apologetics

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warning: long post

so last night i was browsing blogs (to tell you the truth, i typed "bankrupt christian" into a blog search and see if anyone in another blog like posted something i had said or anything like that) and i stumbled across a network of "atheist" blogs. it's very interesting to see the stereotypes played out on both sides.

you have the nutjob christians whose faith is anything but the natural outpouring of a true relationship with Jesus. they are very accusatory and many time, really dumb in their attempts to defend their faith. often they end their argument with the classic "you'll be sorry when you die and see how wrong you are". gross. this is not the result of a true faith in Christ! the greatest cause of atheism, in my opinion, is the terrible misconduct of "christians". they do so many things in the name of Jesus that are so utterly against what Jesus said or did. listen to Paul summarizing Jesus' overall, sweeping command of the new testament, basically the point of the whole bible:

"If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy, but I don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, "Jump", and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing. If I give everything I won to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no mater what I say, what I believe, and what I do I'm bankrupt without love" I Cor. 13

in my opinion, here is the difference between the Christian and the atheist. the natural result of the Christian faith is to love. it is to care for people, not because you want to "convert them", or gain riches in heaven or anything like that. it is because we love Jesus who loved us. the only ones Jesus got mad at were those religious leaders who were distorting truth for their own gain. the criminals and the nobodies and the losers of life... He never met with an accusing, pointing finger. He always came first with love. love is the natural outpouring of our beliefs. whether or not many Christians actually display this is another issue.

the atheist, on the other hand, becomes defensive when approached with the stereotype that it is a worldview built around despair and hopelessness. Atheists are viewed as hostile, bad people who don't do things just to be nice to others. i know that this too is a total pidgeonholed view of atheists in general. i think there are just as many brash, accusatory, Atheists as there are brash, accusatory christians. the difference is that this hopelessness is a natural result of the worldview of an atheist. it is a worldview that is built around a negation, a lifestyle that continually points to non-existence. without God in the equation, why have morality, why have purpose, why be a good person? many Atheists, i believe, still have morality, purpose, and are good people because to fully live out the atheistic faith would be to sink into a state of free-falling abandon and purposelessness.

anyways, anyone at all reading this, feel free to post, feel free to agree or disagree. i wanna know what you think.

btw- read this too and let me know what you think- Reply to question of intelligent design.

10 comments:

Richard said...

Since you left such a civil comment on Gullibility I’ve been meaning to drop by.

It has been a long time since I’ve felt like debating with a Christian. No, point to it: live and let live.

But the phrase “atheist lifestyle” is a bit funny. I don’t wear atheist clothes, go to atheist parties, eat atheist food or even read atheist magazines. Except when I make time for Gullibility it isn’t much on my mind.

I don’t think there’s a “Christian lifestyle” either. Or even Baptist or Roman Catholic lifestyles. There’s too much variety even within denominations. Though it could be applied to the small minority that devotes much of their time to working for their faith.

Regards.

Harrison said...

hey,
yeah i can see your point. "atheist lifestyle"... that doesn't really make sense. i guess the point i mean to make is that i think the way you view the world spills over into other parts of your life, conciously or unconciously. if your beliefs don't shape how you see that world, what does?

thanks for stopping by. you stay classy. (couldn't resist)

Richard said...

Sure, my atheist influences me greatly. No argument.

Not that I’m sure how in terms of my daily life.

If I were, like my prior lover, a believing liberal Episcopalian I’m not sure that I’d be living my life that differently.

If I were a fundamentalist Baptist this it would be hugely different. It wouldn’t be possible for me to have the same friends. And I’d feel huge conflict about my sexuality.

Given the huge variety of Christian experience it is impossible to speculate.

Anonymous said...

"the atheist, on the other hand, becomes defensive when approached with the stereotype that it is a worldview built around despair and hopelessness. ... the difference is that this hopelessness is a natural result of the worldview of an atheist."

You admit that this is a stereotype, then you repeat it as if it were true. Atheism isn't a worldview, though there are atheistic worldviews. Theism also isn't a worldview, though there are theistic worldviews. Because there are so many different atheist worldviews, it's not legitimate to say that hopelessness is the natural result.

"many Atheists, i believe, still have morality, purpose, and are good people because to fully live out the atheistic faith would be to sink into a state of free-falling abandon and purposelessness."

With an offensive attitude like that, it's no wonder that atheists react to you with defensiveness. You're the epitome of the attitude you criticize other Christians for having. You're worse, in fact, because they presumably don't recognize the problem but you do - but you do nothing about it when you exhibit the problem.

Harrison said...

richard- thanks for posting again. i can see what you mean about the different "types" of Christian religion and having to change your life for it to gel.

anonymous- your first point: i will agree that i was loose in classifying all types of Atheism together, lumping it into a worldview form. i guess what i'm refering to is the negation of deity, the random chance view of life. i'm sure these could be sub-catagorized and are in totally different catagories or something... but Atheist friends i have seem to be of this type.
second: while i am not a scholar by any means on Atheism and it's different forms, i don't understand how i am the epitome of the attitude i criticize. i'm not a scholar. the specific problem of Christians I discussed, the hateful, accusatory, condescending attitude... i don't have these things. you don't know me as a person, you only know my by a few paragraphs by which i was thinking out some ideas. i don't hate Atheists. i don't spend my time trying to make them feel bad and convince them they are going to Hell. maybe you are talking about a different problem you have with Christians, because the one I described, I don't believe I fit. I spoke of being like Christ, loving people. I'm not perfect, but I try to do this. I can't defend myself against another "Christian problem", because i don't know what you mean.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say that i do believe we have a lifestyle. Lifestyle is not what you eat, what you wear, not even what you read!! (that made me laugh!!, i couldn't believe that something so obvious was so misunderstood)
well, i believe that lifestyle is not what you do, but who you truly are!!! which means that your lifestyle is base on what you believe, since who you are is a reflection of what you belive!!!!
A lifestyle is "a way of life or style of living that reflects the attitudes and values of a person". It is a manner of living.
so, yes, we do have lifestyles... and every person has a differnt lifestyle because we all believe different things; which is not right because there is only one absolute truth!!! (but that is another topic). and, harrison, i think you think we do have a lifestyle because if not you wouldn't have write what you wrote.... and if you do believe that, then support it , don't say that it doesn't make sense....... because it does!!!

Harrison:
I don't think you are the epitome of the attitude you criticize other christians for having.I believe you are just trying to write what you know it's true and sometimes some people don't understand. (i know)
..... just .... believe the truth and continue saying and writing what you believe!!!
take care,
*ME* (pr)
bye

Harrison said...

other anonymous (probobly liberty person)- its kind of in the semantics of the whole thing. to overgeneralize by saying "atheist lifestyle" kinda of covers too much ground. my whole point was that what we believe influences us, shapes us, whatever you want to call it, be it a lifestyle, worldview, or whatever. i'm just trying to get around words to make my point. thanks for the reply.

Harrison said...

richard- i just clicked on your name on the reply, and it took me to your post on my use of the phrase "atheist lifestyle". again, my semantics might be off, but i think you're taking the phrase a bit too far and mocking something which you know i didn't mean the way you percieved it.

Raisa said...

Wow, I missed a lot from not reading just for a couple of days. I really enjoyed reading the debate, but I have a couple of questions and comments. THIS IS REALLY LONG, MY APOLOGIES FROM THE BEGINNINg.
Anonymous (*ME*): I'm a little confused by your point of view. You said that we "do have a lifestyle, but it is not what we eat, read or do". But that is your lifestyle!!! Then farther down you said that "I believe that lifestyle is not what you do, but who you truly are!!! which means that your lifestyle is base on what you believe, since who you are is a reflection of what you believe!!!!" You just contradicted yourself right there. If your beliefs are reflected in your life, then that is your lifestyle, like you said it is based on your belief.
What you are talking about “as your beliefs” is your worldview, not your lifestyle. If you try and look up the word worldview in the dictionary, you will see the word WELTANSCHAUUNG (how the heck do you even pronounce that!!!). Then you go and look that word up, and here is what it says "a comprehensive conception or apprehension of the world esp. from a specific stand point". That would be what you believe, not how you live.
Okay, then you defined lifestyle as "a way of life or style of living that reflects the attitudes and values of a person. It is a manner of living." I agree with that. If we believe one thing, that would be our worldview, (how we look at the world, our values and beliefs) and then let that overflow into our everyday life, how is that not "our lifestyle".
For an example, I am going to used Richard from his little sharing of his life (hope you don't mind, Richard - this will also answer the question of how your daily life reflects your beliefs). Okay, Richard believes that he can have a lover (his lifestyle), he believes there is no one to tell him he can't and he is not responsible to anyone for his actions (his worldview). I am a Christian, if you want to go into details, a Presbyterian, anyway, I believe I am responsible to God for my actions (my worldview) and following his commandments of how to live my life (my lifestyle). Yes, that would include reading, writing, watching movies as your lifestyle and part of who you are. Your worldview, will affect your lifestyle, and your outlook on life in general.
This is for the first anonymous person: Atheism is a worldview, so is Theism. Anyway, the view you have of the world is your worldview. If you believe Santa Claus is God (this is for the Christmas season), that is your worldview.
For the Liberty student – did you take GNED 101 and 102, or did you just decide to skip that part of school? Or do you not believe in anything that was said in those two classes? If your beliefs are different from mine, that is completely fine, but just wondering.

Rockstar Ryan said...

a lifestyle that continually points to non-existence. without God in the equation, why have morality, why have purpose, why be a good person? many Atheists, i believe, still have morality, purpose, and are good people because to fully live out the atheistic faith would be to sink into a state of free-falling abandon and purposelessness.

That statement is flawed in many ways. Number one, atheists do not point to the non-existence of god/gods continuosly; only when confronted by a bleever. It's like this - if I told you to look into an empty corner and said there was a man there, would you continually point to the fact there is no man there?

atheistic faith
An oxymoron. Faith means believing in something when there is no evidence of it; or even evidence against it. There is no observable evidence of god/gods. So it is only logical to believe there is no supernatural deity until there is proof.