So What If You’re Wrong?

The title of this post was a question asked by a believer on an atheist’s blog. The full comment was:

The biggest side-step ever was made by Richard Dawkins when he was asked “What if you’re wrong?” by a student in a Q&A session. So, what if you are wrong? Are you frightened of anything? If not, you should be.

Christians love to ask this question. I suppose it’s because they think it’s going to create all sorts of emotional stirrings and fear-related thoughts in the psyche of the individual being asked.

And perhaps to a person who’s never been exposed to Christianity and its myriad end-time threats, such a question could be a bit disconcerting. But to ask this of an atheist who has spent years examining and discrediting and rejecting the many and varied “proofs” of the Christian faith? It seems to me the response would be obvious.

Nonetheless, at some point (generally after all else has failed) the fear factor becomes an important point in many discussions between believer and non-believer. And before long that dreaded where will you spend eternity “threat” comes to the forefront.

I’m pretty sure most of my readers have answered this question more than once … and I’ll bet some of you have come up with some pretty creative answers. Care to share them with the rest of us?

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Reblog: —Why Religion Fails

Good thoughts to ponder–no matter which side of the fence you’re on.

TheCommonAtheist

Positive changes in religion are slow but happening. This improved faith bolsters an all-time low attendance with a lagging morality resistive to catch up to what decent people already know. They are inching their way towards the ultimate truth—all the while holding the book of books that for centuries has held all the answers to life’s important questions—that never came to conclusion. How long shall we give it to prove it’s efficacy? 2000 more years? 3000? “Just have faith”—then, just have more faith is is approaching eons of prophetic adjustments and obvious ostriching.

Thanks to the Bible, Quran,Bhagavad Gita (and some really nifty commentary) we know how the universe was made, how man was created, how to create a self-serving excuse for a system of morality, what happens when you die, and most importantly, why—why the gods created this artificial world and subjects to worship itself with all vainglorious…

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Facts and Faith … One More Time

I have two posts percolating and I planned to write at least one of them today, but when I read the recent conversation that “Ark” (ataleuntold.wordpress.com) is having with bottomlesscoffee007, I knew I had to write this one and my others would have to wait.

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In conversations between believers and non-believers, it is not uncommon for the non-believer to point out the fallacies of the Christian faith, often with hard evidence (e.g., information/facts from accredited scientists, publications by biblical scholars, testimonies of well-known deconverts, etc.)

Of course the Christian cries “foul” and immediately does one (or more) of the following three things: (1) attacks the non-believer, (2) references Christian apologists, and/or (3) quotes scripture (as if this has any meaning to the non-believer).

Case in point:

Ark: But don’t take my word for it – listen to any deconvert, and especially the numerous former professional pastors, priests and preachers, many of whom have considerable in-depth knowledge of the history of the Christian religion and its doctrine.

bottomless: The deconvert as you call them, the professional pastors, priests and preachers never believed to begin with. Early on they figured out that they could make a lot of money. So, the entire time they were just coning people.

You continue to cite other researchers, yet I get the feeling you basically just read something and the regurgitate it to sound intelligent.

All you do is basically talk shit, you are not even 100% about the research you cite, since you never actually did the work yourself.

Arkenaten, you are simply lazy and insecure. You leach off of others you have never even met in an attempt to come off as intelligent.

The very first sentence of bottomless‘s comment is a mind-blower! Notice how he responds by making the totally unsubstantiated comment: [they] “never believed to begin with.”

You’ve probably noticed this is a very common argument among believers. In other words, there are no deconverts. There are only people who “faked it.” Yeah, right.

Notice also how he continues his comment with the typical insults.

Undoubtedly, this battle will go on … and on … and on … Nonetheless, whether Christians want to accept it or not (and no matter how many insults they want to throw at atheists and other non-believers), the facts (statements and/or assertions of verified information) will never take the place of their personal beliefs.

Our Existence

Courtesy of Stockvault.net

On another blog, there’s been an ongoing discussion between some atheists and a Christian related to our “existence;” that is, our “beingness” — why we are here, why we are alive and living on this planet. Some would describe it as a discussion related to Ontology: The metaphysical study of the nature of being and existence; that is, study based on hypothesis or theory rather than experiment.

As would be expected, there is a rather significant difference of opinion between the two factions.

The atheists naturally consider science as the most important element of our existence because it IS based on experiments. They assert it is the discipline of science that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions, not only about ourselves, but also about the universe we live in. They further contend it is science that has allowed us to survive, as well as improving our lifestyle in the process.

The Christian naturally downplays this perspective and repeatedly accuses his detractors of believing in “scientism,” which has been defined by some as “a scientific method that has no (or few) limits, can successfully be applied to almost all aspects of life, and provides an explanation for everything.” It has even been referred to as a RELIGION and that its followers worship science, its rituals, and its results! The following from Wikipedia is notable:

According to Discovery Institute scientism is an effort to use the methods of science to explain and control every part of human life, in other words, the misguided effort to apply science to areas outside its proper bounds.

Moreover, the blog owner believes philosophy (the rational investigation of questions about existence and knowledge and ethics) plays just as important a role defining our existence as the discipline of science.

He emphasized his perspective by offering the following quote on his blog by Stephen Barr, author, and professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Delaware. I find it very telling …

“There’s a misconception that’s actually at the root of the science-religion tension. Many people think that nature and God are in competition, that if something has a natural explanation that God had nothing to do with it. And, if God did something, it’s supernatural, so it’s an either-or. And, so the more science can explain naturally the less there is for God to explain. But that’s a complete misconception because God is the author of nature.

(Emphasis added)

I close this post with a quote from the referenced blog owner: Science cannot prove that we have a complete picture of reality.

Considering the preceding discourse, what are your thoughts?