A Response to Jackson Wu’s Conclusion of What Causes Atheism

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“Few people are atheists for intellectual reasons. They might find reasons to justify their (non-)belief, but people rarely become atheists because they have methodically considered all the options and evidence before concluding, ‘God does not exist.'”

This is how Jackson Wu, of his self-titled Patheos Evangelical column, began a piece published yesterday titled, “A Leading Cause of Atheism? Not Allowing Dialogue and Disagreements.” In this article, Wu suggests that one of the biggest causes of people leaving religion for atheism is this: “Christians do not allow disagreement and dialogue.”

What he means by this is that when confronted with questions or doubt about the tenets of Christianity, Christian leaders, as well as fellow Christians, often reject those who question, driving them away from the church and into the waiting arms of atheism. He uses an anecdote from a story in Relevant magazine about a Christian musician who left (or was kicked out of) the church for expressing doubt about passages in Genesis. According to his wife, the subject of the interview, this made him become an atheist (but shockingly still had a sense of morality!).

That’s great and all, but let this atheist shed some light in response to your strawman/anecdotal argument, Jackson. Atheists don’t become atheists because their churches have wronged them or refused to listen to their questions. As an atheist who has dozens of atheist friends, has met thousands of atheists as an active member of the secular community, has written a book called Understanding an Atheist, and was once a Catholic-turned-Evangelical, I can tell you without a doubt that the majority of atheists who were raised religious became atheists through education, not scorn. That is to say, while many have had negative experiences in their religious communities — abuse, ostracism, brainwashing, etc. — they became atheists after venturing outside their respective religious bubbles and investigating other explanations to the universe and its contents.  While bad experiences may lead individuals to leave their particular churches or communities, those bad experiences don’t necessarily cause people to abandon deep-rooted beliefs. In many cases, for example, a gay Christian who has been ostracized by his conservative church and its followers might leave that church and find a more liberal and welcoming sect of Christianity.

Contrary to your opening statement, Jackson, supernatural beliefs and dependence on deities for joy and meaning do indeed get cast aside through intellectual pursuits — researching scientific explanations to origins of man and our surroundings, looking at religion and its effects on the world from the outside, realizations that we are just a speck in the vast universe… you get the point. Leaving the church may be the first step to broadening horizons and inviting that information in, but again, the negative experience at church isn’t the reason for a switch to atheism — it’s just the wake-up call.

It’s the opening of the door to reason and critical thinking that dispels the myth inside all of us.

I’m going to take a wild guess here and assume you haven’t sat down to discuss this hypothesis with many atheists. Because if you had, you would be more informed and would not have written this horribly unfounded strawman-based article constructed solely from one person’s anecdotal account of her husband’s deconversion.

As one commenter on your article, Olivia Altman, noted, it’s much more likely that your opening statement applies to theists, rather than atheists. Since the vast majority of religious people are taught their religions from an early age, when they’re most impressionable and still believe in magic, if we turn your statement around we get something much more accurate:

“Few people are religious for intellectual reasons. They might find reasons to justify their belief, but people rarely become religious because they have methodically considered all the options and evidence before concluding, ‘God exists.’


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Kevin Davis

Kevin Davis is the head writer and editor for SecularVoices, co-founder of Young Skeptics, and author of Understanding an Atheist. He is known for local and national secular activism and has spoken at conferences and events such as Reason Rally 2016 and the Ark Encounter Protest and Rally.

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96 thoughts on “A Response to Jackson Wu’s Conclusion of What Causes Atheism

  1. I think Lark62 in the comments nailed it pretty well by splitting her journey away from religion into a two-step process. Step one is some form of inciting action, step 2 is the actual reflection that Jackson discarded in his post.

    1. Is the true unity we enjoy in the power of the Spirit together on display here? …. or is this a coarsely bourgeois imitation of it? in the immortal declaration of Kavanaugh, “the keg is half FULL, dewd!” 🙂

  2. I didn’t have any inciting action. I had a question about a particular piece of dogma and, through research, discovered it was arrived at by the theological process known as “making it up”. So I started looking at other dogma, both in Christianity and in other religions, and found that “making it up” was a popular tool widely used by theologians of pretty much every flavor.

    1. Same here, in a way. After 25 years of hearing the same sermons, I asked myself – is this all there is, this church life? Is this what we are supposed to be doing? How did the first churches operate, and why do we put so much emphasis on Paul, wasn’t he just a evangelist who never met Jesus but claimed the title of apostle? How did he get away with that, and how did his random letters to specific people in a specific time and place come to be “God’s word” to all people for all time? The key decision was to seek critical writers, not apologists. I found Ken Daniels, then Dan Barker, Bart Ehrman, Robert Price. The dam holding back my doubts just broke, in a matter of weeks.

      1. Reading Ken Daniels was the first time I came across the idea of reading people critical of Christianity, not just apologists. In retrospect it seems so obvious, but in the bubble it wasn’t.

      2. That’s exactly how we progressives in Christ chose to love and accept you …. as the atheist God created you to be! (no irony here)

        1. Your passive aggressive insults fail in every respect except to demonstrate your ignorance and arrogance.
          Even an oily tongued preacher should have some last fragments of the honesty and integrity that
          has done much for the success of our predominantly egalitarian and honest recently evolved species of ape?
          You should be ashamed of yourself for your ignorance and your arrogant dishonesty..

          1. No.
            I could never feel better than I always have. Life is short and exclusive and for me – wonderful. Far too good to waste on what Albert Einstein called the childish superstitions of religion.

            How about you?

          2. Reply to rationalobservations …

            Ummmm, I was feeling pretty good today until someone I’ve never met publicly and personally insulted me in these words (yours), apparently just because we don’t believe the same things:

            “Even an oily tongued preacher should have some last fragments of the honesty and integrity that has done much for the success of our predominantly egalitarian and honest recently evolved species of ape? You should be ashamed of yourself for your ignorance and your arrogant dishonesty.”

      1. He understood quite well! Unfortunately, most people, including yourself, go through life without actually thinking…. doing things to obey what you were told was right, even if it contradicts everything else.

        1. That is your opinion… he was clever, that may persuade some.

          Why the ad hominem? If you think I do not think, then provide detail, not just blanket derogatory contention.

          No idea what “doing things to obey what you were told was right” means. I conclude you did not write that to imply its cryptic meaning implicates your ad hominem. Everyone does that to some level.

          “even if it contradicts with everything else.” What contradicts? What is everything else?

          If you do not accept what I have disclosed, say so and details. I will not accuse you of being deluded by a contrary.worldview.

          I thought this site might be intellectually and objectively engaging, but the extent of biased, personal attacks and lack of substantive discussion is very revealing. The “Zzzzzzzzzzz”, troll, give a rest non sequiturs are typical of otheer sites lacking in value of objective discussion.

          1. You already did accuse me of having a deluded world view….. so far, you have not said anything of intellectual relevance or that’s provable for that matter, just preached stuff I’ve heard so many times before…..along with multiple renditions of ad hominem. You’ve already shown that you don’t come here to actually engage, just preach! Yopu’ve already been told above that you are giving Christians a bad name- by a fellow Christian no less! Be gone , Troll!

          2. It is hard to assess the willingness of others to consider worldview propositions not consistent with others. I posted once to the article and was inundated with contentious responses, revealing a lot about this site. I do not preach, only submit objectively what I consider appropriate worldview propositions, and being very willing to respond, which not all sites are objective willing to do.

            I am concerned about misguided accusations, even by so-called Christians, but I never said anything about George Carlin that would not apply to anyone else. I do not tell you to be gone, troll, it is not your site, and trolls post irrelevant video images refuse to objectively post their worldviews..

        1. Notice you did not object to its veracity. Please, give us a break with the faux offense, it is an objectively true and earnest conclusion of the finality of death that applies to all human failings.

          I can relate how sad the announcement of Carlin’s death was since there was never any indication that he repented and submitted to the truth of the eternal reality he faced as others have when they passed.

          I doubt there is nothing that can be said that would not drive you to the same conclusion regarding your last phrase.

          1. Feelings? Your first comment came before you established any Christian belief and was not different from any of the hostile posters on this sight, even causing them to reference you.

            This site is full of misinformed God-deniers, not sure why your feelings take priority.

  3. I am an atheist thanks to Christian talk radio. My parents were going through a strong belief phase, and were forcing the family to listen to Christian talk radio. Even when I BELIEVED, I hated that crap. Anyway, one day there was an anti-rock activist on, and she read some lyrics about killing a woman and bleeping her dead body and it felt good, etc. She was trying to make the point that all rock music was like that, and it should be banned. I knew she was lying, because I listened to rock when my parents would let me. I was appalled that this woman was lying, because we had God, The Ultimate Truth, on our side, and it stuck with me. Years later, when I went looking for evidence to bolster my faith, I started researching the Bible. That’s when I gradually realized that the Bible was a poorly-written historical fiction crossed with Grimm’s fairy tales. Thanks, Christian talk radio! 🙂

    1. Unfortunate that your reading of the Bible caused you to come to such a conclusion. God is the Ultimate Truth, and the objective study of God’s gift of science with God’s gift of scripture will lead you to truth.

      1. You obviously haven’t actually studied any of the diverse and different versions of bibles that have been cobbled together since the oldest/first prototypes (Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus) were written by small teams of men in the late 4th century, qedlin.

        Careful study of the modern OT and NT bibles reveals that even according to the confused and contradictory legends of the Roman’s god-man “Jesus” even if he did exist (unproved) – he could not be “the” messiah:

        The legend of the mythical “Jesus” indicates that – had he been a real person, he could not have fulfilled the description of “the” messiah or the ancient prophesies of “the” messiah. (Note that there have been many messiah claimants and some left historical evidence of their existence that is absent for the fictional “Jesus”.)

        The word “Messiah” is an English rendering of the Hebrew word Mashiach, which means “anointed.” It usually refers to a person initiated into God’s service by being anointed with oil. (Exodus 29:7, 1-Kings 1:39, 2-Kings 9:3)

        (1) Jesus Did Not Fulfill the Messianic Prophecies
        What is the Messiah supposed to accomplish? One of the central themes of biblical prophecy is the promise of a future age of perfection characterized by universal peace and recognition of God. (Isaiah 2:1-4, 32:15-18, 60:15-18; Zephaniah 3:9; Hosea 2:20-22; Amos 9:13-15; Micah 4:1-4; Zechariah 8:23, 14:9; Jeremiah 31:33-34)

        Specifically, the Bible says he will:

        Build the Third Temple (Ezekiel 37:26-28).
        Gather all Jews back to the Land of Israel (Isaiah 43:5-6).
        Usher in an era of world peace, and end all hatred, oppression, suffering and disease. As it says: “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall man learn war anymore.” (Isaiah 2:4)
        Spread universal knowledge of the God of Israel, which will unite humanity as one. As it says: “God will be King over all the world – on that day, God will be One and His Name will be One” (Zechariah 14:9).
        If an individual fails to fulfill even one of these conditions, then he cannot be the Messiah.

        Because no one has ever fulfilled the Bible’s description of this future King, Jews still await the coming of the Messiah. All past Messianic claimants, including Jesus of Nazareth, Simon Bar Cochba and Shabbtai Tzvi have been rejected.

        Christians counter that Jesus will fulfill these in the Second Coming. Jewish sources show that the Messiah will fulfill the prophecies outright; in the Bible no concept of a second coming exists.

        (2) Jesus Did Not Embody the Personal Qualifications of Messiah
        A. Messiah as Prophet
        The Messiah will become the greatest prophet in history, second only to Moses. (Targum – Isaiah 11:2; Maimonides – Teshuva 9:2)

        Prophecy can only exist in Israel when the land is inhabited by a majority of world Jewry, a situation which has not existed since 300 BCE. During the time of Ezra, when the majority of Jews remained in Babylon, prophecy ended upon the death of the last prophets – Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi.

        Jesus appeared on the scene approximately 350 years after prophecy had ended, and thus could not be a prophet.

        B. Descendant of David
        Many prophetic passages speak of a descendant of King David who will rule Israel during the age of perfection. (Isaiah 11:1-9; Jeremiah 23:5-6, 30:7-10, 33:14-16; Ezekiel 34:11-31, 37:21-28; Hosea 3:4-5)

        The Messiah must be descended on his father’s side from King David (see Genesis 49:10, Isaiah 11:1, Jeremiah 23:5, 33:17; Ezekiel 34:23-24). According to the Christian claim that Jesus was the product of a virgin birth, he had no father – and thus could not have possibly fulfilled the messianic requirement of being descended on his father’s side from King David. (1)

        According to Jewish sources, the Messiah will be born of human parents and possess normal physical attributes like other people. He will not be a demi-god, (2) nor will he possess supernatural qualities.

        C. Torah Observance
        The Messiah will lead the Jewish people to full Torah observance. The Torah states that all mitzvot remain binding forever, and anyone coming to change the Torah is immediately identified as a false prophet. (Deut. 13:1-4)

        Throughout the Christian “New Testament,” Jesus contradicts the Torah and states that its commandments are no longer applicable. For example, John 9:14 records that Jesus made a paste in violation of Shabbat, which caused the Pharisees to say (verse 16), “He does not observe Shabbat!”

        (3) Mistranslated Verses “Referring” to Jesus
        Biblical verses can only be understood by studying the original Hebrew text – which reveals many discrepancies in the Christian translation.

        A. Virgin Birth
        The Christian idea of a virgin birth is derived from the verse in Isaiah 7:14 describing an “alma” as giving birth. The word “alma” has always meant a young woman, but Christian theologians came centuries later and translated it as “virgin.” This accords Jesus’ birth with the first century pagan idea of mortals being impregnated by gods.

        B. Suffering Servant
        Christianity claims that Isaiah chapter 53 refers to Jesus, as the “suffering servant.”

        In actuality, Isaiah 53 directly follows the theme of chapter 52, describing the exile and redemption of the Jewish people. The prophecies are written in the singular form because the Jews (“Israel”) are regarded as one unit. Throughout Jewish scripture, Israel is repeatedly called, in the singular, the “Servant of God” (see Isaiah 43:8). In fact, Isaiah states no less than 11 times in the chapters prior to 53 that the Servant of God is Israel.

        When read correctly, Isaiah 53 clearly [and ironically] refers to the Jewish people being “bruised, crushed and as sheep brought to slaughter” at the hands of the nations of the world. These descriptions are used throughout Jewish scripture to graphically describe the suffering of the Jewish people (see Psalm 44).

        1. Your willingness to believe texts written 300+ years after the originals and your desire to not understand the principles of types, images, and parallelisms in order to construct your own belief system and not see the truth makes it difficult to have an objective rational discussion.

          I do not want to engage ad hominems as you do, but contending I have not read is just that, so I suggest you may have read, but have intentionally chosen to misinterpret.

          You have free will and are free to belief as you wish, but, as you said, just because you believe it does it make it true.

          1. “Your willingness to believe texts written 300+ years after the originals……” HOLD IT RIGHT THERE!

            1) I do not believe the oldest bible texts that were written 300+ years after the legends they contain are merely set.
            2) What “originals”? There is no trace of the word “Jesus” being written within the 1st century – let alone any trace of texts similar to those within the prototype late 4th century originated bibles Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus.

            Your lies will always catch you out and anything you write based upon those lies are not credible.

            https://religionpoisons.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/480034_342051569209203_1479475788_n.jpg?w=640&h=427
            https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-SLVOq77YxcI/WdD49ptS1SI/AAAAAAAAlOs/FqEnF3E72zoc4HIK4i_jqfQAVYLOGvclACJoC/w1435-h1221/20171001_101457.png

          2. If the thousands of biblical texts have no validity, then you must also reject Homer, Socrates, Aristotle and all other ancient texts that are fewer in number and much farther removed from their source.

            The accusations of lying are not rational discussion. Erhman has been soundly refuted by all objective sources, only acclaimed by like-minded followers, consumed with anti-theistic prejudice.

            I do not call out differing positions as lying. Your aggressive hostility evidences a strong intent to not deal with alternate propositions.

          3. Most historians recognise that many legendary characters (Homer especially) could not have been individual people and that much of “history” comprises myths and legends.
            Unless “Homer” lived for at least 300 years – “he” could not have been responsible for all the texts merely attributed to “him”.

            There is contemporary tangible evidence of the existence of Socrates and Aristotle. There is NO contemporary tangible evidence of the existence of “Jesus” from within the time in which his centuries later written legends are merely set or within 100 years or more of that time. Nothing, zero, zilch, nada.

            You lie when you claim that one of the world’s most eminent bible scholars (Bart Ehrman) has had his evidence refuted by anyone. No one (NO ONE!) has presented actual, tangible, authentic, original and 1st century of the existence of “Jesus”.

            It should be remembered that Bart Ehrman was a born again Bible-believing Evangelical until he read the original 4th century originated Greek bible texts and noticed thousands of discrepancies.

            “The Bible we now use can’t be the inerrant word of God, since what we have today are the mistaken words copied and invented by fallible scribes” Bart says,.

            Ehrman adds: “When people ask me if the Bible is the word of God I answer ‘which Bible?'”

            The 4th century manufactured Codex Sinaiticus – and other early earliest manuscripts – includes whole books that are not found in later bibles and exclude much that has been added to and appears within later versions.

            It has long been claimed that the oldest tiny fragment of papyrus known as “The Rylands Library Papyrus P52, also known as the St John’s fragment ” dates from the 2nd century CE and somehow is proof of the confused and contradictory legends of “Jesus” written centuries later and merely set over 100 years before this first/oldest claimed “evidence”. There are many things wrong with these claims:
            1) A scrap of papyrus no larger than a beer mat that includes the Greek word for “Jesus” is hardly evidence of people who are claimed to have lived, and events that are claimed to have taken place over 100 years earlier but of which no historical trace can be found.
            2) There has nott been any modern scientific evaluation of the age of Rylands P52 or any other so call “ancient” bible texts – until very recently when – lo and behold – none of these scraps of historically near meaningless papyrus fragments can reliably be dated as originating before the3rd century CE and most are considered by some to date from the 4th century around the time that the Roman religion of “christianity” was being cobbled together from mostly pagan components and exclusively pagan feast days, festivals and the Sun-god day of worship.
            https://vridar.org/2013/03/08/new-date-for-that-st-johns-fragment-rylands-library-papyrus-p52/
            http://www.globalserve.net/~yuku/bbl/rylands.htm

            http://www.historian.net/images/P52.jpg

          4. You have been asked to stop with the lying accusations. Thank you. If you do not agree, be adult enough to just say so. I do not impugn your earnestness or character, only the falsity of many of the arguments being propounded.

            You are solidly fixed in your anti-theistic beliefs, but time will increasingly continue to establish the veracity of the Bible. The fact that no New Testament books mention the Roman sacking and destruction of Jerusalem is credible evidence they were written before 70 AD. The insignificant “errors” in the manuscripts, regardless of Erhman’s financial ventures, all points to the veracity of the scripture.

            You have free will to read and believe as you wish, regrettably death cures atheism, and, I trust you are smart enough to not plan to stand before your creator and point to the beliefs of your mentors or the failings of your enemies to justify yourself.

          5. You remain in denial of the evidence supported exposure of the garbage of religion you consistently and persistently fail to validate, justify or excuse.

            I hold no beliefs (anti-theistic – or otherwise).
            You make historically unsupported and scientifically absurd claims and I present the reasons so many of us no longer believe those ridiculous claims.

            The content of any of the diverse and different, confused and internally contradictory versions of NT bible that have appeared since the 4th century (Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus) can never validate the myths legends and lies within any of the diverse and different, confused and internally contradictory versions of NT bible that have appeared since the 4th century.

            I KNOW the myths, legends and lies and I KNOW the propaganda and naive opinions you recycle regarding those myths legends and lies. There is no historical evidence in support of any of that garbage.

            You had bible chapter and verse evidence that “Jesus” could not have been a messiah – even if he wasn’t mythical.

            Your sad condition of ignorance and blind denial is no defense against the hard facts that condemn your fraudulent and corrupt businesses of religion.

      2. I’ve read the Bible, along with other “holy books” and I’m familiar with science. That has shown me that gods (remember there’s more than the one you prefer) aren’t necessary for life. Furthermore, research into theism revealed that there’s no reasonable evidence for the existence of any gods.

        1. Michael, there is only 1 God. There may be 7 billion people on the Earth, all with the ability to cogitate their own, but that is irrelevant. The same applies to all of history, It is a spiritual trap to not objectively search for the truth and to accept any and all human opinions as having equal merit.

          gods are human concoctions and contrivances, God is transdimensional, extradimensional, transcendent, omniscient and omnipotent. Unless what your reading complies with that description, your reading is not worth reading.

          God has revealed enough of himself for anyone who is truly seeking him. I suggest your “theism” research is more confusion than truth.

          Reasonable evidence? DNA is proof of God. There are no natural processes that can create a multi-level coded organic homochiral structured intelligently designed, irreducibly complex macromolecule capable of enabling all cellular functions, metabolism and replication that is the most complex information system in the universe, period.

          The creation of life? There are no natural processes that even come close to the biochemical assembly required for the construction of life, period.

          Consciousness? There is no natural processes in a system that is undirected, purposeless, random, and undesigned that can explain human consciousness.

          I encourage you to expand the sphere of your research.

          1. Michael, there is only 1 God.

            Over a billion Hindus would disagree with you and their opinion is just as valid as yours.

            gods are human concoctions and contrivances

            Your favorite pet god falls right into this description. The only reason, and I emphasize the ONLY reason you pretend otherwise is your unfounded belief. You throw around words like transcendent, omniscient and omnipotent to describe a collective figment of the imagination but you have zip point zero evidence to support that belief.

            DNA is proof of God.

            DNA is proof of DNA. Science doesn’t know how life started, although some biologists are getting very close to creating life in the laboratory. You don’t know how life started either. You’ve got a couple of 2500 year old myths written by priests who didn’t know where the Sun went at night but you’ve got nothing more than that to bolster your opinion that an imaginary, fictitious, non-existent supernatural critter had anything to do with the origin of life or DNA.

            Consciousness? There is no natural processes in a system that is undirected, purposeless, random, and undesigned that can explain human consciousness.

            Your incredulity on a subject you know nothing about is not evidence for any gods.

            I encourage you to expand the sphere of your research.

            I’ve had conversations like this with various flavors of theists for over 50 years. None of them have given me any reason to change my opinion that no gods, not just the gods the individual theist liked but ANY god, are more than make-believe.

            Got any evidence that your god exists? Remember that I’m an atheist so the collection of myths, fables and lies called the Bible isn’t authoritative. You don’t accept the Quran, Vedas or Mahayana Sutras as authentic, a moment’s thought will show that I have the same attitude towards the Bible.

  4. Few people are religious for intellectual reasons. They might find reasons to justify their belief, but people rarely become religious because they have methodically considered all the options and evidence before concluding, ‘God exists.’

    we have a winner!

    1. I have methodically considered all the options, etc, and it is science that has readily confirmed my belief in the integrity of scripture and the truth of God’s Word and existence.

        1. Please name one critical thinking skill that is being abused. I do not respond with ad hominems when insulted, but, between a physics degree, a patented technologist career, and taking critical skill course study, I earnestly need the benefit of your observations.

          1. It’s pretty simple. If you think scientific discoveries have verified scripture and proven the existence of the god of the bible, then your ability to evaluate evidence effectively is broken. If nothing else, scientific discovery has shown that many stories of the bible are superstitious conclusions made my ignorant men who thought the earth was flat and didn’t know where the sun went at night. Your cognitive bias is showing.

      1. If you are trying to use science as a way to confirm your beliefs, you are sciencing wrong. It’s fine to start with a hypothesis and seek to incorporate ALL evidence into your conclusions, whether that confirms or falsifies your hypothesis, but when you start with a belief and seek to confirm, you will tend to ignore or misinterpret any disconfirming evidence. It’s called confirmation bias.

        But I’m willing to play along…please provide specifics- what exact science has confirmed for you what exact scripture? I want one for one – scripture confirmed by science, not “look at the trees/universe/human eye…”. Give me your very best one or two examples.

        1. Your premise is flawed: I am not trying to use science to confirm anything but truth and reality. BTW, if you are “sciencing” without faith, you are sciencing wrong. Science imposes faith at many levels, which I suppose you know so I will not delineate. If you are incorporating ALL evidence, then you are clearly not philosophical naturalistic and open to ALL solutions, not just the presently naturalistic ones. Rectifying this against the limitations of science to investigate physical, materialistically constrained reality presents a problem for total and exclusive dependence on present day understanding of science.

          Much of scientific discovery begins with a belief and continues with experiments and observations too confirm, so the point of any contention is not clear. Confirmation bias is common everywhere, so I do not believe this is some duplicitous proposition of selectively enforced argumentation.

          As you requested, politely, thank you – “Playing along:”
          Time, space, matter and energy began with the Big Bang – Genesis 1:1.
          Fine-tuning of forces, laws and constants are required for a stable universe and the advent of living entities – Genesis 1, Jeremiah 33:25, Ecclesiastes 1-3.
          2nd law of Thermodynamics controls all physical reality in the universe – Romans 8.
          Expansion of the universe – Job 8

          Science is God’s invention and gift to his conscious, reasoning, logical creation to help understand him, to know his creation, to use it for the benefit of all creation and to glorify himself: God’s invention, man’s discovery, not intended to enable foolish humans to try to redefine reality or deny God’s existence.

          DNA is proof of God: the multi-level coded organic homochiral structured intelligently designed, irreducibly complex macromolecule that is the most complex information system in the universe and absolutely not creatable through natural processes.

          If you reject this proposition, then kindly inform me how DNA came into existence. Please do not bore with mythical propositions of chemical evolution, mythical like Darwin’s “warm little ponds”, Oparin-Haldane primordial soup, or Miller-Urey test tube goo.

          1. Talk about a primordial goo soup…that is quite the word salad you just served up. Very colorful and textured, but basically a bunch of wilted arguments and previously shredded apologetics, and bland condiments, with no meat anywhere.

            If you think Genesis talks about the big bang, you have not actually studied Genesis, or the big bang. Or would you care to enlighten us on the scientific proofs of the firmament, Windows of heaven, several days and nights of creation before the existence of the sun, talking snakes, pillars holding up the disc earth, the sun stopping in the sky, 900 year old men…

            Intelligent design? Irreducible complexity? These were debunked in open court for crying out loud. 2nd law? Quedlin, please.

            In 2018, a person of your obvious intellect and vocabulary is without excuse defending ancient tribal folklore against all evidence to the contrary. I understand in your position you are burdened by a fear being wrong and an ego wrapped up in the identity of intellectual, but a strong believer, but you need to take a step back and be honest with yourself.

            Is natural formation of a cell (from chemistry to biology) over an immeasurable length of time in an immeasurably vast universe really more outlandish and “mythical” than an anthropomorphic omni-max creating entity that has always existed, is all knowing, but still requires a blood sacrifice to forgive us for following our very nature ? I really think you are better than that, and I don’t need to have an explanation for DNA to opine that “God magic” is probably not the right answer. Thor’s anger was not the answer for thunder and lightning. Not 3000 years ago, not now. Poseidon was not the cause of rough seas. Not then, not now. We humans may never completely explain DNA, but Yahweh magic is still not an adequate answer for today’s mysteries of science.

          2. There is not time or space to correct your misunderstandings, you have free will to embrace any illogic or incoherence you desire to maintain your beliefs. Deny it all you want, but until you prove the natural creation of DNA, you have no basis to deny God’s existence. Best wishes.Science is subordinate to fully understand truth.

          3. No time or space to answer simple questions, but apparently plenty of both to make more unfounded assertions. Let me try…

            Until you can prove thunder is naturally caused, you have no basis to deny the existence of Thor, his hammer, or his red beard. (said a random norseman, circa 300 bc).

            Yours is nothing more than a 21st century God of the gaps claim, and you have chosen to plant your flag here because it’s the time and place you are living, and the remaining gaps for a god to fill keep getting smaller, more obscure, more esoteric, as science inexorably marches forward and ignores your plaintive ” I betcha science can’t… ” shrieks.

            But I have faith. Faith that if/when science does discover the natural explanation for RNA and DNA, deluded religionists like you will just move the goalposts yet again to whatever molecular or atomic precursor you think will “stump” science, like you and your ilk have been doing since before Yahweh was ever made up by primitive canaanites.

            You are either a poe or a troll. Either way, be gone.

        1. Very prolific with pictures and classically predictable, skeptical contrarisms. This may apply to blind faith, but Christian faith is evidential: Isaiah 1, 1 Thess 5:21. The prejudicial bias against Christianity is obvious, but, very duplicitous, as no Christian faith is required to be blind faith.

          Substitute “faith in science” and the same result appears.

          1. All religion requires blind and unquestioning faith. If there was evidence it would be proof that requires only knowledge noht faith.

            You quote Isaiah? I’ll see your Isaiah and raise you all these chapters and verses that prove that the fictional “Jesus” could not qualify as a messiah – even if it could be proved “Jesus” ever existed:

            The legend of the mythical “Jesus” indicates that – had he been a real person, he could not have fulfilled the description of “the” messiah or the ancient prophesies of “the” messiah. (Note that there have been many messiah claimants and some left historical evidence of their existence that is absent for the fictional “Jesus”.)

            The word “Messiah” is an English rendering of the Hebrew word Mashiach, which means “anointed.” It usually refers to a person initiated into God’s service by being anointed with oil. (Exodus 29:7, 1-Kings 1:39, 2-Kings 9:3)

            (1) Jesus Did Not Fulfill the Messianic Prophecies
            What is the Messiah supposed to accomplish? One of the central themes of biblical prophecy is the promise of a future age of perfection characterized by universal peace and recognition of God. (Isaiah 2:1-4, 32:15-18, 60:15-18; Zephaniah 3:9; Hosea 2:20-22; Amos 9:13-15; Micah 4:1-4; Zechariah 8:23, 14:9; Jeremiah 31:33-34)

            Specifically, the Bible says he will:

            Build the Third Temple (Ezekiel 37:26-28).
            Gather all Jews back to the Land of Israel (Isaiah 43:5-6).
            Usher in an era of world peace, and end all hatred, oppression, suffering and disease. As it says: “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall man learn war anymore.” (Isaiah 2:4)
            Spread universal knowledge of the God of Israel, which will unite humanity as one. As it says: “God will be King over all the world – on that day, God will be One and His Name will be One” (Zechariah 14:9).
            If an individual fails to fulfill even one of these conditions, then he cannot be the Messiah.

            Because no one has ever fulfilled the Bible’s description of this future King, Jews still await the coming of the Messiah. All past Messianic claimants, including Jesus of Nazareth, Simon Bar Cochba and Shabbtai Tzvi have been rejected.

            Christians counter that Jesus will fulfill these in the Second Coming. Jewish sources show that the Messiah will fulfill the prophecies outright; in the Bible no concept of a second coming exists.

            (2) Jesus Did Not Embody the Personal Qualifications of Messiah
            A. Messiah as Prophet
            The Messiah will become the greatest prophet in history, second only to Moses. (Targum – Isaiah 11:2; Maimonides – Teshuva 9:2)

            Prophecy can only exist in Israel when the land is inhabited by a majority of world Jewry, a situation which has not existed since 300 BCE. During the time of Ezra, when the majority of Jews remained in Babylon, prophecy ended upon the death of the last prophets – Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi.

            Jesus appeared on the scene approximately 350 years after prophecy had ended, and thus could not be a prophet.

            B. Descendant of David
            Many prophetic passages speak of a descendant of King David who will rule Israel during the age of perfection. (Isaiah 11:1-9; Jeremiah 23:5-6, 30:7-10, 33:14-16; Ezekiel 34:11-31, 37:21-28; Hosea 3:4-5)

            The Messiah must be descended on his father’s side from King David (see Genesis 49:10, Isaiah 11:1, Jeremiah 23:5, 33:17; Ezekiel 34:23-24). According to the Christian claim that Jesus was the product of a virgin birth, he had no father – and thus could not have possibly fulfilled the messianic requirement of being descended on his father’s side from King David. (1)

            According to Jewish sources, the Messiah will be born of human parents and possess normal physical attributes like other people. He will not be a demi-god, (2) nor will he possess supernatural qualities.

            C. Torah Observance
            The Messiah will lead the Jewish people to full Torah observance. The Torah states that all mitzvot remain binding forever, and anyone coming to change the Torah is immediately identified as a false prophet. (Deut. 13:1-4)

            Throughout the Christian “New Testament,” Jesus contradicts the Torah and states that its commandments are no longer applicable. For example, John 9:14 records that Jesus made a paste in violation of Shabbat, which caused the Pharisees to say (verse 16), “He does not observe Shabbat!”

            (3) Mistranslated Verses “Referring” to Jesus
            Biblical verses can only be understood by studying the original Hebrew text – which reveals many discrepancies in the Christian translation.

            A. Virgin Birth
            The Christian idea of a virgin birth is derived from the verse in Isaiah 7:14 describing an “alma” as giving birth. The word “alma” has always meant a young woman, but Christian theologians came centuries later and translated it as “virgin.” This accords Jesus’ birth with the first century pagan idea of mortals being impregnated by gods.

            B. Suffering Servant
            Christianity claims that Isaiah chapter 53 refers to Jesus, as the “suffering servant.”

            In actuality, Isaiah 53 directly follows the theme of chapter 52, describing the exile and redemption of the Jewish people. The prophecies are written in the singular form because the Jews (“Israel”) are regarded as one unit. Throughout Jewish scripture, Israel is repeatedly called, in the singular, the “Servant of God” (see Isaiah 43:8). In fact, Isaiah states no less than 11 times in the chapters prior to 53 that the Servant of God is Israel.

            When read correctly, Isaiah 53 clearly [and ironically] refers to the Jewish people being “bruised, crushed and as sheep brought to slaughter” at the hands of the nations of the world. These descriptions are used throughout Jewish scripture to graphically describe the suffering of the Jewish people (see Psalm 44).

            Isaiah 53 concludes that when the Jewish people are redeemed, the nations will recognize and accept responsibility for the inordinate suffering and death of the Jews.

  5. If anyone is paying attention to current events, it is the increasing dominance of science and technology that is fundamentally changing the mission field the Church is called to minister to. God’s General Revelation of nature, its plausibly interpreted Special Revelation within scripture should be absolute preaching and teaching topics to ensure Christian youth are prepared for the onslaught of skepticism and cynicism in the college and university, which is the increasingly hostile mission field the Church is not equipping itself to minister to.

    Pray that the leadership of the Church will understand the mission field is changing and becoming hostile because the Church is not actively ministering the fact that science is God’s invention and gift to his conscious, reasoning, logical creation to better understand him, his design of physical reality, and to enhance our worship, not make walls and gross dogmatic misinterpretations of in scripture to inject divisions between God’s gift of science and God’s gift of his Word.

    1. I would like to give thanks unto God for inventing science…and history…and His gifts of logic, rational thinking and critical inquiry. It twas by these glorious inventions that I was able to find the light of Truth. But alas, I am not able to give thanks to Him….since these “inventions” eventually caused my carefully constructed belief system to fall apart like a house of cards…along with belief in god. My atheism is not a conclusion any more than my non-belief in the healing power of crystals or astrology is a conclusion. I just see no evidence to support such beliefs. If some comes along, I am happy to take a look at it. Perhaps yahweh is a real god or perhaps ganesh or ahura mazda are real gods. But unless or until I see evidence of their existence, I have no reason to believe any of them exist apart from myth. So Thank God I am an atheist!

      1. Hard to perceive any earnestly objective search for truth, given the preponderance of angry, biased anti-theists on this site.

          1. So, you believe it is an “ignorant based denial of truth” to believe in the creation of:
            1. Time, space, matter and energy,
            2. Fine-tuned laws and constants of the universe,
            3. Life
            4. Consciousness

            All recorded in the Bible and attributed to God?

          2. Of course it is ignorance based denial of the actual scientific evidence to believe in the magical “creation” (from NOTHING) of the 13,820,000,000 year old universe and all it contains by an undetected and undetectable impotent, evil and imaginary (originally Canaanite) “god” named “Yahweh”.

            The confused and contradictory, historically inaccurate and scientifically absurd garbage within any of the diverse and different versions of bibles holds no credibility.

            Your creationist bunkum has long been debunked.

            https://sacerdotus.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/harris-impotent-evil-or-imaginary-600×435.jpg?w=1400

          3. So the Big Bang is creationism bunkum and not scientific? The creation of time, space, matter and energy is proof of God, just as DNA is.

            Nature cannot create itself, any proposition that it did is irrational and not logical.

            You can read what was written yourself, to impulsively declare it as without credibility is not rational, just because you despise theism and are filled with hate and spite. It does not have to be that way.

            The childish contentious atheistic postering is irrational – God can stop catastrophes, he does care and he does exist.

          4. How is the fact of observable time, space, matter and energy “proof” of any of the millions of undetected and undetectable gods and goddesses?
            The existence of time, space and matter demonstrates ONLY the existence of time, space and matter – just as the recently discovered existence of DNA is only evidence of the existence of DNA and another link in the confirmation of natural evolution.

            Nature cannot create itself?
            How then does the natural world continue to breed, reproduce and be ongoing for at least 4,000,000,000 years without a significant break?
            I needed no supernatural assistance in producing my own 4 fine upstanding now adult offspring. My tiny part in nature did it all by itself.

            Nothing appears to have been “created” as all matter has derived from a process of past, current and ongoing material evolution and the basic chemicals of “life” are the most abundant materials in the universe. So the formation of primitive chemical proto-life and the evolution of ever more complex life forms (indicated by ALL the evidence) appears also to be an entirely natural (magic and gods devoid) process.

            I am puzzled that creationists can never explain how “a god” or “the gods” came into existence if “everything needs a creator?
            It’s also puzzling that no one can explain how their particular “god” (or goddess) created the infinite 13,820,000,000 year old universe and all it contains FROM NOTHING?

            Your explanation may be entertaining…

          5. Creationism is not based on human hallucinogenic coccotions about millions of gods and goddesses, rather the singular transcendent, transdimensional, extradimensional true God,who is not created like the universe.Everything in this universe needed a creator, who is God.
            Nature cannot create itself, which is why it had a creator. This is why abiogenesis is a naturalist myth. God created life with the intelligent designed information system of DNA, which has no natural explanation.

            Common descent is a naturalist dogma with no scientific evidence through transitional forms w which phylogenetic gradualism demands. Darwin was right to worry, evolution is flawed as a result.

            The “formation of primitive chemical proto-life” has no evidence and is a myth, like Darwin’s “warm little ponds,” Oparin-Haldane primordial soup, and Miller-Urey test tube goo. There are no natural processes in existence to biochemically assembly the critical and precise biochemical assemblies required for the origin of Life.

            An infinite God can readily create a universe, and he did, because he wants a relationship with you. but you will only learn the details if you are at least willing to recognize him. One of the most tragic humans ever was Carl Sagan who thought the cosmos is and was and will be all, exalting the creation, not the creator. He once said “understanding is Ecstasy,” a tragic statement when you acknowledge that God knows all that he did – all the mysteries of the universe – and wants to tells us all about it, just as he invented science so we could understand his creation. Well if you deny God, ridicule him and refuse to acknowledge him, not wanting to live with him, your questions will never be answered. Carl was too proud to realize this and refused to accept the truth to receive the truth. Tragic.

          6. You claim: “Creationism is not based on human hallucinogenic coccotions about millions of gods and goddesses, rather the singular transcendent, transdimensional, extradimensional true God,who is not created like the universe.Everything in this universe needed a creator, who is God.”
            Ignoring your wacko hyperbole about “hallucinogenic coccotions” (wtf?) – Your gods show nothing to differentiate them from any of the millions of other undetected and undetectable gods and goddesses invented by men.

            The rest of your wacko claims are unsupported by reason or evidence.
            The third largest and fastest growing human demographic and most reasonably educated religious leaders simply don’t believe any of the creationist debunked bunkum.

            http://www.godofevolution.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Nye-vs-Ham-cartoon-evidence.jpg
            https://freethoughtnaija.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/graveyard-of-the-gods.jpg
            https://img.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeed-static/static/2015-08/11/4/enhanced/webdr07/original-30282-1439282033-3.jpg?downsize=715:*&output-format=auto&output-quality=auto

    2. This pastor’s experience is that most Christians either aren’t able or interested in listening to and understanding why atheists are really atheists. Real evangelism seeks that deep mutual understanding FIRST — and never does it as the means to converting atheists but as the sign of their own true conversion to the new and true way of being human Jesus brought into the world (possibly as part of our natural evolution?)

      1. If you believe Christians are not receptive to responding to the mission field, I believe that is because they are not being instilled with the value and importance of ministering to the mission field, which implicates church leadership at a number of levels. Sincere, Christ-like care for others is what I understand you are saying is real, and, I believe, that is a challenge to instill within the Church and even personally maintain.

        Cannot discern what you mean by “natural evolution.” God made all who come to Christ ambassadors of the reconciliation, which I do not perceive as any natural evolution.

        1. What’s wrong with our salvation being baked into the anthropological cake, as it were? Can’t God work that way too?

          1. Since there is no evidence whatsoever of the existence of “Yeshua/Jesus” – and the history of christianity is soaked in the blood of innocent victims of christians – there is little to attract any humanitarian to any of the modern cults of “Jesus”.

            If any of the millions of undetected and undetectable gods, goddesses and god-men did exist – it would be bad news for humanity since according to all the myths and legends – their actions have always been vile, sadistic and murderous.

            https://sacerdotus.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/harris-impotent-evil-or-imaginary-600×435.jpg?w=1400

      2. If any human man named “Jesus” actually did exist in spite of the utter, total and complete absence of evidence – “Jesus” was a pretty unpleasant selfish, anti-humanitarian self obsessed character according to many parts of his legend:

        Here are some reasons to be ashamed (and not a fan) of the apparently fictional man Greek authors called “Jesus”:-

        He told his followers to hate their families.
        If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children,and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:26
        He came to break apart families.
        I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. Matthew 10:35-36

        He believed in devils, evil eyes, and unclean spirits.
        Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying … cast out devils. Matthew 10:5-8
        Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him. Matthew 12:22
        And Jesus rebuked the devil. Matthew 17:18
        And he … cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him. Mark 1:34
        Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils. Luke 9:1
        And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God. And he straitly charged them that they should not make him known. Mark 3:11-12
        An evil eye … defile the man. Mark 7:22-23
        But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. Matthew 6:23, Luke 11:34
        There was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit … And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. Mark 1:23-25
        He gave them power against unclean spirits. Matthew 10:1
        When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation. Matthew 12:43-45, Luke 11:24-26

        There are so very many more examples – some of which are in another of my entries in this column.

        1. If Jesus turns out to be just an ethical/literary construct as part of our moral evolution, he will have had just as much impact on our humanity.

          1. Since no historical trace of “Jesus” exists and every word of the legends of “Jesus” were written by successive generations of men, your reference appears to be meaningless.

            The impact of christianity was brutality and mass murder when it was imposed upon the world in the 4th century – several centuries of persecution, suppression and oppression some call the “Dark Ages” – 9 historical genocidal crusades (“kill them all and let god sort them out”) and 1 20th century genocidal christian crusade by the 3rd Reich – 300+ years of cruel inquisition and a modern institution that still causes much terror and misery while hording and withholding obscene wealth from humanity in a world filled with dire human need that religion pontificates about but does nothing to mitigate.

            I have to agree that religion has had much impact upon mankind (and “heretics” and tall buildings and murdered citizens of peaceful secular democracies…) – but none of that “impact” has been beneficial.
            Religion is a sinister and dishonest blight that it is way past time mankind grew out of and shrugged off.

            https://sacerdotus.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/harris-impotent-evil-or-imaginary-600×435.jpg?w=1400

      1. This is the incoherent illogic of many who refuse to recognize God, Epicurus is not deserving of an serious consideration.

        – Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? God is not not able to do anything, except what is irrational, like making a square circle, or what is a violation of his purposes and plans, like imparting free will to his conscious creation then not dealing with its implications.
        – God is clearly not impotent: a projection of human limitations
        – Is he able, but not willing? He is able and willing, but only within the confines of his own plan.
        – He is hardly malevolent, that is our nature, not God’s.
        – Is he both able and willing? Yes, within the parameters and confines of his plan for his creation.
        – Whence cometh evil? From the heart of humans, created with free will and given the power to exercise it.
        – Is he neither able nor willing? He is both able and willing.
        – Then why call him God? 1. Because he created the universe and all life. Because he created conscious, sentient, free willed beings – humankind – to know, relate, live in obedience and worship him. But, human free will has refused to do this, resulting in sin that create evil and proliferates throughout creation. Fortunately, God is able, and willing, implementing his reconciliation plan that will conquer the evil humanity so willingly seeks and executes.

        1. Will you never learn that denial is NOT rebuttal?

          Your fantasies are ridiculous and your childish superstitions remain debunked bunkum.

          1. So your denial of God and Christ is not a rebuttal of the principles and propositions of Christianity? That is a good start.

            There are no fantasies, only the truth God has created the universe and life, and the facts of science fully establish it. Science proves nothing absolutely, only theorizes. The vial accusations are not very rational

          2. You really are addicted to those straw man arguments, my delusional friend!

            The denial is ALL on your part.

            I do not “deny” the originally Canaanite god “Yahweh” (or his beautiful wife/consort “Asherah, the Shekinah”. See: http://northernway.org/hgoddess.html).
            I do not deny the 4th century Roman’s god “Jesus”.
            I don’t even deny the existence of several “messiah/christos” claimants as the existence of “Simon Christ” (Simon Bar Kochbah aka Simon ben Cossiba) is well attested, was endorsed in Rabbinical circles and there are many coins depicting Simon Christ under his messianic star outside the temple.

            I don’t “deny” anything regarding any and all of the many millions of undetected and undetectable gods, goddesses and god-men – I merely point out that there is evidence of none of them and therefore no reason to believe in any of them – including those in which you have been indoctrinated to believe in but cannot justify or excuse you condition of blind faith.

            If any human man named “Jesus” actually did exist in spite of the utter, total and complete absence of evidence – “Jesus” was a pretty unpleasant selfish, anti-humanitarian self obsessed character according to many parts of his legend:

            Here are some reasons to be ashamed (and not a fan) of Jesus:-

            He told his followers to hate their families.
            If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children,and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:26
            He came to break apart families.
            I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. Matthew 10:35-36
            The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. Luke 12:51-53
            He insisted that his followers love him more than anyone else (including their families).
            He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Matthew 10:37
            He encouraged people to abandon their home and family for his name’s sake.
            And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. Matthew 19:29, Mark 10:29-30, Luke 18:29-30
            He was rude to his own family.
            Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! Matthew 12: 47-49, Mark 3:31-34, Luke 8:20-21
            He was dismissive of other people’s feelings toward their families.
            And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead. Matthew 8:21-22, Luke 9:59-62
            He discouraged marriage.
            They which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage. Luke 20:35
            He was a hypocrite. He told his followers not to call anyone a fool.
            Whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. Matthew 5:22
            Yet he often called his critics and disciples fools.
            Ye fools and blind. Matthew 23:17, 19
            Ye fools. Luke 11:40
            O fools, and slow of heart to believe. Luke 24:25
            He encouraged his followers to mutilate themselves to avoid hell.
            Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out … And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. Matthew 5:28-30
            If thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire. Matthew 18:8-9
            And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off … And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off … And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. Mark 9:43-48
            He encouraged men to castrate themselves.
            There are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it. Matthew 19:12
            He approved of God’s killings in the Bible.
            And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words … It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city. Matthew 10:14-15
            But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Matthew 24:37
            As it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man … the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot … the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all … Remember Lot’s wife. Luke 17:26-32
            As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: John 3:14
            He believed in the Old Testament’s stories.
            But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Matthew 24:37, Luke 17:27
            But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. … Remember Lot’s wife. Luke 17:29-32
            For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. Matthew 12:40
            He accepted Old Testament laws.
            Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. Matthew 5:17
            He criticized the Pharisees for not killing parent-cursing children.
            God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. Matthew 15:4
            Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death. Mark 7:10
            He and his dad plan to torture billions of people forever after they die.
            Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Matthew 7:19
            Fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28
            The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 13:41-42
            So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 13:49-50
            Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. Matthew 25:41
            And these shall go away into everlasting punishment. Matthew 25:46
            He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. Mark 16:16
            Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him. Luke 12: 5
            He implied that all Jews are going to hell.
            But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 8:12
            He was a false prophet.
            Verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come. Matthew 10:23
            Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom. Matthew 16:28, Mark 9:1, Luke 9:27
            Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Matthew 24:34, Mark 13:30, Luke 21:32
            Behold, I come quickly. Revelation 3:11, 22:7, 22:11, 22:20
            He was a warmonger.
            Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. Matthew 10:34, Luke 12:51-53
            And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. Revelation 19:11
            He was a megalomaniac.
            Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed. Mark 8:38
            He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God … he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. John 3:18, 36
            If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. John 15:16
            He condemned cities to dreadful deaths and to the eternal torment of hell because they didn’t care for his preaching.
            Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! … And thou, Capernaum … shalt be brought down to hell … it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee. Matthew 11:21-24
            Whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city. Mark 6:11
            But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not … it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city. Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! … And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell. Luke 10:10-15
            He called an entire generation perverse, evil, adulterous vipers.
            O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? … Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign. Matthew 12:34-39, 16:4
            Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation…. 17:17
            He invented George W. Bush’s false dichotomy.
            He that is not with me is against me. Matthew 12:30, Luke 11:230
            He approved of torture.
            And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses. Matthew 18:34-35
            He inspired the Republican Tea Party.
            Whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Matthew 13:12, Mark 4:25
            Unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. Matthew 25:29
            He believed in an unforgivable sin.
            Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men … whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. Matthew 12:31-32, Mark 3:29, Luke 12:10
            He spoke in parables to confuse people so he could send them to hell.
            And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them. Mark 4:11, Matthew 13:10-15
            He believed in a God (himself?) who had his enemies slaughtered in front of him.
            But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me. Luke 19:27
            He believed in devils, evil eyes, and unclean spirits.
            Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying … cast out devils. Matthew 10:5-8
            Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him. Matthew 12:22
            And Jesus rebuked the devil. Matthew 17:18
            And he … cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him. Mark 1:34
            Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils. Luke 9:1
            And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God. And he straitly charged them that they should not make him known. Mark 3:11-12
            An evil eye … defile the man. Mark 7:22-23
            But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. Matthew 6:23, Luke 11:34
            There was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit … And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. Mark 1:23-25
            He gave them power against unclean spirits. Matthew 10:1
            When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation. Matthew 12:43-45, Luke 11:24-26
            He was a bit of a racist.
            The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter. But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs. Mark 7:26-27, Matthew 15:22-26
            He condemned people to hell for things that their ancestors supposedly did.
            Ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. … Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? … Upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Matthew 23:31-35
            He got kind of gross sometimes.
            And he … put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue. Mark 7:33
            He took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought. Mark 8: 23
            He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. John 9:6
            Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life … For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him … He that eateth me, even he shall live by me. John 6:53-57

            the only good thing in any of the businesses of religion called “christianity” is the “Golden Rule” that precedes christianity by millennia and is the basis of morality and ethics for the growing millions of humanitarian atheists around the world. The “Golden Rule” is all anyone needs – religion poisons everything.

    1. God has no problem with atheists, he loves them and want them to fully understand the truth. It appears atheists have a problem with God through their denial of his existence, despite the immutable and sufficient evidence of his existence.

      1. If there was evidence, there would be no reason for “faith.” Atheists don’t have a problem with god(s), just as we have no problem with sasquatches, Loch Ness, fairies, or Santa Claus. It’s pretty tough to take issue with something you don’t believe exists. God’s followers on the other hand…

          1. Your capitulation and decision to cut and run from further humiliation is predicted and expected.
            Foolish and ignorant religionists block that which confuses, confounds and humiliates them but the truth about the fraudulent and evil nature of religion continues to be revealed to the world.
            Withdraw to your bubble of ignorance and delusion if that is your only response to the evidence that confounds your bunkum.
            PS.I am pleased to note youjoin me in finding religion “disgusting” since that was the subject of the entry you use as an excuse to run away.
            Good luck and good riddance.

          2. Lifelong atheist here, gotta say you went WAYYYYYYY over the line dude, and not just in using the words penis and child in the same post. The way you abused someone who was trying to dialogue with you is only gonna confirm the worst stereotypes about atheists being arrogant a**holes.

          3. I regret that I am not the originator of the pithy and accurate comparison of religion and penis.
            (Note: Anyone who cannot stand the heat is excused for running away from the kitchen.)
            http://i.imgur.com/CZkZVWh.jpg
            https://i.imgur.com/M2pcce8.jpg
            https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQNS3cl_q5Ef8Apny3Ieh6t9rsywizCTWO1IXqc21IL_ClJBvf3JQ
            https://static.fjcdn.com/pictures/Religion+is+a+private+matter+not+to+be+opened+for_04fbfd_5170062.png

          4. Seeing it on a billboard is even more offensive and of course doesn’t excuse it. Please don’t reply to me again (or private message me), as this lifelong atheist finds your abusive trolling a disgrace to atheists.

          5. Please quit this pathetic whining and grow some ba..s.
            Your fragile sensibilities are not suited to the straight talking that is typical of real atheists so I suggest that rather than attempt to censor old hands with many supporters, you remove yourself from these columns as it appears to be you who is out of place, not me.

            I find your pathetic mewling to be a disgrace to the human race.

            Grow up and get a life.

            https://img.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeed-static/static/2015-08/11/4/enhanced/webdr07/original-30282-1439282033-3.jpg?downsize=715:*&output-format=auto&output-quality=auto

          6. I’ve had an extended conversation with this guy before. I didn’t get treated to the pictures, but he’s very persistent about trying to run down rabbit trails instead of engaging when you ask him to back up what he’s said. He’s like a fount of pre-recorded quips about his own inherent superiority due to his atheism.

          7. I’m an atheist too and I’m sorry you had to put up with this arrogant a**hole. We’re not all like that so I hope you keep trying to talk to us.

          8. To play “God’s advocate” for a second, there is at least one more semi-reasonable fourth option not on this meme—that He does exist, that He does care, and that His solution was Jesus (so He did something).

            The problem with this fourth option is that God’s solution, it seems, is not sufficient (unlike the claim made by believers). (The sending of the Holy Spirit doesn’t really improve the case, either.) His solution (if this solution took place in the first place!) is mediocre; most any half-abled, living person can (and often does) do better, let alone a caring community.

            The fourth option for God’s role in disasters—a softer one than Sam’s, but still very important—places Him not as totally impotent, but as, at best, mundane—and potentially more importantly, but more extreme—unreliable for help in time of need.

            Personally, it’s either option 4, unreliable, or option 3, imaginary, and in neither case do I think it wise to depend on His help on this Earth. The first, is why an Agnostic should live by a Humanist ethic, the second is why an Atheist should, too.

            I do point this out because a deductive-like false-trichotomy is neither helpful here, nor with say Lewis’s Liar, Lunatic, or Lord.

  6. I went to 2 churches as a child and had a good time. But, what they taught was not consistent with public school, and the tv show “kids are people too” had a better message in the same timeslot.

  7. Wow, an I just thought that people were atheists because they had looked at all the claimed evidence and didn’t think “the best explanation for this is ‘a god exists’”

  8. Lol. I was raised in fundagelical Christianity and became an atheist after studying archaeology, biology, Christian church and doctrinal history, and learning about what scholars have found about the writing and canonization of the books of the bible. So I suppose not once did I use intellectual reason in my journey to atheism. Darn.

  9. Jackson Wu appears at least partly wrong from the outset, particularly at the outset where he says

    Few people are atheists for intellectual reasons. They might find reasons to justify their (non-)belief, but people rarely become atheists because they have methodically considered all the options and evidence before concluding, “God does not exist.”

    The limited research (particularly the Hunsberger/Altemeyer “Amazing Conversions” study) seems to suggest that it is actually more common than rare for people to look at the evidence, consider the alternative explanation options, and to decide that the religious explanation is less plausible than the irreligious one.

    Contrariwise, most people don’t undertake that sort of examination without some prior source of impetus; and one frequent factor suggested in the Altemeyer/Hunsberger study was that some religious leaders dealt with hard questions with responses considered inadequate — particularly, responses that criticize the one inquiring. In some cases the result may have been continued conformity; in others, it triggered a wider search for more satisfactory answers. This seems exactly what Wu is talking about.

    Nohow, the difficulty for Christians is not merely the tendency of some to engage in what psychology jargon sometimes terms “source derogation” and “negative affect” when faced with questions they consider unpleasant, but that intellectual scrutiny indeed frequently is the basis for rejecting religion.

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