Below, in today’s post, I am corresponding with a nice young man named Justin. He is in college and is a very evangelical soul. Although I disbelieve in his worldview, I am happy to ‘talk’ with him. I hope you find our discussion as interesting as I do. You-refers to Justin. Me-refers to me. 😉
You: I’m going to try to ignore possible sarcasm in these questions and answer simply. Refers to post Here
Me: What? Me being sarcastic….Noooo 🙂
Me: Did matter always exist in the universe?
You: God began time. God created matter.
Me: Standard non-believer response…who or what created God?
Me: *Did God always exist in the universe?
You: No, God created time. God created the universe.
Me: Standard response, see above.
Me: Was there ‘nothingness’ everywhere that was filled up with a sentient cloud of electrons or atoms? Or was there absolutely nothing there…but, somehow, something…was a God?
You: There was God. Then he created.
Me: See above.
Me: Were we, and our universe, as we know it, purposely created to ‘glorify’ a cloud of sentient nothingness?
You: We were created to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.
Me: Again with the ‘glorify’ thing. What is it with all Gods that we have to glorify them? Doesn’t he realize that the human race has evolved away from the wide-eyed innocence that priests in the past could count on for easy obedience in the flock? The church leaders couldn’t come up with anything better than he needs to be glorified? God doesn’t need to be glorified. Satan doesn’t need to be glorified…this ‘glorified’ crap needs to be re-examined. It sounds like an easy way out of explaining a phenomenon that really needs to be re-examined in the light of our better understanding of the world, and the universe, and human motives. Besides, how is God’s wife (Asherah) going to feel, if we go around glorifying him and leave her out? J
Me: Are we even real? Could we be a dream that a cloud of nothingness is dreaming? Shades of Matrix 🙂
You: We are real. Interestingly, it is the Christian worldview which states that we are real and the laws of nature are unchanging that allows science to take place.
Me: Well, actually I was being a little sarcastic there. The laws of nature, so far, don’t need a God to explain things. They’re a little fuzzy on the very beginning of things, as even I will allow for the possibility of ‘God’ or something having started it (time…the universe), but after it was here, natural processes can account for everything. We still come back to the conundrum of who created the creator. “He was always there” doesn’t cut it in my humble estimation.
Me: Why would a God set up a paradise, with a snake/Satan that he knew would cause Eve to “Sin”? and Why was Satan…the sinner…even around then, or allowed to be in the garden?
You: God was not surprised. He allowed people to do what they did as part of His prearranged plan. God gets all the proper glory and credit in the end.
Me: So, let me get this straight; God, even in the beginning, was setting up this little plot to terrorize and murder mankind? He sets up this drama so the glory and credit will fall on him when we go through this horrible experience that is our human history? Man, that’s Evil with a capitol E. Who needs Satan when we have a God that can plot all of this from the beginning of time? *see asterisk below
Me: How was Satan even considered evil or sinful, when there was no evil or sin existing at the time?
You: Satan began to think of Himself like God. That was wrong. Through Adam the curse of sin entered mankind who was made in the image of God.
Me: Yea, those youngsters that we create get all full of themselves when they hit the teen years. We humans all seem to attribute anthropomorphism to our creations. If we are made in his image, I picture a 6’6″ human shape floating around in space, trying to figure out which end is up. Obviously not true that we are made in his image.
Me: Why was Satan even allowed to be around later in this fairy tale?
You: Not a fairy tale. However, see above comment on prearranged plan.
Me: *See above asterisked comment. That’s really Evil to plan something like that.
Me: Why would an intelligent cloud of nothingness set up the trap for his creations (us), knowing what the outcome would be? Isn’t that kind of like leaving a very sharp butcher knife in front of your one-year-old kid?
You: Not an intelligent cloud of nothingness. He is the Creator. He is God. See comment on prearranged plan.
Me: That God is Evil.
Me: Why would a God even create an evil being?
You: Does cold exist? It is the absence of heat. Does darkness exist? It is the absence of light. Does evil exist? It is the absence of God.
Me: I believe that is flawed logic. You are using physical phenomena that have no relationship to metaphysical reasoning. Yes there is good and evil in this world, and they are opposites in our logic. But, the absence of God does not mean all that’s left is evil? I have no sense of God in my mind, and I am far from evil. In my logic of un-belief, you really have no God directing your actions, and I believe you are probably not evil.
Me: Why is God so directly involved with the killing of so many humans?
You: I do not tell you what to do with your broken microwave. Please be respectful by not telling God how to initiate His justice against a rebellious creation.
Me: Well, the thing is…I’m one of the creatures that your God goes around indiscriminately killing and maiming with His Love. His ‘plan’ as described by various church leaders and evangelical civilians….sucks.
Me: Who tempted Satan to sin…why? If there was no sin before, what was the sin?
You: *Humans did not sin because they were tempted by Satan.* They did so because they chose to do so. You could say they were morally neutral unlike humans today who are inclined towards sin. I am speculating here as I have not done a study on it, but perhaps the angels were created morally neutral.
Me: * I’m sorry, did I miss something here? Didn’t Satan in the form of a snake, tempt Eve to take that fateful bite? Because he is an evil, arrogant, conniving, devilishly convincing fast talker. Here was poor Adam and Eve, literal ‘babes in the woods’ in a world that, to them, was brand new…they had no history to draw on, no instruction classes on the evil ways of some creatures, nothing to base critical decisions on. How gullible are we as young people…before we have had some bad experiences? And, if as you suggest earlier, this is just a pre-arranged plot…that’s just Evil.
Me: If there is no sin in heaven how did Satan sin? Do sins just pop-up, so to speak?
You: You have an incorrect presupposition. Take that away before reading this next sentence. Satan chose to have a rebellious attitude and thus sinned.
Me: Well we know from your exegesis that this was pre-arranged for him to act this way. He was destined from the moment of his creation to be sinful. So I guess God was just setting up this universe and us to be puppets in a play.
ME: What happens if we get to heaven and, God forgive…have a sinful thought?
You: Christians are born again and given a new nature. When in Heaven, there will be no sin. How exactly will that work? There are multiple theories, but I don’t think that is specifically laid out in the Bible. God created the universe. He can handle it.
Me: Ah, there it is. We are born again. The theory that explains it all.
Me: Since there is no visible heaven, will we be among the stars, on earth, another planet, or in our own imagination/minds?
You: Your question has a presupposition. Take that away before reading this next sentence. From my understanding, Earth will be restored and Christians will have access to it and Heaven while the unredeemed will be in Hell.
Me: So the earth will be like new again, and we (well…you) will live on it…and in heaven. Just Christians though. So approximately 40 to 80 billion souls will burn in hell?
Me: Where exactly do you think hell is, and why would a ‘loving God’ want to burn and torture people in it for eternity?
You: Hell is God’s place of justice. God is love. He loves life, therefore he hates murder, Love requires hate in a sense. God is loving and just, therefore Hell must exist. As it is just, it cannot be defined as torture.
Me: I’m sorry, but that’s some really bad logic there. 🙂 I’ll take the last part first: “As it is just, it cannot be defined as torture.” I think that’s what George Bush and Dick Cheney are rationalizing to themselves as they torture people. The rest of what you’re saying here is just so convoluted I can’t even wrap my brain around it enough to reply. I worry about your soul, in a metaphorical way.
Me: Did you ever examine your belief that Santa Claus is not real, and why you think that way? It’s because of the evidence…right?
Me: Give me something real.
Me: Do you Really believe that a ‘Universe Creating God’ would make up this little story of sin and redemption you claim we are all living?
You: No, I do not believe God would make up the story. It is not little either.
Me: You’re right; it’s not little. In most of the above discussion you assert that God did make up the conflict, from ‘the beginning.’ You’re trying to confuse me, right?
Me: Why do you still believe the Bible is the real inerrant word of a God, when you have been shown the many errors in it?
You: Your question has a presupposition. Examined correctly, there are no errors in the Bible. Secondly, I know the perfect God so His Word cannot error.
Me: “Examined correctly.” Those two words speak volumes about Christian Apologetics and the faith in general.
Me: Jesus was, without a doubt, preaching of the second coming of the ‘Kingdom of God’ in the near future, and here we are two thousand years later, still falling for it. Why?
You: People redeemed are part of God’s Kingdom. Christ’s return is coming soon in God’s accounting of time. Be ready.
Me: This doesn’t answer the question. Jesus was preaching the soon to come, new Kingdom of God, the second coming. Where is it? He said some of the same people he was preaching to would still be alive when it happened. If his words were inerrant, as all the words are (?), what happened?
Me: Evidence that believers cannot reach a consensus on the Bible (or the Koran for that matter) is found all over the Christian and Jewish communities. They disagree with each other…sometimes violently…over interpretations of their so-called Holy Script. That alone, is testament to the non-holy status of the Bible, and their sects founded on it. If the Bible and religion were true…the divisions would not even be there. The whole world would be under its sway.
You: You presuppose that if God wrote it, everybody would agree. You’re simply wrong on this point.
Me: Well, I think you’re wrong. 🙂 If there were a ‘True God’ out there in our world, the whole earth would know it, and the nightly network news would be doing interviews. That wouldn’t be something that would be denied in our world today…if the proofs were there. You have to step away from this little ‘Pre-planned By God’ drama. In the ancient world these mythical stories couldn’t be denied because not only wasn’t there enough knowledge about ‘things.’, but people were very gullible. They were not educated and hardly had knowledge of things further than their own horizons.
As people get educated and learn about the real world, these purposely planted superstitions fade away. There is no observable supernatural or magic phenomenon operating in our world. There is not any evidence or proofs that there ever was. A real God operating in our universe requires that magic be true…it isn’t.
For the latest post go: Here