April 14, 2006

Questions on Christianity, part 2

Subtitle: Curiosity converted the cat

The last one of these did quite well: my Livejournal got 43 comments over a week or so, and my Warwick Blog is (just about) still alive now, with 164 comments at present.

For Christians:

What convinced you to become a Christian?
What is the biggest change it has made in your life?

For non-Christians:

What do you think it would take for you to be able to believe? Is there a certain level of proof that you would want?
What is the biggest problem you see with Christianity?

Ethical question (for both):

If you had the ability to change someone's mind about the existence of God, would it be ethical to use it?
If you were able to do this to just one person, who would you choose?

[ This post on my Christian-filled LiveJournal ]


- 42 comments by 2 or more people Not publicly viewable

[Skip to the latest comment]
  1. I wouldn't want proof, I'd want faith, which seems kind of unattainable. I can't just make me believe something.

    14 Apr 2006, 10:06

  2. "For Christians:

    What convinced you to become a Christian?"
    God made me feel loved, unconditionally. Gave me a wisdom picture (A vision) and the words 'this could be yours if you want it'.

    What is the biggest change it has made in your life?"
    The biggest change is not contained to one thing, it has markedly affected al aspects of my life, I hear the calling frequently and despite my reluctance or lack of wanting it at times I know it is the right path to take. With a slightly heavy heart and great joy I follow.

    "Ethical question (for both):

    If you had the ability to change someone's mind about the existence of God, would it be ethical to use it?"
    Yes, only people who want to see or choose to see will see. I would not impose my will onto someone else.

    If you were able to do this to just one person, who would you choose? If limited to being able to convert to just one person and only ever one, then I would convert the person who becomes the most profilic evangelist ever to walk this earth (not lightly, I'm not a mind reader and cannot see into the future, I am only human). If you want us to choose and individual (ie a celebrity) I couldn't we all deserve the right to know and to find God, even the worst of all sinners. We are all god's children.

    PS if anyone wants to talk or chooses to know more about God and Jesus, just ask.

    14 Apr 2006, 12:27

  3. To be honest, I'm not too keen on this splitting of everyone into Christian and non-Christian. As the maestro C.S. Lewis put it:

    The world does not consist of 100 percent Christians and 100 percent non-Christians. There are people (a great many of them) who are slowly ceasing to be Christians but who still call themselves by that name: some of them are clergymen. There are other people who are slowly becoming Christians though they do not yet call themselves so. There are people who do not accept the full Christian doctrine about Christ but who are so strongly attracted by Him that they are His in a much deeper sense than they themselves understand.

    Without wanting to be too postmodern about it, you can't just neatly package people into Christian and non-Christian, saved and unsaved, Godly and un-Godly (although I wouldn't deny these terms have any value). The real world is inevitably much more complicated, and messier, than that.

    14 Apr 2006, 13:34

  4. What do you think it would take for you to be able to believe? Is there a certain level of proof that you would want? – I'll agree with Natalie's response on this one: What it would take for me to believe is an event or experience that allowed me to make a leap of faith. Not something that I can see happening, but again, not something that you would be able to predict.

    What is the biggest problem you see with Christianity? – Intolerance (e.g. www.godhatesfags.com). Which is in no way saying that I believe all Christians are intolerant, but that I think that maybe Christianity (with its concept of moral absolutes) can act as a platform whereby people can air their prejudices with the backing of divinely inspired scripture.

    Another problem I have with Christianity is the fact that I would say it makes it quite difficult for someone brought up in a Christian family environment to easily decide on their own view of the world. Any move away from the Christian values that they are brought up with would be labelled 'wrong' and as such any kind of independent move is made with the knowledge that the family is there shaking their heads in disappointment.

    Again, I'm not suggesting that all (or even many) Christians would fall into either of those problems, but I think that those are two of the issues that Christianity (along with other religions) faces.

    If you had the ability to change someone's mind about the existence of God, would it be ethical to use it? – Only by allowing them to see that they maybe had been hasty in making a decision. Ultimately, you should be encouraging them to make up their own mind about what is right for them and discussing what that means. If someone is confident in, and has thought through, their beliefs then it shouldn't be easy to change their mind. No one should decide what to believe based solely on what another person says.

    If you were able to do this to just one person, who would you choose? I know and they know and that's enough.

    Also, Darren – you said "if anyone wants to talk or chooses to know more about God and Jesus, just ask." – if you go over to the 'Warwick Blog' link in the orginal post, then it would be very interesting to hear your opinions on some of the issues being brought up over there (esp since it's 3 or 4 to 1 in favour of those that don't call themselves Christian).

    14 Apr 2006, 16:49

  5. Oddly, I was thinking of something very similar just the other day. Largely because I personally can't conceive of anything at all that would convince me to believe in any God. I can't imagine any sort of proof that I couldn't (or wouldn't) simply rationalise as merely being something I didn't have any explanation for, and I don't really like the idea of merely having faith in things. Which I think answers the first question, or at least carefully avoids it.

    As for the biggest problem(s) with Christianity … mostly I don't really feel comfortable with the concepts of omnipotence and omniscience, as it seems to me that they produce more questions than they answer. In particular, if I were capable of doing anything I imagine that I would find very little actually worth doing at all.

    Secondly I don't really like the idea of organised religion, because it all seems rather arbitrary and political. Besides which, I don't think any decent God would be interested in being worshipped at all.

    As for whether or not it's ethical to change someone's mind, I don't really see why not, but then as an atheist it's far less meaningful to me. I think a more interesting question would be, 'Assuming that God does not exist, is it wrong to believe in Him?' After all, if it gives people happiness and security, does it matter if it's a lie? I'm not sure about this one myself, but personally I think I'd rather have truth than happiness.

    I don't know any Christians (or other religious people) well enough to want to convert them, even if I did think it were a good idea.

    14 Apr 2006, 18:45

  6. A Student

    What would make me believe? Difficult to say. Any good reason to believe (not proof) would be a start but perhaps thats not very helpful. I can well imagine believing when I'm older and worried about dying. Also I can imagine its quite easy to immerse oneself in Church so that eventually you come to rely on it and accept that you have to believe or at least hope its true. All the logical arguments I've come across seem to suggest its more rational not to believe, but emotionally its more mixed. I'm tempted to go (back) to Church for the reflection and peace it offers and perhaps to even hope its true, whilst believing that that is highly unlikely. (Of course it would have to be an ultra-liberal Church whose ethics etc I agreed with)

    What's the biggest problem with Chistianity? I assume you mean in terms of its practice and effect on the world (you already know some of the ways in which I think its implausible {see Warwick Blog link above}). Well, I am very worried by the power that religious leaders have over their flock, and beyond sometimes. In some versions of religion we can never hope to understand God or His ways, thoughts and morality but we are urged to put this on one side and have faith. While this in itself may (or may not) be acceptable it often leads to the assumption that we must rely absolutely on our religious leaders for advice and that when this advice makes no sense or even goes against our own views we should simply have faith that they know better, via God (I think Catholics still have the doctrine of papal infallibility?). For instance go to any Church and they will tell how the Bible should be interpreted. They will often forget to mention that the Church down the road takes a totally different view of the same text. The attitude is often not that of open-minded enquiry (like any university) into the ways of God but it is often indoctrination into one way of thinking. (I know this from over 10 years of Church-going, various denominations) I think this is very dangerous and has been a temptation for religious leaders since the dawn of said people. It is the root cause of many of the world's problems imho.

    Is it ethical to try to convert someone? I think so. As a Christian one would be obliged to try to do so and as an atheist you must think (at least some) religious people are wrong so I think its still acceptable. Especially for the more extreme examples of religion we are threatened by. Finally Darren, and anyone else, please take a look at the Warwick blogs link above.

    14 Apr 2006, 21:13

  7. What convinced you to become a Christian?
    Difficult to say. It was more of a process than an event really. Mostly, God talked, I listened, and then I went 'Really? Oh…' The whole 'God loves you' thing had never really hit home until then, and suddenly I was like 'Hang on…Creator of the Universe…knows everything about me…and loves me anyway? Brilliant!'

    What is the biggest change it has made in your life?
    Panic. I'm a terrible panicker, and becoming a Christian has made me somewhat less so. I still panic, but now I can say 'God's got it under control. It's fine.'
    And, as it happens, it always seems to turn out better than fine.

    If you had the ability to change someone's mind about the existence of God, would it be ethical to use it?
    Kind of a moot point really. But if I could persuade someone by reasoned argument, I reckon I would. And have. What can I say, I really love to argue.

    If you were able to do this to just one person, who would you choose?
    Too difficult…my dad or my brother, I think.

    15 Apr 2006, 10:20

  8. What is the biggest problem you see with Christianity?

    Didn't God promise protection for the Jews only? Isn't everyone else (the non-Jews) flattering themselves thinking God cares?

    15 Apr 2006, 12:40

  9. I agree with Natalie's comment (1).

    1) As a non-Christian I just can't bring myself to believe in Christianity. Nothing will ever convert me, because I simply have no faith in it.

    2) It's not for me to judge the problems with Christianity

    15 Apr 2006, 14:14

  10. For non-Christians: What do you think it would take for you to be able to believe?

    Why do Christians feel the need to convert people? I have nothing against Christians – and, indeed, some good friends of mine are Christians – but why do they hold my lack of faith against me? In my view, a Christian's faith is but one facet of their personality but, if they are going to try to convert me, they must view my atheism as a major personality flaw. Would a Christian be offended if I tried to de-faith him/her?

    But the last time I tried to debate this reasonably with someone who held their faith dear, I was called a troll for not agreeing with him…

    15 Apr 2006, 16:43

  11. Edward: that's a good point. However, I think that most people will only find one of the two sets of questions relevant, whatever they might call themselves. Still, it's a good thing to keep in mind.

    Alex: suprisingly (to me), I can tell you that Galatians 2–3 covers that question. Someone else will probably be able to point you to other parts of the Bible where this comes up.

    Richard: That question wasn't an attempt to convert anyone, just something I wanted different viewpoints on. I suspect that you don't understand why Christians feel the need to convert people because you don't understand how large a part their faith plays (or should play) in their life. Maybe a Christian could explain more.

    Michal: I don't think the problem you describe would be solved by a democratic religion. What happens if you disagree with everyone else, and baby-sacrificing is introduced to the religion (obviously, an extreme example)? The problem seems to be with organised religion in general, but I think you could find plenty of Christians who agree with you about that.

    16 Apr 2006, 01:50

  12. For non-Christians:
    What do you think it would take for you to be able to believe? Is there a certain level of proof that you would want?
    I would want to personally witness some metaphysical or supernatural event which cannot be explained by conventional or theoretical science.

    What is the biggest problem you see with Christianity?
    Old fashioned. Insist on being the only true religion. Most members are totally brainwashed and refuse to accept negatives as well as positives (time frames, inconsistencies, conflicts, removed parts of the bible by the Vatican and others, different translations losing meaning, westernisation of an eastern concept, commercialisation, etc etc etc). Fragmentation, protestants, catholics, church of englend, then Presbyterians, Lutherans, evangelists etc etc (ie the one true religion actually has a ton of subtle variations! Not very one true religion to me). Past crimes against humanity (bloody wars, unlawful killings, strict code against killing followed by justification, useful get out clause.
    The list goes on an on, yet mention any of these to a Christian and they will shrug it off one way or another, usually repeating the same old rhetoric they have heard in their sermons. Thusly, Christianity cannot ever be justified to me as a viable religion due to its many faults and lack of appreciation of them, whilst still claiming superiority to all other religions.
    Ethical question (for both):
    If you had the ability to change someone's mind about the existence of God, would it be ethical to use it?
    It would only be ethical if you were right, and since nobody can ever be right on this issue, it can never be ethical.

    If you were able to do this to just one person, who would you choose?
    One of my friends from school who is, as is her family, a Christian scientist (don’t confuse with scientology). As part of that religion, they refuse medical treatment of any sort since all ailments are Gods will. She has never been vaccinated against anything so can never go anywhere abroad since she would just get struck down by something. Last year her mum passed away after refusing treatment for cancer, choosing to find solace in prayer instead. Great religion.

    16 Apr 2006, 12:13

  13. Charlotte

    I see beauty in the world and in people all the time but I don't assume that it's due to God.
    Jill, you say that God will give you a sign that he exists if you ask him but how can you possibly tell that he has done that? For instance, if you pray for someone who is ill to get better and they do you cannot know for certain that it was because of the prayer. Or perhaps you mean a more personalised sign. How do I ask for such a sign? The problem is that when you want a sign and are expecting one it's very tempting to conclude that anything slightly out of the ordinary is a sign.

    16 Apr 2006, 12:51

  14. If you had the ability to change someone's mind about the existence of God, would it be ethical to use it?
    It would only be ethical if you were right, and since nobody can ever be right on this issue, it can never be ethical.

    How can this be? Surely either those who say God exists are right, or those who say God doesn't exist are right. Either the Christians are preaching the most important message in history, and thus they're right to try and convince others of the importance of what they're saying; or else they're a bunch of people with erroneous ideas about a God who came to earth as a man, died and was born again, and thus it's right to try and convince them of the error of their ways.

    If you want to say 'nobody can ever be sure they're right', then that's different – I would cautiously go along with you on that.

    16 Apr 2006, 13:25

  15. I don't get why religions feel the need to differentiate themselves and recruit. All religions are the same. To quote from the Song of Rama:

    Some of us call you as Shiva
    and some others as Allah
    but we beg you Lord
    that you bless us all…

    16 Apr 2006, 13:37

  16. James Black

    Another quote, forget from who, is:
    To the theologian all religions are equally good,
    To the philosopher all religions are equally false,
    To the politiican all religions are equally useful

    16 Apr 2006, 14:12

  17. What do you think it would take for you to be able to believe? Is there a certain level of proof that you would want? What is the biggest problem you see with Christianity?

    I wouldn't mind turning that question on it's head. The biggest problem I see is in what happens if someone comes along now claiming to be the son of god. In a world that's become immune to Blairite spin and David Blaine illusions would people maintain their faith, adapt it or drop it altogether? Would the pope conceed power?
    I personally wouldn't be convinced so therefore I am happy to cut out the middle man from 2000 years ago and just believe in a god.

    As for a level of proof I would need to change that view, if I could put such a level down in words then I think it's probably attainable by human means or natural chance…therefore I cannot concieve of such a change but that is not to say it is not possible.

    16 Apr 2006, 14:52

  18. What do you think it would take for you to be able to believe? Is there a certain level of proof that you would want?

    Religions work on belief, not proof – by definition. Therefore it is not possible to prove or disprove a religion, so this question is entirely pointless. One believes, one doesn't. One can't prove one's belief, and one shouldn't try.

    16 Apr 2006, 16:20

  19. If you want to say 'nobody can ever be sure they're right', then that's different – I would cautiously go along with you on that.

    No, I stand by my original point, nobody can ever be right sine we are dealing with issues that do not obey the laws of the know universe. God exists outside our own system of understanding therefore what is true here isn’t necessarily true there. You are assuming there are only 2 states, god exists, or he doesn’t. Who is to say he can exist and not exist at the same time?

    16 Apr 2006, 16:39

  20. James

    "For non-Christians:

    What do you think it would take for you to be able to believe? Is there a certain level of proof that you would want?"

    I would want either some empirical evidence or some compelling demonstration in front of my own eyes. The same for UFOs, the Yeti, the Easter Bunny, Nessie and Sasquatch. The existing historical evidence is very shaky, to say the least. And many more documents that might shed some light on things are holed up in the Vatican, which refuses access to its archives (what have you to hide, chaps ….?)

    "What is the biggest problem you see with Christianity?" Lack of empirical evidence, same with all other religions. I'm open to conversion, it's just I've not received any evidence.

    Ethical question (for both):

    If you had the ability to change someone's mind about the existence of God, would it be ethical to use it?
    If you were able to do this to just one person, who would you choose?"
    (a) Yes, depending on the person. I wouldn't have done so with my devout Grandmother, it brought a lot to her life and she didn't go committing atrocities as other religious fanatics do.
    (b) Osama Bin Laden. He'd then pack up his AK 47, go home and save us all a lot of bother.

    16 Apr 2006, 16:41

  21. A Christian

    Religions work on belief, not proof – by definition.

    Sort of. There are plenty of people, myself included, who have "met" God in some way that for them proves that God exists, but not in a way that they can use to prove to others. For such people, religion is not really about faith, since they "know" God exists. Others can't say they have met God in that way but believe he exists and for them God is a matter of faith. I was in the latter category for a little while, but I'm not sure I would have stayed that way if I hadn't met God – I'm too much of an intellectual to have a strong faith! People who have that sort of faith for a long time have my admiration.

    Why do Christians feel the need to convert people?

    Christians believe in life after death. The nature of that life depends on decisions made before death. If you knew a way to be sure that you'd spend that time with God rather than away from him, wouldn't you want to tell others?

    16 Apr 2006, 20:05

  22. Christians believe in life after death. The nature of that life depends on decisions made before death. If you knew a way to be sure that you'd spend that time with God rather than away from him, wouldn't you want to tell others?

    With respect, this is the case with most religions, and most of them don't feel the need to tell others the way.

    16 Apr 2006, 20:53

  23. What would it take to make me believe? Dying and actually going to heaven or hell and meeting God or the Devil. No other event would cause me to believe, I would see it as a mystery to be solved by science.

    What is the biggest problem you see with Christianity? The way it sees the world as black and white, right and wrong, true and false. This does create major issues, such as when George Bush thinks democracy is perfect and authorises him to start wars. It is important to acknowledge the flaws and not see the "enemy" as being completely wrong about everything. This applies to other religions as well.

    If you had the ability to change someone's mind about the existence of God, would it be ethical to use it? If you mean by reason then yes (but faith by its very nature cannot be reasoned with). Other wise I would not agree with forcing someone else to believe what I believe, I am not right (nor wrong), we need diversity of beliefs.

    17 Apr 2006, 21:29

  24. Charlotte: Various things make me think God's speaking/doing stuff.

    Obvious example:

    Friend A has (had) a birth defect which meant one of her legs was several centimetres shorter than the other.

    About two months ago, friend J prays 'Oh Lord, please heal A's leg.' in suitably off-hand fashion.

    Leg immediately grows about three centimetres in five minutes.

    A's doctor is bewildered. A, however, is naturally rather pleased.

    18 Apr 2006, 21:31

  25. A Student

    Sort of. There are plenty of people, myself included, who have "met" God in some way that for them proves that God exists, but not in a way that they can use to prove to others. For such people, religion is not really about faith, since they "know" God exists. Others can't say they have met God in that way but believe he exists and for them God is a matter of faith. I was in the latter category for a little while, but I'm not sure I would have stayed that way if I hadn't met God – I'm too much of an intellectual to have a strong faith! People who have that sort of faith for a long time have my admiration.

    This is very interesting A Christian. Can I ask you some questions (in addition to this one)? What does it mean exactly, in your view, to "meet" God? What (very approximate) fraction of Christians have "met" God? Why do some meet Him and others don't? Finally why do you admire those who believe without having met God?

    Hi again Jill! Can I ask have you ever actually witnessed a miracle yourself?

    22 Apr 2006, 18:09

  26. >>What do you think it would take for you to be able to believe? Is there a certain level of proof that you would want?

    I think I would need to see evidence for the existence of God or the reliability of the bible as a historical source. Or just be talked to directly by God and him to somehow make me know that it really was him.

    >>What is the biggest problem you see with Christianity?

    That people are brought up into it being taught that it IS true and not something they need to decide for themselves. I know enough people brought up like that to know that it's pretty much irreversible conditioning. It's not even just that Christianity may not be true, it's that within Christianity you get a lot of different opinions and there is so much "You're not a true Christian because you believe different things to me" arrogance going around.

    >>If you had the ability to change someone's mind about the existence of God, would it be ethical to use it?

    It depends entirely upon your ethical axioms. If I could see that doing this would relieve human suffering in some way then yes, I would use it, since that is pretty much what my own ethics are built around.

    >>If you were able to do this to just one person, who would you choose?

    The Pope (or someone of similar power in religious matters). It would be quite funny and might encourage a lot more people to question what they believe. It's not about changing minds it's about being critical.

    22 Apr 2006, 22:09

  27. What convinced you to become a Christian?
    Difficult to say, really, because there wasn't one thing and it was a long process. Besides, looking back, I wouldn't have said I was a proper Christian (to my own mind, I'm not trying to categorise anyone as a proper Christian or not) until last year, though I would have definitely called myself one. What I can say is that what convinces me now is the fact that Christianity seems to work for me. I think it genuinely has improved my life.

    What's the biggest change it has made in your life?
    It's made me become more outwardly rather than inwardly focussed. I grew up to be quite selfish; as a Christian I've learned the value to be found in loving others and putting them first. I'm not saying it's easy. I'm also not saying I do it all the time, or even most of the time – I'm no saint! But it's taught me that I can make a positive difference to the world around me. Being a Christian has also made me far more happy with myself and with my life.

    If you had the ability to change someone's mind about the existence of God, would it be ethical to use it?
    Not as far as I'm concerned. I believe Christianity's the right way, but I'm well aware that that doesn't necessarily mean it is the right way. People should be free to make up their own minds about this.

    If you were able to do this to just one person, who would you choose?
    Hmmm… Someone who could benefit from it. I'm well aware that that would be rather arrogant on my part to assume that they'd "benefit" from it, and I'm sure the atheists among you would take issue at that (hence why I wouldn't actually use the ability!). But from my own experience, like I said, Christianity's made me a lot more happy with myself and with life in general, and I'd want to pass that on to someone who'd benefit, perhaps someone who wasn't quite so happy with the way things were turning out. Which explains to an extent why Christians evangelise: God, as far as they're concerned, has made a really big difference in their life, and having a relationship with him has improved things for the better – otherwise, I'm fairly convinced, most of them wouldn't be Christians. Why wouldn't you want to offer people the chance to feel the same way?

    Alan, Patrick and co – I've looked at the other post, and I'm more than happy share my point of view. It's just a bit hard to leap into a big discussion that was started back in February! Also I'm painfully aware that I don't have all the answers, or even most of them. There are parts of Christianity that I have problems with, particularly some of the problems that have already been discussed. But I'll try and get up to speed and make a comment. Alternatively, if you've any specific questions you want answering, pass them my way (either by email or by making a comment) and I'll try and make a reply. No guarantees that I'll have a satisfactory answer though! And I agree with what others have said: if you do have questions about Christianity, the best thing to do is to sit a Christian down and have a proper conversation with them. It might be an educational experience for both parties!

    23 Apr 2006, 18:04

  28. Hey again ASt. You knew I couldn't stay away, didn't you? :)

    "Hi again Jill! Can I ask have you ever actually witnessed a miracle yourself?"

    Erm…probably not in the sense you mean, no. I've never seen growing legs anyways, though I think it would be kind of cool. It's always nice when people pray for my healing though. :) I've been getting dreadful headaches every afternoon since last Tuesday, it's made work and general concentration impossible. So I got everyone to pray for me and so far it seems to be working. However, if I witness or remember anything impressive I'll be sure to let you know. :)

    Argh! Lecture! Got to go…

    (runs away)

    24 Apr 2006, 11:54

  29. What would it take me to believe: Nothing would ever make me become a Christian. I'm just that unreligious. If I saw God sat in front of me, I would believe SHE exists, but I would still not become a 'Christian', or a Jew, or a Muslim for that matter. Hence lies my answer to the second Q. Christianity is just full of all these silly rules, and dogmatisms, and it's SO OBSESSED WITH DEATH. All it goes on about it was to do know to get yourself in the 'in crowd' after you die. There's so much amazing stuff in this world that I think, can't people just be happy with what's here, instead of wishing they were dead and living it up with Jeebus on a cloud somewhere. And I would never try and change someone's mind about God. People should make their own decisions about faith, which is why I'm against bringing up children in any faith. They should be free to choose if they wish to follow the beliefs or not.

    25 Apr 2006, 19:07

  30. A Student

    God is a she is She? Well I should be OK then – no woman has turned me down yet. Hmm an eternity with the perfect woman… Sounds good but Islam's rewards will take some beating (at least I do hope they'll take it like the submissive women they are).

    Thanks again Jill. Regarding your headaches – perhaps the care and support of your friends made you feel better, rather than God? I don't know whether this will have the same impact but I also hope they go away. (I always find these things just get better anyway – it would never convince me I have to say!)

    25 Apr 2006, 22:40

  31. This is true. Mind you it instantly disappearing made me happy no matter how it was caused. It went from 'what's my name again?' to 'Ah! Coherence!' in about thirty seconds flat, which was lovely.

    Anyway, like I said, miracles tend not to be convincing. Even huge ones like growing legs and all that jazz. :) Nevertheless I'll keep my eye out.

    I reckon God is genderless, or rather reflects both genders…or both genders reflect him. I just find it easier to say Him, with the Father-Son-Holy Spirit stuff. Obviously I think Jesus was a guy, but for God to be exclusively masculine wouldn't work. As men and women are made in God's image, not just you guys. :)

    26 Apr 2006, 10:37

  32. Jo

    heya. For Christians:

    What convinced you to become a Christian?
    Pootled along as an atheist, got into quite bad depression, ran out of friends, had nowhere left to turn, prayed one of those prayers that tend to begin "God, if you exist…..". Over the next few months started to vaguely become christian. Year later it dawned on me how much my life had changed and God really does exist?!

    What is the biggest change it has made in your life?
    learnt never to make prayers that I don't expect to be answered. During Iraq war was watching telly of children being blown up and stuff but didn't really feel anything so prayed that I could feel what God felt about it.
    That wasn't fun, only was given a snapshot and went instantly from being quite neutral and numb about what I was watching to crying so much I was rolling on the floor unable to stop for a full 30 minutes!! After that kind of thing your life tends to change in the direction of not really beign able to do anything but campaign against injustice!!!

    If you had the ability to change someone's mind about the existence of God, would it be ethical to use it?

    God has this ability. But it would make free will pretty pointless. So no, I wouldn't use it.

    Can I answer the Why do christians evangelise query? It's like, if you were the first person to discover chocolate (if in the hyperthetical situation that it happened to grow on trees in the dairy milk/replace-with-favourite-fair-trade-replacement format we find and love today) wouldn't you want to tell others about this amazing chocolate you just found and try to get others to taste it?

    Miracles aren't really a good way of proving God's existance (well, if you could prove it their wouldn't be many athiests would there?). Even if you're there at the time they're hard to believe, so a second hand story will never convince anyone.
    A is very happy her leg is longer though, as it was giving her many back troubles and difficultly walking.

    Gah, enough ranting for now, back to work me thinks. :-)

    26 Apr 2006, 13:10

  33. Hail Marry

    Gate–crashing, didn’t get a chance to read all entries,,,,, may be later. Apologies in advance if I duplicate any previous entry.

    Now: What is the biggest problem you see with Christianity?

    It is a great religion. Teaches people love, devotion …etc great stuff. But my problem is fundamental; the oneness of God.
    They tell you God is one the whole story about the trinity; the father, the son and the holly spirit. I’ve heard all sorts of explanations, but I just don’t buy it. You tell me God is one, created this and that,,,, fine. But sorry, and I hope I don’t offend anyone by this, I can’t see how god can be the father, the son and the holly spirit. Especially, How a man who walk, talks and eats ..etc can be my God.

    If any of you are wondering, Marry in my post name is not the ‘mother of God’, she’s my …

    27 Apr 2006, 19:30

  34. A Student

    3=1 QED.

    28 Apr 2006, 01:43

  35. Hail Marry

    QED !!

    28 Apr 2006, 11:16

  36. Robert O'Toole

    Perhaps this might help: link

    28 Apr 2006, 14:40

  37. anonymous

    what does 1 equal?

    30 Apr 2006, 16:03

  38. What do you think it would take for you to be able to believe?

    Evidence, although my understanding is that "you have to believe before you can see" or words to a similar effect. I am unable to have blind faith in something, I would always have doubt. I would consider myself agnostic.

    Is there a certain level of proof that you would want?

    I don't want any proof, if proof presents it self then I will examine it, I am not awaiting confirmation of the existance of God in order to be able to believe and to "save me"

    What is the biggest problem you see with Christianity?

    1. Evolution – Evolution contradicts the Bible with the theory that man evolved from primates and thus was not created in God's image. I currenlty belive there is more evidence for evolution than the existance of a Christian God.
    2. Other religions – If Chrisitanity was correct how did so many other religions start? Is everyone else wrong? Why do they believe in a wrong God? Why is Christianity the right one?

    If you had the ability to change someone's mind about the existence of God, would it be ethical to use it?

    No, it is manipulation of people. A person should decide for one's self.

    If you were able to do this to just one person, who would you choose?

    N/A

    01 May 2006, 13:40

  39. What do you think it would take for you to be able to believe? Is there a certain level of proof that you would want?
    Short of god himself coming to me and telling me he exists, I don't think I could just start believing. Though I'd probably just think someone slipped me some acid…

    What is the biggest problem you see with Christianity?
    I have nothing against it in general – the ideals seem to be quite nice – but I really resent the attitude of "we are right, you must all believe as we do or be punished" that seems to come from it. I know a lot of Christians don't take this line of thinking, but there are a lot of cases where people argue ethics on a religious ground as though that were the be all and end all. Can't they just chill out and let others enjoy life the way they want to? Live for now, you only have one chance.

    If you had the ability to change someone's mind about the existence of God, would it be ethical to use it?
    It wouldn't be ethical, and I wouldn't do it. It's up to people to decide on their own. If I did, I'd be as bad as the sort of people I mentioned above.

    If you were able to do this to just one person, who would you choose?
    As mentioned before, I wouldn't.

    01 May 2006, 20:06


Add a comment

You are not allowed to comment on this entry as it has restricted commenting permissions.

New blog location

After a hiatus of several years, I’ve started blogging again at blog.draknek.org.

My website

Looking for more information about Alan Hazelden? Follow me on Twitter or go to my website.

April 2006

Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
Mar |  Today  | May
               1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Search this blog

Blog archive

Loading…

Most recent comments

  • Knife game: No actual cutlery involved. A single player starts with the "knife" by clasping his or h… by Noyb on this entry
  • My friends and I have taken to this one very silly game lately that's probably altogether too insula… by Ian S. on this entry
  • Great, thanks for those! That first one I would know by the name of Wink Murder, usually with a sing… by on this entry
  • I don't know the names for these games, so I'll make them up: Sniper. Randomly choose who is the sin… by zep on this entry
  • I recommend checking out Project Sprouts from Luke Bayes. It makes obtaining and configuring the fla… by Duncan Beevers on this entry

Tags

Not signed in
Sign in

Powered by BlogBuilder
© MMXXI