Why I am not an Atheist.

I am a theist. There; I said it. I believe in the one God who created the Universe and created all of humanity. I normally say, I believe in God (not 'a' God), because I seek to have a personal relationship with such a being, through his son Jesus Christ. What I want to explore is not so much, my theism (Christian theism you could say), but rather, other's disbelief in the existence of an Intelligent Designer (or A-theism).

Questions come to mind (amongst many, many other questions), about those who are not 'theists':
  • Where does one derive its morality from?
    • What code of ethics do you follow?
    • You could put it down to humanism, but then what makes one's choice to murder wrong, if they believe it is right?
  • How do you explain the complexity of nature without a belief in a Deity:
    • The heart that pumps the right amount of blood to the brain
    • The photosynthesis process that cleverly converts carbon dioxide into organic compounds, including oxygen, which humans then breathe.
    • The banana that conveniently tells you by its own skin colour when its ready to eat (green -> yellow -> brown)
    • The relative stability of the growth of such a complex Universe, including, for instance, tides on the Earth's oceans dependent upon the orbit of the moon around the Earth. 
I understand such questions could be reworded and fired back the other way. My intent is not to necessarily find answers to all such questions, but rather, to express the questions going on in the frontal lobes of my cranium :) .

I'll tell you why I am a theist. I think that to believe in a designer who created the complexities of the Universe is more logical than believing in the non-existence of such a creator.
I'll tell you why I am a mono-theist. I wholeheartedly believe in the validility of the Old and New Testament Scriptures, and the verses that iterate that the Lord God is one. (Deut 6:4, for example).
I'll tell you why I am a Christian. Well, the answer contains a myriad of reasons, but some that come to mind, is the genuine moving of God's Spirit in my life, and the consistent co-incidences that occur in my life related to what I sensed God was doing in my life, and what the Bible was saying. The realisation that life without Christ was meaningless. The realisation that I was a sinner (and the experience I felt within that realisation) and the forgiveness I experienced as the Spirit tangibly moved in my life and confirmed what the NT Scriptures spoke about. I'm a Christian also, in less religious terms, because of the example I saw around me of people who were Christians and the desire to replicate that kind of living.

So, I am a mono-theist. A reformed Anglican. A disciple. A born-again Salvationist. A Spirit-filled apologist. A sojourner. An evangelist at heart. A preacher. A reader, amongst many other things...

But most importantly to me, I am a follower of Christ.   
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9 comments:

  1. "Where does one derive its morality from?" - society and humanism. If we got it solely from the bible, without it changing over time as the majority of society realises where things need to be changed, we would still consider slavery and 12 years olds marrying as OK.

    "How do you explain the complexity of nature without a belief in a Deity" - I'm not even going to attempt to answer this in any detail, as there is so much information available on the origins and evolution of life that give quite reasonable alternative explanations than "God did it".
    "I think that to believe in a designer who created the complexities of the Universe is more logical than believing in the non-existence of such a creator." - An eternal being who created everything, knows everything past, present and future (including the most insignificant thoughts of every person)and is everywhere all of the time. Is that really logical, or perhaps more likely comforting to you?
    "I wholeheartedly believe in the validility of the Old and New Testament Scriptures, and the verses that iterate that the Lord God is one" - so the validity of the Old Testament that condones slavery but condemns eating shellfish and getting tattoos, is that what you believe? Are you a bible literalist? Was the earth created about 6000 years ago and did Noah get two Tasmanian devils to walk onto his boat during a world wide flood, then have them wander down to Tasmania after it was over?

    That will do me for now. Whilst not calling myself an atheist, I see "no god" as a far more likely thing than Christianity, particularly of the strong fundamentalist type that seems to be increasingly common in the Salvos today.

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  2. A thought to ponder...
    If a Christian believes in God and commits their life to Him, and turns out to be wrong, they having nothing to lose. If an atheist (or non-christian) chooses not to believe in God (and commit their lives to Him) and it turns out they're wrong, they have EVERYTHING to lose.
    W.

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  3. Another thought to ponder Anonymous - what if the Muslims are right? You've then believed in the wrong version of God and are going to the Muslim version of hell, so in that case you have everything to lose by not following Allah.

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  4. Jack, some of your arguments aren't based right. Eg. - jack-"so the validity of the Old Testament that condones slavery but condemns eating shellfish and getting tattoos," its out of context without the new testament, old n new put together tells the whole story. Both of them valid.
    "and did Noah get two Tasmanian devils to walk onto his boat during a world wide flood, then have them wander down to Tasmania after..." I don't know about anyone elses take, but I think the 'world' is only as big as you know. Y'know?
    Anon w , like your thinking.
    I guess we can only make judgment and choice on what we know, and be judged by Him on that. No one else!

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  5. Jack - you said, ("society and humanism. If we got it solely from the bible, without it changing over time as the majority of society realises where things need to be changed, we would still consider slavery and 12 years olds marrying as OK.")

    But Humanism is no different from this. If you think its right, then its right for you, and if you think its wrong, then humanism doesn't allow you to disagree with them, because that is that person's valid opinion. So if a humanist thinks raping someone is right, we have no moral code/law to say otherwise. Atleast with the Bible, albeit sometimes controversial and able to be misinterpreted, we have a fairly good grasp on morality and the teachings of Jesus.

    ("How do you explain the complexity of nature without a belief in a Deity" - I'm not even going to attempt to answer this in any detail, as there is so much information available on the origins and evolution of life that give quite reasonable alternative explanations than "God did it".)
    - Don't agree with you on that one Jack. I think you would like to think that this is so, in order to back up your dislike of fundamentalist religion, but the probabilities of some cells, for example of producing the complex organisms we see today, can't be easily explained by evolutionary teachings.

    ("I think that to believe in a designer who created the complexities of the Universe is more logical than believing in the non-existence of such a creator." - An eternal being who created everything, knows everything past, present and future (including the most insignificant thoughts of every person)and is everywhere all of the time. Is that really logical, or perhaps more likely comforting to you?)

    - So its more logical to believe by chance, things exploded into being, and we have a Universe that sustains life despite the probabilities of there being random chaos without a Deity involved? Not sure which one is more illogical. :)

    ("I wholeheartedly believe in the validility of the Old and New Testament Scriptures, and the verses that iterate that the Lord God is one" - so the validity of the Old Testament that condones slavery but condemns eating shellfish and getting tattoos, is that what you believe? Are you a bible literalist? Was the earth created about 6000 years ago and did Noah get two Tasmanian devils to walk onto his boat during a world wide flood, then have them wander down to Tasmania after it was over?)
    - I think Jack you are disappointed with organised religion and the way they represent God. I think this has clouded you from making rational opinions regarding the validity of the Scriptures and the existence of God. I'm sorry for those that have treated you and others in ways that have offended you.

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  6. Please don't apologise Pete, as there is very little to apologise for, and you make assumptions about me that fit your preconceptions about people with doubts and questions. In fact I'm just sorry that you had to go down the line of "he must have been treated badly, therefore he is against God/Jesus/church". At least you didn't go down the other predictable path that many fundamentalists like to go down, accusing me of loving my sinfulness, therefore being against God/Jesus/church. I have simply found myself asking hard questions in recent years about my faith, and getting less than satisfactory answers. I realise that most people find great comfort in their Christian beliefs and don’t really want to think too hard about them. But I do want to question things, and I want to know the truth. For me, there are too many things about mainstream, traditional Christianity that make little sense and I cannot believe them to be true. So I continue to hang onto small parts of my Christian faith, attend my Corps for family, friend and community reasons and try and find some compatibility between what I believe to be true and what is preached and/or taught there. You are right that I dislike fundamentalism, as its proponents arrogantly assert that they are right and everyone else is wrong, and those that do not believe as they do are destined for eternal punishment. I’m not sure exactly where you fit on the scale from extreme liberal to extreme fundamentalist, but I appreciate the fact that you at least publish my comments and respond to them, which is more than some of your contemporaries do.

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  7. Good discussion Jack. Yes, I did make an assumption, and possibly not a right one... :)
    I'm open to questioning, sure, it sharpens what I believe, helps me discover what I didn't know, and maybe takes me on a path I wasn't expecting.
    I was just thinking about the pendulum that swings from extreme liberal to extreme fundamentalist (as you put it) and as you probably know I swing a little to the fundamental side, but let me explain. I believe there are some truths that are absolutely true or objectively true and some things are subjectively true. Many of the doctrines of the Christian faith I believe to be objectively true, and therefore become fundamental in the sense that I claim them to be a fundamental foundation for the Christian faith. I believe, for example, that it is truth to say the Old and New Testaments were 'inspired' by God (this is presupposing the truth of the existence of God obviously). I don't believe that they are innerant though. I believe in the absolute truth of the atonement and think Christianity is a big fat waste of time if I didn't believe that...
    Anyway, enough babbling. Thanks for sharing. You help sharpen my thoughts Jack! I hope you know that.

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  8. Interesting post. I will attempt to discuss these with you and I hope that you will respond.
    1) "Where does one derive its morality from?" Science and biology have proved that human beings are social animals, therefore they have an innate sense of morality which is necessary for survival of human social groups as they require predictable values and behaviours to function. These have been found in primates as well. And I would really like to think that my fellow human beings are capable of better moral judgment than the one demonstrated by the christian faith and that they could do so independently of god. Basic human values are a matter of personality not faith. Universal moral progress makes us think that people do not need religion for morality. It's simple, find a logical correlation between atheism and crime versus a correlation between faith and crime? I find very hard to find a correlation between the first two but I can certainly name many many many crimes against humanity related to faith or so-called religious morality.
    2)"You could put it down to humanism, but then what makes one's choice to murder wrong, if they believe it is right?" But that goes with religious morality as well which is as subjective as what you have just mentioned. No theist can prove that they have the right format of God therefore how can you prove that the Muslim who kills people because he is convinced that Allah told him to is wrong?
    3)How do you explain the complexity of nature without a belief in a Deity? So far evolution and molecular biology have been quite poignant in destroying religious myths regarding the complexity of nature. We are living in a period where science has continuously disproved religion and continues to do so. So instead of resorting to the belief of a deity I personally would prefer to resort to the constant improvement of science to explain those complexities rather than bronze aged theories.
    4)I wholeheartedly believe in the validity of the Old and New Testament Scriptures, and the verses that iterate that the Lord God is one. (Deut 6:4, for example). The historicity of the bible does not make it a divine account and do not even get me started on what Jack touched on very well.
    5)"So its more logical to believe by chance, things exploded into being, and we have a Universe that sustains life despite the probabilities of there being random chaos without a Deity involved?" So basically your argument is that because the Big Bang is so improbable without a deity it is not logical/possible. This is in itself a logical fallacy and I will explain why. I am not sure whether you are familiar with probabilities and how mathematics work but I will explain this as simply as possible. Let's say I decide to throw 5000 dice at the same time and obtain a certain result. This result is highly and almost completely improbable due to the amount of probabilities however there it is. It is rare/highly improbable but it happened. So if it is there and I can show it to you, it is real despite the fact that it is almost impossible. The same goes with the Big bang, you can use this theory if a result is not there not after it happened.
    6)I personally find it very hard to believe that someone could say that the bible is objectively true but 'innerant' at the same time. I cannot think of another realm of life where this kind of illogical standard would apply and be accepted except for religion.
    I will stop here for now.
    Looking forward to your response.

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  9. **NOT innerant.

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