GOD OR NOT : atheists and christians interact about proof

The only God or Not Carnival is up, and I have had some great comments from some of the atheist readers who no doubt wouldnt usually read my blog. For those of us who want to discuss and share our faith this is a fantastic opportunity which doesnt stop now- one of the posts has already had 100 comments. Please go read some of this stuff and and be gracious in your comments….some real good could be done.

Here are a couple of extracts from the comments on my carnival entry so far that I wanted to preserve in a post:

An atheist responds
Adrian, as an atheist I have three issues with your post and your challenge. First, I take issue with the phrase ” spiritually blind and dead hearts”. Well, not so much with “spiritually blind”, but I really take offense to the “dead heart” comment. My life is happy and my heart is full of the joy of my family and friends. I like my life. So, I also take issue with the phrase “life can be pretty meaningless without you”. That is a qualitative supposition that does not ring true to me. Life is meaning enough for me. Finally, the phrase “make things a bit easier”, is also rather presumptive. I see allot of theists whose lives are much more difficult because of meaningless religious observances. Not to mention religious fundamentalists that choose to end their life, and take others with them, as a last futile gesture to their God. This is a common misconception that theists make, since atheists don’t have God, our lives must be empty and meaningless. This is rather similar to the atheist mistake of assuming that just because someone believes in God, that they must somehow be intellectually deficient. Neither assumption need necessarily be true.Your challenge asks atheists to say your prayer “from the heart”. Well, as written I cannot, as I do not agree with all of it. But, in the spirit of open discourse I would submit an alternative prayer based on your original.God, if you are real I need proof. I have not seen any evidence for your existence, and the world is being torn apart by religious zealots warring over your ambiguity. I would like that suffering to end. I would like the world to have a definitive answer to the question of faith so we don’t have to kill each other trying to find the answer. This prayer is my request to you to let me know you are real, and to ask you to also tell everyone else in a definitive, measurable, verifiable, and repeatable way, so that the blood shed can end. I know that free will is very important to you, so I am not asking you to force anyone to follow you, simply that you will offer some kind of real proof that you exist. I recognize that so far I have spent my life living by my own rules. Those created by your followers don’t seem to make any sense, and I would really appreciate some clarification on that. But, If you are real, and you can prove it, from now on I will follow you.I’ll let you know if I hear anything. But, don’t hold your breath.LBBP Email Homepage 11.07.05 – 11:06 am

A theist replies:

LBBP: I applaud the fact that you took the time to rethink that sample prayer in a way that you could articulate yourself. (And I don’t mean that condescendingly, at ALL)I find one change you made, though, very interesting. You reworded the prayer to ask God to reveal Himself to EVERYONE. If God were to reveal Himself personally and experientially to you, would it stop you from following Him just because everyone else might not see or experience that same revelation as you?I’m not saying you shouldn’t care about the entire human race, but it almost came across to me as “Unless you can show everybody you exist, I don’t want anything to do with you.” That seemed odd to me.steve Steve S Email Homepage 11.07.05 – 6:32 pm

Another atheist replies again:

Steve, speaking as an ex-Christian:1. Your assumption that atheists would follow God if s/he can be proven to exist is incorrect. The bottom line for me is, even if God exists, I want nothing to do with him/her, because s/he has done so many awful things. See http://evangelicalatheist.com/category/god-is-a-dick/2. One of the many things that caused me to lose faith was my struggle with depression. Crying out for god and getting silence. Sitting there in my own personal hell on earth and realizing I was totally and completely alone.tr1c14 Homepage 11.07.05 – 7:35 pm

I trust we can reach out to some of these people with the love and compassion that Jesus desires us to.

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