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If I am criticising God, why do YOU get angry?

As an atheist it is funny to watch how upset people get when religious claims are questioned. I understand the value of humans sticking together, to survive it’s much better to hunt in packs. If I was to bully a young child or someone confined to a wheelchair I would fully understand an intervention from someone else. So with this in mind, why do you feel the need to stand up for God? 

Maybe it is because God needs all the help he can get? He’s at some kind of disadvantage? Hmmm, we all know this isn’t true. He doesn’t need any help whatsoever and the help a human being could offer…I’m sure would be politely declined. Thanks, but no thanks.

A much more realistic possibility for such a passionate response is not because God is incapable enough to deal with skeptics, he simply isn’t there. This would explain why so many theists get angry and frustrated by my opinions. God could think me into damnation if he so chooses and as a religious believer, why not wait for him to deal with it? It’s his business. You have your own job, family and bills to pay. You didn’t create the earth or the laws it is governed by, nor the species that you are a part of. So instead of getting pissed of at someone’s opinion, realise that this opinion is not a personal criticism and does not have to affect you or your lifestyle. Would you start shouting at a fellow diner in a restaurant if they told the waiter the food was unsatisfactory? No. You would probably look a little crazy to both customer and waiter and I’m sure both would breathe a sigh of relief when you left. Why? Because you have nothing to do with the restaurant. You aren’t paid to do their job, so leave it to them to fix. You would be merely getting in the way and complicating things further.

I remember getting wound up by an atheists opinion as a teenager. It wasn’t what they were saying that annoyed me, although this is how I felt at the time. I now know that the  frustration I had was purely self inflicted. I wanted there to be a God despite the lack of evidence. My emotional side did not respond well to the overpowering logical side. Everytime I remember getting angry at an atheist opinion, it wasn’t because the opinion was offensive, it was an opinion I wanted to run and hide from. Truth. Reality.

Next time you feel like shouting at an atheist in favour of God, take a moment to ask yourself why you need to. Even if it takes another 50 years for me to meet my maker, it’s going to happen, right? Becoming hostile shows me that there are many so-called ‘believers’ out there that, deep down, have as many doubts as I do. The difference is atheists have learned to stop fighting with these thoughts.

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14 replies »

  1. Just a different perspective – could it possibly be because it’s a religion based on relationship? Could it have anything to do with the fact Christians call their God ‘Father’. Would you take the time to pose this argument of a dad’s sons stepped in to thwart a burger, or when children step up to a bully saying “my dad is tougher than your dad “?
    The reason you don’t get upset in a restaurant isn’t because someone else is crazy, but because it’s not personal. Calling God imaginary, on the other hand is personal.

    Perhaps a better question might be, why do atheist spend so much of what little time they have concerned with the emotional well being of Christians? Just my two cents, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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    • If we are to compare it to a relationship, I wouldn’t stand up for the father that wasn’t there. That’s what I feel God is, and to stand up to him as a relative so to speak, would be similar to supporting a parent that did not support you. Is that logical or moral from any side of it?
      I do understand what you are saying with regards to it being personal, but that is what my post is about. I do not see how a relationship with God is personal at all, and people who are offended do not have to be, they just choose to be.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s a fair point, and I’m truly not trying to criticise your view. What I’m offering is a perspective. While you don’t see the merit in standing up for a derelict dad, many still do. Further, not everyone who believes in God does so blindly. Many Christians believe because of experience. While I understand the skeptic not choosing to believe based on someone else’s experience, I don’t think anyone should call them a liar and then criticise their view after they reaffirm their position.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s fine to stand up for a derelict dad, but to worship him would be a little too far!
        It is great to hear your perspective even if it was a criticism, as long as it’s in the form of a debate or conversation and not a violent encounter, we are setting a good example 🙂
        In those experiences though, what makes it a ‘Christian’ experience? There are so many personal experiences people have, and if you take into consideration these Christian experiences you have to be fair and do the same with Muslim accounts too. And every other religion that has also claimed to have had personal encounters with God. I feel that these encounters are not very personal nor do they show any signs of a specific God. I have previously made the point that if you watch a horror film, you instantly become more paranoid and cautious of every single sound you hear. This isn’t anything more than it was before you watched the movie, but because you are listening out for it, you notice it more. I think this is very similar to those who claim God has reached down to them and I would to see more evidence of a specific God doing so.

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      • To be completely transparent, I believe less than have of the experiences of God reaching down and speaking to someone. It’s probably not a point I want to emphasise here (though I’d love to hash it out through personal correspondence if we ever get that far).
        I also really like your horror movie analogy! I’m going to use that from a Christian perspective too.
        To answer your question, what makes a Christian perspective – it has to mesh with biblical authority. The Bible says “be like the Berean’s and test everything according to the word of God” (IMO).

        Why, if I may ask, are you put off (if I can use that term) by Christian testimony and /or conviction?

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      • I just don’t see why Christianity should be taken any more seriously than any other religion. The only reason we believe in the Christian God is because as a society we are told the stories from a young age. There is nothing out there which gives me the impression that the Christian God created world, if no one ever told me about God I wouldn’t know about him, and for the creator of the universe this is a little weak.

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      • I appreciate you honesty and transparency. If I may, your points are generalized. This isn’t a knock on your view but it becomes a problem when applied globally. For instance, there are countless news stories out of the middle east of Christians fearing for their life because they converted from Islam, in an Islamic country (committing apostasy). These people would hardly agree to the idea they only believe because of societal norms or influences. Quite conversely, their conviction must run far deeper than social pressure as they are honestly, and literally, subject to death for their beliefs.
        To discuss your other two points in one illustration, I don’t think it’s necessary that you hear about Jesus to make the case ‘A’ God exists. I trust you’ve read / heard the bible verse “for since the creation of the world his invisible attributes have been clearly seen…”, this is very depictive of the human minds curiosity of origins. Without any one introducing you to God, Buddha, Zeus, or Darwin, you would have to formulate in your mind “where/how did life begin?” Without any knowledge of any other worldview (including scientific research), my contention is the first and most likely option is God (which is why so many gods have been invented throughout history. Science has provide a lot of reasonable rebukes of a theistic worldview, but has no better answer for origin theory (not trying to say science won’t or can’t know better only illustrating at this moment in time space it has only ideas and each idea has its own problems). With that said, if one starts with God, even if investigation leads you to a different conclusion, you did have a chance to know him without being formally introduced.
        If no one has told you about him, I’d like a chance to offer you a new (or maybe repeated) look at Jesus. There is a considerable amount of proof beyond just testimony. The question isn’t whether the proof exists, the question is how you interpret it.

        As I mentioned, if I can clarify something, draw an illustration to make something clearer, or just provide a different perspective – I’m thankful you took the time to engage. It’s how we both learn.

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      • But with Islam becoming the fastest growing religion, doesn’t this show that Islam is superior to Christianity? During the inquisition those that did not convert to Christianity were tortured and killed. Their conviction must have been just as strong!
        Regarding Jesus, are you stating that there are considerable proofs that he existed, or is the son of God?

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      • I don’t think I understand how popularity necessitates superiority (especially in terms of religions). Greek mythology grew to popular status at one point, but that is non existent today.
        I also don’t see how conviction necessitates truth. 39 people associated with the 1997 Heaven’s Gate suicide cult, I reckon, were very convicted of their beliefs. When I wrote about Christian conviction in the Middle East, that was only a refutation of the idea Christianity is only socially true, or that one believes in Jesus only because they were introduced by their parents. Dawkins said once, “To say X is the fastest growing religion is only to say that X is having the most children”. But with Muslim converts (or any converts for that matter), that is just a silly thought.
        There is a massive amount of proof for Jesus! More evidence is available for Jesus than any other historic person of the time (like, A LOT more–thousands of manuscripts, eye witness testimony, extra biblical sources). Whether you believe those are adequate for determining his being the Son of God is irrelevant. His existence should be unquestioned.

        What is your background with Christianity?

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      • Apologies, I do not believe that the more popular a religion the more superior it is. This is an argument that many theists put forward (if Christianity is based on untruths, how come there are a billion followers? etc) and I for some reason thought that is what you were getting at.
        And even if there is much evidence for Jesus, I want to know whether or not he was the son of God. If he existed, fair enough. If he wasn’t the son of God, why do we worship him? 🙂
        My background with Christianity… I was raised in a small village in England that was 50/50 protestant and catholic. The Catholics went to church, the Protestants didn’t. I was a Protestant. Although I went to Sunday School as a young child and my parents wanted to believe it was never forced upon me. Most people I went to school with as well as my catholic friends did not believe in God, if they attended church it was because their parents wanted them too. Since 9/11 (I was 12 at the time) I have had a fascination with religions of the world. I am no expert, but I do feel it is obvious to see the trends in how one becomes religious. I started looking at some of the more prominent atheist debates and I felt they were much more civilised in conversation and did not have to worry about having all the answers, although the arguments gained my respect a lot more. I like to think my blog posts focus on what should be common sense more than a complete breakdown of the Bible and each verse.

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      • Jesus as the Son of God is an important concept. One of the things that struck me about Jesus was the role he plays in so many religions. Muslims, for example, regard him as a prophet. Jews have called him a trouble maker. Mormons say he was just a man (albeit a perfect man, but just a man). From this perspective, it is really hard to argue that he didn’t exist (aside from all the historical evidences). Most atheist arguments I’ve heard all revolve around skepticism (John Loftus has said, “where is the video evidence of Jesus”). Virtually every religion acknowledges the existence of Jesus in some way within their dogma. So when C. S. Lewis wrote, “the kind of man Jesus was, who said the things he said, can only be liar, lunatic, or Lord” (paraphrased), I think he presents a solid argument.

        I had to laugh at your comment, “I started looking at some of the more prominent atheist debates and I felt they were much more civilized in conversation…” because I read that at the same time this was posted on my blog site (this is from an atheist rejecting my thoughts): “Harris and Dawkins are becoming increasingly irrelevant to atheists, as their out-of-scope shenanigans are seen by many to be rejectable.” I bring it up here because the two facets of life that atheists are comfortable not having all the answers, are the two facets that necessitate God: life and reason. There is no theory for the explanation of life apart from God. There are several guesses or ideas, but they are not without problems (namely the problem of indefinite cause). Further, the mind/brain problem which is our ability to think and reason, interact, and change is not possible if we are just a series of chemical reactions. I wrote one time and argued from common sense about the first life. I said, the first life must have 3 things: it must have the ability to survive in the environment it was formed, it must have the ability to reproduce at or better than its current self, and it must not regress within the first few generations (at least). If any one of those doesn’t exist, if the first life doesn’t live long enough to reproduce (even a-sexually), or reproduces something that can’t survive or continue reproduction, etc., then life stops. From a common sense perspective, the odds of life without these necessary conditions is impossible on its own.

        I say all that to say, I think you are smart–smart enough to know that a smooth talker with civilized conversation abilities does not make them right. I would encourage you to question your parents, your community, your faith (as I believe you have), but without neglecting the questions that the debaters you’ve watched left unanswered. If Jesus did indeed exist, and he said the things he is believed to have said, I think he deserves more attention than instant dismissal.

        If I can help, I’d love to. If something has left you stumped, I’d love to clarify. Until then, I hope you continue asking questions–it can only lead to the truth.

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  2. I get upset rarely on that, but if I do it’s because normally the person presents themself as initiate/expert in my culture, but then normally proceeds to cross not just folkways but normally even morays.

    And often beyond that the rhetoric used is just aggressive, who likes being “subtly” insulted? It’s like some people bank solely on the fact you won’t punch them! You can always tell when someone has been slapped at least once in their life; not that violence is excusable but I don’t support coddling either.

    But if a person listens and actively listens then there’s no discomfort, anger, etc. Most people are at least nuetral enough that it ends quickly.

    6:1 they normally have slipped to start criticizing me as a person, and while I don’t persay care I have honour.

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    • I have taken a more aggressive (verbally, never physical) approach in the past but I realised this wasn’t the right approach. If you respect your opposition they will listen much more than if you try ridicule.

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      • That’s very true. Hardly ever is a single debate decisive either, if one realises a lose is learning they will actually debate and not pontificate.

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