Thursday, August 9

Conversations with an Atheist

I've been having a very nice conversation with a British atheist named Terry at a YouTube comment board.

Terry wrote this comment on a John Piper video.

please keep your kids away from lunatics if you want them to grow up safely. everywhere you look there are drug dealers , child molesters and christians who will taint their innocence with their warped minds.
be vigilant!

I responded:
also, be vigilant to teach kids about the WARP in their own minds, and how the gospel is their only hope.

Then it got going. Here's the rest.

no , the gospel is crap and the only hope for humanity is to dismiss superstition and keep your kids away from predatory religious nutters. sorry if that sounds harsh folks but this really is the dark side. go read some philosophy and some science before you embrace fairy tales. viva dawkins. down with simpleton christians.

Foolish, illiterate Christians - like Francis Collins, head of the Human Genome Project? [Terry] - what are you so angry about? I'm sure you can't be as simplistic as that comment sounded.

It is mainly the dumbass fundamentalists who irritate , especially when they try to force their stupidity into science classes (The words Kansas School Board ,and, Laughing Stock spring to mind) I am sure Francis is a smart guy. I still think that believing you live after you die is childish. love [Terry]

Do you think John Piper is an "irritating dumbass"? You are entitled to your opinion, but it seems odd to claim atheistic intellectual superiority by leaving brief, hateful comments all over Christian videos on YouTube.

It is more to do with a love for the truth. I certainly do not hate you and when Christians knock on my door , I usually offer them tea. ps it has been raining in england for a month. do you think I should build an ark? I would appreciate some technical help as most people think it is impossible.

God said (Gn. 9:11) you don't have to worry about a big flood any more. :-) Can I ask something? From an atheistic mindset, why should you be hospitable to Christians? I'm kind to atheists because they/you have been created by God and bear His image, and Jesus told us to pray for those who hate us. I admire your kindness, but given evolution, it follows -- how?

good question mwest. First , I dont hate you. I admire Christian ethics and if you go out feeding/clothing the poor etc then as far as I am concerned you are a decent human being and a step ahead of the people who just want to make money.
HOWEVER, what seperates us from the animals is our ability to reason and make rational judgements based on evidence. I feel that your belief in the supernatural turns your back on that process and is intellectually unsound.
continued; God did not create me in his image , unless he is skinny with big feet. I evolved from some slime. I have ENORMOUS amounts of evidence to back that up. How about you? Why should I be nice to you? Because I can go to a supermarket and get food. See what happens when it runs out dude.......

Naturalistically, why admire Christian ethics? If there is no god, then what's wrong with "just making money" and why should we feed/clothe the poor?

Congrats, btw, as I'm POSITIVE this is the best conversation in YouTube Comments history. :-)

Also, if money making is what REALLY gets you angry, you've picked the wrong guy. Piper only owns, like, 2 suits, lives in a tiny house, donates all book royalties, and gives stuff away for free. desiringgod dot org/AboutUs/FAQs/WYCAPolicy

If the only reason that you act in an unselfish way is that you fear punishment by your "Heavenly father", does not that make your motivation ultimately selfish? I prefer to make these choices on the basis that, all we have is each other.All we have is this one life.Why should we not transcend our animal past? sky gods have no part of that process for me

[Terry], before I type another phrase, I'd like to apologize to you. I've read many comments you've left throughout YouTube, and I'm horrified at the way people who claim to love Christ have spoken to you.

Can you explain why you condemn "selfishness"? Isn't that the exact motivation that enabled your green slime to evolve (per Dawkins gene)?

I know why I condemn selfishness. God is the most important person in the universe, and when I act like *I* am most important, I'm living a lie.

But, since you don't believe that, why do YOU condemn it?


Joshua Jensen said...

Go Westy! Great dialogue. Intelligent, gentle, direct...just like our Lord - "full of grace and truth."

Josh Jensen

Tobi S. said...

This is why you're my hero, man. I am just amazed and inspired by the difference I see in Terry from the beginning of the dialogue to the end!

Anonymous said...

ROCK ON MATTHEW!! I was thinking about debating you in a lot of things, but you would just kick my butt.


Beloved said...

Amen, and amen. Too bad people don't have those types of conversations in real life more often. It's easy to hide from reality in cyberspace. But it's also nice to have the time to think before you respond, which net dialogue affords. Keep testifying to the glorious truth, my friend!

Matthew Westerholm said...

Thanks, tobi. Maybe Cousin Humpback could do it better? :-)

Keith said...

remind me not to argue with you at work about ANYTHING, ever again.

Great, kind, truth filled words my friend!

Cornelius said...

How is that conversation going?

Ryan said...

Evangelism 2.0