12
Aug
09

Thumb Wrestling: Theists and Atheists

First of all I would like to say that I am not an atheist. I hope that somehow relieved the worried hearts of the people close to me especially the ones I grew up with and grew up to. It’s just that I hold high importance to effectivity and efficiency, and it’s complicated, or more correctly – complex and somewhat convoluted. And, it’s somewhat personal – someone close to me has doubted the faith. But that’s not what worries me. What worries me is that when people close to this person find out, they will try to convert this person using Religion and that would be very ineffective. I don’t even think it’s effective to convert them at all. Just let them have their way. The important thing is they are seeking for Truth and not just following their own wills. Who knows, maybe somewhere along the way they will have significant encounters…

To those whose minds are closed, I suggest you move on to other blogs. To those who are seeking, there are no answers here, only more questions. But to those who “seek truth deeply and widely enough, they find what they are looking for – enough pieces to begin to be able to fit them together, but never enough to complete the whole puzzle. In fact, the more pieces they find, the larger and more magnificent the puzzle becomes. Yet they are able to get glimpses…”

Okay, I’ll now continue on the assumption that only those with open minds are reading this part. (But, as I’ve heard somewhere, keep an open mind but not too much that your brains fall out.)

Hello my dear readers! The Theists, the Agnostics, the Atheists, and all those in between. Welcome. Before we continue, I would like to post again, for the reference of this discussion, Richard Dawkin’s “spectrum of belief”:

  1. Strong theist. 100 per cent probability of God. In the words of C.G. Jung, ‘I do not believe, I know.’
  2. Very high probability but short of 100 per cent. De facto theist. ‘I cannot know for certain, but I strongly believe in God and live my life on the assumption that he is there.’
  3. Higher than 50 per cent but not very high. Technically agnostic but leaning towards theism. ‘I am very uncertain, but I am inclined to believe in God.’
  4. Exactly 50 per cent. Completely impartial agnostic. ‘God’s existence and non-existence are exactly equiprobable.’
  5. Lower than 50 per cent but not very low. Technically agnostic but leaning towards atheism. ‘I do not know whether God exists but I’m inclined to be skeptical.’
  6. Very low probability, but short of zero. De facto atheist. ‘I cannot know for certain but I think God is very improbable, and I live my life on the assumption that he is not there.’
  7. Strong atheist. ‘I know there is no God, with the same conviction as Jung “knows” there is one.’

This somehow reminds me of thumb wrestling. You lock the four fingers of your right hand with those of another person’s right hand, and your thumbs wrestle. You win if you are able to pin down your opponent’s thumb for a count of three. There won’t be a winner – or even a fight in the first place – if no one moves first by putting his thumb forward. However, charging your thumb risks its getting caught and pinned down, and so it’s often a waiting game.

Well, the atheists and the agnostics didn’t have long to wait, since the theists made the first move a long time ago. Many moves actually, and even more moves to cover the blunders. But now let’s try something different. I’ll let you state your position first. Not about God, silly. About the origin of the universe.  And, okay, about God.

If you would be so kind, please answer the two questions:

  1. What would you say about the origin of the universe?
  2. Could you please identify and briefly explain where you stand in Richard Dawkin’s “spectrum of belief”?

Okay, okay, out of Christian charity I’ll go first:

  1. I believe in the Big Bang theory. What happened before the Big Bang? I do not know.
  2. I am a Two and a Six:

To the question, Does the universe have a Creator? I am a TWO. And perhaps if I was a cosmologist dedicating my entire life to the study of the universe as a whole – its structure, origin and development – sooner or later after years of scientific research I would probably be leaning towards #1 – or #7, depending on what I’d find.

To the question, Was the universe created 6,000 years ago in seven days? I am a SIX, but only because I haven’t really studied in depth the evolution theory. I’ve read some articles about it, though, and I even bought a copy of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. Too bad I misplaced it when I moved. Anyway, I believe in evolution. I am a TWO when it comes to evolution, and if I could travel back in time to sail with Darwin to the Galapagos and listen to his thoughts as he wrote his book, and then travel back to the present, state-of-the-art technology at my fingertips as I play with DNA…in no time I would probably be leaning towards #1. About evolution, that is. And that would put me at #7 in reference to the creation story.

Okay, now it’s your turn.

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2 Responses to “Thumb Wrestling: Theists and Atheists”


  1. August 14, 2009 at 7:14 am

    More philosophical questions to ponder..
    1.) How do you know that God exists?

    2.) Why do you believe in immortality (or afterlife or heaven)? What is your proof/evidence of immortality (or afterlife or heaven)?

    3.) Does Jesus have powers and can create miracles? Is Jesus really the best and wisest of men?

    4.) If you believe in hell or eternal damnation, what is your proof of this?

    • 2 jong atmosfera
      August 14, 2009 at 9:29 am

      My answers to your philosophical questions:

      1.) How do you know that God exists?
      – Did I say that I KNOW that God exists?

      2.) Why do you believe in immortality (or afterlife or heaven)? What is your proof/evidence of immortality (or afterlife or heaven)?
      – Did I say that I believed in immortality and that I have some proof/evidence of such?

      3.) Does Jesus have powers and can create miracles? Is Jesus really the best and wisest of men?
      – As for powers and miracles, I don’t KNOW because I haven’t met Him. As for being the best and wisest of men, I cannot say because I haven’t had the time to study and compare the teachings of ALL wise men.

      4.) If you believe in hell or eternal damnation, what is your proof of this?
      – I do not believe in hell or eternal damnation, and of course, I have no proof of that.

      Now that I’ve answered your questions, can you answer mine? Actually you already did in my previous article Knowing vs. Believing; Proof vs. Evidence, saying that you believe in the Big Bang theory but that you don’t know what happened before the Big Bang (exactly the same answer as mine), and that you are a SIX in Dawkin’s spectrum of belief. Now I would like to hear from other atheists, especially those not as “discreet” as you.

      By the way, I’ve noticed that you atheists are so good at criticizing us theists for our beliefs. Well, in thumb wrestling it is easier to wait for your opponent to stick out his thumb so you can pin it down. Now let’s see if you have what it takes to stick out yours. Just answer the two questions:

      1. What would you say about the origin of the universe?
      2. Could you please identify and briefly explain where you stand in Richard Dawkin’s “spectrum of belief”?

      This should be fun.


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