12/2/99

Hi,

Thank you. I did have a nice Thanksgiving - I have a lot to be thankful for. I hope you did also.

I glanced back at my previous emailings and I see I quoted Luther once and Tolstoy once. (I also quoted Napoleon, but I don't count him as a great Christian). My only purpose for those two was because they expressed what I was trying to say far better than I could. After I quoted them, I felt that I had to identify the author. I am definitely not trying to start a "I know more famous Christians than you know famous atheists" contest. I know that there are lots of famous atheists. I do not believe that truth is democratic.

You write:

"Finally, I agree with you that you are a follower."

If you can make that statement, then you must have some standard for "follower". You could be mistaken about me. It's possible that I am a fellow atheist who has been testing you, for example. However, you used your common sense and best human discernment and made a tentative conclusion. I am only doing the same thing as you, i.e. making a common sense discernment based upon available facts. I think that I will often be wrong, but more often right than wrong.

I can see where the phrase "without regard to God" may have led you to think I was making some statement about motives. I did not intend to make any statement about motives. Perhaps I should have said "live their lives without any reference to God" or something similar. However, I don't think there is any middle ground; I either live my life as if God exists, or as if He didn't exist. For example, if I believe in God, it would be logical for me to seek what God says is righteousness and illogical to ignore God and invent my own ideas of right and wrong.

I believe that God has granted people the ability to create. God has the power to do that which is requires a supernatual power. Therefore, I can logically believe that I have an internal, supernaturally derived, creative power, free (to some degree, at least) from external cause and effect. Atheists cannot appeal to supernatural powers and therefore cannot logically believe that they have an internal creative power.

I am not dissatisfied with the conclusions of science. I simply don't think that nature is all there is. What I am doing is suggesting to you one of the inevitable, logical conclusions of the philosophy of naturalism.

You wrote:

"...I give everything over to myself."

Yes, and any other god would be a competitor for that worship. This truly is the conflict within people who are faced with the claims of Jesus, i.e. in order to know God, I must give up my claim to being my own god. I can't make an unbiased judgment about the claims of Jesus while simultaneously holding to the belief that I myself am god. I can say that Jesus was fictional, was just a man, was a fake, was a good man, was a prophet, was contradictory, was unclear, was misquoted, etc., etc. Anything at all as long as it doesn't threaten my position as my own god. People often think that the first of the Ten Commandments (. . . no other gods) means no idols, but it does not - it means that I must not put myself in the place of God.

Cheers,
Lynn

12/9/99

Hello,

Because I feel that this debate is no longer anything but banter and is not really interesting anymore (probably to both of us), please allow me to suggest something: I propose that we write final statements relating to the debate. No rebuttals will follow; the statements will be final. I feel that this will be a fitting end to a good debate which has overstayed its welcome.

Meretricula

Previous - Final Statements!

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