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A Christian has 3 Questions for Atheists

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Hello all! Dave here.

Let me start by saying the conference was AMAZING, and I will be writing more about it soon. I am waiting for some photos and video before I write up the whole thing for you guys. For now, I want to share with you 3 questions that were posed by a Christian, to atheists, on Reddit’s r/atheism page. Here they are, with my responses:

1.) What about Christianity (or religion in general) is not appealing to you?

2.) Based on what you see from Christians you know, how does our religion tell us to act?

  • What I see from Christians, or what I see from your bible? From Christians I know personally, your religion tells you to care to a bizarre and unsubstantiated degree about with whom other people you don’t even know have sex, and whom other people are allowed to marry. I also see, from Christians I know personally, your religion telling you to consider blind faith as virtuous and ignore evidence, logic, and reason when it’s obvious that you’re wrong about something. I understand that this is not exactly what your bible actually teaches (I’ve read it many times), but that’s wasn’t your question.

3.) What, if anything, could make you reconsider religion?

  • Evidence that is more abundant and higher quality than the evidence that all religions are manmade. I study anthropology and there are mountains of evidence that all religions are mythology. In order for me to consider any one of them actually true, I’d have to have better evidence than those mountains of evidence against it. To be honest, one miracle alone would not convince me, even if it happened right in front of me – I have heard too many miracle stories from all sorts of various religions, and I would make the naturalistic assumption that either it was a hoax or I was hallucinating.
How would you answer these questions? Please leave your responses in the comments below!
– Dave

mail@davemuscato.com

(573) 424-0420 cell/text

Dave Muscato is Vice President of MU SASHA. He is a vegetarian, LGBTQ ally, and human- & animal-welfare activist. A junior at Mizzou majoring in economics & anthropology and minoring in philosophy & Latin, Dave posts updates to the SASHA blog every Monday, Thursday, and Saturday. His website is http://www.DaveMuscato.com.

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Helpful resources:

Godisimaginary.com
Iron Chariots Wiki
Skeptics’ Annotated Bible / Skeptics’ Annotated Qur’an
AtheismResource.com
TalkOrigins.org

YouTubers: Evid3nc3Thunderf00tTheAmazingAtheistThe Atheist ExperienceEdward Current,NonStampCollectorMr. DeityRichard DawkinsQualiaSoup

Blogs: Greta ChristinaPZ MyersThe Friendly AtheistWWJTD?Debunking ChristianitySkepChick

and don’t forget… other SASHA members! We are here for you, too! :)

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University of Missouri SASHA (Skeptics, Atheists, Secular Humanists, & Agnostics) University of Missouri-Columbia http://www.muSASHA.org

One comment on “A Christian has 3 Questions for Atheists

  1. Jared Cowan
    October 31, 2011

    1)As someone who studied religion and theology for my bachelor’s (and still studies it as well as I can afterwards), I found that while there are many people who find solace and fulfillment through it, I myself have never felt compelled to worship someone who sacrifices themselves for me. None of the salvation theories about Jesus make sense, from recapitulation to substitution, they all reflect a bad plan on the part of a supposedly all knowing and all powerful entity. Even if it were proven somehow that Jesus actually lived and was crucified, died and magically resurrected, this proves nothing about God nor about whether the God had anything else to do with humans. T

    here is nothing appealing to me in terms of the religious worldview presented by someone who advocates a form of pacifism that, while consistent, is also self defeating in a world where force is a necessity, however much violence may not be. The evidence part is there, of course, but I just find the worldview reprehensible on the face of it; worshipping a martyr, enshrining him through his method of death and then focusing so much on the letter of the law instead of the spirit as Jesus himself told his detractors in Judaism to consider.

    2)Christianity tells you to act in one way and yet from what I see from virtually all Christians, there is goodness with a motivation towards saving others and oneself through a position that your love through Jesus’ changing your life will somehow change others to think that Jesus must be the way to salvation or such. Not only is this not the case, but I tend to not look at people in terms of who they follow so much as how they act as individuals regardless of who they say they’re emulating. In that case, many Christians have a remarkable similarity to other “saints” from other faiths across the world, such as Siddhartha Gautama of Buddhism, invoked commonly as a spiritual brother to Jesus in his teachings.

    From those people who especially take Christianity seriously, I see an attempt to idolize and deify a man who did not unequivocally say he was God, but God’s son at best, which theologically is not in conflict with Judaism when you think of it in a nuanced fashion. In that sense, I see people potentially missing out on a secular and ethical Jesus through the manipulations of those who see the spiritual and miss the mundane aspects of Jesus by putting on those mystical blinders of their own feelings of insecurity.

    Fundamentally, I see Christians telling me that one is to abandon their self in favor of another self, which I disagree with not only on Buddhist grounds, but humanist grounds of abandoning your own goals so as to advance the agenda of another person you don’t have direct experience with face to face, but merely through psychological experiences. There is no ethical behavior I could find in Christians that I could not find in other people who believe things vastly different from those who pray for me to see the light, when I personally view them as being more obscured by their own scapegoating and clinging to a savior instead of working out their own liberation or salvation.

    3)I can’t say there’d be much that would make me reconsider practicing religion, particularly in the institutional sense, especially when I consider that there are plenty of other communities that exist, such as the otaku and secular friendships I possess already, that give me a sense of fulfillment I’d find much greater and in a more immediate and fleshed out sense than in religious rituals or the communal aspects of meditation that I find would distract me as a more introspective individual.

    Spirituality, in the sense of existential consideration of the world, is already something I can appreciate without the trappings of piety to a deity or worshipping anything, myself included, since I view all things in a tentative or relative sense in terms of their truth value in every possible situation.

    Religion is not what people should ask me to reconsider, it is the supernatural, the mystical, the things one believes in by feelings of awe and speculating about agency instead of those things we are amazed at and try to learn about without the presumption of consciousness lying behind them at all.

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This entry was posted on October 30, 2011 by in Author: Dave Muscato, SASHA Events, Web Links & Videos.
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