I've been having the weirdest non-blogging vacation. It seems I can't stop blogging. Especially when I get caught up in riveting conversations like the following (which I'm currently having in the comments section of my old post Demon Haunted World). And by riveting I mean: fairly amusing. Damn it all to hell--I just can't seem to help myself.
What follows is a follow up to a previous series of comments. However, I felt responding to this person deserved a little more consideration than a simple comments blurb could allow.
My commenter said:
“people can live decent lives with a broken relationship with their parents.”
I have a perfectly fine relationship with my parents. Thank you.
“He [God] gave you free will to live a deluded life in denial that He's the biggest reality of this universe.”
These are both unverified metaphysical claims. The onus is on you to validate them before I have any obligation to take them serious.
“But what happens after death?”
I imagine it is a lot like what happens before life. I’m sure before your existence you didn’t have any problem with not existing. I won’t have any problem after death—in the meantime I am making the most of my life.
“why can't we just go killing and murdering and have incest and all that stuff?”
Because it’s wrong. W-R-O-N-G. Wrong.
“ There's no clear definition to what's right and wrong.”
Um, I think you might be referring to relativistic morality. But even within the field of meta-ethics right is right and wrong is still wrong.
“And that's why moral standards are degrading”
What moral standards? You just claimed morality was relativistic. Unless you meant to imply that’s what I believe, but I don’t. So I’m having a little trouble following your reasoning.
“Secondly, if I wish to commit suicide, who is someone to stop me?”
That would be an interesting experiment. You should try it sometime. (On second thought, you'd better not. One life is all you get--make the best of it!)
“Do you think hamburgers and TV and even your atheistic theories can sustain you for eternity?”
Hamburgers are nice. I am extremely selective about the television I watch. And I only watch about four shows per week, and I digitally record them so I can enjoy them on the weekend, while this frees my week up to read non-stop. Although, I’ve never heard of this metaphysical eternal hamburger you are alluding to, but it sure sounds nice. I do love me a cheeseburger deluxe with everything on it. Yummm... eternal goodness.
“You're gonna be so bored to death that you'll go crazy, and you'll beg God to destroy you. And that is why those who do not love God and accept Him as Lord will go to hell”
Because the eternal hamburgers didn’t sustain the atheist heathens they all went crazy and got sent straight to hell? You’ll have to pardon my confusion, but what the hell kind of God do you believe in?
“(I don't subscribe to the torture in hell theory - I believe hell is a mental state of mind)..."
But then stated immediately afterword (in the same sentence none-the-less):
“That is why only believers in Christ can live eternally, we could go on praising God forever and ever and never grow tired. The rest are thrown into the lake of fire so the soul can be destroyed eternally.”
So hell isn’t a place for torture, but a state of mind, but is really a lake of fire so the soul can be destroyed by horrible flames? So which is it? A state of mind or a physical place of torture?
“Demons exist. Demons are fallen angels.”
Thanks for clearing that up. Never having met one I was really beginning to worry.
“when I first stepped into a church accepting Christ, I could sense the place was a place full of light. As contrasted to demonic lairs of other religions where it was dark and depressive.”
That’s because many churches have windows. However, I don’t quite know what you mean when you say the ‘demonic lairs of other religions’ which were “dark and depressive.” Muslims have mosques, but they also have windows. Buddhist temples have windows too. Shinto shrines have lots of windows too. All of them are filled with light. Maybe you are speaking metaphorically about a ‘spiritual light’ and ‘windows’ is just an allegory for finding the right pathway to reach that light? If so, what do demonic lairs have to do with anything?
“People who have come from dabbling in the demon world are more sensitive to places of light, because they were in darkness for so long.”
Um… as I stated before, and have made abundantly clear on this blog, I was an Evangelical Christian for three decades before deconverting. So I didn’t “dabble in the demon world” if that’s what you think.
“Come [on] tell me God is a lie?”
I never said that God was a lie. The god concept is real for many. But the thing is, most delusional people don’t actually know they are delusional. God belief is a lot like a delusion in that respect. Meanwhile, there are lots of ways to debunk various concepts of God. Just as you believe all other religions are “demonic” the only reason you say that is because you cater to a bias—but when you come to understand why you don’t believe in anyone else’s gods you will come to understand why I don’t believe in yours.
“I KNOW for sure demons exist…”
You have verified this have you?
“Give up on atheism. It's built on oppositional identity. If you didn't have the Bible (Word of God) and theological claims, there wouldn't be atheism, because there wouldn't be anything to argue about.”
Well, to answer in reverse order: Yes. That’s very true. In such a case the whole world would be atheist. About oppositional identity, I think you mean that atheism is antonymous with theism, and that’s true also. Give up on atheism? I don’t know what you mean by this.
“The religious texts of other 'religions' aren't even worth arguing because they don't really offer any formidable philosophical arguments.”
You’ve read them all have you?
“But because the Bible answers everything…”
It does? Okay, so how to I get iTunes to burn a double layer CD… cuz I’m sort of having trouble figuring that out. Oh, wait… I know, I’ll just consult my Bible!
“…you have atheism that tries to dispute everything the Bible says...you take ideas from God's Word and twist it...that's not new...that has been done since Genesis..’Did God really say that’ The snake asked. If the Bible were fiction, it must be the cleverest piece of fiction in history.’”
I think you should go back and read your Bible, Exodus 1-3 to be exact, because when the snake asks “Did God really say that” it is because God actually had told a lie, saying that Adam and Eve ‘would surely die’ if they ate of the fruit. But they didn’t “surely die” and the snake revealed God’s deception. I've talked about this before. Also, the verse is not talking about “spiritual death” as some apologists have suggested, because the original Hebrew grammar does not allow for such an interpretation—God is referring specifically to physical death. You’re just going have to deal with the fact that God lied and the serpent spoke the truth, as told in the Bible.
“Read The Screwtape Letters if you have time, by C.S. Lewis.”
Actually, I’ve read it three times. My first copy was highlighted so severely that some of the pages dissolved and I had to buy a second copy. You should see my copy of C.S. Lewis’ Miracles. It looks like a 2,000 year old Dead Sea Scroll fragment!
“So if you wish for His presence, say to God, "Even if I don't feel like it, I would like to say sorry and repent for all that I've done against You and to displease You. Please draw near to me so I can sense Your presence and worship You again. Let me regain my first love."
I’ve never understood why believers think that the moment you become atheist you lose the Holy Spirit and God’s presence. The Bible doesn’t say that anywhere. Believe me, I’ve looked into it. Besides, how can you “lose” love? You can fall out of love, but you cannot lose such a thing. This whole spiel about how atheists are fallen from grace is just a baseless assumption self-righteous Christians make, because they can’t get comfortable with the idea that unbelievers can lead moral lives and be perfectly content without God. Believe me, I didn’t lose anything, because there was never anything really to lose.