The Forbidden Fruit of Atheism; What question they cannot ask?

By Billy Dyer

When God created man he gave us free-will. He did this so that He could have genuine children who loved Him. For love by its very nature has to be freely given and freely received. Therefore, He had to give mankind some kind of law so that they could choose to love Him or disobey Him. The Devil tempted Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit. He attacked on three levels:

  1. God’s Word–“Indeed, has God said”
  2. God’s Character–The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die!”
  3. God’s Goodness–“For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

We all know the story. Eve ate and gave some to her husband and he ate of it. That was the only thing God forbade them to do. So the moral of the story is to eat more bacon because fruit can ruin the world…..ok just kidding!

Today we use the phrase “forbidden fruit” as a metaphor for an object of desire whose appeal results from knowledge that it should not be obtained. Admittedly, the common human experience is that we all are tempted with our own forbidden fruit. But I’d like to suggest that Atheism, as a worldview, has a common forbidden fruit and that is asking the question, “Why?”.

Atheist don’t like to ask that question for two reasons.

  1. They’d rather state their view then have to defend it
  2. There is no why

As to the first reason I understand it is a general statement and not all atheists are like this. But when you do not have evidence to support your worldview it is a lot more comfortable to simply assert your belief than defend it. As to the second view I believe the atheists can speak for themselves.

Richard Dawkins said, “In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.” (River Out of Eden) We see here that there is no rhyme or reason to atheism. We just are in this sort of universe. If we ask “why” the answer is “just because” or “there isn’t a why”. When we begin to examine this thought it is very disturbing. It is like there is something inside of us screaming that this is wrong but we don’t necessarily know why. The Bible on the other hand says that God has set eternity on our hearts (Ecc 3:11). There is something hard-wired within us, by God, that longs for something more than this world. We intuitively know we are different. That is why all humans across the board, regardless of the answers they decide on, struggle with the questions, “Where did I come from?”, “Why am I here?”, and “Where am I going?”.

Dawkins goes on to say, “DNA neither cares nor knows. DNA just is. And we dance to its music.” (River Out of Eden). I always laugh at statements like this because they are so self-refuting and the authors who say them don’t even live by them. Let us think about this for a second. If we are really just dancing to the music of DNA then that means we are like a soda can that is simply fizzing because we were opened. We didn’t decide to fiz and we don’t even know that we are fizzing. We simply fiz as a chemical reaction. If this is the case then why try to convince me of it since I don’t even have the ability to change my mind? In fact, according to Dawkins’ view, I believe what I do about God as a chemical reaction. These atheists can’t even live by their worldview. If we are all simply reacting to chemicals in our brains without abilities to make conscious decisions then why ask me to make a conscious decision to change my worldview and accept yours?

Christians are commanded to ask questions and seek (Lk 11:9; Prov 1:2, 4:7, 23:23, et al.) for answers. There is no fear with the truth. We have the truth on our side. Our interpretations may change but the Word of God is truth (John 17:17). Therefore, I have no problem asking the question “why” or any other question about Christianity. Every time I’ve questioned my faith it has led me to a deeper understanding of God and a stronger faith. There are good answers out there it is just a matter of whether you want to do your homework to find them. What questions do you have about Christianity or your faith right now?

Visit Billy’s website: Dyerthoughts.com 

Billy Dyer is a CrossExamined Instructor Academy Graduate.


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56 replies
  1. Andy Ryan says:

    Hi Billy, thanks for writing the article.

    “If we ask “why” the answer is “just because” or “there isn’t a why”. When we begin to examine this thought it is very disturbing. It is like there is something inside of us screaming that this is wrong but we don’t necessarily know why.”

    I’m an atheist, and nothing screams inside me that this is wrong. I don’t believe I’m here because a God wanted to put me here, but that doesn’t mean there are no answers to ‘Why?’.

    “Atheist don’t like to ask that question for two reasons”

    Who has told you they don’t like to ask that question? I don’t have any problem with asking why questions. That’s what science rests on. In my experience it’s Christians who just want to say ‘Because God’, which ends further questioning. It was the people who didn’t accept that thunder, or disease, or the movements of the planets was ‘just because God’ who found out deeper answers to the questions. And those people, of course, includes both theists and atheists.

    “If we are really just dancing to the music of DNA then that means we are like a soda can that is simply fizzing because we were opened.”

    I don’t get that from Dawkins’ analogy at all. If he wanted an analogy that involved unsentient objects he could have chosen one. Instead he chose an analogy of dancers. Dancers may not be able to choose the music, but that doesn’t mean they are automatons. In fact, the Christian worldview has just as many problems for free will. If it was God’s plan that I was born, what does that mean for the free will of my parents to choose each other and conceive me when they did?

    “We intuitively know we are different”

    Sure we’re different from other animals. But we don’t need to invoke a God to understand why.

    “If we are all simply reacting to chemicals in our brains without abilities to make conscious decisions ”

    I’ve never met an atheist who thinks humans don’t have an ability to change their minds.

    Reply
    • toby says:

      “Why” is often inextricably linked with “how”. The why question seems to be where theists display their mind reading abilities and tell us what their god’s intentions are. The how question is dismissed with ‘he’s mysterious’ or, usually in the case of the cosmological argument, ‘he’s enormously powerful’. Like those are answers to anything.

      Reply
      • Daniel says:

        Toby, most theist I know, including myself, don’t really claim to know why God would, for example, create the universe. We would however claim to know why the universe exist; because God created it. There’s a difference, because one makes an appeal to Divine Psychology, which I’m not advocating for, nor do I think the writer is, while the other is just offering a reasonable answer to the question, “why is this all here?” In other words, theist don’t claim to know why God created, instead we’re claiming to know why creation (if I may use that term) exist. So, God being “enormously powerful” would be a perfectly acceptable answer is explaining how it’s possible God made the universe. You’re right, however, in saying it’s not a good answer for why God would create the universe, but that was never the question.

        Reply
    • Daniel says:

      I think you may have a misunderstanding at what the “why” questions are. Certainly atheist ask “why” questions in regard to the physical world, but there is a limit to how far most will go, and Dawkins was a perfect example to bring up. What I mean is that atheist have no issue asking “why is the universe expanding?” The answer to that is physical, but when it comes to asking “why does the universe exist in the first place?” or other questions along those metaphysical or philosophical lines, you get answers from people like Dawkins or Russell that discount the question entirely and just say something along of lines of, “because.” Answering those tougher “why” questions would force them to acknowledge a world view that they are vehemently opposed to, so the question seems to be off limits and subsequently thrown out.

      Reply
    • facepalm says:

      Yeah sorry but the chemical reaction problem isn’t going to be answered with “no atheists thinks that…”
      If everything is a random chemical reaction and non-rational firing off of neurons AS IS in an atheistic worldview, whether atheists acknowledge it or not, then the universe makes no rational sense and there is no reason to believe what you say and your arguments are nothing but brain farts.

      Reply
  2. TGM says:

    To the extent that I avoid ‘why’ questions, it is because common usage of ‘why’ will often imply agency. ‘How’ is a more conservative form of the query that does not immediately poison the well of the question by presuming an intentionality that remains to be demonstrated. With this clarification… ask all the why/hows you’d like. I don’t see any intellectually honest atheist evading your fair questions.

    Reply
  3. Tom Rafferty says:

    What an example of psychological projection. Atheists and all science-based thinkers ALWAYS ask “Why?” Christians, and all other theists, make claims against our reality, thus, THEY are the ones obligated to present evidence for the claims. Atheist reject these claims for one big reason only: there is no evidence. I challenge any reader of this comment to investigate science and become literate in its methods.

    Reply
      • Tom Rafferty says:

        I don’t know, and neither do you. An infinite series of universes or the multiverse speculation is at least as plausible as the god speculation. By accepting the claim of a god behind it all is the classical argument from ignorance/God of the Gaps argument.

        Reply
    • facepalm says:

      Theists are not obligated to present evidence for your claims. In your worldview, whether you acknowledge it or not, everything is a random chemical reaction, there’s no rational purpose to it, so your belief that you need evidence for something to be true is nothing but a brain fart, as is everything you say, and every reply you might make against me after reading this. Atheism is self-refuting. You’re not going to get away by stating ‘science!” for every crappy view you have with someone who’s not philosophically-illiterate.

      Reply
      • Andy Ryan says:

        “In your worldview, whether you acknowledge it or not, everything is a random chemical reaction”

        Chemical reactions obey the laws of physics and, no surprise, chemistry. They aren’t random.

        “You’re not going to get away by stating ‘science!” for every crappy view you have with someone who’s not philosophically-illiterate.”

        As opposed to saying ‘Because God’, I suppose?

        “your belief that you need evidence for something to be true is nothing but a brain fart”

        Facepalm, if you want to accept things without evidence then go ahead. Evidence-based knowledge gathering seems to work pretty well.

        Reply
        • facepalm says:

          “Chemical reactions obey the laws of physics and, no surprise, chemistry. They aren’t random.”

          And the laws of physics were guided by what in atheism? Oh right! They’re also random.

          “As opposed to saying ‘Because God’, I suppose?”
          Projection and false dichotomy.

          “Facepalm, if you want to accept things without evidence then go ahead. Evidence-based knowledge gathering seems to work pretty well.”

          So does non-evidence based knowledge, like a great navigating system when they thought the Sun circled the Earth and over 600 patents by a man who didn’t believe in electrons, general relativity, and held the cosmic aether in high regard.

          Reply
        • facepalm says:

          And sure, evidence does help, but that’s just my opinion and it’s just a random, non-rational firing-off of neurons in my brain, my opinion means nothing and neither does yours, it’s by chance. So does every human concept including ‘evidence’ since it’s just a product of chance. Your worldview is stupid.
          Is it not fantastic how everything’s by chance and yet using their super-random minds humans made computers? You see, “but we have technology!” doesn’t seem to help your case, only hurt it.

          Reply
          • Andy Ryan says:

            “like a great navigating system when they thought the Sun circled the Earth”
            So you don’t think greater evidence improved the system?

            “They’re also random”
            Prove it.

            “And sure, evidence does help, but that’s just my opinion and it’s just a random, non-rational firing-off of neurons in my brain”
            Cool, facepalm, your brain may well be random and non-rational, but you’ll have to speak for yourself there, not others.

            “Is it not fantastic how everything’s by chance”
            According to you, perhaps. But that’s your claim, not mine.

            “and yet using their super-random minds”
            Again, speak for yourself, facepalm.

            “Projection”
            Likewise.

          • Facepalm says:

            “So you don’t think greater evidence improved the system?”

            What’s greater evidence again? Oh right, a man-made concept. I can just as well say ‘better’ tools helped the navigating system, and we don’t know how it would have been if they still accepted geocentrism and had the modern technology we do nowadays, maybe the navigating system would have been 100x better. (I doubt it, but we can never know, can we?)

            “They’re also random”

            Actually the burden of proof here is on you, since you’re the one who’s presupposing a Universe without no guidance and purpose, that is completely random, not me.
            If physical laws aren’t random, then what determined them, and if that which determined them is not God and some other natural force, then how is that other force also not random and ad-infinitum? God is the best first cause.

            “Cool, facepalm, your brain may well be random and non-rational, but you’ll have to speak for yourself there, not others.”

            Actually, I’m going to speak for everybody, since we’re talking Universe-scale here. If mine is random, so is everything else, and if mine is not random, same goes for everybody else.

            “According to you, perhaps. But that’s your claim, not mine.”

            Until you can show me how the world can be non-random under atheism, or you stop being an atheist, it’s your claim.

            “Again, speak for yourself, facepalm.”

            Nope, see above.

            “Likewise.”

            Tautologies aren’t projections.

          • Andy Ryan says:

            “Actually the burden of proof here is on you”

            No – you’re the one claiming it’s random/would be random, so it’s your claim to defend. Evidence please. Given that you have no other universes to point to, you have no way of knowing whether the laws of physics are just a brute fact about reality.

            At any rate, the standard claim from apologists is that without God we’d have a ‘clockwork deterministic universe’. That’s not random. That cause and effect and the laws of physics can be suspended is a THEISTIC claim, not an atheistic one. Are you saying that so-called miracles – the suspension of commonly accepted laws of physics etc – would be evidence AGAINST a supernatural interventionist deity?

            If so, so much the worse for claims that the miracles in the bible are evidence for a God!

            “Tautologies aren’t projections”

            I didn’t say they were. But accusing each other of projection doesn’t advance the discussion at all. Both can play that game.

            “I doubt it, but we can never know, can we?”

            If you want to claim that better evidence doesn’t lead one closer to the truth then you’ve effectively removed yourself from the debate. Only someone without the evidence on their side would make such a claim.

          • Facepalm says:

            “No – you’re the one claiming it’s random/would be random, so it’s your claim to defend. Evidence please. Given that you have no other universes to point to, you have no way of knowing whether the laws of physics are just a brute fact about reality.”

            Why would it be anything other than random? Atheism implies randomness because there is nothing guiding the Universe, no purpose, no objective standard. No evidence (which isn’t even my burden) needed here, just logic.

            “At any rate, the standard claim from apologists is that without God we’d have a ‘clockwork deterministic universe’. That’s not random. That cause and effect and the laws of physics can be suspended is a THEISTIC claim, not an atheistic one.”

            Cause and effect has been shown to be a man-made concept by philosophers still not refuted so far. That probably works against a God, but it certainly shatters rationalism and ‘evidence-based’ methods too, implies a Nietzsche/Camus-like world. A clockwork deterministic universe would imply that the first cause, which you think are laws of physics, aren’t random, which is not the case under atheism, unless YOU can prove otherwise.

            “Are you saying that so-called miracles – the suspension of commonly accepted laws of physics etc – would be evidence AGAINST a supernatural interventionist deity?”

            Nope, everybody who speaks English is a human but not every human speaks English. Don’t make false correlations to what I said.

            “If you want to claim that better evidence doesn’t lead one closer to the truth then you’ve effectively removed yourself from the debate.”

            What you regard as ‘better’ and ‘evidence’, is nothing but a human valuation, like I said before. Even the concept of evidence itself is not based on evidence, but a presupposition. Which is why this is poor thinking: “Only someone without the evidence on their side would make such a claim.”
            Because we are debating the foundations of evidence and it’s attributes, among other things itself, which is a presupposition.
            It’s like saying
            Person A: Matt got killed by Andy because Dave has a superpower that lets him know so, lets presuppose he has!
            Person B: Well if he does then Andy really is a murderer. But I don’t buy that Dave has that superpower. How do we really know if Andy is a murderer now?
            Person A: Because Dave says he has that superpower!

          • Andy Ryan says:

            “Atheism implies randomness”

            Why? Most theists and apologists say it implies clockwork determinism, which is the opposite of random. The author of the piece we’re both replying to says the same. Are saying they’ve all got it wrong and that facepalm knows something none of them does?

            “What you regard as ‘better’ and ‘evidence’, is nothing but a human valuation”

            Sure, so we can argue over what evidence is better. But you seemed to be arguing against the idea that improved or updated evidence provides a better path to discovering the truth. You gave the example of Heliocentrism replacing Geocentrism. You don’t think that qualifies as better evidence? If not then you’ve gone off the deep end. If that’s not what you were doing then you need to state your position more clearly.

            “A clockwork deterministic universe would imply that the first cause, which you think are laws of physics, aren’t random”

            When did I say thought there was a first cause?

            “which is not the case under atheism, unless YOU can prove otherwise”

            Again, it’s your claim that it’s not the case under atheism. If you’re saying that randomness is the DEFAULT option and that something else is required to prevent randomness then you need to show that or ague why. You’ve not done that yet.

            Do you have expertise in cosmology and the physics around that subject? Because it strikes me that the experts in the field are actually more likely to be atheists than the average person on the street. If cosmology and physics pointed towards a deity one would expect this to be the other way round.

        • Facepalm says:

          “Why? Most theists and apologists say it implies clockwork determinism, which is the opposite of random. The author of the piece we’re both replying to says the same. Are saying they’ve all got it wrong and that facepalm knows something none of them does?”
          Yup.

          “. But you seemed to be arguing against the idea that improved or updated evidence provides a better path to discovering the truth. ”

          No, I was arguing against the idea that something working means that the view its based on is true, as you would say of certain things because ‘technology’.

          “When did I say thought there was a first cause?”

          You didn’t. There has to be one.

          “Again, it’s your claim that it’s not the case under atheism.”

          You present no way in which it is the case under atheism. I addressed the clockwork universe in the previous Universe. It ignores that the laws of physics are random without a guiding Higher Power behind them.

          “Do you have expertise in cosmology and the physics around that subject? Because it strikes me that the experts in the field are actually more likely to be atheists than the average person on the street. If cosmology and physics pointed towards a deity one would expect this to be the other way round.”

          Modern physicists are philosophically-illiterate imbeciles, no surprise there. Even their science is so shit they have to invoke the ridiculous pseudo-scientific conjecture of multiverses in order to explain their postulate upon postulate based hypothesis.
          When Physicists weren’t complete morons, as it was the case with say, Quantum Theory Pioneers (Heisenberg, Schrodinger etc…) not only did they show they had profound worldviews, they also happened to be deeply religious.

          It doesn’t matter either way, we’re discussing a metaphysical topic here not a physical one, physics cannot breach what we’re discussing, which is why the whole “gib m evidoonce” is ridiculous.

          Reply
          • Bill says:

            Andy, one can never win against presuppositional apologetics like Facepalm with rational arguments. He is totally begging the question but will never admit it. For example, whether the state of the universe without god is random is to be proven, not just defined. Fact of the matter is that these apologists have realized none of their evidence holds any water whatsoever, and so this is what they have been reduced to: playing these dishonest and fallacious word games to try and use the skeptic’s own intellectual honesty against them to make them look foolish. You would be better off debating a brick wall.

          • Andy Ryan says:

            “It ignores that the laws of physics are random without…”

            So do you have a Godless universe you can point to where the laws of physics are random? No. So this is pure assertion on your part. To put it politely, you’re pulling it out of your ear.

            “Modern physicists are philosophically-illiterate imbeciles”

            Ha ha, and you accused ME of projection. Face palm indeed.

            Bill posting below has you nailed. I’ll leave you to your random brain.

          • Facepalm says:

            Rational arguments have no value under atheism as logic shows Bill, as I have already established. You can be a denialist around it and throw whatever words you want, it’s not going to change that fact. Funny how atheists shout “fallacy, dishonest words!” everytime they get owned. “The Skeptic’s own intellectual honesty”. I cringed so much, this is exactly how I imagined you saying that: https://i.ytimg.com/vi/zNfjcazPbNA/hqdefault.jpg
            Thanks for the laugh at least.

          • Facepalm says:

            “So do you have a Godless universe you can point to where the laws of physics are random? No. So this is pure assertion on your part. To put it politely, you’re pulling it out of your ear.”

            Why do I need one? And there’s only one Universe, I don’t see how that’s possible. Please give me one logical way for the laws of physics to not be random under a Godless Universe, and then I might consider that there’s a chance you’re right. Please do that.

            “Ha ha, and you accused ME of projection. Face palm indeed.”

            I was stating a fact, considering you regard their dumb minds in high authority it was quite relevant.

            “Bill posting below has you nailed. I’ll leave you to your random brain.”
            I killed Bill. My brain is random in your worldview, you’re right. Glad your worldview is wrong though.

          • Andy Ryan says:

            “I stated a fact”

            You gave an ill-informed opinion. That you can’t tell the difference between that and fact speaks volumes about you.

            “I don’t see how that’s possible”

            Exactly, so you’re pulling it out your ear. You assert that a Godless universe would be random, but you have no evidence to support the claim. If you have an argument to show that divine intervention is required then you need to present it.

            As for you attacking cosmologists for their ‘dumb minds’, please look up the Dunning-Kruger Effect. You’re a perfect example of it.

          • Facepalm says:

            “You gave an ill-informed opinion. That you can’t tell the difference between that and fact speaks volumes about you.”

            Oh I can tell the difference between ill-informed opinions and facts, and I don’t stand corrected.

            “Exactly, so you’re pulling it out your ear. You assert that a Godless universe would be random, but you have no evidence to support the claim. If you have an argument to show that divine intervention is required then you need to present it.”

            All the evidence I need is your failure to provide one logical way for the Universe to not be random in a Godless Universe.

            “As for you attacking cosmologists for their ‘dumb minds’, please look up the Dunning-Kruger Effect. You’re a perfect example of it.”

            I also know what the Dunning-Kruger Effect is and I’m sure as hell not a decent example of it let alone a perfect one. Do you want me to call a bunch of philosophically-illiterate imbeciles who suck at their work so hard they have to invoke a pseudo-scientific conjecture and several hypothetical weird terms lacking any evidence to cover for all their horrible brainwork brilliant? Not gonna happen.

          • toby says:

            I think all theists fall victim to Dunning-Kruger. Their ego is so immense that they think they can figure out the universe by making up the answers in their heads and trying to fortify their ideas by hiding behind the labels philosophy and logic.

          • Andy Ryan says:

            “Their ego is so immense”

            Yeah, look at poor facepalm. As far as he’s concerned Stephen Hawking and the like are all morons and he towers above them intellectually. That’s why Hawking is an acknowledged genius and facepalm is posting nonsense under a fake name on an apologist website.

          • toby says:

            It’s what apologetics gets you. It puts this idea into their heads that they can figure out how things are simply by thought alone and that they can define things into reality.

          • Facepalm says:

            “Yeah, look at poor facepalm. As far as he’s concerned Stephen Hawking and the like are all morons and he towers above them intellectually. That’s why Hawking is an acknowledged genius and facepalm is posting nonsense under a fake name on an apologist website.”

            Hawking is an acknowledged genius by his moronic peers and people like yourself who don’t even know why they consider him a genius. He would be a nobody if he didn’t have ALS, that’s the source of all his popularity.

            “I think all theists fall victim to Dunning-Kruger. Their ego is so immense that they think they can figure out the universe by making up the answers in their heads and trying to fortify their ideas by hiding behind the labels philosophy and logic.”

            Philosophy and logic produced every single rational belief system and way of thinking that exists, including science. Dismiss them and you dismiss everything. Your lack of arguments are showing though. “Big egaw n’ fredy-kruger syndrome”

            “It’s what apologetics gets you. It puts this idea into their heads that they can figure out how things are simply by thought alone and that they can define things into reality.”

            You mean like you’re doing right now, you completely unaware dumb piece of shit?

          • Facepalm says:

            More logical fallacies showcasing your complete lack of arguments and your intellectual defeat. Go back to 9GAG with your fellow Bernie supporters.

          • toby says:

            Hey, Frank Turek! Do you let “good christians” like facepalm here talk to people like he does on your website?

          • Facepalm says:

            “Hey, Frank Turek! Do you let “good christians” like facepalm here talk to people like he does on your website?”

            Never been a Christian a second of my life. Keep showing you lack any argument whatsoever though.

    • William dyer says:

      We all start with the same evidence. The onus is on both of us to answer it. You can’t just push that off onto theism

      Reply
    • Tom says:

      Antony Flew, one of the most outspoken and highly acclaimed atheist/scientists of the twentieth century, ultimately admitted that there was too much evidence of a creator for him to continue to hold an atheistic perspective. His book, There Is a God, is a must-read.

      Reply
  4. Jim O says:

    The ego of the theist is always fascinating to me – it is the height of hubris to assume there must be a “why”

    Reply
  5. William Dyer says:

    Well the Bible is accurate when it says men can suppress their conscience. My article is obviously making general statements. No doubt there are people who don’t ask “why” but it seems common human experience does. Atheism doesn’t ask the question bc they can’t answe it.

    Reply
    • Andy Ryan says:

      “Atheism doesn’t ask the question bc they can’t answe it.”

      Exactly what question are you talking about? The question ‘why am I here?’ has many answers. I’m here right now sitting at a computer because it’s my job. I exist in the first place because my parents conceived me, and likewise they were born because their parents conceived them.

      Do I believe that a God created me for a purpose? No.

      Exactly what question do you think that I’m dodging, William?

      Reply
  6. Steve Davis says:

    I just wanted to let you know that I gave your podcast a listen today for the first time. It had been recommended by another Christian website as a good podcast. The first thing you were talking about was how bad socialism was and how it’s never worked and you were basically ridiculing the whole thing. I would advise you not to get into politics on your show, as you can alienate a lot of people with that kind of talk. I am a firm Christian, but I am also a liberal and I support Bernie Sanders for president, so you alienated me immediately with that. And just to your point, socialism (the democratic version) works quite well in many countries in Europe.

    Reply
    • Sean McGrew says:

      Steve, I don’t know how things are done in your church, but in mine, we are encouraged to give our time, talents and treasures willingly and with a loving heart. Using the power of government force to redistribute wealth is not only tyrannical, but it directly violates two of the ten commandments regarding theft and envy. The redistribution of wealth is based on the idea that some people have too much and need to be forced to give their stuff to other people. If they don’t comply, the government will put them in jail. If they resist further, the government will shoot them. This is the definition of tyranny. Ultimately, believers in a socialist utopia are advocating tearing apart the fabric of a nation by dividing the country into those who covet the assets of others and direct the government to steal those assets by coercion.

      Socialism is not actually totally in practice in Europe, so you can’t look to them and say, “See how well it works!” Part of the reason the Europeans can have so many social programs like government-run healthcare is because the United States are providing their protection and footing that bill. Who protected them from (socialist!) Russia during the cold war? Americans did. If the U.S. would close every base in Europe and pull our troops home, Germany, for example, would have to think twice about whether it wants to pay for “free” healthcare for everyone or increase it’s defenses.

      Ultimately, though, the problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money (to quote Margaret Thatcher). When that happens, you end up with Venezuela, which went from oil-rich nation to the best example of how socialism causes human suffering in a few short years.

      To sum up: (1) Theft and envy are bad–whether a thief sticks a gun in or face or a Bernie Sanders supporter gets the government to do it for him. (2) Jesus said for you to get rid of your stuff and follow him–not get rid of your neighbor’s stuff by giving it to the government. (3) giving willingly to charity is awesome. Having a middleman (the government) rob your neighbor and give his stuff to charity is immoral, not actual charity, and hence NOT CHRISTIAN.

      Reply
      • Andy Ryan says:

        So Sean, you’re saying that European socialism is possible because of the US military – a service paid for by taxation, whose staff are provided with universal health care, and whose kids have subsidised childcare programs. So basically you’re saying European socialism is possible due to socialism.

        If you disagree with this, why aren’t you campaigning for the US military to be replaced by private militias?

        “Germany, for example, would have to think twice about whether it wants to pay for “free” healthcare ”

        Germany’s healthcare system costs its taxpayers less than the US system costs US taxpayers (and that’s before American citizens have to pay foreir health insurance on top). So if Germany was trying to save money the last thing it should do is switch to the US system of healthcare – which at any rate has not led to US citizens having lower child mortality rates, have healthier lives or living longer than their European counterparts.

        “This is the definition of tyranny”

        But it’s not the definition of socialism, which is basically: “The means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole”

        If you don’t like that, move to a country where there’s no taxation at all, no social infrastructure. Capitalism itself is completely impossible without police, a legal system, working roads etc, all of which are paid for out of taxes.

        “Ultimately, though, the problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money”

        One of Thatchers’ worst quotes. Taxed money doesn’t get taken out of the economy, it flows directly back into it – school teachers get paid, soldiers get fed, roads get built. etc

        Short version of the above: You don’t know what socialism is.

        Reply
  7. David says:

    Billy, you start your article with, “When God created man he gave us free-will. He did this so that He could have genuine children who loved Him.” I have a why question for you. Why do you call our decision to choose god or to reject god a free will decision? If it is a free will decision why is the decision to rejected god accompanied with a threat? Choose god or be tortured forever? That doesn’t seem very much like free will to me. I would say that those who choose him, whether they admit it or not, begin with a motivation to avoid punishment. If god is so beautiful, so lovely, so attractive why does he have to scare us into accepting him? How do you fall in love with such a being? You claim there is a “good answer out there” for all your questions as a Christian. I’m afraid there is no good answer to this question.

    Reply
      • toby says:

        Ummm “The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’”

        Maybe that? or:

        “The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

        Reply
  8. Ezra says:

    We can definitely ask why and we can definitely try to answer why, but if there isn’t a sufficient answer for that I’d rather admit that I don’t know why than believe in an answer that has no evidence that supports it.

    Reply
  9. B Fantastic says:

    Can you measure hope? Can you measure love? They exist. Can you measure hopelessness, or lost love. My answer is that God is love. Without hope and without love we might not even want think about why we exist or why creation exists. I think we would not care to converse at all.

    Reply
  10. Luke says:

    Billy wrote:”“For love by its very nature has to be freely given and freely received. Therefore, He had to give mankind some kind of law so that they could choose to love Him or disobey Him. ”

    I apologize if this has been mentioned in other comments (i read through some, but not all), but does this strike anyone else as a very strange conception of love?

    First of all, the word therefore suggests some logical linkage, which I don’t see. Why does freely given and received love require a law? Can someone please explain this to me?

    Secondly, it sets up a dichotomy in which love requires obedience, and a lack of obedience is a sign of not love. Does this strike others as correct? Rules I’ve given have been disobeyed by my children, yet I’ve never concluded that they do not love me (and indeed I feel like such a conclusion would be quite foolish). To put this in a Biblical context, it seems to me that we all disobey G-d, but many of us still love Him.

    Thanks,

    Luke

    Reply
  11. RT says:

    My reading of this article and this string of comments confirms my thoughts on the clashes between theists and atheists. You are all really on the same page and you don’t even know it. Spiritual debate is just an exercise in semantics.

    Reply
  12. Ps Raymond Jones says:

    If you look up the word “Laminin” you will be amazed at what you find because it is a molecule that holds our bodies together like steel reinforcement in a building this molecule keeps our bodies from falling to bits and everything in place check it out then tell me what you discover!!!.

    Reply

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