by Robert Tuttle
What follows is part of an exchange between myself, and an atheist online. I will not reveal this persons name, but I will say English is not their first language. This is the reason for some of their statements and questions sounding a bit odd. I have made no attempt to correct any of their responses. They appear just as I received them.
Personally, I think they managed to communicate quite well in spite of having to use a language they may not be completely familiar with. I believe them to be an intelligent, albeit confused, individual. In this portion of our exchange, this person sent me two messages back to back, and just a few hours apart. They appeared on my computer as one long, very long, message. Far too long to answer in the forum we were conversing in. So I have decided to answer them here, in this blog article. Their statements and questions will appear in blue and italicized, while my answers will appear in black and standard lettering. This way I will be able to answer their many questions and statements right in the body of their messages.
The messages begin with their response to a list of internationally known Christians who can justify their beliefs. The person had previously pointed to their list of internationally known atheists who are well known for arguing for atheism and against Christianity. That should help you understand what we are talking about at the start of this exchange. I hope this little exchange is useful to someone out there in Inter-Web-Land. If any of you have any questions, please send me an email and I will do my best to answer them. And above all else, I pray that the Lord Jesus is honored and glorified here. Let’s jump right in.
Hello my friend, I hope you don’t mind my chosen method of answering your very long messages, but I am afraid our discussion group format tends to get over loaded by overly long messages and responses, as I am sure this one will be. You have asked many, many questions, and brought a great deal of subjects. I am going to try and answer all of them as best I can.
Robert, very impressive your list, you say they are Christians, can you direct me to some of their publications debating the subject Christianity’s.
In my case I may refer to Richard Hawkins modern, contemporaneous with lots of publications with respect to religions, also with rational with respect why religions are fabrications only.
Yes, they are Christians, or at least professing Christians. While they are all very competent in explaining their faith, and why they believe as they do; none of them are in the habit of calling attention to themselves by becoming celebrity apologists. They already have a job, and that is where their academic focus is. This would, of course, be the exact opposite of Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris, and others who have created a cottage industry revolving around their attempted refutation of Christianity – a job for which they are paid handsomely. I would also point out that your truth claim of, “religions are fabrications only” is really nothing more than Dawkins’ personal, biased, and unsubstantiated opinion. Neither he, nor you, have ever produced a single piece of evidence – convincing or otherwise – that corroborates this truth claim.
While we are on this argument, can you justify why there are so many believers to different gods; I am reticent to believe there are so many deities, as a matter of fact, I am reticent in believing that there are ANY deity and since we are on this argument, if your god is the mighty one and we supposedly are his sons and daughters, can you explain the reason why some of us is rich, some poor, some healthy and some…
From the Christian point of view there is only one God, and that is the God of the Bible, both Old and New Testaments. So no, I cannot justify, nor will I try to justify why there are so many false gods and idols that people (and I would argue this includes atheists) cling to. Perhaps it makes them feel safe and comfortable in their personal beliefs. Beliefs, I might add, that generally speaking are contrary to the revealed word of the one true God.
With regard to why some people are rich, some poor, some healthy, and some…; that answer is actually fairly easy. Some people are better at making and saving money than other people are, and some people are, for whatever reason, exposed to situations that endanger their health, while others are more diligent in avoiding such situations. But whatever the reasons for any of these situations, not one of them is God’s fault or responsibility.
If your god is so mighty, why human being, WE HAVE TO KILL our inferior species in order to survive, why we have the options to go to Heaven or hell once dead and not the other species.. etc.. etc.. etc.. and again, Robert, why you are (I believe) an intelligent person and your neighbor is barely in condition to understand is name.. You see Robert, you are preaching the followers and tell them how it is without possibilities to an alternative, I am atheist, therefore I do not believe in your fantasies, but I am more democratic and ask you to provide what you are squealing around and if I don’t have an answer, I am honest enough to say so why you, as religious, pretend to believe by faith if something is not understandable.
The reason we have to kill animals and plants in order to eat is because of sin. This is also why some people have cognitive difficulties. Sin. Sin is basically rebellion against God. Prior to the fall of mankind as described in the opening chapters of the Book of Genesis, food was provided to us. At the moment of the fall, mankind had made the conscious personal decision to reject God and rebel against Him. In essence, mankind thumbed their collective noses at God decided to to things themselves, and God simply gave us what we asked for; and that includes finding our own food. In fact, God stated very clearly that no longer would we benefit from His feeding us, and we would have to work hard in order to feed ourselves.
The reason we have the choice of heaven or hell, is that God is not a monster. He is fair and He is merciful. He gives countless opportunities for people to choose heaven instead of hell. God simply says if you want to choose heaven, then you have to come to Him according to His standards and not our own. Pretty easy though. All you have to do is turn away from your evil ways and turn toward God and following Him according to His word. The Bible says if you verbally agree that Jesus is Lord (which means obeying Him as your King), and believe that God raised Him from the dead, then you will go to heaven. If you don’t want to do any of that, then by default you have chosen to spend eternity in hell. God will simply give you what you are asking for.
With regard to alternatives, of course there are alternatives. The problem is, however, those alternatives, by their own admission, are unable to do what salvation in Christ can do. They are faulty alternatives. You are always free to choose one of those substandard alternatives if you desire.
With regard to your “pretend to believe by faith if something is not understandable” comment, actually my faith is not pretend. It is very real. And I find that there is very little in the Bible that I do not understand, at least to some degree. And there are ample resources available to help me understand those things that I may not have a firm grasp of. Atheism on the other hand, has many things it cannot answer such as how did the universe begin? Why does the universe, and everything in it, exhibit overwhelming evidence of intelligent design? What is the purpose of man’s existence? What is the source of objective morality? It has been my experience that when faced with these questions, atheists invariably fall back on their own blind, unsupported, unsubstantiated faith and answer with either, “We don’t know right now, but given enough time…” or, “We don’t know, but anything but God.” It apparently takes an amazing amount of faith – and blind faith at that, to be an atheist. Far more faith than I possess.
While we are into this subject, can you mention to me what happened to all those persons that lived before your entity was invented? If we are all of us his children, what happened to those poor souls that lived and died without know their alleged creator, furthermore and now I am referring to the present believers but in a different god, where do they go once die.
There were no persons in existence before God existed (He was not “invented”). God created mankind. This is explained in the very first chapter of the Book of Genesis. In answer to your next question, there are no people anywhere who do not have at least a basic understanding of God. This is known as natural revelation. If a person comes to a saving faith in God through Jesus Christ, then when they die they will go to heaven. If not, and this includes all those who place their faith in a false god other than the God of the Bible and Jesus Christ, then when they die, they will be sent to hell just as they wanted.
You see Robert, you do not have all answer but you are not humble enough to admit your limitations.
While I do not have all the answers and I readily admit that. I have never claimed that I do. However, thus far you have not asked me anything that I do not have the answer for.
Furthermore, I don’t know whether you are catholic or but let’s suppose that you are catholic, the religions preaches love and forgiveness but if you go back a few hundred years, they were the one BURNINNNNG the infidels.. did their god change directives or the religion decided that this course of action is not acceptable anylonger.
I think I need to explain something to you. There is the catholic Christian Church, and there is the Roman Catholic church. When you say “catholic” and talk about burning infidels, that would be the Roman Catholic church, not the catholic Christian Church. There is a common misunderstanding about the names. The word catholic simply means universal, or throughout the entire world. There is only one Christian Church, only one, and it is found throughout the world. It is, therefore, catholic, or universal in nature.
The Roman Catholic church is not actually catholic, as that term applies only to the true Christian Church. The Roman church is not Christian. In fact, many, many, many of those “infidels” the Romanists burned were Christians. Did the Romanist god change? No, he is still a false god, still not the god of the Bible, and can still be bought off by paying the Roman church. As a matter of fact, the Roman Catholic church actually cursed the God of the Bible in 1546 at their Council of Trent. So no, they are not Christian by any stretch, and they do not worship the God of the Bible. They worship a different god.
Robert, I am not trying to change your mind but be intelligent and accept alternative of your believe.
I am glad you are not trying to change my mind, because you cannot. And as I have already explained, there are many alternatives to Christianity, however, every single one of them is substandard. By their own admission not one of them can do what Jesus Christ can do. They are all false religions, all full of people destined for hell if they do not renounce their false religion – including atheism, and come to faith in Jesus Christ on God’s terms rather than their own.
The exact time when humans first became religious remains unknown, however research in evolutionary archaeology shows credible evidence of religious-cum-ritualistic behaviour from around the Middle Paleolithic era (45-200 thousand years ago).
Humans have always believed in God. They just have simply not always worshiped Him. More often than not, like you, they reject God and rebel against Him. And there are too many zeros in your 45-200 thousand years ago timeline. Far too many zeros. According to the Bible, the Earth and the universe are at most six to ten thousand years old. And before you point to radiocarbon dating, please remember that it is an inexact science. And please remember that when a living mollusk was radiocarbon dated, it was shown to be tens of thousands of years old. For every scientist who claims the earth and universe are billions of years old, there is an equally intelligent scientist who will say no, it is only six to ten thousand years old. But that is a discussion for another time.
Do animals believe in God?
There is no evidence that any non-human animals believe in gods, pray, worship, have any notion of metaphysics, create artifacts with ritual significance, or many other behaviours typical of human significance, or many other behaviours typical of human religion. .
No. Animals do not believe in God. They are incapable of believing in God. They have no understanding, nor even the capability to understand spiritual matters. Animals do not possess a soul or a spirit. When they die, that’s it. They are dead. This is obviously difficult for those of us who have become attached to our pets, and love them very much. But the reality is that there is no evidence that any animal ever enters the afterlife into heaven or into hell. They simply cease to exist. Again, because they do not possess a soul or a spirit.
With regard to your next statement, all animals are non-human. So when you say “non-human animals” you are being redundant. Humans have a soul and a spirit, animals do not. This is what separates humans and animals, mankind from the animal kingdom (although some humans do behave as though they are more animal than human, but that is the result of sin).
What was first religion?
Hinduism is the world's oldest religion, according to many scholars, with roots and customs dating back more than 4,000 years.Oct 6, 2017
What was first religion?
Hinduism is the world's oldest religion, according to many scholars, with roots and customs dating back more than 4,000 years.Oct 6, 2017
The first recorded religion was the worship of Yahweh, the God of the Bible. This is recorded in the first chapters of the Book of Genesis, and it took place approximately six to ten thousand years ago. This answer will stand regardless of how many times you repeat it.
What was Jesus's religion?
Of course, Jesus was a Jew. He was born of a Jewish mother, in Galilee, a Jewish part of the world. All of his friends, associates, colleagues, disciples, all of them were Jews. He regularly worshipped in Jewish communal worship, what we call synagogues.
Religion Adherents Percentage
Christianity 2.382 billion 31.11%
Islam 1.907 billion 24.9%
Secular/Nonreligious/Agnostic/Atheist 1.193 billion 15.58%
Hinduism 1.161 billion 15.16%
Attention Robert Tuttle, after having received your “ARROGANT” message, I decided to review the Google’s publications, yes, pardon , me it doesn’t present religious’ answer but facts and statistics, data acceptable by the majority with documentations and not that YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE BY FAITH.
I am not sure what the point of any of that was. Yes, Google presents “facts.” At least facts as they interpret any set of given data at any given point in time. It neither proves nor disproves, supports and doesn’t support any of your arguments against Christianity. Other than calling my message consisting of the names of internationally known Christians, “ARROGANT” you haven’t actually made any kind of point, so I am not sure what it is you want me to say.
There are several issues that you should evaluate before coming out with your statements and I will comment them individually, no, not for your own benefit because you appears to have ONE TRUCK MIND but for the readers.
That is an ad hominem argument, and does nothing to encourage a civil dialog.
Religion is some think intrinsic in the human being, NO NOT CATHOLIC OR JEWISH OR..etc.. but religiouns, therefore it is based in your specific religion to believe, an instinct in the human being to have an entity over him that guide him, provides for him, punish or rewards him according to his behavior.
Actually, belief in God is inherent in all human beings. It always has been, since the day of creation. And since that day, if nothing else, mankind has has natural revelation to point them to God. The problem, however, is that many, most in fact, are like you, and they have made the conscious decision to reject God, to rebel against Him, to harden their heart against Him. They have therefore chosen to blind and deafen themselves to the obvious. Personally, I see this as no different than an obstinate toddler sticking his fingers in his ears, squeezing his eyes shut, and screaming, “I can’t hear you, I can’t see you, you don’t exist!!!” Pretty much the same thing.
I wish to emphasize that, the first religion is from 45 to 200 thousands years hold, therefore, your god and saints were not even conceivable at that time, or unless am I missing some thing, I would live to be corrected.
As I have already explained, the first recorded religion is the belief in and worship of Yahweh, the God of the Bible. This is recorded in the first chapters of the Book of Genesis, and this worship, this religion, began approximately six to ten thousand years ago. In Genesis chapter 4, verses 3-5, we see Cain and Abel bringing their offerings in worship of Yahweh. As I said, the time frame for this was six to ten thousand years ago. Long before India was populated, long before Hinduism was created.
There is no evidences that animals believe in god, why not? According to your believes, he created them, yes of course, for our own consumption but let me ask you a dog knows and recognizes his own owner because it sees it hears from it recognizes its own voices, a cat knows his house, his owner, it knows when it is time to eat and where the dish is located and so are related to other animals, what I am trying to establish is that, they do have a material reference in their life and they should not, if it was real that who created them but when we listen to you it is mentioned that GOD SAID or IT IS WRITEN or again IT IS QUOTED IN..ETC. which I mean, nothing substantial and in poor words, YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE and that’s it.
No, God did not create animals for our consumption. Not in the least, and I am not sure where you would come up with such a notion. Certainly not from the Bible, and not from any Bible believing Christian. Animals were originally created to worship God by their mere existence. They were created, as all things were created, for God’s own good pleasure, to worship Him, and for Him to love and care for. That’s it. No other reason. And that is how it was up until mankind decided to reject God and rebelled against Him, thus throwing the entire system into disarray and confusion. Animals stopped being peaceful and began preying on each other, as did mankind, and mankind then had to fend for itself. This included feeding itself, and it was mankind who made the decision to eat animals. Prior to the fall mankind was vegetarian.
Yes, dogs and cats, horses and cows, sheep, ducks, chickens, and all manner of domesticated animals are trained to find their way home, they learn who their owners are. I don’t see what is so unusual about this. You say they should not if they are created by God. Really? Why not? What evidence do you have to support this truth claim of yours? None, I suspect. If I am wrong, then please provide this evidence.
And you are quite wrong to claim that all I ever say is “GOD SAID” or “IT IS WRITTEN” or “IT IS QUOTED IN” etc. I have never said any of that. Your claims are completely untrue. And I certainly never led you or anyone else to the conclusion, “YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE and that;s it.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Like many, if not most, atheists, you seem to labor under the delusion that Christianity is nothing more than blind, unsubstantiated, unsupported faith. But that isn’t so. While Christianity does indeed take faith, it is faith that is based on both evidence and experience.
Wow, then what you are insisting that your got is the real one, on what are you basing your statements ? 4000 years ago, there was not Christians or Jewish or… it appears that was the first religion entertained by the human being and my first question is, HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT RELIGION WAS WRONG AND YOURS OF TODAY RIGHT… Or next statement. If 4000 years ago the people on hearth were practicing HINDUISM and today Catholic or Protestant or Jewish religions, don’t you consider that the today’s religion will pass to history like the previous one !!!! If you are willing to deny it, you have to provide some rational in your believe.
Yes, the God I believe in is the only true God, and all others, including the Hindu gods, the Muslim god, the Mormon god, the Jehovah’s Witnesses god, the Sikh god, and so on, are all false, man-made gods. Not one of them has a single piece of evidence to support their existence, and overwhelming evidence that shows they do not exist. I have already shown that Hinduism was not the first religion. So I am not going to rehash that again. Twice is enough. Suffice to say that 4,000 years ago people were worshiping Yahweh, the God of the Bible, as they had been for at least 2,000 years before that, and possibly as many as 6,000 years before that. And we are still worshiping Yahweh, the same God that has been worshiped for six to ten thousand years. Same God, the God of the Bible.
The only difference is we no longer have to bring animals and grain to Him as offerings and sacrifices. Jesus Christ was the last sacrifice for sin, and now we offer ourselves to Him, in service to Him. Completely. Unquestioningly. Unhesitatingly. He has purchased each one of us and we all belong to Him. Every other religion will eventually pass away, but the one true religion that worships Yahweh will never pass away. I think history has proven that beyond any real doubt. Kings, emperors, dictators, armies, police forces, entire nations have tried desperately to destroy any true and authentic worship of Yahweh. This has been going on for millennia, and it is still going on, and to date, not one has ever been successful. This is one of the evidences of the validity of Christianity.
I don’t know for sure but you talk like a catholic…,however and notwithstanding that, you venerate Jesus as catholic, you insict he is the one who created the Christian’s religion and he was Jewish from Jewish mother and all his friends and/or associated were Jewish and as Far as I remember, when the alleged death on the cross, he was still Jewish, soo, who the hell created the catholic religion; ok it is a mystery and mysteries must be believed even if not understandable.
Again, no, I am not a Roman Catholic. I have already explained all of that so there is no need to go into all of that again. And I do not venerate Jesus as Roman Catholic. I worship Jesus as God. Christianity began on the Day of Pentecost, when the Apostles began preaching and thousands of people came to faith in Jesus Christ. That was the very first Christian Church. It is not a mystery at all. Nor is it a mystery how the Roman Catholic church came into being. It finds its roots in the decree of the Roman Emperor Theodosius I (347-395 AD). In 380 AD Theodosius I decreed that Christianity, or what he believed to be Christianity, was to be the official state religion of the Roman Empire.
Without writing a novel here, the bare bones explanation is, the Roman Empire always had a state religion. It was pagan, and the worship of many gods took place. The pagan priests were supported by the state. When Christianity was made the official state religion, Theodosius I decreed that all pagan temples were now Christian temples, and all pagan priests were now Christian priests.
In order to stay on the states payroll, these pagan “Christian” priests, tried to incorporate Christianity into their pagan belief systems, but they only succeeded in created a paganized version of Christianity, that was not only unbiblical, but antithetical to the Bible and to God. These pagan priests continued their pagan “Christian” practices and beliefs, as they represented the Roman Empire’s version of Christianity.
In the mean time, the true Christian Church continued doing what it had always done, and worshiped God according to His word, the Bible. As time went one the catholic Christian Church became a mixture of true biblical Christianity, and Roman pagan “Christianity.” There were power struggles over who would be in charge, true Christian leaders or Roman pagan leaders. Eventually the Roman pagan leaders gained a solid foothold in the Church, and they began punishing any who rejected their paganism. True biblical Christians were tortured, burned to death, hung, and otherwise murdered by the Roman pagan leaders.
In 1546, the Roman pagan leaders placed a curse on the God of the Bible, by rejecting God only true gospel, and cursing all who taught it. At that point the Roman Catholic church was born, and it broke away from the one true apostolic catholic Christian Church. That is the cliff notes version of Church history. The full length version would take several large, thick volumes.
Now Robert, can you say ,without blushing, that your religion is the true one and all the others…
Yes, absolutely, without question and without hesitation.
You know, I respect you, we are living in free countries and you are entitled to be wrong but don’t try to convince people in your believe when your believe is only a figment of your imagination.
Regards, and of course.. have a Merry Christman
Well, my friend, I respect you as well. And I am not trying to convince anyone to become a Christian. I won’t beg them, or coerce them. That is not biblical Christianity. God has told us in His word, the Bible, that we are required, mandated, to tell people the gospel. What they do with that information is up to them, not us.
I can tell you that according to God, mankind has rejected Him and rebelled against Him. Because of this, mankind is destined to be punished in hell, for the remainder of eternity when they are judged after they die. But God, being merciful and forgiving, has offered us a way to have our sins atoned for, and our punishment taken away. To accomplish this, Jesus came to Earth from heaven, and was born of a virgin. He was, and is, fully God and fully man. He lived a perfect life in our place, and died guiltless being crucified on a cross. His death was an atoning sacrifice for our sin. After three days, Jesus arose from the dead and was seen by hundreds of people. Forty days after He rose from the dead, Jesus ascended bodily into heaven, and there He is today, awaiting the moment when He will return to judge those who have rejected Him and rebelled against Him.
Now you know the gospel. Now you have no excuse when you stand before God. I have done my part, fulfilled my obligation. I will continue to pray for you, for your salvation. But other than that, all I can do is answer your questions when you ask them. As I said, I am not going to try and coerce you, or persuade you, or beat you over the head about it. You have the gospel, the next move is yours.
Have a Blessed Christmas. Be safe, be healthy, be happy.