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Since this isn't a very long or complex post, with all due respect, perhaps you should read more carefully. Then you can disagree and find a few verses which in your opinion show that god will only forgive the exact same people you would.
-Why do you not believe in God?
The christian god (and jewish, and muslim), simply put, cannot exist. There is no proof for his existence, nor can there be unless his attributes change. But as stated, a definition of "god" is needed.
- Where do your morals come from?
Society, mostly, though more and more I find some of society's established morals to be nonsense. Outside a basic core of fundamental principles we should do well to remember much of what is right today may sound stupid tomorrow.
-What is the meaning of life?
There is no universal meaning - each person can find their own if they wish. Ultimately, if there must be an answer, life is the meaning of life.
- Is atheism a religion?
-If you don’t pray, what do you do during troubling times?
Anything from despairing to nothing, to trying and find solutions. All more helpful.
-Should atheists be trying to convince others to stop believing in God?
They should try to convince others to make up their own minds. Believing in god(s) should be a conscious choice. If all people were educated properly and raised without being fed the beliefs of others, I think much less people would be religious - but those who would be would likely make better religions.
-Weren’t some of the worst atrocities in the 20th century committed by atheists?
Perhaps some, but these attrocities were never a result of atheism - even if a few were (though I'd say they were attacks against religious institutions and not to promote atheism), as atheism isn't a system of belief, you couldn't attribute any crime to it. Same goes for the other side - if Himmler was a christian (I don't know, I don't care), I wouldn't blame christianity for his actions. But I will blame the Vatican for its lack of action, and I will blame christianity for persecutions during medieval times, as it offered the ideological background for such crimes. Atheism has no such background.
-How could billions of people be wrong when it comes to belief in God?
"But, Broog-Koog, the Lizard shaped rock has been the god of our fathers for generations! How dare you imply Lizard shaped rock has no powers?"
-Why does the universe exist?
No reason, if we talk about purpose. If the question is practical, there are several ideas. Read and pick.
-How did life originate?
Again, choose your (scientific) theory. Obviously some necessary conditions were a result of chance.
Is all religion harmful?
No. But the three main monotheistic religions of today are. Others might have been if their followers had acquired power. I wouldn't consider older religions (or their revival) harmful, though they do seem silly in a romantic sort of way nowadays.
What’s so bad about religious moderates?
Bad? I don't know. It's frustrating that they seem to be the ones who could think for their own but don't - out of habit, comformity, etc.
Is there anything redeeming about religion?
Once. Religions used to offer an explanation for inexplicable things, a moral structure and guidelines in early societies, and could be a pioneering force in philosophical thinking. Nowadays we've developed better explanations, more reasonable structures and seperated philosophy from the will of the divine. Religion has been very useful, but its time is over.
What if you’re wrong about God (and He does exist)?
The christian god? Well, that means eternal existence. I'd take an eternity in hell over one happy life. Sadly it's not a matter of choice.
Shouldn’t all religious beliefs be respected?
Dude, I sometimes go ballistic when I hear all opinions must be respected. Absolutely not. The right to any opinion/belief must be respected, but not the opinion/belief itself.
Are atheists smarter than theists?
Hardly. I would dare guess smart people may have a higher tendency towards atheism, but that's it, and taking no social background into account.
How do you deal with the historical Jesus if you don’t believe in his divinity?
While I do believe he existed, I can't judge him fairly when I don't trust the sources that speak of him. I imagine he was an interesting guy, a social reformer who bothered the ruling classes more than usual. A nice chap probably, but there've been many more people like him, who were more important.
Would the world be better off without any religion?
Can't say. Probably, but let's not fool ourselves into thinking all would be well. Many of the things we blame religion for might have happened with different excuses, but we'd avoid at least some. I think scientific and technological advancement would have been much quicker if we didn't have religion in the past, but the effect now would be smaller.
-What happens when we die?
We die. I still hope I won't.
God came himself down to earth? Zeus revealed himself to far more people. Yours is the same kind of 'evidence' that every religion has. Every one. Which is what the point of the original post is by the way.
And yes, to be perfectly honest, if 600 people literally witnessed Jesus at once, I would claim it was mass hysteria (or something), because it would still be a more plausible explanation.
PS. Truth does indeed not care for subjective reasoning. But there is such a thing as objective reasoning, even if it sometimes hard to apply.
(I always forget how to quote in this)
First of all, I won't take the bible's word against rival religions. There probably were human sacrifices to Moloch (though whether there actually was a god called Moloch is I think debatable) but it is generally accepted that the stories were vastly exaggerated by the Romans as post-war propaganda in order to justify the sacking of Carthage. As for Ba'al, it's a title, and not the name of a particular god. Apparently whenever used in the bible it may refer to any local deity.
More importantly, human sacrifice is present in all (or almost) ancient cultures. God asked Abraham to kill Isaac - yes, I know, he changed his mind, it was a test. And I can tell you that Artemis replaced Ifigenia with a deer right before Calchas slit her throat. Anyone with half a brain will deduce that as human sacrifices were gradually removed from practice as inhumane, later versions of the myth put a deer in the story. You may notice Abraham's myth is exactly the same (well, except that there was even less of a reason for the sacrifice in the first place).
[[[ Does it have to make sense? No. Why would it make sense? God's ultimate understanding is not necessarily limited to our rational thought. Are you saying that because you yourself don't make sense of it, it must not possibly be true? There is a measure of rationality involved in Christianity as God has commanded us to love the Lord, our God, with all our minds...But God cannot be limited to our own rationality....or well, we's be just as smart as God. ]]]
But that's exactly it! It doesn't make sense for the God you're describing, but it makes PERFECT sense for every other god worshipped at the same time by virtually EVERY civilisation of the area! You claim this god is unlike other, false, gods, is transcedental and beyond our narrow understanding - yet he demands the same things and behaves in similar, though more bigoted, ways.
[[[ it is a holy book written by 40 different authors at different time periods, yet all content collectively yields a qualitative unity. ]]]
People seem to claim this a lot, and I have no idea what they mean. Actually, I'd say the fact that the OT god seems almost a different person from the NT one is evidence enough that he changes behaviour according to the state of his people - he became all loving and less vengeful once the Jews were conquered by the Romans. In even more recent years, he has tried to adapt to modern society's morals and customs.
[[[ Another significance of the God is Israel is that He gave no other room for other Gods. ]]]
This is indeed significant, though not quite unique. There are even theories that jewish monotheism was actually the remnant and evolution of Akhenaten's attempted religious revolution. That's a totally different story, so I'll just leave this here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akhenaten#Akhenaten_...
[[[ So Christianity ultimately puts people in quite a dilemma: either God alone is God and only thru Jesus can you enter in or that is not true and if that is the case then Jesus is not the Son of God, God is not One and well....we are back at square one to determine whether there is in fact a God and what religion represents Him]]]
This may be Christianity's dilemma, but you can't (shouldn't) answer it based on whether you believe Jesus (those who wrote about him) or not. You can actually check the validity of christianity's claims. None of them really hold.
"We all deserve death...for the wages of sin is such [...] when someone sinned they could atone for it thru a slain animal. [...] that death was required as the ultimate wage of all the sin of the world"
Does any of this make the slightest sense to you?
I won't judge it morally - in the context of the era it's not a particularly stranger view of the world than any other contemporary one (the Moloch and Ba'al examples are vastly exaggerated or plainly wrong). But you have here a supposedly non-anthropomorphic, all powerful-knowing-loving god, who finds it reasonable to not only judge "imperfect" beings he created himself, but seems to think you can atone yourself with a goat sacrifice. And being all powerful, he can find no better way to "salvage" (from what really?) mankind than sending his avatar and having it crucified.
I'm sure that 2000 years of theology have come up with a somehow acceptable explanation, but really, can you see any significant difference between this god and all the others?
-A feeling, conviction, trust or belief that something is true, real, or will happen, without necessarily understanding or having evidence as to why or how.
-A religious belief system.
-An obligation of loyalty or fidelity and the observance of such an obligation.
-A trust or confidence in the intentions or abilities of a person, object, or ideal.
None of these fit your definition. You 're taking the last one, but actually applying the first. The thing is, we don't trust science because we have confidence or trust, but because we have evidence. We don't know atoms exist because we see them in microscopes - the scanning tunneling microscope, which is the instrument that makes it possible, was invented in 1981. We knew atoms exist many, many decades before that. We know such things by observing their results and being able to predict results. Roughly put, if it works as we think, A will happen. If A does happen, we have a reason (not necessarily definitive) that we were right.
What you are actually describing is the Cartesian evil demon / brain in a vat. An interesting thought experiment that challenges the concept and definition of knowledge. We can't definitevely know whether reality exists as we perceive it. The evidence we have for those unquestionable scientific facts is massive - if the only way to question them is to challenge reality itself, well, that's not particularly practical anyway.
In the end, the problem is that you're using the same word to describe different things - in my opinion your use of "faith in science" is wrong anyway, but it doesn't matter. "I believe what you said" and "I believe it's gonna rain" both use the word believe but it means totally different things in each case.