A little history
I was raised in a Christian home in a Christian neighborhood in the’ Bible Belt’ of the United States.
My aunt was a prolific Christian and contemporary poet and was published in many of the tomes of the day. http://auntvirginiaspoetry.blogspot.com/ . She basically raised me.
My hometown of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee is only a few miles north of the Alabama border and my cousin’s farm –which had originally belonged to my Great Grandfather--, in Appleton/5 Points, Tennessee-where I spent many happy days, was only about a mile away from the Alabama state border boundary stone markers.
As a child I enjoyed the Bible stories they read to us in Sunday school and Vacation Bible School (which I had to attend every summer) because they were adventure, fun and magic all rolled into one.
Even as a child I was a skeptic. Knowing that I faced the prospect of a belt applied to my ass if I questioned, I kept my peace and smiled wanly when teachers or parents made eye contact. I could no more believe in the Bible fairy tales than I could believe that a swarthy Arabian named Aladdin could actually fly around on a magic carpet. Even as a child it wouldn’t stick.
I really tried to believe as I got older. I forced myself to say the proper words and go through the proper motions, but although I wanted to believe, I found it impossible. I wished it were true –still do for that matter- but I could not and cannot believe it. Too bad. It would be wonderful, but like the old saying goes, “if it sounds too good to be true…it is”.
So much for “choosing not to believe”. I actually cannot even make myself believe. It’s just too damned ludicrous. Face it; the first half of the Bible, the old half, is a bunch of made up shit by a bunch of “Chosen” Jews; the second half of the Bible is a bunch of made up shit by a bunch of, presumably, European con-artists who figured it could be a lucrative endeavor.
Regardless of my lack of belief
I still prefer living around Christians. I’m not talking about the crazy-ass fundamentalists and the weird cults like Catholics and Mormons and other space cadets, but the people who quietly worship, give to their community and do no harm to anyone.
Arguing with Evangelicals and Fundamentalists
For more years than I care to remember, I have had these Evangelical types coming to try and save me and attempting to debate me. At times the debates with me were in front of local audiences.
Naturally there is never a winner. Let’s face it; there is no proof, whatever, for the supernatural claims for a God. There is only conjecture and simple-minded circular reasoning, unless you subscribe to the gobbledygook faux math science reasoning of William Lane Craig which is funny to consider. And a negative (lack of proof) cannot be proven nor even, really, argued.
The Agnostic believes that one cannot prove a God exists, even if one does exist, so he’ll wait until someone finds a way to do so or until God reveals itself and proves it is what it says it is.
The Atheist does not believe that God or Gods exist, period.
I am an apathetic Agnostic Atheist. I don’t know that a God does or does not exist. In my entire life I have never been shown, nor seen any proof of any intervention of, or by, any God. I cannot and do not believe that any God or Gods exist, ever existed or ever will ever exist except in the minds of men. The problem is that I am so apathetic (don’t really care) about the whole thing that it would take a monumental magic shit-show to convince me, and I’m not anticipating any sudden appearance of a deity willing to sway me. But, I will be proposing a test.
The only book that anyone can ever point to as the proof of their arguments is the Bible, and that is totally inadequate and inadmissible.
The Atheist doesn’t believe in the Bible and the Agnostics consider it to be as ‘maybe’ as is God.
Ironically, most believers have only read excerpts from the Bible because the church leaders steer them away from the controversial parts. Most Atheists have read the Bible, at least the controversial parts and many, as I, have read the Bible and studied it in its entirety. I have read it twice, and I promise you, it is a dry, boring read.
The Bible is riddled with more than 2000 inconsistencies, contradictions, and totally unscientific lunacies which an Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omni benevolent, Omnipresent, Omni perfect God would never have condoned, as the Bible (Old Testament) is touted as God’s inspired dictation to Moses.
So, let’s examine the facts
I am not trying to prove that God does not exist. I can’t prove what isn’t other than to say I’ve never seen it, never heard it, never felt, tasted smelled it. It has eluded all of my senses.
Christians believe that the proof of the God of the Bible is everywhere.
A. All of this magnificent beauty on Earth could not exist without the hand of God to have clapped it into existence. You know…clap on, clap off. God, they say adapted this world to man.
B. There is beauty and ugly, safety and extreme danger all over this Earth. I hate to burst your collective bubble, but this Earth was not tailor made for us, we, as we slowly made our way out of the primordial ooze, adapted to it. Or, we were transplanted here from somewhere else. Either way, no God, just survival and a lot of luck. As we used to say in the day, “adapt and overcome”.
C. “How can you explain the intricacies of the human eye?” Are you kidding me? We got the short end of the stick on that one. Consider the eye of the predator birds; Eagle, Owl; Buzzard; Hawk; Fisher. Good God, consider the eye of a spider or of the lowly fly! Then consider the fact that the human eye is so poorly made that it requires all kinds of augmentation to even see to the base parameters it was designed for. In the overall evolution of Earth’s biological creatures the animal kingdom developed the senses needed to survive its unique environment and physical acumen. As the creatures which evolved into ‘us’ were not really physically designed to survive with only our hands and feet as weapons, we evolved a reasoning brain. We learned to depend on our senses, to hide from, and ambush, greater predators and rose to the top of the food chain as we were capable of reasoning and developing weapons. I seriously doubt that it happed as a ‘2001 Space Odyssey’ epiphany. Sight is a magnificent sense that is evolved to compliment our environment, size, relation to the ground, air or water. Hell, any good eye doctor can explain the human eye…and it’s not that great of a design, comparatively.
D. “How do you think we got here if not by an almighty creator who loved us and designed this world for us?” Really? “Loves us”? “Created this world for us”? Please go to Pt. 1 and read the paragraphs about the kidnapped child, cancer etc. and the paragraphs above. This world is over 4 billion (that’s illion with a ‘b’) years old by our reckoning and I have noticed that our reckoning is usually inaccurate. I often wonder how many times man has risen to the pinnacle of being all he could be only to fuck everything up, sink to Neanderthal level and fight his way up again over these billions of years. Since there is so much difference in DNA in ancient man but the DNA of Neanderthal is in many of us while in the other few is some Cro-Magnon, it would make a good case for planet seeding. Just sayin’. It is said that we are the stuff of the stars, and there is more believable evidence to support alien planet seeding and Zechariah Sitchen than there is for Jehovah/Yahweh/I Am, Adam and Eve and talking snakes or the zombie Jew, Jesus.
E. As this world was forming it absorbed millions of strikes from debris from other countless destroyed worlds streaking through the universe over unfathomable trillions and zillions of years. All of these debris carried electro-microscopic life-building germs which had survived in their own capsulated environments out in the vacuum of space just as we are now surviving in our own encapsulated space called the atmosphere. We are all just awaiting that next cataclysmic, literally Earth shattering event to fling our DNA out into the vacuum, again which will be sealed again into debris capsules seeking new worlds to inhabit.
The problems with debate
To what end a debate of the existence or non-existence of God/Yahweh/Jehovah/Allah? Are you going to be able to prove that this entity exists or do you really expect me to prove it doesn’t exist?
I cannot prove a negative and since no one, regardless of their faith, has ever proved the positive, I simply ask questions demanding explanations of the fallacies of the doctrines. I never get reasonable answers.
The burden of proof is on he/she who posits the supernatural claim, not he/she who questions and refuses to believe such a ludicrous claim.
I propose a public test.
Next: The Test Pt 3