due to a disfiguring injury to his left arm. All this was endured not just by Stalin, but by the whole of Europe, just so that the Kings and Queens of the time, who all claimed to rule by divine right, could have a pissing match with each other using the bodies of their citizenry. It is no wonder that Stalin rebelled not just against the Tsar’s rule but the authority of the church. Yet even as he ruled, Stalin did not rule based on atheism but on Marxism; an ideology that we now know to be a failure as it does not account for human emotions, needs, wants, and desires. Even then, Stalin was not a good Marxist as he put his own needs above those of the state and the people. Had the religious rulers of Europe not started war after war after war it is highly unlikely that Stalin would have ever come to power so you can link all those deaths to Christian Tsar Nicholas II’s willingness to battle it out with his own cousin, Christian Kaiser Wilhelm II.

    So while you’re pointing the finger at Stalin and feeling unduly smug; tell me how many people died under the yoke of Christian Kings and Queens who claimed to rule by divine right? If you want to point the finger at Stalin because he had become an atheist in response to his brutal childhood in totalitarian Russia under Christian Kings, you have to accept blame for every wrongful death caused by the actions of the entire history of European rulers since Constantine that claimed divine right to rule. Rulers that demanded obedience based on the belief of divine right that screwed up by starving their own people before sending them off to war in the name of God and Country. How many people died during WWI and WWII? Both wars started by Christian men. Why limit ourselves to modern time? How about in the Crusades? Fought either so that the Byzantine rulers could hold onto power a few more years, or so Christians could hold the city of Jerusalem. How many died in the War of the Roses to keep a King on the throne. How many died of plague because European Clergy on the Middle Ages taught that bathing was bad and that cats & snakes were satanic? How much death has been caused by religious ignorance and oppression throughout the ages so that Kings and Clergy could keep their privileged place in life? How many innocent people were accused of witchcraft, tortured, and then killed? If you want to say that atrocities committed by non-believers are a result of their not being godly men then every death caused by religious people is the fault of their faith. You don’t ever what to go down that road, because it places Christianity in a really bad light.

    The only things that make Stalinist numbers so bad is that Stalin and his followers had automatic weapons. Even then, more people have died due to the incompetent orders of rulers that believed they had a divine right to rule. None more so that Christianity and Islam. Judaism would be right up there with them, but they hadn’t perfected weapons of war enough before they lost their place as a dominant religion.
    8. If you were to die, and you were before God. And he was getting ready to pass judgement on you, What would be your reaction or thoughts? What plea would you give him so he does not judge you harshly?
    Plea? Really? If the Christian God actually exists, I think I would demand summary judgment on God’s evil ass. More evil has been committed in his name that for any other reason on Earth and he has not stopped it. According to the Bible, God has commanded it. If the Christian God exists, he has a lot to answer for. However imperfect I may be, I have never intentionally caused harm to anybody or ordered it to be caused. I am a far more moral person that the mythical God of Abraham and that does not make me great or holy. It shows exactly how pathetic the Christian God is.
    9. What would convince you atheism is wrong? And that Christianity is Right?
    Atheism is simply the position that you must prove your religious beliefs if you expect others to accept them. When you have actual evidence, and not just personal feelings and testament, you can ask if atheism is wrong. You will have to brush up on what evidence really is first; because all of those things that you believe are evidence do not manage to pass the most basic tests.
    While I believe that the potential for a divine force to eventually be proven does exist, it won’t be the God of Abraham. Science has demonstrated that the world is ancient and that life evolved from earlier species. Once you understand and accept the evidence for evolution the story of Adam and Eve becomes a fable and the characters in it fictional. If Adam and Eve are just fictional characters in a morality lesson for children then there is no historical Eve to cause original sin. If there is no original sin then there is no need for the crucifixion of Christ as a divine sacrifice to absolve us of that original sin. Christian mythology requires belief in something that just is not true, and without that false belief, it crumbles in a heap of disjointed fairytales. It simply makes no sense and can be discarded whenever a person has developed enough personal strength and faith in themselves to overcome their need for a cosmic parent and the childhood indoctrination that holds sway over them.
    10. Why are you an Atheist? Why do you NOT believe in God? Why do you reject God? (You can be as detailed as you want.)
    Two reasons;
    1: Because nobody has ever managed to show any real hard evidence for belief in any deity.
    2: Because I read the bible from cover to cover and it just does not stand up to reality. It isn’t even good mythology. If you apply our modern understanding of morality to the God of the Bible, he’s a pretty nasty evil fiend and I can’t believe in that.

  36. Gordon says:

    1. The connection between God and a Standard for morality does not exist. If God does things because they are moral then the Standard for morality exists independent of God. If what God does is moral because God does it, then morality is subjective to God’s behavior. Looking closely at the behavior of the Christian God (which includes mass killing of men, women and children; arbitrary sentences of death or forgiveness for disobeying an instruction from God, commitment to eternal punishment in hell for even the most minor infraction, etc.) you are left with a picture that the Christian God is morally depraved. These actions are that you should expect from a depraved tyrant. A depraved tyrant should not provide the basis for the Standard for morality.

    Defining morality as that which causes the least harm and provides the most benefit to the living system of the universe might be a good place to start. The Golden Rule, which predates Christianity, articulates a pretty good start toward a Standard of morality.

    2. It is complete nonsense to say that NO God means there is No meaning or purpose to Life. There are likely as many purposes to life as there people on the planet. Here is one that does not have any requirement of a God. Be kind to those around you, help your children, grand children and great-grand children (if you live long enough) and teach them to be kind to those around them so that they will pass kindness on to future generations.

    3. Support New Atheism, yes. Support Darwinism, I don’t know what you mean by the term Darwinism and your link to Wikipedia does not clear this problem up. However, I do support evolution by mutation and natural selection. None of these ideas require eugenics as a logical outcome. Yes, people did use evolution to make the case for their support of eugenics but eugenics and the people that supported it have been discredited. I abhor eugenics on moral grounds. I don’t even understand why you bring this silly question up. I would never ask a Christian about whether the Inquisition is the most extreme and logical form of Christianity’s desire to preserve the faith. Plus I would not ask why a leader of the Inquisition is still a saint of the church and not a discredit to the church for conducting the Inquisition. Those would be silly questions.

    4. There is an overwhelming pile of transitional fossils. Humans and apes have a common ancestor. For many centuries the common ancestors of apes and humans mated with each other. When the common ancestors became physically separated one group mutated and naturally selected toward becoming apes. The other group did the same toward becoming humans. In a million years your skeleton will likely represent a transitional fossil.

    5. Human nature does not appear to be a good judge for deciding what is actually true. Human nature leads us to believe that humans have free will but scientific studies indicate that our belief in free will is a delusion. Other scientific studies show that when humans are placed in situations of significant stress they will look for any possible solution to relieve the stress including supernatural or magical solution. God seems to a byproduct of human nature and its natural desire to get out of stressful situations rather than God being inherent to human nature.

    6. We don’t yet know how the universe came into existence. We may never learn how the universe came into existence but scientists are working hard on trying to discover how and why the universe began. Some scientists point to quantum mechanics as indicating that nothing is unstable and will actually produce something. This idea must be confirmed by scientific experiments before it can be confirmed as true. Proposing God as a solution to things we do not know has been never ending since before God was offered as the cause of thunder. Thus far God has failed to be the actual cause of any event in nature once we have collected the evidence for that event. Given God’s track record of total failure for being the cause of a natural event it seems very unlikely that God will be discovered to be the cause for the existence of the universe.

    7. Your premise that “a society of Atheist are immoral and self-destructive” does not match the facts in the real world. There are a number of societies with low belief in God (Sweden – 23%, Denmark – 31%, Norway – 32%, Netherlands -34%) that a doing very well in all measures of social wellbeing. Please note that I acknowledge the existence of some societies with high belief in God that are also doing very well in social wellbeing.

    The examples in your question are just a cherry pick of totalitarian governments that did despicable things and had a leader who is/was an atheist. I would suggest that totalitarianism is the more likely culprit for failures of these governments since we have recent examples of theistic societies that are immoral and self-destructive including Nazi Germany, Afghanistan – Taliban, Iran and pre-WWII Japan.

    8. I would say, “WOW, you exist.” I would ask since your existence is now confirmed why you had stayed so hidden and sent so many conflicting and inconclusive signals about your existence.

    I would remind God that I used all the tools that God provided to the best of my ability. I would also remind God (lol, as though God needs reminding) that I used all available evidence when I examined the question about whether God existed. The evidence for your existence simply was not there. If God then sent me to hell so be it. A God that would send a person to hell because they made the best possible use of the available tools and evidence and followed the evidence to make decisions, is a God that doesn’t deserve respect and worship.

    9. I would be convinced that atheism is wrong by the existence of just one piece of unambiguous, solid evidence. A real miracle cure would be enough evidence to make me believe in the existence of God. A Benny Hinn cure that helps someone throw away their crutches or a cancer that goes into remission or disappears after prayer is not enough. These types of cures are credited to God but they are indistinguishable from similar cures resulting from natural causes. It would have to be something serious like an Afghanistan war veteran waking up one morning to discover his amputated legs had been replaced. That would do it. Another possibility would be for God to stop the sun. It is alleged that God stopped the sun once. All God would need to do is stop the earth rotation one more time for about an hour while all our scientific instruments measured the lack of rotation of the earth. If God did it once, doing it again would not be much of a problem.

    God would have to do one more thing. God would need to find some way of letting us know which God provided the evidence. If the evidence was the stopping of the rotation of the earth, was it Allah, the Christian God or some other God, say Yahweh, that caused this to happen. Not everyone agrees that Yahweh and the Christian God is the same God so it would be best if God would clear up this confusion while providing the evidence for existence.

    10. I am an atheist because there is zero evidence for the existence of God. It is possible that a God might exist but thus far this God has not provided any evidence of existence. If a God existed it might be a deist God or any of the Hindu Gods. As for the Christian God, this God has been defined with a large number of characteristics. Many of the defined characteristics of the Christian God (which include omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience, omnibenevolence) are mutually exclusive, and thus produce a God that is incoherent, and therefore, cannot logically exist.

  37. mikespeir says:

    1. If there is NO God, then there is no Measurement or Standard for morality? Then What will define morality?

    That’s not correct. To survive and to enjoy doing it is the basis of morality. That’s because we can’t do it alone. We’ve evolved to need the support of others to that end. We’ve evolved what we call “empathy,” or the ability to participate in the suffering of others. It’s what binds us together to ensure our survival as a species.

    2. If there is NO God, then there is NO meaning or purpose to Life. So without a God, does life have purpose or meaning? Without God, does the Atheist have purpose?

    That’s also not correct. There’s simply no God-given purpose to life. I don’t believe in God, and yet my life has a lot of meaning–to me.

    3. Are you an advocate of New Atheism and Darwinism? If so, then the most extreme and logical form of Darwinism is Eugenics. Would you support this? Why or Why Not?

    I’m an advocate of evolutionary theory, if that’s what you mean by “Darwinism.” I don’t know of any evolutionary scientist, BTW, who advocates eugenics. See if you can figure out why not. On the other hand, history is replete with Bible believers who advocated and practiced genocide.

    4. If we are ancesoters/descendants of Apes, then why are there no transitional fossils or species to support this theory?

    We have found many transitional fossils.

    5. Do you believe in Human Nature? It is Human Nature to believe in God, if so, why do you go against human nature and not believe in God?

    See #1. It’s all about survival, so it’s all about security. That elusive thing we all seek that we can’t find to our satisfaction? That’s security; or, rather, to escape from our feelings of insecurity. (A skittishness, BTW, that’s built-in to us. It’s critical to our survival that we always be a little on-edge. We jump even when we don’t need to so as to ensure we’ll jump when we do. Any creature that didn’t evolve such an ever-presence sense of threat would have been less likely to live long enough to pass on its blithe, complacent genes to another generation.) We take one of two approaches in this flight. First, we seek to make ourselves more secure. In other words, we’re always seeking power.

    Second, we try to anesthetize ourselves to our insecurities. We do that in many ways. Chemicals are popular. Artificially, that’s usually alcohol or drugs. Naturally, we try to induce our brains to pump out more of such things as dopamine and serotonin. Sex is a biggie there. Music. But if we can convince ourselves there’s a Big Guy in the sky looking out for us, that can work, too. In anti-Pascalian terms, there’s a psychic hole in us (this insecurity) and we craft our gods in an attempt to fill it. In other words, the hole isn’t God-shaped, God is hole-shaped.

    6. Can ‘Something come from Nothing’? Doesn’t that violate The First Law of Thermodynamics?

    How do you know something came from nothing? Can you point to any “nothing” as an example that might lend credence to the idea of nothingness being the primordial state? BTW, wouldn’t God be a “something”?

    7. It seems that a society of Atheist are immoral and self-destructing. Why would anyone want a Godless Society, just look at our examples: North Korea, Maoist China, Stalin, & Pot Pol?

    It seems to you that a society of atheists would be immoral and self-destructive. But take a look at history. Take a look at when the Church ruled the roost. And it pretty much didn’t matter what flavor of the religion had its hand on the tiller. No, atheists don’t believe in a hell. So we don’t believe that killing people who believe the wrong things is the lesser of the available evils.

    Now, there have certainly be atheistic regimes (Stalinism, Maoism, etc.) that have been every bit as bad as Christianity. But they’ve suffered from the same dogmatism as Christianity, the same tendency to label dissenters as capital-E evil. Whether it’s a theistic religion or atheistic ideology, if it does that, watch out!

    8. If you were to die, and you were before God. And he was getting ready to pass judgement on you, What would be your reaction or thoughts? What plea would you give him so he does not judge you harshly?

    If you were to die and stand before Allah…. What a silly question!

    9. What would convince you atheism is wrong? And that Christianity is Right?

    There is no “right” to atheism. It’s simply a label we put on an opinion that there’s insufficient evidence for deity.

    And that Christianity’s right? I’ll let your God figure that one out.

    10. Why are you an Atheist? Why do you NOT believe in God? Why do you reject God?

    I don’t believe in gods for the same reason I don’t believe in elves and little gray, bug-eyed guys from Zeta Reticulii: I don’t see any good reason to.

    • ubi dubium says:

      “In other words, the hole isn’t God-shaped, God is hole-shaped.”

      That’s brilliant! I’m putting that one in my keeper file, right next to “the only reason some people have a god-shaped hole is because other people keep hammering god-shaped nails in.”

      • mikespeir says:

        Well, if it’s brilliant, it’s somebody else’s brilliance. I’ve never had an original thought in my life.

  38. Pingback: Ep. 34 – The Atheist Challenge: 10 Questions for Atheists | A Matter of Doubt

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  41. limey says:

    1) That’s not true. No god does not mean no measurement for morality. Morality is consistent with evolution because as a group of individuals develop rules will have to develop increase the changes of the groups survival. Watch groups of animals in the wild and this becomes clear, it is not the anarchy those who believe this would have us believe. There is currently a lot of study in this area and some very interesting experiments and result are coming out of it.
    2) Again, this is also not true. Meaning is not placed on us from an external being based on whether or not we believe in him. Meaning is a much more personal thing and is a reasonable result in a species that has developed self-awareness.
    3) If New Atheism means the active opposition to religion on the understanding that it causes more harm than good and that accommodation of the religious is for the weak. Then no, I do not subscribe to that and nor do I support eugenics. I accept that there could be an extreme end of the spectrum that sees eugenics as not only acceptable but good. Just because that extreme might exist does not mean that atheism is rotten. Much the same as religious extremism does not in and of itself disprove religion.
    4) Transitional fossils exist and are documented. DNA evidence is however far more convincing and has enabled more accurate maps of how species have diverged and evolved. Gaps in the fossil record exist because not every species will leave fossils. For all the millions of animals that have existed, a tiny minority have survived to fossil form. DNA explains the relationships far better anyway.
    5) Yes. Even as a Christian the concept of Human Nature was never a problem for me. It is Human Nature to seek a greater purpose, for a long time that purpose was encapsulated in God. That doesn’t make him real.
    6) I won’t pretend to understand the beginning of the universe and how it came about. I consider it disingenuous for the religious who also don’t understand it to try and discredit it based on that simplistic misunderstanding. My challenge in response is that it is better to learn about something in order to better understand it, than it is to mock it out of fear for what it might do to our beliefs.
    7) Straw man alert! Atheists are not automatically immoral or self-destructing, this is an untruth believed by believers. I’ve been there before so I understand the mentality. Picking those countries as examples of a godless society are as helpful as picking Afghanistan and Iran as examples of a Godly Society. Picking an objectionable extreme to prove a point is never a good idea.
    8) I would image I would enter an initial state of panic. After that, I really don’t know. It is not something I worry about becoming true.
    9) Having already made the move from Christianity, having considered it right for many years. I would need absolute and undeniable proof. It would have to be a physical manifestation of God that could not be explained in any other way and it would have to happen more than once. Given some of the things I have already attributed to god in my Christian years, this proof would need to be something special.
    10) Basically, I was once a YEC and a better understanding of science made me realise how wrong I had been all those years. I tried to reconcile my Christianity with my new found acceptance of evolution but I failed. I now think that it is far more reasonable to say there is no god because that is what the evidence indicates.

    My story is told on my blog: confessionsofayec.wordpress.com

  42. Pingback: 10 Questions for Atheists « Confessions Of A YEC

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  44. Simple Theologian says:

    Forgive me, I always have to counter-argue. I could/might even do it on The Christian Challenge post as well.

    1) The question is whether it is logical to believe that we would have come to the moral standards by which we live if there was never any belief in god/gods. It is actually quite reasonable to believe that without the influence of said gods on different societies throughout all the generations that our evolutionary morality would look quite different. The atheist believes the same as the theist that without the conflict of good/evil morality and society would look much different as a whole.

    The most interesting thing is that the atheist blames god/gods for all the evil and the theist blames mankind for all the evil.

    2) Purpose, why are we here! To many people purpose is often subjective and can be reasoned away with or without the existence of god/gods. Must god exist for mankind to have purpose? Certainly not. But does god cease to exist if man has purpose outside of god? Hell no.

    Even the Bible explains that man can serve his own purpose or serve God’s purpose. When can then go back to question #1 to try and determine which purpose is “better.” I simply wonder if these questions come more from a lack of understanding of what God’s purpose is? If it is to Love God and Love others, atheists would agree most certainly with the second part…they just don’t agree with the first part.

    3) To avoid contradiction of question # 1, no atheist would support Eugenics. And most people have a misunderstanding of Darwinism/current evolutionary theories. Likely, myself included

    4) I’m sorry but evolution is not a valid proof that god/gods cannot exist. While evolution can disprove certain things in the Bible if one reads the Bible literally, if God or a Creator exists outside the realm of creation…nothing inside the creation can disprove said gods existence. For all of creation would be PROOF of the gods existence and any tools used to discover/theorize only provide understanding of creation not it’s Creator.

    5) It is also human nature to question things that are not observable…if we cannot observe God we question and reason to determine if what we believe to be true can in fact be true. But simply because we cannot observe something does not automatically make it false either.

    6) Repeat answer to #4 for sake of time.

    7) Repeat answer #1

    8) and 10) Do not apply to me

    9) Right/Wrong can’t we all just get along?

    • Harvey says:

      9) This last query (obviously not an answer) answers itself. If believers/theists did not so often feel the need for affirmation of their beliefs which, of course, they can only accomplish in this life by convincing/coercing as many of us as possible to agree that they have it right, we could surely get along (at least with regard to religion). Unfortunately, many theists and most organized religion(s) feel compelled to impose not only lip service to their beliefs, but observance, as well. If believers actually recognized that our Constitution not only promises freedom OF religion, but freedom FROM religion and would, therefore, stop insisting on recognition of “special privilege “(in this case, for Christians) in public, tax supported venues, the rest of us would have very little reason to complain.

      • Simple Theologian says:

        Not sure if this was where you are getting at about “special privilege?”

        If you are talking about crosses or other religious icons displayed in public, tax supported venues, I understand “Separation of Church and State,” what more American’s need to understand these are there to a display American heritage not a belief.

        Also, I believe it is a misunderstanding that the American constitution promises freedom FROM religion. Yes, you are most certainly free from practicing religion if you so choose but it is a choice and not something that gives you power over someone who chooses to practice religion or believe differently than you.

      • Harvey says:

        We agree that our Constitution frees me from having to practise any religion, but your protection of the right to practise the one(s) you may choose does not extend to imposing that practise on anyone else. Saying that displaying religious symbols (i.e. crosses, creches, posting the ten commandments, etc.) in or on publicly supported, non-church related venues or including religious symbols or wording in statements (such as testimony in court ..”so help me God.”..)somehow “expresses our heritage” is no different than a southerner (by heritage) wanting to display the Condederate flag. He or she can choose to do so as freedom of expression, but he cannot do so on a federal building in his state capitol. Just because the majority of our “founding fathers” publicly professed Christianity (at a time in world history when it was dangerous not to do so), does not justify requiring all of us to do so now. In short, your freedom to practise your religion(s) includes the right to publish or declare your beliefs, but only under circumstances that allow me to decide whether or not I wish to exposed to those beliefs. You can invite me to your church, but you cannot force or coerce me to attend (or, at least theoretically, to support your church with my tax dollars).

      • Simple Theologian says:

        I’m sorry but tax dollars are not yours. Taxes belong to the government not individuals. They take them off the top of your paycheck, In April when you file your taxes the government does not have to give you a refund, they have chosen to do that for “the people.”

        Nothing that comes from taxes should be considered a possession of an individual. It belongs to the Federal and State. Are you in control of telling the Government where to put “your” tax dollars?

        I am a conscientious objector to war but the government still uses my tax dollars to support military efforts. How ludicrous would it sound if I am out there making a case against the government using “my” tax dollars to support military funding because it goes against my belief system?

        I did not agree about the federal buyout of banks and car manufacturers but my tax dollars still goes to support it?

        I could go on and on about the things the government does with “my” tax dollars that infringe on my beliefs but just as it is in the same way, the government in no way is coercing me to go against my beliefs. You should be thankful that the United States is a country that allows you to express your belief so long as it does not harm another.

        The religious icons that are displayed do not force you to agree or believe in them.

        You’re right it’s a disgrace that all the gravestones at Arlington Memorial Cemetery have crosses on them http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Graves_at_Arlington_on_Memorial_Day.JPG…we should spend hundreds of thousands of tax dollars replacing them don’t you think? I mean if you visit the cemetery the grave stones are forcing you to practice Christianity.

        Or if you walk in the Supreme Court the Ten Commandments are forcing you to practice religion.

      • Harvey says:

        The Constitution and the laws of our land require all of us to pay taxes, which, thereafter, I agree are no longer “mine”, but “the Government’s”. I cannot and do not object to the government, made up at least in part by “my” elected representative(s), choosing to spend those dollars for any or all legal efforts to “promote the common defense” and all matters of public welfare. I do not even object to crosses on the graves of our fallen (providing they were at least professed Christians), since this is representative of their beliefs under freedom of religion. However, the ten commandments in a federal or state courtroom, a nativity scene on the grounds of City Hall, requiring some verbal commitment to any “God” in public, tax supported circumstances or venues, in no way restricts your ability to worship your god as you see fit. These same “privileges” should be extended to all of us.in our private and public lives.

      • Simple Theologian says:

        Are not half of the Ten Commandments laws that everyone should follow?

        Not Stealing, not killing, etc.

        But honestly, does the Ten Commandments in courtrooms infringe or restrict your ability to practice your beliefs in your public or private life?

        As far as verbal commitment in public (i.e. so help me God), yeah, its a tradition of court proceedings. I wouldn’t have much of an objection if it was removed because people still lie while under this oath so the court can make people take an oath to tell the truth on George Washington’s cherry tree for all I care…The point is when the court asks you to take an oath to tell the truth the court wants you to tell them the truth even if you are guilty.

        When a judge asks the criminal what they plead and they plead innocent when they know obviously know they are guilty…cowardice.

      • ubi dubium says:

        Simple Theologian,

        Special Privilege: For Example: Churches in the US are tax exempt, both from income taxes and property taxes. A recent study put the total tax impact at $71 BILLION dollars a year.

        No politician can hope to be elected to be President, Vice President, or most other major offices without proclaiming themselves to be christian. They don’t just have to be christian privately, they have to say it publicly. A public statement of non-belief would be the end of any any major campaign.

        The government, which is not supposed to play favorites, gives undue deference to religion, especially christianity. Religious figures get access and influence in high places, from Billy Graham and Rick Warren getting personal time with Presidents, to the catholic bishops demanding and getting consideration for their anti-women position on reproductive medical care.

        The military Chaplain Corps is overwhelmingly evangelical christian, 66.9% evangelical chaplains, although the military is only 18.5% evangelicals. 23.4% of the military is non-religious, yet there are no humanist or other non-religious chaplains available to them for counseling or other suppport.

        Any time any of this is challenged as “unfair”, the christians cry: “Persecution!” What they have is an incredible position of privilege, and any attempt to level the field so that people of all religions as well as those of no religion are treated the same is seen as an “attack on religion”. It’s not. Nobody is trying to stop you from going to church, or praying in your homes and churches, or celebrating your holidays, or preaching on street corners. Have at it, just do it on your own time and at your own expense.

  45. Simple Theologian says:

    1) Churches are not the only organization that is tax-exempt there are many non-religious tax exempt organizations in the United States. Also churches can lose non-profit status or face penalties and fees that are imposed by State and Federal governments.

    2) No politician…not true. Public proclamation of religion is not required for a public official to be nominated. Typically, it is used by politicians to sway or increase the number of voters/supporters in order to be elected. You seem to be attempting to draw causation where only correlation exists.

    3) Favorites–it’s not the “government” playing favorites. It’s the individuals that hold political office that invites celebrities Christian or otherwise. If you become famous or a celebrity you will receive special invitations too, would you not?

    4) The military has psychologists do they not? I’m fairly certain that these personnel provides non-religious counseling and support to soldiers. As far as the claim of chaplains being overly evangelical is more of a display of the individuals that choose to serve country and God rather than the military having an “evangelical religious” agenda.

    5) I have not claimed the challenges as unfair or persecution, rather I believe we need to understand why the government displays religious icons. By no means is the government trying to force or coerce anyone to go against their beliefs by displaying or using particular wording. Or are they trying to make a religious statement.

    • ubi dubium says:

      Tax-exempt charities must apply for that status, and must allow review of their books to ensure that their money is actually going for charitable purposes. Churches have no such requirement. If churches had to do that, I would have no problem with their maintaining their tax exemption.

      Public proclamation is not technically required to hold public office, but it is required as a practical matter. Some years ago my husband was approached by the party we were members of, about running for local office. Part of his response included that he was an atheist, and he was not approached again. Atheists can’t get elected, so they don’t get nominated.

      The individuals who hold office, acting in an official capacity – that IS part of the government. And not all famous people have this access. When was the last time Richard Dawkins or Dave Silverman were invited to the White House to advise on secular matters?

      Seeing a psychologist for counseling in the military carries a stigma that hurts a military career. Seeing a chaplain has no such stigma. The military has also instituted a “spiritual fitness” test that is entirely biased in favor of being religious. Soldiers who fail for not being “spiritual enough” have tp attend required counselling.

      Oh, and crosses on graves? I have no problem with a grave being marked with a symbol representing the beliefs of the deceased. But I do have a problem with a group putting a cross on public land and claiming that it represents an entire group of soldiers of multiple faiths.

      • Simple Theologian says:

        Here’s a link but I’m fairly certain that Churches like non-religious tax-exempt organizations have similar requirements that must be met to maintain exemption status. And must also apply to receive tax exemption status.

        http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p1828.pdf

        It is unfortunate if the parties decision to not continue to pursue your husband was based solely on his admission that he was an atheist. We need good people who have a keen understanding to hold political positions. And public officials should be sought after irregardless of religious belief.

        I would say the main reason is that the people who hold political office do not agree with the views (for whatever reason) of Richard Dawkins or Dave Silverman. I would be hard pressed to believe that all atheists agree with their views?

        I will acknowledge that you likely have a better understanding, probably from having served, husband or parents having served in the military. All I will ask is whether you consider there is a spiritual makeup innate in the human species. We can reasonably conclude that human beings are physical, emotional, intellectual, social, etc. beings. Is spirituality a part of the human experience?

      • Harvey says:

        I have never understood this question. How does one define “spirituality”? If, by this, you mean do people sense a need/desire for something in the Universe that they do not understand or cannot perceive with their five senses, clearly our forbears certainly did, since every culture anthropologists know of saw fit to create one or several “gods” and most believed in other lesser “spirits” of one kind or another. However, one can certainly make the case that even if this “need” exists, that fact in no way supports the reality of any such being(s). One can easily understand that primitive humans, trying to cope with a hostile world, would want something that could be propitiated, perhaps by prayer or sacrifice, to “help” get through the fearful realities of life. It seems to me that modern man may still have such a “need”, but it must be obvious that prayer and/or sacrifice have absolutely no effect upon reality. I can only speak for myself but, after more than seventy years of life, almost all of it as an atheist/agnostic, I have yet to find a “God-shaped hole” in my psyche.

      • Simple Theologian says:

        While I believe spirituality is a component that must exist for humans to believe in god. My question is far more general than that.

        Are human beings spiritual beings? This is not about having a god-shaped hole. We may need to begin with trying to define what we mean by spirituality? Either what it is or is not or whether it is to be considered or not?

        I ask in a more philosophical sense than a religious one.

      • Harvey says:

        Since I do not find any such “spirtual” aspect in my own life, I will have to defer to you for a proposed definition.

      • Simple Theologian says:

        From Dictionary.com (let’s try not to re-invent the wheel?)

        spir·it   [spir-it]
        noun
        1.the principle of conscious life; the vital principle in humans, animating the body or mediating between body and soul.
        2.the incorporeal part of humans: present in spirit though absent in body.
        3.the soul regarded as separating from the body at death.
        4.conscious, incorporeal being, as opposed to matter: the world of spirit.
        5.a supernatural, incorporeal being, especially one inhabiting a place, object, etc., or having a particular character: evil spirits.

        If you would like one or all removed as definitions please let me know.

      • Harvey says:

        OK. If this is what YOU mean by “spiritual”, I have no reason or evidence to support that any such “out of the corporeal” entity exists. I say this despite the fact, as I alluded to above, that mankind (at least our ancient forbears) has always seen fit to create one or more of these entities. It sems entirely possible that humanity has evolved an emotional/psychological need for a deity to which one can assign responsibility for both the good and not so good aspects of life, and, in selected cases, might be approachable by prayer or sacrifice to try to mitigate some of the not so good. Even if this “need” has evolved with us, it in no way supports the reality of such belief.

      • Simple Theologian says:

        I’m not asking if you believe there to be a supernatural spiritual being, but rather:

        Do human beings possess a spirit or spiritual essence?

        Do I have a spirit, do you have a spirit, does the person who lives in Bangladesh have a spirit? Are we spiritual beings?

        This again is not to be confused with worshiping a spiritual entity that is a different question.

      • Harvey says:

        I can see no evidence that humans have a “spirit” that exists in some way separate from our biological/physical selves. As it happens, I am a surgeon and have been present at many births, deaths, severe and life-threatening “near deaths”, etc.,etc. Furthermore, I have undergone two open heart procedures, myself. The idea that there is some non-corporeal essence or soul that is not a function of our biological processes (i.e. the brain) or that somehow persists when our lives end and which cannot be detected or measured using our five physical senses is totally unsupported by any kind of evidence of which I have become aware, other than anecdotal personal reports/scripture. Therefore, I can answer your question: “In my considered opinion, there is no such thing as a spirit, as you define it. Absent a spirit, we are obviously not “spiritual” beings.”

      • Simple Theologian says:

        There in lies the atheists dilemma. Cannot be observed or measured by science/logic therefore must not exist…

        It’s like saying:

        If a spirit is observed, it exists. Spirits cannot be observed, therefore must not exist.

        Would you agree?

      • HArvey says:

        We geneally do not accept the existance of anything other than “spirit/God(s)/Unicorns” without at least a modicum of evidence, either by our own observations or by the reported observations or measurements of others who we choose to trust.. In the case of Unicorns, for example, everyone has seen or read about what this creature is supposed to be like, even though noone has ever been able to prove that they have seen one. SInce the actual existance of Unicorns has little if any impact upon the lives of living humans today, such a belief is harmless, inasmuch as none of us who are “non-believers” in Unicorns are in any way handicapped by that non-belief. Needless to say, we cannot prove that Unicorns do not or have never existed, but that is a non-issue in our daily lives.
        Because the concept of “spirit” can neither be proved nor disproved does not mean that no such thing exists or has ever existed. It only means that rational people do not have to concern themselves as to whether it does or does not (sort of like Unicorns). Unfortunately, most of those who do believe that this concept (or something equally nebulous and not subject to detection by any of our five physical senses) might be true frequently choose to repond to that possibility in ways that are not always beneficial to their lives, let alone the lives of others.
        If we were to assume that belief in “spirit” was totally harmless, even if it was never beneficial (like Unicorns), this discussion would be simply an intellectual excercise among those who were interested. The realities of life and history tell us that such an assumption has never been correct.

  46. Simple Theologian says:

    As you put rational people do not have to concern themselves is accurate. I hope that you are not led to believe that only rational people do not concern themselves while only irrational people do concern themselves with such a concept?

    • Harvey says:

      No, as I thought I stated clearly, rational people do not HAVE TO concern themselves with the existance or non-existance of “spirit”, since this can have no impact upon their lives or well-being. This does not mean that only irrational people ARE concerned; only that any rational concern is strictly intellectual interest. It seems fair to say that to “believers”, these considerations MUST take on major import with regard to this life and/or what may or may not follow.

  47. Thomas Satirsley says:

    1. I tend to view morality as the study of suffering and happiness (a utilitarian/consequentialist view of ethics.) Other people approach secular ethics from another angle. It is perfectly possible to come up with ethical standards divorced from God.

    2. Everyone has to forge their own meaning in life. You have to decide for yourself what you want to do with the only chance at life you know you’re going to get.

    3. There’s a difference between an is and an ought. Darwinism is a description of the way things are, not a map for the way things should be. Humanity has reached a level of development where we can decide whether we want to help those who would’ve died in the pre-technological past. I think most ethical systems agree that it is good to help those in need.

    4. There are thousands of transitional fossils! Every fossil of a human ancestor is a transitional fossil. Think of it like a scatter plot. There is a clear trend even if there are always going to be gaps in the data. If you add twice as much data to a scatter plot there are technically going to be twice as many gaps, but it allows you to see the trend even more clearly.

    If we were to find a single impossible fossil (like a pre-Cambrian rabbit) or a new species was to appear out of nowhere those would be cast strong doubt on the evolutionary account of biology.

    5. Evolution provides some explanations for why theism might be so common in humans. In the wild assigning agency to the unknown is a better survival strategy. If you think the waving grass is a leopard and run away you live to hunt another day.

    Just because humans have a tendency to assign agency to things doesn’t mean that our hands are tied. The existence of atheists proves that atheism isn’t against human nature, even if it might not be favored by it.

    6. The Big Bang doesn’t violate physical laws if that’s what you’re asking. Our current physical laws only hold true starting a few moments after the Big Bang. Before that moment, the singularity that occurs creates infinities that our current understanding of physics doesn’t allow us to resolve. Just because we don’t know what happened at that point of singularity or “before” it doesn’t mean that the answer is God.

    7. You listed all the bad examples, how about the good ones? The Scandinavian countries and Japan are amongst the most secular in the world and they do just fine. Communism is the ideology of most of the bad societies you listed above, and communism has a lot in common with religion. It attempts to dominate the hearts and minds of the people, so of course it is antagonistic towards religion.

    8. If God is a just God then I would have no fear. If God is unjust God like the Christian God, then there’s nothing I could say or do.

    9. A well-documented unmistakably Christian miracle.

    10. I don’t believe in God because there isn’t enough evidence to justify belief in God.

  48. 1. So are there two questions involved here? You seem to question your own beliefs on the subject of whether god is equivalent to a measurement of morality? I say one can most definitely have morality sans a god. God in no way indicates to morality. For instance, one Christian’s morality may say that they should persecute and isolate any person who dares contradict God’s statement of “a man shall not lay with another man”. My morality says anyone who does that, regardless of their reasoning, is a pretty sucky person. Be your own measuring stick when it comes to morality. When Christianity tells me that a gay man who does nothing but good deeds throughout his life will not go to heaven while a convicted pedophile who experiences a last minute conversion while on death row will- I find no source of faith or hope emitting from that religion.

    2. This universe is infinite, everything is relative. We know nothing to be certain we can only draw facts from hard proven evidence, and even the reality of those facts relies on the certainty of our universe. Whether or not one believes they have a purpose in life, the world spins on, they continue to live. Do teachers immediately know that their purpose in life is to teach? Do nuns immediately know upon birth that their purpose in life is to dedicate themselves to religion? Because in case you forgot, you don’t remember anything from those first few moments in life. Much less, do you remember what you believed your purpose in life would be. if you could formulate concepts, I do believe they would be limited to a picture of mommy’s boob. Just because one does not actively seek out a purpose in life does not mean their life is useless. I am fifteen years old, and I do not know my purpose in life. But all the same, I’ve been a volunteer since I was ten, I have tutored, I babysit, I help my neighbors, I work hard, and I am there for anyone who needs me to be and I have in the past. Another thing, I am an atheist.

    3. Okay. Since when are most extreme and most logical any where near synonymous. In case you have noticed, the extremities of the world is when crazy sets in. Crazy does not equal logical. If it does, get your head checked. Anyways, I am an advocate of Darwinism as an explanation of how life in this universe has evolved over time. Darwinism doesn’t question your value as a person based on your genetics, rather it explains genetic traits and outer appearances. I do not support Eugenics because it is extremist. I do not support anything that tries to force people to change themselves. If a man or woman or any person would like plastic surgery, then they should willingly undergo it. But one cannot force breeding measurements on one race as one does to animals. That takes away the ability to bring life, because it is no longer the person’s ability, it is someone else’s tool. Should the choice to bring life in this world be anyone but the bringer’s?

    4. Good lord. This is so fucking stupid. We are not descended from apes. We share the same genetic ancestors. We are cousins of the apes, they aren’t our great grandparents. The author of these questions has literally no idea about how evolution works. If you want to see evidence of similarities between man and ape that could add to the argument of a similar ancestor, check out our old pals the cro magnum and ectera.

    Good GOD.

    5. This question is just as stupid as the one before. It is a trap question based on generalities.

    But nonetheless, I believe it is human nature to fear the unknown. The greatest unknown is death. Religion spawns as a way to combat that fear of the unknown. If one preaches an idea of an afterlife, whether good or bad, it gives certainty to a relatively uncertain world. I fear death in some ways, but fear can be just as powerful as hope in some situations. Which side wins a war? The one who believes god will fight their battles for them or the side that is fighting out of fear for the side of their people? it is the latter, for their fear can inspire them. My fear inspires me to live my life to the fullest so that on the brink of death, I have no regrets.

    6. Please do not try to use science against me when you have no grasp of one of the most crucial concepts. How about I quote religion at you instead?

    If God is almighty and all powerful, then how come when he created the earth and the life on it, he needed a day to rest? I mean for us humans yeah, this might be kinda difficult. But for an all perfect, omnipoweful deity? This is no problem. So why rest? Isn’t this where all the ‘something’ in the world came from based on the creatonist myth?

    meanwhile, science has done experiments and evidenced finds that the main building blocks of the universe could come from very basic gasses.

    7.

    hah. Don’t even go into ‘athiest’ societies because they aren’t really real. For one, religion is not eliminated from these groups. Overall, there is a ban on it but in privacy of one’s own mind, it can most definitely still be practiced. And two, religion is not eliminated in that these groups seek to replace the idea of a deity with their leader. In NK for instance, Kim Jong-Il claims that he was able to walk within three weeks of his birth. He also claimed that is birth was prophecized. Also. It is claimed that he has never defecated. So does that sound so logical and secular to you? It really doesn’t to me. Then in China, Mao is consistently described as a ‘God’ to his followers or god like. And to claim that just because Stalin was an aethiest, his society reflects all atheists is horribly wrong and quite ignorant. It is equivalent to saying that because cult members are religious, then all practices like that of Jim Jones’ Peoples Temple are representative of all religious people. Are you Jim Jones? If not, then, I and my fellow athiests are not Stalin until proven otherwise.

    8. If God were about to pass judgement on me, my thoughts would not be of the kinder nature. For the god in front of me is not a loving and merciful one as Christians describe. Rather, he is one who has let religious wars wreck entire civilizations. He let the Holocaust occur. he lets children in Africa starve. But wait, you may say, that is not God’s doing, that is the people of the earth’s doing. Yet people claim when they win Olympic medals or football games or some other great victory that it is god who did this for them and brought them to this point. If God is as all powerful as Christians claim, then everything that occurs in this world is because of him, good and bad, ‘wrong’ and ‘right’. One may have their cake but they may not eat it too.

    9. Nothing would convince me that Christianity is right short of being reborn again and being only instructed along basis of anti-intellectualism because the natural conclusion that open minded people come to is that there is no god.

    10. I am an atheist because I see the pain and hatred that religion causes. I see how unabashedly it rejects any new idea. I see the conservative and prejudical nature of it that inflicts war and terror among other people. I see the wretched power of fundamentalism when acted upon. I see how people can forgo taking responsponsibilty for their actions through religion. I see cowards when I see religious people. I see lies when I go to churches. I see abuse when I see children forced by their parents to practice a religion.

    I reject God because my own biological father is far better of a person to me than He ever was.

  49. Alec Sharratt says:

    1. If there is NO God, then there is no Measurement or Standard for morality? Then What will define morality?

    Answer – morality is a tricky subject especially when considering objective morality rather than cultural relativism… Although your question doesn’t directly address the subject of objective morality specifically, I will touch on this in my answer…

    Primarily I get my morals from a combination of my parents, the environment in which I grew up and my genetics. My genetic makeup determines many things about how I behave specially in terms of brain activity. Because brain activity is the only factor in how you feel emotions and in deciding your response; for example if certain areas around the frontal lobes do not show signs of activity the person will be predisposed towards sociopathic behaviour and will exhibit a lack of empathy. And it is primarily empathy that enables people to act in selfless or altruistic ways. Following on from this example if the person was genetically predisposed towards this kind of behaviour and was also exposed to abuse at a young age, in a statistically significant number of cases they will become violent often killing people close to them.
    Because I have this frontal lobe activity in my brain and I was not exposed to such abuse as a child I am therefore very unlikely to act in the same way. Ultimately though I am the subject of cultural relativism, in that in the society to which I am a member, it is acceptable and unacceptable to do certain things and these are deemed moral do’s and don’ts. This is exemplified by simply looking at what people in different parts of the world deem to be moral; such as in parts of the middle East where it is immoral to be gay, a crime punishable by death.
    To what standard do I measure my morality? This is an interesting point, one that forces me to ask some questions back (in addition to answering it)… The 10 commandments are from the old testament, and in that book it condones slavery, murder, and sets out rules on how your daughter should be married should be raped… Even in the new testament there are stories of genocide, infanticide, and sacrifice that would be deemed war crimes by the court of human rights today. Given that you are able to reject these parts of your holy texts, or explain them in such a way as to “justify” them I ask you, to what standard do you measure your morals, if you are able to pick the “moral” parts from the bible yourself?
    I operate, most of the time, though compassion and empathy; I think that causing suffering in others is wrong, objectively so, because what use are morals if they do not prevent the one thing that everyone wants to avoid?

    2. If there is NO God, then there is NO meaning or purpose to Life. So without a God, does life have purpose or meaning? Without God, does the Atheist have purpose?
    Answer – I honestly don’t see how god can be the purpose of your life. But if god is the purpose of your life, then all I can say is that we create our own purpose. The purpose of my life is to have fun, be happy and try and make others have fun and be happy too. I also love learning new things, skills, etc and find this pursuit to be very fulfilling and this gives me purpose. Life is one great big long party full of beauty, love, wonder and fantastic people.
    3. Are you an advocate of New Atheism and Darwinism? If so, then the most extreme and logical form of Darwinism is Eugenics. Would you support this? Why or Why Not?

    Answer – Richard Dawkins was not condoning eugenics in the page linked to in the question… He is clearly saying that there is a stigma attached to the subject but that it should be discussed openly and honestly. I am not a “darwinist” any more than I am a “Newtonist” or an “Einsteinist”. Evolutionary biology has come a long way since Darwin and combined with genetic theory and DNA profiling along with decoding the human genome; it is now possible to determine someone’s ancestry, to the point where this is considered legal proof in a court of law and in some cases has been all the evidence required to convict a person of a crime or determine if they are a parent of another person.
    Eugenics is a broad subject and to some extent it is performed regularly by doctors performing artificial insemination. The donors are screened for diseases, hereditary problems as well as other genetic and environmental factors… AND they are discriminated against based on that criteria, I do not have a problem with this. But if a government or ruling body wanted to restrict people’s freedom to breed with whoever they like, I would disagree with it. To me it all comes down to whether you are infringing upon personal freedom and liberty.
    Let me rephrase your question back to you; suicide bombing and genocide are the extreme logical form of religion, would you support this? Why or why not?

    4. If we are ancesoters/descendants of Apes, then why are there no transitional fossils or species to support this theory?
    Answer – There are literally thousands of “transitional fossils” – (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_transitional_fossils) – Furthermore there are two salient points to address here… The first is that atheists have nothing to do with evolution, the vast majority of us have no experience or limited knowledge of the science behind it. The second is that the argument about transitional fossils arises largely from the fact that whenever science produces one, creationists say “no that’s not one”.
    I think that you have demonstrated your personal lack of knowledge on a very complicated subject in the phrasing of your question. “Ancestors/descendants” – ancestors are what came before and descendants are what comes after; I am a descendant of my ancestors, I cannot be both. What this boils down to is that evolutionary theory disproves the idea of Adam and Eve, or god creating us all as were are. We have witnessed evolution actually happening, examples such as the salamander in western America are a perfect depiction of all aspects of the evolutionary theory… Ring species for example are the same “kind” and have the same ancestors but can no longer interbreed due to genetic dissimilarities that prevent offspring. Also the majority of vaccines, antibiotics and disease control measures are only possible because of biological evolutionary theory… And as a wise man once said, inaccurate data has very little practical application.
    5. Do you believe in Human Nature? It is Human Nature to believe in God, if so, why do you go against human nature and not believe in God?
    Answer – Human nature is simply a term coined by humans to describe general human traits that seem specific to humans. I would argue that a significant percentage of humans do not believe in god, thus it is not an intrinsic part of human nature. Equally, using the same logic that you propose in the question one could posit; if you are genetically predisposed towards psychopathic behaviour, why do you go against nature and not act like a psychopath?
    We are apes, in the same way that we are mammals, for a very good list of the hundreds of transitional fossils specifically for the origins of modern humans look here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_human_evolution_fossils
    6. Can ‘Something come from Nothing’? Doesn’t that violate The First Law of Thermodynamics?

    Answer – This whole argument hinges on “special pleading” on your part, because you believe that god made the universe from nothing. Either something can come from nothing or it cannot, if you are to assert that god can make something come from nothing then you are also asserting that the statement “something can come from nothing” is true (but only if god does it), which is the definition of special pleading.

    This question specifically pertains to the big bang theory, which is a very complicated science combining aspects of quantum mechanics and special relativity. There are developments in both ‘string theory’ and the ‘holographic principle’ that address the potential origin of the universe, but again without having studied for 6 years or more at university it is unlikely that you or I will have any meaningful understanding of the implications of this.
    The first law of thermodynamics pertains to the universe… During the first few milliseconds or nanoseconds of the big bang all of our current understanding of physics breaks down, it is widely believed that all of the 4 forces (nuclear strong and weak, electromagnetism and gravity) were one single force. Who knows whether the laws of thermodynamics even applied in those few nanoseconds… But they certainly did not apply prior to the universe existing.

    7. It seems that a society of Atheist are immoral and self-destructing. Why would anyone want a Godless Society, just look at our examples: North Korea, Maoist China, Stalin, & Pot Pol?

    Answer – North Korea worship their leader as a god, in fact they believe him to be a god. Stalin had the backing of the catholic church and leveraged this to his advantage. The catholic church in Russia was also responsible during Stalin’s rule for a number of atrocities including but not limited to genocide and the theft of all property belonging to every other religion (except Catholics).

    It is also worth noting that these are not atheist societies but simply atheist rulers (in some of the stated cases as I have explained). A good example of atheist societies are Sweden and Norway, in which the vast majority of people are atheists AND they have the lowest crime rates, and some of the most free societies in the world ever. If citing a few examples of atheists being bad people is enough to convince you that atheists are bad, then simply look at the long violently brutal and bloody history of religion… The dark ages, the crusades, burning witches, the inquisition, death sentences for genius’ like Michael Servetus, Hitler was catholic and was supported by the Vatican, etc etc.

    8. If you were to die, and you were before God. And he was getting ready to pass judgement on you, What would be your reaction or thoughts? What plea would you give him so he does not judge you harshly?
    Answer – I assume that you are referring specifically to the Christian god rather than any other religion that I don’t believe in. I would ask him why he would knowingly create a person (me) in the full knowledge (omniscience) that I will be an atheist and in so doing condemn me to eternal torment? I would ask him why he decided the best way to communicate his message to me, was to send someone to die for sins I wouldn’t believe in 2000 years ago and then leave it 40 years before inspiring the first person to write about the event, in a language that no-one fully understands in my time. I would ask him why, if he wanted me to believe in him, he would never provide me with what it would require to make me believe. If he was still listening at this point, I would ask him why he would not reveal himself to all people at the same time and speak unto them in their native tongue; explain that he is the one true god, thus ending all religious conflict and uniting the people of the world in spiritual and physical harmony… But instead why did he rely on internet bloggers, flyering and street preachers to send his message. I would ask him how he could author both DNA and the bible.
    9. What would convince you atheism is wrong? And that Christianity is Right?
    Proof.
    10. Why are you an Atheist? Why do you NOT believe in God? Why do you reject God? (You can be as detailed as you want.)
    Answer – Atheism is simply a lack of faith rather than a proposition or a world view. It is a definition rather than a belief system. I am an atheist because I do not believe in any god/s and I am of no religion, rather than it being the other way round. I did not choose to be an atheist any more than I choose not be a philatelist, I generally dislike the word because to many people it is a defining feature, where as I see it as the lack of a feature.
    I did not subscribe to atheism in the same way that one joins a religion; over many years I have been exposed to many different faiths, I have read many holy books, I have read and studied both philosophy and science, I am an amateur astronomer, and I am a very logical person in my approach to most things. As a result of critical thinking, a rational approach to information and a genuine hunger for truth, insight and wisdom, I find that there are no religions that can prove that they are correct or accurate.
    All religions say they are the right one, every religious person thinks that they are right or that their god is the real one. Every religion makes claims which are unsupported or have been flat out disproved by science over the years. Every religion has members who claim to have had personal experiences that “prove” to them that they are right.
    Looking at religions and their claims logically with a clear mind and rational thought one cannot demonstrably or logically prove any of them to be right. Although it has been possible to disprove aspects of religions, for example; we now know and can prove that it is static build up caused by friction in clouds that creates lightening, not Thor or another god. We now know that humans evolved and that we all have a common ancestor and that the elementary particles that compose our bodies were formed in the nuclear furnaces of several generations of stars over billions of years.
    I think that the gods of history were created by men to explain that for which they had no explanation. This is why most gods (of which historically there are hundreds of thousands) end up on the scrap heap of unknown, un-worshipped, gods and others get pushed back to the boarders of our growing knowledge. When I cannot establish something to be true or not, I say “I do not know” whereas the religious person says “god”.
    I do not “reject god” because this implies that I believe in a god and have chosen to reject it. I simply do not believe in any of the gods I have ever heard or read about.
    I hope this rather lengthy response answers your questions in a satisfying way.
    Peace

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  52. Strappado says:

    Here’s my take on the Atheist Challenge

    1. If there is NO God, then there is no Measurement or Standard for morality? Then What will define morality?

    Humans will define morality. As we already do, only some people claim to have god on their side while still being mere humans. Besides, using the Christian god as a measurement for morality is fairly depraved in my opinion.

    2. If there is NO God, then there is NO meaning or purpose to Life. So without a God, does life have purpose or meaning? Without God, does the Atheist have purpose?

    Why would I need a purpose? As long as living is preferable to death, then that’s enough for me.

    3. Are you an advocate of New Atheism and Darwinism? If so, then the most extreme and logical form of Darwinism is Eugenics. Would you support this? Why or Why Not?

    As a Christian you should know that Jesus advocated eugenics:

    Matthew 3:10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

    4. If we are ancesoters/descendants of Apes, then why are there no transitional fossils or species to support this theory?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transitional_fossil#Prominent_examples

    5. Do you believe in Human Nature? It is Human Nature to believe in God, if so, why do you go against human nature and not believe in God?

    We’re born without belief in gods, so that argument doesn’t make sense.

    6. Can ‘Something come from Nothing’? Doesn’t that violate The First Law of Thermodynamics?

    So how was god created?

    7. It seems that a society of Atheist are immoral and self-destructing. Why would anyone want a Godless Society, just look at our examples: North Korea, Maoist China, Stalin, & Pot Pol?

    I live in Norway were religion is less and less popular and we’re doing just fine, thank you.

    8. If you were to die, and you were before God. And he was getting ready to pass judgement on you, What would be your reaction or thoughts? What plea would you give him so he does not judge you harshly?

    I’d say: «You made me an atheist»

    9. What would convince you atheism is wrong? And that Christianity is Right?

    If god appeared on the sky simultaneously to everyone on the planet. That way I would know that he was real and that I was not hallucinating. As for Christianity, Jesus promised that he should return during the lifetime of his followers. He didn’t. I don’t think I can be convinced that he was anything more than a fraud.

    10. Why are you an Atheist? Why do you NOT believe in God? Why do you reject God? (You can be as detailed as you want.)

    I’m an atheist because there’s no evidence of gods. They’re just fairytales. Nothing more to it, really.

  53. Pingback: The Christian (Theist) Challenge « Confessions Of A YEC

  54. 1 – The Bible has no objective measure of morality.

    2 – If the purpose of life is to worship God, then there is a purpose for God and not for humans. Therefore, if the Christian god exists, humans ourselves have no purpose to live.

    3 – No I do not support eugenics. Although God did commit genocide a few times, so maybe he thought something analogous would be a good idea.

    4 – There are transition fossils.

    5 – It is human nature to pretend and have wishful thinking to assist us through life’s trials. This does not prove God exists, and it doesn’t give me any logical reason to believe in something like a virgin birth or miracles.

    6 – Check out Lawrence Krauss on this issue. And again, the fact that there is something is a mystery to all of us and does not prove the Christian God exists.

    7 – Many atheist societies are thriving today in Europe. The mass-murdering tyrants you cited all created their own dogmas and irrational followers, thereby creating their own religion of sorts. No one scream “Atheism Akbar!” before slicng off a head or blowing up a building. Atheism is a reaction to religion, not a dogma.

    8 – I would be looking at an evil barbarian who was going to sentence me to eternity in fire-torture for leading a good life, taking care of my family, and oh, not believing. Not sure I would want to spend eternity with someone like that.

    9 – Atheism is always changing because we actually acknowledge new evidence and thought. It would take Jesus floating down from heaven, or God talking to me directly, to convince me. If God can’t have the courtesy to drop one of his children a line and let me know he is really there for me, I certainly won’t believe he is there.

    10 – I became an atheist after reading the Bible for several decades, attending church for several decades, and learning theology for a decade. the more i learned, the more I did not believe. The Bible disproved itself.

  55. Mike Boring says:

    I guess this was supposed to be hard. A classmate suggested I do this and by doing so I would surely not stay an Atheist so here it goes.

    1. If there is NO God, then there is no Measurement or Standard for morality? Then What will define morality?

    A: My answer to the first part is God can provide a standard for morality, if he exists which is still highly improbable. The second part is that a detailed and thorough conversation needs to be had about morality. Personally I think we can ground morality in the natural world by using the constructs of health as guiding principles for moral choices.

    2. If there is NO God, then there is NO meaning or purpose to Life. So without a God, does life have purpose or meaning? Without God, does the Atheist have purpose?

    A: This questions operates on the assumption that life requires a purpose to exist. However I do not think this is the case at all. I think we as free thinking and intellectual beings can assign whatever purpose we wish to our lives. The answer to the last part is an Atheist has whatever purpose they give themselves.

    3. Are you an advocate of New Atheism and Darwinism? If so, then the most extreme and logical form of Darwinism is Eugenics. Would you support this? Why or Why Not?

    A: Pardon me for thinking this question is just silly. It comes from a place of ignorance about evolution. Not one time in any of Darwin’s writings did he use the phrase survival of the fittest; it was an inaccurate summation developed shortly after the release of his magnum opus. Obviously no moral person supports Eugenics and the reason is because it’s evil and wrong. Now, it is not the most logical form of Darwinism, but it is the most extreme. The view I follow to the extreme is truth based on fact.

    4. If we are ancesoters/descendants of Apes, then why are there no transitional fossils or species to support this theory?

    A: Again this shows a clear misunderstanding of human evolution and evolution in general. We did not come from apes, but we do share a common ancestor with apes. I implore you to go to any natural history museum and look at the evolution of the human species very closely. There is loads of evidence to support evolution and the poser of this question must either be ignorant of it or unwilling to accept it.

    5. Do you believe in Human Nature? It is Human Nature to believe in God, if so, why do you go against human nature and not believe in God?

    A: Yes I do believe we as a species have a nature about us. I do think it is human nature to believe in god, but I think it is out of fear of death and some other things that cause this. Personally, I choose to not believe in god because I am not afraid of death. I choose to live a good life and live it everyday. I do not need god for that and I think part of evolving is to free yourself from your primitive shackles.

    6. Can ‘Something come from Nothing’? Doesn’t that violate The First Law of Thermodynamics?

    A: I have no idea if something can come from nothing. Lawrence Krauss recently wrote a book on that so I would suggest that as a read. I will say there are things I cannot hope to understand and maybe never will. This does not make god the answer and I will for science to come in on the subject with evidence and plausible theories.

    7. It seems that a society of Atheist are immoral and self-destructing. Why would anyone want a Godless Society, just look at our examples: North Korea, Maoist China, Stalin, & Pot Pol?

    A: While these societies run by Atheists it does not mean they were Atheist societies. You need to find their primary motivating factor for their actions. In those cases there were many other things motivating them. If a Christian is running a farm it does not make that farm a Christian farm; it makes it a farm run by Christians. There are many other motivators at work. Also by the logic of the question does that make the atom bomb a Christian bomb since Christians helped make it? Is it a multi-religious bomb that is equal parts Christian and Jew? No it is a fucking bomb.

    8. If you were to die, and you were before God. And he was getting ready to pass judgement on you, What would be your reaction or thoughts? What plea would you give him so he does not judge you harshly?

    A: First I would say well shit I was wrong. All I would say is I did the best with the information I had. I tried to be as logical as possible and as objective as possible. However, I came to the wrong conclusion. I would then say I lead a good life and always tried to do the right thing. I would say no one deserves infinite torture or any form of torture and if you are truly as infinitely good and forgiving as I heard back down on earth then I guess I will be seeing you more often.

    9. What would convince you atheism is wrong? And that Christianity is Right?

    A: It seems a bit too close-minded to say nothing. I would say that a simultaneous appearance to everyone on earth to know I was not hallucinating for starters. Beyond that I do not know what it would take. To be honest if God can’t figure out how to prove he was real then I guess he isn’t much of a god.

    10. Why are you an Atheist? Why do you NOT believe in God? Why do you reject God? (You can be as detailed as you want.)

    A: I am atheist mainly because I found at an early age, 14, that the various religions of the world just don’t make sense. It has always seemed fishy to me that they all sound exactly the same and the farther back you go into them the more the new ones look like copies of the old with different names, places, etc. The stories of Jesus and Horus are almost exactly identical. I reject any notion of god because it is always open to an infinite regress of “well then who made that” statements. The only way to dodge that is for god to be timeless, immaterial, space-less, etc. and that is very highly unlikely. The universe is an infinitely complex place and we as a species may very well limited in the amount we can discover. This is why intellectually and realistically I am agnostic, but I personally think there is no god. My personal prediction is god does not exist, but when I look at evidence I say there really is no way I can be sure of that. Furthermore no one can be sure god exists and no one should take an absolute stance on the subject.

  56. Morality is defined by someone’s actions and how they treat other people.

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  58. Artifice says:

    1. Morality by definition is the differentiation of intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are good and those that are bad. theists are at least as capable of being kind, loyal, peaceful, generous and courageous as anyone else. No supernatural beings have to exist for those to be accepted as good characteristics. The absolute morality that religious people might profess would include what? Stoning people for adultery, punishment for breaking the sabbath, OK to sell your own daughter into slavery. These are all things that are religious based moralities. If you don’t believe me go check your bibles. I don’t want any absolute moralities. I want a morality that is thought out, reasoned, argued, discussed and based upon intelligent thinkers. If you look at the morality of the 21st century, we don’t believe in slavery anymore, we believe in the equality of woman, kindness to animals. These are things that have been developed over historical time through reasoning, sober discussion, legal theory and political and moral philosophy. These do not come from religion. To find the good scriptures in religion you have to cherry pick. You search your way through your holy book and you find the occasional verse that is acceptable and you leave out all the horrible parts. We are moral because of rationality. NOT religion.

    2. Just because there is no answer to the “meaning of life” question does not mean that by filling the void with an invisible friend will make it anymore different.

    3. Men like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris are the reason logic, reasoning, free thinking and science are what to be kept in schools rather than religious nonsense. I am defiantly in full support of that. Darwinism is just another word created by religious people in order to make them feel they have a place in an argument. Evolution is true, it is proven and science continues to learn everyday as to the intricate details of the development of human life. In short, there is evidence and proof to be shown unlike religion. As for Eugenics, science covers any and all forms of analysis on any and all forms of everything. in this case, the idea that through science maybe in time we can control evolution.

    4. Evolution moves at an incredibly slow pace. Evolution kicked in 3.7 billion years ago and brought us to where we are today as a species. It is called common descent. There is indeed fossils that do indeed provide evidence of evolution. I am not a scientist so I am not qualified to give a proper explanation. Look it up for yourself.

    5. It is human nature to believe what you want to believe. That is what is called freewill. Religion is not freewill nore is it natural. Anyone who preaches religious faith is a slaveholder that keeps mankind in a bondage to fantasy and nonsense. Something that is put on someone through indoctrination is not natural. So no…it IS NOT human nature to believe in something that is man made.

    6. The great thing about science is that when new evidence is presented that could disprove prior explanations than through study and analysis the laws of science can be changed. Science is constantly evolving and is built upon the shoulders of its ancestors. Religion is something that unrational people never change their mind about NO MATTER WHAT!

    7. Not only am I an atheist but I am also agnostic. what is wrong with saying “I dont know” rather than making up stories to fill in the voids to the big questions? There have been some really horrible people in the world. From Henry VIII, to Genghis Khan, to Hitler and Stalin and some of them were religious and some of them not. My question is does religious faith, blind faith and the absence of evidence, does that predispose people to do evil things that you would not otherwise do? The fact that faith is blind means you have no particular reason to think its positive. The very idea of blindness is negative. Being an Atheist has never logically been a motive to kill anyone. Someone who is a Muslim may kill someone for being of a different religion. But no one has ever killed anyone because they were an atheist. There is no logical reason to. Religion is just another way to control people, put fear into people and is a mass delusion that has no respect for logic. The bible is nothing but immorality. Like Ive said before, In order to find good things in the bible you have to cherry pick. Morality should not be based on beliefs, but us as humans and the way we treat each other.

    8. There is no God so I have no worry about that. And if so I would have much disrespect for a God that is judgmental and is going to teach morality based on reward and punishment. When raising children it is your responsibility to get your children to act in ways that are moral when there is no fear and no reward, but to do it for the sake of doing it. When you add everlasting life as the reward and everlasting torment as the punishment, there can be no morality. We need to treat each other well because we love each other. Not for reward or punishment. Its all about love.

    9. Show me a God and I will believe in him. If Jesus or whoever you believe in came down and showed themselves Id say “oh look I was wrong, there he is.” But thats not going to happen.

    10. Simple. There is no evidence first off. No proof whatsoever. Religion is contradicting, it is immoral, it is a form of control and is a form of mental illness if you really think God is talking to you. If you believe in a talking snake, virgin births, men who lived to be 900 years old and an invisible man in the sky keeping score than you have absolutely no grasp on reality and rational thinking. I find nothing good about religion. NOTHING! Religion is dangerous because it allows people who don’t have all the answers, to think that they do.

  59. Pingback: Ep. 34 - The Atheist Challenge: 10 Questions for Atheists

  60. Sam Herman says:

    1) Morality is defined to me as the weighing of consequences of my actions if I were to do something immoral. An example of this might be if someone were to commit murder, the consequences are possible going to jail, and ending the life of another human, and if you need a book to tell you that killing someone is wrong then you need to rethink your morals.

    2)The purpose of life is specific to each person, there is no so called all intensive purpose of life in general, although if a person grows up wanting to eliminate global warming then that may be considered the purpose of “there” life.

    3) Eugenics is a very controversial subject and I have not quite made up my mind, eugenics is similar to evolution, just artificial regulated and sped up. I have no fundamental issue with eugenics as long as normal human morals (going back to question 1) are applied, and general discretion is used.

    4) The evolution of Humans and modern aped are both branches of the same tree. As the Prehistoric apes we evolved from started to evolve , they broke off into different branches , one of these branches became modern apes, and one became humans (the same way that a leaf and a twig both grew from a seed, but turned out very different.)
    .
    5) I do believe in human nature, but it is more human nature to go with the group then to believe in god. There are many times when going against human nature is advantageous, the urge to reproduce definitely part of human nature (even at a semi young age such as 13 or 14) but it would be to our disadvantage in modern society to have a child when you are 14 or 15 years old.

    6) All current knowledge points to the fact that something cant come from nothing. I assume that you are trying to bring up were the universe came from or what might have caused the big bang, and currently we don’t know what caused the big bang, but to point the question back at you, if something cant come from nothing then were did god come from and if god has always been here why cant the same thing apply to the universe (or rather the singularity before the big bang.)

    7) In science we need to eliminate variables until we are only testing for one variable to be sure of our conclusion, when you gave examples of godless society’s that have failed they all also happened to be communist. Many godless society’s have succeeded, such as America, The UK, Germany, or Sweden.

    8) If god turned out to be real, and he was about to pass judgment on me, i would make it clear that although I didn’t believe in god I still followed the basic ideals of the bible. What I mean by, the basic ideals of the bible, is that I have tried to through my life I have tried to always do what is right. It is important to remember that I, as an atheist am looking at this question as a complete hypothetical.

    9)To be convinced that god is real, I would need SCIENTIFIC proof (from non biased scientists) that pointed to only one possible thing, the existence of god. If there was anything else that could be a reason for the results, then i would have to dismiss the evidence until further proof is provided.

    10)I find the question ” why are you an atheist” or “why do you not believe in god” to be very interesting. I could easily ask you the same thing, and it will always lead back to faith (or misguided information.) My reason for not believing in God, is that it is default. I don’t believe in anything without obvious reason for it to be considered reliable or fact. A question may be harder to answer might be, do I think the existence of god is possible? This question is much harder because going back to the default position it is hard to prove something doesn’t exist. I don’t believe god could exist, because it goes against quite a bit of known knowledge. I will leave you with one question and i would love if you would reply. Do you think it is possible that god may not exist, and why or why not.

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  62. iridescentsheep says:

    1. If there is NO God, then there is no Measurement or Standard for morality? Then What will define morality?
    I will answer with a question. If you were to find out that God does not exist would you go out and start killing random peopl? Raping children? Having sex with animals? Would you rob a bank?
    I would not do any of the previously mentioned immoral acts and yet I am an Atheist. I do not do these things because they are wrong and I do not want to. Not because a book told me so.

    2. If there is NO God, then there is NO meaning or purpose to Life. So without a God, does life have purpose or meaning? Without God, does the Atheist have purpose?
    My life has no meaning, I am one person out of the 7 billion on the planet. My life means something to me because I only get about 80 years to live. My life means something to my son and some close family members.

    3. Are you an advocate of New Atheism and Darwinism? If so, then the most extreme and logical form of Darwinism is Eugenics. Would you support this? Why or Why Not?
    We are not sheep on a farm with a shepard. We should not be treated as such. To support Eugenics would be to support forced sterlization forced abortions and forced pregnancies.

    4. If we are ancesoters/descendants of Apes, then why are there no transitional fossils or species to support this theory?
    There is a lot of evidence to support and prove evolution. I suggest reading a book (unbiased). I could not possibly explain this fully and in a way that you could understand.

    5. Do you believe in Human Nature? It is Human Nature to believe in God, if so, why do you go against human nature and not believe in God?
    Human nature’s relation to God is that humans naturally wanted to explain things they did/do not understand. That is why Gods were created. Now that we have science so we can actually study and understand the world around us and we no longer need to play make believe.

    6. Can ‘Something come from Nothing’? Doesn’t that violate The First Law of Thermodynamics?
    I have to say honestly I do not know. I have yet to get to the point to study and understand that. I have only become an Atheist a year ago and being a single mother in college does not allow a lot of free time for reading about indepth subjects. I will have a class next semester that covers it though.
    I do have to say that the question is not an argument for God or against Atheism. Since God came from… the Bible does not say. and God made the sun and the earth out of… the Bible does not answer this either. So one must Assume that God would have came from nothing and he created things from nothing.

    7. It seems that a society of Atheist are immoral and self-destructing. Why would anyone want a Godless Society, just look at our examples: North Korea, Maoist China, Stalin, & Pot Pol?

    Look at my examples: Hitler and Saddam Hussein (there ARE MANY MORE)
    The Bible promotes rape, killing your children, killing entire towns and other immoral acts. Why would anyone want a society with God? Brutal killing of homosexuals (and people only thought to be) happen “in the name of God”. A society is not good just because God is involved or bad because he is not. A society is a healthy society when the leaders are not corrupt trying to keep people down. The US government is supposed to be “Godless”. The first amendment makes it clear that no laws should be made respecting an establishment of religion. Just because some of our (the US) laws are similar to that in the Bible, it does not mean that they were written because of that.

    8. If you were to die, and you were before God. And he was getting ready to pass judgement on you, What would be your reaction or thoughts? What plea would you give him so he does not judge you harshly?
    IF God turned out to be real…
    I would not plea. I have not done anything wrong in life. I have had sex before marriage and I had a son but I am not sorry for it. I would never say that I regret my son nor that what I did was a sin. If he were to send me to hell because of that, so be it.

    9. What would convince you atheism is wrong? And that Christianity is Right?
    I would need scientific evidence.
    May I ask why you say “Christianity is Right” instead of “a belief in God is right”? There are many religions and Christianity has an equal chance of being “right” as the belief in Zeus and all of the Greek Gods.

    10. Why are you an Atheist? Why do you NOT believe in God? Why do you reject God? (You can be as detailed as you want.)
    There is no reason for me to believe in God and their is no scientific evidence to support it. I think religions are immoral and that they do not make sense. In the Bible it says that a rapist must marry the victim and pay the victim’s father money. It also says to kill an entire town if one person does not believe. The bible states that menstration is “impure”.

    I would like to add that EVERYONE is an Atheist. You may be Christian (I am assuming) but you are an Atheist when it comes to the Jewish, Muslim and countless other faiths.

  63. arkenaten says:

    1.If there is NO God, then there is no Measurement or Standard for morality? Then What will define morality?
    Who cares? As long as I know there is no sneaky sod in the sky spying on me then I’ll do what the hel…oops..heck I like.

    2. If there is NO God, then there is NO meaning or purpose to Life. So without a God, does life have purpose or meaning? Without God, does the Atheist have purpose?
    Of course there is a purpose: Beer.

    3. Are you an advocate of New Atheism and Darwinism? If so, then the most extreme and logical form of Darwinism is Eugenics. Would you support this? Why or Why Not?
    I am an advocate of anything that will pay my mortgage quicker. If God would care to step up to the plate I’ll give Him a nod, no problem.

    4. If we are ancesoters/descendants of Apes, then why are there no transitional fossils or species to support this theory?
    Of course there are…Manchester United supporters!

    5. Do you believe in Human Nature? It is Human Nature to believe in God, if so, why do you go against human nature and not believe in God?
    I go against God because he won’t pay my mortgage. He’s a tight fisted git.

    6. Can ‘Something come from Nothing’? Doesn’t that violate The First Law of Thermodynamics?
    Of course something can come from nothing…ask the bloody IRS!

    7. It seems that a society of Atheist are immoral and self-destructing. Why would anyone want a Godless Society, just look at our examples: North Korea, Maoist China, Stalin, & Pot Pol?
    You’re probably right. Let’s make Ken Ham President of the World.

    8. If you were to die, and you were before God. And he was getting ready to pass judgement on you, what would be your reaction or thoughts? What plea would you give him so he does not judge you harshly?
    As an atheist and I found myself before ANY god after dying my first reaction would be WTF! And then ask for a beer.

    9. What would convince you atheism is wrong? And that Christianity is Right?
    If I woke up on Christmas Day in Johannesburg and it was snowing and there was a Yellow Lambo parked in my drive with my name on a card.

    10. Why are you an Atheist? Why do you NOT believe in God? Why do you reject God? (You can be as detailed as you want.)
    Because God hasn’t let Liverpool win the Premiership in like a b’zillion years, the bastard!

  64. arkenaten says:

    Sigh…Yes, this is a tragic reality I am having to face. I once though I saw God sitting in the Stretford End at old Trafford, but it was merely George Best…and he was pissed.
    God is a Manchester United Fan…..The Ark weeps for humanity

  65. I find that I don’t have to educate others here about naturalism!
    We are great apes, the third chimpanzee after the bonobos and the chimps- the Hominoidea. Please support the Great Ape Project to grant the other great apes more protections!
    For morality Google: covenant morality for humanity- the presumption of humanism.
    For why He cannot possibly exist : http: igtheist.blogspot.com, http://ignosticsway.wordpress.com and http://carnedes.blogspot.com, amongst my many blogs.
    Thanks M. Rodriquez for your comment at that blog and for following me. I’ll refer to this blog and re-blog from here so as to increase your followers and our “evangel.”

  66. Pingback: 10 Questions For Atheists | Robert Nielsen

  67. john zande says:

    Morality is an extension of empathy, and all social creatures have that skill. It’s what makes the “social” part possible. Believe me, morality was around long, long, long before any man invented the first god

  68. Pingback: How does the (online) ex-Christian community affect those who have questions of faith or doubt? « Confessions Of A YEC

  69. Thanks, Rodriquez and Zande
    Please continue to post your sensible ideas here!

  70. Pingback: The Atheist Challenge | anatheistanswers

  71. noblethemes says:

    1) Admitting the existence of God, for the sake of argument, it does not follow that God would be or provide any “standard for morality.” That is an unwarranted assumption.

    There have been, and are, many various “standards for morality” in the world. Their origins are just as varied in detail; however, generally speaking, each standard originated communally and culturally for reasons including (but not limited to) preservation/safeguarding of community, means of collectively understanding life and the world, honoring ancestral heritage while providing trajectory for the future, etc.

    What will define morality apart from God? There are many possible answers to this question, but if this query is meant to prove the necessity of God in defining morality, it fails. One example should suffice: Buddhism is a non-theistic, “spiritual” philosophy/way of life complete with a “standard for morality.” This “spiritual” philosophy of life has existed for centuries, providing millions upon millions of adherents a moral/ethical “roadmap.” So … point made.

    2) As above, assuming the existence of God, it does not necessarily follow that this God would (or has) provided “meaning” or “purpose” to/for life. Likewise, it does not necessarily follow that life has no meaning or purpose apart, or in the absence of, God. To put this positively, and more simply, God could exist without having provided any meaning or purpose for life; life could very well have meaning and purpose apart from or without God, too.
    Beyond the above very cursory answer, one would have to ask, ‘What do you mean by meaning and purpose. Define the terms.’ One would also have to say, of course, that there may very well be no meaning, no purpose for life … depending on how you define those terms.

    3) The second statement ought to be challenged. Darwinism has directly to do with an understanding of biological evolution. It does not necessarily follow that one who embraces Darwinian evolution will also embrace eugenics. Here is a case of categorical confusion. However, supposing one is both an evolutionist and advocate of eugenics, how does this challenge atheism qua atheism?

    4) Are there no transitional fossils to support this theory? If not, this was something of which I was not aware; therefore, I am unprepared at the moment to answer the question.

    5) Define ‘human’ and ‘nature.’ One cannot assume that each and every participant (theoretically, at least) understands and defines these two fundamental terms in precisely the same way.

    Having said this, however, it does not follow that one is ‘going against’ human nature in denying the existence of God simply because ‘it is human nature to believe in God.’ And this assumption ought to be challenged anyway, i.e. is it really ‘human nature’ to believe in God, or is belief in God merely accidental (that is, an attribute commonly found in humanity yet one that does not affect or necessarily belong to human ‘essence’ or ‘nature.)

    6) Answering this question with another question, would not creatio ex nihilo also violate the First Law of Thermodynamics? On the other hand, perhaps the origin of the universe is not ‘something from nothing’ anyway; perhaps there was pre-existing material. If one challenges that (for whatever reason) there must eventually be an origination of this material, could not the same challenge be issued regarding the existence of God?

    7) The Inquisition, the Salem Witch Trials, the Crusades, ethnic cleansing, forced prostitution (ex. temple prostitutes), persecution of other religions, human sacrifice, repression of minorities, advocacy of slavery as divinely mandated… Perhaps atheistic societies are no worse than theistic societies after all? But this should probably return us to the above question regarding morality.

    8) Here again is an unwarranted assumption. Why would God necessarily be judging me? It seems particular religious beliefs about God are taken for granted in asking this question. However, assuming for the moment that some plea would be necessary, then mine might be, ‘Almighty God, have mercy on me!’ After all, what else could I do at that point?

    9) Aha! We finally come to it: Christianity! Have all the questions to this point been about the Christian God? We might just as well ask, ‘what would convince you that Islam is right? Or Hinduism? Or Jainism? Etc.?’ For that matter, we might toss aside all religions; after all, we speaking of the existence or non-existence of God rather than one specific religion/spirituality.

    10) Well, as a matter of fact, I do believe in God… I simply enjoyed the challenge of answering the above questions from an atheistic perspective! Thank you very much!

  72. Dvd Bach says:

    “If there is NO God, then there is no Measurement or Standard for morality? Then What will define morality?”
    Atheism makes no claim about morality; ask a psychology.

    “If there is NO God, then there is NO meaning or purpose to Life. So without a God, does life have purpose or meaning? Without God, does the Atheist have purpose?”
    Atheism makes no claim about purpose.

    “Are you an advocate of New Atheism and Darwinism? If so, then the most extreme and logical form of Darwinism is Eugenics. Would you support this? Why or Why Not?”
    Since this question is addressed to me personally, I am not answering on behalf of atheism. Personally, I have no feeling about “New Atheism” one way or another. I do not advocate “Darwinism” because science has advanced a great deal since Darwin lived. I have no feelings one way or the other on Eugenics.

    “If we are ancesoters/descendants of Apes, then why are there no transitional fossils or species to support this theory?”
    Atheism makes no claim about evolution; ask a biologist.

    “Do you believe in Human Nature? It is Human Nature to believe in God, if so, why do you go against human nature and not believe in God?”
    This question is addressed to me personally, so I do not answer on behalf of atheism. Personally, I am not familiar with the concept of Human Nature with a capital H and capital T. Since you are defining it as involving a belief in god, then no, I do not believe in it.

    “Can ‘Something come from Nothing’? Doesn’t that violate The First Law of Thermodynamics?”
    Atheism makes no claim about something or nothing; ask a physicist.

    “It seems that a society of Atheist are immoral and self-destructing. Why would anyone want a Godless Society, just look at our examples: North Korea, Maoist China, Stalin, & Pot Pol?”
    Atheism makes no claim about society; ask a political scientist.

    “If you were to die, and you were before God. And he was getting ready to pass judgement on you, What would be your reaction or thoughts? What plea would you give him so he does not judge you harshly?”
    This question is addressed to me personally, so I do not answer it on behalf of atheism. Personally, I would need to know which conception of god we’re talking about in order to answer the question.

    “What would convince you atheism is wrong? And that Christianity is Right?”
    Since the question is addressed to me, I do not answer it on behalf of atheism. Personally, I would happily believe Christianity is correct if evidence could be supplied to support that idea.

    “Why are you an Atheist? Why do you NOT believe in God? Why do you reject God? (You can be as detailed as you want.)”
    Since the question is addressed to me, I do not answer it on behalf of atheism. Personally, I do not believe in god because no one has been able to provide evidence that such a thing exists.

  73. Sam says:

    1. Using something like “Pain, mental anguish, and death is bad” as an axiom seems to work I would reckon.

    2. Upholding morals (as above) for oneself and others. Along with watching cool movies, writing down train numbers, or whatever’s your poison.

    3. I’m not entirely sure on “New Atheism” or “Darwinism”, but eugenics sounds ok to a point. I like the idea of selective breeding of people to create healthier, smarter humans, but not the killing, or sterilisation parts.

    4. You seem to have put a biology question in a philosophy questionnaire.

    5. It could also be said that mistakes are human nature, I think everyone would agree that we don’t want to make them.

    6. The first law of thermodynamics applies within the universe, I’m not sure it applies to the universe.

    7. I think secular nations are the way to go.

    8. I would be surprised, but I don’t think I would make a plea, if he is all knowing then he will already know what I would say and so I can’t change his mind. Perhaps I would say “The flames await I suppose?”

    9. God existing in a verifiable way.

    10. I’ve just never really been convinced.

  74. all the time i used to read smaller articles or reviews
    which as well clear their motive, and that is also happening with this article which I am reading now.

  75. Dvd Bach says:

    The main problem with this list is the fact that it’s addressed to atheists. The reference to atheism implies that the belief is instrinsically tied to ideas like evolution or the Big Bang, which simply isn’t true. It forced me to answer the questions from the point of view of atheism specifically. The reason that’s a problem is that atheism is only a tiny fraction of my worldview. If you removed the reference to atheism and simply asked me my opinion on the questions, some of the answers would change significantly:

    “If there is NO God, then there is no Measurement or Standard for morality? Then What will define morality?”
    An action is more or less moral depending on whether it increases happiness or causes suffering.

    “If there is NO God, then there is NO meaning or purpose to Life. So without a God, does life have purpose or meaning? Without God, does the Atheist have purpose?”
    There is no purpose inherent in life, which is actually a good thing. It gives every one of us the opportunity to create our own purpose.

    “If we are ancesoters/descendants of Apes, then why are there no transitional fossils or species to support this theory?”
    False premise. Humans are a subset of apes, just as they are a subset of mammals. All species are transitional.

    “Can ‘Something come from Nothing’? Doesn’t that violate The First Law of Thermodynamics?”
    Humanity lacks sufficient information to answer this question. We have no examples of “nothing” that we can use to test its properties.

    “It seems that a society of Atheist are immoral and self-destructing. Why would anyone want a Godless Society, just look at our examples: North Korea, Maoist China, Stalin, & Pot Pol?”
    Why would we want a religious society like Saudi Arabia, medieval Europe or Third Reich Germany? The question is misleading, since much more goes into determining the nature of society than just religion.

    “If you were to die, and you were before God. And he was getting ready to pass judgement on you, What would be your reaction or thoughts? What plea would you give him so he does not judge you harshly?”
    I’m assuming the question refers to God as most Christians conceive of him. I would clearly be screwed, since I’ve never believed in him. But I would also have two questions for him: Why is faith more important to you than skeptical inquiry? And if people believing in you is the most important thing, why did you create the universe to look as though you don’t exist? Then I’d go to hell.

  76. Pingback: Just another atheist Questionaire | The BitterSweet End

  77. Dominik says:

    Thank you for every other fantastic post.
    Where else could anybody get that type of info in such a perfect manner of writing?
    I have a presentation next week, and I am at the look for such
    information.

    • DVD Bach says:

      Thank you for the kind words! You’re welcome to quote anything I’ve said here. I’d love to take credit for it, but I don’t release my real name online!

  78. Henry says:

    Who cares ?

  79. 1. Morality is a byproduct of the lack of it. A person has to suffer, people have to suffer, before it can be realized that rape hurts, that murder is probably not so good, that stealing harms … morality was birthed out of the absence of anyone knowing any better. My brother is murdered, my sister is raped, then I meet someone who has experience the same thing … empathy is born. Empathy grows, morality is born.

    2. Life has no meaning. It’s a nice thing to seek purpose and create your own meaning while you’re alive and that’s what I do as an Atheist. I create meaning and purpose. I am, however, always aware that those meanings and purposes are local only to my personal reality – that’s how the universe works: subjectivity, while sometimes shared between many, is fake.

    3. Eugenics is elitism, and not the educational sort. Eugenics seeks to perfect the human race through intervention at the genetic level and while I don’t think there’s anything “evil” about the idea, I do feel that evolution should be allowed to happen as it will. Eugenics is a fast track to genociding whole groups of people the Eugenicists might not care for; it’s too powerful a science for most of humanity to handle responsibly.

    4. This question makes the false assumption that there are no transitional fossils. There are thousands: humans, fish, birds, and others. It is immediately fallacious on its face.

    5. There’s no such thing as human nature. Only ignorance until knowledge is gained.

    6. I violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics every time I organize my office, or tie my shoes. All the law states is that entropy must either stay the same or increase – it can never decrease. Well, it can when acted upon by an outside force – such as gravity, or my girlfriend running a muck around the house with a duster and a mop. Also, because the maximum allowable entropy is ever increasing, as the universe is ever expanding, NO the SLOTD is not run afoul.

    7. Meh. These guys weren’t just Atheists, they were assholes, and an asshole by any other name is still a smelly asshole. God gives people reasons to be cruel and monstrous, but it’s not the only thing in our society that does so. Atheists might not have god to help motivate and justify horrible actions, but there’s plenty of other catalysts for shitty behavior out there.

    8. I wouldn’t. I’m not that sort of person. I’d expect an explanation from him as to how he could justify the world being the way it is. But if I were to grovel, I suppose I’d beg him to understand how ludicrous an idea it is, on Earth, to believe in him when his practitioners act the way they do.

    9. God would have to appear and turn a mountain into a fudge sundae, instantaneously, right in front of my eyes.

    10. I make the decision to not believe in things that aren’t established a fact, or things that don’t have enough documentation to justify me being hopeful that they might be true. Take for example the Higgs Boson, I believed it was true because there was a mountain of paper work, that made good logical sense, predicting its existence – so I hoped it was real, I believed it would be found, as it was. God, on the other hand, has a single book, written by dessert nomads in a time no one remembers or that was particularly well documented. That’s it. There’s no sign that god is real, save perhaps the subjective signs – but as I said in on of the previous answers: subjectivity is fake.

  80. Asking questions are truly fastidious thing if you are not understanding
    something entirely, but this post offers nice understanding yet.

    • Paul Manocchio says:

      1.Morality is defined and modified by society. I care for your loved ones and for the ideals of the common good does not need divine suggestion.
      2. Life has purpose. The best we can do is make life better for others. If purpose as the christian god requires is not purpose it is a threat from a vindictive and jealous tyrant.
      3. I am an advocate of Darwinism, however Eugenics would be not be part of natural selection because its applications and resulting intention is not specifically evolving for the sake of the species survival.
      4. Your question exposes your lack of understanding of Darwins findings. Humans will never see animals in transition because we do not live long enough. Furthermore, there are many animals that show evidence of trasition: Peguins, birds that don’t fly but swim/ ostrich, birds that run but don’t fly/ bats, mammals that fly/ platapus, mammal that lays eggs/ lung fish, fish that breathes air…
      5. How can you say believing human nature to believe in god? Human nature has been decieved for a few thousand years to believe in a supernatural creater. However, there is much research that show evidence that a more analytical mind is less likely to believe in religious myths.
      6. something does not have to come from nothing if you understand that there was always some. The problem with is found in the confusion that there has to be a beginning. We see that in life and the living that there has to be a beginning and an end. However, if the universe came from another that came from another ad infinitum.
      7. You associate the cruel conditions of godless society with with examples of societies lead by ruthless totalitarian and dictatorial regimes. This conclusion if filled with the elitist nature of christianity. christianity beleive that there are people and there are better people. With this prejudicial outlook a society filled with christians would be a restrictive and as lacking of freedom as those societies you cited in your question.
      8. As an Anti-Theist I have not fear of death or the judgement of a christian’s supernatural being.
      9. I would be a christian if I was shown provable scientific evidence. At the same time I am glad that could never happen because I would not want to live under the spirit who proved in the book he claims to inspired that he is ruthless, jealous, egotistical, and tyrannical.
      10. I am an Anti-Theist because religion has done more bad than good. Religion was conceived to control the weak and make those in the business rich and powerful. I am an Anti-Theist because the book that is so sacred to too many is poorly written, contradicts itself, changes it story, tells of impossibilities, and requires us to live by rules and standards that were conjured up for a time that does not reflect ours in anyway. I am a Anti-Theist because think, learn, explore, ask questions and read other books; all things that are forbidden by religion.

  81. Carter Waid says:

    What do you mean by God. I can’t answer questions about something unless I know its definition. What are its attributes? Creator of the Universe? Leaving it on automatic, i.e., the big bang, or actively intervening, i.e. playing in the sandbox it built?
    It cannot be omnipotent, omniscient, and all caring simultaneously because of countless counter-examples: war, poverty, the plague, babies in Central American that took many days to die buried in a mud slide, etc.

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