Author Topic: Why did God make me an atheist?  (Read 2155 times)

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Offline relativetruth

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Why did God make me an atheist?
« on: January 23, 2014, 11:13:49 AM »
I was brought up, a white male, in the Apartheid regime of the Republic of South Africa in the sixties and seventies. My parents were both members of the Christian sect The Salvation Army.

Now the Salvation Army has its origins in the poor inner city areas of London, UK in the early 19 hundreds. The founder, William Booth, was concerned about poverty and so started a movement/sect/charity along the lines of ‘Jesus’s teachings’. 

I would describe my situation as being brought up in a loving middle class family (with the caveat that we would be class ‘poor’ if we were not white). Of course we had compassion for poor people (who were black in South Africa, including the coloureds in Cape Town, or the various darkish hues of many troubled people in the African and Asian subcontinents).

At some time in my youth, when I started to ask questions, which my parents could not answer (My Dad left formal education at 13, my Mum at 15) I then had various conversations with the priest (or officer in Salvation Army terms). He suggested I ask God!

So for about 10 to 15 years I did just that!

I had heard  that there were soo many religions old and new not just Christianity (whatever that meant?). I am opening my heart to you, oh God,  let me know which one is really your preferred route. I cannot believe that you, an all-loving god, would dismiss Hindus, Moslems, Buddists etc  just because of their geographical location.  Maybe ALL routes are viable!!  I got NO reply ......just silence.

I had read that there were thousands of creation myths in existence and of course only one (or none) could be correct.  If there is one group which has the correct story it could only be that YOU, oh God, provided them with that story. Why did you thus deny the relatively larger section of humanity the truth?  Does it really matter that we know the truth? I got NO reply , just silence.

After many years of asking questions about wars, slavery, tsunamis, volcanoes, droughts, famine, miscarriages, people born with disabilities, why do viruses exist?, why do carnivores exist? prejudice and, life, the universe, and everything? And still getting NO reply?

Then….I had an epiphany!!

Either an all-loving god who created us all does not exist.

OR, God has been steering me towards atheism all these years and deliberately closed my heart (As part of the grand plan!). I am now incapable of theism no matter how hard I try.

I am not anticipating an answer anytime soon!
God(s) exist and are imaginary

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Re: Why did God make me an atheist?
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2014, 11:44:33 AM »
Good insights, rt.

Religion does two things. It explains how we got here and why, and then it makes excuses for things not working out as planned/promised.

And it is wrong on both counts.

Kind of hard to justify, huh?

Jesus, the cracker flavored treat!

Offline Jontom10

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Re: Why did God make me an atheist?
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2014, 01:07:30 PM »
God made you to worship him, but like myself and other atheists here, you are more powerful than God because you resisted the purpose for which you were created and became atheist.

Something like that perhaps..

..or maybe that is gods plan for us all...

..or maybe the entire god thing is utter bullshit made up by people wishing to empower themselves and reap the benefits.
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Offline relativetruth

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Re: Why did God make me an atheist?
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2014, 02:43:08 PM »
God made you to worship him, but like myself and other atheists here, you are more powerful than God because you resisted the purpose for which you were created and became atheist.


But that was one of my many questions. Why does an all-powerfull god require worship? Why would such a supreme being need to have their ego stroked?

Lets say, I was able to create a new life form in my fish tank. If I was also able to observe these tiny little creatures develop personalities and communities over time. I would watch with pride if one of my personal favorites started to become successful and I might even be tempted to manipulate their environment, slightly, to help some individuals in some cases.

But worship, Nah!

Maybe that is just me?

--edit for grammer
« Last Edit: January 23, 2014, 02:58:09 PM by relativetruth »
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Offline SevenPatch

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Re: Why did God make me an atheist?
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2014, 08:04:12 PM »
Sometimes I wonder, if God does exist, would God care if I thought God didn't exist?

Honestly, I don't know if a god exists or not and from my perspective no gods have tried to contact me.  It's not like God is sending me text messages and I'm ignoring them, in any case, whatever way God is trying to contact me, it hasn't been very successful.  Maybe God is trying to contact me via Morse code on a frequency I can't hear?

So, either God isn't trying to contact me or the method God is trying to contact me hasn't been successful.

If God is trying to contact me but has been unsuccessful, I would hope God would know why I didn't receive the message.

Now, if I were in God's position (not if I were God, just in the same position), would I be offended or angry if a person who technically never met me doesn't know if I exist or doesn't think that I exist?  I don't think I would, I might find it slightly humorous since I know I exist, but how could I blame that person for thinking what they think, they have every right to think I don't exist.

On the flip perspective, I know there are people all around the world (just about) but do I know that a guy named Brian Sandibigbuttkowski lives in San Diego, Calf?  Maybe he does, maybe he doesn't.  Now, what if someone tells me things about Brian Sandibigbuttkowski that are beyond my experience of what is possible?  I would have to seriously doubt those things are true or that Brian Sandibigbuttkowski even exists.  We've never met.  Not really any reason for him to be upset or care what I think, nor would there be for me if I were in his shoes.

What if Brian Sandibigbuttkowski knew I existed, had great power and loved me as if I were his son?  Wouldn't he still try to help me or do everything he could to keep me from unnecessary suffering despite whatever I think about him?  I know I would if our roles were reversed.

Of course I'm just projecting myself as God for this discussion.  That is a problem though for any theist, they have no option but to either project themselves as God or take the word of some other theist who projected themselves as God.

« Last Edit: January 23, 2014, 08:06:57 PM by SevenPatch »
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Offline johnrain

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Re: Why did God make me an atheist?
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2014, 04:19:32 AM »
OP, why didn't you read the Bible for your answers?

Offline relativetruth

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Re: Why did God make me an atheist?
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2014, 05:35:21 AM »
OP, why didn't you read the Bible for your answers?

I did, twice, (at least the King James version of it).

It was precisely because I did not understand the inconsistencies of those documents and I was not getting any answers from the adults in my life (as to how I should interpret those words) that I decided to defer to the highest authority that I knew.

God did not respond to any communications that I attempted to make.
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Offline junebug72

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Re: Why did God make me an atheist?
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2014, 08:56:38 AM »
Good insights, rt.

Religion does two things. It explains how we got here and why, and then it makes excuses for things not working out as planned/promised.

And it is wrong on both counts.

Kind of hard to justify, huh?

This is my problem with religion. 

I believe in God not religion and there is a big difference. 

If there is a God and God made you atheist I don't believe that God would condemn you for it.

I don't think God divided man I think man did that to themselves.  Then again God made us that way, right?  I look at it like this.  Suppose God did the best God could.  Should God have not created us?  Should nature not have created us?  Either way you look at it you have to find a way to enjoy/appreciate this opportunity to shine.  I don't think you should take advantage of others to shine.  We should all have that pleasure.  Life is short for us ALL.

Peace,

JB
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/t/thomas_paine.html#XXwlhVIMq06zWg2d.99

Offline jetson

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Re: Why did God make me an atheist?
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2014, 08:58:02 AM »
OP, why didn't you read the Bible for your answers?

Are you asking because you believe it is how we connect to YHWH?

Offline penfold

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Re: Why did God make me an atheist?
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2014, 09:40:08 AM »
Sometimes I wonder, if God does exist, would God care if I thought God didn't exist?

This has always been a huge thing for me. I actually think the proposition that the universe exists for humanity is a far harder claim to justify than god exists.

I can almost believe in some great foundation to existence which could reasonably be called God. I cannot, however, accept that this foundation has a human-like mind and a mind which is primarily concerned with the activities of humans.
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away." - P.K.D.

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Re: Why did God make me an atheist?
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2014, 10:04:57 AM »
OP, why didn't you read the Bible for your answers?

I would guess that many atheists count reading the Bible - cover to cover - as one of the reasons for their disbelief.  Nearly every line of scripture contradicts itself at some point in the Bible.  That's why, after nearly 2,000 years, Christians still argue about what it means to be a "good" Christian.

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Offline jynnan tonnix

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Re: Why did God make me an atheist?
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2014, 11:07:13 AM »
Ah, but, you see, the way you phrased your prayers implied that you had doubts about which path was right, and god only answers prayers from those who have accepted him. If you had, rather, refused to look at or think about the possibility of other religions having validity or the possibility that seemingly random calamities might not be part of god's perfect plan, and immersed yourself in constant circular reasoning on how the Bible is the word of god, and we know this because the Bible tells us so, then...viola! Prayer answered. Eventually you would have found a way to block out all that pesky critical thinking.

Or not. But it seems to work for a lot of people.

Offline Jesuis

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Re: Why did God make me an atheist?
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2014, 08:24:09 PM »
I was brought up, a white male, in the Apartheid regime of the Republic of South Africa in the sixties and seventies. My parents were both members of the Christian sect The Salvation Army.

Now the Salvation Army has its origins in the poor inner city areas of London, UK in the early 19 hundreds. The founder, William Booth, was concerned about poverty and so started a movement/sect/charity along the lines of ‘Jesus’s teachings’. 

I would describe my situation as being brought up in a loving middle class family (with the caveat that we would be class ‘poor’ if we were not white). Of course we had compassion for poor people (who were black in South Africa, including the coloureds in Cape Town, or the various darkish hues of many troubled people in the African and Asian subcontinents).

At some time in my youth, when I started to ask questions, which my parents could not answer (My Dad left formal education at 13, my Mum at 15) I then had various conversations with the priest (or officer in Salvation Army terms). He suggested I ask God!

So for about 10 to 15 years I did just that!

I had heard  that there were soo many religions old and new not just Christianity (whatever that meant?). I am opening my heart to you, oh God,  let me know which one is really your preferred route. I cannot believe that you, an all-loving god, would dismiss Hindus, Moslems, Buddists etc  just because of their geographical location.  Maybe ALL routes are viable!!  I got NO reply ......just silence.

I had read that there were thousands of creation myths in existence and of course only one (or none) could be correct.  If there is one group which has the correct story it could only be that YOU, oh God, provided them with that story. Why did you thus deny the relatively larger section of humanity the truth?  Does it really matter that we know the truth? I got NO reply , just silence.

After many years of asking questions about wars, slavery, tsunamis, volcanoes, droughts, famine, miscarriages, people born with disabilities, why do viruses exist?, why do carnivores exist? prejudice and, life, the universe, and everything? And still getting NO reply?

Then….I had an epiphany!!

Either an all-loving god who created us all does not exist.

OR, God has been steering me towards atheism all these years and deliberately closed my heart (As part of the grand plan!). I am now incapable of theism no matter how hard I try.

I am not anticipating an answer anytime soon!
God did not make you an atheist - you came to that conclusion all on your own through your thinking.  Thinking has made you into an atheist.
According to Theists: Theists know God, Atheists don't.

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Why did God make me an atheist?
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2014, 11:43:07 PM »
^^^^Yay for thinking, then! ;D

Didn't god give him the brain to think with! All roads still lead to god. Or else god is only on the job part-time. That would explain a lot of things.... :-\

Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Ataraxia

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Re: Why did God make me an atheist?
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2014, 03:09:59 AM »
God did not make you an atheist - you came to that conclusion all on your own through your thinking.  Thinking has made you into an atheist.

I didn't think about being an atheist, I just stuck to the position I was born with.
If you keep on living your life as though your purpose is to be saved and go to heaven, you are missing the heaven that you are living in right now.

Offline Mrjason

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Re: Why did God make me an atheist?
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2014, 05:48:33 AM »
God did not make you an atheist - you came to that conclusion all on your own through your thinking.  Thinking has made you into an atheist.

god didn't make you a theist. You were programmed from a young age to believe in a god. Having a brain that is susceptible to taking in all information, irrespective of its validity, and being born into a culture where religion is pervasive has made you into a theist.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2014, 06:37:39 AM by Mrjason »

Offline Hatter23

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Re: Why did God make me an atheist?
« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2014, 08:01:27 AM »
God did not make you an atheist - you came to that conclusion all on your own through your thinking.  Thinking has made you into an atheist.

Which only goes to illustrate, if you are a theist, how little you think.

You don't bother with thinking, it is too hard. The implications of actually looking at the world for what it is, for you and people like you,  too frightening. Actually paying attention to facts is too much effort.

You would rather remain coddled and stupid.



An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Online jaimehlers

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Re: Why did God make me an atheist?
« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2014, 08:22:12 AM »
God did not make you an atheist - you came to that conclusion all on your own through your thinking.  Thinking has made you into an atheist.
You say that as if thinking is a bad thing.

Lemme guess, this is an attempt to sound profound without thinking very hard about it?

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Re: Why did God make me an atheist?
« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2014, 11:40:47 AM »
Sometimes I wonder, if God does exist, would God care if I thought God didn't exist?

To take this a little further..

This is a being, an entity that can (supposedly) create a universe trillions? quadrillions? light years across instantaneously with a blink of it's "eyes" or wiggle of it's "nose" or a thought-form in it's "mind". Why would a being THIS immensely powerful care what puny carbon based lifeforms on a tiny speck of rock in the back-forty of the universe think or do or feel? Why would this being care if it is acknowledged much less worshipped? This is what Christian's (and other religions that try to make their god a superpower) don't seem to understand. Once you start applying all of these quirks, needs, desires and other human emotions to your omni god, what kind of god is it? It's not much of a god anymore. Just a human with magic powers. Then you add in the threats and unreasonable requests and you just have a human bully with magic powers.

Is it possible that an immensely powerful being wants to be acknowledged and/or worshipped? Absolutely. But if that is the case, then the being in question must definitively make it's existence and it's desires known. It must also behave in a way that is worthy of acknowledgement or worship. The god of the old or new testament does none of these three things.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2014, 11:46:37 AM by jtk73 »

Offline SevenPatch

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Re: Why did God make me an atheist?
« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2014, 02:34:33 PM »
Thinking has made you into an atheist.

Classic.  The conclusion all theists must come to eventually if they want their particular religion to continue: thinking is the enemy.

You have to have faith that it is true.
Pray and your question will be answered.
It's all part of God's mysterious plan.
The answer will be revealed in good time.
Don't think too much about it.
It's better to not ask too many questions.
Don't pay any attention to the man behind the curtain.

Where would religion be if religion were forbidden to be taught to children under the age of 18 and up until that age all children would be taught critical thinking skills?

Perhaps religion would survive.  Kind of like cigarate smoking continues despite the known dangers.  Although if a warning label were placed on every religious text stating "Not to be taught to anyone under the age of 18" and kids would grow up with even basic critical thinking skills who are willing to question anything, I would seriously doubt religion would have any hold over people. 

I expect that this proposal seems wrong to some if not most theists and perhaps it even makes some theists angry.  I have to ask though, why would forbidding religion to be taught to children under the age of 18 matter?  If your god is so secure and so apparent, it should not matter.  If theists truly believe in their god(s) then they should hold no fear about not teaching their children about religion, they should fully believe that their god will be revealed to the child when he or she reaches the age of 18.

But no, religion needs to indoctrinate children for it's very survival.  I wouldn't be surprised if a few adults would turn to religion even if they weren't indoctrinated, but it wouldn't be enough to save religion.

I also wonder, if everyone on the planet were atheist, would that force a god to show up and do something about it?  Would that be the only way to get evidence of any god?  I think theists are going about things the wrong way, if they want to provide people with evidence, just stop teaching religion until no one on the planet believes anymore.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2014, 02:37:58 PM by SevenPatch »
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Offline Quesi

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Re: Why did God make me an atheist?
« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2014, 02:46:47 PM »
Any god worthy of my worship would be more interested in the time and energy I put into helping human beings, and not particularly concerned with the lack of time and energy I put into worshipping a deity. 

Offline Hatter23

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Re: Why did God make me an atheist?
« Reply #21 on: February 12, 2014, 03:05:04 PM »
Any god worthy of my worship would be more interested in the time and energy I put into helping human beings, and not particularly concerned with the lack of time and energy I put into worshipping a deity.

If a god wants my worship, at the very least he needs to show up.
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Why did God make me an atheist?
« Reply #22 on: February 12, 2014, 04:24:11 PM »
Any god worthy of my worship would be more interested in the time and energy I put into helping human beings, and not particularly concerned with the lack of time and energy I put into worshipping a deity.

If a god wants my worship, at the very least he needs to show up.

Yeah, and somewhere besides some wackadoodle's brain.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Jesuis

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Re: Why did God make me an atheist?
« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2014, 07:45:56 PM »
God did not make you an atheist - you came to that conclusion all on your own through your thinking.  Thinking has made you into an atheist.

I didn't think about being an atheist, I just stuck to the position I was born with.
Thinking is not associated with birth. Experience is.
According to Theists: Theists know God, Atheists don't.

Offline Jesuis

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Re: Why did God make me an atheist?
« Reply #24 on: February 12, 2014, 07:59:13 PM »
A theist does not create a religion nor does he make one.
His goal historically is to remind man of the path to knowing and becoming a more highly evolved humane human being through awareness of the effects of his own thoughts words and deeds on others as they all have consequences either raising or lowering the child humanity. Man makes religion on the teachings of a theist and on the belief they have in him. A theist is one who knows God whereby the rest of us are atheists with beliefs.
According to Theists: Theists know God, Atheists don't.

Offline SevenPatch

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Re: Why did God make me an atheist?
« Reply #25 on: February 12, 2014, 08:08:34 PM »
A theist does not create a religion nor does he make one.
His goal historically is to remind man of the path to knowing and becoming a more highly evolved humane human being through awareness of the effects of his own thoughts words and deeds on others as they all have consequences either raising or lowering the child humanity. Man makes religion on the teachings of a theist and on the belief they have in him. A theist is one who knows God whereby the rest of us are atheists with beliefs.

Why should we believe the theist actually knows a god?

Although a more relevant question might be, why should we believe your definitions of the words "Theist" and "Atheist"?
"Shut him up! We have a lot invested in this ride - SHUT HIM UP! Look at my furrows of worry! Look at my big bank account, and my family! This just HAS to be real!" - Bill Hicks

Offline Jesuis

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Re: Why did God make me an atheist?
« Reply #26 on: February 12, 2014, 08:36:11 PM »
A theist does not create a religion nor does he make one.
His goal historically is to remind man of the path to knowing and becoming a more highly evolved humane human being through awareness of the effects of his own thoughts words and deeds on others as they all have consequences either raising or lowering the child humanity. Man makes religion on the teachings of a theist and on the belief they have in him. A theist is one who knows God whereby the rest of us are atheists with beliefs.

Why should we believe the theist actually knows a god?

Although a more relevant question might be, why should we believe your definitions of the words "Theist" and "Atheist"?
It is the highest human condition to try and find the truth rather than stagnate and do nothing.
According to Theists: Theists know God, Atheists don't.

Offline SevenPatch

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Re: Why did God make me an atheist?
« Reply #27 on: February 12, 2014, 08:44:26 PM »
A theist does not create a religion nor does he make one.
His goal historically is to remind man of the path to knowing and becoming a more highly evolved humane human being through awareness of the effects of his own thoughts words and deeds on others as they all have consequences either raising or lowering the child humanity. Man makes religion on the teachings of a theist and on the belief they have in him. A theist is one who knows God whereby the rest of us are atheists with beliefs.

Why should we believe the theist actually knows a god?

Although a more relevant question might be, why should we believe your definitions of the words "Theist" and "Atheist"?
It is the highest human condition to try and find the truth rather than stagnate and do nothing.

Interesting.

So why should I or anyone else believe the theist actually knows a god?

Also, why should I or anyone else believe your definitions of the words "Theist" and "Atheist"?
"Shut him up! We have a lot invested in this ride - SHUT HIM UP! Look at my furrows of worry! Look at my big bank account, and my family! This just HAS to be real!" - Bill Hicks

Offline Jesuis

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Re: Why did God make me an atheist?
« Reply #28 on: February 12, 2014, 09:09:40 PM »
A theist does not create a religion nor does he make one.
His goal historically is to remind man of the path to knowing and becoming a more highly evolved humane human being through awareness of the effects of his own thoughts words and deeds on others as they all have consequences either raising or lowering the child humanity. Man makes religion on the teachings of a theist and on the belief they have in him. A theist is one who knows God whereby the rest of us are atheists with beliefs.

Why should we believe the theist actually knows a god?

Although a more relevant question might be, why should we believe your definitions of the words "Theist" and "Atheist"?
It is the highest human condition to try and find the truth rather than stagnate and do nothing.

Interesting.

So why should I or anyone else believe the theist actually knows a god?

Also, why should I or anyone else believe your definitions of the words "Theist" and "Atheist"?
Same question technically.
Why should you indeed - why should another. How would I know about you or them? 
However, If I wanted to know something  there is an established method to knowing. Not everyone wants to know.

According to Theists: Theists know God, Atheists don't.