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Thomas, the Saint of Atheists

  1. Ericdierker profile image80
    Ericdierkerposted 2 years ago

    In the story of the upper room Thomas even doubts his eyes. And he asks the master to let him touch the wounds to be sure that it is real. He did not operate on blind faith. He did not let his sense of awe cloud his quest for truth. He was an empiricist skeptic. Hoorah for Thomas.

    And the master did not rebuke his lack of blind faith. He nearly welcomed it. He held open his wounds so that the mind of Thomas could believe. And the Master loved Thomas as much as any apostle. And if Thomas had still not believed, the Master would have loved him still.

    In Christian verses Atheist debate both Thomas and blind believers are to accept and love one another. If the Atheist asks for proof we are not to rebuke them, we are to open our own wounds and let them touch. For often it is not the healing of wounds that is glorified but the sharing of them that bears witness to the Christian truth.

    It is our suffering and overcoming that death of spirit that allows for the Thomas' to see and feel our wounds and how through our Father we overcome them. And if seeing this there is still not enough proof for the Thomas Atheist then perhaps through debate we can leave a doorway open that allows both to enter the room of the other and gain understanding.

    Rancor and bitter debate is not a hardship, it is an attempt at honesty and none of us are perfect at how we approach honesty. Thickness of skin is required to openly debate matters of such importance and meanness and rudeness are not to be used against each other but to show sincerity in our compassion for each other.
    Yes Jesus did not sweetly smile and try to explain the wrong of the money changers outside the temple. He vigorously acted with contempt and admonishment. And no, an Atheist has no duty to let hypocrisy slide with politeness.

    The ongoing debates on these forums must continue and let those who have not the heart for battle watch and not participate, for yours is a different talent.

    What say you?

    1. Jodah profile image87
      Jodahposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Ah Eric, It just hit me...that lightbulb moment! This is where the term "Doubting Thomas" came from, right?

      1. Ericdierker profile image80
        Ericdierkerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Cool, I bet the light bulb just went on for many. Thanks

    2. Don W profile image82
      Don Wposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      I say that, assuming for the sake of argument the story is true, Thomas was a man of faith, just a different kind. He may have doubted his eyes, but he didn't doubt his other senses. Putting his fingers in the holes would have been meaningless without the assumption that his senses were telling him the truth. We all make that assumption every day unless we have good reason not to. We are genetically programmed to (through natural selection) as that trait helps us not get killed. Without that assumption, we would literally be unable to believe our senses. So Thomas was a man of faith, as are we all (yes even non theists).

      I question the notion that Christians have "blind faith". The belief of many Christians I have spoken to is grounded in an apparent experience of god. Whether that be a feeling of being loved, or forgiven, or peacefulness, or awe, or damnation. They feel they experience god in their lives from day to day. That is not blind faith. Just like Thomas their belief is grounded in what they are sensing, and the assumption that what they are sensing is accurate. True blind faith would be believing in the existence of god, without ever having felt any experience of god. I have met Christians who have gone through a "dark night of the soul" but I've never met a Christian who does not feel they have experienced god in their life in some way.

      1. Ericdierker profile image80
        Ericdierkerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        A clarity seldom seen and right to be appreciated. I suppose I like to think I have blind faith, but you have opened my eyes. For I have experienced that which I attribute to the fruit of God, Love.

    3. oceansnsunsets profile image89
      oceansnsunsetsposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      How great that the question by doubting Thomas and the reply from Jesus has been recorded and preserved for us all to this day.  That is quite amazing.  God didn't have to provide these evidences he has, but he did!  That is pretty cool.  It was a question many of us may have had, and we have the answer.  God knows people pretty well, it turns out, and doesn't doubt a true heart.

  2. Zelkiiro profile image83
    Zelkiiroposted 2 years ago

    I dunno. The story of Thomas and his famous episode of doubt doesn't strike me as the portrait of a scientist--a scientist would've had a lot more questions, took notes, and took Jesus to his Bronze Age lab to run some experiments--but of a man so awestruck and overcome with emotion that he couldn't trust his eyes to tell him the truth.

    But of course, the Resurrection is a crock, anyway, so the stories surrounding it are hardly worth taking so seriously outside of the realm of discussing fiction.

    1. Ericdierker profile image80
      Ericdierkerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Just so you know that comment is nothing but insulting and meant to hurt persons who believe. If you think it has other value you delude yourself. If that is the person you are continue.Perhaps that is you, just someone who wants to degrade other people's beliefs.

      1. psycheskinner profile image79
        psycheskinnerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        It is equal and opposite to what you just did.

        1. Ericdierker profile image80
          Ericdierkerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          How so?

  3. psycheskinner profile image79
    psycheskinnerposted 2 years ago

    I put my Faith in Hello Kitty, the icons are more PG.

  4. gmwilliams profile image84
    gmwilliamsposted 2 years ago

    I just love these religious threads, don't you psycheskinner?  Love to see the contention in the threads.  I say to each his/her own. Believe what you will.

  5. cleaner3 profile image81
    cleaner3posted 2 years ago

    keep writing Eric..
    can the nonbelievers can  hope to open their eyes to the amazing world that surrounds us and ask them selves how all this wonderment can be created.. is through chance that the universe is so beautiful and amazing.. it is perchance that the human body is so complicated.. that a quirk of fate created this  intricate machine... or even the tiny butterfly, the fish of the sea's, whose colors matches the most beautiful things the minds eye will ever see.. science can only take us so far .. then we must depend on faith to show the way home..

    1. EncephaloiDead profile image60
      EncephaloiDeadposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Nonbelievers understand that it is due to millions of years of evolution. That is what the evidence suggests.



      Sorry, but faith is not the next stepping stone from science, science precludes faith because faith based ideas and conclusions are very often wrong.

      1. Ericdierker profile image80
        Ericdierkerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        So why try a new experiment?

      2. cleaner3 profile image81
        cleaner3posted 2 years ago in reply to this

        so who are you to say faith based  conclusions are wrong..?
        you are but human ..as we..  only when we die will any of us know the truth..;
        how could science preclude faith .. if you know anything at all about the journey of life .. you would realize that  the earliest man looked to the heavens and praised whomever could create such things we see now... if science is so great why can they not explain global warming../ or even the depths of the sea's...
        Science is as implausible  as only your tiny mind will fathom..

        1. EncephaloiDead profile image60
          EncephaloiDeadposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          One of many who observe faith based conclusions as being wrong.



          When you're dead, you know nothing, because you're dead.



          Easily, people believe in things and then science comes along to tell us the truth and replace those beliefs with facts.



          Early man was very ignorant.



          Just because science does not have all the answers doesn't mean it has not found valid answers.



          lol  I gather you know very little about science, then.

          1. cleaner3 profile image81
            cleaner3posted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Energy does not die..... how do you know what happens when human beings die .. You do not!!

            All science is not truth .. it the beliefs that humans think is so...

            Early man built the pyramids and we can not even do that feat now ???

            I gather you know less than  I do....   you think you know more ..except I believe in my self .. you on the other hand would not believe it if you seen it .. skeptic..

            1. psycheskinner profile image79
              psycheskinnerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              What has energy got to do with it?  The energy in my body once came from a star, once was in a dinosaur.  But I am not a star or a dinosaur.  The matter in my body was once as asteroid and once a redwood tree, but I am not an asteroid or a redwood tree.  therefore like those things I will one day cease to exist as an entity and be recycled and taken up by other entities. But to say the worms that eat me become me is to take things a little further than I an willing to go.

              1. Ericdierker profile image80
                Ericdierkerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Cleaner and psycheskinner, WOW what an inner exchange! I am blown away by this discourse.
                I ask you both: Since I cannot own my energy nor contain it, are we not of the same energy now at this moment.

                Beware -- I preach that love is the energy that is the only energy common to all man (save psychotics) and therefor I claim that love is God. I take the worms as metaphorical, in the cosmic sense yet comprehensible in the organic sense.

              2. cleaner3 profile image81
                cleaner3posted 2 years ago in reply to this

                well... energy is the spark in each one of us .. without that spark we could not be who we are.. your energy might have..... I stress ...Might have come... from the dust of the universe, but you .. have admitted that there is a transference of this... energy... that you poo poo..
                although  how it gets to something else is your own faith... that it moves on some how... some way .. right ?
                so you do have faith ???

            2. EncephaloiDead profile image60
              EncephaloiDeadposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Like Psycheskinner explains, we die and our bodies are recycled. That's pretty much it.



              Science provides us with truth of the world around us.



              Yeah, we can do that and much more. Have you noticed NASA put men on the moon?

              1. Ericdierker profile image80
                Ericdierkerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                You take it too far. Science provides facts. Truth is bigger than science alone.

                1. EncephaloiDead profile image60
                  EncephaloiDeadposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Facts=Truth

                  1. Ericdierker profile image80
                    Ericdierkerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    False

              2. Jodah profile image87
                Jodahposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                How many times have scientists, or doctors for that matter, said something is fact and 10 or 20 years later there is a new development and what they previously thought of as 'fact' is now wrong. this has happened all the time throughout history. so just because science says something is 'fact' doesn't make it truth.

                1. EncephaloiDead profile image60
                  EncephaloiDeadposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Such as?

                  1. Ericdierker profile image80
                    Ericdierkerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    Gravity is absolute. Now we find it is different in space and different at 3 thousand feet underwater. Point blank case in point. Get over it. A mere 60 years ago gravity was absolute. A mere 2,000 years ago Christ was. One survives and the other is modified. Science is temporal and today. Faith is a truth that passes all time. One is fact by existence and the other fact by peer review.

                  2. Jodah profile image87
                    Jodahposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    Scientists once believed that the earth was flat, that the sun revolved around the earth, not vice versa.

                  3. cleaner3 profile image81
                    cleaner3posted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    So... if there are paranormal events that happen... without explanation .. does that mean, because you did not witness them ..they did not happen or  the people and scientists  were hallucinating..?  there are such facts that paranormal events have perpetuated myth's which turn into  truth..

                    Truth is what you i9n your mind believe it is ..  Faith is in my mind what I believe it is .. if I have Faith.. in the truths that the god within my own body is there who are you to tell me that it isn't..?
                    to try to inject climate change is just muddying the waters.. the main question of the whole argument is FAITH..   I have Faith and you do not ..it is as simple as that .... why do you try so hard to disapprove my faith ..

                2. wilderness profile image96
                  wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  True (no pun intended).  It is just our best effort at determining truth.  More than any other method, science as been accurate.

                  1. Ericdierker profile image80
                    Ericdierkerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    that would be bull#$@% wilderness. Science is more wrong than right by it's very nature. Feelings and senses are more right by their very nature. Disprove a theory but you cannot disprove a feeling.

                  2. Paul Wingert profile image79
                    Paul Wingertposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    Science makes changes and modifications when there's a new discovery. Theories are there to be disproved. The Big Bang and evolution aren't going anywhere. They will be added to and modified over time. For those the claim the Big Bang and evolution are lies from hell (LMAO), sad by these poorly educated people do exist and that's proven, they need to gather their evidence, get it peer analyzed and collect their Nobel Prize.

              3. cleaner3 profile image81
                cleaner3posted 2 years ago in reply to this

                so many try to prove that facts are the norm... 
                when you die the body dies but does the energy that lives in the mind die also.. ? you or no one knows this..!  so do not say you do ..!
                you or no one knows  if reincarnation happens or not..
                you think because you have no faith in a higher being that it is true ..   truth is not what you think it is..! just because you say it is so.

                1. EncephaloiDead profile image60
                  EncephaloiDeadposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  What norm?



                  What energy? What are you talking about exactly? Please specify? What energy is in the mind?



                  Unless you can actually substantiate what it is you're talking about, then your argument is meaningless.

                2. 0
                  Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Energy is not alive to die. The energy remaining in our bodies after we die is recycled either by fire or by feeding the bugs that consume us. Much like our bodies convert food to energy, but covert our bodies to energy. This I know as fact. Unless you have some evidence to prove otherwise.

    2. Ericdierker profile image80
      Ericdierkerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Cleaner, how right you are. I have yet to meet a believer who is against  science. I here there are those, but they would be oddballs at best.
      Yet we see so many who are actually "against faith".  Funny but it almost takes a certain faith to oppose faith at every turn.

      1. cleaner3 profile image81
        cleaner3posted 2 years ago in reply to this

        so true eric.. so true,,

        1. psycheskinner profile image79
          psycheskinnerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          I think your confirmatory bias is at play.  That is, we tend to pay more attention to events that confirm what we already believe.

          As, no doubt, am I.  because where I sit (in the US, as a person who feel climate change and evolution is supported by good science), it looks more like the reverse.

          1. Ericdierker profile image80
            Ericdierkerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            As you phrase it we are in complete agreement. Evolution and climate change are supported by good science.
            As for bias: Show me a man who denies any bias and I will show you a liar.

            1. gmwilliams profile image84
              gmwilliamsposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              True Eric, all of us have biases of some form or another.  It is hardwired in our brains and is part of the human consciousness and human condition!

            2. psycheskinner profile image79
              psycheskinnerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              One part of not denying bias should be speaking in a way that leaves room for doubt.  That is one of the first things my scientific education taught me.

      2. Jodah profile image87
        Jodahposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Funny thing is, they don't need to be opposing. There are Christian Scientists out there.

  6. Kathryn L Hill profile image85
    Kathryn L Hillposted 2 years ago

    Those who have extra-sensory perception abilities are open to the possibility of having them. Those who don't have extra sensory perception abilities are not open to the possibility of having them. Jesus said the kingdom of heaven is perceived within. This is where God is perceived:
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