Evangelion Made Me An Atheist [Anime Retrospect]

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I love Evangelion but I have so much nostalgia for it that I don’t trust myself to do an unbiased review, hence why I’m doing a retrospect instead. This anime changed my life in so many ways when I was younger. I still have not found an anime which compares to how its atmosphere and themes have affected me. Another thing I should get out of the way quickly is my stance on god, I’m an agnostic-atheist. Do I know for certain there is no god? Hell no, but do I believe in the existence of a god? Another big fat hell no, and Evangelion is one of the main reasons why. Neon Genesis Evangelion (NGE) gives the feel of a complex story but most of its complexity is due to its style of plot delivery. Granted, the meaningful imagery and themes are so abundant that you’ll have to watch the series a few times before you can pick up on just a portion of them, but the story in itself is told as a whole without any details left out. It was the combination of the red herring imagery with its almost abstract way of story-telling in some of the episodes that were one of the main reasons I became an atheist, dominantly because this method of delivery is very thought provoking and it triggered off some deep philosophical questions in me.

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Now with a title like ‘Evangelion’ and elements like crucifix-shaped explosions, the Lance of Longinus weapon and the bad guys being called the Angels, along with many other allusions to the Christian bible, one might think that a viewer would become more interested in said religion. And I did. Just not in the way intended. With a website title like Fantasy & Anime it wouldn’t take much imagination to see that I enjoy fantasy. But fantasy can only exist in the world of fiction and something one must come to terms with at a very early age, Santa Claus being a good example, is that there’s a big difference between fiction and reality. After reading the bible (as well as many myths that came before it) I noticed far too many ‘magical’ elements similar between scripture and fantasy. Don’t get me wrong, thinking certain religious texts are fictional wasn’t enough to make me stop believing in god. One can have religion without a god like Buddhists, or believe in a god without a religion like Pantheists. Side Note: I seriously tried both of these outlooks to the point of living in a Buddhist Monastery for a while.

[ACX] Neon Genesis Evangelion - Death & Rebirth v2 [SaintDeath] [64558738].mkv_snapshot_01.28.38_[159404]

Another aspect of NGE that helped coax me away from this belief is that it’s very brutal, especially for its main characters and if you go by The End of Evangelion film, it doesn’t have the happiest of endings either. These horrific events, when relating to real horrific events around the world (I did this a lot when I was younger) lead me down a similar road as Epicurus’s Paradox. For me this was akin to; if there is a god and he’s all-powerful then he is cruel to A LOT of people, and even if he’s not cruel to me in particular I still wouldn’t worship a cruel god. However, just because I wouldn’t worship a cruel god, working in mysterious ways or otherwise, it still didn’t determine for me whether ‘said cruel god’ existed or not. So without a basis for a belief in a god through a religious text after having decided most of them to be fictitious, nor a basis through morality now thinking that god is cruel from observations of unfairness in the world, all I had to go on was faith and experience. Because of this the final nail in the coffin of my theism from NGE was its affinity with science, which we see throughout the series dominantly through the Evas, the magi super computers and its effect on characters like Rei Ayanami and Ritsuko Akagi.

Evangelion_Simulator_(Rebuild)

NGE’s references to certain scientific elements made me more interested in scientific evidence, for in the anime it shows how only the things which we are ignorant about or simply don’t understand, the Angels and the Evas in particular, are what are truly dangerous for us. (For those of you who have watched the anime remember that the magi computers not only run Nerv but work as an effective government for Tokyo-2). Science needs evidence to observe reality and without evidence the only thing keeping my belief tied to reality was faith. Believing in a god on faith alone because of no basis or evidence to go on, I began to wonder, ‘If that’s the case, couldn’t I believe anything undetectable to exist on the same basis?’ After thinking of all the silly things I could believe to exist on this premise, my own fatherly view of a sky god started to seem awkwardly silly as well. This is touched on in Evangelion when you are given a look on what a god could be during the Third Impact, and to be honest, having Shinji with his many character defects becoming a god-like entity as well was a slightly unnerving prospect XD. In the end faith was too flimsy of a reason.

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In the end it’s not too much of a stretch to see how NGE helped me to understand that the belief in a theistic god is not only inconsistent with the natural world but that unless you believe in a literal hell or you’re lonely enough to need an imaginary friend, it’s kind of pointless as well. In a metaphorical way it also shows the conflict between god and science and how man shouldn’t use one to mess with the other. And with that I’ll give a link to douchbagchocolate’s video on this topic because despite a few disagreements on his take, without watching it I wouldn’t have thought of putting my own discussion on the table. Hats off to you Demo. 

 

Final Side Note: I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t say that after NGE it didn’t help that I read up on Occam’s Razor theory to understand that simply adding something unobservant or supernatural to the natural world was redundant, and Russell’s Teapot theory to understand proving something wrong with evidence doesn’t just make something else right simply by the contrary, and finally that not knowing something doesn’t prove anything. Though these may have helped as an icing on the cake, at this point they were only reinforcing the ideas already evolving in my mind. I eventually came to realize that everyone is already an atheist in regards to almost every other god there is or was, but for the one(s) they believe in now.

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28 Responses to Evangelion Made Me An Atheist [Anime Retrospect]

  1. Pingback: Something More: How Evangelion Converted Me to Atheism | Beneath the Tangles

  2. Hello there! Thanks for your comment, I’ve replied back at my blog if you’d be interested in reading that (;

    I quite like your ‘If that’s the case, couldn’t I believe anything undetectable to exist on the same basis?’, it makes a good (and amusing) point. It’s interesting to see how someone was so greatly affected in a religious aspect by NGE. That is something I personally didn’t consider at all while watching.

  3. Overlord-G says:

    I’ll put it this way. I’m a casual Christian at best. I do believe there’s a GOD, I don’t disagree with the theory of evolution, I try my hardest to be both a good person and not judging someone for their choices in life as long as said choices do not cause excruciating pain to other, for example people in the LGBT. It’s incredibly vague and requires more explanation but the topic of religion and truth in scriptures has never been one of my strong points. The fact I’m a yuri fan and LGBT supporter would be seen as blasphemous by religious groups but I still am a fan and have no issues with the LGBT group.

    As for Evangelion, I used to get a raging otaku boner from Asuka in a bikini when I was a wee lad. That’s pretty much all I can say about Evangelion. As for how the show affected your way of viewing religion, it’s cool. No reason to condone you for your outlook on life..

    • Lazarinth says:

      LGBT all the way! I tried really hard in this analysis not to mention other ‘religious people’ because I don’t like painting every one with the same brush if I can avoid it. It’s not hard to see how religious text have been the basis for a lot of problems (good things too). But as I said in my plot twist post it’s really confusing that ‘something’ with people’s reaction to that ‘something’, and everyone responds differently. The only problem I find is when people attempt to make everyone react the same way they do to it by claiming authority over it’s analysis, which some (not all) organized religions do with their texts and if it’s a fanatic approach it can have pretty negative consequences for others.

  4. Anime is the tool of the devil! Turning innocent kids into atheists. Repent sinner! Haha, just kidding.

    • Lazarinth says:

      I’ve heard a story of that happening but really it’s more along the lines of, this anime represents true Christian values but these anime represent superficial Christian values.
      It reminded me of this bit from Eddie Izzard’s stand up talking about the Church of England; “And we see that macey’s they are having a sale on this gorgeous eye-liner…ahem, which rather reminds me of our lord Jesus. For I’m sure when he went to Nazareth he must have gotten tattered up a bit.” but with anime.

  5. Pingback: Getting Misrepresented by Others!!! [Let's get to know each other better] | Fantasy and Anime

  6. TruthisFeedom says:

    Sure, sure, I bet you haven’t even read the bible. It’s NOT fantasy, God made it so Jesus could do anything when he was on Earth. He created the world and its laws so obviously he could manipulate them for his only son. They were ‘Miracles’ not magic, don’t you know the difference?

    Without God there would be no good and evil, God is the good not the ‘cruel’, that’s Satan, which I’m starting to think you believe in more than Jesus. We only even know they are good and evil because of God’s authority over morality. It’s objective morality, it doesn’t change, no matter what the situation is killing babies will always be wrong no matter what!

    You say your faith was to flimsy to believe, that says more about you than about religion. You just weren’t looking hard enough for evidence. Evidence is all around you, everything you see is proof of God’s creation and design and shows that he is real. You’d have to be blind deaf and dump not to see it.

    You see, you just changed your faith from God to science and evidence. But science can’t tell you the purpose of life or that killing babies is wrong, it’s just cold and uncaring. That’s why the Nazi’s were so bad, they used science.

    • Alix Xeloni says:

      Oh wow, another simple stupid christian! You do realize right that this is what every stupid person says.
      When you say “science can’t tell you the purpose of life” I say what a stupid person you are again. Why do we need a purpose. The only thing that we ever do is survive unless we need to sacrifice our self to another self importance. We have followed the code of survival since along time so don’t be an ass and say it does not exist.
      Abortion: “the deliberate termination of a human pregnancy, most often performed during the first 28 weeks of pregnancy.”
      When you say”killing babies are wrong” you are just being an moron or in depth an intellectual stupid person. Abortion is not murdering children. It is the act of removing their structure before they are a human. Before that it is nothing more that a lump of organized meat. After that though it becomes a cute lovely human baby.

      Lastly the words “good” and “bad” just doesn’t go with this world. It works with human ideology but when it comes a species murdering another species in order to survive that is not bad nor good. That is nature. Simple.

      “Stop being an idiot and understand through our ability to understand, not through whispers.” by slender man.

      🙂

  7. Lazarinth says:

    One must be aware of a god before one can even choose to believe in its existence or not, there have been hundreds of gods through history people arn’t even aware of.

    • Gonma Re says:

      I found this post and had the urge to comment in this particular comment. I’m like you, and I was a catholic for 15 years. Evangelions grabs information from christianity mixed with japanese old stories, if im not mistaken. It gives you a new perspective about things, makes you think. I think the big difference here is what is enough evidence for each one of us. TruthisFeedom said there is enough evidence, and you should look around. I could easily ask you to show me one. But that might not be enough for me to accept it. Is not that somebody is wrong, faith is blind, faith is not science, they can’t live together, i think. Science is telling you if you toss water on your head, you’ll get wet. Faith can’t be proven like that. I think that is why agnosticism is vital, we can’t tell you there is a god, because there is, so far, no way to prove there is/isn’t that will satisfy the whole humanity. Some people say grass is enough evidence of a god, grass is evidence of nature, not enough for me to prove there is a god. Does that prove there isn’t? Of course not! I believe humanity is not ready to comprehen deities. Not ready to accept equaly the existence or the non existence of a god, religion gives you a sense of morality, yes, but I don’t think is exclusive to religion. Both sides should stop arguing and enjoy life xD either way, if there is an undeniable truth we won’t be able to do anything about it.

      • Lazarinth says:

        I respect agnosticism but it is irrelevant along the lines of belief. Gnosticism is the claim, or lack of claim, to knowledge on a subject, not belief in it. I also don’t think it’s a matter of the enough or quality of evidence to find what is ‘undeniable truth’, but instead to find what is ‘more likely’ to be the truth.

        In both philosophy and law the burden of proof comes from those that make the truth- claim, not those that deny it (see Russell’s teapot). In the case where people have pointed to things and call it evidence for god, I don’t think they’re using the same definition for evidence I use.

        I would argue that morals coming in the form of divine commands rather than the necessities for a species to survive is…. but, I don’t even like the term ‘moral’ to be honest. Ethics or animal behavior I find is a less subjective way (though it still is) of looking at what’s right and wrong for a species.

  8. >I eventually came to realize that everyone is already an atheist in regards to almost every other god there is or was, but for the one(s) they believe in now.

    That’s totally incorrect and illogical. If you want to write a logic proof for that statement, you will have to assume a huge number of highly controversial axioms. You might get away with that if your audience is completely blinkered to a Christian outlook, but you’ll fail badly if you argue that way in India.

  9. Pingback: Evangelion can make some people into atheists. I don’t care whether I’m arguing for maltheism | gaikokumaniakku

  10. I don’t know how deeply I should expostulate on philosophy here. For one thing, this isn’t my blog, and for another thing, I haven’t read the books I would like to cite recently.

    If you’re interested in the philosophy of atheism, you might be interested to know that Bertrand Russell tried to disprove Godel’s proof of a Supreme Being – and failed!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontological_proof#Kurt_G.C3.B6del

    Russell had considerable faith that there was no God, but it was faith – unsupported faith. Philosophically, Russell was not able to construct an argument to beat Godel’s ontological argument. Wikipedia mentions that Oppy thought that Godel’s god was not theologically interesting.

    As for the paradox (controversially) attributed to Epicurus, there are at least two good counterarguments:

    1 – The typical Christian argument based on the Book of Job – Yes, God allows humans to suffer pain, but we humans are stupid and God is omniscient and it’s all for the best. (And we can support this with all kinds of apologetics.)

    2 – The ultra-Stoic axiom – Yes, humans suffer pain. We take it as axiomatic that this is not worth getting sentimental about.

    Personally I prefer the ultra-Stoic axiom. I get very bored with apologetics, whether Christian or otherwise. This means that while I argue for a Supreme Being, a lot of humanists will get upset because they claim I’m arguing for maltheism – the belief that God exists and is evil. I categorize that, along with Oppy’s objection, as a form of pain that I feel – and by my axiom, it’s not worth getting excited about.

    • Lazarinth says:

      I’d be more than willing to discuss this if you’re keen. My email is Lazarinth75@gmail.com as these comment boxes become too narrow for the amount of details needed for this discussion. You can post the conversation we have if you wish. I trust you to leave it unedited 😉

      I should also like to add that in the post itself it says in bold “just because I wouldn’t worship a cruel god, working in mysterious ways or otherwise, it still didn’t determine for me whether ‘said cruel god’ existed or not.” showing Epicurus’s Paradox was not what convinced me in the end.

      I’m hoping those highlighted bits will stop me from having to repeat myself.
      Also before you email me please over read this;
      http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Ontological_argument

  11. Silvachief says:

    While I haven’t seen Evangelion myself, posts with a religious theme are always going to get a response XD

    I grew up as a Christian, mainly because my mother told me that was how things were. However, after a bit of thought, I now consider myself a Deist (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deism). Do I know if there’s a God or not? Nope, and I probably never will. Do I believe a God existed at some point in time, whether he still does or not? Yep, especially after having studied human biology and medicine. Things just seem too organized, too well-made to be the result of random evolution. Having said that, I understand the concept of evolution having occurred over an incredibly long period of time and don’t reject it.

    Thinking this way also gives me a lot of freedom with the concept of the God that I believe in. Maybe its power was exhausted after creating everything and therefore it can only influence small things. Maybe it is far too powerful, and any direct interference with our world or universe would smash it apart (as in The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant). I simply don’t know…though that doesn’t mean it isn’t interesting to think about.

    I have the same issues with Christianity and other religions that you and many others have, so Deism was an attractive alternative. Don’t get me wrong, though, I have immense respect for people that are able to have faith in their beliefs. Religion has done some wonderful things for people (and some terrible things, admittedly). As long as someone practices being a decent human being and doesn’t try to convert me to what they believe, i’m more than happy to accommodate them.

    Hm…this hasn’t talked about anime much, has it?

    • Lazarinth says:

      Yeah I was a Deist for a while as well, it’s very similar to a Pantheist in that it doesn’t contradict with any natural laws, just instead of god ‘being everything’ god just ‘created everything’ and then doesn’t mess with it much. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure you have a good grasp on the concept of evolution but Hayley just read this over my back and bit her knuckles when she read the ‘too well-made to be the result of random evolution’ part.

      Just think of this next part from Hayley’s Bio-evolutionary perspective; “For the too well-made part: Think about the human body having the same hole for food as for air becoming a choking hazard, the same area for waste and reproduction, too many teeth for our mouth that many people have to get them removed, vestigial organs which can explode and kill us. For the random evolution part: There is very little about evolution that is ‘random’, natural selection is always dictated by how our genes can help us survive in our environment, if it didn’t help with survival we wouldn’t be here. Mutations are limited to either the switching on and off of genes traits we already had in our DNA which continue in favor of survival in an environment, or the mutation of chromosomes which survives if it favors an environment as well, but generally doesn’t in most cases. There is very little that’s random about things that survive surviving.”

      I hope that was enlightening and not too… confrontational? This was a good video that helped me, as an non-biologist, to understand it if your interested, this guy is very good at explaining science. ‘genes are plastic to our environment’ was a good metaphor, I thought.

      Yeah i kind of went on a tangent and only related it back to Eva every now and then, it’s main connection was at the beginning in simply that it got me thinking and asking questions. Lol my next anime will be a real review, any ones you’d want to see one to?

      • Silvachief says:

        You’ve got me completely there, I have to admit. Perhaps well-made was the wrong choice of phrase XD However, and you might roll your eyes at me for this, I do believe there’s a random aspect to evolution, even if is just the chance that pervades everything in existence. Natural Selection is reliant on whatever conditions it occurs in and those conditions can change randomly. Of course, then there’s the argument that natural selections occurs over a very long period of time so any random changes are smoothed out into an average condition, so maybe I can’t win on that front. Still, things like the founder effect can be the result of half a species being killed off by a freak weather event. In any case, i’m not saying that I don’t believe in evolution…for all I know an all-powerful being likes to see how he can change us just for kicks >.>

        Maybe it would be more correct to say that I don’t -like- the idea of there not being a God. No, that’s not particularly logical but that is how I feel. I think it would be far more interesting if there was one and so that’s what I choose to believe. I suppose that whatever we believe, it remains true that everywhere had to come from somewhere, whether it’s that material that resulted in the big bang or an original God.

  12. japesland says:

    Wonderful article! It’s great to see people seriously considering what they believe and why they believe it, not just accepting what is told to them as absolute truth! Although I am a Christian myself, I would rather see someone exploring their faith and, after adequate consideration, coming to a different conclusion than myself rather than resting on any sort of view based on ignorance or indifference. I’d be the first to tell you that, although I might believe my view is correct, I can’t absolutely that I am correct.

    “Believing in a god on faith alone because of no basis or evidence to go on, I began to wonder, ‘If that’s the case, couldn’t I believe anything undetectable to exist on the same basis?’”

    I’ve heard this statement made quite a few times, and I have made it myself as well. I believe that Christians, or people of any faith for that matter, who rest on this argument need to spend some more time in academia, researching ancient texts or modern science to explore more of what they believe. With that said, however, I would say that Christianity when fully discovered isn’t based on faith alone. Francis Bacon of the 16th and 17th Centuries was both a believer as well as one of the greatest historical proponents of the scientific method. He believed that faith and scientific reasoning and discovery were not mutually exclusive.

    “In the end it’s not too much of a stretch to see how NGE helped me to understand that the belief in a theistic god is not only inconsistent with the natural world but that unless you believe in a literal hell or you’re lonely enough to need an imaginary friend, it’s kind of pointless as well.”

    I’m engrained in enough fundamentalist culture as it stands to know how many people believe that a “literal hell”, or more specifically, being saved from it, is the only reason to approach Christianity. For some reason, evangelism seems to take that route, and I frankly don’t quite understand it. However, I am a firm believer that Christianity is a pragmatic faith, in spite of how it is portrayed by popular culture due to the popularization of the illiterate southern baptist and mystical charismatic images. The New Testament Scriptures are filled with advice on how to live today as well as the benefits of doing so (conservative premillennialism can sometimes undermine this thinking). Psychological studies have even found higher rates of life satisfaction and lower rates of depression in adults who are actively involved in Christianity and related religions. With this said, I believe that Christianity when interpreted correctly (read: how I read it; I am being facetious by saying that the way I read it is absolutely correct, although I might have the inclination) offers practical life benefits even if there is no God.

    I must also make mention that the incompatibility of a theistic god and the natural world only comes up in certain views of theism. Philosopher and writer, CS Lewis said that physical traditions exist to serve practical purposes (e.g. closing your eyes to pray helps focus, partaking in communion helps to remember biblical principles, etc.). Additionally, IF God exists, then nature comes from Him. If nature comes from God, and it is the only nature that we know, then how could we say it is any different (granted this is contingent upon God existing). Coupled with Francis Bacon’s thinking, although there are plenty of reasons to believe or doubt God’s existence, I don’t believe much of naturalism to be incompatible with it.

    Anyway, that was much longer than I intended. Like I said, very good article and I am happy to see people delving into what they believe instead of just accepting things. I don’t expect you to agree with what I said or change your opinions, I simply wanted to let you know that these ideas exist so that you can have a broader perspective (I know that my perspective was broadened by reading YOUR ideas).

    • Lazarinth says:

      I’ll start with what I think is the most important aspect of a discussion like this, I am more than willing to have my views changed and I am easily convinced by a good argument. Now with care and subtlety allow me, if you will, to rifle through these points and see if they convince me.

      Having an honors degree in various papers of ancient history (the Historicity’s of Jesus being one such interest of mine) and having taken part in many of my girlfriend’s biology and physics lectures, and still having this view on ‘faith’ is one snag I have. None of this is really necessary for faith for with faith you can believe these things, silly or otherwise, with no empirical evidence or proof. (Unless you have a different definition of faith to the dictionary and wikipedia?)

      One of the arguments that rarely convinces me are arguments from authority, claiming that if someone else believes it then it must be true. Especially if it’s an authority figure who died before the physics of water surface tension could get to the point of proving that someone the size of a grown male being able to walk on water is impossible or when geology could refute the story of a global flood through no inconsistencies in the fossil record.

      Link me these stats you mention. In the mean time here are some scientifically sourced statistics that show the negative correlation between theism and intelligence and many other things: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZqaeusdMTk Still, none of these would really convince me of his existence. Maybe that believing could be beneficial in some ways but there are generally too many variables such as aspect of socio-economic and cultural differences in the polled environments.

      You’re probably right that some parts of the bible might help non-believers, just as some part of the bible could do harm for non-believers. Reading a book is a subjective experience, so how is there a correct and incorrect method? As literal, metaphorical, fact, fiction or a mix of all four, in which case you are picking and choosing these things from what you deem plausible or historically accurate.

      “I must also make mention that the incompatibility of a theistic god and the natural world only comes up in certain views of theism.” I agree, any theism that leaves out all elements of the supernatural from the bible wouldn’t be incompatible with the natural world. “Additionally, IF God exists, then nature comes from Him…” – You see right from the beginning that’s a big IF which we can’t prove, making all the points that come from this premise just as improvable. To take this premise one would need to take it on faith, to which I return; If up can believe this on faith, being “the confidence or trust in a person, thing, deity, or doctrines or teachings of a religion even without empirical evidence.” Then you can believe anything, silly or otherwise, on the same premise.

      BUT if you have empirical proof, reliable scientific evidence, then you’re right and faith isn’t the only thing to your believe but it depends on your faith on how convincing these things are to you? I’d be more than willing to take a look at this evidence to see if it is convincing from an atheist’s perspective. Reply back when you can.

      • japesland says:

        I’ll just reply to each paragraph respectively, as that will make formatting a bit easier.

        I think everything should be investigated so that the least possible amount of non-provable theory is present. However, that said, not matter what your belief is, there is always an amount of non-provable theory. The two most significant of these that I can think of off-hand are the beginning of the universe (I believe it is relatively agreed upon that the universe had a beginning, particularly considering entropy, it’s simply a matter of how) and macro-evolution (which, again, I have no qualms with, but it must be stated that it is POSSIBLE that it did not happen, whether or not I believe that to be so). When it comes to the historicity of Jesus, our “empirical evidence” comes in the form of generally reliable writers, particularly Paul, and historical links to his being in various places at various times which confirm aspects of his factual writing (Dr. Gary Habermas is probably the leading expert on this).

        I’ll agree that simply agreeing on authority isn’t evidence at all. It’s basically like marketing via celebrity. However, the point that many people seem to miss is that ancient civilizations were much more intelligent than people give them credit for. The only really major difference between them and us is the use of technology, which can be credited for the vast majority of our scientific advances. However, in the long-term there are instances of say the ancient Mayan astronomers, and in the short-term knowledge of outer space before space travel had even taken place.

        I no longer have the textbook that I was citing, but the first result of a quick Google search brought me this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_and_happiness. It’s correlational as opposed to causational (I don’t think that’s even a word), so I would say you are likely correct in that there are too many factors. I did watch the video you linked, though I suspect more cultural influence via religion than spiritual belief via religion is the culprit. Just as I know plenty of people who have been positively benefited by Christianity, I’m sure you can list plenty of people who were the opposite.

        As I said, I can’t say that I interpret the Bible correctly, regardless of whether I think I do. If it were easy to interpret there wouldn’t be so much argument over it. However, at worst it is a valuable piece of literature that both explains cultural background and provides a generally accurate account of one region of the world (latter portion of the Old Testament and majority of the New Testament). At best, it is correct in its theological assertions. On my blog I mentioned that I do not believe the Bible is literally accurate in every word written. However, I do believe that everything written has some significance. In the context of an oral, Jewish culture, it must be understood that the Old Testament was not meant to be scrutinized in the way it is now, and many things that were simply assumed to be metaphors were assumed to be metaphors. Over the course of thousands of years, though, culture has shifted to a written on, and interpretations are changing drastically. I’ve often heard the argument that Christians simply “pick and choose” what they want from Scriptures (just look at the removal of the Apocrypha from Protestant Bibles), and I concede that far too many Christians do that, but ancient cultural research helps us to be consistent in what we read as literal and what we read as figurative.

        I am not trying to use that argument to prove the existence of God, which is why I worded it the way I did. All I say here is something that Christians and atheists alike ignore: our view of the world is ultimately biased by how it came to be because we know no other world. If the world was created by the giant spaghetti monster, the only world we would know would be the one created by the giant spaghetti monster. It is no reason to believe in the giant spaghetti monster, but if there were some theory that harmonized all aspects of giant spaghetti monster-ology with nature, there would be no way to 100% refute it. It is for this reason that world religions of all kinds exist. That is why I say I can not know 100% that I am right and that you are wrong, and I only have a strong inclination toward my belief (perhaps that is my post-modernism coming out). David Hume for instance, claimed that we could not know anything from our senses because there’s no way to know that our senses are totally right, even if we suspect them to be generally accurate (he was not a Christian by any means). When it comes to my personal life, I honestly scoff at the charismatic Pentecostal movement within modern Christianity, but I also realize that I cannot totally disprove it either. In this way, IF God exists, nature came from God. IF nature came from God, there is no reason that natural law under a man’s feet could be suspended. CS Lewis claimed that, perhaps, the ability to defy modern natural law was actually how nature existed to begin with, but that it is not that way anymore.

        I can tell you right now that I will never be able to convince you otherwise, and that was not my intention with my first comment (as I said, I was happy that you took your beliefs seriously and investigated them). I did not intend to create a debate, I simply wanted you to know that there are people out there who have investigated as well and come to other conclusions in intellectual fashion, regardless of whether they are right or wrong.

      • Lazarinth says:

        I can be convinced, trust me, I was convinced to become an atheist after all, and I would be keen to keep discussing this if you are. I won’t ‘argue’ or say you’re wrong or anything like that, but just explain why a few of the points in particular that convince you don’t convince me. If that sounds okay to you you can email any replies to me at Lazarinth75@gmail.com as these comment boxes become very thin after a while. I’ll try keep my replies short.

        For the point of what is non-provable theory or things we do not yet know or understand fully please read this on Russell’s Teapot, it helped me understand a lot.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell%27s_teapot
        Other things you might want to read up on is the biological study of abiogenesis and physics of cosmological origins, but only if you’re interested in those things. For the Historicity, I read Paul, the Epistles, Josephus and others but found them too inconsistent. For the sake of brevity I won’t list them here.

        Because I have heard as many definitions for this word as have met people who use it, could you define your idea of ‘spiritual?’

        I don’t disagree about the significance of the bible, it has had a big impact on the world. However, saying that it is accurate in ‘d. theology – relating to the study of the nature of God and religious belief’ I find is a claim that any religious person could say about their holy text.

        Lol the giant spaghetti monster thing is actually similar to Russells Teapot, it’s kind of a ‘insert anything ridiculous and un-provable here’ and then try to disprove it. But I agree if it did sit with all natural laws it wouldn’t be inconsistent with nature but it still would be inconsistent with Occam’s Razor. That’s the thing for me though, inserting ‘defying natural laws’ to explain something we don’t understand about nature isn’t convincing for me. It’s like magic, the more we understand about things, the less magical those things become and until then we are just claiming answers from ignorance.

        If you are interested in people who have investigated and come to other conclusions in intellectual fashion you should really give these things I’ve mentioned a look into. I’m not trying to change your mind like you’re not trying to change mine, but the more investigation and learning we do on this the better right? As I said I’m more than willing to read on any bit of evidence or philosophy you can link me ;).

  13. Pingback: Something More: How Evangelion Converted Me to Atheism |

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