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Switch to Forum Live View An Open Letter to Atheists
4 years ago  ::  Sep 28, 2010 - 7:43AM #1
Ecstatic_kevin
Posts: 31

 


Before I begin, I want to state that I used to be an atheist too.


 


Yes, it is easy to be an atheist when you are young, when life is good, the possibilities are endless, and the world is your playground. It is very easy to be an atheist when you drive your fancy car to a fancy spa and your fancy friends commend you because “you’ve made it.”


 


But it is difficult to be an atheist when you are lying on your deathbed and the doctors say there is nothing they can do. It is difficult to be an atheist when you realize all the money in the world can’t save you. It is difficult to be an atheist when hope goes out of the window and you start wondering: “What if grandma was right?”


 


My 28-year-old cousin died earlier this year because when the doctors told him there was nothing they could do he thought he was done for. By choosing to be an atheist (which, in my opinion, is plain stupid when you have no other options left) he denied himself the most important determinant of survival – HOPE!


 


He also disqualified himself from the prospect of eternal life in the hereafter. In my opinion, that is an awful choice too. Think about it. What’s better?


 


To die believing and just end up dead; or


 


To die an unbeliever and find out you had it wrong all the time. (Trust me, that won’t be fun when the roof is on fire and you realize you’re going to be stuck inside forever.)


 


God does exist. Look around, the evidence is everywhere. Just because He is too big for us to comprehend does not mean He does not exist. I mean think about it. We cannot even speak a grain of sand into existence. How big would God have to be to speak the sun, the moon, the earth and everything else into existence? The universe is expanding at the speed of light even as you read this just because He once said, “Let there be light.”


 


The plain truth is this: People choose to be atheists not because they have hard evidence that God does not exist, but because they know if they take Him out of the equation it becomes easier to sin.


 


Well, too bad. I feel sorry for you. Maybe you’ll have a change of heart if (heaven forbid) your body is riddled with HIV, cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, diabetes or other such disease later in life. Let’s just hope it’s not too late then for your soul to be saved.


 


But in the meantime have it your way. There are many in my own family, for instance, who have made a conscious decision to commit their lives to God once they are in their 50s or 60s. No point coming to Him too early, right? I mean why hurry when there is so much to enjoy, so many people to date, so many potential affairs to have, so much money to be made? Unfortunately, they don't know when the final whistle will blow—nobody does. People find out they are in hell only when they are burning.


 


You don't know what’s coming down the road. You don't know what's going to happen tomorrow.[removed proselytizing]

Moderated by Jcarlinbn on Sep 28, 2010 - 05:39PM
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4 years ago  ::  Sep 28, 2010 - 2:18PM #2
Jcarlinbn
Posts: 7,029

Moved from A&SP


jcarlinbn community host.


Have fun!

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4 years ago  ::  Sep 28, 2010 - 3:06PM #3
cptspith
Posts: 2,350

Sep 28, 2010 -- 7:43AM, Ecstatic_kevin wrote:


Before I begin, I want to state that I used to be an atheist too.



Before I start, I want to point out that whether or not you were atheist has no bearing on the quality of your argument.

Sep 28, 2010 -- 7:43AM, Ecstatic_kevin wrote:


Yes, it is easy to be an atheist when you are young, when life is good, the possibilities are endless, and the world is your playground. It is very easy to be an atheist when you drive your fancy car to a fancy spa and your fancy friends commend you because “you’ve made it.”



It is very easy to be atheist when there has never been any evidence that any gods exist; success or failure in life have nothing to do with what one can actually BELIEVE.

Sep 28, 2010 -- 7:43AM, Ecstatic_kevin wrote:


But it is difficult to be an atheist when you are lying on your deathbed and the doctors say there is nothing they can do. It is difficult to be an atheist when you realize all the money in the world can’t save you. It is difficult to be an atheist when hope goes out of the window and you start wondering: “What if grandma was right?”



No, the fact that many, many, many atheists have been in many, many situations of imminent death and remained atheist counter your claims. It is rather disingenuous to suddenly "become religious" just because you aren't happy with your life, or don't want to die. My life's details, my happiness or depression, my opportunities or challenges; none of these things has one iota of impact on my atheism. It is solely and completely my lack of belief that any gods exist that determines my atheism. If I am hanging off a cliff, inches from death, my lack of belief in the existence of gods still makes me an atheist.

Sep 28, 2010 -- 7:43AM, Ecstatic_kevin wrote:


My 28-year-old cousin died earlier this year because when the doctors told him there was nothing they could do he thought he was done for. By choosing to be an atheist (which, in my opinion, is plain stupid when you have no other options left) he denied himself the most important determinant of survival – HOPE!



And here is one of the most common misconceptions over atheism; that it is a choice. I have no more choice in being atheist than I have over being born male. No matter how desperately I might wish to believe that after I die, I will be transported to an etrnal existence of goodness and light, I cannot believe it because my experience throughout life has never indicated that such a thing exists. BELIEF is not volitional.

Sep 28, 2010 -- 7:43AM, Ecstatic_kevin wrote:


He also disqualified himself from the prospect of eternal life in the hereafter. In my opinion, that is an awful choice too. Think about it. What’s better?

— To die believing and just end up dead; or

— To die an unbeliever and find out you had it wrong all the time. (Trust me, that won’t be fun when the roof is on fire and you realize you’re going to be stuck inside forever.)



Pascal's Wager, again? believing in some afterlife does not make it real, anymore than simply believing you are wealthy will make it so. And what if you "choose" to "believe" in some god, and you are wrong, but only in that you chose the wrong god? What if the "real god" is very upset that you chose the "wrong god," moreso than if you simply did not believe? Your gamble has just caused you MORE suffering than if you didn't wager in the first place. Or what if this god is clever enough to know when someone is hedging their bets, and has a special place in Hell for false believers?

Sep 28, 2010 -- 7:43AM, Ecstatic_kevin wrote:


God does exist. Look around, the evidence is everywhere. Just because He is too big for us to comprehend does not mean He does not exist. I mean think about it. We cannot even speak a grain of sand into existence. How big would God have to be to speak the sun, the moon, the earth and everything else into existence? The universe is expanding at the speed of light even as you read this just because He once said, “Let there be light.”



You are assuming your conclusion. There is no observed phenomenon in existence that indicates that it "must have been" created; the laws of physics and natural selection are perfectly sufficient to explain all that we see around us. It is a curious "proof" that requires that you ASSUME the existence of God in order to make him "necessary."

Sep 28, 2010 -- 7:43AM, Ecstatic_kevin wrote:


The plain truth is this: People choose to be atheists not because they have hard evidence that God does not exist, but because they know if they take Him out of the equation it becomes easier to sin.



That is simply false. First, as mentioned above, few (if any) people "choose" to be atheist; I didn't choose, I have no choice to be atheist because I don't believe gods exist. I cannot "choose" to believe (or not believe) anything that my experience tells me is (or is not) true. Second, it seems to be no problem for theists to 'sin' even when they do believe in a god, so that argument is pretty lame.

Sep 28, 2010 -- 7:43AM, Ecstatic_kevin wrote:


Well, too bad. I feel sorry for you. Maybe you’ll have a change of heart if (heaven forbid) your body is riddled with HIV, cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, diabetes or other such disease later in life. Let’s just hope it’s not too late then for your soul to be saved.



If/when I am riddled with Cancer and Alzheimer's, I will continue to lack belief in gods unless I have had sufficient experience by that time to indicate in any way that any gods actually exist. Suffering only (potentially) increases one's desire to escape the suffering, and perhaps wishful longing for a reprieve after death (or even before?). But wishing for an end to suffering cannot change a belief (or lack of one) regarding the existence of anything in reality. "Coming to God" because one is hurting is one of the poorest excuses for embracing religion that there is. "Coming to God" because one actually believes he exists should be the only reason for ever doing so.

Sep 28, 2010 -- 7:43AM, Ecstatic_kevin wrote:


But in the meantime have it your way. There are many in my own family, for instance, who have made a conscious decision to commit their lives to God once they are in their 50s or 60s. No point coming to Him too early, right? I mean why hurry when there is so much to enjoy, so many people to date, so many potential affairs to have, so much money to be made? Unfortunately, they don't know when the final whistle will blow—nobody does. People find out they are in hell only when they are burning.

You don't know what’s coming down the road. You don't know what's going to happen tomorrow. Do yourself a favour: Don't be caught dead without Jesus.



I would rather live out my life under the assumption that THIS is my life, and I need to make the most of it. If your god truly exists, and sends me to Hell simply because I lived my life as well as I can, and i followed experience and reason to conclude that he didn't exist, then he's a tyrannical asshole, and I wouldn't want anything to do with him. If he truly desired that I believe in him, he would have made himself known to me. Any other scenario is that of a bully and a sadist.
I also reiterate that an insincere "turning to God, just in case," would be seen through easily by any deity worth anything. I cannot live my own life so dishonestly, and any deity worth a damn would reward such sincerity and honesty.

-Reverend Spith



Reverend Spith
Savior of Humanity
Secular Messiah

Do not assume that which you seek to discover.
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4 years ago  ::  Sep 28, 2010 - 3:06PM #4
Ken
Posts: 33,859

Sep 28, 2010 -- 7:43AM, Ecstatic_kevin wrote:

Yes, it is easy to be an atheist when you are young, when life is good, the possibilities are endless, and the world is your playground. It is very easy to be an atheist when you drive your fancy car to a fancy spa and your fancy friends commend you because “you’ve made it.”


Where are you getting this stuff? No atheists of my acquaintance have fancy cars nor do they frequent fancy spas.



But it is difficult to be an atheist when you are lying on your deathbed and the doctors say there is nothing they can do.


It's very easy. You just die.

My 28-year-old cousin died earlier this year because when the doctors told him there was nothing they could do he thought he was done for. By choosing to be an atheist (which, in my opinion, is plain stupid when you have no other options left) he denied himself the most important determinant of survival – HOPE!


Atheism is not a choice. Belief is not volitional. Your cousin was an atheist because he found belief in God contrary to reason. It was clearly up to you to present a reasoned case for the existence of God. You failed, and something tells me you're going to fail here as well.

When doctors tell you you're done for, you almost always are. There is nothing more to hope for. Hope then becomes a way of refusing to accept the inevitable.

He also disqualified himself from the prospect of eternal life in the hereafter.


Did he? The existence of a God doesn't necessarily entail the existence of a God who will deprive you of eternal life because you didn't believe in him. That would be a remarkably petty God indeed. You will have to demonstrate the existence of such a God.

God does exist. Look around, the evidence is everywhere.


On the contrary, there is no evidence anywhere. If you expect us to believe that there is, you will have to offer some. I don't see any here.

The plain truth is this: People choose to be atheists not because they have hard evidence that God does not exist, but because they know if they take Him out of the equation it becomes easier to sin.


That is a slanderous lie. The moment you utter it, no atheist will regard you with anything other than the most profound contempt.


I suggest you go elsewhere to proselytize. We've already heard all the gunk that people like you have scraped off fundamentalist websites, and we don't want to hear any more.

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4 years ago  ::  Sep 28, 2010 - 3:23PM #5
Weepingangelofthetrees
Posts: 2,053

Dear Kevin,


You have my sympathies for the suffering you watched your cousin experience.


However, I would tell you that to hold hope for something that doesn't exist, in the midst of very real physical pain that does, is pointless for an atheist. Asking something real, like medical science, to save you is one thing. Asking someone that isn't there to do the same, is pointless for an atheist.
And while the mind and the ego, may grasp at straws so as to feel saved from the suffering and the dying that awaits, the straw that is entirely fiction is as useless as hugging a snowflake, in the midst of a blizzard.


And Kevin, if there is only one god and Jesus is benevolent, why do you have to find him in the midst of your pain and suffering, when omniscience should already have arrived to prove it was there, before your last straw grasp needed something to cling to just to feel not so alone without it?


Jesus never did exist. Clinging to the fiction that says he did won't save you from your destiny. But it will save you from yourself, when that is what you truly can't bear to live with.


 


"Remember, Jesus would rather constantly shame gays than let orphans have a family."
Stephen Colbert
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4 years ago  ::  Sep 28, 2010 - 3:30PM #6
redshifted
Posts: 2,283

Sep 28, 2010 -- 7:43AM, Ecstatic_kevin wrote:


Before I begin, I want to state that I used to be an atheist too.



I doubt that.


Yes, it is easy to be an atheist when you are young, when life is good, the possibilities are endless, and the world is your playground. It is very easy to be an atheist when you drive your fancy car to a fancy spa and your fancy friends commend you because “you’ve made it.”



Actually, it's much easier to be a believer (or pretend to be) in society generally speaking. Atheists are one of the most despised groups today, mainly because of people who think like you.


But it is difficult to be an atheist when you are lying on your deathbed and the doctors say there is nothing they can do. It is difficult to be an atheist when you realize all the money in the world can’t save you. It is difficult to be an atheist when hope goes out of the window and you start wondering: “What if grandma was right?”



It's not difficult unless the atheist in question is overcome by fear and can't think rationally. Most atheists accept death bravely and don't resort to fantasy land make believe to ease their fears. 


My 28-year-old cousin died earlier this year because when the doctors told him there was nothing they could do he thought he was done for. By choosing to be an atheist (which, in my opinion, is plain stupid when you have no other options left) he denied himself the most important determinant of survival – HOPE!



So you're saying that if your cousin had somehow convinced himself god exists, he wouldn't be dead now? There's nothing wrong with thinking positively and having hope, but that doesn't mean we have to believe in a god to do so.


He also disqualified himself from the prospect of eternal life in the hereafter. In my opinion, that is an awful choice too. Think about it. What’s better?


 


To die believing and just end up dead; or


 


To die an unbeliever and find out you had it wrong all the time. (Trust me, that won’t be fun when the roof is on fire and you realize you’re going to be stuck inside forever.)



It is better to live with intellectual integrity and not resort to fantasies to stroke the ego or soothe mortal fears. And you are assuming that eternal hell is a real place. This is just a fantasy that people imagined thousands of years ago. It's a form of coersion to get people to obey and submit to some imagined authority. You've been duped big time.


God does exist. Look around, the evidence is everywhere. Just because He is too big for us to comprehend does not mean He does not exist.



What evidence? If God is incomprehensible, you can't know he exists. You contradict yourself.


The plain truth is this: People choose to be atheists not because they have hard evidence that God does not exist, but because they know if they take Him out of the equation it becomes easier to sin.



That's cheap. People don't choose to be atheists to sin. Sin is a theological concept that has no authority over an atheist. An atheist simply concludes no gods exist because there isn't any good reason to believe they do.




Well, too bad. I feel sorry for you. Maybe you’ll have a change of heart if (heaven forbid) your body is riddled with HIV, cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, diabetes or other such disease later in life. Let’s just hope it’s not too late then for your soul to be saved.



Meaningless proselytizing. What soul? Saved from what? Your imaginary eternal torture chamber?


But in the meantime have it your way. There are many in my own family, for instance, who have made a conscious decision to commit their lives to God once they are in their 50s or 60s. No point coming to Him too early, right? I mean why hurry when there is so much to enjoy, so many people to date, so many potential affairs to have, so much money to be made? Unfortunately, they don't know when the final whistle will blow—nobody does. People find out they are in hell only when they are burning.


You don't know what’s coming down the road. You don't know what's going to happen tomorrow. Do yourself a favour: Don't be caught dead without Jesus.




It's fun to be pious and self-righteous isn't it? It means you don't actually have to live a good life, you can just believe in "salvation", bow down to your imaginary supernatural father figure, and get into heaven. Yippee!

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4 years ago  ::  Sep 28, 2010 - 5:50PM #7
Jcarlinbn
Posts: 7,029

No, people try to hide from God by pretending atheism so they can sin.  Sin is a Christian concept and only Christians are worried about all of the stupid and dysfunctional sins invented by Paul to control his believers.  


Atheists have other ways of controlling their socially dysfunctional impulses, and take their own responsibility for them if they fail to do so.  The rewards for complying with social mores are immediate as are the penalties.  We don't need to hope we have bet on the right God to save us.  


Sep 28, 2010 -- 7:43AM, Ecstatic_kevin wrote:

The plain truth is this: People choose to be atheists not because they have hard evidence that God does not exist, but because they know if they take Him out of the equation it becomes easier to sin.




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4 years ago  ::  Sep 28, 2010 - 5:51PM #8
Jcarlinbn
Posts: 7,029

Any bets on a hit and run troll?

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4 years ago  ::  Sep 28, 2010 - 5:59PM #9
Weepingangelofthetrees
Posts: 2,053

No bet. Proselytizing in an atheist forum, speaks for itself. Wink


"Remember, Jesus would rather constantly shame gays than let orphans have a family."
Stephen Colbert
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4 years ago  ::  Sep 28, 2010 - 6:55PM #10
Iwantamotto
Posts: 8,073

EK:  Yes, it is easy to be an atheist when you are young, when life is good, the possibilities are endless, and the world is your playground.



Yes, it's easy to be a theist as a kid when the Authority Figure Role is engraved onto your brain.  :P


But it is difficult to be an atheist when you are lying on your deathbed and the doctors say there is nothing they can do.



Why?  You wanna know how many theists I've seen sick/dying who freak about it?  Hell, I had a great-aunt who didn't want to suffocate in her coffin.  Obviously, Jesus hasn't been exactly clear about how the whole "death" thing works.


It is difficult to be an atheist when you realize all the money in the world can’t save you.



Neither will all the church offerings.  If it's your time, kiss your butt goodbye.


My 28-year-old cousin died earlier this year because when the doctors told him there was nothing they could do he thought he was done for.



What stopped God from healing him and showing him how cool He can be, then?  Why doesn't He stop the little ol' granny who's been loyal to Jesus "religiously" (so to speak) for decades if not her whole life?  What evidence do you have that loyalty spares you from one of the few certainties of life?  We're mortal.  Deal with it.


Trust me, that won’t be fun when the roof is on fire and you realize you’re going to be stuck inside forever.)



I only joke about liking that sort of thing.  Actually, I'm the kinda chick who'd waltz into hell with a bucket of water.  Do you wanna see people burn?  What would that say about you?


Maybe you’ll have a change of heart if (heaven forbid) your body is riddled with HIV, cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, diabetes or other such disease later in life. Let’s just hope it’s not too late then for your soul to be saved.



Yeah, I detect a certain relish in others' suffering.  That's kinda sad, I think.


Oh, and I'm theistic.  I'm just anti-Christian assholes.


cptspith:  If I am hanging off a cliff, inches from death, my lack of belief in the existence of gods still makes me an atheist.



And let's face it ... even JESUS wasn't stupid enough to leap off a cliff.  :)


Or what if this god is clever enough to know when someone is hedging their bets, and has a special place in Hell for false believers?



I like to imagine a broom closet in Hell with a little "Heaven" sign hastily placed over the real label, so at least the fakers can feel fake happiness. :)


In all seriousness, though, I'm getting to the point where Heaven and Hell are just one place/state of being ... but you're attitude determines which it gets to be.


And would the S&M crowd suffer in Hell?  Wouldn't putting them in the much safer Heaven be more of a punishment?  Seems funny to me to punish people (and Satan) with an environment they would actually enjoy....


Ken:  Where are you getting this stuff? No atheists of my acquaintance have fancy cars nor do they frequent fancy spas.



I think he's confusing atheists with the Prosperity Gospel folks.


When doctors tell you you're done for, you almost always are. There is nothing more to hope for.



I've seen people die of little more than broken hearts and I've seen people die years after the "doctors" gave them a deadline (so to speak).  No professional, religious or medical, has a magic 8 ball with your expiration date marked on it.  There are only guesses.  I've learned in long-term care to guess within six months, but I've been surprised before.  Some people are just too stubborn to die, LOL.

Knock and the door shall open.  It's not my fault if you don't like the decor.
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