Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Atheists are so Godless

I sort of get tired of atheists and their demands for getting god out of everything.

First of all, they are bitter.  So they lack faith, not really my problem.  Cut the nasty attitude, show some humility, and you can get where believers are too.  But they don't really want to.  I am cool with that too.  Just leave me alone.  And don't call me names.

Second, they are illogical.  Not because they don't believe in god.  But because they think because they don't have a relationship with him, he doesn't exist.  Sort of like their fathers (ouch, did I say that?).  But seriously, if they would think it through, god, if he does exist and is all powerful, can choose how to interact with the world and beings he creates.  So when they don't see him or experience him, they want to conclude there is nothing wrong with their approach, so it only can mean he doesn't exist.

But here is the deal, for me anyway:  I have experienced him, and I documented it.  In the Bible god declares the proof he is god is found in telling the future.  We are not talking about "Taurus is an angry sign" kind of prophecy.  Cyrus is mentioned by name.  The return from exile.  The blessings of Abraham.  The restoration of Israel.  Pretty specific stuff.

And for me, he told me my grandfather had died.  And when it happened, I was immediately awakened by a phone call, so before I answered I woke up my wife and told her what I had just been told, thinking I was being called to be notified.  It was actually my home teaching companion.  So I then started to cry, because I knew it was true. Then mom called, told me grandpa had died, and I told her I knew, and how I knew.  She was stunned. 

Now, my wife and I could be liars.  That's the risk an atheist is going to have to take to be true to their faith.  But I am not a liar.  It happened.  I told this story to an atheist I met once, and he only said "Probably just a lucky guess on your part."  Really?  That is what it comes to?

It turns out I am not irrational about my supernatural beliefs and faith in a God that others have difficulty encountering.  I have met Him.  He is real.  When he decides it's time to meet you, be ready to drop your nets and follow.  He really doesn't appreciate when he gives you proof and you thanklessly throw it away. 

But my faith was reinforced by knowledge and experiences, and grew, and so now as miracles and inspiration happen in my life, it is just exactly that:  My life.  It is normal to me.  Because I know Him, and I see His work everywhere, and He shows off constantly.  It's freakin' awesome.

I know a man with children whom I know better than his kids do, because they have rejected him due to family issues.  It doesn't change whether he exists just because they want to pretend he doesn't any longer.  I think I understand why he is in my life, too.


Anonymous said...

This was beautiful.
I have never, ever spoken of an experience my mother had. She thought is was a dream, and did not really know how to explain it.

I had an older broother and cousin who were killed in a car accident together. I was eleven years old when it happened. About a year after the accident my parents place of business burned. It was arson. My mother discovered the fire at about two in the morning as we could see the building from our house. My mother said she saw my brother at the foot of her bed telling her to wake up and go to the front door. He had urgency in his voice. My mother was startled and had forgotten he was no longer with us. My mother followed my brother to the front door and she saw the fire. Of course my brother was gone. Then about two years after the fire my deceased brother came again to my mother asking what it was going to take for my parents to go to the Temple so we could all be sealed together. My brother told my mother it needed to be done. My father said my mother imagined both experiences. I believe my brother appeared to my mother.

If it were not for Joseph Smith's testimony that he saw God and Christ, I would probably be agnostic or atheist.

Mark said...

I stumbled onto your website today on accident. I have been a strong, active member of the Church for my entire life; however, a year ago, a friend brought up some things about the Church's history that I had never heard taught in Church that deeply disturbed me. I began the process of studying the Church's origins and history like it was my new profession, and the more I learned the more disturbed I became. I am finally to the point that I feel like the Church has been dishonest about its past, so much so that if I cannot get satisfactory answers to all of the cover up, I will likely leave the Church, as well as my family will likely leave.

The problem is, I can't seem to get anything more than a song and a dance, and very convoluted and thin and stretching answers from my local leadership. So much so, they basically just say "don't worry about it, and just have faith". Faith is one thing, but evidence that something is not what we are told it is is another thing.

You seem to be a convinced defender of the Faith, so perhaps you can provide answers.

To keep it simple, can you please respond to the CES Letter. The gentleman that wrote it did a good job of summing up pretty much everything I have learned and every question I have that the Church refuses to answer.

Bob said...

Friends of mine have responded to Jeremy's letter here: .
You will need to cut and paste it into your browser. I am a member of FAIR Mormon, and I can vouch for the character of the people putting together the response there. But here are things to consider: If you have decided leaders lied, then you probably will figure guys like me are just their lap dogs and cover up the past, too. That is not the case. I will write a response today to what I think is important about the FAIR Mormon response, and Jeremy's response to them.

Don't lose faith to barking dogs.

Anonymous said...

Give us some proof that God exists. Some proof that would stand up in a court of law or in a laboratory full of scientists.

Otherwise we have no reason to believe.

Isn't it interesting how people all around the world come up with religions that state or imply that they are the only true religions and all the others are false? If your God exists, then why do less than 1% of the world's population follow Mormonism?


Bob said...

You seem to be confusing a couple of elements in both the proof and faith categories.

My experience would be both valid court testimony, as well as scientific. It is also a faith experience. Let me explain:

1. Court testimony is evidence, not proof. Proof is how you evaluate evidence. Personal testimony is evidence, what you make of it determines if you see it as proof. The fact is I reported my experience to my wife before any confirmation of the information was available to her or me. That is a fact, the evidence of the fact being her's and my testimony, as well as my contemporaneous written journal. Unfortunately my mother has passed away, so her testimony is no longer available. So it comes down to evaluating whether my wife and I are liars or not, and whether lying about this somehow makes sense in the context of our lives.

2. What was communicated becomes an event which can be scientifically evaluated. If you start from the assumption I am an honest witness, then you must provide viable, alternative explanations for my being informed about an event which I had no access to know had transpired, and telling me before others informed me about it. At this point in time, I am unaware of any scientific explanation for how a person can know about another person's moment of death from hundreds of miles away without any type of physical communication whatsoever. The fact is it happened. Even if you don't believe me, it doesn't change my testimony or the reality of the event.

3. Atheists like to make it sound like a belief in god or supernatural beings is the same as belief in the tooth fairy or vampires. I will acknowledge that for many people, not understanding the natural world let to myths and legends which evolved into religions. Such superstitions are completely different than Christianity. In Christianity we have lots of witnesses for Jesus' life. We have witnesses for his death(the Gospels and letters of Paul and other Apostles), and we have the testimony of people who knew the witnesses (i.e., the Apostolic Fathers) or heard of Jesus (Josephus' writings) through the witnesses. There are potentially authentic archaeological relics attesting to the reality of Jesus (the James Ossuary, of burial box of James, the brother of Jesus, though contested, is thought to be authentic by many respected scholars. See this link ). What is interesting about the James Ossuary is that EVERY scientific test has concluded it is authentic, yet it is because of the content of the inscription that skeptics reject it. In other words, don't bother me with facts, I have made up my mind.

4. We believe, from a scientific perspective, in quasars and black holes and super nova. We see evidence, and at times in the past and present we can actually see them. Yet what if you were blind, and all you had to "see" were the statements of others. They can describe a super nova which is visible in the sky, but you will need to take their word for it. Can they predict where the next super nova or black hole will take place? No. So does that mean they are unscientific since they are not replicatable or predictable by humans? Only a fool would say "yes". At what point did humans discover "ultraviolet light" or "x-rays"? How about the double helix design of chromosomes? There are people today who still belong to the Flat Earth society, whose theories about the earth are so silly, they hardly merit response. Because they refuse to believe the witness of those who do know more than they know.

Bob said...

Response to David, continued.

5. Belief is not to know. It is to follow the evidence of things not seen, which are true. Following truth may never lead to sure knowledge of the underlying truth. No matter. To those who understand "if you love me, keep my commandments" brings peace, "My Peace", something which I can only live and not give to another. Try explaining to a child why they need to eat nutritious food. They will feel better, have a happier life and grow up stronger and healthier.

You should eat your faith vegetables David. I am a faithful witness. I am either a liar, or I know something you don't. Either way, I do know, and you have only skepticism. The irony of this experience is I rarely shared it for many years, because it is so trivial in the big scheme of things compared to the joy and peace the Gospel brings. It has really only been in the past couple of years I realized that the absolute proof the event provided me is also an absolute refutation to those who assert because they don't know, it is unknowable. Well, I know.

Bob said...

Last point is numbers. Mormons are less than 1% of the world, that is true. But Einstein was the only scientist who understood quantum mechanics when he published his theory of special relativity in 1905, he cited no other references. Did he make it up? Was it not true because no other people had previously figured it out? Or did he see something that was there all the time, but others could not? He was alone, yet he was right.

So as a Mormon who believes God loves all people, that all people have a shot at obtaining salvation, and that more people will be saved than lost, I don't feel much of a need to worry about being a very small minority. As Jesus noted, "Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?"(Luke 18:8). It is a rhetorical question, with the assumed answer of "No." It is an interesting irony that the Gospel will fill the whole world, like the stone rolling down the hill, cut without hands, yet few will be living the Gospel until Jesus returns.

I like being a peculiar person among a peculiar people. If everyone where like me, where would there be any peculiarity? Feel free to flow with the masses.