So called agnostics the world around stand by the belief that Atheism is equally as dogmatic and abrasive as believers. Astonishingly enough, this is never actually backed up with any arguments of substance – Militant atheists are in your face and trying to get you to justify your beliefs, militant Christians and Islamists blow things up, kill people in an attempt to justify and assert their own; aggressive atheists say they do not hold a belief in god, but are told (by believers) that they believe in Satan, nothing or that god does not exist.
There is a clear problem with these dichotomies, considering these definitions are thrown about so willy nilly. Maybe the problem is a lack of communication and understanding
In the most recent meeting with my Mormon friends I said something most peculiar. My dearest asked a Mormon a simple question – “Why do you believe in god?” – and I instantly jumped to their aide, suggesting that the question was quite difficult. Why had I done this? Surely these visitors were well learned in their material and looking to spread their understanding of the world. Surely they had asked themselves this question previously and found some solid footing for their position in the matter.
I mean, for me to go to a group of close friends and tell them anything about the world I have to have checked my sources to be able to hold my position with any conviction. These gentlemen have all of the conviction in the world, considering they are willing to go door to door with their faith. This being the 6th or so time we have met up I think it is important to realize that these guys are not new to my questioning their understanding of the world. They have to come to my house ready to discuss these views, anything less would be uncivilized.
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect […]
In spite of my repeated use of “surely”, my visitors fell quite short of anything convincing – “I don’t know.” Maybe my readers can shed some light on this situation, because on the same grounds that a theist can be so certain of what I believe, how can they ask me so called “hard hitting questions” if they cannot even answer the simplest and most obvious of questions.
- Why do you believe in god?
- Can you describe your god, what features/powers does he have?
- Is god capable of making a logically impossible condition?
- How does god manifest?
- What created god?
- Can you give any examples of anything else existing outside of space and time?
- Why do you pray?
- Why turn to violence in order to address god’s will on earth, when surely he/she can take care of things on judgment day.
- Why is god so vain, self absorbed, confrontational and jealous?
- Why do you worship him/her?
- Why is Faith a virtue?
In the book I am reading, Jesus Wars, John Philip Jenkins puts forth a riveting set of well researched accounts of the times that forged the image of Jesus as we know him now. Many of these accounts leave me quite amazed, considering the benign seeming nature of todays American Christian front. Then again, just as such a statement is made, we get a fundamentalist who takes things into his own hands. I find it incredibly amusing to see how outraged moderate Christians get in looking at todays Islam fundamentalism movement, considering their entire heritage is built upon the blood of dead believers. Jenkins tells of a time where Christians turned on Christians, bullying, beating, maiming and murdering their way into power. In many ways the rise of Islam is tied to internal Christian conflict. How quaint it is to have todays Christians raising the flag of peace, and ignoring the blood spilled in climbing here.
These questions above are not meant to ruin anyone’s day, but surely you can see the benefit of being able to address these much more fundamental problems with religious positions. Mind you, these are only the first few, there are dozens more, just waiting on affirmative and sufficient answers to these.
Then again, maybe you simply believe this nonsense on faith:
- Natus est Dei Filius, non pudet, quia pudendum est;
- et mortuus est Dei Filius, prorsus credibile est, quia ineptum est;
- et sepultus resurrexit, certum est, quia impossibile.
- — (De Carne Christi V, 4)
- "The Son of God was born: there is no shame, because it is shameful.
- And the Son of God died: it is wholly credible, because it is unsound.
- And, buried, He rose again: it is certain, because impossible."