Video: Hitchens welcomes Mother Teresa into the atheist fold

posted at 8:25 pm on August 28, 2007 by Allahpundit

The guy on the other side of the window who seems to want to express Christ’s love by taking a swing at Hitch is Bill Donohue, whom you may remember from l’affaire Marcotte or from his highly nuanced comments about Jews on Scarborough’s show a few years ago. I wrote about the Mother Teresa “revelations” the other day but Hitchens’s reaction has me intrigued. It sounded to me as though a few moments of doubt expressed over the course of many years had been cherry picked to make it look like she had all but abandoned her faith; Hitch seems to think there’s something to that possibility, though. Fair reading or opportunistic attempt to enlist her to the atheist cause? The big A’s got a rendezvous with Amazon to find out.

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Of course, I have nothing to lose by believing in God – and if I believe correctly I will avoid hell

I politely disagree. You have much to LOSE by believing in God. If Naturalism or Atheism is true, then from one perspective, there is much “to lose” if Christianity is a myth. I find it very interesting that the apostle Paul says in the letter to the church at Corinth, “if the dead are not raised, let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”

The Apostle Paul disagreed with Pascal’s Wager.

…it’s just there’s so many religions out there it’s kind of a lottery anyway.

Suppose I pick, I dunno, the Jehova’s Witnesses and it turns out that Mormonism was the right choice. All that wasted effort, for nothing.

Good point. I think the subject of religious diversity is a huge important issue to deal with. But I think there are answers to this complex subject. Not easy “fast food” version answers, but sound answers nonetheless though.

I do think that picking religions does involve a rational criteria, similar to the same epistemic test employed in choosing worldviews.

Pascal was wrong. Betting on God’s existence is not straightforward and you do lose something – a life free from the shackles of religion.

uptight on August 29, 2007 at 1:56 AM

I agree with you that Pascal was mistaken. If Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, and others are correct that religion is a myth, then you do lose something.

However, if Naturalism or Atheism is a myth, then a person may indeed gain something by choosing Jesus Christ alone and abandoning the idols of the heart.

ColtsFan on August 29, 2007 at 3:13 AM

Either way, his service is appreciated. Glad to hear he’s still with us. I remember your posting on what you just said, and feeling like I was there. You described his service very well. Sorry for drawing the wrong conclusion. Like you, my father served in the military, was a ‘non-believer’, while my mother was the one teaching me to keep an open mind, question our existence, and not hold others’ beliefs in contempt.
Myself; I just went about going to church, learning that significance, even if just for the sake of balance (good/evil; black/white; yin/yang), is worth devoting my life to something/someone better than who I was. And to be honest, I’m grateful to have 3 wonderful children who I can now better guide and direct through life with a fundamental understanding (at a younger, more impressionistic stage) to “Do Unto Others”, “Turn the Other Cheek” and “Love Thy Neighbor” (as in: your own father, who made sacrifices for my own family; without “Faith”, neither my children or self would care to realize, appreciate or understand the concepts of Love and Grace as well as we would without it.
Thank him for his service for me. Tell him I pray on behalf of him and his fellow (and fallen) comrades. Regardless of his or your religious beliefs; I respect the freedom of choice I have that he fought for, and am grateful we live in a country that enables us to think as freely as we do.

nationspatriotcom on August 29, 2007 at 3:13 AM

Strange as it might seem, although I am a non believer, I consider Christ to have been a very great man and an extremely good example to all.

MB4 on August 29, 2007 at 3:36 AM

Religious experience is subjective,

Though religious experience does contain an element of subjectivity, (i.e., a “personal, subjective encounter with another Being)
this does not entail that propositions expressing religious statements or “truths involving religion” are themselves subjective in nature.

The same rational criteria used to decide between competing, conflicting worldviews can also be used to decide which religion to embrace and which religion is false. As philosopher Mortimer Adler used to say, “There is Truth in Religion.” And he was referring to an objective, rational criteria that can be used to decide between religions concerning their truthfulness or falsity.

and I can’t climb inside your head, but if it took some major introspective revelation to make you turn to the bible, how do you know that this experience isn’t coloring your assessment.

I think suffering and life itself causes everyone at times in their life to ask “the deep questions.”

That is why I respect Existentialism. Those non-Christian, secular, Existentialists (Sartre, Albert Camus, Nietzsche) are raising and asking the right questions. I may disagree with some of their conclusions.

By the way, I am not advocating, “it is wise to interpret one’s life through the interpretive grid of a painful life experience.” That is not my position at all. I am indeed advocating using the same rational criteria that is employed in discussing the validity of competing worldviews, and try to apply that to the question of religious diversity.

I just think that Life itself and suffering, provide some rich contexts and keen insights that sharpen us as we all come to grips with the “big questions”. The same ones raised by the secular existentialists.

People can read anything into anything. 9/11 conspiracy theorists prove this. They look at the evidence and, because of their perspective is skewed by their problems, it “makes sense” to them that the government flew the planes into the WTC.

People who don’t suffer from their problems, see exactly the same evidence and form more reasonable conclusions.

I agree with you. We are on the same page here. “Rational criteria” is or should be the interpretive grid for discussing the difficult question of religious diversity. The element of subjectivity (mentioned in my earlier post) comes later once the hard, philosophical problems are first dealt with.

I don’t know what your sin is. If it’s a big, huge. real sin (like killing someone), then perhaps the “forgiveness” offered in the bible, gives you comfort and allows you to cope with what you did.

It doesn’t mean it’s true, though.

uptight on August 29, 2007 at 2:15 AM

I am sorry for communicating confusion. Sometimes concise words like the following….

Personally, until I realized the depth of the problem (my problem), then I never fully appreciated the magnitude of the solution.

ColtsFan on August 29, 2007 at 1:32 AM

add clarity. Other times (in my case), they only add confusion.

My comment earlier was only meant to point out that one’s metaphysical commitments about the nature of man can be either a help or hindrance concerning the “God question.”

Reading Romans chapters 1-7
revealed to me that I personally had a faulty metaphysical commitment about who ColtsFan was as a person.

That is all that I was earlier trying to say.

ColtsFan on August 29, 2007 at 3:48 AM

I also might believe in God if a reasonable case were to be made. I’ve just never heard one.

uptight on August 29, 2007 at 2:20 AM

I think this guy is pretty good at providing good reasons for the rationality of Christianity.

Norman Geisler has also written some good stuff here.

For more technical scholarly work, feel free to check out the Argument of Reason here as well as here.

ColtsFan on August 29, 2007 at 4:02 AM

“Rational criteria” is or should be the interpretive grid for discussing the difficult question of religious diversity. The element of subjectivity (mentioned in my earlier post) comes later once the hard, philosophical problems are first dealt with.

It depends on what is being assessed. If we are comparing the conduct of religions, then we are using our morality to guide us. However it is still OUR viewpoint. It is still OUR morality. Sure – it may be “right” by normal, human standards of decency…but it’s still subjective.

For example, in our opinion many aspects of Islamic jurisprudence are harsh, barbaric and cruel. To a Wahabist, they are justified and compassionate.

We can hold our heads up and say “we are right and they are wrong”, but right or wrong, it is still our opinion vs. theirs. Morality is about our standards and values. Itis subjective.

Objective reasoning can be applied to more factual discussions.

For instance, some people believe the Earth is flat. This belief is not personal standards and values, it’s about objective reality. Either the world is flat or it isn’t. We can objectively state that the world is round, based on concrete evidence, logic and our own experience.

Objective rational criteria can be used to assess world views. We can objectively say that Communism is not a viable political system because it has failed in every country where it has been tried.

Communists may have thier own excuses for its failure, but they can’t provide any example of its success.

Theistic religions will run into great problems when it coms to objective rational criteria. That is because the beliefs and doctrines of all the major theistic religions are as factually sturdy as those of flat earthers.

They are negated by scientific discoveries and logic. They thrive on superstition and faith – not fact. Sure you can compare…bt it’s rather like saying that leprachauns are more plausible than tooth fairies.

Unless you are going to ignore the minutia (e.g. the immaculate conception, talking bushes etc.), it’s probably good to steer away from an objective rational criteria comparision of religion vs. science (or even Buddhism, which scores over theistic religions in terms of subjective morality and objective explanation of the mechanics of life).

uptight on August 29, 2007 at 6:31 AM

MB4:

The more like Christ a Christian is the better person he likely is. The more like Mohammad a Muslim is the worse person he likely is. So I guess we should all want Christians to be good at being Christians and Muslims to be poor at being Muslims. Frankly the best Muslims seem to be those who are not very good at being Muslims.

Oh, I agree. I have nothing against Christians.

Judeo-Christian society has given us most of the great things on this planet. It gave us the medicines that fight our infections, it gave us the machinery, technology, transport and telecommunications we need. It gave us rock n roll and pizza. It is what stands between us and sharia law.

That’s not tacit proof in itself. The Japanese have given us loads of wonderful stuff too and they believe in shinto.

I’m not being snarky, but Christianity has had its darker moments. And I’m not sure the Christian version of Christ is same as the Jewish revolutionary zealot that actual walked this Earth…but even so, the peace n love hippy Christ we see in the bible isn’t the worst role model.

As for the other guy (pbuh) why anyone would aspire to follow a bandit, warlord pedophile is beyond me.

uptight on August 29, 2007 at 6:55 AM


Or am I simply a doubter?

I had another word in mind, like nitwit. Because Mother Theresa had doubts you label her an athiest? It seems non-believers want to take her into the athiest fold to validate their own feelings about God…or non feelings.

I do not care if someone believes in a higher being or not, but it does seem a bit egotistical to believe there is nothing greater than yourself.

the witch on August 29, 2007 at 7:01 AM

“an englishman needs to be quiet when an irishman talks”

pwned!!!

ernesto on August 29, 2007 at 7:41 AM

Not because you are religious, but because I myself have experienced and felt it keenly, I will tell you that in such moments [times of suffering and solitude] one thirsts like “parched grass” for faith and finds it precisely because truth shines in misfortune. I will tell you regarding myself that I am a child of the age, a child of nonbelief and doubt up till now and even (I know it) until my coffin closes. What terrible torments this thirst to believe has cost me and still costs me, becoming stronger in my soul, the more there is in me of contrary reasonings. And yet sometimes God sends me moments in which I am utterly at peace.

-Fyodor Dostoevsky, in a letter to a friend

I’m sorry, but expressing momentary lapses in faith or doubt does not make a person an atheist, contrary to what nonfactor or jayhaw would have you believe. Who knows what Mother Teresa believed in her final hour? Who knows what Dostoevsky believed? But to me, both were shining examples of Christians, not simply because of the good works they did, but also because they wrestled with their faith. The militant atheists on this thread would be annoying if they weren’t so predictable. We can play semantic games about “lacking belief” or “believing that there is no God” all night long, but it won’t accomplish anything. Atheists have already made up their mind long ago. They attempt to cloak their close-mindedness by constantly shouting how they are the rational ones, they are the enlightened ones. They aren’t fooling anyone, only annoying the rest of the planet.

WillBarrett on August 29, 2007 at 7:46 AM

I’m telling ya…stay away from this hitchens guy….

locomotivebreath1901 on August 29, 2007 at 8:13 AM

Silliness…

Case closed. No need for “intellectuals”.

Move along. Nothing to see here.

Montana on August 29, 2007 at 1:00 AM

Montana, it sounds like you are quite content with your convictions, and that you get impatient with the rehashing of the debate about faith that occurs here so frequently. I look forward to these threads, for these reasons.

1. Both sides are presented with the very best effort at clear and convincing reasons that people have. A lot of work goes into the back and forth, thus I am exposed to new ideas, new sources of reading material, and mental exercise that exists nowhere else in my day to day routines.

2. Because the same people show up again and again, I get to know them — and trust them. And when they say something I disagree with, either on this topic or in other threads, I don’t tend to get my dander up, because common ground is established and we share respect for one another.

3. New people show up from time to time, and their perspectives not only add richness and diversity; they also prevent cliques from forming, which would surely spoil the freewheeling and earnest nature of the discussions.

This one’s a no-brainer…My sentiments exactly.

nationspatriotcom on August 29, 2007 at 2:06 AM

npc, this was originally directed at you, too, but to your credit, you returned with some polite and thoughtful comments.

RushBaby on August 29, 2007 at 8:48 AM

My two cents:

A lot of people find the way to govern themselves(form beliefs/opinions, control impulses, manage their thoughts and deeds, etc.) through belief in the ultimate good of God. Their goodness derives from that.

Others, with the same goal, believe they choose good independently, after weighing the alternatives.

For earthly and practical purposes, these people are passengers on the same ship. Their similarities outweigh their differences.

JiangxiDad on August 29, 2007 at 9:06 AM

Buckley’s firt remark sums it up:

“Yeah, well this is kind of laughable, isn’t it? I mean
I suppose next week we’ll find out Mother Theresa considered herself to be a sinner as well.”

Spot – on. Hitchens should have looked somewhere else to find evidence for his worldview. Her expressions of doubt in no way reinforces the athiestic argument; rather, they reveal her inspiring devotion to God and his work. A solid faith endures moments of doubt; if not, it is at the mercy of our emotions and circumstances. It’s precisely these moments when we are not experiencing his reassurance that strengthen us. God insists that we grow in knowledge and in our trust in Him; otherwise what would we be able to do for Him here? We would fold at the first moment of trial.

The quote from Mother Theresa shown in the clip didn’t express any doubt about God’s existance at all. She even calls out to him, saying “My God”.

And I’m not saying that I know know what her doubt was about. She could be expressing a lack of faith in some aspect of her calling. It could be doubts about God’s approval or compassion; it could be that she was experiencing a “dark night of the soul” similar to St. John and millions of other followers of Christ. It could be the hardships of her service taking their toll or simply an episode of depression.
But to argue that it was atheism? I think he’s reaching a bit too far…

If you’re an atheist, you’ll need to do better than take a few quotes from Mother Theresa out of context to make an argument that she was an athiest and therefore God doesn’t exist.

Dork B. on August 29, 2007 at 9:08 AM

A study in thought by Mother Teresa, and she is an atheist.

By that strange process we are all murderers, rapists, suicidal, thieves, etc.

A thought passes through, we analyse that thought, then discard it. You would thing that would be normal, part of the sorting out of strange occurances, or invasive thoughts that invade our minds, we look at life from a different side, maybe a dark side, then we discard because we replace it with something good, real, what we really do enjoy. A check and balance of morals and attitudes. Probing for a weakness, then shoring it up with our strength.

You look over a bridge, write down later what would the feeling be to toss yourself over the railing, free falling, what would the impact be like, the feeling be, the impact on your family, the funeral…oops, back to reality, but you write it down as a weighty thought, you investigated those feelings and discarded them, but not the analysis. Someone reads it years later and proclaims you were suicidal.

right2bright on August 29, 2007 at 9:08 AM

right2bright on August 29, 2007 at 9:08 AM

I like what you wrote. I would hate for someone to think they knew me, because they were able to see one avenue I went down.

JiangxiDad on August 29, 2007 at 9:17 AM

right2bright on August 29, 2007 at 9:08 AM

Really good analogy. Really, really good stuff.

RushBaby on August 29, 2007 at 9:18 AM

CS Lewis has written about how true faith and isolated moments of doubt do indeed co-exist. I wish I could find the quote I was looking for, but here are a couple of thought-provokers:

Now that I am a Christian I do have moods in which the whole thing looks improbable: but when I was an atheist I had moods in which Christianity looked terribly probable.” – Mere Christianity

“When we exhort people to Faith as a virtue, to the settled intention of continuing to believe certain things, we are not exhorting them to fight against reason. The intention of continuing to believe is required because, though Reason is divine, human reasoners are not. When once passion takes part in the game, the human reason, unassisted by Grace, has about as much chance of retaining its hold on truths already gained as a slowflake has of retaining its consistency in the mouth of a blast furnace”.

Dork B. on August 29, 2007 at 9:27 AM

If Christopher Hitchens says ‘God does not exist,’ he’s a “dogmatic atheist,” if Mother Teresa says it she simply has “doubt.”

Nonfactor on August 28, 2007 at 8:46 PM

What atheists don’t understand is that ALL Christians doubt the existence of God at some point in their lives, especially Christians who deal with the crap Teresa put up with in her time.

She had to meet with Clinton at one point.

But honestly, even Christ Himself wanted a different path in life. He didn’t disbelief God’s existence, but the sweating blood thing surely points to a disagreement in over how God wanted everything to play out in the end.

Esthier on August 29, 2007 at 9:30 AM

She had to meet with Clinton at one point.

Hahahahahahahaha. This is bound to be the funniest thing I read all day.

JiangxiDad on August 29, 2007 at 9:49 AM

Dork B. on August 29, 2007 at 9:27 AM

Yes, C.S. Lewis taps into man’s questioning several times. In fact that is what brought him to being a Christian, the rejection of Christ, the reasoning for rejection of Christ, and then he went out to support that belief, to prove that Christ was fiction…he instead found the Truth, a great journey that most Christians make. A journey that most atheists and agnostics will make (they hate to hear that, but it is a fact).

right2bright on August 29, 2007 at 9:57 AM

Mr. Hitchens has never, I suspect, rescued anyone & certainly not off of the streets. Mother Teresa brought the maggot-infested,dying ‘untouchables’ into a safe dwelling, cleaning them up that they might die in peace…..day after day. This could shake anyone’s Faith.
“You will know the tree by the fruit it bares.”

lobosan5 on August 29, 2007 at 10:13 AM

JiangxiDad on August 29, 2007 at 9:17 AM

Thanks, or judge us by one posting. We have all posted things we have regretted.
Thanks RushBaby, a lot of what you write I like also.

You don’t have to be an atheist or a Faithful person to do critical thinking. The atheist fall off the track in attacking the faith rather than the actually analysing the event. It shows to me that their focus in on Christ…something that doesn’t exist? They have to look into their souls and see what is driving them to attack something that does not exist…unless it does exist.
The atheist, the true atheists I have met, are the ones that have enjoyed and supported the faith of others. They understand the action of faith and what how it helps humanity, and are grateful for its contributions.
Those are the ones on the death bed, that die as an atheist, but with peace in their souls.

right2bright on August 29, 2007 at 10:15 AM


“an englishman needs to be quiet when an irishman talks”

pwned!!!

ernesto on August 29, 2007 at 7:41 AM

Yep – that’s the best line of the night. That one goes into my verbal weapons vault immediately.

JDinSC on August 29, 2007 at 11:51 AM

npc, this was originally directed at you, too, but to your credit, you returned with some polite and thoughtful comments.

RushBaby on August 29, 2007 at 8:48 AM

Well written post. I agree.
My point, initially, was that a vast majority of us on this site are, for the most part, agreeable on most (political) terms. If we knew each other on the street, most of us would certainly help each other out if the other(s) were in need.

You nailed it when you said:

because common ground is established and we share respect for one another

I appreciate your kindness, tolerance, and acknowledgment of others. You always (nearly every thread) take the time to really think about your insights before providing them, and always avoid intentionally insulting someone. I admire that as I try to do the same.
My first post, after reading over it, sounded too harsh when directed at MB4. I felt that it needed more clarity, so I toned it down, and redirected my sentiment without disagreement, but rather appreciate what I’ve grown to learn from each of you who post regularly.
My only concern, to summarize, was that I didn’t ‘enjoy’ reading a thread where common-thinkers tear at each other over ideals and beliefs. IMO, we just would be better off understanding the others’ point of view and trying to reach ‘tolerable diversity’, rather than ‘joust’ over our subjective views.
I suppose, however, after having considered your insight, that in having such a debate of different views, you’re correct in that we can get to know each other better and even learn some things along the way.

Also, I agree with the sentiment here:

I have arrived at the conclusion, in agreement with you, that Mother Teresa never LOST her faith. That instead, she was sorely tested.

It’s a shame that some wish to exploit a wonderful, loving, caring woman who (along with devoting her life to impact others in a positive way) expressed her doubts – for the sake of ‘disproving’ a deity, for their own agendas. Hitchens, who is clearly an intelligent man, simply wants to use what he can to intentionally mislead those who will follow his lead, so he can profit by selling them books that ‘validate’ what his subjective views are, passing them off as proof. After all, the more people you convince to see things your way, the less you stand alone on one side…

which reminds me of this quote, spoken first by Baudelaire, the French poet, circa 1864, popularized by Verbal Kint in the film The Usual Suspects:

The greatest trick the Devil pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist…

nationspatriotcom on August 29, 2007 at 2:09 PM

Good heavens. To doubt one’s Faith, to experience the “dark night of the soul” are as common as a cold in the lives of many Saints.
CS Lewis, mentioned above, felt it after the death of his wife.
God chastises whom He loves… and for His own Good Inscrutable reasons.
I really like Hitchens, and I pray for him.

Randy

williars on August 29, 2007 at 2:18 PM

nationspatriotcom on August 29, 2007 at 2:09 PM

I am humbled and touched by your reply, and proud to consider you a friend.

RushBaby on August 29, 2007 at 3:52 PM

Are you Richard Dawkins?

:)

JayHaw Phrenzie on August 29, 2007 at 2:23 AM

If he is he needs to give up his belief in evolution and go with punctuated equilibrium. Much more logical.

MB4 on August 29, 2007 at 2:35 AM

Hmmm, that’s interesting. Can you explain in what way(s) punctuated equilibrium is more logical? Can you can explain why punctuated equilibrium is inconsistent with evolution? Do the majority of biologists believe that punctuated equilibrium is: (1) true? (2) inconsistent with evolution? If you can’t give satisfactory answers to the above, are we entitled to conclude that you’re using terms you don’t know the meaning of?

student on August 29, 2007 at 4:19 PM

I may even believe if he didn’t use fear to make me believe. It’s just…spending eternity with a sadistic, petty meglomaniac doesn’t seem much of an alternative to the hell we are threatened with.

uptight on August 29, 2007 at 1:25 AM

Exactly. God gives us free choice. Choice to love him or choice to reject him. He will not voilate your free will.

I apparrently have the opposite view of God than you do. I know him as a loving Father whoo gave his life for me.

Even if I agreed with you, I would still be a Christian. Disapproval of God or not understanding Him is not a rationl argument for his non-existance.

Imagine you are on a boat and fall overboard. Someone you can’t stand throws you a lifesaver. A few possibilities are:
1. Take it and live
2. Rant about how you can’t stand the person and the injustice of having to be saved by someone you hate.
3. Pretend you don’t see the lifesaver

Needless to say, choices 2 & 3 will probably end up with you drowning. In this case, who is responsible for this death? Obviously the person who drowned. Yet somehow, the blame gets put on the person who threw the lifesaver.

I know it is an imperfect analogy, but you get the idea.

jman on August 29, 2007 at 5:24 PM

But honestly, even Christ Himself wanted a different path in life. He didn’t disbelief God’s existence, but the sweating blood thing surely points to a disagreement in over how God wanted everything to play out in the end.

Esthier on August 29, 2007 at 9:30 AM

Wow, great point

jman on August 29, 2007 at 5:33 PM

Now if God proved his existence in the modern era by doing something nice or useful – making it rain chocolate that doesn’t make you fat or smiting jihadists, wasps and rap music, speaking via cable television – then I’d believe.

uptight on August 29, 2007 at 1:25 AM

Now you just seem to be making crap up.

You want jihadists dead but don’t think it was great that slave-owning Egypt got its military arse handed to it by the Almighty and think fat free chocolate would be awesome but pass on the deal of getting high class wine out of water and food enough for thousands out of a kid’s lunch box.

You’ve just proven with your own list that even “good” deeds wouldn’t get you to believe.

Personally, I like the idea of spending eternity with a god who thinks it’s a good idea to still serve the good wine after the guests are already drunk. I hate it when the bartender decides for him/herself that I’m drunk and therefore won’t care what’s in my drink.

Oh, and as to point number 2: Salt is a seasoning, not a condiment, and nowhere in the Bible does it say that God turned Lot’s wife into salt. She transformed into salt when she looked back, but it doesn’t say God turned her into salt.

The preceding passages are very clear. Destruction was coming, those who heeding the warning would be saved, but those who didn’t would be “swept away.” That’s exactly what happened.

I’d argue your other points, but you’re a little too caught up in the idea that you know as much as any god that could possibly exist, which is illogical. If god, any god, exists, then, by definition, that god is a higher being, capable of thoughts you and I are not capable of even beginning to understand. If god is no more logical than you or I, god is not a superior being and, by definition, is not god.

Esthier on August 29, 2007 at 5:44 PM

jman on August 29, 2007 at 5:33 PM

Thanks. The “please let this cup pass” thing is something of a comfort in my mind. If even Christ had His moments like that, then mine are meaningless.

Esthier on August 29, 2007 at 5:46 PM

The disillusionment from reality I see in many of the Christians here is frightening. If we are to believe Mother Teresa’s writings she was an atheist. Period. You can call it “moments of doubt” to make yourself feel better, but it only further illustrates your detachment from rationality.

Disapproval of God or not understanding Him is not a rationl argument for his non-existance.

jman on August 29, 2007 at 5:24 PM

A “rationl” argument? To see a Christian talk about a rational argument when referring to God is laughable, especially knowing that without a slight hesitation you would abandon the use of physical evidence or ignore the falsities in The Bible in attempts to justify your biased belief.

Esthier on August 29, 2007 at 9:30 AM

Read Resolute’s post at 9:13.

They have to look into their souls and see what is driving them to attack something that does not exist…unless it does exist.

right2bright on August 29, 2007 at 10:15 AM

Do you really think this is sound reasoning? You’re missing a vital part of your argument, I’ll see if you can find it for yourself. Christians (and many other religious peoples) try and ignore the fact that they took something called a “leap of faith,” and continue ignoring the fact when they try and use logic when arguing with people. If you aren’t clouded by bias you see it, if you are, you miss it. And I’ll give you a hint in figuring out the hole in your logic. Atheists also deny thousands of other religions, not just Christianity.

Nonfactor on August 29, 2007 at 5:46 PM

Read Resolute’s post at 9:13.

That’s a semantical argument that says nothing about whether or not she was still a Christian.

Read the Bible. Over and over again, doubt is a key issue that tests the vast majority of the main characters.

Esthier on August 29, 2007 at 5:49 PM

Let me explain something here as well, I don’t know for a fact that Mother Teresa was a Christian at all. I can only speak for myself.

I’m not saying that she definitely had nothing more than little doubts. I’m only saying that doubts are very common and do not make someone stop being a Christian.

She may have been an atheist. Only she and God can say for sure.

Esthier on August 29, 2007 at 5:52 PM

Atheists also deny thousands of other religions, not just Christianity.

Nonfactor on August 29, 2007 at 5:46 PM

Yes, and they frequently attack the beliefs of other religious people as well. This does nothing to disprove right2bright’s statement.

Esthier on August 29, 2007 at 5:53 PM

A “rationl” argument? To see a Christian talk about a rational argument when referring to God is laughable, especially knowing that without a slight hesitation you would abandon the use of physical evidence or ignore the falsities in The Bible in attempts to justify your biased belief.

Thank you for demonstrating my point. Instead of countering my argument, you dismissed it because you do not agree with the source. For a person to dismiss the existance of something because they do not like it is not rational.

I should know, because I suffered from the same flawed thinking during my younger years. I even bought all of the so-called bible contradictions, until I put them into context.

What people like Hitchens do to the bible is no different than what the left does to the constitition. They pick and chose what suites their ideology and rip other items out of context and insert things that are not there:

Separation of Church & state (i.e. freedom from religion), constitutional right to abortions, etc.

jman on August 29, 2007 at 6:02 PM

Read the Bible. Over and over again, doubt is a key issue that tests the vast majority of the main characters.

Esthier on August 29, 2007 at 5:49 PM

Your point being? You can call it “doubt” but what it amounts to is a rejection of faith, God, and Catholicism. Period. To pretend like she was a Christian after seeing this evidence is absurd.

She may have been an atheist. Only she and God can say for sure.

Esthier on August 29, 2007 at 5:52 PM

And being that she’s said her mind and God doesn’t exist I think we all know the truth.

This does nothing to disprove right2bright’s statement.

Esthier on August 29, 2007 at 5:53 PM

His statement about what? That because atheists attack Christianity it must mean that they think the Christian God exists? Uh, hello? Don’t tell me you’re just going to ignore that tremendous flaw in logic because it fits your bias. Or is it his point that not understanding an imaginary being that is defined in a myriad of different ways by a myriad of different sects of Christianity does not prove said beings nonexistence? Of course I’d agree that misunderstanding or disapproval does not prove nonexistence, what I would argue is that evidence and falsities in The Bible prove the nonexistence of your God. Let me repeat what I said earlier in this thread: I know there is no Christian God similar to how I know there is no Muslim God or Grecian gods. I do not know whether or not there is a “God,” but the way you think of God is most likely different than what I am thinking of (not something that personally created human beings et cetera). The only reason I do not know that there is a God is because it is impossible to prove, similarly I do not know whether or not there are aliens (though probability would indicate there are) or invisible beings that take the shape of unicorns and dance around in clouds after rainy days. If it was proven that a God did exist (in whatever form) I would obviously believe in it, but that isn’t to say I’d worship it and mold my life around what human beings interpret it’s will to be.

For a person to dismiss the existance of something because they do not like it is not rational.

jman on August 29, 2007 at 6:02 PM

You believe in something when there is no proof of its “existance,” and you’re talking about rationality in argument? My point wasn’t to state whether or not I agreed with someone else’s argument for not believing in God, it was to point out your own hypocrisy.

Nonfactor on August 29, 2007 at 6:16 PM

You believe in something when there is no proof of its “existance,” and you’re talking about rationality in argument? My point wasn’t to state whether or not I agreed with someone else’s argument for not believing in God, it was to point out your own hypocrisy.

Actually, I never claimed this, so I don’t know how you can say I am a hypocrite without knowing how I came to believe in God. When I became a christian, I wanted to believe it was not true to justify my life choices.

You need to acknowledge that there is a difference between blind faith and reasoned faith. You also should acknowledge that both Atheism and Christianity require faith. This is why I believe it is necessary to know why you believe what you believe.

jman on August 29, 2007 at 6:30 PM

That because atheists attack Christianity it must mean that they think the Christian God exists?

No, that’s not the statement.

Your point being? You can call it “doubt” but what it amounts to is a rejection of faith, God, and Catholicism. Period. To pretend like she was a Christian after seeing this evidence is absurd.

Again, you’re arguing semantics. But according to Christian theology, which is the only thing that can say who is and who isn’t a Christian, one can disbelieve and still be a Christian.

Those are just the facts.

Esthier on August 29, 2007 at 6:56 PM

This is why I believe it is necessary to know why you believe what you believe.

jman on August 29, 2007 at 6:30 PM

Are you saying that you believe there is evidence backing up your belief in Christianity? Many here are willing to admit there is none (why it’s called “faith”) hence the need for a “leap of faith.”

You don’t need faith when you have evidence on your side. I know Genesis is false via evidence. I know the Grecian gods are false via evidence. Et cetera.

But according to Christian theology, which is the only thing that can say who is and who isn’t a Christian, one can disbelieve and still be a Christian.

Those are just the facts.

Esthier on August 29, 2007 at 6:56 PM

So you can not believe in God and still be a Christian? Really? I’m sure there’s a passage in The Bible you could use to reinforce this belief seeing as how The Bible washes away any and all contradictions in your perceived view of the Christian faith.

Nonfactor on August 29, 2007 at 7:32 PM

Are you saying that you believe there is evidence backing up your belief in Christianity? Many here are willing to admit there is none (why it’s called “faith”) hence the need for a “leap of faith.”

Both sides need faith. I’m just being honest about it.

I also suggest that it is possible to base your faith on the preponderance of the evidence. I drive across a bridge every day. I don’t know if it is going fall down. I have faith based on evidence that it will not.

We both look at the same set of facts and interpret them differently. We both have faith that our interpretation is correct.

One or neither of us is correct. We are not both correct.

jman on August 29, 2007 at 8:07 PM

One or neither of us is correct. We are not both correct.

jman on August 29, 2007 at 8:07 PM

The basics of religious tenants include:
1) God exists.
2) God has a plan.
3) Humans cannot know the plan.
4) Humans must take a leap of faith in believing in God.

It requires no faith to know that Genesis is untrue. It requires no faith to deny the existence of the Easter Bunny. When the actual evidence is in your hands contradicting the entire basis for a religion it is no longer a question about who is right, we know who’s right, and we know who is taking a leap of faith.

Nonfactor on August 29, 2007 at 9:55 PM

3) Humans cannot know the plan.

Unless he wrote a book :)

jman on August 29, 2007 at 9:59 PM

Unless he wrote a book :)

jman on August 29, 2007 at 9:59 PM

Even then. See the story of Adam and Eve. They try to understand God’s plan and are punished.

Nonfactor on August 29, 2007 at 10:04 PM

You need to take it in context. God knew that that if they ate from the tree they would know good from evil and choose evil. He told them not to do so for their own good. Man disobeyed God and suffered the consequences.

He drove them from the Garden so they would not eat from the tree of life and remain in this condition forever.’

The other punishments are a constant reminder of the suffering sin brings.

jman on August 29, 2007 at 10:33 PM

jman on August 29, 2007 at 10:33 PM

Are you claiming you know your God’s plan? The bottom line is you take a “leap of faith,” almost the antithesis to reason and logic with nothing whatsoever to do with evidence.

Nonfactor on August 29, 2007 at 11:17 PM

So you can not believe in God and still be a Christian? Really? I’m sure there’s a passage in The Bible you could use to reinforce this belief seeing as how The Bible washes away any and all contradictions in your perceived view of the Christian faith.

Nonfactor on August 29, 2007 at 7:32 PM

The Bible is filled with famous doubters. If you’re still here, since this one is already off the front, I’ll show you the verses.

Esthier on September 4, 2007 at 11:50 AM

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