Response to Wes an Atheist’s email

on December 3, 2009 in Atheism

Wes thanks for the challenge to my description of many atheists. Let me first say I don’t claim to be a professional debater, scientist, philosopher, etc.  The following are my initial thoughts regarding your critique of my blog.

1. You said that “no scientist anywhere has ever said that it (evolution) was random chance or an accident”. You point to natural selection. First,  have you spoken to every scientist everywhere? Picky I know. But you cannot honestly make this statement . Second, I maintain the process is random. Sure natural selection is part of that random process.  But what drives natural selection? Climate, environmental conditions, etc. All random occurrences if there is no God or Creator behind them.

2. You say that I falsely claim that evolutionary theory says we come from chimpanzees. Well let’s get picky. Okay, we came from a chimpanzee like creature. But after all wasn’t it evolutionist that got so excited that we share 96% of our DNA with chimps. So I guess I was 96% correct. Please forgive the 4% error. I am still wondering why all our cousins and ancestors died and only the Chimps and ourselves remain after all these millions of years. The Chimps lucked out I guess?

3. You say that Science has stood the test of time. Really? I see the assumptions of Science being revised almost daily as more is learned.  On the other hand I see ancient scripture we referred to as the Bible standing the test of time. Sure some have misinterpreted the Bible over the years only to be corrected by Science. It was the person’s interpretation that failed to stand the test of time not the Scripture itself.

4. You said the Bible claims the earth is flat and advocates slavery. Now that would be a misinterpretation.  As a matter of fact there are  references to a round earth before it was know that the earth was round. Maybe you are referring to passages that refer to the wind or angels coming from the 4 corners? A figure of speech meaning to come from all directions. It certainly doesn’t say the earth is flat. Sure slavery was mentioned as part of our world’s history and even as a consequence of a fallen world or sinful people. That’s not an endorsement. If there is not a God I am not sure why you would think slavery was such a bad thing anyway?

5. You asked for one hard piece of evidence. Other than the one you are standing on ( the earth)  and the one you are living in ( your body) I have no idea what to offer you.  You have no plausible explanation for the creation of the universe or life yet you act as though faith in God is foolishness. Christians have a rational answer for the Universe and life. Atheist simply do not. They are always waiting on the next  scientific discovery for the answer.  Think about how little science has produced in answering this question. We cannot even produce an earth worm! Can we? No! We can create jets, computers, artificial hearts, etc but cannot create life in a simple worm. Yet you hope that Science will soon discover how the Universe got here and how life was created.

Wes, I cannot convince you that the Christian God exists. Only God through His Holy Spirit can do this. While I believe it is rational and can be supported by Science, belief in God is deeper than the intellect. It involves a spirit of humility and submission. Submission to a perfect God that loves His creation. He provided Christ as the full payment for every sin, injustice and crime to all those who will accept His mercy. This life is short and our disagreement will be settled soon. I pray  God will reveal Himself to you in spirit.

Feel free to poke holes in what I offered in this post.

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8 Responses to “Response to Wes an Atheist’s email”

  1. Wes says:

    Hello. I just finished reading some of your blogs and I was just wondering if you purposely misrepresent Atheists or if this was done by accident. If it was done by accident I ask that you correct the false image you portray Atheists as in your blogs. And if you did this on purpose then I point out that just as Ray Comfort loves to point out, you are a sinner. Because you are telling a lie. And its not a small lie like when Grandma asks if she looks old, and you tell her she is as young and beautiful as ever. This is a big lie that misrepresents a very large group of people in this world. Thank you for your time. And just one more note, if you want to talk about the beliefs of Atheists and the Fact of Evolution, please interview an Atheist or a scientist qualified in their field. Thank you.

  2. needChrist says:

    Wes, I am not sure what the lie is that you are referring to in your email but feel free to set me straight. I am too much of a novice to purposely lie about your position. We have only had this site since the end of June. We randomly interview people. sometimes we do get atheists and an occasional scientist. Most of the people we interview are struggling to find truth and are still somewhat open. Thanks for the comment

  3. Wes says:

    Well first of all when you speak of Evolution you continue to use words like “accident” or “random” or “chance”. No scientist anywhere has ever said it was random chance or an accident. It was the result of Natural Selection. Natural Selection is the exact opposite of chance or accident. You may choose not to believe in Evolution or Natural Selection but please don’t misrepresent the facts of what it is scientists claim. And you also pose the question if we evolved from chimpanzees, then why are their still chimpanzees here. The answer is that we did not evolve from chimpanzees we evolved from a common ancestor. We are not the descendants of chimpanzees we are more like their cousins. So once again you may not believe this but the least you could do is present the actual case that we are instead of attempting to mislead your readers and have them not really know what evolution is truly all about. And when it comes to your talk of Atheism. Your first blog stated something about if you had a bottle containing a clear liquid the Atheist may say it was vodka because people sometimes put vodka in bottles and when the Christian did the scientific test on the substance and said it was water then the Atheist would still believe it to be vodka. Atheists are the ones who believe in the scientific method if you proved your case through a scientific test we would believe the results. It is religion that follows a blind dogma that allows for no change to the doctrine of the holy books. Atheists are not the ones with blind faith. We have never said that we can disprove the existence of a god or higher power scientifically, because we can’t. We merely look at the evidence and discredit the bible where we can and once that is done we see no need for a god. We know how life began on this planet (and the “big bang” or abiogenisis had nothing to do with life forming on this planet). Once you look at the history of the world and the history of all the religions and the science that has been able to stand the test of time and only be proven stronger with the more evidence we collect and find, then you realize that if there is a god, it certainly is not the god of the bible, koran, torah or any other religions or their holy books. If you could present one piece of hard hitting evidence that could stand up to rigorous testing and disproves all that we currently know about the age of the Earth and the length of time life has been on this planet and the length of time humanoid life has been here, then I would reconsider my position on what it is I believe. Yet, the same cannot be said about you and other religious people, we present evidence that you could look at and even test for yourselves and you still refuse to accept the results as being true and would rather trust a book that was written over 2000 years ago and has got so many details wrong. The bible claims the Earth is flat, we know this not to be true, the bible advocates slavery, we have since abolished slavery and regard it as a truly reprehensible part of our nations history. There are many more examples if you want to know you may ask, but I will stop here before I end up writing a novel. Have a wonderful day and I hope to see a blog correcting what you previously wrote soon.

    Sincerely,
    Wes

  4. Wes says:

    had,

    I am indeed thankful for your reply to my points and would like to share some observations with you. I was unable to find out how I could publicly respond to your post on your site but I give you free use to post this on your site or to quote from it when you need to. I am fairly certain you won’t misquote me or misrepresent what I say.

    First off I would like to say that I have not spoken with every scientist in the world so I can’t say that no scientist anywhere has ever said that random chance had anything to do with evolution. However, since I have read what many prevalent scientists and evolutionary biologists have said and I have read many of the science journals and have never seen it I will say that random chance or an accident is not a part of the majority of scientists in this field. And since you have not yet pointed to a serious scientist or evolutionary biologist in this field who has said that random chance or an accident had something to do with evolution then the point is mute. Now to your point about how random and chance have something to do with driving Natural Selection. There is nothing random or accidental about Natural Selection. Yes, part of what drives Natural Selection is the environment in which the organism lives. But another part is the competition between the different organisms and the different species. If one organism is better suited to live in a hot dry area than another, then it will naturally be the organism that reproduces better and naturally will end up the stronger more suitable organism. And the other will simply die off. We have witnessed this happen in Nature a million times, just in the amount of time we humans have been on this planet. We have also seen species change as their environment changes. You could use the example of the African Elephant’s tusks. In the early 1920’s and 30’s, ivory hunters were a very big business in Africa. So, as time went on and the hunters killed off all of the Elephants with larger tusks, the smaller tusked Elephants were the only ones able to survive and reproduce and therefore the African Elephants now have much smaller tusks than in previous times. But even this is not the best example of Natural Selection at work. This example only shows how by human interference evolution can take place. Bacteria are a much better example of evolution guided solely by Natural Selection. We have been able to witness the change in bacteria from generation to generation. And that change has been due to the change in the planet Earth. I will admit it is much easier to witness evolution in Bacteria than in much larger mammals. This is simply because bacteria have a life span of only days where as mammals live for many years.

    When you cited the 96% of DNA that we share with modern Chimpanzee’s I was somewhat confused. This is a very minute piece of evidence proving evolution. The fact that we are so closely related is just one of a hundred other pieces of evidence we have that shows our common ancestral link. The fact that chimps are still here is not because of luck it’s because they didn’t exist 6 million years ago. Just like human didn’t exist 6 million years ago. The common ancestor that we share with chimps existed at this time and as Natural Selection and Evolution took affect that ancestor died off and its descendants split into many different new species eventually culminating in the existence of Homosapiens and modern chimpanzee’s. And to further support this, not that this is even a piece of hard hitting evidence in the scientific community but it seems to be very exciting to lay people, what about the so called missing link? Lucy or Australopithecus afarensis was found in the early 1970’s and shows signs of both human and ape like features. She has been proven through many forms of dating to have lived about 3.2 million years ago.

    Perhaps on this point I misspoke myself and should take this opportunity to clarify. Science overall has stood the test of time. It has proven time and time again to lead us to new discoveries and more of an understanding of our lives and our surroundings. This does not mean that the different ideas within science have not changed. Many of them have changed over the years. And that is the wonderful difference between science and religion. Science is always questioning itself and thus leading to new discoveries and to correct the mistakes of the past. In the 1950’s it was widely believed by the majority of scientists that Homosexuality was a mental disorder skin to schizophrenia or manic depression. However in modern times we have discovered that there is a very different neurological reaction towards males and females in the brains of homosexuals as opposed to heterosexuals. This isn’t a mental illness but something that they are born with and cannot be treated by pills and shock treatment as previously believed.

    This is a point that I get very confused by Christians on. You say things like, people misinterpret the bible. I do understand that this has occurred throughout history, but there are some things that are said in the bible that are very clear. One of them is the endorsement of slavery. Such passages as: However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way. (Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT)
    When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl’s owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment. (Exodus 21:7-11 NLT)
    Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. (Ephesians 6:5 NLT)
    Christians who are slaves should give their masters full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed. If your master is a Christian, that is no excuse for being disrespectful. You should work all the harder because you are helping another believer by your efforts. Teach these truths, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them. (1 Timothy 6:1-2 NLT)
    The servant will be severely punished, for though he knew his duty, he refused to do it. “But people who are not aware that they are doing wrong will be punished only lightly. Much is required from those to whom much is given, and much more is required from those to whom much more is given.” (Luke 12:47-48 NLT)
    These are clear endorsements of slavery. This is god telling his people that it is perfectly fine with him if they choose to buy and sell each other into slavery. It is even endorsed by Jesus in the New Testament. And if we are not supposed to take passages like this and the other passages about condoning rape and the mistreatment of women and children literally then why take any of it literally? Why take the part in Leviticus about homosexuality literally and not these parts? And if we are only supposed to take some parts literally and other parts not literally then how are we to know which to take literally and which parts are not to be taken literal? The truth is these, as with all the scriptures in the whole bible, were written in a time when slavery was condoned and women had no rights and it seemed like these were good rules to the men who wrote the bible. And yes when I say men I mean humans and people with penises. And as time went on we realized that these things were horrible and truly abominations and we abolished them. To put it bluntly, we out grew the bible. But now there are people out there trying to reconcile these passages and make them make sense to the modern Christian like yourself. They say things like these are parables or god knew people were imperfect so they would do horrible things like slavery so he set up guidelines. But to that I ask this question, if he is god and he is the infallible creator of the Universe and he has no problem condemning things like disobedient children and homosexuals why not just condemn slavery as well?

    I may not have an answer to how or why the Universe exists. And I may not be able to explain away all of the questions every person on Earth has. And neither can Science (yet). But that’s o.k. It is perfectly fine and logical to say “I don’t know.” “I don’t know what happens when you die.” “I don’t know if there is a god or an afterlife.” It is perfectly fine to say “I don’t know.” Especially if the only alternatives to saying “I don’t know” is to believe in Bronze Age myths that have mostly been proven false in the last couple of hundred years. And that is where I stand. I have never claimed that I know for a fact that there is no higher power and that there is no afterlife, because to assert those beliefs without evidence would be just as bad and wrong as asserting that I have all of the answers in a book of 2000 year old Jewish fairy tales. Christians have no rational answer for the Universe because their answer is based on no evidence. It is based simply on observing how complex things are (or appear to be) and then assuming something even more complex created it all and then letting that even more complex being off the hook by saying he did not need a creator. He simply has always existed. I ask the simple question of, if you put away the bible and don’t reference to it, how do you know that god has merely always existed and did not require a creator? How do you know? And as far as producing an Earth worm, well we did produce Dolly the Sheep but since then most countries have banned the testing of things like cloning or growing biological organisms for scientific research. So if we can’t try then how are we to know what we are capable of? Just to clarify, I am not in favor of cloning off hand; I believe much study would need to be done to answer many questions first.

    I agree that you can’t prove the existence of any god to me. But I promise you this. If in my lifetime science comes out and not only says they can prove god’s existence but that they can prove the bible’s authenticity and that the one true god is the god of the bible. I promise you I will convert my heathen ways and repent my sins and purchase what shall surely be the first of my many new slaves. I apologize for the sarcasm it’s just my nature. However if science could prove god’s existence I really would accept it. I never turn away from hard hitting evidence that cannot be ignored. I never expected to convert you to my position I merely wanted to show you that while some Atheists may be Arrogant and rude, that’s not the case with all of us. The majority of us are kind polite people who talk about the Universe and life and biology and are pretty harmless people. We do not defy the bible because we hate authority (if this were the case we wouldn’t pay taxes either, or listen to law enforcement or hold down jobs because our bosses would surely irritate us with their authority.) We can be simply people who debate respectfully and always listen to the other side while educating people about our position. That is all I want to do. I wanted to politely inform you about my reaction to your blogs and correct a few points where I thought you had inaccurately represented my point of view as well as the points of view of other like me. I would love to hear your thoughts about what it is I wrote tonight.

    -Wes

    p.s. No I don’t believe I have ever met you. I live in San Diego California and I met a small group of people at a local mall who were promoting this site. They referred me to the site. Thanks for your time again.

  5. needChrist says:

    Wes, thanks for the reply. I would say you are the first atheist I have gotten comments from that didn’t curse and get mean spirited but it turns out you are an agnostic. Either way I do appreciate the tone of your email. I will check on the blog. I wondered why I wasn’t getting any comments. I read your email quickly but will take more time to read carefully later.

    Let me quickly admit you raise legitimate questions about slavery. I will address these and other points when I have some time.

    Thanks,
    Thad

  6. Wes says:

    Thad,

    I have always referred to myself as an Agnostic/Atheist. I am an Agnostic in reference to the big questions like, “Is there a god?” and “Is there life after death.” I remain Agnostic on these questions because science cannot weigh in on these topics. They can’t prove the existence of any god but also can’t disprove the existence of any god. They also have no evidence on whether or not there is an afterlife. So I prefer to not sound arrogant and try to say I hold all the answers and can make claims which I can’t substantiate through evidence. However, I am an Atheist with regard to all the religions of the world. For one reason, since I don’t know if there is a god or not and can’t prove it one way or the other and I don’t know what happens when you die I don’t understand how others can claim they have those answers when they do not posses powers that I do not. And secondly, the majority of the teaching of all the major religions of the world have either been called into serious question or have been proven false by science, history, archeology and anthropology. I am very happy to hear that you appreciate the tone of my e-mail and that I have at least shown you there is one Atheist out there who is intelligent and rational and civil. There is no reason for us to name call and hate each other. We have different opinions but that doesn’t mean we are not both human beings who should try to discuss our difference respectfully and agree to disagree if need be. I too have had poor experiences debating or discussing with Christians and it isn’t a pleasant experience to be called names and shouted at. However, I understand that the majority of Christians are people like yourself. You simply want to be respected and debate and in turn can show the same respect back, and I hope if nothing else I have shown you that while there are Atheists out there who will shout at you and call you names the majority of us are simple people who merely want to discuss our different opinions and try to better understand each other. Sorry to prattle on but I am excited to be engaging in these thought provoking debates with you. I look forward to reading your response soon and as I said before, feel free to post my e-mail up in your comments section if you would like.

    -Wes

  7. I’m a guy who likes to look for answers, but some times looking for questions is even better to gain perspective. So here is my request. Ask your questions, that made you question or turn away from any or all religions. Don’t expect an answer from me though. I’ve heard some tough questions before. Ones I’ve had no answer for. All I’m looking for is more perspective. (No harm in sharing a perspective right?)

  8. archives says:

    Really enjoyed this blog, don’t stop blogging.

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