Atheism Ask the Pastor's Kid! =D

Dearheart posted on May 19, 2011 at 08:16PM
(Hee, I hope the title of this thread doesn't sound too arrogant. "HAI THAR HEATHENS I'M A PASTOR'S KID AND THEREFORE KNOW EVERYTHING AND AM MORE AWESUM THAN YOU LOL"...)

*cough* Anyway...hi everyone! Ninja-Kitten most graciously invited me over here to hang out and talk with y'all, so here I STUDY YOU. O.O (Kidding, kidding...I'll put away the bug jar...) It appears thetacoman has already started an ask-a-christian type thread, but things over there have gotten a little confusing for me, personally; so I thought it'd be easier to start my own thread and lay down a few guidelines/terms/whatever you want to call them.

First things first.

What I will NOT do:
- Speak unless you are willing to listen. I want us to be able to learn and come to understand as much as possible from each other. That will only happen if both sides park the attitudes and assumptions at the door, respect each other, and keep open minds and open ears.

- Assert my opinions or beliefs as facts. And I trust you'll apply this to yourselves as well.

- Debate whether Christianity, Atheism or any other belief is "right" or "wrong". To steal misanthrope86's words from the link the purpose of this forum is to clarify and share Christian beliefs, NOT to debate whether you believe those beliefs are right or wrong. This forum's primary purpose is to help you understand the foundations of Christianity.

- Avoid a question because it's hard. I can't claim to have all the answers, because I DON'T have all the answers. But I'm not afraid to find them. If I find myself stumped or faced with a difficult question, I will take time to do whatever studying and research I need to do. And if I STILL can't come to an answer, I'll admit it. (And then you can all gloat over me.) =P

- Pretend to be more righteous, "holy" or morally superior than you. Because I'm not. And if there's one thing Jesus hates, it's pretending. I refuse to be a hypocrite.

- "Preach" at you, shove the Bible down your throat or ask you to agree or accept anything I say. All I will do is present answers from a Christian perspective and try to clearly explain what I believe. You are in no way obligated to buy what I say. All I ask is that you respect my worldview, as I respect yours.

- Attempt to convert you or "save your souls". That's NOT what I'm here for...and frankly, that task belongs to my Boss, not me. ;)

What I WILL do:
- Be as gracious, friendly and "Christlike" towards you as I can.

- Love you unconditionally, as Christ has loved me.

- Respect you as fellow human beings, respect your worldviews even if I don't agree, and carefully consider your questions.

- Try to be thorough, clear and concise in my answers.

- Keep a good sense of humor and not get overly sensitive.

- Ask "Father Wes" for his input whenever I feel the need to. (LOL GET IT? He's my DAD...and a PRIEST...HAR HAR HAR...)

- Admit when I'm in the wrong, and do whatever I can to fix it.

- Leave your spot in peace, if I get annoying and you no longer want me here.

If I ever - ever - act out of line, or do/say something that contradicts the guidelines above, don't hesitate to call me out on it. I am not without my failings and blind spots, and when I screw up, I want to know about it so that I can make things right again.

Mind you...if something about my worldview offends you, I won't apologize for that; because I'm not obligated to not offend people with my worldview. But if I present that worldview in an offensive way, that's something else altogether. Make sense?

Okay, I'm done talking your ears off. Sorry for rambling so long, and I hope everything I said makes sense. >.< Go ahead and shoot your questions at me!
last edited on May 19, 2011 at 08:42PM

Atheism 22 replies

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over a year ago Dragonclaws said…
Hi, Dearheart. I'm curious; how can it be accepted that God is omnipotent, omniscient, creator and overseer of the world, without also accepting hard determinism? If God creates you a certain way, knowing full well what your path is, how can you be responsible for anything you do? If you have free will, it sounds like what you do might surprise him and he isn't all-knowing or all-powerful.
over a year ago misanthrope86 said…
Yay! This is more like it.

Here is a totally open-ended one for ya:
What is your interpretation of "Atheism"?

EDIT: Oh snap, simultaneous post!
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over a year ago Ninja-Kitten said…
Thanks for coming, Dearheart :D

I'll wait for Dragonclaws and missy's questions :)
over a year ago Dearheart said…
Thanks for inviting me, Ninja! <3

Hi, Dearheart. I'm curious; how can it be accepted that God is omnipotent, omniscient, creator and overseer of the world, without also accepting hard determinism? If God creates you a certain way, knowing full well what your path is, how can you be responsible for anything you do? If you have free will, it sounds like what you do might surprise him and he isn't all-knowing or all-powerful.

Dragonclaw - (I hope I'm understanding your question correctly!) Just because God is all-powerful doesn't mean that He forces or "programs" everyone to do things. Just because He's all-knowing doesn't mean He makes our decisions for us. We're not mindless robots! Creating something doesn't automatically mean controlling something, and knowing what will happen doesn't mean that you make it happen. Yes, we believe that each person is "fearfully and wonderfully made" by God, and that He has plan and a purpose for us...but it's up to us whether or not to follow His plan or live according to that purpose. I admit, thinking too hard about Free Will coexisting with Predestination can turn my brain into pretzels sometimes - and the same goes for how He can be 3 and 1 at the same time, how He has no beginning or end, how Jesus was both fully God and fully Man when He came to earth, and other paradoxes. But I can still understand and accept the rough idea of it. (And anyway, if my tiny human mind could comprehend EVERYTHING about God and how vast He is...He wouldn't be much of a God, would He?) =P

I hope that answers your question. Let me know if you need me to clarify anything!

Sort of going hand-in-hand with that, I think another idea that a lot of people find hard to wrap their brains around is the concept that God is outside the human limits of Time and Space. Think of life (time, space, the universe, whatever you want to call it) as one, long parade. When you're on the street, watching the parade, all you can see is what's right in front of you or around your area. But when you watch it up in the air, from a helicopter, you can see the whole thing from beginning to end.

We're on the ground. But God's in the helicopter. =) (I know nobody asked about this, but I thought I'd throw the tidbit out there anyway. And dang, now I have the urge to doodle God in a helicopter...) xD

What is your interpretation of "Atheism"?

misanthrope86 - As far as I understand it, Atheism is the denial or lack of belief in God(s) or a spiritual/supernatural realm, and the belief that there is nothing more to life or human beings other than the physical. (But I'm more than willing to be educated further.) ;)
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over a year ago misanthrope86 said…
"I think another idea that a lot of people find hard to wrap their brains around is the concept that God is outside the human limits of Time and Space."
- This has always been my interpretation of what a god would be, so I'm glad to hear a christian say it! The time/space thing I totally get and even agree with (if I were to take up a belief position). What I don't understand is the 'God-Is-A-Man' argument. The bible suggests that God made Adam in his image. For the purposes of this discussion, I won't go into my own personal beliefs on that subject, but lets just pretend I do accept that God did make man in his image, would it not make more sense for a god to be simutaneously both and neither of the sexes? If God is subject to space/time (at least in a human sense), then why is "He" subject to human conceptualisations of sex and gender?

"...or a spiritual/supernatural realm, and the belief that there is nothing more to life or human beings other than the physical."
- I would stick with the denial of/disbelief in gods, but I would suspect that the second part of your interpretation may get you in trouble somewhere along the way. Recently, I set up link, which is pretty much an Atheism survey. Showed A LOT of variation around that core denial/disbelief in gods.

And thanks for this discussion. I love this stuff! *is nerd*
over a year ago Dearheart said…
big smile
You're welcome! I love talking about this kind of stuff, too! (Nerds unite!) *high-five*

Awesome, I'm glad we have some common ground there! As for the God-Is-A-Man thing, let me go ahead and tackle that for ya.

A lot of times in the Bible, when it says man, it means "mankind" - all human beings. Notice: in Genesis 1:27, after it says, "So God created man in His own image", it goes on to say, "male and female He created them." So it wasn't just Adam He made in His image, but also Eve. Another thing to keep in mind is that "image" can be interpreted a lot of different ways. Christians believe that it doesn't necessarily mean physical image, but rather how He gave humans the ability to think, love, make their own decisions, be constructive and creative, and use their imaginations...just like He can. (Once again, we're not mindless robots!)

Now, is God a "man"? Certainly not in the physical sense (He doesn't have a penis, lol)...because He isn't physical, but spiritual. Like you said, as someone outside human limits, it makes sense that He'd be beyond gender, too. That's what I believe, and I'm pretty sure most Christians believe that too. The reason why we refer to God as "He" is because of the role He takes in our lives. And before you jump on me for being sexist, let me give you a word-picture: God designed the relationship between male and female to be kind of like a ballroom dance (especially in marriage). The man takes the lead, and the woman follows, but neither is inferior or more important than the other. Both belong wholly to one another, love and complement each other, and must work together as a team if the "dance" is to succeed.

There is a lot of this sort of "marriage imagery" in the Bible when it talks about our relationship with God, especially in the New Testament. Marriage, or the relationship between a man and woman, is like an echo or reflection of the real thing (and so is every other kind of love, come to think of it). God is our Bridegroom, and the church (or "body of believers") is His Bride. He is a "he" because He leads and takes the initiative; He is the one who first reached out to us. But it's our choice as His "Bride" to respond to His advances and reach back or not. That's why many churches (Catholic or otherwise) choose to only ordain male pastors/priests. It's not to discriminate or put down women, but rather a way of honoring that beautiful, traditional picture of God's relationship to us. (Ah, chivalry!) <3

Maybe it's regarded as "old-fashioned" today, and I understand if you guys disagree with it...but personally, it's an ideal I will always hold fast to. My dad is a marriage counselor as well as a pastor, and I've seen it work beautifully in all the marriages he's pulled out of the fire, as well as my parents' own happy marriage. =)

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over a year ago misanthrope86 said…
big smile
^ Ah, this is a much more satisfying answer.
over a year ago Dearheart said…
Haha, I'm glad. Isn't it nice when you get some background about this stuff? xD
over a year ago misanthrope86 said…
Well, it's nice to have someone explain their beliefs articulately. Ironically, your view of God is quite similar to my Atheistic view of what a god might be.
over a year ago Ninja-Kitten said…
Okay my turn :)

What exactly is the difference between the Old Testament and New Testament and how does that apply in religious debates?

i.e. "Oh that was the Old Testament so argue with the Jews, not us!"
over a year ago thetacoman said…
Yes, hello there Dearheart. Not accusing here, but I really think that since people here know you better, they are more accepting (but of course, thats just my opinion =P)
Meh, good luck.
over a year ago Ninja-Kitten said…
That's not it at all! We're more accepting of her because she backs up her opinions and explains things reasonably.

She's not rude and doesn't say "abortion is murder and homosexuality is wrong." without explaining.

She also didn't come here and create a snarky forum and then not both answering half the questions until someone point blank listed them and demanded answers.

You, sir, are being a jerk. She, on the other hand, is being a polite, respectful credit to her religion.
over a year ago KateKicksAss said…
Hey, I have a question as well. Why do some Christians view Homosexuality as wrong?
I mean, to me, it never made any sense, since if God created everyone, then doesn't that mean he created homosexuals too? And wouldn't he have made them that way too?
And what's your personal view on this?

And thank you, I think it's cool that you're doing this, welcome to the spot! :)
over a year ago Ninja-Kitten said…
Well Leviticus says something about men not lying with men like they lie with women.

I'm still trudging through the bible. Man it's boring XD
over a year ago caramelmilk said…
I have a question too :/
If God created woman from a part of man's body, how are the sex-determining chromosomes explained? If he took the man's cells and created Eve with them, she would have the exact same genotype, wouldn't she?
over a year ago misanthrope86 said…
@ thetacoman: I have had much, much less interaction with Dearheart than I have with you, not only in this spot, but across the whole of Fanpop. I have told you why Dearheart has had more success here. Have I not made that clear?
over a year ago thetacoman said…
I apologize, my response was full of hatred... Im trying to work on that...
over a year ago Quaila said…
If Dearheart is still here, I do have a question and a debate...
Deut. 18:10-14 and Harry Potter. I know it is the most obvious part but I believe that there's a difference in magic and magic. Would dear Dearheart please offer the most humble me an explanation?
over a year ago gaz5136 said…
@caramel: That's the awesome part of God. If we had the same chromosomes, we couldn't have babies. However I have no idea how they are explained. All I know is that God took a rib from Adam and gave it to Eve. The reason is to show that men and women are equal.
over a year ago misanthrope86 said…
^ But that doesn't show that men and women are equal at all. Its the opposite. It says women were not important enough to be made 'in God's image' thereby likening men to God but not women; that women would not exist without men; that women are nothing more than bit parts; and that women should be moulded by men.
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over a year ago angel said…
The only explanation I'd have is the following:
Adam was a normal XY guy. When god took his rib cell mass, a mutation occured that damaged the SRY gene. "Eve", since taken from the exact same cells, was XY as well, but the destroyed SRY gene lead to XY gonadal dysgenesis, which is why everyone thought Eve was a female. She looked female.
The only problem was, that she was of course steril. Both of them died without having kids. God was disappointed and left, mother nature came and took care of it -by-taking-one-step-after-another. Slow. Evolution. And it was good.
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over a year ago marauders101 said…
You go girl!!!