The Hitchens/Prayer Debate

It seems the New York Times has noticed the debate as to whether people of faith should pray for Christopher Hitchens. I like this; it reflects my feelings, exactly:

Jeffrey Goldberg, a colleague of Hitchens’s at The Atlantic Monthly, consulted the rabbinical authorities and decided that prayer was O.K. On his blog, Goldberg quoted the advice of David Wolpe, a Los Angeles rabbi who has publicly debated Hitchens on a number of occasions: “I would say it is appropriate and even mandatory to do what one can for another who is sick; and if you believe that praying helps, to pray. It is in any case an expression of one’s deep hopes. So yes, I will pray for him, but I will not insult him by asking or implying that he should be grateful for my prayers.”

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Last Sphere

    (Bender’s Cheerleader wrote – “This conversation has turned into convoluted, meaningless tripe. Time to end it.”)

    The original debate was based on the absurd assertion of “whether people of faith should pray for Christopher Hitchens.”

    The argument can easily be made from a Christian point of view that this conversation STARTED as convoluted meaningless tripe.

    You’re late to the wrong party my friend.

  • Ray

    The notion that we must give hairsplitting instructions to God when we pray for Hitchens seems to presume a knowledge his standing before God that is impossible.

    God judges in truth; man in igorance — which is why we are forbidden to judge.

    On the other hand, it doesn’t seem that praying in ignorance is forbidden. Besides, it presumes God ability to sort out the details.

    So let me repeat:

    Without pretending to know the mind of God, I’m sure as hell glad that God is the Judge and not Bender.

  • Les

    Your questions are inane Sphere.

    Why would someone wishing me well have any effect on me? Why would it for you? Probably because you know that in addition to those who may wish you ill, you have those who wish you well. If everyone wished you ill then it’d be a pretty sad state of affairs in life. We love those we hold dear and enjoy their love of us. That sentiment is no different for an atheist or a theist. What atheistic standards are there in regards to this point? atheism ONLY says that a person is without theistic belief. That’s it, nothing more. Me telling you that I’m an atheist tells you nothing about my morals or ethics in life.

    You seem to think that because someone is an atheist that they eat babies or do cultish things that are shunned by society in general… Where does your logic go awry to come to this conclusion?

    Do you really think that someone needs to have a belief in a revelatory god in order to be good in life or know right from wrong? It only takes a sense of the “I” and the “other” to do that. All it takes is a bit of empathy. Most 4 year olds and older get this sense and learn it.

    Please spare us all the tired out canard about atheistic regimes. Atheism had nothing to do with what was done by Stalin or Mao or Pol Pot. The acts perpetrated on the people by those rulers had nothing to do with their disbelief in a god or gods. It had everything to do with the will of the ruler being imposed on the people. That’s it. If you want to play name games with terrible rulers in history we can play that game. There are many examples of Christian nations or Muslim nations conquering in the name of their god and the amount of people that suffered at the hands of theistic governments is as large or larger than anything done by so called atheistic regimes.

    You want to know why people like Stalin and Mao did what they did in regards to religion? There are two “states” in the world. The national and the religious. The national has well defined borders and is maintained rather easily (relatively speaking). Religious borders span multiple countries and demand allegiances that transcend national borders. THAT’S why religion was stamped out by Stalin, Mao and others who you inaccurately name atheistic regimes. While Stalin was an avowed atheist, what he did to his people wasn’t in the name of atheism. It was in the name of the state… The name of Stalin, who WAS the state. The name of Mao, who WAS the state.

    Please spare me that tired out canard Sphere.

  • Bender’s Cheerleader

    Ray – I’d be willing to bet that the only person happier than you that God is Judge and not Bender, is Bender.

    Bender rocks.

  • Les

    Atheism is not a belief system in the sense that a religion is Sphere.

    Atheism is not a belief or value system Sphere. It is not moral or immoral. Atheism is a rejection of a belief in theistic deity/dieties. It says nothing at all about the beliefs a person DOES hold or his/her ethics, morals, or values If you are a Christian, then you do not believe in Krishna, Allah, Mithras, the Guatemalan Corn god, or Poseidon, the god of the sea. You do not fear these gods because you believe they do not exist.

    As a Christian, you hold a believe in one god; however, you are an atheist with respect to all other gods. In the first and second centuries, Christians who did not worship the Emperor as god were called atheists by the romans.

    We atheists reject all man made gods, such that they are man made by where they spawned on this planet, and which time they came into existence.

    Stalin and Hitler did not massacre because of, or in the name of, atheism. They killed because they were madmen and drunk on power. Stalin just happened to be an atheist; he did not kill BECAUSE he was an atheist. This is different, for instance, from the Crusades or the Inquisition, when people were slaughtered or tortured in the name of religion.

    The suicide bombers on 9/11 killed because of their religious texts, which said it was OK to kill unbelievers.

    Religion does on thing VERY well. It pits man against man over a question that none of can answer and ever will I imagine.

    Religion is taking on faith that a god in fact does exist, and that that god has a name and has revealed himself to us. That he demands things of us and demands that we do things in his name.

    Faith means that one takes something for which there is no evidence, and accepts it anyway.

    Atheism takes something specific for which there is no evidence (claim that a god named Yahweh exists, Allah exists), and rejects it. That’s darn close to the opposite of faith.

    I suppose the response to that is that belief in total absence is a positive position to take, and requires either evidence or faith. I don’t think that’s true, because I don’t declare beyond all doubt that there are no gods. I just don’t accept any given god because there’s no evidence for any of them, and so I’m left with no specifically defined gods at all.

    That requires a complete lack of leaps of faith.

  • Les

    Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you’d have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion

    Steven Weinberg, Nobel physicist

  • Mrs. Mrs.

    I can’t believe that this is causing a debate. If someone is ill you pray for them – it doesn’t matter if they asked for it, it doesn’t matter if they believe, it doesn’t matter if you like them. What matters is that we who are Christian do what we are called to do – love our neighbors and in this case, that includes prayer.

    Just pray. God can take care of the details.

  • Last Sphere

    (Les wrote – “Probably because you know that in addition to those who may wish you ill, you have those who wish you well.”)

    Who’s praying for Hitchen’s ill health? And again, why would a wish carry any more significance than a prayer in your rationale? They are both intangible and scientifically unprovable and therefore meaningless.

    (Les wrote – “We love those we hold dear and enjoy their love of us.”)

    Again Les, wishing an atheist well is beneficial because it expresses an intangible meaningless notion of something called “love”?

    Why? And explain “love”.

    (Les wrote – You seem to think that because someone is an atheist that they eat babies or do cultish things that are shunned by society in general…”)

    Actually, that is the EXACT argument made by atheists against religion.

    (Les wrote – Do you really think that someone needs to have a belief in a revelatory god in order to be good in life or know right from wrong? It only takes a sense of the “I” and the “other” to do that. All it takes is a bit of empathy. Most 4 year olds and older get this sense and learn it.”)

    Really Les? Your reliance on the reciprocal altruism of the “Golden Rule” falls apart on a societal scale.

    Do we empathize with the murderer and set him free while ignoring the desire of the victims family and society as a whole? Or is there some moral standard, some basic rights that originate outside of and beyond ourselves?

    (Les wrote – “There are many examples of Christian nations or Muslim nations conquering in the name of their god and the amount of people that suffered at the hands of theistic governments is as large or larger than anything done by so called atheistic regimes. “)

    Show me the numbers. Cite the Christian atrocities and let’s compare them to the numbers generated by the atheistic regimes.

    (Les wrote – “While Stalin was an avowed atheist, what he did to his people wasn’t in the name of atheism. It was in the name of the state… “)

    Correction: it could ONLY be done once God was removed by the state. We’ve seen this again and again with Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and Kim Jong Il.

    But let’s hear from a man who actually suffered under the atheistic regime of Stalin. Noble Prize winning author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn:
    “Over a half century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of old people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: “Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.” Since then I have spent well-nigh 50 years working on the history of our revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: “Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.” – “Solzhenitsyn – Voice from the Gulag,”

    Tell me Les, what do know that Mr. Solzhenitsyn doesn’t?

  • Les

    Oh, and in regards to “wishful thinking”… It’s not me that’s wishing a god existed, or didn’t exist… I’m wishing that you and others on this planet would quit wishing that there was, and that your version of him was right, and that you would quit being willing to die for that god or belief system.

    As we can see from the Muslim communities willingness to die for their belief in their god. People’s beliefs have consequences. If you came to the realization that I now hold, you would be able to see why I fight against religion now.

    Because like I said before, it pits man against man VERY well, and sets us against each other while the guys at the top of the pyramid enjoy the fruits of our donations we gave them because they happen to be the leaders of our church/belief system.

    Atheism rejects all this. That’s all it is bro.

    I’ll wishfully think that we as a species can get over this childish behavior and just be good for goodness sakes. Adding a god as the start of it all, and being so sure that OUR god is the right one only sets you against other people… Which can be settled peacefully, or by the sword, but one way or another it fosters conflict.

  • Last Sphere

    (Les wrote – “Atheism is not a belief or value system Sphere.”)

    Of course it is.

    It is a “belief” that God does not exist. And the “value system” is built around that belief.

    (Les wrote – “you are an atheist with respect to all other gods.”)

    No Les. Atheism has one specific meaning.

    Dictionary.com

    Atheism-
    1.the doctrine or belief that there is no god.
    2.disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings.

    How long have you been making up your own definitions to words Les?

    (Les wrote – “In the first and second centuries, Christians who did not worship the Emperor as god were called atheists by the romans.”)

    Sounds like the Romans have their own dictionary now. Perhaps you should notify the good people at Oxford:
    Oxford Dictionary

    Atheist-

    A person who does not believe in the existence of God OR gods.

  • Last Sphere

    (Les wrote – “As we can see from the Muslim communities willingness to die for their belief in their god.”)

    Tell it to the Muslims Les. I’m Catholic.

    And while you’re at it, be sure to admonish the unprecedented repeated atrocities perpetrated by every communist regime that has ever existed. Did I happen to mention that they were all atheistic regimes? A mere coincidence right Les?

    Well of course………

  • Last Sphere

    (Les wrote – “I’m wishing that you and others on this planet would quit wishing that there was, and that your version of him was right, and that you would quit being willing to die for that god or belief system.”)

    I pray that I have the courage to die for my beliefs Les, but I will not kill for them. But since I and most Christians aren’t willing to stop believing- what are you proposing to do about it?

    I ask because you already sound angry Les, and now you’re starting to sound militant. And based on the historical record of societies that have forcibly forbidden the right to worship God freely, you sound as if you’re starting down an unpleasant path that is all too familiar.

  • Les

    Sphere said,
    Who’s praying for Hitchen’s ill health?

    Not I, but I can bet any amount of money that someone is. When and if he dies from his cancer, they’ll be sitting in their church pew saying, “Thank you lord, for striking down the mouth of the new atheist movement!” Seriously, you know it as well as I. We’re talking about humans here.

    Sphere said,
    Why? And explain “love”.

    Oh come on Sphere. There are good questions, and then there are questions like this one… The religious always fall back on these inane questions that they explain as coming from god, or the creator, etc… Love is just a word but your attempt at the argument from love is comical.

    Sphere said,
    Show me the numbers. Cite the Christian atrocities and let’s compare them to the numbers generated by the atheistic regimes.

    Oh come on. The domination of the new world in the name of Christianity and god? How many millions died when our missionaries and conquistadors went to the new world in the name of god, king and country? How many were slaughtered and how many more died from the pestilence they brought with them?

    The Inquisition? the Crusades? The wars between rival nations of different denominations of the Christian faith? All wars are usually couched in religious terms to get people to fight for their way of life. To fight for their CORE beliefs. It doesn’t get more CORE than a persons belief in this afterlife ruled by the god they happen to follow.

    Sphere said,
    (Les wrote – “While Stalin was an avowed atheist, what he did to his people wasn’t in the name of atheism. It was in the name of the state… “)

    Correction: it could ONLY be done once God was removed by the state. We’ve seen this again and again with Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and Kim Jong Il.
    —————————————-
    I said to quit with that tired out canard Sphere. They didn’t do what they did in the NAME of their atheism. They did it in the name of the state.

    Using Solzhenitsyn does nothing to bolster your arguments Sphere. He was obviously Orthodox in his upbringing but this just helps to highlight my premise that religion pits man against man. There is no love loss between the catholic and orthodox religions, as we all know too well from the religious war waged recently in the former Yugoslavia. That was a case of Muslim on Orthodox/Catholic, Catholic on Orthodox/Muslim, Orthodox on catholic/Muslim war in Europe.

    Hell, we have records of Christian communities even here in the United States where whole towns warred against each other over interpretations of the “word of god”.

    How many sects of Christianity are there now? Muslim sects? Hindu?

    You begin to realize, once you examine the history of religions on this planet, that there’s a pattern to it. It’s always a matter of plagiarism and embellishment when it comes to religion. The newer religions always take the good from rival religions and make the ideas their own.

    The, dare I say, evolution of religions is certainly an interesting one.

    The evidence is out there. You just have to look at it dispassionately as an outside observer to be able to see it. Until you take the blinders off, you won’t see the forest for the trees.

  • Bender

    Again Bender, what exactly is the non-believer offended by?

    For an example, see the exchange from 11:40 a.m. (EDT) to the present.

  • Les

    Sphere said,
    I pray that I have the courage to die for my beliefs Les, but I will not kill for them. But since I and most Christians aren’t willing to stop believing- what are you proposing to do about it?

    I ask because you already sound angry Les, and now you’re starting to sound militant. And based on the historical record of societies that have forcibly forbidden the right to worship God freely, you sound as if you’re starting down an unpleasant path that is all too familiar.

    ——————————–

    Your implication that I’m countenancing a culling of religious followers is way off the mark brother. I demand an apology.

    The sharpest sword I will ever use to extirpate religious dogma is with scorn. That’s as far as I will ever go.

    If you have to resort to violence to achieve a win in an argument then you’ve already lost the battle.

  • Last Sphere

    (Les wrote – “When and if he dies from his cancer, they’ll be sitting in their church pew saying, “Thank you lord, for striking down the mouth of the new atheist movement!” Seriously, you know it as well as I. We’re talking about humans here.”)

    I’m talking about Christians here. Specifically Roman Catholics. We pray for the conversion of those who oppose us- not for their death and suffering.

    (Les wrote – “Oh come on Sphere. There are good questions, and then there are questions like this one… The religious always fall back on these inane questions that they explain as coming from god, or the creator, etc… Love is just a word but your attempt at the argument from love is comical.”)

    Yeah Les. As an atheist I struggled with that one as well. I don’t blame you for avoiding that philosophical mine field.

    (Les wrote – “Oh come on. The domination of the new world in the name of Christianity and god? How many millions died when our missionaries and conquistadors went to the new world in the name of god, king and country? How many were slaughtered and how many more died from the pestilence they brought with them?”)

    You tell me Les. On the other hand Stalin’s atheistic regime alone: Conservatively- 30 million deaths. Probably- 30-60 million deaths.

    (Les wrote – “Using Solzhenitsyn does nothing to bolster your arguments Sphere.”)

    Really Les? So the Nobel winning author’s real life experience and decades of research are merely delusions because of his Orthodox beliefs?

    And yet somehow, Stalin’s regime was completely free of the influences of the atheistic beliefs of it’s Marxist origins? Not to mention the unprecedented atrocities of every other communist regime based on the same atheistic beliefs?

    Speaking of “blinders” that’s a remarkably myopic view you have there Les. But then- you do tend to create your own terms and definitions don’t you, so……..

  • Last Sphere

    So once more from the top Bender:

    We Christians should avoid offending atheists at all costs right?

  • Last Sphere

    (Les wrote “Your implication that I’m countenancing a culling of religious followers is way off the mark brother. I demand an apology.”)

    An apology for what? I’m implying that you’re advocating the legal abolition of all organized religion (especially Christianity) from our society.

    (Les wrote – “If you have to resort to violence to achieve a win in an argument then you’ve already lost the battle.”)

    I agree. So who’s resorting to violence?

  • Les

    An apology because I would never want anyone forcibly caused to give up their religion. I would want to argue them out of the belief that their religion is right and that all others are wrong. Some people tend to take the conversion of other societies to an extreme, namely the Muslims right now, but it was the Christians in the not too distant past. Just because Christian societies on a whole have gone through the enlightenment doesn’t mean they can’t devolve back into more ignorant and abominable ways. The BASIS of the beliefs we hold so dear are the root cause of much of our infighting going on right now with the Muslims. They contend that their way is the one true way, and they’re willing to die/kill for it right now but Christians can have this same mentality, and likely will very soon if the religious war ratchets up a bit… Say, when they smuggle a nuke on us.

    Honestly Sphere, what do you think the reaction of the religious right in America is going to be then? All out war contingent on this belief in something for which we have absolutely no evidence is real. It’s all imagined reality and wishful thinking that we have some afterlife that we’re rewarded with if we’re good Christians or Muslims.

    I say fine, if you want to believe in a god, that’s fine by me. As I said earlier, I’m a deist of sorts and can see a god as a very distinct possibility. But what I won’t do is fight for gods, or over gods for whom we have any real evidence of other than some ancient writings by some bronze aged Bedouins and shepherds.

    What I’m saying Sphere is that the games we play with the meaning of life being what our god, or their god says, are a colossal waste of time and energy. The cultural gods that we fight over today will be our undoing, and people like you will in a sense allow this destructive war we find brewing up between Christian and Muslim as prophecy foretold in the books of Daniel, Ezekial and Revelations.

    It fits the “narrative” of the eschatological elements of these poly/theistic religions that we see being practiced today.

    It will be Muslim vs Hindu in India, Muslim vs Christian in Africa and Europe/US. Nukes will start flying and then all the endeavors, all the knowledge that we as a species have learned will be all for naught. All because people saw the impending Armageddon as god’s final say about our dirty lowly existence… A fitting end to our pitiable existence and our just due for disobeying him

    Such a waste.

  • Les

    Since we’re talking about Hitchens here… Watch this short 5 minute clip to get a better idea of why Hitchens has made such a mark in my beliefs, and why I choose to fight religion now…

    Hitchens – Why Fight Religion?
    link

    [Once again, for the sake of all commenters...unembedded links will generally case your comments to be flung into the spam filter. If I don't feel like looking at the spam filter, your comments will be lost. Here is a quick tutorial on creating links. -admin]

  • Les

    Go to Youtube and run a search for Hitchens – Why Fight Religion and watch the 6 minute clip where he outlines exactly WHY I choose to fight religion today.

    I can’t put an actual link into the text here it seems because I’ve tried 3 times to input the actual link to the actual video but go search for that video and learn why the “new atheists” choose to speak up as much as they do. Why I choose to say anything about this topic.

  • Les

    Nevermind. I guess it linked. I refreshed and it wasn’t there. Anyway, watch the video if you want to understand better.

  • Last Sphere

    (Les wrote – “I would never want anyone forcibly caused to give up their religion.”)

    Why would you not Les?

    After all, you’ve clearly stated that all religion is nothing short of delusion and madness and you blame all the atrocities of the modern age on it. All that is EXCEPT for the unprecedented atrocities of the atheistic regimes.

    So given your absolute close minded opinion on religion and your myopic view of history and your proselytizing of your fundamentalist beliefs why would you NOT have the courage of your convictions and simply call for the abolishment of the belief system you claim is so radically dangerous?

  • Last Sphere

    (Les wrote – “Go to Youtube and run a search for Hitchens – Why Fight Religion and watch the 6 minute clip where he outlines exactly WHY I choose to fight religion today.”)

    Woah! Now you have deemed your crusade as a “fight” Les?

    That sounds confrontational with the possibility for future violence Les.

  • Last Sphere

    (Les wrote – “Anyway, watch the video if you want to understand better.”)

    You’re talking to a former atheist Les.

    I understand completely…….

  • Les

    Well you’re obviously going to continue to argue that it was an atheist regime but your logic is faulty on this point Sphere.

    I’ll say it one more time, Stalin didn’t do what he did to the gypsies and jews and whoever else was unfortunate enough to be in his cross hairs BECAUSE of his atheistic beliefs. He did it because it suited his political dominance and control over the nation. Just because he was an atheist doesn’t make his regime atheistic.

    That’s like saying Tony Blair was a Christian, so his assistance with the War in Iraq was a religious war against the Muslims.

    Quit bandying that dumb logic around will you? He did what he did because it suited him and his plans to dominate the country.

    It’s no different than Hitler’s Catholic roots being a cause of his dislike of the Jewish people because of their god killing ways. Incidentally though, the dislike of Jews has always been a reality in Europe. The Jew was reviled and the frequent sufferer of pograms and ethnic cleansing in lands all through Europe due to them voting for Barrabas and condemning Jesus to die.

  • Last Sphere

    And I’ll say it one more time Les:

    What do you know that a Nobel prize winning author who actually LIVED in the atheistic regime of Stalin doesn’t know?

    The popular Russian Revolution of 1917 was a movement based on the atheistic beliefs of the Marxists. It’s fundamental requirement was the destruction of any religious authority (i.e. God) that could challenge it’s ultimate goal of a “new man”.

    Stalin never wavered from this basic precept- Hitler clearly abandoned his Catholic roots early on.

    Once again- when the state abolishes God, the state becomes it’s own god.

  • Les

    Would you try to force someone to think the way you do? Your kid maybe? Wouldn’t you just TELL them that god was a reality, even though you had no concrete evidence, other than you FEEL it to be true?

    I’m saying I would discuss it with them just like we are right now. I wouldn’t force anything on them but I’d argue strenuously to persuade them to the logical conclusion that NONE of the gods, so far proposed, are likely the right one. That a god, if there was one, wouldn’t choose one tribe of people over any other like the god of the old testament did. That a god wouldn’t have to sacrifice himself, to himself, on a cross in the middle east of all places. What makes the middle easy any more special than say the Yellowstone area of North America, etc…?

    The problem Sphere, is that what we have here is long standing tradition only. It’s your parents teaching YOU the religion that you were born into, it’s THEIR parents teaching them ad infinitum on back to the times in the middle east when these religions were foisted on us.

    We didn’t KNOW any better. Our reasoning skills as a whole of the species were lacking, and we knew not an inkling of what we know to be true today.

    To continue to glorify the bible/koran/ as the word of god, when it clearly isn’t based on the number of inconsistencies it has in it, is just ridiculous.

    Grow up and realize that we are but a grain of sand in the universe, where other intelligent life besides our own likely exists and to think that you think god came down to the middle east 2000+ years ago to make himself, and his word, known to man…

    Delusional brother. Otherwise functional as a person, but delusional nonetheless.

  • Elizabeth Scalia

    This thread will be closing soon, so you folks may want to either wrap it up or exchange emails and continue your fight privately.

  • Les

    Stalin’s fight against religion was only due to the fact of what I stated earlier… Religion isn’t contained by national borders. Religion demands things of its adherents that compel them to act in ways contrary to what Stalin wanted. Religion was an enemy of the state.

  • Last Sphere

    (Les wrote – “The problem Sphere, is that what we have here is long standing tradition only. It’s your parents teaching YOU the religion that you were born into, it’s THEIR parents teaching them ad infinitum on back to the times in the middle east when these religions were foisted on us.”)

    Does that mean that your children are atheists?

    (Les wrote – “Religion was an enemy of the state.”)

    And that Les is a difference with out distinction.

  • Last Sphere

    Wrap it up Anchoress.

    Les has yet to define love which is why I can’t seem to feel any from him.
    ;-)

  • Les

    The state WAS Stalin, and what he and his lackeys wanted. Just because he was atheist answers nothing in the telling of it. It’s incidental to the story. Not the tell tale sign of his domination of the Russian people.

    That means that my children don’t take anything for granted. That they question everything and verify claims that are made to them. They think for themselves and don’t just take what they are fed like you see in churches/mosques/synagogues/temples around the world.

    They made up their own minds in that respect, when the age of reason was upon them, but I only encouraged them to seek the truth for themselves.

  • Bender

    We Christians should avoid offending atheists at all costs right?

    We should avoid driving them further away from God with obnoxious behavior, yes.

    In dealing with them, we should act with charity, with an understanding and delicacy that, in their error, they might take offense, which we should seek to avoid so that it does not lead them away. Rather, we should THINK about what we do and why we do it and how we do it and when we do it — including praying — so as to (a) make it a true act of love and (b) actually be a step toward bringing them CLOSER to Christ, and not further away.

  • Les

    In THAT regard. I of course guide them on stuff in the real world, but when it came to gods and such. I let them decide for themselves since it’s a harmless question in and of itself.

    It’s when people start stating as fact that they know the mind of god, have spoken with god, received visions or whatnot, that’s when we should draw the line for better evidence than simple anecdotal evidence… Which is what all the claims of every religion are based on… Anecdotal evidence and hearsay.

  • Les

    In THAT regard (the god question). I of course guide them on stuff in the real world, but when it came to gods and such? I let them decide for themselves since it’s a harmless question in and of itself.

    It’s when people start stating as fact that they know the mind of god, have spoken with god, received visions or whatnot, that’s when we should draw the line for better evidence than simple anecdotal evidence… Which is what all the claims of every religion are based on… Anecdotal evidence and hearsay.

  • Henry Hawkins

    “Feel free to define the atheistic explanation of “love” Henry.”

    It is precisely the same definition as anyone else’s definition of love. You may feel free to substantiate your apparent assertion that atheists can’t/don’t/won’t feel or express love.

    What next? Atheists eat their babies?

    What is it about the mere existence of atheists that threatens you so, that compels you to make atheists less than human, incapable even of love?

    Methinks you’ve far less faith than you believe you do. Pun intended.


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