“Average Atheist” Trivializes Sin and Hell

Hello Average Atheist, I read your post My Problem with Hell, and decided to respond. You start out with everyone at a party enjoying themselves. Then you shift to someone at the party watching their “daughter in a dark prison cell being bound and strapped to a table. The scene you are witnessing is gruesome and horrible in every way.” Next you ask, “Is it still the best party you’ve ever been to? Do you want to stay there or try to run and help your daughter?” And then state, “My problem with hell is that it is so frequently described as a place where “those in heaven can look down on all the torments of the damned” as if this was an enjoyable practice.” You go on to say, “Hell is a Continue reading

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Considering Christianity

I stole this from a comment by Occam’s Blog:

 

(1) If a claim X is plausible and accepted by a large number of intelligent people, and if accepting X would result in enormous benefits if X is true, then we should spend some time investigating X to see whether or not it is true.
(2) Christianity is plausible and accepted by a large number of intelligent people.
(3) Accepting Christianity would result in enormous benefits if Christianity is true.
(4) Therefore, we should spend some time investigating Christianity to see whether or not it is true.

“Finding Truth” finds error and loves it with an unholy love

“Finding Truth,” I read your post and have a few thoughts for you, you said, “Thus began a period of time in which I began hunting for all the reasons to believe in and/or be skeptical of the Bible and Christianity.”

Your first big mistake was subjecting God to your limited and fallible understanding, rather than responding in faith to the testimony of the Holy Spirit in Scripture. You’re second huge error was being willing to attribute veracity to those who attack the Bible, they have Satan behind them, Continue reading

to save those who believe

What follows is an OP-ED piece originally titled Breaking Up the Echo, from The New York Times, with my thoughts afterward:

It is well known that when like-minded people get together, they tend to end up thinking a more extreme version of what they thought before they started to talk. The same kind of echo-chamber effect can happen as people get news from various media. Liberals viewing MSNBC or reading left-of-center blogs may well end up embracing liberal talking points even more firmly; conservative fans of Fox News may well react in similar fashion on the right.

The result can be a situation in which beliefs do not merely harden but migrate toward the extreme ends of the political spectrum. As current events in the Middle East demonstrate, discussions among like-minded people can ultimately produce violence.

The remedy for easing such polarization, here and abroad, may seem straightforward: provide balanced information to people of all sides. Surely, we might speculate, such information will correct falsehoods and promote mutual understanding. This, of course, has been a hope of countless dedicated journalists and public officials.

Unfortunately, evidence suggests that balanced presentations — in which competing arguments or positions are laid out side by side — may not help. At least Continue reading

Prove God!

This is a post I’m re-blogging from The Cartesian Theist:

Prove God! [Part1]

This has to be the single most commonly made demand on me as a theist on the internet. Curiously I don’t recall ever having been given this demand in a real conversation (that is a conversation which takes place fact to face for those of you who still communicate in the old-fashioned way!) but one that only happens on the web. I have no idea if there’s something to that or not.

I am going to defend the view that this is an unreasonable request and therefore, if I am right, not meeting an unreasonable request is quite reasonable.

Continue reading

Marie Colvin’s Public Effort

Marie Colvin was a foreign affairs correspondent for The London Sunday Times, she died this February. Marie Colvin’s Private War is the Vanity Fair article these quotes are taken from:

As they left for the second trip, they learned that there would be no space for them to carry flack jackets, helmets, or video equipment. Trained as an artillery officer in the British Army, Conroy counted the rockets coming down and clocked 45 explosions a minute. “Every bone in my body is telling me not to do this,” Continue reading