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Sunday, May 06, 2012

Bad Atheist Arguments, Continued

"How can you worship a god who would send an innocent person, his own son, in fact, to suffer for the sins of others?"

I've seen this one many, many times. It overlooks a belief of no minor importance: "one in being with the Father."

Atheists may think the idea of the trinity is a load of nonsense, but they can't just ignore it and accuse Christians of believing something other than they do believe. The being crucified in the Christian story is God Himself. Once that is accepted, the complaint above evaporates like the morning dew.

10 comments:

  1. But why would a benevolent God allow morning dew to evaporate?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Walk me out in the morning dew my honey,
      Walk me out in the morning dew today.
      I can't walk you out in the morning dew my honey,
      I can't walk you out in the morning dew today.

      I thought I heard a baby cry this morning,
      I thought I heard a baby cry this today.
      You didn't hear no baby cry this morning,
      You didn't hear no baby cry today.

      Where have all the people gone my honey,
      Where have all the people gone today.
      There's no need for you to be worrying about all those people,
      You never see those people anyway.

      I thought I heard a young man morn this morning,
      I thought I heard a young man morn today.
      I thought I heard a young man morn this morning,
      I can't walk you out in the morning dew today.

      Walk me out in the morning dew my honey,
      Walk me out in the morning dew today.
      I'll walk you out in the morning dew my honey,
      I guess it doesn't really matter anyway,
      I guess it doesn't matter anyway,
      I guess it doesn't matter anyway,
      Guess it doesn't matter anyway.

      Delete
  2. "The being crucified in the Christian story is God Himself."

    Where does it say this in the New Testament?

    On the contrary, Philippians 2.6–8 distinguishes Jesus as an entity separate from god:

    "…. Christ Jesus
    who, being in the form of God did not deem it a prize to be equal with God,
    but he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave
    born* in the form of men, etc." (Phil 2.6–8).

    As for the trinity, that's just later Catholic doctrine, not explicit in the NT.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Where does it say this in the New Testament?"

      One good answer to this is, "Who cares?" I certainly do not think every single little bit of Christian truth is contained in the Bible. But, in any case:

      "The Father and I are one." -- John 10:30

      "As for the trinity, that's just later Catholic doctrine..."

      And at the time it was developed, Protestantism had not been developed, and the Western and Eastern Churches had not split, so, in essence, you are saying, "That's not Christian doctrine: it's just Christian doctrine."

      What percentage of Christians in the world today are not trinitarians? 2%? 3%?

      Delete
    2. "The Father and I are one." -- John 10:30"

      Except that passage, when read in context, and with John 17:21, 22, strongly suggest that all it means is that Jesus and god were united in thought and purpose, just as we would say today "oh, he and I are of one mind".

      Elsewhere the author of John says
      "My Father is greater than I" (John 14:28) - requiring this

      (1) two entities, not one, and
      (2) entities that are most decidely not co-equal, as in the Trinity doctrine of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit being 3 distinct beings coexisting in unity and being co-equal.

      "What percentage of Christians in the world today are not trinitarians? 2%? 3%?"

      What relevance does this have?

      Delete
    3. "two entities, not one, and"

      Or two persons in one being.

      "entities that are most decidely not co-equal"

      The son is begotten of the father, yes: so in that sense the father is "greater."

      "What relevance does this have?"

      To the question of what Christians believe?! An awful lot.

      It is these New Testament quotes that are irrelevant. Imagine:

      1) All Christians believe in a guy named "Bill," who happens not to be in the NT.
      2) I write, "When atheists say X, they are ignoring the fact that all Christians believe in Bill."
      3) Your come-back is, "But Bill is not in the NT"?!

      Delete
    4. And talk about not actually understanding Christian doctrine:

      "3 distinct beings"

      No, LK, "one in being." Definitely NOT three distinct beings.

      Delete
  3. "No, LK, "one in being." Definitely NOT three distinct beings."

    Oh dear, dear me.

    From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

    "254 The divine persons are really distinct from one another. 'God is one but not solitary.' 'Father', 'Son', 'Holy Spirit' are not simply names designating modalities of the divine being, for they are really distinct from one another: 'He is not the Father who is the Son, nor is the Son he who is the Father, nor is the Holy Spirit he who is the Father or the Son.' They are distinct from one another in their relations of origin: 'It is the Father who generates, the Son who is begotten, and the Holy Spirit who proceeds.'"

    http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_P17.HTM#1FT


    From Wikipedia:

    "The Christian doctrine of the Trinity defines God as three divine persons (Greek: ὑποστάσεις): the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit. The three persons are distinct yet coexist in unity, and are co-equal, co-eternal and consubstantial (Greek: ὁμοούσιοι). Put another way, the three persons of the Trinity are of one being (Greek: οὐσία). "

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Oh my my, indeed, LK. You are letting your inner troll shine through:

      1) When you asked "What does Christian belief have to do with this matter?" and I noted that I had been discussing Christian belief, and not what the NT says, a non-troll would say, "Yes, Gene, I ignored that point: you are absolutely correct." What a troll does is silently leave that point behind and hope it never arises again.

      2) The troll just chucks in a plethora of quotes to a discussion while failing to notice whether the quotes back his point at all. In fact, your quotes entirely agree with me and refute you. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit certainly are distinct; what they are NOT is three distinct BEINGS: "Put another way, the three persons of the Trinity are of one being"

      Or: "one in being with the Father."

      Or: "consubstantial"

      That's your own quote, LK, totally backing what I said and totally refuting what you said. Did you not even read what you posted?!

      Look, if you know nothing about this topic and have no desire to learn anything about it, why do you keep talking about it? (Hint: troll.)

      Delete
  4. More fundamentally, I don't get how an atheist can purport to question the existence of a certain god (or God) by calling specific characteristics "ungodly." If they don't believe in God or have an idea of what/who God is, then how can they pass judgment on the qualities of God, as they are described by believers?

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