Author Topic: A Challenge to Christians  (Read 24625 times)

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Offline Azdgari

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #87 on: April 16, 2013, 05:41:26 PM »
Lying about other peoples' thoughts doesn't seem to bug you.
I have not encountered any mechanical malfunctioning in my spirit.  It works every single time I need it to.

Offline magicmiles

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #88 on: April 16, 2013, 05:47:58 PM »
Lying about other peoples' thoughts doesn't seem to bug you.

Irony clap.
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #89 on: April 16, 2013, 05:50:36 PM »
You corrected me when I was wrong.  I acknowledged it.

Will you accept correction in this case?
I have not encountered any mechanical malfunctioning in my spirit.  It works every single time I need it to.

Offline magicmiles

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #90 on: April 16, 2013, 05:54:42 PM »
No, I won't. It's what I honestly believe.

Could I be wrong? Sure.
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #91 on: April 16, 2013, 05:54:56 PM »
I do not believe there is a single member of this forum who does not believe, somewhere in a part of their heart and soul, that God exists. Including you.
You really shouldn't project your own personal beliefs onto other people.  It's presumptuous, to say the least.  How would you react if someone said to you, "I believe that, deep down, no Christian, including you, really believes in their god"?  I think you would find it to be patently ridiculous, at the very least, because they're presuming to say that they know you better than you know yourself.  Yet that is exactly what you're saying about the atheists here - that you know them better than they know themselves, at least as far as "god-belief" goes.

There is only one person you can make statements about regarding what they believe, and that's you.  To say that about anyone else is an insidious form of self-deception.  What makes you think your god has actually made himself known to the atheists on this forum, or ever will?  That's why it's self-deception, because you're deceiving yourself with something you believe to be true, but cannot possibly know is true.

Offline Azdgari

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #92 on: April 16, 2013, 06:06:05 PM »
No, I won't. It's what I honestly believe.

Well then, there's actually no irony at all to my accusation, is there?

EDIT:  There's also the difference that my opinion of your thoughts was at least based on an observation of what you were saying, even if I drew the wrong conclusion from it.  Your position on what the thoughts of this entire forum must be, is drawn without necessarily ever talking to the people in question.  Awfully ignorant and arrogant prejudice there.

Could I be wrong? Sure.

You admit you could be wrong, but proclaim that you will never accept correction on the point.  Strange.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2013, 06:08:40 PM by Azdgari »
I have not encountered any mechanical malfunctioning in my spirit.  It works every single time I need it to.

Offline magicmiles

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #93 on: April 16, 2013, 06:17:53 PM »
I do not believe there is a single member of this forum who does not believe, somewhere in a part of their heart and soul, that God exists. Including you.
You really shouldn't project your own personal beliefs onto other people.  It's presumptuous, to say the least.

How could I answer Jag honestly any other way, if it is what I truly believe?


How would you react if someone said to you, "I believe that, deep down, no Christian, including you, really believes in their god"? 

I would accept that is how they felt, and explain as best I could why I do believe in God. As has occurred between us on these forums, countless times.

I don't think it would offend me, but I would need to make a decision if there was much point in engaging with them further. Just as you all can make that decision.

If no-one wants to enagage me, I inderstand. I'll eventually drift away from the forum. Again.



What makes you think your god has actually made himself known to the atheists on this forum, or ever will? 

Thanks for asking.

Mainly, Romans 1: 19-20

since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

There's a lot more besides, to do with what I see occurring on the forum and in real life. I'll try to express it more thoroughly another time...if anyone is still talking to me.
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #94 on: April 16, 2013, 06:38:45 PM »


You admit you could be wrong, but proclaim that you will never accept correction on the point.  Strange.

I won't rescind what I believe whilst I still believe it. Would you?

I might stop believing it. I don't think so, but maybe. If I do, I will let you know.
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Offline Tonus

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #95 on: April 16, 2013, 06:56:07 PM »
I will be completely honest here, and then sit back and count the down-votes:

I do not believe there is a single member of this forum who does not believe, somewhere in a part of their heart and soul, that God exists. Including you.

I don't take offense to that statement.  I even think I understand where it comes from.  I had lost my faith in god many years before I acknowledged it.  Not only did I never wish to stop believing, I pretended to believe even after I no longer did.  By the time I admitted that I was a non-believer, there wasn't a shred of belief left to grasp.

I think that religious belief is emotional in nature.  We approach god emotionally, and then we make a token attempt at making him fit our world rationally.  Once we put emotion into its proper place and approach god and religion rationally, belief shrivels away.  "Heart and soul" are just another way to say "emotional center."  Anyone whose been head-over-heels in love knows that emotions are often irrational, and sometimes spectacularly so.  And what generates a more emotional reaction than the belief in an almighty god who has a plan for us, who gives us a truly transcendent goal to aim for?

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #96 on: April 16, 2013, 07:05:46 PM »
The problem, magicmiles, is that your belief could be completely and totally wrong, as you admitted.  You don't have any way to confirm whether it's correct; everything you can reasonably draw on as support is fundamentally drawn from a belief that you can't be sure is true at all, whether it's yours or someone else's.  For example, you cited the Bible to support your belief, but you can't show proof that the Bible is anything more than human writings, not divinely-inspired at all.

Do you see the problem here?  You're basing your belief that your god has revealed himself to everyone on a house of cards, belief stacked on belief stacked on belief.

Offline Azdgari

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #97 on: April 16, 2013, 07:27:41 PM »
^^ Sounds somewhat like most religious beliefs.  The difference, of course, is that in this case the belief is not about the unverifiable existence and qualities of a hypothetical extra-dimensional entity.[1]  In this case, it's a belief about other people.  Other people are definitely real.  And they know themselves better than magicmiles knows them.  Magicmiles is lying about being able to know their thoughts better than they do.
 1. Or however you want to define "God" so that it's beyond the reach of observation.
I have not encountered any mechanical malfunctioning in my spirit.  It works every single time I need it to.

Offline holybuckets

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #98 on: April 16, 2013, 08:03:54 PM »
Where does Jesus ask ME to do that? I must have missed the memo.

Hi, holybuckets.  Nice to see you back.  To what is your post responding?  The OP?  Please clarify.  It will help us answer your question.
Thanks Screwtape,
The post is the original post: "Demonstrate your deity. Your bible (Mark 16, John 14) commands you to do miracles (greater works than 'he' supposedly did), and it also commands you to defend your faith with reasoned argument (1 Peter 3:15, Jude 1), just as Paul "reasoned" with the Jews."

First of all, as a Christian, Jesus never commanded me to do miracles. I have a couple of card tricks, but that's about it. Secondly, 1 Peter says to give answers "for the reason of hope'.. unfortunately for you guys....... well, let's just say, I don't have to give you an answer... and finally, in giving atheists answers, Matthew 10:14 says: "If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet."  So, in answer to the original poster... there's your answer!

Have you read the passages? Jesus IS (allegedly) commanding you to do the works he did (and greater). He states:

"I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father."- Gospel of John 14:12-13 NIV


Now, why have you assumed the bible is the "word of God"? And why are you trying to defend it against all criticism and/or refutation?
Thanks Median, Jesus was talking to his disciples in John 14:12-13. He was not talking to me, I was not there. Of course atheists do not accept this, but His disciples actually did great things. Look at the Christian world today, how big it is, and it started with 12 men. So, I would say that Jesus was right on - on that one.

Offline Jag

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #99 on: April 16, 2013, 08:20:36 PM »
I do not believe there is a single member of this forum who does not believe, somewhere in a part of their heart and soul, that God exists. Including you.

Take care.

Thank you mm. Regardless of what reaction this reply may have gotten you from anyone else here (I deliberately opted to respond immediately without going any further down the thread), I want to make sure you know that I appreciate the honesty of your answer.

I wasn't sure you were going to reply at all. Now that you have, I'm not quite sure where to go from here...

I guess I have to go read the follow up posts and see what came of this.


"It's hard to, but I'm starting to believe some of you actually believe these things.  That is completely beyond my ability to understand if that is really the case, but things never cease to amaze me."

Offline magicmiles

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #100 on: April 16, 2013, 08:33:20 PM »



I wasn't sure you were going to reply at all. Now that you have, I'm not quite sure where to go from here...


The ice cream shop. That's never a bad move.
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Offline Jag

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #101 on: April 16, 2013, 08:46:50 PM »
Ok, I've read the follow up posts, and think I should make this point: I'm the one who put him in this position.

I asked him outright if he really believed that we really don't believe (ignore the awkward wording please) and he answered the question I asked him.

I'm very much with Tonus in not being offended. (The rest of his post fits me quite well too and is very similar to how I would explain the rest of my story beyond the details I shared with mm.)

While I'm not thrilled that my suspicion proved to be correct, I think we need to be remember that he responded to a direct question with a direct answer, exactly as I asked him to.  We may not like his answer, but in this case we ARE talking about a subjective truth, mm's beliefs about our beliefs.

Whether he's right or wrong on this doesn't matter, what he said is what he believes. He could have lied to us - how he would have dealt with his conscience is up to him, and beside the point.

If there is fall out from mm being truthful, then some of it should rightly fall on me as well - this wouldn't have happened if I hadn't put him on the spot.

And mm? I really apologize for that. In retrospect, it wasn't very well thought out, and I should have seen that I was unintentionally setting you up. I wouldn't apologize if it had been deliberate, but it wasn't. I'm sorry.
"It's hard to, but I'm starting to believe some of you actually believe these things.  That is completely beyond my ability to understand if that is really the case, but things never cease to amaze me."

Offline magicmiles

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #102 on: April 16, 2013, 08:50:43 PM »
Think nothing of it. I'm certain I've said it before. And been told to fuck off and never darken the forums doorstep again.

Somehow I seem to keep lobbing back though.

Christians can be persistent buggers.
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Offline median

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #103 on: April 16, 2013, 11:00:38 PM »
Median, these are the questions I have been waiting for you to answer:

Just so we're clear: are you saying that your understanding of the passage is the only correct one? Do you interpret everything literally?

But don't bother any further with it. I know longer wish to discuss anything with you. I find you quite unpleasant.

LOL. I know you do b/c I'm challenging your presuppositions that you have invested so much into, and would feel so much pain to lose. I felt the same way about ex-Christians who challenged me when I was an apologist.

Did you come here so you could just talk to non-believers who you find "pleasant" (i.e. - the ones who won't challenge your biblical assumptions) and will only answer you in the fashion YOU want? It seems I'm not the only one who is displeased with the manner in which you behave yourself here. But that's OK, I didn't expect much more and didn't think you would be able to meet the challenge of the OP.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2013, 11:02:37 PM by median »
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline median

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #104 on: April 16, 2013, 11:36:47 PM »
I see the same evidence regarding the existence of the world as you (although I am not good with science, I understand the basic premise behind the big bang, evolution and natural selection). I look at the world around me. Not just the physical world, but the behaviour of human. When I think about it deeply, as I have many times, I always arrive at the same conclusions - the biblical account of how this world came to be makes sense. The alternate theories on how this world came to be simply don't.

Does the bible make complete sesne to me? Of course not. But on the whole, I find it compelling.

Why do you find it compelling? Have you not read the contradictions there? What about Yahweh's endorsement of slavery, genocide, infanticide, human sacrifice, and eternal torture is compelling?

Second, just looking at the world and then "thinking about it deeply" doesn't mean your thinking is rational. That requires a demonstration of this thinking you are doing. And what about the bible's account of creation (presumably Genesis 1) "makes sense"? It just makes an ASSERTION. There is no demonstrable evidence. Trees don't naturally say "Made by Yahweh" or "Hecho in Heaven" on them. Like other ancient writings claiming the supernatural, Genesis simply CLAIMS that Yahweh "did this". Why do you buy it?

I will be completely honest here, and then sit back and count the down-votes:

I do not believe there is a single member of this forum who does not believe, somewhere in a part of their heart and soul, that God exists. Including you.

Take care.

And I don't believe there is a single Christian (including you) that, deep down, doesn't secretly know (in their "heart of hearts"), that this stuff is a hogwash delusion of wishful thinking. We can 'believe' (i.e. - have "faith") in anything. But faith is not a reliable way to separate fact from fiction. How does merely believing what makes you feel good make it anymore true? We are interested in WHY you believe these things. And I would assert that the reason you believe that every non-believer is a secret believer is that you assumed your bible to be the word of God in advance (in particular Romans ch1, among other places). But you can't assume your position. The point of the OP is for you to DEMONSTRATE your deity - not just come in here and make baseless accusations about what you "have faith" are true.

Please "take care" more rationally.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2013, 11:41:41 PM by median »
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline Astreja

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #105 on: April 17, 2013, 12:39:51 AM »
I will be completely honest here, and then sit back and count the down-votes: I do not believe there is a single member of this forum who does not believe, somewhere in a part of their heart and soul, that God exists. Including you.

I won't down-vote you, Miles, but I do believe that you're wrong about this.  My own lifelong experience has been of a complete inability to believe in the reality of any gods... Including the goddess that I play on the Internet.

If there existed a lie-detector version of an MRI Brain scan, I'd be willing to subject Myself to such a test.  I'd expect it to show a lack of brain response to any attempt to sustain belief, like damp matches flaring and dying out immediately.

Now I have a question for you.  Please take your time with this, and don't rush to answer it.  How would it affect you if it turned out that you were wrong about what we believe?
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #106 on: April 17, 2013, 12:48:12 AM »


Now I have a question for you.  Please take your time with this, and don't rush to answer it.  How would it affect you if it turned out that you were wrong about what we believe?

Do you mean, if it was somehow demonstrated beyond all doubt that you really do have zero belief in God?
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Offline Astreja

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #107 on: April 17, 2013, 12:50:41 AM »
Do you mean, if it was somehow demonstrated beyond all doubt that you really do have zero belief in God?

Yes, precisely.  How would you reconcile that data with what you currently believe?
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #108 on: April 17, 2013, 01:11:30 AM »
Well, that's a tough one to answer. It does require a bit of thought. It's hard to know how it could ever be verified.

Might be a while before I get back to you, like you suggest.

I want to clarify my statement somewhat also. Again, that might be a while.
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Offline kcrady

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #109 on: April 17, 2013, 01:19:10 AM »
Mainly, Romans 1: 19-20

since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

Then it ought to be ridiculously easy for you to provide examples from the "created" world that demonstrate the invisible qualities of your particular god.  And not just something like "Oooh, stars!  Preeetty!  Therefore, Goddidit!"  Since Paul is claiming that everybody--including believers in other gods and goddesses--has no excuse not to believe in his specific god because it's just sooo self-evident, you should be able to demonstrate all of the important "invisible qualities" of your god from aspects of the real world.  For example, if one has to believe in the Trinity to be saved, the Cosmos should prove the Trinity somehow, so that Muslims, Jehovah's Witnesses, etc. "are without excuse."  If Paul is correct, this should be easy.  Go ahead, rub our faces in it.

Edit: Grammar.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2013, 01:20:56 AM by kcrady »
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Offline Quesi

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #110 on: April 17, 2013, 08:50:46 AM »
I do not believe there is a single member of this forum who does not believe, somewhere in a part of their heart and soul, that God exists. Including you.

Really?  Wow.  MM, do you think that we believe in your god?  Just a little bit?  Do you think that Hindus believe in your god too?  Just a little bit?  Do you believe in Vishnu, just a little bit too?  Or does all of humanity really believe in your god, (just a little bit) even though only a third of humanity identify as Christian?  Do you agree with the premise that that Christians and Jews and Muslims all believe in the same god?  Or is believing in the Jesus resurrection story a necessary component?   Muslims believe in the same creation story as you do, with Adam and Eve and Noah and Abraham and whatnot.  They even believe a virgin named Mary gave birth to a kid she named Jesus, who was a great prophet.  Is that good enough?  Or do you think that the 22% of humanity that ascribes to Islam really believe in the resurrection, but pretend that they don't?   Do you think that isolated tribes in the Brazilian Amazon believe in your god too?  What about people who lived 3000 years ago, let's say, on the American continents or in the Far East? 

I've got to tell you.  I would be delighted to believe. It would be so much easier to believe.  In any of the gods. Your god and harps on clouds in heaven for all of eternity.  Reincarnation, in which my good deeds in this life make me super cool in the next life.  Taking a boat trip to the afterlife, with all of my favorite possessions, like the ancient Egyptians.  Or more images from pop Christianity, in which dead children are little angels, smiling down upon us, and my sweet dead parents are micromanaging the tough days in my life. 

It would be so much easier.  Easier in terms of popular culture and easier to tell my sweet daughter how our dead cat is young and lively and pouncing on little mouse toys in the after life.  Easier to be "accepted" as the good deed doer that I pride myself on being.  Easier to not think about the impact of global warming.  Easier to accept that "there will be poor always" and that I can just give the poor food and pat myself on the back, rather than fighting the roots of poverty and economic marginalization.  Easier, when I have a greedy moment, a selfish moment, an arrogant moment, to just accept that I'm a sinner because Eve ate an apple, rather than take responsibility for my actions. 

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #111 on: April 17, 2013, 11:21:43 AM »
I'm not offended at magicmiles's statement either.  He's saying what he honestly believes, and that's important, because it means he respects the people here enough to say what he thinks even though he knew going in that it wouldn't be received well.  That it probably would be an offensive statement to a number of people.  If he wasn't willing to be honest (even though he's almost certainly wrong about it, which is not the same as him knowingly lying) when it was unpopular, how could we ever trust him to be honest in other circumstances?

That being said, I do think he's wrong in that belief.  For starters, he's advanced the proposition that every member of this forum has some belief in his god, even if it's buried really deeply.  But he has no way to realistically verify that statement - no way to actually test whether someone has a secret, hidden, or buried belief in his god.  Furthermore, his proposition can only be true in one instance - if every member of this forum actually does have that buried belief in his god.  In every other instance, it would necessarily be false, and thus falsify his proposition.

Given that it's his proposition,  he needs to be able to demonstrate a way to verify its truth value.  If he can't, then it's not a useful belief.  It would be like advancing a belief in a specific race of aliens who lived on a specific planet - while he could try to convince anyone he wanted that it was true, without evidence to support it, there's no reason to accept it as true.

Online Dante

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #112 on: April 17, 2013, 12:16:28 PM »
I do not believe there is a single member of this forum who does not believe, somewhere in a part of their heart and soul, that God exists. Including you.

Do you find it offensive if I were to say that you, in your heart of hearts, doesn't really believe in the bullshit you espouse?

Because you basically just called us all liars. And that makes it hard to accept anything you say to us genuinely.

So, I gotta go with Az's assessment too. You really should fuck right off.
Actually it doesn't. One could conceivably be all-powerful but not exceptionally intelligent.

Offline magicmiles

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #113 on: April 17, 2013, 06:24:27 PM »

Given that it's his proposition,  he needs to be able to demonstrate a way to verify its truth value.  If he can't, then it's not a useful belief. 

Obviously I can't verify it. I don't anticipate that, even if an atheist member here wanted to step forward and declare that in some part of their being they suspected God was a reality, they would feel comfortable to do so. There was an OP from a regular atheist poster about a year ago which made that clear to me. (the way the OP was responded to made it clear to me)

Anyway, soon enough I will expand a little on my controversial statement.

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Offline Azdgari

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #114 on: April 17, 2013, 06:25:39 PM »
Oh joy.  More preaching our personal qualities to us.
I have not encountered any mechanical malfunctioning in my spirit.  It works every single time I need it to.

Offline Hierophant

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Re: A Challenge to Christians
« Reply #115 on: April 17, 2013, 07:14:12 PM »


Now I have a question for you.  Please take your time with this, and don't rush to answer it.  How would it affect you if it turned out that you were wrong about what we believe?

Do you mean, if it was somehow demonstrated beyond all doubt that you really do have zero belief in God?

I can demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt that I have zero belief in God. Follow me around for a year or two and you'll observe absolutely zero speech or actions from me that would lead you to think I might believe in God.