If Jesus Were Proven to be Son of God / God Incarnate, Would Atheists Become Christians?

Baptism of the Christ

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if Jesus were Proven to be Son of God / God Incarnate, Would Atheists Become Christians - Or Would They Still Reject Him?

This question was posed in the HubPages forum, but I feel that it is not quite as straightforward as it, at first, seems.

We are being encouraged to wonder about proof that Jesus was 'Son of God' / 'God Incarnate', when we don't even have absolute proof that Jesus ever really existed. Some scholars believe that he did, but others think that he was a mythical deity, in the tradition of other heavenly heroes.

Furthermore, we are wondering about Jesus being the 'Son of God', when we don't even have proof that God exists.

So we would need something truly fantastic to happen, that would prove the existence of God, and the existence of Jesus, together with proof of a father-son relationship between the two ~ even though they are both actually the same superbeing ~ beyond all doubt, before many of us could start accepting this as truth.

It would be hard to provide convincing proof, since modern illusionists can perform apparent miracles before our very eyes. What might constitute absolute proof? ~ I cannot imagine.

So we shall just have to assume that something amazing might happen, which would be convincing to atheists, agnostics, members of other religions and various other doubters.

Presumably, we would all be expected to accept that the devil and hell were real, too?

* * *

(I have written an article, for Hub Pages, concerning the question of whether Jesus was a real historical person. His existence in history, though, even if proven, does not confirm that he was divine. The link is below: 'Jesus Christ or Julius Caesar ~ Who is More Likely to Have Been a Real Person?')

Proven?

Of course Doubters Would Believe - Wouldn't They?

OK. Now that all doubters have, somehow, become convinced that Jesus really is Son of God and / or God Incarnate, are they going to become Christians ~ disciples of Jesus, who accept him as their saviour?

I used to wonder about this, and I used to be convinced that ~ yes, they would.

After all, why wouldn't they?
Christianity is about following socially acceptable rules and about caring for our fellow man ~ 'love one another' and 'love thy neighbour', as Jesus said.

Of course we should love one another, and respect our parents, and refrain from murdering, etc, etc. The Christian ethic is a wonderful thing.

Of course, if everyone knew that Jesus was our Heavenly Redeemer, then everyone would love him, praise him and follow him ~ wouldn't they?

Well, again, I don't think that it is quite as simple as this.

Love

Genesis 7:4

"I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth"

Something to Think About

If Jesus were to be proven as Son of God / God Incarnate, then are we talking about an abstract idea of God, who we don't really know anything about, or are we talking about 'God', as described in the Old Testament?

Since our only evidence of Jesus, and of the God of whom he was begotten, is in the two testaments of the Bible, then I would suggest the latter. Indeed, Jesus is reported as indicating that he accepted the Hebrew Scriptures:

Matthew 5:17 ~ King James Version:

Jesus: "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil."

In stating that he came to fulfil Old Testament law and prophecy, Jesus was clearly accepting the Old Testament; and, if he is 'Son of God', then, we must assume that he is son of the O.T. God.

In other words, we are talking about Jesus being an incarnation of, and / or the son of, the being who ordered the slaying of various innocents, including the infants of the people of Amalek, and numerous other babies! We are talking about the God, who had sport with the devil, over torturing poor Job.

If he is that God, then he must have done those things.

In the Old testament, God ordered, or condoned, some terrible suffering.

Did 'Creation' not work out as hoped? ~ Drown everyone! [Genesis 7:4]

Are your sons cheeky? ~ Have them stoned to death! [Deuteronomy 21:18-21]

Do you think that your daughter may not have been a virgin at marriage? ~ Have her stoned to death! [Deuteronomy 22:13-21]

Don't follow this particular God? ~ Have your whole family slaughtered. [1 Samuel 15:2-3]

To Fulfill

Deuteronomy 21:18-21

If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son, who will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother ... then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place.

And they shall say to the elders of his city, 'This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard'. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, until he is dead ...

Ten Commandments

The 'Ten Commandments' can be found in Exodus 20:2-17. Numbers 6 to 10 concern moral behaviour, but 1 to 4 concern behaviour towards God.

Rightly or wrongly, the impression received is that priority should be given to praising God over not murdering people ~ because God declares himself to be 'a jealous God'. This is worrying.

Here is the King James version of these verses:

I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

No Other Gods!

Deuteronomy 22:13-21

If any man takes a wife and ... speaks against her, .... saying, I took this woman, and ... found her to be not a virgin: then the father and mother of the damsel, shall bring forth the tokens of the damsel's virginity, to the city elders, at the gate, and the city elders shall chastise that man.

But, if it is true, and the tokens of virginity are not found for the damsel, then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones until she is dead.

Conclusions from the Ten Commandments


God wants us to praise him, to put him first, to put him before our families, to put praising him before worrying about not murdering, etc, etc.

If we do not behave accordingly, then we might (deserve to be) drowned, split apart by the sword, suffer fire and brimstone, be turned to salt, be stoned to death, suffer eternal torment in hell, etc.

And all this, because God becomes jealous?!

Jealous

1 Samuel 15:2-3

Thus saith the Lord of hosts;

'I remember what Amalek did to Israel, how he laid in wait for him, when he came up from Egypt.

'Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.'

Hellfire?

Admittedly, when God supposedly became Jesus (or when part of God did, since, confusingly, he still also seemed to be up in heaven) he did say 'let he who is without sin cast the first stone'.

Jesus doesn't quite seem to be fulfilling old testament law, here, but it seems that there was a New Covenant ~ a New God for a New Covenant.

So, was Jesus supposed to be the same God or a different God? Is this really monotheism? And did this 'new God' always do things morally right?

He wanted us all to turn the other cheek, love one another ~ including our enemies, etc, etc. And yet ...

According to the Bible, Jesus called families away from their parents and he shunned his own relatives. This doesn't feel right! What about honouring thy father and mother?!

There is something else worrying about the New Testament ~ or, at least, about some Christian interpretation thereof.

While it was no longer quite so fightening to be accused of adultery, it came to be considered very bad indeed not to be a follower of Jesus.

Many Christians preach that it is a case of accepting Jesus, or suffering eternal hellfire. They seem to think that this is what Jesus said.

Hell! Not 'sheol' as in the old testament ~ not 'the grave', but a place of eternal suffering and torment.

Apparently, it is not a matter of being a good person or a bad person ~ it is purely about accepting Jesus, as one's saviour ~ on faith.

I have read articles, by other Christians, saying that this is all a misunderstanding, and that Jesus does not actually condemn people to rot eternally in hell for this reason. That is reassuring.

So, the important question is this:
If Jesus were to be proven true, would he, or would he not, expect us to follow him ~and, if someone, who was a perfectly moral individual, chose not to, would he condemn that person to suffer and burn in eternal hellfire? This needs to be clarified, because a lot would depend upon it.

John 8:7

Murderer or Doubter - Which is Worse?

It is one thing to punish people for murder, rape, child abuse, etc; it is another to condemn them, simply for not worshipping, obeying or following God in heaven, or God incarnate ~ while rewarding those who believe, on the basis of blind faith!

It is like saying; 'I love you and will care for you and reward you, as long as you love me, praise me and obey me; but if you stray; if you go to someone else, or cease to love and adore me, I will hate you and torture you and you will rue the day that you turned your back on me.'

If this were said by a man to his wife, or to his child, then the authorities would try to get the innocent party away from the dysfunctional party as soon as possible.

A Beloved World?

John 3:16-20

John 3;16-20 KJV says:

"God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved."

Condemned Already?

Blind Faith

From John 3:16-20, one might assume that 'condemnation' simply means death; not deathly torture.

But why should there be any condemnation at all?

Why is 'he that believeth not' linked with men, who 'loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil'?

Why should someone be rewarded with eternal life in paradise, simply for believing something that others find hard to believe?

At least the people, to whom Jesus preached, had actually met him; the rest of us are just supposed to believe through blind faith.

If Jesus were proven to be truly God, then this 'blind faith' aspect would disappear ~ an aspect that seems to be very important to Christianity ~ so would faith, based on something real, still count, anyway?

Condemn?

Job 1

There was a man named Job, who was perfect and upright; he feared God, and shunned evil. He had seven sons and three daughters.

One day, when the sons of God [??!!] came to present themselves before the Lord, Satan also came.

The Lord said to Satan ..."Considered my servant Job. There is no-one else like him on earth; a perfect and an upright man, who fears God and shuns evil."

But Satan said that God had always protected Job and blessed his work, so he had nor reason to be otherwise. He suggested that if God ruined everything, then Job would curse him.

So the Lord told Satan that he was putting all Job had into satan's power ~ as long as he didn't hurt Job himself.

Satan left.

One day. Job received a series of messengers:
The Sabeans had stolen his oxen; the fire of God had burned up the sheep and the servants; the Chaldeans had stolen the camels; the servants were murdered and a great wind had blown down the house where his sons and daughters were eating and the sons were all dead.

Job tore his cloak, shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped: "Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord."

Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.

Concerns - If Jesus Were Real

If Jesus were proven to be real, then potential Christians would need to consider:

~ whether Jesus, in the form of God,really had caused babies to be sliced apart with the sword, and / or whether he condoned such behaviour.
~ whether Jesus thinks that those, who do not accept him on faith, should rot in eternal hellfire.
~ whether Christians would be expected to turn their backs on parents and loved-ones ~ even if those loved-ones were being sent to hell.

What if Jesus does agree with punishing those, who do not believe in the God of the Bible and of Christianity ~ even their tiny babies?

What if Jesus thought that it was acceptable for God to have some kind of wager with the devil, over the good man, Job, causing him pain?

What if those, who do not accept Jesus as their redeemer, really will suffer eternal hellfire? (Remember that these could be loved-ones!)

Should we all decide that this is morally right and follow him?
Should we decide to follow him, anyway, out of fear?
Should we turn our backs on our families, if they do not join us?

Not everyone wants to be a follower. Not everyone would be convinced. Some people follow their own path. If that is a moral path, should they be punished? Should they be punished for ever more, until the very end of time? For what?

What if one decided to be a follower, but one's perfectly decent parent, or spouse ,or child, did not? What if following meant eternal life in Paradise; but rejection meant eternal suffering in Hell? Wouldn't heaven become a hell, given that knowledge?

Some say that hell is simply separation from God. But why should God decide to separate loved-ones from one another, just because they doubted him, or his existence, etc?

Of course, we must remember that this is the God who slaughtered babies, simply because their parents worshipped another form of god and fought with God's chosen tribe. Separating families is minor, compared to this.

What if?

God's Creation of the Sun and Moon - Michelangelo Buonarroti

Sistine Chapel. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Creation_of_the_Sun_and_Moon_face_detail.jpg
Sistine Chapel. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Creation_of_the_Sun_and_Moon_face_detail.jpg | Source

An Ethical Question

If Jesus were proven to be Son of God / God Incarnate, would atheists become Christians ~ or would they still reject him?

A complex question.

I think that it would be extremely difficult to find proof that Jesus was the Son of God, even if that is exactly who he was / is.

But, assuming that this was indeed proven, would atheists accept him?

Atheists don't believe that God exists, because there is no reliable evidence that he does. If real evidence were forthcoming, then, presumably, they would believe.

But would they accept God and accept Jesus as their saviour?

That would depend upon the person.

Some would ~ just as Christians do today.

They might approve of the Christian ethic, and believe that the story of Jesus is a good and moral one.

Some wouldn't.

Why not?

They may be turned away by the idea of Jesus being the incarnation of a God, who punishes his creation; who orders babies to be killed; who sends doubters to hell, etc.

So, a lot would depend on what Jesus might say about all of this, if and when his reality was shown to be true.

Of course, many Christians, today, do believe the Bible stories and do believe in Hell and they accept them and still worship God / Jesus.

It is not that believing in the wrath of God turns everyone away ~ but it might well turn away a lot of people; people, who would find it morally reprehensible and unacceptable.

Love Your Enemy

Unlikely

It is unlikely that God, if God exists, is anything like the way 'he' is described in the Old Testament.

It is unlikely that a supreme omniscient being would make a world, people it, and then decide that he had made a mistake and punish his creation.

It is unlikely that a supreme creator would order murder and rape.

It is unlikely that clay people ever came to life.

The things attributed to God were just that ~ things attributed to God, by an ancient tribal people, who knew no different.

The Bible gives their understanding of what God might be like.

Jesus is described as sharing that understanding, to a degree ~ though he does not seem to support the punishments meted out in the Old Testament.

Since it is unlikely that God exists as described in the Hebrew Scriptures, yet Jesus accepted the Scriptures and is supposed to be God incarnate or Son of God, then that makes little sense.

Furthermore, the Bible does not really indicate that Jesus was specifically 'Son of God' ~ certainly no more so than Adam, or various others, such as those beings mentioned in 'Job'..

Amalekites

Another Related Conundrum: 'Ten Atheist Inconsistencies'

Another item discusses the supposed 'Ten Atheist Inconsistencies'.

Read my article and see what you think: 'Top Ten Atheist Inconsistencies' Examined'

Hopes


In an unlikely imaginary scenario, where everyone suddenly believed that Jesus was Son of God, it would be hoped that Jesus would clarify a few things and say that Christian teaching had got some things wrong.

For example:

~ that God did not slaughter the Amalekites, or torture Job, or anything similar.
~ that there is no eternal suffering in hell.

Hopefully, if Jesus really did come to us, as the proven Son of God, then he would say that he would like us all to be good to one another, and to our planet, and that he, himself, just wants to set a good example ~ that he hopes that we will follow this good example, but that there will be no terrifying threats, one way or the other.

No Threats

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Comments 77 comments

paxwill profile image

paxwill 4 years ago from France

Great article. I also read that mess of the forum thread. When asked, the OP could not coherently address what sort of proof might given to non-believers, instead just threw around some Biblical quotes.

Some people don't understand that if you want to have a religious discussion with people outside your religion, you have to step outside your own religious mindset. Otherwise you might as well be talking to yourself.


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA

Thanks Trish. Your hub helps me understand your side of the chasm between believers and unbelievers. And I don't mean "unbelievers" in any sort of perjorative way. You illustrate how different folks can look at the same set of data but see entirely different things. So far so good. But then some believers begin to despise unbelievers as evil; and some unbelievers disdain believers as anti-intellectual dupes. Shame on both our houses!


diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico

Trish...People wouldn't believe this "truth" even if they saw it.

Religion is, and always was, a blind faith to which many acribe because they feel it adds to their lives and eases their deaths. And as such, it has real value, except it often blinds them to other "truth" found in the universe, which we are now finding to be as intangible and ephemeral as life itself.

I am more and more convinced we manufacture our own reality, minute by minute, day by day, using pure energy as we see fit.

We could make god or gods just as easily.

Great hub as usual

Bob


f_hruz profile image

f_hruz 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Dear Trish, great job, once again - congratulations!

After your hub on evolution and now this one on myths and morality, one can see how much work you are putting into your own understanding to better grasp for yourself how these biblical myths are being propagated by religious types which only stand in their way of advancing their mental and emotional capacity to see reality openly and honestly with out a constant cloud of god delusion for knowing so little about natural laws, what objectivity really is and how it all works in reality!

@ lift&soar - believers do have a major handicap when it comes to making sense ... :)

Franto in Toronto


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hi Paxwill :)

Thank you for your contribution.

I did not get involved with that thread because I knew that my response would be too long :)


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hi f_hruz :)

Thank you for your kind words.

I find this a fascinating subject. Some of my Christian friends and relatives cannot understand my interest! :)


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hi Bob :)

Thanks for your comments :)

I truly believe that many of could set up our own religions, if we chose to.

Remember when some people killed themselves, because they believed that a comet was going to whisk them off to some kind of 'heaven'??


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hi Liftandsoar :)

Thank you for your comments!

There does need to be give and take, an attempt at mutual understanding and a friendly agreement to disagree.

I admit, though, that I do become frustrated at times. I think that you know why.

In the same way that I do not understand why Roman Catholics would stand by an organisation, which has shown itself to protect paedophiles, while putting children at risk, I do not understand why Christians, in general, would believe that God could order death, rape, etc, and then still choose to worship him.

I say this as someone with many friends and relatives, who are Christian ~ including many Catholics.

Some RCs say that they want to clean up their church from the inside.

Some Christians say, as Christians, they simply do not believe that their loving God would have new babies ripped apart.

But ... we only have our knowledge of Jesus and of the God he was /or represented, from the Bible. If one is a Christian, then that is God. I don't see how we can pick and choose.

If we accept that Jesus is Son of God, then we have to accept his God. And his God is / was as described in Hebrew Scripture.

And his reported actions do not make pleasant reading.

I do think, though, that it would be a better world, if we could all get on and put our differences aside. Thus, it is always pleasant to discuss this matter with your goodself :)


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA

Unlike yourself, can you see the disdain with which your other respondents regard me and other Christians? Though I don't doubt that there are Christians who do the same regarding unbelievers.

That said, I appreciate your lengthy response to my post. I don't back away in the least from those items in Scripture you find offensive. And yes, the Jesus who is my Savior is the Son of the God revealed in both Old and New Testaments. However there is so much about the Scriptures that overwhelm me with God's love and wisdom, that those events that seem to cast Him in a horrible light, don't trouble me as much as they do you. As I've said before, I don't presume to understand all the God ordains or allows. And some of it is by itself repugnant to me. For instance, it troubles me that Achan's whole family lost their lives because Achan took of the forbidden spoils in Jericho. However, I accept that I am not God, therefore in no position to call his actions into question.

Baby killing and other horrible stuff happen and continues to happen and will, no doubt. increase. It seems far more reasonable to me to posit a God who is in control of all that takes place than that it is totally out of anyone's control. Which seems to me to be the position unbelievers would be left with.

I don't understand how apart from faith in God, a person can experience any peace, given the advancing menace of terrorism and the breakdown of family unties and longstanding cultural mores.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hi again :)

Lift and Soar, I truly respect you as an individual and believe that you are entitled to your beliefs and opinions ~ whether or not I share them.

When you said 'I don't understand how apart from faith in God, a person can experience any peace ...', it really reminded me, so much, of things that some of my friends and relatives have said ~ and which I really could not fathom. :)

As you know, I am not an atheist, but I simply cannot find any real truth in the Bible. I have studied it. I have been a Christian. And I promise you that I did not begin to feel 'peace', until I acknowledged that it made no sense to me and that it was unlikely to be true. As soon as I did that, it was as if a weight had been lifted from my shoulders.

It's weird, is it not, that two people should respond so differently to the same idea? :)

As for the disdain of others, I would respectfully request that all those who choose to respond to this article do so politely, please!


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

Up, Interesting, and shared. Your response to the forum question is well thought-out and expressed.

As a freethinking Catholic and a Trinitarian, believer-in-hell Unitarian Universalist, I find theological speculations interesting.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hi B. Leekley :)

Thank you!

Yes, I find the subject very interesting.

A Trinitarian Unitarian? ~ Now that is intriguing! :)


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

Trish, to explain re Trinitarian Unitarian-Universalist, American UUs in the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations (uua.org) agree to a set of principles, which may now and then be added to, reworded, etc. through democratic procedures. Each member is free to come to his or her own conclusions about theology, so long as that is done with integrity. A UU congregation is typically a mix of humanists, pagans, Christians, Buddhists, etc. So my speculating upon in what sense the Trinity and Hell might make sense is within UU tradition. My tentative thinking is that much of the Bible, including what Jesus said, is in poetic language with symbolic meanings. Perhaps the Trinity might be understood as a poetic way of expressing the panentheistic (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panentheism) view that God is both and at once outside of and within the space-time-matter-energy universe. I think of the universe as being God dancing. As Yeats asked, "How can we know the dancer from the dance?" Jesus called God "our father in heaven", that is, "father sky", the old formulation in which the boundlessness of the sky and space symbolizes the boundlessness of God. This is the God that exists independently of the universe, the God who does the dancing / creating, the God we meet in awe and wonder as mystery. We meet God incarnate in the material universe in Jesus, in consecrated ceremonial bread and wine, and in a beggar, all representing, in Christ's poetic language, the divinity and holiness in everything. And we meet the holy spirit within ourselves in deep meditation or contemplative prayer. God is beyond all, in all, and within our inner selves. That's the Trinity. For me this is not something I believe as a matter of faith but is rather a wondering what if. See also: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfLI1l_Pda4&feature...


Talisker profile image

Talisker 4 years ago from UK

Terrific! (sorry to be so brief, but I enjoyed your hub from start to finish!)

I find myself increasingly edging away from devoted religious followers, I find them rather scary with their gleaming passports to the pearly gates.

A super hub! Thanks Trish!


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hi Talisker :)

Thank you!

Your words reminded me of something my Sunday School teacher ~ also my Mum's friend ~ said to me, when I was about twelve.

In those days, I was a Christian. However, I was a Christian with a lot of doubts and questions.

This did not go down too well with her. She said that, when she was in Heaven, and I arrived but was turned away at the gates, by St Peter, she would be very sad.

Yes, she had one of those 'gleaming passports'.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hi again, B. Leekley :)

Thanks for your interesting reply :)

Yes, I think that Universal Unitarianism has a lot going for it.

If I take part in those quizzes, which say what religion one should belong to, I always get that one.

'A wondering what if' seems like a good way to follow one's path.

I was just bemused by the apparent contradiction between Unitarianism and Trinitarianism ~ one in one, or three in one. :)


f_hruz profile image

f_hruz 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Hi Trish, ahahaha - so you are not an atheist ... yet? :)

I can see it already, you may get there before too long with a bit more analysis and critical examination of why it's basically such a silly idea to have man made gods create nature when in all reality nature has no use for any gods ... only a few confused people want to keep on seeing gods behind every other thing they don't understand.

If religious folks had as much interest in studying natural science as they are in quoting their favorite story book, it would be a much more enlightening exchange of ideas by far ...

Franto in Toronto


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hi again f_hruz :)

There are still many mysteries that mankind ~ even the scientists ~ do not understand and cannot explain.

Who knows whether, somewhere, there might be some power, or force, that might be termed 'God'. I don't know. No-one knows. Even most atheists agree with this. And even many Christians acknowledge it.

Some believe in God or gods, and some don't, but no-one knows everything for certain, so agnosticism is the only logical path.

I do not believe that God, if God does exist, is the God of the Bible. Consequently, I don't believe that Jesus was 'son of God'. Indeed, there's good reason to doubt that he ever existed.


f_hruz profile image

f_hruz 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Hi Trish,

sure, you are right, that's a perfect place to start - with applied logic ... :)

The next reasonable step which follows, in my own mind at least, if humans are a life form which evolved through natural selection - among many on this planet - and nature provides the most complete form of support for all that's alive on earth today, doesn't it sound at least a bit loony, for humans who have no interest in natural science to push their supernatural god delusions on us instead of showing a bit more interested in what humans have already learned about nature for a fact instead of keeping their eyes closed and hoping for miracles that some day a god will provide them with a fully functional brain to do applied research with so they can finally grasp the natural limits of our common human reality? :)

No gods are required by nature to be our ultimate source of support for life on earth ... so why invent gods and confuse our children with irrational religious BS instead of teaching them good science?

That IS perfectly UNreasonable, if you ask me .... ahaha

Best regards,

Franto in Toronto


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hi Franto :)

Sorry, but I wonder if, maybe, you have misundestood me ~ or perhaps I have misunderstood you?

I accept evolution and do not believe in 'the creation'.

I think that there is likely to be a perfectly rational explanation for everything ~~ even if we do not yet know what is is.

I am against the teaching of religious dogma in schools.

I think that the Bible is a book of stories, containing some truths, some half-truths and a lot of ancient superstition.

I don't think that there is any actual 'need' for a god to exist.

All I am saying is that there are still mysteries.

People do experience strange things ~ like ghosts, for example, or near death experiences.

Scientists cannot satisfactorily explain some of the mysteries of life and, until I receive some satisfactory explanations, I remain 'agnostic', because, like them, and everyone else, I don't know all of the answers.

Thus, amidst those mysteries, there may lie 'something' that might be termed 'God' ~ though it might not agree with any Bible-believer's definition of same.


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA

Hi Trish, while I haven't responded to your latest to me, I have been reading other responses. As you say, "It's weird, is it not, that two people should respond so differently to the same idea?" Actually, your varied responders seem to me to demonstrate that, left to ourselves, every man is a law unto himself. As we've agreed on previous exchanges, we come at the facts from different world and life views, different presuppostions.

That seems to pluck a rather tender nerve with those who reject the Christian faith, because it goes to our ability to reason reliably. It's a common delusion that all we need is enough facts and data and all the problem will be resolved. I, for one, find it far more of a step of "blind" faith to trust human speculations than to trust the Bible.

But I'm intrigued and stimulated to be reading you pieces as well as the responses you attract.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hi Liftandsoar :)

Thanks for your response :)

It is an interesting subject, I think.

I agree that it is good to discover ~ and try to understand ~ different mindsets. It makes for a pleasanter world, I think.

As a one-time Christian, with a Christian Mum, and lots of Christian friends, I think that I do have a fair amount of knowledge in that area.

Why do I think differently from my Mum?

Possibly because of my late father :)

I share most of his views.


f_hruz profile image

f_hruz 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

What is one to make of a person who says: "I find it far more of a step of "blind" faith to trust human speculations than to trust the bible"?

He obviously shows no understanding for the quality of intellect which is in part the result of a solid education in natural science or he would not talk about "blind faith" and "human speculation" when it comes to ALL the recent discoveries in physics, chemistry, biology, genetics, astronomy and the enormous pleasure any thinking person can derive from learning how to apply scientific thought correctly to bring more clarity and understanding to issues and ideas where otherwise illogical absurdities keep lurking among religious myths and farmers tails of the unknown.

Expressing a preference for an outdated religious story book instead of wanting to train his mind to advance a more scientific understanding of what maybe still unknown today, is not being helped by people asking silly questions, such as "Who made the wind?"

Such limited mental capacities cast a disqualifying mark on people who ask such questions - even if it may sound a bit mysterious when we hear the wind haul at night - lol


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA

OK f_hruz, an eloquent put-down, indeed! Where has all the "recent discoveries in physics, chemistry, biology, genetics, astronomy and the enormous pleasure any thinking person can derive from learning how to apply scientific thought correctly" gotten us? I'm afraid I'm not impressed.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands Author

I think that the forum is a good place for debate. This is just for comments ~ and I would rather it didn't descend into insults and arguments.

Of course people will disagree with each other, but let's leave it at disagreement, and not let it descend beyond that, please. I don't want to have to 'deny' anyone's posts.

Thank you :)


f_hruz profile image

f_hruz 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Trish, so you want to give equal value to irrational talk about ghosts and gods versus science and reality, just to be nice and polite, instead of taking a thoughtful position on some of these basic issues and advancing a resolution to the problem of god delusion?


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

Trish, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_converts_to_C... is a list of a number of atheists who converted to Christianity, presumably convinced of the truths of Christian doctrine. So the answer to your original question is, yes, some atheists have found such proof to their own satisfaction and have converted.

The flip side of the question is, If the Christian doctrines of the Incarnation and the Trinity were proven to be nonsensical, would Christians convert to atheism or anyway to some non-theist worldview? The answer again is yes, some Christians have come to that conclusion.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hi Franto :)

I have made my position clear on this subject. LiftandSoar knows exactly how I feel about the issues, and why. We have discussed and debated before. He knows that I disagree with him on most Biblical / Christian issues.

I don't have a problem with debate. I have a problem with people being unfriendly or impolite to others. I have seen it happen on the forum and I don't want it to happen here. I am simply repeating my former request that, on my article, all those who choose to respond do so politely, please!


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hi Brian :)

Yes, I agree.

Atheists convert to Christianity and Christians lose their faith.

Christians losing faith makes some sense. Atheists converting ~ that's an interesting conundrum.

The assumption is often that it has to do with intellect. I think that this may sometimes be the case. However, I know people who are very clever, highly educated and very knowledgeable, who are Christians.

Another assumption is that it fills a need for the sick or the lonely. Again, I think that this is plausible. But I know healthy, happy people, with close families and lots of friends, who are Christians.

So yes ~ and I think that I mentioned this in the article ~ some Atheists, if convinced of the veracity of Jesus ~ would convert.

I wonder how many of them will have battled with their consciences over the slaughtered babies and raped young girls??

I think that there are quite a few Christians, who don't actually believe ~ or even know ~ a lot of the Bible. That's fair enough, I suppose, but it's a bit illogical, since all of our knowledge of Jesus, and the Christian version of God, comes from the Bible.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hi Liftandsoar :)

I do think that it is unfair ~ and wrong ~ to dismiss human knowledge as 'speculation', but would be grateful if you could clarify exactly what you mean by this, please.

Are you suggesting, perhaps, that the theory of evolution is merely speculation and less reliable that the Biblical 'creation' story?


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA

Sure Trish, and please forgive my getting hooked into the polemics. Didn't mean to be so dismissive.

No, what I'm saying is that I don't trust human ability to assess scientific data any more than you trust the Bible. Consider the constant new "scientific" opinions that are published pertaining to the health and food industries. Consider the conflcting yet alleged to be scientific views on global warming and mankind's influence on climate change.

While I regard evolution to be a theory which some find reasonable, it is by no means a "scientific" fact. There are indeed facts associated with it, fossil evidence for instance. But certain humanistic interpretations of those facts are more religious in nature than scienctific.


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA

Took a shower since my last post. I always think better in the shower! :-)

I think it's wrong to pit science against Christianity. Much scientific discovery may be credited to Christians and conforms to a proper understanding of biblical theology. Both Christians and non-Christians bring depraved minds to the enterprise, whether it be science or theology. This is why I've stopped talking about certainty regarding Christian teaching. I hold that teaching to be more reasonable than anything else I've explored. Obviously you and others don't. If I'm true to my Christian faith, I will respect that. But remember that a foundational teaching of Christianity is that none of us is perfect this side of eternity. :-)


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands Author

I have to go out now.

I'll be back :)


f_hruz profile image

f_hruz 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Trish, your request is most reasonable and I like to comply with it fully.

Things could possibly sound like an insult to some one who 'served' Jesus for 30 years, neglecting to learn enough about the natural sciences to gain some basic grasp of what is to be considered reasonable because their mind space maybe full of things rational thought would simply disqualify as absurd, such as some god having created nature instead of seeing very clearly the causal relationship between early man not knowing much more about nature than modern day religionists and therefor not having developed the ability for structured scientific thought which would clearly show, neither fire to be a god, nor the sun or some other mythological man made creation.

It's high time not to find insult in outdated ways of looking at nature but to simply, culturally stigmatize religiosity as no longer suitable for life in a modern, educated world.

In this day and age, every one should be clear that the flat earth idea has past AND our planet is neither the center of the universe NOR was it created by any gods ... because it is simply nature which is supreme - free of any gods or religious dogmas!

Once one has enough education to grasp such basic facts, one may find ones time much better spent in ones contribution to the advancement of scientific thought than to further the state of confusion among the god deluded ...

I'm even ready and willing to help ... :)

What's so UNreasonable in any of it, for some one to want to take offence?

Franto in Toronto


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hi Franto :)

As I said, I have no problem with debate or putting one's point of view. I do that regularly, myself. I am just wary of this comment thread descending into the sort of unpleasantmess that is sometimes found on religious forums. As long as that doesn't happen, then I'm ok with it :)


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hi Liftandsoar :)

I don't always trust human ability to always assess all scientific data correctly, either. I'll give some examples. Doctors have misdiagnosed illnesses of me, my family and my friends. Some of the misdiagnoses included two broken legs and a case of diabetes. Some of my friends have been made more ill than they were by their treatments. This has happened so often that I now feel that I have to take much more responsibility for my own health than many people do. They should, of course. But many many people have complete faith in modern medicine. The thing is, though, that, while I and others have criticisms of the health system, we would still suffer hugely without it. It isn't perfect, but it's way better than none at all.

What I am trying to say is that humans are obviously flawed. As you say. no-one is perfect. We don't know everything. We don't always do the right thing. Even doctors make mistakes. Scientists, too, will make mistakes. But that is not a good reason to completely reject modern medicine, or modern science, or all of man's discoveries and knowledge.

I am not at all surprised by the changing opinions regarding health, climate, etc, etc. We are learning new things all of the time. That is what science is all about. It's an ongoing process.

As for 'evolution', I am sure that this too will be tweaked, as new information and opinions come into play. However, it is a 'scientific theory' and, in scientific jargon, a 'scientific theory' is, indeed, a 'scientific fact'. No-one doubts the 'theory' of gravity, for example. So it's not going to be tweaked that much.

And yes, much of science was initiated by Believers of one type or another. The Pope and numerous priests and Bishops accept evolution as true. It was an RC priest who suggested the 'Big Bang'.

When I look at the Bible, I see the attempts of ancient men to understand and explain the apparently inexplicable; and when I look at Science, I see the attempts of modern men and women to understand and explain the apparently inexplicable. The difference is that the Bible, because of the limits of ancient knowledge, often falls back on superstition, folklore and magic; while modern science uses logic and as much up-to date knowledge as is available ~ and it dismisses superstition.

Thus, lack of logic, along with all that violence, mean that the Bible does not seem to be a 'Godly' set of documents to me.

But clearly it does to others.

And, maybe, if some of the apparently miraculous things that occurred in the Bible happened again today, then maybe some current atheists would accept Christianity. But I cannot imagine what sort of proof might be put before us that an illusionist couldn't muster. I just cannot see it happening.

* * * * * * * * * * *

I appreciate that for 'religious' people, their spiritual beliefs are often central to their lives and expremely important to them ~ and these are often very good, pleasant, friendly people, whom I like, which is why I feel that we should respect the people who hold those beliefs, even when we disagree with them. :)


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hi Franto,

Yes, because religious beliefs are so personal to individuals, it would be quite easy for them to take criticism of the belief as criticism of themselves.

I do appreciate that. This is why we should all be careful how we word things. Thanks for understanding my request :)

I do agree that some people refuse to look at logic and ignore reasonable comments and questions, replying only with Bible quotes. Yes, this is frustrating, but it is their choice. As long as it were not taught, as fact, to children, then it probably wouldn't matter too much.

But it is taught to children, so it does matter. People will die and cause others to die for their religious beliefs. It has happened throughout history. That cannot be good or right. It is worrying.

Yet, as mentioned above, even without the apparent miracle described in the opening question, people convert to Christianity, and other religions, every day.


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA

Amen! Oh, Excuse me Trish. I guess I should say "right on!" :-) Except for this paragraph.

"When I look at the Bible, I see the attempts of ancient men to understand and explain the apparently inexplicable; and when I look at Science, I see the attempts of modern men and women to understand and explain the apparently inexplicable. The difference is that the Bible, because of the limits of ancient knowledge, often falls back on superstition, folklore and magic; while modern science uses logic and as much up-to date knowledge as is available ~ and it dismisses superstition."

There's the rub, when you allege that the ancients and presumably we who believe the Bible fall back on "superstition, folklore and magic." If you've already decided that the miraculous is impossible then it's convenient to call it "superstition, folklore and magic." Now we're back to differing world and life views and presuppositions.

Thinking Christians are very grateful for advances in medical science and the good life that much science brings. Just as there's a fine line between resonable faith and presumptious superstitions, so there is a fine line between science (the pursuit of truth in the natural order and scientism the belief that science rules life and anything dubbed scientific must be believed or one is consigned to the flatearthers.

Thanks for your responses to my responses. I enjoy our exchanges, but please don't feel that you must keep this up. I could get to be a bore.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hi again LiftandSoar :)

For reasons that I don't really understand, I don't tend to find theological discussion boring ~ not until the conversation has been repeated too many times, anyway :)

The thing is, LiftandSoar, that it is abundantly clear that religion was often the answer to life's mysteries. Thunder? Thor's hammer. Rainbows? Noah's flood.

The Bible was, self-evidently, written when knowledge of science, etc, was immensely more limited than it is now. Much of it had to be an attempt to answer difficult questions ~ about life, the universe and everything.

We have evidence of early man developing in Africa. The Adam and Eve Myth is the equivalent of all the other creation myths.

What is more, equivalents of much of what is found in the Bible have been found in Egyptian or Sumerian mythology. It must have been borrowed. I'm going to do a hub on this, and a thread about converting atheists isn't really the place to discuss it, so I'll just leave it at that :)


Anonymous 4 years ago

If the earth really is a over a billion years old, don't you think that the message of Jesus Christ would have been rejected already, instead of lasting for as long as it has? If there is absolutely no evidence for the Bible, then why do atheists/agnostics make up a small portion of the world?


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hello 'Anonymous' :)

The ancient age of the earth is not really relevant to acceptance of Christianity, since the story, or 'message', of Jesus, whether real or mythological, only dates back about 2,000 years.

Why do atheists only make up a small portion of the world? There are a number of reasons.

Before we became informed on various subjects, we were ignorant of them. We didn't know where thunder, lightning, rainbows, earthquakes, etc, came from. They seemed to be visitations from God. God was the answer to the unanswerable.

Then, of course, there is / was the fear factor.

According to the Bible, doubters had to be slaughtered ~ and this continued into more recent times. The Spanish Inquisition, witch trials, religious uncertainlty in Tudor England, etc, etc, etc. Plus, of course, there was the 'promise' of hell. In 'Western Christendom', people had no choice but to be Christian ~ and they sent out missionaries!

The other thing seems to be that we evolved to believe. They say that we have a 'God-shaped space' in our heads. It probably came from obeying parents in times of danger, but evolved into obeying parents in their supernatural beliefs.

Which brings me to another matter. People do seem to have supernatural experiences. God is part of the supernatural. So people accept it all.

Agnostics do not know, which is the only logical path, in my opinion. :)


f_hruz profile image

f_hruz 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Religiosity is based on a faulty understanding of nature and reality because miracles are not possible, neither are virgin birth or the existence of any super natural things since nature is the ultimate foundation for all forms of life on this planet and else where in this universe.

Theology doesn't deal with natural facts, and is consequently about as scientific as economics or astrology which require very little understanding of natural laws as we have discovered them to exist in nature and have made them consequently into an important part of our reality ... causality is one such basic fact of life which makes all supernatural miracles impossible to the rational mind ...

Now, since there are no laws which requires every one to apply their mind in a rational manor or even know the basics of how to apply scientific thought, anyone can dream up anything they like, join any cult or put their faith into anything they wish, live their lives with as little REAL education and be as far from developing their own intellectual capacity as is mentally possible ... but it will very clearly show, the moment they open their mouths, what's going on in their mind, if anything at all!

Ask yourself, how much REAL basic education in physics, chemistry, biology and math does one have to have to quote some myths from an old, outdated story book?

There are a lot more illiterate minds on earth, than people who can name 10 of the most basic laws of nature!

That's why religion has a much larger number of followers than there are PhD's in micro-biology around the world, ahaha ...

Again, not a miracle :)

Franto in Toronto


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hi :)

Whatever the reason behind it, I think that it is true that a number of atheists ~ I wonder how many? ~ would become Christian, if they felt that it had been proven to them that Jesus were 'Son of God'.

I think that the 'proof' would have to be, or appear to be, a 'miracle' of some kind. As I said, I cannot think that any such thing would happen, but I am guessing that there are people, who would be convinced that they had seen a suitable miracle.

Certainly there are experiences, which may seem miraculous, but most, if not all, have a logical explanation.

What I would say, though, is that there are experiences which, at present, appear to be 'supernatural' and which have not been fully explained. (One example is ghosts.) While the inexplicable exists, people will believe in the supernatural.


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA

As a Christian, if I have any integrity at all, I would have to renounce my faith should it be "proved" that Jesus had not risen from the dead. There's the miracle. Our own Scriptures assert that "if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins." I Corithians 15:17 Is that not a challenge to all of us to check out the facts?

But the whole notion of proof goes to a degree of certainty that I believe is as presumptuous in believers as it is in unbelievers. I don't claim certainty on anything. Only that Jesus' resurrection is a reasonable conclusion, as reasonable as much of what passes for science.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hi again Liftandsoar :)

Interestingly, I believe that there are Christians ~ I recall a bishop ~ who do not think that the Resurrection is as important as many Christians perceive it to be.

I understand that it wasn't even mentioned in the original Book of Mark ~ the oldest of the Gospels.

A friend of mine, who was an Anglican priest, was convinced that the Resurrection had been proven ~ hence his faith. He seemed surprised, when I told him that it hadn't been proven, at all.

I agree about certainly ~ though I really find much of the Bible hard to credit ~ hence my agnosticism.


f_hruz profile image

f_hruz 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Absolute certainty is impossible in any case!

A reasonable mind only looks for a statistically relevant degree of probability - that's what most scientific arguments require to demonstrate anything convincingly.

Gods, ghosts, miracles and anything supernatural have a statistically insignificant degree of probability of existing in the realm of reality!

Here is more for you to think about:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMAt0a5EWw0&feature...

Franto in Toronto


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hi again Franto :)

I enjoyed 'The arrogance of being thick as a brick'. It said the sort of things that I say all the time ~ and I'm not a scientist :)

It also said that there is a huge amount that we do not know. Exactly! There are still so many mysteries. This allows for conjecture.

But let's get back on topic. How is this relevant to the subject of my article, as to whether atheists would become Christian, in the event of Jesus being proven as God?

The crux of this is Jesus being shown, without question, to be God. As I said, I just don't think that this could happen, though some might think that they had seen a miracle, and believe that it had been proven.

For the purposes of my hub, I had to assume ~ in spite of my own ideas on the subject ~ that such proof had been forthcoming. It was the only way of addressing the question.

The question is not about whether or not God exists, etc, but about whether atheists would become Jesus-followers, IF, God / Jesus could be proven to exist. It's a 'what if' scenario.

Maybe I should write a hub, asking what exactly might be acceptable to atheists as proof of Jesus / God, and whether atheists think that such proof could possibly exist. But that's a slightly different subject to this one.


f_hruz profile image

f_hruz 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Thanks Trish, I'm glad you liked the video.

I can't speak for all atheists, but I have noticed that many of them are or became atheists as a result of finding religious texts, the predominant ideas in support for de- or theism highly suspect and in conflict with their critical understanding of reality which religionoids take on blind faith ... which reduces the quality of thought in their arguments in support of any gods considerably.

This makes it highly unlikely for any atheist who arrived at the point of view that all forms of worship of supernatural, mythological, religious or other ideas which conflict with their reasonable grasp of reality to want to be a deist of any kind ... atheists are simply critical thinkers who see nature as the ultimate reality and exclude most of the highly unreasonable, man made religious or even philosophical ideas, because they see in them an assault to human rationality.

Atheists have no use for any gods, may they have mystical sons or daughters, sisters or brothers ... they don't exempt Christians, Muslims, Hindus or Jews, etc. with their irrational views of reality as having a significant statistical probability of residing in the realm of reality ...

So the basic question of a REAL atheist waiting for the day when Jesus is objectively proven to be the sun of some god so they can become a member of a church and follow a Christian god, is as unlikely as the rational mind permits, if you ask me ...

Franto in Toronto


f_hruz profile image

f_hruz 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

@ lift&soar - I would have thought that being a thoughtful and intelligent human would have at least as much importance in your life as labeling yourself a Christian.

There are quite a number of very well written hubs about people having started to discover the obvious limitations to religiosity and using their own mental capacity put all these myths aside to gain a much better grasp of reality, and even rose to the level of speaking out about how religious faith can stand in the way of being a much more rational being and a person who has discovered how to advance the value and a better understanding of rational thought in an all-inclusive, global society of rational people by reducing false believes and religiosity of any kind and to focus on good science instead of creationism and intelligent design.

Here is one good example ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mht6xNe3bvs&feature...

Franto in Toronto


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Even so, Franto, there are atheists, who convert to Christianity, and there are existing Christians, who are highly intelligent, knowledgeable and educated.


f_hruz profile image

f_hruz 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I have never heard of any real Atheists who regressed intellectually to the point where they felt that worshiping some gods, Christian or otherwise, was a step ahead in their personal development.

Sure, there are a whole bunch of intelligent and educated religious types. Do you think the Pope would ever question the existence of a god, if it ever crossed his mind?

His mental blindness towards a rational world free of religious BS is one of the requirements for him to keep his job ... the main export product of the Vatican to all countries around the world is religious nonsense!

I have heard arguments by an Austrian nuclear scientist from the University of Vienna, who was a member of the Vatican Academy of Sciences, in a discussion with a rational professor from the same University, and guess which one made a lot more sense to me ... :)

Franto in Toronto


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands Author

I cannot say whether or not they were 'real atheists', but I have found a list of supposed atheists, who converted to Christianity, here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_converts_to_C...

And I know, personally, some very intelligent and knowledgeable believers.


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA

Well, Franto, you are certainly entitled to your opinions. They would be easier to process if you didn't treat those of us of a different persuasion as though we are ignorant chalatans, purveyors of nonsense, of which you charge the Pope. The list which Trish includes above contains some rather impressive intellects. I'm personally familiar with two of them.

Now to the original issue raised in the hub, what would it take to persuade an atheist or agnostic, or any non-Christian for that matter, to embrace Christ? So long as you require of the Christian faith a "proof" that you don't require of anything else, I doubt that there would be anything that would persuade you. The issue is not in the facts out there, but in the basic set of presuppositons you adopt by which to look at the world around you. If you are wearing a set of green tinted eyeglasses everything you look at will have a green hue. Likewise my red tinted glasses will give the world a decidedly different hue. We could argue forever about the realities of the world and not arrive at any agreement. But perhaps we could learn to cooexist more harmoniously if we simply respected each other's set of eye glasses.

MIlesArmbruster has a hub in which he presents the evidences for Jesus. I find it quite reasonable. http://milesarmbruster.hubpages.com/hub/A-Brief-ve... He illustrates amply the methods by which scholars arrive at historical conclusions and shows that there is far better evidence for Jesus than for Julius Caesar or Alexander the Great among others.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hello Liftandsoar :)

I think that everyone has the right to believe as they wish, and that people should be polite to each other, even when in disagreement; even when frustrated.

However, I also think that some Christian beliefs are actually very harmful, so I cannot condone those ~ eg telling children that they are 'sinners', and that doubts, or certain other behaviours, could lead to eternal hellfire. I find that immoral.

I also think that it is wrong to simply dismiss scientific knowledge and endeavour. For example, the way that evolution is dismissed, and often ridiculed, as 'just a theory' is very wrong ~ on two counts. It is as near to proven fact as it is possible to get.

As for Miles Armbruster's hub, well, it is simply untrue. There really isn't better evidence for Jesus than for Julius Caesar. It's a widely-repeated myth.


f_hruz profile image

f_hruz 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Trish, point very well made!

Lift&soar - since most Atheist have come to see reality as defined by natural forces and the planet we live on, as a cosmological product which required millions of years to evolve, how can you not wander about these "new earth" types who take your story book literally?

How can anyone in their right mind belief the earth is only 6 to 10,000 years old?

What's wrong with a persons brain who thinks that our planet was created by some god in 6 days even if some old and outdated book may say so?

Anyone can see that the probability of there not being a god at all is so overwhelming after you learn enough natural science, so to call ANY religious book holy, divine or 'the word of god' is a clear reflection of a irrational mind, no matter what color your glasses ... even a blind person with a rational mind can attest to that.

It's these irrational stories from a book full of contradicting tails which have no REAL intellectual foundation or basis in science ... it makes the question if a guy named Jesus ever lived or not, irrelevant!

That's why you have a whole industry fabrication bad science, creationism and intelligent design stories which are not very intelligent at all!

Christianity is based on a number of myths and doesn't even invite the thinking person to question all these limiting falsehoods ... so if you like to join the ranks of humanity who have come to see the mental dead-end in your unreasonable faith, pose your questions and tell us why you are still following these myths ... but skip the quotes from your favorite book of myths.

Let's have an open and honest discussion free of religious nonsense, if you can get your mind around it and think it may do you some good, ok? :)

The enormous wast of intellect and creative thought which gets misdirected by religion on a global scale should make you pause - how many real-word problems could be solved if all these minds would understand CAUSALITY and simple learn how to do practical things the right way, instead of creating false hope by praying to some god who simply does NOT exist OR has produced no clear evidence that he does?

That's just one of many reasons why the Vatican is the greatest 'purveyor of nonsense' and the most useless place on earth to help advance the many millions of minds who could benefit by gaining a better grasp of reality by first questioning and then discarding all forms of blind religious faith in favor of developing a positive and rational mind where there is no heaven and no hell, and Atheists are not being looked at as doing the devils work!

Best wishes,

Franto in Toronto


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA

It wouldn't be fair to liken all atheist to Stalin. Nor is it fair to judge the Christian faith by the statements and actions of some of its adherents.

Any Christian parent who trains his children by telling them they'd better behave or they go to hell, doesn't understand the gospel at all. Nor do we dismiss the scientific enterprise including some of the conclusions associated with evolution. If you check out the following hub you'll see that I am no young earth, 144 hour creationist. http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Omnipotent...

But that life sprung from some primordial soup at any time in the past, be it 10 thousand or 10 billion years ago can be no more than speculation. That's not to dismiss science. It's to recognize that the most disciplined of scientists must eventually reveal their presuppositons. Nor do I find the evidence for species evolving from one to another very convincing. Of course there are similarities between the species but a common Creator makes more sense to me than that one evolved from the other.

I carry no water for the Catholic Church. I mentioned it only because the pope had figured in one the responses above. While there are Christians in the Catholic Church, catholic doctrine as wandered far from historic Christianity. It's commonly recognized that the Protestant Reformation was, in part at least, responsible both for advances in science from the 17th century forward and the consequent industrial revolution.

This string of responses has certainly been stimulating and I appreciate your perspectives. It's probably time to check out. You've inspired a future hub carrying a title something like There are No Real Atheists.


Anonymous 4 years ago

As atheists you should have respect for the Christians who do believe in God and His Son Jesus Christ. Millions of people hold Christ dear to them and yet they are mentally insane? Yeah that makes sense. Atheists will always think they are smarter and think they have all the answers. Don't tear down someone elses beliefs when you don't have any. The reason atheists don't become Christians is because they arent looking. Psalms 53:1


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hello Anonymous :)

Actually, there may be any number of reasons why atheists don't become Christian.

People will have their own views on the subject.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hi LiftandSoar :)

Thanks for taking part in the discussion.

I have read your new hub :)


liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA

Yes, Trish. I saw and responded.


Pharmc544 4 years ago

Very nice site!


LoisRyan13903 profile image

LoisRyan13903 2 years ago from Upstate NY originally from Long Island

Nice Hub and I know it is old. I am afraid that even if there is absolute proof, some of the non-believers would still refuse to believe. They would make up an excuse that it is something else other than Jesus


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 2 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hi Lois,

Thanks for commenting. :)

I don't know how other people might respond but, as I think my hub makes clear, I would be very concerned about what a 'proven' Jesus might preach and what he might expect from his followers.


Rodriguez1990 2 years ago

Love this. Good to know there are other people out there with views that mirror my own.

I strongly agree that Agnosticism is the way forward, and am quite frankly tired of being labelled as a fence sitter. It's all well and good to believe what you want, whether that be Theism or Atheism, as long as you realise that belief does not equal knowledge. Unfortunately, mankind's ego will not let a lot of people admit that they just don't know the answers, plain and simple - thankfully you and I aren't that camp.

My philosophy is simple - don't believe anything that you didn't see with your own eyes and hear with your own ears. That applies to everything from religion and politics to the media and rumours/hearsay in general.

As they say, when you ASSUME you make an ass out of U and ME ;)


lone77star profile image

lone77star 2 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Fascinating look at the topic.

Ego is an equal-opportunity source of blindness. Some people will believe their ego before they believe evidence before their eyes. That's what happened in the time of Jesus.

Jesus as God? Not at all. He never said that! Without ego, we become as Christ. That's doesn't make us God, but it makes us god-like. And since God is love, that's a good thing.

The universe exists, therefore He IS. There's the proof.

And there's no such thing as "blind faith." Faith is transcendent, just as Truth and Creation are. Perhaps people are thinking of "blind belief," which is fallible and imperfect. Faith can never be blind. Faith is the perfection of confidence, but is also utterly humble.

If we give up all self-concern, and love our enemies as ourselves, then we will be able to turn the other cheek with effortless ease. Such things will heal the world. It won't change the hearts of atheists. Only they can do that. But we can love them and be patient.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 2 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hello Rodriguez :)

I'm sorry that I didn't see your comment before. Thank you for responding. as you say, ' belief does not equal knowledge'. Quite so! :)


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 2 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hi lone77star :)

Thank you for your interest ~ for reading and commenting :)


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

“There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” - Soren Kierkegaard

“Some writers may toy with the fancy of a ‘Christ-myth,’ but they do not do so on the ground of historical evidence. The historicity of Christ is as axiomatic for an unbiased historian as the historicity of Julius Caesar. It is not historians who propagate the ‘Christ-myth’ theories.” -Bruce, The New Testament Documents.

"No one. No one in scholarly circles dealing with ancient Judaism and early Christianity, of any religious or non-religious persuasion holds the view that Jesus never existed. You’re entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own truth.”—Larry Hurtado, former Professor of New Testament Language, Literature & Theology (University of Edinburgh)


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

The Hellfire doctrine is a perverse Antichrist mendacity that defames God. As a God of justice and love he would never prescribe infinite punishment for a finite crime no matter how wicked: http://bit.ly/17fVMYm


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 2 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Mark:

43 If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. 47 And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, 48 where

“‘the worms that eat them do not die and the fire is not quenched.’[Isaiah 66:24]


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Actually, Mark 9:43-48 correctly reads, "Καὶ ἐὰν σκανδαλίσῃ σε ἡ χείρ σου, ἀπόκοψον αὐτήν· καλόν ἐστίν σε κυλλὸν εἰσελθεῖν εἰς τὴν ζωὴν ἢ τὰς δύο χεῖρας ἔχοντα ἀπελθεῖν εἰς τὴν γέενναν, εἰς τὸ πῦρ τὸ ἄσβεστον. καὶ ἐὰν ὁ πούς σου σκανδαλίζῃ σε, ἀπόκοψον αὐτόν· καλόν ἐστίν σε εἰσελθεῖν εἰς τὴν ζωὴν χωλὸν ἢ τοὺς δύο πόδας ἔχοντα βληθῆναι εἰς τὴν γέενναν. καὶ ἐὰν ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου σκανδαλίζῃ σε, ἔκβαλε αὐτόν· καλόν σέ ἐστιν μονόφθαλμον εἰσελθεῖν εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ ἢ δύο ὀφθαλμοὺς ἔχοντα βληθῆναι εἰς γέενναν, ὅπου ὁ σκώληξ αὐτῶν οὐ τελευτᾷ καὶ τὸ πῦρ οὐ σβέννυται·"

Do you know what γέενναν was a reference to?


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 2 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Gehenna was a valley where I believe I read the dead were buried.

But what about the lake of fire?

Are you suggesting that Mark has been mistranslated? This wouldn't sit well with those who believe that God, as author, guides every translation.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

"Gehenna was a valley where I believe I read the dead were buried."

Very good Trish! :)

"“Gehenna” means “valley of Hinnom,” for it is the Greek form of the Hebrew geh hin·nom′. In Jos 18:16, where “valley of Hinnom” occurs, LXX reads “Gehenna.”

The Jewish commentator David Kimḥi (1160?-1235?), in his comment on Ps 27:13, gives the following historical information concerning “Gehinnom”: “And it is a place in the land adjoining Jerusalem, and it is a loathsome place, and they throw there unclean things and carcasses. Also there was a continual fire there to burn the unclean things and the bones of the carcasses. Hence, the judgment of the wicked ones is called parabolically Gehinnom.”

The valley of Hinnom became the dumping place and incinerator for the filth of Jerusalem. Bodies of dead animals were thrown in to be consumed in the fires to which sulphur, or brimstone, was added to assist the burning. Also bodies of executed criminals, who were considered undeserving of a decent burial in a memorial tomb, were thrown in. If such dead bodies landed in the fire they were consumed, but if their carcasses landed upon a ledge of the deep ravine their putrefying flesh became infested with worms, or maggots, which did not die until they had consumed the fleshy parts, leaving only the skeletons.

No living animals or human creatures were pitched into Gehenna to be burned alive or tormented. Hence, the place could never symbolize an invisible region where human souls are tormented eternally in literal fire or attacked forever by undying worms. Because the dead criminals cast there were denied a decent burial in a memorial tomb, the symbol of the hope of a resurrection, Gehenna was used by Jesus and his disciples to symbolize everlasting destruction, annihilation from God’s universe, or “second death,” an eternal punishment.

Therefore, to have one’s dead body cast into Gehenna was considered the worst kind of punishment. From the literal Gehenna and its significance, the symbol of the ‘lake burning with fire and sulphur’ was drawn.—Re 19:20; 20:10, 14, 15; 21:8."

http://bit.ly/1ughMiF


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 19 months ago from USA

Interesting comments for the most part. I am reminded of a description I once heard that ideas are like penguins on an ice floe. One jumped onto the ice, then another, and so forth. Soon enough the ice floe held as many penguins as it possibly could hold. Then another penguin jumped onto the ice. As soon as that penguin came aboard, one of the penguins that had been there at that moment was pushed into the water.

These many comments are like those penguins. There they stand on top of the ice, a new comment comes along with a different penguin, and there goes one of the earlier birds into the drink.

Kind of like what you read in books like the bible and the Quran, etc.

Fact is that all of today's religions and all of the existing writings and teachings about religion come from the minds and hands of people (human penguins). If God told those people what to write, God evidently has a weak memory, for all of the many writings and teachings are at odds from one to the next.

It is amazing that people take the time to fuss and argue about such things being "proof" of this or that.

Have fun today. Quit arguing and fussing. There is plenty of room for you penguins and some pretty good moral tales and lots of smiles to be found on the Internet in "GoComics.com" (and they don't pass a collection plate around to visitors).

Gus :-)))


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 19 months ago from The English Midlands Author

Hi Gus.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

'Quit arguing and fussing.'

Good advice but it's sometimes difficult to do, when so many people believe this to be a matter of such huge importance. Religion has so much influence - sometimes good; often bad.

Plus it's interesting :)


MelangeSpace1 profile image

MelangeSpace1 6 months ago from Trinidad & Tobago

Very optimistic post.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 6 months ago from The English Midlands Author

Hi MelangeSpace1.

Thank you for reading :)

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