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Ask An Atheist Anything

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posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 01:23 PM
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Originally posted by awake_and_aware
My question to the OP is:

Do you believe Anti-Theism is an acceptable point of view? Especially when my intentions are pure freedom against a phoney theory?


Sure, it's acceptable to me since it differs from typical iconoclasm. Anti-theists usually are motivated by the cause of human improvement; that is, the desire to eliminate credulity and false hopes and mechanisms of control over others. What's wrong with wanting the best for your fellow species?




posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 01:24 PM
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Originally posted by traditionaldrummer

Originally posted by juveous
You didn't even explore the aspects of the human brain and how those theories conflict with free-will and compatibilism?

Did you just stop researching or what?

Because you should at least say, hey there is a lot of science I don't know about, I'm just used to hearing what others say and repeating it....Its just confusing if you hold a title of 99.999% assertiveness.

Not to sound like i'm ragging but, atheism is such a joke sometimes - It is just a slick version of agnosticism.

You say there is not enough evidence to convince you of theism - but in reality you just aren't sure. It is like you pride yourself in confidence by holding a stance that is easy to argue against, when in reality - you know you're not sure.


Sir, I did not claim to have all the answers to any esoteric field of scientific research one could present. I admitted freely that I was incapable of answering your question. My lack of knowledge of unknown areas of science really has little to do with my stance as an atheist.

If I am open to evidence of a deity then one could say in a sense that I am an "agnostic". But given that nobody throughout the epochs has been able to produce evidence in favor of the claim of the existence of deities I am able to form a certitude based upon the incredible odds against it. The odds being so great in my favor that not forming a certitude on these odds would be beyond illogical. Even if I remain open to evidence I am still a de facto atheist.


fair enough. I just don't look at atheism as a viewpoint anymore, but more of a condition. Your're not deciding to be an atheist, just like an agnostic isn't deciding to be agnostic. I think to know or understand something is beyond the realm of choice.



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 01:29 PM
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Originally posted by juveous
Your're not deciding to be an atheist


I agree with this. My default position is disbelief and I haven't been shown otherwise. I did not decide or choose to become an atheist. I was simply never convinced of the existence of deities. But since most of the world does, I am forced to accept the label of atheist.



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 01:29 PM
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Originally posted by traditionaldrummer

Originally posted by adjensen
Yes, if you believe that there is nothing more than what we see and what we can observe, you can ignore my admonitions and use that argument to claim that God doesn't exist. Of course, if you start with the belief that there is nothing more than what we see and what we can observe, it kind of makes the argument irrelevant anyway.


It's quite apparent that there is much more than what we see and observe. However, using limitations on our perceptions and knowledge as a basis for belief in deities provides little more than wiggle room to make the belief work, and honestly, this position has backfired on the greatest minds time and time again throughout history.


Do tell! Would love to hear of the distressed faith of so many great minds, who turned to atheism in the face of a slightly expanded reality.

And I never said that my faith is based on a "lack of knowledge", just that I don't presume to be able to judge God's perspective, because I am neither him, nor do I know all of the variables associated with making said judgement.


Does this argument also imply that these proposed omniscient deities cannot affect the perceptions of it's own alleged creation? If the deity is beyond our perceptions, does it still demand human belief and worship?


There's a big difference between "cannot" and "will not", so no, the argument doesn't imply that God can't change our perceptions. Why he will not, I have no idea, and you know what? I'm okay with not knowing everything.



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 01:37 PM
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Originally posted by adjensen
Do tell! Would love to hear of the distressed faith of so many great minds, who turned to atheism in the face of a slightly expanded reality.


I was not referring to the great minds turning to atheism. I was referring to the great minds who reached the limit of their knowledge and invoked a god as the explanation for various problems. Later, someone else came along, figured out the problem and the prior great thinker was proven wrong.


And I never said that my faith is based on a "lack of knowledge", just that I don't presume to be able to judge God's perspective, because I am neither him, nor do I know all of the variables associated with making said judgement.


You say your faith isn't based on a lack of knowledge, which it may not be, but then you follow it up with explanations about your own limitations or inability to judge or know all variables. This is a contradiction.


There's a big difference between "cannot" and "will not", so no, the argument doesn't imply that God can't change our perceptions. Why he will not, I have no idea, and you know what? I'm okay with not knowing everything.


Then how do you know that this god, the one know so little about, even exists?



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 01:39 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


I don't think you understand what your argument sounds like, so let me explain. Atheists say, "We see no evidence for god. In fact we see reason to disbeleive his existance." You say, "Yes, but you don't truely know enough to understand what you see. Don't bother trying to understand it."

A questioning, skeptical mind cannot accept that something cannot be critically analyzed. We have to make our best judgement to assess hypothesies presented to us. We use what knowledge we can grasp to make the assessment we can, for ourselves.



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 01:52 PM
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Originally posted by traditionaldrummer

Originally posted by adjensen
Do tell! Would love to hear of the distressed faith of so many great minds, who turned to atheism in the face of a slightly expanded reality.


I was not referring to the great minds turning to atheism. I was referring to the great minds who reached the limit of their knowledge and invoked a god as the explanation for various problems. Later, someone else came along, figured out the problem and the prior great thinker was proven wrong.


So you take offense with someone saying "Guess God did that", in lieu of saying "I don't know"? Well, whatever, I'm not sure what that's supposed to be indicative of, because, as noted below, you're missing the entire point.



And I never said that my faith is based on a "lack of knowledge", just that I don't presume to be able to judge God's perspective, because I am neither him, nor do I know all of the variables associated with making said judgement.


You say your faith isn't based on a lack of knowledge, which it may not be, but then you follow it up with explanations about your own limitations or inability to judge or know all variables. This is a contradiction.


No, you're misrepresenting what I said. My faith and my ability to judge are two entirely separate things, and neither is dependent on the other. My "I don't know" is in regards to knowing enough about these matters to judge God, not about whether I accept his existence.



There's a big difference between "cannot" and "will not", so no, the argument doesn't imply that God can't change our perceptions. Why he will not, I have no idea, and you know what? I'm okay with not knowing everything.


Then how do you know that this god, the one know so little about, even exists?


Because I have a relationship with him, I have faith in him, and I see the things that he does in my life, as well as the things that he does in others'. You admit that you fundamentally lack faith, so you may see this as lunacy, but, as I've said before, I'm not here to convert you, and I would appreciate your doing the same. An argument over whether your or my beliefs are right is purposeless, at least in this thread.



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 01:57 PM
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Originally posted by C09JayLT
reply to post by adjensen
 


I don't think you understand what your argument sounds like, so let me explain. Atheists say, "We see no evidence for god. In fact we see reason to disbeleive his existance." You say, "Yes, but you don't truely know enough to understand what you see. Don't bother trying to understand it."


On the contrary. I can see every good reason that you would come to your conclusion that God doesn't exist, whether I agree with it or not. A simple lack of faith is all that is required, you don't need rationalization, "proof", skepticism or whatever. If you want to get into that stuff, feel free, but it isn't necessary.

However, I stand by my "you don't truly know enough to understand" statement as it regards to looking at something here, and drawing inferences about God from it. Judging God as evil, that's where I have trouble with applying our perceptions and expectations.

But if you start with the premise that there is no God, you have nothing to judge, so it doesn't matter.



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 02:00 PM
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Originally posted by adjensen
So you take offense with someone saying "Guess God did that", in lieu of saying "I don't know"? Well, whatever, I'm not sure what that's supposed to be indicative of, because, as noted below, you're missing the entire point.


I take no offense whatsoever. I thought I'd help you out by pointing out an argument you made that is fraught with problems.


No, you're misrepresenting what I said. My faith and my ability to judge are two entirely separate things, and neither is dependent on the other. My "I don't know" is in regards to knowing enough about these matters to judge God, not about whether I accept his existence.


Fair enough. Perhaps I misinterpreted you. Still though, do you find some hypocrisy in admonishing others for their lack of perception in detecting the existence of god(s) if your freely admit that your own lack of perceptions prevents your understanding of god(s)?



Because I have a relationship with him, I have faith in him, and I see the things that he does in my life, as well as the things that he does in others'. You admit that you fundamentally lack faith, so you may see this as lunacy, but, as I've said before, I'm not here to convert you, and I would appreciate your doing the same. An argument over whether your or my beliefs are right is purposeless, at least in this thread.


I said nothing about whether your beliefs were right nor am I trying to convert you. I simply requested the criteria by which you determined the existence of a deity. By your description it appears to be subjective experiences. That's fine: that's the way it is for most theists.



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 02:10 PM
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Originally posted by traditionaldrummer

Originally posted by adjensen
No, you're misrepresenting what I said. My faith and my ability to judge are two entirely separate things, and neither is dependent on the other. My "I don't know" is in regards to knowing enough about these matters to judge God, not about whether I accept his existence.


Fair enough. Perhaps I misinterpreted you. Still though, do you find some hypocrisy in admonishing others for their lack of perception in detecting the existence of god(s) if your freely admit that your own lack of perceptions prevents your understanding of god(s)?


Again, you are misrepresenting what I said. I find no issue with your determination that there is no God. Whatever got you there is important to you and it obviously makes sense for you, so I'm not going to fault you for it.

What I do find fault with is judging God (or anyone) to be evil, by applying an incomplete knowledge to it. Since you don't believe in God, you don't judge him, and you aren't applying anything.

Finally, I did not admonish anyone for their lack of perception, I admonished them for making that judgement, a judgement that I wouldn't make, either, for the exact same reasons. So there is no hypocrisy.



I said nothing about whether your beliefs were right nor am I trying to convert you. I simply requested the criteria by which you determined the existence of a deity. By your description it appears to be subjective experiences. That's fine: that's the way it is for most theists.


Yes, and as I wrote earlier, I would be a bit disappointed if it was anything else.



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 02:24 PM
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Originally posted by adjensen

What I do find fault with is judging God (or anyone) to be evil, by applying an incomplete knowledge to it. Since you don't believe in God, you don't judge him, and you aren't applying anything.


I see. Perhaps I misinterpreted again. If so, I apologize.

Although I may disagree with you here on this basis: one can make that judgment based on certain criteria. Let's say we used a religious text as a source. The bible perhaps. Much within that book could be used to make a rational argument that the god in that book is in fact evil. Now, perhaps the book is incorrect or incomplete, but there is enough present in the book to make a rational, logical case for that god being "evil".

Either way it doesn't matter so much to me as I don't have a dog in that fight. I did think it necessary to point out that sometimes there is indeed enough criteria to make such a judgment.



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 02:27 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


May I ask why one's perceptions about God are correct and reliable at times (God is the Creator and He loves me), but one's perceptions become invalid at other times when doubts about His nature are brought forth (Don't question God; you just don't understand His ways.)

How can we on the one hand understand and visualise a single, all-powerful God and share this belief with others as factual; but claim to lack the abilities needed to understand God when faced with unpleasant realities in this life?

[edit on 16/7/2010 by Dark Ghost]



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 02:55 PM
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Originally posted by traditionaldrummer

Originally posted by adjensen

What I do find fault with is judging God (or anyone) to be evil, by applying an incomplete knowledge to it. Since you don't believe in God, you don't judge him, and you aren't applying anything.


I see. Perhaps I misinterpreted again. If so, I apologize.

Although I may disagree with you here on this basis: one can make that judgment based on certain criteria. Let's say we used a religious text as a source. The bible perhaps. Much within that book could be used to make a rational argument that the god in that book is in fact evil. Now, perhaps the book is incorrect or incomplete, but there is enough present in the book to make a rational, logical case for that god being "evil".


If the argument was being made that the criteria was based on the Bible, which it is not, you are once again coming to a conclusion that a concrete assessment can be made from conflicting data. There are things in the Bible that one can use to support a case for God being evil. There are also things in the Bible that one can use to support a case for God being good. You are attempting to make an absolute statement based on non-absolute observations.

Round and round we go, eh?



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 03:19 PM
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Originally posted by Dark Ghost
reply to post by adjensen
 


May I ask why one's perceptions about God are correct and reliable at times (God is the Creator and He loves me), but one's perceptions become invalid at other times when doubts about His nature are brought forth (Don't question God; you just don't understand His ways.)


Those are two perceptions, in two different contexts. The first seems to be a faith statement, the second is an admonition. But I'll move beyond that. Faith has, at its core, a set of beliefs. If you lack faith, you lack those beliefs, so the remainder is irrelevant. I, however, do have them, so that's the context that I'll reply with.

I can't speak for everyone, but, for me, when doubts, concerns or questions arise, I apply them to my faith. Does this new thing work within the context of what I believe? If you posit something that doesn't, I then apply it to my religion and my theology. In this way, I remain open minded, but not slavishly open to anything. If you came around and advised me that God wanted me to fly a plane into a building, even if you somehow convinced me that was a good idea, applying it to what I know and believe about God would tell me that it was a wrongful act.

Your "God is evil because there is evil in the world" hypothesis runs immediately into one of those core beliefs, that God is good. I believe this, with all my heart, and there is nothing that you (or anyone) can say that will change that. Just part of who I am.

But I recognize that you do have a salient point. Gee, there is a lot of evil in the world, how does that work? So, I think about it, read about it, pray about it, and come up with the response that I've given you. (I would point out, of course, that you are far from the first to come up with it, so my answer was put to bed a long time ago.)



How can we on the one hand understand and visualise a single, all-powerful God and share this belief with others as factual; but claim to lack the abilities needed to understand God when faced with unpleasant realities in this life?


Because, sadly, those realities are there, and the presence, or absence, of God isn't going to change them. So, we can go through life whinging about this, yelling about that, decrying injustice and blaming it all on someone that you say doesn't exist, and I say is pure good, and get nowhere. Or we can just say "it is what it is, and I don't have to understand it" and stop using it as an excuse to block us.

Four months ago, my wife died. Sudden heart attack at the age of 46. Trust me, that's a pretty unpleasant reality, the worst that I've experienced. I could blame God, lots of people do. I could be angry with him for not saving her, lots of people do that, too. But I didn't do either one of those, because when I look at her loss and apply it to my faith, I don't believe, for one second, that God killed her. So he's not to blame. But I am left with the knowledge that he could have saved her, and the response that I have to that is "but he didn't, and I don't know why, but I trust that, because he is good, he judged that the greater good came from not acting."

That's a practical application of what I'm talking about. Recognizing that I don't know everything, and being okay with that.

I am incredibly sad in my loss, but I have felt both God and my wife's real presence since this happened, and I know that I don't walk alone, even though I now am.



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 03:36 PM
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It is quite pointless to discuss Atheism. The meaning of the word is clear enough : non-belief in deities. However, atheists have their own beliefs which simply does not include deities.

What I find quite common amongst atheists is the thirst for knowledge and the need to understand the meaning of life. The more you listen to atheists the more you realise that they are not different from others, except for the non-belief in deities.

It was scottish anthropologist Sir James George Frazer (1854–1941) who wrote in "The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion" that religion was a mere cultural phenomenon. In fact he went as far as saying that magic does not exist. Why ? Because , in his view, when magic works it is no longer magic but science


For the spiritual person, a phenomenon in nature might be the work of divine forces. For an atheist there will be a scientific explanation. But when we go deeply into the scientific side we then encounter Quantum Mechanics and this is where it gets interesting. In QM, the atoms are behaving in a very strange way which goes against anything scientific. The next thing we find is that Science is now meeting up with Spirituality. This is where Quantum Mechanics appears to lie (the point where Science meets Spirituality)

Whilst science and spirituality start off in opposite direction, they actually meet up at some point. It is like going in diferent direction along the circumference of a circle.

What I find is that science takes longer to get there; unless it is Esoteric science, of course.





[edit on 16-7-2010 by crowdedskies]

[edit on 16-7-2010 by crowdedskies]



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 04:12 PM
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Originally posted by crowdedskies

It is quite pointless to discuss Atheism.


I don't think it is. Its one of the biggest fallacies of human kind, when it binds people to a servile life of rules and regulations (social or insocial) and a fear of eternal torture if you don't submit, that is wrong.

Its like a wife beater saying "make my dinner woman or i'll beat you" and then making her thank you for not beating her when she makes your dinner.

"believe in me, without evidence, or go to hell" "ok i believe in you [without evidence], now let me beg and grovel to you for the rest of my life, for fear of hell"

See how this sounds unprovable and not probable, its black-mail and control. As if without God - people wouldn't know that killing, stealing or raping is a bad thing, as if we are too "stupid" to understand empathy and sympathy.


The meaning of the word is clear enough : non-belief in deities. However, atheists have their own beliefs which simply does not include deities.


Name some beliefs that Atheists have that doesn't include non-belief in deities - That's what an atheist is, the might have other beliefs but they're not in support of Atheism, Atheists might have arguments, observations or ideas against Theists beliefs only because there is no evidence for them, whether your God is of charity of a evil dictator with rules and regulations you still need to prove the existence and the existence of his wishes and personal desires of your life.


In QM, the atoms are behaving in a very strange way which goes against anything scientific


What so quantam theory is not a science too? it goes against the scientific? Anything with theories, tests, observable effects and hypothesis is a science. QM has not been recieved well in the scientific community, but neither was Gallaleo's theories when he said the earth was round, most Theists were angry at his theories, angry for updating science and what we know as truth.

Quantam mechanics/physics is by no means complete but it shows that science isn't obnoxious enough to claim it knows everything, it is constantly updating and improving based on new evidence, new data, quantam theory being one of them.

The double slit experiment aims to show quantam theory in effect and the hypothesis of the mechanics behind it.

It's gaining more credibility and is about to be taught in schools a lot more now because the evidence, emergence of its reality it becoming understood.

www.youtube.com...



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 04:43 PM
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reply to post by awake_and_aware
 


I respect your comments. Some of them I even agree with. However it is wrong to assume that only atheists are free from control an endoctrination.

Your are very much adopting Frazers' point of view : Magic does not exist because when it works it is no longer magic but science.

People have different paths in life. In the end all seek the same answer.

Quantum mechanics is very much a rogue science. As you say it has not been received so well by the scientific community. However I like it very much. I even foresee quantum physicists turning spiritual. In the end the boundaries between science and the spiritual will gradually disappear as each will take on qualities of the other.






[edit on 16-7-2010 by crowdedskies]



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 05:56 PM
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What if You Atheists Are Wrong? Aren’t You Afraid of Hell?

Atheists say, "There is no god," like they know what exists in every speck of the universe. The Bible says, "The FOOL hath said in his heart, 'There is no God'." In actuality, there is no such thing as a "real atheist".

Do you knows every single fact about every manmade system just on this earth--criminal law, civil law, heart surgery, biology, teaching, being a garbage man, computer programming, ants, engineering, woodcutting, business, every person's social security number by heart?

What percentage do you know of all the knowledge to be known in the entire known universe like what is happening in the core of Mars--right now. What is the temperature of that star that hubble is about to approach,

There is no such thing as an atheist because no person knows everything and has all knowledge. Neither can any person be everywhere at the same time. For a person to be able to confidently say, "There is no God," he'd have to know EVERYTHING that existed EVERYWHERE--and no person fits that bill. There is no atheist. At the very BEST a person can say, "I'm agnostic" although this is not true either...

I submit to you in accordance with the word of God (Romans chapter 1) that the big talkers and blasphemers know that God is real and they know that their day of judgment is coming. THAT is why they call themselves atheists--they are trying to convince themselves that that day of judgment will not come--the ostrich-head-in-the-sand syndrome. They would rather believe that a monkey is their father and a fly their mother than give the reverence to God and Him alone. Plugging up your ears will not stay the wrath of God against you. When you get thrown in hell you will be without excuse and it will be too late to get it right with Jesus. It's in this life you get it right or never. Turn or Burn. Repent or Perish



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 06:24 PM
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reply to post by Squirt1
 


I would like to point out that your post is pretty rude and not keeping with the intent of the OP, but I will answer you anyway.

I do not fear that I am wrong. First there is no evidence to support the existance of a god or gods. Second, if there was a god, I would be comfortable with being judged by how I lived. I have taken the most honest and correct path in life that I can. If a god will judge me by what I say and not how I act and the fact that I acted as I saw best for me and others, then that is not a god I care to be viewed favorably by anyways. I will not lie to myself and others on the chance that there may be a deity. I would not know which one to choose anyway. I do not fear hell as I don't believe in it, but if I go there for following my conscience and being moral, so be it.

As for your comments on the non-existance of atheists, I believe you have a fundamentally flawed understanding. An atheist is one who does not posess a belief in deities. One does not need to know everything to reject the suggestion of deities as unlikely, much as one can do with santa or teapots in space. One just has to have insufficient evidence to support the existance of deities. The assertion that atheists truely know god exists but are in denial is just closeminded and insulting. I assure you that I am not in any sort of denial. I mearly have insufficient evidence to support a belief in a god or gods, and I have compelling contradictory evidence.

I hope this clears up your misunderstandings and answers your questions.



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 06:29 PM
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Originally posted by Squirt1
What if You Atheists Are Wrong? Aren’t You Afraid of Hell?


No. Evidence is more motivating than fear.


Atheists say, "There is no god," like they know what exists in every speck of the universe. The Bible says, "The FOOL hath said in his heart, 'There is no God'." In actuality, there is no such thing as a "real atheist".


There are most certainly real atheists. If there is a god, it's so far beyond our observable horizon as to avoid detection.


There is no such thing as an atheist because no person knows everything and has all knowledge. Neither can any person be everywhere at the same time. For a person to be able to confidently say, "There is no God," he'd have to know EVERYTHING that existed EVERYWHERE--and no person fits that bill. There is no atheist. At the very BEST a person can say, "I'm agnostic" although this is not true either...


This is again the "god of the gaps" argument. The proposed god always resides just outside the frontiers of human knowledge, and science perpetually encroaches on those regions. The old domains that god was supposed to have inhabited are devoid of the presence of any deity and each new region discovered turns up no deities. This argument has consistently failed notable luminaries throughout the ages.


I submit to you in accordance with the word of God (Romans chapter 1) that the big talkers and blasphemers know that God is real and they know that their day of judgment is coming. THAT is why they call themselves atheists--they are trying to convince themselves that that day of judgment will not come--the ostrich-head-in-the-sand syndrome.


And what confirms this alleged judgment? Some writings in a book? The same book has been sadly incorrect on its many descriptions of the physical world. There's no reason to suspect it's accurate in its metaphysical claims.


They would rather believe that a monkey is their father and a fly their mother than give the reverence to God and Him alone.


Well, humans are definitely primates. Great apes to be exact. Not monkeys. Also, I cannot give reverence to something in which there's no evidence to support its existence.


Plugging up your ears will not stay the wrath of God against you. When you get thrown in hell you will be without excuse and it will be too late to get it right with Jesus. It's in this life you get it right or never. Turn or Burn. Repent or Perish


I'm sorry, but threatening someone with eternal torture unless they subscribe to your religious viewpoint is immoral coercion and to put it nicely, less than polite. I would appreciate at very least an apology if you consider yourself a decent human being.



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