What If I’m Wrong?

February 25th, 2010

A few days ago this question appeared in the comments of this blog.

What if you’re wrong?

So yes…

What if I am wrong?

What if there is a god?

And what if there is not only a god, but one that is righteously pissed off because I am writing a daily screed against the entire idea of his/her existence?

Will I go to hell for being such an unrepentant bad ass?

Will I spend eternity slowly roasting over the flames created by god’s holy indignation?

Will I have to weep.

And gnash

My teeth

Forever?

I’ve decided that I’m not going to answer this question…

I’m going to let Richard Dawkins answer it for me.

Because he knows all about the Great Juju at the bottom of the sea.

And I don’t.

.

Comments

  • Ted Powell:

    That’s a lovely clip! I’ve heard the answer before, but this is the best presentation of it that I’ve seen. Is there a way you can put a lasting link to it in your blog header or sidebar?

  • Alison:

    You know, that person can also ask themselves that same exact question. What if THEY are wrong?? No one knows 100% what is true and what isn’t. If someone says they know 100% that god is real, they are lying. I can’t say with 100% certainty that I know god doesn’t exist, but I also can’t say that I know with 100% certainty that god DOES exist! No one knows. No one.

  • Alison:

    LOL I posted that comment before I watched the video. Richard Dawkins and I are on the same page!! Maybe I should read his books :)

  • Lori:

    Ok, so most of the discussion lately has been “there is no God” and as a Christian, I must prove his existence. Maybe the burden of proof is on you. How can you PROVE God DOES NOT exist? And please, no tired arguments on wars, sickness, evils of man stuff. I want more than that. How WAS earth and man created my dear atheists?? I am on pins and needles awaiting the answers. Of course, I can’t PROVE that to you… hee hee

    Thanks for keeping God in the fore front of your blog Rechelle! :)

  • Speaking only for myself, I don’t worry about the afterlife. If G-d exists – and if He is anything like His advertising – then he won’t begrudge me my doubts. I come by ‘em honestly.

  • @ Lori – Generally speaking, the burden of proof is on the person making the extraordinary claim. (“There was this guy, see, and he came back from the dead, and as a result your sins are forgiven.”)

    That said, it’s an unprovable assertion – in either direction. You can’t absolutely prove that G-d exists any more than you can prove that He doesn’t exist. The best you can do is go with the preponderance of evidence and/or your own personal experience.

    The problem is that the existence of an all-powerful being who exists outside of time and space is fundamentally untestable.

    Yes, that’s right; I’m a militant agnostic.

  • Elyse:

    @Lori (And Rechelle, too! I think you’d really like this), read (and also find the audio on youtube to go with it) this lecture by Bertrand Russell: http://users.drew.edu/~jlenz/whynot.html he gives a lot of sound reason why there is unlikely to be a god.

    In either case, I’m not willing to believe everything one arbitrary (and highly ambiguous!) book says for fear of being wrong. I find nothing moral in that behavior. I find it much more moral and much more honest to authentically determine what is moral and what is right on your own and act accordingly. For instance, are you more proud of a child when s/he apologizes for hitting another when the apology has been prompted and indeed forced, or when it is authentic and a decision made on his/her own? From that line of thought, I can only conclude that an eternity with a being who commends following orders blindly and condemns those who search for answers in earnest is not one I am interested in the slightest.

    Furthermore, the Bible is conflicted about the existence of the afterlife. If you go by the old testament, the majority of us return to dust, while only a chosen, elite few get to join God in heaven.

    I’m quite alright with dust and prefer it to immortality / eternity of any kind.

  • What if I am wrong? Well, I suppose, we all know what that means, doesn’t it?

    I will not enjoy going to this special place. You know, the one where this god (complex) sits on his throne surrounded by 24 elders, worshiping him restlessness by constantly throwing their crowns on the floor, while four six winged creatures with eyes all over them chant “holy,holy,holy” for all eternity.

    I kinda wonder, if anyone who asks that stupid question ever bothered to read the book of revelations.

  • Potco:

    Lori,
    I won’t attempt to disprove god with the argument from evil, all that proves is that the Christian God is not good, he/she/it is at best indifferent. In fact I won’t try to disprove god at all, what can be said is that based on the evidence we have about how the world works, and how it came about the only god that is remotely likely is a deistic god that kicked off the big bang and that was it. However, if you look into theoretical physics then it is possible for the big bang to happen without god being present, in fact god is unlikely. Once our universe is created, you have cosmic evolution which will eventually create our solar system about 4.6 billion years ago. Once our planet is created then a single cell of life starts, most likely as rna or something similar, through abiogenesis. Once we have life on earth then all species that have ever lived were created through the process known as Evolution by natural selection. In fact, inserting a god or gods anywhere in here makes the process look different and therefore is highly unlikely. See Jerry Coyne at AII 2009 on youtube for evidence of that. Further, most people say I can feel god, but people of any faith can say that, so you can’t use that as evidence for their being a god. Nor can you use miracle, because miracles by definition must be impossible events happening, not just improbably events. Improbably events happen constantly.

    As to why most atheists say that the proof is on you, well, I won’t ask you to prove Gods existence, just to provide evidence that removes the faith element. But as to why, look at Russel’s teapot.

    If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is an intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.

    I hope you took the time to read this, and I leave you with a quote from Carl Sagan:
    “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”

  • Kimberly:

    Some people’s brains just aren’t able to comprehend the beautiful complexities of math/science and how it explains the world around us. As a result, they default to religion because it is ‘easier’ for them to understand.

  • Boz:

    What if I’m wrong?

    I’ll be reincarnated as a worm, or a rat, instead of a prince of princess.

  • Wondering Woman:

    Wow, Richard Dawkins, I can see where people would accept him as an authority on the universe.

  • Boz:

    Ok, so most of the discussion lately has been “there are no gods” and as a follower of Asatru, I must prove Odin’s existence. Maybe the burden of proof is on you. How can you PROVE Odin DOES NOT exist? And please, no tired arguments on wars, sickness, evils of man stuff. I want more than that. How WAS earth lifted out of the sea by the Sons of Burr my dear atheists?? I am on pins and needles awaiting the answers. Of course, I can’t PROVE that to you… hee hee

    Thanks for keeping Odin in the fore front of your blog Rechelle! :)

  • Jadehawk:

    Maybe the burden of proof is on you.

    ok lori, here’s the thing. in formal inquiry (science for example), it’s not possible to prove a negative. if I told you I had a sister, you couldn’t conclusively prove that I don’t

    For that reason, the rule is always that one assumes the non-existence of something until the non-existence is disproved by evidence for its existence (i.e. testing your claim against the null hypothesis). It’s called the principle of parsimony, or Occam’s Razor.

    Not following this rule means that even when you’re wrong, you’re never totally wrong. not following this rule on the other hand increases your chances of being more and more wrong, on more and more subjects.

  • Jadehawk:

    erm. i meant “following this rule means….”

    oopsie :-p

  • Addi:

    Lori – Christians (or religious folk in general) are the ones making the claim, therefore the burden of proof is on them. This clip of James Randi explains it better than I ever could…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWJTUAezxAI

    Best,
    Another Militant Agnostic

  • Jadehawk:

    How WAS earth and man created my dear atheists??

    the sciences of planet formation and evolution of life are pretty well established. there’s lots of books, internet resources and scientific papers, that provide these answers in different ways, depending on your scientific literacy. this is trivial. even believers in various gods know and accept this, it’s not an atheist thing. it’s a science thing.

  • I refuse to comment on the what if you are wrong question. I have personally experienced to many miracles to be a non-believer. What I am wondering is this:

    I started reading your blog back when you were happy in your writing. Back when you wrote about more than how stupid christianity is. Back before you tried to “save us all from our delusions” I want to know if that CDW still exists at all? Will you ever return to writing about more than how big a waste of time faith is? Cause if this is what your blog is gonna be about from now on, I would like to know now so I can stop wasting my time reading something that makes me so sad. If this is just something you need to express and then move on, I will wait for that. If not, let me know so I can unfollow you. That is all.

  • priscilla:

    “the entire idea of his/her existence?”

    I prefer to think that the god I don’t believe in is a guy.

  • Darlene:

    What if I’m wrong?

    Frankly, if I died and met god, and it was the god of the Christian bible, I would spit at him. And happily spend eternity not being forced to be in his presence.

    As written, he is a psychopath, a sadistic, petty, jealous creature who gets off on torturing and killing, and encouraging the torturing, killing, enslavement, and genocide of others.

    Only such a vile creature could even come up with the concept of hell. As written, he reminds of an abusive and jealous boyfriend who, if you attempt to leave, would rather see you dead then happy without him.

    What if I’m wrong?

    Then there will be a reckoning, and he will have some ‘splaining to do.

  • Liz:

    Darlene- if you are wrong, your knee will bow and your mouth with confess that he is Lord. That’s what it says in the ‘Christian bible’.

  • Ted Powell:

    Jaclyn Bailey wrote: I refuse to comment on …OK, I’ll refuse to comment on the fact that (according to Google) this is the longest posting you’ve made here since 2008.My guess—and it’s just a guess, not based on any personal knowledge of CDW—is that the sooner people lay off trying to make her feel bad/guilty/damned/a disappointment to her family/boring/… the sooner things will settle back to whatever is normal here. Meanwhile, as long as you’re using a decent web feed aggregator, or even just a live link, you should be able to view the article titles without having to see the content, and not actually bring an article up until/unless you are comfortable with it. I’ll look forward to the time you feel able to make a positive contribution here.

  • JJ:

    I think you have been talking about God more now than you ever did before when you went to church – in the not believing in God sense…

  • Darlene:

    Liz-

    My knee may bow and I might admit there is a god, but I would still despise him. I would still demand an accounting for his evil ways.

    The god of the bible is an abomination, and I take great comfort knowing he is only a fictional character in the delusions of a bronze age tribe.

    Luckily, I sleep peacefully knowing that despite assertions of a dirty man in the sky watching me in most private moments, we have been to the sky and the stars beyond and peered into the centers of galaxies and heard the noises from the beginning of time, billions of years ago, and yet there is no one there.

    I don’t stay up at night worrying about eternal torment. Any being that would even think such a punishment is just is a being I want nothing to do with.

    I find no god much more comforting. My parents raised me to stand up to bullies and serial killers,not worship them.

    But odds are I am not wrong. Or I am wrong and will be face-to-face with Zeus. Or Allah. Or any number of imaginary creatures. There have been thousands of gods littering the pathways of humankind.

    But I focus on life, now. So I’m not worried.

    Besides, if there is a hell all the interesting people will be there anyway. Most of my family and friends, and just about anyone who ever had an interesting thought: most of the founding fathers, huge swathes of scientists and artists…most anyone I would ever have wanted to speak to would be there, so I’d be in excellent company.

  • JJ – You are right. I had zero interest in talking about god when I was a christian. I hated the idea of turning off my non-christian readers. I didn’t want to lose them or offend them. I had many misgivings about my own faith and I certainly had no desire to jump on the hallelujia christian bandwagon with a bible verse up in the right hand corner of my blog. But religion has always held a fascination for me. Finally being able to talk about it in a way that makes sense to me (that it is completely made-up and a fraud) is a huge relief and something that I am truly enjoying.

  • Lori:

    Well, you all certainly have some strong opinions. And interesting ones. Thanks for the honest feelings and discussion. Some of your comments make me feel like I have been sucker punched in gut. Has someone ever said something to you and it wasn’t really what they said but the attitude behind it? Sometimes it isn’t what you guys say so much as the attitude I sense behind it. Although, this is not a good way to discuss something so serious. Body language, nuances are lost in the written word so I may be taking some of you wrong and I apologize if that is the case. Putting science aside for a moment, just for a moment, I can tell you without and shadow of a doubt I believe in Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit. As sure as this computer is in front of me, I believe in the Trinity. And it is ok if you make fun or rake me over the coals. And no, I won’t chalk that up to “persecution”. I would save that word for people who are truly persecuted for believing in Christ. You guys have facts, figures, data that I just don’t have time to go thru right now b/c I am supposed to being doing laundry… :) But I have an deep faith in God that facts and figures wouldn’t change anyway. I just lost a baby in December in the 2nd trimester and as BAD as it was (and it was BAD!) I could not have made it thru without Jesus. It is more than a feeling, thank goodness, because let me tell you, after my m/c my feelings were up and down like a roller coaster. I don’t serve a God that makes me follow a bunch of regulations to win His love and favor. It is the most freeing thing in the world to know I don’t have to earn it or work for it because I screw up quite often. I serve God b/c I choose too, because I want to. How could I not love a God that allowed me to be surrounded by so many kind people after such a sad time in my life. On a funny note, after my m/c, the people that said the stupidest things were a couple of Christians. In order not to go off on them and say something I would regret later, I paraphrased a Bible verse into “the stupid ye shall have with you always”… ;) All that to say? Dunno. Just wanted to get it off my chest…

    Let ‘er rip people. I am sure some of you can’t wait to tear into me… :)

  • @Lori
    “Ok, so most of the discussion lately has been “there is no God” and as a Christian, I must prove his existence. Maybe the burden of proof is on you. How can you PROVE God DOES NOT exist?”

    Oh, that is actually quite a simple task. If you are of the opinion that the believer can make a strong claim, without presenting any evidence and that it is the job of the non believer to proof him wrong, then I’d like to introduce you to my pal Muhammad.
    You see, Muhammad also beliefs in a god, called Allah, which is pretty much the same as your god Yahwe. The only difference between these two being, that they are not the same. In fact, Allah and Yahwe are even mutually exclusive, so at most one of them can exist. My pal Muhammad now claims, that his Allah is the real one and your Yahwe is imaginary, making you the non believer. Since it is the job of the non-believer to proof the believer to be wrong, it’s your turn to disprove the existence of Allah.

    Once you have done this, I’ll simply use your proof to also disproof the existence of Yahwe. Now, wasn’t that easy?

  • Twin-Skies:

    @Lori

    You were helped by Jesus, or by a loving family and circle of friends who were more than willing to help you endure such a difficult time of your life?

    I won’t diss your personal belief (that’s why it’s called personal), but don’t you think it’s fair to give credit where it’s due? ;)

    “Putting science aside for a moment, just for a moment, I can tell you without and shadow of a doubt I believe in Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit. As sure as this computer is in front of me, I believe in the Trinity.”

    The problem with this analogy is that there is solid, empirical data that proves your PC is there in front of you; there is none for the Holy Spirit you speak of. You can’t put science aside out of mere inconvenience like that, especially where matters of hard facts are concerned.

  • I’m sorry, I hope you’re wrong, I truly do.

    • Bridgette – You hope that I am wrong and I will roast eternally in hell? You hope I’m wrong and that there is a god that gets pissed off about people questioning his/her/it’s existence so he/she/it flings them into a burning pit? You hope that I am wrong about the flying spaghetti monster? I need some clarification here. Because really – wouldn’t it be better if YOU were wrong and no one went to hell? Especially just because they disagree with your version of god.

  • tonya:

    Love the clip, thanks for sharing, I’ll be attaching it a few places myself. I also happen to talk about god more since coming out as a lifelong atheist. Funny how that works.

    Lori,
    In my experience, no one CHOOSES to believe anything. They just DO. Faith is often served up as “proof” of god’s existence – something you believe without having a way to prove it. Someone believes in god because they just DO. As an atheist, I don’t believe in god because I just DON’T. The saying of the words “I do” or “I don’t” doesn’t make the thing true. It’s not like I said “I’ve DECIDED I won’t believe in god.” My FAITH (something I BELIEVE without “proof”) is that there is no god. And of course the burden of proof always falls on proving the positive, you don’t prove nothing, you prove something.

    Jaclyn,
    It would have been much shorter for you to type “I only read blogs written by people who believe exactly as I do.” Suggesting that atheism (or any fundamental belief) is just something you can “wait out” until she gets back to your approved topics smacks of supremacy. She didn’t say “only atheists can read my blog from now on.” You could have just LEFT. Reminds me of the little kid looking over his shoulder as he pretends to run away…”I’m leavvvvvinngggg….reallly…..I’m gooiinggggg….oooh, candy! OK, I’ll stay.” If I no longer want to be somewhere, I just leave. Just like right NOW. bye.

  • Michael:

    I like to use an exchange from Angels and Demons that sums up my entire position on whether I believe in God or not.

    Camerlengo Patrick McKenna: Do you believe in God, sir?

    Robert Langdon: Father, I simply believe that religion…

    Camerlengo Patrick McKenna: I did not ask if you believe what man says about God. I asked if you believe in God.

    Robert Langdon: I’m an academic. My mind tells me I will never understand God.

    Camerlengo Patrick McKenna: And your heart?

    Robert Langdon: Tells me I’m not meant to. Faith is a gift that I have yet to receive.

    Faith is a gift I have yet to receive myself, and I don’t know if I ever will. Do I think it’s silly or pointless to believe in something that I personally don’t believe exists or have not yet come to understand how one can believe in it? No. For some, that’s just what they need in their lives.

    It all comes down to how the person lives with their faith. Ideally we’d all be living by the MESSAGES that are taught and not take the WORDS so literally to turn them into laws of life that separate everyone from being a united race.

    What do I believe in? I believe in the messages that an inspired group of people shared with each other from one generation to the next and that’s to treat one another as you would want to be treated in your life.

    Since we all want to be treated fairly and we all want to be respected… then why is it so hard to do that to everyone else?

  • Darlene:

    Lori-

    When I was a child and had nightmares or heard the monster under my bed rustling in hunger, my Teddy Bear saved me. And I know he had magical powers because here I am, uneaten by the crab that was large as a dishplate and kept trying to grab my ankles to pull me under for a nice nosh.

    Bad things happen and good things happen, but wither they are both caused by god or they aren’t. You can’t credit one but debit someone else. So if man does evil because of man, then man does good because of man. And if god is responsible for all the nice things, then he has to also be responsible for all the bad things.

    You believe your god surrounded you with wonderful people during a difficult time. So who was responsible for that difficult time?

    All I know is that my Teddy worked. No one can prove he didn’t. No one can prove that there wasn’t a crab with ginormous claws waiting to pinch my ankles that the power of Teddy somehow kept at bay.

    I believe without a shadow of doubt in Teddy. As sure as I Sam typing this on a computer I believe in Teddy. It is more then a feeling because, let me tell you, that evil crab was real. How could I not love a Teddy that kept me safe and saw me through such a difficult and dangerous time?

    And since I know nuance is lost online, I’m trying to explain the geniune lack of understanding I have in the complete faith people have in religion. My Teddy is the only thing I’ve ever been able to imagine with supernatural powers, so it is the only thing I can compare it to.

  • Lori Eaker:

    Well, then it seems we all have our crutches. For some it is science, for others a toy and for others, a keen mind. Like I have stated before, I know I won’t change anyone’s mind and that is ok. It isn’t my job anyway. Thanks for the vigorous debate and thanks to you Rechelle for letting it happen. We all have choices to make and thank God we live in a country that allows such diversity. Oops, there is that pesky “God” word again…;)

  • Courtney:

    The thing about the internet, is you can read any number of things that agree or disagree with your point of view.
    To the reader who asks that Rechelle gets back to posting about happy-go-lucky times killing chickens or playing dressup while killing chickens or whatever: Please understand that she’s going through a sea change right now. Something that she once held private and shameful is now being opened to the vagaries of the internet. Likely her family and friends are asking much of the same questions we are (if they’re not posting anything themselves). If you don’t want to read about someone’s faith, (or lack thereof) don’t read it. You can tell within the first three lines of the post that it’s going to be something about atheism. If you don’t like, go away.

    Rechelle, I like reading about your happy-go-lucky times. Thank you also for exploring this in a forum where you know you’ll receive criticism. You are very brave.
    Also, you should youtube tim minchin. Not always family-friendly, but some of his stuff is always good for a laugh. Start with “Bears Don’t Dig on Dancing” “Storm” and “Angry (Feet)”

  • Carol:

    Lori, I find it interesting that you feel “sucker punched” by people who are suggesting you perhaps read up a bit on logic. (Shoot, just learn a little Hume, and you’ll understand the whole not proving a negative – see there’s this guy who thinks there are only white swans and….) Meanwhile, apparently as you have not mentioned your personal theology, you don’t understand how horrible it is for people to be telling you that you are going to burn in hell for understanding that evolution is a fact and just what a theory is (again, see that pesky Hume guy.) And saying the wee innocent babes are going to burn in hell for all eternity and then saying that that the guy who is going to put you into hell also LOVES you. It feels like domestic abuse to me. I don’t want people telling me or my children that. We don’t believe it.

    I’ll close with a bit of Terry Pratchett. (This is paraphrased) In Discworld, the gods didn’t care much about judging souls. So the only people that went to Hell (which does exist) are the people that believe in it. And this is why it is important to shoot missionaries immediately. (On Discworld only, of course!)

    Anyway, read a Logic for Dummies books so you will understand why the burden of proof is on the one making the claim.

  • Twin-Skies:

    @Lori Eaker
    That’s a terrible analogy for science and keen minds.

    Don’t belittle a discipline you have little knowledge of – it’s insulting.

    I suggest you read up on the definition of the word before trying to draw a parallel between science and religion.

  • efrique:

    “What if you’re wrong?” is basically Pacal’s wager dolled up as a concern-troll.

    Lori said:
    Maybe the burden of proof is on you. How can you PROVE God DOES NOT exist?

    No, burden of proof lies with the person making the extraordinary claim, or we’re stuck with having to accept all claims that have been structured so as to be difficult to refute – even when they make no sense, and even when they contradict each other!

    If I say there’s an invisible pink unicorn in my fridge blessed be her holy hooves, the burden is not on you to disprove my wild claim, but on me to do more than just say so. Same with any extraordinary claim.

    There are million of extraordinary claims made every year, and the proper position on all of them is “where’s your evidence?”

    The fact that you would suggest the burden goes the other way (as nonsensical as that would be, since you’d also have to entertain the invisibile pink unicorn, since you can’t disprove her existence) serves to indicate how weak the actual evidence is for your particular extraordinary claim.

  • Alex:

    “As sure as this computer is in front of me, I believe in the Trinity.”

    People with religious faith feel that their belief is as strong as logic and material things, whereas thoughtful non-religious people tend to think that’s kind of like showing up to a tennis match with an imaginary racket and then trash talking your opponent.

  • jalf:

    Lori: That’s nonsense. Ever heard of Russel’s Teapot? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell%27s_teapot)

    If I claim that a small teapot is floating between Earth and Mars, too small for us to detect with our telescopes, is the burden on me or you to prove/disprove it?

    You are the one making hard-to-believe claims: A supernatural being that we have no way of seeing exists, and he is able to carry out all sorts of miracles. Two thousand years ago, a man was crucified and then got resurrected.

    Saying “prove it” to claims like this is perfectly fair. Asking us to disprove it is just absurd. I’ll disprove it as soon as you disprove the teapot.

    “How WAS earth and man created my dear atheists??”
    Earth: The big bang created a lot of matter, and matter floating around in space for long enough tend to clump together due to the effects of gravity. When such a cluster of matter gets big enough, the pressure causes it to combust and it becomes a sun. The smaller blobs circling it eventually become planets.

    And yes, you may say this is an unsatisfactory explanation because “where did all this matter come from”. I could ask you the same thing: “Ok, so God created the Earth. Where did God come from?”

    Mankind: Evolution. Simple as that. Any questions?

    That’s the reason I don’t believe in God: The world makes more sense without him. If we assume that he does *not* exist, then a million observations, experiments, measurements and tests all fit nicely together, showing us how we were created, how the world was created, what species lived in the past, why the sky is blue, and what’s outside our planet.

    If we assume that God *does* exist, all of this crumbles. Suddenly *nothing* makes sense. We can see from hundreds of different test methods, that the species that were around 200 million years ago had little to do with the ones we have today. Mankind certainly wasn’t there. And yet the Bible claims all lifeforms were created at the same time.

    We also have to find room for a worldwide flood, and figure out the logistics of an ark carrying two of every kind of animal… And the genealogy… How would these two creatures create a new population without everyone dying out from inbreeding?

    A thousand years ago, people believed in God because the world with God (God created everything. End of story) made more sense than the one without (the world is here. We dunno why).

    Today, the roles are reversed. Today, assuming the existence of God causes hundreds of contradictions with what we know about the world.

    “I have an deep faith in God that facts and figures wouldn’t change anyway”
    Interesting. If that’s how you wish to live, then go ahead. I feel differently. If facts contradict what I believe, then I’ll find a new belief. I don’t believe anything for the sake of belief. I believe what I think is *true*.

    What I find puzzling is why you bother to “debate” the subject, if you’re not actually interested in whether your belief is right or not.
    When I debate something, it is because I believe I and my opponent may both learn something. My opponent may be able to show me that I’m wrong, and then I’ll have learned something important, and can revise my position. If my opponent is wrong, then I may be able to do him or her the same favor.

    People who pretend to debate, despite having no interest in changing the other person’s mind, and have no interest in what is actually *true* are just wasting everyone’s time. It’s hardly a discussion if your position is I don’t care if I’m wrong, and I can’t tell you anything you don’t know”.

    If you think you can change my mind, let me know. If you have any questions about atheism, or any of the scientific evidence that makes me doubt the existence of God, let me know.
    If not, I don’t really see any point in reading or responding to your comments.

  • Dawkins, while amusing, didn’t answer the question. Darlene Did.

  • Brian V.:

    Darlene, I just feel led to tell you that because of your testimony, Teddy is now my personal saviour. I have accepted him finally, and such a load has been lifted from my shoulders. When I was about 7, I ran crying into my parent’s bedroom because of nightmares of hellfire that were guaranteed me by the Baptist preacher (my dad). I begged my mom to get me saved by Jesus and she did her holy job but it has never quite seemed to work, you know…. Now I have Teddy, and I really really believe in Teddy. Ted bless you, dear Darlene!
    -Baptard preacher’s son

  • Marilyn:

    I was going to suggest the book, The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel, when I read the following review of the book by J. Williams. I hope he doesn’t mind me sharing his words, but they really say it all:

    “I read this book a couple of years ago, when I considered myself a skeptic. Now, I consider myself a Christian. This book is not what convinced me.

    If you read the reviews, they are very telling. All the Christians love the book, all the skeptics (whether they be atheist, agnostic, secular humanist, or whatever) hate the book. Everyone is biased; it is impossible not to be. People come into a situation with preconceived notions, and will believe what they want to believe, even when presented with facts that seemingly contradict their views.

    Thus, Christians can read this book and come away from it with the view that it reaffirms their faith; skeptics come away from it with the view that it reaffirms their skepticism.

    Trying to make the case for faith based on historical and scientific evidence is flawed in and of itself. That’s why they call it FAITH. Believing in the divinity of Christ is a leap of faith that one has to take to become a Christian – if it could be proven by scientific and historical evidence, then it wouldn’t be faith at all. That’s the whole point of it.

    I think examining evidence for the existence of the historical Jesus is fine, but when you throw in the key issue of divinity and the resurrection, that’s where faith comes in.

    The reason I believe in the divinity of Christ has to do with what I feel in my heart, and the major changes that came about in my life due to the change in spiritual perspective that occurred when I went from “skeptic” to “believer”. It really is about a personal relationship with God. It has absolutely nothing to do with the church, which is a severely flawed creation organized by man, who has the innate ability to pervert and corrupt everything he is involved with. Likewise, personal faith has very little to do with historical and scientific evidence.

    It’s very similar to being in love – no one can prove that they’re in love – likewise, you can’t disprove it. You can’t even prove or disprove the existence of love. But you feel it in your heart – you know when you’re in love. That’s what faith is to me, and to millions of other Christians the world over.” AMEN

    • Marilyn – I read that book. It worked for me for about three months and then the same old questions came back. If I remember correctly, Strobel basically uses the bible to prove the bible – which is the definition of absurdity… or insanity… or both.

  • Alex – I laughed out loud.

  • Cheyenne:

    Marilyn,
    The thing to do is to read Strobel or C.S. Lewis, or whoever and then read their critics and see if their claims still hold up under fire. The same is true for the nontheistic writers like Dawkins and Dennet, etc. Faith is really the same thing as saying “beacuse I want it to be true.” If there’s not enough evidence for something, the best thing to do is to reserve judgement until there is more evidence, not pick the thing that you wish were real.

    Lori,
    I’m so sorry about your miscarriage. When I was pregnant with my kids, I remember worrying about that until I was past the “safe” point, and I imagined how hard it would be to lose my baby. So, my heart goes out to you. I know it must be extremely painful for you and I’m glad you have a lot of support. As for your faith, is there anything that could change your mind? For a long time I would look into things only so far, and when it got too threatening to my faith I would shy away. It was just too painful and scary to go there. Once I realized that God and Jesus were not real, I felt like someone close to me had died. It was very hard for a while. I’m just thinking that if you’ve set up a protective wall around your faith, and you will not allow your thinking to go down certain paths, then you will never really be able to understand those who have. I think maybe it takes a certain kind of personality to decide that they must know the truth at all costs, and to persue that no matter where it leads them. For most, it’s just not worth the personal sacrifice.

  • Wondering Woman:

    If the Good News we preach is veiled from anyone, it is a sign that they are perishing.
    2Cr 4:4 Satan, the god of this evil world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe, so they are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News that is shining upon them. They don’t understand the message we preach about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.

    and never the twain shall meet….

  • @ Lori – “Putting science aside for a moment, just for a moment, I can tell you without and shadow of a doubt I believe in Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit. As sure as this computer is in front of me, I believe in the Trinity. And it is ok if you make fun or rake me over the coals.”

    I won’t speak for anybody else, but as far I’m concerned… That’s absolutely fine, as long as you understand that the fact that your beliefs work for you does not mean that your beliefs work for everyone else. People are different. (I seem to be making that point a lot this week. I wonder if my horoscope would have warned me?)

    Using myself as an example, the reason I’m not a Christian has nothing to do with science, or with the way G-d is presented in the bible, or even with Christians I’ve known. (And before anyone makes the implication: it’s not because I’m in rebellion against G-d, or because I want to be free to sin, either.) It’s because, on a fundamental level, Christianity makes no sense to me – and, for lack of a better word, it doesn’t resonate. It’s because my sense and experience of the divine (such as it is) is very different from what Christianity describes.

    Also, I think you’re making a mistake in thinking that science can either prove or disprove religion. (Specifically, this line in your first post: “How WAS earth and man created my dear atheists??”) Science and religion address two fundamentally different topics. Science, at its core, is a method for studying the material world. Religion addresses… how to say this? …things that are spiritual and/or divine (or, for non-believers, fictional and/or allegorical). There really isn’t any overlap between them.

    This is why I consider the Creation/Evolution debate to be fundamentally stupid. The two aren’t really opposed; they aren’t even discussing the same thing. At worst, science can disprove one particular account of creation – and it doesn’t need evolution to do so; geologic time does the job just fine – but even that’s not a problem if you’re willing to accept the Garden of Eden story as either an allegory, or as a divine being trying to explain things to ancient tribes in a way they would understand and pass on.

  • @ Wondering Woman – “If the Good News we preach is veiled from anyone, it is a sign that they are perishing.”
    2Cr 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

    Are you sure that G-d didn’t just harden our hearts so he could bring mighty judgements against us (as, for example, Exodus 7:3-4)?

  • Wondering Woman:

    The Bible verse I referenced was only to show that He says some people will understand and others won’t/can’t………. no surprise, just life as usual. I’m not sure of anything other than His ways are not our ways and no one can understand the ways of God. I absolutely get the no one part, not you, not me, no one, not ever. When people try and explain how they think God should be and they say they can’t believe because he’s not doing things their way it just makes them sound silly.

  • Mama Needs Coffee:

    Once again, I find myself posting in what feels like the role of “token observant Jew” on this blog – seriously, are there NO other Jews here??

    At any rate, I’m just astounded by how many self-described Christians on this blog conflate Christianity with religion (or with Gd). And I’m also astounded by how little most of the Christians I’ve met know about Torah.

    The one exception to this general experience has been African-American Christians, who have been (in my experience) extremely knowledgeable about Torah/Tanakh and Chumash (what they would refer to as the “Old Testament”).

  • In response to what was said by Tonya and Ted to what I wrote-

    I dont mind that she believes differently than me. Very few of my friends have the same exact beliefs as I do. Heck. I married a man who was a tree-hugging hippy pagan (his description, not mine.) I do not have an issue with her choice to stop believing. That is a personal choice. My point was that it made me sad that the blog that I once loved because it had light-hearted humor and a quirky outlook on life now seems to be all about God bashing. My question was if that was going to be the new order around here. If so then I want to know cause I don’t want to continue to click through hoping that after a rant there will be some piece of the humor and mirth I once enjoyed! If, however this is just something she is working through and eventually she will begin to include things like Colin Firth love and show cats and adventures of the garden center and grey gardens photoshoots…. well then I would like to know so I don’t give up on a blog I once truly looked forward to!

    And yes it has been a while since I have posted a long post… but perhaps that is because I didn’t feel that I should write a long post about something that maybe had already been said by a dozen people before me. I didn’t comment on book reviews cause I instead went and read the book myself if it interested me, which I think is better than a paragraph about how stoked I am about the possibility of reading the book.

  • Kristy K:

    Lori – I’m so sorry for your loss. I, too, have survived extremely difficult times only because I had my loving God to lean on and know that He would carry me through. You are a brave woman to take on these people and try to argue with them. I pray for them and I praise God for your courage to share Him with others.

  • Brian V.:

    Dear contributors, It’s a wonderful thing to be able to share one’s feelings. Whether we believe in the unbelievable or not, we are able to speak it… this in itself is very important. As Americans question their Gawds and govrnmnts, they reveal the best of themselves, andf that they are not blind followers of fantasies, flags and Crosses. Not long ago in America, Rechelle may have been condemned as a witch, someone seduced by evil itself to write these horrid thoughts regarding the holy father in heaven etc…. not long ago we could have attended her public burning at the stake for the good of us all and of course, for the betterment of her eternal soul. I believe we have come a short way since then and now believers in holy-unseens can pray actively for the lost Rechelles but cannot inform on her so that she is burned at the stake. It is a significant step ahead, I think. In our efforts to be honest, we end up facing so many personal issues. The punishment paradigm still rules much of our world in every hemisphere. It cannot be cornered. We in this hemisphere still reserve the right to hit our children and many of us say that Gawd/Gawds command it, quoting verses from old books. I used to be one of them and I can tell you that if there is an eternal glory, it may well be looking into your own child’s eyes as a complete equal…. as I was being saved from evangelical Baptardism, I began to question scriptural interpretations and found that I could not condone the idea of an adult hitting a child (slapping, spanking, correcting)… I began to learn from my kids and now I am so gloriously stupid that I believe that my children are at least my equal and likely far more eternally gifted. I believe that we can see how we hate/love ourselves by how we treat our progeny. The long-standing, ?inbred malevolence we dump on our children was one of the most revealing failures (to me) of Christian life… I know that there are enlightened Christian (and other religious folk) who know what I am talking about and who would no more strike their children than cut off their own fingers but I am also aware that many and most Christian churches still teach that the prince of peace is a child corrector, a hitter, a ‘responsible’ adult. They easily assume bizarre contradictions in life in order to stay properly churched… there is no way to see through the wall one has built for oneself…. thank-you, ‘witch’ Rechelle for being here.

  • Beebs:

    Ted Powell wrote:

    “OK, I’ll refuse to comment on the fact that (according to Google) this is the longest posting you’ve made here since 2008.”

    Ted, is there a shelf date for posting? And a required number of words? Excuse me, but WTH is that about? I thought I was just a mom reading about another mom and once in a blue moon something might strike me as interesting and I’d make a comment. I didn’t know there were people keeping track?! And maybe Jaclyn didn’t have anything to say before because she was just content to read the blog!!! Isn’t that why it exists???

  • Kristy K: “these people”? What do you mean “these people”?
    ;)

  • Christine from Canada:

    @Rechelle: You write:

    “Bridgette – You hope that I am wrong and I will roast eternally in hell? You hope I’m wrong and that there is a god that gets pissed off about people questioning his/her/it’s existence so he/she/it flings them into a burning pit? You hope that I am wrong about the flying spaghetti monster? I need some clarification here. Because really – wouldn’t it be better if YOU were wrong and no one went to hell? Especially just because they disagree with your version of god.”

    Yesssss!!!! I’ve always thought that heaven and hell couldn’t possibly exist. Like I’ve posted before: the idea of being in heaven, knowing full well that people you love are in hell, would not be paradise at all.

    Now I’ve added YOUR analogy to my arsenal of reasoning!

  • Joel Wheeler:

    “I have a deep faith in God that facts and figures wouldn’t change anyway.”

    I have singled out this lone sentiment from Lori (nothing personal, Lori) because it is a shimmering example of the devout Christian mindset. It is also directly at odds with what we call the empirical worldview. It is the reason that faith, as practiced by most believers, is antithetical to the scientific method.

    When facts and theory are in conflict, the empiricist rejects or revises the theory: the believer rejects or revises the facts. In many cases, the believer will tell you UP FRONT that your facts are no good here, because we have faith. “Rely not on your own understanding” and the like.

    Then we get this from Marilyn: “Trying to make the case for faith based on historical and scientific evidence is flawed in and of itself. That’s why they call it FAITH.”

    I have to wonder if this kind of faith is required to move and function in any other arena of life. If you went to H&R Block and, after reviewing your documents, the advisor told you that you owed your entire year’s earning in taxes, would you take it on faith? If you went to the doctor and he told you that you only had three days to live, would you take it on faith, or would you ask for evidence, an explanation? If the contractor working on your kitchen kept raising the cost while no work was getting done, would you take it on faith and keep paying?

    No, no, and no.

    These are all extraordinary and important situations, and in no case would you surrender your capacity to insist on some explanation, evidence, or results. But when it comes to what is arguably the most extraordinary and important question/situation before us as autonomous agents — Is God real? Is salvation real? — Christians lay down their critical inquiry and proudly proclaim their faith.

    Marilyn again – “The reason I believe in the divinity of Christ has to do with what I feel in my heart, and the major changes that came about in my life due to the change in spiritual perspective that occurred when I went from “skeptic” to “believer”.” This is known as subjective reasoning, and it basically asserts that “My personal experience fully and satisfactorily explains reality, and therefore lends credence to an unlikely story.” Perhaps your new belief simply made you feel happy and safe, and that, in turn, is what led to those major changes. Perhaps the devout Muslim or Mormon could make the same ‘argument.’ Perhaps your subjective accounting for the world excludes folks who did not find the same peace and grace that you have found in the scriptures. And perhaps your subjective accounting sentences millions to an eternity in flames. This ‘argument,’ such as it is, basically reads “What happened to me was real, therefore Jesus is real.”

    And as to this tragically overused — and painfully contemporary — canard… “It really is about a personal relationship with God”… If you were to go back to the early American settlements or 17th-century Europe and tell the pious protestants that you have a ‘personal relationship’ with Jesus Christ, how long do you think it would be before the flames of the pyre were lapping at your feet? Bill Maher say it best; “This is ego masquerading as humility.” And it’s almost impossible to see when you’re deep in it.

    Marilyn’s truest and most honest statement: “personal faith has very little to do with historical and scientific evidence.” I certainly can’t argue with that!

    (Marilyn – I assure you that none of this is personal, I am only challenging the IDEAS you’ve presented. They used to be my own as well!)

  • @ Wondering Woman – Ah, I see… I think.

    I’m not not sure exactly how you’re using the word “perishing” – this is not a context in which I usually see it used – but I took the verse you quoted to mean that anyone who doesn’t believe must be a Prisoner Of Satan. Since I find that assertion… let’s say “highly unlikely”… and since it seems to deny the possibility that unbelievers might have an honest disagreement with the views of believers, I responded by pointing out that Satan isn’t the only one who’s been known to prevent people from believing.

    If you meant to post it only as a reminder that even Christianity teaches that not everyone will accept Christianity, then my response was inappropriate and I apologize. (I have a hard time seeing how you might get that meaning from that particular passage, but I take you at your word.)

  • When I was a Christian (Protestant-type) I used to think one would have to have amnesia or simply lose all ability to think to enjoy being in heaven.

  • Katrina:

    If I’m wrong and there is a God, I hope that when he judges me, he will see that I was a good person because I wanted to be. I don’t do good deeds because I want to get into Heaven and I’m afraid of Hell (which is really more about being selfish than helping others), I do them because other people need and deserve help and I want to help them. If I am punished because I don’t believe, regardless of all the people I’ve helped, I don’t wouldn’t want to spend eternity with God anyway. Goodness is its own reward.

  • Marilyn:

    @Joel: Like I quoted, “Everyone is biased. It is impossible not to be.” That includes both you and me.

    I don’t think this blog will win anyone to Christ any more than I think it will turn them to atheism. We can challenge each others’ “IDEAS” (your word) til the cows come home. We can all find scripture, facts, arguments etc. to back our beliefs. So, believe what you want to believe, and I will do the same. Keep calm, and carry on…

  • Ted Powell:

    Beebs wrote: Ted, is there a shelf date for posting? And a required number of words? Excuse me, but WTH is that about?I was responding to the person who felt it appropriate to state explicitly that she refused to comment on something, rather than simply refraining from commenting on it. To make my point, I had to pick something silly to “refuse to comment on.”If that post had occurred in isolation, I probably would not have reacted, but there have been quite a few posts of late from people who, rather than simply cutting back on, or ceasing, their participation in this blog, chose to advertise that they were leaving, often in a way apparently intended to be hurtful.B: I didn’t know there were people keeping track?!Actually, Google is automated. They use computers running Linux, not people.

  • Twin-Skies:

    @Rechelle

    <blockquote
    "Marilyn – I read that book. It worked for me for about three months and then the same old questions came back. If I remember correctly, Strobel basically uses the bible to prove the bible – which is the definition of absurdity… or insanity… or both."

    There’s a proper term for that ;)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circular_reasoning

  • Bill:

    I spent two days with Richard Dawkins last October and it was awesome. Great video.

    Bill

  • AngAk:

    Beebs, move on over and let me sit by you. I also find it disturbing that Ted is researching the history of posts of some commenters. Why? does it make us more valuable followers of the blog if we comment incessantly? Is there no value if we are/were faithful readers daily, for years, and found no need to comment, just enjoying the blog with our morning coffee? I have no plans to leave this blog as I am learning quite a bit to help me through my own journey into questioning my beliefs. I’ve been through hell and making my way back after watching my husband suffer and die from cancer. Lots of questions. Lots of doubts. Lots of insights, of all kinds here. Go ahead and research my comments. You’ll find I even won a book(thanks Rechelle). This just got under my skin. Obviously.

  • Katherine:

    hahahaha…you crack me up…and this line sent me over the edge:

    Because he knows all about the Great Juju at the bottom of the sea.

    And I don’t.

  • Katherine:

    ohhh…now I remember…I watched that clip so long ago that I forgot how it ended…but still a show stopper

  • He still didn’t answer the question.

  • Ted Powell:

    AngAk wrote: I also find it disturbing that Ted is researching the history of posts of some commenters. Why?I already said why, four hours ahead of your comment. Perhaps you forgot to refresh the page and get up to date before posting?AngAk: Go ahead and research my comments.I’ve been reading them, along with everybody else’s, since the first of the month. But in the case of the person who put fingers to keyboard to announce that she was refusing to comment on something, I had not heard anything from her before. So, in that one case, for that one reason, I checked. I found that she was a real participant, and a friendly one. But I was (as already noted, many hours ago) looking for something silly to “refuse to comment on.” According to both beebs and you, I found it. Please note that I did follow up, in the second paragraph, with a serious comment.

  • Becky:

    So is this Rechelle’s blog or Ted’s?

  • DirtyKSmama - Nikki:

    Um…Ted…dude…it’s still creepy.

  • Ted- I stated that I refused to comment on it because I have strong feelings on the subject and that was my way of stating that while I had a strong opinion that I refused to get dragged into that particular debate…. It was also my way of letting Rechelle know that I had read the post and was choosing to ask a question unrelated to said post. I think that she did a relatively good job of answering that question without answering me directly. Her next post was funny. Old Rechelle funny. Yes it had some “crazy Christian” sentiments… but even I think that lady was a whack-a-doodle. I mean seriously.

    I wasn’t trying to be mean and petty. I was genuinely just asking if the tone of the posts was going to become more funny and lighthearted.

    Oh and Tonya… I forgot to add this before… I can in fact show you with proof that I don’t have an issue with reading blogs by people with different opinions. The panopticon is a blog written by a homosexual Buddhist male knitter. From Mormon to Atheist is written by a friend of mine who was a hardcore Mormon and is now an atheist trying to find her way. C Jane Enjoy it is written by a hardcore Mormon who often talks about how awesome she believes Mormonism to be… there are others, but I am not going to sit here and list every single blog I read whose author has a different belief system. You can check them for yourself. I have a list o’blogs I read right on the right side of my blog.

    Oh…. and Ted, it is kinda creepy that you felt the need to google my comments history. Sorry.

  • just a farm girl:

    So rechelle–the old you did NOT want to talk about God because it would “turn off” your nonchristian readers…….but the new, kind, atheist rechelle doesn’t care who she offends? Or have you always wanted to pander to the unbelieving crowd and now you have a new way to do that?? Or are you still trying to get back at the homeschooler elitists who bothered you so much in the first place? You know—the ones who Pioneer Woman has sold out to–those holier than thous. Why let anyone get under your skin like that? Why let them change you? I know you believe you are not filled with hate but I agree with mom. I love the discussion but can do without the hate.

  • Lori Eaker:

    Cheyenne and Kristy K- Thanks for the kind words. My first m/c did cause much anger towards God and lots of questions. My second, not so much. Maybe b/c I had been thru it before. I don’t know. I have questioned my faith, decided to continue believing and also decided my faith wasn’t my own UNTIL I questioned it. I grew up in a christian household and I wanted to know down deep if I believed in Christ b/c of that or b/c I truly believed in Him. Through some soul searching I came to the conclusion even if no one else believed I still would…

    Some of you have missed my points altogether and some of you have just been plain snarky. It does prove to me people are people whether they are christian or atheist. I have met some arrogant, obnoxious christians in my day and now I have “met” some arrogant, obnoxious atheists. But in all fairness, you all have inspired me to dig deeper in my beliefs and I will be spending some time brushing up on my apologetics and learning how to defend my faith in a stronger way.

  • Brian V.:

    @just a farm girl, our interests and needs are often quite labile and go to and fro like winds from four directions through four seasons and around again. Rechelle’s journey is bringing you some pain and I suspect that yours brings some her way as well. @mom could be my own mother, words with little, flesh-tearing fishhooks attached. “Your going to have to hit those kids!” she used to tell me as I watched my children louding playing. I refused to ‘correct’ them because they didn’t appear to need it, regardless the bible verses and so on… It is wonderful that you feel inspired to search further and seek new strength…. as you say, people are people and we go through such changes over time. If you ever need to make a joke at another’s expense or even condemn someone to eternal fire, try to forgive yourself for your excesses and allow a balance to be again…. Durrell once said that during the writing of his Alexandria Quartet, he would pile his hand-written pages on his desk and at times his little daughter would come in and take some. I think he said that she would lose them or destroy them in one way or another and Durrell would simply accept this as a form of editing he had not known before. I think that attitude is kind of neat. Dogmatic believers sometimes strike me as wildy kooky editors of reality and drive me to distraction. They do this because of my fundy background and sometimes I react quite caustically, unlike Durrell… but sometimes I can sit back as he did and watch the ‘editing’ in relative peace. I wish both you and @mom peace and warm Spring weather.

  • just a farm girl:

    Brian V

    Huh?

  • Lisa:

    Rechelle, darling (since that seems to be your favorite form of address),
    You’ve become somewhat of a one-note song, haven’t you? I had no problems with you deciding to be an atheist, so long as you continued to be funny, insightful, and smart. But Jesus Christ (HA – yeah, see what I did there??), you are worse than a born-again Christian going on and on and freaking ON.

    I really gave it a chance after your earth shattering, mind boggling, life changing, very important, not to be missed, OH MY GOD LOOK AT ME revelation, but damn…you’ve become a Friday turd at a Saturday market. Get the feck OVER yourself already!

    TTFE!

  • Elisabeth:

    What “IF” the Christians are wrong?….they have nothing to lose.
    What if the atheists are wrong?…..hmmm

  • Revyloution:

    Every time I hear the phrase ‘but what if you’re wrong?’ I want to start up the band again.

    The band? Yes, the band. We had a band, but never had a great band name. Years after it broke up, I finally came up with a great band name.

    Pascal’s Bookies.

  • Keith Allison:

    @ Lori,

    Sorry, Lori, the burden of proof for any extraordinary claim lies with the claimant, not those of us who live in the real world. We are ALL born atheists, some of us just manage to avoid the conditioning that you obviously bought into.

  • Joel Wheeler:

    If your motivation for believing is, truly, “what if I’m wrong?” then you believe because you are afraid of being wrong, and the punishment that ‘being wrong’ would allegedly entail.

    And your line of ‘reasoning’ will never convince anyone who doesn’t like being threatened.

  • amy:

    @Lori–

    If you are genuinely seeking truth, you should be willing to look at the foundations of your faith from all angles–not just the christian apologetics perspective. Can I recommend any of Bart Ehrman’s books on New Testament textual criticism? He’s a respected biblical scholar who was once an evangelical. Your truth is only as strong as your ability to look at it from all angles (even the ones not approved by your church).

    @all the whiners who are angry at Rechelle for not writing about what they want to read–get over yourselves! Are you paying for a product here? Why the hell do you think you have ANY say over what Rechelle decides to blog??? Craziness.

    @Rechelle–I’m a former evangelical (once in full time christian work) who loves your blog. It is quite a life-changing experience when one finally sees the big and gorgeous world after being immersed in a tiny christian bubble. Congratulations!

  • Boz:

    Rechelle said:”JJ – You are right. I had zero interest in talking about god when I was a christian. I hated the idea of turning off my non-christian readers. I didn’t want to lose them or offend them. I had many misgivings about my own faith and I certainly had no desire to jump on the hallelujia christian bandwagon with a bible verse up in the right hand corner of my blog. But religion has always held a fascination for me. Finally being able to talk about it in a way that makes sense to me (that it is completely made-up and a fraud) is a huge relief and something that I am truly enjoying.”

    Rechelle, do you have knowledge of other religions, or other sects within christianity? I would be interested in the occasional post on these topics, in addition to your current posts, if you feel comfortable writing about it.

  • Lurker111:

    Elisabeth said:

    “What if the atheists are wrong?…..hmmm”

    I assume you’re asking, what if the god of the Bible exists as described?

    If that’s the case, then all is lost, because that entity, as described, is a psychopath, and whether you’re in heaven or hell, it’ll all be hell.

  • Priss:

    I just saw this and thought it fit into this discussion. Elisabeth, it is a response to the idea that people of faith have nothing to lose by believing.

    http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Image:Cectic-Without_Hesitation.jpg