Answering Braxton Hunter

Braxton Hunter, an evangelical Christian and professor of Apologetics, has 10 questions for atheists. I’ve seen other answers to these questions, but I thought I’d shine my own light on them. Since some of my answers are rather detailed I’m going to split this into two segments.

1 - What facts about reality, that you and I agree are real facts about the way that the world is, does your worldview account for, but my Christianity doesn't account for, or at least doesn't account for it well?

Well, I see that my worldview has no problem with suffering and evil in the world while Christianity doesn’t really seem to have a sufficient explanation beyond “that’s just the way God wants it”, or an appeal to mystery. Since, in your worldview, God exists, then this ought to be the best possible world, yet it certainly does not appear to be anything close to the best possible world.

The big problem with your worldview is that God can explain everything, and in doing so doesn’t actually explain anything. No matter what world we find ourselves we can always say that this is the world that God wants. I can explain why bad things can happen to good and otherwise innocent people, yet Christianity has no real explanation for why many thousands of children die every single day of starvation, cancer, and other horrific causes. Sometimes Christians will offer the trite answer of “it’s because of sin” – which doesn’t answer anything. In your worldview God created us knowing that we were going to sin, and that horrible suffering would follow as a result, but somehow that’s the best your omnipotent God could do. You don’t get to hand wave away the problems that an omnipotent and omniscience God should be able to solve.

Then you have the problem with prayer, which should be the most powerful evidence in favor of Christianity, where every time prayer has been studied we tend to find one of two things:
1. The studies have significant design flaws, making them useless
2. The studies show that prayer has no effect that is better than chance.

If Christianity were true then we should see tremendous evidence that prayers are effective, and that Christians have demonstrably better life outcomes than non-Christians. But that’s not even close to what we see. Nothing about prayer, or believers, shows that any kind of God is listening to them. Even in this current pandemic, how many Christians have died of COVID because they refused vaccination? This appears very difficult to reconcile with a Christian worldview (not that it stops them from trying.)

2 - If your definition of atheism is merely that it is the lack of belief in God, and you're just waiting to be convinced, but then you speak of [God] as if he is in some way synonymous with Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, or fairies, doesn't that at least send the message to your listeners that you actually believe that there is no god?

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: When it comes to the Christian God, I’m fairly convinced that such a being does not, and cannot, exist. I find that the God that Christians want me to believe in is incoherent and does not exist by definition. I can grant that it’s possible Christianity is true, but God is probably nothing like what they believe.

For many other gods I find that I’d be best described as a non-cognitivist – namely that I don’t know what they’re trying to describe when people tell me about their god(s). For yet other gods, like the gods of Olympus, we know that there are no gods on the top of that mountain in Greece, making those gods like Santa Claus.

3 - When atheism becomes part of someone's worldview they typically change their positions on other issues like abortion, sexual morality, and a number of other things. I actually have several videos of well known atheists saying there's nothing wrong with prostitution, that they hope their children don't save themselves until marriage, and that sex workers should be put up on a pedestal no different than the military. I didn't use those here because I didn't want to seem combative to individuals specifically the individuals who made those statements. But even if you didn't become an atheist "just so you could sin", and I believe you, do you at least understand why those moves could send that message to people who might say that to you?

Atheism is not the reason that I think abortion, and prostitution, should be legally acceptable, or that people shouldn’t need to wait until they’re married to have sex. I hold these positions because I think people deserve the autonomy to control their own lives and their bodies. I also think that most of the people who are against abortion, prostitution, or sex outside of marriage, primarily use their religion to justify these socially conservative positions. But here’s the thing: When I was a Christian many of my views were already quite liberal, even though I was raised Catholic. I thought it was a good idea to use birth control, had no problem with sex outside of marriage, and thought that, in many cases, abortions are justifiable. I left the Catholic church because I couldn’t agree with their socially conservative dogma, and felt out of place.

I can understand that, for many who become atheists, that these positions change as soon as they lose their religion when their religion was the only thing propping up these ideas. Losing the foundation tends to cause the walls to come crashing down, so to speak. The problem is that the religious have it backwards – I think their religion is generally causing many of the socially conservative attitudes, rather than atheism causing socially liberal attitudes.

4 - If it's a lack of belief sort of atheism what is it? Is it 50/50, 60/40, 75/25, and at what point do you feel disingenuous saying that you merely lack a belief as opposed to leaning towards "I believe that God does not exist."?

With regards to the Christian God, I’ve already said that I’m reasonably convinced that God is just imaginary. If there really is anything that could be described as “God” then such a being is nothing like what most Christians believe it to be. I’m fairly confident that the Christian God does not exist, and would probably rate that confidence near an 8.5 out of 10.

Christianity, of which I’ve been an outsider for over 30 years, looks just like every other religion and appears just as false. Having been away for so long it looks just as absurd to me as Islam, or Hinduism, is to you.

5 - Doesn't it bother you a little bit that, when we come to talk about the origins of the universe, and if there's a multiverse the origin of that too, that the only real options you've got besides God is a past infinite universe - which is impossible - or the universe coming to exist uncaused out of nothing, or something far less clear than even those? It seems that for any world view that includes atheism there's a massive blind spot when it comes to the origin of the universe and all the attempts to try and circumvent that problem seem desperate and at least far less likely than theism. ... Doesn't this issue destabilize you a little bit? It seems to fit really poorly with any worldview that includes atheism.

I’m not at all bothered by the fact that I do not have an good understanding of the origins of the universe. Unlike you, I am content to stand back and say “I don’t know, but let’s use science try to find that answers.” I also don’t know if the universe is past infinite – I certainly don’t see that as impossible like you do, and others think it’s possible. Our current understanding of the Big Bang is based on General Relativity, but we know that it’s incompatible with Quantum Mechanics, which would likely take over during the earliest stages of our universe, so the Big Bang is almost certainly not the final answer as to cosmic origins.

Unfortunately, because of the nature of the Big Bang, we may never be able to know what the actual answer is, but that’s not really a big problem, and it certainly doesn’t bother me. Whatever the answer is to why the universe exists, assuming that the question even has a meaningful answer to it, I’m pretty sure that it’s not because God wanted a place to test us before we die.

Honestly Braxton, what bothers me much more than not having an answer to the questions of origins is people who think that they do have answers based on nothing more than what is in an old book, written by men who didn’t understand a lick about cosmology, or even what stars are. That people accept these stories as literally true, when they are at best metaphorical, concerns me because they seem to have no desire to investigate and discover what the real answer is. Whatever answer science comes up with they are already closed off to that answer because they are content to accept ancient traditional stories as fact without an ounce of curiosity for the marvels of nature.

Tell me Braxton, does it bother you that many American evangelical Christians think the world is only about 10,000 years old, and that the Theory of Evolution is a lie from the Devil to lead us away from God? I hope you are bothered by this, but I don’t know enough about you. I do sincerely hope you’re not as ignorant as Ken Ham or Kent Hovind.

To be continued

38 thoughts on “Answering Braxton Hunter”

  1. Good answers! I followed the link to the original questions, and it took me to a YouTube video. Did you find his questions written down somewhere, or did you have to transcribe them off the video? I’m thinking of taking a stab at them myself, and if he has a written source, I’d want to be sure to link to it.

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    1. I don’t argue religion any more. I think heaven is non-existent which negates all religious beliefs. Children are taught to believe in heaven when Santa Claus is replaced by a father in heaven. I tried watching the video, but…. GROG

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I did my best to transcribe the questions using YouTube’s transcript feature from the video. I stopped where I thought good boundaries are, as some of his questions continue on after I stopped, but I didn’t feel his additional comments were relevant to my answers.

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      1. Thanks. I was hoping not to have to watch the video, since you already bit the bullet and did it for us. Perhaps, with your permission, I’ll just copy over your transcripts, if I do a blog series on this.

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  2. I can’t help but ask … is it really worth your time to try and answer these ̶j̶e̶r̶k̶s̶ individuals? Although your answers are good, most of them have their mind set and no matter what you say, it’s goes over their head. Plus … your “confidence level” of 8.5 out of 10 gives them a foot in the doorway of “convincing” you they’re right.

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    1. I don’t think the point to answering the apologists is convincing the apologist. I think it’s for everybody else who’s reading it, especially lurkers. I always think that, for every time we make these points again, and answer the same questions again, and again, there may be someone reading who has never heard this response before. Maybe now, or maybe in the future, someone who is just beginning to question their religion may read this, and be helped by seeing honest pushback to dishonest evangelizing.

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      1. Point taken.

        I admit I do address “Christian” issues on my blog, but generally it’s to express my own POV as a non-believer rather than offering direct rebuttals to their beliefs. Sometimes I think that can be just as effective since (hopefully) it will make them (gasp!) think.

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    2. Along the lines of what Ubi Dubium said, my answers aren’t really for Braxton, but rather for somebody who may be on the fence, or doesn’t yet see the obvious problems that I see. I have no expectations that he’ll ever read what I’ve written here. It was actually the first question that I really wanted to answer, but once I started there I decided to take on the other questions as well. Some of the questions are a bit loaded, or try to poison the well, but I tried to treat them as honest questions.

      I think I can be convinced that they’re right, I just don’t think it’s very likely, nor do I even know how they could do it. But I’m getting a bit ahead of myself as this is dealt with in the second part.

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    3. Hi Nan. We have to start someplace. Education is the most important to end the scourge of religion. Personally I would like to see “religion” be taken to court for their delusional claims as to the existence of heaven. Churches should come with a warning label as to their supernatural claims. Believing in souls is one thing, but to believe that humans are the reason for creation is certainly delusional. GROG

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  3. Apologetics argues that God is, so doesn’t make sense to me. If it’s done for entertainment or whatever, okay, but there is no final verdict.
    Christians, atheists, whoever- none of us are 100% sure of anything. What I’m sure of is that I BELIEVE God is, so that’s how I live.

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  4. This post is a great read and intellectually stimulating. For brevity I will only comment on a couple of points.

    One of your first statements is false:

    “Christianity doesn’t really seem to have a sufficient explanation beyond “that’s just the way God wants it.”

    The entire point of Christianity is to address the problem of suffering. I can explain that if anyone wants me to.

    The second point is about the origins of the universe. You make another false statement:

    “Our current understanding of the Big Bang is based on General Relativity, but we know that it’s incompatible with Quantum Mechanics.”

    This is another false statement. The Theory of Relativity is useful on the cosmic scale. Quantum mechanics is used the atom and subatomic scales. The logical fallacy here is comparing apples and oranges.
    And then from that false statement you come to a false conclusion:

    “so the Big Bang is almost certainly not the final answer as to cosmic origins.”

    That statement is also factually false. We know for a fact that the universe began with the big bang. There is no evidence for multiverses. The multiverse is just pop culture myth.

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    1. “The entire point of Christianity is to address the problem of suffering”

      How does Christianity actually address the problem of suffering? If God is all knowing, all powerful, and perfectly good, then there should be no suffering at all. Any suffering is incompatible with that conception of God. If you don’t think that God is all knowing, all powerful, and perfectly good, that’s fine, but you may as well throw Christianity out the window as well.

      It would seem that, at best, God created a world for us to suffer with the promise to make it up to those who are deserving (a good God wouldn’t do this.) The common explanation of “sin” suffers from the problem of being ad-hoc, and leaves God in a position where it is subservient to the whims of others.

      But I’d love to hear what your explanation is, and why you think it’s not just another ad-hoc explanation?

      “This is another false statement. The Theory of Relativity is useful on the cosmic scale. Quantum mechanics is used the atom and subatomic scales.”

      Yes, but the fundamental problem is that the Big Bang comes from rolling General Relativity (GR) backward until some point where everything reaches a singularity. At such scales you’d be working with Quantum Mechanics rather than GR. If GR doesn’t work on tiny scales then we can’t just roll back GR into a singularity with any significant level of confidence. Because the Big Bang tends to start from a singularity that tells me that something is wrong.

      While I’m no expert on the topic, the entire discussion is far from settled, and I see nothing inherently wrong with the idea of a past eternal universe, even if our present universe is past finite.

      “We know for a fact that the universe began with the big bang.”

      To an extent this is true, bur the models aren’t reliable at the earliest moments of our present universe, and are still being debated. See this episode of Closer to Truth for more.

      “There is no evidence for multiverses. The multiverse is just pop culture myth.”

      The multiverse is a prediction that comes from cosmic inflation theory. It’s not like scientists just came up with the idea of multiverse as some ad-hoc explanation for a problem.

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      1. Herald, Your comments are so pithy that they require an encyclopedic response to do them justice. Kudos for that! Alas, you are stuck with poor little me, a mere mortal. But I will do my best. Please keep in mind that what follows is the Christian account of suffering, believe it or not. And that is what you so earnestly requested.

        Christianity addresses the problem of suffering with its interpretation of the Old Testament biblical stories of Adam and Eve, and the New Testament accounts of the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christianity is in unity of Old and New Testaments.

        Adam and Eve committed the Original Sin which was defiance to a commandment given by God. Defying God, Adam and Eve denatured themselves and the entire universe. That is what brought suffering into the world. The defiance of Adam and Eve baked suffering into the DNA of all living creatures and made the entire universe hostile to living creatures. This universal consequence was caused by Adam and Eve, the first human beings.

        The recounting of the life and times of Jesus of Nazareth is the Christian resolution to the penalty of suffering. By suffering and dying, Jesus, who is God, took the penalty incurred by Adam and Eve, into his own body and mind. Jesus’ Resurrection from the dead dissolved the penalty of suffering and death.

        In conclusion, we live in a universe governed by suffering thanks to Adam and Eve. However, the life, Passion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ transforms suffering into God’s grace, which is eternal life with him.

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        1. “Defying God, Adam and Eve denatured themselves and the entire universe.”

          Then God is either not all power, not all knowing, or not good. It’s really that simple if humans can destroy undo the work of such a being. Which pillar do you choose to throw away?

          “The defiance of Adam and Eve baked suffering into the DNA of all living creatures and made the entire universe hostile to living creatures”

          Assertion without evidence. Evolution renders the whole Adam and Eve story an allegory at best, and nothing but a work of fiction at worst.

          ” By suffering and dying, Jesus, who is God, took the penalty incurred by Adam and Eve, into his own body and mind”

          Why would an all powerful being have to die, or even have a penalty, for sin? You God seems rather impotent to me.

          “Jesus’ Resurrection from the dead dissolved the penalty of suffering and death”

          So why is there still suffering? Oh right, that all comes sometime in the future whenever Jesus decides to return. How long will it take Christians to realize that he’s not coming back? It all looks like wishful thinking.

          “In conclusion, we live in a universe governed by suffering thanks to Adam and Eve”

          So I have live in a world with suffering because somebody did something bad a long time ago. How is that just? How is that not just an ad-hoc explanation for why there is suffering?

          “However, the life, Passion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ transforms suffering into God’s grace, which is eternal life with him.”

          So suffering is good. That’s absurd.

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            1. No, you made a bunch of assertions. Anybody can invent a just-so story that offers an explanation for something. All kinds of religions have stories trying to explain why suffering exists. That you think two people (who didn’t exist) ate something they weren’t supposed to, thereby corrupting the universe along with all future generations, is borderline insane. There is no objective evidence to support claims.

              Please, for your sake, understand that Genesis isn’t meant to be read as a literal history. At best it’s an allegory. I wish more Christians could understand this.

              I wonder if I ask you about why there are so many different human languages, you’d tell me that the Tower of Babel explains this, even though everything about human languages shows that they develop naturally over time in a process that’s similar to evolution.

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                  1. Herald, The story of Adam and Eve and the Passion, death and Resurrection of Jesus address the problem of suffering. You stated wrongly in your post that Christianity did no such thing.

                    That original sin denatured mankind and brought suffering into the world, has nothing to do with God’s omnipotence. The story of Adam and Eve indicates that God endowed man with vast power and that man was created in the image of God unlike any other creature or the angels.

                    Suffering is the force that drove humanity to move out of the weather into caves, to develop fire, technology and civilization itself. That is what I meant about suffering being baked into our DNA.

                    Christians believe that Jesus’ Passion, death and Resurrection were done out of God’s intense love for humanity. When someone breaks the law, they incur a penalty. That is justice. The injustice committed by Adam and Eve was so egregious that only God, Himself, could suffer the incurred penalty and restore justice.

                    There is still suffering because that is the way of the world. However, Christians believe that pursuing happiness through moral excellence is the object of human life, not evading suffering. Pursuing happiness through moral excellence is preparation for paradise in the eternal life that follows physical death.

                    Indeed, having to live in a world of suffering because of what Adam and Eve did, is unjust. The Christian response is to seek happiness through moral excellence. This gives ultimate meaning to life.

                    That faith in Jesus transforms suffering into grace means that suffering so awful that only God can assuage it.

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                    1. “You stated wrongly in your post that Christianity did no such thing.”

                      And I stand by what I stated in my post. I suggest you read what I wrote more carefully. I specifically stated the following:
                      “The big problem with your worldview is that God can explain everything, and in doing so doesn’t actually explain anything. No matter what world we find ourselves we can always say that this is the world that God wants.”

                      Christianities answer for why there is suffering is another just-so ad-hoc story involving two people who never existed. If you can invent any just-so story that you want, change it in virtually any way you want, and don’t care about how coherent or parsimonious the idea is, then it’s not really an explanation.

                      “That original sin denatured mankind and brought suffering into the world, has nothing to do with God’s omnipotence.”

                      It most certainly does, because it means that one of the following must be true:
                      1. God created humans knowing that they would sin, and thus created the conditions for a world full of suffering, which goes against his omnibenevolence.
                      2. God couldn’t created humans that wouldn’t sin, which means he’s not omnipotent (it also suggests that heaven, should it exist, would also be full of sin.)
                      3. God had no idea that humans would sin, which means he’s not omniscient (if not utterly incompetent.)

                      You can try to pass the buck onto us, but ultimately (if your worldview is true) the failure must rest with God. That’s the simple consequence of God being God. The only way that I see to get out of the mess is to say that suffering is good, which is absurd.

                      “The story of Adam and Eve indicates that God endowed man with vast power and that man was created in the image of God”

                      This is incoherent. An all powerful, all knowing, perfectly good, would not be capable of creating humans that would fall, and be forced to suffer, unless falling and the suffering are actually good.

                      “When someone breaks the law, they incur a penalty. That is justice.”

                      Why? I don’t agree that we should penalize people simply because they did something wrong. Sometimes we can simply forgive them and move on. Punishing somebody because their ancestors did something wrong is morally repugnant. God, with the power to fix the problem, would actually have had a moral duty to do that, not leave the problem to fester. There is grave injustice in leaving so many generations to suffer when you have the power (which God does by definition) to fix a problem.

                      “The injustice committed by Adam and Eve was so egregious that only God, Himself, could suffer the incurred penalty and restore justice.”

                      All of this is a problem that God created in the first place. SMH.

                      “There is still suffering because that is the way of the world.”

                      But it’s incompatible with the Christian conception of God. There shouldn’t be any suffering. The Christian story isn’t coherent, and thus not an explanation.

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                    2. Herald, If you “stand by what I stated in my post,” even though it has been refuted what good is further conversation? You are impervious to the facts. Nevertheless, I will respond to your inquiries.
                      God can explain everything, but he doesn’t. The Christian religion restricts itself to the nature of God, man and universe. And in that restriction the Christian religion excels.
                      The story of Adam and Eve is not ad hoc. It is specific, truthful, full of wisdom concerning the human condition, and applies to all times and all cultures. The story of Adam and Eve explains the origin of suffering. And who are you to say they never existed? That is just your personal opinion which has no more value than any other personal opinion
                      Your statement, “we can always say that this is the world that God wants,” is factually wrong. The world we live in and the life we live is of our own making. Such a conclusion is simple common sense.
                      Suffering is the result of human free will. That God allows suffering means that he has utmost respect for human free will. Again, this has nothing to do with God’s omnipotence.
                      Christian doctrine holds that God’s plan of salvation for mankind springs forth from his infinite love for mankind. If man freely chooses to sin, (act against human nature), God’s response is always love and compassion.
                      Why must the failure of man rest with God? If man has free will than he is responsible for the consequences of his actions. Suffering is the consequence of human action. God looks on with total love and compassion like any great parent.

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                    3. “God can explain everything, but he doesn’t. The Christian religion restricts itself to the nature of God, man and universe.”

                      God can’t actually explain anything. Magic, which is what you’re invoking when you start using God as an explanation, has no explanatory power. You cannot explain things in terms of things that you don’t understand.

                      “And who are you to say they never existed?”

                      Our understanding of human evolution means that there were never any “first humans.” this image describe the problem pretty well.

                      Your statement, “we can always say that this is the world that God wants,” is factually wrong. The world we live in and the life we live is of our own making

                      You cannot invoke the universe as being created by an all powerful, all knowing, all good, being and then say that something happened that God didn’t want to happen.

                      “That God allows suffering means that he has utmost respect for human free will.”

                      Several questions:
                      1. Could God have not created us without the desire to “sin”? If not, then can you really say that God is all powerful?
                      2. What’s so great about free will anyways? Why is better to be able to sin than to simply have no desire to sin?
                      3. Is there free will in heaven?

                      I also think free will is impossible if God is omniscient, but that’s another matter.

                      “Christian doctrine holds that God’s plan of salvation for mankind springs forth from his infinite love for mankind”

                      The same infinite love that allows untold amounts of suffer. Please, tell me more. about God’s love…

                      “If man freely chooses to sin, (act against human nature)…”

                      What if sin is our nature. Then nothing is actually sin. If it’s not our nature to sin, then why do you think we sin?

                      “God’s response is always love and compassion.”

                      And where exactly is all this love and compassion? It seems to me, at best, that God simply loves to watch people suffer, otherwise something would be done about it.

                      “Why must the failure of man rest with God?”

                      Because God, being all powerful, and all knowing, knows exactly what will happen as a consequences of any action, including its own. If God knew that creating humans would result in humans who sin, fall, and then have to live in suffering, that’s on God, not us. It’s the failure of God to do what should have been done correctly in the first place.

                      If you want to say that the Christian God is “God”, then God shouldn’t be able to do anything wrong, or make anything that will ever fail. Everything God does should be perfect. if it’s not, that’s on God. You can get out of this problem by simply accepting one of the following:
                      1. God is not all powerful
                      2. God is not all knowing
                      3. God is not good
                      4. God does not exist.

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                    4. Herald, Since you don’t believe in God you cannot possibly know that, “God can’t actually explain anything.” Thus, you are in error. That error being total ignorance of God since you deny his existence.
                      “Our understanding of human evolution means that there were never any “first humans.” That is your personal understanding of evolution which is obviously wrong. If there were never any “firsts” of any species then no species are the result of evolution. You have committed another blaring error in simple common sense.
                      You wrote: “You cannot invoke the universe as being created by an all powerful, all knowing, all good, being and then say that something happened that God didn’t want to happen.”
                      Again, that is your opinion about God who you do not believe in and thus, know nothing about. The fact is that God did not want Adam and Eve to disobey him. But they did. Human beings have free will which God respects.
                      1. God could have done anything. But he created man with free will. Man freely chose to suffer by disobeying a simple wish: that they not eat the fruit from the Tree of Good and Evil.
                      2. Free will is great because it allows us to be different from all other animals who do not have free will. We can create art, discover science, develop technology, travel to the stars, know the Creator personally.3. Free will is not needed in heaven. In heaven the will is naturally inclined to contemplate, worship and take pleasure in God, the Creator.
                      Freewill is a human attribute and has nothing to do with omniscience which is an attribute of God.
                      Human beings sin because they choose to indulge in carnal appetites.
                      Love and compassion reside in God. Human beings, by nature, can reside with God. The Christian religion teaches mankind how to do that.
                      then we have to live in suffering, that’s on God, not us.” Human beings are responsible for there own suffering. And God’s response to human suffering is salvation and love, as already explained multiple times previously.
                      “If you want to say that the Christian God is “God”, then God shouldn’t be able to do anything wrong.. Truly. God can do no wrong because he all good, all knowing, all loving, all just, by definition. God, the creator, determines right and wrong. Your understanding of right and wrong is merely your personal opinion, which is of little interest or consequence in the scheme of things.
                      It is God who is perfect and man who is not. Man is imperfect because he chooses to be imperfect. God who is perfect respects man’s free will.

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                    5. “Herald, Since you don’t believe in God you cannot possibly know that, “God can’t actually explain anything.” Thus, you are in error.”

                      Magic is never an explanation for anything. If you want to explain something you explain it in terms of things you already understand. You don’t solve a mystery by appealing to bigger mysteries. When you can demonstrate God we may have something to talk about. There’s also the problem that incoherent things (like God) don’t exist. It’s really that simple, and I stated as much in this post.

                      “If there were never any “firsts” of any species then no species are the result of evolution.”

                      Look at the image I linked to in my previous reply. Please identify the first purple word and tell me why the previous word is definitely not purple. I’m not really interested in educating you about evolution.

                      “The fact is that God did not want Adam and Eve to disobey him.”

                      And yet, at least according to you, God created them knowing that they would disobey him, and all of the consequences of disobeying. Giving something free will doesn’t absolve an all knowing and all powerful being me when it already knew what was going to happen and had the power to stop it (or do something different.)

                      “2. Free will is great because it allows us to be different from all other animals who do not have free will.”

                      How exactly do you know that other animals don’t have free will? How would you demonstrate that? How would you even demonstrate that we have free will?

                      “Human beings are responsible for there own suffering. And God’s response to human suffering is salvation and love, as already explained multiple times previously.”

                      How is it loving to put us into a giant pit of horrendous suffering and offer us the possibility that we’ll have something nice once we die? It’s very clear that we’re on our own, and at best is God offering some form of restitution for his failure, except that most won’t get it. This isn’t loving. Loving is making sure that horrendous suffering doesn’t happen in the first place.

                      “God can do no wrong because he all good, all knowing, all loving, all just, by definition. God, the creator, determines right and wrong.”

                      Then ultimately right and wrong are completely arbitrary. Whatever is God’s whim, that’s good, no matter what it is. Anything God commands is automatically just because God says so. It’s the Euthyphro dilemma, which you cannot escape.

                      “It is God who is perfect and man who is not.”

                      If God was actually perfect then literally nothing God does would be imperfect, including it’s creations. God couldn’t create flawed humans and still be perfect. Ergo, God is flawed in some way.

                      “Man is imperfect because he chooses to be imperfect.”

                      Well then, I choose to be perfect… Huh, it didn’t work!? Imagine that.

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                    6. Your characterization of God as magic is not true. If you base your understanding on what is not true, then what follows is also not true. God is the First Cause by defintion. The atheist does not believe in God, therefore he believes everything just happened all by itself. Atheism is thus, belief in magic.
                      Evolution is not the color purple nor is it linguistics nor word games. Evolution is the transmission of genetic information from generation to generation and the changes that ensue over time.
                      It is a scientific fact that animals do not have free will. The atheist is thus, a science denier. Even without science it is obvious that animals do not have free will. If one cannot comprehend the obvious, then one can observe animal behavior and discover first hand that animals do not possess free will.
                      As I stated previously, it is man who put himself into a pit of suffering. Regardless, taking suffering away from man would be like taking the chocolate out of a chocolate cake.
                      Stating if God determines right and wrong, they are arbitrary is a false statement and indicates a misunderstanding of the definition of God. If God is all powerful, all knowing, and all just, and we are his creation, then God is the standard for what is good or evil. By definition, a standard is not arbitrary. And a standard of good and evil set forth by God is tailor made for our benefit. The rest of your comment is anthropomorphizing God. You have created your own God myth. No wonder God sucks for you.
                      Since God is all powerful, he can create imperfection. It is he who is perfect by nature.
                      If a person chooses to be an Olympic athlete, he or she must dedicate their life to it. If is the same if one chooses to enjoy God in his perfection. One must dedicate their life to it. Imagining oneself an Olympic athlete without dedication is delusional. Likewise, it is delusional imagining oneself perfect.

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                    7. ” The atheist does not believe in God, therefore he believes everything just happened all by itself. Atheism is thus, belief in magic.”

                      Nobody who’s serious about science claims that everything just “happened by itself by magic. Even if there are people who do, I do not, and is irrelevant. Since the Big Bang it looks as if everything is happening according to regularities that exist within our universe. We observe these regularities and try to explain everything else in terms of them. For literally everything we actually understand we do so by going back to these regularities.

                      You, on the other hand, believe that there is a God who can do literally anything at any time, without any explanation needed. That is literally an appeal to magic.

                      “Evolution is the transmission of genetic information from generation to generation and the changes that ensue over time.”

                      At least you appear to understand this. Then you also understand that evolution is really a population level thing, and not an individual thing. That’s why there was never an Adam and Eve.

                      “It is a scientific fact that animals do not have free will. The atheist is thus, a science denier.”

                      Oh this is some of the most laughable bullshit I’ve read in a while. Got a credible scientific citation for that claim?

                      Tell me, let’s suppose I was to put two people in front of you. One has “free will” and the other does not. Your task is to figure out which one does and which does not. What meaningful difference would there be between the two that you could tell which one actually has free will?

                      “f God is all powerful, all knowing, and all just, and we are his creation, then God is the standard for what is good or evil.”

                      This is nothing but a non-sequitur. Let me be more specific. If you define God as “all just” then your standard of justice is arbitrary. Whatever God happens to be is whatever happens to be just. It’s the first horn of the Euthyphro dilemma.

                      “By definition, a standard is not arbitrary.”

                      Oh please, almost all standards are arbitrary. Look at SI and the imperial measurement system. All of the measurements and their relationships are completely arbitrary. Would you like to take back what you said?

                      “Since God is all powerful, he can create imperfection. It is he who is perfect by nature.”

                      Not if God is perfectly good, and this creation leads to evil and suffering. It’s literally incoherent to say otherwise.

                      ” If is the same if one chooses to enjoy God in his perfection”

                      What does this even mean???

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  5. Gosh Herald! Do you realize how lucky you are to have this oh-so-knowledgeable individual to explain who and what god is? I’m sure you recognize the error of your ways by now, right? RIGHT???

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