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"Faith is not a good reason to believe in any one thing. It's a bad reason to believe in everything. Faith is not synonymous with any one idea; it is synonymous with any strongly held idea, true or not. But one thing faith is not synonymous with is a logically justified idea."

Reasons to Believe?

Eternal Judgment?

Christian: "I don't want to believe in a world where murderers, pedophiles and rapists can escape judgment for their evil crimes. I know some criminals do escape the judgment of the courts of man, but they will never be able to escape the judgment of God. They will have to answer for their crimes one day."

Rational Response: I don't think anyone wants to live in a world where murders, pedophiles and rapists escape judgment. However, the kind of world you want to live in has no bearing on the kind of world you inevitably do live in. We are all aware that life isn't fair, and that's too bad. But that doesn't justify belief in an afterlife where everyone gets what they deserve. Just because one situation is less than perfect does not mean that there must be another situation were it is perfect. And the Christian dogma does not necessarily say that murderers, pedophiles and rapists will be judged. If anything it says that murderers, pedophiles and rapists can escape eternal judgment as well. The one thing that so many Christians find appealing about their religion is limitless forgiveness through Jesus Christ. That same loop hole you believe Jesus created for you to escape Hell can be used to let the pedophile escape as well.
Imagine you're a parent of a little ten year old girl. She's the light of your life and you can't imagine life without her. One day she goes missing. Five days later the police come to your house and tell you that your daughter's kidnapper has been captured, but your daughter is dead. The man kidnapped her, took her to his house, chained her up in the basement, raped her repeatedly and then slit her throat. This is the worst possible scenario for a parent. I'm sure many of you find it hard to read this, just as I find it hard to write. Flash forward three years... Your daughter's killer has been off and on trial, through appeals and you've endured countless witness testimonies on the stand facing the man who took your daughter from you. Today is the day of the final verdict. The jury comes out and they read their decision. Your daughter's killer has been found not guilty because of a mistake made by the crime scene investigators. It's a technicality, but it's caused a child rapist and murderer to go free. You've never been so mad in all your life. Yet, you feel some small hint of hope because you know that the man who took your child will have to face your God one day. However, little do you know, as soon as your daughter's killer was released, he drove to the closest church and asked God for forgiveness. By whatever means you think God renders forgiveness, he has done it. He is now Heaven bound. If you were to walk up behind him and shoot him in the back of the head, he would go to Heaven where your daughter is. You, however, would be Hell bound. Because you have committed a sin and have not yet asked for forgiveness. And neither should you as far as I am concerned.
You God's system of justice is based on near limitless forgiveness for the very crimes he should never forgive. Perhaps you think there are crimes that God will not forgive. In that case, you're right. Here's a list of the worst sins according to the Bible...
Non-Belief/Atheism, Homosexuality, Eating Pork, Eating Shellfish, Working on the Sabbath, Spilling your semen on the ground, Idol worship and Blasphemy.
Your God condemns people to Hell for thought crimes and will even sentence people to eternal torture for just being who they are naturally. He is a tyrant who would rather have a kingdom full of murderers, rapists, pedophiles and thieves than to fairly judge and sentence people as they deserve. Luckily, outside of arguing the Christian doctrine, the God of the Bible doesn't exist.

After Life in Heaven?

Christian: "Regardless of who gets to Heaven and who doesn't, I like the idea of being in a perfect place for eternity with God. I like the idea of being able to see my loved ones again. I like the idea of a happy ending."

Rational Response: Once again, the sort of reality to want to believe in has no bearing on the sort of reality you inevitably do live in. Also, think about the concept of "forever." When on its own, the word "forever" seems kind of ominous and foreboding. Why is it when we attach the words "In Heaven" or "With God" on the end do we somehow make it sound nice? Sit down and really think about this for a moment. Is there anything you can think of that you would really want to do "FOREVER" no matter how enjoyable it was? I can't think of anything. One of the most precious things about life is that it eventually ends. It doesn't last forever and that gives it value. Think of how much you value the other things in your life that you know are temporary.
You might be a mother or father and you value your child's youth. You don't want them to grow up too fast because you want to savor the moment. But the moments you share are so much sweeter because you know they will one day end. Eventually that kid will be an adult.
Maybe you have someone you love dearly and you spend as much time with them as possible. You're intimate in every possible way whenever you can be close, and you truly enjoy your time with that person. Your love for them is no less when you're away from each other, but it tastes so much sweeter when you're close because you know that with the morning sunrise, he or she will have to leave you.
The good things in our lives that are temporary are cherished so much more than the things we know are lasting. When there's something beneficial and lasting in our lives, we often take it for granted because we know it will "always be there" and lasts "forever" in a relative sense. Temporary good is sweet and should be appreciated more than the everlasting.
Finally, I'd like to add that I can fully understand how someone would want to believe they'd see their loved ones again after they die. It's a comforting concept. However, when it comes to the loss of a loved one, we should be helping people cope with the reality of the situation. We should find ways to help people deal with their grief in realistic ways and not through comforting delusions. Telling a mother who has lost her child that she will see him again in the afterlife is the same as telling your child his gold fish went to a special gold fish farm where he can swim freely with the other gold fish. It makes them happy at the moment. But sooner or later that child will have to learn to deal with real loss and real grief and this delusion isn't going to help him anymore.
"The best way to deal with reality is on reality's terms."
-Matt Dillahunty

The First Cause?

Christian: "Nothing is caused by itself! Every effect has a cause. Then we go back to the first cause, the cause of everything, which we call God."

Rational Response: This argument for God is internally contradicting. Obviously if everything requires a cause, then there would be no "first cause" and not necessarily a last effect either. But the doctrines of religion tell us that there must be both. Also, even if there were a "First Cause" then what reason do you have for thinking it's intelligent? Why do you think it has a consciousness? Why do you think it's alive? Perhaps you think that science assumes there's a "First Cause" as well. That science calls it the "BIG BANG" and that science is making the same poor argument without the deity. Well then you haven't ever researched the Big Bang theory, have you? Science says there is most likely something before the Big Bang, a form of existence. But because of the circumstances of the Big Bang we will never be able to figure it out. We can know that there was an existence before the Big Bang, but we will never know what that existence was. The Big Bang was not the beginning of the universe, simply the beginning of the universe as we know it. Finally, if everything has a cause, then God requires a cause as well. Is there a God who created God, and a God who created that God. Each God becoming more and more complex as we go back into time? This infinite regress is unavoidable if you intend on using the logic of the "First Cause" argument. This argument is one of the most popular and it's complete gibberish.

Pascal's Wager (You Can't Win if You Don't Play):

Christian: "I have nothing to gain by being an atheist! If I believe in God then at least there's a chance I go to Heaven if he is real. As an atheist there's nothing to gain whether he exists or not."

Rational Response: This argument is known as "Pascal's Wager" but I like to refer to it as "Religious Roulette" It's basically the same as the old Lotto motto "You can't win if you don't play" which is right in some ways. Except it forgets something important... Which God is the one you should bet on? Imagine Pascal's Wager as a huge roulette table. Instead of numbers being on the squares, each one has a different specific God belief. One says "Baptist Christian", one says "Moderate Muslim", another says "Catholic Christian", and so on... There would be close to 30,000 squares! Now imagine you have a handful of chips and on each chip is written one of your characteristics, your qualities, and your hopes. One says "Intelligence" another says "Pride" and so on... Now you have to choose a square to bet on. If you get it wrong, you will most likely be sent to burn for an eternity in Hell. If you're right you get to go to Heaven. The odds of choosing the right one on chance is 1 in 30,000... Then you have to hope that the real God doesn't care about you betting on his existence. There's a chance he will banish you to Hell just because you were trying your luck and not actually utilizing any faith or logic. Where is atheism in all this? Atheists are those who decide not to play and take their chips to cash out. We don't have to play, especially when the odds are so bad and there's no logic to help us choose the right square.

For More Arguments for God's Existence and Counter Arguments, Go to... Iron Chariots


Zach said...

Great site. Glad that you and others like us can think for ourselves. I love the part about the goldfish. LOL I was trying to explain that to my aunt the other day. The same aunt that gives like 15% of her salary to the business, I mean church.

Cheryl Powell said...

Jesus loves you.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed on the Foxhole Atheist Blog do not necessarily represent those of Atheism or all Atheists, seeing as how Atheism has no tenets, dogma or doctrines. So Suck it!