Conversation with an Atheist on a Local Facebook Post Comments Thread

Someone posed the following question on a local Facebook group for our community:

“If you could ask God any one question and you knew He’d give you an answer right now, what would you ask?“

What follows is one of many conversations that occurred in the comments for this post:

Him:  You know you were created in man’s own image, don’t you?

Me:  There are people who “create” a god of their own liking in their mind – so in that sense, some do what you’re saying, but that is idolatry. God has indeed revealed who He is – we didn’t “create” him in our image. He created all that we see and there is good evidence for His existence. If you’ve not heard of any of this evidence, I can share it with you.

Him:   No thank you. I have thoughtfully weighed the evidence and reached a conclusion. If you want to change my mind, pray over an amputee to regrow a limb. If it grows back, you win.

Me:  Hi <his name>, I appreciate that you have thoughtfully weighed the evidence and reached a conclusion. Your comment about God healing amputees is certainly a difficult one. I can’t get inside the mind of God. However I can evaluate evidence that he exists and designed life. If you’re interested in some additional evidence, and maybe a different perspective, you may want to check out this book which I and other former skeptics have found useful. https://www.amazon.com/…/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_glt_fabc… (Is God Just a Human Invention? And Seventeen Other Questions Raised by the New Atheists)

Him:  My investigation into the matter is closed, save for the amputee or equivalent scenario playing out. Fun fact: It was the world religion classes I took at a Catholic University that exposed the fallacy of the worship of deities and the irrationality of selection, which usually a matter of indoctrination than evaluation. If the illusion provides you comfort and fellowship, I understand that element of faith but the premise can only be accepted through faith, not proof.

Me:  in my case, it wasn’t indoctrination. I was a skeptic for most of my life, I didn’t grow up in the church, I am an adult convert, and entered with my eyes wide open. I am convinced that Christianity is true (beyond a reasonable doubt), by reason of several lines of evidence and philosophical arguments (not blind faith). My reading when I was a skeptic consisted of Sigmund Freud, Frederick Nietzsche, BF Skinner and other philosophers and psychologists. I’m familiar with the arguments of the new atheists, Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett, Michael Shermer, Sam Harris, Richard Carrier, Bart Ehrman and others. What I hear you saying is that you have your mind made up, and you’re unwilling to consider any additional evidence. You seem to be stuck by the question of, if there is a loving God who’s all powerful and all knowing, why wouldn’t he heal amputees. I’m not claiming to have a good answer for that However, if Christianity is true, and God created the universe and everything in it, then he is extremely powerful and intelligent and has a vast amount more knowledge and context than I possess. Therefore, I would not consider myself qualified to question his judgment on matters where I don’t have all of the information necessary to make a proper decision. I know that answer won’t be satisfying to you, however the amputee issue does not make all of the other lines of evidence that God does exist disappear. I hope you’re not basing your final decision on information you heard at a world religions class in a Catholic University. None of the best minds in Christianity that I know of teach a world religions class at a Catholic University. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with a Catholic University or a world religions class. I’m simply saying that before dismissing a worldview held by billions of people, it may be a good approach to take an assessment of the best proponents of that worldview, people such as, William Lane Craig, JP Moreland, Steven C. Meyer, and others. Ultimately, it is your choice of course, but if you haven’t considered any of the aforementioned names, then I would contend that you haven’t heard the best arguments in favor of Christian theism. If you are willing, you could start with one of the many YouTube debates involving William Lane Craig. Have a great day <his name>!

Him:  It’s not important enough to me explore it further. As an atheist, I have everything to live for and nothing to die for. I’m too busy enjoying life to concern myself with the greatest manipulative tool mankind ever created: the promise of an afterlife IF and only IF you follow a particular, and ever-evolving set of rules. Thanks for the chat, that’s my last comment on the subject.

Me:   ok, nice chatting with you!

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