Why I changed my mind

(Vlad K. I'm an Agnostic Atheist) #482

But Christ himself is a contradiction (what a surprise). If Christianity is right, he himself gave the law to Moses, however, after the incarnation, voila, you don’t have to take it literally! Who would have thunk it?

A bigger question, is how such a God can even be trusted, because, for all I know, he could only be allowing atheists in heaven. All that other stuff in the New Testament is not literal, just like the Old Testament stuff.

(Vlad K. I'm an Agnostic Atheist) #483

Caveat… IF you chose to take them literally. You don’t have to take anything literally, right?


That’s not a contradiction.

The Law had a temporary role. Galatians 3:24

(Vlad K. I'm an Agnostic Atheist) #485

New Testament would have no purpose if it didn’t need to correct/replace the Old Testament.

However, original Law had no such hints

Exodus 31:16 So the sons of Israel shall observe the sabbath, to celebrate the sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.’ Numbers 25:12-13 a priesthood was to be forever/lasting covenant also, etc…

New Testament “re-interpreted” it much in the same way some Christians “interpret” the New Testament.

Matt. 5: 19 Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Matt. 23:1 Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, 2 saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; 3 therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them.

Was Jesus aware that the Law of Moses and the whole of the Old Testament is just a suggestion? Except for the 10 Commandments, of course, as those must remain on US public places.

(Mervin Bitikofer) #486

For you “literally” seems to be a code word or synonym for “true” – as in, “I only need to take literal stuff seriously, and non-literal stuff I can just dismiss.” That is a confusion on your part (that you share with some of the more fundamentalist YECs). As long as you dwell in that confusion you will never have an understanding grasp of a whole lot of literature or scriptures. But if you need to stop there so that you can preserve your reason to dismiss it, then so be it.


So…it doesn’t matter what it actually says? Your conclusions trump the text?

Well, that’s not true, regardless of what people say.

(Richard Wright) #488

Hello John,

As usual I’m late in my response. :slight_smile:

Exactly. That mystery is what we call, “God”.

I’ll help you here. Dawkins has no explanation for the multiverse (at least not in The God Delusion). He merely uses it as an explanation for this universe. He does state something like, “Some have stated that I merely made up something like I claim the theists do.” He then states that God is more, “complicated” than the multiverse and is therefore an, “inferior option”. He clearly doesn’t understand multiverses, or God, because multiverses are enormously more complicated than God. He also negates to mention that there is literally no evidence of the multiverse.

Speaking of Dawkins, I find it remarkable how deeply the atheists posting here have been influenced by such a weak intellectual atheist. After having read his most famous work, some of his articles and reviews of his other works I’ve come up with what I call, “Richard Dawkins’ Unwritten Disproofs of God”. Here are 3:

  1. Evolution disproves the bible and God
  2. The universe not being created in 6 days disproves God and the bible
  3. The fact that God doesn’t appear in the sky, TV or on peoples’ phones disproves the notion of God

(I actually have more but those are the only ones I could think of off of the top of my head.) One that I find some skeptics seem to believe is, “the fact there are multiple religions proves that none is correct”.

When I recently visited Dawkins’ website, the messages left by his fans were all about how awesome the physical existence is, especially from a scientific perspective. One person said something like, “You won’t find such descriptions of nature in the bible.” And they’re right. The bible merely teaches about the creator of nature.

A couple of points to be made here. Focusing on the word, “feelings”, many atheists, some maybe even subconsciously, think that theism is an, “emotional” reaction to the greatness of the world. Firstly, the fact that there is an emotive element to faith doesn’t logically lead to the conclusion that theism is an, “emotionally derived belief”.

Secondly, based on conversations with atheists, I’ve found that there is no lack of emotion when they give me their reasons for lack of faith. Many have said similar things as the following, “I don’t believe in God because he let my brother die!” (one person said exactly that). In fact, at least in my experience, the reasons for a person’s atheism often start with emotional reactions of mistreatment by a religious person, or the abuses of religion in the past. Or, further, they don’t agree with teachings of the bible, especially teachings on sexual morality. Most don’t get as intellectually deep as the posters here, at least not at the time they decided against God.

In the end, the data from this existence seems to get processed differently in people. Most instinctively recognize that there is something beyond the physical yet others do not. But everyone has faith in something. The leaders of your movement, at least the popular ones, have faith in the multiverse (Dawkins, Tegmark, degrasse Tyson). They talk about the multiverse as if there is no doubt of it’s existence, even though there is, as I stated above, literally no evidence of it’s existence and no way to possibly, “prove it”.

This statement fails to adequately address evil conduct and falls into the, “evil is relative” claptrap. Hitler deliberately set out mass murder and genocide. The thought came into his brain, then the neurons reacted so you can’t attribute evil behavior to, “physical events” in most cases of evil conduct. How someone can get inhuman needs an explanation and there are no satisfying answers outside the existence of an evil force. In fact, in my many spiritual conversations with as many as were willing, evil gets people to ponder spirituality probably more than good.

And that brings me into my final point about everyone having faith in something. Yourself and @T_aquaticus have faith that the physical can explain everything. That has to be considered a matter of faith since honest, objective physicists (and really anyone who understands science) say that we will never know how the universe initiated since we can’t test models outside of spacetime. Good, evil, beauty, complexity, order, fine-tunedness, etc. as well demand answers. But I’ll say this for you guys, you have a lot more faith than I do!


I have no such faith. I fully accept that God could be behind any occurrence.

(Vlad K. I'm an Agnostic Atheist) #490

That’s not a confusion, but a Protestant realization that they need a Pope or a Priest to filter the text for them, as the text by itself is pretty much useless. Bible Commentary is of utmost importance. It shows you how Jesus did not mean what he said literally. A text that literally says “…you must not resist an evildoer” really means that you must stand your ground and kill an intruder, if necessary.

(Vlad K. I'm an Agnostic Atheist) #491

You missed my point. You quoted a New Testament text (Galatians) that said Old Testament was temporary. What else could one expect from a New Testament text that was used a replacement for the Old Testament?


No, you’re missing the point. The New Testament neither “replaces” nor “corrects” the Old Testament. And, actually, I misspoke. The New Testament does not say that the Old Testament was temporary. It says that the Law was temporary. The Old Testament is still relevant, not least because it provides the foundation and context for the New Testament.

(Vlad K. I'm an Agnostic Atheist) #493

Ephesians 2:15 by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace,…

So, the Law (of Moses given by Jesus) was abolished, no? It’s called the enmity. Like I said previously, when you have a contradictory text, you can find any teaching in it. You can use the Bible to bash homosexuals and you can use it to claim God accepts them as they are and blesses their union even.

(Mervin Bitikofer) #494

No you can’t. This would be like saying … “since science says light is a particle … but then it says; actually light is really a wave; since science has contradictory information it can be made to say anything we want it to say.”

And of course science, like the bible, or like any object can be used for nearly anything, be it a bludgeon, a doorstop, or an oracle. But those uses and abuses are often more reflective on the user than on the used.

(Vlad K. I'm an Agnostic Atheist) #495

You brought up a bad example, because a light is both, a particle and a wave. But you can’t give up all your possessions while keeping most of them. You can’t turn the other cheek and not resist an evil doer on the one hand, and kill them in self defense on the other.

Science is very much UNlike the Bible. You win Nobel prizes for proving science wrong. You are burned at the stake for proving Bible wrong. Thankfully, no burnings in the last hundreds of years, but it just shows how scientific thinking took over from religion.

(Mervin Bitikofer) #496

It is the perfect example … exactly for its “badness”. You correctly note that the objector who can’t get past the surface contradiction … “well which is it? a particle or a wave?” betrays a lack of knowledge of the issue and how science models work. Just as your objections demonstrate your lack of any serious biblical knowledge or engagement (much less succeeding in finding any compelling argument against it). So I maintain my example hits nearly perfectly.


That’s right.

That’s right.

The enmity is the division, the separation, created by the Law, which had a temporary function (as I already said).

If something has a temporary function, that doesn’t make it “evil.” When large buildings are erected, they use scaffolding and cranes. Very functional. But they don’t leave the scaffolding and cranes there when the building is complete.

Is that…a contradiction?

Is that what I do? What does that have to do with the temporary function of the Law?


A silly, simplistic caricature. But I do denounce violence in the name of religion.

(John Dalton) #499

I’d just call it a mystery.

Much of the rest of your post seems to be about Dawkins and various subsets of atheists, which isn’t really of much interest to me, and I’ll abstain from comment. Until:

I don’t think it does. I don’t think it means evil is relative at all. It seems pretty simple to me. We understand the effects that various actions have, including negative effects. A thought is clearly a manifestation of activity of the physical brain. Unfortunately negative actions such as Hitler’s are all part of our legacy as humans. I don’t see the need for an exterior explanation, and I’m content with working to ensure that positive actions are our future legacy.

I don’t even know what that means. I don’t think everything can be explained by the physical or otherwise, if that helps.

since honest, objective physicists (and really anyone who understands science) say that we will never know how the universe initiated since we can’t test models outside of spacetime.

Makes sense to me.

Good, evil, beauty, complexity, order, fine-tunedness, etc. as well demand answers. But I’ll say this for you guys, you have a lot more faith than I do!

To me, a lot of those things are simply what they are and don’t seem to require an explanation. Others, I just don’t understand to varying degrees. I don’t see how that requires faith. Did you define faith? Sorry if I’ve lost track. Maybe that could help me in making some sense of it.

(Vlad K. I'm an Agnostic Atheist) #500

Ephesians 2:15 by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace,…

You are just creating your own language, and your own interpretation.

(Mervin Bitikofer) #501

Not just his own! He is not alone … it is a prominent interpretation of a wider Christian community seeking to be faithful to God’s Word (Christ).