Atheism vs. Christianity

09/19/2013

Someone recently posted a video of a debate  between Atheism and Christianity.  I didn’t bother to watch because that kind of debate infers that one or the other is right.  What if they’re both wrong?

Take Atheism.  It’s actually as much a religion as… say religion is.  In one respect, it’s the belief that you can solve all the mysteries of life simply by employing logic (and one’s intelligence).  Atheists have built their whole world around the achievement of their vision of nirvana through the elevation of the mind to what approximates a form of godhood.  Of course, one has to stop and realize that our physical senses are so flawed as to severely limit our brains’ perception of reality.  We can’t even properly discern what’s occurring in our own dimension, let alone in the multitude of other dimensions that science says are out there. For example from a scientific standpoint, it’s totally preposterous to argue the non-existence of an Absolute simply by observing Nature.

Aside: By the way, isn’t it also illogical to try to prove a negative?

If atheists don’t want to believe in a higher power, I’m totally okay with that.  The mistake that is typically made, though, is that they reject God based upon Christianity’s narrow definition of the Creator.  After all, absence of proof of the Christian god does not equate to proof of absence (or non-existence) of God.   What if Christianity is wrong?

Conclusion:  Then rejection of the Christian god by atheists does not necessarily mean that they don’t believe in God.  They simply have rejected the Christian version of divinity.

Aside: How about the gods of other religions, say Islam or Buddhism?

So then what about Christianity?  Christianity’s holy book, of course, is the Bible – the Old Testament and the New Testament.  Here’s the problem.  The god of the Old Testament is different than the god of the New Testament.  The god of the Old Testament actually seems more like a man than a god.  He walks and talks (e.g. in the Garden of Eden), wrestles with Jacob in the story of Jacob’s ladder, makes covenants with Abraham as well as others and for good measure he frequently goes around killing people he doesn’t like (how Christ-like); finally, the gods become mortal, or always were mortal as the case may be, and then die (Psalm 82:7).

However, in the New Testament there is a complete reversal of form.  God totally changes his stripes.  Suddenly, he is invisible (Romans 1:20), he is spirit (John 4:24) and, in fact, no man has ever seen him (John 1:18).  Pretty confusing, right?

So exactly which god is atheism rejecting?  Well, for sure, they’re going to reject any god that is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient.

Aside:  What if God exists but is not omnipotent, omnipresent or omniscient?

Just a guess, but I think that the atheists might respond as Epicurus did, “Then why call him God?”  However, if a Creator does exist, what else would you call him, maybe Bubba?  Just because God doesn’t fit your idea of God, that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t exist.

The world is the way it is whether we want to accept and acknowledge it or not.  Something must have caused the universe to come into existence.  Why not call that something God?  Certainly, great minds like Plato, Voltaire, Rousseau, Whitman and even Einstein did.  If it was good enough for them, shouldn’t it be good enough for the rest of us?  Belief in God never required a church or a religion, or even a Bible for that matter.  So for me, I’m not at all interested in this debate.  It’s just so much arguing over the smell of swamp gas (see quote below).

 

“If there is no God, then all abstractions are chemical epiphenomena, like swamp gas over fetid water. This means that we have no reason for assigning truth and falsity to the chemical fizz we call reasoning or right and wrong to the irrational reaction we call morality….”

     –   Douglas Wilson

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41 Responses to “Atheism vs. Christianity”

  1. lewispaulo said

    Superb. “What if they are both wrong?” says all it needs to say. I agree.

  2. Arkenaten said

    Without the church there would not have been a bible. Without the bible you would have little if any idea of the Abrahamic god and certainly no knowledge of Yeshua.
    Religion is merely an extension of the god belief.

    If atheism was considered a religion it would be entitled to tax breaks.Unfortunately atheist have so far never been able to sink to such corrupt levels.

    Atheism would not even be anything if it were not for the insidious nature of theism.

    Wrong: Atheism is the rejection of the notion of all gods.
    Christians are extremely insecure to think that atheists consider their silly man god is anything special.

    In all honesty I fail to see the point you are trying to make with this post,if in fact there is one?

    I would be nice if you could actually clarify what it was.

    • chicagoja said

      Thank you for your comments. Your right, of course, atheism is the rejection of all gods but in the ongoing debate there is only mention of the Christian god. That was one of my points. Otherwise, it’s just the musings of a fringe lunatic trying to understand the human condition and what makes them tick.

      • Arkenaten said

        General lunacy was introduced to the human condition when men, bent on lording(sic) it over their fellow humans introduced the notion of an unprovable, non- demonstrable entity called ‘god’ ( irrespective of culture) and insisted that humans were (by and large) unworthy.
        This basic premise has been adapted, refined and honed over the millennia to include posh clothes, elaborate headgear or nice haircuts, fancy buildings, indulgences,currency specific collection plates and Christian heavy metal/grunge/goth bands sporting removable I Love Cliff Richard tattoos.

        The creator of the cosmos has been Out To Lunch since humankind invented him..sorry Him.
        Or maybe this is just his gap year?
        Ah, yes, this would explain it…god of the gaps?

      • chicagoja said

        Quite true, but the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

      • Arkenaten said

        Wrong.
        Israel Finkelstein and Ze’ev Herzog (to name two) are archaeologists and have shown beyond all reasonable doubt that Moses the Exodus and the Conquest of Canaan did not occur.
        The implications for Yahwehists especially Christians and Muslims are self-evident and profound.
        Such evidence has been known of around a quarter of a century, and acknowledged by most archaeologists across the globe.
        One does not have to be a rocket scientist to comprehend why it’s not openly discussed, especially by Christians and Muslims.
        One cannot outrun the truth, the only question is: How will you deal with it when it catches up?

      • chicagoja said

        Thanks for the comment. I do agree with their conclusions, although with respect to archaeology and ancient history there is rarely such a thing as “beyond a reasonable doubt”. As for ancient history, certain people have a vested interest in suppressing the truth.

      • Arkenaten said

        I would imagine that the complete and utter lack of evidence of any kind should be enough, in this case at least, to suggest beyond a reasonable doubt, but that is a point of view.
        That their findings have the backing of a Rabbi like David Wolpe would suggest that the story is regarded as nothing but fiction.

        As for ancient history, certain people have a vested interest in suppressing the truth.

        Smile..yes, I can think of around 3 billion plus who might become a tad miffed if this was not only made known to the religious population at large but acknowledged as truth by their respective “leaders”

  3. CaveTr011 said

    Hello, this is a very interesting post. This is an issue that I take special interest in personally. I tend to agree that there could be a “halfway point” between theism and atheism, but I must point out one thing. When you say

    “if a Creator does exist, what else would you call him, maybe Bubba?”

    I would respond that it really isn’t “God,” it is “a god,” or perhaps the Demiurge. God with a capital “G” implies singularity and superiority (it implies the Biblical/Quranic God). Even to call it a god suggests it is worth worship, whereas a deistic first cause like this, even if it’s sentient, is hardly worth worshiping. There are other words that would be better suited to this situation, but of course this is just semantics.

    • chicagoja said

      Excellent comment as usual. I agree that a sentient First Cause is not worth worshipping, but then I believe that no god is worth worshipping. That’s one of the failings of religion. Both believers and non-believers have this false notion that in order to be God, God has to do miracles and always be there for each and every one of us (at all times).

  4. Tom said

    Yes, Christian, Muslims, etc. not only have to prove their is a god, but their god is the best and only god. Even if the Abrahamic god existed, who are we to say he is the best god?? He could be one of the bad gods. That would explain why he never does anything.

  5. you do make a good point, that the majority of athiest reject god because of christianity (and I am one of them) but for good reason:

    1. When living in USA, when talking about God, those conversations are almost always very specific. To the christian god. Very few times, when I get into a conversation about god with people are we talking about some random god or a god of another religion. It’s always the Christian God. So it much more simpler to call myself a Atheist. Then to say ‘I am agnostic about God, but really I am atheist when it comes to christianity and the bible.’

    The latter has a tendency to cause confusion to those who only consider christianity.

    2. Secondly, After coming to the conclusion that the christian God does not exist. I really had no other reason to believe in any other God.

    • chicagoja said

      Thank you for the insightful comment. What very few realize is that the Christian god is real. He’s just not God. So many people, like yourself, get turned off by the Christian concept of god, and with good reason. If you want to understand the Christian god, or better yet the real God, try some of my earlier posts.

    • Tom said

      When I first realized that the Christian god was just another story, I started to look at other religions. At the time, I really wanted to believe in something. The one that interested me most was Buddhism, but I realized the Buddha was basically just a philosopher. He as nothing like the god I was looking for.

      Eventually, particularly after 911, I finally admitted to myself “who are you kidding?” There is probably no higher power. And even if there is, there is almost no change it is anything like the Abrahamic god that is supposed to take a personal interest in us.

      • chicagoja said

        A lot of people have a similar life-story as yours. Unfortunately, the kind of God that everyone is looking for is only kind that makes everything ok.
        God does take a personal interest in you by giving you free will. If he were to interfere, then, at any point you would no longer have free will. It’s up to us to be the change we want to see in the world – it’s not up to God. You might want to check out the movie “Bruce Almighty” as it covers some of these issues. By the way, the Christian story of god (in Genesis) is more than just a story. It’s just that Jehovah isn’t God. Believe me, you wouldn’t want the Abrahamic god for your god, anyway.

      • Tom said

        Free will. What about the free will of the babies this god would be mass murdering with diseases, watched raped and murdered etc. if he was real? What about the free will of the mentally ill, the brainwashed etc.?

        Besides, we are limited in our free will. Our decisions are influenced by our environment. What if you had been born in Nazi Germany and become a dedicated or been a child solider in Africa etc. you probably would have done some horrible things.

        Besides, are instincts often overcome our will.

        If there is some kind of god force out there, it certainly is absolutely nothing like the god of any bible, koran etc.

      • chicagoja said

        Thanks for the comment, Tom. Your right, the Creator is absolutely nothing like the god of any Bible or Q’ran. Then again, why does he have to be. The Creator is the “I Am” and has never been properly understood by man (the Pascal Wager states that any god is, by definition, infinitely incomprehensible). With respect to free will, it’s man’s “collective” free will(consciousness) which determines our reality. Yes, we might have done some very bad things ourselves under different circumstances. However, it’s important to note that circumstances do not make the man, they only reveal him. Your right, instincts can, and do, overcome our will, but only if we are not strong in spirit and so allow our instincts to control us. Most people want God to be some kind of father-figure who always looks out for them and makes the world perfect, free from any and all evil. If there ever was such a reality, then what would that make you – merely a robot or a character in one of God’s video games. You are asking all the right questions but you’re looking in the wrong places for the answers – but keep looking. As an old Buddhist saying goes, “When the student is ready, the master will appear.”

      • Tom said

        That is only partially true that circumstances only reveal a man. For example, armies can take virtually any child and turn him/her into a cold blooded killer (it happened in places like Cambodia, Africa, etc.). That could have been you or me.

        In another example, while I have not personally been at war, I have talked to people who went through heavy combat who said they did things during that time that they could not ever imagine themselves doing under other circumstances. They said that everyone has that animal instinct inside that only needs the right situation to bring it out.

        Anyway, I simply see no reason to assume there is any kind of a god at all. Even if there is some god-like force out there, as it does not seem to care about us, I am not going to worry about it unless I see hard evidence to the contrary.

      • chicagoja said

        Of course, now you’re getting into a sticky moral area of when people may not necessarily be responsible for their own actions. It was Wayne Dyer who coined the phrase that you’ll see it only after you believe it. So if you’re waiting to see the evidence of God before you believe it, you’ll probably spend you’re whole life simply waiting because realty is based on the concept of consciousness manifesting in matter (mind over matter). In any event, good luck. It’s been nice chatting with you.

  6. EmileLilly said

    Honestly ChicagoJa, I’ve been thinking, between your original comment on my post, and this current post of yours, that perhaps I was neglecting other types of God because I was raised as a Christian, specifically as a Catholic. In my haste to annul my beliefs, by using solely perception, perhaps I was intellectually missing out on other perspectives such as yours.

    I refuse to believe in the Abrahamic versions of God, but a God such as that espoused by Rousseau or Voltaire is much more appealing as it doesn’t muck up scientific inquiries or contain hierarchal dogmatism as that of Catholicism. If you had to ask me, I would say I’m a Deist, as the Creator gave Man reason and morals, but that he doesn’t interfere in our affairs.

    • chicagoja said

      Well said. Rousseau and Voltaire are excellent role models on this subject for anyone. You could also try reading the writings of Plato and Walt Whitman.

  7. Bubba! Ha! I like that.

    Too many great arguments, asides, and conclusions to touch on in one comment, so for now I’ll say what’s important: I’ll be reading you. Email subscriptions activated.

    Cheers,
    Will

  8. BTW, if you ever get the chance, do watch that video you mentioned, if it’s the same one I’m thinking of. The upshot is that the two “sides” showed each other such grace and good humor that it makes all these other religious “debates” sound like deaf caffeine-addicted Tourette syndrome sufferers fighting over the last scoop of coffee grounds.

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