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November 15, 2009 by elijahnockwood
Dan Barker, self-acclaimed “friendly neighborhood atheist,” (not to be confused with your average “friendly neighborhood rapist” or “friendly neighborhood mass-murderer”) has written books and is a great authority in the camp of the fighters for “freedom from religion” that even atheist “destroyers of fables” in far-away land as that of the once brave and rusty Teutons refer to in their quest to make everyone else believe exactly what they believe (or don’t). While I might even contemplate joining a fight for freedom from established religion, it’s not really so much the established religious institutions that the anger of the sometimes not that friendly neighborhood atheists is waged against, as evident from one of the acclaimed writings on the net that I had to wade through as a painful but necessary step in a debate with one of Darwin’s staunchest Teutonic fighters for universal equality of thought. And thus the resulting reply to Dan Barker’s 19th chapter of his book “Losing Faith In Faith,” “Dear Theologian” – a fictitious letter written by God (in reality a very pitiful image of the same that Dan Barker must have had in his head – no wonder he became an atheist – and yet another confirmation of the sense God was making when He commanded us not to make ourselves any images of Him. The result – as in Barker’s case – can obviously be lethal) to His imaginary friend, the open-minded theologian:
An Answer to “Dear Theologian – Losing Faith In Faith: From Preacher To Atheist by Dan Barker Chapter 19“ (Quote:) “If you say that everything needs a designer and then say that not everything (Me) needs a designer, aren’t you contradicting yourself? By excluding me from the argument, aren’t you bringing your conclusion into your argument? Isn’t that circular reasoning?” Not if You belong to a totally different category, which Your Son, Jesus, stated, you evidently are. “God is a Spirit.” True that things natural need a Creator, but as far as spirits are concerned, hey, that’s a whole nuther ball game. You tell us! (Quote:) “If you are saying that I don’t need to ask where I came from because I am perfect and omniscient while humans are fallible, then you don’t need the design argument at all, do you?” No, I personally don’t. Except for the fact that we have never ever witnessed in all of our history any single process or force to produce one single shred of information without an author, much less the gigabytes of information present and in a process of exchange in ever single living cell. We may not know where You come from, but from all we have ever observed in nature, the information in our cells and thus all of creation couldn’t have come about by itself.
Maybe that’s the difference between You and us. (Quote:) “You say that I am eternally existent, and I suppose I would have no objection if I knew what it meant.” Like so many half-baked believers do and project their own thoughts, dreams and doubts into the imaginary god concocted in their minds as a self-made continuation of some information they’ve been given (should have stuck to that info, bro, cause that’s the stuff it’s all comin’ from), this is not God speaking, but Mr. Barker. The same applies to the babble that ensues in the same paragraph. (Quote:) “Perhaps you created me.” If the theory of evolution would stand a chance in a lifetime to ever turn out to actually be right and proven, then perhaps you’re right, Mr. Barker. Along with all the other dog barking up that tree since decades. It still wouldn’t explain, though, there all the information in creation came from without an author if we never have observed any poppig up by itself. And if “But then where does the information in God come from” is the only thing you can come up with, I feel sorry for you. As the Source of all that Information, and not part of it, we simply happen to imply that the Source is not subject to the same rules as the product, just as a water tap isn’t liquid. (Quote:) “I contain evidence of design…” Says who? The very implication of God states that He doesn’t, dummy. (Quote:) “Nothing comes from nothing.” True when applied to our physical realm. The difference between the physical and the spiritual Realm is that it’s not subject to the same rules of time and origin. Of course, I have no proof for that other than what the Bible says. I have no other proof except the fact that information in our realm always needs an author, and that I talked to Him this morning. No, He didn’t answer me back. Not this morning. But yesterday. And a whole lot of other days before that. And He answered a lot of other people’s questions, too. And what I and they have learned from them is that contrary to folks who are trying to cook up every possibly thinkable excuse to eradicate the existence of God from their minds (and pay a lot – I mean, a lot of money to provide “evidence” for them), He doesn’t lie. He simply doesn’t. And that makes Him very very different from folks who brainwash my children into believing they’re mutated monkeys. (Quote:) “What was it that caused me to exist, as opposed to not existing at all?” - … asked the little two-dimensional square in the lonely world of Flatland, since he couldn’t possible imagine anything as atrocious as a cube or ball, or any other 3-dimensional object to exist, let alone a 4th or 5th dimension… A dimension where existence might not
be subject to the rules of Cause and Effect. Just because I create a game with rules doesn’t mean I’m bound to the same rules, even if the little playmen and soldiers in my game would like to believe I am. Just because I tell my kids to go to bed at 9 doesn’t mean they tell me that’s when I have to go to bed. (Quote:) “If I don’t need a cause, then why do you?” Because we’re different, and You are so totally not like the mind of Mr. Barker. We need a cause because we are Your creations. You don’t need one cause You’re the Creator. Bobby needs a spanking because he was a naughty boy. daddy doesn’t need one cause he was being a good daddy. (Quote:) “You created me. Is that such a terrible idea?” Yes, because the dude you are is the concoction of a pitiful sad mind like Mr. Barkers, and if you were really God, you were the perfect reason for 7 billion people to commit suicide simultaneously. Thankfully, Mr. Barker’s mind is not really God, and thus we can all live happily ever after. (Quote:) “I know that you think many other gods were created by humans: Zeus, Thor, Mercury, Elvis. You recognize that such deities originate in human desire, need, or fear.” Maybe that’s what’s wrong with Theologians, and they’re the wrong guys to talk to, dude! Since they don’t have any more grasp on true spirituality than the Pharisees who saw to it that Jesus was crucified by the Romans, they probably also don’t see the spiritual origin of the aforementioned deities (with the exception of Elvis, that is)… Contrary to Barker’s aforementioned statements, there are spiritual entities who like to compete with God, and used to try to get people to worship them until they realized they could fool people of the 20th and 21st centuries even better by getting them to worship themselves and deities like “Mr. Barker’s mind.” (Quote:) “The Persians created Mithra, the Jews created Yahweh, and you created me. If I am wrong about this, please straighten me out.” Yessir. The Persians worshiped Mithra (slight difference between worshiping and creating a deity, a spiritual entity desiring to be worshiped), Yahweh created the Jews and all of us, and you’re right – the “god” Mr. Barker created in his mind is truly a pitiful concoction. (Quote:) “What is my purpose? To please myself?” Well, that’s probably what the pitiful god concocted and perceived by Mr. Barker would
ask, but the true God has already answered that question in a simple phrase 2000 years ago: His purpose is to love. It’s His whole essence, and that’s what He does. Probably something incomprehensible for minds like Mr. Barker’s since they don’t have a friggin’ clue what on earth I’m talking about, but don’t worry, guys… one day you’ll wake up and realize, “Oh, so that’s what it was all about!” (Quote:) “Since I am already perfect, by definition, then I don’t need such a purpose. I’m just sort of hanging out, I guess…” – whined Mr. Barkers pitiful little mind, presumably perfectly incapable of the perception of an existence dedicated for the purpose of another. Do you have any kids, Mr. Barker? I hope not, but if you did, would you sit there and whine, why can you go to school when I have to sit here and take care of you? Probably, but not God. See, God’s a good daddy. Mr. Barker needs a spanking, because he’s been a bad boy, but God doesn’t because He’s a good daddy. (Quote:) “It feels great to be perfect. But it gives me nothing to do.” Again, Mr. Barker is concluding from his own pitiful state that God would have to be the same kind of – excuse the language, idiot. I don’t mean to insult anyone, but an idiot by the Greek definition is a person whose life only revolves around himself. And only idiots get bored. So, just because you happen to be such a person, Mr. Barker, shame on you fro implying that God would be like you. (The same goes for the pathetic rest of that paragraph) (Quote:) “If more is better, then I am obligated to continue until I have fathered an infinite number of children, and an endless number of universes.” Shows how far away the god of Mr. Barker (whom he thankfully chose not to believe in anymore) is from the Real Thing. Contrary to Mr. Barker’s philosophy (or that of his made-up god), “Less is sometimes more” is actually a lot closer to divine philosophy. One reason why He’s devoting so much attention to our insignificant little spec of dust in the vast universe. He’s terribly into details, which obviously you can’t say about Mr. Barker, who never seems to have cared much about what he actually believed in and devoted his life to as a preacher. (Note that the following paragraph is pure crap not worth repeating). (Quote:) “Doesn’t it bother you, just a little, that the source of meaning for your life has no source of its own? And if this is true, then isn’t it also true that ultimately you have no
meaning for yourself either?” Yes, it does. That’s why I’m going to follow Mr. Barker’s example now, become an atheist, believe that I’m a mutated monkey and find fulfillment and purpose in decimating the earth’s overpopulation by getting me a gun a mow down some of my fellow students (After all, isn’t that one of kids’ favorite activities who were brainwashed with Evolution and “there is no God”?) Now that sounds purposeful! Thank you, Mr. Barker, thank you, all praise be unto you, I worship you, my… my god… - Except that I’ve already been there. On the atheist and self-worship trip, that is, and dude, if you think God sucks, just wait a few years! (Quote:) “I want to find that happiness in something other than myself. Is that a sin?” No, and that’s precisely what the real God has been doing all along. (Quote:) “You can’t have a love relationship with someone who is not your equal.” Says who? The Homosexual Union of California? (Quote:) “If I created hell, then I don’t like myself.” I can imagine that Mr. Barker does not like the idea of a God who would have created hell. But he’s perfectly alright with electing and paying taxes to a government that is creating hell on earth every day for thousand, tens and hundreds of thousands of his fellowmen. But he would have to take some sort of responsibility for that himself. He simply cannot do that. So he blames it all on a God he thankfully doesn’t believe in. (Quote:) “If I did create a hell, then … how would I know if people were claiming to love me for my own sake, or simply to avoid punishment? Good point. Actually the first good point in this entire fabrication so far. And it should give you something to think, Mr. Barker. What were the motivations for you to believe in such a God? If it was just to save your own neck, then it’s no wonder you landed where you did. See, fear is never a good incentive. And unfortunately, there are a lot of people like you, who worship God out of fear. In reality, hell is merely that which we are supposed to save others from. Because we love God and them. Whether it be the hell on earth your government creates for its victims every day, or the sort of hell the perpetrators of that hell on earth will reap as a reward for their actions. If you know God, you know you’re not going there. So why be afraid of it?
If you don’t know God, it’s because you don’t know love, because God is Love. (Quote:) “How would you feel if you had brought some children into the world knowing that they were going to be tormented eternally in a place you built for them?” Shitty, I admit. But that notion is rather based on a slight error in translation, rather than actual fact. The Greek word used for “forever and ever” in relation to hell is more correctly translated “eon” or an age. Little comfort, you may say, but be honest: how soon would you like to see Hitler or Pol Pot in Heaven?” (Quote:) “I don’t need to be loved.” I can’t prove it, but I disagree. Something about love: it works two ways. Neat thing about God: He allows Himself to be vulnerable enough to be hurt by us (as evident in the act of Jesus’ crucifixion). Unrequited love sucks whether you’re God or human. (Quote:) “I don’t even want to be loved because to want is to lack.” A-no.1 professional bullshit! – You’ll have to admit that! (Quote:) “If all I am doing is throwing the dice of “free will” and simply reaping the harvest of those who choose to love me, then I am a selfish monster.” Sounds like the perfect accusation of the god you’ve been worshiping all along against the true God: the Devil is always accusing God of being a selfish monster. When he’s the grossest monster all along, and if there’s one thing he cannot stand it is the love He has for humans. I know free will sometimes sucks for all of us. Because most of us – like you – make the wrong choices. It may come across as selfish and monstrous of God to want to be loved by us, but then He simply leaves the whole ordeal and decision up to us. It’s all voluntary. Isn’t that exactly what you want, Mr. Barker? So what the hell are you complaining about? (Quote:) “I know you have tried to get me off the hook. You explain that Yours Truly is not responsible for the sufferings of unbelievers because rejection of God is their choice, not mine. They had a corrupt human nature, you explain.” We all do. Some simply make the right choices anyway at some point in their lives. (Quote:) “If certain humans decide to do wrong, where do they get the impulse? If you think it came from Satan, who created Satan? And why would some humans be susceptible to Satan in the first place? “ Because men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. Most men, anyway. Just like you were, and I have been probably more times than you, and everyone of us does, we prefer Satan’s shiny temptations because they appear so much cooler than what God has to offer. The notion of being your own boss, not having to kowtow to some almighty Head-honcho.
The problem is that sooner or later you will find out that as terrible as God may have been as a master, you’ll turn out even worse. You may doubt it now and think you’re all so goody and clever, but the truth is going to hit you eventually, and you’ll see the difference between fake and genuine godhood. (Quote:) “If I am perfect, then how in God’s name did I end up creating something that would not choose perfection? Someone once said that a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit.” Another good point, but again making God subject to the rules of the game He created. And basically, it’s all founded on your own self-righteous conception of what is good and what is evil, or bad for us. You claim it was downright evil of God to have allowed evil. I claim that you’re being short-sighted. Short-sightedness is when the caterpillar thinks the cocoon is the end. Or the grain of wheat thinks it’s the end when it falls into the ground and dies. Shortsightedness is when all we see is the here and now. But God has promised a better there and then. You may not believe those promises. I do. And I say, who’s to say that this current age of the Fall of man is not going to be the best for us all? A lesson and an experience we’re never going to forget? Short.sightedness is when we think we know better than God to discern between good and evil. (Quote:) “Was Eve Perfect? If she was, she would not have taken the fruit. If she wasn’t, I created imperfection.” God saw all that He had made that it was good. He didn’t go as far as to say perfect – yet. See, sometimes a little process of imperfection is what it takes to make something perfect. The dark conrasts that are needed to make the picture perfect. The sickness necessary for us to appreciate health… Short-sighted would be our notion to claim that our idea of a “perfect” picture would be better. (Quote:) “I could not live with myself if I thought my actions were causing harm to others.” You’ll get over it. Mr. Barker and millions of his country-men watch innocent people die on behalf of their government or their own lethargy or selfishness every day, and I assure you, it’s not You causing the harm, it’s we ourselves. Most of us just wouldn’t admit it in a million years.” (Quote:) “If you are my creator, then I could spout tenderness out of one side of my mouth and brutality out of the other. I could dance with my lover on the bones of my
errant children, and pretend to enjoy it. I would be very human indeed.” Well, since you evidently are only the pitiful outgrowth of someone’s distorted idea of the Real Thing, that is true. And we humans take every right to act in such a biased way, but what do we care, as long as we have You to blame? – Or our half-cooked perception of you, anyway. If we would stick to the information we have about You, we would know that You are without partiality, not a respector of persons, and that You want every soul to come to the light. But since that’s so utterly different from our own nature, it’s easier to reject who You truly are and make up our own concoctions of you, and call that “god” and worship it, only to blame You then when our own phantasy has let us down, as in poor Mr. Barker’s case. (Quote:) “Jesus spent only about thirty-six hours of an eternal life sentence in hell …If my righteous judgment demanded absolute satisfaction, then Jesus should have paid the price in full, don’t you think? Again, applying earthly rules of time to spiritual scopes that poor little carnal barking minds know nothing of, tsk, tsk. Just a little correction on your faulty math, though, Bark: 3 days makes a wee bit more than 36 hrs., don’t you think? Besides, His episode in hell was no punishment. His death was an act that He took upon Himself to atone the punishment for us. His 3 days in hell were for the purpose of “preaching to the spirits in prison,” and should give you a bit more of an insight about hell: there is a way out, otherwise He might as well have saved His breath, right? (Quote:) “Beyond that, it is entirely incomprehensible to me why you think I would accept the blood of one individual for the crime of another. Is that fair? Is that justice?” Well spoken, Lucifer, I mean Mr. Barker – although you must admit, some of your trains of thought sound devilish familiar, don’t they? Why don’t you just admit that the great villain of the story was always a lot more to your liking, which is also why the god you pretended to serve was so much like him (you were not the only Christian doing that, by the way)? - Always the accuser of the saints, and of course, of God Almighty Himself, because you’d just love to have that position yourself, instead of dancing on some other sucker’s parade, right? And truly spoken as a man or deity of justice as well, and righteousness, well, at least self-righteousness. But the difference is that according to the story, Jesus isn’t just any old ordinary dude. It’s God bleeding for you, and it’s not as if you’re the only ungrateful s.o.b., but nevertheless ungrateful.
I bet you wouldn’t mind seeing Him crucified again and again and again, wouldn’t you? – And perhaps hammer a nail into one of those arms yourself with glee? Well, that’s precisely what you’re doing. And you know what? He loves you anyway. I know you hate that fact more than your own miserable existence, but some facts not even all the distortions of your brain can change. (Quote:) “It is tough to open my arms to welcome believers into heaven who have avoided the rap for their own actions.” Well, that’s precisely what hell is for, dweeb – the one you said you’d hate yourself so much for, had you created it… Again, along with the consequences we already reap for our actions in this life… (Quote:) “Let’s assume that Jesus and I worked it all out and that evil will be punished and good rewarded. How do I know the difference? You are insisting that I not consult any rule book. You are asking me to be the Final Authority.” Who says that no books will be opened? Ever read the Book of Revelation? Let me guess: “Yes, but it never made any sense to me.” I know. I see. He may be the final Authority, but He won’t stop Himself from recruiting the counsel of many others. Unlike the lonely dude of a god in your brain, the Real God isn’t a oneman-show. Team-work is the order of the new day, and you can bet your hiney that righteous judgment will be found in each case. (Quote:) “To have a nature or character means to be one way and not another. It means that there are limits.” Only if imposed by some limited half-brain. Not if your very “nature” already implies that you have not limits. Just because Lex Luthor says to Superman, “You can’t fly,” doesn’t mean he won’t fly anyway. (Quote:) “If my “nature” is clearly defined, then I am limited. “ God’s nature is defined by love. Now, if that means your definition of love, who clearly is unable to love anything but yourself, then we’d all be in bad shape if those limitations were imposed on God. Who’s making the rules, dude? You? Or Him? I know you hate it, but He does, and you just can’t help it. It is that way! Get over it! (Quote:) “…to say that God has such-and-such a nature is meaningless.” Just as meaningless as love is to folks like you, while to those who actually live, it is everything. (Quote:) “If I have no limits, then I have no identity.”
Says who? Barks Almighty? Sounds great, but looks real shitty under the scrutiny of reality. (Quote:) “If morality is discovered in nature, then you don’t need me, except maybe to prod you along.” A kid will learn how to walk by himself eventually, but it’s still great to have a parent to “prod him along,” isn’t it? Well, in most cases. In your case, I suspect it may well have been an exception. But whoever you’re angry with– that person or phantom is not God! (Quote:) “I don’t have an environment.” Says who? Mr. “I-don’t-have-an-imagination-worth-a-penny”? Or Mr. “I-once-was-apreacher-but-didn’t-read-my-Bible”? Don’t limit the Almighty or anyone else to the pitiful dark emptiness of the abyss of your mind! It’s horrible enough you have to live with it. I realize that the barks of Mr. Barker are already nearly 20 years old, and this response may be a little late, although I doubt that I’m the first one to answer his “letter.” But since it is still used as a reference and argument by those who seek to free the world from religion in order to replace it with their own ideology, which will doubtlessly be much better and more efficient than the ones of their predecessors like Adolph Hitler, Stalin or Mao Zee Dung, I guess you people will mind me posting my answer here, but I’ll do it anyway…
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