why believe in a god?

Written by Dan King

Christ-follower. husband. father. author of the unlikely missionary: from pew-warmer to poverty-fighter. co-author of activist faith: from him and for him. school of ministry and missions instructor. president of fistbump media, llc.

November 12, 2008

Most definitions of God aren’t scientifically testable. They are philosophical abstractions, logical contradictions, imprecise spiritual notions, or subjective feelings. So there appears no way to show that this or that particular god idea is true or false, or even makes much sense. Moreover, most people don’t even want their god idea to be scientifically testable, since that might result in it being falsified.
— American Humanist Association

Ad from American Humanist Association

Ad from American Humanist Association

I was floored today when checking out the news to see an absolutely blatant and public attack on Christianity (and all religion)! It seems that the American Humanist Association (a group that promotes atheism) is running an ad campaign this Christmas season that challenges people to not believe in a god. The quote above is from the website that people are referred to in the ad for more information.

While I can appreciate the organization’s desire to prompt people to be good and kind to each other, but am amazed at the anti-religious statements that they use to deliver that message. The website does not even tell people about ways that they can help to spread ‘goodness’, but instead simply pushes their anti-religious, secular humanist worldview.

The message about goodness itself is also a twisted one. Goodness is a measurement. An event can be measured as being good or bad. However, this is only possible if there is a moral absolute (a standard) to measure against. The secular humanist worldview will tell you that morals are relative. Simply put, what you determine to be good is good, but what I determine to be good is good, and those two things can be completely different. This moral relativism is quite problematic because when extreme perspectives start to conflict with ‘the norm’ then people start to discount the opposing perspectives as wrong. But this flies in the face of true moral relativism.

The difference in worldviews is often difficult to overcome because the two sides simply do not see the world in the same way. Imagine people that live in a two dimensional world. If a three dimensional object (like a ring) were to pass through their world, it would simply appear progressively as a point, then a couple of lines growing wider apart, then growing closer again, and coming to a point once more before disappearing. Logically (and scientifically) one could point to a series of events that happened that can be measured and described as nothing more that a series of progressive lines. Others that realize that there is more to it than just a series of lines may not have any empirical evidence to back them up, but just know that there is more to it than what the ‘evidence’ can provide. The following snippet of video addresses this difference in perspectives…

[youtube vHs4QBjHrgg Video :: Rob Bell, Everything is Spiritual (excerpt)]

The truth is that many of us will never see eye-to-eye on this because we are talking different languages. Some simply deny the existence of the spiritual, while other recognize that there must be more than this. Going back to the opening quote, I am happy for ‘science’ to ‘test’ my God. However, I don’t think that a finite humanist scientist will ever be able to ‘measure’ my infinite God. I believe that there is more…

Oh, and if you want to do something good for ‘goodness sake,’ then try helping someone less forturante than yourself. You won’t find this challenge on the website referenced in the ads, even though that is what they want you to think that they are promoting.

Recommended Resource:

Everything is Spiritual, DVD
By Rob Bell / Zondervan

In the Hebrew Scriptures there is no word for “spiritual.” And Jesus never used the phrase “spiritual life.” Why? Because for Jesus and his tradition, all of life is spiritual. But what does that really mean?


100 Comments

  1. blake

    The created testing whether or not the creator exists. How funny is that?

    Reply
  2. blake

    The created testing whether or not the creator exists. How funny is that?

    Reply
  3. blake

    The created testing whether or not the creator exists. How funny is that?

    Reply
  4. Dan King

    Blake…
    Seriously, that would be like a bicycle questioning the existence of the bicycle maker (or even better, the inventor). From my worldview, the logic is simply not there.

    Reply
  5. Dan King

    Blake…
    Seriously, that would be like a bicycle questioning the existence of the bicycle maker (or even better, the inventor). From my worldview, the logic is simply not there.

    Reply
  6. Dan King

    Blake…
    Seriously, that would be like a bicycle questioning the existence of the bicycle maker (or even better, the inventor). From my worldview, the logic is simply not there.

    Reply
  7. arensb

    I am happy for ’science’ to ‘test’ my God.

    Great. Could you please tell us what you mean by “God”, and how a universe that contains that entity differs from one that doesn’t?

    Also, you mentioned moral absolutes to which actions can be compared to see whether they’re good or not. Could you please name some of those? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a list.

    Thanks,

    Reply
  8. arensb

    I am happy for ’science’ to ‘test’ my God.

    Great. Could you please tell us what you mean by “God”, and how a universe that contains that entity differs from one that doesn’t?

    Also, you mentioned moral absolutes to which actions can be compared to see whether they’re good or not. Could you please name some of those? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a list.

    Thanks,

    Reply
  9. arensb

    I am happy for ’science’ to ‘test’ my God.

    Great. Could you please tell us what you mean by “God”, and how a universe that contains that entity differs from one that doesn’t?

    Also, you mentioned moral absolutes to which actions can be compared to see whether they’re good or not. Could you please name some of those? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a list.

    Thanks,

    Reply
  10. Dan King

    arensb,
    What I mean by “God” is the being that created everything the universe. And your question about a universe that “contains” that entity vs. one that doesn’t… That statement assumes that the God is subject to the universe. The universe is the universe. But one that is defined by man’s own limited reasoning is one that has no meaning, purpose, or hope.

    Regarding the moral absolutes, the Bible was not written to be a step-by-step book of rules, but as an insight into the nature and character of God. It is from this unchanging character, that we draw the absolutes. But if you do want a list then since the Bible teaches that “God is love”, then the description of what love is (and is not) from 1 Corinthians 13 is a good start…

    Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

    It does not take much to read the Bible (particularly the life of Jesus) and understand what the moral absolutes are without needing a speciifc list of what they are. But I also understand that some people may have difficulty figuring this stuff out (since our minds are limited)…

    Reply
  11. Dan King

    arensb,
    What I mean by “God” is the being that created everything the universe. And your question about a universe that “contains” that entity vs. one that doesn’t… That statement assumes that the God is subject to the universe. The universe is the universe. But one that is defined by man’s own limited reasoning is one that has no meaning, purpose, or hope.

    Regarding the moral absolutes, the Bible was not written to be a step-by-step book of rules, but as an insight into the nature and character of God. It is from this unchanging character, that we draw the absolutes. But if you do want a list then since the Bible teaches that “God is love”, then the description of what love is (and is not) from 1 Corinthians 13 is a good start…

    Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

    It does not take much to read the Bible (particularly the life of Jesus) and understand what the moral absolutes are without needing a speciifc list of what they are. But I also understand that some people may have difficulty figuring this stuff out (since our minds are limited)…

    Reply
  12. Dan King

    arensb,
    What I mean by “God” is the being that created everything the universe. And your question about a universe that “contains” that entity vs. one that doesn’t… That statement assumes that the God is subject to the universe. The universe is the universe. But one that is defined by man’s own limited reasoning is one that has no meaning, purpose, or hope.

    Regarding the moral absolutes, the Bible was not written to be a step-by-step book of rules, but as an insight into the nature and character of God. It is from this unchanging character, that we draw the absolutes. But if you do want a list then since the Bible teaches that “God is love”, then the description of what love is (and is not) from 1 Corinthians 13 is a good start…

    Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

    It does not take much to read the Bible (particularly the life of Jesus) and understand what the moral absolutes are without needing a speciifc list of what they are. But I also understand that some people may have difficulty figuring this stuff out (since our minds are limited)…

    Reply
  13. arensb

    I’m confused: on one hand, you say that God is the being that created the universe, so presumably God is the Big Bang. On the other hand, you say that God is love. But the universe existed for a long time before there were any living beings, let alone love. How is that possible? And besides, why worship an emotion or an expansion of space?

    You also dodged my question about scientific investigation by arguing over technicalities of whether God is in the universe, or intersecting it, or what. The real question is, what objective difference does it make whether God exists or not? Or to put it another way, what observation would, if it happened, lead you to conclude that God does not exist?

    Reply
  14. arensb

    I’m confused: on one hand, you say that God is the being that created the universe, so presumably God is the Big Bang. On the other hand, you say that God is love. But the universe existed for a long time before there were any living beings, let alone love. How is that possible? And besides, why worship an emotion or an expansion of space?

    You also dodged my question about scientific investigation by arguing over technicalities of whether God is in the universe, or intersecting it, or what. The real question is, what objective difference does it make whether God exists or not? Or to put it another way, what observation would, if it happened, lead you to conclude that God does not exist?

    Reply
  15. arensb

    I’m confused: on one hand, you say that God is the being that created the universe, so presumably God is the Big Bang. On the other hand, you say that God is love. But the universe existed for a long time before there were any living beings, let alone love. How is that possible? And besides, why worship an emotion or an expansion of space?

    You also dodged my question about scientific investigation by arguing over technicalities of whether God is in the universe, or intersecting it, or what. The real question is, what objective difference does it make whether God exists or not? Or to put it another way, what observation would, if it happened, lead you to conclude that God does not exist?

    Reply
  16. Broseph

    Dan,

    I grew up Methodist. I was confirmed at 13. At 14 I made the choice to no longer attend church services and aside from three of four services since then, I have had no interest in church and especially organized religion.

    I am in no way saying that there is anything wrong with you having your own opinion about this matter, but I do have an issue with one thing that you said. You responded to Blake’s comment about the ‘created testing the creator’ and how it is illogical. This view is a part of the reason for my departure from the church. I do not claim to be atheist, but I have serious issues with some of the basics of the religion.

    First of all, I feel that most religions (Buddhism being an exception) ask their followers to believe in God blindly. In fact, in the case of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, belief in God is the basic fundamental of being identified as a part of that religion. The reason that I have an issue with this is that the entire ‘logic’ of the church is that any question raised about the church must eventually lead back to this belief. When asked “why one should believe in God?”, the answer is most often “because he the Bible tells us so” or something of the likes. In fact, it seems that a precept for being religious is that you must blindly believe without examining the world for yourself.

    Personal examination and self control, both of which are qualities that logically have nothing to do with religion, are the fundamentals of a sound life in my eyes. If you say that it is illogical to examine the other side of an issue (i.e. ‘What if God does not exist?’), then how are you gaining a complete representation of the world? When people in the Dark Ages were told that they had to attend Mass every Sunday or they would go to hell, were they not being misled by those who were supposed to be God’s servants? Were the priests of the time trying to bring them to God or was it actually just a system of control? When Copernicus was persecuted for having a view of the universe different from the church, were the leaders of the church not trying to retain their control over the masses or were they using logic? These are the questions that I believe are suppressed by blind faith in God.

    Why is it that if I choose not to believe in God that I am labeled by many Christians as a flawed person, a person that has lost his way? I do not feel lost or flawed. I do not know what I believe regarding God, but I do know that blood has been shed needlessly in the name of God. I know that hundreds of thousands of clergymen have abused their power while they were supposed to be serving God. I know that people have been persecuted in the name of Jesus. I know that the Vatican is the largest landowner in the world and that only 10% of that land is used for charitable purposes. I know that there are many people out there that beat their children and then go to confessional to have their sins ‘washed away’. I know that organized religion has created a hierarchical system in which those at the top are making vast sums of money.

    What happened to the meek shall inherit the earth? What happened to the Bible being a book of stories that teach us how to live a good life? What happened to the clergy being the poorest of all the servants of God as Jesus showed in his way of life? What happened to the purity of religion?

    I have studied views vastly differing from those of the church and I have been severely disillusioned. I am grateful for it. I studied the great philosophers, I studied Buddhism, I studied the life of the Dalai Lama, I studied Islam. What I came away with is that there are many differing views about the world and many differing views about how one should live their life. I have found that every world view is intrinsically tied to the cultures that arose in their specific areas and that the values and lifestyles that are prevalent in any area are a product of the environment in which they live, not religion. I made my own choices about what I like and what I dislike and I have become successful in my eyes and in the eyes of those I love. I believe in being considerate to others and in refraining from maliciously hurting others emotionally or physically. I love my parents and I have taken part in many community service projects. I give money to charity and I try to help others as much as I can. I have done this all without religion.

    Basically, I am horrified by what has been done in the name of God over the centuries. I cannot put my faith in the Bible as it was compiled at the Council of Nicea by Constantine who removed sections of it and added passages as he saw fit (including a ban on same sex marriage and Immaculate Conception). I cannot put my faith in the church because it has abused its own power over the people time and time again. I cannot put my faith in God because I have nothing other than a 2000 year old book of stories and a priest telling me that I must believe because they say so.

    I have nothing against the values that religion seeks to teach people, in fact the Bible teaches many things that I believe in myself. However, I have a serious problem with the idea that you must reject any idea that goes against what is taught by the church. That questioning or testing the existence of God is ‘illogical’ is illogical to me. Why not question? If you really believe in God so deeply, I challenge you to test what has been taught to you and seek differing opinions. What is so wrong with entertaining thoughts that are not born of religious teachings? Why should a person not take control of their own life, rather than basing everything they do on what someone else says they should do? If we are not here to learn all that we can through questioning the world around us and what may be beyond without restriction, then what are we here for?

    Broseph

    Reply
  17. Broseph

    Dan,

    I grew up Methodist. I was confirmed at 13. At 14 I made the choice to no longer attend church services and aside from three of four services since then, I have had no interest in church and especially organized religion.

    I am in no way saying that there is anything wrong with you having your own opinion about this matter, but I do have an issue with one thing that you said. You responded to Blake’s comment about the ‘created testing the creator’ and how it is illogical. This view is a part of the reason for my departure from the church. I do not claim to be atheist, but I have serious issues with some of the basics of the religion.

    First of all, I feel that most religions (Buddhism being an exception) ask their followers to believe in God blindly. In fact, in the case of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, belief in God is the basic fundamental of being identified as a part of that religion. The reason that I have an issue with this is that the entire ‘logic’ of the church is that any question raised about the church must eventually lead back to this belief. When asked “why one should believe in God?”, the answer is most often “because he the Bible tells us so” or something of the likes. In fact, it seems that a precept for being religious is that you must blindly believe without examining the world for yourself.

    Personal examination and self control, both of which are qualities that logically have nothing to do with religion, are the fundamentals of a sound life in my eyes. If you say that it is illogical to examine the other side of an issue (i.e. ‘What if God does not exist?’), then how are you gaining a complete representation of the world? When people in the Dark Ages were told that they had to attend Mass every Sunday or they would go to hell, were they not being misled by those who were supposed to be God’s servants? Were the priests of the time trying to bring them to God or was it actually just a system of control? When Copernicus was persecuted for having a view of the universe different from the church, were the leaders of the church not trying to retain their control over the masses or were they using logic? These are the questions that I believe are suppressed by blind faith in God.

    Why is it that if I choose not to believe in God that I am labeled by many Christians as a flawed person, a person that has lost his way? I do not feel lost or flawed. I do not know what I believe regarding God, but I do know that blood has been shed needlessly in the name of God. I know that hundreds of thousands of clergymen have abused their power while they were supposed to be serving God. I know that people have been persecuted in the name of Jesus. I know that the Vatican is the largest landowner in the world and that only 10% of that land is used for charitable purposes. I know that there are many people out there that beat their children and then go to confessional to have their sins ‘washed away’. I know that organized religion has created a hierarchical system in which those at the top are making vast sums of money.

    What happened to the meek shall inherit the earth? What happened to the Bible being a book of stories that teach us how to live a good life? What happened to the clergy being the poorest of all the servants of God as Jesus showed in his way of life? What happened to the purity of religion?

    I have studied views vastly differing from those of the church and I have been severely disillusioned. I am grateful for it. I studied the great philosophers, I studied Buddhism, I studied the life of the Dalai Lama, I studied Islam. What I came away with is that there are many differing views about the world and many differing views about how one should live their life. I have found that every world view is intrinsically tied to the cultures that arose in their specific areas and that the values and lifestyles that are prevalent in any area are a product of the environment in which they live, not religion. I made my own choices about what I like and what I dislike and I have become successful in my eyes and in the eyes of those I love. I believe in being considerate to others and in refraining from maliciously hurting others emotionally or physically. I love my parents and I have taken part in many community service projects. I give money to charity and I try to help others as much as I can. I have done this all without religion.

    Basically, I am horrified by what has been done in the name of God over the centuries. I cannot put my faith in the Bible as it was compiled at the Council of Nicea by Constantine who removed sections of it and added passages as he saw fit (including a ban on same sex marriage and Immaculate Conception). I cannot put my faith in the church because it has abused its own power over the people time and time again. I cannot put my faith in God because I have nothing other than a 2000 year old book of stories and a priest telling me that I must believe because they say so.

    I have nothing against the values that religion seeks to teach people, in fact the Bible teaches many things that I believe in myself. However, I have a serious problem with the idea that you must reject any idea that goes against what is taught by the church. That questioning or testing the existence of God is ‘illogical’ is illogical to me. Why not question? If you really believe in God so deeply, I challenge you to test what has been taught to you and seek differing opinions. What is so wrong with entertaining thoughts that are not born of religious teachings? Why should a person not take control of their own life, rather than basing everything they do on what someone else says they should do? If we are not here to learn all that we can through questioning the world around us and what may be beyond without restriction, then what are we here for?

    Broseph

    Reply
  18. Broseph

    Dan,

    I grew up Methodist. I was confirmed at 13. At 14 I made the choice to no longer attend church services and aside from three of four services since then, I have had no interest in church and especially organized religion.

    I am in no way saying that there is anything wrong with you having your own opinion about this matter, but I do have an issue with one thing that you said. You responded to Blake’s comment about the ‘created testing the creator’ and how it is illogical. This view is a part of the reason for my departure from the church. I do not claim to be atheist, but I have serious issues with some of the basics of the religion.

    First of all, I feel that most religions (Buddhism being an exception) ask their followers to believe in God blindly. In fact, in the case of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, belief in God is the basic fundamental of being identified as a part of that religion. The reason that I have an issue with this is that the entire ‘logic’ of the church is that any question raised about the church must eventually lead back to this belief. When asked “why one should believe in God?”, the answer is most often “because he the Bible tells us so” or something of the likes. In fact, it seems that a precept for being religious is that you must blindly believe without examining the world for yourself.

    Personal examination and self control, both of which are qualities that logically have nothing to do with religion, are the fundamentals of a sound life in my eyes. If you say that it is illogical to examine the other side of an issue (i.e. ‘What if God does not exist?’), then how are you gaining a complete representation of the world? When people in the Dark Ages were told that they had to attend Mass every Sunday or they would go to hell, were they not being misled by those who were supposed to be God’s servants? Were the priests of the time trying to bring them to God or was it actually just a system of control? When Copernicus was persecuted for having a view of the universe different from the church, were the leaders of the church not trying to retain their control over the masses or were they using logic? These are the questions that I believe are suppressed by blind faith in God.

    Why is it that if I choose not to believe in God that I am labeled by many Christians as a flawed person, a person that has lost his way? I do not feel lost or flawed. I do not know what I believe regarding God, but I do know that blood has been shed needlessly in the name of God. I know that hundreds of thousands of clergymen have abused their power while they were supposed to be serving God. I know that people have been persecuted in the name of Jesus. I know that the Vatican is the largest landowner in the world and that only 10% of that land is used for charitable purposes. I know that there are many people out there that beat their children and then go to confessional to have their sins ‘washed away’. I know that organized religion has created a hierarchical system in which those at the top are making vast sums of money.

    What happened to the meek shall inherit the earth? What happened to the Bible being a book of stories that teach us how to live a good life? What happened to the clergy being the poorest of all the servants of God as Jesus showed in his way of life? What happened to the purity of religion?

    I have studied views vastly differing from those of the church and I have been severely disillusioned. I am grateful for it. I studied the great philosophers, I studied Buddhism, I studied the life of the Dalai Lama, I studied Islam. What I came away with is that there are many differing views about the world and many differing views about how one should live their life. I have found that every world view is intrinsically tied to the cultures that arose in their specific areas and that the values and lifestyles that are prevalent in any area are a product of the environment in which they live, not religion. I made my own choices about what I like and what I dislike and I have become successful in my eyes and in the eyes of those I love. I believe in being considerate to others and in refraining from maliciously hurting others emotionally or physically. I love my parents and I have taken part in many community service projects. I give money to charity and I try to help others as much as I can. I have done this all without religion.

    Basically, I am horrified by what has been done in the name of God over the centuries. I cannot put my faith in the Bible as it was compiled at the Council of Nicea by Constantine who removed sections of it and added passages as he saw fit (including a ban on same sex marriage and Immaculate Conception). I cannot put my faith in the church because it has abused its own power over the people time and time again. I cannot put my faith in God because I have nothing other than a 2000 year old book of stories and a priest telling me that I must believe because they say so.

    I have nothing against the values that religion seeks to teach people, in fact the Bible teaches many things that I believe in myself. However, I have a serious problem with the idea that you must reject any idea that goes against what is taught by the church. That questioning or testing the existence of God is ‘illogical’ is illogical to me. Why not question? If you really believe in God so deeply, I challenge you to test what has been taught to you and seek differing opinions. What is so wrong with entertaining thoughts that are not born of religious teachings? Why should a person not take control of their own life, rather than basing everything they do on what someone else says they should do? If we are not here to learn all that we can through questioning the world around us and what may be beyond without restriction, then what are we here for?

    Broseph

    Reply
  19. Dan King

    arensb,
    I don’t understand how being a creator and being love are in conflict with each other. You make it sound like He can only be one or the other, but not both. Can a man not be a husband and a father at the same time? And you are making an assumption that the universe existed for a long time without any other beings in it. That is a whole other topic…

    But even to your point about love existing beofre any living beings… I do not understand why you think that love cannot exist before people do. Could love not drive the creator to create something to love? People everyday fall in love with the idea of the “perfect partner” or a child that is yet to even be conceived. Isn’t it that “love” that drives these people to seek it out and find what does not yet “exist”? People fall in love with ideas all of the time, so a physical existence of something is not a requirement for love to exist.

    Also I am not worshiping an emotion, or a expansion of space. But one of the point that I was trying to make in this post is exactly this issue. I don’t expect you to understand what it is that I worship, because you simply do not see the universe the same way that I do. You limit your understanding to what you can see and measure. I know that there is more to it than that. I worship an awesome, loving, all-powerful creator, which you will never be capable of understanding as long as you limit how you look at the universe.

    Sorry, but I did not intend to “dodge” any questions. And I was not trying to get out of it by responding with “technicalities”. So thank you for clarifying what you were trying to ask. I had a hard time making sense of the question to start with.

    So to answer “what difference does it make”? Bertrand Russell (an atheist) said that “unless you assume a God,the question of life’s purpose is meaningless.” In other words, if God exists, then life actually has a purpose (which is defined by the God that created us, just as the inventor of an object defines the purpose of it). Without a God, then there is no purpose. Life exists for no reason whatsoever. Everything is random chance. In fact, then true behaviorism is likely true, meaning that you really don’t have any control over anything that you do because it is all just a “chemical” reaction to other outside stimuli. Really, without a God, life would be a meaningless, mechanical existence.

    And to your final question, I don’t think that there is anything that could lead me to conclude that God does not exist. I know that there is more. If you watched the video in this post, then I am one of those that cannot believe that all there is, is all limited to what we can see. It has taken me a long time in my life to finally come to this conclusion, but I frimly believe that real “higher thinking” starts when you can ask the question, “what if there is more?”. This is the only thing that I challenge you to do…

    Reply
  20. Dan King

    arensb,
    I don’t understand how being a creator and being love are in conflict with each other. You make it sound like He can only be one or the other, but not both. Can a man not be a husband and a father at the same time? And you are making an assumption that the universe existed for a long time without any other beings in it. That is a whole other topic…

    But even to your point about love existing beofre any living beings… I do not understand why you think that love cannot exist before people do. Could love not drive the creator to create something to love? People everyday fall in love with the idea of the “perfect partner” or a child that is yet to even be conceived. Isn’t it that “love” that drives these people to seek it out and find what does not yet “exist”? People fall in love with ideas all of the time, so a physical existence of something is not a requirement for love to exist.

    Also I am not worshiping an emotion, or a expansion of space. But one of the point that I was trying to make in this post is exactly this issue. I don’t expect you to understand what it is that I worship, because you simply do not see the universe the same way that I do. You limit your understanding to what you can see and measure. I know that there is more to it than that. I worship an awesome, loving, all-powerful creator, which you will never be capable of understanding as long as you limit how you look at the universe.

    Sorry, but I did not intend to “dodge” any questions. And I was not trying to get out of it by responding with “technicalities”. So thank you for clarifying what you were trying to ask. I had a hard time making sense of the question to start with.

    So to answer “what difference does it make”? Bertrand Russell (an atheist) said that “unless you assume a God,the question of life’s purpose is meaningless.” In other words, if God exists, then life actually has a purpose (which is defined by the God that created us, just as the inventor of an object defines the purpose of it). Without a God, then there is no purpose. Life exists for no reason whatsoever. Everything is random chance. In fact, then true behaviorism is likely true, meaning that you really don’t have any control over anything that you do because it is all just a “chemical” reaction to other outside stimuli. Really, without a God, life would be a meaningless, mechanical existence.

    And to your final question, I don’t think that there is anything that could lead me to conclude that God does not exist. I know that there is more. If you watched the video in this post, then I am one of those that cannot believe that all there is, is all limited to what we can see. It has taken me a long time in my life to finally come to this conclusion, but I frimly believe that real “higher thinking” starts when you can ask the question, “what if there is more?”. This is the only thing that I challenge you to do…

    Reply
  21. Dan King

    arensb,
    I don’t understand how being a creator and being love are in conflict with each other. You make it sound like He can only be one or the other, but not both. Can a man not be a husband and a father at the same time? And you are making an assumption that the universe existed for a long time without any other beings in it. That is a whole other topic…

    But even to your point about love existing beofre any living beings… I do not understand why you think that love cannot exist before people do. Could love not drive the creator to create something to love? People everyday fall in love with the idea of the “perfect partner” or a child that is yet to even be conceived. Isn’t it that “love” that drives these people to seek it out and find what does not yet “exist”? People fall in love with ideas all of the time, so a physical existence of something is not a requirement for love to exist.

    Also I am not worshiping an emotion, or a expansion of space. But one of the point that I was trying to make in this post is exactly this issue. I don’t expect you to understand what it is that I worship, because you simply do not see the universe the same way that I do. You limit your understanding to what you can see and measure. I know that there is more to it than that. I worship an awesome, loving, all-powerful creator, which you will never be capable of understanding as long as you limit how you look at the universe.

    Sorry, but I did not intend to “dodge” any questions. And I was not trying to get out of it by responding with “technicalities”. So thank you for clarifying what you were trying to ask. I had a hard time making sense of the question to start with.

    So to answer “what difference does it make”? Bertrand Russell (an atheist) said that “unless you assume a God,the question of life’s purpose is meaningless.” In other words, if God exists, then life actually has a purpose (which is defined by the God that created us, just as the inventor of an object defines the purpose of it). Without a God, then there is no purpose. Life exists for no reason whatsoever. Everything is random chance. In fact, then true behaviorism is likely true, meaning that you really don’t have any control over anything that you do because it is all just a “chemical” reaction to other outside stimuli. Really, without a God, life would be a meaningless, mechanical existence.

    And to your final question, I don’t think that there is anything that could lead me to conclude that God does not exist. I know that there is more. If you watched the video in this post, then I am one of those that cannot believe that all there is, is all limited to what we can see. It has taken me a long time in my life to finally come to this conclusion, but I frimly believe that real “higher thinking” starts when you can ask the question, “what if there is more?”. This is the only thing that I challenge you to do…

    Reply
  22. arensb

    Dan King:

    I don’t understand how being a creator and being love are in conflict with each other.

    I do not understand why you think that love cannot exist before people do.

    Love is an emotion. Which is to say, it’s a (very complex) set of mental patterns; in a meat brain such as ours, that means that it’s a (hugely complex) pattern of electrical and chemical interactions between molecules. Which means that you can’t have love before there’s a brain to be in love. Software can’t run until there’s hardware to run it on.

    Love doesn’t create anything. It’s an emotion. It doesn’t have hands or tools. Now, a person who feels love might build something (a man might build a house for his son because he loves him) but the man and his love are not the same thing.

    So either “God is love” contradicts “God is a creator”, or else there’s more to it that you haven’t mentioned.

    You limit your understanding to what you can see and measure. I know that there is more to it than that.

    Okay, how do you know?

    To to answer “what difference does it make”? Bertrand Russell (an atheist) said …

    For purposes of this discussion, I don’t care what Bertrand Russell thought. What I care about is what you think. But since you quoted him approvingly, I’ll assume that you agree with him.

    So what you’re saying, then, is that if God does not exist, then
    – Life has no purpose, and
    – Everything is random chance, and
    – People don’t have control over what they do (because
    – human behavior is “just” a chemical reaction to outside stimuli)

    I don’t know how to evaluate the statement “Life has a/no purpose”. If I decide what I want to do with my life, does that mean that my life has a purpose?

    The statement “Everything is random chance” is trivially false, of course. When I drop a ball, its motion is not random; I have a very good idea of where it’ll go: along a path described by Newton’s laws of motion.

    Similarly, the statement “[everything you do] is all just a “chemical” reaction to other outside stimuli” is also false: how you or I react to external stimuli is in large part determined by inner factors (and by “inner” I mean “inside our skin”). A trivial example is that when a coworker invites me to lunch, I don’t automatically answer yes or no. My answer depends in part on whether I’m hungry, or cranky, or busy, and so forth. (You may want to read Daniel Dennett’s “Elbow Room: the Varieties of Free Will Worth Wanting” for a deeper exploration of this topic.)

    But okay, maybe I’m picking at nits, and what you really meant to say was if there are no gods, then everything we see and do, from falling raindrops to galactic arms and self-sacrificing altruism in the name of love of country, is “merely” interaction between bits of ordinary matter — protons, electrons, photons, etc. doing the things that protons, electrons, etc. do. (I put “merely” in scare-quotes because of course we’re talking about incomprehensibly-large numbers of particles and layer upon layer of interaction, resulting in massive amounts of complexity.)

    You say that there’s more than that. Fair enough. Show me this “more”, this missing factor.

    To go back to your Flatland example: I spent years trying to imagine a fourth spatial dimension, with no success. I’ve seen two- and three-dimensional projections of four-dimensional objects, and they don’t help. So yes, if you and I were Flatlanders looking at two circles joining into a figure-eight, then a shrinking blob, I would be unable to imagine a torus in the same way that I could imagine a circle or other two-dimensional object.

    But that’s beside the point. What I’m asking is, show me the two circles. Once you’ve done that, show me why I should believe that they’re part of a three-dimensional object.

    And to your final question, I don’t think that there is anything that could lead me to conclude that God does not exist.

    If that’s true, then God, as you define it, has no effect on the universe whatsoever; and that God is indistinguishable from a nonexistent god.

    It also means that you could be wrong about the existence of God, and would have no way of knowing.

    (Sorry for going on at such length. Terseness is not my forte.)

    Reply
  23. arensb

    Dan King:

    I don’t understand how being a creator and being love are in conflict with each other.

    I do not understand why you think that love cannot exist before people do.

    Love is an emotion. Which is to say, it’s a (very complex) set of mental patterns; in a meat brain such as ours, that means that it’s a (hugely complex) pattern of electrical and chemical interactions between molecules. Which means that you can’t have love before there’s a brain to be in love. Software can’t run until there’s hardware to run it on.

    Love doesn’t create anything. It’s an emotion. It doesn’t have hands or tools. Now, a person who feels love might build something (a man might build a house for his son because he loves him) but the man and his love are not the same thing.

    So either “God is love” contradicts “God is a creator”, or else there’s more to it that you haven’t mentioned.

    You limit your understanding to what you can see and measure. I know that there is more to it than that.

    Okay, how do you know?

    To to answer “what difference does it make”? Bertrand Russell (an atheist) said …

    For purposes of this discussion, I don’t care what Bertrand Russell thought. What I care about is what you think. But since you quoted him approvingly, I’ll assume that you agree with him.

    So what you’re saying, then, is that if God does not exist, then
    – Life has no purpose, and
    – Everything is random chance, and
    – People don’t have control over what they do (because
    – human behavior is “just” a chemical reaction to outside stimuli)

    I don’t know how to evaluate the statement “Life has a/no purpose”. If I decide what I want to do with my life, does that mean that my life has a purpose?

    The statement “Everything is random chance” is trivially false, of course. When I drop a ball, its motion is not random; I have a very good idea of where it’ll go: along a path described by Newton’s laws of motion.

    Similarly, the statement “[everything you do] is all just a “chemical” reaction to other outside stimuli” is also false: how you or I react to external stimuli is in large part determined by inner factors (and by “inner” I mean “inside our skin”). A trivial example is that when a coworker invites me to lunch, I don’t automatically answer yes or no. My answer depends in part on whether I’m hungry, or cranky, or busy, and so forth. (You may want to read Daniel Dennett’s “Elbow Room: the Varieties of Free Will Worth Wanting” for a deeper exploration of this topic.)

    But okay, maybe I’m picking at nits, and what you really meant to say was if there are no gods, then everything we see and do, from falling raindrops to galactic arms and self-sacrificing altruism in the name of love of country, is “merely” interaction between bits of ordinary matter — protons, electrons, photons, etc. doing the things that protons, electrons, etc. do. (I put “merely” in scare-quotes because of course we’re talking about incomprehensibly-large numbers of particles and layer upon layer of interaction, resulting in massive amounts of complexity.)

    You say that there’s more than that. Fair enough. Show me this “more”, this missing factor.

    To go back to your Flatland example: I spent years trying to imagine a fourth spatial dimension, with no success. I’ve seen two- and three-dimensional projections of four-dimensional objects, and they don’t help. So yes, if you and I were Flatlanders looking at two circles joining into a figure-eight, then a shrinking blob, I would be unable to imagine a torus in the same way that I could imagine a circle or other two-dimensional object.

    But that’s beside the point. What I’m asking is, show me the two circles. Once you’ve done that, show me why I should believe that they’re part of a three-dimensional object.

    And to your final question, I don’t think that there is anything that could lead me to conclude that God does not exist.

    If that’s true, then God, as you define it, has no effect on the universe whatsoever; and that God is indistinguishable from a nonexistent god.

    It also means that you could be wrong about the existence of God, and would have no way of knowing.

    (Sorry for going on at such length. Terseness is not my forte.)

    Reply
  24. arensb

    Dan King:

    I don’t understand how being a creator and being love are in conflict with each other.

    I do not understand why you think that love cannot exist before people do.

    Love is an emotion. Which is to say, it’s a (very complex) set of mental patterns; in a meat brain such as ours, that means that it’s a (hugely complex) pattern of electrical and chemical interactions between molecules. Which means that you can’t have love before there’s a brain to be in love. Software can’t run until there’s hardware to run it on.

    Love doesn’t create anything. It’s an emotion. It doesn’t have hands or tools. Now, a person who feels love might build something (a man might build a house for his son because he loves him) but the man and his love are not the same thing.

    So either “God is love” contradicts “God is a creator”, or else there’s more to it that you haven’t mentioned.

    You limit your understanding to what you can see and measure. I know that there is more to it than that.

    Okay, how do you know?

    To to answer “what difference does it make”? Bertrand Russell (an atheist) said …

    For purposes of this discussion, I don’t care what Bertrand Russell thought. What I care about is what you think. But since you quoted him approvingly, I’ll assume that you agree with him.

    So what you’re saying, then, is that if God does not exist, then
    – Life has no purpose, and
    – Everything is random chance, and
    – People don’t have control over what they do (because
    – human behavior is “just” a chemical reaction to outside stimuli)

    I don’t know how to evaluate the statement “Life has a/no purpose”. If I decide what I want to do with my life, does that mean that my life has a purpose?

    The statement “Everything is random chance” is trivially false, of course. When I drop a ball, its motion is not random; I have a very good idea of where it’ll go: along a path described by Newton’s laws of motion.

    Similarly, the statement “[everything you do] is all just a “chemical” reaction to other outside stimuli” is also false: how you or I react to external stimuli is in large part determined by inner factors (and by “inner” I mean “inside our skin”). A trivial example is that when a coworker invites me to lunch, I don’t automatically answer yes or no. My answer depends in part on whether I’m hungry, or cranky, or busy, and so forth. (You may want to read Daniel Dennett’s “Elbow Room: the Varieties of Free Will Worth Wanting” for a deeper exploration of this topic.)

    But okay, maybe I’m picking at nits, and what you really meant to say was if there are no gods, then everything we see and do, from falling raindrops to galactic arms and self-sacrificing altruism in the name of love of country, is “merely” interaction between bits of ordinary matter — protons, electrons, photons, etc. doing the things that protons, electrons, etc. do. (I put “merely” in scare-quotes because of course we’re talking about incomprehensibly-large numbers of particles and layer upon layer of interaction, resulting in massive amounts of complexity.)

    You say that there’s more than that. Fair enough. Show me this “more”, this missing factor.

    To go back to your Flatland example: I spent years trying to imagine a fourth spatial dimension, with no success. I’ve seen two- and three-dimensional projections of four-dimensional objects, and they don’t help. So yes, if you and I were Flatlanders looking at two circles joining into a figure-eight, then a shrinking blob, I would be unable to imagine a torus in the same way that I could imagine a circle or other two-dimensional object.

    But that’s beside the point. What I’m asking is, show me the two circles. Once you’ve done that, show me why I should believe that they’re part of a three-dimensional object.

    And to your final question, I don’t think that there is anything that could lead me to conclude that God does not exist.

    If that’s true, then God, as you define it, has no effect on the universe whatsoever; and that God is indistinguishable from a nonexistent god.

    It also means that you could be wrong about the existence of God, and would have no way of knowing.

    (Sorry for going on at such length. Terseness is not my forte.)

    Reply
  25. Dan King

    Broseph,
    You said:

    When asked “why one should believe in God?”, the answer is most often “because he the Bible tells us so” or something of the likes. In fact, it seems that a precept for being religious is that you must blindly believe without examining the world for yourself.

    I do not believe in God because the Bible tells me to. I believe in God based on my examination of the world. I believe what the Bible says, because it tells me a great deal about who the God that I believe in is.

    I’ll respond to more of your points separately, but wanted to get this out there. I think this is a fundamental difference in how we think.

    Reply
  26. Dan King

    Broseph,
    You said:

    When asked “why one should believe in God?”, the answer is most often “because he the Bible tells us so” or something of the likes. In fact, it seems that a precept for being religious is that you must blindly believe without examining the world for yourself.

    I do not believe in God because the Bible tells me to. I believe in God based on my examination of the world. I believe what the Bible says, because it tells me a great deal about who the God that I believe in is.

    I’ll respond to more of your points separately, but wanted to get this out there. I think this is a fundamental difference in how we think.

    Reply
  27. Dan King

    Broseph,
    You said:

    When asked “why one should believe in God?”, the answer is most often “because he the Bible tells us so” or something of the likes. In fact, it seems that a precept for being religious is that you must blindly believe without examining the world for yourself.

    I do not believe in God because the Bible tells me to. I believe in God based on my examination of the world. I believe what the Bible says, because it tells me a great deal about who the God that I believe in is.

    I’ll respond to more of your points separately, but wanted to get this out there. I think this is a fundamental difference in how we think.

    Reply
  28. Dan King

    Brospeh said:

    If you say that it is illogical to examine the other side of an issue (i.e. ‘What if God does not exist?’), then how are you gaining a complete representation of the world?

    This is another misrepresentation of what I have been saying. In fact the whole intent of this blog is to spur on ‘personal examination’ and to challenge people to know what they believe. I agree that people should challenge things, and know why they believe what they believe. I think that it is important to take a rational approach to faith. Again, I feel like I am being labeled by the common assumptions that are made about Christians. I understand that many Christian fall into this ‘because the Bible says so’ mentality, but that is certainly not me, or what I challenge people to be through this blog.

    Reply
  29. Dan King

    Brospeh said:

    If you say that it is illogical to examine the other side of an issue (i.e. ‘What if God does not exist?’), then how are you gaining a complete representation of the world?

    This is another misrepresentation of what I have been saying. In fact the whole intent of this blog is to spur on ‘personal examination’ and to challenge people to know what they believe. I agree that people should challenge things, and know why they believe what they believe. I think that it is important to take a rational approach to faith. Again, I feel like I am being labeled by the common assumptions that are made about Christians. I understand that many Christian fall into this ‘because the Bible says so’ mentality, but that is certainly not me, or what I challenge people to be through this blog.

    Reply
  30. Dan King

    Brospeh said:

    If you say that it is illogical to examine the other side of an issue (i.e. ‘What if God does not exist?’), then how are you gaining a complete representation of the world?

    This is another misrepresentation of what I have been saying. In fact the whole intent of this blog is to spur on ‘personal examination’ and to challenge people to know what they believe. I agree that people should challenge things, and know why they believe what they believe. I think that it is important to take a rational approach to faith. Again, I feel like I am being labeled by the common assumptions that are made about Christians. I understand that many Christian fall into this ‘because the Bible says so’ mentality, but that is certainly not me, or what I challenge people to be through this blog.

    Reply
  31. Dan King

    Broseph,
    The bottom line after reading your entire comment is that (as I touched on in my last comment) I agree with you. People SHOULD question everything. I know that I do, and in the end feel that my faith is stronger as a result of that questioning.

    I also cannot speak for the many that have given Christianity a bad name. I am disgusted by what many have done “in the name of Jesus”. But I am not them. I also do not believe that they represent the actual message of the Bible. I actively serve and minister to not only people’s spiritual needs, but also their physical needs (as Jesus did). I hate that many others have spoiled that message, and if it means anything I am sorry on their behalf.

    But for me following God has nothing to do with blindly following some other person (a pastor, preist, or other religious leader). It is about following God… the one that I believe is responsible for our being here in the first place.

    I hope this helps to clear up my position on what you addressed, and please let me know if I missed anything that you specifically wanted to know. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  32. Dan King

    Broseph,
    The bottom line after reading your entire comment is that (as I touched on in my last comment) I agree with you. People SHOULD question everything. I know that I do, and in the end feel that my faith is stronger as a result of that questioning.

    I also cannot speak for the many that have given Christianity a bad name. I am disgusted by what many have done “in the name of Jesus”. But I am not them. I also do not believe that they represent the actual message of the Bible. I actively serve and minister to not only people’s spiritual needs, but also their physical needs (as Jesus did). I hate that many others have spoiled that message, and if it means anything I am sorry on their behalf.

    But for me following God has nothing to do with blindly following some other person (a pastor, preist, or other religious leader). It is about following God… the one that I believe is responsible for our being here in the first place.

    I hope this helps to clear up my position on what you addressed, and please let me know if I missed anything that you specifically wanted to know. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  33. Dan King

    Broseph,
    The bottom line after reading your entire comment is that (as I touched on in my last comment) I agree with you. People SHOULD question everything. I know that I do, and in the end feel that my faith is stronger as a result of that questioning.

    I also cannot speak for the many that have given Christianity a bad name. I am disgusted by what many have done “in the name of Jesus”. But I am not them. I also do not believe that they represent the actual message of the Bible. I actively serve and minister to not only people’s spiritual needs, but also their physical needs (as Jesus did). I hate that many others have spoiled that message, and if it means anything I am sorry on their behalf.

    But for me following God has nothing to do with blindly following some other person (a pastor, preist, or other religious leader). It is about following God… the one that I believe is responsible for our being here in the first place.

    I hope this helps to clear up my position on what you addressed, and please let me know if I missed anything that you specifically wanted to know. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  34. Dan King

    arensb,
    Much of what you are asking for here is specifically the point that I was trying to make in this post. I don’t know that I can ever give you something that you will accept because we look at the world differently. If you want something specific, I would almost respond with ‘everything’ shows me this. But you would not see anything beyond what you ‘see’. Sorry, but I simply cannot go down that road with you here, and this was not the intent of this post in the first place.

    The point that I was trying to make was about how you and I see the world in different ways. You probably won’t like this, but I think that your responses are filled with inconsistencies. You disagree with my assessment on behavioral psychology, but then you support the idea with your example… I know that when a friend asks you to lunch that you don’t based the decision on external stimuli, but also internal stimuli as well. That’s part of the ‘formula’.

    while you have not outrightly stated this, you seem to support the idea of evolution… through which life has evovled due to a series of ‘chemical reactions’ over time. But then you deny that this happens in what we refer to as ‘decision making’.

    Look, you and I will never see eye to eye on this. I don’t expect you to understand what I believe because we are operating under different assumptions.

    I am quite happy in my life, and feel like I am a productive contribution to the world around me. I strive to impact the world in a positve way. And in the end if I am wrong about God, then I am okay with that.

    However, I am perplexed by your unwillingness to ask the question, “what if there’s more?” I just think that is very closed-minded (if I can be completely honest). Science has yet to actually disprove God, but I don’t think that you are willing to accept that either.

    P.S. I actually love this discussion! Maybe we can start a blog together where we actually explore things like creation vs. evolution, and present both sides of the discussion. Let me know what you think…

    Reply
  35. Dan King

    arensb,
    Much of what you are asking for here is specifically the point that I was trying to make in this post. I don’t know that I can ever give you something that you will accept because we look at the world differently. If you want something specific, I would almost respond with ‘everything’ shows me this. But you would not see anything beyond what you ‘see’. Sorry, but I simply cannot go down that road with you here, and this was not the intent of this post in the first place.

    The point that I was trying to make was about how you and I see the world in different ways. You probably won’t like this, but I think that your responses are filled with inconsistencies. You disagree with my assessment on behavioral psychology, but then you support the idea with your example… I know that when a friend asks you to lunch that you don’t based the decision on external stimuli, but also internal stimuli as well. That’s part of the ‘formula’.

    while you have not outrightly stated this, you seem to support the idea of evolution… through which life has evovled due to a series of ‘chemical reactions’ over time. But then you deny that this happens in what we refer to as ‘decision making’.

    Look, you and I will never see eye to eye on this. I don’t expect you to understand what I believe because we are operating under different assumptions.

    I am quite happy in my life, and feel like I am a productive contribution to the world around me. I strive to impact the world in a positve way. And in the end if I am wrong about God, then I am okay with that.

    However, I am perplexed by your unwillingness to ask the question, “what if there’s more?” I just think that is very closed-minded (if I can be completely honest). Science has yet to actually disprove God, but I don’t think that you are willing to accept that either.

    P.S. I actually love this discussion! Maybe we can start a blog together where we actually explore things like creation vs. evolution, and present both sides of the discussion. Let me know what you think…

    Reply
  36. Dan King

    arensb,
    Much of what you are asking for here is specifically the point that I was trying to make in this post. I don’t know that I can ever give you something that you will accept because we look at the world differently. If you want something specific, I would almost respond with ‘everything’ shows me this. But you would not see anything beyond what you ‘see’. Sorry, but I simply cannot go down that road with you here, and this was not the intent of this post in the first place.

    The point that I was trying to make was about how you and I see the world in different ways. You probably won’t like this, but I think that your responses are filled with inconsistencies. You disagree with my assessment on behavioral psychology, but then you support the idea with your example… I know that when a friend asks you to lunch that you don’t based the decision on external stimuli, but also internal stimuli as well. That’s part of the ‘formula’.

    while you have not outrightly stated this, you seem to support the idea of evolution… through which life has evovled due to a series of ‘chemical reactions’ over time. But then you deny that this happens in what we refer to as ‘decision making’.

    Look, you and I will never see eye to eye on this. I don’t expect you to understand what I believe because we are operating under different assumptions.

    I am quite happy in my life, and feel like I am a productive contribution to the world around me. I strive to impact the world in a positve way. And in the end if I am wrong about God, then I am okay with that.

    However, I am perplexed by your unwillingness to ask the question, “what if there’s more?” I just think that is very closed-minded (if I can be completely honest). Science has yet to actually disprove God, but I don’t think that you are willing to accept that either.

    P.S. I actually love this discussion! Maybe we can start a blog together where we actually explore things like creation vs. evolution, and present both sides of the discussion. Let me know what you think…

    Reply
  37. arensb

    I would almost respond with ‘everything’ shows me this.

    I think I see where you’re coming from. The world is a wondrous place, and it’s easy to see intentionality and design in it. But then again, I also see faces in clouds, shapes in tea leaves, and “hot hand” in games of chance. But I also realize that those things aren’t actually there. They’re illusions caused by the way my eyes, brain, etc. work.

    So I try to stay cognizant of my limitations and find objective ways of distinguishing between illusion and reality.

    your responses are filled with inconsistencies.

    Sorry, I don’t see them. Could you please point them out?

    You disagree with my assessment on behavioral psychology

    I don’t think I did. Perhaps one of us has misunderstood the other.

    Rather, I think you used the fallacy of adverse consequences: it’s unpleasant to think that, as Fight Club put it, “you are the same decaying organic matter as everything else”, therefore it isn’t true.

    I tend to avoid discussions about free will (which is, I think, where this part of the conversation is going) because “free will” is maddeningly hard to define. Either that, or a not particularly useful concept.

    while you have not outrightly stated this, you seem to support the idea of evolution

    There’s no tactful way to say this, so I’ll be blunt: living beings have evolved over the past few billion years. If you don’t think so, then you’re wrong. Most likely because you don’t know what the evidence for evolution is, or realize just how overwhelming it is.

    Furthermore, our current theories (explanations for the known facts) are pretty darn good, in the sense of explaining what we see, predicting results of future experiments, guiding medical research, and so on.

    Berkeley has a pretty good site about it, if you want to learn more.

    I am quite happy in my life, and feel like I am a productive contribution to the world around me. I strive to impact the world in a positve way. And in the end if I am wrong about God, then I am okay with that.

    I’m sure you are. And I try to change the world for the better, in whatever small way I can. Where we (seem to) differ is that I care whether my beliefs are true.

    However, I am perplexed by your unwillingness to ask the question, “what if there’s more?”

    I don’t think I’m unwilling to ask that question. In fact, that’s what I’ve been trying to do: imagine different types of “more” and work out what the consequences are.

    For instance, we can posit a god that:
    – Knows what it would take to convince me that it exists, and
    – Is capable of doing whatever it is that would convince me, and
    – Wants me to believe in it.

    If such a god existed, it would be both capable and motivated to convince me that it exists, and I would believe. But I don’t. Ergo, such a god doesn’t exist.

    We can also posit God as a conscious, intelligent being outside of our univers that started the whole thing running, then left the universe alone. Such a god would be undetectable, since it doesn’t interact with the universe or affect it in any way. Such a god can be neither proven nor disproven.

    As a third possibility, I can define “god” as my coffee cup. I can see it, feel it, drink coffee from it, and so forth, so there is lots of evidence that it exists. So that type of god exists.

    Meanwhile, you presented two parts of a definition — that God created the universe, and that God is love — which look incompatible, and haven’t attempted to resolve this problem.

    Furthermore, as I look around, I see no consensus among believers as to what “God” is. Some think God is a magic man in the sky, others say it’s the entirety of the universe. Many just refer to a nebulous “higher power” and leave it at that. Some say there are many gods, others say there’s only one. You’d think that if God were real, there’d be some kind of consensus, probably even an FAQ.

    (You might be tempted to use the analogy of the blind men and the elephant, but I don’t buy it: given that people have been studying this for thousands of years, you’d think by now they would’ve figured out where the rope-like part meets the tree trunk-like part, and how the two fit together.)

    Reply
  38. arensb

    I would almost respond with ‘everything’ shows me this.

    I think I see where you’re coming from. The world is a wondrous place, and it’s easy to see intentionality and design in it. But then again, I also see faces in clouds, shapes in tea leaves, and “hot hand” in games of chance. But I also realize that those things aren’t actually there. They’re illusions caused by the way my eyes, brain, etc. work.

    So I try to stay cognizant of my limitations and find objective ways of distinguishing between illusion and reality.

    your responses are filled with inconsistencies.

    Sorry, I don’t see them. Could you please point them out?

    You disagree with my assessment on behavioral psychology

    I don’t think I did. Perhaps one of us has misunderstood the other.

    Rather, I think you used the fallacy of adverse consequences: it’s unpleasant to think that, as Fight Club put it, “you are the same decaying organic matter as everything else”, therefore it isn’t true.

    I tend to avoid discussions about free will (which is, I think, where this part of the conversation is going) because “free will” is maddeningly hard to define. Either that, or a not particularly useful concept.

    while you have not outrightly stated this, you seem to support the idea of evolution

    There’s no tactful way to say this, so I’ll be blunt: living beings have evolved over the past few billion years. If you don’t think so, then you’re wrong. Most likely because you don’t know what the evidence for evolution is, or realize just how overwhelming it is.

    Furthermore, our current theories (explanations for the known facts) are pretty darn good, in the sense of explaining what we see, predicting results of future experiments, guiding medical research, and so on.

    Berkeley has a pretty good site about it, if you want to learn more.

    I am quite happy in my life, and feel like I am a productive contribution to the world around me. I strive to impact the world in a positve way. And in the end if I am wrong about God, then I am okay with that.

    I’m sure you are. And I try to change the world for the better, in whatever small way I can. Where we (seem to) differ is that I care whether my beliefs are true.

    However, I am perplexed by your unwillingness to ask the question, “what if there’s more?”

    I don’t think I’m unwilling to ask that question. In fact, that’s what I’ve been trying to do: imagine different types of “more” and work out what the consequences are.

    For instance, we can posit a god that:
    – Knows what it would take to convince me that it exists, and
    – Is capable of doing whatever it is that would convince me, and
    – Wants me to believe in it.

    If such a god existed, it would be both capable and motivated to convince me that it exists, and I would believe. But I don’t. Ergo, such a god doesn’t exist.

    We can also posit God as a conscious, intelligent being outside of our univers that started the whole thing running, then left the universe alone. Such a god would be undetectable, since it doesn’t interact with the universe or affect it in any way. Such a god can be neither proven nor disproven.

    As a third possibility, I can define “god” as my coffee cup. I can see it, feel it, drink coffee from it, and so forth, so there is lots of evidence that it exists. So that type of god exists.

    Meanwhile, you presented two parts of a definition — that God created the universe, and that God is love — which look incompatible, and haven’t attempted to resolve this problem.

    Furthermore, as I look around, I see no consensus among believers as to what “God” is. Some think God is a magic man in the sky, others say it’s the entirety of the universe. Many just refer to a nebulous “higher power” and leave it at that. Some say there are many gods, others say there’s only one. You’d think that if God were real, there’d be some kind of consensus, probably even an FAQ.

    (You might be tempted to use the analogy of the blind men and the elephant, but I don’t buy it: given that people have been studying this for thousands of years, you’d think by now they would’ve figured out where the rope-like part meets the tree trunk-like part, and how the two fit together.)

    Reply
  39. arensb

    I would almost respond with ‘everything’ shows me this.

    I think I see where you’re coming from. The world is a wondrous place, and it’s easy to see intentionality and design in it. But then again, I also see faces in clouds, shapes in tea leaves, and “hot hand” in games of chance. But I also realize that those things aren’t actually there. They’re illusions caused by the way my eyes, brain, etc. work.

    So I try to stay cognizant of my limitations and find objective ways of distinguishing between illusion and reality.

    your responses are filled with inconsistencies.

    Sorry, I don’t see them. Could you please point them out?

    You disagree with my assessment on behavioral psychology

    I don’t think I did. Perhaps one of us has misunderstood the other.

    Rather, I think you used the fallacy of adverse consequences: it’s unpleasant to think that, as Fight Club put it, “you are the same decaying organic matter as everything else”, therefore it isn’t true.

    I tend to avoid discussions about free will (which is, I think, where this part of the conversation is going) because “free will” is maddeningly hard to define. Either that, or a not particularly useful concept.

    while you have not outrightly stated this, you seem to support the idea of evolution

    There’s no tactful way to say this, so I’ll be blunt: living beings have evolved over the past few billion years. If you don’t think so, then you’re wrong. Most likely because you don’t know what the evidence for evolution is, or realize just how overwhelming it is.

    Furthermore, our current theories (explanations for the known facts) are pretty darn good, in the sense of explaining what we see, predicting results of future experiments, guiding medical research, and so on.

    Berkeley has a pretty good site about it, if you want to learn more.

    I am quite happy in my life, and feel like I am a productive contribution to the world around me. I strive to impact the world in a positve way. And in the end if I am wrong about God, then I am okay with that.

    I’m sure you are. And I try to change the world for the better, in whatever small way I can. Where we (seem to) differ is that I care whether my beliefs are true.

    However, I am perplexed by your unwillingness to ask the question, “what if there’s more?”

    I don’t think I’m unwilling to ask that question. In fact, that’s what I’ve been trying to do: imagine different types of “more” and work out what the consequences are.

    For instance, we can posit a god that:
    – Knows what it would take to convince me that it exists, and
    – Is capable of doing whatever it is that would convince me, and
    – Wants me to believe in it.

    If such a god existed, it would be both capable and motivated to convince me that it exists, and I would believe. But I don’t. Ergo, such a god doesn’t exist.

    We can also posit God as a conscious, intelligent being outside of our univers that started the whole thing running, then left the universe alone. Such a god would be undetectable, since it doesn’t interact with the universe or affect it in any way. Such a god can be neither proven nor disproven.

    As a third possibility, I can define “god” as my coffee cup. I can see it, feel it, drink coffee from it, and so forth, so there is lots of evidence that it exists. So that type of god exists.

    Meanwhile, you presented two parts of a definition — that God created the universe, and that God is love — which look incompatible, and haven’t attempted to resolve this problem.

    Furthermore, as I look around, I see no consensus among believers as to what “God” is. Some think God is a magic man in the sky, others say it’s the entirety of the universe. Many just refer to a nebulous “higher power” and leave it at that. Some say there are many gods, others say there’s only one. You’d think that if God were real, there’d be some kind of consensus, probably even an FAQ.

    (You might be tempted to use the analogy of the blind men and the elephant, but I don’t buy it: given that people have been studying this for thousands of years, you’d think by now they would’ve figured out where the rope-like part meets the tree trunk-like part, and how the two fit together.)

    Reply
  40. Dan King

    Funny = God doesn’t exist because you don’t believe in him.

    arensb said:

    Meanwhile, you presented two parts of a definition — that God created the universe, and that God is love — which look incompatible, and haven’t attempted to resolve this problem.

    I’ve said:

    I don’t understand how being a creator and being love are in conflict with each other. You make it sound like He can only be one or the other, but not both. Can a man not be a husband and a father at the same time?

    I’ve shared your perspective on this with several people today… who all laughed and asked what you were smoking… Not only have I addressed the question (and am getting tired of repeating myself), but have pointed out the flaw in your logic.

    Reply
  41. Dan King

    Funny = God doesn’t exist because you don’t believe in him.

    arensb said:

    Meanwhile, you presented two parts of a definition — that God created the universe, and that God is love — which look incompatible, and haven’t attempted to resolve this problem.

    I’ve said:

    I don’t understand how being a creator and being love are in conflict with each other. You make it sound like He can only be one or the other, but not both. Can a man not be a husband and a father at the same time?

    I’ve shared your perspective on this with several people today… who all laughed and asked what you were smoking… Not only have I addressed the question (and am getting tired of repeating myself), but have pointed out the flaw in your logic.

    Reply
  42. Dan King

    Funny = God doesn’t exist because you don’t believe in him.

    arensb said:

    Meanwhile, you presented two parts of a definition — that God created the universe, and that God is love — which look incompatible, and haven’t attempted to resolve this problem.

    I’ve said:

    I don’t understand how being a creator and being love are in conflict with each other. You make it sound like He can only be one or the other, but not both. Can a man not be a husband and a father at the same time?

    I’ve shared your perspective on this with several people today… who all laughed and asked what you were smoking… Not only have I addressed the question (and am getting tired of repeating myself), but have pointed out the flaw in your logic.

    Reply
  43. arensb

    And as I’ve said above, love is an emotion, and emotions don’t have hands or tools with which to create.

    Did you mean to say that God is a person who feels love?

    Reply
  44. arensb

    And as I’ve said above, love is an emotion, and emotions don’t have hands or tools with which to create.

    Did you mean to say that God is a person who feels love?

    Reply
  45. arensb

    And as I’ve said above, love is an emotion, and emotions don’t have hands or tools with which to create.

    Did you mean to say that God is a person who feels love?

    Reply
  46. Dan King

    Wow… still trying to corner me into your reasoning…

    According to your worldview, love is simply a feeling/emotion. I would define love in a much deeper sense. While I believe that God does feel love, I would not limit him to that definition.

    Again, all you are doing is proving my point that we look at the world differently. But you’ve spent a lot of time here on my site trying to back me into a corner in my reasoning with something that is completely not relevant to my actual post. What’s your point? Do you have a need for me to recognize that you are right (to feed your ego)? Or are you trying to ‘convert’ me to atheism? Would I be welcome at your blog trying to convert you (and/or your readers) to Christianity?

    Reply
  47. Dan King

    Wow… still trying to corner me into your reasoning…

    According to your worldview, love is simply a feeling/emotion. I would define love in a much deeper sense. While I believe that God does feel love, I would not limit him to that definition.

    Again, all you are doing is proving my point that we look at the world differently. But you’ve spent a lot of time here on my site trying to back me into a corner in my reasoning with something that is completely not relevant to my actual post. What’s your point? Do you have a need for me to recognize that you are right (to feed your ego)? Or are you trying to ‘convert’ me to atheism? Would I be welcome at your blog trying to convert you (and/or your readers) to Christianity?

    Reply
  48. Dan King

    Wow… still trying to corner me into your reasoning…

    According to your worldview, love is simply a feeling/emotion. I would define love in a much deeper sense. While I believe that God does feel love, I would not limit him to that definition.

    Again, all you are doing is proving my point that we look at the world differently. But you’ve spent a lot of time here on my site trying to back me into a corner in my reasoning with something that is completely not relevant to my actual post. What’s your point? Do you have a need for me to recognize that you are right (to feed your ego)? Or are you trying to ‘convert’ me to atheism? Would I be welcome at your blog trying to convert you (and/or your readers) to Christianity?

    Reply
  49. Jim Carter

    i find in witnessing to atheists they tend to prove themselves to be more agnostic. which is saying that there is no knowledge of a GOD rather than the atheist outlook which states that there is no GOD hands down. this is not a logical position to hold, since to know there is no God means you would have to know all things to know there is no God. Since they cannot know all things that prove an “un-existance” of a God, that claim is unjust. your normal “atheist will then fire back with ” I dont see any proof that there is a God.” that goes back to the point of ” Do you know all truths, and evidences?” since you couldnt know all truths and evidences then that means there is room for error in your/atheist beleifs. so then id ask you what evidence would you need before you beleive in a God? would you want him to appear in the sky right in front of you? even then would beleive or would you write it off as your mind playing tricks with you.. more times than not when witnessing we have to take the defensive side. which is to answer rebuttals. but to go offensivly your typical atheist will have no answers supporting that God doesnt exist.. its a hard road to walk. its hard to make somone who does not beleive see through the eyes of a beleiver. and beleif is simply putting your faith and trust into an idea or somthing concrete. an indian tribe in the middle of the forrest may “beleive” that thunder is a huge monster on the other side of the mountain, but that does not make it true. but trying to convince them otherwise would take somthing more concrete rather than just your doubt and ideas. i mean if your a logical person who only wants to beleive somthing that stands on evident proof, then there is evidence that Jesus walked the earth and countless number of eye witness accounts to testify of the miracles performed.

    Reply
  50. Jim Carter

    i find in witnessing to atheists they tend to prove themselves to be more agnostic. which is saying that there is no knowledge of a GOD rather than the atheist outlook which states that there is no GOD hands down. this is not a logical position to hold, since to know there is no God means you would have to know all things to know there is no God. Since they cannot know all things that prove an “un-existance” of a God, that claim is unjust. your normal “atheist will then fire back with ” I dont see any proof that there is a God.” that goes back to the point of ” Do you know all truths, and evidences?” since you couldnt know all truths and evidences then that means there is room for error in your/atheist beleifs. so then id ask you what evidence would you need before you beleive in a God? would you want him to appear in the sky right in front of you? even then would beleive or would you write it off as your mind playing tricks with you.. more times than not when witnessing we have to take the defensive side. which is to answer rebuttals. but to go offensivly your typical atheist will have no answers supporting that God doesnt exist.. its a hard road to walk. its hard to make somone who does not beleive see through the eyes of a beleiver. and beleif is simply putting your faith and trust into an idea or somthing concrete. an indian tribe in the middle of the forrest may “beleive” that thunder is a huge monster on the other side of the mountain, but that does not make it true. but trying to convince them otherwise would take somthing more concrete rather than just your doubt and ideas. i mean if your a logical person who only wants to beleive somthing that stands on evident proof, then there is evidence that Jesus walked the earth and countless number of eye witness accounts to testify of the miracles performed.

    Reply
  51. Jim Carter

    i find in witnessing to atheists they tend to prove themselves to be more agnostic. which is saying that there is no knowledge of a GOD rather than the atheist outlook which states that there is no GOD hands down. this is not a logical position to hold, since to know there is no God means you would have to know all things to know there is no God. Since they cannot know all things that prove an “un-existance” of a God, that claim is unjust. your normal “atheist will then fire back with ” I dont see any proof that there is a God.” that goes back to the point of ” Do you know all truths, and evidences?” since you couldnt know all truths and evidences then that means there is room for error in your/atheist beleifs. so then id ask you what evidence would you need before you beleive in a God? would you want him to appear in the sky right in front of you? even then would beleive or would you write it off as your mind playing tricks with you.. more times than not when witnessing we have to take the defensive side. which is to answer rebuttals. but to go offensivly your typical atheist will have no answers supporting that God doesnt exist.. its a hard road to walk. its hard to make somone who does not beleive see through the eyes of a beleiver. and beleif is simply putting your faith and trust into an idea or somthing concrete. an indian tribe in the middle of the forrest may “beleive” that thunder is a huge monster on the other side of the mountain, but that does not make it true. but trying to convince them otherwise would take somthing more concrete rather than just your doubt and ideas. i mean if your a logical person who only wants to beleive somthing that stands on evident proof, then there is evidence that Jesus walked the earth and countless number of eye witness accounts to testify of the miracles performed.

    Reply
  52. Jim Carter

    bare with my typos and errors and just focus on content

    Reply
  53. Jim Carter

    bare with my typos and errors and just focus on content

    Reply
  54. Jim Carter

    bare with my typos and errors and just focus on content

    Reply
  55. arensb

    I’m not trying to back you into any corners. It’s just that you said originally that you’d be happy for science to test your god (as would I), and I’ve been trying to get you to provide details as to how this could be done.

    The first step should be to define what you mean by the word “God”, but you’ve been reluctant to provide any details. In other words, if at some point I run across an entity X, how can I find out whether X is what you mean by the word “God”?

    You also keep saying that “there is more”, but won’t say what this “more” is.

    Plus, you’ve implied that you don’t care whether your beliefs are true or not, as long as you’re comfortable with them. That doesn’t seem like a very good way to live, to me.

    And yes, you’re welcome to comment at my site. As a rule, I only delete actual spam. The most popular posts (judging by comment count) seem to be the ones about Kent Hovind, but perhaps Alvin Plantinga is more your speed.

    Reply
  56. arensb

    I’m not trying to back you into any corners. It’s just that you said originally that you’d be happy for science to test your god (as would I), and I’ve been trying to get you to provide details as to how this could be done.

    The first step should be to define what you mean by the word “God”, but you’ve been reluctant to provide any details. In other words, if at some point I run across an entity X, how can I find out whether X is what you mean by the word “God”?

    You also keep saying that “there is more”, but won’t say what this “more” is.

    Plus, you’ve implied that you don’t care whether your beliefs are true or not, as long as you’re comfortable with them. That doesn’t seem like a very good way to live, to me.

    And yes, you’re welcome to comment at my site. As a rule, I only delete actual spam. The most popular posts (judging by comment count) seem to be the ones about Kent Hovind, but perhaps Alvin Plantinga is more your speed.

    Reply
  57. arensb

    I’m not trying to back you into any corners. It’s just that you said originally that you’d be happy for science to test your god (as would I), and I’ve been trying to get you to provide details as to how this could be done.

    The first step should be to define what you mean by the word “God”, but you’ve been reluctant to provide any details. In other words, if at some point I run across an entity X, how can I find out whether X is what you mean by the word “God”?

    You also keep saying that “there is more”, but won’t say what this “more” is.

    Plus, you’ve implied that you don’t care whether your beliefs are true or not, as long as you’re comfortable with them. That doesn’t seem like a very good way to live, to me.

    And yes, you’re welcome to comment at my site. As a rule, I only delete actual spam. The most popular posts (judging by comment count) seem to be the ones about Kent Hovind, but perhaps Alvin Plantinga is more your speed.

    Reply
  58. Dan King

    Jim,
    Thanks for stopping by! I think that you make some great points! And no worries on the typos…

    arensb,
    If you want me to define God, then I would say that there are a lot of things that God is. But let’s just start with “creator of the universe”. And by that I do not mean that he is the “big bang” either. IF the big bang could be scientifically proven (which is not likely since no one was there to experience it), then I would say not that God IS the big bang, but that He caused it. If you plan to test that, then I only ask you to do so with an open mind, and without bias towards one side or the other. However, getting and objective point of view on this from a naturalist scientist would be impossible, since they would reject the idea as not possible in the first place. But I have yet to see how they have actually disproved God.

    By “more” (which I thought that I have been clear on) I simply mean more to things than what we can see and measure (scientifically). Many of history’s great scientists used science to help them understand God better. Therefore science is not something separate from God as modern popular thought would lead one to believe. But what I mean here is that when I see things like the precision used (and required) to sustain life here on earth, I believe that it was not a random event. Science can measure things like the oxygen levels, the tilt of the earth, temperatures, etc., while my belief simply goes beyond those simple measurements. Make sense?

    You also make the assumption that I don’t care whether my beliefs are right or wrong. That is a misrepresentation of what I’ve said. I feel very strongly about what I believe. What I said is that in the end, IF I am wrong, then I am okay with the consequences. Being okay with the consequences of being wrong is not the same as not being sure what I believe as you’ve tried to accuse me of. I have confidence in what I believe, and I am VERY happy with how I live.

    I will stop by your site, and check out both of the references that out put here. You have my word that I will be absolutely respectful.

    Reply
  59. Dan King

    Jim,
    Thanks for stopping by! I think that you make some great points! And no worries on the typos…

    arensb,
    If you want me to define God, then I would say that there are a lot of things that God is. But let’s just start with “creator of the universe”. And by that I do not mean that he is the “big bang” either. IF the big bang could be scientifically proven (which is not likely since no one was there to experience it), then I would say not that God IS the big bang, but that He caused it. If you plan to test that, then I only ask you to do so with an open mind, and without bias towards one side or the other. However, getting and objective point of view on this from a naturalist scientist would be impossible, since they would reject the idea as not possible in the first place. But I have yet to see how they have actually disproved God.

    By “more” (which I thought that I have been clear on) I simply mean more to things than what we can see and measure (scientifically). Many of history’s great scientists used science to help them understand God better. Therefore science is not something separate from God as modern popular thought would lead one to believe. But what I mean here is that when I see things like the precision used (and required) to sustain life here on earth, I believe that it was not a random event. Science can measure things like the oxygen levels, the tilt of the earth, temperatures, etc., while my belief simply goes beyond those simple measurements. Make sense?

    You also make the assumption that I don’t care whether my beliefs are right or wrong. That is a misrepresentation of what I’ve said. I feel very strongly about what I believe. What I said is that in the end, IF I am wrong, then I am okay with the consequences. Being okay with the consequences of being wrong is not the same as not being sure what I believe as you’ve tried to accuse me of. I have confidence in what I believe, and I am VERY happy with how I live.

    I will stop by your site, and check out both of the references that out put here. You have my word that I will be absolutely respectful.

    Reply
  60. Dan King

    Jim,
    Thanks for stopping by! I think that you make some great points! And no worries on the typos…

    arensb,
    If you want me to define God, then I would say that there are a lot of things that God is. But let’s just start with “creator of the universe”. And by that I do not mean that he is the “big bang” either. IF the big bang could be scientifically proven (which is not likely since no one was there to experience it), then I would say not that God IS the big bang, but that He caused it. If you plan to test that, then I only ask you to do so with an open mind, and without bias towards one side or the other. However, getting and objective point of view on this from a naturalist scientist would be impossible, since they would reject the idea as not possible in the first place. But I have yet to see how they have actually disproved God.

    By “more” (which I thought that I have been clear on) I simply mean more to things than what we can see and measure (scientifically). Many of history’s great scientists used science to help them understand God better. Therefore science is not something separate from God as modern popular thought would lead one to believe. But what I mean here is that when I see things like the precision used (and required) to sustain life here on earth, I believe that it was not a random event. Science can measure things like the oxygen levels, the tilt of the earth, temperatures, etc., while my belief simply goes beyond those simple measurements. Make sense?

    You also make the assumption that I don’t care whether my beliefs are right or wrong. That is a misrepresentation of what I’ve said. I feel very strongly about what I believe. What I said is that in the end, IF I am wrong, then I am okay with the consequences. Being okay with the consequences of being wrong is not the same as not being sure what I believe as you’ve tried to accuse me of. I have confidence in what I believe, and I am VERY happy with how I live.

    I will stop by your site, and check out both of the references that out put here. You have my word that I will be absolutely respectful.

    Reply
  61. goodwordediting

    After skimming the comments here, I’m pretty tired. But the best logical argument for the goodness requiring some kind of deity is C. S. Lewis’s argument in Abolition of Man. He wrote that before he was a Christian, so it’s pretty interesting.

    It is a good companion to Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, oddly enough.

    As for the equally tiring science vs. faith debate, John Medina addresses this pretty well in an interview we did with him at TheHighCalling.org.

    I’m not saying Lewis or Medina provide absolutely convincing arguments. But they are thoughtful, philosophical inquiries into the limits of treating the scientific method and materialism as the only ways to understand truth.

    Reply
  62. Marcus Goodyear

    After skimming the comments here, I’m pretty tired. But the best logical argument for the goodness requiring some kind of deity is C. S. Lewis’s argument in Abolition of Man. He wrote that before he was a Christian, so it’s pretty interesting.

    It is a good companion to Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, oddly enough.

    As for the equally tiring science vs. faith debate, John Medina addresses this pretty well in an interview we did with him at TheHighCalling.org.

    I’m not saying Lewis or Medina provide absolutely convincing arguments. But they are thoughtful, philosophical inquiries into the limits of treating the scientific method and materialism as the only ways to understand truth.

    Reply
  63. Dan King

    Thanks for stopping by Marcus! And thanks for the references. I’ll try to post some links in a little while…

    Reply
  64. Dan King

    Thanks for stopping by Marcus! And thanks for the references. I’ll try to post some links in a little while…

    Reply
  65. Dan King

    Thanks for stopping by Marcus! And thanks for the references. I’ll try to post some links in a little while…

    Reply
  66. Marcus Goodyear

    After skimming the comments here, I’m pretty tired. But the best logical argument for the goodness requiring some kind of deity is C. S. Lewis’s argument in Abolition of Man. He wrote that before he was a Christian, so it’s pretty interesting.

    It is a good companion to Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, oddly enough.

    As for the equally tiring science vs. faith debate, John Medina addresses this pretty well in an interview we did with him at TheHighCalling.org.

    I’m not saying Lewis or Medina provide absolutely convincing arguments. But they are thoughtful, philosophical inquiries into the limits of treating the scientific method and materialism as the only ways to understand truth.

    Reply
  67. Rick Dawson

    Hi all,

    Dan, thanks – like Marcus, I can find a lot of the material tiring (simply from the standpoint of there being a lot to read), but the discussion can be useful.

    I find myself drawn back to C.S. Lewis again and again in discussions like these. Mere Christianity was the doorway back to God for me. Did it answer all questions and remove all doubts? No – but time, trust, a softened heart and a willingness to look at my own sin served as an excellent starting point. Confessing or highlighting the sins of others will not help me to grow into the man God would have me be.

    As to the other side of the coin? I’ve been down the way of no faith and no God, and I see no need to return – that would be like going back to try some more “controlled drinking” in an attempt to see if I might have become cured of being an alcoholic in the 26 years of being sober. I already know what the result would be – I’d be drunk and dead in no time.

    Reply
  68. Rick Dawson

    Hi all,

    Dan, thanks – like Marcus, I can find a lot of the material tiring (simply from the standpoint of there being a lot to read), but the discussion can be useful.

    I find myself drawn back to C.S. Lewis again and again in discussions like these. Mere Christianity was the doorway back to God for me. Did it answer all questions and remove all doubts? No – but time, trust, a softened heart and a willingness to look at my own sin served as an excellent starting point. Confessing or highlighting the sins of others will not help me to grow into the man God would have me be.

    As to the other side of the coin? I’ve been down the way of no faith and no God, and I see no need to return – that would be like going back to try some more “controlled drinking” in an attempt to see if I might have become cured of being an alcoholic in the 26 years of being sober. I already know what the result would be – I’d be drunk and dead in no time.

    Reply
  69. Dan King

    Rick,
    Thanks for dropping by and sharing your thoughts! I agree to your point of this coversation being quite tiresome. I’m still not sure what one commenter’s point was…

    I also think quite a bit about C.S. Lewis’s works. He always has a great way of reasoning through things, and Mere Christianity is one of my favorite books of all time. I’ll get some links to these resources posted here soon.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences! I agree with you completely!

    Reply
  70. Dan King

    Rick,
    Thanks for dropping by and sharing your thoughts! I agree to your point of this coversation being quite tiresome. I’m still not sure what one commenter’s point was…

    I also think quite a bit about C.S. Lewis’s works. He always has a great way of reasoning through things, and Mere Christianity is one of my favorite books of all time. I’ll get some links to these resources posted here soon.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences! I agree with you completely!

    Reply
  71. Dan King

    Rick,
    Thanks for dropping by and sharing your thoughts! I agree to your point of this coversation being quite tiresome. I’m still not sure what one commenter’s point was…

    I also think quite a bit about C.S. Lewis’s works. He always has a great way of reasoning through things, and Mere Christianity is one of my favorite books of all time. I’ll get some links to these resources posted here soon.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences! I agree with you completely!

    Reply
  72. RickD335

    Hi all,

    Dan, thanks – like Marcus, I can find a lot of the material tiring (simply from the standpoint of there being a lot to read), but the discussion can be useful.

    I find myself drawn back to C.S. Lewis again and again in discussions like these. Mere Christianity was the doorway back to God for me. Did it answer all questions and remove all doubts? No – but time, trust, a softened heart and a willingness to look at my own sin served as an excellent starting point. Confessing or highlighting the sins of others will not help me to grow into the man God would have me be.

    As to the other side of the coin? I’ve been down the way of no faith and no God, and I see no need to return – that would be like going back to try some more “controlled drinking” in an attempt to see if I might have become cured of being an alcoholic in the 26 years of being sober. I already know what the result would be – I’d be drunk and dead in no time.

    Reply
  73. Angel

    I think the ad is funny from a Christian perspective altogether. Especially the part about being good for the sake of goodness.

    God is good all the time. All the time God is good. Goodness is from God. So I am to be good for God. I am to learn His Word and study His precepts. I am to abide by Him in all things.

    Sounds good to me. 🙂 Of course, I totally recognize that is not what they wanted me to get from that line … but oh well.

    Reply
  74. BibleDude

    You rock Angel! Thanks for stopping by! I love your outlook and God-centered focus!

    Reply
  75. Angel