Thursday, September 01, 2005

When Christians and atheists debate

I sat down to work on a post but ended up spending all my free time reading this Christianity 101 debate on The Raving Atheist. Be sure to check out the comments from Frank, jb, and Steve G. If they don't have their own sites they really should.

Anyway, this discussion pretty closely mirrors my adult interactions with Christians and atheists:

- Atheists are particularly bothered by Christianity and get much more upset and flustered when discussing it versus other religions. Something tells me Seth and AK aren't making comments with the same tone regarding Hindus and Muslims.

- It's easier to find a calm, rational Christian who will engage in a friendly debate and walk you through his point of view than it is to find a calm, rational atheist. They tend to get nasty and flustered pretty easily in these sorts of discussions.

- By and large, atheists are just as, if not more, zealous about their beliefs than Christians. Just look at all the words dedicated to debunking Christian theories in this one discussion on this one random site. Why spend so much time talking about something you truly don't believe in? Are these people also burning up the Santa Claus forums and debating kids about what really happens in the North Pole? They often come up with an ulterior motive so they don't seem so ridiculous, usually something about wanting to change Christianity's bad influence on politics or culture or something, but obviously their pissy little comments on some dude's blog are not going to make anyone renounce God, so why do it?

That's actually the subject of the post I sat down to write. I don't have time to finish it now, but consider this a sneak preview of fascinating posts to come. I know you'll hold your breath.


At September 02, 2005 9:32 PM, Anonymous Steve G. said...

Just wanted you to know I got your kind email. Don't have much time to respond and won't have much much access to compy over the holiday weekend, but I'll follow up more next week. Have you read Any G.K. Chesterton. I highly recommend the book Orthodoxy. It taught me more about life, how to think, etc. than any other single book. If not that, then maybe a little C.S. Lewis (a little lighter by engaging nonetheless). I'd recommend Mere Christianity if you haven't already read it. Ah'll be back!

At September 02, 2005 11:48 PM, Anonymous Steve G. said...

OK, so I couldn't resist. I am up at 12:30 am and should be in bed, but I got sucked into reading your blog, and felt I definetely needed to say a few things...

1. Your blog is a wonderful and inspiring look into your journey. Thank you for inviting me. Even as a committed Catholic, I am convinced that conversion is an ongoing thing as we progressively grow in holiness. Sometimes another's journey helps remind us why we came to where we are, and inspires us to continue. Thank You!
2. In one post you talked about feral children and their inability to grasp language and worried it was similar with faith. Let me assure you it is not. I have at least two people who I am very close too (my wife and my step-father) who were atheists until they were almost 30 years old. They are now two of the most faith filled, and wonderful Christians I know or could imagine. Granted, it make take longer, and there is a new language you will be learning, but do not lose hope.

3. Don't be to overly concerned with the lack of emotion you feel at times. While good feelings can be a wonderful consolation (and you will get them when God deems the time right), faith is and should not be primarily about how we feel. Do you always 'feel' like you love your spouse? Probably not (assuming you are human) ;-) But still, you stay married, you endure, you strive to behave as though you love him. That is REAL love. When you do the things you do even when you DON'T feel all warm and fuzzy about it. The feelings come and go, but fidelity, truth, selflessness, these things stay. Stay the course. Remember,like your marriage, this is a relationship you are entering. You may be intellectually convinced, but you are still in the process of getting to know God in your heart. As you fall in love more and more, the consolations of feelings will come.

...Beyond that, I will be visiting frequently, and praying for you each day. You have my email address and I ask you to please, please, please let me know if you have any questions that I can answer, or anything you need advice on.

God Bless you and yours.

At September 03, 2005 6:57 AM, Blogger jb said...

I'd like to echo steve g. concerning faith. It's a hard thing to describe, but it has less to do with feeling than one might think. I think that faith starts small and builds gradually. In its first stages, it may simply reside in a suspicion that atheism cannot possibly explain the universe, it may grow to become a conviction that the Judeo/Christian God is more likely as an explanation than any alternative. These first stages are what books like Orthodoxy and Mere Christianity are trying to aid and they do a magnificent job. I remember reading CS Lewis for the first time when I was 17 and just being blown away.

Great blog, btw, you have an intriguing perspective. Seek the truth and it will come!

At June 30, 2006 11:21 PM, Blogger Scott_M said...

Steve G.

HAve you read the Bible lately?


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