Month 2 – Week 7, Day 6: A record of my recent convo with an Atheist

This morning’s blog will focus on my recorded conversation history with a man named Peter who is a fellow Australian and a committed Atheist who holds clearly defined views about the subject. You can see for yourselves but the TL/DR is that I enjoy speaking to him and am very vocally defending the truth of God and what I believe about Christianity to him. In contrast, his views are that God is not real and is a ‘fairy story’ humans invented.

First I’ll share a link to a word document which I’ll make publically viewable on the archive I made of our conversations in Facebook (unless they get deleted they’re publicly viewable there anyways if you want to check it out/are curious)

Archived_conversation_debate_RNF_vs_EE_Jan_Feb_2021.docx

I have subsequently had a lengthy email exchange with Peter (RNF) via my Honestdadvice email address accessible via this website and my Facebook business page as I genuinely want to engage with and educate people about Catholic Christianity over time:

FIRST EXCHANGE

Hi Dane,
Your fellow Aussie & friendly Atheist here. 

Here is the pdf I promised. Please give it a proper read. I think you will find it quite interesting. Also read the part at the end “In pursuit of God” which will give you an insight into the writer’s background & his search for god. 

Let me know what you think when you’re done & if you want to challenge any of the points. No hurry. 

I also have another couple of ‘books’ that you may or may not have read. 
The God Delusion – Richard Dawkins
Disproving Christianity – David McAfee

Let me know if you’d like to take a look at them too. 

Also you don’t seem to have answered another question I had for you.
Can you make a moral judgment against rape or slavery using only scripture? 

Also I have attached the file properties of my page banner “in the beginning” that I made over 6 years ago when I started my page in 2014 just to prove to you that I did indeed have my page for many years. It shows the modified date which is when I made the artwork for the banner. it also has a created date but that was when I copied my files to a different laptop hence the created date. 

Also attached is a shot of my “god stuff” folder properties containing over 2000 files for further proof that what I said was true (Even though you said you believed me) Thank you.

Regards,
Peter

Peter send me a pdf copy of Armin Navabi’s Why God does not exist

See here if you want a free pdf copy https://www.atheistrepublic.com/

Email reply #1:

Hello Peter,
All received, thanks again and I will read and get back to you 🙂
Kind regards,
Dane (Honestdadvice/Ehrlich Educational)
Honestdadvice.wordpress.com
https://www.facebook.com/Honestdadvice

My additional 2nd reply:

Further to the above I can see this has been a long-term project for you and commiserations for the loss of so much data. With regards to the God Delusion I’ve read the blurb in a bookstore and seen Richard Dawkins on Q+A a few years ago, to be honest, haven’t actually read it yet. I am aware that he is one of several vocal ‘New Atheists’ including Sam Harris and the late Christopher Hitchens whom I have seen several times via YouTube videos. In general though I don’t agree with their conclusions I can respect that they take the topic of Atheism seriously as do you (and I) because it is a matter of personal interest (to us all) with farther reaching social implications too.
I can’t promise to read Dawkins or McAfee any time soon but will certainly read Armin Navari’s work and in a timely manner. I also submit for your consideration two works:
God’s Not Dead and the sequel (which I’ve read on Kindle) Man, Myth, Messiah – by Rice Brookes
as well as this one:
God, Actually – by Roy Williams (which I’ve again read cover to cover and repurchased today e-book version, will try to figure out how to get it to you if poss.)He also subsequently wrote a book entitled Post God Nation? re: Australia which sounds intriguing for us both as citizen residents here.
Kind regards,
Dane (Honestdadvice)
Honestdadvice.wordpress.com
https://www.facebook.com/Honestdadvice

My 3rd reply to him:

Hi again Peter (Reality not fantasy),
I am still trying to get an ebook version of the God, actually book by Roy Williams – it’s something I read about 8 yrs ago and was quite memorable to me then, I have now read and reviewed Armin Navabi’s book on Amazon (US) and will be in touch with him and the Atheist Republic page/site in future, thank you for carrying their picture on your page, I’ve had the opportunity to comment on it too through that link. I really would like to speak with you further in future on issues relating to argument for/against theism. I respect and appreciate the way that Armin approaches his lack of faith, it was courageous for him to leave Islam and I was saddened to hear of his youthful suicide attempt, as though I believe many Muslims are good people, their religion is damaging and harmful objectively. You may object that Christianity is just more of the same today? I’d be very willing to engage in some Christian apologetics with you if you have the time/inclination? In Armin’s introduction he openly acknowledges that believers might disagree with him and some of his contributors and citations and that that’s ok with him, which I appreciated too – the main issues I have are that he is clearly a former Muslim and was trained within that tradition, yet also speaks as if he is authoritative on Christianity, I suspect that though he has undoubtedly studied some versions of Christianity, he doesn’t really address any of the aspects of Roman Catholicism which I have much deeper level knowledge on. As one example he cites the differing versions of the Gospel (Mt, Mk, Lk, Jn) on the Crucifixion but writes as though Christians (like me at least) are likely to be unaware of this, or ignore it, whereas it is actually a key part of the reason why I believe Jesus was real and impacted on real peoples’ actual lives in Judea of the era 2000 (approx. years ago – from our perspective). I also dispute the idea fundamental to his book – that the burden of proof is exclusively the responsibility of (he uses the terminology) “it’s the job of…the person making a claim to provide support, evidence and reasoning for that claim”. According to Armin, “it simply doesn’t make sense to make an unfounded claim with no evidence to back it and demand that the other person to (sic) either agree with you or disprove your unfounded statement” p. 9 of his book. Whilst he might be completely correct in logic, he provided no justification of the view (a belief in my humble opinion, which I am challenging) that all an atheist need do is state there is “simply no evidence that any gods exist. An atheist doesn’t need to justify her (I respect and applaud Armin’s scholarship and use of alternating male/female pronouns as an aside) lack of belief any further. I make the claim that the observable reality we exist within, is evidentiary with regard to the Catholic Christian version of God’s at least possible existence, due to the order that exists rather than pure chaos, the concepts of consciousness, conscience (not the same obvs though very similar looking words), truth, objective rather than subjective reality, the possibility of morality which you and I both seem (at least from the limited amount I can know about any other person or you in particular) to share and that’s not an exhaustive list but I’m trying to keep it brief. Even at a basic level, Armin’s next section where it’s subtitled “is there any value in debate?” includes implicit concepts of recognising the concept that others potentially matter and that you are not an isolate but rather part of a community of persons (value and debate words being used). I look forward to your reply and possible further engagement in future.
Respectfully – your fellow Australian and friendly Catholic
Kind regards,
Dane (Honestdadvice)
Honestdadvice.wordpress.com
https://www.facebook.com/Honestdadvice

His first reply:

Hi Dane,
Thanks for getting back to me. Hopefully one day you will find the enter key on your keyboard 😁
I’d like to see your review on Amazon. I looked there but couldn’t find it .Perhaps you could send me a copy of what you wrote?
I would like to hear why you agree or don’t agree with the points he made in the book.You didn’t really mention much apart from not agreeing about justification for beliefs which wasn’t really part of the 20 reasons. 

I’m not sure why or don’t understand why you don’t agree that an Atheist doesn’t need to justify their non belief in a claim that has never been proven. Do you think you should have to justify why you don’t think there is a giant invisible unicorn circling the Earth? No. All you need to do is reject the claim because there is no evidence. It’s not your place to come up with proof why it doesn’t exist. It’s up to the person making the claim to prove it’s actually there. It’s the same for all gods that man has invented.
None of the things you mention (order that exists, the concepts of consciousness, morality etc) prove in any way that a god exists. That is just wishful thinking pointing to god because you don’t understand why things are the way they are. There might be order now because that is how things have evolved. In the beginning millions of years ago there would have been pure chaos. Are you forgetting that? Do you really think god made this world so perfect when most of it is inhospitable & 70% water that is mostly undrinkable? Humans have adapted & evolved to live in this world that was not designed for them. If the Earth was much hotter or much colder or the air was made up of a different gas for example then life would have evolved much differently. Then the gullible brainwashed (sorry) people would still be saying: ‘look how perfect everything is. God must have made it like that for us.’

Before we engage in more discussions it would be a good idea to find out exactly what your beliefs are so I don’t do any assuming. I’ll just ask 2 questions for now to give me an idea on how to proceed.
Do you believe everything in the bible is true?
Are you a believer who thinks the Earth is less than 10,000 years old?

I was going to wait until the next message to send you my list of reasons why I don’t believe any gods exist but what the heck I’ll list them here now. Keep in mind they are not proof because as you know it’s impossible to prove a negative. Some reasons may appear to be similar but they do have their differences.

Some of my reasons why god doesn’t exist.

1. Zero proof of god by anyone in history. Stories in a fairy tale book don’t count as proof.  
2. God himself would know exactly what proof I and others would need but for some strange reason can’t or won’t show anyone that proof & has to rely on humans to convince others. It should be very easy for an all powerful god if it existed.
3. God never intervenes in any Earthy matters & never stops disasters. All activity of god & miracles only seemed to have happened in the bible & for some strange reason no miracles have happened with the invention of recording devices. Coincidences are not proof of god.
4. If a loving god existed he wouldn’t stand by watching a child or woman being raped & not stop it – often sexually abused by priests in his own place of worship which makes it worse. This is only 1 example of god watching & doing nothing when he supposedly has the power to stop it. Believers come up with all kinds of excuses & reasons why their so-called loving god does nothing. The most common being free will. Apparently god thinks the free will of a rapist is more important than stopping him from raping a child. How do believers justify this horrible fact? If I had the power to stop these things I would, wouldn’t you?
5. If an all knowing god controls & plans everything why would it create evil people who murder & rape knowing in advance that is what they will do? Why would he create babies with birth defects & diseases? These are only a couple of many examples. Again believers will point to free will as the reason but if god has a predetermined plan then you can’t have free will. If you have free will then god can’t have a plan. You can’t have it both ways.
6.God never answers prayers. This has been proven many times in various studies & easily testable. If god answered prayers then there would be no incurable diseases & amputees would be healed by prayers among other things. Praying has no effect on anything. If it did then believers wouldn’t need to go to hospitals. In fact many believers have relied on prayer to heal their sick children & they have died when they could have been easily helped or cured by Doctors. This is one example of how dangerous religion is.
7. If god existed there would only be 1 religion & 1 god. There are thousands. The only reason people believe in their particular god is to do with geography & indoctrination. If they were born in a different part of the world where they were brought up with a different religion, they would be worshiping a different “one true god” & would think the one they believe in now was not the real one. This is what believers don’t seem to understand. They can’t all be right but they can all be wrong.
8. What kind of a loving god would cast a morally good person to hell just because they don’t worship him & at the same time allow a murderer or rapist into fictional heaven if they repent? This is unconditional love? This one piece of absurdity rules out the existence of a loving god. If this god did exist he’s a murderous psychopath.
9. If god was real he would exist & we would all know about it because it would be true. People wouldn’t need faith to believe because it would be a fact. Faith is needed because there is no proof of their delusion. Faith is believing in things no matter how ridiculous. It’s not something to be proud of. & let’s face it – talking snakes & donkeys, an invisible magic man making the entire universe in 6 days then making a human from dirt is pretty ridiculous!10. The bible contains so many errors & contradictions that it is obvious it is the work of primitive men who invented gods to explain the world they didn’t understand yet, & not the word of some god. If god had written the bible it would contain factual information about the universe, have no errors & we would be in awe of it. This fairytale book called the bible is where god came from. Man created god not the other way around.The nonsense in that book is astounding & it seems incredible that any sane person actually believes any of it is true. I could give a very long list of some of the absurdities in there but that is for another time.

Regards,
Peter

My 4th reply (now to his 2nd email):

Hi again Peter,Link to review: perma link to amazon review here
I await Armin’s next book having signed up on Atheist republic using the same link as above to that review.I genuinely do not wish atheists any ill will for their different beliefs to my own. I do encourage you to recognise that the questions you have asked me are probably fairly obviously answerable in a ‘wrong’ way so I could be lying and you’ll essentially be taking on faith my statement here – I do not believe the entire bible to be literally true – literal truth implies total inerrancy which is logically impossible with the many acceptable translations available and is a foolish claim. I also do not believe the world/earth to be approx. 10000 years old. As I am a science background I fully understand the concepts underpinning Carbon-13 Radioisotope dating techniques and also that of Uranium-235. It’s quite reasonable to presume therefore that 4ish billion (Earth perspective years) of our planet in a 14ish billion year old universe (based on what we can observe) is ‘reasonable’ but though many claims are made about this, it’s far from certain. To be fair to the flat earthers, the creationists and many other ‘religious nuts’, we simply do not have proof, we have evidence which convinces us, which is in our terms reasonable, based on rules and logic and reasoning we accept in our own language. If we had ‘proof’ there could be no dispute, yet there is dispute because we (and others) are free to be ignorant, illogical, irrational etc. I’m not quite ready to give that up. I am unsure you would like to live in a world where no one had any different views from the correct views, it might be very very dull.

I accept that for now, you do not accept Christian claims that free will explains the reality of pain and suffering in the lived experience of people we care about. I ask that you consider what type of world we actually live in a little more objectively however, I do not deny the reality of pain and suffering and death, however I also have personal experience of the emotions of life lived with joy, love and happiness as I hope you do as well. Your version of God is very much something I can understand wanting (very succinctly – a god who proves their existence to you personally in a single irrefutable way, punishes all who do evil justly, rewards all who do good justly and controls everything to allow no pain or suffering), whereas my version of God doesn’t conform to my will, desires or inclinations much, does allow the possibility of a mechanism for injustice (incl. forgiveness) via mercy for those deserving punishment, allows freedom even when it costs and causes pain and suffering as well as honours that freedom by not destroying us (the essential part of us we experience as living things now – that question and have curiosity). I think if the version of god you advocate for were real, nothing but that god and meaningless/purposeless/mindless slaves/automatons created as extensions of it could possibly be. Another version of this philosophical position is encapsulated in the statement that this is the best possible of all possible worlds (which accounts for the 70% water not all of it fresh, along with the fact there is proportionally the right level of oxygen in the atmosphere etc.) 

I look forward to your next reply 
Kind regards,
Dane (Honestdadvice)
Honestdadvice.wordpress.com
https://www.facebook.com/Honestdadvice

His 2nd reply to my next most recent email:

Hi Dane,
Thanks for the review link. I’m impressed that you gave it a positive review. Thanks for being honest there.
For my question regarding the age of the Earth. I’m relieved to hear you are not delusional in that sense.
However, that brings up an important point which also relates to the next question – do you believe everything in the bible is true. 
If you don’t believe everything in the book is true then how do you determine what is true & what isn’t? Since there are so many ridiculous stories including talking snakes, donkeys & shrubbery, making the entire universe from nothing, making a human from dirt, a man living in a giant fish for 4 days, fantasy animals that don’t exist, zombies, 600 year old man building a giant boat to hold every type of animal on Earth (my favourite ridiculous story) the list goes on… then why would other stories in that fairytale book be true? If you don’t believe god created the earth 6000 years ago according to your book (and hopefully none of the other ridiculous stories), then why would you believe the other stories relating to god/jesus etc & how did you determine they are true? Just because you want them to be true? This is the problem when you cherry pick the bible.
Before I assume, do you believe any of the absurd stories I mentioned are true? If so which ones? Surely not Noah? Be honest. 

I was a bit disappointed that you skimmed over the 10 reasons I sent & didn’t actually address any of them properly. I think the points I made are valid & factual.  I would like you to respond to them please. (briefly)

It’s important to note you said your version of god. That in itself is admitting you have made up your version of god how it suits your thinking. That is what every believer does. That’s why everyone has a different version of god which just happens to match how they think. Isn’t that incredible? If god was real & existed you wouldn’t need to make up a version. It sounds like you have made up a version where you can discount the uselessness of that god & explain away all the things that a loving god is expected to do. Your version of a god sounds even more useless than the ‘standard’ god model. What exactly is its purpose & why would you want to believe in it? 

I’m also interested to know how you determined your god is real & why you think your god is the real one? Are you interested in believing things you know to be true or are you happy to just have faith in something no matter how ridiculous even though that is not the path to truth? We both know that faith is the excuse you need when you don’t have good evidence. Faith=gullibility. It is not something to be proud of at all. I’m afraid I couldn’t live my life like that. 

If you are interested to look at the other side, you can’t go much better than Matt Dillahunty of the Atheist Experience. He was once religious being brought up in a religious household, knows the bible back to back & once considered becoming a minister. I actually met him in person when they toured Australia a few years back. The man is a genius – literally. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matt_Dillahunty

He has been doing the Atheist experience weekly call in show for many many years now. 
Here’s one of the recent clips from the show. Usually believers call in with ‘proof’ of god or some other questions & he ties them up in knots. Sometimes he can be a little harsh & gets frustrated with them which is understandable but it makes good viewing. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_lYHLB3ZaU&list=PL_FWOCPqTWWDdavcjJ1JLWeUE8x6pwX5w&index=11

By the way, have you heard about Eric the God-eating penguin?
“God can’t exist because of Eric The God-Eating Magic Penguin. Since Eric is God-Eating by definition, he has no choice but to eat God. So, if God exists, He automatically ceases to exist as a result of being eaten. Unless you can prove that Eric doesn’t exist, God doesn’t exist. Even if you can prove that Eric doesn’t exist, that same proof will also be applicable to God. There are only two possibilities – either you can prove that Eric doesn’t exist or you can’t – in both cases it logically follows that God doesn’t exist.”  

Until next time. Have a nice weekend over there.

Regards,
Peter

My current reply:

Good evening Peter,


I must confess to not having heard of Matt Dilahunty before you mentioned him, though clearly he too is doing something similar to my intent with YouTube and podcasting so I will definitely observe and glean what I can from his style and techniques as well as message. There are many things that you bring up per message so I realise I am not always addressing everything in depth. The Eric the god-eating penguin is an amusing idea, but we clearly need to clarify what it means to be discussing philosophy with a genuine Catholic, I am not going to just fall for the trap of agreeing with all of your posits, you are of course, free to make as many claims as you wish in any email reply but the truth is that with that specific example, either you are inventing a novel idea of a god-eating penguin or repeating an idea someone else had, using the ability to think, reason and communicate which I believe derives from what I call God – an independent reality that is external to the physical universe and independent and superior to it in every possible way. Hypothetically were there to be such a god-eating penguin, I state that it would exist within the universe, material is all that exists within the universe and the material universe includes our brains which ‘contain’ our novel ideas, that which does not have a deeper or intrinsic reality. I make the claim that only God originally/fundamentally exists outside the universe (anything by the way which leaves this universe, will continue to exist only to the extent that God wills that to occur – including the possible eternal soul I believe you have as well as myself and all human beings). God ‘could’ will a god-eating penguin to exist, which was unable to eat God – whether or not that is ‘logical’ by your rules or mine, nonetheless I do not believe that they are under any obligation to do so or have/will at any stage. Your statement that I am unable to prove Eric does not exist thus I also am unable to prove that God does exist is flawed because it is based on the idea of God being limited by the reality of this universe, like this god-eating penguin invention (which existed first in the physical reality of someone’s brain somewhere so has a ‘genesis’ in-universe. If God does not have a genesis/beginning in-universe, because they exist outside the universe, then the rules of the universe do not apply to them/it/The Holy Trinity. I truly feel that I have addressed your 10 points to some degree already but I acknowledge that more depth is always possible so in a more structured way for each point here goes:

You state that there is:  


1. Zero proof of god by anyone in history. Stories in a fairy tale book don’t count as proof.

My rebuttal – defining proof as evidence which is real and as it is based in reality, is convincing to others, God has existed as an idea in people’s minds since before history (which I hope you agree is at maximum, the length of time we have told stories in languages verbally (oral history) or in written symbols (written history can be traced to Egypt, Sumer and I believe Crete at roughly the same period) and the basis of existence itself proves that God is real in the sense that there is something rather than nothing, I define that something as God and what this God has chosen to create, I can easily prove that there is something, thus I am satisfied that proves God exists. I am someone in history, thus I matter in terms of your statement, which is proven false. I also respectfully request that you recognise that your own rules regarding stories in a fairy tale book not counting as proof have been adhered to – if you do not like how, that is really not my problem. After all, I do not see the Holy Bible as a fairy tale, nor Jesus as a fairy etc. but I do not dispute your ability to be irreverent, why would you not be, as you think it all imaginary and thus there are no consequences for you. I however, believe it to be eternally significant how I live, act and what I choose to do, hence this conversation occurring at all – I do so because I believe in God, hence my motivation, what is your motivation?


2. God himself would know exactly what proof I and others would need but for some strange reason can’t or won’t show anyone that proof & has to rely on humans to convince others. It should be very easy for an all powerful god if it existed.

My rebuttal – God has provided proof that you discount or ignore, it is logical based on the concept of free will, which we will unpack further below, that if this is the best of all possible worlds, and in this reality, you have freedom to doubt the existence of God in order to be capable of choosing to serve Him, rather than being eternally forced to by an overwhelming/undeniable presence, I argue that it is in fact exceedingly difficult for God to ‘bend the rules’ of reality sufficiently to allow you either genuine freedom (what I believe) or the illusion of freedom (what I acknowledge to be a possibility) or else there is no freedom because there is nothing that matters, no inherent purpose or meaning and everything is an eternally repeating random accident with no reason or ‘rhyme’ to use that phrase (if you are right/correct and I am not). Regardless, you as a limited human claim it is easy for God to give you freedom but force you to believe in him with irrefutable proof of his existence independent of any other person/s and yet in order to be right, unless you can logically explain how, you are implicitly relying on the superiority of the ‘mind’ of God to your own, to come up with a way to achieve this apparently ‘very easy’ conceptual challenge.


3. God never intervenes in any Earthy matters & never stops disasters. All activity of god & miracles only seemed to have happened in the bible & for some strange reason no miracles have happened with the invention of recording devices. Coincidences are not proof of god.

My rebuttal: Personally I love this one, God never stops disasters – it is breathtakingly arrogant to claim certainty on this one. I ask you, do you genuinely know everything, that everyone is doing, at all times? If not how can you substantiate your claim? If you acknowledge however, that some disasters occur, thus God does not stop all disasters it becomes an answerable question, I trust you will allow me this, however, once again I have freedom and you do not dictate the terms of our conversation, you genuinely have only 3 options, engage further, ignore and cease communication or not ignore and cease communication. I accept these terms myself too every time we ‘cycle’ in conversation and it’s wonderfully exhilarating to exist and test mental mettle with others. I do respect you Peter and I am still enjoying this exchange, I hope you do as well 🙂 In the case of my reworking of your claim, God allows us to breath, right now, as you read, you are breathing oxygen in and that exists because God allows it to and sustains its ‘reality’, without this sustaining will, nothing would be – thus the ultimate disaster of non-existence is being continually averted. On a more specific basis, when was the last time you were in a flood, cyclone, mudslide, volcanic eruption, typhoon, tsunami or earthquake which threatened your life – obviously not to the point of death or you wouldn’t be able to consider an answer, right? I am truly sorry if your life or also that of anyone you are close with has been threatened or ended, nonetheless you still exist so by definition for you (and myself) literally, every possible disaster has been averted/stopped for our entire lives thus far – pretty amazingly fortunate in terms of ‘cosmic’ odds/probability. I dispute that activity of God ceases with the time of the bible, I am an activity of God right now, I am communicating to you the reality of God’s existence through language, reasoning, the concept of truth and other ‘absolutes’ or intrinsic qualities of this reality we exist within. I also would like to define miracles in a way you might be unaware of – it is not ‘a supernatural event which has no possible alternative explanation’ to Catholics. The better and more reasonable definition is: Any way that God manifests themself/themselves, in the universe whilst simultaneously remaining perfect and existing eternally elsewhere (the not universe ‘location’ where God originally resides). Thus you yourself are a miracle, as you yourself are a manifestation of the will of God in this universe. Literally everything you have ever experienced is a miracle and whilst God can do anything, He only chooses to do some things, some times, for Their own reasons (I draw your attention to the diligent use of varied or gender neutral pronouns for God, the truth is that I would, if pressed, state categorically Jesus is He, Holy Spirit is Thing/Concept/Idea, God the Father is They/Them/Person not he or she (nor both: it etc.)).


4. If a loving god existed he wouldn’t stand by watching a child or woman being raped & not stop it – often sexually abused by priests in his own place of worship which makes it worse. This is only 1 example of god watching & doing nothing when he supposedly has the power to stop it. Believers come up with all kinds of excuses & reasons why their so-called loving god does nothing. The most common being free will. Apparently god thinks the free will of a rapist is more important than stopping him from raping a child. How do believers justify this horrible fact? If I had the power to stop these things I would, wouldn’t you?

My rebuttal – you again discount or ignore the nature of freedom. It is not a ‘nice thing’, it is actually a terrible, daunting and mysterious reality which we have no choice but with which to engage. My argument is that God allows us to exist, this is the best possible world or it wouldn’t exist, a better possible world would. Thus everything that exists is the best that possibly can, thus we have to live with the reality that suffering, evil, misery and yes, rape of children by adult men including those who ‘claimed’ to be God’s devout followers, can occur. I do not accept the premise that a loving God will not possibly choose to stand by and let you (or me, or anyone else) suffer rape at the hands of another of the children of God. The tragedy of existence is that God loves that rapist as much as the rape victim and they (the rapist) are choosing to (unless they genuinely repent) damn themselves to an eternal suffering torment (or more generously and thus less probably, a possibility of dissipation into nothingness in the ‘end’ after a period of suffering). Which again, is freely chosen by the perpetrator who has the possibility of redemption ONLY by uniting with Christ Jesus who suffered and died on the Cross (mystically and supernaturally experiencing ALL effects of sin, including the rape, murder, isolation, betrayal and so on of every single conscious being in existence (in all time and space)). If I had the power to stop the rape of a child in a specific context such as having opened a door, whilst carrying a gun in hand, and seeing a rapist in the act, I would shoot with no hesitation, aiming to kill – a headshot: I have a fair skill with a handgun so at close range it would be easy for me (I am American, so you are probably not surprised I have been to several of the WA Gun clubs and liked it – the power, the sense of control and the ability to destroy), I would, but if I had the power to stop ALL rape everywhere (if I was God and an ‘all powerful’ one at that… I still would and reality as we know it couldn’t be/would be broken beyond repair, dependent only upon if I did so now or did so eternally (outside of time/space)).


5. If an all knowing god controls & plans everything why would it create evil people who murder & rape knowing in advance that is what they will do? Why would he create babies with birth defects & diseases? These are only a couple of many examples. Again believers will point to free will as the reason but if god has a predetermined plan then you can’t have free will. If you have free will then god can’t have a plan. You can’t have it both ways.

My rebuttal: I don’t accept the premise that if we have freedom God does not have a plan, because the plan is: let us give creatures freedom and awareness and allow them to exist in a universe where they have genuine choices that matter and have eternally lasting consequences for their eternal souls. It is a logically consistent plan. The rest of your point is rebutted previously in the ‘best of all possible worlds concept’ but again for emphasis, God created reality, everything in reality conforms to the will of God. Thus it is true that all birth defects and disease are willed into existence by God, however, it is also true that God does not want us creatures to needlessly suffer – this is a belief, I acknowledge this, but it is also logical in the sense that needlessly means – it means without purpose, thus if God has a will to make suffering purposeful, that suffering can occur logically whilst also satisfying your question as an answer. I see the purpose of specifically disabilities as being to allow others to care and to support the suffering individual. There is an inspiring 2021 ad from this year’s US ‘Super Bowl’ which is on this point, I hope you view it 🙂 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pr3jR2keirk


6.God never answers prayers. This has been proven many times in various studies & easily testable. If god answered prayers then there would be no incurable diseases & amputees would be healed by prayers among other things. Praying has no effect on anything. If it did then believers wouldn’t need to go to hospitals. In fact many believers have relied on prayer to heal their sick children & they have died when they could have been easily helped or cured by Doctors. This is one example of how dangerous religion is.

My rebuttal is very simple, you misunderstand the point of prayer, it is by definition any communication with God, very simple and yes this includes one-way communication from us to God with ZERO reply, though I do believe some ‘hear’ God reply (audibly or mentally), for my own personal experience it (audible voice in head or ears) has never occurred, however I still pray, freely choosing to consciously acknowledge and recognise the ‘feel’ of God in my soul and Their communication non-verbally to me. By no means is God obliged to answer ALL prayers (assuming that every prayer was a request) which in my own limited experience is simply not true (though I freely admit I request much of God much of the time, I am wise enough to know to be careful what I wish for in the sense that I might not have thought of all effects and not want it all to happen yet God might and thus it will occur regardless of my wishes in the future, because of what the me (now) requested). Praying has a very marked effect on how you personally perceive your own relationship with your creator. If you have not EVER prayed, it would be a great tragedy, it would mean you had never been at all able to recognise your existence as a gift, ever.


7. If god existed there would only be 1 religion & 1 god. There are thousands. The only reason people believe in their particular god is to do with geography & indoctrination. If they were born in a different part of the world where they were brought up with a different religion, they would be worshiping a different “one true god” & would think the one they believe in now was not the real one. This is what believers don’t seem to understand. They can’t all be right but they can all be wrong.

My rebuttal: Logically I agree, all people who misunderstand God are wrong. I claim I do not misunderstand God, thus I am not wrong. Simple, my God is the one true God who created reality and is themselves uncreated. The nature of this God is up for dispute (for now – whilst alive on this Earth) and capable of being accepted as claimed by Christians or not on faith. But the existence of reality and the lack of a metaphysical explanation for reality without using the concept of God being impossible – I answered this in Q#1’s rebuttal by the way, but again for emphasis: there is something, not nothing – that proves God, by itself, as God is defined as the REASON, there is something rather than nothing, the proof requested, its circular reasoning I know, so what? You have to explain why it is false if you disbelieve it, or else we are back to the three (3) options in Q#3’s rebuttal.


8. What kind of a loving god would cast a morally good person to hell just because they don’t worship him & at the same time allow a murderer or rapist into fictional heaven if they repent? This is unconditional love? This one piece of absurdity rules out the existence of a loving god. If this god did exist he’s a murderous psychopath.

My rebuttal, God does not conform to your wishes. I reject the mischaracterisation of God as a murderous psychopath by again looking at the definitions of these terms (in our language – which is itself a gift). Murder is definable as the intentional killing of a person in an unjust manner, either deliberately or accidentally, thus if we are people, whom God kills with intent/deliberately, then God is a murderer only to the extent you can prove that a specific death is unjust, so what is justice? A psychopath is a little harder to define: Psychopathy is a neuropsychiatric disorder marked by deficient emotional responses, lack of empathy, and poor behavioral controls, commonly resulting in persistent antisocial deviance and criminal behavior. Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4321752/#:~:text=Psychopathy%20is%20a%20neuropsychiatric%20disorder,antisocial%20deviance%20and%20criminal%20behavior.
I do not dispute God is a murderer by definition – if you can explain what justice is, what the opposite of justice: ‘injustice’ actually means and how the action or inaction of God is contributory to the death as such, but I do dispute that God can have a neuropsychiatric disorder two ways, God has no neurons initially and Jesus does not display lack of empathy or poor behavioural controls, though Judean authorities accused Him of criminal behaviour by their standards. Also God is perfect, so is incapable of being disordered by definition. I also do not claim God has unconditional love, it is very conditional. Either you, me and everyone else accept Jesus as the One True Way to salvation or do not. That is not to say that God does not love us, I believe God loves all of us regardless of what we ever do – defined as willing the good of another, however, it is highly conditional in the sense of positive consequences being inextricably linked to our choices.


9. If god was real he would exist & we would all know about it because it would be true. People wouldn’t need faith to believe because it would be a fact. Faith is needed because there is no proof of their delusion. Faith is believing in things no matter how ridiculous. It’s not something to be proud of. & let’s face it – talking snakes & donkeys, an invisible magic man making the entire universe in 6 days then making a human from dirt is pretty ridiculous!

My rebuttal: I admit that I am proud of my intellect – which is ironically not something to be proud of according to God as pride cometh before a fall to quote the famous phrase, meaning, it is easy to forget we are creations and thus are dependent. We should not ever forget our station and place in the hierarchy of existence. Essentially this is the best place to address your concerns regarding the Holy Bible. Catholics including myself should know and are obliged to believe (which I do) that the Gospel account of Jesus of Nazareth as I recount in my first video, is truth. I did not state anything I do not personally believe there.

I am also linking here the text of the relevant section of my first video:

There are some specific things that you must recognise to call yourself a Roman Catholic. The most significant of these things is not necessarily what you might have been taught – especially if you come from a protestant or evangelical Christian background. First in importance is the belief in a historical person of a real time and place, Jesus of Nazareth, born to a young woman named Mary, the literal son of God, who pre-existed before time, space or creation came to be, that is by His very nature, God himself, but also distinct from the Creator God we call the Father. This Jesus came to Earth, became incarnate, that means took a fleshly human nature and experienced a human life from birth, through all the trials and tribulations of a childhood including refugee status in a foreign land for some time, maturing into a working tradesman who lived in the land known then as Judea, today Israel. Eventually after a very long period about which nothing is known, Jesus begun to preach to any who listened and followed of the need for personal repentance of sin, a coming and indeed now present in Himself, Kingdom of Heaven and/or God, as well as a prophetic predictive claim that he was destined to die, be raised again from death on the third day following this event and then return to the Father, the Creator God in the eternal paradise of Heaven, which was variously described as a place of rest, eternal fulfillment and union with God in metaphorical language designed to resonate with hearers of his time and place, imagery used included a wedding feast or banquet, as well as a house with many rooms – implying one of suitability would be found individually for each chosen occupant. Jesus attracted many followers, called them disciples, and chose a select group for special instruction, these were 12 apostles initially. Jesus also performed acts of power, which are termed miracles. These were recorded in detail in various written documents after Jesus lifetime and the claims in them were either objectively true or false, for simplicity they are broken into categories of healing, exorcism and nature miracles – specifically Jesus is noted as healing physical ailments such as paralysis which remain beyond modern medicine, commanding evil spirit beings termed demons to permanently leave their active possession of specific humans, multiplying food by word alone for thousands from a small number and literally calming a storm at sea (on the Lake called Galilee) . As a Catholic the minimum expected is the belief that God can perform miracles if he chooses, that Jesus was born God’s actual Son, and that when He died by Crucifixion, He was buried after being stabbed in the side, to the heart, with a spear, yet after two nights in the tomb, was miraculously raised to eternal life, manifesting physically still having the wounds inflicted in his tortuous execution and being visible and experiencing touch, being able to eat but mysteriously being able to appear and disappear at will from locked or secure locations and demonstrating this to a small group including His own mother and the remaining 11 of the original 12 apostles who survived, one having betrayed Jesus to death, then committing suicide prior to His resurrection. After all this, Jesus commanded his followers to await a second coming at an appointed time, the end of this world, where he would return, though He did not know when this would be, it being specifically stated by Him that this was knowledge known only to the Creator God, He termed ‘the Father’. Finally, Jesus commissioned his followers to spread news of the happenings and events of his life, to any who believed and acknowledged Jesus, it was claimed that salvation, and personal forgiveness for misdeeds and moral infractions against God, that is sin, would be forgiven. This is the meaning of salvation – a belief that after the conclusion of this earthly life, one will be with Jesus in heaven, will receive forgiveness for personal sinfulness and be reconciled to our creator God for all eternity. Still God has not ended reality with the second coming of Jesus, the final aspects of Catholic Christianity are thus a belief in a 3rd aspect of God, known as the Holy Spirit or Ghost, who inspired the original apostles, their wider group of associates and followers, both original disciples of Jesus whilst He was alive, and subsequently from his death, those who heard of Him and believed in Him; as well as the belief that this hearsay level connection between followers has been passed down unbroken to the present time and there are people alive today who are inspired by the Holy Spirit to correctly teach the stories and messages of Jesus to new hearers and potential followers. As I said, this is the minimum expected belief of Christians and is based almost entirely on a document known as the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed which is religiously recited by Catholic in various languages at gatherings known as ‘Mass’ which occur at minimum once per week every week of the calendar year. There are many other aspects of Catholic Christianity which I hope to discuss in future videos in depth (still to come as of 20/2/21)

It is possible that given enough time, I could elucidate for you every other possible aspect of the bible and my own exegesis or interpretation for it but I am not proposing to do so. As I too love the story of Noah I will use this as one example. Noah in the story which is in Genesis: Ch 5 vs 29 until at least Ch 10 vs 32, is claimed to be a real man who was born of a father and had children including at least the three sons named, the flood, ark and rainbow motif are all well known. If you were to literally believe in Genesis as the inerrant word of God dictated verbatim to some random and unnamed scribe in Judea/Israel, you would be a fool and have no place being a true Christian apologist. The basic point of Catholics would be acceptable to any atheist today. The bible was written by men, for men, it is flawed and unreliable as a text, it includes factual errors, logical inconsistency, as well as rules that are inconsistent with the nature of God claimed by Catholics today. The additional point is disputed by atheists but not disproven. God uses the ways of men/humans, including storytelling, to impart a message which endures to this day about the nature of God, which, when read and interpreted in context of faith communities such as the Churches, obtains an imbued significance and resonates in the heart/soul/mind etc. of believers, assisting them to live life more fully connected to their true creator – God. I find it curious you enjoy the story of Noah, it is often a much loved childhood tale, my own daughter who is 2 now, was given a wooden rainbow toy today (19/2/21) from one of my wife’s shopping expeditions and I am sure she too, will love this cultural tale as I tell her it later on in her development. Interestingly there was our most recent global ice-age which flooded the region known now as the Mediterranean sea (but it was about 12,000 years ago) far beyond written history, far beyond reliable oral tradition too. I do not believe aboriginals today tell even remotely similar tales to the ones their actual ancestors said aloud 12,000 years previous, let alone 40,000 or more, but they do believe they do, I do not dispute that. It is the same with Jewish/Hebrew/Semitic tales, they are very very old, we tell our young people and they like them so they remember them, maybe it was for a point, maybe just for fun initially. In no way am I excluding the possibility that there is a kernel/grain of truth there.


10. The bible contains so many errors & contradictions that it is obvious it is the work of primitive men who invented gods to explain the world they didn’t understand yet, & not the word of some god. If god had written the bible it would contain factual information about the universe, have no errors & we would be in awe of it. This fairytale book called the bible is where god came from. Man created god not the other way around. The nonsense in that book is astounding & it seems incredible that any sane person actually believes any of it is true. I could give a very long list of some of the absurdities in there but that is for another time.

My rebuttal – I’ve tried hard to distinguish for you between the nature of a specific tale and what I believe. To conclude, let us turn to why I think Jesus is real. The simplest aspect is this, Jesus’ resurrection inspired people who should have had every reason to fear for their lives, shut up and run and hide from authorities, to rebel, to claim that God commanded them to speak, to speak and to obtain followers. None of this led to success in earthly terms, all but one apostle is claimed by Christians as a martyr for the faith. I believe that Jesus resurrected from the dead and inspired them. It really is that simple. You are free not to, but you can not prove that Jesus is dead. I mean, literally, even if you found an actual Hebrew skeleton in a tomb marked in ancient Latin, Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew, this is the tomb of Jesus the Nazarene who claimed to be ‘king of the Jews’ inscribed above it, who could prove with D.N.A. evidence that it was actually Jesus? I can not prove to your satisfaction that Jesus is real, resurrected from the dead and is in heaven, and you can not prove he is not real, did not resurrect from the dead and is not in heaven, by proving there is no heaven and no God. What is proof? It is evidence, believed by the hearer – see my point in Q#1’s rebuttal and the three options in Q#3 and I truly hope to hear from you once again.

Kind regards,
Dane (Honestdadvice)
Honestdadvice.wordpress.com
https://www.facebook.com/Honestdadvice

So there you go – I truly hope someone will persist to the end of this but even if not, I have been blessed in the experience of writing it out – Thanks be to GOD – Amen

Published by Honestdadvice

Public profile of Ehrlich Educational

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