I was saved today! I have God's Precious Promises to Prove it!

Too start off: my chemistry teacher is a christian and once or twice she slips in something about relgion in her teaching. They are usually just off hand comments. She really doesn’t mean them and says them sort of jokingly, mocking her own failures at comprehension. I usually just laugh and retort with an atheist or agnostic point of view. Well, for some reason, today it got kind of far. We stayed after the bell and just talked about it, with a brown noser supporting her.

Did I mention I live in North Carolina? That will become significant a little later.

Anyways, it started with something, I just do not remember. I do, however, remember the said brown noser saying:
“Well, you just have to believe in god.”
I countered with the overly complex, well thought out reply of “why?”
BN: “Well, you do! Just 'cause! Tell him Mrs T!”

Well, she told me “that if I didn’t then I might go to some place bad.”

Er, what?!

We got into a minor theistic debate with her side saying “well, if I am right then look at all I get and if I am wrong what do I lose?” Obviously, you get a wasted life. Also, what if another religion is right and you are sent into a life of eternal damnation, anyways? That is not something you would want to be wrong about. Her reasons for why god exsisted were as follows:

[li]It says so in the bible (My question for her: “Who wrote the bible?” “God.” “God wrote the bible?” “Through people he did.” “What people?” “The ones… that believed in God… who heard god.”)[/li][li]The universe is order (Our current understanding of it says that it isn’t. Quantum fluncations on the sub-Plank scale and all of that. Also, think of entropy [which she taught last year]. I really think everything is random. Anyways…)[/li][li]Hell is hot [/li][li]Because[/li][/ul]

Then a lady came in (North Carolina, remember.) She started talking some major weird stuff. She was a science teacher, no doubt. Her thoughts for me was that, due to the law of conservation of energy, we keep all the energy we had when we were alive, and due to the law of conservation of mass we keep all of our mass. (WHAT?! Wow…)

The whole time I spent trying to establish credibility for other religous ideas whether it be Islam or Agnostic, assuming there would be later debates. It was just amazing that all three people would not listen to my side, no matter what cites I could provide.

When everything was said and done the brown noser said “I just do not want him to be lost” and where my teacher said “yea, I want him to be saved as well.” So she gave me a book complete with a plan of salvation and proverbs about the lord. :smiley:

(This is not a rant and does not belong in the pit a) because neither one of us was right and b) because it had absolutely nothing to do with the seperation of church and state. It was after school and an Ap class no less.)

Your teacher is bad enough, but the other one? Wow! Keep all our mass? I guess she never went on a diet. :slight_smile: Do you have any idea what she is talking about?

The “believe in god or you will go to hell” argument is called Pascal’s wager which goes like this:

If you believe, and there is no god, you lose nothing.
If you don’t believe and there is no god, you lose nothing.
If you believe and there is a god, you get eternal salvation.
If you don’t believe and there is a god, you get damnation.

Therefore, it is a better bet to believe.

Two minor problems with this: first, a god may not like it if you believe for only this reason. (And Pascal, I understand, said that you should eventually really convince yourself.) The bigger problems is that this one assumes there is only one possible god. If there is another one, he might be happier in you not believing at all rather than believing in the wrong one.

BTW, reading how the Bible really got written is great fun. Doing some research on the sources of the Bible when I was in high school (several millennia ago) made me an atheist.

Yea, I understand the law of conservation of mass and energy, that is why I did not get her arguement. Sure, mass and energy is neither created or destroyed, but it is still changed. In this case it is broken down into soil and other organic things. I think she had something with energy, as in consciousness, but we didn’t have time for it and I do not think she could support any claim she would give.

And the whole bible thing? That was my entire argument with it. So you say the Bible is a definitive source? No one knows who wrote it. How is that in anyway definitive?

I should also clarify something: I really do enjoy and respect the teacher. She is just a little bit too crazy sometimes. My other favorite science teacher, a biology teacher, and whom I am very good friends with, says that atleast 85% of her class doesn’t believe in evolution. It is a crazy and sometimes surreal world in North Carolina for non-christians. When I first discussed the thought of a theistic debate for after the exams, 4 students (out of 10… I think some did not care) were ASTONISHED that someone wasn’t christian.


(and off to study up on Pascal’s wager!)

A very nice reply and very intelligent, You were gentle. (Not gentile!) Jack

That’s hardly proof of the existance of God, even if it were true.

Heck, if I was God I might make the universe fundamentally chaotic, just so it would be more interesting.

A minor nitpick here. I’m a christian, and if I turned out to be proven wrong, I wouldn’t consider my life wasted on religion. I wouldn’t have any regrets about being a believer.
But then again, a lot of my faith comes from life experiences, not what I expect to happen after death.

Yo. My favorite ‘debate’ took place in North Carolina with a nice young lady. I don’t remember what led up to the exchange, but at some point it took a strange turn:

Jim: Well, I don’t believe in God.

Nice, if dim, young lady: Well who do you believe in? The devil?!

Jim: :confused:

Don’t surprise me none. As noted in one or more sigs around here over the years

You are speaking in terms that are entirely outside their world view and, without a fair amount of effort, they will not even understand what you are saying.

I ran into that in a bible study group I was leading. Someone got onto the subject of atheists and whether such people could be good. As the discussion progressed, I realized that only one of the people in the group even knew any atheists (or even agnostics) and that the concepts were purely alien to them. The group’s view, in general, tended to be a vague notion that athiests were simply impolite spoilsports along the lines of the public perception of Madalyn Murray O’Hair. I was finally able to get them to understand some of the reasons why people would not believe in God and that such persons could still be good. (And that was only because I had already established my bonafides that I generally knew what I was talking about combined with the efforts of the only other person who actually knew a real live atheist.)

Believe me, no short after-class discussion is going to be enough to get them to realize how different the world can be from the perspective in which they have been raised. Go explain dry land, where gravity holds all motion to a two-dimensional frame of reference, to a fish.

I think it would have been great to print off the Cthulhu Chick tract Who Will Be Eaten First? and hand it to the brown-noser. Alas, Chick was successful in getting the tract suppressed.

With respect, dry gear, if you rely on life experience for your belief, wouldn’t that be reliance on something other than faith, which requires no evidence? I’m not arguing, just asking: I won’t criticize any answer you have.

She must have come to Texas, because I had a very similar conversation not too long ago at a party. When the NYL asked me what I believed in and if it was the devil, I told her that I believed that all organized religions were nothing more than elaborate con games designed to seperate gullible fools from their money.

Up until that point, I’d only seen spit takes in comedy shows, never in real life. I can’t say that any more.

King of Soup, I don’t want to put words in dry gear’s mouth but faith is defined as “belief in something for which there is no proof”, not “belief in something for which there is no evidence”. There is a huge difference between those statements.

:: blink :: When? It was up the last time I looked for it (about a month ago).

You must have either not lived in North Carolina very long or not been an atheist very long if this conversation surprised you. I grew up there (atheist around age 15) and trust me, you have a lot of…fun…ahead of you :).

Someone here had a sig line that said something to the effect that you cannot use logic to arcue against a position that was arrived at logically. Perhaps a cynical way to put that fait is a matter of faith, not logic. Personally I think both sides were wrong to enter the debate in the first place. You can no more disprove God than they can offer proof.

FWIW I am a Christian but not a six-day-creation literalist. The bible is a complex collection of books and the way I see the truth that it contains may be a bit more post modern than someone like our pal Jack Chick or your science teacher may like.

It really depends on what definition of the word logic you use. In Philosophy of Religion class we disproved every major religion, including Christianity, using pure logic (strict academic sense of the word.)

Whether or not you agree with it (even as an atheist there are parts I don’t necessarily like or agree with) is irrelevant to whether or not it can be done.

If you just mean that you’re not going to change someone’s mind, well, sadly you’re right in most cases, but it doesn’t hurt to try :). I love a good religious argument and I’m 100% open to whatever anyone has to say on the topic as long as they are civil and show at least a smidgeon of intelligence.

Making a subject taboo and “impolite” to talk about is disastrous to the advancement of knowledge and understanding of that subject, and one of the worst things a person could ever do; imho of course.

Sounds to me as if she confused the definitions for belief and worship.

Cthulhu Chick Tract (Someone may have a pirated copy, somewhere, but then they would be violating the right of both Chick and Hallis.)

I think that your last “logically” should have read “illogically.” (Interestingly, I recently saw something very much like that. :wink:

There are definitely still links of that Chick parody out there, but I hesitate to post the URL based on tomndebb’s last post. May Google be your guide…


Well, I have lived in North Carolina since I was six or so. My drafting teacher (who really is not in any way thinking clearly to begin with - “No kids need school. I didn’t need school and I farmed. I got a lot of money and lost it because of bad investments. I am now a drafting teacher. No one needs school”) asked the class, as an informal poll, who went to church. I didn’t raise my hand. He was blown away. He asked me and I just told him that I do not believe in organized religion and perfer agnosticism. His reply was that you had to believe in organized religion because it was organized and had God therefore I was wrong and I should go to church. My mom also cried for a week when I finally told her that I didn’t belive in a Christian god. Oh, yea, one time when I was a really little kid I was punished with chores for hours upon end for more than one day because I did not want to go to church.

Truth is, I always hated going to church because I always found the idea of organized religion perverse. There is a God, follow your life according to our manual, give us money. But, the reason why I posted this was the sheer absurdity of it. Here I am, in one of the highest science classes offered at the school (the other being biology, which teacher I have already mentioned), and the teacher is saying stuff like “God can zap matter in anytime, I suppose.” It just blew me away that THEY were right, or believed it to be such. There is no way for them to be right because there is no right, just a bunch of predictions. The problem was that they just couldn’t see anything but Christianity. As some one else said, the idea was foreign to them.

As for debating on the matter of theism - so what? It is such a huge question for most people in their lives at one point or another. Just knowing what will happen at “the end.” The brown noser said “Well FINE! What do you think happens when we die?! HUH?!” When I responded with “we die and we are buried and thus ends our life” she just exploded. She had never thought about it before I presume. My main point of entering the debate was to get them to open their minds, especially the brown noser. I was not looking to change my teachers mind; being a little over 40 is not a good time for over throwing your entire belief system if you have always thought of it being so. I just wanted them to know, think, or at the very least believe that there could be something else and maybe, just maybe, they were wrong about Christianity.

Might I ask whereabouts in NC you are?

Growing up in the bible belt as an atheist can be very tough and frustrating indeed. I was just there visiting last week and met my friend’s new wife. Being the funny guy he is, and knowing both his wife’s and my beliefs, he brought up the subject of religion with a twinkle in his eye. When I finally and sheepishly admitted that I did not believe in Jesus, she literally gasped and yelped “OH MY GOD!”

She had never met anyone that wasn’t a Christian.