Richard Dawkins "I'm Not Certain God Does Not Exist"

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Fraction, I was not talking about freedom of speech and peoples' right to it (which I believe people have a right to), I was talking about what they DO with that freedom and why. Nor was I referring to when people say, "oh my god". I am talking about when people use Jesus' name derogatorily or as a curse word, not some nondescript, unreferenced title of a deity, such as "god".

But since you brought it up I will restate my previous question(s) with the free speech issue in mind. So notwithstanding your "catch phrase" explanation ....... why do people, with their vast freedom of speech to curse any god they want to, only use it to take Christ's name in vain?

As in when someone hits his thumb with a hammer and screams, "J____s C____t !!" (Or worse).

I think the reason people use Jesus' name in vain is because nothing feels better than to curse Jesus for a non-believer. If you doubt that, try cursing Shiva's name the next time you're spitting angry. Or just forget deity and say "darn", and see how that works for you. :wink:

You need to come up with a better explanation than it just being chocked up to a "catch phrase". Unless you are inferring that people who use Jesus' name in vain are basically mindless copycats with little imagination. :shock:

If using Jesus' name in vain is, to quote you, just a "catch phrase" or "a trend that has been picked up", why is it? Why repeat it? The phrases, "the cat's pajamas" and "top drawer" were very popular and fashionable terms in the 1920's. Why did we stop using them? Because they are square-sounding to us?
A slanderous phrase that was used in the 1960's and is still popular today is "pig", referring to police officers. I dare say that no one today who respects police officers and is aware of that term would use it, even if almost everyone in society was using it.

That's why I don't think your catch phrase answer washes, because we don't repeat something that has no meaning to us. If I don't like single moms (just an example) and a derogatory term for them is invented, I might very likely start using it myself. Because the term would resonate with me. If it didn't I wouldn't use it, pretty simple.

So why does insulting Jesus resonate with people that don't even believe in Him? Is it because they are against Him (even if only subconsciously)? Because it makes them feel good to? I have never received a satisfactory answer to this.

Words and phrases drop out of the vernacular all the time and language is constantly evolving, so why has it always been fashionable and acceptable to use Jesus' name as a swear word? Could it be for the same reason that Christianity has been unceasingly attacked and maligned since it's inception over for 2,000 years ago? How come non-believers in Christ never tire of using His name that way? It seems they can't get enough of it!

To repeat, I believe it is reasonable to conclude that when we pick up phrases, colloquialisms, slang, etc., we choose and latch on to the ones that we agree with.
Granted, one may use a term so often and so casually (not knowing, caring, or understanding where it originated) that eventually it just becomes a "catch phrase" that he just says without thinking. NONETHELESS, at some point way back when he first used it, he must have agreed with and had an affinity to the term, or he wouldn't have used it, or had any use for it. People repeat and latch on to things that mean something to them, whether good or bad.

To sum up (sorry, I hadn't intended to be so long-winded), I believe the motivation in using Christ's name in vain is to use the worst swear word/cursing you can think of - cursing any other god would not satisfy unregenerate man.

PS - I have no idea what you mean by sending you a wild lion in the mail, but don't worry, you're safe.
I understand now that your reply was 100% about people doing certain things and why. It was never about how they are able to do so. My apologies for my long and drawn out explanation of freedom of speech. It now feels a little awkward. :smile:

So why would people rather take God's name in vain? Also, why do people attack Christianity, and not everything else altogether?

When it comes to taking God's name in vain with the catch phrases that have been mentioned, I am going to stand by the "its a habit" assumption. Why do I stand by this though? I do so, because I am evidence of it. Using some of these catch phrases is something that I continue to struggle with on occasion. In no way to I take pleasure in saying "Jesus Christ!" when I nearly fall over on a chair or something. Am I saying that no one out their does it for pure pleasure because they are against Christianity? No, because there is no doubt in my mind that people like that exist.

So why did these catch phrases stick and others like the ones you have mentioned didn't? It kind of doesn't make sense doesn't it? At least not to me to a certain degree. Maybe it is just one of those things that stuck, like referring to police officers as pigs. Maybe it is because Christianity hasn't died out and remains, unlike the trends of the 1920's. However, could it be a more diabolical reason? Yes, of course that is possible. When you said "I believe it is reasonable to conclude that when we pick up phrases, colloquialisms, slang, etc., we choose and latch on to the ones that we agree with." that you are exactly right! Either we don't see anything wrong with it, or we take pleasure in the positive or negative effects of the actual phrase.

So why is Christianity so brutally attacked? Christianity is most assaulted in two places. A place like the United States, where freedom of speech is valued more over respect in most cases. The other is a place where Christianity is considered an error, maybe an Islamic dominant area. Why don't atheist attack other religions? They are simply surrounded by Christianity. It is the only thing that aggressive atheists have to assault, or what they have access too. As a Christian, would you rather give a converting speech in front of 10 hardcore Christians or 10 atheists? Which would be more effective? It's the same logic, aggressive atheists are out to cause damage and to pull people into their cause. If atheism was a HUGE thing in an Islamic country, Islam would be the primary target for them. See where I am going? However this doesn't explain why atheists are even aggressive in the first place. This would be something to ask them individually.

Being attacked for religious beliefs is a huge problem in this entire world. Whether is be atheist vs christian, jew vs islam, christian vs atheist, etc etc. It's not religion that is holding humanity back, it's in the fact that some people just can't stop attacking another. As a modern day Christian it is obvious to me that displaying your faith is much more effective than an aggressive assault. (Was this off topic? It is, oh dear..)

Peace Seeker, your post was wonderful! My response wasn't a way to come back at you with my opinion. I am simply in search of answers as well. Just wanted to share with you what I have gathered. Try to shed some light on it and such. :smile:
 
You hit the nail on the head, the fact that Jesus Christ is widely used as a swear word.

When I became a Christian I noticed how common this form of swearing was,
it was ingrained in certain individuals everyday language.

This swearing usually occurs when people are under stress, angry or in pain.

I found the following on the internet,

The name Jesus, according to Christianity is God’s name revealed to man. Thus, if Christianity is true, ever man will not only know in his heart that God exists, but that Jesus is His name. Not only that, if Christianity is true, then everything else is not true. So as it stands, we are left with two facts.

Fact 1) In his heart, every man knows God exists, even if he denies it.

Fact 2) Every man knows Jesus is God’s revealed name.

Thus when we examine the actual state of society from the standpoint that Christianity is true, we can understand why people use Jesus as a swear word, especially when they claim to have no belief in Him at all. Jesus even said in John 7:7 “The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that what it does is evil.” He knew the world would hate Him, and He also knew the world would hate His followers. 1 John 3:13 says “Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you.” And from this we can see why people why people use Jesus as a cuss, because they hate Him. But again, does it seem strange to hate Santa, or Zeus? No one is saying these names in a serious offensive way because no one truly believes in them. Again I say, man knows Jesus is God whether he admits to it or not.


I make the following comparison:


There is a man you wish to render unconscious because he is about to kill you, but he is frozen to where he stands by some strange coincidence of glue falling to the floor preventing him from moving. You run up to him and begin to flick his chest your hardest with your finger. But the man about to stab you is confused, and shakes his head. He raised his knife, and is about to strike when a brilliant idea comes to you. You reach in your pocket, grab your brass knuckles, and punch him in the side of the head your hardest. He falls to the ground like a rag doll and you have won.


Now, consider this. If a person is steaming with putrid rage and volatile hatred towards something, they’re going to go for the most devastating thing they can say or do to express their anger, and damage with the most extreme cause they can. In the case of a swearing Atheist, they often will conjure up Jesus Christ (among others) as a swear word to express their anger. But why? Why is it that they use a name to which they associate with a man who a) didn’t exist, or b) existed, but wasn’t God.


My conclusion is that all men, whether they acknowledge it or not know that Jesus is God, and by using His name in vain they know deep down that it is the brass knuckle to the face of God.


What is your opinion on this?
Hi David,

This article you found sums up exactly what I was trying to convey, and some of it's sentiments were in my post as well, before I pared it down to it's present size from my original one that was at least twice as long. Absolutely, when one swears in Jesus name the intention (whether the speaker realizes it or not) is to punch Him with brass knuckles! Thanks for sharing this!!
 
New Member
Thanks Peace Seeker.

I have always seen a root problem with the
atheist position. An atheist does not believe
in God nor any evidence for the existence of
God.

Just how does an atheist know what evidence
constitutes evidence for the existence of God
or the evidence against. In our reality we are
unable to have that knowledge. Absolute
knowledge of the seen and of the unseen,
spiritual and non spiritual is necessary to be
able to know what the real evidence is.

This is the problem displayed clearly, an atheist
has no cause, since total knowledge of the seen
and unseen varieties is necessary to make the
call on what the evidence is.

Ultimately the atheist position is not logically
tenable so they wiggle into the next fail safe
position that is an agnostic atheist.

Another problem now arises, there is no such
position as an agnostic atheist. It is the
combination of two words with different
definitions. An atheist denies God, no evidence.
An agnostic thinks there is insufficient evidence
but not non existent evidence. These two
definitions do not combine.

I think we will be waiting a while longer for
them to sort themselves out.

God is Spirit, God is Eternal, Invisible, but
He left His calling cards throughout His
creation. Undeniable beauty that stretches
up into the majestic forever of our only
Jesus Christ.
 
Loyal Member
Atheism is the opposite of Christianity in most ways.

If the world knows we are Christians by our love. We are to love our enemies. Love others, give to others, pray for others, feed and clothe others, not steal from or lie to or murder them. In the Christian world we are supposed to deny ourselves.

In the "no-Jesus" world, it's all about me. Get as much as I can, make sure I don't give to others, and some stealing and lying is OK as long as I get ahead. Are there non-Christain charities? sure, but a fairly small percentage relatively, and often a larger percent of the donations go back into the organization.

Sometimes I feel guilty when I sin, I don't dwell on it, I ask for forgiveness and move on. I don't know if Atheists feel guilt for things or not.

Sometimes I sometimes do things for myself, I bought a new car last month. I feel a little guilty about it knowing there are starving homeless people in the world. I have to say, that when I do give/pray/care for others... it is a much more powerful thing than guilt. When I see love and kindness in the world, my heart melts. It truly is more blessed to give than to receive.

The world say "take". It's all about you and it will feel good.
But there often isn't satisfaction in this.

Jesus says "give". It about loving others.
When you do this, you feel better about yourself, your relationship with God, and other people see a difference in you. Something they want.
It seems like giving to others wouldn't make us happy, it doesn't make sense. But it does.

This is how I know God is real and that his words are true.
 
Sometimes I sometimes do things for myself, I bought a new car last month. I feel a little guilty about it knowing there are starving homeless people in the world.
I know its off topic, but why not use that car to participate in a ministry to feed hungry people in your community?

SLE
 
New Member
In a public forum at Oxford University last week with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Richard Dawkins, described as "the most famous atheist in the world," admitted that he's not entirely sure God does not exist. The Archbishop Dr. Rowan Williams and Dawkins were participating in a series of discussions concerning the role of religion in public life in Britain, according to the Telegraph.
During a portion of the discussion, Dawkins and the Archbishop talked about the origins of life, where Dawkins said, "What I can't understand is why you can't see the extraordinary beauty of the idea that life started from nothing—that is such a staggering, elegant, beautiful thing, why would you want to clutter it up with something so messy as a God?" The Archbishop said he agreed with the notion that creation is a beautiful thing, but added that God was not just an "extra who you shoehorn on to that."
Dawkins then admitted he was less than 100 percent sure there was no creator, saying he'd rather call himself an agnostic, although he did say "the probability of a supernatural creator existing is very very low."
If you would actually study the agnostic philosophy instead of reading random articles and splatting out Blasphemy you would understand. It's part of a bases on agnosticisim although something through someones eyes might be hard considering logic isn't the easiest thing for most religious people to grasp considering you've been spoon fed your religion since you were born.
 
New Member
True indeed. As if they're so full of pride about their own intellect that they can sum up life and everything that exists based on their own understanding. Quite fascinating.

One thing I ask any atheists that comes here: explain miracles (and better yet, can you tell a believer to his or her face that the miracle they experienced was not a miracle?)
I would guess an Atheist would say something along the lines of that whenever we hear about a miracle, it is more likely that the reporter is deceived or deceitful than that their report is true. And also that his arguments must undermine religion because they remove what adherents consider to be one of the rational grounds of religious belief.
 
New Member
If you would actually study the agnostic philosophy instead of reading random articles and splatting out Blasphemy you would understand. It's part of a bases on agnosticisim although something through someones eyes might be hard considering logic isn't the easiest thing for most religious people to grasp considering you've been spoon fed your religion since you were born.
So, what is the agnostic philosophy? Who or what do you consider is being blasphemed in this article.
I've heard Dawkins exclaim that the possibility of some extra-terrestrials creating us, and messing with DNA, is more likely than the idea of God.

Check this out:youtube.come/watch?v=BoncJBrrdQi

Humans mess with animal dna and genes all the time, but that does not make us the orginial creator of life. Just because an advanced species may do some strange things to the less advanced does not mean there is not a God above all that created everything from Himself.
 
New Member
A bold and unorthodox method to glean what Prof. Dawkins was talking about in this discussion with the Archbishop of Canturbury would be to venture to your local library or bookstore and read what he has said about this subject in his book“the God Delusion” which has been available to curious readers since 2006, 6 years before this discussion with the Archbishop.


Those who can be bothered to actually read the book will discover that Prof. Dawkins has held the exact same view on the probability of the existence of Yahweh for many years. So this isn't exactly a change of heart. It isn't even newsworthy.


Prof. Dawkins is a scientist, and he eloquently expresses, in wonderful, easy-to-understand prose, that scientists always remain open to data which may contradict a currenttheory. When new evidence comes along, the scientist will have to amend her previous view.


He stresses that some theories are supported by so much evidence that the likelihood of them being drastically revised or proven wrong altogether, is very small. A corollary to this is that theories for which no evidence exists at all are very unlikely to become compelling in the future.


It should be added that Prof.Dawkins has stated that he will answer the question “Do you believein Leprechauns or the Tooth Fairy” in the same way as he answered the question about the probability of a God.


To a non-scientist like myself,this smacks a bit of semantics, though.


For all intents and purposes,Prof. Dawkins is an atheist. A witty, erudite English gentleman who,in my view, doesn't deserve the oft applied epithet 'strident'. To me he comes across as a benevolent, avuncular researcher who feels passionately about his field of study.

Arnold
 
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New Member
If you would actually study the agnostic philosophy instead of reading random articles and splatting out Blasphemy you would understand. It's part of a bases on agnosticisim although something through someones eyes might be hard considering logic isn't the easiest thing for most religious people to grasp considering you've been spoon fed your religion since you were born.
Someone who claims to have more logic should probably read the forum rules. Unless following rules is too mainstream for logical people nowadays.
 
logic isn't the easiest thing for most religious people to grasp considering you've been spoon fed your religion since you were born.
Your "no God" logic tells you that a human body has trillions of cells that perform trillions of chemical reactions per second, in complete harmony and precision with each other, simply as the result of mere chance and time. Same with the intricately fine-tuned universe and all the necessary ingredients to life being present on this planet, you think they all happened by fluke.

The odds that all the functional proteins necessary for life form in one place is 1 in 10 40,000 - what a staggering stroke of luck that it happened for us!! All the impossibilities and staggering improbabilities of the universe and life happened by chance, how illogical!

There will never be enough evidence for one who does not want to believe. Everything in creation is the result of design, not random mutations and all that other nonsense.
 
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New Member
There will never be enough evidence for one who does not want to believe.
That may be true, but as it stands,we are not furnished with any evidence at all.


Everything in creation is the result of design, not random mutations and all that other nonsense.
That begs the question why the designer thought it prudent to design the ichneumon wasp, with its rather gruesome method of reproduction. It was the studying of this parasitic wasp that made the young Charles Darwin question the probability of a benign designer. That, and the death of his favorite daughter Annie, who succumbed to scarlet fever at the age of ten.
When all of creation is indeed designed, we may wonder, when we marvel at the speed of the cheetah, so well-adapted to catch the gazelle, and when we behold the evasive jumps of the gazelle, so well-adapted to escape the charging cheetah, whose side the designer is on.


Also, your rather terse description of the theory of evolution, ignites in me a small suspicion that your knowledge of the matter at hand is, shall we say, wanting?

If I were on your side of the fence, it would make me uncomfortable that the people who support the theory are by far the brightest people in the field, while the ones who agree with me are barely capable of constructing a proper sentence.

Arnold
 
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Staff member
That may be true, but as it stands,we are not furnished with any evidence at all.




That begs the question why the designer thought it prudent to design the ichneumon wasp, with its rather gruesome method of reproduction. It was the studying of this parasitic wasp that made the young Charles Darwin question the probability of a benign designer. That, and the death of his favorite daughter Annie, who succumbed to scarlet fever at the age of ten.
When all of creation is indeed designed, we may wonder, when we marvel at the speed of the cheetah, so well-adapted to catch the gazelle, and when we behold the evasive jumps of the gazelle, so well-adapted to escape the charging cheetah, whose side the designer is on.


Also, your rather terse description of the theory of evolution, ignites in me a small suspicion that your knowledge of the matter at hand is, shall we say, wanting?

If I were on your side of the fence, it would make me uncomfortable that the people who support the theory are by far the brightest people in the field, while the ones who agree with me are barely capable of constructing a proper sentence.

Arnold
Ignorance at it's finest. Not to mention childishly rude.

What happens in the after life? Where were you when the world was formed? Do you know everything? Are you 100% confident GOD doesn't exist? The burden is on you to prove so.

This is a Christian forum. Not a debate forum. We believe in Jesus as RISEN Son of GOD whether you like that or not. Your job in life is not to bother other people with your lack of understanding.

If you are truly an honest person, you would keep an open mind that you do not know everything, but lack the understanding of who GOD is.

If you choose to disbelieve, move on to something more in your life than to be a nuisance to others and bother them about what they believe in.
 
Active Member
Hitchens ... RIP

From his own words, he described himself as more of an anti-theist.

"I'm not even an atheist so much as I am an antitheist; I not only maintain that all religions are versions of the same untruth, but I hold that the influence of churches, and the effect of religious belief, is positively harmful."'
Christopher Hitchens died last year of Cancer. He will be judged by the word of God.

Hitchens was not ignorant of the Gospel. His brother, Peter, is a born again Christian. He was given every opportunity to repent of his mockery of God. He chose to go to his grave without Jesus. It was his choice. Brilliant or not, he died an unrepentant sinner. I don't think there will be any peace where he is now.


John 12:46 I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. 47 If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48 The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.

As for Dawkins, the same fate awaits him if he doesn't repent.
 
Active Member
I prayed for Christopher Hitchens for about a year before he died. It made me very sad that he never accepted Jesus. He had a brilliant mind but a heart of stone. My favorite memory of him is when he baffled Dawkins and two other atheist regarding the Big Bang Theory by saying the Bible account would be accurate.


If you search on YouTube for "christopher hitchens big bang" and locate a clip entitled "Hitchens Goes Too Far: Offers Dawkins Biblical Evidence!" ... It is the most brilliant thing Hitch ever said. IMHO
 
Active Member
"benign designer." ??????

Who ever said God was benign?

Darwin? Well he knows better now. (Hebrews 9:27)

God is far from "benign"...

As great as His love is for us, so is His wrath for the wicked.
 
Active Member
Originally Posted by CircleOfFriends

As much as I hate being the Devil's Advocate in conversations, the same thing that can be said about atheism can also be said about theism at times. You just can't be sure about everything. That's being equally delusional.
Really?

Romans 8:36 As it is written, "For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered." 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Why am I so sure?...

Hebrews 6:17 So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, 18 so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. 19 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.


At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is whether or not we accepted God's plan.

Jesus is King and High Priest. God's plan is perfect. His word is anchored in my soul and when you know who you are in Christ Jesus, no atheist argument can ever trump God's voice.

2 Corinthians 1:21 It is God himself who makes us, together with you, sure of our life in union with Christ; it is God himself who has set us apart, 22 who has placed his mark of ownership upon us, and who has given us the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the guarantee of all that he has in store for us. "
 
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Isaiah 29:16 Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter's clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?

1 Corinthians 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
 
Hitchens was not ignorant of the Gospel. His brother, Peter, is a born again Christian. He was given every opportunity to repent of his mockery of God. He chose to go to his grave without Jesus. It was his choice. Brilliant or not, he died an unrepentant sinner. I don't think there will be any peace where he is now.
"...I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own money?" (Mt 20:14-15)

None of us can say with absolute certainty what anyone's mindset is in the last seconds of conscious thought. Therefore, improbable as his salvation may be, we have no right to presume one way or the other about Christopher Hitchens' eternal fate.

SLE
 
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