Am I An Atheist Fundamentalist?

I received these two comments (from the same person) on my site this weekend.  I didn’t approve them but I do think he asks a legitimate question amid all the ranting and I’d like to address it:

From Christian to Deist is a natural progression.

From “Born-again” Christian to Atheist is a natural move too.

Its only natural that a crazy lunatic “born again” Christian fundanmentalist, upon figuring out how false Christianity is, would throw the baby out with the bathwater and become a bat-guano crazy Atheist.

Whereas a ‘normal’ Christian can toss aside faith in a lie and retain belief in God’s existence, I suppose it is impossible for a fundamentalist, especially a Calvinist, to do so.

and …

One of the reasons, I suppose, is that fundamentalists have no critical reasoning capacity.  Their psychology requires a perfect inerrant document of some sort to simply believe in without question.  A Deist has no such thing.  So they can’t move to Deism.  But Atheism has this in so-called ‘science’ (i.e. pop-science).  So the crazy Fundie moves from belief that the Bible is the perfect inerrant receptacle of truth to believing that Science is the perfect inerrant receptacle of truth to be dogmatically believed in with no questions and no critical thinking.  Whatever pop-science says is like the word of God (as it were) to these Fundie Atheists.  Paul was unquestionable as a Fundie Christian — but now having rejected the Bible, Dawkins is unquestionable, Steven Hawkings is unquestionable.  The pop-science on the Nightly News that pretends Global Warming is man-made — UNQUESTIONABLE!!!!! How dare you question the Lord God Al Gore!!!!  There is a psychosis in you people.  You just can’t stand not having some perfect Magesterial authority dictating to you what to believe — you are pawns who have to have your every belief dictated to you by someone else because you can’t think or are too afraid to.  Maybe its because your mother drunk too much while you were in the womb and it caused brain damage — maybe its because you drank too much yourself and caused brain damage.  I’d really like to figure our what it is that kills a person’s ability to think for themselves and makes them a mind full of mush that can give their full unquestioning consent either to the Bible or to pop-science.  Maybe you can help me understand it.  Are you a drunk?  Was your mom a drunk?  Because those are my two best leads on this subject.

“Bat-guano crazy Atheist” – he he!  I kinda like it! My mother would likely be insulted by the accusation that she’s a drunk though! lol

Did I jump from one type of fundamentalism to another?

I’ve spent some time thinking about it and there are a few key things I’d like to say:

1.  Here’s a post I published about my personality profile.  If you read that it won’t be surprising that I feel comfortable within the atheist community!  I like correct answers so it does make sense that I didn’t hang out long in any worldview that I probably perceived as wishy-washy.

2.  I started my blog after I’d completed the journey from Christian fundamentalist to atheist.  I realize now that my site doesn’t document that journey much at all.  There was a full two years where I struggled with a million issues, read innumerable books (my amazon bill was insane!) and thought, thought, and thought some more about pretty much every issue relating to religion.  So looking at my site I can see how someone would think I just made a quick leap from one end of the spectrum to the other.

3.  I did hang out in the grey zone for awhile.  I started out reading liberal Christian material.  Then I remember reading about deism and thinking maybe that’s where I belonged.  I called myself an agnostic for awhile.  Realizing that I no longer believed in any revelation from any god and that no human knew more about the big life questions than I did made me an agnostic.  The hiddenness of god and the problem of evil and suffering tipped me over into the atheist camp.  It wasn’t a quick jump and it certainly wasn’t one I made without any thought.

4.  Am I incapable of thinking for myself?  I certainly relied on books and the internet during my deconversion.  I read things from both ends of the spectrum and everything in between.  I was constantly reading and trying to digest it all and decide what made the most sense and what I could accept.  But in the end I had to make up my own mind about what everyone had to say.  I’m not sure what thinking for myself would look like for this commentator.  Would I have to lock myself in a room and ponder the mysteries of the universe without any outside input?  I don’t think there is anything wrong with hearing what others have to say and then coming to your own conclusions and that’s what I did.

5.  I read this wikipedia article on fundamentalism.  In there, Richard Dawkins says this about the accusation that he is a fundamentalist:

Richard Dawkins has rejected the charge of “fundamentalism,” arguing that critics mistake his “passion”—which he says may match that of evangelical Christians—for an inability to change his mind. Dawkins asserts that the atheists’ position is not a fundamentalism that is unable to change its mind, but is held based on the verifiable evidence; as he puts it: “The true scientist, however passionately he may “believe” in evolution for example, knows exactly what would change his mind: evidence! The fundamentalist knows that nothing will.”  Dawkins has stated that, unlike religious fundamentalists, he would willingly change his mind if new evidence challenged his current position.

I’ve taken part in some online discussions about what would change people’s minds about their current worldview.  I have to admit I was shocked.  As a Christian I believed that the evidence supported my view but I don’t think I ever held the belief that no evidence would change my mind.  But lately I’ve come across Christians who say that faith trumps evidence and therefore no evidence could change their mind.  On the other hand I’ve read atheists’ specific lists of what would change their minds.  Here’s another one.  I think most atheists could come up with a similar list.  But what I see many Christians saying is that it’s ok to doubt – as long as that doubt leads back to God.  And it doesn’t matter which issue you bring up with most Christians – they ultimately say that they just have faith that it is true and that the evidence they’ve been presented with won’t change their mind.  To me this is a huge difference between the two camps:  a willingness to change one’s view if there is sufficient reason to do so.

I’m certainly open to changing my mind.  If I was able to change my views while believing it could send me to a literal hell then I think that speaks pretty loudly to the fact that I am concerned with truth and not just accepting someone else’s views.

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42 thoughts on “Am I An Atheist Fundamentalist?

  1. I like that definition of a fundamentalist. I have been guilty of calling some atheists “fundamentalists” but the type of person I associate with that label is one who is so dogmatic they are unwilling to try to understand why someone might hold a different point of view, even if they don’t agree with it. It does seem as though people like to accuse those who reject Christianity of not being able to think for themselves or of switching one type of faith for another. The problem is that even if that were true, everyone has the right to believe what they want. But more than that, my experience is that Christians tend to dramatically underestimate the amount if thought, research, discussion, reading and struggle that goes into a person’s decision to reject their faith. I think for most who do it is not an easy thing to walk away from and it is only done with serious conviction. Especially for those of us leaving a fundamentalist faith, we KNOW all the arguments. We’ve heard them a thousand times and probably preached them to others. We’ve struggled through each one of them to decide whether they were sufficient answers to our questions and if is frankly insulting to be accused of having made the decision against faith lightly. When a change in belief is made it can make some people extremely passionate and sometimes that can one across very negatively, but it can also spark great compassion for others who are questioning and even those who never question because we can really understand where they’re coming from and why they find it hard or even impossible to challenge the system. Ultimately we each get to choose our own belief system and respectfully disagreeing is an important skill for all of us to learn.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts Shannon!

      I’m not always successful at balancing my passion with compassion but I try to have both 🙂

      You’ve given me even more to think about!

  2. Great post! I really don’t understand the person that left that comment. He doesn’t believe the Bible is inerrant, but he does believe God is perfect and wants us to believe specific things. So if the Bible isn’t inerrant, is it even inspired? How do we find out what these specific things are that God wants us to do?

    • Personally, I think it’s just more of a personality type. When we were Christians, we really believed. In some ways, perhaps, we took the faith more seriously than others and perhaps we were even fundamentalist by all appearances. It was just the type of people we were. Inquisitive, earnest, honest and trying to satisfy our own sense of justice in the world. We’re still those kinds of people.. we’re still who we were. Sure call it fundamentalism, but I really think Shannon did a great job, as well as yourself, in answering that charge – we’re not unwilling to change our minds. We just put empiricism in front of faith and not the other way ’round. Great posts and I really enjoyed the links.. now to explore them further. Muhahahahaah!

    • Whoops.. had been reading Nate’s blog when I came back to make my general response here and.. forgot I was still in reply to Nate lol. So, Nate.. I really enjoyed your blog. I’m touched and even a little challenged by your exchange with your father. Knowing myself and my own father, I’m not sure either of us would remain so civil. Thanks for sharing!

      • Thanks! It’s not easy having those discussions… and we don’t often remain that civil. It’s been a little better lately. It’s extremely difficult though. In some ways, I’m really touched by the effort he has put forward with me. He’s one of the only people who has consistently tried to study through some of the issues (though he won’t read anything from a skeptical perspective), and I really appreciate that. But at the same time, it’s very frustrating because we are apparently coming at this from two very different perspectives. When I first told him about my doubts, I thought he would be bothered by some of the same things that had bothered me. I thought we approached our beliefs in the same way. Apparently we didn’t.

        But thanks for your comment. It means a lot, and it’s nice to know that others are watching. Makes for a great support group! 🙂

    • To Nate,

      There seems to be alot of christians who believe the bible is errant and has errors, but still hold to their faith. They still think/believe God is perfect. I’ve come across many christians like that personally and several in my blog.

      It really throws me back when I hear that because I have never been taught or believed that as a believer. It always been the idea that God is perfect, and his word is perfect.

      • While I can understand their desire to have it be that way, I don’t understand it either. So far I haven’t heard an explanation that explains (to my satisfaction) how you would know which bits are true and which aren’t – which parts are from god and which aren’t.

      • Yeah, it’s hard for me to understand too. I can appreciate why they would want to take that stance, but I think it indirectly devalues people. I say that because most Christians (even who don’t take the Bible as inerrant) think Christianity is the only religion that will get you to Heaven. If that’s true, then it would need some major evidence to convince people who are raised in other traditions. As far as I know, the Bible is their only real objective evidence. If it’s not perfect, why should others believe it? Since they don’t seem to think about this, they strike me as fairly apathetic toward people of other faith traditions.

  3. Dawkins is unquestionable, Steven Hawkings is unquestionable. The pop-science on the Nightly News that pretends Global Warming is man-made — UNQUESTIONABLE!!!!! How dare you question the Lord God Al Gore!!!!

    If this is what Fundamentalism is than I do not qualify, and this character has no idea what science or the scientific method is. Dawkins is certainly not above criticism. I had to read most of Hawking’s papers when I was in grad school, and yes the guy is/was brilliant, but his contributions to cosmology is vastly overrated. None of these guys is above critique. Is that blasphemous to the atheist? So be it.

    Al Gore? He invented the internet, didn’t he? All praise is due to Al Gore!

  4. I trust the scientific method. I don’t have the time and expertise to personally validate that global warming exists, so I do accept it without direct knowledge. However, I know global warming wasn’t made up by just one person. It was arrived at slowly over time until a global concensus was generated. And if I so desire I’m free to test the theory myself.

    If the peer-reviewed concesnsus changes, I’ll probably shift with it. Again, I’m trusting the process, because I don’t believe we have a better alternative.

    • Thanks for sharing Stan.

      There was a big shift in my searching when I simply began questioning how people knew what they were telling me they knew. The scientific method certainly came out way ahead compared to the bible, visions, prayer, faith, etc. If I ask a scientist how he knows what he’s telling me, he can back it up with reliable evidence. If I ask a Christian how he knows all sorts of things about the supernatural realm and the afterlife, there is no evidence at all. My journey became smoother and clear once I started asking that one simple question, ‘How did this person come to have the knowledge they claim to have?’

      Scientists keep making progress with their system that is designed to find errors and correct them and change course if needed. The Christians keep falling back on faith and the need to deny errors and to maintain some unchangeable truth apparently communicated thousands of years ago.

      Like you said, it’s the methodology of science that I trust now.

  5. I think it is important for atheists to think about what it would take to convert them to an agnostic and what it would take to make them a theist. An open mind is a requirement to not be a fundamentalist anything.

  6. The person who posted this is what he/she blamed fundamentalists of being: a lunatic.
    People who leave their faith do so because they’re skeptical, fundamentalist or not. That leads to doubt, honest reasoning, and the realization that what they believed didn’t make sense. Now all of those people throw away their skeptical nature and trust every atheist with the same faith as a religious fundamentalist? Don’t most people (atheist or not) know that science is always changing and have no problem admitting that?
    Plus, from the conversion stories I’ve read there were plenty of people who went from fundamentalist, to agnostic, to atheist. So I’m not sure where the assertion that fundies go straight to crazy atheist comes from.
    There’s so much wrong with this argument I would write an essay on it.

    • One of my operating theories of humanity is that people judge others based on what they themselves would do. I can’t claim this is empirically derived but it does seem to explain certain things for me, like why people who complain about a “vast left-wing media conspiracy” would go on to build Fox News.

      Christians are more accustomed to absolutes. Dogma and doctrine doesn’t change much. I think they assume the same about atheists. It’s as if there were a core doctrine, a Nicene Creed of Godlessness. So they try to pin down what that might be and attack it, and come off looking a bit confused. I’m not saying this is universal, but I think it’s a common mistake.

      • Agreed.
        It’s as if they think if all humans were atheists, we would never have any more discussions or disagreements on major life topics because we would all believe the same thing. That can be easily disproved but doesn’t even make sense to assert in the first place. This is actually one of the topics I’ve heard discussed a few times by The Atheist Experience, where they’ve had to repeatedly state that there is no atheistic creed. Atheism just means you don’t believe a God exists. It doesn’t mean you now follow a set of rules, and you’ll find all kinds of different opinions on any topic. For example, some people turn vegetarian when they turn atheist, some do not. The same could be said about beliefs on abortion, war, etc.

  7. Brenda, I recently have gone through a very traumatic experience that no human should ever go through, I will be living with the consequences of this wrong doing the rest of my life. I began to question God, why?, where are you? Like you I started reading books; trying to disprove God was my motive. After reading so many theories about the creation of man and the universe, I was amazed at the explanation for these events. I began to understand why people felt so passionate about atheism. The problem came when I got to the fundamental question –> how did nothing create something. I realized how much faith it would take to believe that by Chance I am here. The problem for me is the scientific explanation for this takes to much faith. It has no evidence and only theories almost sci-fi in a way of explaining nothing creating something. No I have no evidence to prove God is real; the crazy thing is I would have a easier path proving the Devil is real consequently proving God is real. We are free to chose our path no matter what that cost is. In other words God isn’t going to come out and say here I am, that would a) take faith out the picture b) take freedom out of the picture. This freedom of choice is costly because without God in full force on earth we are susceptible to trouble. Just as God didn’t spare his own son from trouble we to face it daily. So in the end I believe God will make all wrongs right for those who have faith in Him. This tragedy in my life is giving deeper meaning to my life and given my faith strength after being crushed. I believe your beliefs will eventually change again its only human.

    http://richarddawkins.net/articles/3502-matthew-parris-as-an-atheist-i-truly-believe-africa-needs-god

    • Hi Chance. Thanks for commenting. I’m finally getting around to replying.

      I’m sorry for whatever it is you’re going through. However, while you find comfort in God, I found it liberating to no longer have to explain why a loving god would allow it in the first place.

      I read the article you linked to. Interesting perspective. It’s only one person’s perspective though so I immediately begin asking questions. I wonder how other workers in Africa would view his take on things. What would the data show (Do people in religious areas fare better than those in nonreligious areas, etc?) And I am always turned off by the idea that people should believe in god because it might make them feel better:

      “The fact that a believer is happier than a sceptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.” George Bernard Shaw

      I can see his perspective, but is Christianity really the only solution to overcoming the tribal mentality he talks about? Frankly, Christianity teaches you that you’re shameful and deserve eternal punishment (for being human). I find humanism much more liberating and empowering.

      • Should have said, “I found it liberating to no longer have to explain why a loving god would allow suffering in the first place.”

      • Hi Brenda,
        Just wanted to take a second and respond to your comment below.

        —Should have said, “I found it liberating to no longer have to explain why a loving god would allow suffering in the first place.”—

        I totally get you and yes this is the big issue. For me when people say why do so many bad things happen. I differentiate natural disasters from human disasters. For example racism, I can’t pin this issue on God. Is it God’s fault people are racist? We people are free to chose how we feel about race. My hope is the majority of people can look past the color of skin and see we are all equal. We and myself included sometimes jump the gun and say God why did you let such and such happen? When it was not him, it was the actions of a messed up person and we are all free to do as we please. For Christians the hope is one day justice will be handed out and all the wrongs made right. Though we have hope stuff still hurts but faith keeps us going.

    • Chance

      Wanted to address this comment you made:

      “I believe your beliefs will eventually change again its only human.”

      I wonder if you could explain this a bit more. Are you saying it’s only human to believe in god? Or are you just saying it’s human to change our minds during our lifetimes?

      And also, regarding my comment above about whether people should believe in god because it might make them feel better – I didn’t intend to make it sound like believers are always happier than nonbelievers. Just that even if in an individual case it did make them happier – that wouldn’t be a good reason to believe (in my opinion.) Although I think believers tie their happiness too much to their belief in god and they could be just as happy without it. But their religion tells them they need god to be happy so they believe it.

      • Hi Brenda,
        Thanks for replying.

        There is a lot to cover I hope I don’t miss something you asked. The main question though I feel you asked from above was about happiness in God. I’m not sure how the stereotype of being Christian means happiness got started; its a real shame. Some of the pastors I most value always emphasize being Christian doesn’t mean no rainy days. If anyone tries to bring you to Christianity based on happiness I would definitely think twice. I would say to you it gives you Hope and whatever that leads to is totally personal based on the individual.

        Being a christian / atheist / Muslim / or whatever doesn’t shield you from life’s heartaches. The one thing that being a follower of Jesus brings is Hope. Hope that one day everything will be made right.

        The reason I said I feel your belief system will change again is because we never know what life has for us and those unexpected things change us. The main thing is though that you find peace and satisfaction.

  8. Chance,
    I’m sorry to hear you’ve gone through a traumatic experience. I’ve been through one recently and I know how it gets you questioning everything.
    However, during my questioning I came to a different conclusion and I’ll explain why.
    Your question of how nothing came from something and how something as complex as us came to be is very difficult to comprehend. As a matter of fact, it was one of things that kept me convinced that God did exist. However, if you start questioning what caused what, you will never reach a beginning. For instance, where did the material for our universe come from? If God created it, what created him? I never felt satisfied with “he just existed” because if you think about it, if it’s hard for us to understand how we could have come about by chance, how much harder is it to believe that a perfect being was just always there?
    I also wondered why the scientific evidence supports a sequence of life forming on earth from simple to complex. Why would God tell us he created everything in 6 days, yet the evidence supports a very old universe with a very old earth? Was he trying to trick us? What father would do that? Every time I read Genesis, I would always think it sounds like a child made up the story (though there are 2 stories) and they had no clue how the real world works. Even though I can’t explain how everything came to be, I find the Christian creation account to be blatantly wrong, so there must be another explanation.
    Also, I think it’s a wrong assumption to say something came from nothing. If we’re talking about the Big Bang, I don’t think they assert that all of a sudden something just appeared. I think it’s assumed that there was always something, whether it be matter or energy, though I’m not an expert on that theory. And as far as life starting, abiogensis assumes biological life came from inorganic matter, not from nothing.
    As far as God not being able to reveal himself, I’ve got to be honest, that’s just an excuse Christians use when prayer fails and they can’t understand the state we’re in. The Bible repeatedly states that prayer should work, that God will reveal himself to us, and we should have as much power as Jesus did. However, all of this is false. Prayer repeatedly fails, even if it is a prayer in “God’s will,” God doesn’t reveal himself to us which is why Christians have made classes on how to hear from God (as if he’s not smart enough to communicate with us in a way we can understand) and if anyone has the powers Jesus did, we’d probably all be Christians right now.
    I’ll also address your reasons for why God doesn’t reveal himself:
    a) take faith out the picture
    Faith is not a virtue; it’s believing in something without evidence. As a matter of fact, faith is why there are many religions that aren’t Christian. Why would a jealous God who wants us to all be Christian rely on faith when it can lead to us believing in anything, including other gods? Any perfect god that requires faith is false because if it did, it would be errant in doing so.
    b) take freedom out of the picture.
    What happens in heaven? Christians are in the hypocritical situation of explaining why things have to be bad on this earth, yet not being able to address why that all of a sudden changes when we die. If all of the bad stuff on earth is necessary, then it must also be necessary in heaven. Either that, or we have no freedom in heaven. If we lose our freedom in heaven, then why do Christians want to go there?
    I understand the arguments you’re making, and I wanted to respond because I have personally been there. However, it’s not a good idea to say that if you don’t understand something, that leads means you have to default back to a god being the source of everything, especially when as you admitted, his evil creation appears to be running the show and not him.

    • Speed, very good points. I can understand where you are coming from. Let me further explain my position and respond to your comments.

      “where did the material for our universe come from? If God created it, what created him? I never felt satisfied with “he just existed” because if you think about it, if it’s hard for us to understand how we could have come about by chance, how much harder is it to believe that a perfect being was just always there?”

      “If we’re talking about the Big Bang, I don’t think they assert that all of a sudden something just appeared. I think it’s assumed that there was always something, whether it be matter or energy, though I’m not an expert on that theory.”

      Above is the most basic question we all want the answer to. Your stance is, you think “there was always something” energy… My stance is there was always God. You see believer or non believer we both must chose to believe what drives physics always existed or God always existed; in other words they both had no beginning they just always existed. For you to believe a perfect being always existed and created a perfect universe (perfect as in the laws of physics the universe operates under, its not random it moves like clock work, also creating the only known planet to sustain intelligent life) is to much to ask. For me to believe that by Chance this speck in the universe came to be from an always existent unknown energy,matter,law or whatever you believe by improbable random events is to much to ask; requiring to much faith. I’m not saying God is a easy choice to make or the alternative for that matter but either way you have to believe that one always existed. We agree something always existed; for me God did and He made the building blocks for the universe, for you it was the building blocks that always existed and they came together some how to form the universe.

      “Why would God tell us he created everything in 6 days, yet the evidence supports a very old universe with a very old earth? Was he trying to trick us? What father would do that? Every time I read Genesis, I would always think it sounds like a child made up the story (though there are 2 stories) and they had no clue how the real world works.”

      A valid excellent point. I take this issue different from the first, because the main question is: does God exist or not? (side note Albert Einstein, who is known NOT to be Christian but did believe in intelligent design because of the specific laws the universe operates under.) The next logical question is: Does Christianity have a valid theory of creation? There are two theories 1) take 6 days literal 2) those 6 days where under God’s time (could be literal or could be different, when moses wrote Genesis he probably didn’t know about million or billion, we don’t know). To answer the question I have to briefly explain who God is to me. Simply God is perfect, He is above all. So what I believe is he isn’t under the rule of our physics, he made our laws of physics. God is all powerful, all knowing; He is the most brilliant scientist ever (I don’t mean to disrespect anyone with my comments…) So what to us may seem it took millions/billions of years is totally feasible for God to have done in 6 days his time. If you think about it why take six days if your GOD? Why not just an instant. The obvious answer is it was deliberate, you see the bible doesn’t give us a detailed play by play of creation / the oust of the devil, we just have some of the important pieces of the puzzle be not all. The bible doesn’t give us all the answers we would like but it doesn’t leave us totally in the dark. The same can be said about our understanding of the Earth via Science.

      “As far as God not being able to reveal himself, I’ve got to be honest, that’s just an excuse Christians use when prayer fails and they can’t understand the state we’re in. “

      I think my statement got lost in translation. God is able, and the hope is He will reveal himself to the world soon. You see the Christian believes we are in this world but not of it, in other words this world is heavily influenced by the enemy right now (I wont get deep into that). I don’t think anyone can make total since of what we see going on in the world today. For me it comes down to the idea the God didn’t spare his own son from pain so everyone is open to pain. Keep in mind the majority of our problems Man inflects on itself. We ask God why didn’t you stop so and so from killing so and so and the list goes on. I wish God did block every bad intent people carry out on others but the fact is He doesn’t. We are all free to chose whatever we want, hence the cost of freedom is very high. If every prayer where answered would this place be better? worse? I don’t know, I do believe one day all will come to light and we will have all the answers. I have to have faith that the pain of this life will someday be overcome by the plans of God.

      “Any perfect god that requires faith is false because if it did, it would be errant in doing so.”
      “Christians are in the hypocritical situation of explaining why things have to be bad on this earth, yet not being able to address why that all of a sudden changes when we die. If all of the bad stuff on earth is necessary, then it must also be necessary in heaven.”

      What your referring to is a race of robot like people programed to be perfect. Adam was close to what you ask for but unfortunately that didn’t work out; again because he/we have a choice. Its not easy being Christian, having faith is demanding. The idea that things have to be bad on earth is incorrect. Like I mentioned earlier the majority of harm comes via mankind to mankind, brother to brother, sister to sister…. You see kids are starving, innocent people being bombed,… all sorts of things that have a solution. That is love one another, if we as the human race quite chasing the mighty dollar and helped each other out regardless of race, creed or color the majority of our problems would be erased. Yes we still have natural disasters, not all bad things can be avoided but I believe most could. Things don’t have to be bad but a world not interested in helping each other out = what we have. God gave us the ability to make a difference, we are able but we fail each other due to various reasons; we are free to chose, God never wanted robots.

      “especially when as you admitted, his evil creation appears to be running the show and not him.”

      The bible teaches us the evil one chose his own path, he wasn’t programed evil, he chose evil. We agree if God is alive we see the enemy’s work clearer than the work of God. We as people could solve most of our problems, not necessarily by religion or God but a principle of love one another. The problem is we all have a choice and the freedom to do as we please and history shows more often then not we look out for ourselves. There is hope though that one day Heaven will somehow outweigh the troubles we faced here self inflicted or unjustly. Heaven isn’t a hypercritical place, its a place where the enemy can no longer influence, the only influence there will be is good. The enemy has freedom now and he doesn’t want to go down alone but his days are numbered; God will put him in his place.

      • Chance

        You said, “Keep in mind the majority of our problems Man inflicts on itself.”

        I find this an interesting perspective but maybe it’s coming from what you’re going through right now. But in reality there is so much suffering that has nothing to do with us. Disease, famine, natural diasasters, things that happen just due to innocent human error … Even if if overnight humans treated each other perfectly, there would still be suffering and plenty of it.

        You said, “What your referring to is a race of robot like people programmed to be perfect.”

        This is the least covincing argument I hear from Christians and also the most common. Here are two things you can read if you want to see my perspective on the topic of freewill:

        https://leftchristianity.com/2011/01/15/the-hiddeness-of-god-and-freewill/

        https://leftchristianity.com/2012/03/07/reposting-those-old-pearly-gates-the-doctrine-of-heaven/

        As far as the devil, well God created him knowing the outcome of that decision. We didn’t need the devil in order to have a relationship with god, so what was satan’s purpose in god’s plan?

        Here are two more links that came to mind concering god’s plan:

        https://leftchristianity.com/2011/01/12/an-almighty-screwup/

        Sorry for all the links and don’t feel obligated to read/watch them all. But the issues you bring up are all ones I’ve dealt with in these links so it just seemed to make more sense to send you there than to try to say it all over again. Plus they will be there for anyone else who comes along and wants to check them out.

        Thanks for commenting and being willing to interact with us.

      • Hello again Brenda,

        Thanks again for taking the time to respond. There is so many things to reply back to I hope I don’t leave something out. I’m glad to have this conversation via blog. Thanks for the references…

        The main thing I’d like to start with is the idea of “mankind being the culprit behind the majority of the worlds problems”. I think we can both agree that we don’t need God/god to eradicate the world from malnutrition. You believe God is god and a myth so who do you blame for the hunger crisis? you cant blame God. So we agree its on us, Humans we flat out are killing ourselves. I believe God made us capable of taking care of it and we don’t; its on us; we don’t need him to stop hunger. This is just one crisis we could cut out and make a huge difference in the word; it would be monumental. This is my main point that we are in control of so many issues waiting on God when he made us capable, he left us in charge; free to do as we please and here we are passing the buck. Its on us; believer or non believer.

        Further more we also don’t need religion, God/god, to stop murder or other egregious crimes. Lets just look at human history we have let each other down, this world could be better but it revolves around the mighty dollar and bad choices (I can agree they don’t have to be labeled evil; to me evil = bad but either way is fine). I wish we could agree that we are free to chose our own path. (God is used as a mask for so called righteous wars but anyone with a brain can see past the lies; God didn’t call us to carry out his judgment, He doesn’t need us to be the judge, he doesn’t need help, and if anyone thinks they are worthy of passing judgement I’m in agreement they are wrong). Is it Gods fault for the drug war? for the hunger crisis in Africa? We are capable of fixing these issues but the world leaders and normal people don’t.

        Yes volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis still happen like clock work, it doesn’t change the fact we can fix so many other problems. We can’t do nothing about natural disasters but we can on so many other issues.

  9. Hi Chance,

    I’m also very sorry to hear about the tragedy you’re currently experiencing. I sincerely hope everything turns out okay for you.

    I just wanted to add one more thought to what Speed has already said. According to the Bible, God revealed himself to many people in the past. Did that take away their faith or their free will? Just something to consider.

    Take care — and good luck to you!

    • When God visited in the days of the Bible it was to establish himself with mankind, set the rules, show his love and so on…It was never a world wide event. What I think got lost in translation is a) God is able to reveal himself and b) when I’m talking about God revealing himself I’m referring to a world wide event (like the second coming). Where there is no longer any doubt he is real. If this happens then its not a matter of do you believe in Him or not its a matter of are you for good or evil. There would be a line drawn in the sand, serve me or yourself. The choice then would be more enforced because your either going to serve a God that’s asking for your decision face to face or say no I rather not serve you what are my consequences God? It just doesn’t make sense, you wouldn’t be free to do bad (serve yourself). I believe God does communicate with those who believe via different methods.

      • Chance

        I would just say that being for good or evil is not tied in to whether someone believes in the Christian god or not. The Christian faith is so focused on belief in god being the deciding factor in everything. Why would god make this massive universe and then make belief in him the thing of ultimate importance? There are more options than just serving god or serving ourselves. We can not be convinced of this invisible god’s existence and still live a good and moral life.

      • Brenda,
        I agree you can be a good person without God. You can reach high achievements without God, he gave us the freedom and intellect to do as we please good or bad; believer or non believer he loves us all the same. I get what your saying and I agree; but where I differ is when you say its all about him, because I believe he’s all about us. Its OK to have a career and a family, to love sports and still love God, he doesn’t want robots. We don’t have to know the bible front to back, we are not perfect and he knows that. That’s the whole point behind Jesus for Christians. Being a christian doesn’t mean you give up who you are, lose your personality, your sense of humor. To be christian is to follow guidelines that any good person would follow. I hope I make sense, what I’m getting at is I’m not perfect and I never will be but I don’t have to be; that’s the whole point of Jesus. I don’t live under pressure of God this, God that, God help. I do my best and make the most of what I’ve been given. I didn’t sit and wait around for God to put a job in my lap I worked hard to get where I’m at and yes i know I got some help form him along the way.

        Hope to hear from you soon…

      • Hi Chance,

        I’ve enjoyed reading your replies. Just a couple of things quickly:

        I understand that you’re making a delineation between the way God revealed himself in the Bible versus the kind of universal revelation you’re speaking about. However, I don’t think that would change the nature of faith on an individual level. When Gideon was given signs to prove God’s message, that convinced him — it didn’t matter to him if other people were given the same signs or not. So if God had revealed himself to everyone in Gideon’s day, the effect on Gideon would have been no different. So if a universal revelation takes away faith and choice, then an individual revelation would as well. Therefore, Abraham, Moses, Gideon, Noah, David, Solomon, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Jesus, Peter, Paul, etc. were all people of no faith.

        If, however, we agree with Hebrews 11 that all of those people did exhibit faith, then a universal revelation would still allow all of us faith and choice. That may not make a whole lot of sense, but it’s what the Bible teaches… at least it seems that way to me.

        In your comment to Brenda, you acknowledged that people can be good without God, but Christians have the blessing of Christ’s sacrifice covering their imperfections. If I misunderstood what you were saying, please let me know. But the issue I have with that concept is that it seems to contradict the Bible’s statement that God is not a respecter of persons. After all, if Christians and non-Christians alike can both live moral or immoral lives, how can it be right to reward one group and punish the other?

        Thanks!

      • Hi Nate,
        Thanks for replying.

        To further explain God showing himself on a grand scale we have to understand that the scripture explains that our earthly bodies could not handle a face to face experience. When God revealed himself to Moses God explained “But you may not look directly at my face, for no one may see me and live.” The easy way to explain it is because we are morally imperfect we could not exist and see God as he is. But if God were to reveal Himself as he did for Moses to a believer it would solidify their faith in Him, I agree with you they would still have faith and even more so. We live in the days of grace were God loves us all equally and we all have the opportunity to get saved or whatever we want from life. For me I believe if God were to show Himself on a world wide scale it would take away our ability to live life freely away from God. The individual who is immoral would know judgment is coming and its not going to be good. My take on it is there would be flat our rebellion in opposed to what we have now which is doubt (yes some people believe in God now and just flat our rebel). Rebellion equals punishment (no hope) and doubt still has hope in the days of grace.

        “In your comment to Brenda, you acknowledged that people can be good without God, but Christians have the blessing of Christ’s sacrifice covering their imperfections.”

        You have it right. The belief of a Christian is: though we fall short, in Christ we have been redeemed. I understand where your coming from about if I’m good why don’t I get to go into heaven? Its a great subject. There are several ways to put it but mainly it comes down to good works and what they mean. We both agree no one is perfect, Christians believe the only perfect life lived on Earth was that of Jesus. When I mess up I cant replace that error with a good dead. Yes I can apologize or try and make it right but I cant go back in time and undo my actions. To enter Heaven the bible says there is one way and that is through Jesus. To get past the gates only perfection can pass, yes I can be good but I will never be perfect and perfection is required for Heaven. This standard is unachievable on my own but in Christ my debt was paid. He took all my shame (big & small) and guilt with Him to the cross. To this day I mess up but I try my best to be a reflection of Him. He didn’t deserve the punishment but He did it for me and all those who believe in Him.

        Looking forward to hear from you

        have a chance at salvation

      • Hi Chance,

        I still think there’s a problem here. God could reveal himself to us if he wanted to, just like he did with countless people in the Bible. If God’s stated purpose is for us to love him, have a relationship with him, and be saved, then revealing himself seems the most logical way to accomplish that. As it stands, many people are searching for him: some of us believe that he’s the god of Christianity, some believe he’s Allah, some believe that “god” is a combination of deities in Hinduism, some of us have simply come to the conclusion that he doesn’t even exist. But most of us are looking. So if we are living apart from him, it’s not because we want it that way, it’s because he’s so hard to find. Whereas if he had an actual relationship with each of us, then we could actually choose whether or not we wanted to serve him.

        That would be the most straightforward way to determine who would be saved and who would be lost. No one would be lost accidentally, because everyone would know exactly who God is. But no god has revealed himself to us, and people are forced to come up with reasons to explain that. The simplest is that he’s just not there to begin with. Or that he just doesn’t care too much what we think about him. Any other theory starts to run into problems because there’s no incentive for a caring, loving god to remain hidden, especially when he’s going to punish or reward us based on what we think about him — a being we’ve never interacted with.

      • Hi Nate,
        I understand your position it’s a difficult spot.

        In Christianity Jesus said he was leaving but that the Holy Spirit would come and help us. Many Christian’s today would tell you they have a relationship with God and experience his love daily via his spirit. In response believers feel God is with them. You and myself included would prefer a relationship with God like Moses had. For me I’ve learned the hard way that God has never left my side. I wish I could help answer your questions but to come to God it’s a personal choice. Through Christianity we see God has a plan for humanity and after Jesus returned to Heaven that was the end of encounters with God like in the days of the Bible. This is because the Holy Spirit was left to guide us; the next visit from God will be world wide. That visit will end all doubt and begin the process of the end of evil.

        All this talk about God revealing himself is hypothetical there is a plan in place.

        In my journey through life I would not stand for the Gospel if I didn’t have a personal relationship with God. It is achievable my walk has been good bad and everything in between now more than ever my faith is solid and I can’t wait to know him more .

        Best wishes

      • Chance – At this point I think it would be important to drill into what you mean by ‘personal relationship’. Since we have all agreed that [Gg]od does not manifest his/her self in corporeal form and give verifiable proof of their existence, there are only a few ways that I can think of in which this personal relationship could manifest:

        1) Voices in your head. Does god talk to you such that only you can hear? If this is the case:
        a) How do you distinguish between your conscious train of thought vs. a deity injecting thoughts into your stream of consciousness?
        b) How does this actually work? Does god manipulate your neurons in your brain such that you can hear voices? If this is the case, we should be able to watch this under an fMRI. Do you agree or disagree?

        2) Emotional feelings / impressions. Do you get premonitions or strong emotional feelings regarding your own thoughts or circumstances? If this is the case:
        a) How is this distinguished between the mind-behind-the-locked-box (aka the subconscious mind) that is responsible for pattern matching and high order alerting to the active mind?
        b) As with #1, How does this actually work? Does god manipulate your neural wiring?

        3) Reading the bible. Does god give you messages based on what you are reading that particular day from the bible? If this is the case:
        a) How is god directing you to read the correct passage that day? Is god manipulating your neurons to select the current passage? Again, shouldn’t this be verified through fMRI tests?
        b) Is god manipulating your life circumstances so that the pre-defined reading would be relevant?
        c) how do you know what passage is important? Is god manipulating you with emotional feelings (see #2?) or do you look for meaning in the passages you read?

        4) Circumstances – Is it through life experiences and circumstances that god communicates to you? If so then,
        a) is god manipulating other people’s neurons (like a puppeteer) to make people say or do things at the right time? How is this free will?
        b) how can you distinguish between ‘random’ events (or events caused by other people’s actions) v. events that are orchestrated by god?

        Overall, it is apparent that in order to have a relationship that there must be abundant number of ways that we should be able to test that validate that an external agency is interacting with you. There should be enough fingerprints and evidences that can demonstrate that god is breaking into our world and interfacing with you.

        Of course, you will argue that my questions all assume a mechanistic world view of cause and effect; if god wanted to inject thoughts into your mind he could just do it without manipulating your neurons and without leaving a trace.

        This argument is very fanciful [and supercilious]. There is no way to validate this kind of magical world view and therefore is very improbable.

        Think of it this way, do you think that the guys who crashed into the world trade center really heard Allah talking to them or is it more likely that they were brainwashed and their mental faculties compromised? I hope you agree with the latter. If so, then why can’t I turn it to you and say, you don’t actually have a relationship with god but actually are imagining things that aren’t there. You are projecting your experiences and the voices in your head and attributing them to your Christian God. Or is it more probable that god is magically violating the laws of the universe to talk to you personally?

      • Colin – Thanks for the response, glad to explain my position. Fist let me say I respect atheist; for me it takes a lot of certainty to live Godless. To help explain I’ve seen atheist with stronger beliefs in no God versus Christian’s faith in God, none the less to me this choice is of importance as life and death. In this arena of question and answer I try to keep theology at a minimum because I know religion bombardment is a chief complaint of atheist. Secondly you pose great questions, I’ll try and get them all as pin point as possible.
        To clarify God revealing Himself let me explain in Christianity via the Holy Bible, God will reveal Himself at His appointed time. When he does the Bible states every knee will bow and every tongue will confess he is Lord (Ph 2: 5-11). So speaking in terms of Christianity God will reveal Himself in full disclosure and end all doubt.
        So if God is no longer here in the flesh ie Jesus and He’s not coming back till the appointed time ie the second coming of Jesus, how do we get into a relationship with God? When Jesus returned to Heaven he promised the comforter would step in.
        The Holy Spirit was left to guide us and be the means to access God (made possible by the sacrifice of Jesus). Angels also carry out the Word of God and are here to help. Could someone see an angel? Yes.
        So how do I have a relationship with God? It’s kind of like gravity in relation to the universe; He provides means for me to reside where I’m supposed to be. God designed me for a purpose, I’m not here by chance, He helps me stay on the path he has for me. When I stray off that path he takes me back. I have faith He hears me we I talk to Him but that doesn’t mean I’m waiting around for Him to cater to me. He made me more than able to fend for myself and when I’ve done all I can I see his goodness take me farther then I myself could go. It’s not about how much you pray or give it’s about the relationship with Him.
        So how does God talk to us? The first and easiest response is via the Bible for Christians. How do I know what to read? Well I go to where people in the Bible had a similar situation to mine and learn from it/apply it. Next is prayer, via the spirit of God we get directed, How so? This comes in a verity of ways (brain studies have been done on prayer and the brain reacted in the studies, what does this prove either way?) (Do I hear voices in my head? No). How do I know it’s from God or me? There is a gift spiritually of discernment, secondly you test it. For that matter you test everything like the Bible instructs us. How do you test it? Be checking if it falls into the parameters Jesus left for us? So quickly 9/11 terrorist they claim they are doing God’s work. Let’s test it in Christianity. Did Jesus promote to take His word by force to the masses and if they didn’t believe it destroy them? No. So in Christianity these people we influenced by the enemy. In Muslim beliefs taking innocent life is also not acceptable. Spiritually I have a relationship with God. When I accepted God there was nothing magical about it; I was still me but with a new vantage point.
        In Science we know gravity has to be getting help holding celestial objects in place on the outer reaches of galaxies ie dark matter, dark energy. We have never seen it nor can we reproduce it, in fact we don’t know if it exists, we are in the dark about it. If it did exist it would most likely shoot down the theory of relativity which is a huge foundation of our understanding of the universe. I along with scientist believe something is there serving a purpose of holding things together, from my vantage point God in his infinite wisdom created such a matter and force. My point is its not crazy or magical to believe in what you don’t see if you have felt it hold you in place ie God (I’ve been through the ringer and I’m still standing only by the grace of God). One of the biggest reasons for me believing in God is Science; the Bible says creation testifies of His glory.
        You want to find finger prints of God in my life and I could give you them but this wouldn’t satisfy your doubt and understandably so because it’s my life not yours. Only personally will you find the answer to what you’re looking for not through me or anyone else on earth. A pleasure for me to discuss this topic.

      • Chance: You haven’t answered the questions though.
        * You said you read the bible based on similar situations that you can apply to your life situation. This sounds good, except that doesn’t require any external agent. It’s all you. You could probably apply the same mechanism to the Gospel of Thomas or the Book of Mormon or the Pearl of Great Price with similar results.

        * You said you pray but you didn’t explain how prayer actually works in a way that builds a relationship? If you are ‘sending’ that is one thing, but how does god ‘reply’? You say you don’t hear voices, so what is left? You say you are directed, but have not elaborated on ‘how’.

        When I talk with my kids, I know it is them because I have multiple vectors of verification. I can see them, I can quiz them, I can see their lips moving, I can touch them, etc. At best you have said that your ‘direction’ of the spirit needs to be tested. Loads of christians have claimed to be directed in the holy spirit as a basis for homophobia, black slavery, etc. Yet, you would assert that those people are misrepresenting god’s voice. What is information is it that you have that is superior? How do you know that you won’t be charged in the same way by other christians?

        In the end, I assert, that you don’t have a bi-directional communication with an external agent. If you don’t have a true bi-directional communication, then how is it possible for you to have a ‘relationship’?

        What you have is a projection of your greater self to which you attribute this as the holy spirit. There is no way to verify, validate or confirm that you are communing with the super natural.

        One last point. If, instead, you are suggesting that god is manipulating your brain to give you ‘direction’ or ‘planting thoughts’ then are you are being robbed of free will. The instant that an external agent manipulates the neurons in your brain, you are no longer the agent of causation. You no longer are responsible for what you do because your thoughts, and by extension your actions, have been tampered with by the super natural.

        If your brain is not being tampered with by god, then how can you claim to be ‘hearing’ back from god while everyone else cannot ‘hear’ god at the same time like you? If it isn’t through one of the five sense, then which sense is it that you are perceiving this correspondence? Since no one else can validate at the same time the exact communication, it must be a one-on-one brain manipulating process. But since we can’t see this brain tampering on an fMRI we either don’t have the sophistication yet in technology to detect neuron manipulations OR you aren’t being communicated to by the devine.

      • Hi Colin, good to hear from you; I’ll attempt to answer your questions as direct as possible.

        *** You said you read the bible based on similar situations that you can apply to your life situation. This sounds good, except that doesn’t require any external agent. It’s all you.***
        I understand your point but I think your overlooking the ability God has given us. We don’t all need to be Christian or need an external agent to end malnutrition of children in the world. We as the superior inhabitants of the world have the ability to end it. If kids are dying because they are hungry, we as fellow humans have let them down. In other words God gave us the ability and freedom to do good, average or bad. God made us in charge of this world and when we as people neglect our responsibilities to each other tragedies happen. So to answer the question if I need healing an external nudge isn’t absolutely required to find healing in the Bible, God made me capable of finding the information I need. Nothing supernatural is needed for the obvious and for the problems God has given me and you the ability to overcome. Does the Spirit lead us to scripture? Does it help us understand and apply it in our lives? Yes it does. How so? For me sometimes it’s not till down the road after I have studied a particular subject where I see the hand of God working in my life. It’s the results I see played out in my life that affirm my faith and strengthen my relationship with Him. (James 2:14 faith without works is dead.) Countless times I have been ministered to by the Spirit, Bible or people of faith directly and indirectly to later see that I was being prepped for a situation coming in my life. I feel the Spirit and it guides me and prepares me for what is to come. A lot of times you don’t recognize you’re being lead but then you find yourself in a situation that you have been prepared for by the things you have gone through and you find yourself well equipped to face the situation. I can’t see God but like I said previously I see the results and feel Him with me; there are times in my life where only the grace of God could have sustained me. Again just like in the universe where science tells us dark matter makes up 75-85% (depending who’s book your reading) of all known matter but yet we have never seen it or know it actually exist we do believe something is there, it has to be. Everything that I need to hear from God is in the Bible; the Spirit lets me know I’m not alone, yes I would love to have a face to face conversation (as many would agree with me) but that’s not for now. This life and all that comes with it good or bad is a blink of an eye; no matter what we face it doesn’t compare to the eternity we have awaiting in Jesus.
        ***You said you pray but you didn’t explain how prayer actually works in a way that builds a relationship? If you are ‘sending’ that is one thing, but how does god ‘reply’? You say you don’t hear voices, so what is left? You say you are directed, but have not elaborated on ‘how’.***
        Thanks for giving me the opportunity to further explain the above. Situations arise in life that we have no control over; for me typically my initial reaction is prayer. So how does God respond? How is my relationship with God a two way relationship? For me God speaks with results, in other words answered and unanswered prayers. Of course answered prayers are the best but unanswered prayers occasionally outperform answered prayers. When I feel the Spirit and see the hand of God providing for me in addition to giving me opportunities to provide for myself and my family I’m filled with joy. I see His goodness in my life and feel His presence and our relationship grows. No my life isn’t near perfect but through the hard times He has seen me through by giving me strength to endure. Nothing we face in this brief life will out way the eternity He has for us. You may be saying “we cannot see the presence of God that you speak of so there for it does not exist.” I say to you we cannot see the presence of Dark Matter but science tells us its there and it is the most abundant matter around. Our technology can’t measure everything; things exist that we can’t see or quantify.
        ***At best you have said that your ‘direction’ of the spirit needs to be tested. Loads of christians have claimed to be directed in the holy spirit as a basis for homophobia, black slavery, etc. Yet, you would assert that those people are misrepresenting god’s voice. What is information is it that you have that is superior?***
        This question is one of the most I get and I’m glade to answer it because it is very important. Just because you say your Christian doesn’t make you Christian; the same can be said for many other movements/beliefs. Christianity is a waste if Jesus didn’t exist, more so if He didn’t defeat death. So my point is I don’t have exclusive information, what I do have is the teachings of Jesus via the Bible. The cornerstone of Christianity is Jesus because nothing would matter without Him. When Jesus walked on Earth, he spread the message of love. He came to Earth for the weak, needy, immoral to the righteous and everything in between. He didn’t come for only a certain race, gender, He came for all of mankind. He didn’t come to judge, He came to take our judgment. So how could a true follower of Jesus hand judgment down or consider themselves superior to others when our example Jesus did neither. Jesus was humble and loving, Christians strive to be a reflection of Jesus and our imperfections are wiped out by Him. That is the sign of a Christian. If Jesus doesn’t fit the actions of a person then the Spirit of God is not behind the person. Religion is irrelevant to enter the kingdom of God; if you read the Bible Jesus is the only way in.

        ***How do you know that you won’t be charged in the same way by other christians?***
        Christians may disagree on many things, just like in any other belief system. Like I mentioned above Jesus is the foundation, He is the cornerstone and religion / politics are not nowhere near His importance. For me it doesn’t matter what the world thinks as long as I strive to be a reflection of my savior Jesus. That’s not to say I’m alienating myself, many people’s faith are founded on Jesus not a particular religion. I’m making the point Jesus is everything to me and like He I can coexist with my fellow man.

        ***In the end, I assert, that you don’t have a bi-directional communication with an external agent. If you don’t have a true bi-directional communication, then how is it possible for you to have a ‘relationship’? What you have is a projection of your greater self to which you attribute this as the holy spirit. There is no way to verify, validate or confirm that you are communing with the super natural.***

        First there is no way to validate or confirm many things in the universe but yet we believe these forces/matter exist. You assert God doesn’t exist because He doesn’t audibly talk to me? You want to quantify a being beyond comprehension with what? Things have happened to me that let me know God is with me. He talks to me through His Word and I feel his presences and I see the results in my life. What you assert are my projections I could not have achieved on my own, miracles happen.
        ***One last point. If, instead, you are suggesting that god is manipulating your brain to give you ‘direction’ or ‘planting thoughts’ then are you are being robbed of free will.***
        God isn’t manipulating me but I do ask God to use me to help others out. For him to put me in situations where I could be of service to people who need help. I’m free though to do good or bad; I mess up so I know I’m free but I try to be the best I can.
        ***But since we can’t see this brain tampering on an fMRI we either don’t have the sophistication yet in technology to detect neuron manipulations OR you aren’t being communicated to by the devine.***
        Our technology has improved exponentially but yet is far from where it could be. We can’t figure out so much about our solar system and the universe because of this deficiency; much less try to quantify the creator of all we see the lens of technology we have today.

        Sorry if I wrote too much…God is real in my life and communicating to me through scripture, the Spirit, and fellow believers. Most of all through the situations that arrive in life I see God moving. I don’t push people to believe in God, I just try to answer questions skeptics have. Best wishes.

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