===UPDATE===: Moving this post up to the top because I find the discussion about atheism and free will interesting.
I’ve been particularly enjoying reading the thoughts of one of my new regular commentors, the anonymous Catholic-turned-atheist. It’s interesting to hear his perspective since he’s familiar with Catholic teaching, and, frankly, his calm, civil tone is really refreshing. It’s so nice (and rare) to be able to have a friendly debate with someone who has an entirely different worldview.
He recently left this comment to a previous post, and I thought it was interesting enough to warrant its own post. (I took the liberty of numbering his points since I’ve found that that makes it easier when discussing involved subjects like this in writing.)
(1) One poster, M_David, expressed my thoughts exactly when he wrote, “He’s God! So, we can forget that God lacks the ability to prove himself to us. We have only two options: God doesn’t exist, or God meant to leave us guessing.” I wholeheartedly agree. I choose, with great sadness, the first option. The second option doesn’t make sense, especially for a Christian. God loves us so much that He becomes man so that He can suffer an excruciating and humiliating death stripped naked on the Cross to atone for our sins. And then He leaves us guessing about who He is and what He did?
(2) When Thomas was told by the other apostles that Jesus rose from the dead he refused to believe them. And Thomas knew these guys!!! He knew them and he knew Jesus and he refused to believe their story. So Jesus appears before Thomas and now Thomas believes because Thomas has proof. Thomas didn’t believe because he had faith. Thomas believed because he had proof. Just as the other apostles had proof. They didn’t have faith. They had proof. If Thomas didn’t believe the eyewitness accounts of his fellow apostles how can I be expected to believe hearsay that is a million times and 2000 years removed from its source?
(3) Surely it is within God’s power to provide me with whatever evidence is necessary to permanently convince me that He exists and that the Biblical accounts are true. How would this take away my free will? Adam walked with God and Adam had free will.
(4) As to the broader claim that the world around us provides us with evidence of the existence of God, I must strongly disagree. The world is 4 1/2 billion years old, not 6000 years old as the Bible led us to believe. The sky is an infinite expanse, not a solid dome to which the sun, moon, and stars are attached. Rain is caused by the condensation of water that evaporates from surface water here on earth. It is not caused by God opening up windows in the solid-domed sky so that water held above the solid-domed sky can fall to the earth. The earth revolves around the sun, not the sun around the earth.
(5) To those who claim that the Bible was misinterpreted I ask, “Was God incapable of writing a Bible that would be properly interpreted?”
(6) To those who claim that that God wrote the Bible in such a way that it could be understood by men who lived in ancient times I ask, “Was God incapable of writing a Bible that would ring true for all time?”
(7) The “mystery” of why God does not prove His existence to us is no mystery at all if we just accept the most obvious answer: There is no God.
Again, thanks to Anon for bringing up these points. Interesting stuff. Anyone have any thoughts?
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