• Dear Theist, We’ve Heard It All Before

    Recently, Hemant Mehta had a dialog with a Christian mega-church pastor at the pastor’s mega-church. About 6000 people got to hear Mehta talk about atheism. One of the things that Mehta talked about was that he (and most other active atheists) have heard all the questions before. It was after this that his pastor friend brought out a questions that no atheist has every heard before.

    Get ready to have your mind blown. The question is…

    Is there anything that would tempt you or convince you to believe in God?

    I bet you never heard a theist ask you that before, right? Okay, we have all heard that question before. The fact is that Mehta is correct. It is extremely unlikely that a theist is going to ask me a question that I have never heard before. I would love to actually hear a new argument. But I doubt I will. At best, I will just hear some rewording or older arguments.

    If you are a theist, please, please, please attempt to blow my mind with a new argument. I would love to hear it but I think you should Google it first just to make sure that no one else already made that argument. Then I want you to Google the question to find out if anyone actually answered the argument before. Then you can hit me with your genius point.

    As for Mehta’s appearance at the mega-church, I think everyone should watch it because he did a fantastic job:

    The only minor point that I want to add to Mehta’s response to the question is that I honestly don’t know what would convince me that God exists… but do you know who would? God! If God exists, then he would know the precise argument or experience that would convince me and if he doesn’t want me tortured for all eternity, then he would presumably provide that argument or experience to me. The very fact that he hasn’t is actually evidence that he doesn’t exist. Think about it.

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    Category: AtheismReligion

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    Article by: Staks Rosch

    Staks Rosch is a writer for the Skeptic Ink Network, Huffington Post, and the National Atheism Examiner on Examiner.com. Currently he serves as the head of the Philadelphia Coalition of Reason and is a stay-at-home dad.

    11 comments

    1. Watched this yesterday with great interest. Here’s what stuck me. Hemant was presenting his view of life based on his experiences, observations and research. The Pastor was not. It seemed to me that he was just looking for a better way to convert the unbeliever. To me an evangelist is nothing more than a “Jesus salesman”. Please don’t get me wrong. I thought the pastor a kind and likable person. Still, I think he had a hidden agenda.

    2. This is a good interview. I think Hemant did a great job explaining the atheist position. That more churches are doing this (ask and atheist day) is good but also worrying, its as if they want to learn how to defeat the enemy. I suppose that is what we are to religion really so we cant blame them.

    3. It is an extremely common question, but I still find it somewhat interesting. Yes, there are a couple of things that would tempt me. The problem is that even if I wanted to believe, I couldn’t. Belief isn’t like a light switch that can be turned on or off at will. I mean, if some Christian offered me an obscene amount of money to believe, I’d certainly try. But that would be about as far as I’d get.

    4. I would be really suspicious if a theist comes up with a new line of evidence or
      reasoning that we haven’t heard before. If it’s more convincing than the failed apologetics we’ve been hearing for 1600 years (not 2000 years; I’m counting from Nicea), then why have the sales people been hiding their most convincing argument all this time. If the argument is truly convincing, they should lead with it. On the other hand, if the logic and evidence are truly “new” I’d suspect somebody just dug up another gold tablet in their backyard.

    5. Let’s see…if I knew of an argument that would convince me that a particular religion is true, then I would already have heard the argument, and would already be a believer.

      1. Note that preacher man did not specify an “argument.” I can think of plenty of things that would convince me – things that have not happened. Suppose God himself spoke to me and a group of thousands of other nonbelievers, and pulled off some really great magic tricks; excuse me I meant miracles; healed a few amputees, made the Cubs win the World Series, etc.

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