If any of you reading this have the stomach to get through the whole thing, you can let me know how this debate went in a comment.
I find it interesting you tell a personal story, instead of disputing my assertment that you believe in something that cannot be shown to exist. Perhaps I set you up for that.
You should remember that I was raised catholic. I went to 12 years of catholic schools. I'm well versed in christian theology and I've read the bible several times. That's why I'm an atheist.
Do you think your personal story gives you a rational reason for belief? Do you think your personal story gives ANYONE ELSE a rational reason for belief?
I believe that everything came from something, and that the universe and life is not just the result of random chance. Please explain to me what is crazy about that. Maybe your interpretations of the Bible seem crazy to you, but the beliefs are not crazy.
If every personal experience yielded the same result, then I'd say you'd have the beginnings of an argument. However, you have already admitted that not everyone who has such an experience shares the same result. it would seem your experience is not unusual, but your interpretation of it may be.
It is crazy to assume the natural universe has a supernatural cause. It is crazy, because a supernatural cause is nonsense. You cannot show anything supernatural exists, and therefore, it is crazy to think a supernatural cause is real.
The only rational interpretation of the bible is that it is not a rational book. That interpretation seems reasonable to me. Beliefs based on an irrational source are, therefore, delusional.
You didn't answer my questions. Do you think your personal story gives you a rational reason for belief? Do you think your personal story gives ANYONE ELSE a rational reason for belief?
As far as my personal experiences are concerned it would irrational for me to continue to disbelieve something which I have experienced. But I do not think my experience should give someone else a reason to believe.
I think the goal of eradicating religion is a lofty goal, but an admirable one. Religion is brain poison. Faith is delusion. To rid the world of superstitious nonsense would be a great benefit, however unlikely.
I should say, however, it is not a goal of mine. I prefer to have more attainable goals. I prefer to keep the wall of separation of church and state strong and wide. Freedom is the distance between church and state. My goal is that when people speak of politics, there is no sign of religious mumbo-jumbo.
To make this point, what would the significance of the Declaration have been if the colonies had LOST the Revolutionary War? Indeed, in the years immediatly following the war, the Declaration was mostly forgotten.
Please explain how you would practically implement the First Amendments WITHOUT a separation of church and state.
To illustrate this, imagine for a second that the First Amendment read instead, "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of healthcare, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Now, this is hypothetical, of course. But would this not create a wall of separation between state and hospital? How would you uphold this Amendment without maintaining strict government neutrality on all things related to healthcare?
It is indeed the First Amendment that clearly separates the church from the state. How do you read it and miss its application so widely?
Are you a member of a campus ministry group? If so, which one? Are you a student at ISU? If you really want to schedule something, get with the leadership of the campus ministry group you sponsor and make sure it is something they also want to sponsor. We'll talk dates and topics then.
If you want a discussion, you are free to post questions and comments on our facebook page. Please be aware that page is NOT the place for debate. The group's page is a safe place for non-theists to gather and communicate. My personal page is NOT a safe harbor, and I welcome debate.
I send out a newsletter for the group after each meeting. Send me your email if you would like to be included. Our meetings are open to the public, and I send the details of the coming meeting in the newsletter. I have a few bugs to work out before I send the next one, so it will most likely be Tuesday or Wednesday before I get it out.
The Fellowship of Non-Religious Students of ISU