Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Bad Reasons to Believe numbers 185021-185026

I think I finally get why Pharyngula has Christian ads all over every post.  First it was Christian Mingle, then this:

Does God exist? Here are six straight-forward reasons to believe that God is really there.

I get it now!  Atheists want to click on the links either for a good laugh or similar motivations, the Christian cite has to pay FTB through advertisers for the traffic, and they don't get a single new user or convert out of it.

Now I feel like I shouldn't even dignify this site with a response, but reason 5 pushed my buttons so here goes.

All of these reasons are more flushed out on the page, but I'm just going to list most of them.
1. Does God exist? The complexity of our planet points to a deliberate Designer who not only created our universe, but sustains it today.
2. Does God exist? The universe had a start - what caused it?
3. Does God exist? The universe operates by uniform laws of nature. Why does it?
4. Does God exist? The DNA code informs, programs a cell's behavior.
Reasons 1-4 are simplified forms of the Fine Tuning Argument with ComplexityCosmological Argument, Argument from Uniformity of Nature, and Argument from Design of DNA respectively.  I won't spend any more time on these.

5. Does God exist? We know God exists because he pursues us. He is constantly initiating and seeking for us to come to him.
This one rubs up against one of my pet peeves: when someone tells me "You were never a true Christian."  It starts with this gem (emphasis mine):

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 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. 
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.

First of all, most atheists don't spend any time being bothered by God questions or believers.  A very small percentage of the atheist population are activists in any sense.  And those of use who are activists have damn good reasons to be angry and vocal about it.  Looking at believers as poor, delusional people is condescending and often not true, and trying to convince them that their hope is ill-founded rather than misplaced is not appropriate.  As for conclusively proving believers to be wrong you can't prove the negative.  There's no good reason to believe in God and that is a good enough reason not to.  You were already free to go about your life regardless of what other people believe.

Finally, this idea that God was seeking after me and He wants to be known.  Then why does he take such pains to hide himself Isaiah 45:15?  As Bertrand Russel would say to God if he existed:
"Sir, why did you take such pains to hide yourself?"  So many atheists that I've met including myself were sincere believers who sought and sought after God yet never found him.  For someone who wants to be found he's damn good at hide-and-seek.
6. Does God exist? Unlike any other revelation of God, Jesus Christ is the clearest, most specific picture of God revealing himself to us.
See above rant.  Why is Jesus so special? Because "He did what people can't do. Jesus performed miracles."  Exactly!  People can't do those things, so why should we believe Jesus could or did?  Just like Muhammed, Joseph Smith, Krishna, Buddha, etc etc etc.  This idea that Jesus is unique in claiming to be God and therefore Christianity is true is not only flawed it's patently false!  The uniqueness of Christianity proves nothing because every religion is unique.

Only the Koran is the literal Word of Allah!  The Bible is just inspired by God, the Koran is actually written by him in God's language: Arabic!  Why are you not convinced already?

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