I had a vested interest in the non-existence of God because I was living a rather immoral lifestyle and did not want to be held accountable for my behavior. To me, atheism opened up a world of hedonism that I knew wouldn’t be acceptable to God if he existed.Then I believe you are in the minority. Very few atheists are atheists for the sex life. Some of us are in it because we were never taught to be anything else. Others are in it because religion doesn't hold water. The rest of us are in it for the nachos. And a good Christian wouldn't judge us for it!
Let me be clear: I’m not saying that all atheists are hedonists. I’m just saying that, for me, atheism cleared the way for me to live a self-indulgent, me-first, narcissistic life. And to be honest, to this day I can’t figure out why atheists would choose any other path, although I know many do.I can't figure out why Christians would behave differently. I mean, to an extent, you need to be "self-indulgent" and "narcissistic" in order to just function properly. And, of course, if you go too far, it is social suicide. Albeit, appeasing the wishes of others seems less appealing when you don't have a ghostly policeman menacingly glaring at you from behind a cloud. But, some of us do it anyway.
While a lot of the issues they raise are the same ones that vexed me, I was not on a mission to wipe all faith from the face of the planet.Hoping that people collectively abandon religion over time =/= "wiping faith from the face of the planet."
My wife’s conversion to Christianity (which deeply troubled me at first) resulted in a lot of positive changes in her attitudes and behavior, which I found winsome and intriguing.
This is an incredibly common claim. Christianity is a miraculous behavioral therapy due to the magic of Jesus. Or, it could just be the acceptance into a new social group that is solely devoted to saying "yay us!" ad infinitum. Either one.
In light of the scientific evidence that points toward a Creator and the historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus, I came to the conclusion that it would have required more faith for me to maintain my atheism than to become a Christian.Ugggh. Let me guess: your scientific evidence pointing to a Creator is all anthropic principle crap, and your historical evidence for the Resurrection all comes from the contradictory accounts given in the Bible? Correct me if I am wrong.
Essentially, I realized that to stay an atheist, I would have to believe that nothing produces everything; non-life produces life; randomness produces fine-tuning; chaos produces information; unconsciousness produces consciousness; and non-reason produces reason.Did you really think that that would slide? Did you? Point by point.
- How does God producing everything rather it arising spontaneously resolve anything at all? Given that God himself either needed to be produced or needed to have always been, meaning that you either believe, in contrast, that "something produces something produces something....produces everything" or that "something that is always existed produces everything", your case is really not a whole lot more convincing, and does not necessarily need to involve God as you conceive of him.
- Life-forms are composed of elements that are found in non-living matter, become non-living matter, and is, in of itself, not alive. It is an almost trivial distinction.
- Suffice it to say, your definition of "random" is intentionally askew. Random processes follow predictable patterns. Randomly moving particles reach a dynamic equilibrium. Random sample means are distributed Normally. Random chance determines whether a mutation occurs, and random chance dictates whether the situation makes it a positive or negative mutation, but its success in regards to yielding offspring will be determined by those facts, and the population will be directed (fine-tuned) based upon whether, by "random" chance, certain traits will be favored due to being beneficial. Sometimes, randomness isn't so random.
- Both of those terms are essentially meaningless to me. Too subjective, and often used to describe any variety of things.
- I am not even sure if that counts as English. But, you are reifying consciousness. It is not something out in the aether that needs to be produced. It is a subjective product of internal biology, not something external imposed onto us by a bigger version of the same thing (which, inexplicably, also needed to be produced by consciousness...more of the same problems).
- Pretty much the same thing as consciousness, above.
Jesus’ resurrection (and, hence, his divinity).
Really? Jesus [supposedly] came back from the dead, therefore he is the Christian God? Could it not be that:
Jesus has clones.
Jesus was raised as a zombie by a Voodoo sorcerer.
Jesus was a humble magician, not an embodiment of God.
Jesus was an avatar of Vishnu.
Jesus had the ability to regenerate from fatal wounds (and later became Wolverine, of X-Men fame).
Jesus's evil brother Jaysoos was the one crucified, not Jesus.
Jesus was brought back from the dead by alien technology in order to throw them off the scent of Xenu.
Jesus won against the Grim Reaper in a game of checkers and got his life back.
Jesus was raised from the dead by a 15th level Cleric.
Jesus sold his soul to a demon in order to attain immortality.
Jesus was secretly a cat, and was actually "resurrected" on 7 other occassions.
Jesus was kicked out of the land of the Dead for being a pretentious prick, charlatan, and all around douche.
I think that any of the above are just as likely.
Having said all of this, I do believe strongly that despite our fundamental disagreements, it should be possible for atheists and theists to engage in constructive discussions instead of resorting to name-calling or the imputation of bad motives.
I agree. It is just more entertaining when we do the latter.
I now believe atheists are wrong in their conclusions, I’m confident that they still matter to God and therefore deserve respect.
Well, it's good to know that you are only willing to give respect when your deity of choice gives the go-ahead. Considering his level of tolerance, I am not quite sure I am comfortable with that, though. Oh yeah, and just because you changed your opinion does not give you increased credibility. I am sick of this "former atheist" crock. They pull the same thing with political ideologies; using the fact that they were once into a different brand politics as a form of implicit evidence that the abandoned ideology was flawed and the new one is that much better, in lieu of actually presenting an argument of any merit. It sickens me. But, what else is new.