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  • Darwins +1176/-6

Think about it in 3rd person - I think ultimately (if) there is only one God (which I am convinced that there is), and he made the entire universe, I think that the only option left is for the people who He made to trust Him and in His greater purpose. What say do they have? Remember (if) my God is real (which I believe He is), he made both pleasure and pain. Why? Why didn't he just make pain?

Risk/reward - I have absolutely nothing to lose.

If this is all that you have ever, for all eternity - this existence - what are you doing in this forum? Don't you want to spend your last breaths enjoying everything you can in this life as there won't be anything after?

I, of course, don't think this way and I think that anyone who takes a leap of faith in this miraculous guy named Jesus will live forever in His kingdom.

But your risk/reward is far greater than my risk/reward. No matter what I happens after I die, I win! If I am right, I win. If I am wrong, who cares?


You have one way of looking at the world. We atheists have another. Obviously we can't both be right. Just as obviously, we could both be wrong. Perhaps we were created by an overzealous 4th grader in another universe playing with his chemistry set.

If god is not real, we still have pleasure and pain. Were we all in constant pain, we would have labels like "good pain" and "bad pain". Were we all suffering constant pleasure, we would break that down into types as well. Luckily our interaction with our nervous system allows us to experience both. And yes, philosophical stances have arisen based on those extremes. If, as we atheists think, we merely evolved and our ability to experience both is a result of genetics, then any implication that a god is involved adds unnecessary baggage and little else.

I can't speak for the others, but I spend time on forums like this for two reasons: One, religion all too often causes the aforementioned pain via ignorance, oppression, lies and just plain ickyness. Not all religions or all religious folks fall into this category, but enough do to cause people to be harmed by the bad in religion. I am speaking out against that.

Secondly, I'm not so hung up on time as to worry about ever second I have. What fun would voluntarily adding those stressors be to me. I spend some of my time being productive, other time enjoying my life. I don't think of myself as being on a timetable.

Ditto living forever. Why in the heck would anyone want to do that. What is the appeal? Life is far more interesting when one knows that it is limited. As an infinite condition, it becomes worthless. There is too much of it.

And the whole Jesus thing is so contrived. An infinite and omnipotent being whips out perfection and then gets mad at it when it isn't perfect. Knows he's failed and yet doesn't start over, but rather drowns all but a few and hopes that things will go better, even though he knows they won't because gods know stuff like that. So a bit further down the road he inserts his kid into the one pure human on planet and out comes a savior, who conveniently disappears for a long time then shows up for a few years to save the world. Does so in a conveniently negative environment (what with the roman rulers and all) and gets himself pegged to sticks, theoretically having a few bad days until the elevator arrives. But then anyone who believes the story gets saved, while the rest of us get to burn forever because your god loves us that much.

Note that the Jesus story was told to only one small group. He didn't have brothers running all over the planet trying to save the various cultural groups that existed at the time. Like all god stories, yours was conveniently localized. It is no way different from any of the other stories made up long, long ago.

I'm sure you can type out a screed designed to dash my POV on the rocks, just like I have just tried to do to yours. I am pretty much convinced that the human propensity to be religious or non-religious is genetic, a trait as minor as blue vs. brown eyes but harder to see. That could mean that there is a god and I am incapable of believing in him. Or that there isn't one, and you are incapable on not believing.

Of course, the question there is this: If there is a god, why would he let genes decide who believed and who didn't? If there isn't a god, it is just the side-effect of some necessary genetic mix-and-match. I tend to think that it is more likely that there is no god involved rather than an incompetent one who forgot to make me capable of loving him.
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