708 comments posted · 9 followers · following 0
You couldn't sound more brainwashed if you tried.
I do grant that to say "I believe that there is no God" is not necessarily to say you are a "ten out of ten" (a "gnostic" atheist).
However, given Ray repeatedly argues "you must be omniscient to be an atheist" or "you don't know enough to rule out God," he is obviously talking about the "tens" when he makes these posts. So perhaps I jumped the gun on the phrasing, but this is his intent as I understand it.
I'm certain there are atheists like this, however they're very rare. I have, personally, not met a single one, and I volunteer in humanist and inter-faith circles. Even Richard Dawkins, putting himself on a scale from 1 to 7, where 7 is, definitively, "there is no God," rates himself a 6.
"Sensitivity" to people who bring preconceptions and selective listening to discussions is not a fault. If everyone was similarly "sensitive" the world would be a much more honest place. I showed you very specifically how you put words in my mouth. And that little bit of attempted self-flattery in the last sentence only accomplishes the opposite. Thank you for your above apology, though.
There is the accusation on both sides that the other is stubbornly maintaining an illusion.
One of us would be perfectly happy in the other's ranks -- perhaps moreso. I would love to have the strong relationship with my parents and home community that I once had, and Heaven sounds nice to boot. Can you admit the reverse?
One of us fully admits they may one day come to the other's side. I may one day experience circumstances for which the support of my loved ones is not sufficient (this would reflect poorly on me, but it is possible), and may require consolation of a more supernatural nature. Things may then "click" for me the way they did you. Can you admit the reverse?
One of us has earnestly and prayerfully sought the other's god. I suppose I lack a god so I cannot ask the reverse, but have you prayerfully sought out non-Christian gods?
One of us has spent a great deal of time reading the arguments of the other side. I cannot count how many hours I have clocked on Christian apologist websites. How many hours have you clocked on, say, TalkOrigins? If I am "ignorant" of the evidence for the Christian god, then it is a strange sort of ignorance where, while I am well-read on the arguments, I lack the "decoder ring" for them, because they seem, in my mind, to be eviscerated by the counter-arguments, which I'm not sure you're well-read on.
I'm happy that apologetics and your "seeking" has given you something fulfilling and convincing. But if I'm really honest with myself, I must acknowledge this is proof nothing more than the power of the human mind.
One more quick thing. God apparently wants us to come to Him, and yet when the young me made a genuinely earnest go of it, the only thing that visited me was the Jesus of my aunt's kitchen. Does this not give you pause? Does this not bother you in the slightest?
This is the third time now you've put words in my mouth. It's tiring and it only further shows you believe falsehoods in order to maintain your convictions. There is a vast and easy-to-understand difference between "there is not enough evidence to believe in God" and "there is evidence to believe that there is no God." I have not met a single atheist who believes the latter, and I have met many atheists.
I recall, when I was a child, praying at night, and feeling Jesus there with me. He looked like the painting of him in my Aunt Ruth's kitchen, which I realized in my teenage years must have been inaccurate as Jesus was not a handsome white man. When the cruelty and occasional bizarreness of the Bible clashed with my peaceful, wise, bearded friend, I too sought out apologetics, not in a search for ultimate truth but to reassure myself that, despite my misgivings, my current faith was the right one.
Unlike you, it became obvious to me that no divine framework would ever need something like apologetics in the first place -- it's just a bunch of excuses. Excuses for slavery and genocide. Excuses for the complication-causing over-complexity of our anatomies. Excuses for earth processes and weather patterns that obviously don't give a darn about us.
I WAS maintaining an illusion, John, and eventually I just got tired of it.