Is “Tebowing” an attack on Christianity?

posted at 7:00 pm on December 4, 2011 by Howard Portnoy

The question that forms the title of this post has been getting a good bit of play in conservative circles of late. It was hinted at in a segment of FOX and Friends on Friday that featured NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton. And it is the main focus of a column by National Review Online news editor Daniel Foster that appeared on Saturday.

“Tebowing,” should the term be unfamiliar, takes its name from another quarterback, current Denver Broncos play caller Tim Tebow. More specifically, the term designates the now-viral mockery of his habit of kneeling down and bowing his head after a touchdown to commune with his God.

As Foster writes with more than a hint of indignation, Tebowing his become an Internet phenomenon, with its own website, a Twitter account, and most recently a YouTube video titled “Tebowing for Dummies.” At such sites, Foster continues:

[Y]ou can see an act of communion with one’s creator rendered as a bit of pop-cultural ephemera, [complete with] pictures of folks striking the pose everywhere from Oxford to Istanbul, with that muddle of irony and enthusiasm that has become my generation’s trademark.

Foster’s obvious pique at these send-ups derives in part from the fact of Tebow’s wholesomeness (he is in Foster’s words “squeaky clean, in a sport that notoriously is not”). Wherein, Foster insists, lies the origins of Tebowing. It is, in short, “the power of Tebow’s evangelical-Christian faith, and the earnestness with which he professes it [that] seems to annoy so many people.”

I’m going to have toss out my red challenge flag here. Foster may be right that for some people, the problem isn’t Tebow’s religiosity but the fact that professional sports are “so filled with clichéd Jesus praise that” fans doubt his sincerity. But I submit that for many who prefer to spend their Sundays watching the exquisite choreography of a perfectly executed screen pass, the problem is Tebow’s self-absorption.

Tebow is free to give “mad respect” to his lord, but I’d rather he do it on his own time. A number of players cross themselves on every play, but they do it discreetly — and expeditiously. Tebow’s prayer timeouts, by contrast, are as gratuitously in-your-face as the most flagrant end zone dance. And they last as long. Yet, according to his supporters, all of footballdom is supposed to give him a pass because his purpose is holy. Isn’t that what churches are for?

Another, subtler, ingredient in the widespread antipathy toward Tebow is that he is an anomaly. His success as an NFL quarterback (he is 4 and 1 since replacing Kyle Orton at the helm of the Broncos offense) doesn’t make sense to diehard football fans. His passing numbers — he has a 45% completion rate — are awful. His team is winning through a combination of razzle-dazzle and offensive schemes that haven’t been used by college, let alone NFL, coaches in two decades.

I am predicting that “this too shall pass” (to cite a proverb that Tebow should appreciate because of its religious roots). Sooner or later all 31 remaining teams in the league will develop defensive strategies to counter Denver’s pre-Knute Rockne offense, and Tebow — and Tebowing — will be gone.

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Seriously, do you still believe, “that it’s ok to molest little children” like you did a few pages ago?

blink on December 6, 2011 at 12:00 PM

*citation needed

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Why did the 4 year old get the chemotherapy again? The 4 year old doesn’t understand why she’s forced to go through it – just like you don’t understand why she got the cancer. You’re like the 4 year old.

It is all part of the “plan”.

Pablo Honey on December 6, 2011 at 12:10 PM

And today we have the intellectual capacity of a cashew. Real big improvement.

Yes, you have the intellectual capacity of a cashew.

But we already knew that.

2,000 years from now, people will laugh at what you believe now and how arrogant you were about your beliefs and how smart you thought you were.

blink on December 6, 2011 at 12:10 PM

Send us a full report.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 12:11 PM

2,000 years from now, people will laugh at what you believe now and how arrogant you were about your beliefs and how smart you thought you were.

Shouldn’t the rapture happen by then?

Pablo Honey on December 6, 2011 at 12:12 PM

I don’t know. I don’t even know what causes gravity, and you don’t either.

blink on December 6, 2011 at 12:11 PM

If God created everything, he created cancer. Childhood cancer.

Just a reminder.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 12:13 PM

Why should I provide a citation when quoting you? You don’t provide a citation when quoting me.

blink on December 6, 2011 at 12:12 PM

*citation needed

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 12:14 PM

Maybe the plan has something to do with the mechanism for gravity. Too bad you don’t know anything about it.

blink on December 6, 2011 at 12:13 PM

Prove it.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 12:14 PM

I’ve exhibited my intellectual superiority over you countless times.

I’m intellectually inferior to people that will live 2,000 years from now, but I’m far less inferior than you are.

blink on December 6, 2011 at 12:14 PM

Whatever helps you sleep at night, champ.

You have the intellectual capacity of a cashew. Your words, not mine.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 12:15 PM

Why do fundie type people who believe in an all loving, alljust creator just relish the idea of their fellow human beings burning for eternity.

Pablo Honey on December 6, 2011 at 12:15 PM

OK, I’ll cite you right here.

Here’s the quote. Good Lt on a previous page: “It’s ok to molest little children.”

blink on December 6, 2011 at 12:16 PM

*citation needed

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 12:17 PM

Maybe the plan has something to do with the mechanism for gravity. Too bad you don’t know anything about it.

Again with the gravity?

It really keeps you up at night this whole gravity situation don’t it?

That and the many evolution theories you have interest in.

Pablo Honey on December 6, 2011 at 12:17 PM

You’re telling me to prove a “Maybe” – which was the first word of my sentence? Wow, you really are stupid.

Regardless, I can’t prove the mechanism for gravity since nobody is even close to knowing what it is.

blink on December 6, 2011 at 12:17 PM

And tell of “the plan” in which 4 year olds get cancer.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Yes, all believers relish in the idea of it. That’s why there are no missionaries in the world, and that’s why believers all hide their faith (like Tebow) – so that their fellow human beings wont find out about it and avoid burning for eternity.

blink on December 6, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Did your God create hell?

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Why do fundie type people who believe in an all loving, alljust creator just relish the idea of their fellow human beings burning for eternity.

Pablo Honey on December 6, 2011 at 12:15 PM

Well, you win the contest for most obvious strawman argument in the thread. You’ve beat some of the best! Bravo!

The building is burning, the “fundies” are trying to show you the exits, and you think that they’re giddy at the prospect of watching you burn. How self-absorbed are you?

Beo on December 6, 2011 at 12:21 PM

I just provided the citation – the quote.

blink on December 6, 2011 at 12:20 PM

*citation needed

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 12:21 PM

And tell of “the plan” in which 4 year olds get cancer.

From the religion quiz…

3. You are a product tester and frequently bring your work home. Yesterday, while dressed in a flame-resistant suit (up to 3,000 degrees) and carrying the latest model fire extinguisher, you discovered your neighbor’s house on fire. As the flames quickly spread, you stood by and watched the family perish. Which of the following best describes your behavior?

a. All-powerful
b. All-knowing
c. All-loving
d. Mysterious

Pablo Honey on December 6, 2011 at 12:21 PM

The building is burning, the “fundies” are trying to show you the exits, and you think that they’re giddy at the prospect of watching you burn. How self-absorbed are you?

Beo on December 6, 2011 at 12:21 PM

The building isn’t burning, though.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 12:21 PM

The building is burning, the “fundies” are trying to show you the exits, and you think that they’re giddy at the prospect of watching you burn. How self-absorbed are you?

Do you believe Hell is just?

Pablo Honey on December 6, 2011 at 12:22 PM

Ha ha ha. Is this the best answer you can provide? Humans don’t know what causes gravity, and you’re a below average human. You’ll never figure it out.

That’s ok, I don’t worship gravity.

Pablo Honey on December 6, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Do you really need me to provide the quote again??

blink on December 6, 2011 at 12:22 PM

Sure, with the timestamp and date.

That’s a citation.

So, again, *citation needed

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Did your God create hell?

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Well, you wouldn’t like heaven much, since God is pretty much all over that place. For somebody who hates God as much as you do, you’d be exceptionally miserable spending forever in his presense. He DOES give you free will after all, and if you can’t stand the idea of an eternity with him, he was at least very generous to provide an alternative venue for you.

Beo on December 6, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Tell me again what causes gravity.

Tell us if you believe that murder is wrong.

blink on December 6, 2011 at 12:23 PM

As soon as you tell us about all of those many theories of evolution you believe in.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Ha ha ha. Is this the best answer you can provide? Humans don’t know what causes gravity, and you’re a below average human. You’ll never figure it out.

Vishnu?

Does he cause gravity?

Thor?

Ganesh?

Pablo Honey on December 6, 2011 at 12:24 PM

If God created everything, he created cancer. Childhood cancer.

Just a reminder.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 12:13 PM

So what? Again, you don’t argue against the existence of God. You argue that it is unjust that God is not in your image. Anti-theism is not Atheism.

Why do fundie type people who believe in an all loving, alljust creator just relish the idea of their fellow human beings burning for eternity.

Pablo Honey on December 6, 2011 at 12:15 PM

Because human beings are not perfect nor do they live in a perfect world. Goes back the concept of fee will once again. Even those who claim to love God are free to act contrary to God’s laws.

Why do you continue to pretend you aren’t angry at God?

NotCoach on December 6, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Ha ha. You love those simpleton links. Do you have anything sophisticated to say?

Let’s talk about evolution then. What is your favorite of the many theories?

Pablo Honey on December 6, 2011 at 12:26 PM

The building isn’t burning, though.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 12:21 PM

Back to your incorrect perception of your default state. You’ve convinced yourself you’re okay when you’re not. I’m reminded of the Black Knight in Monty Python’s Holy Grail. “You stupid git! Your arm’s off!” “No, it isn’t! Only a scratch!”

Beo on December 6, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Why do you continue to pretend you aren’t angry at God?

Don’t be absurd.

Pablo Honey on December 6, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Well, you wouldn’t like heaven much, since God is pretty much all over that place. For somebody who hates God as much as you do, you’d be exceptionally miserable spending forever in his presense. He DOES give you free will after all, and if you can’t stand the idea of an eternity with him, he was at least very generous to provide an alternative venue for you.

Beo on December 6, 2011 at 12:23 PM

So your God created hell.

Did he create the rules by which people are sent to hell?

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 12:28 PM

You’ve convinced yourself you’re okay when you’re not.

Says who?

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Then what are you complaining about?

blink on December 6, 2011 at 12:25 PM

You trying to convince everyone they’re in some kind of danger, fomenting panic and fear amongst my fellow humans.

You know – what you’d typically refer to as “morality.”

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Did he create the rules by which people are sent to hell?

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Yep.

Beo on December 6, 2011 at 12:30 PM

The neutral theory of molecular evolution. Why do you ask?

blink on December 6, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Cool! An answer!

This means that you accept Darwinian evolution by natural selection.

Of course, that makes you a Godless atheist who wants to kill and rape people or something.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 12:34 PM

Don’t be absurd.

Pablo Honey on December 6, 2011 at 12:28 PM

What is absurd about what I said? Do you or do you not base all of your arguments on contempt for Christianity? Maybe you have contempt for all religions, but your target audience here are obviously Christians. And if all you can do is make fun of religion, how exactly is this not a clear contempt and/or anger towards God? How does this contempt bolster your position of God’s nonexistence?

NotCoach on December 6, 2011 at 12:34 PM

Yep.

Beo on December 6, 2011 at 12:30 PM

So God can stop people from going to hell for eternity, then, if he wants to.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 12:35 PM

So God can stop people from going to hell for eternity, then, if he wants to.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Of course. Now make some comment on how absurd it is that God is not in your image. That would be a refreshing change of pace…

NotCoach on December 6, 2011 at 12:36 PM

NotCoach on December 6, 2011 at 12:34 PM

You’re mistaking our righteous indignation at the belief itself as “anger at God.”

It’s kind of strange and difficult to be angry at something that you don’t believe exists.

Hilarious coming from someone that can’t even say if he believes that murder is wrong yet believes that it’s ok to molest little children.

blink on December 6, 2011 at 12:33 PM

*Citation needed.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 12:37 PM

You’re mistaking our righteous indignation at the belief itself as “anger at God.”

It’s kind of strange and difficult to be angry at something that you don’t believe exists.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 12:37 PM

Your words betray you. Your many posts demonstrating frustration or anger that God is not in your image shows unequivocally that you are angry at God. And denying His existence is often a manifestation of such anger.

NotCoach on December 6, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Wow, you really are stupid. It means that I basically accept Darwinian evolution, but by neutral selection rather than natural selection.

Do you prefer the theory of natural selection??

blink on December 6, 2011 at 12:37 PM

It’s not one or the other – neutral selection is compatible with natural selection.

Your words betray you. Your many posts demonstrating frustration or anger that God is not in your image shows unequivocally that you are angry at God. And denying His existence is often a manifestation of such anger.

NotCoach on December 6, 2011 at 12:40 PM

*facepalm.

The anger is directed at the belief, not at “God.” The belief, and the “morality” alleged to stem from it, is what I take issue with.

The context of the arguments is, “If God exists, then X Y Z.”

I’m not making the assumption that God exists. You are.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 12:43 PM

I don’t need to provide the citation (quote) AGAIN.

Why can’t you simply say if you believe that murder is wrong or not???? It’s a very simply question.

blink on December 6, 2011 at 12:40 PM

*citation needed

Tell us why genocide is wrong.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 12:43 PM

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 12:43 PM

What you say would be valid if your points were focused on the existence of God and not God’s law or creations. Time and time again you demonstrate contempt for the image of God because the image of God does not conform to your idealized worldview.

An example:

“I think the idea that a so called God created all the world’s language at the Tower of Babble incident is patently absurd. That does not prove that God exists. That proves that people want simple explanations for difficult concepts.”

Instead we get:

“God gives kids cancer! How cruel! Why is God so cruel? I can believe in no such God, therefore God does not exist. If only God were in my image…”

NotCoach on December 6, 2011 at 12:50 PM

To evolutionary biologists, natural selection implies selection by survival of the fittest. Neutral selection implies mere genetic drift.

I accept both, stupid, although neutral theory also has its limitations which neutralists – like you -are too stupid to realize.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 12:59 PM

you expect me to provide you with a detailed answer explaining why genocide is wrong?

Yes.

Murder is obviously wrong, as any idiot can tell you, because it violates both my self interest and also the life of another human being. It’s bad for both parties. If it were good for me and not another party, I have empathy (which is innate), so I again wouldn’t do it. I respect individual rights to their own lives, and therefore, I wouldn’t violate them.

Now tell us why genocide is wrong.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 1:02 PM

“God gives kids cancer! How cruel! Why is God so cruel? I can believe in no such God, therefore God does not exist. If only God were in my image…”

NotCoach on December 6, 2011 at 12:50 PM

If God were truly omnipotent, loving, and compassionate, why would he allow children to contract cancer?

You seem to hate having to confront paradoxes like this, but if you’re asserting the things you are, then the burden is on you to answer them.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 1:04 PM

Please open a psychology book and learn a little something about yourselves.

SauerKraut537 on December 6, 2011 at 9:08 AM

LOL. What were you saying about Appeal to Authority? I need to resolve myself to a syndrome? I am not an individual, but a being that somebody who wrote a text book a couple years ago can describe to a T without meeting me?

I can’t imagine anything more disastrous than simply accepting I am a type or a syndrome. That somebody over the internet can diagnose that he read about me in the last chapter of his Psychology books. Being a type of person, where there is a lot more of me to cover, does it really matter if I live or die?

But apart from that, it is amazing how often atheists will misuse the fallacy flag. He was saying something about Newton’s intellect conjoined with his faith. Thus Newton is a subject–not cited as an authority. So it is not an Appeal to Authority, and you are yet another confirming instance of an atheist who thinks they’ve got a point simple because they’ve sniffed out something that they think is a fallacy and threw the flag.

It is YOU who are making claims to knowledge that you have no proof for.

SauerKraut537 on December 6, 2011 at 9:08 AM

I’ve met few atheists who can follow the conversation. I’ve been reading this thread. There is a lot more argument than claims to knowledge. Besides, I forget, was it me saying that I know how Newton would think, displaced in time–were that to be in the remote proximity to a sensible idea? What do you do with pretenses to knowledge that you have no proof for?

Axeman on December 6, 2011 at 1:06 PM

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 1:04 PM

It is a paradox only in your brain. If God wanted us to be pets we would not have free will nor live in an imperfect universe. But you can’t stand that idea, so you hate God. Again, not an argument against the existence of God. Just more contempt for God’s universe.

NotCoach on December 6, 2011 at 1:09 PM

Yes, all believers relish in the idea of it. That’s why there are no missionaries in the world, and that’s why believers all hide their faith (like Tebow) – so that their fellow human beings wont find out about it and avoid burning for eternity.

blink on December 6, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Brilliant!

They’re throwing paper thin strawmen arguments, now.

Axeman on December 6, 2011 at 1:12 PM

Murder doesn’t violate your self interest.

I would feel guilt, and would also be punished under the laws or our society. I would also anger those who knew that person, enhancing the probability that they may harm me as well.

So yes, it does violate my self interest. Several times over.

So, why is violating the life of another human being wrong?

Because, as a fellow human being who is not harming me or others, they have the right to their own life, and their life belongs to them. Not to me. Not to an invisible genocidal lawgiver.

Is it wrong for another type of mammal to kill another one of it’s species, or just humans? And if just humans, then why is it wrong for humans, but not other mammals??

blink on December 6, 2011 at 1:05 PM

As social animals at the top of our respective branch of the evolutionary tree, and as the most intelligent and highest-order thinkers on the planet, we have evolved and implemented – painfully, at times – sophisticated social systems that protect our individual rights of life, property and individual freedom. No system has been perfect, but a steady increase in the protected rights of each person has been ongoing for centuries, and continues today.

Of course, this isn’t true everywhere in the world, but it would ideal if it were.

We differentiate between humans and animals for many reasons, but certain animals have also come under legal protections as well. A further outgrowth of our empathetic nature.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 1:14 PM

As social animals at the top of our respective branch of the evolutionary tree, and as the most intelligent and highest-order thinkers on the planet, we have evolved and implemented – painfully, at times – sophisticated social systems that protect our individual rights of life, property and individual freedom. No system has been perfect, but a steady increase in the protected rights of each person has been ongoing for centuries, and continues today.

Of course, this isn’t true everywhere in the world, but it would ideal if it were.

We differentiate between humans and animals for many reasons, but certain animals have also come under legal protections as well. A further outgrowth of our empathetic nature.

WHY ARE YOU SO ANGRY AT GOD!!11!!

Pablo Honey on December 6, 2011 at 1:20 PM

If God wanted us to be pets we would not have free will nor live in an imperfect universe

So God’s creations are imperfect – hideously so in many cases.

Some designer, huh?

Just more contempt for God’s universe.

NotCoach on December 6, 2011 at 1:09 PM

I have no contempt for the Universe, which is as objective and is not controlled by a “being.”

Bad things happening to good people, or other things of that nature, are much easier to understand when you let go of the idea that it’s part of a “plan,” or that there is some invisible hand conducting/controlling/orchestrating/guiding/mandating everything in the universe. More succinctly, “sh*t just happens.”

Of course, since you attribute everything to a divine being to whom you ascribe a multitude of powers and fantastic attributes, then you have to explain things like children getting cancer fit into the omnipotent being’s “plan.”

Again, this is the best summation:

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 1:20 PM

You should go to seminary.

Pablo Honey on December 5, 2011 at 10:50 PM

So you admit you’re an intellectually lazy person who doesn’t even study the beliefs that you ridicule? Good to know.

Gee, that kinda sounds like people who reject evolution without actually studying it. Funny, you actually have a lot in common with those knuckle-dragging religious nutjobs that you despise so much.

Good Solid B-Plus on December 6, 2011 at 1:21 PM

WHY ARE YOU SO ANGRY AT GOD!!11!!

Pablo Honey on December 6, 2011 at 1:20 PM

Ha ha ha

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 1:22 PM

So God can stop people from going to hell for eternity, then, if he wants to.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Hell was prepared by God for those who rebel against him. “If he wants to”: yes, he wants to (John 3:16 – so famous, I’m sure you know it), and yet while he freely offers this to anyone who would accept it, it’s still YOUR CHOICE. And guess what? It’s not on your terms.

I would feel guilt…

When did “guilt” evolve? What manner of natural selection brought THAT into being? Wild!

Beo on December 6, 2011 at 1:22 PM

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 1:20 PM

The ‘problem of evil’ is an infantile exercise. It boils down to “If I were God, I wouldn’t allow X, Y and Z to happen, therefore God cannot exist, since He does allow X, Y and Z to happen.”

Good Solid B-Plus on December 6, 2011 at 1:23 PM

I’ll take this to mean you can’t explain it in any detail, and that you won’t bother trying. You were just trying to minimize science at the expense of “something greater” – and won’t say that it is – and got called on it.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 7:46 AM

Do you fancy yourself smarter than Aristotle, Good Lt? He had one of those ancient ‘peanut brains,’ after all, and he believed a lot of things that we now know are scientifically false.

Good Solid B-Plus on December 6, 2011 at 1:25 PM

I would feel guilt, and would also be punished under the laws or our society. I would also anger those who knew that person, enhancing the probability that they may harm me as well.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 1:14 PM

Guilt and Anger are just irrational emotions. You can’t base a concrete system of ethics around something so flawed. The only actual point you’ve made is that you would be punished by our system of laws, which is an artificial, fluid construction.

Good Solid B-Plus on December 6, 2011 at 1:29 PM

So you admit you’re an intellectually lazy person who doesn’t even study the beliefs that you ridicule? Good to know.

I am very curious intellectually, not not about superstitious nonsense. I also haven’t read up on alchemy, astrology, and tarot card theory, yet I dismiss those as nonsense as well.

Though I did study Greek mythology in high school, I guess I should feel pretty confident tossing that theology aside.

Pablo Honey on December 6, 2011 at 1:31 PM

“If he wants to”: yes,

So God sends people to hell. People don’t send themselves.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 1:33 PM

The ‘problem of evil’ is an infantile exercise. It boils down to “If I were God, I wouldn’t allow X, Y and Z to happen, therefore God cannot exist, since He does allow X, Y and Z to happen.”

A God could certainly allow those things to exist…he is a creator after all…he can do anything he wants.

Now whether or not this creator that creates a place to torture his creations for eternity should be considered “all loving”, all merciful, and all just” is certainly an interesting proposition.

Pablo Honey on December 6, 2011 at 1:35 PM

So God’s creations are imperfect – hideously so in many cases.

Some designer, huh?

Once again. God is not in your image so you hate God.

I have no contempt for the Universe, which is as objective and is not controlled by a “being.”

Bad things happening to good people, or other things of that nature, are much easier to understand when you let go of the idea that it’s part of a “plan,” or that there is some invisible hand conducting/controlling/orchestrating/guiding/mandating everything in the universe. More succinctly, “sh*t just happens.”

What plan is that? God gives us free will and a universe that operates under a set of laws, yet plans our every action and natural outcome?

Of course, since you attribute everything to a divine being to whom you ascribe a multitude of powers and fantastic attributes, then you have to explain things like children getting cancer fit into the omnipotent being’s “plan.”

No I don’t. Your fallacious image of God dictates that to yourself.

Again, this is the best summation:

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 1:20 PM

And we are right back to square one: “God is not in my image so he is a bastard!”

Your desire for a certain God does not make your argument correct. This life is a trial for the eternal existence to come. You don’t disbelieve that, you have contempt for it. Your unwillingness to understand this is obviously going to make you, and others, mistake God’s intentions for malevolence.

If you want anyone to take you seriously as an Atheist then you need to stop acting like an anti-theist. Because God not conforming to what your desired image of what a god should be is not an argument against God’s existence.

NotCoach on December 6, 2011 at 1:35 PM

What happened to all the smart atheists?

How can one be smart and disbelieve in bronze age Jewish folklore?

Pablo Honey on December 6, 2011 at 1:36 PM

Why do fundie type people who believe in an all loving, alljust creator just relish the idea of their fellow human beings burning for eternity.

Pablo Honey on December 6, 2011 at 12:15 PM

A lifeguard on a beach warns beachgoers of a dangerous undertow in the beautiful waves washing up from the ocean.

Several people decide to go swimming, ignoring the warnings of the lifeguard, and those who listen to the lifeguard. Those people frolic in the waves, slowly going out farther and farther. They ignore the urgings of the lifeguard and those who follow Him since they obviously know better. Finally they start to succumb to the pull of the currents.

As they are being pulled out to sea, people from the beach throw lifelines and urge the swimmers to grab hold. Some do, but most don’t.

As a swimmer, do you blame the lifeguard for your choice to ignore His warnings? Do you blame the lifeguard for His “inadequate” communications describing a better plan for your beach-going day, that you refused to heed? Do you blame the people on the beach for daring to throw lifelines, interrupting your fun?

You seem to think that us people on the beach relish watching those swept out to sea, when nothing could be further from the truth. We desire to throw a lifeline… that’s it. Yet many swimmers in the shallows disparage us because they do not yet see the danger they are in.

If places were switched, would YOU throw a lifeline if you knew you could help? What if there were some who told you to mind your own business? Would you succumb in silence, knowing that you doomed them to their fate, or would you ignore the shoutdowns and continue to urge them to take hold and save themselves?

dominigan on December 6, 2011 at 1:36 PM

That’s merely a risk to you. That doesn’t make it wrong or immoral. What if the murder actually REDUCED your risk of being harmed – would that make the murder ok?

blink on December 6, 2011 at 1:30 PM

You know, killing everybody who is potentially a threat to you would greatly reduce your risk of being harmed. I guess genocide is moral.

Hell, if you kill everyone on the planet but yourself, you have eliminated all of the anger and grief that the survivors would have felt, and you have absorbed all the world’s guilt into your own being in a Christ-like fashion.

Good Solid B-Plus on December 6, 2011 at 1:37 PM

Nuclear fission was considered superstitious nonsense at one time, too.

Human flight was considered superstitious nonsense at one time, too.

Shall I go on?

Citations?

Pablo Honey on December 6, 2011 at 1:39 PM

Now whether or not this creator that creates a place to torture his creations for eternity should be considered “all loving”, all merciful, and all just” is certainly an interesting proposition.

Pablo Honey on December 6, 2011 at 1:35 PM

And for an Atheist why does this even matter? If there is no God none of these things have any value to a true Atheist. Yet many so called Atheists are consumed by the nature of God, not his existence. Case in point…

NotCoach on December 6, 2011 at 1:40 PM

I am very curious intellectually, not not about superstitious nonsense. I also haven’t read up on alchemy, astrology, and tarot card theory, yet I dismiss those as nonsense as well.

Though I did study Greek mythology in high school, I guess I should feel pretty confident tossing that theology aside.

Pablo Honey on December 6, 2011 at 1:31 PM

Yeah, you’re right, intellectually curious people have no need for the Bhagavad Gita, or the Prose Edda, or the Kalevala. After all, why read all of those people who were clearly wrong? Burn up your Plato, Aristotle, Kant and Spinoza. They were monkey men from a primitive age who knew nothing of science. You need nothing beyond the great works of Hitchens, Russell and Dawkins.

Good Solid B-Plus on December 6, 2011 at 1:41 PM

So God sends people to hell. People don’t send themselves.

Good Lt on December 6, 2011 at 1:33 PM

In much the same way that lifeguards drown people. You really have problems with logic, don’t you?

Beo on December 6, 2011 at 1:41 PM

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