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Monday, November 22, 2010

Questions posed by an atheist..



Jay D. Homnick writes about a recent phone conversation he had with a young man who states that he is an atheist but still has some doubts concerning the validity of his position. It's an interesting article and I highly encourage you to check it out on your own time. In the meantime, I will highlight a few of the points raised in order to pique your interest in it. For instance, right off the bat, the young man states...

"I was brought up Jewish but I rejected that and became an atheist," he begins. "This friend of mine is very positive about her religion and now I am beginning to wonder who is right."

"Well, were your parents knowledgeable about religion?" I (Homnick) asked.

"No, not at all."

"Did you attend religious school?"

"No."

"So you never really rebelled against Judaism. You rebelled against your parents' attempt to saddle you with a religion without an explanation."

"I guess you're right."

"What it amounts to is that you need to get enough information about the claims of the religion so you can make an informed judgment. The problem is that it's hard for you to find the time to essentially go back to college and study a new discipline."

Religiosity is in decline in the West and as the old adage goes, 'If you don't believe in something, you're liable to fall for anything', in this case, the lie of atheism. Dr. Norman Wise once said, "It doesn't matter to the devil what lie you believe in. You can believe in Hinduism with it's plethora of gods, or you can believe in atheism with it's idea that there is no God. Both are a lie. The only thing that he doesn't want you to explore and more fully understand is the Christian gospel". I wholeheartedly agree that there are many Christian theists out there who have no idea how to defend their beliefs when asked hard questions about it. Of course, that in and of itself does not make their belief in the Christian God invalid, it just means that there are very many out there that seldom engage those who have points of view that are in opposition to theirs. Unfortunately for the state of discourse, certain (yet not all of course) atheists seize upon the lack of a profoud answer and this in some way reinforces their worldview. The young man goes on to ask Homnick, "How can you prove to me that God exists in the first place?", to which Homnick replies...

"In a way the Bible itself proves God. Once you accept the Jews could not have made up the story of what happened at Sinai, then you have to believe it was true revelation. Either that or a genius theatrical production which not only fooled a few million very sharp cookies in the audience, it also left behind a book of such superior literary quality that it still moves people to live nobly thousands of years later."

As a literary work alone, the Bible is unlike anything else we know of. It is almost beyind comprehension how 66 books written over the millenia in three different languages could be so harmonious.

I think the key thing here is that Homnick stated that the guy approached him with "an open mind". Is your mind at least open to the possibility that God exists? I believe that stating with certainty that God does not exist is folly and I don't see how one could ever prove this universal negative. Vox Day has said that he always found agnosticism to be a much more reasonable position than atheism and for the afore mentioned reason, I agree.


Feel free to leave your thoughts on the article or any legitimate questions one might have concerning today's topic here on this thread. I'll check back in later.








11 comments:

Froggie said...

***Yawn***

"Once you accept the Jews could not have made up the story of what happened at Sinai, then you have to believe it was true revelation."

Critical thinkers do not just accept ancient myths as thruth. to believe something. Sorry lil fella.

No evidence for the Exodus myth has ever been found. So, after Israel took control of the Sinai after the 196 war, the Isreali leaders sent teams of archaeologists to comb the area for evidence. After all, if a million peple had roamed the area for forty years, with all the periperals and livestock, evidence should be everywhere.
These archaeologists were on a mission to show that the founding story of their nation was fact or fiction, and yes, they did not find as much as a pottery shard.

The Exodus and thus the Moses myth are legends. myths.

The Ten Commandments don't represent anything particularly innovative in Mediterranean antiquity, nor do they bear the mark of divine revelation. This is because, ultimately, all such codes of conduct represent "universals" among mankind that, over the course of time, naturally came about for the sake of social order and harmony within developing civilizations. By the time Moses is said to have revealed the Ten Commandments at Mt. Sinai, the ancient Egyptians had already condemned theft, murder, adultery, lying, etc., as revealed by the 13th century BC Papyrus of Ani. A divine or otherworldly source just wasn't necessary. Moreover, religion has no trademark on these values.

From Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs

"To most Israelis it is axiomatic that the celebrations for the 3,000th anniversary of the conquest of Jerusalem by King David mark a real and tangible event; but this is far from certain. The biblical account of the capture of the city is the only one we have, and in the opinion of most modern scholars, the Bible is not an entirely reliable historical document. Corroborating evidence is required, and some indeed exists; but it is not conclusive. When all the available information has been assembled, the most that can be said is that there was probably an Israelite ruler called David, who made Jerusalem his capital sometime in the tenth century bce. However, the precise date cannot be determined, and consequently there is no way of knowing exactly when the anniversary falls."

http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/MFAArchive/2000_2009/2003/9/King%20David%20and%20Jerusalem-%20Myth%20and%20Reality

JD Curtis said...

No evidence for the Exodus myth has ever been found

So my preliminary question to you [Froggie] is, what kind of evidence would be acceptable to you in reference to the Exodus account?

Froggie said...

Evidence of a million people roaming an area that size for forty years would be ubiquitous.
They would have had to make weapons and cooking utensils. There would be pottery shards and discarded artifacts. The area would be littered with campsites and garbage dumps; the remnants of their foundries.
And it is to be noted that in that climate, the preservation of evidence/ artifacts/ human remains, etc are virtually guaranteed.

There would be features such as post holes/ fire places and rock shelters/ foundations.

We find nothing. Not. one. thing.

JD Curtis said...

They were looking tin the wrong place.

Example 1: Fast-forward over the first 8 minutes. Then it starts getting good. Link

Example 2: About 10 minutes in length. I find this video to be especially intriguing. Link.

I believe both are plausible.

Froggie said...

Sorry JD. I have been through the complete works of Wyatt. He died in 1999 but even before his death he was shown to be a fraud. Since his death his statements and supposed archaelogical findings have been completely, totally and utterly discredited. He was a fraud and none of his ideas hold any veracity outside his small group of crackpots.

The Exodus did not happen as written in the bible.

Arielle said...

Totally OT: Just stepping out of lurker mode to return your hello, JD. =)

Froggie said...

The second video is making utlandish claims with no evidence whatsoever.
It is obvious that you don't understand how archaeology is done and why.
It never fails to amaze me how some folks will believe anything they are told, no matter how unsubstantiated, as long as it props up their irrational beliefs.

I know it is hard to watch your cheished beliefs go up in the smoke of logic and reason, but it is embarrassing to watch how low you will go to preserve those beliefs.

JD Curtis said...

I know it is hard to watch your cheished beliefs go up in the smoke of logic and reason, but it is embarrassing to watch how low you will go to preserve those beliefs

I stated that the above was "plausible", not a definitive fact.

You can thank me later for not posting your other comment and thus saving you from the embarrassment of posting an Attack the Messenger fallacy.

If you would like to link a counter argument to those raised by the videos, then go right ahead.

But in the meantime, is there not a fenced-off, archeological site on the Saudi peninsula where indiated on the 2nd video?

Froggie said...

"You can thank me later for not posting your other comment and thus saving you from the embarrassment of posting an Attack the Messenger fallacy."

So, the censorship continues. My statement was not a messenger fallacy.
No credible archaeologist has given Wyatt's "work" a second look.
At the time of his death he claimed to have discovered:
By the time of his death in August 4, 1999, his claimed discoveries included:[1]

Noah's Ark (the Durupınar site, located 18.25 miles south of Mount Ararat)
Anchor stones (or drogue stones) used by Noah on the Ark
The post-flood house, grave markers and tombs of Noah and his wife
The location of Sodom and Gomorrah and the other (3) Cities of the Plain: Zoar, Zeboim and Admah
Sulfur/brimstone balls from the ashen remains of Sodom and Gomorrah.
The Tower of Babel site (in southern Turkey)
How the Egyptians may have built the pyramids.
The site of the Israelites' crossing of the Red Sea (located in the Gulf of Aqaba)
Chariot wheels and other relics of the army of Pharaoh at the bottom of the Red Sea
The site of the biblical Mt. Sinai (in Saudi Arabia at Jabal al Lawz)
The rock at Mt. Horeb from which water flowed when struck by Moses
The site of Korah’s earthquake.
A chamber at the end of a maze of tunnels under Jerusalem containing artefacts from Solomon's Temple
The site of the Crucifixion of Jesus
The Ark of the Covenant and the stones of the Ten Commandments
Christ’s blood, dripped onto the Mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant beneath the Crucifixion site.
A miter with an ivory pomegranate on the tip
The burial pots of Ashkelon.

The man was a crackpot and has no credibility whatsoever.

furthermore, archaeologist Joe Zias of Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) has stated that:

"Ron Wyatt is neither an archaeologist nor has he ever carried out a legally licensed excavation in Israel or Jerusalem. In order to excavate one must have at least a BA in archaeology which he does not possess despite his claims to the contrary. ... [His claims] fall into the category of trash which one finds in tabloids such as the National Enquirer, Sun etc."

You will not find refutations of Wyat's "work" in science jpurnals because there is no merit to it, whatsoever.

Even Answers in Genesis has labeled him a crackpot who has done great disservice to fundamentalist Christianity.

The messenger is a crackpot. This has been well shown.

JD Curtis said...

Froggie,

Little is less appealing to me in this world than the faux, hand-wringing appeals to censorship here. This blog went a year and a half without moderation and only after troll-like behavior have I implemented the moderation process. I hope to discontinue it some day soon.

The above article is not about anchor stones, Noah's Ark or Christ’s blood, dripp(ing) onto the Mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant beneath the Crucifixion site.

Again, I asked a specific question in my 4:15 entry and if youre going to continue your established pattern of evasion, then don't post at all.

Froggie said...

JD,

By the way, The Saudi's very jealously guard their arch sites. Many of the sites and museums are off limits to non-muslims.
There are areas of more than 28 - 35 acres fenced off all over the country. The Saudi's treasures have been exploited for many years and they are not going to let it happen again.

My brother-inlaw was in saudi Arabia two years ago and here were many places they were not allowed to go into.
Especially after West and his minions snuck into the site they fenced it off.

"Most of these sites are fenced off and guarded, and one needs a permission to enter the fence."

http://www.silvija.net/2002SaudiMay/trip.html

You will also see a picture of a sign that directs non-muslims around certain sites/ museums.