I Don't Believe in Atheists... or Agnostics

What's this mean?
What's this mean?

The backstory

Don't expect here an exposé of non-Christian world-and-life views nor a defense of the Christian faith. I write, instead, of my own impressions and observations gained from two new enterprises that have occupied me over the last year. One is writing on HubPages where I've encountered a variety of declared atheists and agnostics responding to my hubs. The other is my employment at Home Depot where I rub shoulders every day with practical atheists and agnostics, people who seem unaware of God. That's not to say that there are no Christians at Home Depot. I've come across many. But let's face it, I've run into a lot more non-Christians in the past year than in the 40 years I spent as a pastor.

These two endeavors have been life-changing, not with regard to my basic Christian convictions, but concerning the world of people I encounter. Confession: as a pastor I had a basic commitment to the Great Commission, as it's called. I was to lead my people to win the lost and draw them into the community of faith. So I led evangelism training, went on mission trips and preached the gospel; while all the time having few personal contacts with non-Christians. My failure, but God blessed anyway. The three churches I pastored experienced modest conversion growth (as opposed to pirating Christians from other churches).

I have come to regard non-Christians not as the lost to be found, but as fellow-travelers on different roads not all of which lead to present joy and eternal peace. They are not projects to be worked, but persons created in the image of God (though they either deny or don't know it). Most importantly, my prevailing sentiment toward atheists, agnostics and other non-Christians has become not intimidation or fear; but curiosity, respect and love. My goal regarding them is no longer "bring them to Christ", but "let them see Christ in me." If a conversion is to take place God will do it, not me.

Another change I've experienced is an increasing grief over sin and evil, yes in the world within and around me; but also those horrible events reported in the Bible. Instead of blowing off critics who charge God with ordering the slaughter of Amalekite women and children, I too find myself troubled by such events. A cavalier dismissal of them only feeds the cynicism so many entertain about the Christian faith. Yes, I'm troubled, but not shaken. There can be nothing more despicable than the crucifixion of Jesus, yet that "evil" achieved God's just and loving purposes. So, by God's grace, I remain firm in the faith.

No atheists or agnostics?

When atheists say there is no god and agnostics, their humbler cousins, say they just don't know if there's a god they reject what they believe is the Christian or biblical God, not god in the generic sense. Fact is that every human being has a god or gods.

Maybe we'd better define what I mean by god. A god is any person, persons, culture, value system, world and life view, authority, philosophy, or combination thereof, that governs your life and commands your loyalty. A fair summary of a Pascal paragraph is that there is a "god-shaped vacuum in every human being. Whether we admit it or not we all crave an ultimate reference point, authority, reason for being. We instinctively know that without that, human existence is a lonely and baren experience. So the issue becomes not "is there a god or not" but "what god do I follow."

Christians follow a god they believe has revealed himself first in creation (Psalm 19:1), then in the human soul (Romans 2:15) and finally in Scripture (John 20:30,31). He is displayed in all his perfection in the Son who "the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power." (Hebrews 1:3)

Thus it is God who takes the initiative to show up. Human beings don't conjure him up. A good summary description of the God Christians worship is found in the Westminster Shorter Catechism #4. "God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal and unchangeable in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth."

Such a god is rejected by most. He's too dangerous. And yet this god-shaped vacuum gnaws away. Many cherry pick the Scriptures to create a god more to their liking. "Mine is the god of love found in the New Testament, not the god of judgment you read about in the Old." Others give lip-service to the biblical God while living life as though he doesn't exist or doesn't care. These are practical atheist. Then there are those who honestly declare there is no god or they don't know if there is a god.

While atheists and agnostics reject this god they still have a god. One cannot live without an ultimate frame of reference. A favorite god seems to be science. Others include the common good, tradition, personal comfort, pleasure, power, a political persuasion, heritage, family, particular loved ones. What all these have in common is that they exist by the will of the individual who honors them. Thus, their ultimate frame of reference is themselves. They are their own god.

Christians also have these interests. To the degree that they shape our lives, fuel our passions and command our loyalty they replace what Christians profess to be the one true God. There's a name for that, idolatry; something clearly forbidden by the first four commandments. Yes, even Christians can be guilty of idolatry.

One god, multiple forms

Christians believe in one God who exists in three person, one in substance, equal in power and glory. WSC#6 The non-Christian's god is far more complicated than this. The non-Christian is, in fact, as much a monotheist as the Christian. His one god is himself.

I don't mean that in a perjorative sense. There are "devout" atheists and agnostics who love others more than themselves, who sacrifice for their country, who give to charity and are noble and moral people. Sometimes they out-perform believers. There are two reasons why non-Christians of all stripes, including atheists and agnostics do noble things. The first is that all human beings bear within themselves the image of God, whether acknowedged or not. The second is that God has endowed all mankind with his common (as opposed to saving) grace. Of course I don't expect an atheist or agnostic to buy this. It feels to him like a put-down; and therein he ultimately reveals his true god. He will not credit another being with the good he is or does. In fact, the atheist's assertion that there is no god requires him to know everything. Like God?

Only two gods

Utimately, there are only two gods. The one revealed in Scripture and in Jesus Christ; the other needs no revelation, just exposure. For unless the sovereign God of creation and redemption breaks though, our default god is ourselves. This leaves Christians with nothing to brag about and everything to wonder about. Why did God break through into my heart? Why does he continue to be patient despite my distraction with false gods? Why does he show up in amazing ways most every day? I have no idea! But I'm thankful.

More by this Author


Comments - The same letters used in "listen" compose the word "silent." I'm listening. 72 comments

liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 21 months ago from Richmond, VA Author

thunkfulthinker, in the course of re-writing the above hub I came across your thoughtful comment. Thanks for stopping by. Regarding semantics, my definition of God is not original at all. You'll find it in most theology books. We all have an ultimate point of reference by which we attempt to give meaning to our existence. Humans can't live without their need for intimacy and impact being met to some degree. That need betrays the image of God in you. Despite fervent denials one can't get away from the way we function.


Raynoch 23 months ago

You have shed a ray of suinnshe into the forum. Thanks!


Carrie 23 months ago

That's really thinking at an imresspive level


thunkfulthinker profile image

thunkfulthinker 2 years ago from Ohio

Seems like you're playing a game of semantics with the definition of a god. I don't believe in any type of god. I don't think science, reason, or charity is a god either.

I don't associate anything with the word god because I associate it with worship and religion. I don't worship or believe in any religion, so I find it pointless to strive to re-define a word to fit my world views.

There is no god as far as I can tell and that's that.


Michelle Ascani profile image

Michelle Ascani 2 years ago from Deep in the Heart of Texas

Evil keeps to many blinb, but we have to submitt to GoOD before the Light can be fully revealed. Only then does everything start to make sense.


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 3 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

I find it reassuring to find someone else asserting what I have long believed. This from David Foster Wallace's Kenyon commencement address of 2005

"Because here's something else that's weird but true: in the day-to day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship -- be it JC or Allah, be it YHWH or the Wiccan Mother Goddess, or the Four Noble Truths, or some inviolable set of ethical principles -- is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough. It's the truth. Worship your body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly. And when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally grieve you. On one level, we all know this stuff already. It's been codified as myths, proverbs, clichés, epigrams, parables; the skeleton of every great story. The whole trick is keeping the truth up front in daily consciousness.

Worship power, you will end up feeling weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to numb you to your own fear. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart, you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. But the insidious thing about these forms of worship is not that they're evil or sinful, it's that they're unconscious. They are default settings."


Eddie Dagstanyan profile image

Eddie Dagstanyan 3 years ago from California

-chuckle- Glad someone other than my kids might be interested in them, liftandsoar. Stay tuned for my super hot-dog caterpillars!


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 3 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

Well thanks, Eddie Dagstanyan. Appreciate your comment. Looking forward to some mini quesadillas tonight!


Eddie Dagstanyan profile image

Eddie Dagstanyan 3 years ago from California

I must refer to the very first comment from RustyW 8 months ago... "there are too many Christians and not enough believers." Wells said, Rusty, well said.

Now, to LiftAndSoar... interesting Hub. Frankly, I hadn't thought of religion in such a way. But your section toward the end - One God, Multiple Forms - and the idea of monotheism existing in the same way for believers and nonbelievers is (in my humble opinion) nothing short of brilliant.


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 3 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

Trish_M I'm sure you are more aware of such incidents than I. I'm sad to hear of it. It certainly doesn't represent the true Christian faith. Sometimes I think Jesus is musing, "With follows like these, who needs enemies?"


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 3 years ago from The English Midlands

Hi :)

I don't want to turn your thread into an argument. Sorry Lift&Soar. But I do think that what I said is how many people feel.

Atheists have been told that they are the least trusted people and are equal to rapists (google it). They are told that they are on their way to eternal agony. This is not the Inquisition, as evil as that was. This is now.


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 3 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

You and I understand that, tsadjatko. But even Christians often can't agree on who is and who isn't a Christian. I wouldn't expect an outsider to distinguish between a Jim Jones and a Billy Graham.


tsadjatko profile image

tsadjatko 3 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

Things have been done in the name of Christianity that have nothing to do with Christianity. If she wants to be accurate that is what she should say- I suppose she would credit what Jim Jones did to Christianity - it is important to make a distinction between Christianity as God sees it and as men have misused it. They are not one and the same and the problem is with the sin nature of man not with true Christianity.

I just can't get used to my comments appearing at the top and not the bottom! When I post I keep thinking something went wrong. :-)


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 3 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

Easy tsadjatko Indeed the Christian faith does not force itself on anyone, but some misguided Christains have. Think Crusades, the Inquisition.


tsadjatko profile image

tsadjatko 3 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

"With regard to Tsadjatko's comments, I think that one has to remember that religions such as Christianity have controlled people for hundreds of years ~ at risk of torture, etc."

Now that is an absurd statement when Christians have been persecuted throughout history (does Roman's and lions ring a bell) and continue to be today as witnessed by slaughters of christians daily throughout the muslim and communist worlds and the fact that Christianity is the fastest growing religion in the world today that DOES NOT compell people to believe through threats and even death. Christianity is a free choice and a free gift from God, certainly not a controlling institution that requires submission - Trish, really, you know not of what you speak.

"And 'science' is not a religion. I do not understand why so many Christians insist that it is."

Give me a break, Atheist worship science just as if it were their God. It is their Bible and they quote from it as long as it agrees with their belief and you don't have to be Christian to agree with that. Just talk to an atheist. Of course their view of science is what they consider their only proof of their belief that there is no God, even more than Christianity holds the Bible to be the inspired word of God.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 3 years ago from The English Midlands

Hi Lift & Soar :)

Yes, I have plenty of Christian friends and relatives. We can co-exist quite peacefully. :)

With regard to Tsadjatko's comments, I think that one has to remember that religions such as Christianity have controlled people for hundreds of years ~ at risk of torture, etc.

Is it so surprising that those who no longer submit to such controlling institutions now demand tolerance for their own opinions and feel anger towards the religion that once stifled them?

And 'science' is not a religion. I do not understand why so many Christians insist that it is.

Can I also just add that I think ~ ie. it's just my opinion ~ that the over-zealous behaviour of both Christians and agnostics or atheists, on forums, is very much an American phenomenon. I only really encounter these kinds of debates when I am in conversation with people from the USA. That's not to say that there aren't devout British believers, because there are. Odd isn't it :)


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 3 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

tsadjatko, I'm sure this is true of many atheists as it is true that many so-called Christians are mean spirited and intolerant. There are atheist who have a gracious and accepting spirit, while still disagreeing with us. Have you seen my interview with Olivia? "A Christian Pastor interviews an atheist... and they like each other."


tsadjatko profile image

tsadjatko 3 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

The most revealing disingenuity (if there is such a word) is that atheist organizations demand christians to be tolerant of their view while they show total intolerence of any religious view attempting to censure it however they can. They deceive themselves believing they have arrived at "enlightenment" claiming the supernatural does't exist despite that their own religon, science, has made discoveries and is testing theories like string theory that indicate there is more to physics than the current apparent "natural" world. They are as closed minded as those who lived in the middle ages.


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 3 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

Ha f_hruz, welcome back... I think. Trying to understand your words despite an attitude that tends to drown them out.

As a Christian I look at the world throught the spectacles of theism. I also recognize that those spectacles can get pretty grimmy because of the human condition (that which makes us all less than we'd like to be). Thus an honest Christian will always admit that he may have missed something and he's always eager to listen to other perspectives. That's why I end each hub with "I'm listening."

What offends me about some atheists is that they don't seem to recognize that they too look at the world through a set of spectacles, atheism. Not only that, they seem to think their glasses are spotless. You seem to have an unassailable confidence in your own powers of observation and analysis. I find that stunning.


f_hruz profile image

f_hruz 3 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

@ nenfea - The religious mind starts with this myth that THEIR god has to exist so they can follow their own religious traditions no matter how absurd all these supernatural claims are ... but any part of the 'scriptures' will suite their excuse!

Ignoring the basic concept of irrationality just so they can make room in their own mind space for all these religious ideas makes it obvious, they have no regard at all for the question of where a rational believe system must have its clear limit by rejecting all unreasonable, super natural concepts because not every far fetched religious thought fits the realm of the real world ...

But what do some of these religious person really care how much mental self abuse they continue to inflict on themselves just to maintain their religious irrationality ... I really wander!

That's why I find the retired bishop John Shelby Spong so refreshing ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIyVWACkii0


tsadjatko profile image

tsadjatko 3 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

You are so right Rusty, and like I said in my earlier coment here is a piece of scripture for those who don't believe...

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is,.....

He who comes to God must believe that He is!

This may sound too simple of a statement, yet, it is the most basic bottom line thought there is to unlocking the scriptures and is the very starting point of your spiritual journey of faith. "believe that He is". Did you know that all other revelation is dependent upon the acceptance of this one little statement being true? Why? Because if a person doesn't believe that "He is", the person is truly faithless in the things pertaining to God and he won't, or can't believe the rest.

Yet God has shown not only that He exists but even demonstrates what He is like. How?

Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,

He has made all things and these things give testimony that God is. "Not so", says the skeptic, but if you read the rest of the passage in Romans you begin to understand that the problem is not in accepting the proof of His creative hand, for they certainly do believe that creation exists. The problem they have is that they reject the knowledge of Him who had created it.

http://www.christianmuse.com/waystation/a-heis.sht...


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 3 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

Thanks nenfea, I've re-read my own hub in light of you comments. As you can see from other comments, not all atheists are has moderated as you seem to be. For that I'm grateful. I wouldn't expect an atheist to with my conviction that we all have a god, anymore than I expect many to agree with my belief that all human beings share a sinful nature deserving of condemnation. Here's is my reasoning though. I believe the Bible to be God's self-revelation. Why, Jesus who conquered death believed that and urged his followers to do so. The Bible presents me with a God who is personal and engaged with humanity.

The first commandments say, "You shall have no other gods before me" and Jesus taught, "“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." It follows that to the degree that anything besides this God commands our allegiance that thing is a god to us. However since we choose to follow it as opposed to the true God it is really ourselves that we've made into a god. This, believe it or not, is standard Christian theology held for centuries. But obviously, if you don't believe in God to begin with, it wouldn't make much sense.

I go into this not to convince you, but to help you understand the Christian faith.


nenfea profile image

nenfea 3 years ago

Crane, I have to say that I disagree with your definition of God. What you seem to be saying is that atheists and agnostics hold values. That doesn't mean that they have a God. God implies something supernatural, or above us.

"A god is any person, persons, culture, value system, world and life view, authority, philosophy, or combination thereof, that governs your life and commands your loyalty."

This is such a loose definition that anything could be a God, and that in fact those people who believe in the Christian God have hundreds if not thousands of Gods, because everything we interact with governs our life in some way and commands our loyalty in some way. A philosophical outlook is not the same as a God, because a God requires faith.

In addition, very few atheists I know say that they are capable of knowing everything, nor do they say that they are the sole source of the goodness that they do in the world. Many atheists say that theirs is a role in a community through which they gain the strength and ability to do good, or they say that it is by the luck and chance of evolution that they have the skills and abilities to do good. Very few atheists trace their goodness inherently back to themselves, and if they do, I'm still not sure how that makes them the equivalent of God. Saying that we can originate an action does not make us God EXCEPT in the very specific theological context of certain Christian beliefs.

In addition, most atheists admit that they don't know very much. They choose to say that they will act in the temporary knowledge of what they have evidence for. Very few atheists that I know would be willing to say that they unequivocally KNOW much of anything, especially because of the ever-changing nature of science. They would say that they have evidence for something, or that something based upon the science and upon the world around us is a certain way. Rarely do they say that they are the origin of that knowledge, but rather that they gain that knowledge through observation and analysis.

While I agree that all of us have values, have systems that we order our lives around, and have priorities in life, I don't understand how this translates to the certainty that all of us have gods, unless we widen the definition of god so far as to make it meaningless.

That being said, I think that this hub shows that you are honestly making an effort to evaluate your faith in the light of new viewpoints and I applaud that. Thank you for taking our criticisms and concerns seriously.


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

wba108@yahoo.com, great to have you stop by. Thanks for your comment.


wba108@yahoo.com profile image

wba108@yahoo.com 4 years ago from upstate, NY

"Atheists and agnostics reject this god, of course; but they still have a god. Their favorite god seems to be science. Others include the common good, tradition, personal comfort, pleasure, power, a political persuasion, heritage, family, particular loved ones."

Well said, we all have a god or gods, anything that holds our affections and thoughts is our true god. Its also true that aren't many true athiests at deaths door!


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

Sorry SweetiePie, I just noticed that I hadn't approved your last comment. Didn't mean to suppress it at all. There will always be those who profess one thing and act another. So as long as that is where you look you'll always find a reason to discredit historic Christianity. As far as I'm concerned, God will take care of the hypocrits out there. I'm responsible for my own worship and conduct before him. And so is everyone else.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 4 years ago from Southern California, USA

Here is the thing, why all the focus on pain. Of course you might have pain if you break your leg, but I feel some might take a bit of delight in watching someone feel sad or broken, and then submitting to God to ask forgiveness. I just am the opposite in that I realize everyone messes up, but focusing on the negative stuff, pain, and all that will get your more of the same. What about trying to fix things, like making health care better in the US, and improving our public education system. I here so many talk about how wonderful things will be in the kingdom of God, but I believe in making life positive and better in the hear and now. Positive thoughts can transform you, it is a proven scientific fact. Anyway, it is up to others decide if they are going to concede whether they want to feel they are powerless, or that they can possess a certain strength that can be improved upon each day. Nothing is completely hopeless, and you can turn things around and see the postivity and the hope in ordinary things.


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

SweetiePie, you're certainly entitled to your opinion and I respect that. Yes there are always positive things to find in every situation. This is why God intstructs his people to not worry, but to bring every concern to him with thanksgiving. Philippians 4:6 See the balance. There are real and genuine concerns, however the faithful will find that for which to give thanks without denying the reality of real pain and evil.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 4 years ago from Southern California, USA

I disagree with that 100% about self-talk because it is the most powerful thing that we can have. This is why I believe in God and not organized religion. God does not want people to be scared or feel weak, he wants them to believe in themselves, and find the beauty in the world. I suppose this is why people gravitate towards me and my postivity as I find the good and the looking forward to things in life, and I shall never let anyone tell me how to think, or to waste a second of a splendid day not feeling good about a sunset, or a palm tree. The power of positive thought, writing, and artwork, it transforms, and does away with negativity bubbles. People talk about evil, but then I see devout religious people who do things they should not, and atheist kids who follow all the rules and such. You have to believe in yourself to the hilt, and I believe in a God that wants people to look for strength, and how to improve things in a daily life. Find a book you want to read, and write a review about it. Volunteer at a homeless shelter and stop feeling sorry for yourself. Anyone who wants to feel positive, never let anyone tell you that you cannot feel content within you. I do not care if you are a Christian or an atheist, but one thing I learned after being bullied in school is I shall never let anyone, or anything get me down. Evil is about murder, theft, and extreme things like that. Some Christians think evil might be about same sex marriage, or seeing a woman wearing a slightly alluring dress, so my ideas about what are evil are not going to fall in line with organized religion.


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

SweetiePie, no offense taken. Yes it's a good habit to focus on the positive when that is warranted, however there's a lot of evil we must deal with and positive self-talk won't make that go away. I wrote about that in a hub titled Faith, Home Depot and Autosuggestion.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 4 years ago from Southern California, USA

I just realized I am a bit secular in the way I go about my day to day business. I guess some people feel good opening up to strangers, but I honestly believe in looking for the strength and beauty of life in every day things, like drawing palm trees. I just feel like there are so many things out there focusing on what is negative, or not good, and people might seem lost because of that. I am sure you are a nice guy, sorry if I seemed harsh. I suppose us more introverted types just do not share our day to day feelings with strangers at a store, so we do not really relate to this.


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

SweetiePie, I can't imagine what I wrote that gave you the impression that I buttonhole customers at Home Depot or anyone about their religion. What I said is that I've run into a lot more non-Christians both on HupPages and at HD than I had in 43 years of being a pastor. I'm not particularly proud of that. I was entirely too insulated while in the pastorate.

What conversations at Home Depot I've had about religion have been with other associates and initiated by them. Funny how when hurting persons sense that someone cares they eagerly open up to share their fears and concerns and confusions.

Thanks for taking the time to respond, though I think you misunderstood most of what I said. I'll try to be more clear next time.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 4 years ago from Southern California, USA

I am not sure how you could even come to know the religion of people that come into Home Depot where you work. Not to pry, but do you ask people about their religion when you are helping them find building supplies? I believe in God and do not go to church, but when it comes to what people consider evil and sin, I have met a lot of professed Christians who have secret affairs on their wives, etc. It is best in general not to ask people about their religion, and not to make assumptions. In day to day society it does not matter what a person's religion is, and I think all humans should value science. I have talked to people who are agnostic or atheist and I did not see them making science a god, they are actually just looking for the most precise explanation of how things come into being. I do believe in God as I said, but not the theory that the world is only 10,000 years old, and even professors from Christian backgrounds refute that.

Seriously, I think it is best to believe in everyone, keep the judgey judgey attitude to ourselves, and keep religious discussion outside the work place and the business world. All I can say is if I were an agnostic or atheist who felt a worker at Home Depot was judging me because of my faith, I would make a complaint to a supervisor. Just like Muslims or Christians should not be judged when they go to shop. I think every group, maybe even atheists and agnostics, needs to inject a little bit less of their personal beliefs in the public sector. I see too many cat and dog fights between the polar sides, Christians and atheists, and a lot of us in the middle shake our heads, laugh, and get out of dodge when these arguments implode.


Josak profile image

Josak 4 years ago from variable

muhammad iqbal 50, if you actually want to know how the universe was created from a scientific perspective I can explain it to you, there are already several good workable theories to explain the creation of matter and the universe.


muhammad iqbal 50 4 years ago

The core problem of atheist is to ignorance of reality without understanding the cause of universe and matters of facts that this universe has a creator with systematic approach to manage every thing in order.

Science is partial approach to understand something but not a whole to describe this universe.

Whether science can mention that what was there before the science, I mean about matters-nothings could be defined by atheist because they believe on matters or visible objects.

It is religion which explains the cause and effects of universe that there was nothing but except dark and gases. So, why do not atheists explain first to inform about the formation of universe.


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

Ha! f_hruz, thanks. You've been helpful, for a change. I knew beter!

OOps! I knew better! Especially since I've made that mistake before.

Can't edit the thing without losing the votes, so just deleted. Bye.


f_hruz profile image

f_hruz 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Another sign of confusion!

Your poll lists a choice called POLIGAMIST ... :)

The correct spelling is POLYGAMIST ... and has nothing to do with any gods, my friend - ahahaha

po·lyg·a·my? ?[puh-lig-uh-mee] - noun

1. the practice or condition of having more than one spouse, especially wife, at one time. Compare bigamy ( def. 1 ) , monogamy ( def. 1 )

2. the habit or system of mating with more than one individual, either simultaneously or successively.

@ friend of l&s - So you enjoy nature and science but when it comes to gods and religion, you like to be so irrational that you don't even see the degree of delusion you must be living under to hold such unrealistic views?

Either NATURE is the basis of REALITY and nothing supernatural exists, or anything is possible and you live in the realm of IRRATIONALITY ... you can't be on Earth and in outer space at the same time ... ahahaha

Ignore REALITY at your own risk to your state of mental health ... but hey, to each their own, I guess! :)

Franto in Toronto


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

Have no idea which friend, but I appreciate the comment.


Friend of Lift and Soar 4 years ago

My faith adds a wonderful dimension to my life not a delusion. My life is grounded on the confident assurance that God has created me and loves me profoundly, as depicted in the Bible. My faith in God in no way diminishes my respect, curiosity, and awe for nature and scientific inquiry.

There were two equally gifted surgeons, with comparable successful outcomes for their patients. One did not believe in God. The second did.

The second believed that God was behind all his blessings: the family that spawned his interest in medicine, the schools that provided his training, the hospitals that provided his support, and the patients who responded to his intervention. He was a humble and grateful man who enjoyed daily conversation with his Lord, in prayer and in reading sacred text (the Bible). Was he any less the surgeon? No. He simply enjoyed a relationship with the Divine that that enhanced his appreciation for the service opportunities and science of his life's occupation.


f_hruz profile image

f_hruz 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

@ Jessica Hockett - Science is only the answer for those humans who have the education to understand and apply it correctly. If you think religion with this man-made god comes even close to what science has provided on insights and discoveries, you can be sure, your god delusion is a serious problem.

Religion is totally useless for the study of nature so why even bother and pretend as if biblical myths were facts instead of learning as much as one can from and about nature when nothing supernatural can logically exist?

Franto in Toronto


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

I had thought my last post would by my last. There's only so much any of us can say and not repeat ourselves. But twosheds1's latest requires a clarification. Those are not my assumptions but rather those I observe atheist holding.

Concerning the first assumption, certainty you write "The fact that one can't logically disprove something does not mean anything is possible. Yes, the FSM might exist, but the chances of it existing are essentially nil, ditto Mithra, Thor, etc." Methinks you just made my point. It is reasonable, not a certain conclusion that FSM do not exist.

Regard the second, objectivity, we seem to agree. We all suffer from lack of objectivity. It seems to me that atheist arrogate to themselves an amazing degree of objectivity. As you say honest scientist submit their findings to peer review. But even then they lack objectivity. Consider the global warming debacle.

Now with regard to the third assumption, namely that human beings are reliable, please understand that I'm not defending religion in general and much of what passes for Christianity is a gross distortion of it. That humanity is unreliable is a central teaching of the Christian faith. We call it being sinful. When you observe Christians or their leaders claiming some kind of perfection, they do not reflect true Christian teaching at all.

OK this really is my last post on this thread.... I think :-)


twosheds1 profile image

twosheds1 4 years ago

"There are three assumptions dear to an atheist heart. The first is that certainty on anything is possible.A second assumption dear to an atheist is that he can be objective. the third, which is that human beings can be relied upon to be unbiased and truthful in all that they affirm."

L&S, you're making some unfounded assumptions. The first is simply wrong. The fact that one can't logically disprove something does not mean anything is possible. Yes, the FSM might exist, but the chances of it existing are essentially nil, ditto Mithra, Thor, etc.

Your second assumption could be true of anyone. We all like to think we're objective, but we all (should) know that we are subjective beings. All of our knowledge is filtered through the lens of our experience. People who are intellectually honest recognize that perception is subjective and take steps to mitigate that subjectivity. That's why scientists submit research findings to peer review.

Your third assumption is also wrong, and why you would assume atheists would think that is beyond me. That seems more like a characteristic of believers who trust what their pastors/priests/rabbis/shamans tell them. Sure, I have "faith" that when the TV weather lady tells me it's not going to rain tomorrow, it won't, but that's because I assume that she wouldn't be on TV if she wasn't at least somewhat competent, and (most importantly) the consequences of her being wrong aren't that great. By contrast, when Dr. Oz tells me that taking a particular supplement will prevent me from getting prostate cancer, I don't take it on faith, despite his being on staff at the Cleveland Clinic. I check out his (dubious) claims independently.


muhammad iqbal 50 4 years ago

Atheists are those who have not believed on metaphysical science which present in our surroundings but can not be seen except to feel.

Atheists believe on matters but there is something beyond the matter such as dream is metaphysics we experience daily on bad but we can not regret about its presence in our life.

We think and imagine constantly about some objects which has not presence in the materialistic world but presents in our mind and imagination from transcendental world in form of soul.

Man converts his imagination into physical form by accumulation of matters to give specified structure or body.

Atheists or Agnostics actually beyond the understanding of real-science known as metaphysics and its beam of source which is called by religion as God- in Christianity, Islam and Jews through scriptures descend on selected messengers to teach the human-being about his universe and creatures.

Atheists or Agnostics has also religion but in limited of its nature of understanding of universe and its source of formation they believe in creation not on creator because of limitation of their thought on matters only.

I think so if Atheists love the science they must be studied God scriptures with open mind to understand his messages to human-being related life and universe.

I hope they will re-consider about their faith near the days as science is proving the existence of God and his divine management.


Jessica Hockett profile image

Jessica Hockett 4 years ago from Richmond, Virginia

f_hruz: Your argument about "NATURE" is clear proof that atheists like to make science their god. In your opinion, a god could not have created man, so science must be the answer. Thank you for being the perfect example!


f_hruz profile image

f_hruz 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

You keep avoiding the central point!

Is it not much more likely that you wouldn't have been born to your parents as a child would it not have been for NATURE to develop the kind of human life on this planet which was able to dream up religious ideas as nutty and far fetched as Christianity and Mormonism among them, no matter if virgin birth is impossible or not, if gods have any chance of ever existing in reality or not?

Just because you want your version of the christian god to be true, looking at reality in a rational way doesn't make it so, no matter how much you want to bet on it!

Franto in Toronto


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

Hi Trish. I wrote, "On intellectual grounds alone I cannot claim certainty even for the existence of a god. " But there is more than intellect to go on. While I may not have intellectual certainty, I do have assurance of God's existence and love. This is true in human relationships as well. A man will always lack intellectual certitude with regard to the woman he loves and plans to marry, but he marries her because there's something beyond cold facts that draws him to her and her to him. Christians enjoy assurance regarding God, while admitting to lack of intellectual certainty.


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

Thanks, TahoeDoc. I should clarify. The Christian faith teaches that indeed there is only one God. All that we enjoy in this life is his gift, including family, success in career, skill and intellect and much more. We give ourselves to and enjoy these under his direction and by his strength. However, when these surplant Him not only is He dishonored we put his gifts at risk. When these become our gods, we are guilty of idolatry. In fact that is much of what is wrong with modern Christiainity. We've loved the Lord's gifts more than the Lord himself. That's offensive in in human relationships.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands

Hi again :)

A devout Christian once stated to me that everyone is agnostic really.

We might believe that there is no God or we might feel certain that there is a God, but no-one knows for sure.

If we don't know, then we are agnostic ~ agnostic believers or agnostic atheists, but always agnostic :)


TahoeDoc profile image

TahoeDoc 4 years ago from Lake Tahoe, California

"Dr.Tim Keller, pastor of one of the largest and fastest growing churches in Manhattan, writes that a god can "be anything so central and essential to your life, that should you lose it, your life would feel hardly worth living."

Liftandsoar- by this definition, don't Christians, also, then, become polytheists? If their God fits this definition, but so does their family, their kids, oxygen, their health, then isn't that more than one god per Christian? Are you sure you want to use this definition?

"Rather, I affirm that, of the alternatives considered, that there is a god is most reasonable." So...I affirm that a god is NOT most reasonable. I'm willing to say, I don't know and I'm not going to pick. It isn't a multiple choice question, in my opinion. That's the difference between us? AND, the affirmation that a different god is most reasonable is the reason for dying and killing and horror and strife in the world? I would rather not just pick what I think is most reasonable and then be willing to die or kill for it, if I wasn't sure - and we have both established that we cannot be absolutely sure (not having examined the whole universe, as you point out).

Anyway, hope you don't mind my thoughts and comments.


f_hruz profile image

f_hruz 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

In all honesty, the comments TahoeDoc posted should make you bite your tongue and rethink your strange construct of a god without seeing NATURE as the supreme element in our existence on planet earth.

Only humans, such as yourself can be reasonable seen as creators of gods in their irrational minds without enough understanding of how nature really works!


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

f_hruz, twosheds1, Manna in the wild, TahoeDoc - Thanks all four of you for your recent comments, though I must say that TahoeDoc was a little easier to read. Where to start?

My definition of a god - not really mine but one used down through the centuries. Dr.Tim Keller, pastor of one of the largest and fastest growing churches in Manhattan, writes that a god can "be anything so central and essential to your life, that should you lose it, your life would feel hardly worth living." (Counterfeit Gods, p.xviii) I wouldn't expect an atheist to agree with such a definition because it's an article of his "faith" that there is no god.

So let's approach it from a different angle. The moment you believe or act on anything for which you don't have absolute "scientific" proof you unwittingly acknowledge the existence of your god? You've called upon a source beyond the facts. Call it what you will. You have ceased to be a detached assessor of the world around you.

There are three assumptions dear to an atheist heart. The first is that certainty on anything is possible. One cannot be certain that Mithra or the Flying Spaghetti Monster don't exist. To assert that implies that you have explored every corner of the universe. That doesn't mean we believe in them, only that we regard it as unreasonable to expect to run into them. On intellectual grounds alone I cannot claim certainty even for the existence of a god. Rather, I affirm that, of the alternatives considered, that there is a god is most reasonable.

A second assumption dear to an atheist is that he can be objective. By that I mean that he can, without fail, assess accurately the data around him. And this leads to the third, which is that human beings can be relied upon to be unbiased and truthful in all that they affirm. There's abundant evidence that human beings cannot be trusted.

Of course it hurts to be regarded as irrational and retarded. But, hey, my forefathers were thrown to the lions and my Lord was crucified.


f_hruz profile image

f_hruz 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

It's interesting to see how you formulate your irrationality into a whole belief system of absolute nonsense.

The sad thing about it, a large part of your life is still based on it.

If you had spent as much time to advance your obviously very limited grasp of reality to develop a better understanding of what rational thought and scientific inquiry is all about, you may have come to see that religion is based on misguided faith and very little reason or truth - it misses the importance of NATURE totally and tries to exaggerate the importance of man to super natural proportions by making this unsupported claim of having been created by some non-existing god, and all the rest of this irrational mythology.

All you are basically serving with such ideas is the continued retardation of the process of intelligent discovery, called scientific thought, by keeping your head stuck in an outdated mythological story book.

How much longer will you try to defend your views in light of the fact that you yourself are a natural product and not made by some gods?

Nature is obviously supreme in the real world for all the clear thinking minds of today or the pope in Rome could have stopped the recent earth quakes in Italy quite easily!

Franto in Toronto


twosheds1 profile image

twosheds1 4 years ago

"Their favorite god seems to be science. Others include the common good, tradition, personal comfort, pleasure, power, a political persuasion, heritage, family, particular loved ones."

I have to disagree. We don't see any of these as infallible, divine, perfect, or any other adjective that believers think about their gods.


Manna in the wild profile image

Manna in the wild 4 years ago from Australia

liftandsoar, no you have not touched a nerve. Your statement makes no sense and I just pointed that out. The very definition of 'theist' is one who believes in a god, while 'atheist' is one who does not. So it's not even basically logical to say that an 'atheist' rejects any particular god since to an atheist, there is no god to reject, and then to assume that this impossible rejection leaves a void that must be filled with something else is also illogical and naïve. Science is not, and never was any kind of substitute for a religion in any form.


TahoeDoc profile image

TahoeDoc 4 years ago from Lake Tahoe, California

Interesting read. I am an atheist, but I promise, I'm not rude or particularly confrontational (I will if attacked personally, though :) )

I do agree with Manna about defining god and saying that atheists have gods. Science is not a deity or an object of worship nor is it defined to be omnipotent or omniscient. It cannot, by it's own definition break the rules of science or suspend the laws of the universe to overcome them and perform 'miracles'. So, the connection calling science a god cannot be made. Science is a field or method of study. It IS used, however, study and learn about the natural world and its phenomena. I believe that this is what religion was designed to do, before we had the tools to observe and examine the world in as much detail as we can now, before we could make sense of puzzling events by furthering our understanding of them in a systematic and more advanced way.

(Along those lines and in the words of the brilliant and hilarious Tim Minchin: "Science adjusts its views based on what's observed. Faith is the denial of observation so that belief may be preserved.")

" A god is any person, persons, culture, value system, world and life view, authority, philosophy, or combination thereof, that governs your life and commands your loyalty."

Where did this definition come from? Is it your own? Why would it be necessary or comforting to make up a definition or redefine a word, just so people who don't believe the same as you can be neatly defined and made to fit into a box? Does it help in some way to be able to have everyone stuffed into a classification?

Why not just accept that some people do not worship a deity? truly don't believe in a god or gods? I've always been curious about that? Why not be ok with accepting that?

"I too find myself troubled by such events. A cavalier dismissal of them only feeds the cynicism so many entertain about the Christian faith."

This statement, I respect a lot. If I was Christian, I would also not deny the atrocities that occur seemingly at the hand of the god of the bible, but would admit they are troubling. To me, that is more believable than someone who performs mental gymnastics of apologetics to explain them away or denies that they are really there. We can and have read it and know what the words say. You are right that the denial of the existence of these passages just take credibility away from the Christian. I am personally more willing to engage and talk with a Christian who proves that they think about these things rather than just deny them.

"In fact, the atheist's assertion that there is no god requires him to know everything." This is absolutely incorrect as well. Just not believing there is no god does not require anyone to know everything. Do you know everything because you deny the existence of Mithra or the Flying Spaghetti Monster? What if you or another Christian denies a scientific explanation for certain phenomena? Do you then claim to know everything? Or do you just deny that one explanation? That is all I do as an atheist. I don't have the slightest idea "how it all started" or "how are we here". But, I do not happen to believe that the right answer is that a god started it. That's all. That doesn't mean I know everything. In fact, I just said I DON'T know. So, using me as an example, I absolutely don't know everything (or even most things), but I don't believe a god or gods is responsible. Does that make sense or any more sense than has already been discussed?

Anyway, thanks for the thoughts and insights. :)


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

Manna in the wild: or have I touched a nerve? Thanks for stopping by.


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

RachaelLefler, thanks for stopping by and commenting. There are more of us than you might think. It's the angry extremist attract publicity and give our Savior a bad rap.


Manna in the wild profile image

Manna in the wild 4 years ago from Australia

Your quote

"Atheists and agnostics reject this god, of course; but they still have a god. Their favorite god seems to be science"

is incredibly naïve and plain wrong.


RachaelLefler profile image

RachaelLefler 4 years ago from Illinois

I liked your take on things because not a lot of Christians view people with different beliefs as maturely as you do. Good hub!


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

Alan, thanks for your comment. I didn't mean to communicate that the options on the poll are the only options. I appreciate your honesty. You are on an inquiry road. I'm persuaded that all who sincerely search for the true God will eventually find him. If you believe in the God of the Bible, then search out that Bible with the prayer that you find him. I'd start with the gospels. Let's keep in touch.


Alan 4 years ago

While I appreciate this post I don't really fit into any of its categories. I suppose at the end of the day I am an 'agnostic' because I haven't really found any other place to call home that I am comfortable with.

I believe in God, I even believe in the God of the Bible to an extent. But I have not been able to quanitfy that with a title, a denomination, a religion, or an order.


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

Good to hear from you Trish. I'm sure you detected your influence in this hub. I meant it when I wrote that I respect you, while disagreeing on some major issues.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands

RustyW: "Face death once...and see who your pathetic, "end-cries", are for...either your 'mommy'..or God."

I don't doubt that ~ and neither do I blame anyone for having hope where there is little. :)


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands

Hi LiftandSoar :)

I must say that I enjoy our conversations :)

I am really pleased that you now consider agnostics and atheists to be fellow-travellers, rather than potential converts, and that you are more aware of 'the Amalekite problem'.

Do atheists and agnostics still have a god? I suppose that it depends on the definition and the person.

My idea of what God may, possibly, be is an unknown power behind the universe, interpreted by ancient peoples in accordamce with their own experiences ~ thus leading to sacred scriptures like the Bible.


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

So good to hear from you Michele. You exhibit a conviction I've had for years. You can't argue a person into the Kingdom. Yes we put out reasonable evidences for believing, but we can't expect those to be the final persuasive factor. It takes an act of God to drop a person to his/her knees to seek his mercy.


Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

Thank you for this hub. I think what you have written is true. I have been a true Christian for 4 years now, so I understand both sides. For a while I did not think God existed because I did not want to be judged. Then for some reason, honestly I don't know why, I went down to my knees, started crying begged God for forgiveness. Then thanked God for forgiving me. My life turn 180 degrees around. I never went back. Live is amazing and beautiful. I love God,and God loves me. There is still so much to learn, but love learning it. It is very true.


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

tsadjatko, Thanks for stopping by. Appreciate your comment. The question I have for us who believe in a Creator is why would an atheist want to take my advice, unless they see practical evidence in my life that it would make a difference.


tsadjatko profile image

tsadjatko 4 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

Hey Frasier!! (I'm listening)

Investigative research is not an easy thing, it is very exhausting when done correctly - one problem with atheists (and agnostics) is they are too lazy to truly do their research and when they do they approach it with the false preconceived notion that there is no creator God and simply are looking for views of the evidence that support that notion. Not very scientific, as a mater of fact the antithesis of scientific method.

My advice to an atheist would be to do a 180 and look at the world with the (true) preconceived notion that there is a creator God for whom we have been given by him himself in his own words all the information necessary to define and prove him (the Bible) and then do your investigative research.

It's all about perspective.


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

Thanks, RustyW for your comment. Having grown up in South American, and also spent time in the Czech Republic and Uganda I share some of your frustration with American Christians. They, as well as non-Christians, need our levelheaded and loving care.


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

Thanks, Josak, for your kind comments. I didn't mean that atheist know everything in a kind of arrogant know-it-all attitude. Rather the mere assertion, "there is no god" implies an infinite knowledge. If you don't have infinite knowledge, then there are parts of the universe you don't know about and, who knows? God might be there. See what I mean?


Josak profile image

Josak 4 years ago from variable

I consider myself an atheist though I define that sightly differently, I define that not as knowing there is no god but simply believing there is no god based on a lack of evidence I suppose in the same way you do not believe in unicorns which is not the same as not knowing one way or the other.

Having said all that I find great joy in meeting and reading the writings of Christians like yourself who attempt to exemplify the life of Christ and love those around them. It pains me to see Christians who use their faith as an incentive to hate, to judge or to meddle in the lives of others even if they are not wanted.

One thing I do disagree with is the assertion that the atheist needs to know everything, my experience was quite the opposite I found that no longer being christian meant that I knew very little, where once I knew who created all things, why I was here and what was right and wrong because I was told by scripture I realized that now I had no idea, that created a desire to explore and seek to understand. I do not assert that my morality is my own and I readily accept that others are responsible for my ethics, I do not believe it is a god but a near endless succession, of holy men, philosophers and writers, many of them christian, who have shaped human morality and mine in turn, I do not know everything and I am even willing to say for example that a part of my morality stems from Jesus' example as philosopher and a man, I fully credit other people for my good actions and my moral compass, I simply reject a supernatural explanation.


RustyW profile image

RustyW 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

I am a Christian who belongs to a very small congregation that utilizes the Word of God, as breathed by Him to man. I love god, have faith, and try to be very active in my church. After arriving home from the Afghan, I noticed that my new-found faith bore little gravity here on a "home-front" of atheists, agnostics, and whacko,christian,zealots. The problem with Christianity is that there are simply too many Christians and not enough believers. If there were more believers, there would be no need for all of this pathetic defense of a God who does not require our assistance! If some idiot wants to run around in the streets proclaiming that "god is dead!' than let him! I do not care in the least what anyone else does in this world...especially after having served overseas. To come home after seen how much of the world lives, and relaying it to a bunch of whiney, illiterate,uninformed, "theologians", who believe that they all have the answers because some other moron told them what "he" knows--and not comprehends--is sad. The soul who truly doubts the existence of God has not yet fully lived! Face death once...and see who your pathetic, "end-cries", are for...either your 'mommy'..or God. Remember, your mother can't save you from yourself...only god can.

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