I would interpret that as meaning only that a being has been around for a long time, presumably forever if we're talking of the judeo-Christian deity. But it is difficult to talk about atheism as though it's simply a lack of belief in God, while resisting the temptation of muddying the waters by pointing out it's just as much a lack of belief in Thor, Jove, Curnunnos, The Great Spirit, and whatever the hell else people have believed in, as well as the different conflicting ideas of the monotheistic deity. I think Ricky Gervais said that Christians are almost as atheistic as he is; of the thousands of gods believed in by humanity throughout history, he believes in only one fewer than they.All these conversations about God presuppose our definitions of God are at least similar. Fore example, Christian scriptures at some point describe God with the term"The Ancient of Days" which implies the aging process which implies death. Doesn't that rule out God as being immortal?
It sounds quite clever but if you boil it down it doesn't make sense without qualification. It's a simplistic reductionist soundbite really.of the thousands of gods believed in by humanity throughout history, he believes in only one fewer than they.
It might do from a certain position but I think there are two reasons for it - theologically speaking.But it does appear that this one God has given different messages to the different groups.
He had dubbed all other religions as
a'businesses' that thrive on fear in the minds of people and said all other religious scriptures are 'fictitious' and meant only for entertainment.
I would argue with the bold paragraph at least as far as Christianity is concerned. Christ is, as part of his mission, to declare the second covenant to all the peoples of the Earth. The first covenant has failed, and God has accepted that and adapted. I assume that if that fails also - it clearly hasn't yet , as there are still Christians - He will try again, and indeed there is suggestion of a second coming when all else has failed. He could of course just zap us all, but I assume He actually has some purpose in the afterlife for humankind. After all, He has a universe to administer. I'm hoping to end up in the Department of TransportIt might do from a certain position but I think there are two reasons for it - theologically speaking.
1) People are often very literalist. Materialist atheists suffer from this but so do religious fundamentalists - they need things 'carved in stone' and absolute for their own psychological well-being. And if they aren't that way they make them like that. So religion in this sense is 'man made' - the atheists have this right in a way. It's a construct based on something that is not a construct (imo).
In other words: the thing they have constructed is a different message but the thing they based it on (ie corrupted) is the same.
2) In Islam at least (and Christianity I think to an extent) there is the concept of different messages for different peoples and ages. So the religion HAS to be different over time. How can anything be monolithic? In this sense it evolves. It isn't that a specific religion like (say) Judaism evolves within itself but rather than Judaism is a stage in the evolution of religion.
Another factor is that God cannot (and is not) static in the Scriptures. He is reactive - He changes His mind, makes deals and evolves plans as responses to situations. IN the eyes of a literalist believer He is static, unchanging. But for the original Revelation He is not.
In the Christian Scriptures (for example), God reacts to situations on the ground. In one case Abraham bargains with Him to save members of a community slated for annihilation and God adjusts His plans. In other cases He changes His mind based on certain developments. The very concept of prayer implies that God can be petitioned and thus His plans can be adjusted in some way.
But in orthodox established religion God is seen as being static - as being unable to change His mind. His word binds Him. He cannot - say - decide to send His Son AGAIN to save the world. He cannot decide to NOT punish anyone and change the deal.
But God - if He exists - MUST be dynamic. He cannot be a static God or He would not be God. And a dynamic God can change His mind and reveal a new religion at any time. It could even contradict the last one in theory. Because He makes the rules (in this view).
ha haThe first covenant has failed
Wait on. Wtf!? Which God? The one that is jealous and slaughters those that hold an alternative lifestyle and think for themselves? Since when is that god a conciliatory entity?and God has accepted that and adapted
Religion? Positive?It suggests militant atheists “may lack the insight to see anything positive about religion [as] they can only see that it contradicts their scientific, analytical thinking”.
While I think it's easy to construct a rational argument against the existence of God, it seems mean spirited to me to kick the crutch out from under those that need their faith to get by, even if you don't believe yourself...It's really not about lack of insight...
The primary problem atheists have with conventional religious belief goes right back to the believers inability to provide acceptable, nay, even reasonable, proof of the existence of a God as described in the religious texts.
That religion can bring some benefits to believers is generally accepted.