Skeptics Can’t Have It Both Ways

By

Sceptick God Evil

Former L.A. County District Attorney and agnostic Vince Bugliosi believes that the problem of evil is fatal to believing in Christianity.

“I’m an agnostic only on the issue of whether there is a God, a supernatural being who created the universe. I’m not an agnostic on the Christian God… while God can be all-powerful or all-good, he cannot be both, since these are irreconcilable virtues in a world overflowing with the bloody crops of evil. Even eliminating all the other supposed attributes of God, if he is all-powerful, and hence capable of preventing evil, for him to cause, or do nothing to stop, the unbelievable suffering and horror in this world immediately tells one that God cannot be all-good, as Christianity believes its God to be.” ¹

But then, in a later chapter in his book he mentions numerous parts of the Bible where God actually does something to put a stop to evil, and he is furiously outraged at Him for doing so. Ok, technically, he doesn’t say it that way. But he argues, as skeptics increasingly have in recent years,

“So Christians and Jews call God all-good and all-perfect, but when they get around to printing their bibles that describe his conduct, they describe someone who would make history’s greatest villains look like very pale imitations by comparison. Would even Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, Osama bin Laden, or Tomas de Torquemada do the things the God of Jewish and Christian scriptures did?” ²

Of course, he is referring here to events like The Flood and the destruction of Jericho, among others.

But let’s think about this a moment. What if God hadn’t sent the flood? No doubt, Bugliosi and other skeptics would cry out something like this –

“God created humans, and within a short time, the earth was filled with violence. Violence, violence everywhere! And where was God in all this? Why didn’t he do something about it?”

And if God hadn’t wiped out Jericho and other cities and kingdoms around Israel, we’d no doubt here the complaint that –

“The Caananites were sacrificing children to their gods generation after generation. It had gone on for 400 years at one point, but God just let it continue! How can God be considered all-loving and all-powerful at the same time?”

One might object that God has no right to take the life of innocent children who haven’t done anything wrong, as scripture records God doing in these cases. But what about the possibility that the children of the flood and of Jericho could easily have gone on to be as savage as their parents? I wonder what Bugliosi would say if Adolf Hitler had died in a house fire in Austria in 1890, when he was 1 years old. Probably something like this –

“An innocent baby named Adolf Hitler, who had done nothing wrong, nothing at all, was allowed by this supposedly merciful God to die in a fire. Why didn’t God stop it? Couldn’t He have easily stopped it with an impromptu rain shower?”

We have no way of knowing if a particular baby would have grown up to be a mass murderer or worse. But perhaps if Bugliosi was God, he would have let the child grow old enough until it had actually done something wrong, was no longer innocent, and then taken its life. But then, he’s just allowed evil to take place, and some skeptic would blast him because he could have stopped it. Oops!

But perhaps Bugliosi has a better idea on what to do with evil people. Instead of taking the life of those who will commit evil, perhaps he would keep them permanently suspended in a perpetual force field that keeps them from moving. But how long before this becomes sheer torture of boredom, if nothing else? How would Bugliosi respond to the skeptics who would no doubt complain that this is cruel and unusual punishment?

When all is said and done, God is merciful and has decided to withhold His wrath in many cases precisely because He isn’t the cruel, uncompassionate monster skeptics thinks He is. Yet, His goodness means that He won’t withhold it forever, and He does choose to intervene – even if skeptics call him a monster for doing so.

¹ Bugliosi, Vincent. Divinity of Doubt, pp. 25-26

² Bugliosi, Vincent. Divinity of Doubt, pp. 156

Original Blog Source: http://bit.ly/2qt3G3u


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47 replies
  1. Andy Ryan says:

    You’re acting like God’s only two options for Hitler would be 1) doing nothing at all and 2) killing every single person in Germany.

    Reply
    • Mike says:

      What options are you suggesting then? also, you are making moral judgment here, what is your standard your basing this on ?

      Reply
      • Andy Ryan says:

        “also, you are making moral judgment here”

        Where am I making a moral judgment?

        “What options are you suggesting then?”

        You think an all-powerful being has ONLY those two options? Trains delivering people to death camps couldn’t break down? Hitler couldn’t have had a stroke, or a ‘Demascan vision’? Death camp gasses couldn’t have simply failed to work? Any of the numerous failed assassination attempts on Hitler couldn’t have instead succeeded? You might think these are bad suggestions, but supposedly an all-intelligent and all-powerful being is at play here – if anyone could have thought of better options it would be him.

        What we instead see is events playing out exactly as if no supernatural force that wants to or can intervene is doing so. If you’re shrugging and saying not just ‘things could have been worse’ but ‘things couldn’t have been BETTER’ then you’re shrugging off a near unimaginable horror involving unthinkable suffering. And the latter description isn’t a ‘moral judgment’, it’s historical fact.

        Reply
  2. Andy Ryan says:

    There are parasites whose whole lifecycles involve slowly burrowing into children’s eyes, turning them blind. When people discuss why certain ‘evils’ are allowed, apologists seem to much prefer explaining why Hitler was not prevented from killing ten million or so people than address all the suffering caused by such parasites or diseases like malaria.

    And the ‘can’t have it both ways argument’ is a problem for apologists too – if there is no free will conflict with God killing children and babies for crimes they would go on to commit, then why NOT stop Hitler at birth? Why would a fire be needed to kill baby Hitler? God could have simply prevented Hitler being born in the first place. His mother had miscarried several times before Adolf arrived, so it’s not like God had an issue with killing off members of that family.

    And finally, part of the sceptic’s argument is the lack of internal consistency to apologetics around the problem of evil. That’s not ‘trying to have it both ways’.

    Reply
    • Mike says:

      Natural evil is addressed by apologists, including Frank, but this particular commentary was a response to a book about People doing evil…different argument

      Your second point is implying a moral judgment , what is this morality grounded in ? your second argument is basically the same argument already addressed. your importing a limitation that God can intervene and cant, Maybe the other children she miscarriage where worse than Hitler? the point isn’t to speculate for ever, its a point that free will has a cost and responsibility. your also implying God is a killer? your again asserting a judgment of morality, from where ? God is the author of life, he can relocate a life he sees fit, and since he is the author of Good, and knowledge, he can probably make the better, wiser choice ?

      “And finally, part of the sceptic’s argument is the lack of internal consistency to apologetics around the problem of evil”–such as? i dont see one based on your comments here.

      Reply
      • Andy Ryan says:

        “Your second point is implying a moral judgment”
        Can you show where I imply a moral judgment?

        “God is the author of life, he can relocate a life he sees fit”
        Who made up that rule? Did God make up the rule that he can make up the rules, or is it a transcendent rule that exists independently of God’s existence?

        “such as? i dont see one based on your comments here”
        1) The Bible has God killing huge numbers of people on the basis of sins those people hadn’t actually committed yet
        2) God can’t stop people committing crimes due to free will
        You see no inconsistency there?

        Reply
  3. ANTHONY says:

    Just when you think things can’t get any sillier..

    Of course, it is *theists* who want to have it both ways. They want an all-powerful, loving God. But they cannot reconcile this with reality, or with the Bible. The question is not what God should do in this or that situation, but why evil should exist at all. Perhaps we can agree that much evil is caused by human free will, which God doesn’t generally care to interfere with these days. But what about natural evils that are nothing to do with humans? There’s no answer.

    Reply
    • Ed Vaessen says:

      Perhaps you realize that this site is dumping these nonsensical articles in great quantities. It has nothing to do with a desire to explain reasonable points of view. It is simply a large scale, eternally repeated attack to discourage and exhaust opposition.

      Reply
  4. Mike says:

    “They want an all-powerful, loving God. But they cannot reconcile this with reality, or with the Bible”–this article just did, and many more have with reasonable logic. Simply denying it, does not disprove it.

    “he question is not what God should do in this or that situation, but why evil should exist at all. Perhaps we can agree that much evil is caused by human free will,”–you just answered your own question, free will has a cost…is freedom worth the cost ? apperantly to God it is. in order to receive love freely, it has to be an option. this option can go both ways. you cant force someone to love you…stalkers never end up marrying their victims.

    “which God doesn’t generally care to interfere with these days”–hoe do you know this? Do have all knowledge of what goes on in and before time ? This is a ignorant statement, your claiming God does not stop evil, this implies you know all events and outcomes of wht happened, how it happened and when it will happen., This sounds like your trying to imply a “god-like” knowledge. your also p[assing a moral judgment …what is the standard for this judgment?

    Reply
    • Andy Ryan says:

      “free will has a cost…is freedom worth the cost ? apperantly to God it is”
      Then why did he wipe up almost the whole earth’s population with a flood? Either he can intervene or he can’t.

      “This is a ignorant statement, your claiming God does not stop evil”
      The world is manifestly filled with suffering. Perhaps you’re able to ignore that millions of children are starving to death right now, to give a single example, but that doesn’t mean it’s not happening, Mike.

      Side note: If you’re going to call people ignorant, learn the difference between your and you’re.

      Reply
    • ANTHONY says:

      The article discusses how God might deal with evil after the fact. It doesn’t address the issue of why it exists at all, if God is all powerful and loving. And as I said, it doesn’t address natural evils at all.

      I’m making a point that we generally don’t see God ordering people about like he did in the old testament.

      I get my moral standards from my cultural background, my parents, and my own judgement, just like everyone else.

      Reply
      • Craig says:

        Anthony,

        “I get my moral standards from my cultural background, my parents, and my own judgement, just like everyone else.”

        What happens WHEN the contradiction between one or more of those factors arise? Who do you listen to and how do you know which one is “right”? If atheism is true then there is no objective right or wrong just matter of preference. What if the culture says that murdering inconvenient babies 20 weeks before they’re born is morally right because its legal, but then turns around and saying that murdering the same baby 20 weeks after its born is wrong? does your personal judgment overrule any of these inputs or it based upon a utilitarian standard? When the decision for “rightness” or “wrongness” is made, what criteria must be established for said judgment to have the rightful authority to impose its view? just curious.

        Reply
        • Andy Ryan says:

          ” If atheism is true then there is no objective right or wrong just matter of preference”

          I keep asking how Christianity makes any difference to the existence of objective right and wrong. Care to try explaining it? Just figuring that if a God exists then objectives rights and wrongs naturally follow is not enough.

          Reply
          • Craig says:

            Andy,

            Craig: “Translation, please enumerate the specific steps required to go from “The God of the Bible exists” (start) and “therefore is the only objective SOURCE of morality” (finish)”

            To quote the famous immortal philosopher and theologian Hamm the pig from “Toy Story”……”Uh…I’m not exactly the sharpest spoon in the place where they keep sharp spoons, but…….”

            I thought that was the entire point of this website is to do just that that. Additionally, not only does it enuemrate with specificity why the Christian worldview is the one that best describes reality, it does so to the exclusion of all other worldviews. I know, its an arrogant, intolerant, ego maniacal, narrow minded claim…but thats only ifi ts not true

          • Andy Ryan says:

            Craig: “I thought that was the entire point of this website is to do just that that”

            You could well be right, Craig. And yet here we are.

            So, care to make a stab at it yourself? Let’s say that God exists, and it’s the Christian God. Why would that mean objective morals exist, and why would that mean they come from God?

          • Kyle says:

            I’d like to add an additional caveat to this if I may. After explaining why the existence of the Christian god means objective morals exist, please go further and explain why this objectivity is “good”. Why is it not an objective evil? To turn a phrase of some noted apologists, “A man does not call a line straight unless he has some idea of a crooked line.” Try this for yourself. Any question on objective morality or the problem of evil, take the apologist answer and swap evil for good, wrong for right and so on.

        • ANTHONY says:

          “If atheism is true then there is no objective right or wrong just matter of preference. ”

          I keep seeing this, but it is essentially meaningless. It’s pretty obvious that moral standards have changed throughout history, and do vary from culture to culture. You say that Christians have an objective moral standard.. Well, what good does it do them? Christians at various times supported torture, slavery, fascism, and all manner of evil. The prisons are stuffed full of people who believe in God.

          What does the Bible say about abortion? Just curious.

          Reply
          • Craig says:

            Anthony,
            Moral standards on the small things have changed throughout cultures time and locations. ie which side of the road to drive on, how to do you greet someone, dress code,etc. but at no time in any culture has the deliberate willfull taking of innocent life been a desirable virtue to foster. nor has lying, or a man sleeping with his neighbors wife AS A CULTURAL NORM. With that being said, are there those who do those? Yes

            “You say that Christians have an objective moral standard.. Well, what good does it do them? ”

            It does lots for them. It advises them, (and you) when they do right or wrong. Now What they choose to do with that knowledge is on them.

            “Christians at various times supported torture, slavery, fascism, and all manner of evil. The prisons are stuffed full of people who believe in God”

            Ditto for Stalin, Hitler Pol Pot,etc. One’s mental awareness of a belief in God is irrelevant to the existence of God.

            Andy “I keep asking how Christianity makes any difference to the existence of objective right and wrong”

            Its very simple. either an objective standard of morality exists that applies to everyone or it does not exist. if it does exist, then there has to be something or someone beyond or outside to even qualify to call it objective.. If the problem of objective claim to morality is because of a distaste in particular for the God of the Bible being the only one who arrogantly claims exclusivity as the sole source of objective morality, then simply work down the path of what is known about all other higher powers. Under best of circumstances Islam, Christianity and Judaism are the only contenders as they are the only ones that have a personal God. All other world belief systems, including Thor, Loki, FSM, etc. youre either left with no higher power at all and man is it (BTW who says man should be in control?, why not fire ants, as they are to most powerful deadly creature in the whole world, why dont we submit to them?) or some vague nebulous, ethereal monistic “something” or “force” to which has no personhood quality of its existence, translation, no accountability.

            ” Just figuring that if a God exists then objectives rights and wrongs naturally follow is not enough.”

            Fair question, to make that statement, one must know with some degree of liklihood greater than the objection that the stated position is incorrect or doesnt logically flow. Translation, please enumerate the specific steps required to go from “The God of the Bible exists” (start) and “therefore is the only objective SOURCE of morality” (finish)

            Finally, “What does the Bible say about abortion? Just curious”

            It says lots about it. It’s not in reference to inserting an aspiration needle into the uterus and flooding it with saline to burn the baby to death or going up the hatch to remove the fetus with forceps, but it does talk about it at length in terms of child sacrifice. Look at one of the reasons why the Israelites “slaughtered” the Caananites. They were taking newborns, infants, toddlers and throwing them into the hands of white hot Molech. this was not just for religious reasons. It was done with regular frequency when anykind of inconvenient or undesirable was born. Atheists are upset at all the gratuitous evil in the world, hoping God wil do somehting about it. Then when He does (Canaanites), everyone still gets in a tizzy? Seems like God cant win for losing.

          • Andy Ryan says:

            Craig: “Translation, please enumerate the specific steps required to go from “The God of the Bible exists” (start) and “therefore is the only objective SOURCE of morality” (finish)”

            Right Craig. That’s basically what I’m asking. You’ve not answered! How do you get from ‘The Bible’s God exists’ to ‘Objective morality exists’?

            “Atheists are upset at all the gratuitous evil in the world, hoping God wil do somehting about it”

            We’re not upset, we’re just questioning the compatibility of a world full of gratuitous suffering with the existence of a God who a) Wants to minimise suffering and b) Has the power to do so.

            “Then when He does (Canaanites), everyone still gets in a tizzy?”
            Again, we’re not getting in a tizzy, we just see it as an internal contradiction with claims about God’s mercy, forgiveness and love, and also with the apologetics we’re given that God can’t intervene for free will reasons.

        • Ed Vaessen says:

          Craig:
          “Ditto for Stalin, Hitler Pol Pot,etc. One’s mental awareness of a belief in God is irrelevant to the existence of God. ”

          A complete dodging of the topic. What a prick you are.

          Reply
          • Craig says:

            “Admiral, are you sure its not time for a more colorful metaphor?”—Spock Star Trek IV

        • Candy Smith says:

          “I get my moral standards from my cultural background, my parents, and my own judgement, just like everyone else.”

          Which is based off of a bunch of opinions!!

          Reply
  5. Tracey says:

    Knowing what God has stopped/or not stopped, is to recognise God.
    What about the, things, God did stop, that you weren’t aware of?
    Free will, does come with a price, and I believe the true expression is; the freedom to use/chose this or that, equals free will, but not the ability to control the consequence the outcome, that is a, “matter,” in the future, of which, none of us can control;albeit many feel that can.
    The spiritual warfare going on? any recognition of this?
    Very hard to dispute, what you don’t believe in/exists.
    like asking what number is a yellow brick??? any number you want, just not the number, “I,” say it is.
    And if you feel there is no God for you, then why state, it, because to do so is to bring it into being, like arguing with self, who is the one you want to not-exist?
    Sceptics, Atheist argue the, moral point, why does God destroy, kill, etc, and why does God not stop, the, “human-man-made,” harms upon each other, Free Will, ask you will receive, but this is just too, easy;as it’s seems to me, that sceptics and Atheist, live on, discord, without it, there wouldn’t be a moral argument, wouldn’t give them anything to discuss, and also,one would expect the Sceptics, Atheist to be, “perfect,” period.

    but if they;sceptic/atheist are nothing but, random, proton, neutrons,electrons with no, fixed address, and return, then there is nothing to dispute for you, you fade into the nothingness random unintelligent realm you came from.
    Summary: amounting to nothing.
    So trying to neutralise the, Belief, is in fact, removing yourself as well, without, the Believers you wouldn’t exist.

    Reply
    • Ed Vaessen says:

      Tracey:
      “but if they;sceptic/atheist are nothing but, random, proton, neutrons,electrons with no, fixed address, and return, then there is nothing to dispute for you, you fade into the nothingness random unintelligent realm you came from.”

      Oh please shut up.

      Reply
    • Tracey says:

      Of all that I wrote of, you pick exactly what I thought you would pick to slur with.
      Nothing about, the use of or miss use of “free-will, the use of such.
      Not the line, regarding, the use of neutralise the Belief, no the line of what is so readily used to describe the human physical form the biology/physiology.
      I know it doesn’t read great when a person is reduce to just, random proton, neutrons, electrons etc.
      now you know, why, Christians etc, have an awaken realisation of who we really are, children of the One Most HIgh.
      Only each person can go to God, their self, it’s not a responsibility of another to go a pray for them.
      So God has, created a Truth, and yes, you are absolutely responsible for all your thoughts, words and deeds, God leaves all that: personal choice/s entirely in each person’s hands, God does not interfere with what ever one decides, it’s YOUR decision.
      But, when one calls out to God, God is there, He says, come to me, I am your refuge and your fortress.
      How many, people who, gloat, and feel good, from watching one fall? Even though they made a decision which didn’t go well? how many people like to see a person, squirm?
      If you invited people to your house and they trashed it, would you, turn the other cheek? would you say, I care for you?
      God does.
      Hence the reason why a site, such as this exists, to allow, each person, to, investigate the Truth THEIR self, a christian site, accepting, same and different, without slur.
      God is truly gracious, and good.
      So, Belief, is a without doubt, knowing, God is, and Jesus did die for our wrongs/sin what ever you want to call, them.
      As there is so much going on the eyes can’t see nor the ears, hear.
      Ever gone somewhere where if, FEELS not right? now SHOW, that, not-right, feeling to someone, show them the wind, a breeze.
      No can’t, but you would expect people to believe you.
      Can’t give you, belief, hope, faith, thats your job.

      Reply
      • Tracey says:

        and to add, I think the, “world,” we have been living in for years….
        Is actually, an Atheist world.
        Not a in the the world of Our Lord Jesus Christ, living.
        So what will the world look like when all the Christians; is it just Christian or all religions? to/be are removed?
        I hope I will be around in spirit to see this, it will be very interesting.
        And shall all the Native music/culture, which is spiritual as well go off the planet to another place?
        So there will only be left, science, data, facts, experiments, hypotheses, and when this
        happens, will all the killing of animals stop to? , i.e., Yulan Dog Festival.

        Now of course there will be no churches, no bibles of any sort, all gone, everything all cleaned, no fantasy driven religious belief to twist the mindset of the, science based facts humans, one size fits all. And what will happen when a person is born who does believe your, “facts,” where shall they go to live? And shall we take all the genealogy with us as it’s based in the Bible starting from Adamah and Ishar (Eve), as you won’t need these either, you’ll have a different genealogy lineage to speak of.
        And there will be no wars of course as this is a Christian event, really?
        Shall we take the spirit with us too? or leave it here? and shall we take with us the Courts of Heaven? where Satan the Accuser does he damnedest to condemn one and all, this will leave the world with no courts to speak of.
        And before you all, reactionary reply to this, go and actually, read the bible, and all the separate religions bibles as they don’t all have the same books in them. So when the use of, law comes in and you go into court, will there be any swearing in or not?

        See as a Christian, I don’t need to prove my-self-christian, to anybody I just know this is who I am, I also know, we are not perfect-yet to met someone who is. But I also know, that there most surely is a Jesus Christ, who did not, harm, who came into the flesh to show of another Way, as apposed to the way that was in operation of the day.
        But yes I do agree, that, religion has done a lot of harm, in the hands of, those who were not, in Christ, as Jesus didn’t condemn or kill or, humiliate, or shame, or steal, and to not harm one of the little ones, or…….., no He is the complete opposite to what He came into; this world regardless of whether is it 2000 yrs ago or not, regardless of all the scientific break-throughs or not, the same ugly behaviours still exist same famines, same debt, same poverty, if it wasn’t He would not have come in to the world.
        It is not God, who is evil, it’s Satan, who takes away the personal choice, who tricks, steals, kills and destroys, and then runs off to God who is the Judge in the Courts of Heaven, to speak to God who is the God-who is righteous, and accuses the person/s, of wrong doing.
        Now if this is not known by the person who is alive in the world, they will be in torment/suffering, on and on and on, in it’s many forms.
        The Satan lands curses onto people who agree to Satan’s temptations or agreements, causing Bloodline curses which then causes havoc with generational families. Yes there are answers to these questions, if one were to read the Bible/s with an open mind of, let’s see, what I, can truthfully find out.
        And no, this is not the, “it’s not my fault,” cop-out, it is a belief that is the Truth.
        The difference between the choice to be a Christine or not, is Belief. Scientific data is only good for the person asking the question, who will it benefit?
        I can see a day when there will be no Christians in the world.
        And why haven’t you asked God yourself?

        Reply
  6. ANTHONY says:

    Craig, you seem terribly confused about this issue.

    “Moral standards on the small things have changed throughout cultures time and locations…” Etc

    Personally, I don’t believe the side of the road you drive on, or “dress codes” are moral issues. But never mind.

    You say that the taking of innocent lives has never been a cultural norm, but then later give an example of the Canaanites doing exactly that, as a norm in their culture!

    “It does lots for them. It advises them, (and you) when they do right or wrong. Now What they choose to do with that knowledge is on them.”

    So it makes no difference, then?

    “Ditto for Stalin, Hitler Pol Pot,etc.”

    Ditto what? I’m not sure what your point is here.

    “One’s mental awareness of a belief in God is irrelevant to the existence of God. ”

    But where is the supposed superiority of your supposed objective morality from God, if people who believe in God ignore it anyway?

    You then give an example of how the Bible talks about abortion that ISN’T about abortion, but IS an example of a murderous cultural norm that you say doesn’t exist!

    And then, the killer!

    “Atheists are upset at all the gratuitous evil in the world, hoping God wil do somehting about it. Then when He does (Canaanites), everyone still gets in a tizzy?”

    Atheists are not doing this, for the simple reason that atheists do not believe in God. If you can’t get your head around such a basic point as that, you really should do your homework before discussing these issues.

    Reply
    • Ed Vaessen says:

      Anthony:
      “Ditto what? I’m not sure what your point is here. ”

      I know. Craig is trying to wear you out. It is simply the tactic of this site.

      Reply
    • Craig says:

      Anthony,

      Atheists are not doing this, for the simple reason that atheists do not believe in God

      Then why hang out on this website? If there is really no God, then then posting stuff on this website is really cutting in to my drinking time

      Reply
      • Andy Ryan says:

        Some people care about the truth. Bad arguments deserve to be shot down. Why would God existing make posting here any more worthwhile? If you’re so sure, why do you need apologetics?
        Or to take another tack: ‘why waste time posting here if there’s no God’ is a non sequitur that comes up on this site frequently, generally when the Christian has run out of arguments.

        Reply
        • Craig says:

          So, Andy, what is the message that you are trying to put out there to us?

          BTW this is not a non sequitur….if one says there is no God, then why isnt that one out fulfilling lifes pleasures and desires without restraint? After all there’s no one to answer to. Except to maybe my already low-to-non-existent selfish standards which change on a whim and that I have really no intention of living down to anyway. Seems to me that partying to my hearts content on other peoples money would be more fun than hanging out any forum. Thats just me though. If you get your jollies hanging out on this forum, then more power to you.

          Reply
          • Andy Ryan says:

            “Seems to me that partying to my hearts content on other peoples money would be more fun than hanging out any forum. Thats just me though”

            It sounds like you feel you’re missing out on a lot of fun in your life. I’m sorry to hear that. But let me promise you that spending money you have earned YOURSELF is a very satisfying feeling. And you apparently believe that spending it on alcohol or drugs or ‘partying’ will bring you happiness – I implore you, Craig, not to go down that road. It brings only disappointment. Even if you are truly as selfish as you make yourself out to be here. Thanks for being so honest about yourself, anyway.

          • Craig says:

            Andy,

            I thank you for your genuine concern. Dont worry bout me going down that road. I’ve been there, done that, been to rehab for both drugs and alcohol. This July will be 8 years clean and sober. I use that analogy of partying as it seems to be the most tangible, physical thng that the pleasure seeking selfish person can look for (like the prodigal son). i know its what brought me down. But at the same time, though, its thru the grace of Christ that brought me out of it, right there on the floor the 4th nite in rehab. No bright lights lites or smoke and mirrors, but an instantaneous sense of relief of both the fact and feeling of guilt.

            Thank you again Andy for your kindness
            Craig

          • Andy Ryan says:

            “I’ve been there, done that, been to rehab for both drugs and alcohol”
            Good for you, Craig. And if your faith brought you out of that harmful lifestyle then I understand what it means to you. But also, you know yourself that hedonism doesn’t bring happiness. Even if your only desire is to chase happiness, hedonism isn’t the natural option for people who don’t believe in God. When I stopped believing in God it actually made very little difference to the choices I made – I didn’t stop loving the people I loved, I didn’t lose my empathy for the suffering of strangers. Helping others and making other people happy makes me happy, and it seems self-evident that I’m not alone in that. So I reject the arguments I hear Christian apologists making with dark warnings about the ‘natural result of atheist philosophies’. They’re not reflecting the reality that I see, nor are their arguments backed up by hard facts. If they were right, we’d see prisons full of atheists. We don’t.

  7. Kent Bruce says:

    This is an example of a realistic expectation being failed miserably under the God hypothesis. CURE (cumulative unfulfilled realistic expectations) is the best argument against their being any God or gods.

    Think for a moment on why it would be necessary for God to be so angry already that by chapter 6 he floods the whole world. Gods choices are NOT “death for all or do nothing”. If an omnibenevolent God existed one could reasonably expect Him to take measures ensuring such action, “death to all” were not necessary. For example,

    God could reveal Himself in a powerful way to every person on earth. He could pour out His grace and majesty in such a way that even the hardest of criminals would FREELY and HAPPILY put their evil ways aside and follow their Creator once again. Talented salesman, hostage negotiators, and marriage councelors, accomplish such things all the time. Even Yahweh accomplishes this feat with Paul on the Damascus road. Do you really mean to suggest that the omnibenevolent, omnipotent, Creator of the cosmos can’t work well with others? If so, why doesn’t He?

    Why is it unreasonable to expect God to foster a functional family?

    Reply
    • Craig says:

      Andy,

      When I stopped believing in God it actually made very little difference to the choices I made

      1) what caused you to believe in the first place?
      2) What caused you to stop believing?

      Craig

      Reply
      • Andy Ryan says:

        I was brought up to believe in it. My faith rested on many pillars, and one by one they fell away. I realised some questions it answered actually had better explanations, or that it didn’t actually answer those questions in the first place. Since then I have tested my ‘lack of faith’ many many times, over and over, by considering arguments offered on sites such as these. I’m not convinced by any of them. In fact they’ve strengthened my scepticism.

        Reply
        • Tracey says:

          Why describe your non-belief as, “lack of faith,” and why test yourself, you are not sure?
          Who cares anyway if you Andy believe or not? Do you want people to believe you and your lack of faith? which is now described as scepticism.
          Why all the different names.
          To say all prisons are full of Christians is incorrect and if you use only facts, then you would know this statement to be untrue.
          You write like an evangelist trying to get people to, Believe you and your way.
          When you stopped believing in God, your trying to convert all into your way.

          Reply
    • Craig says:

      Kent,

      ” If an omnibenevolent God existed one could reasonably expect Him to take measures ensuring such action, “death to all” were not necessary. For example, God could reveal Himself in a powerful way to every person on earth. He could pour out His grace and majesty in such a way that even the hardest of criminals would FREELY and HAPPILY put their evil ways aside and follow their Creator once again”

      Ummmm…..God DID do that. He sent his Son jesus Christ to be crucified on the cross for you and for me and anyone else for the asking. He DID pour out his grace and majesty, but first the penalty for sin had to be paid. Even in courts here on earth, if a convicted criminal who knows he’s’ guilty is simply let go cuz “the judge is a swell guy” knows that this is injustice and corruption. However, if someone the criminal doesnt even know shows up at the sentencing and says “Judge, I’ll pay his fine” and does so, THEN justice is served and the criminal is free. And one of the two hardest criminals DID put away his evil ways and followed his Creator to paradise that same day, while the other rejected the offer. THose that reject him do so on the basis that they dont like the idea of moral accountability or .like me, just used to think they’re a lil too well off to need God.

      What kind of powerful way would God need to reveal himself to you so thoroughly that it would cause you to bend the knee in submission to Him on the spot (or even give it serious consideration for a time)?

      Reply

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