Why Does God Allow Evil? Author Interview from Groundbreaking Book

Dr. Clay Jones is one of my colleagues in the Biola Apologetics M.A. program. Although he has been teaching and thinking about the problem of evil for decades, he has just released a new book: Why Does God Allow Evil? Here is my endorsement that made the back cover of the book: “If you are looking for one book to make sense of the problem of evil, this book is for you.”

Good God Evil

I plan to use this book very soon with a group of high school students. And it will now be the top book that I recommend on this subject (along with If God, Why Evil by Norman Geisler and The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis).

Professor Jones was kind enough to answer some of my questions regarding the problem of evil and what unique contribution his book makes. Check out the brief interview and then consider getting a copy of his outstanding book:

SEAN MCDOWELLThere are many books on the problem of evil. What makes your new book unique?

CLAY JONES: Craig Hazen, the founder of Biola’s MA in Christian apologetics said it well, “In this book, Clay Jones actually answers the question ‘Why Does God Allow Evil?’ So many books on the topic don’t give an answer. Hence, this is a breath of fresh air. There is a bonus too. In his answer to the question Jones gives a full-arc presentation of the gospel. I’ve seen even seasoned Christians awaken to the depths of the gospel for the first time in response to Jones’s material.” Indeed, so many books on the problem of evil conclude only with a “I guess we’ll find out in heaven” kind of answer, but I contend that the Bible tells us why God allows evil.

MCDOWELLWhat do you think most Christians fail to grasp about why God may allow evil?

JONES: In the 1980s, I began to seriously study what God had done for us as Christians now and the glory that God had in store for us for our eternities. Later I began to study the lost state that we were in before we came to Christ. In other words, I started to study the depths of human depravity. Most Christians don’t understand these things deeply and that’s a problem not only for understanding why God allows evil, but for understanding much of what the Lord is doing in the universe. As the renowned Bible expositor D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones wrote, “Most of our troubles are due to the fact that we are guilty of a double failure; we fail on the one hand to realize the depth of sin, and on the other hand we fail to realize the greatness and the height and the glory of our salvation.” Lloyd-Jones is exactly right.

MCDOWELLYou have studied the problem of evil for decades. How has your perspective changed over time?

JONES: My perspective hasn’t really changed from the 1980s—it has intensified. As I’ve continued to study the horror of human rebellion, the nature and value of free will, and the glory that awaits us in heaven for ever, I appreciated the significance of those teachings ever more fully. Some Christian truths like Roman’s 3:20, “there is no one who does good, no not one” are counter-intuitive to even many Christians. But those intuitions are mistaken. We need to revolve certain ideas in our minds until we find them not only worthy of intellectual assent but emotionally compelling. That’s what my study has done in my own life.

MCDOWELLWhat is the most powerful response for believers to use when skeptics raise the problem of evil?

JONES: When talking with a skeptic I focus on three things. First, my book thoroughly documents that humans aren’t good, and we need to argue that point with skeptics. I point out to skeptics that every genocide researcher I’ve ever read and even every genocide victim I’ve ever read concludes that it is the average member of a population that commits genocide. That tells us there is something terribly wrong with humankind and skeptics really don’t have an answer for this. Well, if humans really aren’t good, then the question “why do bad things happen to good people” is moot from the start. I also point out the free will entails being able to use your free will wrongly—that’s as logical at it gets. Finally, I point out that eternity will dwarf our suffering to insignificance. I have found great success in arguing these points with skeptics.

MCDOWELLWhat motivated you to spend so much time reading, thinking, teaching, and writing on this topic?

JONES: I’ve found that it not only answers the question “why does God allow evil?” it also explains most of what God’s doing in the universe and what our own lives are about. For me, studying the problem of evil is studying the whole of Christian doctrine because it is all related and that’s life-changing.

MCDOWELLWhat is the biggest truth missing from the typical argument against the problem of evil?

JONES: The biggest lack in the typical discussion regarding “why does God allow evil?” is a focus on the eternal. I’ve read a lot of books on the subject and most of them barely nod at eternity playing a part in our answering the question. But C.S. Lewis was right: “Scripture and tradition habitually put the joys of heaven into the scale against the sufferings of earth, and no solution of the problem of pain that does not do so can be called a Christian one.” But it is much more than answering the problem of evil,a failure to understand the glory that awaits the Christian for eternity hurts Christians in many other ways. That’s why I spend three chapters on eternity in my book. We need to do Colossians 3:1-4!

 


 

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56 replies
  1. KR says:

    So the explanation for why an all-powerful and all-loving God would allow evil to happen is that we’re all bad so we deserve everything we get? One obvious flaw in this argument is that it doesn’t actually address the problem. The reason there’s a problem of evil in the first place is the fact that the evil we see doesn’t unequivocally point to a benevolent God. The observed evidence would seem to be the same with a malevolent or indifferent God (or a non-existent one). Does the above explanation change this? Of course not. A malevolent or indifferent God (or a non-existent one) would still give us the same result as a benevolent one (i.e. that bad things happen) whether we accept that we’re all sinners or not.

    The appeal to free will is equally unconvincing. I see no reason to believe there’s any such thing as free will in the true libertarian sense as it seems to lead to logical contradictions. Even if we, for the sake of argument, accept the existence of free will I don’t see how this solves the problem of evil. If God can create a sin-free environment in heaven, why not on earth? Why would free will be an impediment here if it’s not a problem in heaven?

    The appeal to eternity obviously requires us to accept the existence of an afterlife. Since I see no evidence to support this, I’m clearly not going to be persuaded by this argument. The argument also suffers from the same general problem as the appeal to our sinful nature: it doesn’t exclude the possibility of a non-benevolent deity. Such a deity could of course also make light of the evil we see by promising a blissful eternal life in the hereafter.

    Reply
    • CM says:

      KR. Love does not exist outside of choice. If love is eternal, its reasonable to believe choice is also. If evil is temporary, then our exposure to it will be temporary, but the understanding of experiencing evil and where it comes from (freedom to choose what God says is wrong) will be an eternal benefit. This life is short and if physical death is only a passing from this dimension to the next, as the bible implies, then your position of looking at existence from only our earthly life is whats flawed. And we will be without excuse when the creator himself stepped into the world to walk thru and suffer the exact things we think we will throw in his face. Good luck with that.

      Reply
      • KR says:

        CM wrote: ” Love does not exist outside of choice.”

        If that were true, no-one would ever need to suffer from a broken heart. They would just choose to stop loving the people that don’t love them back. This is clearly not how love works. Love is an emotion we have no control over – it’s something that happens to us, not something we choose. Popular music would look very different if this was not the case.

        “This life is short and if physical death is only a passing from this dimension to the next, as the bible implies, then your position of looking at existence from only our earthly life is whats flawed.”

        Life after death is a comforting thought but it’s when we really want to believe something that we need to take extra care to examine our beliefs and make sure they’re not just wishful thinking or cognitive bias. I try to base my beliefs on what’s consistent with our empirical experience and I find the evidence for any kind of afterlife lacking. From my perspective, believing in things which are unsupported by the evidence or even goes against the evidence is a flawed method of searching for the truth.

        “And we will be without excuse when the creator himself stepped into the world to walk thru and suffer the exact things we think we will throw in his face. Good luck with that.”

        Hundreds of millions of Muslims worry about going to their version of hell when they die. How much sleep are you losing in fear of Allah’s wrath? My guess is just about as much as the sleep I’m losing over the prospect of going to Christian hell. It looks far too much like a human construct to control other people by fear and it’s clearly been effective – at least when this fear has been planted in a young mind.

        My biggest problem with hell, tough, is that it seems predicated on the notion that belief is a matter of choice, which makes no logical sense. It seems to me that a god that sends people to eternal torment for something they had no control over is immoral, irrational and downright evil. Not the kind of god that should inspire anyone to worship.

        Reply
  2. Tracey. says:

    I look forward to reading this book. This question always brings me to a piece in Scripture, so Jesus warned his disciples,
    …..yea that time cometh that whosoever killed you will think that he doeth God a service. And these things they will do unto you because they have not known the Father nor Me
    But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I, told you of them.
    John 16.2:4.
    So it is in Jesus Chris, who did no harm, we come to, ‘know,’ His truth, about what a true Christian, is, an excellent example is this piece.
    Mathew 26:52 Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish
    with the sword. Are you not aware that I can call on My Father, and He will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?…
    So is this not evident of Spiritual warfare.
    Free-will, is never really free, it’s a price driven thought, word, or deed, do or say what you want, but control the outcome, consequences one cannot, then what?

    Reply
  3. jcb says:

    Clay Jones POE new book reply
    http://crossexamined.org/god-allow-evil-author-interview-groundbreaking-book/
    Clay Jones writes about the POE (T)
    CJ contends that the Bible tells us why God allows evil (irrelevant)
    CJ: the Bible resolves the EPOE (F)
    God has done many things for us (F)
    Many people are sad, “in a lost state”, not nice (T)
    Many people don’t realize the depth (extent, gravity?) of their son/immorality (T)
    Many people don’t realize we can have eternal life with god (F)
    CJ: My perspective on the POE hasn’t changed much (T, but sad)
    There is a heaven that awaits us (F)
    Roman’s 3:20, says “there is no one who does good, no not one” (T)
    This is counter-intuitive (T)
    Romans 3:20 is right: no one does good. (False. Duh. There are kind actions by kind people)
    CJ: humans aren’t good (F). Humans aren’t perfect (T)
    Many people are mean at times (T)
    Humankind isn’t perfect (T)
    If humans aren’t good then “Why do bad things happen to good people” is moot. (T)
    If humans aren’t perfect, then “Why do bad things happen to imperfect people” is moot. (F)
    (If you jaywalk, and then god punches you in the face, that god is still a jerk, immoral, etc.)
    If we are free, then we might do evil, or we might do good. (T)
    If we had eternal life, it would dwarf our temporary earthly suffering (T)
    We (some of us) have eternal life (F)
    If there is eternal life, then the POE is resolved(F)

    Summary:
    There are good people, but rarely if ever perfect people.
    There is no known eternal life for humans.
    If there were a perfect being, as far as we can tell, that being would stop things like the Holocaust, even though most the victims of the Holocaust were probably good, but imperfect, humans.

    Reply
  4. Susan says:

    Don’t blame the Holocaust on God when Satan is the Destroyer.

    David Brickner of “Jews for Jesus” don’t blame the Holocaust on God. See their online article “Haman and Hitler”.

    I can’t believe anyone in this world is imprudent enough to open his mouth against the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob with little to no attempt at learning God’s perspective. God’s perspective is His testimony. If you don’t know how to interpret God’s language like Richard Dawkins doesn’t then do the world a favor and hold your peace until God enlightens you or you have the good sense to seek to know spiritual truth yourself.

    Reply
    • jcb says:

      There is no Satan, but even if there were, it wouldn’t absolve god, who, as a perfect being, should have stopped Satan. (St. Augustine realized this).
      There is no god, but it is best to discuss matters openly to get to the truth about things. Trying to stifle free speech is not.
      I would love to know God’s perspective, but no one knows that god exists, or what god’s perspective is. (Yes, many people think they know god’s perspective, but they are wrong).
      Again, you try to shut down the conversation (“hold your peace”(. Instead, you should offer your evidence for your dubious claims.
      Until then, it looks like there is much imperfection in the world, and thus no perfect being.
      That is, god probably doesn’t exist.

      Reply
      • Susan says:

        You should hold your peace because you claim God is unknowable and are not even seeking to know Him but that is not the claim of many others who sought Him out and got to know him.

        There is an atheist in another one of these threads who lost his faith who right now is advocating to me that I commit idolatry which is spiritual adultery. He wants me to study comparative religion.

        In the past doing apologetics I did come into contact with quite a few ideas about other belief systems but I agree with the Bible that these are false deities and there is no reason for me to spend one bit of my time around false deities when I can spend my time around the real God in the scriptures.

        There are instances of people whomgot confused and fell while doing comparative religion.

        Christianity has so many counterfeits and cooycats because it is the truth and imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

        So why would I settle for a weak imitation when I can have the real God and learn His ways?

        Go watch Kundalini Warning on youtube and stop listening to people who fell down on the road of false religion and refused to repent, get back up again and follow the living God which is Jesus Christ.

        If you really love God and search the scriptures regularly enough you can do a cursory inspection of religion and know they are wrong and lack the relationship with God that Christians have.

        Jesus Christ is Christianity and I am not throwing him out for any false or weak ideas other people who don’t know him hold.

        I am not going to overcome your objections arguing if your mind is set on disobeying God.

        So you will have to learn to turn your own will to seeking to know the truth.

        You’re claiming God is unknowable. Christians say He can be known through the scriptures.

        I am not giving up my God given knowledge for ignorance nor am I doing any more comparative religion to deny atheist’s false claims.

        I found the best which is Jesus Christ and I am sticking to him and can’t be moved and that is firm faith. Exactly what God set out to do in a true believer’s life.

        You should pray to God and ask Him for motivation to seek until you establish the truth for yourself.

        Right now you are attempting to dis-establish God’s truth in favor of lesser worldy ideas and error.

        People can and do frequently entertain erroneous opinions. One of the reasons why I now devote myself to reading and practicing and teaching God’s Word. So I can get things right like a true disciple who is patterning himself on a true master would.

        That is what disciples do. Stick close to the master and pattern themselves on him.

        That is what the disciples of great painters of the Renaissance did.

        A disciple is like that. He sticks to his master and refuses to learn from lesser people who cannot convey the right way to them.

        Lots of people fail at knowing God. I didn’t fail at that. He is right in the scriptures and He requires obedience until it becomes so natural that we come into agreement with Him and His ways.

        I hope this helps. Comparative religion is the graveyard where people who didn’t know how to have a relationship went to die.

        Mature Christians know but they just don’t assert that they know enough and let people get away with weak thinking.

        Reply
  5. jcb says:

    From Timothy: 11 A woman[a] should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man;[b] she must be quiet.”
    Of course Timothy is wrong, but that passage might have meaning to a theist.
    No, I should not hold my peace: we will have a better chance of learning things by discussing things. No, I did not claim that God is unknowable. I said God is unknown. If you have evidence for god (That god is Known), present it. I am here on this site (and others) seeking answers as to whether god exists. I am discussing my ideas with others, and listening to their ideas (like yours). To say that I am not “seeking” to know whether God exists is false.
    Yes, you would do well to study comparative religion.
    Yes, all of those are false deities, as all believed deities don’t exist.
    Yes, don’t spend your time around false deities! But no, the God of the Bible is not any different, not more real.
    Yes, there are other religions that are also wrong about things.
    Yes, don’t settle for a weak imitation. Settle for science.
    I have searched the Scriptures, and found (virtually) no evidence for God (a perfect being) in them. (Scripture claiming “there is a perfect being” is not much evidence).
    My mind is set on seeking the truth. Your mind seems set on believing in god regardless of the evidence. If you have better evidence than I, please offer it up.
    Yes, most theists claim their god is known through various scriptures. They are all wrong/not confirmed by science.
    Atheists are correct in their basic claim.
    Yes, I see that you can’t be moved. That is on you. I can be moved, if there is evidence.
    Praying to god doesn’t work.
    There is no god’s truth. There are many scientific, worldly truths.
    Yes, there are many erroneous opinions, like those of theists.
    No one knows god. God does not exist. Scriptures do exist though.
    What would help is evidence. I don’t see any evidence for god in your post.

    Reply
    • Susan says:

      Well there might be more to that passage you quote than it’s says on the surface. Maybe you could investigate it.

      Google Bible scholar Kenneth E. Bailey’s essay “Women in the New Testament: A Middle Eastern Cultural View” and read it.

      Women have taught adult men as well as served as deaconesses and prophets and some are even numbered among the apostles.

      Wiki Mary Magadalene. She is called by some “the apostle to the apostles”.

      Reply
      • jcb says:

        Yes there might be more. But both of us seem to agree that the passage is prima facie false: that it is not true that women should not speak.

        Reply
  6. Susan says:

    Sorry JCB but I rarely agree with atheists claims because my worldview is too different.

    I don’t do present evidene any more for multiple reasons. Besides I think evidence distracts from the relationship with Jesus Christ. He deserves all the attention and praise. We have all sorts of evidence but the evidence gathering shouldn’t distract from the relationship.

    I am a people person not a hard nosed scientist and so I think differently from an atheist.

    You’re probably used to logic afficianados on Christian boards online.

    I used to have an interest in philosophy but I shelved it for studying religious and people. People were always the thing I liked to study in life. But I do it in the natural world not academia so much.

    Reply
  7. jcb says:

    Right, disagreement in the world is to be expected. What isn’t is no attempt to justify one’s views, especially if they are grand, greatly consequential, etc. Evidence more often helps rather than hurts. Few are suggesting (thankfully) that we get rid of the sciences. There seems to be no reason to think that evidence distracts from whether or not one has a relationship with Jesus, unless you mean, when one looks for evidence of Jesus as God, there isn’t much evidence for that. One deserves praise if the evidence shows that one deserves praise. You are jumping the gun and assuming what one needs to first know/prove. Atheists are sometimes people persons also! Actually, the typical person that I engage with online in these settings is more like you: not particularly thrilled about the uphill battle of trying to give evidence. Still, that’s what truth is all about, and every once in a while an individual does meet that most basic requirement, of trying to give evidence in defense of their claims. But I appreciate your clarity: you are not a person of evidence (at least in these matters), so I know to look elsewhere if there is to be a good reason for rejecting atheism.
    One last thought though: you shouldn’t confuse people: if you don’t care to argue/give evidence, you shouldn’t pretend to, as you did when you responded with “You can’t blame God for the Holocaust; that was all the Devil’s doing!”. If you want to argue and give evidence, do so, but if you really don’t want to do that, you shouldn’t. Jumping in and out of the evidence game is confusing, inconsistent, misleading, etc.

    Reply
    • Susan says:

      I don’t do evidence any more but you can pick up a copy of Geisler and Zukeran’s Apologetic of Jesus and see how they explain the evidence.

      I think what you want is hard objective evidence. For some reason you value that and devalue the subjective.

      But emotions have rational value and some people like Kierkegaard believe in the importance of the subjective.

      How would you build a relationship with God by ruling out subjective readings?

      You can research into emotions being rational and see what you turn up.

      I no longer try to solve evidence problems on message boards because I ran into too many people refusing to consider it who seemed to be using it as a defense mechanism to maintain detachment.

      One can’t form a relationship if one can remain detached can one?

      If someone has deliberately blocked himself in and refuses entry to anyone else claiming objective evidence is the only way of gaining entry into their consideration then you are no longer up against an open minded evidence request. You are up against a problem of the will with a person determined to dismiss any attempt to persuade their will otherwise and that is not a reasonable request.

      So if you are sincere then you can do what Josh McDowell did and seek your own evidence.

      As for the Holocaust being the devils doing. It very well could be. Though the Jews would probably say it was the Angel of Death’s doing.

      You reap what you sow in this world and you can walk in God’s will or outside of it.

      I particularly prefer walking in God’s will when possible because I now suspect if you walk outside of God’s will then you could attract consequences from this world. For example, God tells us to obey authorities like the government. So if I miss a speed sign while driving or decide to ignore it and drive too fast and get pulled over and get a speeding ticket then I am not in God’s will any longer and I am at the mercy of the world and worldly consequences.

      James 4:13-15New International Version (NIV)

      Boasting About Tomorrow
      13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”

      If the creation account is correct and the world changed at the fall then that could include spiritual/supernatural laws that we can trigger going into effect by our own behavior.

      God doesn’t have to intervene every time if He has already set everything up and if we are now subject to trial and error which is really walking in or out of His will then why are we complaining down here?

      We had the Law, the Prophets, the scriptures and Jesus.

      But some people prefer using their own reason to seeking good counsel in God’s Word. Don’t know why that is. It is quite obvious people break the law everyday and abuse other people. But some people still want to put their heads in the sand and pretend it doesn’t exist and question God’s morality.

      They want evolution to be authoritative so they don’t have to socially evolve by acknowledging God or something like that. They want to be able to walk out of God’s will and think nothing will happen to them for doing that.

      Unfortunately, a lot of innocent people get hurt by the people who haven’t learned to walk in God’s will for their lives.

      That’s my take on it. People pray the Lord’s prayer a lot without realizing they need to walk in God’s will more not less.

      God hates violence. It says so in the Book of Proverbs but it doesn’t say Satan hates it.

      Read the Old Testament. There’s a lot of lawbreaking in the Old Testament. At one time the kings of Israel almost lost the Book of the Law which they were required to write so they would know it.

      Isn’t lawbreaking walking outside of God’s will in the Old Testament? And if you break one law in the Old Testament you are responsible for the whole law so that is why a sacrifice was needed.

      I think I am too wordy so I will leave off and let you do your own research on these questions. God’s perspective isn’t men’s or sciences and it’s up to us whether we will bother to learn God’s perspective or not. Why even bother to judge God if you haven’t learned His perspective but you run into a lot of angry people doing just that on message boards. If you can’t agree with God at least you can show some prudence and hold your peace until either you make your peace with Him or He gives you more revelation. Then you won’t have to answer for angry words later because we are all going to the Last Judgment with all our words and deeds available for God’s inspection and judgment.

      I hope this helps.

      Reply
  8. jcb says:

    Yes, there are many books arguing for this and that. None of that helps here now. Perhaps the next apologetics book I read will have good arguments for god, but given that I’ve read many of them, it seems unlikely.
    I will take any evidence that shows that something is probable. Usually that involves scientific (“hard objective”) evidence.
    I certainly devalue the subjective method of saying “I have faith, so X is true” or “I intuit X, so X is true. And in when others do that, you devalue it too (for beliefs different from your own).
    Emotions do have value. But not much when it comes to showing that a fact of reality outside of oneself is true. That is, “I feel there are aliens, thus there probably are” is not a good argument, or a way of determining what is true.
    One could build a relationship with god if there were good objective evidence. But regardless, I don’t rule out subjective readings. I just balance them by more reliable evidence that we have. (You probably don’t accept the subjective experiences of ancient Greeks to prove that Zeus exists, etc.)
    There is no known way to have a relationship with god, as there is no known god. Yes, you can believe that you do though.
    I am willing to consider the evidence, if you have any to offer.
    Yes, one can be in a relationship, and be detached/use evidence rather than pure emotion.
    Yes one should be open minded. Nothing here shows that to be a problem for you to offer evidence.
    Who is the one dismissing any attempt to persuade them? It seems to be more you than I. I am asking for you to persuade me, with whatever evidence you think is relevant.
    Yes, I seek evidence from lots of sources, but oddly the theists often are not open minded, refuse to engage, engage in ad hominems, etc. I never know if the next theist I talk to will be different, although given the track record, I should know what to expect (not much in the way of good evidence).
    No, the Holocaust is not likely to be the Devil’s doing, although it Could be (just as nearly everything “could” be).
    Since there is no known God’s will, one can neither walk in it or outside of it.
    You are always at the mercy of the world rather than at the mercy of God’s will.
    The creation account is not correct/probable.

    God should intervene unless not doing so is for the greater good. The evidence we have is that lots of evil is not for the greater good. Hence, no god.
    There is (virtually) no evidence that god has a master plan that requires the Holocaust to pull off.
    Good reasoning here is all we have. Giving up our reason and evidence, and blindly accepting what the Bible says, is foolish, and in most cases inconsistent.
    There is no god’s morality that we know of. But yes, some people are unkind.
    Again, there is no god nor God’s will, that we know of, so claims based on those are false.
    Reading the Old Testament will not tell me anything about God, but you are right; it will tell me something about the claims about god therein.
    There is no known God’s perspective. (Perhaps it IS the same as ours!)
    There is no known way to learn God’s perspective.
    There is no god to show prudence to by holding my peace. Again, it is better to discuss ideas openly and seek out evidence.
    If there is a heaven and a perfect god, that god will give entry to the evidence givers rather than the Faith holders.
    Unfortunately, since you didn’t offer any evidence, your comments didn’t help. Offering evidence has a better chance of helping demonstrate what is true.

    Reply
    • Susan says:

      Why would my offering evidence be better than you seeking it personally?

      It isn’t. I probabaly don’t weigh things the same as you do. Am I your servant?

      I encourage you to seek your own evidence because when you make a discovery yourself it is a wonderful thing. I rather enjoyed finding the evidence. I never once got a good reaction presenting it to atheists.

      But I will give you one piece that I found. Read the Nebuchadnezzar account in the Bible. God humbled Nebuchadnezzar making him eat grass like a cow. The Bible is known as an accurate source book for a lot of ancient history. In fact there is some ancient history in the world we only know about today because the Bible documents it.

      Nebuchadnezzar, a great king, out eating grass like a cow sounds like a fable. Except eating grass like a cow is a condition known as poryphyria. Check into poryphyria then go read up on the ancient tablet Assyrian cuneiform tablet in the British museum documenting the incident.

      If you really value the possible relationship with God you will do the seeking yourself. You can’t have a relationship with him through me really.

      So this evidence demand from my perspective isn’t so clever if it makes you devalue the evidence God has already presented and stops you from forming a relationship with Him.

      You put the evidence ahead of God but the relationship is evidence of God.

      And regarding Zeus there could be a Zeus. Zeus could have just been an alias for Satan.

      Read up on the Pergamum altar. Which god that altar served and where it is located now.

      That’s all I plan on giving for you to read up on. I don’t like presenting evidence any more and there is no God given burden on me to present it.

      But I mention it so you can get busy collecting your own. If your heart is in the right place and you are a genuine truth seeker you will collect your own.

      But if this evidence demand is a defense mechanism that you use to deflect the truth while trying to reassure yourself that you are smart for doing that then you will go into skeptic reject mode.

      Why anybody who seriously entertains a scientific bias would ask a theist to collect evidence for him makes no sense to me. Hugh Ross was a little body prodigy scientist and he had enough sense to collect his own.

      Read his testimony. It’s online.

      Reply
      • jcb says:

        If I am trying to drive to Santa Barbara, and you know the best way there, you “offering evidence’ would be better (in many situations) than my seeking it personally. This is just a dodge by you to avoid offering evidence. The more evidence the better. Yes, I should seek personally any evidence that helps me figure out if X is true, but if you have evidence that X is true, you should offer it, and your offering it in many cases would be better, kind, efficient, helpful, etc.
        So while we should all seek evidence ourselves, it is false that we shouldn’t ask others for help with evidence, and it is false that others shouldn’t offer evidence that they have to help others.
        I, like you, have almost never gotten a good reaction from theists. (This conversation with you is the same, but the difference is that I am willing to offer my evidence).
        Wait! You say you have some evidence! Oops, but you wrongly claim that the Bible is an accurate source for demonstrating that God did make Neb. Eat grass like a cow. Yes, the Bible got some things write about history (Jerusalem existed), but it also gets lots of things wrong (like the God/Neb. Story)
        When something is claimed in history, it often conflicts with all the things we have learned (scientifically, usually) since then. In most such cases, the science is stronger, more reliable, etc. Imagine if many people 2000 years ago said the Earth was flat, but everything we have learned since then (photos from space, etc) shows it to be false. The latter would be the more accurate view.
        If you really value helping others, you will help with the seeking by providing the best evidence you have for god. Asking you to do this is “seeking god”, i.e., trying to determine if god exists.
        What evidence has god already presented? None, it seems.
        There is no relationship that is evidence of god, a perfect being.
        Yes there could be a Zeus, and there could be your god, and there could be…. a trillion different things. But here we are talking about what is true/probable, not simply possible. If your claim is simply that god might exist, you are right.
        The person asserting that A exists has the burden of presenting evidence.
        I probably watched and read more religious material this weekend than you did atheist material, so I am probably seeking the truth more than you. (Tim Barnett owes me a reply, btw). So no, I am not deflecting, but it seems that you are.
        I am trying to find out if I am right about what seems to be the case. People who offer evidence help determine that.
        Almost everyone uses science, and with good reason. That doesn’t make it a bias, a bad thing. As I said before, any evidence you have is welcome, but of course that doesn’t automatically mean that the evidence you offer will be reasonable.

        Reply
    • Susan says:

      Google “The Scientific Evidence for God” at notashamedofthegospel.org and read Peter Gurguis’ article on why DNA is evidence. Then you do your own evidence searches from now on and don’t ever claim a theist doesn’t have any evidence again.

      We have plenty of evidence we just don’t dismiss it or handwave it away like skeptics do willfully or because it doesn’t match their preconceived notions.

      And because a theist isn’t as narrow minded in his evidence searches doesn’t mean he is wrong either.

      So if you want something done right you had better do it yourself.

      A lot of people obviously have no intention to collect or assess new evidence because their mind is already made up and they prefer arguing to actually doing themselves.

      Hope this helps JCB! God Bless.

      And I hope you become a doer of God’s Word once you locate the evidence. Some people won’t do the evidence checks or collecting because then they have to admit before God and others that they were wrong and to do that takes humility.

      So be sure to pray for humility while you are searching.

      How do I know you even have the necessary humility to examine the thing that you are demanding?

      You could say ” no” like a two year old in his “no” stage when I present it.

      So when you grow out of your terrible twos and gain some humility then go get the evidence yourself.

      It would be terrible if a little thing like your own self will upset your ability to acknowledge the truth of the evidence wouldn’t it?

      Peace Be With You and May His Grace Abound to You!

      There is evidence all over the internet you will just have to learn to ask the right question and locate it.

      Reply
      • jcb says:

        I never claimed that a theist doesn’t have any evidence. Again, you are trying to shut down any further investigation or questioning of these issues in saying “don’t ever claim X again”.
        DNA exists. It is not evidence for a perfect being. It is not evidence for any known metaphysical being. Yes, DNA is amazing, complex, etc. We do not know of any person that put it there. We do not know that an intelligent being (and certainly not any particular one) probably put it there. (DNA doesn’t prove the god of the Bible either).
        You also contradict yourself. You said not to use science, and that you weren’t going to give evidence. The good news is that you now realize that using science is (generally) a good strategy, and that giving evidence is (generally) a good strategy.
        You speak of humility, but demonstrate very little of it.
        I am happy to acknowledge truth when there is evidence for a thing.
        There are indeed many bad arguments about religion all of the internet. I have been seeking (Frank Turek, William Lane Craig, Tim Barnett, etc.) someone with good arguments, but have rarely found any yet. Your DNA argument (DNA proves that the perfect god of the Bible exists) also seems to fail.
        If you want some reading on the subject, here’s a start:
        http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2017/03/dna-program-programs-demand-programmer-response/

        Reply
    • Susan says:

      If you aren’t responsible enough to do your own research and want to substitute arguing in lieu of it then go watch Habermas multi part argument from the skeptic’s position on youtube.

      I really don’t argue now. I don’t have the patience for it any more. I get bored easily when I get good at things and they lose my interest so I have to move on to other pursuits. That’s just how I am. There is always another talent to learn and master in Christianity to move on to.

      Believe me it gets boring to read that evidence request from an atheist when you’ve already read it several hundred times online from several hundred atheists. Almost all of whom are going to reject the evidence offered with little to no deep thinking on it.

      Now you may be an exception to that but in any case do your own research. That is the best advice I have at this point in time.

      You might actually be able to become a deeper thinker that way if you start to use your own mind authoritatively instead of constantly constraining it and subjection it to a bias.

      By subjecting your mind to a method of men didn’t you enslave and limit it? Something to think about. Have a great day!

      Reply
      • jcb says:

        As to DNA article you mentioned:
        IT is false that “before the universe began, there was no such thing as space, time, or matter.”.
        What he means is that there is no known event or object prior to the big bang moment. The above contradicts itself by using the word “before”, as in “before the universe” began…there was no time”. That’s a contradiction. That’s saying at Time -1 there was no time.
        The article is right that the universe probably didn’t come from nothing.
        The article seems to move oddly from the creating thing of the universe to the creating thing of DNA, which are not prima facie the same thing.
        Since there is no known supernatural intelligent beings, even if you found out that the creating thing of our universe was a supernatural (outside of/other than our universe) thing, it wouldn’t follow that it was the god of the Bible, etc.
        Yes, the creating thing of all our known materials is, apparently, not those known materials. It doesn’t follow that the creating thing is immaterial, unless you simply mean by that “not any known material”. Saying that it is “immaterial” is only to tell you what it is not. Beyond that, it doesn’t tell us anything.
        Like time, space is not a Thing that can be created or destroyed, it seems.
        “The designer must be intelligent because the universe was designed to sustain life and all of its complexities.” This hilariously begs the question. “the universe has a designer because it was designed”. No, we don’t know that the universe was designed.
        And no, the creating thing of our universe is not known to probably have made a choice/be personal.
        “It is impossible for evolution to be responsible for DNA”. I don’t think the author knows what “impossible” means. Perhaps he means “improbable”, which he seems to, when, much later on, he refers to “mathematical impossibility”. So, he means that evolution probably isn’t responsible for DNA. Why would that be? Apparently because the information we have today doesn’t make that probable. Suppose that were true. Would that show that god created DNA? It would not. The fact that X is improbable doesn’t make Y probable. It makes something other than X probable.
        We do not know that any “’pieces” where “put together” intentionally by god to create DNA.
        You do not need an intelligent designer to end up with something complex.
        The author completely abandons the evidence game when he says “But the truth of the matter is that there is a God. There is an afterlife. God will hold people accountable for their choices.” That’s not evidence. That’s what needs to be proven.
        Ouch, this guy gets worse, telling others what they really believe.
        “deep inside atheists know that there is a god”. This is false, and certainly unsubstantiated.
        To summarize
        DNA exists. What led to its existence is not entirely clear. (The answers we do have are almost entire scientific: even the article appeals to science to try to make its points). We do not know that it probably came from an intelligent being. We do not know that it came from god.

        Reply
  9. jcb says:

    I can’t speak to what other atheists do. It seems like you could imagine that I speak with many theists (which I do) who give bad arguments, appeal to faith, reject my good arguments for no good reason, etc.
    Of course, I will continue my research, and you should continue yours. This helps no one at the moment, which is my I asked to hear your story, your evidence. It doesn’t sound like you will continue to investigate the truth of atheism though.
    I will continue to use my mind, seek evidence, and evaluate arguments. So far, the evidence clearly shows that there probably is no perfect being/god.
    Those who believe in god often give up their freedom by letting god decide and dictate, and for no good reason, which is self-imposed slavery of a sort.
    I wish you well. Thank you for your DNA argument. That was probably the most useful thing you offered. The rest seemed a bit mean spirited, dismissive, defensive, unhelpful, etc. Yes, I’m sure a perfect being would forgive such things.

    Reply
    • Susan Tan says:

      JCB, I should mention that from God’s perspective you are still a slave to sin. You claim your mind is freer than a theist’s but how can that be. Your posts reveals you think you are smarter than God. Subjecting God who made the world and the human mind to a man made method.

      It’s ironic don’t you think?

      You’ll have to forgive my perfectionistic tendencies if I side with God who has said in His Word that everyone is a slave to something. We’re either slaves to Satan through sin or slaves to a good Master that will treat us right.

      I have to remind myself not to read these blog comments. There are far too many people willfully blaspheming God in these comments. They really do need correcting but for some reason they almost never receive the correction or thank you for it.

      It’s a no brainer to people who don’t like sin controlling them to acknowledge what Christ has done for them on the Cross. That was a very personal work Christ did on people’s behalf and people will always owe him for that.

      Go ahead and intellectualize all you want. You won’t remove the eyewitness testimony that is backed by historical evidence from Judaism, Josephus and Tacitus and others. Judaism in the time of Jesus didn’t even like Jesus but they report he existed.

      I hope this helps but it may not and I am no longer hanging around blasphemers reading your blasphemies, entertaining your corrupt thinking or ideas in my head.

      That’s what atheists do. Incite people to entertain evil thinking to take away their love, joy and peace with God and replace it with dissenssion, disharmony and rebellion that comes from the weak devilish side of human nature.

      Yes, the truth hurts some people who refuse to give up the wrong ideas.

      But Jesus came to set everyone free so they could become better people and all you did was rebel against a freedom that cost God a lot personally.

      You are not smarter than God, JCB, and plenty of scientists are believers. Science and faith are not mutually exclusive.

      It is just some people are weak willed and want to entertain sin rather than acknowledge the great work that Jesus performed on the Cross while some people aren’t.

      Imagine thinking that you are smarter than a God that can create a whole world and universe when you say you can’t find the cause. Now that kind of pride in one own’s intellect would be a hoot if it weren’t so sad.

      I am done reading these pages now because I am like David who when he saw Goliath blaspheming God cut off his head. Like Joshua who stepped on his enemies necks.

      If you atheists want to act like weak willed cowards mired in sin then do it. Just don’t expect me to take you and your pride in your own weak willed intellects and thinking seriously any more.

      I don’t listen to liars spewing rebellion and garbage any more. I got used to crushing my opponents but really why let a lie or deliverately self deceptive twisted ideas even have access to my head.

      I will just turn you atheists off. If you won’t listen to God then you certainly aren’t going to listen to His people.

      So you will have to learn things the hard way about your sin and your lack of humility and gratitude towards Jesus Christ.

      I am not hanging around ingrates any more. I would hate to learn any of that rebellious, pride, vanity and lack of gratitude towards my Creator that you show by the stances you take.

      Now that I have silenced your arguments and will never return to them. I have crushed my opponent the devil that you let have free reign in your head. You are a weakling who couldn’t even let Jesus Christ save you from your sin. So face it. All you do is skulk on message boards trying to plant evil counters in people’s heads.

      You should take repenting more seriously. Then Jesus can give you a life worth living.

      I am done here. All the biggest self deceptive liars hang out in apologetics and politics and sometimes in religion too (with all the false religions and false prophets there) and I have too great a love for the truth to tolerate their lies any more.

      May His Grace Abound To You At Least To Give You Enough Wisdom to Repent And Change Your Wicked Thinking And Ways!

      Now I am off to find someone who isn’t under Satan’s control who is actually receptive to God and willing to reason along with HIm where He teaches all the best things worth knowing and taking time over.

      Blessings!
      Susan Tan

      Reply
      • Jcb says:

        Susan
        There is no known god’s perspective, but saying that someone is a slave to sin sounds pretty mean-spirited, and prima facie false. If you mean, I sometimes make mistakes, you are right. If you mean, sin is here clouding my judgment, that looks to be false.
        I don’t recall talking about the freedom of minds, but I think I did say that a typical theist claims that a god exists that owns them, can decide for them, commands them, etc. In that sense, theists are less free than an atheist who isn’t owned by someone else, who decides for themselves, etc. And again, what is doubly tragic is that the theist doesn’t have to be in that situation, given that there is no god. This lack of freedom is wholly self-imposed.
        There is no known being that made our world, nor the human mind.
        Subjecting fiction to our best human judgments isn’t ironic, it’s just good common sense.
        When you say you are siding with god, you are siding with fiction. Actually siding with perfection is a smart idea. In this case, there is no evidence that you are.
        God has said nothing that we know of. Thus, if one says that god did say that we were all slaves, and believed it, would be a sad, false, self-destructive thing to say.
        Some of us are slaves to delusions. Others of us science and reason.
        That is so odd that you accept your false position of slavery so willingly. You could be freer, if you only used better judgment.
        Yes, if you don’t care about the truth, or evidence, you probably are better off not reading blog comments, or having discussions with others who have views different than your own.
        I can acknowledge that someone who believes they acted so as to help me is doing something kind. That Jesus actually gives people eternal life, etc. is all nonsense and not supported by any substantial evidence.
        I agree, I won’t remove the eyewitness testimony, and you won’t remove all the scientific evidence showing the vast improbability of that event. I acknowledge the initial probability of the event that arises due to some historical records. It seems unlikely that you acknowledge all the evidence gathered afterwards that shows some historical claims to be virtually impossible.
        Calling people who disagree with you “blasphemers” seems to indicate that you have nothing better to offer in the way of evidence.

        (Many) Atheists encourage people to look at all the evidence and use good judgment. If you wish to regard that as a bad idea, that’s your judgment, but a false one. (Evidence gathering is usually a productive activity).
        I want you to be joyful. If you take no joy in the truth (if the truth is too painful), then please, don’t respond to my posts, nor read them.
        Even you are smarter than god, since there is no god.
        Evidence gathering is exclusive of non-evidence gathering.
        Yes, some people would rather ignore the evidence. You gave me a little bit of evidence in that DNA article, to which I responded with much evidence and reason, and you ignored all of that.
        There are lots of people who are smarter than me, but there are no fictional creatures that are actually smarter than me.
        You keep saying you are done, but then you keep going. (Ironic?)
        You can choose to disengage and ignore evidence if you wish. It is usually more productive to point out with evidence what is true and false.
        There is no god to listen to. If there were a known perfect being, I would listen to that being.
        You have only ranted: you haven’t silenced or rebutted my arguments.
        I’m not that strong, but I can lift a pencil, whereas there is no evidence of any god that exists that can do the same.
        No, I am here trying to see if anyone actually has any useful information that helps demonstrate the truth. I have had many such productive conversations of that sort. But then, some are like those with you, just getting angry, making wild and false assertions, being unwilling to simply discuss un-emotionally and offer evidence for what you think to be true.
        If you find Satan, see if he will release me from his control. ;]
        I wish you joy, despite your misconceptions.

        Reply
        • Susan says:

          Well since you wished me joy, in spite of all the denial in your post, I am going to give you my considered opinion on why you shouldn’t be seeking evidence. It is because you should be seeking one on one counseling. I have been reading atheist posts for years and there might be some reason you refuse to examine for refusing to form a life giving relationship with a perfect being that has your well being at heart.

          Arguing is not how you learn to establish a relationship when you suffer from an inability to form a relationship.

          Now I know it is not fair to psychologize on a message board but if atheists need counseling to resolve their inability to believe in God then the last thing they need is for their weakness to be humored through arguing or evidence.

          Everyone ought to be able to examine himself like Jesus said to do but maybe some people can’t do it on their own.

          So seek professional help, ok? You could be a nice person in real life that is just in need of some guidance to figure things out.

          People don’t enter debates to offer guidance though. They enter them to win and beat their opponents.

          The ability to form relationships has always been important and beneficial for people so why can’t you do it? Why do you make excuses for it? Why do you over compensate by arguing?

          Does it really make you feel temporarily better to cast burdens of proof on people you don’t know in real life?
          Why is that?

          Some people like Veit think atheists have father figure problems but I don’t agree. I suspect there could be multiple psychological causes contributing to unbelief.

          So get yourself checked and don’t write this off as supernatural hocus pocus.

          Since when did writing off relationships count as a plus for a mammal?

          Theists live longer. Possibly because we relieve our stress better through our relationship with God and prayer,

          You’re not all alone y’know. You have a friend in Jesus.

          I no longer argue because I don’t see the point in it. If you can’t accept a message from God then you have an internal issue most likely blocking the delivery. So seek help from a counselor you can trust.

          You can’t argue a blockage away. But a counselor might help you resolve it.

          Read Curt Thompson’s Anatomy of the Soul. It is all about the 4 kinds of infant attachment and how only one type is secure.

          Maybe a counselor can pinpoint when and how your atheism started. It could have started early in life.

          Take care. I hope this helps. Believing eyewitness accounts isn’t delusional. People do it all the time in every day life, in police and insurance reports and in courts of law.

          So you need to figure out what caused you to be so distrusting.

          I am hoping not to be returning soon. I am getting very busy in the near future so I really don’t have time to argue with atheists and attempt to analyze their problems to save them. Plus it is impossible to do on a message board.

          The word “delusion” by an atheist caught my attention a long time ago on a message board so I spent years studying the spiritual blindness of atheists because I have a natural counselor temperament and I knew I wasn’t delusional. I am a realist.

          So there are questions you will have to ask yourself in private to resolve your dilemma. A counselor might help you to form the right questions though. So seek out a professional Christian Counselor.

          God Bless! You are much too important to God to waste all your relationship building time on arguments or evidence searches. So be sure to search yourself and your own past history for the answer to this unbelief problem you have. It only has to remain a part of your psyche if you let it.

          May His Grace Abound To You!

          Reply
          • jcb says:

            At least you didn’t start your last thread saying: I’m done speaking on the matter!
            I never in my post denied that I wish you joy. I offered you truth, reason, evidence, etc.
            “I am going to give you my opinion on why you shouldn’t be seeking evidence”: that sounds contradictory. Nonetheless, yes, I welcome good reasons (aka evidence) for why I shouldn’t be seeking evidence.
            I appreciate your advice, but the assertion of which it partakes is false, and unsubstantiated. (It’s like my saying you probably need new galoshes).
            Again, instead of giving evidence for your dubious claims, you press onward as if your dubious claims weren’t dubious.
            You: “I can’t understand why you don’t form a relationship with that perfect being!”
            Me: “What perfect being? How do you know of such a thing? What shows me that there is such a thing? How do you expect me to form a relationship without knowing the answers to those questions?”
            You: The devil has clearly gotten to you!
            Arguing/Discussing is typically how you determine what is true/real (in the world).
            Your making a suggestion based on no evidence is like me saying to you “go jump in a lake! (and you will find lots of gold at the bottom!)
            I am not here to win/beat my opponent. I am here to offer truth, and receive truth if one has evidence to help demonstrate such a thing.
            Also, you seem to have forgotten that I replied to the original post, and then You jumped in and replied to my ideas. So my continuing to discuss My (originally posted) ideas is not inappropriate. But your jumping in so that you can “feel temporarily better” is the culprit here, if there is one.
            You do realize that much of your response is simply emotional personal attacks right?
            But, your claims are supernatural hocus pocus, as far as I can tell. That’s why, if you had anything useful to offer to show otherwise, you should. Until then “hocus pocus” it remains.
            Theists live longer: possibly because believing in falsehoods gives peace of mind.
            “I no longer argue”… and yet you continue.

            Believing eyewitnesses isn’t by itself delusional. Ignoring all the counter evidence as it piles up is.
            I still wish you joy. I hope your faith doesn’t end up harming anyone.
            If you ever find good evidence for your assertions, please offer it.

  10. Susan says:

    Well enjoy yourself JCB. If you really do enjoy the discussions. Enjoy them. I always enjoyed the thinking and observation more.

    Some people genuinely want to see the other person’s perspective but I find these people few and far between.

    More people just want to assert their own biases in favor over other people’s biases and I consider that meddling when someone tries to control me with their bias. If I wanted to learn their bias then I would have but it doesn’t interest me.

    My own mind and perception really is good enough. It’s a lot more efficient than trying to learn a scientific method that I have to refer to about everything. I actually met an atheist once who claims he tests everything which I think is practically impossible to test all claims before believing some. But he claimed it never the less.

    Your mind seems to be efficient at dismissing claims and my mind may be more efficient at accepting claims but I have my own perception and intellect to inspect claims with.

    My IQ is higher than most and I don’t plan on replacing it in favor of a bias I don’t plan on learning so other people’s insistence they are right who never even tried to do a single thing God asked them to do aren’t going to make an impression on me.

    Jesus said to examine ourselves. Probably because then people would have to acknowledge how self deceptive they are but some people don’t like to find themselves lacking. But that is just the first step in learning humility which is a virtue when you find that you are less than perfect and acknowledge it.

    People are going to struggle with various existential states because people all have different temperaments and most people are not parented perfectly and don’t grow up in perfect households. Someone always has an issue.

    The best thing I have found is that I managed to maintain enough of my own autonomy to still be able to arrive at a right conclusion using my own perception not doubting my own ability to think.

    I think atheists have devalued their own intelligence in favor of a method.

    Some people just go with their perception. Others have a system. A list they refer to.

    The psychiatrist Dr. Phil is a believer and all he does is assess and deal with other people’s issues.

    Why is self autonomy and the ability to perceive and reason independently so important? Because some people are meddlers. There are a lot of people who like to meddle who refuse to address their own issues but they will meddle with you thinking they are being helpful while their own lives and houses are in disarray. Maybe it takes their mind off their problems. Anyways I know several people like this. Because I am easy going they take it as a license to try and give me unsolicited advice and most of these people aren’t particularly good believers or familiar with the scriptures.

    So I learned to be suspicious of their heart motives and you should be too. With all the outward signs of bad behavior exhibited in the world today we really should be guarding our hearts and carefully inspecting everyone trying to determine their heart motives before allowing them access to important things like our faith. Which is a theist’s most prized possession. Worth more than all the materialist possessions in the world.

    Be sure to do that check that Jesus recommends because a lot of people in this world from both good and evil intentions like to meddle with people. Look at Hitler. What a meddler. He implanted a lot of wrong ideas into the German people’s heads didn’t he? He planted his own delusions of grandeur in their heads because he caught them at a time that they were weak and receptive. So they went onto build a Third Reich World Palace in their heads then tried to force the world into matching their reality.

    At least Christians are exhorted by God to perform charity. Not war. Wars have occurred but they are not considered a virtue in Christianity. We have no jihad in the New Testament like the Muslims do in the Koran. The Koran is an Old Covenant like religion. That’s why they have so many wars. Carnal people lacking the Holy Spirit like to make war more than they like to make peace. But Jesus Christ came to deliver God’s peace to everyone individually and personally.

    I hope this helps. I only believe in sharing in the best life changing ideas these days. I have to rely on a lot of experts in other areas to service my car or get home repairs or when I go to the doctor for medical treatment. But faith that is the most important of all ideas so I am very careful who I compare notes with. Since I have always been good at spotting the experts and I like being in a relationship with God you will have to excuse me from comparing notes with you. I’d like to stay on course with God and run for the first resurrection if it is still at all possible. Why settle for anything less than the best that God could intend for me?

    It’s going to require a lot of heart motive checking to keep straight in the world these days with all the bad ideas constantly flowing through the media to people these days.

    It’s not always easy being a Christian but it is worth it.

    So I need to keep my personal motivation as pure as possible.

    So instead of inspecting “things”. Starting inspecting the people around you and notice how they are impacting you and influencing you. Is their advice really sound? Do they have your best interest at heart? Are you comparing ideas with the wrong people and are they giving you ideas and things of lesser value and meaning?

    You do have a mind y’know. Only you know how good it is. I can’t tell that definitively through a message board but I know people make mistakes and I know all people aren’t operating from equally good and pure heart motives.

    So do that self examination that Jesus recommends and learn to be more careful who you consult in this world. Your eternal life is on the line and if you won’t protect your own interest in that who will? The world won’t because it is dog eat dog in the real world and most people are too busy looking out for themselves.

    But Jesus. He came to look out for everybody. Blessed be his name forever!

    If you’re going to use your own skepticism more effectively then start doubting your current sources more. People just aren’t as reliable as God on any topic. They may seem intelligent and appear to know it all but nobody knows more than God.

    I have quite a bit of skepticism in regard to people’s intentions but not of God.

    As maybe you can see. I have more definition in my thinking then a lot of,people. I can perceive Christianity as separate and different from the religions of the world and I know to place God higher than people to refer to.

    That is an internal reference system in my mind different from your’s and I don’t plan on deconstructing my reference system to descend into worldly chaos do I? Not likely.

    Take care. I learned to guard my thinking better than most because I study people and you should learn to evaluate people before just trusting anyone. That is only wise.

    So go look at Jesus in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and notice how he is different from everyone else and never minces the truth.

    Look at him with your own eyes and mind without your bias or ideas learned from the untrustworthy world blocking your thought process.

    John 3:16King James Version (KJV)

    16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

    Aren’t you part of the world JCB? And doesn’t Satan try to block people from reaching God?

    He does. It says Satan is the prince of the power of the air. He is still around messing with people but he doesn’t want you to know it and turn and believe Jesus because Jesus gives his followers authority over him.

    You can cooperate with God or cooperate with Satan because you have self will.

    God Bless!

    Reply
    • jcb says:

      I enjoy discussions when they offer something useful, like evidence. Name calling and fiction spouting are not particularly useful.
      I am trying to understand the other perspective. That’s why I read, And responded to, the DNA article you mentioned. That’s not just asserting a bias. Saying “I am right, read X, and when you do I won’t bother to respond to your thoughts on X” shows a bias.
      The scientific method is usually better than your own perception, in the long run.
      Yes, that atheist probably did Not have the time to test everything. That’s silly. (Like walking on water).
      People with high IQs sometimes miss things. That’s why it is important to offer and evaluate evidence.
      No one has ever done anything god asked.
      Socrates also said to examine oneself, and that’s good advice. Where that leads depends on the evidence, and a willingness to follow the evidence.
      Yes, many people are self deceptive. Yes, recognizing that is a humble step. Yes, we are all imperfect.
      Yes, it is your life: your autonomy. Don’t give it up for nothing.
      Yes, we need to make sure we act kindly. No, faith is not important apart from that. Faith without kindness often leads to harm.
      Faith, as non-evidence, is a horrible, destructive method for determining truth.
      Hitler “preached” harm. Christians often don’t. That’s an improvement, yes.
      Yes we rely on experts. But in the case of doctors, there is a scientific “paper trail” for what they do in a way that there is not for theism. (the paper trail for theism is thin and overridden by the vast data of science proven it to be otherwise).
      The experts that you seem to rely on (such as those at Crossexamined.org) are regularly mistaken about things. (I have messaged many of those authors directly, pointing out mistakes).
      Yes: there are “bad” ideas: Hitler’s killing of the Jews, and Christians’ discrimination of gay people.
      Yes, I do have a brain that has many abilities and uses. No, no one we know of has an immaterial, eternal soul/mind that continues to “live”/function as it does now, after we die. That would be nice, but that is just wishful thinking.
      If Jesus/God really existed and were looking out for me, there is much more they could have done, but haven’t.
      God doesn’t exist, so god is not a reliable source. Yes, a healthy skepticism of virtually all things is generally wise.
      Not being skeptical of the existence of a perfect being is contrary to the facts.
      Christianity is different from other religions, but also the same in terms of asserting falsehoods about a known supernatural being.
      I will continue to look for evidence. As of now, the evidence still shows there is probably no perfect being.
      I am part of this world. No, Satan is not. Satan does not exist.
      You can’t cooperate with fictional beings.
      Honestly, you shouldn’t reply any further if you don’t have anything productive/evidential to offer.
      I am simply here writing to see if there is evidence that shows my views to be incorrect. If someone actually did that, I would learn something. Lacking that, emotional responses, or responses simply asserting falsehoods, is of not much use.
      Cheers.

      Reply
  11. Susan says:

    Oh by the way JCB your assumption that you are freer than me is something you should question.

    Science claims authority over the physical realm based on scientific knowledge.

    Whereas Christains claims God is the authority in the metaphysical realm.

    Francis Collins calims to be both a Christian and a scientist so he falls under dual authority.
    Are you claiming his mind is less free than your’s too?

    What if Collins is just better at keeping science in the material realm while conceding God is the authority over the metaphysical realm?

    Then it could be Collins is using his mind in a more orderly way.

    Science forcing it’s own authority over the metaphysical could be considered boundary violating and chaos results when boundaries are violated. That is why there have been so many wars with the resulting chaos in this world. When a country violates another country’s boundaries don’t wars occur?

    You should read Gould on non-overlapping magisteria. Why do atheists always insist on taking science too far and insist on it controlling everything? It causes contention.

    Reply
  12. jcb says:

    Yes, my claim that atheists are freer than theists in at least one way (the way I mentioned before) should be questioned, considered, and evaluated. You should also question your denial of that claim. The evidence shows that my assertion is true. If you have evidence to the contrary, please offer it.
    Science does tell us about the natural world.
    There is no known metaphysical world, and no god that is the authority over it.
    Francis Collins errs when he claims to know that there is a metaphysical world, and knows what it consists of (such as a perfect god). Yes, if FC says there is a god, who essentially owns him, then he is less free, since he is wrong, and limits his freedom for no good reason.
    I am happy to keep science in the material realm. The irony is that many theists, including you, tried to use science to prove god, as you did with your DNA argument. You can’t say that science has no business detecting god, and that it does. Better to say that God can be discovered scientifically, and then show that it has been. (This has not been done). If you say that God can’t be discovered scientifically, it looks like you are basically saying that God can’t be discovered by any known, reliable method. (Faith is not a known reliable method for proving what is true).
    Wars are often the result of overstepping one’s boundaries. But in geography we often clearly know what the boundaries are, an what lies on both sides. In this case, we don’t know of anything Metaphysical on the other “side” of this natural world.

    Reply
    • Susan says:

      Well I can see we won’t see eye to eye and I am trying to stop engaging in battles of the will with people.

      When you’re ready to see the truth if you are ever ready then you will seek to know yourself.

      I am not preventing you from seeking to know the truth for yourself. You are strenuously objecting to it trying to force your own weak substitute, your science idol, ahead of my perception and judgment.

      But science has feet of clay. No man made method is perfect and in time even the scientific method could become obsolete.

      Not so faith. It is God’s method for the time being until all His children come to a full measure of a man cf. Ephesians 4.

      So peace be with you. I am not going to discuss any more because I can see our worldviews clash and I really like to stay in peaceful spiritual unity with God these days.

      If American Atheist founder Marilyn Murray O’Hair had been able to seek and find such a spiritual peace then she most likely would have had enough reason not to meet her tragic end. But it seems she was drama prone and thrived on controversy.

      Many people grow up in dysfunctional families and it could be they could get so accustomed to drama that they lose their peace seeking capability.

      Study the scriptures regularly and God could make a way for you. Many people have reported being cured of various conditions just by reading the scriptures. Perhaps, you can cure your unbelief.

      But I can’t argue you into being motivated enough to seek peace or study the scriptures. Only you can determine for yourself if you want spiritual wholeness or not more than you want materialism.

      Ask, seek and knock and be persistent. This is God’s favor you are seeking. Cf. Matthew 7.

      Take care and God Bless. I have urgent errands to attend to over the next few weeks so I don’t intend to post in the immediate future. Plus I don’t attempt to overcome anyone’s will any more through arguing if I can help it. If I did I would be a boundary violator who disrespect’s the image of God’s person in other people.

      We’re all made in the image of God but some people are the “being restored” image and some people are the “restored image” of God.
      It’s time for me to leave off being overly competitive and model some self control then I will be a lot closer to having the image of God restored in me.

      If you keep arguing against God then how can he make a spiritual success out of you?

      Everyone is made in the image of God but sin has marred that image.

      1 Corinthians 13:12King James Version (KJV)

      12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

      If you want to get fully restored JCB then you are going to have to make up your mind to take God seriously. He is primarily for the soberminded and the serious because He teaches the deepest truths to the people able to handle these weighty life changing ideas.

      If you keep substituting the world’s teachings and vain philosophical thinking for His then you will never know the weightiest matters from God’s perspective.

      So think about it hard. You only have one lifetime to get this right and everyone is made in the image of God so they are important to God. Don’t let a label like “atheist” stop you from obtaining the life giving relationship with God.

      Reply
      • jcb says:

        You can call it a battle of the will, but it is really a comparison of evidence, or at least it could be if you were willing to offer evidence.
        You are not preventing me from seeking the truth, but you are not helping demonstrate it either.
        I am not “strenuously” objecting, I am discussing the issues. I am not “forcing” anything, nor am I offering a “weak substitute”. You have a lot of false assertions, but nothing to back them up with it seems.
        Yes, science is imperfect. That is not by itself a reason to reject it. Many theists, and apparently you as well, wrongly thing that we can skip science, go straight to god, and get perfect knowledge about the world. This is all fanciful and false.
        Faith is (virtually) the worst of methods for determining truth. Terrorists have faith that god is on their side also.
        Again you say you are not going to discuss any more, and yet you continue to do so.
        Yes there might be a god who might exist and might someday reveal itself clearly. Today is not that day.
        Yes, there are many irrational claims such as “reading this text cured by cancer!”
        I will continue to read things, including the Scriptures, for I may find therein truth (as I sometimes do), or I may also find absurdities and falsehoods (which I often do).
        I continue to hope that you stop posting, or post something useful.
        There is no evidence that shows we are made in the image of god. That phrase is pretty vague, in addition.
        If you keep arguing against Zeus, how can he make a spiritual success out of you? The questions you ask presume falsehoods, and thus make no sense.
        I take the issue of religion probably way too seriously. But I am a seeker of truth, so I continue to ask questions and seek evidence of any kind.
        There is no known “god’s perspective”. You are giving me your perspective, not god’s.
        Yes, we only have this one lifetime. Now you are getting it! Live it wisely, and not according to fiction.

        Reply
  13. Susan says:

    Frank Turek has an interesting article called “Why Evil Disproves Atheism” on the Charisma News website which catches atheism in a contradiction on the problem of evil for anyone interested in reading it.

    Reply
    • jcb says:

      I’m glad you mentioned that article and subject. It’s one FT and the others are clearly wrong about. The crux of the issue is whether there is some Thing, “objective morality” that we know to exist, and which then proves that god exists. There is no such thing that we know to exist. What we know to exist is that people exist, actions like mugging and hugging exist, preferences and attitudes about such actions exist, and words like “moral”, “good”, and “bad” are used to describe such realities. To the extent that people are using “good” to refer to something metaphysical is the extent to which they are spouting nonsense, referring to nothing we know to exist. (Yes, some atheists also utilize that nonsensical terminology). But, feel free to demonstrate that Objective Morality exists, and in a way that proves god. Most of the time, the people who claim Objective Morality exists simply say “I just know that it does”, which is no evidence at all. This (meme/idea, that evil proves god) is a great example of one of the many falsehoods that are asserted by theists.

      Reply
      • Susan says:

        I will pray for you JCB. You can locate your own evidence. Turek believes in the objective evidence case. Kierkegaard in subjective evidence. I believe we have both but we all weigh things differently as you can tell by the variety of opinions you receive on any given topic.

        I don’t feel the need to prove what I believe to anybody else any more. It is enough that I believe the evidence.

        That’s why you will need to find your own. Because only you can determine the sufficiency of what you will believe.

        I am not going to run back and forth like someone’s bellhop getting something for someone else that they can get for themselves.

        Reply
        • jcb says:

          Once again you suggest a reading, I reply, and you ignore my useful commentary. Yes, FT believes many false things. Clearly, you don’t have evidence of objective morality. Yes, you have your beliefs. No, that proves nothing, and you acknowledge as much by saying “I don’t feel the need to prove what I believe”. Then, as I requested, you needn’t bother to take the time to reply to tell me that you have nothing useful to offer in this conversation.

          Reply
          • Susan Tan says:

            That post was for the blog JCB. Not specifically a reading for you. Just a post for anyone who wants to read Frank’s article. This is Turek’s blog y’ know.

            Faith is the gift of God. You should have sought God’s favor to receive.

            Whether or not you receive evidence will most likely not give you your faith so there is no reason for me to provide evidence to you.

            I already know God exists. I already have my own belief in Jesus and know God has supplied all the evidence.

            But I doubt providing any evidence will persuade you so if you are sincere then you will seek God’s favor on your own like Derek Prince did and stop asking me to cooperate in deceiving yourself further.

            Ask God to make a way for you or give you a whole new clean heart like He did David so you can get in the right frame of mind to receive the gift of God.
            Read Psalm 51.

            Everyone is subject to temptation while in this world and sin is disabling.

            You might have a bigger problem with sin and your will than you are aware of JCB so pray to God to reveal things to you and help you.

            If you keep frequenting boards asking people to argue with you and they don’t get to the root of your problem because all they do is make superficial arguments to engage you then that is not good for you.

            You will need to get down on your knees regularly and tell God how callus you have grown in your heart to Him and ask Him to give you a whole new heart and make a way for you to understand.

            That way you gave God permission to move effectively in your life and if He moves in your life then won’t that serve as personal evidence to you?

            If He opens a whole new way of looking things at through faith in your belief system then most likely you will be able to find the evidence on your own all around you.

            Stop acting like a skeptic and start acting like a believer and believe that when you ask you receive. If you ask for your faith in accordance with God’s will then you receive it. That is what Prince discovered. God is like a man of his word. If you ask for faith then He will give you the gift of it but you will have to nourish it through daily Bible readings while your new spirit matures.

            Don’t play games with God. Why would He give you a new spirit if you don’t plan on taking that as a sacred obligation and tending to it? It will be a whole new spirit that He gives you and you will feel better about life.

            If you had been willing to take God seriously a long time ago then you wouldn’t be engaging in these arguments now.

            Just relax and trust. God is in control.

            Start praying to Him regularly and exclusively and reading your Bible and don’t give up. He will give you your faith. But you are going to have to take extra good care of it. You have skeptic tendencies and you could uproot your own faith by doubting y’know. So ask God to make sure you get firm faith. Not weak faith that you have to struggle with and trust God’s Word.

            Our emotions are rational but sometimes deceptive and rather than let us continue to live in sin where we allow it to control us through self deception God has provided His Word so we can root the self deception out of our lives.

            You atheists need spiritual life coaching. Christianity is confusing but it is the truth. Jesus is the Son of God.

            But we can have such self deceptive hearts that it is hard for us to focus on God’s good intentions for us.

            So like I said. Ask God for a whole new inner being like David did in Psalm 51 then it will be up to you to guard your inner being because this world likes to corrupt us and upsets some of us so terribly that we don’t know how to accept God’s good gifts like faith after a while. If God gives you the seed of faith then that is the start of your relationship with Him through His Son Jesus and a whole new life is open to you. Just read the Bible and let the Spirit lead you. You won’t understand everything in one day but you will be on a spiritual journey with God where a whole new spiritual life will open to you. You can even ask God for talents once you get yiur relationship going.

            The Holy Spirit will be your spiritual life coach, JCB.

            So don’t shirk your responsibility to yourself. Ask God for the gift of faith and believe when you ask anything in His will that you receive it.

            It is His will for you to be saved. Are you really going to deny a holy, good God who only intends to save you and give you a much better life?

            Take Him up on His offer.

  14. jcb says:

    Faith is not a gift from god. It is a horrible way to try to show that something is true. (If that were a gift from god, it would not be a good one).
    If you were a kind person, and you had evidence (which it doesn’t seem that you do), and giving that evidence would help someone see the truth of something (which it easily could, if you had evidence), then you would offer such evidence. So, either you aren’t kind, or you have no such evidence. I suspect (or rather, the evidence suggests) it is the latter.
    Yes you believe god exists. No, you don’t know it. That is, there is no evidence that you know it rather than simply believe it.
    “stop asking me to cooperate in deceiving yourself”. Here I am, asking for evidence, and you call that an attempt to deceive myself. That’s false, and pretty messed up. This is what happens when people have no evidence. They just accuse the other person of deception (without evidence, naturally).
    I’ve prayed that you will offer good evidence. Still waiting on that one.
    Just because you don’t offer arguments (or give only superficial ones) doesn’t mean that others haven’t/don’t.
    Acting like a believer without evidence is foolishness. Do you believe in Zeus? Vishnu? “Start acting like a believer”! Your poor advice is hypocritically given.
    No, I don’t choose to do what you clearly have done, which is to turn off your brain and just give in to superstition/faith.
    What you have is belief, but not truth.
    If I ask God, and I don’t receive what I ask for, will you accept that as evidence that god does not exist?
    No, you probably would continue to believe regardless of what happens, as you have already made up your mind, your mind is closed.
    Again, there is no point in replying if you don’t have anything useful to offer in the way of evidence.
    You may as well go to the Vishnu sites and suggest to them that they pray to your god instead (but not offer any evidence of your god). It also is of virtually no value to do that.

    Reply
  15. Susan Tan says:

    I did give you evidence. The DNA evidence. And God gave you legal evidence. His apostles and other eyewitnesses and historical testimony.

    But you are an evidence denier. I might be the kindest person you will ever know because I took the time to exhort you to action to save yourself.

    5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

    6 And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

    7 And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

    God didn’t originally make men evil. Something in them born in iniquity let evil inside them and let evil multiply within them. We can entertain evil or good in our inner being.

    Now if you don’t believe God then what defense against evil can you mount in your own soul?

    You already conceded to Satan in your own being so now you sit on message boards protesting God’s existence.

    Does Satan make you do it?

    How many times are you going to lie and deny that evidence was presented.

    If you ever accepted the evidence then Satan loses his happy home.

    Have a great day! Go on pretending you are smarter than God to yourself because you are too weak willed and filled with worldly error to simply take God’s hand and accept Him at His Word.

    I don’t want to talk to you any more. You are so full of evil and error and all arguing does is lets you communicate it and Satan should be cast out. He shouldn’t be allowed to communicate his rebellious thinking or ways to anyone.

    Repent and be baptized sinner!

    Reply
    • jcb says:

      So which is it? Are you giving evidence, or not? Does the evidence matter, or not? Yes, you gave me the DNA article. And I responded. And you, did not.
      It is clear from this exchange that you are the one denying (or ignoring) evidence. But, if you think I am, state clearly what evidence you think you have. (And while you are at it, respond to my response about FT’s “Objective Morality” discussion”. All you did in reply was say, FT believes there is OM).
      Yes, more fiction. That’s the way to offer useful help here.
      Yes, God did not originally make men evil: he didn’t originally make men, or anything, as far as we know, since there is no known god.
      You talk of me getting counseling and yet you are the one to continually refer to the existence of Satan. Not only that, but you claim that I said that Satan was in my own being, even though I clearly stated that there was no such being (and, to state the obvious, there is no such known being). The evidence mounts that you just aren’t paying attention in this conversation. I am not “protesting” god’s existence. I am claiming that god does not exist, and hoping, if I am wrong, someone can demonstrate such. You have not demonstrated such, which would explain all the Scripture citing, personal attacks, emotion, appeals to faith, and inconsistency about the use of evidence. It is very sad that my attempts to find the truth through evidence leads you to say “you are so full of evil”. Religion has made you anti-science, anti-reason, it seems. I still have hope that you will realize that science and reason better describes reality/predicts the future, etc. But you give more and more evidence that this hope is not likely to be realized.

      Reply
      • Susan says:

        I don’t argue any more because I am more evangelical than philosophical. As an evangelical person I consider myself a sort of spiritual life coach.

        Since life coachs assist people with issues they need help with and redirection in life why would I water down my expertise and authority arguing with people who don’t know what they are talking about.

        Evidence cases take a long time to prepare and most atheists reject them so no I am not wasting my time serving you up evidence personally when I feel sure you can’t even entertain the evidence objectively and reason to a right conclusion.

        I did evidence in the past so I know from the hundreds of reactions and hostility that I received what I am talking about. I had my emailed raided, received a blackmail attempt by an atheist and even suggestions by some atheists that I kill myself. Along with being trolled and mocked by them mercilessly for several years.

        There’s an atheist right now stalking a pastor on another site.

        So why did all that happen if they were in their right minds?

        If all you care about is arguing then exchange posts with someone who will accomodate your intellectual curiosity.

        But I suspect most intellectualism is a defense mechanism.

        Atheists do too many things wrong. Like projecting the devil’s nature onto God so I would say you should start to question the company you keep when a group of outsiders make a false attribute against a holy God.

        Maybe something is wrong with them but that is to be expected. All people are sinners.

        Check the bios of some of these people who’s ideas you are adopting. I used to check bios alot and some people who are famous and people like to read have lived really hosed up lives.

        Everybody knows to check Christians and point fingers for the slightest infraction but they aren’t very good at looking at the lives of the people protesting against God.

        You want evidence. Start studying people. I know someone God changed for a fact. You could check for those people on your own but younare too busy making a case against God for whatever private idea you have.

        Reply
        • jcb says:

          Here’s what it amounts to. I am here to test my ideas. I have responded lengthily to your DNA argument (not yours, but the one you asked me to read), and the FT Objective Morality argument (also not yours, but one you recommended). You have not responded to my responses (except with irrelevance). Yes, I hear you: you have no interest in discussing the merits of those posts, or apparently any arguments relevant to the issue of god. (You just continue to assert claims with no substantiation, and which are prima facie false).

          Reply
          • Susan says:

            Sorry to be unable to cooperate. I have to pack and move soon. I should have started already but I am procrastinating until tomorrow.

            Considering I have had two personal blogs erased by atheists and been banned from 3 of their forums and 2 of their blogs for being an outspoken theist why would I even bother mounting another evidence case when so many don’t even respect freedom of speech.

            Occasionally an atheist actually values freedom of speech if only for the entertainment value but they are usually outnumbered on line by the atheists who don’t value it but only want their wills to prevail.

            So I am off to start a whole new life and will probably end up discussing religion with more receptive people who haven’t blocked their thoughtlives with so many negative stereotypes about God that they learned from who knows who.

            If you want to be somebody in God’s eyes you are going to have to be more discriminating about who you listen to.

            I always had a hard time tolerating or telling lies rather than the truth. It can earn you a lot of hatred in certain quarters for telling the truth but I still feel compelled to tell it.

            The Bible says to tell the truth in love but to me the truth is love. We only have to soften the truth when people are too self deceptive to handle it so I suppose the Bible is right there too because there are a lot of people who get easily offended and can’t handle the truth. Besides if you ever get a chance to read up on all the interpersonal communication errors people are guilty of: projection, personalization, rationalization, sublimination, denial, etc. A whole list of
            unconscious psychological responses that protect people from threats and things that they don’t want to think about or deal with. But these psychological responses affect the understanding and communication and reactions of people so it is wise to tell the truth in love or you might be on the receiving end of a backlash.

            Courtesy as we know it in the West today probably comes from the Christian virtue of gentleness and telling the truth in love. Of course, there are a lot of manipulators around today who learned to imitate us so it really calls for discernment when dealing with people.. The counterfeits got more and more sophisticated at imitating the true Christians so they give Christianity a bad name among the less observant. But Christ said he will deal with all those people so why worry about them? Just realize there are real Christians in this world and Christians still maturing and people who like to pretend they are true Christians but are sometimes self deceptive hypocrites.

            Atheists can never seem to discern between these different types of Christians so why do you want evidence so much? Can you accurately evaluate it if you’re not capable of telling a genuine Christian from a nominal Christian or a hypocrite?

            It does no good to ask for evidence if you aren’t objective enough or have enough common sense and discernment to be able to weigh it accurately to come to the right conclusion.

            People have always used their minds to weigh things so maybe it is the people who can’t weigh things that want to substitute science methods for their own discernment. I suspect it is. Because evidence according to scientific criteria usually isn’t a Christian demand. The only people I ever really see asking for it are atheists but there may be a few exceptions to this rule.

            It could be according to how left brained dominant you are that you want to weigh facts and figures more than interpersonal communication.

            There are all kinds of people in this world and different types of intelligence.

            I am taking off now. I doubt I will be following this thread much longer. I am just too busy.

            God Bless!

          • Susan says:

            I am not making any claims. I am just starting you off on your evidence seeking journey. Google GodandScience.org. They have a page called “Evidence for God from Science”. They have a discussion board too which I have never posted on or read but maybe you can dig up some evidence over there. Be forewarned without the right attitude you could be commencing on a long search. Especially if you refuse to check your own motives and talents.

            Be sure to be thorough and don’t give up until you locate the evidence for God that satisfies you. You wouldn’t want to die and have to face God and explain why you quit too early would you? There are people out there like archaeologists who have given their lives to locating the Biblical evidence and giving a valid interpretation to it.

            The evidence locating isn’t really the difficulty. The difficulty is in interpreting it. A lot of factors come into play when one interprets evidence.

            Now go be a bulldog and don’t give up until you locate that evidence. Like I said it is all over the place but do you have enough perception to locate some of it?

            I never had this need to establish a lot of evidence. I think as a right brain dominant person that my intellect assesses things differently.

            That is another reason why your evidence demands on theists is invalid. If I perceive the world differently than you and my brain is even set up to weigh evidence differently from yours then you have to prove why your brain method/preference is better and it may not be.
            You have a brain bias or preference.
            So do I but they most likely aren’t the same in the way they perceive things and that makes communication even harder.
            So your evidence burden could be an illegal burden to limit on someone different from yourself.
            It’s likely the internal world of people all differ from each other and why do I have to meet the demands of your reality? I don’t.
            There could be fundamental differences in the way the human mind works. An intuitive person’s mind and comprehension could be quite different from a more logical person and then there are people who are both. Yes some people are more intuitive and some are more logical and some people are in the middle having both alot of intuition and logic.

            So maybe you should learn more respect for others JCB and stop trying to impose your evidence requirements on them.

            Because I really do think the scriptures have presented evidence. This other evidence you are looking for is supplementary evidence.

            You are talking to believers on this board trying to supplant God’s evidence and authority with material evidence and really what right do you have to interfere with another person’s reality. What if they perceive reality better than you do?
            Then you are guilty of illegally tampering with them just to win something you shouldn’t win.

            Study brain types, cognition, perception, etc….The neurologist Justin Barrett has a book in which he explains some belivers are born that way.

            So if a believer can be born then by what basis do you justify overriding his mental operating system with your own?

          • Susan says:

            I am continuing to think about your demand and I think to demand evidence from a theist is illegal whatever philosophical principle it is based on in philosophy or logic.

            But the first book I ever read that drew my attention to the evidence after the Bible itself is The Case for Christ. In that book Lee Strobel presents striking evidence for the Gospels.

            From the wiki on Strobel regarding the evidence he found for the Case for Christ when he personally investigated it:

            1. The Eyewitness Evidence: Can the Biographies of Jesus Be Trusted? with Dr. Craig Blomberg
            2. Testing the Eyewitness Evidence: Do the Biographies of Jesus Stand Up to Scrutiny? with Dr. Craig Blomberg
            3. The Documentary Evidence: Were Jesus’ Biographies Reliably Preserved for Us? with Dr. Bruce Metzger
            4. The Corroborating Evidence: Is There Credible Evidence for Jesus outside His Biographies? with Dr. Edwin Yamauchi
            5. The Scientific Evidence: Does Archaeology Confirm or Contradict Jesus’ Biographies? with Dr. John McRay
            6. The Rebuttal Evidence: Is the Jesus of History the Same As the Jesus of Faith? with Dr. Gregory Boyd
            Part 2: Analyzing Jesus
            7. The Identity Evidence: Was Jesus Really Convinced That He Was the Son of God? with Dr. Ben Witherington III
            8. The Psychological Evidence: Was Jesus Crazy When He Claimed to Be the Son of God? with Dr. Gary Collins
            9. The Profile Evidence: Did Jesus Fulfill the Attributes of God? with Dr. D.A. Carson
            10. The Fingerprint Evidence: Did Jesus – and Jesus Alone – Match the Identity of the Messiah? with Louis Lapides, M.Div., Th.M.
            Part 3: Researching the Resurrection
            11. The Medical Evidence: Was Jesus’ Death a Sham and His Resurrection a Hoax? with Dr. Alexander Metherell
            12. The Evidence of the Missing Body: Was Jesus’ Body Really Absent from His Tomb? with Dr. William Lane Craig
            13. The Evidence of Appearances: Was Jesus Seen Alive after His Death on the Cross? with Dr. Gary Habermas
            14. The Circumstantial Evidence: Are There Any Supporting Facts That Point to the Resurrection? with Dr. J.P. Moreland

            Read that book JCB. It should keep you busy for a while.

  16. Susan says:

    JCB, you can go over to J. Warner Wallace’s site Pleaseconvinceme.com and take the apologetics course. Wallace is an evidentialist so he gives an entire course on the evidence. Especially in Course 2.

    Then google “Unbelivable? Is There Enough Evidence Beyond The Gospels To Make Their Testimony Reliable?” and read that for corroborative evidence beyond the Gospels.

    There are different approaches to evidence. Some people are evidentialists like Wallace and some people are presuppositionalists like me.

    Google and read ” Why I am an evidentialist” by J. Warner Wallace.

    Google “Apologetic Methods of Presupposition and Evidentialism” on yutopian.com for a comparison of presuppositionalism and evidentialism.

    Notice Wallace says he debunked Mormonism by using the evidentialist method. I can debunk it using the Bible. So it just depends on whether you want to reason from man’s perspective or God’s when examining another religion for truth. You can debunk Mormonism using either or both.

    So perspective does come into play. You can use your own or God’s as provided in the Bible. In Wallace’s case he may have been using his perspective to debunk claims to make a decision and was still learning God’s perspective. I didn’t have to debunk other religions until later in life and was already a bit familiar with God’s perspective so I debunked Mormonism using God’s perspective to refer to not my own.

    There is a lot more evidence to consider but I doubt you could keep up. I could find evidence all day and you wouldn’t be able to keep up with all of it.

    So it’s better for you to collect your own evidence. Perspective will inevitably come into play and shouldn’t that perspective be your’s or God’s and not mine? Especially since only you know what you will accept. There is no reason I should scrap with you over evidence like two dogs over a bone. Get your own.

    Reply
  17. Susan says:

    JCB you might need to consider why you think asking for evidence is a reasonable request.

    Here’s a good example of why it isn’t reasonable of an atheist to ask a theist for evidence:

    Read “Presuppositional Apologetics” on the CARM site.

    Reply
  18. Susan says:

    More to consider here JCB:
    Wiki quote:

    Presuppositionalism is a school of Christian apologetics that believes the Christian faith is the only basis for rational thought. It presupposes that the Bible is divine revelation and attempts to expose flaws in other worldviews. It claims that apart from presuppositions, one could not make sense of any human experience, and there can be no set of neutral assumptions from which to reason with a non-Christian.[1] Presuppositionalists claim that a Christian cannot consistently declare their belief in the necessary existence of the God of the Bible and simultaneously argue on the basis of a different set of assumptions that God may not exist and Biblical revelation may not be true.[2][not in citation given] Two schools of presuppositionalism exist, based on the different teachings of Cornelius Van Til and Gordon Haddon Clark. Presuppositionalism contrasts with classical apologetics and evidential apologetics.

    Google “What is presuppositional apologetics” at gotquestions.org and read it.

    You’re really going to have to master all the apologetics schools and understand that all theists aren’t evidentialists before you go around carelessly demanding evidence. You might not be dealing with an evidentialist.

    There is quite a difference in worldviews between atheists and Christians and between Christians and Christians.

    So maybe you had better learn all the positions before taking anyone on if you can’t accept a holy God at His Word.

    Reply
  19. Ari Goldberg says:

    Frank, Why would you want to end abortion the hard way, by a Right To Life Constitutional Amendment? That would require two-thirds majorities in both houses of Congress plus approval by three-fourths of all the state legislatures! The same thing could be accomplished by a simple majority vote by both houses of Congress and signed by the President.
    S.231, the Sanctity of Life Act, introduced by Senator Rand Paul, would accomplish this. The bill starts out saying: “To implement equal protection under the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States for the right to life of each born and preborn human person.” It continues: “…Congress hereby declares that the right to life guaranteed by the Constitution is vested in each human being.” The 14th Amendment says: ““No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
    Such a bill would over-turn Roe v. Wade, as the Supreme Court itself stated at that time: “”If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant’s case [i.e. “Roe” who sought the abortion], of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life is then guaranteed by the [14th] Amendment.”
    Some people say that Senator Rand Paul and his father, former Congressman Ron Paul, really want abortion to be left up to the states to decide. The Sanctity of Life Act should settle that notion. But even if that were true, 33 states have indicated they would ban abortion if Roe v. Wade were overturned. States already have laws against other types of killing, such as first and second degree murder, manslaughter, and so forth, so it would only be natural for the states to also make abortion a crime. There is a simple, Constitutional way to overturn Roe v. Wade, again with a mere majority vote by both houses and the President’s signature, namely by Congress limiting the appellate jurisdiction of The Supreme Court over abortion (called Jurisdiction Stripping).

    Reply
    • Susan says:

      Interesting post, Ari, thanks for posting. I’d heard about the proposed redefining of personhood but hadn’t heard of the Jurisdiction stripping concept.

      Reply

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