Christians criticize atheists for talking about religion so much, but it affects all of us. And for those of us who devoted years of our lives to god before losing him? Well, we have more to say than most. We share our stories not only to reach out to others, but to keep explaining all the ways we are misunderstood. Because we have to live together.

I’ll admit that when I try to put into words for the millionth time why prayer lost meaning for me, or how I came to the conclusion that the Bible cannot be trusted- yes, it sounds like I am saying Christians are wrong. But what would you like me to do? People disagree about a lot of different things. Discussing our individual viewpoints is hardly a sign that we secretly disagree with ourselves.

I read a post over at The Isaiah 53:5 Project that really hit that “misunderstood” nerve, and I’m wondering what you all think about this. I was compelled to write a response because of the ways I both did and did not relate to it. And I think it is an interesting look into how our brains work. Here are his opening paragraphs:

 

I was an atheist at one time. And like many atheists, the issue of people believing in God bothered me greatly. What is it about atheists that we would spend so much time, attention, and energy refuting something that we don’t believe even exists? What causes us to do that?

When I was an atheist, I attributed my intentions as caring for those poor, delusional people…to help them realize their hope was completely ill-founded. To be honest, I also had another motive. As I challenged those who believed in God, I was deeply curious to see if they could convince me otherwise. Part of my quest was to become free from the question of God. If I could conclusively prove to believers that they were wrong, then the issue is off the table, and I would be free to go about my life.

 

Okay, it is clear that this post is out to minimize atheism. Most of us may not relate to James’ experience, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t genuine. Plenty of Christians were not born into religion and this sounds like a typical salvation story. Heck, this was the story half my Christian friends told. The rest had believed for as long as they could remember. When most Christians think of atheists, this is how they imagine us.

My past is quite the opposite from what James describes. As a child I went to church and believed in god. Was I troubled by atheists? Yes. But only because there was so much pressure on me to save them. I imagine some of you were believers and very stressed by atheists for the same reasons James was bothered by Christians. The concept that any of us would be bothered by others who challenged our worldview is not hard to figure out. And it applies to everything, not just religion.

James describes a desire to remove hope from those he believed were delusional. I cannot relate to that part at all. Obviously as a Christian I thought I was offering hope, but as an atheist? I understand Christianity too well to think of it that way. And since I have never been an atheist without full understanding of Christian belief, I guess I will just have to take his word on that motive.

“Part of my quest was to become free from the question of God.”

Down the road I faced my own quest; same question, except I was looking for the opposite answer. And instead of challenging atheists (as many do), I looked deeper into Christian apologetics to answer my specific concerns. I was sure I would find the answers I needed just as I had always been able to before. I, too, wanted to be free of that nagging feeling that was no less relentless. Of course, in my case I never once considered that feeling might be coming from god himself.

Which brings us to the part of James’ post that bothered me the most:

 

I didn’t realize that the reason the topic of God weighed so heavily on my mind, was because God was pressing the issue. I have come to find out that God wants to be known. He created us with the intention that we would know him. He has surrounded us with evidence of himself and he keeps the question of his existence squarely before us. It was as if I couldn’t escape thinking about the possibility of God.

In fact, the day I chose to acknowledge God’s existence, my prayer began with, “Ok, you win…” It might be that the underlying reason atheists are bothered by people believing in God is because God is actively pursuing them.

 

And just like that, we lost every ex-Christian in the audience. I have often asked Christians what it would take for them to stop believing in god. Would it be easy? Would you desperately seek god, or just give up at the first sign of doubt?  There is a reason Christians have a difficult time believing that an atheist was ever as faithful a servant to god as they are, but we know that these faithful servants do lose faith. It happens every day. And it doesn’t happen lightly.

Think back on that time when you were most desperate to hold on to your belief in god. When you prayed more faithfully than ever before just for anything that would lead to better understanding of how to strengthen your grip.  And nothing happened. The more you looked for him, the less any of it made sense. You did everything right and he simply wasn’t there. What next?

Now imagine if a Christian had said to you: “He created us with the intention that we would know him.” Hell, someone probably did say that to you. Seek and ye shall find, right? If there is one thing that all ex-Christians have in common, it is the knowledge of how meaningless those words are. So when James sums that thought up with:

“It might be that the underlying reason atheists are bothered by people believing in God is because God is actively pursuing them.”

I laughed out loud. Christians might applaud this brilliant observation, but it makes us feel invisible. It was this kind of useless logic in my time of doubt that forced me to stop seeking advice from Christians and start looking at what atheists had to say. Especially the ones who used to believe. That’s where I finally found the answers that allowed me to move forward.

Shouldn’t we be the atheists Christians are always talking about? Or what about those who claim to feel everything Christians do about god and yet somehow serve another god? Christians cannot understand us and so they minimize us. They want to take us off the table, too.

All they achieve are more Christians getting poor answers about what it means to doubt. They tell themselves stories about atheists they can wrap their minds around, and then comfort themselves with that shared feeling that god is all around them. Always pursuing them. When your faith is intact, it works. It renews what is already there.

Remember that feeling? I sure do.

The first time I knew god was pursuing me I was already a believer. I was a teenager, but I knew I wasn’t living my life fully for god. I went to church. I read my Bible. The thought was heavy on my heart. I made a commitment to god that was life-changing. I felt his guidance and was amazed at how my prayers for that guidance were always answered. I wanted to live a life of service to him.

That feeling lasted for about fifteen years before the feeling changed. Was the feeling of doubt different? No. Which is why I assumed it was also supernatural. I thought Satan was attacking me because my faith was so strong. It seems silly now, but it sure did take a while to figure out. I couldn’t trust my own reasoning out of fear that it was a trick. But once I allowed myself to consider that god and Satan did not exist, suddenly the feeling could not possibly be mistaken for either of them.

I feel something similar with everything in life. My career, politics, parenting…. sometimes it’s like a combination of superstition and anxiety. Sometimes it’s calm and content. I feel it the most when I have been procrastinating. But it isn’t god. If it is, then apparently god is interested in every part of my life except for the part about me believing in him. That would be weird.

If there is one thing I have learned in my interactions with others on this topic, it is that belief is a very personal thing. What we want to believe or can believe is different for each of us. What makes sense to one person may not make sense to even a sibling who grew up in the same environment. How we reason, what we prefer, who we admire- anything can be a factor. I have no doubt that James feels happier with his found truth, but I feel the same way about mine.

The fact that our world is filled with so many different beliefs makes it difficult to accept that there is a god who wishes to be known. Some people are atheists, theists, or nothing at all…. and they never care to think about that choice. It isn’t important. Other people believe in the story that sounds nicest whether it seems possible or not. 

And then some of us have spent overwhelming time dreaming of philosophical puzzles and arguments for what is true. We care deeply and we want to know what’s real. We will be the first to tell you that faith is not a choice at all. And for us, it isn’t.

We have so much in common. And yet here we are on two different sides of truth. Each of us equally wanting to be understood.

 

36 thoughts on “Is God Stalking You?

  1. “We will be the first to tell you that faith is not a choice at all.”

    Quite. I never chose to believe in God. I was just taught that way as a child. I didn’t choose to stop believing in him, either. I just couldn’t keep believing in something without a good reason to, and I couldn’t find a good reason once I grew up and “Mom and Dad said so” wasn’t as convincing as it used to be.

    1. Of course it isn’t a choice; but anything Christians consider to be a sin must always be a choice. Because that is a drawing board they are not prepared to go back to.

  2. There’s a couple points I’d like to make here if I may:

    1) If you notice in the I53:5 post, the idea the author presents is that of an atheist who needs to actively challenge other people in order to validate his own beliefs. One interesting question that never gets asked when the author puts up this post is whether or not that need changed. Some Christians need to challenge people in order to feel validated in their faith. If they’re not pissing off the wicked and heathens, they’re not trying hard enough. Would it surprise you if the author turned out to simply be doing the same thing he was doing pre-conversion?

    2) Deconverts and others who leave the faith are always being talked about. Like you allude to above, the idea behind it all is this notion of reinforcing faith and degrading doubt. Doubts are evil, and they need to be avoided at all costs. The best example you can provide to refute all the misguided labels that Christians throw out is to smile. To enjoy life. To find things that make you slightly happy.

    While faith is not a choice, it is up to them to choose whether or not to ask you how you can be happy without any deity.

    Great post.

    1. Good observation. I know James does spend a bit of time now challenging atheists; but since he used to challenge Christians, I wonder what the root really is. Maybe he is unsure, or maybe he is just the type of person who hates the feeling of uncertainty- and that is always present. I wonder how he would answer that question.

      And yes, when perfect faith is your ultimate goal doubt must be avoided at all costs. It is an ever present wall between Christians and atheists. And so how we manage to find happiness and morality without god seems to be an ever present mystery to some.

      Thank you for your thoughts!

  3. My impression from your posts is that you once believed in “the idea of a God”… but over time those ideas (thoughts) and feelings you had of God did not add up nor hold up for you. So in reality, you never lost God, because you never had Him. You had an idea of what you perceived Him to be.

    This is not to minimize your idea of who you thought God was but to put things in proper perspective. One is not faithful to an idea, neither is an idea faithful to a person because an idea is not a true, real, nor dependable, solid and stable thing . An idea is a state of mind.

    One is faithful and true to a person, and we’re faithful to a person because we know that person is real (they exist), they’re trustworthy, and we can rely on them. Hence, if we’re in a relationship with God, it’s because we know that He IS real (i.e. He’s a real person), that He is true to His promises (i.e. He honors them).

    If, however, one chooses to break fellowship with Him because they’re doubtful about the relationship (i.e. His trustworthiness, His dependability, etc.)… then they do so (break off the relationship) knowing that He IS real, just not the relationship they want to be in.

    To leave that relationship and proclaim God IS NOT real is very irrational and extremely dubious (in plain terms: crazy) because He had to be real in order for one to have known Him and to have a relationship with Him.

    To say God IS NOT real, is acknowledging that you did NOT know Him… He was just an idea, – never One who was real – and now those ideas you had of Him are all gone.

    To say God IS real, but I don’t want Him as my God (reasons irrelevant) is to acknowledge that you did in fact know Him to be real and had a relationship with Him. The relationship no longer exists, but that does not nor cannot disqualify God’s existence… otherwise you’re claiming to have known someone who was not real.

    Ex:: say you’re married for 20 years. Your spouse must exist (he’s real) in order for you to have known Him and have a relationship with Him for all these years.
    If you decide to leave Him… you’re leaving a person who is still real and does exist. He does not cease to exist just because you decide to leave.
    If you leave and then declare that he does not exist, then you cannot be taken seriously because you’re claiming to have married & had a relationship with a man for 20 years, who really never was.

    Hence, God was either an idea to you or He IS real.

    1. I would instead say that god is either an idea to all of us or he is real. But that’s the billion dollar question, right? I suspect we won’t be solving that today. Yes, I believed in the idea of god and not god himself. Duh. But I thought he was very real at the time. And without first answering the billion dollar question, we have to assume that maybe you are doing the same thing right now.

      But you assume that I never knew god the way you know god. And every former believer is rolling their eyes at the thing we have heard so many times before. I am more patient with this one than most because I have no idea how you could think anything else about me. In your world, god is real. So your logic adds up. What should concern Christians most is that even if you are right- I am 100% sure that my faith was every bit as real as yours. Which makes all Christians at risk for losing god.

      See, this is one of the first problems I had with Christianity: its ability to know so much detail about god. Who needs faith when you have a real relationship? Have you ever considered the psychology involved with having a relationship with someone who you cannot physically see or hear? The more faith you have in that relationship, the more impossible it becomes not to fill in those blanks.

      But there was a time when I was right there with you. Let me use your example to help explain what went wrong:

      Say you’re married for 20 years. Your spouse must exist for you to have known him and had a relationship for all these years, right? But I didn’t decide to leave my spouse; he simply disappeared. I searched everywhere for him. I called him. I emailed him. I hired a private investigator. I asked others to help me find him. Some told me that he was looking for me and I should just go home and he will appear. So I did that. And he didn’t. Others laughed and told me I was crazy. They just didn’t understand. Then I found others with a similar story. They made me start to wonder if I ever knew my husband at all, which led me on a long adventure of looking for him under other identities. Nothing. Eventually I came to realize that I had never been married at all. He was just something my mind had created. It was so clear and so devastating, but the pieces finally fit and I could move on with clarity for the first time.

      And you know what? That is exactly how it felt. Do you have any idea how wonderful it would have been if it were just a matter of me deciding to walk out the door one day? You have no idea. But how could you? So yes, I am saying that I was in a relationship with someone who never existed. And anyone with even the tiniest knowledge of how the brain works can understand how that happens in the case of religion- and people do take me very seriously. But you shouldn’t, because you simply can’t. And I understand that more than you know.

      1. Belief is not what makes a thing true or not. Germs existed long before anyone believed they did. Consciousness & energy exists even though you & I or any other human being cannot say exactly what they are.
        The point is things are not true and real because we think they are… they’re true and real because they ARE TRUE & REAL (our beliefs are irrelevant to the truth).

        I made no assumptions… but you’ve made 2.
        1. that I assume you never knew God – I did no such thing. I merely pointed out your relationship with Him had to have been based on Him being real and actually existing; OR your relationship with Him was based on your ideas & feelings of who you thought He was [i.e. He was an idea, and was never real]
        2. you know ‘the way’ I know God

        As mentioned to eolandeeliva: this is not an invalidation or an insult to your relationship, but merely making the distinction between an idea and a reality (ie. existence). Your spouse is not an idea; he actually does exist 🙂
        And if you left (God forbid), you would not say he never existed, it was all in my head (he was just an idea, not a reality) because your relationship is based on both of you actually existing.

        Why shouldn’t I take you seriously?
        I take you seriously that you had a relationship with God… my conclusion based on the dissolution of that relationship just isn’t the same as yours… well, in a way it is, because you’ve claimed both ‘God is real’ and ‘God is an idea’… so in a way, I 50% agree with you 🙂 We can agree to leave it here. I respect your candidness.

        I’m not going to address whose faith is real, because it’s not so germane to this discussion.
        I will say though it’s impossible for a Christian to lose God. Here’s what I mean.

        As you know, God is Spirit and relates to us spiritually.
        A Christian is a person who fully trusts in Jesus Christ as the only Savior. He is now a brand new specie that never existed before – why?
        because his old spirit/nature has been removed and the Holy Spirit (God’s very own spirit) has now been imparted to him. He now has God’s very own nature.
        “This Love Nature must be developed as you develop your faith life. As you give Love freedom to grow and act as it naturally should, it will gain control of your whole being. It must be fed by the Word of God; it must express itself in action.”

        Like physical beings who cannot be unborn; your spirit being cannot be unborn after it’s been born… it’s impossible.
        We are body, soul, spirit (3 parts). When we are born spiritually (born-again) it’s only our spirit that has been changed…this is the only part that’s referred to as the new-creation; so in essence we’re 1/3 new…but spiritually we’re 100% new. God deals with only our spirit.
        When the soul (mind, will, emotion) begins to conform to this new spirit (via the word)… what’s in our spirit begin to manifest physically through the fruit of the spirit: joy, peace, kindness, self-control etc.
        Notice our bodies doesn’t change… one still remains male/female, long/short hair, pimples/ none, fat/thin, young/old etc.

        Once you’re In Christ, your spirit is ‘vacuum sealed’ so to speak… nothing or no one can do anything to it.

        1. “Our beliefs are irrelevant to truth” is already something we all agree on. You want to focus on the obvious fact that god is either an idea or he is real, but I’m not sure it makes the point you think it makes. You don’t need to prove to me or anyone else that technically there is no in-between.

          But the in-between is the heart of the problem. Remember, we are not dealing with another person who we can physically see and hear. Comparing a relationship with god to a relationship with a person is not a fair comparison. Belief is always a factor. The fact that we can feel as if god is real when maybe he is just an idea is the part that matters. Who cares if I use the words “god left me” when technically I mean “the idea of god left me.” Let’s not pretend there is some kind of proof of god to be found in my writing style. We all know exactly what I mean.

          You say it is impossible for a Christian to lose god. So either you believe I was never a Christian (because if god is real, why did he let me have such a close relationship with only the concept of him?); or if there is no actual god then he cannot be lost. And honestly, I have no idea why any of this kind of talk matters. It is an insignificant word puzzle. It all comes back to the fact that either he is an idea or he is real. Back to the beginning.

          But instead, the reason you offer for Christians being unable to lose god is a description of how he works with our spirits. The truth as I see it is that both you and I had a very similar god experience. One of us sees it as meaning god is real, and one of us has changed our mind. It’s all belief, I guess. So where does it get us? Nowhere. But I do appreciate your thoughts on the matter.

          1. My point was and has always been God IS REAL.
            Faith is placed in a person – a real, living, and existing being.

            Faith is – knowing that He [God] IS [knowing that God exists]. This is a statement about reality… not a hope…not an idea…

            Christ Jesus is a real person. God is a real person. The two cannot be separated. Christ Jesus is not an idea.

            Love exists between beings. God IS love. He’s a real being.

            So this is a settled issue for me. Jesus is not an idea… He’s a real being that EXISTS.

            You’re ‘back to the beginning’ as per your words… I have no opinion on that.
            The beginning is already settled for me.

            I wouldn’t conclude this discussion got us nowhere, unless you assumed I was trying to change your mind or something.

            I appreciated your thoughts as well.

    2. theancients…..I suspect you have NO idea just how many times people such as ourselves, have had the “No True Christian/Scotsman” argument thrown in our faces. Let me tell you it gets REALLY old! And you also probably have NO idea how insulting and invalidating these types of comments are, tho again I suspect that’s not your intention. I would urge you to take the time to process what Life After Doubt has said in her response to you, and to consider yourself fortunate that she was so diplomatic and kind in her reply.

      1. Hi eolandeeliva,

        The author has a post below titled: “Maybe I’m not the enemy”… I agree with her.
        Why should I consider myself fortunate that an adult human being has chosen to dialogue with me in a respectful manner?

        How did I insult or invalidate her experiences?
        I pointed out her experiences are real things – ideas are not. So if one had a relationship (I never said she didn’t)… then one cannot say at the dissolution of that relationship, it never existed. It had to have been real and true to be called a relationship.

        If, you tell me at the dissolution of a relationship that it was all in your head, just a figment of your imagination, it was never real, then that relationship could not have been true. Yourself just admitted it was all in your head – it was just an idea, there was nothing tangible, real, trustworthy or stable about it.

        You cannot have it both ways. It was either a real relationship or it was just an idea – not both. Where’s the disrespect or the invalidation.

        The “True Christian” argument is irrelevant to me. One is either a Christian or a non-Christian (anything else). As someone who understands the Christian worldview, I am sure you’ll agree with me that a Christian (just like any fruit tree you look at) is known by his fruits.
        A tree doesn’t need a label, just look at the fruit it produces to determine the type of tree it is.

    3. “The first time I knew god was pursuing me I was already a believer. I was a teenager, but I knew I wasn’t living my life fully for god. I went to church. I read my Bible. The thought was heavy on my heart. I made a commitment to god that was life-changing. I felt his guidance and was amazed at how my prayers for that guidance were always answered. I wanted to live a life of service to him.”

      When I read that, I thought, “someone is confused”. She could have said: “the first time I thought I knew God…” but what she said is a giveaway. I don’t think it was accidental bceause she’s a very good writer who knows how to pick her words. So, I think you’re spot on in saying that she can’t deny God exists now, if she claims to have had a 15 year long relationship with him. She had to have been mental for 15 years, or God was simply an idea she enjoyed the thought of for a while.

      My two cents, Ufuoma.

      1. A very valuable two cents, Ufuoma, I appreciate your input.
        There are many other things I find confusing [different posts] that I just choose to ignore, because any response is seen as an attack.
        But somehow it’s the Christians who are illogical non-thinkers.

      2. Hi Ufuoma,
        I didn’t see my reply to you reflected, so I’ll try again here.
        Thanks for your valuable input, I truly appreciate it.
        You’re not alone in your assessment of confusion… on quiet a number of posts & comments I’ve made the same conclusion. I’ve always neglected to say it though – not wanting to be accused of ‘attacking’ the author. [to be honest, I’ve written it, I’ve just never posted it].

        It’s impossible for anyone to try to live life having it both ways. That’s the double-mindedness James spoke of. “It doesn’t mean two-faced. It means to be caught in two opinions – not knowing what to think or why. This person is spiritually unstable in everything they do, not because they’re not living the right way, but they don’t know how to think the right way.”
        It’s not that God isn’t giving, He’s always giving, but they don’t know how to receive.

        Something for all thinkers: Without God, it’s impossible to be an atheist.

      3. To clarify, the actual reason I said “the first time I knew god was pursuing me….” is because at the time it happened, that was my perspective.

        On my very first response to The Ancients on this very post I said, “So yes, I am saying that I was in a relationship with someone who never existed.” I explained a scenario that perhaps did make it seem as though maybe I was, as you call it- “mental for 15 years.” I may have even felt that way when I first came out of it. But I was in good company.

        Let’s not pretend it’s an unusual scenario. When we consider how many different religions people have believed in across this planet and throughout time…. it’s safe to say that you are already aware that making up a god is a common human behavior. You apply it to everyone who has ever believed in a different god from you. So forgive me if I don’t believe you when you act as if someone imagining a god relationship for 15 years is surprising. It is not surprising to anyone.

        Obviously I cannot defend my atheism within the rules of Christianity. The short answer to everything from my point of view is that god doesn’t exist. And if he doesn’t exist, then none of what I write here is confusing. So the rest I will leave between you and The Ancients. It has little to do with me.

        1. Hi Jenny,

          After I wrote that, I read through your whole correspondence with Ancients. I think he held up his own very well, and you also present your case well.

          You and I have also thrashed it out a few times. I don’t think there’s much point debating the issue. You will always feel more enlightened because you believe you’ve been there, got the tshirt etc. And we will always see you as the one who fell for the enemy’s lies (the faithless). There’s no mutual grand for either of us to examine the issue of God.

          All the point I was making is that you are leaving breadcrumbs with your choice of words which reveal that there’s still inner conflict. If there isn’t anymore, do be more selective with your words.

          Have a great day!

          1. What am I presenting my case for? I assure you it is not for atheism. I am presenting a case for the fact that I believe in atheism for the reasons I say I do. Because I am, at the very least, most qualified about what my own personal point of view is. Christians seem very interested in arguing that, but I do not know how it benefits anyone. I cannot say this enough.

            And not to appear argumentative, but “you will always feel more enlightened” are never the right words. Especially when you feel equally enlightened as you tell me how I fell for the enemy’s lies and you didn’t. Let’s just say that we disagree.

            But what I really don’t understand is the magnifying glass on my choice of words. When I talk about the time when I believed it makes sense to express the words that I felt at the time. Shall I add footnotes to clarify what I have since come to believe for your comfort? I’m not really sure what you expect.

            I take no issue with whatever you choose to believe as long as it does not infringe upon my own beliefs. Live and let live. I enjoy talking about religion. Frustration comes from misunderstandings, and my past experiences keep me patient; I don’t really mind talking to Christians. I will continue to be as open as I can for whoever is interested.

            But I have no internal struggle about god. It has been many years since I have experienced even a fleeting moment of thinking he might be there. It all sounds ridiculous. What would it sound like to you if god wasn’t real?

            As always, thank you for the conversation 🙂

  4. theancients…..You know the beauty of knowing someone is REAL? You can see, hear, touch them, and sometimes even smell them if they haven’t had a wash recently. 😉 No faith is needed, no mental gymnastics, no rationalising, no fighting off cognitive dissonance.

    And if you REALLY can’t see how your initial comments would have felt like an invalidation of the author’s deeply held religious convictions/experiences, then I doubt there is little more I can say to convince you otherwise.

    However, you can go on all you want about the difference between an idea of something/someone and what is real, but we all know that there is not ONE sliver of OBJECTIVE evidence that your “God” is anything more than just that..An IDEA! And you well know it..even if you can’t admit it to yourself or to us! So until such time as this mythical god of yours, or any of the multiple versions of “him/it”, show themselves to indeed BE real, you’re welcome to believe what you want, as long as those beliefs don’t negatively impact on others. Simple!

    1. Hi eolandeeliva,

      Your very first paragraph brings a smile to my face 🙂 because here I am speaking with you a real (existing) person whom I’ve never seen, heard (audibly), touched, nor smelled.

      How do you suppose, I know that you are a real person without any of the physical evidences that you’ve noted?
      I know because of the INFORMATION that you’ve presented. Your writing tells me there is an intelligent mind (logic, information) behind the words I’m reading on my screen 🙂

      Now that I’ve established that you are real, the question is: do I trust you…do I have faith in you? While, I believe you’re more than likely a very trustworthy & dependable individual to those who know you personally and have a relationship with you; unfortunately I cannot say the same for myself.
      See, while I know you to be a real and existing person, I do not have a personal relationship with you in order to establish your trustworthiness or dependability. See, my faith in you is directly related to who I know you to be [ are you true to your words, do you keep your promises].

      No, my initial comments were not an invalidation of the author’s relationship with God. It was a clarification.

      You are correct: evidence is subjective… I have concluded based on the preponderance of the evidence that you are a living, breathing human being; you do exist. In the same manner, I have concluded that God exists.
      You & the author have weighed the evidences available to you and have made the opposite conclusion – that He does not exist.

      Based on your last paragraph, I can leave here either knowing this conversation was real and actually did take place… OR (as you seem to think) it was all an idea in my head and therefore never real.
      Which is it: Is this a real conversation or just an idea- a figment of both our imaginations?
      [seeing that you have never seen, heard, touched, or smelled me…the only evidence you have of my existence are the words [information] on your screen. You decide based on the preponderance of the evidence].

      Thanks & have a very good day.

      1. theancients….You said….”Based on your last paragraph, I can leave here either knowing this conversation was real and actually did take place… OR (as you seem to think) it was all an idea in my head and therefore never real.” WHAT?! Of course our conversation was real, albeit virtual. And how do I know it was real? Because I understand (the basics) of technology, that has been proven to indeed assist geographically separated individuals to communicate, millions of times before!

        And if that’s not enough proof for me, at a pinch, I could fly to your country, and see you with my own eyes, hear you..etc. Can’t say that’s possible with your god can I. And NO, because your bible records your gods words, and actions, is NOT objective proof of his/her/its existence!

        1. Hi eolandeeliva,

          Good to know we’re in agreement that you and I are real, living, existing beings 🙂

          What you’ve correctly described is HOW technology has enabled us to communicate (share information).
          As “modern & high tech” as this method is, having its roots in silicon (clay no less), know that God uses a FAR superior method of communication.

          But the point has been made – it is possible to establish that one is real without utilizing the 5 senses. It was done based on *information*. With the technology you’ve described, you were able to receive & understand the information that I was transmitting (and vice versa) to conclude that I am a real existing being.

          Well, God is doing the same… His entire creation – the heavens & things in the earth are always transmitting information, declaring God’s wisdom & glory. Those who choose to tune in will receive and understand the information been transmitted.

          My goal is not to prove God’s existence to you. Each person decides based on how they weigh the evidences presented to them.

          Have a great week.

          1. And there we come back to your willingness, unlike mine, to accept the subjective over the objective. We’ll just have to agree to disagree it seems. You have a great week too.

            1. Hi eolandeeliva,

              I’m not quiet sure what you’re referring to in the above statement.
              If a matter is objective; it’s objective for ALL.
              ex: Truth & Morality are objective. They do not change because you or I or society may disagree with what truth means at any given moment.

              The reality is, an unbeliever is much more likely to change an objective into a subjective in order to have it fit their worldview… [for them – everything is “relative” though they cannot tell you relative to what; they have no point of reference 🙁 ]

              So, I hope you see my confusion at your statement.
              [I already mentioned that all evidence are the same (objective evidence)… your interpretation & eventual decision based on the evidence presented to you is subjective… Hence, I look at the objective evidence & conclude God IS… & you look at the exact same objective evidence & conclude God isn’t.

              I believe in objective truth, justice, morality, … I am 100% certain you cannot claim the same, because to do so, you must posit an author of truth, justice & morality and your worldview doesn’t allow that 🙁
              If you disagree with me, then go ahead and tell me… who defines truth, justice, morality for you {therein you’ll find your (G/g)od.

              A good weekend to you.

  5. I’ve said several times that if Yahweh exists the Calvinists have it right. Believing in Yahweh is not a choice. If he is real he has not chosen to reveal himself to some of us. If that is true and he has relegated such a large number of us to a fiery fate because he didn’t choose us then he’s not worthy of worship. Where is the goodness in that?

    1. Couldn’t agree more Ruth. From the biblical description of the christian god, if he were indeed real, he most certainly would not be worthy of my worship!

    2. It’s funny because I was just having this conversation with someone. I almost published a post today that even said “maybe the Calvinists have it right.” We were talking about one of my earlier comments about how Christians cannot accept that sometimes sin is not a choice and what that means about god. For example, many Christians cannot accept the idea that someone could be born as anything other than heterosexual- simply because they need all sins to be a choice. Would god require some to be celibate to get into heaven? Of course he would. And would god hide from someone who was desperately seeking him? Why not? I wonder if Christians would be more empathetic if they knew it was not a choice. I mean, at least we would be believed.

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