Lifelong Atheist Jennifer Fulwiler speaks candidly about her life of scientific materialism, and Christianity

What is this baby? A collection of randomly evolved chemical reactions… Atheist becomes Christian

God Running

I found this video so interesting, we’ll take a break from our series on suffering.

A Lifelong Atheist

Lifelong atheist Jennifer Fulwiler speaks candidly about growing up in an environment where scientific materialism and naturalism was her way of life. (For her nightly bedtime reading, her father read from Carl Sagan’s Cosmos.)

Jennifer says she was raised on a diet of science, and reason, and evidence based rational thought. She says, “You believe what you can prove. I believe that I have hands because I can see them. I believe in a black hole even though I’ve never seen one but science can tell us about the way matter moves around it that we can observe. And so this very rational worldview always made sense to me on a fundamental level.

A Collection Of Chemical Reactions

“Before I got to the point that I could really start researching faith…

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10 thoughts on “Lifelong Atheist Jennifer Fulwiler speaks candidly about her life of scientific materialism, and Christianity

  1. Hi amblingsaint,
    per https://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2015/04/23/the-seven-fatal-flaws-of-moral-relativism-3/

    Moral relativists can’t accuse others of wrongdoing.
    I start with postulates of morality that are generally agreed upon by most people. Promotion of human flourishing, avoidance of harm, etc…I can accuse others of wrongdoing within that system. I don’t need absolute certainty to take action. Indeed, I cannot think of any action I take based on absolute certainty at all.

    Relativists can’t complain about the problem of evil.
    Sure we can. If you define god as all good and all powerful and you acknowledge a lack of good in existence then I can argue that you are contradicting yourself.

    Relativists can’t place blame or accept praise.
    Yes we can in the framework of individuals influencing each other. Ultimately, on determinism, we all simply do whatever the clockwork of the universe has us do. At our perceptual level, that occurs partly by the mechanisms of perceived blame and praise.

    Relativists can’t make charges of unfairness or injustice.
    Yes we can, within our framework of values that is based on postulates of good verses bad. I cannot absolutely prove those postulates but I don’t act on absolutes generally. I only act on probability estimates and postulates. Absolutes are generally unavailable to me.

    Relativists can’t improve their morality.
    Yes we can, by analyzing the postulates we have stated to see if they seem to be as valid as we had asserted, and by analyzing the derivatives of those postulates to see if we are truly adhering to the principles we set forth at base.

    Relativists can’t hold meaningful moral discussions.
    I just did 🙂

    Relativists can’t promote the obligation of tolerance.
    Yes we can. I postulate that human flourishing is good. Tolerance is a logical derivative of that postulate. I can’t absolutely prove that human flourishing is good and I don’t need absolute proof to act in promotion of those things I estimate to be the most beneficial and the most good.

    As for
    http://godrunning.com/2015/04/27/atheist-conversion/
    sorry, but none of the ideas presented there don’t hold up to scrutiny. I could write a long article on why but its getting kinda late so I will bid you adieu for now.

    • The only criterion you give is ‘generally agreed upon by most people’, which is rather vague and even subject to your own alterations as you see fit later on if you feel like changing them.

      Many different cultures and societies have had different sets of moral rules, and almost anything you care to select has been allowed in one society or another at some time.

      Now, how about I say that God is the ‘common moral and spiritual ground among humans due to their common humanity’…so where does that leave your moral relativism? If you cast yourself as entirely matter and no spiritual side, then how can you, on your moral grounds, tell a murderer not to murder, for example, if he or she enjoys it?

  2. The only criterion you give is ‘generally agreed upon by most people’, which is rather vague and even subject to your own alterations as you see fit later on if you feel like changing them.
    SP-Indeed, hence my acknowledgement that these principles are postulates of mine and cannot be absolutely proved.

    Many different cultures and societies have had different sets of moral rules, and almost anything you care to select has been allowed in one society or another at some time.
    SP-Yes, that is true.

    Now, how about I say that God is the ‘common moral and spiritual ground among humans due to their common humanity’…so where does that leave your moral relativism?
    SP-You can say that if you wish, I see no evidence of it. If there were an omniscient, omnipotent, morally perfect being then adherence to that moral system would be ideally good by definition and would eliminate moral relativism as a reasonable stance. Problem is such a god is not in evidence and the properties of the many such proposed gods vary as much as the cultural and social rules vary as you pointed out above.

    Adding the speculation of god adds nothing of substance to moral philosophy.

    If you cast yourself as entirely matter and no spiritual side, then how can you, on your moral grounds, tell a murderer not to murder, for example, if he or she enjoys it?
    SP-As a moral absolute, I can’t. But I don’t act on absolutes. Absolute knowledge of outside reality is unavailable to me. To function I must make a series of provisional postulates and act according to probability estimates.

    I provisionally postulate the basic reliability of the human senses and the axioms of logic. I further postulate that promotion of human flourishing and avoidance of doing harm are good, that respect for individual rights is good, empathy is good, and the golden rule is a good analytical tool for moral questions.

    From there I find that most people around me generally agree that murder is wrong, so we mutually agree to hire individuals from amongst ourselves to halt, capture, confine, and possibly kill those we judge to be murderers beyond a reasonable doubt (note the inherent probability estimate in this judgment).

    To paraphrase Feynman, the philosopher who sat motionless contemplating the potential unreality of his food died of starvation.

  3. Okay, good thoughtful answers, and I note that you have now moved some distance from viewing others as ‘collections of randomly evolved chemical reactions’ as you decide that respect for human rights is good, you want to promote doing good and avoid doing harm, and you find the golden rule (which has a long history in most major religions, including Christianity) useful to consider.

    But I am not particularly interested in contemplating life, I am interested in living it, since I am a pragmatist.

    So, yes, you are correct, in my view. Go live such a good life and you will be rewarded in heaven and you will have no trouble yourself in living such a life in real life. I wish you well with it.

    For myself, I find and freely acknowledge a difficulty in succeeding in living such s morally good life. I know it is good to live that way, the way you describe and the way of the golden rule, but I cannot succeed in actually living out the consequences of that on my own, in my own strength.

    And I claim *that* lack of success to be the universal human experience. And to that experience the indwelling of the Holy Spirit of Jesus provides the answer. He lives in me and through me, by my own free choice. I love Him and I seek to do what pleases Him. It is only possible in *relation* with God.

    Your view on rehabilitation of offenders fails if it only allows for capture, confine and kill. My morality in Christ allows for rehabilitation and restoration and forgiveness. This is all made possible by the suffering of Christ. Indeed, if we imagined a world without pain and suffering, we would also have to see that such a world was missing love as well, since if you don’t feel any pain, how can I alleviate it to show you that I care about you? So my Christianity makes sense of the realities of life including pain and death and suffering and forgiveness…and enables me to actually *live* by His power within me. I’m not telling you anything here that the gospels don’t tell you if you read them for yourself.

    From where you are at, it’s about being honest enough to admit that the ideally moral life you describe is a practical impossibility, and then about trying out the way of Jesus as a living possibility. See my Landrover post on How it all Began for me.

  4. “ I note that you have now moved some distance from viewing others as ‘collections of randomly evolved chemical reactions’ as you decide that respect for human rights is good, you want to promote doing good and avoid doing harm, and you find the golden useful to consider.”
    Non-sequitur. We are evolved social animals. All social animals have mechanisms driving social behavior. Our innate sense of ought and empathy are such mechanisms. It is all just material interactions, I would not say randomly, rather chaotically, chaos being complex deterministic interactions too complicated for us to analyze without employing approximations such as probability theory.

    “So, yes, you are correct, in my view. Go live such a good life and you will be rewarded in heaven”
    False, on Christianity. Salvation is not earned by good works. The worst of us will be saved if he sincerely asks forgiveness and professes belief, the best of us are damned if we fail to do so, or pray to the wrong god.

    “And to that experience the indwelling of the Holy Spirit of Jesus provides the answer. “
    Sorry, but that sounds to me like you are listening to voices in your head as though they originate externally. That is generally considered insanity, except by theists who hear similar voices.

    “He lives in me and through me, by my own free choice. “
    Free will is meaningless on an omniscient god who has perfect foreknowledge. In that case we all do only what god already knows we will do, the future is perfectly predetermined, else his foreknowledge would not be perfect.

    “Your view on rehabilitation of offenders fails if it only allows for capture, confine and kill. “
    Ok, I left that one off the list. I did not intend my lists to be comprehensive, rather, representative.

    “This is all made possible by the suffering of Christ.”
    It is a continual source of amazement to me that billions of people attest to this disjointed irrationality. Jesus is said to have lived forever. All he did is come to Earth for a few years, put on a costume of human flesh, and take it back off again, so there was no suffering or sacrifice for such an omnipotent being.

    Further, sins are inherently non-transferable. The scapegoating aspect of the Easter story is just ancient superstition repackaged. Wrongdoing stays with the wrongdoer irrespective of the punishment of an innocent third party.

    “ love as well, since if you don’t feel any pain, how can I alleviate it to show you that I care about you? “
    The same way it is done in heaven, presumably. If god can make a paradise in heaven he could have made it here on Earth too.

    “So my Christianity makes sense of the realities of life including pain and death and suffering and forgiveness”
    Makes sense? Christianity is fundamentally nonsensical.

    “ I’m not telling you anything here that the gospels don’t tell you if you read them for yourself.”
    I went to Sunday school, that is how I became an atheist.

    “From where you are at, it’s about being honest enough to admit that the ideally moral life you describe is a practical impossibility”
    Indeed, hence my acknowledgement that I lack absolute morals, and only have relative morals. That’s ok, I don’t function on absolutes.

    Well, amblingsaint, being an atheist in the strictest sense only means and absence of a belief in god. It does not necessarily mean the individual is a skeptic, critical thinker, materialist, or scientifically mined. As adult atheists learn and mature most of us do have or gain those properties.

    I have found, as a broad generalization, that present Christians who were former atheists were never strong critical thinkers. So, as they grow and mature they become susceptible to the irrationalities of theism and succumb to internal voices and feelings they interpret as god.

    Is that what happened to you?

    • “ I note that you have now moved some distance from viewing others as ‘collections of randomly evolved chemical reactions’ as you decide that respect for human rights is good, you want to promote doing good and avoid doing harm, and you find the golden useful to consider.”
      Non-sequitur. We are evolved social animals. All social animals have mechanisms driving social behavior. Our innate sense of ought and empathy are such mechanisms. It is all just material interactions, I would not say randomly, rather chaotically, chaos being complex deterministic interactions too complicated for us to analyze without employing approximations such as probability theory.

      @@ You are now speaking as though you have a definite basis for your truth; as I have shown already, this is not available to you since you deny the absoluteness of truth.

      “So, yes, you are correct, in my view. Go live such a good life and you will be rewarded in heaven”
      False, on Christianity. Salvation is not earned by good works. The worst of us will be saved if he sincerely asks forgiveness and professes belief, the best of us are damned if we fail to do so, or pray to the wrong god.

      @@ You now claim to understand Christianity…I did not say I was explaining Christianity to you, I was telling you the demand of the moral law you claim to agree with. The key point of Christianity is precisely that nobody can succeed in keeping the law by their own efforts, but unless you have tried this out in practical terms, you will see no need of nor indeed understand Christianity. It is explained in Romans ch 7 and 8.

      “And to that experience the indwelling of the Holy Spirit of Jesus provides the answer. “
      Sorry, but that sounds to me like you are listening to voices in your head as though they originate externally. That is generally considered insanity, except by theists who hear similar voices.

      Well, it is also the repeated claim of Jesus, and (unlike you) I am not denying the existence of the supernatural world. I trust Jesus : John 10:10 says that his sheep hear his voice and they follow him. There are indeed many kinds of voices, I choose to follow Jesus.

      “He lives in me and through me, by my own free choice. “
      Free will is meaningless on an omniscient god who has perfect foreknowledge. In that case we all do only what god already knows we will do, the future is perfectly predetermined, else his foreknowledge would not be perfect.

      Irrelevant to you since you do not believe in the absolute of such a God. But if you would like to really understand the concept of free will, I recommend the film Bruce Almighty… 🙂

      “Your view on rehabilitation of offenders fails if it only allows for capture, confine and kill. “
      Ok, I left that one off the list. I did not intend my lists to be comprehensive, rather, representative.

      @@ Okay…but the question remains to your view: how to rehabilitate offenders and how to persuade them that your view is correct, since it is built on shifting sand which you allow to shift with the preferences of the individual…how can you expect them to change and with what power would you attempt to help them change…oh, but no change is possible for them, since all is foreknown and you and they are helpless in the hands of random fate. A cheerful prospect, I don’t think.

      “This is all made possible by the suffering of Christ.”
      It is a continual source of amazement to me that billions of people attest to this disjointed irrationality. Jesus is said to have lived forever. All he did is come to Earth for a few years, put on a costume of human flesh, and take it back off again, so there was no suffering or sacrifice for such an omnipotent being.

      @@ Ah, now we are getting somewhere. You deny that he was fully human, while allowing his divinity (odd since you deny supernatural possibilities, but I have commented on that discrepancy elsewhere). No. He was fully human and fully divine. He suffered (fully ouch) died and was buried. Ensured by Roman soldiers, who were expert at such killings. Many intelligent and rational people have looked at the historical evidence for the Resurrection and found it undeniable. For example, in the present day, Google Cold Case Christianity.

      Further, sins are inherently non-transferable. The scapegoating aspect of the Easter story is just ancient superstition repackaged. Wrongdoing stays with the wrongdoer irrespective of the punishment of an innocent third party.

      @@ That is solely your own view, subject to change according to your lights. My view is historically attested and rests upon the beliefs and actions of many Christians before me, many of whom were willing and indeed were killed for refusing to give up what you describe as an irrational belief. I’m not arguing from logic alone, although it has logic to it. I am explaining that my belief and actions rest upon historical evidence, my own investigations of the same evidence, my testing out of these beliefs and trying actions in my own life dependent upon them and seeing whether it works…I am telling you that it works for me and has worked for many others. That, if you like, is my truth. I claim it is an absolute truth for all people and that it can therefore also work for you. See John 7:17 for the details of this claim, also made by Jesus.

      “ love as well, since if you don’t feel any pain, how can I alleviate it to show you that I care about you? “
      The same way it is done in heaven, presumably. If god can make a paradise in heaven he could have made it here on Earth too.

      @@ Not without destroying free will. Who would want the love of a robot preprogrammed to love? My love is *only* of value when it involves a sacrifice to me and a free choice to give it. Think about what makes love valuable to you. When love is forced, is that really the kind of love you want – is it even love at all, or does it become duty?

      “So my Christianity makes sense of the realities of life including pain and death and suffering and forgiveness”
      Makes sense? Christianity is fundamentally nonsensical.

      @@ No. It works. It is grounded in realities of how people function, it is based in historical verifiable facts and the outworking of this in a person’s life can be verified by that person. Consider this question: would you like me to pray for you? Consider it. If I am right, and Jesus exists as I say, then my prayer will have a supernatural effect in your life, if you are willing for it to do so (that, by the way, is your free will) and if you choose to make the test, then you will then know the truth which Jesus claims will set you free. If you are only made of molecules and random stuff, then you cannot be threatened by my prayer in any way, as it would have no power nor meaning in that worldview. What would you like me to do?

      “ I’m not telling you anything here that the gospels don’t tell you if you read them for yourself.”
      I went to Sunday school, that is how I became an atheist.

      @@ I am not defending your Sunday school. I am explaining my belief in the Gid revealed in Jesus in the real world of First Century Israel to you.

      @@ From what you have said already, you are not an atheist, for an atheist has to be definite about and certain of their belief…in their own way an atheist is as definite about absolute truth existing and being knowable as a theist. You are a relativist, as far as I can see…and a relativist *actually* claims the absolute truth that ‘absolute truth can never be known by humans’…that is what I think you are saying and that is what I am disagreeing with. I know God in Jesus for myself and I am certain what I believe and why I believe it. From this standpoint my belief and my actions are reasonable, they are well reasoned and I am as certain of them as a human being can ever be. I know their truth by reason and moral grounds and I also simultaneously now their truth in practice in my life and self.

      “From where you are at, it’s about being honest enough to admit that the ideally moral life you describe is a practical impossibility”
      Indeed, hence my acknowledgement that I lack absolute morals, and only have relative morals. That’s ok, I don’t function on absolutes.

      @@ except that in saying that, you claim the absolute truth that ‘absolute truth can never be known by any human’ and you give no evidence as to why that viewpoint is true in real life. I give you the weight of historical evidence for the life death and resurrection of Jesus Christ of Nazareth and the subsequent certainty of those who witnessed that death and resurrection about it; I scarcely think that a band of demoralised fearful men and women at the cross would turn and be so bold and die each and every one for some fact they knew to be untrue. They were convinced and so am I.

      Well, amblingsaint, being an atheist in the strictest sense only means and absence of a belief in god. It does not necessarily mean the individual is a skeptic, critical thinker, materialist, or scientifically mined. As adult atheists learn and mature most of us do have or gain those properties.

      @@ An atheist believes there is no god and is certain of that. Everyone believes something. I have described to you what the absolute truth which your words tell me you hold to. That belief is your ‘God’ and many people have that belief; it is a convenient belief since it exonerates the believer from wrongdoing, any need for morals and any discussion of sin or prods of conscience. It is a selfish belief and not constructive to a good society, since it does not restrain animal passions and sexual immorality.

      I have found, as a broad generalization, that present Christians who were former atheists were never strong critical thinkers. So, as they grow and mature they become susceptible to the irrationalities of theism and succumb to internal voices and feelings they interpret as god.

      Is that what happened to you?

      @@ No it is not. I have studied my beliefs and also tested them in my life and actions. I hope my clarity of logical thought and the rational (note, not rationalist, not humanist) basis for my belief has shown you my ability to think critically about what I believe and why I believe it.

      @@ I hope that at the least my clarity of thinking enables you to clarify your own thoughts and reasoning. However I do also rest my faith upon the power of God…therefore I ask *willingly* (that is my free will, incidentally) – would you like me to pray for you? If so, then for what? If not, then for what rational reason why not, since it can do you no harm logically. I’m good at praying for healing.

  5. @@ You are now speaking as though you have a definite basis for your truth; as I have shown already, this is not available to you since you deny the absoluteness of truth.
    SP-Don’t see how you arrived at that at all. I am working within a system of postulates and probability estimates.

    “So, yes, you are correct, in my view. Go live such a good life and you will be rewarded in heaven”
    False, on Christianity. Salvation is not earned by good works. The worst of us will be saved if he sincerely asks forgiveness and professes belief, the best of us are damned if we fail to do so, or pray to the wrong god.

    @@ You now claim to understand Christianity…
    SP-Yes, to the extent that leading a good life will not save you. Salvation is based on profession of belief and a request to be forgiven, works good or bad are irrelevant to salvation.

    Well, it is also the repeated claim of Jesus, and (unlike you) I am not denying the existence of the supernatural world. I trust Jesus : John 10:10 says that his sheep hear his voice and they follow him. There are indeed many kinds of voices, I choose to follow Jesus.
    SP-Yes, the voices in your head and feelings you have are to you of external origin. That is generally considered insanity except by like-minded theists who say they hear similar voices

    Irrelevant to you since you do not believe in the absolute of such a God. But if you would like to really understand the concept of free will, I recommend the film Bruce Almighty… 🙂
    SP-I don’t plan to see that film and your claim to free will in any context is negated if you also claim a god with perfect foreknowledge.

    @@ Okay…but the question remains to your view: how to rehabilitate offenders and how to persuade them that your view is correct, since it is built on shifting sand which you allow to shift with the preferences of the individual…how can you expect them to change and with what power would you attempt to help them change…oh, but no change is possible for them, since all is foreknown and you and they are helpless in the hands of random fate. A cheerful prospect, I don’t think.
    SP-I don’t expect criminals to change. Occasionally they do, typically they don’t.

    “This is all made possible by the suffering of Christ.”
    It is a continual source of amazement to me that billions of people attest to this disjointed irrationality. Jesus is said to have lived forever. All he did is come to Earth for a few years, put on a costume of human flesh, and take it back off again, so there was no suffering or sacrifice for such an omnipotent being.

    @@ Ah, now we are getting somewhere. You deny that he was fully human, while allowing his divinity (odd since you deny supernatural possibilities,
    SP-I’m just playing along with the story for a while for the sake of argument.

    but I have commented on that discrepancy elsewhere). No. He was fully human and fully divine. He suffered (fully ouch) died and was buried. Ensured by Roman soldiers, who were expert at such killings.
    SP-Except he was “fully divine” so he wasn’t really dead, it was just a charade for the crowd.
    Many intelligent and rational people have looked at the historical evidence for the Resurrection and found it undeniable.
    SP-Pure nonsense. There is no historical evidence for the resurrection or any of the claimed miracles of Christ.

    @@ That is solely your own view, subject to change according to your lights.
    SP-Wrongdoing stays with the wrongdoer. Punishing an innocent third party does nothing to transfer the wrongdoing from the wrong doer. Scapegoating is an incoherent ancient and primitive practice.

    “ love as well, since if you don’t feel any pain, how can I alleviate it to show you that I care about you? “
    The same way it is done in heaven, presumably. If god can make a paradise in heaven he could have made it here on Earth too.

    @@ Not without destroying free will.
    SP-Free will is meaningless on a god with perfect foreknowledge.

    Who would want the love of a robot preprogrammed to love? My love is *only* of value when it involves a sacrifice to me
    SP-I value love in my family without sacrifice. Love for me has intrinsic value and is in no way dependent on sacrifice.

    When love is forced, is that really the kind of love you want
    SP-Apparently that is what god wants, love me or I will torture you for all eternity, talk about a profession under duress…

    “So my Christianity makes sense of the realities of life including pain and death and suffering and forgiveness”
    Makes sense? Christianity is fundamentally nonsensical.

    @@ No. It works.
    SP-Yes, lies often function quite well…that doesn’t make them true.

    It is grounded in realities of how people function, it is based in historical verifiable facts
    SP-False, blatantly false…I suggest you read Richard Carrier for a starting place.

    and the outworking of this in a person’s life can be verified by that person. Consider this question: would you like me to pray for you?
    SP-So, god was going to let me be damned but if you talk to him real nice he might change his mind and save me? And that makes sense to you?

    Consider it. If I am right, and Jesus exists as I say, then my prayer will have a supernatural effect in your life, if you are willing for it to do so (that, by the way, is your free will) and if you choose to make the test, then you will then know the truth which Jesus claims will set you free.
    SP-Sounds like a variation on Pascal’s wager.

    If you are only made of molecules and random stuff, then you cannot be threatened by my prayer in any way, as it would have no power nor meaning in that worldview. What would you like me to do?
    SP-I would like you to get back in touch with your rational capacities. I have selfish reasons for this, as well as altruistic reasons.

    “ I’m not telling you anything here that the gospels don’t tell you if you read them for yourself.”
    I went to Sunday school, that is how I became an atheist.

    @@ I am not defending your Sunday school.
    SP-Ok, my point is that exposure to the gospels was an important factor in my move toward atheism.

    @@ From what you have said already, you are not an atheist, for an atheist has to be definite about and certain of their belief
    SP-No, an atheist in the strictest sense simply lacks a belief in god

    …in their own way an atheist is as definite about absolute truth existing and being knowable as a theist.
    SP-No, we are not, we work on provisional postulates and probability estimates and that is ok with us.

    You are a relativist, as far as I can see…and a relativist *actually* claims the absolute truth that ‘absolute truth can never be known by humans’
    SP-No, a few absolute truths are known to me, such as the absolute truth that I exist in some form.

    …that is what I think you are saying and that is what I am disagreeing with.
    SP-Fine. You misunderstand my position.

    “From where you are at, it’s about being honest enough to admit that the ideally moral life you describe is a practical impossibility”
    Indeed, hence my acknowledgement that I lack absolute morals, and only have relative morals. That’s ok, I don’t function on absolutes.

    @@ except that in saying that, you claim the absolute truth that ‘absolute truth can never be known by any human’
    SP-I didn’t say that. You are reading that into statements that do not contain your statement.

    I scarcely think that a band of demoralised fearful men and women at the cross would turn and be so bold and die each and every one for some fact they knew to be untrue.
    SP-Lots of people die for things they think are true but are actually false.

    They were convinced and so am I.
    SP-Ok, fine, you are convinced. Lots of people are convinced of opposing gods. I am convinced you are all wrong.

    Well, amblingsaint, being an atheist in the strictest sense only means and absence of a belief in god. It does not necessarily mean the individual is a skeptic, critical thinker, materialist, or scientifically mined. As adult atheists learn and mature most of us do have or gain those properties.

    @@ An atheist believes there is no god and is certain of that.
    SP-Personally convinced, yes. Absolutely certain, no.

    Everyone believes something. I have described to you what the absolute truth which your words tell me you hold to.
    SP-Ok, thanks for taking the time to consider me and my thoughts, but you have made a number of misestimations.

    That belief is your ‘God’
    SP-No, that is theistic thinking projected onto me. I don’t have a god, and you are not able to assign one to me.

    and many people have that belief; it is a convenient belief since it exonerates the believer from wrongdoing, any need for morals
    SP-Do you really think atheists have no morals and are completely unconcerned about wrongdoing?

    and any discussion of sin or prods of conscience. It is a selfish belief and not constructive to a good society,
    SP-Theism is destructive to society and we would all be better off without it.

    I have found, as a broad generalization, that present Christians who were former atheists were never strong critical thinkers. So, as they grow and mature they become susceptible to the irrationalities of theism and succumb to internal voices and feelings they interpret as god.

    Is that what happened to you?

    @@ No it is not. I have studied my beliefs and also tested them in my life and actions. I hope my clarity of logical thought and the rational (note, not rationalist, not humanist) basis for my belief has shown you my ability to think critically about what I believe and why I believe it.
    SP-Sorry, I don’t mean to be unkind, but it has not. You seem to me to not be using a great deal of critical thinking skills…sorry, really, that may sound harsh, maybe I should learn more diplomacy, but that is my honest impression.

    @@ I hope that at the least my clarity of thinking enables you to clarify your own thoughts and reasoning. However I do also rest my faith upon the power of God…therefore I ask *willingly* (that is my free will, incidentally) – would you like me to pray for you? If so, then for what? If not, then for what rational reason why not, since it can do you no harm logically. I’m good at praying for healing.
    SP-So god was going to let somebody suffer some ailment, by you asked him real nice, so he changed his mind and so he worked a miracle and healed somebody at your behest? You actually believe that???

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