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Letter: Atheists’ beliefs are based on fear

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Posted: Saturday, August 31, 2013 12:00 am

It is always interesting to find a letter from an avowed atheist on a Religion page. Of course, atheism is a religion, as are many other beliefs. But atheism is special for Christian believers, because atheists are actually proving that God is very, very real.

Why did I say that? Think about it. If one is positive that something doesn’t exist, why would they waste time and energy trying to convince other people to agree with them, especially regarding Christianity?

Atheists have absolutely nothing on which to base their belief but fear.

The Word of God tells us there is a horrible, fearful place awaiting non-believers — hell (Revelations 21:8). All sinners are condemned to go there for eternity.

Who are the sinners? Every person who has lived on this earth from Adam and Eve on. So why do some sinners believe they will go to heaven? Because they have placed their faith and trust in Jesus, who clearly stated, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes until the Father, but by me (John 14:6).”

Why doesn’t everyone accept Christ as Savior? Pride.

“I don’t need a crutch; I can take care of myself.”

“I’m just as good as anyone else, and probably a whole lot better than most.”

“I’m not a sinner, and don’t you dare call me that.”

“I don’t want to go to church because they are all filled with a bunch of hypocrites.”

Thank you, David Diskin, for airing your and the Stockton-Area Atheists and Freethinkers’ fears.

The very God you fear has given you the free will to think and believe whatever you choose.

John 3:16 — so familiar his words — “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believed in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Please note: It says, “whosoever,” not “everyone” must.

Louise Dowdell


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Welcome to the discussion.


  • Sarah Elizabeth Tygert posted at 6:22 pm on Tue, Sep 10, 2013.

    Sarah Tygert Posts: 53

    Ah! It's the disappearing act Mista Vega. :D He likes to go *poof* then reappear on venues one does not think to look.

    On topic, however... yeah no need to dissemble anything. This letter isn't even an argument. I don't waste words. My original question stands.

  • John Lucas posted at 8:11 pm on Sun, Sep 8, 2013.

    John Lucas Posts: 2730

    The truth is that the opposite is the case as to which belief system is based on fear. Most Christian parents lay it on pretty thick that if you do not believe that Jesus was the Son of God you are going to be tortured forever. If that is not using fear to enforce ones belief system I do not know what is. The fact that they do it to children is despicable. I have known many of atheists in my time and for the most part they believe this is all there is. They have looked at the evidence and came to a reasonable conclusion. I have my own religious beliefs and I keep them to myself. I do love to argue spirituality and politics. I think using the fear of ultimate torture to try to convert someone to your beliefs is evil.

  • John Lucas posted at 7:59 pm on Sun, Sep 8, 2013.

    John Lucas Posts: 2730

    Very good question Andrew.

  • Andrew Liebich posted at 7:13 am on Sun, Sep 8, 2013.

    Andrew Liebich Posts: 2999

    If god is a interventionist god why doesn't he stop evil?

    If god is a non-interventionist god why do people pray?

  • Mista Vega posted at 4:24 pm on Sat, Sep 7, 2013.

    Dimitri Vega Posts: 3

    There is no perhaps.

    Did you seriously contrive that whole response under the pretense that I couldn't possibly know about fundamental theology you could learn while spending 1 day in bible school?

    The only noteworthy aspect of your entire post is one blanket statement you made and it's that "bad things happen because people are imperfect"

    What about natural evils? Tornadoes, hurricanes earthquakes, our star in our own solar system will swell up and burn earth to a crisp, or what about the ultimate heat death of the universe? How do you square away these natural evils with a perfectly morally perfect god?

    But lets grant your statement about bad things happening to people because they're imperfect. Lets say that's true. Okay well why would a perfect God create imperfect people? He is one sick entity to be creating imperfect people in the world, given all the wide spread gratuitous evils that happen in the world.

    "Oh but you see god created free moral agents"

    Give me a libertarian version of free will that works. I have yet to hear of any persuasive compatibilist or libertarian view of free will that's persuasive. I'm more compelled that hard determinism is true, that is to say that causal antecedent conditions determine effects of choices, therefore eliminating this idea of our will being free. Our so called will is causally determined by our heredity and our environment. We can't choose either of those two things, yet those two variables profoundly shape who we are and what we "choose."

    So again in the absence of any compelling arguments toward the contrary, I'm compelled that the truth of the aforementioned syllogism is true, namely that god doesn't exist.


  • Joanne Bobin posted at 10:42 am on Sat, Sep 7, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Perhaps, Mista Vega, you misunderstand the nature of the "God" that the Hebrews invented - the one god that they chose over all others - Yahweh - before deciding to become monotheistic.

    The concept - Yahweh is perfect. Bad things happen because people are imperfect.

    Historically, the Hebrews believed that they had failed God - not that God had failed them.

    Ever heard of the concept of "Jewish guilt?" Stems from the above concept of the nature of their "God," who is the god of the Jewish, Christian and Islamic faiths.

    That being said, it certainly does not take away from the silly premise of Ms. Dowdell's letter.

  • Mista Vega posted at 5:52 pm on Tue, Sep 3, 2013.

    Dimitri Vega Posts: 3

    Omg, it's Sarah T!!!![beam]

    Don't provoke Sarah, she reduces things into oblivion.

  • Mista Vega posted at 5:48 pm on Tue, Sep 3, 2013.

    Dimitri Vega Posts: 3

    Louise Dowdell

    I don't mean to be rude, but you come across like a person who hasn't read any arguments in oppositions toward your own views, or perhaps you have, but have not yet considered them. You should seriously start considering them so you don't appear dogmatic. Indeed it seems you're completely naive as to what atheism even is.

    Atheist don't base their beliefs off of fear. Once you understand what atheism is then this view that "atheist base their belief off fear" will seem like a ridiculous non sequitur(does not follow, informal logically fallacy).

    So what is an atheist? An atheist is simply someone who doesn't believe in God, or gods. It is the negation of any type of theism. I'm aware that there's some controversy over this definition of atheism, but it's the classical definition. You can go to the Stanford encyclopedia and they'll give you the same definition(btw those excerpts are written by professional philosophers).

    Okay an atheist is someone doesn't believe in god, is it because of fear? Certainly not. Here is why I disbelieve god:

    1. If god is omniscient(all knowing) then God knows, when, where and how evil will occur if it is not prevented.

    2. If God is omnipotent(all powerful) then god has the power to stop each instance of evil.

    3. If God is omnibenevolent (all good, all loving) then he wants to stop each instance of evil.

    4. So if there exist a god that knows how to prevent evil, has the power to prevent evil and wants to prevent evil, then evil will not occur.

    5. Evil occurs.

    Therefore God does not exist.(at least the god of monotheism :P)

    If 1-5 of those premises are true, then the conclusion follows necessarily. To agree with all of the premises, yet disagree with the conclusion is irrational. Now in the absence of any defeaters of the premises I'm rational to affirm the truth of the conclusion of the aforementioned syllogism that god doesn't not exist.

    Notice the conclusion of this argument and the disbelief it entails has nothing to do with fear. It is a strict logical deductive argument. Wouldn't it be really absurd to fear a god I disbelieve?

  • Jim MacDaniel posted at 1:58 pm on Tue, Sep 3, 2013.

    jimmacd Posts: 1

    Hmmm, where to start?

    1) Atheism is not a religion, nor is it a belief; it is the *absence* of religion and belief, a logical conclusion that evolved from the gaining and processing of knowledge, and then applying critical thinking skills.

    2) Athiests for the most part do *not* proselytize; that is the bailiwick of religion. We might troll on occasion, and respond to silly arguments such as the one in the above letter, but arguing with a believer is akin to Galileo attempting to convince the then church elders, that the earth is not the center of the solar system.

    3) It is believers who live in fear: fear of a jealous, vengeful god; fear of being smited; fear of eternal hellfire; and in general fear of the unknown -- ironically from which religious belief stems in the first place. Once one reaches the logical conclusion that the christian god is not any different from all of the other gods that humanity *used* to believe in, then one is actually free from all of those associated illogical fears about an afterlife.

  • Sarah Elizabeth Tygert posted at 12:24 am on Tue, Sep 3, 2013.

    Sarah Tygert Posts: 53

    You stated your premise multiple times, but failed to prove it. How, exactly, are Atheists basing their unbelief on fear? Fear of what?

    This letter seems to be putting a lot of words into Atheists' mouth, presumptuously, and providing no validation thereof.


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