Re: Is atheism a sin? -- was Re: Help a Christian smoker



On 11 Sep 2005 06:59:04 -0700, "Paul Dean"
<paul_nospamplease@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

>William wrote:
>
>> You state that there is enough evidence for everyone to believe that
>> God exists - but you haven't presented a scrap of this universally
>> convincing evidence. And you flatly contradict those who say they have
>> genuinely searched and not found it.
>
>You should see the view from my window as I type this - I'm very lucky.
> I can see for 40 miles down the mountain, across rolling hills and
>plains all the way to sand dunes of the Indian ocean. There's hardly a
>sound in the air other than my typing and the whir of my laptop, even
>the bush is quiet today. If you see such a view and are not grateful
>to the creator, no matter what metaphysical hoops through which you
>want to jump to caveat whatever it is you believe in, if you're not
>grateful for it then I suspect a hardness of heart and/or a will set
>against that creator.
[snip]

Very nice scene and you are indeed very lucky. But what's that got to
do with evidence for a creator? I could show you news broadcasts of
completely different scenes. Throughout history there have been scenes
of crass ugliness, soul-destroying pain and suffering. Will you accept
that as evidence for the non-existence of a creator?

Of course, neither scene tells you anything about whether there is a
creator behind it.

>> If someone does search and find belief in God - but a different one
>> from the one you happen to believe in - then you dismiss their seeking
>> as 'self-centred'
>
>I'm sorry, but it's not possible to find a different God, there being
>only one, so I have to assume the 'God' they found has been
>contaminated by their own wants and ideas. Please remember I'm not
>trying to convince anyone by this - other people think they know a
>different God and could say exactly the same thing about me, but it's
>completely irrelevant to me describing my opinion of the truth.

That's OK then. You believe in yours, they believe in theirs. They
think you are wrong/sinful/misguided for not believing in theirs, you
think the same about them. That seems to be a characteristic of
religious belief and one of the reasons it can develop into such
intolerance of others. There appears to be no common, independent
means of getting at the truth that, say, the scientific process has.

>> You then state
>> that you can sin without an act of will and can even sin without being
>> aware of it. In other words you are guilty whether you have any
>> conscious choice or not.
>
>Who said anything about guilt? I was talking about sin.

Sin has nothing to do with guilt? How can someone be punished for
something without there being guilt?

>> All we are getting, Paul, is "believe that God exists - and
>> specifically the biblical God - because I say so".
>
>I'm not asking anyone to believe anything on my say-so. I can't
>imagine anyone doing that about something so important as this; it's
>not the way it happens.

So in what way does it happen if it is not on someone's say-so?

>> And for those who do not
>> find any such evidence and are in no way convinced by your 'I'm right
>> so you are wrong' attitude it doesn't help to label them as sinful
>> simply for not believing.
>
>It's a consequence of ones definition of sin. Remember I'm not blaming
>people or saying they are "bad people"; it's just a fact about the
>nature of sin.

Please could you define sin then. So far you have defined it as
something we have no choice in doing and that there is no guilt in
doing it.

William
.



Relevant Pages

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