What Would Dent Your Atheism

Electric Skeptic

Well-known member
Atheists: what thing, if it were the case or if it were to happen, would make you think "Hmm...maybe there is something to this god-belief after all..."

For me, I always fall back on the same thing - if there were some discernable difference between non-Christians and Christians, or even between atheists and Christians. That would go along way toward convincing me that Christians were on to something.

Sadly, however, there's not. Believers and non-believers are about the same in virtually every discernable way - they are both about as healthy as each other, live as long as each other, are as wealthy (or poor) as each other, commit about the same number of crimes as each other, and so forth.

If they really have God, the mightiest possible being, the center of love, within them, why are they so difficult to tell from those of us who don't?
 

The Pixie

Active member
Atheists: what thing, if it were the case or if it were to happen, would make you think "Hmm...maybe there is something to this god-belief after all..."

For me, I always fall back on the same thing - if there were some discernable difference between non-Christians and Christians, or even between atheists and Christians. That would go along way toward convincing me that Christians were on to something.

Sadly, however, there's not. Believers and non-believers are about the same in virtually every discernable way - they are both about as healthy as each other, live as long as each other, are as wealthy (or poor) as each other, commit about the same number of crimes as each other, and so forth.

If they really have God, the mightiest possible being, the center of love, within them, why are they so difficult to tell from those of us who don't?
Kind of related to what you said; if Christianity is true, then it would necessarily follow that Christians routinely commune with god, and therefore all Christians know Christianity well, and therefore there is exactly one version of Christianity that all Christians agree with.

Like the insurance adjuster "totals" the car. Too much hell damage to repair.
I would agree with this point too. When I look around the world, there really is too much "hell damage" to repair. No all-loving god would allow the world to get into this state, and at this stage there is indeed too much hell damage too repair. If it was all fixed tomorrow, I would still want to know why it had not happened last week.
 

Whatsisface

Active member
Atheists: what thing, if it were the case or if it were to happen, would make you think "Hmm...maybe there is something to this god-belief after all..."

For me, I always fall back on the same thing - if there were some discernable difference between non-Christians and Christians, or even between atheists and Christians. That would go along way toward convincing me that Christians were on to something.

Sadly, however, there's not. Believers and non-believers are about the same in virtually every discernable way - they are both about as healthy as each other, live as long as each other, are as wealthy (or poor) as each other, commit about the same number of crimes as each other, and so forth.

If they really have God, the mightiest possible being, the center of love, within them, why are they so difficult to tell from those of us who don't?
Something being prayed for that we know can't happen naturally and it immediately happening, such as all disease stopping. That would get my attention.
 

5wize

Well-known member
Atheists: what thing, if it were the case or if it were to happen, would make you think "Hmm...maybe there is something to this god-belief after all..."

For me, I always fall back on the same thing - if there were some discernable difference between non-Christians and Christians, or even between atheists and Christians. That would go along way toward convincing me that Christians were on to something.

Sadly, however, there's not. Believers and non-believers are about the same in virtually every discernable way - they are both about as healthy as each other, live as long as each other, are as wealthy (or poor) as each other, commit about the same number of crimes as each other, and so forth.

If they really have God, the mightiest possible being, the center of love, within them, why are they so difficult to tell from those of us who don't?
For me, it would require that the nature that Christians claim their God to possess actually be manifest in the world. They seem to have some odd buffet style emergence of their God's nature where artifacts of nature like its uniformity as expressed through the logical principles are things that emanate from the very being of their God, yet they talk about other characteristics of their God like morality and justice also being inseparable which are not manifest in this world with any uniformity at all, so they kick that incoherency down the alley to some afterlife.

So for me, what would keep me more balanced in my opinions concerning the Christian God would be that justice be manifest in His creation as an unassailable principle of His being.. I'm not talking about some lack of free will or a world free of pain and suffering where nothing bad ever happens regardless of what you do, but instead when acts of free will against some fabric of godly justice are thrust into the fabric of reality, that fabric responds in a manner that we can see that the fabric actually works, if not in real-time, relatively close.

For me, God would never have to show up physically and sky write something if that were the case.
 

Gus Bovona

Active member
Atheists: what thing, if it were the case or if it were to happen, would make you think "Hmm...maybe there is something to this god-belief after all..."

For me, I always fall back on the same thing - if there were some discernable difference between non-Christians and Christians, or even between atheists and Christians. That would go along way toward convincing me that Christians were on to something.

Sadly, however, there's not. Believers and non-believers are about the same in virtually every discernable way - they are both about as healthy as each other, live as long as each other, are as wealthy (or poor) as each other, commit about the same number of crimes as each other, and so forth.

If they really have God, the mightiest possible being, the center of love, within them, why are they so difficult to tell from those of us who don't?
1. Some atheists say that they don't know what would convince them, but they see no reason why an omniscient god wouldn't know exactly what would, and why, then, that god doesn't just show it.

2. For myself, I'd go to at least 50.00000001% likelihood that the god of the Bible exists if scientists around the world could confirm that the cosmic microwave background radiation suddenly spelled out in simultaneous multiple languages "I Am That I Am." Which should only take less than a flick of the wrist for Yahweh.
 

Gus Bovona

Active member
Atheists: what thing, if it were the case or if it were to happen, would make you think "Hmm...maybe there is something to this god-belief after all..."

For me, I always fall back on the same thing - if there were some discernable difference between non-Christians and Christians, or even between atheists and Christians. That would go along way toward convincing me that Christians were on to something.

Sadly, however, there's not. Believers and non-believers are about the same in virtually every discernable way - they are both about as healthy as each other, live as long as each other, are as wealthy (or poor) as each other, commit about the same number of crimes as each other, and so forth.

If they really have God, the mightiest possible being, the center of love, within them, why are they so difficult to tell from those of us who don't?
Oh, there's another way for me, too. If anthropologists could or had discovered a remote tribe that had, to all reasonable verification, no contact with outside civilization, and they had a religion that was Christianity, that would give me pause.
 

Temujin

Well-known member
Atheists: what thing, if it were the case or if it were to happen, would make you think "Hmm...maybe there is something to this god-belief after all..."

For me, I always fall back on the same thing - if there were some discernable difference between non-Christians and Christians, or even between atheists and Christians. That would go along way toward convincing me that Christians were on to something.

Sadly, however, there's not. Believers and non-believers are about the same in virtually every discernable way - they are both about as healthy as each other, live as long as each other, are as wealthy (or poor) as each other, commit about the same number of crimes as each other, and so forth.

If they really have God, the mightiest possible being, the center of love, within them, why are they so difficult to tell from those of us who don't?
It would need to be something more unlikely than God. Something very, very, very unlikely. The exams given above are OK, but I still think that each is more likely to be Loki playing a trick.
 

Whateverman

Well-known member
Atheists: what thing, if it were the case or if it were to happen, would make you think "Hmm...maybe there is something to this god-belief after all..."
An efficacy of prayer that worked out to better than the worshipping of a milk jug.

If we could prove that prayers got answered, even if only a little bit, my atheism would be caved-in.

edit: given the response here by @Whatsisface , I want to be clear. I'm not talking about miracles (though that would definitely have an impact too). I'm talking about overall effectiveness, whether the prayers are about keeping people safe or performing well or making the right financial investments, etc. Mundane stuff.
 

Komodo

Active member
Kind of related to what you said; if Christianity is true, then it would necessarily follow that Christians routinely commune with god, and therefore all Christians know Christianity well, and therefore there is exactly one version of Christianity that all Christians agree with.


I would agree with this point too. When I look around the world, there really is too much "hell damage" to repair. No all-loving god would allow the world to get into this state, and at this stage there is indeed too much hell damage too repair. If it was all fixed tomorrow, I would still want to know why it had not happened last week.
One possible response would be to insert the caveat, "True Christian." So, "if True Christianity is true... there is exactly one version of True Christianity that all True Christians agree with." And quite a few people, here and IRL, would say essentially that (or exactly that); that most of the people calling themselves Christians are not in fact Christians, but that those who are agree on all essential points. So the variety of doctrines among people calling themselves "Christian" would not be evidence against True Christianity.

But then, of course, ES's objection comes back in force. The people who call themselves "True Christians" are not, so far as we can tell, healthier or wealthier than the rest of us. Maybe more significantly (because this was a specific promise of the Bible), they don't appear to have received the gifts of the Holy Spirit (patience, loving-kindness, etc.) more abundantly than the rest of us. To put it mildly.
 

Mr Laurier

Well-known member
Atheists: what thing, if it were the case or if it were to happen, would make you think "Hmm...maybe there is something to this god-belief after all..."

For me, I always fall back on the same thing - if there were some discernable difference between non-Christians and Christians, or even between atheists and Christians. That would go along way toward convincing me that Christians were on to something.

Sadly, however, there's not. Believers and non-believers are about the same in virtually every discernable way - they are both about as healthy as each other, live as long as each other, are as wealthy (or poor) as each other, commit about the same number of crimes as each other, and so forth.

If they really have God, the mightiest possible being, the center of love, within them, why are they so difficult to tell from those of us who don't?
A god.
Honestly, the Hindus have made the best case. Jews, Christians, and Muslims needs to show a god.
 

Komodo

Active member
Atheists: what thing, if it were the case or if it were to happen, would make you think "Hmm...maybe there is something to this god-belief after all..."

For me, I always fall back on the same thing - if there were some discernable difference between non-Christians and Christians, or even between atheists and Christians. That would go along way toward convincing me that Christians were on to something.

Sadly, however, there's not. Believers and non-believers are about the same in virtually every discernable way - they are both about as healthy as each other, live as long as each other, are as wealthy (or poor) as each other, commit about the same number of crimes as each other, and so forth.

If they really have God, the mightiest possible being, the center of love, within them, why are they so difficult to tell from those of us who don't?
I wouldn't look at stats for wealth and health, etc., because that's a case where correlation might be far removed from causation. (Europe + US + Commonwealth is far wealthier than world average, they have a much higher percentage of Christians in their population than world average, therefore...?)

But what if the difference showed up in something more spiritual? The oldest known poem in English is called Caedmon's Hymn, and the legend is that it was the custom in his tribe for the men to have an occasional night of improvisational poetry slam. (You know how wild those Viking types were.) Caedmon always begged off, saying he just didn't have any ability in that direction. So an angel appeared to him and said, "next time, join in, and I guarantee you'll have something that will knock them off their feet." So he did, and it did.

So what if every believer could tell a story like that?
 

5wize

Well-known member
One possible response would be to insert the caveat, "True Christian." So, "if True Christianity is true... there is exactly one version of True Christianity that all True Christians agree with." And quite a few people, here and IRL, would say essentially that (or exactly that); that most of the people calling themselves Christians are not in fact Christians, but that those who are agree on all essential points. So the variety of doctrines among people calling themselves "Christian" would not be evidence against True Christianity.

But then, of course, ES's objection comes back in force. The people who call themselves "True Christians" are not, so far as we can tell, healthier or wealthier than the rest of us. Maybe more significantly (because this was a specific promise of the Bible), they don't appear to have received the gifts of the Holy Spirit (patience, loving-kindness, etc.) more abundantly than the rest of us. To put it mildly.
This would all depend on the method that becoming a Christian employed. If it is merely an alignment of thought towards the doctrine, then there could be Christians, true Christians, really true Christians, and really, really true Christians (you might over time get combinations like really, true, true Christians, and the nefarious really, really true true Christians - watch out for those). But if the method is an invitation of the holy ghost to visit and guide, and that is sincerely followed, then there would be only one doctrine among those of that method, and there are not.
 

boldirish

New Member
A god.
Honestly, the Hindus have made the best case. Jews, Christians, and Muslims needs to show a god.
"...God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory." (1 Timothy 3:16)

"Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory." (1 Corinthians 2:8)
 

5wize

Well-known member
"...God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory." (1 Timothy 3:16)

"Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory." (1 Corinthians 2:8)
The words of Paul are a heresy against the true life of Jesus. They do not show a god or a savior.
 

The Pixie

Active member
One possible response would be to insert the caveat, "True Christian." So, "if True Christianity is true... there is exactly one version of True Christianity that all True Christians agree with." And quite a few people, here and IRL, would say essentially that (or exactly that); that most of the people calling themselves Christians are not in fact Christians, but that those who are agree on all essential points. So the variety of doctrines among people calling themselves "Christian" would not be evidence against True Christianity.

But then, of course, ES's objection comes back in force. The people who call themselves "True Christians" are not, so far as we can tell, healthier or wealthier than the rest of us. Maybe more significantly (because this was a specific promise of the Bible), they don't appear to have received the gifts of the Holy Spirit (patience, loving-kindness, etc.) more abundantly than the rest of us. To put it mildly.
But the point is that if Christianity is true, then God has chosen to allow Christianity to fragment into hundred or even thousands of denominations, the vast majority of which have got it wrong to some degree,

Why would an all powerful God who supposedly communes with his followers on a regular basis allow that to happen?
 

boldirish

New Member
But the point is that if Christianity is true, then God has chosen to allow Christianity to fragment into hundred or even thousands of denominations, the vast majority of which have got it wrong to some degree,

Why would an all powerful God who supposedly communes with his followers on a regular basis allow that to happen?
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." 2 Timothy 4:3-4
 

Komodo

Active member
But the point is that if Christianity is true, then God has chosen to allow Christianity to fragment into hundred or even thousands of denominations, the vast majority of which have got it wrong to some degree,

Why would an all powerful God who supposedly communes with his followers on a regular basis allow that to happen?
Fairly standard replies, which I'm sure you've seen, are that allowing the sinner to fall into confusion is either one of those sad necessities of maintaining free will, or is actually a positive good, because it is one way by which God's glory is made manifest. The fact that both replies seem both rationally and morally indefensible to me is, of course, one reason I'm not a Christian.
 

The Pixie

Active member
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." 2 Timothy 4:3-4
So are you saying 80-95% of Christians are not listening to sound doctrines and have turned their ears away from the truth?

Why would I worship a god so impotent he allows that to happen?
 

docphin5

Active member
Atheists: what thing, if it were the case or if it were to happen, would make you think "Hmm...maybe there is something to this god-belief after all..."

For me, I always fall back on the same thing - if there were some discernable difference between non-Christians and Christians, or even between atheists and Christians. That would go along way toward convincing me that Christians were on to something.

Sadly, however, there's not. Believers and non-believers are about the same in virtually every discernable way - they are both about as healthy as each other, live as long as each other, are as wealthy (or poor) as each other, commit about the same number of crimes as each other, and so forth.

If they really have God, the mightiest possible being, the center of love, within them, why are they so difficult to tell from those of us who don't?
Your question is a valid one and there might be an answer.

If you compare Christianity in the West versus the spiritualism in Africa, one could argue that outcomes in the Christian world have been far better for its people in the last two thousand years than the outcomes for Africans. This is not a dig on Africans. I am just comparing religion and outcomes (i.e., life expectancy, development, wealth, culture, science, etc.) among two large groups of people who happened to be separated by distance for most of the last two thousand years (still are separated but modern travel and the internet has shortened the travel time for the exchange of ideas).
 
Top