June 10th, 2014
02:40 PM ET
Meet the atheist ... who believes in God
Opinion by Frank Schaeffer, special to CNN
(CNN) - All the public debates between celebrity atheists and evangelical pastors are as meaningless as literary awards and Oscar night.
They are meaningless because participants lack the objectivity to admit that our beliefs have less to do with facts than with our personal needs and cultural backgrounds.
The words we use to label ourselves are just as empty.
What exactly is a “believer?” And for that matter what is an “atheist?” Who is the objective observer to define these terms?
Maybe we need a new category other than theism, atheism or agnosticism that takes paradox and unknowing into account.
Take me, I am an atheist who believes in God.
Let me explain.
I believe that life evolved by natural selection. I believe that evolutionary psychology explains away altruism and debunks love, and that brain chemistry undermines the illusion of free will and personhood.
I also believe that a spiritual reality hovering over, in and through me calls me to love, trust and hear the voice of my creator.
It seems to me that there is an offstage and an onstage quality to my existence. I live onstage, but I sense another crew working offstage. Sometimes I hear their voices “singing” in a way that’s as eerily beautiful as the offstage chorus in an opera.
My youngest grandchildren Lucy (5) and Jack (3) are still comfortable with this paradoxical way of seeing reality.
Most grownups don’t have the transparent humility to deal with the fact that unknowing is OK. But Lucy and Jack seem to accept that something may never have happened but can still be true.
For instance they take Bible stories we read at face value, and yet I see a flicker in their eyes that tells me that they already know the stories are not true in the same way boiling water is true and can be tested—it’s hot!
It's like that mind-bending discovery from quantum mechanics that tiny objects like electrons can actually be in two places at once and act simultaneously like a particle and a wave.
Maybe my grandchildren will embrace quantum theory, and won't look for ways to make the irrational rational by hiding behind words like “mystery” in order to sustain their faith in science or God.
Or maybe they'll embrace apophatic theology, the theology of not knowing.
Atheists in the Bible Belt: A survival guide
But it's not the easiest thing to do.
Our brains are not highly evolved enough to reconcile our hunger for both absolute certainty and transcendent, inexplicable experiences.
Nor can I reconcile these ideas: “I know that the only thing that exists is this material universe,” and “I know that my redeemer liveth.”
Depending on the day you ask me, both statements seem true. And I don't think I'm alone in that.
Behold, the six types of atheists
We’re all in the closet, so to speak. We barely come out to ourselves and never completely to others. I have met people who claim a label - evangelical or atheist - until you really get to know them.
Then, things get more complicated.
Many of us, even the devout, have many more questions than answers about God and religion.
In other words, people just like me: atheists who pray and eloquent preachers who secretly harbor doubts.
I believe that we’re all of at least two minds. We play a role and define that role as “me” because labels and membership in a tribe make the world feel a little safer.
When I was raising my children, I pretended to be grownup daddy. But alone with my thoughts, I was still just me. I’m older now, and some younger people may think I know something.
I do: I know how much I can never know.
Many Muslims, Jews, Hindus and Christians inherited their faith because of where they were born. If you are an atheist, you hold those beliefs because of a book or two you read, or who your parents were and the century in which you were born.
Don’t delude yourself: There are no ultimate reasons for anything, just circumstances.
If you want to be sure you have "the truth" about yourself and our universe, then prepare to go mad. Or prepare to turn off your brain and cling to some form or other of fundamentalism, whether religious or secular.
You will always be more than one person. You will always embody contradiction.
You—like some sort of quantum mechanicals physics experiment—will always be in two places at once.
Frank Schaeffer is a writer. His latest book is "Why I am an Atheist Who Believes in God: How to give love, create beauty and find peace." The views expressed in this column belong to Schaeffer.
About this blog
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.
Consider the following possibility: The bible is a work of fiction. If you truly open your mind to this possibility, you'll realize that the things we observe in the world make a lot more sense. You'll find that you won't have to spend so much time and energy trying to reconcile the bible with what we actually find in the world. You'll find you won't have to spend so much time and energy inventing twisted forms of thinking to try to convince that believing in the bible is logical. In general, you'll be able to live a much more honest and relaxing life. Give it a shot.
now why would i want to revisit the hopelessness that you experience now and that i formerly experienced? your heart and soul are sick beyond measure. the only reason you are here right now on a belief blog is to express a part of that sickness; your hatred for God and by proxy your hatred for His children.
You're funny. Not ha-ha funny, but look-at-the dopey-bible-thumper funny.
What makes you think I have hopelessness? That's pretty sad that you require religion to be happy, but if that's what you need, so be it. It would be impossible for me to hate a god since I don't believe one exists. What I do hate is the act of mentally abusing children by brain-washing them to believe in religion. I also hate the horrific adults we see in so many of the adults who underwent such abuse (see 9/11).
Well now, did your "Holy Spirit" inspire that little faith, hope and love fest from you?!
Why are you violating one of your commandments so frequently? You do not know Seavic, yet you make all of those claims about him that you have no idea if you are right.
Why do you keep bearing false witness against others scot?
So in other words the author is a theist who claims to accept science.However his statement "I believe that life evolved by natural selection. I believe that evolutionary psychology explains away altruism and debunks love, and that brain chemistry undermines the illusion of free will and personhood." But is completely contradicted by his following statement "I also believe that a spiritual reality hovering over, in and through me calls me to love, trust and hear the voice of my creator."
So while he claims to accept science he seems to have a cognitive disconnect when it comes to reason and logic.
Yes, on account of he is dumb.
This is the most ridiculous thing I've read today.
Just today? This is the dumbest thing I have ever read.
I was reading politics earlier. So...
That's the dumbest thing you've ever posted.
There are a lot of dumber things you have replied to below.
I stand corrected.
There are certainly a lot of contradictions in religion – omnibenevolent god sending people to eternal torture, omnipotence (self-contradictory), omniscience (self-contradictory).
But rarely do you hear someone state a contradiction so explicitly. P equals not-P. Probably the silliest article in religion I have read in a long time, up there with some of the nonsensical presuppositionist and creationist articles.
The author says:
“participants lack the objectivity to admit that our beliefs have less to do with facts than with our personal needs and cultural backgrounds.”
“Most grownups don’t have the transparent humility to deal with the fact that unknowing is OK.”
If he changed the words “participants” and “grownups” to “believers in god(s)”, he would be correct. Atheism has everything to do with objectivity and facts (or lack thereof). Atheists absolutely believe that “unkowning” is OK. Admitting that we don’t know and therefore, don’t need a god to explain what we don’t know, is a core component of why we are atheists.
As a lifelong Atheist I concur fully. Those are very good points in your post. Belief itself is a state of unknowing. A belief is really just a proposition that is held as fact based on trust alone, without the necessary logical premises necessary to hold it as a logical truism. Therefore a belief is not a known but a supposition and is neither definitively true nor false. I would have to have a strong need of some kind and a lot of trust in the source of such a thing for me to employ it in my logical thought process and act on it as though it were a truth. Meanwhile I also have a problem with the author's assertion that he believes in God and is also an Atheist. I suppose that is possible if he flip flops from one ideology to the other at various times during the day, which is what it sounds like, but once you believe in one or more of the many available gods you can choose from (at least in this country), you are not an Atheist. Atheism precludes belief in a god fundamentally and philosophically, so he is not really the novelty he is portrayed to be (an Athiest who at the same time believes in God which is just can't be true). That is similar to saying "I drive my very own car every day and yet I don't own a car, and I can't drive". A logical person would see a problem with that, and I am not talking about 'faith based logic' which allows for falsehoods to be true, readily accepts contradictions and denies well proven facts, and mixes fancy with fact willy nilly whenever it is supports a certain belief, or it is deemed emotionally fulfilling. I am talking about real logic.
I suspect that the author at one point rebelled against the family religion, pretended to be an atheist and was very vocal about it. Now he is too proud to admit he was never an atheist and is attempting to distort the atheism of others in order to rationalize his own deception. Whatever his reasoning, his words are patently dishonest.
I bet I know more methods to copy and paste than you.
You probably do, but why is that an issue? Many folks in here insert into their posts exerpts from books they've read.
Don't get mad.
I'm not mad. I'm just wordy by default.
According to Pew Research 21% of atheists believe in God, and of those: 8% are absolutely certain God exists
55% of agnostics believe in God – only 5% don't know if it is a personal God or impersonal force. And 17% are absolutely certain God exists.
According to Pew research, 21% of people who sef describe as athiests, apparently don't understand the definition of the word.
Which means there are probably a lot less atheists than is being reported.
Possible, but on the other side there are people who practice religion, btu don't actually believe in any gods, so the numbers are going to be a bit fuzzy either way.
Good point. Pew Research also shows of those who believe in God – a significant number don't pray or practice any spirituality.
I bet at least half of those who claim to be religious don't really believe in a god. So actually, there are almost definitely a lot MORE atheists than reported.
I'd say 20%.
This very segment demonstrates what Frank Schaeffer is talking about.
The current count of atheists is not nearly as important as the growth in our numbers.
There appears to be a decline in atheism according to some studies. At least world wide.
Dala: I suspect there are many sitting in the pews who no longer believe but are afraid to admit it due to what can come with that. For some people admitting to not believing can be very costly. Look up Jerry Dewitt...he tells a side that only a pastor who has admitted to not believing can know. And if you get a chance, Ryan Bell's blog is worth checking out.
I'm familiar with those guys, Ryan Bell has been featured on this blog a few times. He explained how he understood why his employer let him go after he took up this publicity stunt. I know people that were atheists that became believers – and they had to endure ridicule and social pressure for their beliefs, too. I've experienced that. It is not easy to come out as a believer to your atheist friends.
Religion is in decline in the developed world; that's why religions are trying to recruit elsewhere – it's an expensive enterprise and someone has to pay.
Religion, or something very much like it, is growing within atheist communities (like Buddhism, Secular Humanism).
"In previous generations, the atheist was keen to insist that non-believers can be just as moral as believers. These days, this is more or less taken for granted. What distinguishes the newer atheist is his admission that non-believers can be just as immoral as believers. Rejecting religion is no sure path to virtue; it is more likely to lead to complacent self-regard, or ideological arrogance." Theo Hobson
Can't argue with Hobson on that. Peoples' innate attributes are mostly independent of religion and belief in God. Religion seems to affect learned behavior more than innate ability.
Hobson was writing on a growing approach to atheism that differs from the brand that Dawkins and Harris promotes.
I've got no idea what a religious atheist is (despite what the author has written). it sounds like an oxymoron to me. Theo Hobson presumably provides no evidence for his claim of non-belief being arrogant? As I said the other day, believers claiming to know things that all of science does not (origin of universe and origin of life) is arrogant.
Atheist just means you don't believe in God or gods. It has nothing to do with belonging to or desiring a religion.
As soon as you add a creed to atheism then you do have a religion. There potentially could be as many atheist religions as you could imagine. If that happens, that would likely mean there are many more atheists than there is now. I would expect many of them to exhibit similar behavior that religions do now. Tribal behavior is innate, with or without God.
Recent increases in delusion / decreases in atheism can be attributed to large populations in the former USSR and China no longer being labelled en mass as atheist. The global numbers are becoming more accurate due to assumptions being discarded, not necessarily to actual shifts in belief. In western / developed countries, religion is in decline. See Pew and:
As with gay rights, the youth in the west are leading the way in shedding historical / cultural biases and discrimination.
Delusional believers, enjoy your delusions while you can, but please keep them away from children.
My beliefs aren't based in delusions, though. And people from my religion are leading the way for g.ay rights.
OK, I wasn't really including Buddhism because although there are no gods, they do believe in higher realms and reincarnation which implies some supernatural activity.
Atheists can believe in supernatural activity. Just no God or gods behind it.
no milk and cookies for you again today. it's not about gaining converts, never was. it's more about making sure each and every person has the opportunity to exercise their free will so that when it comes time to kneel before Him in judgment (and whether you want to or not you will) they won't be able to honestly say they did not know.
I never made that distinction before, but it could be possible to have people who don't believe in God but do believe in other 'supernatural' phenomena. If you don't believe in either, what is that called? Asupernaturalists?
or anther way to look at it Dala – Scot and Vic are you the 3 out of the 6 ?
1 of those will be a non-religious person – according to the study.
Oops – 3 out of 4 ?
wandering, That's what they say, but don't you think an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent god could have either made itself known in those regions or could easily bring its presence to their notice without missions? I doubt that the majority of Hawaiians look back in fondness at the (christian) missionaries.
Good conversation and agreed. I've been frustrated by the study findings as well.
Those very confused self-defined 'atheists' who believe in a god....
Agreed that the actual % is perhaps around 20%. Maybe 12-25%
Technically, I think the article stated, "God or a universal spirit". And while ~2% claimed atheism, ~7% did not believe in God or a universal spirit.
Let's be clear about the Pew data. It is interesting but it can be interpreted differently from "21% of atheists believe in God", since the figure quoted is actually a NET of three different categories of response.
The data is:
For question about conceptualizing God the responses were:
...................Impersonal Force ... Personal God ... Other / Don't know ... "NET believe in God"
Atheist ................. 12% ..................... 06% ....................... 03% ............................ 21%
Agnostic .............. 36% .................... 14% ........................ 05% ............................ 55%
The data actually shows that 6% of atheists believe in a personal God. While I do find that striking, it is a long way from the 21% believe in God concept.
12% identify with an "impersonal force" and 3% answered "other/don't know". Why Pew chose to include "Other / Don't know" in their "NET Believe in God" statistic is surprising to me.
From the link I can't tell which survey this is from. It feels like it is from the 2007 comprehensive Landscape Survey, but it would be interesting to know which questions this data is derived from.
From the 2007 survey the questions seem to be:
Q30: Do you believe in God or a universal spirit?
Q31: How certain are you about this belief? Are you absolutely certain, not too certain, or not at all certain?
Q32 (if yes to 30) Which comes closest to your view of God? God is a person with whom people can have a relationship or God is an impersonal force?
Responses to Q32:
..................Personal ... Impersonal ..... Other / .......... DK ........ Don't Believe .... Other /
......................... God ........... God ............ Both/ ........ Refused ...... in God .......... DK (VOL)
Unaffiliated ...... 28 ............ 35 ................. 03 ............... 03 ................ 22 .................. 08
Of the roughly 20% unaffiliated "nones", (it has increased from 16.1% in 2007) 22% don't believe in God or a universal spirit. This puts non-believers at about 4-5%.
And there is a plurality for an impersonal God amongst the 'nones'.
In the 2007 survey, Pew reported that 1.6% of respondents affiliated as "atheist". (They reported 2.4% in 2012.)
Yet 22% of 16.1% (or 3.5%) answered "no" to Q30. That's a 2X variation against what we would assume to be 'normal' for the atheist self-identification.
Important subtleties you are highlighting – self-defined atheists vs. the unaffiliated.
I prefer to use the term 'self-defined atheists' regarding studies like Pew's, for the very reasons identified. Namely, these self-defined atheists who believe in a god. I find it contradictory to call them atheists, and hence prefer 'self-defined atheists.'
The spiritual demographics of the "nones" are indeed murky. The big Pew Landscape survey in 2007 had 35,556 respondents, and of those 1.6% (~569) self-identified as atheist.
That's certainly enough to be statistically significant, but the taxonomy and definitions are very unclear for many people (evidenced by this article and it's responses) leading to data that conflicts with what we would expect as norms.
Plus there is a lot of uncertainty introduced though using landline telephone conversations to complete the instrument. (Are they representative today? Do people behave differently by telephone? etc)
PRRI released an interesting survey (I Know What You Did Last Sunday) where telephone surveys greatly inflated reported church attendance. There didn't seem to be much difference in affiliation rates by non-believers though.
PRRI has atheists and agnostics at 5% and 4%, which is pretty close to my non-believer calculation above, if you put many people who self-identify as agnostic as being in the 'universal spirit' camp.
Comparing Pew-07 and PRRI-14 data on this topic:
Pew-07 Q30: Do you believe in God or a universal spirit?
Pew-07 Q31: How certain are you about this belief? Are you absolutely certain, not too certain, or not at all certain?
Pew-07 Q32 (if yes to 30) Which comes closest to your view of God? God is a person with whom people can have a relationship or God is an impersonal force?
Responses to Q32 (for the unaffiliated only:
.............................Personal ... Impersonal ... Other / .......... DK ........ Don't Believe .... Other /
................................. God ........... God ............. Both/ ........ Refused ...... in God .......... DK (VOL)
Pew-07 ('phone) ..... 28 ............ 35 ................. 03 ............... 03 ................ 22 .................. 08
PRRI-14 ('phone) ... 30 ............ 34 ................. NA ............... NA ................ 31 ................. NA *
PRRI-14 (online) .... 19 ............ 35 ................. NA ............... NA ................ 43 ................. NA *
Non telephone interviewing can have a significant change in answers to the "do you believe in God" question, even if self-identification rates are much less affected. The plurality changes from 'universal spirit' to disbelief!
Uhh yeah, if you believe in a God, you are NOT Atheist... Not believing in a supreme being is what makes you an Atheist, and Atheism isn't a religion, so you can't twist and contort it's meaning like you can with other Religions.
I agree. If you murmur to yourself and think that some God in another realm hears you, you are not an atheist.
I'm a married bachelor.
My favorite shape is the round triangle.
I don't know if this author is just a spiritualist guru/post-modernist type or what, but I don't find this extreme abstraction away from any concrete meaning of words to be helpful.
The author thinks that these words are meaningless. I'm afraid that it I must apply this principle to the author's own use of words.
If you believe in a higher power, you are not an atheist. End of story.
And when you say "Many" Christians, Jews and Muslims believe that way because that's the way they were brought up, I think you mean "Almost all". Even the most die hard Christians in America, if they had been born in Pakistan, would be a Muslim and vice versa. The reason these beliefs make sense is that it's all these people have known...It's the same reason we believe in Santa Clause and the Tooth Fairy until we are 8, when someone tells us to stop believing.
And no, I don't have any doubt on whether or not there may be a magical sky god out there sending AIDS to babies in Africa or hurricanes to New Orleans or someone who wants you to blow up abortion clinics or fly planes into buildings or start holy wars in his name.
God and religion were simply a way for bronze age tribesman to explain where the Sun went at night and what caused locust infestations...Now we know.
While I'm not sure I can reconcile the author's argument that he is an "atheist who believes in god" (sounds more like he is just a person who believes in god) he does kind of touch on something that I deal with frequently as an atheist and that is the concept of faith and whether it is possible to have faith and be an atheist.
To me, faith simply means believing something you cannot prove because in your heart you know it to be true. Religious people believe in a god they cannot prove exists because in their hearts they feel it is the truth. However, I don't feel that religion has a monopoly on faith. Atheism also takes a good deal of faith. Science has answered many questions for me but there are also many questions that have yet to be answered. My faith is that I believe science will answer these questions in time even though I have no immediate proof of this. My religious friends hear me say "I have faith" and they immediately say "you are not an atheist then." It's frustrating to say the least.
Bottom line, I do not think you can be an atheist that believes in god (by the very definition of the word) but i do think you can be an atheist with faith. Thoughts?
With faith in what?
From the OP
"My faith is that I believe science will answer these questions in time even though I have no immediate proof of this. "
How about being thankful for everything? Can one be thankful without being thankful TO someone/something?
In general, non-believers don't think faith (in the religious sense) is a virtue whereas religion is predicated on faith. The willing suspension of critical thinking required to accept a proposition despite a lack of evidence (or evidence to the contrary) is anathema to the skeptical mind. Faith in your fellow man (including preachers) is indeed important becuase without faith there is no reciprocity in your relationships – and relationships are important. Having faith that your preacher is legitimately trying to do good is not the same as suppressing rational analysis so as to have faith that what he says is fact.
you're wrong again, faith is not the absence of evidence or the suspension of critical thinking. you need to start thinking like a man and put away the foolish schoolboy logic.
Faith: Pretending to know things you do not – Peter Bohossian. No one has greater faith, as in pretends to know more things, than DumbAzzScot.
Faith is believing something that you do not know, and accepting it as if you did know. If you knew, you would preclude faith.
In order to have faith, you must suspend logic and reason, since logic and reason warrent that you have SOME evidence as a basis for belief, which no religion offers.
that's just wonderful ! you've both just described your belief in the myth of evolution. so you do believe in fairy tales after all ! try to next time think more rationally like a man, and put away your foolish schoolboy logic.
Strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof:
gosh scot, you might be right, except for the huge volumes of data showing evolution, and all of the work being done based on the FACT of evolution. Other than all of the confirming experiments, and genetic evidence...you know...other than all of the evidence combined, there is no evidence.
No faith required when we see it every day.
Let's try a computer analogy for the difference between the scientific method and religious faith.
When I was a 10 year old kid programming in BASIC on a Commodore 64, I constantly used IF THEN statements.
This is the scientific mindset – if A is true, then B must follow. Scientists then meticulously lay out every step of their logic in getting from A to B so that other scientists can replicate the process and either verify the IF THEN statements validity, or prove it wrong and send the hypothesizer back to the drawing board.
If 1 apple plus 1 apple equals 2 apples, 1 million apples plus 1 millions apples must equal 2 million apples.
It is not necessary to have a room full of millions of apples and count each one – all that is needed is to follow the chain of logic. 1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 and so on.
The scientific method allows us to make predictions based on this IF THEN logic.
IF life evolved in a graduating scale of complexity, THEN we should find fossils arranged in geological strata in a linear way (Ie: the deeper the strata, the simpler the life forms). This prediction turned out to be true.
Just like in those childhood programs I wrote, IF the logic applied is sound, THEN the program will run continuously and without error. If the chain of logic is faulty, the program will fail.
The Young Earth program spits out a SYNTAX ERROR at numerous stages.
IF there was a global flood, THEN there would've been no fresh water 4,000 years ago.
Terrestrial life existed, therefore there was fresh water. Program fails. Start again and re-evaluate your chain of logic.
Unfortunately, the standard fundamentalist chain of logic, translated into BASIC 2.0, is:
10 PRINT "THE BIBLE IS TRUE BECAUSE..."
20 GOTO 10
i see you only copied and pasted what suited you. i am sure that's not the only definition of faith given in the dictionary. try to be more upright and honest, and while you're at it, try to develop relationships with honest god-fearing men and perhaps you won't need to lie.
The other definition is not pertinent when it comes to the RELIGIOUS definition of faith.
For the record, the other Oxford definition is:
"Complete trust or confidence in someone or something"
When I am a passenger on a plane or when I order food from a restaurant, I have a reasonable expectation of safety, not blind faith. I know, for instance, that there are professional, educational and legal requirements for becoming a pilot or a food handler. I know that there are safeguards in place to punish those who violate those requirements. I therefore know that it is in the pilot or food handler's best self-interest to execute their duties in a professional matter. This doesn't mean that I have faith that said safeguards are always effective, but I have a reasonable expectation based on personal experience that the likelihood of danger is low.
God is a byproduct of sentience, not the other way around.
When early man, his little brain bent upon survival at all costs, discovered that the world worked independly from how he thought it worked, he was frightened and scared. That can't be! said early man to other early men. There must be some explanation, nature can't just be arbitrary!
"Ugg", said other early men, and thus "God" was born–or, more appropriately, gods. Early men weren't really very good at generalization, and since everything seemed to work independently from everything else, several gods were needed to explain the "stuff" that affected early man so profoundly.
But instead of "Gravityman," "LightWavesWoman," "FractalDemon," and "FunctionChild," early man, unaware of such mystical things as provability and objectivity, figured that somebody just like him, but a little smarter, must be responsible for how and why the world worked like it did. And since it was like him, it must be fickle, greedy, and childlike. Thus, mult.itheism had its glorious start.
As time went on, man began to build, man began to create, and gods began to resemble our more recent ancestors as their needs and wants changed. Christianity came along, a big beautiful "unified field theory" of a religion, and combined all of our fears and woes and hopes and dreams under one, easy-to-remember, easy-to-appease label, Jesus Christ.
Religion is an impossiblity our mind allows because it makes us feel safe, the ultimate goal of earlyman.
Faith is the emotion that precedes thought.
It is the cave-man instinct that comes upon us when we're confronted by something we don't understand.
Faith is the emotion that precedes rationality.
Religious faith is arguably the most powerful of all human emotions. It can inspire the best and the worst in humanity.
But like all emotional arguments, it cannot be answered with logic.
your foolish analogy really isn't an analogy at all. you are comparing technology to faith, 2 different things. you'll notice in that sentence i did not mention evolution or atheism. however, in order to bolster their faith in the fairy tale of evolution, atheists are famous for trying to hijack science and technology as if they owned it or have a mandate from it. it's their security blanket. the fact is a majority of science has nothing at all to do with evolution and yet all one hears from atheists and evolutionists is "science this" and "science that" they don't equate necessarily amigo and not everyone is fooled.
i only need to point to one example of the foolishness of evolution, and evolutionists cannot refute it: Cambrian Explosion
Well, you haven't stated the claim, much less supported it, so no ability to refute it yet.
Of course most science has nothing to do with evolution – but biology most certainly does.
The great majority of scientists (esp. biologists) see no conflict between religion and evolution, not because they occupy different, noncompeting magisteria, but because they see religion as a natural product of human evolution. Sociologists and cultural anthropologists, in contrast, tend toward the hypothesis that cultural change alone produced religions, minus evolutionary change in humans. The overwhelming majority of scientists reject the basic tenets of religion, such as gods, life after death, incorporeal spirits or the supernatural. Yet they still hold a compatible view of religion and science.
Src: (Greg Graffin and Will Provine, "American Scientist 95:294-297, 2007.)
Of course, the Cambrian explosion began around 500 million years ago and took some 30 million years, which is a time scale many orders of magnitude beyond the 6000 year old Universe proposed by the YEC crowd.
There any many hypotheses and a few good theories regarding its cause and mechanisms and many people continue to work on the question.
Many things are unknown, but nothing is ultimately unknowable.
Beware the "God of the gaps" Scotty – those holes in which God reside get smaller and rarer all the time.
By all means, tell me why you think the Cambrian Explosion somehow refutes evolution? Explain it to me.
Hopefully you will learn something scot.
Though I doubt you'll take the time to study it, here's one paper from a respected biologist regarding the Cambrian explosion:
EXPLAINING THE CAMBRIAN “EXPLOSION” OF ANIMALS
Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences
Vol. 34: 355-384 (Volume publication date May 2006)
Charles R. Marshall
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, and Department of Invertebrate Paleontology, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138;
well well, i'm not surprised D0C added 10-15 Ma to the time frame given by most if not all scientists although there has been some major 'fudging' as of late. but in a nutshell the "Cambrian Explosion" is a geological time frame marked by the sudden and unexplained appearance of most all of the major phyla all within a relatively short span of 15-20million years. even by their own account and consensus evolutionists say billions of years are required in order for evolution occur. the fact that that their are absolutely no antecedents in the fossil record presents a dilemma for evolution. this event is also analogous to the cosmic event called the big bang whereby the sudden appearance of matter and energy gave birth to this universe.. these are facts that cannot be wished away by evolutionists in their attempt to discredit an external force in these operations. evolution does not adequately explain these things and remains a myth.
"From about 570 to 530 million years ago, an evolutionary burst of life forms occurred, often referred to as the "Cambrian Explosion."
If Scot were born a few hundred years ago, he would've been a geocentrist.
"here's one paper from a respected biologist regarding the Cambrian explosion"
should actually read
here's one paper from a one respected evolutionary biologist regarding the Cambrian explosion:
I love it.
I cite a paper called "Explaining the Cambrian Explosion" and a few minutes later you say that it can't be explained.
An evolutionary biologist is still a biologist just as a structural engineer is still an engineer.
The author of the paper is the head of the department of integrative biology at the University of California.
Current projects in his group center on: understanding how biodiversity changes on geologic timescales, and on how molecular phylogenetic data and the fossil record might be used synergistically to understand the processes responsible for changes in diversity; the calibration of molecular clocks; and, the import of new genomic data on our understanding of the Cambrian explosion.
Why don't you contact him directly and explain how everything he has ever done is a complete and total lie.
A distinction without a difference.
If you are going to lie, you will never learn scot.
"even by their own account and consensus evolutionists say billions of years are required in order for evolution occur"
That is a lie. No one says that genetic mutation leading to evolution need billions of years. It can happen in as little as one generation on out to millions of generations. If there are few external stimuli that can effect the genes, you will have slow to no change over time, such as with the Crocodiles and Dragon Flies and Horseshoe crabs. If you have some major event that stresses a population very quickly, the pace of change will be more dramatic as conditions will show flaws in a life form, and cause any without that flaw to survive, making the change to the overall gene pool a quick and dramatic change.
I don't know why you feel the need to lie scot...is your argumnet that weak? ( oh, yeah...I forgot, it really is that weak.)
although i am not working in the field of meteorology at this time, i have a degree in it, in addition i also have a minor in geology. don't assume that i am a stranger to science just because i don't believe in your fairy tale. furthermore, because i do have a background in science, i am even more convinced that evolution is b.s. so go on believing your myth and doing your copy and paste from the mindless ramblings of punk rockers. don't matter to me.
i know someone who actually does work with genomes and won a Nobel prize recently, he doesn't subscribe to any of your b.s. you can't explain the contradictions of the Cambrian Explosion because there is no viable explanation. you're delusional to think so.
Meteorology and biology are different fields.
If someone has questions regarding weather, they should consult a meteorologist.
If someone has a question about Quadratic acid, they should consult a chemist.
If someone has a question about evolution, they should consult a biologist.
" know someone who actually does work with genomes and won a Nobel prize recently, he doesn't subscribe to any of your b.s."
Does this Nobel Laureate friend of yours also reject evolution outright?
Have you got a name or at least the field in which he won his Nobel Prize and the year in which he won it?
your stupid assertion that evolution doesn't require billions of years has no merit and doesn't even deserve a response.
I just cited Professor Marshall's paper.
If you think it is complete and utter BS and have the means to refute him, please do so!
I'd love to see the exchanges between the two of you.
I don't know if Professor Marshall is a punk rocker, though a lot of punks really like his amplifiers.
I have seen cancer patients go into remission using a combination of biologic medicines and gene therapy, the results of the "myth" of evolution. Those therapies were developed from the mechanics of evolution. Seems quite a useful "myth".
Your myth on the other hand, I have seen nothing from...ever.
so what kind of genome facts and information have they gotten from dinosaur bones millions and millions of years old?
"your stupid assertion that evolution doesn't require billions of years has no merit and doesn't even deserve a response"
That is hilarious and science proves you wrong.
There are viruses that live for only a few hours. By growing them in the lab, you can go though thousands of generations in a month. By subjecting them to various stiimuli or environments, you can stufy the effect on the genes themselves and be able to see the genetic drift in action...in a MONTH...not billions of years.
You also are not taking into account the effects of epigenetics...where what happens to you this generation has a direct effect on the genes of the subsequent generations, such as those observed as a result of the Ireland potato famine.
Seriously scot, learn something before calling me stupid, you really make yourself look the fool.
biologic medicines and gene therapy do not owe their existence to the study of evolution. you're delusional with your myth.
seriously dude, you're either stupid or delusional confusing adaptation with your myth of evolution. start learning to think for yourself.
Jim Marshall invented the Marshall amp in London England and is not a professor. sorry charlie, evolutionists can't claim him as one of their own.
"so what kind of genome facts and information have they gotten from dinosaur bones millions and millions of years old?"
Well, it's actually better than genomic data; it's proteomic data tying dinosaurs to birds as indicated by phylogenetic analyses of extant forms and as indicated in the progressive order of the fossil record complete with dinosaur-bird transitional forms:
I see scot...you are clearly losing the dabate, so resort to name calling.
Here is more of scots work, most commonly seen when he is obviously losing ...all direct quotes from Scot D Hartwell, Kirkland WA.
"you're just another unregenerate hater."
"the DoG returns to his own vomit."
"you should practice what you preach you Godless hypocrite."
"you'll need to consult the nose-haired government-grant sycophants "
"Colin can't seem to get his nose-hair buddies on the line "
"one of your nose-haired buddies "
" here's something your pea-sized brain might be able to wrap around"
" hairy-eared government sycophants can't do it"
"why are you a stooge for nose-haired government sycophants?"
"you doh-doh's only think you have the facts, but others besides your nose-haired sycophant stooges "
"you're like a wind-up doll that your nose-haired sycophants on government grants "
" you have no more reasoning than a weasel and are only concerned with where your next meal will come from"
"these cretins will believe any other fool who grows nose and ear hair calling himself a "scientist" "
" Fools can't see the wind either yet they believe it exists. duh"
"the logic of that bb bouncing around in your skull just won't cut it Alien"
"your unregenerate cellmates have claimed,"
"you lie all the time because your father the devil "
"! dashing all the little retarded atheists dreams like that "
" that idiot."
"bronze-age men were smarter than you. you must have received a public school education.
try picking up the bible and reading it so you won't be so ignorant."
Considering the juvenile approach he uses, I'd say a case of arrested development...he seems to have locked into an 11 year olds mind. Even when it is pointed out, he still finds pleasure in name calling.
Too bad you can't sell ignorance scot, but you certainly must be blissful.
just as i suspected, neither you nor that other dreamer igafrt can explain this apparently fatal flaw in evolution.
We have both cited references that would allow you to get the information for yourself.
Your material is not even a slight challenge to evolution ..and it is IGAFTR..I G A F T R .it is an acronym and is meaningless if not in the correct order. I'll assume it is a mistake ,this time, even though you invariably resort to childish name calling.
I have reasonable expectations, not faith. To have faith would mean that I do not care that what I believe is based on facts and that is not the case.
you BELIEVE in evolution, and you have FAITH that you aren't being lied to, and yet you've never engaged in evolution in any experiential way have you? you have faith that radiocarbon dating works because you've been told it works but you haven't done it yourself have you? you don't even personally know someone who works in the 'field' of evolution and yet you accept that such a person exists. try being more rational and check these things out before shooting off your mouth.
Did you check out the alleged resurection of Jesus? NO?
DId you see god destroy cities or unleash plagues? NO?
Did you see Noah and his raft? NO?
DID you see Adam and Eve? NO?
ANd there continues to be a complete and total lack of any evidence anywhere of any of the alleged supernatural things from the bible...so are you holding YOUR beliefs to the same standard you are trying to hold others to?
By the way, yes I have engaged in evolution experiments, I have done radio carbon dating, I do work with scientists that are doing medical research using the mechanisms of evolution ( mainly to fight cancer). I talk to many of them every day.
just because God does not speak to you in your life, and just because He does not bless you in your life does not mean He doesn't for those like me born again. It's extremely arrogant of you to claim otherwise, who are you to judge in these matters.
A person capable of dismissing unreasonable conclusions. Why? Who do you think we need to be?
Just because you have convinced yourself there is a god does not mean there is one. Again, are you requiring the same standards of evidence you are attempting to hold others to?
You have verified nothing, confirmed nothing...all you have done is tell yourself you are right until you actually believed it.
Tell me scot ( and notice I am not so childish as to name call or alter then name as you do), how have you confirmed to yourself that YOUR god, out of the thousands of gods men have worshipped, out of the over 400 "one true" gods, out of the over 100 "creator" gods?
How do you know that the bible and everyone that believes in it, isn't simply one of satan's ploys, and you are his unwitting pawn?
You require evidence for evolution except you flat out refuse to examine it, yet you take this whole story in the bible with NOTHING WHATSOEVER as evidence? Does that sound like someone who is reasonable or logical?
TOT: No, I have reasonable expectations that the evidence provided is accurate. Faith is belief without evidence, I accept Evolution because there is evidence to support it. Stop twisting things to fit your delusional uneducated small mind.
you have no first hand knowledge or experience with the myth of evolution and you're just blathering.
Oh my reading comprehension is not one of your better skills. I didn't claim to have firsthand knowledge about the facts surrounding evolution. I merely stated that based on those facts and the evidence, I accept evolution. However given that you don't have firsthand knowledge of the myth of creation, you whole analogy is rather moot and quite the bit of hypocrisy.
Call Evolution a myth all you wish, that is simply intellectually dishonest, especially after the numerous times you have been shown evidence and yet you still ignore it. You don't care about facts, you're her to try to feel superior in your delusions and we're no quite as ignorant as you, so you're not fooling us...maybe FOX news is more your speed-same lower level, fact denying dolts.
what evidence? words are not evidence as atheists are fond of saying; and that's ALL you have and some old bones and fossils, hardly conclusive and yet you have an unshakable faith in your fairy tale. go ahead and believe your myth.
You just proved your ignorance. We have provided you numerous links to numerous studies that prove that evolution is true and you have been avoiding them. Now, should you not be getting off the Grade 1 teachers computer before she comes back and puts you in time out? You are the epitome of dumb!
I used to have an atheist boss who would, during crunch times, tell me "I have faith in you," and we would laugh all about it!
From my own experience, working and interacting with self-proclaimed atheists in the corporate world and elsewhere, I come to the conclusion that Atheism is possible only in theory while an oxymoron in reality, and I believe that's what Frank Schaeffer is alluding to here.
When you subscribe to Humanism, Naturalism, Materialism, Realism, Activism, what have you, which all are doctrines, you are already an "active" believer of some sort, which defies the very concept of Atheism, which is "passive."
Here is why I believe Atheism is only possible in theory but not in practice:
The logical negative —which is a passive state— of Theism is Atheism. One can only be an atheist if he/she is passive. The moment you actively pursue the Atheism stance, it is automatically a belief system.
Atheism describes what I don't believe.
Naturalism describes what I do believe.
"The moment you actively pursue the Atheism stance, it is automatically a belief system."
If you can reach that conclusion, then I see how you could interpret the bible to be truth.
"The logical negative —which is a passive state— of Theism is Atheism. One can only be an atheist if he/she is passive. The moment you actively pursue the Atheism stance, it is automatically a belief system."
Are you really convinced that such weak logic makes sense? That exact "logic" could be used to conclude not believing in Santa Claus is a belief system. Do you see how simple it was to completely blow up your "logic"? I'd advise you not to make such a ridiculous claim in a public forum again.
Actually I find your post to be a bit passive-aggressive.
I would not consider what you described as "faith", at least not in the sense of the word that is used for these conversations. Having faith that your friend will pick you up at the airport is a different type of faith than religious faith. Since the two are very different things, I don't use the word faith to mean just "trust" because I would never condone the religious version of faith and I wouldn't want anyone to be confused.
Having faith in science or faith that your friend will pick you up is a evidence-supported belief. You have faith in science because you have seen it continue to uncover more and more truth on a consistent basis and see no reason to think that will change. Your belief is based on observable evidence. You have faith that your friend will pick you up because he has been reliable in the past. Again, this is based on observable evidence.
Religious faith, on the contrary, is the belief in things for which there is no evidence and in fact, for which there is often conflicting observable evidence. For example, we can observe the fact that man can't walk on water. Religious faith is believing that a man did walk on water with no evidence and despite the observable evidence that shows this isn't possible.
The only way to get to know god is to un-know him, for everything you have learned or heard till this day is false. Accept your human limitations relative to the ability to understand that which may be behind the curtain. You can know very little of our universe and you can know nothing of god. So, un-know him. That will put you a step closer. For every hole you dig you will leave a pile of dirt that occupies space. By not knowing god, you will know him.
1 Corinthians 2:14-16 – But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM? But we have the mind of Christ.
We know God the Father through knowing God the Son, and we know God the Son, for He has declared Himself to all men through the specific revelation of the Bible.
LOL. Quoting the bible only means you're aware of the opinions of the HUMAN authors on the matter.
But the bible is nonsense.
That is because you have a darkened understanding. You are what Paul referred to as a "natural man" and spiritual things are only understood through the Spirit. And if God has not chosen to reveal them to you (John 10:26) then you will remain in darkness.
He does tell us though (in John) that if your desire is for the truth, and you diligently seek for that Creator God who reveals Himself to every man through the creation that surrounds us (Romans 1), then He will reveal Himself to you.
Until God chooses to enlighten the mind of a sinner, he will remain under the Noetic effects of sin.
There are no gods, therefore your arguments seem childish. Your copy and paste skills are pretty good though.
"There are no gods, therefore your arguments seem childish."
Your foregone conclusion is baseless and without merit, especially when seen in the light of what we know of Jesus. Atheists and liberal theologians will never be able to tarnish the unquestionable reliability of the records that we have of who He is.
"Your copy and paste skills are pretty good though."
I'm a prolific reader, and I usually take copious notes... I've actually got over 700 pages of notes that I've taken over the years.
theo – "Your foregone conclusion is baseless and without merit,"
Pot, meet Kettle.
"Until God chooses to enlighten the mind of a sinner, he will remain under the Noetic effects of sin."
More baseless belief, this one is uswed to make the believer feel special, telling them god chose them to "see" but in fact nothing supports this except the belief itself.
Just another way the christians try to make themselves feel special for believing in baseless stories.
By saying that, you deny with fingers in your ears the 2,000 years of scholarly literature proving the validity of the claims of the Bible regarding the life of Christ.
When it comes down to disbelief, people reject the divinity of Jesus not from a standpoint of scholasticism, but either from ignorance, or from a desire to hold fast to a current belief as it agrees with their favorite worldview.
And this includes atheism – not from a standpoint that atheism is a belief, but rather that atheists choose to "believe" that Jesus was not who He said He was, even in the face of the scholasticism that proves He was.
I was raised christian. I studied religion.
The bible has contradictions, stories that have been proven false by science, and logical disasters.
I reject the divinity of jesus because I'm not too insecure to allow my brain to work.
I'm not sticking my fingers in my ears. In all of those 2000 years, all they have done is verify that people believe. No one has ever verified or validated ANY of the supernatural claims of the bible. The whole Noah myth, and all of genesis on the other hand can be shown to be completely flase, except for the magic part...can't prove or disprove magic..can we.
" The bible has contradictions,"
I have been studying the Bible for decades, and I have never found a single contradiction. I have found areas that required a deeper understanding from more study, but never any contradictions.
"stories that have been proven false by science,"
When people say this, it is usually in reference to the flood. I like posting Buddy Davis' video, "Billions of Dead Things." He's a songwriter for kids, but he makes a good point – if there really was a worldwide flood, what would the evidence be? Billions of dead things buried in rock layers layed down by water all over the earth...
"and logical disasters."
Usually when people say this, it is in reference to miracles in general. And for that I agree, miracles DONT make sense, that's why they're called "miracles," and not "normal everyday occurances."
"I reject the divinity of jesus because I'm not too insecure to allow my brain to work"
Insinuating that I am insecure and that my brain does not work. Since you do not know me, you can't make that statement, so it is baseless. You as.sume that I have not done any research on the divinity of Jesus, when in fact I have.
How many years have you put into the study of the divinity of Jesus that led you to the conclusion that He is not divine?
"The whole Noah myth, and all of genesis on the other hand can be shown to be completely flase"
How can you prove anything about origins when science is useless in the area of cosmogony?
Nice. You have just changed what I meant and argued against your interpretation instead of what I said.
logical failure of biblical proportions right there.
So how many stables did Solomon have, Theo? Why two drastically different figures?
Genesis has things flat out wrong. What we know happened after the Bog Bang, and what Genesis has is different. Adam and Eve are not the genetic beginning for humanioty, and is absurd that you think that ONE genetic set caould create all humans, The whole Noah myth is completely absurd.
Come on theo, those are stories for children.
Isn't it a paradox to suggest that God's mind is ultimately unknowable while also affirming that Christians can trust him?
"Isn't it a paradox to suggest that God's mind is ultimately unknowable while also affirming that Christians can trust him?"
It is possible to not have ultimate and complete knowledge of someone and still trust them. There is no way for me to completely know my wife, but I trust her, because she has shown herself trustworthy.
In like manner, we can never fully know the mind of God, but since He has chosen to reveal Himself to us in veiled form, that revealing has shown us that He is indeed trustworthy.
since He has chosen to reveal Himself to us
How are you defining "us"? As you've been told countless times, many humans God creates have no knowledge of christianity. According to you, they are lost. God isn't powerful enough to provide them a way to learn this message, if he requires all follow the message to be saved?
"How are you defining "us"? As you've been told countless times, many humans God creates have no knowledge of christianity. According to you, they are lost. God isn't powerful enough to provide them a way to learn this message, if he requires all follow the message to be saved"
God is not obligated to reveal Himself to all mankind because God is not obligated to save anyone on earth – that's why when He does choose to save someone it's called "grace" and "mercy" and "salvation."
God has chosen the "foolishness of preaching to save some." I can't answer why, only that this is what we are told: "go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature."
If the god of the bible existed, the only thing we could trust him to do would be to turture most people for eternity and destroy the planet, again.
God is not obligated to reveal Himself to all mankind because God is not obligated to save anyone on earth
Then how are you certain you follow the "correct" revelation? There are so many different flavors. If God isn't obligated to show all his EQUAL creation the message of salvation, then you can't be certain you've got the correct one, as everyone of different religions believes they also have the correct one. Maybe God gave the real religion to a different culture you're not aware of.
God is not obligated to save anyone on earth
Additionally, what would be the point of creating humans, if you didn't intend to offer them salvation?
For all of your concerns, read Calvin's "Insti.tutes of the Christian Religion" and it should answer most, if not all of them.
If that's a bit much, grab a copy of the Westminster Confession of Faith, and that isn't nearly as complex of a writing style.
How 'bout you answer in your own words? What do YOU think, without reference to any man-made scripture?
How 'bout you answer in your own words? What do YOU think, without reference to any man-made scripture?
Scripture was written by the hand of men in the sense that men were used by God as His amanuensis. And I could offer no explanation of why God chooses to save some and leave the rest to perish apart from what I read in His Bible.
In order that God might show His love, and to bring glory and honor, and praise to Himself, and in order to demonstrate His relative attributes of mercy, grace, justice, and loving-kindness, He devised a plan in eternity past to create a universe where His creation would rebel against Him, and He would send forth His Son to the world to be born of a virgin, to live a perfect and sinless life, and to die a subst.itutionary death on a cross, shedding His blood for the forgiveness of sins. Man committed sin, but Jesus paid the fine. He would then rise from the dead, defeating death, and ascend into heaven, and if a man or woman will repent, and put their trust in the redeeming work of Christ, God will demonstrate His loving-kindness, grace, and mercy towards them by forgiving all of their sins and granting them everlasting life. To all of those who refuse His free gift of grace, they will suffer an eternity in hell, thereby bringing glory to God by demonstrating His divine justice. All of this so that for all of eternity, all of creation will say what a wonderful God He is; that He would save wretched sinners like us, and because we are so grateful to Him, we love Him. And in the greatest gift of love, God the Father gives to God the Son the gift of a redeemed humanity.
So, God's choose to reveal himself in veiled form, meaning that he's supposedly being secretive about himself, means that he's actually trustworthy?
I don't know about you, but anyone who intentionally tells me that they're keeping secrets from me doesn't rank very as very trustworthy.
I trust my wife more because she says that she isn't keeping any secrets from me than I would if she said that she was.
Maybe one of God's secrets is something that he knows will repulse you? You can't say that he isn't keeping something like this from you because he keeps something "veiled", right?
Scripture was written by the hand of men in the sense that men were used by God as His amanuensis.
Again, how do you KNOW? Because the humans that took the dictation said so?!? Gullible much? If you truly think God did it this way, why didn't he inspire humans in ALL cultures to write the same concepts? That way everyone he creates would have the message.
Of course, it is inconceivable that in God's amanuensis, someone may have taken artistic license.
"It is possible to not have ultimate and complete knowledge of someone and still trust them. There is no way for me to completely know my wife, but I trust her, because she has shown herself trustworthy."
Yes – but she is human being, like you. How can you extend this same idea to a being that isn't human? You must assume that "he" is enough like us to be scrutible...
But, if the Bible and all the theology from the ancient Hebrews up to today is false, doesn't that imply that there's a good chance that God doesn't even exist?
And thus you know him.
Maybe, or maybe you're also wrong. Who knows, right?
"Or maybe they'll embrace apophatic theology, the theology of not knowing."
Apophatic theology is understanding and describing God by what He is not, e.g. Moses' encounter with the "darnkness" of Mount Sinai, etc. It is the realization that although we can cataphatically (i.e. positively) talk about what we believe God is (just, loving, good, and so on), we also accept that human terminology is totally insufficient to capture the qualities of the Divine Being.
Apophatic theology is not the theology of "unknowing," and it is most assuredly NOT a theology of ignorance. Neither is it an excuse to say that one can be a believer in God and a non-believer in God simultaneously, a logical non-sequitur.
"we also accept that human terminology is totally insufficient to capture the qualities of the Divine Being. "
Which is why we find so much phenomenological and condescension language in the Bible. We read books like Ezekiel, and we get the impression that men were nearly driven to the brink of insanity to describe in human terms that for which we have no ability to either understand or describe, so instead, they describe what it was "like" by using things which we do have reference to here on earth.
Perhaps god should have had our best scholars write the bible in the 21st century so it would make a little sense.
“The scholar has a vitally important task to perform within a carefully prescribed precinct. His task is to guarantee the purity of the text, to get as close as possible to the Word as originally given. He may compare Scripture to Scripture until he has discovered the true meaning of the text, but right there his authority ends. He must never sit in judgment upon what is written. He dare not bring the meaning of the Word before the bar of his reason. He dare not commend or condemn the Word as reasonable or unreasonable, scientific or unscientific. After the meaning is discovered, that meaning judges him; never does he judge it.”
-The Knowledge of the Holy, by A.W. Tozer
Theo, that is ignorant.
"Theo, that is ignorant"
No, to apply meaning to the text through methods of eisegesis is ignorant.
It is a sign of the times that opinions can now be seen as truth if it is only believed sincerely, but even though this practice is proven false through the interaction of conflicting world views, people still hold onto it as truth because it keeps them (at least in their own minds) in the comfortable position of never standing in the place of judgment by a God whose righteousness is so perfect that it will one day grind them to powder for the slightest infraction of His holy law.
Truth is what truth is, and it is outside of us. Our beliefs do not create truth, nor does our lack of belief do any damage to the truth.
Theo, define truth.
"Theo, define truth"
Truth is defined as that which matches reality, that which corresponds to its object, telling it like it is.
Some say there is no such thing as truth, but taking such a position becomes self-defeating. For example, the relativist says, “All truth is relative,” yet one must ask: is that statement absolutely true? If so, then absolute truth exists; if not, then why consider it? Postmodernism affirms no truth, yet it affirms at least one absolute truth: that postmodernism is true. In the end, absolute truth becomes undeniable.
Further, truth is naturally narrow and excludes its opposite. Two plus two equals four, with no other answer being possible. This point becomes critical as different belief systems and worldviews are compared.
If one belief system has components that are proven true, then any competing belief system with contrary claims must necessarily be false. Also, we must keep in mind that absolute truth is not impacted by sincerity and desire. No matter how sincerely someone embraces a lie, it is still a lie. And no desire in the world can make something true that is false.
Nice babble theo,
but you are still reading your bible with a foregone conclusion as to the meaning. By your own logic that will change the interpretation.
Your statement "It is a sign of the times that opinions can now be seen as truth if it is only believed sincerely" is wonderfully ironic. You get that that is exactly how every religion ever is sustained right? At the end of the day there is no hard evidence for any of them. What you've basically said can easily be phrased "It's strange that people's faith can noe be seen a truth, if it is only believed sincerely."
ANd it's not really a sign of the times, unless your definition of the times is, since the earliest humans formed opinions. We've always been that way, and it'll probably take a lot for us to shake it loose.
"but you are still reading your bible with a foregone conclusion as to the meaning. By your own logic that will change the interpretation."
You as.sumption is that I came to my faith through indoctrination rather than as s search for truth. One does not start with conclusions when one is searching for answers – you only start with questions, and given an honest desire for truth, the truth will present itself.
"At the end of the day there is no hard evidence for any of them."
Excepting of course the 2,000 years of scholarly inquiry into the validity of the Biblical texts proving that Jesus is who He says He is. Proof for which no atheist or liberal theologian can mar. I'd be glad to give you a reading list if you're interested.
Do any of your recommended sources provide a source OTHER than the Bible that confirms and recordss an occurence of supernatural effects? 2000 years of scholarly pursuit have not proved anything, and they have been far from unbiased. I am totally okay with the belief that Jesus lived at about the time htey say he did, was a good public speaker and philosopher, and even had some good views on how to live life. But none of that makes him the sone of "God". And no scholarly research, that doesn't point to neutral and repeatable evidence, can prove that he was. No matter how compelling it may be to you, and others, there is still a degree of faith required.
theo,"You as.sumption is that I came to my faith through indoctrination rather than as s search for truth."
You went on a search to find a god that you assumed existed. That was your mistake.
"Do any of your recommended sources provide a source OTHER than the Bible that confirms and recordss an occurence of supernatural effects?"
Sure! Lots do. I've posted this before, but check out Frederic Kenyon's book "The Bible and Archaeology" and F.F. Bruce has written some great books on the topic too. Even the dad of the author of this article has written some on the topic. Francis A. Schaeffer has several books: "Genesis in Space and Time," "The New Super-Singularity," "Joshua and the Flow of Biblical History..."
That's a start, Theo. Can you quote from any of those or at least state what any of those authors claim "that confirms and [records] an [occurrence] of supernatural effects?"
@ Theo – I think you may need to update your reading list.
Frederic Kenyon's – died in 1952 – Archeology in the middle east since this time has laid waste to his arguments.
F.F. Bruce – died in 1990 – Again, his books were based on knowledge at that time, not what we know now.
Francis A. Schaeffer – Died 1984, etc.
While archeology in the first half of the 20th century did seem to support the biblical narrative (i.e. Albright), the finding since that time have shown a VERY different picture of the time presented in the OT.
"Neither is it an excuse to say that one can be a believer in God and a non-believer in God simultaneously, a logical non-sequitur."
Humans are capable of inconsistency. Suppose one recognizes that one's belief in God is the result of an evolved tendency to believe in an imaginary being which does not actually exist. Does the belief instantly vanish ... does one's believing stop ... when one realizes that?
Don't know what God is? We have a word for that: ignosticism.
Don't know if God exists? We have a word for that: agnosticism.
Believe that God exists? We have a word for that: theism.
Don't believe a God exists? We have a word for that: atheism.
Believe God doesn't exist? We have a phrase for that: strong atheism.
Never thought about and don't have a position on God? We have a word for that: apatheism. (apathetic)
None of the above? The reason we don't have a word for that it because it is a content free ejaculation of sound. It is not logically consistent to hold to none of these, or to hold to two contradicting ones.
The author of this piece has learned the aesthetics of making grandiose sounding statements, but not the art of actually meaning anything.
Haha! Perfectly said!
Couldn't agree more.
This dude would win hands down.
Stand by for Schaeffers follow-up essay: "Why I'm a creationist who believes in evolution"
It's amazing to me how people jump right into heated debate about atheism/agnosticism/theism without really defining the main term, God.
Guy #1 thinks to himself that God is an apple. He claims God is crispy and sweet. Guy #2 thinks to himself that God is an orange. He claims God is juicy and tart. Both are correct, but their "given" is not clear. This leads to a lot of useless diatribe.
The literal description of God as taken from the Bible is all over the map. It's a little more palatable if taken as metaphor, but ultimately it seems inconsistent at best. The Bible was written by men –men with their limited senses, knowledge and understanding.
The closest I've come to a literal descripion of what I think God is like is the Tao as described in a good translation of the Tao Te Ching –but the description is very nebulous: an all-encompassing force, yet beyond ones senses,
beyond the material world, yet at one with nature, magnanimous, and not at all anthropomorphic.
Of course this leaves me nowhere but in the same cradle as the rest of you.
(P.S. I would recommend the translation by Gia-Fu Feng.)
The Bible describes God best by the Trisagion: Holy, Holy, Holy. Understanding the Hebraism, and all of it's nuances, nothing higher can be said of God.
The bible describes opinions man has regarding God. If God exists, it's likely the bible doesn't come anywhere close to describing the true reality of God.
And that is your opinion, unbacked by any research, nor observation.
Correct, and it's no different than yours. Mine's backed by quite a bit more logic.
if that is your experience then who can dispute it. but for those of us born again it's not, and our eyes have been opened.
"and I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever, the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. – John 14:16-18, NKJV
here TOT goes again, still not comprehending what circular reasoning is...I'm starting to think he never attended any form of school-got all his education from listening to Mommy read the bible to him.
"but for those of us born again it's not, and our eyes have been opened."
You (incorrectly) assume none of us have had similar experiences in the past.
as a man of faith, a son of God, i have no illusions about God, who he is and what His purpose is. i don't claim to know everything about Him but i know enough to keep my faith active and strong. He comforts me in what i do know; and what He reveals to me is sufficient.
“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now." – John 16:12, NKJV
No illusions but plenty of delusions!
It is astounding to me that some men declare their igorance aloud as if it were a virture, and then so relish in the fact that they would rather cling to their skeptecism than to delve into the higher and lower criticisms of theology and comparative religion studies.
Instead, in this post-modern age, they declare with a straight face that opinions are truth, and truth is whatever I want it to be. Society has then allowed men to major in things which ultimately hold no value, and negect entirely, the studies of the ONLY thing that matters – that being the issues of the soul.
Cute...this coming from the one who supports bigotry, slavery and the Holocaust. A sincere insult to humanity!
"Cute...this coming from the one who supports bigotry, slavery and the Holocaust. A sincere insult to humanity!"
Do you make a habit of misquoting those you disagree with so that you may make your point? Giving reasons for why things like the holocaust happen is a far cry from supporting them.
Sorry Theo, you gave reasons for it happening where you attempted to make it seem like it was acceptable at that time and yet any rational person can see there isn't ever going to be reason to view it as being anything but a blemish on our history.
"Sorry Theo, you gave reasons for it happening where you attempted to make it seem like it was acceptable at that time..."
Acceptable in what sense? The Bible describes numerous times where God spoke to His people through a prophet and declared that God says "do 'X,' or 'Y' will happen." They agreed, then disobeyed, and "Y" happened. That was the case for when David numbered Israel and God sent a plague. That was the case when Israel went after other "gods" (who were no gods at all) and God led them captive into Babylon for 70 years. And through the object lesson of the curse of the fig tree (Mark 11), we see that Israel is under a curse for her apostasy, and suffers chastisement even until this day.
The Bible tells us that God will use a wicked people to chastise those who are less wicked (Habakkuk 1:1-17). So was the case when God used the Chaldeans to chastise Israel, so was the case when God used Hitler.
Remember, God is sovereign, and even wicked men operate within well defined bounds under God's allowances. (read Job) Even the devil is God's devil, and can only perform his wicked acts with the permissions of God.
"Remember, God is sovereign"
No!!! Your god doesn't exist and you have no way of showing it does, so your claims are moot!
"No!!! Your god doesn't exist and you have no way of showing it does, so your claims are moot!"
Yes, God does exist. And the proof that we have is in the man Jesus.
Atheists and liberal theologians have attempted to rewrite history and smear the truth of who Jesus is, but 2,000 years of scholarly understanding by men who desire to seek truth, and not wanting to impose political correctness on the search for truth, such as is the case with men like Bart Ehrman and the Jesus Seminar, have shown over and over again, that God IS, and He has shown us Himself through His Son.
“The interval then between the dates of original composition and the earliest extent evidence becomes so small as to be in fact negligible, and the last foundation for any doubt that the Scriptures have come down to us substantially as they were written has now been removed. Both the authenticity and the general integrity of the books of the New Testament may be regarded as finally established.”
Kenyon, Frederic (1940) “The Bible and Archaeology,” pp.288-289
Theo, I don't support disrespectful tone of the posts here, but skepticism is where truth starts. There has been a lot of fuel for the skeptics of late. Do you really think the 911 hijackers were evil men? Granted, they did an evil thing, but in their own minds they thought they were heroes, sacraficing themselves for the greater good, all fueled by their religion.
We have also seen men that have had years of religious training revealed as pedophiles. So yes religious skepticism is warranted and good.
And the proof that we have is in the man Jesus.
"Who is Jesus? Never heard of him."
– a human being God created and placed in an area of the world devoid of christianity
so you believe it is somehow justified, even moral that a woman can murder her unborn child, take another life, a life that cannot even defend? what are the moral underpinnings of this belief you hold? is it ok to murder in your opinion?
DumbAzzScot, if abortion is so morally repugnant to christians, why do about 1,000,000 christians per year in the USA have one? Why can't your alleged but never proven god ensure its cult followers obey even the most clear cut rule? Of course the obvious answer is it doesn't exist, and a complete lack of actual evidence supports this view. You and your ilk, such as Theo Puffy Words, have nothing, as in no actual evidence or science, to support your claims, just lots of delusions and words (lies) piled on top of words (lies). Well ok, you do have The Babble, if you invoke circular logic.
TOT: It is not murder and no matter what your small mind may think in regards to this fact, it doesn't change that. What I support is a woman's right to complete control over her body. A fetus is not viable outside of the Mother until around 20 weeks gestation, at that point it has to be deemed medically necessary in most cases before they would terminate the pregnancy...Secular laws in regards to this exist for a valid reason-to stop people like you from taking control. If you wish to call it murder, why is it you're not fighting for every egg or sperm? Your bible doesn't speak of abortion anywhere and no, you can't pull the 'killing card'-that refers to such a broad range that it fails on this one. Grow up and mind your own business...you don't want people walking in to your bedroom, stay out of theirs.
it must be awful to have such a hateful heart as you do, no hope and a dismal outlook on life. and you are self-fulfilling in that your rejection of God will lead to a death from which you won't recover, when you die then that's it, it's the end of you. no so with us.
Hate??? Oh I'm sorry you must be mixing me up with yourself. I hate no-one, Just because I think you're an idiot doesn't mean I hate you. Your persecution complex is a sign of immaturity. I'm not the one using a holy book to deny facts or rights...in using that book, you are the one filled with hate. You are just another insult to the human race...such a shame!
A death from which you won't recover? Seriously? DO you think before you post?
No one "recovers" from death scot, no one (except Phil Coulson). That is simply ridiculous.
you are here on this belief blog with people of faith because your carnal mind and heart rejects what God says about how you should live your life. in fact the only reason you are here is because there are people of faith here and you can demonstrate your hatred for them. you hate because you refuse to be held accountable to your creator so you rebel and are at war with Him. the devil is your father filling your heart with hate and it consumes you.
Do you remember what it was like before you were born?
Because that's what we're all going back to when this life is over.
You'll have to answer to Odin if you want to get to Valhalla.
Or perhaps the 42 judges of the Egyptian afterlife.
Maybe you'll meet Joseph Smith and need to offer him the secret handshakes and passwords in order to get to highest level of the Celestial Kingdom.
Maybe St. Peter will review your sins in his book.
Heaven, Hell, Limbo, Purgatory, Valhalla, The Celestial Kingdom, The Elysian Fields, Sheol, Tartarus, Tlaloc's Garden etc. ad nauseum.
So many afterlives, each with their respective judges, and each one with different criteria for getting in.
They can't all be right, but they can all be wrong.
Nobody knows what happens before or after life – we can only live in the here and now as best we can.
If the One True Deity, shaper of The Universe, wishes their words to be transmitted and adhered to, they should have been a bit less ambiguous. Expecting people to select "The Truth" out of limitless possibilities on faith alone seems a sloppy way to run things – especially if the punishment for a wrong choice is eternal torment.
your "torment" will continue to be an eternal separation from your creator.
No Tot, you are seriously wrong. I don't hate believers and I'm not here for that. I'm not worried about your god because you've yet to prove it exists...I tend not to worry about things like that. I couldn't live by your standards...that would entail believing that a woman doesn't have the right to her body or decisions concerning it; that would entail thinking my LGBT friends and relatives are wrong, instead of treating them as equals; that would entail living for a life after this and in turn wasting this one. I'll stick with reality, thank you.
not our standards truth, God's standards. by the way, you really don't offend me personally in anything you say because i understand it is the Master you hate right now and only myself by proxy. it is to Him not me you will come before in judgment.
"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts." -Isaiah 55:9, NKJV
no so with us.
Yes, you're just so special. The arrogance of the evangelical knows no bounds.
Wow ignorance at best! Once again, I don't hate your god any more than you hate Odin, Zeus or any of the other gods you don't believe in.
scot, can't you see that your quote shows the bible is wrong? Heavens above us? Nope...no one can confirm that "heaven" exists, and then you have the whole relative location thing, where heaven would have to occupy some location in some dimension, so to say above or below is all relative, so to then us that as a comparison fails outright...just one of the MANY errors the ignorant men who wrote the bible made.
awanderingscot = merely another one who thinks himself to be wise.
No you are not my son.
Abraham's God is most often described as:
If you don't see any contradictions in an enti/ty possessing all of these attributes simultaneously, I've a wonderful deal for you on a bridge in Brooklyn.
Cash only, and in small bills.
no one born again is surprised you don't comprehend. the unregenerate are spiritually dead and the dead neither see nor hear.
What did the Buddhist say to the Born-Again Christian missionary?
"No Thanks. I've been born again many times!!"
scot, Claiming people are "unregenerate" is quite childish, especially considering theat being "born again" is simply a belief, with nothing to base the belief on.
Why do you always have to call people names, as if the belief you are born again makes you special. Baseless belief scot.
Actually, I take issue with number 5. There is nothing in the Bible that teaches that God is anthropocentric.
God is holy, and good, and everything He does is for the glory of God. (Isaiah 40:17, Daniel 4:35, Isaiah 42:1, Matthew 3:17, 17:5, Ephesians 5:2) The fact that men are saved is almost a side note in the act of God the Father glorifying God the Son.
it is not a fact that men are saved. It is a fact that men BELIEVE it, but to date, no one can show that there is anything to be saved from.
The author of this article has got a valid point, atheism is not officially a religion and does not have any requirements or conditions to be met. An atheist is free to define the term however he/she chooses to define the term. There are,
1) Weak atheists,
2) Strong atheists,
3) Godless atheists, and now,
4) An atheist who believes in God.
The above list is not exhaustive, there could be many more types of atheists as there are human beings, trying to rationalize their atheism.
On the other hand, a person of the Jewish, Christian or Islamic faith does not have that flexibility when it comes to their belief in God. The basic condition for them is belief in God.
Not to forget – buddhists are technically atheists.
Not correct. Buddhims as a religion is not concerned with god, god may or may not exist...it simply does not matter.
Individual Buddhists may or may not believe in gods, so Buddhists can be theists or atheists. Buddhism makes no belief requirements.
That is exactly why 'atheism' is not a clear cut black and white definition. There are some religions in the world whose belief system includes 'atheism'.
Not really. Even I above mis-spoke and called Buddhism a religion, which it is not. It is a system of education and philosophy, but is not actually a religion. The biggest problem is people not really using the correct words for things, and mixing definitions, on top of this odd need to pidgeon hole people, to define them. Many claim atheism is a religion, it is not, just as theism is not a religion.
Buddhism is a religion and so is hinduism and both religions allow for its adherents to be atheists.
That's true scott, but only if you redefine the words religion, Buddhism, Hinduism and atheist.
Not entirely true: there are a number of Jews who are cultural rather than theist Jews because of our history- mkre like (country)-American
That should read as Judaism not Jewish.
I'm a Christian who does not believe in God or Jesus or anything in the Bible.
Makes as much sense as an atheist who believes in God.
The technical term is Jesuism.
Belief in the value of Christ's teachings, but not His divinity.
Atheism is not a religion. Theism is not a religion in and of itself. Athesim is simply not believing in gods. That's it. The writer here is clearly confused, but also clearly not an atheist.
Atheism does not cover what someone believes, only one thing they don't.
The bottom line is this:
Just as there are many types of theists, there are also many types of atheists. Atheists have that much more flexibility to call themselves whatever they want. They are not tied to a doctrine or dogma and are free to categorize themselves as whatever, unlike Judaism, Christianity and Islam where belief in God and adherence to the doctrine is a must.
Calm down drama queens!
No scott. There is one type of atheist. That is someone who does not believe in gods. That is all.
You are trying to identify different types based on what they DO believe, and what they DO believe is not defined by the word atheist.
You are searching for a word to pidgeon hole people with, but atheist is the wrong word.
You don't own atheism, you don't get to tell what an atheist can and cannot call themselves. Zip it!
You are the one trying to falsely use the word atheist. You are trying to claim multiple types of atheists, when it is some OTHER characteristsic you would use for your determination.
And really...zip it? you are being shown how wrong you are and you reply zip it? Grow up.
Zip it? What are you 5???
Atheist only means a disbelief in a god or gods, nothing more. We're not the ones playing with meanings here, so don't scream foul when confronted with facts.
Doesn't your trailer park have some form of library where you can borrow a dictionary?
'uglyprevails1' is a known Troll, it's best left ignored!
Frank: The one trolling is the one who leaves one-line comments with no substance to them outside of the immature name calling. It seems Ugly is best suited to you! Grow up!
It's a word with a meaning. However we define it, one thing is clear: You can't be an atheist and believe in God. You can call yourself an atheist, but that doesn't make it so ... just like calling yourself a Christian when you don't believe in God or Jesus or the Bible.
it is not a matter of ownership but mere definition!
"Godless atheist" is redundant.
"Atheist who believes in God" is an oxymoron.
A = lack of. Theism = belief in gods. A + Theism = lack of belief in gods. That's it, that's all.
Atheism is a negative term that describes only what one doesn't believe.
Again, atheists are not tied to a dogma/doctrine/definition. They are free to call themselves whatever...you are enti/tled to your opinion about who can call themselves an atheist, it's just your opinion. The author of this article can call himself an atheist who believes in God just as a buddhist will categorize himself as an atheist and/or buddhist.
@ Scott: And I'm free to call myself a free-range chicken. But, me calling myself that does not make me a free-range chicken. Same with an atheist. It is simply a lack of belief in a given deity. That's it. Nothing more. Someone who believes in a deity – by definition – is NOT an atheist. And that person can change their name to John P. Atheist, and have "Atheist" on their car vanity plate, and wear t-shirts that proclaim "I am an Atheist". They're free to do all of those things – but they're not an atheist.
Just as the author is NOT an atheist.
And I'm a vegetarian that only eats meat. The animals I get the meat from only eat vegetation, so by proxy, I'm a vegetarian. WE might as well all use diferent definitions for every word, so no one could communicate at all.
You can call yourself a potted plant if you want, does not make it correct.
"YOU" don't own it(atheism) and don't get to tell another person whether he/she is an atheist.
Atheists = professing to be wise they became fools.
I'm wise enough to see your jesus is not a god.
No Scott, this is rather simple. Words have meanings and those meanings matter. You adding your own thoughts to this doesn't change the meaning of the word.
If we look at this from your so-called logic, then we can say that all Theists believe in unicorns and Zeus and Odin...after all those are supernatural/gods and that is what the word refers to.
See how simple that is???
Godless Atheist is very contradictory...of course an Atheist is godless-common sense would tell you that!
Atheist who believes in god is not an Atheist.
Dictionaries are useful...please learn to use one.
Are you that challenged?
Which part of the *you* don't get to tell another person whether he/she is an atheist is going beyond your head?
This author is free to call himself whatever he wishes to call himself and you are free to disagree with him, *you* don't own atheism. As such, atheism has no dogma/doctrine attached to it, so its usage is free, just a Buddhist/hindu will call himself/herself an atheist.
Are you that challenged that you have failed to comprehend that all the word Atheist defines is a disbelief in god(s)...nothing more? You are the one attempting to redefine words here. So skip the damn hypocrisy, pick up a dictionary and learn to us it.
"atheism" is a word with a meaning.
Accepting evolutionary theory does not make you an atheist. Atheists do not believe in gods, period (that includes any type of "spiritual" creator). There are plenty of theists who accept evolutionary theory. The author of this piece is one of them.
Dude. You're a pagan.
Pagan simply means someone who is not Jewish, Muslim or Christian, so most of the world is pagan. It is a derogatory term the Christians took over, and was used for many years in a way similar to calling a black person the N word
Indeed – I believe it's original usage was identicle to "Polytheist" but has become a smear in the mouth of monotheists.
The original latin meaning is citizen or non-combatant...the christians decided to make it derogatory.
Maybe he needs to look into the term agnostic...
Agnostic only defines level of knowledge, it does no define belief in a god or gods. If anything this person is an Agnostic Theist.
This poor dope has no idea how the definition of words can't be SUBJECTIVE if effective communication is to take place. His description of his beliefs is readily linked to Deism, not atheism. Boy needs to do some more studying.
Woulda been nice if he provided some clue what he thinks 'atheist' means, that he can call himself one. Is it just belief in evolution? The Catholic Church accepts evolution. Are they 'atheist' in his world?
OMG all you people missed the entire point and context of the article. And this man is well educated and knows his subject from both sides of the fence.
He is pointing out the inherent contradictions yet equally valid experiences between the emotional and intellectual self. I understand completely. I am 100% intellectual atheist who values naturalism and metdologyabove all else in and would happily call myself an anti-supernaturalis ict....
Yet at the very same time I feel on an emotional level a spiritual positive connection with something that could be called God..
Is it a contradiction? No its liberation and freedom. While at the end of the day I will put all my trust in a naturalisitcl world view and methodology.....also embrace and find value in that emotional anthro-morphed interpretation of the universe that is personal and FEELS metaphysical..... This is what he means when he says he is an atheist who believes in god ... it is not a contraction when we have split personalities.. the intellectual and the emotional. I find value and beauty in both and both can have observational and humanitarian value
"Take me, I am an atheist who believes in God."
OMG, you fooltard...that says it all! He can't be an Atheist if he believes in god...geez, pick up a damn dictionary and learn to use it!
How does the saying go... "there are none so blind as cannot see." You are as sheep to believe that this... shyster is anything but another creationist making up fancy stories to again delude the easily fooled. Use your reasoning mind man! You cannot, by definition, be an Atheist and believe in God!
There are sheep and there are those who think for themselves. You are one of the sheep.
"I feel on an emotional level a spiritual positive connection with something that could be called God.."
On the one hand I understand your point.
On the other hand, words have meaning we generally agree on, and using "God" in such a fashion does nothing but muddy the water. It only confuses the issue.
" I feel on an emotional level a spiritual positive connection with something that could be called God."
Why call it God? Why not call it "I don't know" or "I may have mental issues?" because that is a load of woo you are spouting. Positing a supernatural being/force is 100% unprovable and thus, is 100% ridiculous to posit.
Here is a hint for you, believe what you want, stop calling yourself an atheist, you are an agnostic deist. Espouse your belief to anyone and expect to be asked "Prove it" and when you fail to be able to, reflect on that and try to understand why you have no answers to any questions ever asked of your beliefs.