The Devil and Me

As an atheist, I have no fear of Hell or the Devil any more than I might fear the wrath of God. Neither threat is real. However, like many teenagers who rebelled against their mostly-Christian family and community, I took a certain delight in playing the advocate for Our Father Below. What started out as simple rascally fun grew more sophisticated as I got older. I enjoyed studying, discussing and defending the Devil. In William Blake's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, I saw wisdom in the "Proverbs of Hell" such as "The cut worm forgives the plow." In John Milton's Paradise Lost, when Lucifer says, "Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven," I related to his preference for freedom and independence over heavenly comforts. In The Satanic Bible, Anton LaVey describes a philosophy of humanism and pragmatism that resonates strongly with me.

For instance, several of the "Seven Deadly Sins" are instrumental to my psychological make-up: greed, envy and lust keep me motivated to always achieve more; wrath can be a wonderfully motivating emotion; and pride, well... pride is my backbone, the pillar of resolve and driving force that makes everything else in my life happen. Calling these things "sins" is short-sighted. How can one have honor without a sense of pride? Where would romantic love be without lust? How can we celebrate life without a little gluttony? What others might call "sins" I call "living."

The Devil and I see eye-to-eye, you see. You might even call me an atheistic satanist.

But I'm whimsical about it! I say "Hail Satan" with a jester's wink. I tell people I'm not only going to Hell, I'm angling for a dukeship. When I see a little devil on food (Underwood Deviled Ham) or spirits (Temperance Trader Bourbon), I pick it up fairly confident I'm going to relish it.

And I write songs about about Hell, oh so many songs. ("Legion", "Paradise Is Empty", "Your Mephistopheles", "Christmas In Hell", etc.) The last album from my current band, Die Like Gentlemen, titled Romantic Delusions of Hell, has two songs with "Hell" in the title: "Ten Hells," about the 10 Chinese hells of judgment; and "Reign In Hell," inspired in part by the afore-mentioned quote. I subsequently wrote another tune, "Stray Demon," about a errant devil trying to definitively answer the problem of theodicy through extreme means. Writing about infernal things comes naturally.

And now that we're talking about music, we inevitably have to return to Black Sabbath, my all-time favorite band. From their very first song, the Devil has always made frequent appearances throughout their albums. While the band members themselves are anything but Satan-worshippers, in keeping with their infernal mystique they eventually adopted a horned, bat-winged, fork-tailed, light-bringing mascot. He looks an awful lot like this:

Yup, that's on my arm. If you're one of those people who has read this post thinking that I'm probably going to Hell, I imagine the tattoo probably clinches it for you.

For me, this tattoo celebrates music, heavy metal and Black Sabbath in particular; it celebrates atheism, independence and irreverence; and, of course, an obvious sympathy for the Devil. It celebrates the pleasures we manage to wrest from life in this corporeal world. (It also kept with my theme of all-black tattoos!)

So what tattoo is next? Funny you should ask...


Comments
Speaking of Sabbath, what do you think of the Satanic stuff on 'Headless Cross', specifically 'When Death Calls'? That one always struck me as rather pro-Satanic, as opposed to their Satan-is-bad stance on the Ozzy era albums.

Anyway, fascinating blog post :-)
» Posted 3.22.2014 17:43:17 by Chris
Truthfully, I don't think much of the Headless Cross album, because it's not especially good. Like most all the Tony Martin albums, the songs reek of bad 80s hair rock, and while the lyrics on that album may be more "Satanic" than usual, the songs don't sound in any way sinister to my ears. There are a few good riffs on there, of course, but nothing that makes me want to listen to the album often.

All that said, there is one Tony Martin album I like: Cross Purposes. It's not a coincidence that this is one of the albums where Geezer Butler returns. When Iommi is by himself, he'll throw any old riff on an album; when Butler is there, the process is more selective, darker, and heavier. (As was also the case with Dehumanizer.)
» Posted 3.25.2014 11:37:00 by Botch the Crab - WEBMASTER
Very interesting. If you don't mind me asking, on what grounds are you a non-believer (scientific, theological, philosophical etc)?
» Posted 4.10.2014 16:29:52 by Lee
Lee, there are several reasons why I'm a non-believer), but the two easiest are:

• I see absolutely no evidence that any "god" that has ever been described actually exists. The god of Western religion has no more evidence of existing than the old Greco-Roman or Norse gods.

• I see plenty of evidence that "god" is a man-made construct. Everyone seems to invent (or at least alter) their god to suit their wishes.

Some people feel that life needs meaning, and that meaning can only come from an external source, so they believe in a spiritual existence. Others fear death and need to belief in some kind of afterlife. I don't have those feelings, which I see as weakness. I think meaning is entirely self-derived, and I am fine with life being finite.
» Posted 4.19.2014 10:54:10 by Botch the Crab - WEBMASTER
Jesus! I just like Transformers.
» Posted 4.22.2014 20:01:08 by Rickie
I never call myself a satanist, as the word is quite loaded to some. I simply call myself an atheist. A Transformers-loving atheist. ;) I too see no evidence that any god actually exists. All arguments that people use apply to all other possible gods as well. In a way, a Christian for example is somewhat of an atheist too; Christians do not believe in the existence of any of the other of thousands of known gods, I just believe in one god less than they do. Lately I have read a lot of websites claiming that they had evidence that the Quran contained scientific information which people from that period of time could not have known, thus proving that their specific god exists. While in discussion with some people who ran such websites, the evidence which they claimed to have was non-existent. Reading more in certain texts than what was actually written, reading things in texts only after science showed something and then trying to link that to certain verses, et cetera. And when asked what god's existence it proved, they did not have any proper arguments to defend why this god would be their specific god and not any of the other of thousands of known gods. I have found that discussions with Christians and Muslims for example are useless. Most do not know their "holy books" very well; I as an atheist very often know the contents better. Something which I found funny; I once had a discussion with a woman who claimed that a certain well known Christian writer had evidence for the existence of her god, therefore god existed. I simply contacted this writer and asked him about this. He replied that he did not have such evidence and if he would ever obtain such evidence, that he would not share this with others. ;) Another funny thing; I once had a discussion with someone who claimed that Noah's ark truly existed. A book written by a well known Christian writer proved this. I happened to know that book and I asked what was necessary to prove that the book was wrong in so many ways. This person replied that only one significant error would be enough to prove the book wrong; I listed at least ten I believe. Religion and Transformers, two of my interests, but I should stick to discussing Transformers, because when I start about religion, I do not stop. ;)
» Posted 11.25.2014 7:53:02 by Arie
Arie:
If a religious person tries to sway you to their beliefs on the basis of "facts," ask them if there are any similar facts that would sway them to stop believing. They usually say no.
» Posted 12.02.2014 13:03:31 by Botch the Crab - WEBMASTER
God can be proven to co-exist with nature.
» Posted 3.20.2015 15:26:56 by Tom
Read "The Chameleon, the Rock Crab and the Maple Leaf." by T.A. Monte

Abstract: The chameleon has the intrinsic ability to change color in order to blend-in with it's environment. From a scientific standpoint, the 'why' as a phenomena is easy to discern. We call it Photochromics. However, from a meta-physical or existential standpoint it raises a profound question. The question is 'who'? Who or what entity gave the chameleon the ability to change color, to blend in with it's environment, in which case PROTECTS it from harm. The 'who' pre-supposes a guardian or protector etc. Natural selection alone cannot answer this question, because in so doing it would mean that 'natural selection' or evolution is the protector, which would make nature or evolution a God in and of itself. O.k. then, now you are caught in a paradox. You are both saying that you do not believe in God yet there is some kind of Evolution-God or God in nature as a protector from harm instituted in some kind of plan and within the plan Evolution-God has created the ability of photochromics in order to shield the chameleon from harm.

So is it possible that God-coexists with nature in an innate sense or Evolution-God (for the chameleon cannot create it's own abilities innately within itself) -- this would raise another paradox that all chameleons are Gods in themselves, or there is one great God of all chameleons that has given it's ancestors the ability to change color, so now you are arguing the possibility of the existence of the "Great Chameleon God" etc... etc.. into infinite regress of all living things.

And in the end after you have frozen yourself in all paradoxes, there can be only one conclusion. That there must be some "GRAND MASTER" of a plan. The Plan can only come from a 'Master Designer', or you go with the notion that the "Grand Master" is innate of itself, leading you in an endless circle of paradoxes and possible impossibilities within the Plan itself. Do you see the dilemma. Do you sense your own sense of paradoxical frozen-ness right now as you read this?

These things are absolute truths:
1. There is a master plan and we are all part of it.
2. No entity has the innate ability to create it's own existence.
3. There are protectors and guardians in the plan.

These agents of protection that you will see everywhere in nature, such as the chameleon, the rock-crab, the rock-fish, the maple leaves you see in trees that look wing-shaped to hide birds from predators, all point to a 'who'? Until we answer the 'who' then we will be caught in a constant existential paradox.

Also, on an existential level if you say that the Devil exists, than you must consider a positive force as well. Positives and negatives are in everything they are called polarities! Dark matter etc. Chaos theorists and physicists are discovering incredible advancements in supernatural science, and are starting to discover causalities within the chaos.

Believe whatever you want. That is free will. But try to always expand your mind to that which is impossibly possible.

» Posted 3.20.2015 16:24:09 by Tom
Hi Tom,

Your starting point is flawed. Why would you assume that there is a "who"? Why would you assume that the chameleon was "given" the ability to change color? By doing this, you attribute a kind of magical powers to this "who". Next you label this "who" as a "guardian" or "protector", thereby identifying this "who" as being "good", without providing any evidence for this "who" to even exist in the first place.

You are right, natural selection and evolution do not answer the "who" question. Neither mean to either. This shows that you do not understand what natural selection and evolution are. You then state that there would be a paradox, but there is none. This paradox that you mean to see is simply based on your lack of understanding what natural selection and evolution are. You mention a "plan", but there is no plan in natural selection or evolution. There is also no "guardian" or "protector".

You state that this "plan" would come from a "Grand Master" or "Grand Designer", thereby answering your own flawed question. This does create a paradox however by the way, where each "plan" of a "Grand Master" or "Grand Designer" is part of a "plan" of another "Grand Master" or "Grand Designer", et cetera.

You state three "absolute truths", but you do not provide evidence for any of them, thereby making them without any value. The second point has nothing to do with natural selection and evolution by the way. You repeat that everything points to a "who", but there is no logic behind that. Why would you assume that there is a "who"? Why would this "who" be a "guardian" or a "protector"? Why would this "who" be "good"?

Seeing that you mention the devil, it seems like you believe in the Christian god. If we would assume for a minute that there is a "who", why would this "who" be your specific god and not any of the other of thousands of known gods? There is no evidence for the existance of any god, let alone for the existance of your specific god. As for believing in the existance of the devil, who stated this? I do not believe in the existance of the devil. As an atheist I do not believe in the existance of any god, let alone in the existance of any devil.

As for the polarities which you mention, there is no such thing as pure good and pure evil. Good and evil cannot be compared to light and dark for example. It is not black and white. No being is pure good or pure evil. If you believe in the Christian god you should know this, as according to the bible god is allknowing and created everything. Nothing can exist if god did not create it. God therefore created evil. A being which created all evil cannot be pure good. God, being allknowing, created the devil, the symbol of evil. According to the bible the devil can only do what god allows the devil to do. As you can see, god is evil.

A "fun" fact; if you would count all the people that god killed in the bible and you would compare that with the amount of people that the devil killed, then the winner is obvious. With millions of people killed, god is the definitive winner. The devil does not even come close with around fifteen people killed in total. Yes, around fifteen. And god allowed or even commanded those killings.

Some try to counter this by stating that evil is required for free will, but that is not true. I can offer you the choice between an apple and a banana. As you can see, there is no evil required for free will. On the subject of free will, god does not grant you free will. According to the bible those that believe in god go to heaven, those that do not believe in god are sent to hell, to suffer for all eternity. How is that free will, when you have a gun against your head?

You conclude with asking to "try to always expand your mind to that which is impossibly possible". I ask you to try to shake off the indoctrination for a minute and to look at this from a distance. You are in a way an atheist too. I just believe in one god less than you do. Once you understand why you do not believe in the existance in any of the other of thousands of known gods, you will understand why I do not believe in your specific god either.
» Posted 3.23.2015 5:44:59 by Arie
I think Arie did an excellent job of responding to Tom's comment. (Thanks, Arie!) That very first flaw -- the idea that because something is protected implies that it has a protector -- starts a long chain of logical leaps and missteps.

To Tom's credit: I have no problem with anyone believing that evolution has a guiding hand any more than I fault notions of karma of fate (though I believe in none of it); I only have a problem with people who deny evolution entirely.
» Posted 3.31.2015 17:30:17 by Botch the Crab - WEBMASTER
Mr. Alexander,

First, thank you for providing a Transformers database which I have found very useful on many occasions. (I am a LEGO fan as well, and enjoy constructing G1 Transformers close to their original transformations. Your website is a fantastic resource for that!)

You say that you see no evidence there for any god. I look at the complexity and scale of the universe and conclude that there has to be a god! If you have the time, please watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEheh1BH34Q A video about the size of planets/stars. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgNDao7m41M This is a video about the size of black holes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgNDao7m41M A video about the size of galaxies. (Please note that while the last video is a Christian video and technically biased, the first 2 are videos by an agnostic.)

If nothing else, these videos should at least blow your mind! :) When you look at a building, or book, or kitchen appliance you correctly assume there is a creator for them. when a question like ”who manufactured this toaster” do you question wether there is a creator in the first place for the toaster? Likewise, why would we not automatically assume there is a creator for the complex systems of our bodies, trees, ecosystems, and food webs?
(Also, we need both our heart and brain to survive, right? How could we evolve and have one but not the other? And our bodies rely on MORE organs than just our heart and brain!)

A cell is the most efficient computer ever, complete with programming (AKA genes).
Did that accidentally come together?

Also, YOU ARE RIGHT. Sin is fun! We are all sinners, and love to sin, myself, Mother Teresa, Ghandi, John Doe/Richard Roe and Billy Graham all included! It probably IS part of your psychological make up to sin! But that can change if you turn to Jesus.

As to why God would make you evil, or the very EXISTENCE of evil, that comes down to free will, like Arie pointed out. As a Christian, I believe that God made everything to glorify Himself (1 Corinthians 10:31, Psalm 23:3). There’s a difference between people choosing to follow and love you and being programmed to say “I love you”. To Arie’s point about people going to hell being like putting a gun to your head that is a good point! Why would you reject God who has to punish rejection, yet offers love and reward for devotion? God made rules. We like to break them. God is just, so He can’t let the rule breaking go unpunished. God sent Jesus to take our punishment for us so we wouldn’t have to go to Hell. Yet people still manage to reject him. (I don’t mean to twist your words Arie!)

Is it selfish of God to want to glorify Himself? Frankly, when you create a universe out of nothing, you get to make the rules.

Please respond with your thoughts. Though I’m just a teen, so go easy on me, OK? :)
I’ll be praying for you! God bless.
» Posted 8.01.2015 18:25:56 by J Cooper
J Cooper:

You're talking about the analogy of the wristwatch found in the forest, but complexity is NOT itself indicative of a creator. Air turbulence and water currents are complex; it doesn't mean they were invented. They are the result of a natural process.

When *you* look at the natural world and the universe, you conclude that there has to be a god. Personally, I think that's small- and simple-minded. I can easily conceive of a universe, an Earth, and a humanity that evolved the same way that stars do: as a result of the mechanics of the universe.

Throughout human history, various natural phenomena that was once only explained by myths and superstitions has been replaced by scientific experimentation and deduction. Humanity no longer believes that the sun is drawn across the sky in a flaming chariot; we no longer believe that demons are the cause of epilepsy; and, with evolution, geology, cosmology, and other disciplines we no longer need to invent creation myths to explain the origins of men or mountains or stars. Now, as a last ditch effort, modern-day believers in these ancient mythologies look the universe -- and universe revealed through science, mind you -- and say, "Okay, but at least all *that* must have been created by a god!" And I disagree.

Yes, I continue to marvel at the natural world and at the universe, but whether things are explainable or not yet explained, I do not leap to a belief in god, because the orderly nature of the universe is MORE amazing than any mystical invention.

The rest of your post deals with Christian philosophy that I think is largely irrelevant. What I find most repulsive -- and, as my post implied, was why I prefer the Devil -- is your willingness, indeed your *eagerness*, to submit to a fantastical entity.

What drives you? Fear of death and oblivion? Fear of meaninglessness? Fear of nonconformity? As yourself how you'd feel if you someone learned for certain that your god didn't exist. Whatever you feel next? That's the fear that makes you believe. Rid yourself of the fear and you'd be surprised how easy it is to stop believing in fantasies.
» Posted 8.02.2015 17:14:37 by Botch the Crab - WEBMASTER
J. Cooper: "You say that you see no evidence there for any god. I look at the complexity and scale of the universe and conclude that there has to be a god!"

1. People used to see lightning striking as the act of an angry god. We now know the cause of lightning and we know where it is likely to strike, for example in a high tree. Just because we do not understand everything about the universe (yet), does not mean that there has to be a god then...

2. ... let alone that this god is specifically your god. If you would stick to your conclusion that there has to be a god, then choosing for your specific god is still not logical. There are thousands of known gods. The chance that this god would be your specific god is small. There is as much "evidence" for the existance of your specific god as there is for any of the other of thousands of known gods; none.


J. Cooper: "When you look at a building, or book, or kitchen appliance you correctly assume there is a creator for them. when a question like ”who manufactured this toaster” do you question wether there is a creator in the first place for the toaster? Likewise, why would we not automatically assume there is a creator for the complex systems of our bodies, trees, ecosystems, and food webs?"

The "complexity" and "creator" arguments have both been destroyed long ago. No offense intended, but people who still use these arguments are indoctrinated and/or have not gone through any trouble to investigate their own beliefs properly. To keep it short, you have just "proven" that your creator must have a creator, which must have a creator, which must have a creator, et cetera.


J. Cooper: "(Also, we need both our heart and brain to survive, right? How could we evolve and have one but not the other? And our bodies rely on MORE organs than just our heart and brain!) A cell is the most efficient computer ever, complete with programming (AKA genes).
Did that accidentally come together?"

By using the word "accidentally", you have shown that you do not understand what evolution is. An evolutionary biologist for example could explain evolution to you properly. Keep in mind though that evolution has nothing to do with atheism, something which Christians often seem to confuse.


J. Cooper: "Also, YOU ARE RIGHT. Sin is fun! We are all sinners, and love to sin, myself, Mother Teresa, Ghandi, John Doe/Richard Roe and Billy Graham all included! It probably IS part of your psychological make up to sin! But that can change if you turn to Jesus."

Sin is a religious concept. I do not believe in sin.


J. Cooper: "As to why God would make you evil, or the very EXISTENCE of evil, that comes down to free will, like Arie pointed out. As a Christian, I believe that God made everything to glorify Himself (1 Corinthians 10:31, Psalm 23:3). There’s a difference between people choosing to follow and love you and being programmed to say “I love you”. To Arie’s point about people going to hell being like putting a gun to your head that is a good point! Why would you reject God who has to punish rejection, yet offers love and reward for devotion? God made rules. We like to break them. God is just, so He can’t let the rule breaking go unpunished. God sent Jesus to take our punishment for us so we wouldn’t have to go to Hell. Yet people still manage to reject him. (I don’t mean to twist your words Arie!) Is it selfish of God to want to glorify Himself? Frankly, when you create a universe out of nothing, you get to make the rules."

It seems like you have not understood my point. As stated before, the existance of evil is not required for free will to exist. Your god is not just. A being that is responsible for the existance of all evil, is evil. I do not reject your god, I simply do not see any evidence for the existance of any god, let alone for the existance of your specific god.

You are in a way an atheist too. I just believe in one god less than you. Once you understand why you do not believe in any of the other of thousands of known gods, you will understand why I do not believe in your specific god either.
» Posted 8.04.2015 1:00:53 by Arie van der Wende
Sorry for taking so long. Wow, TWO people responded! I’ll do my best to answer both of y’all. *Sighs.* I was hoping that I could write a concise response. Oh well. :)

(By the way, could we please keep this debate light and respectful? I’d REALLY like that! If it stayed that way that would be awesome!) PLEASE READ MY WHOLE RESPONSE THOROUGHLY. Thx guys.

In answer to Botch:
Ok, I understand where you’re coming from. However, is their elegance in the complex air current patterns? A tornado may leave a complex mess of debris, but there is no elegance in that mess. However, we do see elegance in the construction of suns, the water cycle, and wristwatches. So elegance and complexity can indicate a creator. There IS a difference between elegance and complexity.

You say you can conceive of a universe. Could you invent the intricate systems of our bodies, write the laws of science (including quantum physics), and plan out evolution? (Call me crazy but I DON’T believe in evolution, just micro-evolution/adaptations for several reasons. For instance, mutations are inefficient. Today, nearly EVERY TIME there is a mutation, it is bad. Albinism and down syndrome are two good examples. I don’t believe God guided evolution because in the Bible it says He created the world in 6 days. Those are just a couple of reasons that I don’t believe in evolution.)

The reason that we no longer believe that the sun is in a flaming chariot, or that lighting is the result of a god’s anger, is that the actual cause was observed and the myth disproven. However, no one observed the creation of the universe. We have to look at the evidence around us today. Fossils, geological deposits, etc.

I believe that the evidence points to a God. For example, if creatures lived and died for millions of years, where are all the fossils transition phases in between when fish turned into men? With the number of fossils around today, shouldn’t there be a lot more “in-between” stages? But with no evolution, there’s no problem.

Arie:
“ 1. People used to see lightning striking as the act of an angry god. We now know the cause of lightning and we know where it is likely to strike, for example in a high tree. Just because we do not understand everything about the universe (yet), does not mean that there has to be a god then...

2. ... let alone that this god is specifically your god. If you would stick to your conclusion that there has to be a god, then choosing for your specific god is still not logical. There are thousands of known gods. The chance that this god would be your specific god is small. There is as much "evidence" for the existance of your specific god as there is for any of the other of thousands of known gods; none.”

Me:
Evidence for MY God is a different debate. I am currently try to point out the existence of a God. However, I find “The Case for Christ” by Lee Strobel (Skeptic turned Christian) to be a good compilation of evidence for Jesus.

Arie:
“The "complexity" and "creator" arguments have both been destroyed long ago. No offense intended, but people who still use these arguments are indoctrinated and/or have not gone through any trouble to investigate their own beliefs properly. To keep it short, you have just "proven" that your creator must have a creator, which must have a creator, which must have a creator, et cetera.”

Me:
No offense taken. Let me argue for a minute why the Creator of the universe would not need a creator. Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that there is a God. An item or being’s “creation” is a point in time when it/they came into existence. Time is a part of nature (evidenced by gravity’s effects on time). God is SUPERnatural. He is NOT a part of nature which He created. If God created nature, and time is a part of nature, God created time. If God created time, then there wasn’t a “time” when God was created. Basically, He’s outside of time.
 It’s kind of confusing, so it may take a second. :P It does makes sense when all that info is processed though. (In Christianity, things get perplexing when it comes to the nature of God.)
But since you brought up the point of ”where did God come from?”, I’d like to ask YOU: “ If the Big Bang came from something called the singularity, where did the singularity come from?”

Arie:
“By using the word "accidentally", you have shown that you do not understand what evolution is. An evolutionary biologist for example could explain evolution to you properly. Keep in mind though that evolution has nothing to do with atheism, something which Christians often seem to confuse.”

Me:
As I stated above in my answer to Botch, the Bible IS incompatible with evolution.

Even if animals genes COULD reprogram themselves in to a beneficial mutations to transform themselves from a single cell to higher beings and ecosystems, how did a cell come into existence? How did all the microscopic parts of a cell come together in the vast ocean?

Arie:
“Sin is a religious concept. I do not believe in sin.

It seems like you have not understood my point. As stated before, the existance of evil is not required for free will to exist. Your god is not just. A being that is responsible for the existance of all evil, is evil. I do not reject your god, I simply do not see any evidence for the existance of any god, let alone for the existance of your specific god.”

Me:
Evil IS required for free will. Sin and evil are the same thing. Sin/evil means not doing what God wants. We can choose to do what God wants or not. That’s free will. As an analogy: Imagine a police officer orders you to raise your hands. If you do not, it is considered disobedience of his orders. If you don’t do what he wants it is considered rejection.

You may not attack the police officer, but by not doing what he wants, you reject him. So, by not doing what God wants, it IS rejection. Everyone, myself included, rejects God until they accept Jesus.

Botch:
“The rest of your post deals with Christian philosophy that I think is largely irrelevant. What I find most repulsive -- and, as my post implied, was why I prefer the Devil -- is your willingness, indeed your *eagerness*, to submit to a fantastical entity.

What drives you? Fear of death and oblivion? Fear of meaninglessness? Fear of nonconformity? As yourself how you'd feel if you someone learned for certain that your god didn't exist. Whatever you feel next? That's the fear that makes you believe. Rid yourself of the fear and you'd be surprised how easy it is to stop believing in fantasies.”

Me:
What drives me? Truth. Love. Gratefulness. The fear of Hell got me started, but it developed into something so much more. That fear is no longer my driving force.

If God for certain didn’t exist, what would I feel? I would be in denial. I would feel the pain of abandonment. Depression. And all that you stated above.

But my God does exist. I feel His love. And so do other Christians.
Thank you for allowing me to participate in this discussion.
» Posted 8.08.2015 15:55:04 by J Cooper
J. Cooper: "Evidence for MY God is a different debate. I am currently try to point out the existence of a God. However, I find "The Case for Christ" by Lee Strobel (Skeptic turned Christian) to be a good compilation of evidence for Jesus."

"The Case For Christ" by Lee Strobel has been debunked though. I seriously do not mean to offend you, but to be completely honest with you, if you found this book to be a good compilation of evidence for Jesus, then it is hard for me to take you seriously.


J. Cooper: "Let me argue for a minute why the Creator of the universe would not need a creator. Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that there is a God. An item or being's "creation" is a point in time when it/they came into existence. Time is a part of nature (evidenced by gravity's effects on time). God is SUPERnatural. He is NOT a part of nature which He created. If God created nature, and time is a part of nature, God created time. If God created time, then there wasn't a "time" when God was created. Basically, He's outside of time. It's kind of confusing, so it may take a second. :P It does makes sense when all that info is processed though. (In Christianity, things get perplexing when it comes to the nature of God.)"

You maintain a double standard. Everything requires a creator. Except your creator. The creator argument is flawed. The argument raises the same problem that the argument was to solve. Eventually you will always want to end up with the need for an "eternal creator", but it is nothing more than an assumption, just like people used to believe that lightning was an act of an angry god. Perplexing claims require perplexing evidence, not assumptions or beliefs.


J. Cooper: "But since you brought up the point of "where did God come from?", I'd like to ask YOU: " If the Big Bang came from something called the singularity, where did the singularity come from?"

I honestly do not understand why you bring up the Big Bang theory, as it has nothing to do with atheism? Besides that, why would you ask me? A relevant scientist can best answer any questions which you might have regarding the Big Bang theory.


J. Cooper: "As I stated above in my answer to Botch, the Bible IS incompatible with evolution. Even if animals genes COULD reprogram themselves in to a beneficial mutations to transform themselves from a single cell to higher beings and ecosystems, how did a cell come into existence? How did all the microscopic parts of a cell come together in the vast ocean?"

Again, you show that you do not understand what evolution is. Evolution does not deal with "cells coming into existance". And as mentioned before, evolution has nothing to do with atheism.


J. Cooper: "Evil IS required for free will."

I have an apple and a banana, please make a choice. Unless you want to tell me now that a banana is evil, I have just proven you wrong.


J. Cooper: "Sin and evil are the same thing. Sin/evil means not doing what God wants."

Do you keep the Sabbath holy?

Sin means not doing what your god wants. The ten commandments (Exodus 34:12-26) show what is considered to be a sin for example. For those who do not believe in your specific god though, none of these commandments are considered to be evil. According to our morals and values, your specific god is considered evil.


J. Cooper: "We can choose to do what God wants or not. That's free will. As an analogy: Imagine a police officer orders you to raise your hands. If you do not, it is considered disobedience of his orders. If you don't do what he wants it is considered rejection. You may not attack the police officer, but by not doing what he wants, you reject him. So, by not doing what God wants, it IS rejection. Everyone, myself included, rejects God until they accept Jesus."

In other words, you are rejecting all the other of thousands of known gods?

Your analogy is flawed. Rejection means refusing to accept. I am more than willing to accept the existance of any god if evidence would be provided that said god exists. As there is no evidence for the existance of any god, I cannot reject any god either, let alone reject your specific god.

In a previous reply, I freely quoted Stephen F. Roberts. As it is relevant to the above, here is the original quote: "I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one less god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."
» Posted 8.14.2015 5:09:19 by Arie van der Wende



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