Atheists and Christians

by Shaun


I have been studying YouTube debates recently between Atheists and Christians trying to justify their beliefs within the rational evidence presented by evolution and the origin of species on Earth.
It seems that the strident Atheists like Richard Dawkins and Peter Atkins dismiss the personal experience of an imminent ( visible ) yet transcendent ( mysterious ) Creator as wishful thinking.

They cite the numerous atrocities of the Old ( & moral deficiencies in the New ) testament as morally reprehensible whilst they consign ideas of incarnation and resurrection to superstitious tosh.

Do you think that the believers recourse to epistemology ( an outer guidance/template ) or a vision of the internal God ( conscience? ) in the good action involving us in the process of creation are evidence enough against the critics of All Faiths?

Shaun Butler

Reply from Katherine to Atheist and Christians
Dear Shaun,
Thank you for an interesting question.

It's OK To Believe is the book in which I effectively end up dialoguing between the rational, questioning part of me and the part of me that is profoundly convinced by the faith experience. I know you have a copy of the book. Refer to it for my further answers to your question.

But, briefly, “Are the arguments you put forward evidence enough against the critics of all faiths?”

Nothing within this earth will be evidence enough for the critics of all faiths.
This is because faith in the world is self-justifying.
We look to the world to determine our beliefs. Those beliefs then filter our vision to see only the same things. The process is circular.

I would argue that both good science, including the science of Richard Dawkins, having read a little bit of one of his books, always ask us to expand our vision to entertain possibilities that are not yet accepted within the current paradigm. We then look for evidence to test our theory, and if we find it, we then establish new beliefs.

For me the journey of spirituality is one of engaging in spiritual practice to receive the God of love, and expanding to receive and therefore give out to the world more of that love.

I agree that many of the atrocities of the old Testament are morally reprehensible.

But equally I love the parables in the New Testament precisely because they are immoral within our world view.

They ask us to engage with a level of reality – I would say it is Reality – in which our rigid ideas of good and bad dissolve.

One could argue that forgiveness is immoral or perhaps more accurately amoral.

Forgiveness chooses to believe in a level of innocence that is beyond that of the behaviour. It is only in the peace that comes with that, or an insight, or revelation, that the validity of choosing to believe in that innocence is confirmed.

You will find more on this subject in the articles about the religion science argument on this website.

And the article on “the World is Illusion” expands on my understanding that the spiritual world is the greater reality than the material world.

“Only faith can guarantee the blessings that we hope for, or prove the existence of the realities that at present remain unseen.”
(Hebrews 11:1 -2, Bible quote relevant to atheists and Christians)

Love to your day, Shaun,

Comments for Atheists and Christians

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Aug 31, 2016
Einstein and Dawkins
by: Shaun

Thank you for your insight into "Atheists and Christians"

Having referred to your comprehensive explanation on the website I do believe there is a call to engage and respond to the divine presence in our lives.

I thought it was interesting that Professor Richard Dawkins quoted Albert Einstein when introducing his chapter on "The Roots of Morality: why are we good?" in The God Delusion:

"Strange is our situation here on Earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to divine a purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that man is here for the sake of other men ~ above all for those upon whose smiles and well-being our own happiness depends."

With the Love we are

Heart not Intellect

Comment from Norma

Thankfully God never asked us to understand him, simply to love and trust him.

'My thoughts are not your thoughts' he tells us.

When we choose to lean on a greater understanding than our own, (not always choose even, it may come without us understanding how it came ) Then trying to intellectualize and explain this greater intelligence would seem to me like dipping our toes into the ocean and then telling everyone that we know everything about the ocean :)

Scientists want us to accept there thoughts, here we do have a choice. Remembering that it wasn't so long ago that we were told the world was flat.

Science will test your faith, that's fine, testing something will prove its strength and might even strengthen it some more. This could become an interesting debate.

I personally have never understood how a person can be a non believer, maybe they don't look long enough at nature. The awe I feel in the diversity of nature - from country to country/continent to continent, even field to field is a constant wonder to me. Only a supreme intelligence could design the huge variety in nature, plants, animals, insects, it can't be by chance. Of course we humans mess it up a lot (sadly)

Real faith like real love can never truly be explained ( intellectually ). It is a part of who we are and how we behave in this world.

To God be the Glory for his sustainment of us in this crazy world.

That's what I call love.

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