questions for atheists and christians

questions for atheists and christians

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curious

Addison, NY

#1 Nov 29, 2012
As said in the subject line i want it to be very clear that i am truly seeking answers to these questions, curious about the different opinions people may hold, and hoping to help myself find a more solid belief. While i know more than likely this will somehow turn into a debate as to which side is wrong/right, arguments will erupt, and ultimately some will try to persuade myself and others that their belief is right while others will make derogatory comments about me for not already believing what they feel is right I assure you this is not my intent. I dont need persuaded and dont wish to start or be involved in an argument. with that said I would also like to apologize for my long and possibly even multiple posts. I will do my best to condense as much as possible,however, I dont feel i will get the answers i need without including as much information and indepth questions as possible. Anyway....
Approx. 3 yrs ago I nearly lost my son in a devastating tragedy. He was in a coma and vent dependent for over a month and after emerging from his coma it was confirmed he did sustain permanent brain damage that caused mental retardation, cerebral palsy, cortical blindness and epilepsy. As his mother it wasnt only devastating for this to happen to my first and only child when he was only a few months old but I also hold a deep seated feeling of responsibility and guilt. now, prior to, during, and for some time afterwards while i will admit i wasnt as devout of a christian as many i did attend church and hold a true belief in god and prayer. Well, I prayed and prayed and prayed some more as did many very devout christians, including severalministers and needless to say none of those prayers were answered. As I began to lose hope in those prayers I also found myself growing very angry with "God", I felt very betrayed, shocked, hopeless and profoundly perplexed with the "why me?" question. These feelings then began to drive me to read more of the bible than I ever had, research its history (I belonged to the freewill baptist faith and followed the king james version bible if that matters), and research other religions as well. Now I am at a place where I am still hurt, devastated, confused, and angry about the future my son faces and the total lack of any answered prayers through the ordeal. If God refused to heal my son for some reason he could at the very least help me find the ability to deal with it and accept it more easily but even those prayers werent answered. The short version and main point is that now I have found myself in a place where I seriously question if there is a God at all. The more I learn about the Bible and its history and learn more about parts of the bible i wasnt familiar with before the more I WANT to believe that the outrageous stories in the bible and the idea that there is a power great enough to have the ability to heal my son some day and actually will, I have more trouble every day having any faith in God or religion at all. Now I dont know what to think and Im close to signing into the funny farm. I am now seeking answers to the many questions I have now and hope that answers to these questions will at very least help me determine my true beliefs and hope that will help me accept my situation no matter which side I ultimately end up whole heartedly believing. Again I apologize for this long post and those that follow and truly want to thank all that take not only the time to read these lengthy posts but also the time to respond (or the ones that respond by simply and with matter-of-fact answers and not judgements or ridicules). I will write my questions in two types of following posts - 1 set for christians and the other for atheists. Again, thank you for your time....
JesusLover

Hadley, PA

#2 Nov 29, 2012
First of all, I want to say that I'm so sorry that this tragedy happened to you & your son. I can't imagine how hard it is to have your life changed so suddenly and tossed into a new lifestyle you never imagined. So for that, I'm sorry and I hope you can find the strength & courage to continue to being what I'm sure is a great mother to your son. Cherish the little moments!

As far as God's role in all of this, I think maybe this was in His plans for you. Everything happens for a reason, which is why God chose this path for you. Although you may not realize it yet, maybe He chose you specifically to mother your son because He knew you would be the best mother for him throughout this challenging time. Maybe someday you can look back an recognize that you are a stronger woman than you ever realized because of everything you're going through. The Bible tells us that God answers every prayer, but sometimes the answer isn't what we want. Look up the lyrics to Laura Story's "Blessings." Theyll speak to this situation! These are times when you just have to trust & put all your faith in Him, because he knows what he is for you, your family, and your future.

Isaiah 55:8-9
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

Again, I think God has bigger plans for you & your son. I'm sure it has been a hard battle, but just remember, "There may be pain in the night, but joy comes in the morning!"
curious

Addison, NY

#3 Nov 29, 2012
thanks JL. i have a lot of lengthy posts and questions so please check back as you can if you are able and answer any questions you feel you can...it is much appreciated.
curious

Addison, NY

#4 Nov 29, 2012
Christians
(As previously stated I followed a freewill baptist faith and will base most of my questions on beliefs that particular type of church has taught from and their explanations as well as my interpretations of scripture. However, if a belief I hold differs from yours then an explanation of your beliefs and the type of faith you follow would also be very welcomed.)

1) Its said in scripture that God created man in his own image but its scientific fact that before modern man there were many other human like or hominid beings, including neanderthal that lived along side modern man for many years before extinction and that they inner bred with modern man. They even believe some people still have traces of neanderthal genes. So since they were here prior to us or co-existed with us so if you believe God created man in his image then is he more ape-like? If not, why start our species with less intelligent, more chimp-like hominids or actually even a common chimp ancestor shared by modern man and today's chimpanzees. He is said to be perfect and all knowing so if he is so powerful, mighty, intelligent, and prophetic why create the other hominid species because it doesnt take much intelligence to realize (especially if you know the future) that these other sub-species would be discovered and lead many people away from worshipping him. and furthermore why would he even bother creating these other hominids and then allow them to evolve enough to convince science modern humans evolved from a great ape and discourage belief in creation.

2)First off, while my church preaches homosexuality is a choice and a sin, I DO NOT, REPEAT DO NOT believe this. I think it has to be they are born "that way" because most state they knew they were different from early childhood and many realize they are homosexual before they ever even reach a point in their life where they become or want to be sexually active. also, homosexuals or the entire LGBT community face some of the worst treatment, significant ridicule, theyre degraded,they face continuous prejudice, they face many hate crimes and discrimination. Not to mention that many try countless times to "fix" themselves so they can be accepted and considered normal in society,coming out of the closet often leads to significant and sometimes total rejections from family and friends,and robbed of the ability to legally share their life with the person they love with the same rights and dignity of a heterosexual couple. I believe,therefore, that sexual preference cant be a choice because if it were we wouldnt have many homosexuals because no one in their right mind would choose that difficult of a life if it were as simple as going "ok i dont want to be gay. im straight again, so no more hatred and ridicule." Also, more homosexuals commit suicide that a lot of other groups combined because they couldnt change or choose how they felt about their sexual orientation and were too ashamed to live being known as gay. why in the name of anything sane would someone "choose" that? This is also a two part question. also, if (for the sake of argument) say that it is a choice. the bible says god knows all, including everything about every person and their future before he even creates them then he knows which people will choose something immoral or wrong in life and never worship him(god) then why create them to begin with if he already knows they wont live a life destined to heaven. thats like knowing someone cant swim and throwing themin the pool anyway. so IF there is a god and he does things like this - constantly creating people he knows will never qualify for entry to his wonderful heaven then to me that is so cruel and narcissistic that I wouldnt want to even trust him much less worship him.

well, theres my starter posts but i am far from finished asking questions but must get some sleep now but please go ahead and answer the above and come back to help me with more later. thanks!!
that guy

Huntington, WV

#5 Nov 30, 2012
I can understand how you feel. Growing up my father had an awful addiction to alcohol and narcotics. My mother was a stripper and was never around. I chose Jesus Christ as my personal lord and savior at 15 years of age. Hoping to better myself and my fathers life through prayer and faith. I learned more about myself and about how to be a good person in the church than I ever had. I had guidance from my youth pastor and strength in fellowship from my peers. But 6 years later my dad still snorts pills and my mom does the same. As Christians we look at our circumstance, ask for divine intervention and we are not guaranteed any result. It's all about faith. If my father were to have cleaned up, it would have been seen as a blessing from god. But seeing as how he hasn't, either one: god hasn't healed him yet or two:it isn't going to happen. For the longest time that really troubled me. It raised questions of the existence of god and all that goes along with divine intervention. Now I consider myself to be atheist. Although I carry still many of the values morals and lessons I had learned within the church. The church is a great thing. It was exactly what I needed growing up. I needed family, guidance and support. Although I think it's great that you are seeking out and asking about faith and lack of from believers and non believers, I think it'd be best if you did some searching on your own. Whether it be through prayer and fasting, or looking into secular ideals. I know one of the biggest factors that play into my lack of faith is the Egyptian gods Horus and Osiris. The similarities are so on point it's hard for me to take any takes seriously. Especially considering that Horus had almost every ability and prophetic characteristics that Jesus did. I think it's definitely worth looking into. If you are looking into secular Ideals I suggest watching religulous by bill maher and another documentary titled: the god who wasn't there. They can both be found on Netflix. Either way, it's a question you have to answer yourself and whatever you decide on, whether it's Christianity or atheism. I wish you the best and I am sorry for your loss.

Level 2

Since: Nov 12

New York City

#6 Nov 30, 2012
First off, I want to ask you what you learned studying the bibles history?
Secondly, you said, because God did not heal your son , you began to pray for strength and courage to deal with this sad tragedy. What I am getting from your questions, and message as a whole, is that God wants you to become strong within yourself, and that cant happen if, at this point, He takes over your burden . What life lesson will we learn, if God does all the work for us?

I will try to help you with your other concerns a little later.
ihategod

Avella, PA

#7 Nov 30, 2012
After being kicked in the teeth time and again by god, I came to the realization that while god may be real, he most certainly isn't good. If you want proof of this, look at the book of Job. If you believe the literal truth of the bible, then you have to believe god allowed satan to literally torture a good and true believer in god. Now I ask you, would a god of goodness do that???
hillbilly

United States

#8 Nov 30, 2012
THERE has to be something higher than human .?but i don't know if we should call IT god.AND I DO KNOW THAT IF YOU LOOK AROUND YOU WILL SEE SOME ONE WHO HAS A BIGGER BURDEN TO CARRY THAN YOU HAVE.YOU WILL DRAW STRENGTH FROM OTHER PEOPLE ,DONT LET IT BE PITY THAT WILL WEAKEN YOU.GOOD LUCK.
witchy woman

Ardsley, NY

#9 Nov 30, 2012
It's all about getting back what you give out. I live by the 10 commandments but not really the bible. You sowe bad seeds, you will reap terrible results. As far as god, I do beleive he exists. But that's why we are all here. To learn to love, give, and gain strength from our experiences. Everything happens for a reason. Always find the positive and leave the negative alone. Your strength is more than you give yourself credit for. Remember, if your brought to it, faith will see you thru it!!
Level 5

Since: Jun 12

Location hidden

#10 Nov 30, 2012
I am still trying to figure out how god created the sun/light on the 4th day.
What were the three periods of time called before that? You cant have days without sunlight, thats the very definition of a day, as a noun.
Level 8

Since: May 12

Location hidden

#11 Nov 30, 2012
I read this on MSN just the other day.....maybe it will help you with some answers......or you can find the book at the library

http://news.msn.com/us/fla-woman-dies-after-4...
hillbilly

United States

#12 Nov 30, 2012
nancyRU30 wrote:
I am still trying to figure out how god created the sun/light on the 4th day.
What were the three periods of time called before that? You cant have days without sunlight, thats the very definition of a day, as a noun.
I think there has been 3 different types of what we call earth.and I also think Eve mean's evaluation ,ADEM MEANS SUN. BUT WHO REALLY KNOWS FOR SURE
?
I DON'T.AND I THINK BIBLE WAS WROTE TO CONTROL POOR PEOPLE .BECAUSE RICH DON'T REALLY LIVE BY IT.
Anon

Huntington, WV

#13 Nov 30, 2012
nancyRU30 wrote:
I am still trying to figure out how god created the sun/light on the 4th day.
What were the three periods of time called before that? You cant have days without sunlight, thats the very definition of a day, as a noun.
The definition of "day" wasn't formed until long after God created the universe & our planet. Plus, many Christians (myself included) don't take those first few passages so literally. A "day" could mean a month, year, etc.
yes

Huntington, WV

#14 Dec 1, 2012
Christians can't take anything from the bible literally.
Level 5

Since: Jun 12

Location hidden

#15 Dec 1, 2012
Anon wrote:
<quoted text>
The definition of "day" wasn't formed until long after God created the universe & our planet. Plus, many Christians (myself included) don't take those first few passages so literally. A "day" could mean a month, year, etc.
??? So , some you take literally and some you dont? Wow how frustrating this must all be to determine the TRUE intent of the Bible.

Oh, so our planet may be older than 6 thousand years? Did we still ride dinosaurs?

BTW, the definition of "day" existed thousands of years before the existence of the bible.
curious

Addison, NY

#16 Dec 1, 2012
First off, thank you all for your time and responses. I am not sure what I will find but I am certainly searching for a better understanding of my place and purpose here and the purpose of the good and bad times and think I can only truly find that through seeking opinions from others (both those that do and do not believe in a higher power) and through my own research. So anyway, on to a couple more questions.

Atheists and Christians
I dont know this question can even be answered beyond what I already know/understand but that is the purpose of me doing this is to find out....
Christians, you believe God created the Earth and everything in it and around it but then where did God come from? Atheists, if there isnt a more powerful being then where did the universe, planets, etc. come from? I understand that no matter what answers anyone can give it can always be argued "then where did that come from?" therefore, it in my mind, is an unanswerable question on either side but I am curious as to what different explanations people have.
curious

Addison, NY

#17 Dec 1, 2012
Christians

I asked both of these questions earlier but havent received an answer to either so I will try to condense them and ask again but if you read the first questions I asked it will go into more detail than the following...

1) It is said that God knows all and also that he creates all human beings and knows their future before he ever creates them. If this is so then he would know before he ever created someone if they were going to lead a life that would include being christian and saved and a life that reserves a place for them in heaven or if they are going to choose a life that doesnt involve him. So, if he knows before he even creates a person that they are going to live a life that will condemn them to Hell then why would he create them to begin with? Thats equivalent to knowing someone isnt able to swim and throwing them in the water anyway.

2) We all know through scientific fact that we are not the first hominid species to walk this earth and most believe that modern man evolved from those species. We also share a hugely significant amount of DNA with chimpanzees and scientists feel man and chimps both evolved from a common ancestor. So, why would God do that? Again if he knows how human minds work and even says he modeled us in his own image so he would have to have known man would search for a scientific explanation of our origin and that the discovery of these previous hominids and the idea of our relation to chimpanzees would cause many to doubt his existence so why create them? If we were designed in his image did he somehow evolve from a superior ape-like creature? Were these other hominids prototypes for man-kind and if so if God is so great why not make the "perfect" example to begin with?
curious

Addison, NY

#18 Dec 1, 2012
ihategod wrote:
After being kicked in the teeth time and again by god, I came to the realization that while god may be real, he most certainly isn't good. If you want proof of this, look at the book of Job. If you believe the literal truth of the bible, then you have to believe god allowed satan to literally torture a good and true believer in god. Now I ask you, would a god of goodness do that???
I agree with and understand this comment and have asked/said the same thing myself. Also, I feel like I am living a similar situation in the fact that I lived a life in which I worshipped God, believed in his power and protection and his ability to answer prayers but then the day came that my son was nearly taken from me and I only partially got him back. Thats why I have the many doubts and questions I have today.

With that said, when I have asked why God would let his people suffer that way the explanation I have gotten is that basically God allows Satan to test us with the idea that true Christians will still maintain their faith in him and will eventually be relieved of that suffering and rewarded for their devotion to him. Now I am not saying I think this is the right thing to do but for the sake of this post lets say that is the reason and that is why Christians face suffering like this. Then also for the sake of argument lets say that those that are not christians suffer as punishment for not worshipping God. Now, with these theories you have an explanation as to why Christians and non-believers are punished but that still doesnt explain why many people suffer. Take my son and the many other severely disabled children in this world that suffer debilitating illnesses, painful treatments, and other forms of tragedy, trials, and tribulations. Why? They arent old enough to understand who God is and to form an opinion about their beliefs or choose to worship him or not. So why allow them to be punished. Theyve done nothing to deserve it, they cant understand it and therefore I cant understand what possible benefit could arise from allowing this or causing this to happen. Can someone explain that to me?
1 post removed
curious

Addison, NY

#20 Dec 1, 2012
ok, just a couple more questions for now then Ill leave some time for responses before I ask any more...

Atheists
I understand you do not believe in a higher power but are there any of you that believe in any sort of an afterlife? If any of you do what sort of afterlife is it that you believe in?

Christians
Most people follow the religion or belief of the family they were born in. From the beginning of life most parents begin teaching their children their beliefs and those beliefs become very ingrained in that childs life very early on. Most of the time those beliefs are the only beliefs they are exposed to for the majority of their younger years and are only exposed to other religions or beliefs at a point when theyve already been convinced the religion or lack of is the correct belief. When a person already has a devout faith in their beliefs it is nearly impossible to convince them they are wrong and that another religion is right. However, it says in the bible that if you have been exposed to christianity and choose not to convert or follow it then you will face going to hell in the afterlife. Again I bring in the idea that God created us and is supposed to know the future so it could easily be argued that God would have to know how unlikely it is that people would accept him as their God and savior after living a life where it was drilled in their head that christianity was wrong or that the beliefs they already have are right. So if people are going to be judged for not following the christian faith and following another religion or believing there is no God then why would he create us to be so close-minded in those areas, so likely to follow what we are taught from a young age and most of us so unwilling to contemplate the idea that possibly what we were raised to believe is not necessarily right?
curious

Addison, NY

#21 Dec 1, 2012
just someone wrote:
<quoted text>on this (number 1), it would help if you cited bible verses because I know preachers preach this but i don't recall this in the bible.
While I have read the King James Bible front to back twice in the last few years since my sons tragedy riddled my life I will be totally honest and admit that I can still not quote very many verses or remember where in the Bible to find certain quotes or stories. Also, while a large portion of my questions do arise from things I read in the bible myself I also base a lot of my questions on the preaching and interpretation of the bible Ive heard in sermons at church. This is why I stated that I followed the freewill baptist faith so that those who did not could respond to areas that their faith may have a different opinion or understanding of. However, in any future posts if I can think of or find the specific verses I am talking about I will try to include them. thank you for your time and suggestion.

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