The Bible for Atheists: Contradictions or Clues?

Atheists and believers have different interpretations of the Bible. Crowd of soccer fans in Copenhagen.
Atheists and believers have different interpretations of the Bible. Crowd of soccer fans in Copenhagen. | Source

No mere mortal knows what God is. Does God even exist? To an atheist, of course not. For an atheist, there is not necessarily any certainty on this, but there is certainly a disbelief that God exists. Some atheists with whom I have discussed this topic are certain that God does not exist. Such certainty is curious and seems tantamount to blind belief—almost a "faith." Some erroneously accuse atheists of having their own religion because of such apparent "faith," but such a strong, unsubstantiated belief might prove to be merely an idée fixe.

The problem with belief is that it is frequently wrong. And this is a funny problem, because in Christianity (as well as perhaps most religions), there are so many different beliefs. Most, if not all, of them are wrong. That remains only logical. Conflicting beliefs cannot all be right, but certainly the possibility exists that they can all be wrong. It is entirely possible that, while the Bible may be valid, but with much of its wisdom remaining hidden, all of the interpretations could be invalid.

Stephen Hawking, the renowned physicist and author, recently told the press about his belief that there is no God and that (as the Guardian reported), "... humans should therefore seek to live the most valuable lives they can while on Earth." Of course, that's good advice whether God really exists or not. That's good advice whether or not our true selves ("souls"?) are immortal or not. Each moment is precious and should not be wasted. But Mr. Hawking also said that the "afterlife" is a "fairy story."

It sounds as though Hawking is entirely certain about his beliefs, but where is his proof? Naturally, there is no proof that God exists, except perhaps the physical universe we live in, but Hawking finds a different interpretation of things. In his most recent book, The Grand Design, he says, "Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to ... set the Universe going," Perhaps it is not necessary for Hawking to invoke "gravity," either. The truth is the truth, no matter what we want it to be, whether it is quarks, mu mesons, God, gravity or the tooth fairy behind it all. And what is it that put "gravity" there to make something out of nothing? I'm afraid Mr. Hawking has not solved the equation, yet. The answer is still out there.

RCW 79, nebula and bubble (70 light years in diameter), 17,200 light years from Earth in Centaurus.
RCW 79, nebula and bubble (70 light years in diameter), 17,200 light years from Earth in Centaurus. | Source

If God did Exist, What Would It Be?

The Bible, and religion in general, deal with moral issues and a non-physical aspect to man. Buddhism does not have a godhead, but it talks of non-physical and ethereal things. Buddhists talk of the non-self (the opposite of selfishness or ego).

They also discuss something called the "paramita"—the "other shore" of existence where perfection lays waiting. That perfection is like a one-sided coin—it is "generosity" without the slightest hint of "selfishness." It is "compassion" without any "indifference," or "wisdom" without even a hint of "stupidity."

Perhaps most interestingly, the paramita can be "confidence" without the tiniest element of "doubt." So much for skepticism. But this is not "belief;" it remains quite superior to "belief." The Buddhists may not have a god figure, but could it be that this is another description of "God?" Could it be that, to them, this quality or state of being is so indescribable that they cannot anthropomorphize it as so many seem to have done with the concept of "God?" Could it be that in attempting to do so, one would be tarnishing the actual by giving it an unrealistic label?

If we were to define the Judeo-Christian "God," it might be something like this: "a non-physical, spiritual and immortal source of creation." They have a law against "graven images," because their God has no physical form. Such a statue or other physical symbol would thus be a lie and a distraction from what is, to them, truth.

The first book of the Bible describes this "Father of the universe" creating "man" in His own image. Now, one thing that most Jews and Christians would vehemently deny, is that this seems to mean that we are each individually "baby gods." Don't laugh too hard. What if it were true? What if, beneath the physical Homo sapiens shell, an immortal lay sleeping?

The problem with such an idea is that ego gets in the way. Ego is a physical universe construct. It obeys the laws of action-reaction. Remember Newton? It is vulnerable. A bruised ego is a horrible thing to behold.

The intent of the Bible, and in fact most religions, seems to be to awaken that non-physical aspect. Ego wants every bit of that power. Could it be that the idea of "God" is a foil for ego—a symbol to help thwart that most vulnerable part of what makes us human? So, when a magical miracle occurs, could it be that it is not the self (especially not the ego self) which does the miracle, but instead the "will of God" (whatever that is)? For the inner immortal to claim responsibility for such magic, would only make ego salivate with envy. And then it becomes very difficult to tell which "me" is the true self. This defeats the purpose of spiritual awakening. This almost becomes a Catch-22 situation—damned if you do and damned if you don't. Ego is a slippery devil—a shape-shifter and a con artist.

When the founder of Christianity said that he and his heavenly Father were one, could he have been alluding to the idea that God is the combined spiritual force of us all? He seems to open the door to this idea when he reminded his enemies (who were about to stone him for blasphemy) that "ye are gods."

Elsewhere, I describe the difference between a truly extraordinary "miracle" and an "ordinary miracle." One is a cause-and-effect circumvention of physical law, while the other is merely a product of physical circumstance—a "happy accident." I have seen the extraordinary variety and this proves one thing to me—that there is something superior to physical law, something which possesses a consciousness. And it may be quite different from anything anyone has yet conceived about this notion of "God."

For believer and non-believer alike, these may seem to be strange ideas. It is quite possible that none of these ideas are true, but from my own experience and research, they answer so many of the Bible's apparent contradictions and enigmas.

The Bible has long held many secrets and those apparent contradictions are really clues to a deeper wisdom. The Torah.
The Bible has long held many secrets and those apparent contradictions are really clues to a deeper wisdom. The Torah. | Source

The Bible is a Book

Is it anything more than merely a piece of ancient literature? What if it were? What if a powerful wisdom were hidden inside reachable only by those who approached it with reverence and humility? To the arrogant atheist who is not interested in looking any further (they already have it all figured out), such reverence and humility prove to be impossibilities. To the curious atheist who does not cling to any one ideology, such attitudes might be achievable, with practice.

The Bible contains many stories, quite a number of them too incredible for many to believe. And others believe everything written therein with an unshakable conviction. And what if that powerful wisdom were to be denied all those believers simply because they lack the humility to search for new answers? They already think they know it all. Sound like someone you know?

Why would powerful wisdom be hidden in the Bible? Good question. And there are at least two powerful answers.

Have you ever known anyone who received a gift or had won some prize and who quickly trashed it or wasted it? It was "free" so it was not that "valuable." Many a lottery winner lost not only their newfound wealth, but everything they'd had before their windfall. Why? Perhaps they lacked the skills to manage such a fortune—both emotionally and intellectually.

Give someone a great deal of power, and they might quickly squander or abuse it. Jim Carrey's Bruce Almighty comes to mind, as an example. Though the movie is pure fiction, it tellingly reveals some very human weaknesses.

The other drawback of instant anything involves ego. Such a boon is likely to go to the head of the recipient. Their swelled ego results in arrogance and contributes to the first failure.

The first drawback is the wasted opportunity. The second drawback is the damage to the personality.

How can the Bible contain "powerful wisdom" if there are so many problems with what the Bible says? This, of course, is another good question.

 

Marilyn Monroe flirting with Cary Grant in the film, "Monkey Business" (1952). But Mr. Grant's character is missing the clues being offered.
Marilyn Monroe flirting with Cary Grant in the film, "Monkey Business" (1952). But Mr. Grant's character is missing the clues being offered. | Source

Contradictions or Clues?

If you wanted to have your readers work for their answers, how would you do it? How would you lay down a series of clues that led to the things you wanted to reveal?

One way is to say something crazy or non sequitur . Women do this all the time, and the guys so often don't pay enough attention.

That happened to me once. I was dating one of the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. A few weeks into the relationship, we were on our way to lunch, making small talk, and she quipped that she had never received a speeding ticket, then remarked that her father was a police captain. Any dolt can think that the two statements were related. "Ah, her father arranged things to make speeding tickets disappear." Nope, that wasn't it. It took me a long time to figure out what she was really trying to tell me. Too long! And there were many other, similar clues. She was trying to tell me that I was not moving fast enough in the relationship. If only I had known! Alas!

Missing the clues is something a lot of people do. They find an easy answer and quit, thinking that they know it all. They get lazy. Both believers and non-believers do this.

The timeline found in Genesis provides us another example. Take it too literally and we have a contradiction. Science disagrees with the literal Genesis timeline.

Science works, and though it may not be perfect, it is batting close to a thousand. Belief in the literal Genesis timeline is therefore a delusion. Those who believe in this are ignoring reality—and what is delusion, if not the ignorance of reality?

Some scholars tell us to ignore the timeline in Genesis. The Bible, they tell us, was not meant to give us a literal history. That could be another form of laziness—"don't look."

But what if Genesis has clues to a real timeline, one that remains compatible with those of science? I have found such clues and the resulting timeline. A great deal more work needs to be done to corroborate this new Genesis timeline, but it stands as a very real breakthrough. It proves that, given sufficient temerity and persistence, but humility about what might lay ahead, answers can be found—answers which had lain hidden for millennia.

One such clue comes in Genesis 5:2, "Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created." Notice here that Adam is both male and female; Adam is plural ("them"). The outrageous longevity of the early patriarchs might not be so outrageous if the names applied both to the founders and their eponymous tribes.

Because science has found that humanity has been around far longer than the six thousand years in literal Genesis, the biblical timeline is obviously far too short. The ages of those "patriarchs" are far too small. Imagine that! The Methuselah tribe might have been around far longer than 969 years, while Methuselah himself might have lived to be only sixty.

The Bible contains clues which justify applying a factor to greatly enlarge the years given to each of those patriarchal "tribes." The result is a timeline which exceeds the current age of humanity found in anthropology. But hey, there are many more bones to be found.

Could it be that both biblical literalists and the hardened skeptics have been looking in the wrong directions? Some interpretations are better than others. Scientists, in attempting to interpret nature, sometimes know this. Humility allows them to look further. Humility allows one to find far more in the Bible, too.

Also

"The Bible for Atheists: Suffering and a Loving God" (coming soon).

"The Bible for Atheists: Science and the Supernatural" (coming soon).

 

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Comments 24 comments

Apostle Jack profile image

Apostle Jack 5 years ago from Atlanta Ga

Everyone is not suppose to believe.Everyones name is not and will not be written in the book of life.Everyone that believe in Christ shall not go to heaven.Matt 7 v 21

Because some don't believe...so what.That is the way it is predestine to be.Most of the world shall be under the mark of the beast and separated from God.What you see in the world is a clear example of that.It shall become worse and worse.


Pierre Savoie profile image

Pierre Savoie 5 years ago from Canada

No, you're still hanging on to a baseline belief that there could be a God, and skewing all your reasoning to that conclusion, a foregone conclusion. But nothing can be baseline unless it is provable. It is almost certain the Sun will come up tomorrow, since scientifically we know it is a big ball and the Earth is a big ball rotating and it will turn us towards the first big ball unless there are BIGGER balls to interfere with it and we aren't noticing any! But talk of God, angels, pregnant virgins, and talking donkeys is not at all in this realm of certainty, but in the murky guck bargain-basement of imaginary things. So the moment a believer pre-supposes things and dares to pepper talk about mythology such as "Book of Life" and Bible quotes in an abstract philosophical discussion SUPPOSEDLY to talk about God from first principles, I know they are partisan, not human any more; their minds are gone.

And as for the World getting worse and worse, how is that true? As country after country has ripped itself from the grip of religious authority and become secular, we have: tripled our lifespan, increased our food-growing by a factor of 50, doubled and tripled education for all in public systems, which do not require you to make yourself an apprentice (slave) to a half-educated tradesperson, but get exposed to a VARIETY of subjects leading you to university and face-time with the smartest humans there are! These are unprecedented advantages -- so where is the decline, the chaos supposedly brought on by more and more sin? Clearly the Christian paradigm is at odds with historical reality.


Apostle Jack profile image

Apostle Jack 5 years ago from Atlanta Ga

Can you deny the fact that some do and some don't,and some will and some won't?Atheist was not meant to believe.They believe as they believe because that is the way it was meant to be.Heaven is not for everyone.Many will miss the boat.Some will never see the boat.Some don't care.If some do not believe...so what.It shall not affect the original.This world shall get worse and worse.One will need more stability and strength to make it through future times.Only certain ones shall be the victors,the rest shall be under the yoke of darkness and spiritual captivity and open prey to the will of Satan.


Pierre Savoie profile image

Pierre Savoie 5 years ago from Canada

The May 21 Rapture Boat apparently sprung a leak...


lone77star profile image

lone77star 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Apostle Jack, would there have been any reason for Jesus to come to Earth if "predestiny" were true?

If "predestiny" is true, then you may as well stop talking about this. Nothing you do or say can make a difference, with everything predestined.

I don't buy that.

I know the path is difficult, because ego is a tricky devil. And those who hold onto ego too tightly have far less chance to make it. But would you recognize ego? I see it all around me. I see it in almost everything written in Hub Pages (almost).

Sure, things will get worse. They've been getting worse for a few years, now. Heightened tensions (especially since 9/11), increased divisiveness (especially between the believers and the skeptics), and a method for escalating that divisiveness (the internet). Increased turbulence in the economy and climate. But both believers and skeptics are wrong, when they are so polarized. Both are living in the ego. The ideal is the neutral (humility). There is so much we do not know and we cannot find answers with our attitudes.


lone77star profile image

lone77star 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Thanks, Pierre, for stopping by. I was hoping more for a discussion on the Hub, rather than a response to your past experiences and to Apostle Jack's rant.

And yes, the Rapture Boat sprung a leak. Clearly, the originator of the "prediction" didn't know what he was talking about... or perhaps it was a publicity stunt. If so, well then, that worked! It got everyone's attention. But what a waste.


Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 5 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

lone77star: Please what is so wrong with belief and faith? Example:

I want to learn how to ride a bicycle. I believe I can do it and I have faith that I will succeed, therefore I do.

OR?

I want to learn how to ride a bicycle. I believe I can do it I have faith that I will succeed and that God will help me, therefore I do it I learn how to ride a bicycle.

The result is still the same. I try, I fall, I get back up, I try again until I get it right. God is that little voice inside my head saying get up you can do this.


lone77star profile image

lone77star 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

@Apostle Jack and @Pierre Savoie, I applaude both of your shows of enthusiasm, but this is not a forum.

I have removed most of your comments because nearly all of them have nothing to do with this hub.

Petty bickering will not be tolerated, here. I do welcome disagreements, but attached to civil discussions of the topic at hand.


lone77star profile image

lone77star 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Hi Dave, belief and faith are great. If you remember my "Anatomy of a Miracle" hub, you'll see how I distinguish between these. But some people misunderstand these.

Belief is a vital tool for use within the physical realm. We all use it; it's inescapable. Your examples are good, but I make a vivid distinction between belief and faith, because I use "faith" to mean the state of mind of Peter to walk on water, of Moses to part the sea, and Jesus to turn water into wine. This "definition" of "faith" differs greatly from mere, mortal "belief."

"Faith" is never falling off the bicycle in the first place and riding it perfectly, first time. My brother did this with a guitar. He watched a friend play a few chords and asked if he could try. He played the same chords perfectly. The friend asked how many years my brother had been playing. He replied, "Never touched a guitar before now." See what I mean?

In my hub, I use "faith" in quotes, because I'm flagging it as pseudo-faith -- the strong belief of the deluded (atheists, in this example).


AKA Winston 5 years ago

A couple of points:

(If we were to define the Judeo-Christian "God," it might be something like this: "a non-physical, spiritual and immortal source of creation.")

(The first book of the Bible describes this "Father of the universe" creating "man" in His own image.)

The obvious conclusion is that "man" must be a "non-physical, spritual, and immortal" being: Gnosticism.

It would also mean there could not have been a perfect sacrifice of Jesus/god, as the human body could not be perfect and the god portion could not die.

Again, this is the Gnostic's position of the crucifixion.

(Now, one thing that most Jews and Christians would vehemently deny, is that this seems to mean that we are each individually "baby gods." Don't laugh too hard. What if it were true? What if, beneath the physical Homo sapiens shell, an immortal lay sleeping?)

Again, Gnosticism.

(The Bible contains clues)

The question left unanswered is "why the bible?" and not the Qu'ran or the Book of Mormon or some other book? If fact, why not the Gnostic Gospels uncovered in Nag Hammidi, as Gnostic beliefs fit better the assumption of an immortal (godlike) aspect of man?

To use the bible as a source is to commit the fallacy of begging the question as an assumption that there are clues to reality in the bible assumes that a magical knowledge conveyed that knowledge to humans.

One must assume the bible valid in order to use the bible as valid evidence, hence any reasoning that offers a valid conclusion based on the bible is always circular.

But the best claim that can ever be made about the bible is "if it is so, then" which makes the proposition contigent, and modal contingents never become necessities.

It is fallacious to say if P then Q, and then claim because of P, necessarily Q. Q never relinquishes its contingent property, regardless of any truth-claim about P, and thus Q is never conclusively the case.


Pierre Savoie profile image

Pierre Savoie 5 years ago from Canada

AKA Winston says it better than me! I salute you.


lone77star profile image

lone77star 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Howdy, @AKA Winston. Good to hear from you, again. You've given me some juicy debates.

The first three paragraphs of your comment sound okay to me. Paragraph 4 loses me on the idea of "perfection." What does "perfect" really mean, and is it really applicable to Christ's sacrifice? I think not, at least in one respect. By one definition of "perfect," Homo sapiens bodies are definitely perfect -- the right item for the purpose of giving the dead asleep immortals a method for working out their escape. Reminds me of the "virtual agent" sent into the "Total Recall" customer's subconscious to coax him back from dreamland (one of Arnold's big movies). Mortal consciousness is that dream state of the sleeping immortals. And the everlasting life of which the Nazarene spoke is the awakening of those immortals so that bodily death is no longer a return to complete unconsciousness.

Are you are presuming too much in your statement of "perfect sacrifice?" What was the purpose of that sacrifice?

If we are the same gods that Jesus was (siblings of that singular child of God), then his sacrifice was likely meant as a symbol of the sacrifice we need to make in order to awaken. We don't need to literally die on the cross, but we need to give up our attachments to ego. Does anyone in hub pages have an ego? Whew! I've seen plenty of it, including my own.

And "the Gnostic's position?" You talk about it as if there were only one position. How thoroughly imperfect of you, @AKA. Or I could say, how thoroughly perfect of your ego or illogic. Even a broken cup is perfect -- for nowhere in the universe is there a cup as perfectly that cup broken.

And very funny: "The question left unaswered..." Why unanswered? If you imply that I haven't answered it, then I have to point out that you never asked. Duh! If you imply that others have not answered, then you haven't read enough. Here's my answer: Yes, Qu'ran, Book of Mormon, and Baghavad Gita! Also, the precepts and technology of Scientology. Each have clues to the re-awakening of the immortal spirit. I've had a great fondness for Buddhist teachings, the Jewish Kabbalah, and Scientology, but that may have a lot to do with my exposure, more than anything else.

@AKA, your reasoning on "circular reasoning" and the Bible is confused, at best. Certainly, many have argued poorly about the Bible -- some with no idea of logic, at all.

In any investigation, one can suspend disbelief on any subject and see where that idea leads. Einstein did this with all manner of crazy ideas in his quest for understanding the problems of late-19th century physics. It's called "imagination" and it is the preferred tool of the man who epitomized our word for "genius." Try it out. It lead Einstein to Relativity.

Say that some baby gods got themselves into a fix and created a mental trap from which escape seemed nearly impossible. Fear and pain guided one always back into the trap. So did desire and pleasure. All of it ego! Like the old Star Trek episode of a trap from which there was supposedly no escape, the solution was merely to let go. That's what Christ's sacrifice was all about. And that was what was so perfect about it.

So what if you've never experienced a true miracle (yep, like mine on Wilshire Boulevard). But was it a fluke? Certainly it was rare, and because it happened (even without a video tape recorder), it proved to me that we are indeed spiritual beings with more power than our physical bodies can ever produce.

So, could the miracles of the Bible have been real? Perhaps. I wasn't there, and we have no video tape. I don't have video tape of Julius Caesar, but we still believe he existed. If the miracles of the Bible were real, could it also be that the teachings of the Bible have some importance?

Just because you can't understand the Bible, doesn't mean it has no value. Some people don't understand nuclear physics or 3D matrix math, but that doesn't mean they don't have value. No circular reasoning, there. And what juicy subjects they are.

So, what's wrong with suspending disbelief for awhile and investigating? And some skeptics say that they have done this, but did they cover all the bases? Some people toss electronic equipment in the garbage because they've tried "everything" and couldn't get it to work. So, they say! I'm sure that some at the manufacturing company would be laughing their asses off at the lameness of such a presumption. There are many more things in the universe than are dreamt of in your philosophy @AKA, and you too, Pierre.

If you obstinately sit in your arrogant, know-it-all position of world view, then of course, you'll never get it to work! And what elegant proof you've created to satisfy yourself. You've tried everything, and tossed the manual for creating miracles and spiritual awakening in the garbage. Bravo! You win (in your own mind)!


lone77star profile image

lone77star 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

@Pierre, thanks for returning. With AKA Winston, could it be, Pierre, that your standards are not high enough. Sir Winston can sling fancy words about with great ease, but do they construct a house of cards?


AKA Winston 5 years ago

lone77star,

Interesting that you mention scientology as I recognize that in your views about ego - was going to mention it this time but you beat me to it.

You do have a flare for cremating strawmen, I admit. Anyone who is familiar with gnostic beliefs knows that gnosticism was multi-faceted. I really didn't think it necessary to write a 5000 word rebuttal in a comment.

I also never said the bible was worthless, as you imply, but I did ask why you don't also take the Gnostic Gospels as equally valuable. More straw for your furnace.

I do agree with you that suspensison of disbelief can be a lot of fun when indulging fantasies - but that exercise becomes dangerous to others when you can no longer distinguish the real from the illusion.

Just ask John Nash.


lone77star profile image

lone77star 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Aw, shucks, Winston. I thought I won that round of debate, but to see that you have a 5000-word rebuttal in reserve,... well, I quiver in defeat!

And you, my dear Winston, have a flare for side-stepping. You said, "the Gnostic's position," and I questioned the use of the word "the," but you retort, "Anyone who is familiar with gnostic beliefs knows that gnosticism was multi-faceted." Are you saying that there is room for more than one "position" in Gnosticism? If so, then I would say that your use of "the" was inappropriate, and that finally you are agreeing to that fact. Score 1 for 77!

And shucks, again, dear Winston! I didn't use the word "worthless," but you certainly seem to imply such when you said, "To use the bible as a source is to commit the fallacy..." Hmmm-m-m, is it reasonable to conclude that you are implying that the Bible is not a valid source... worthless as a source? Really, Winston! Is your memory that faulty, or has ego clouded your vision? It can do that with great regularity. I've had some experience with that, too.

And you really, really do not know much about Scientology. That is not where I got my views on ego. In fact, that is one of Scientology's shortcomings. It may even have been the downfall of its founder, Hubbard. There is entirely too much unbridled ego in Scientology. Though, I have to admit, the techniques of Scientology are a powerhouse for opening up the windows of self-awareness. That was what helped me overcome (only briefly) my own ego. Without Scientology, the miracle on Wilshire Boulevard would likely not have occurred.

I got my views on ego from Buddhism, and later (by quiet reflection on the teachings of Jesus) in Christianity. The Nazarene teacher talked a lot about ego, and some about karma and reincarnation, without ever mentioning these words.

And, dear Winston, you seem to agree with a delusion. I never said anything about suspension of disbelief to indulge a fantasy. You clearly are living in a fantasy, twisting things to help your own ego come out on top. Like I said, "you win! (in your own mind)." Perhaps you've been talking too much with John Nash, yourself.

The sad thing, Winston, is that for all your cleverness, you cannot see the difference between bliss and delusion. It's like talking about color to a blind person.

Sure, I could have talked about some other religious work, but "duh!" read the title. Figure out what that means and why I didn't talk about astrophysics, 3D matrix math, AI techniques in object oriented programming, the search for Earth-like planets, how techniques in painting might be similar to those in writing music or screeplays, or any one of a number of other areas of my interests. Come on, Winston. Get your head out of the dark. Why would anyone write only about the subject suggested in the title of their article?

The Bible is full of wisdom, but with an attitude like yours, I sincerely doubt you'll ever "get it." It takes work and humility. I can see you've done some leg work of your own, but doubt that you'll ever gain the needed humility. Work alone won't get you there. Am I being pessimistic, or merely dropping a glove of challenge?

To quote Aimee Mann in "Today's the Day," "And baby isn't this your chance to make a break with circumstance?"


Jonathan Janco profile image

Jonathan Janco 5 years ago from Southport, CT

Another fine hub.

Sorry my comments are so short!

But I don't know if you'll win over any atheists with this position but you've definitely reminded me to further open my mind to not only the spiritual but the physical and its many non-physical implications.

I shall return


lone77star profile image

lone77star 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Jonathan, thank you for your kind words and your short comment. Sometimes the short form can be far more potent. Like haiku or Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.

Win over atheists? Probably not. But if it gets them to wonder, even just a little, that might be something beautiful.


Apostle Jack profile image

Apostle Jack 5 years ago from Atlanta Ga

The Atheist, the Anti-christ and paganism fall hand in hand.Everyone was not meant to be saved nor to inter into the kingdom of Heaven Matt 7 v 21...so we can't expect everyone to believe.


lone77star profile image

lone77star 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Thanks, Jack. I understand what you mean about not everyone entering the kingdom of heaven. But I also feel that God loves all His children. If it were possible for everyone to have all be saved, then that would be preferable. But the decision is theirs and ours.


Dannytaylor02 profile image

Dannytaylor02 4 years ago from United Kingdom, Liverpool

its easy to describe what god is from the bible because we where made in his image...simple really :)


lone77star profile image

lone77star 4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Thanks, @Dannytaylor02. And yet so many people get confused by Genesis 1:26. They don't realize that God is not Homo sapiens, so they miss the fact that their own human bodies are not what God is trying to save.


lone77star profile image

lone77star 4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Thanks, R. I appreciate your input, but disagree with your assessment.

God not worthy of being worshiped? He's owner and creator of the entire universe. And why would anyone blame the Kardashians on Him? They're gag awful on their own accord. I thought your reference was hilarious, though. The Kardashians are the armpit of ego and self-importance. It has "notice me" written all over it.

You keep repeating the same statement in many forms, but offer little to support your viewpoint. You imply that God is awful or negligent, but that viewpoint is because of poor understanding.

Do you want to understand? Or do you want merely to hold onto your imperfect idea about God? Either one is okay. It's your decision. But understand that just because you say things are a certain way, does not make them so. Belief doesn't make something true. I'm sure you understand this.

Why would God allow suffering? The answer is simple. Would you really appreciate the answer? It has taken me decades to appreciate some of the answers God has given to me. But I've seen miracles. I've walked the corridors of space and looked without the use of human eyes. I happen to KNOW that I'm a spiritual being with a human body. This isn't mere belief.

We are each immortal spirit (usually catatonic) wrapped in Homo sapiens flesh.

But here's the answer. God allows suffering because it's not His children who are suffering. It's their temporary bodies -- the vessels in which they temporarily reside. But there's more to the answer. God's children look like Him in more than the lack of form (spirit). They also look like Him in the ability to create. Only we've forgotten how to control our creations. Because of this, we humans suffer.

God could step in, but that would destroy the rescue mission. You see, God's children are trapped in the physical realm. The only way they can get out is to take responsibility for their part in creating their own trap. God cannot take responsibility for them, for that would have no effect on freeing them (us). God stepping in would only have the effect of strengthening the ego (the trap itself).

Suffering is part of the path out of the trap. That's karma and reincarnation. That's the opportunity of the hardened criminal to soften their heart when, in the next incarnation, they wonder, "Why, God, is this happening to me?" You see, God loved Jacob, but "hated" Esau as a matter of the mechanics of karma. He still loved both of them, but Esau had a debt to pay. When the suicide perpetrator steps off of a 20-story building, they go splat on the pavement. That's God "hating" them at the velocity of impact. That is their decision colliding with the laws of physical reality. Behind the laws, God still loves all of His children unconditionally.

The "God" you perceive in religions is not the "God" that exists. And that is more a function of your misinterpretation. I read the Judeo-Christian Bible and see something entirely different. I see a loving God who has His hands tied by the inability to force these baby gods to wake up.

God is infinitely better than Hitler. Hitler was ego personified. God is love in the purest. They're as different as night and day.

Rod


Indigo Atheist profile image

Indigo Atheist 4 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

What bugs me is the part where you seem to say that to understand the Bible it must be approached with "reverence and humility". I think that that's the difference between using the scientific method to solve a problem and using spiritual methods. To use spiritual methods, whether it's the Bible, the I-Ching, visualization, chakras, tarot cards, whatever, one usually is told to have a correct mindset, and to rid themselves of "negative thoughts" ie, doubts and skepticism. This approach falls short of the scientific method, however, wherein no observation is made and no attitude constructed about the data, either positive or negative, until the data is gathered. To tell people to have positive thoughts going into something is a good way to ensure that they feel good about it, which is a foregone conclusion. When examining the truth of something like a religious text, I think it's best to study it without previously having decided anything about it one way or the other. Your insistence on "reverence and humility" means that you think we should approach the Bible with the foregone conclusion that it's superior in some way, which is bad for true understanding. The problem with religion is exactly that, it asks you to believe something, usually many things, and then you stop inquiry and investigation because you've already reached a conclusion. You are telling people to conclude something about the Bible before reading it or studying common interpretations of it. I think people should read and study the Bible with no preconceived notion of what it is or is supposed to be.


lone77star profile image

lone77star 4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Thanks, @Indigo Atheist, for being bugged enough to offer you viewpoint. Bravo!

What does scientific method say about bias? It warns against bias, and yet the key paradigm of science, skepticism, is filled with bias -- the bias of doubt. There's a much better paradigm for science, and all the best scientists use it, even though they may not be entirely aware of that fact.

Let me give you an example. A certain scientist thinks they know it all. They've studied their field for decades and they've become a leading expert. New information is published that contradicts their sacred "truths" and they lash out. They ridicule. They write nasty things and make nasty statements.

This happens in science far more often than you realize. This happened in North American anthropology with the "Clovis first" doctrine. The ones who "knew it all" ridiculed and condemned anyone who dug below the Clovis horizon. Where in the scientific method is there room for ridicule? Isn't that a tad childish?

But today, thankfully, the "Clovis first" dogma is dead. Enough scientists braved the threats of ruined careers and other ridicule to find the evidence which proves "Clovis first" wrong.

A couple of years ago, some NASA scientists were ridiculed in the press by scientists who simply "knew" that their "discovery" was wrong. Wow! What an attitude. Arsenic-loving microbes are impossible, so they said.

The point of these examples is that skepticism can be "subjective" and "destructive," instead of objective and helpful.

So, what's this better paradigm I mentioned? Restraint or humility -- a reverence for the evidence and the truth in the area of one's research.

In the Clovis example, if the know-it-all leaders had held greater humility and restraint -- reverence for the search for answers -- they would not have ridiculed. They might have demanded more evidence, which is the right thing to do, but ridicule -- never!

Do you see what I mean?

I'm not talking about coming to the Bible with preconceived notions. I'm talking about using the same restraint and humility that will allow anyone to discover answers.

You're absolutely right that preconceived notions will get in the way of finding answers.

An Eastern religion gives us an example of this wisdom. It's about a monk and a nobleman. The aristocrat wants the monk to teach him about wisdom. The monk recognizes in the nobleman the trait of arrogance. He suggests the aristocrat return later for tea.

At the appointed time, the nobleman comes in, sits before the table and the monk pours tea into his cup. But he continues to pour, even after the cup is full, spilling tea onto the nobleman's fine clothes.

The aristocrat jumps up in anger. "Don't you see that my cup is full?"

The monk stops pouring and says, "Yes, I know. But do you? Come back when your cup is empty."

Was the monk talking about the physical cup and the tea? Of course not. He was talking about the lack of reverence and humility -- the attitude that the nobleman "knew it all," and thus could not be taught anything.

If your cup is full (arrogant), you cannot learn anything new (fill your cup with new knowledge).

I think it was Herschel who discovered that the stars were moving. He was humble enough and had reverence enough for the truth, that he did not let his teachings and the dogma of the past stop him from pursuing new knowledge no matter where it led him. His cup was empty. He had the right attitude, and helped make astronomy into a far better science.

Was your cup full when you read this article?

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