CADRE Comments

A Rational Look at Christianity; Basing Reason in Truth

Here is a joke that is in a recent edition of the Humanist Network News under the title of Desperate, but not that desperate:

A man stumbles into a deep well and plummets a hundred feet before grasping a spindly root, stopping his fall. His grip grows weaker and weaker, and in his desperation he cries out, "Is there anybody up there?"

He looks up, and all he can see is a circle of sky. Suddenly, the clouds part and a beam of bright light shines down on him. A deep voice thunders, "I, the Lord, am here. Let go of the root, and I will save you."

The man thinks for a moment and then yells, "Is there anybody else up there?"

I found it odd that this was in the HNN. What's odd is that I cannot figure out exactly why a humanist, aka skeptic, would find this funny. From my Christian point of view, that is exactly what skeptics do -- they turn away from the clear evidence presented that God exists and prefer to hope for something else that leaves them desperately hanging.

If someone can explain to me why this would be funny to an atheist, I'd appreciate it.

11 comments:

Not all humanists are atheists.

This joke reminds me of the joke about the atheist and the bear. That joke was funnier.

"From my Christian point of view, that is exactly what skeptics do -- they turn away from the clear evidence presented that God exists and prefer to hope for something else that leaves them desperately hanging."

Yes, from your Christian point of view the evidence is obvious, as it was to me when I was a Christian. It's difficult, possibly impossible, to stand back and see it from another perspective and see that the supposed clear evidence isn't that clear at all if you don't presuppose anything. Now that I am seeking to see if God exists instead of presupposing God, he is a tad harder to see.

Yeah ... that really is representative to me of the stubborn nature of so many skeptics. When the evidence is clear, they'd rather go some other direction that would require no personal responsibility. Perhaps that's the real message of this "joke."

Mike, I find it odd that you'd say "if you don't presuppose anything." That's impossible. Everyone presupposes something.

'Mike, I find it odd that you'd say "if you don't presuppose anything." That's impossible. Everyone presupposes something.'

Sloppy wording on my part, I apologize. Certainly everyone presupposes something or some things. I was speaking specifically of the existence of God. One may presuppose that he exists, and one may presuppose that he doesn't exist, but those are not the only options. One may presuppose that he may exist.

Personally, I presupposed that He may exist and everywhere I looked, I found that presupposition confirmed.

"Personally, I presupposed that He may exist and everywhere I looked, I found that presupposition confirmed."

I'm happy for you, I truly am. I only noticed all those things when I presupposed he did exist, once I began to presuppose that he may exist, it all fell apart for me, like a house of cards.

In what way? Please, be specific.

Lots of ways. If you are interested please read these posts:

Why Did Jesus Have To Die?

It Comes and It Goes

No Compromise - An Exercise In Honesty And Spirituality

And finally my letter to my family and friends.

Why I no longer consider myself a Christian or even a theist.

Please feel free to comment there or here.

I hope I typed all the HTML right. ;-)

Mike,

I read all four (something I generally don't do). While I appreciate the fact that you seem to have lost your faith, after reading what you wrote I still have no real idea why. What I get out of your four posts is that you don't have emotional feelings that you can attribute to God and that you have some questions about why God did what he did. Is that it?

I realize that the view I hold to is a little known minority view. I know I'm bucking the mainstream. But I think it makes a lot more sense and tells us why there was an atonement.

Yup. I think it is important to note that what you have laid out here is a view that I don't think that many share. Certainly, you have posed something that is worth considering, but I am not yet ready to concede that it is a better view than the traditional understanding of why Jesus died.

Mike,

I guess that you seem to pull up and talk a lot about how seeing things from a different perspective (presumptively, starting from the idea that God may not exist) has left you disbelieving in God. Yet, I don't see where you have really raised an objection in what you wrote to the traditional point of view as to why Jesus died.

Essentially, you acknowledge that the story of the gatekeeper is a heart-breaking (probably untrue) analogy, but then you seem to dismiss the actual explanation for what I view as a pretty shallow reason.

You see, you dismiss the explanation because you believe (rightfully) that an omniscient God would have known from the very start that Adam and Eve would be doomed to fail, and therefore he set them up to fail. Now, I don't agree that God set them up to fail, but for the sake of argument let's assume that you're right.

So what?

Are you saying that God, knowing that man would not succeed, shouldn't have created us? Are you saying that God could not see value in humanity that makes it all worthwhile despite the pain that has resulted from the Fall? Couldn't God, knowing that the end result of his plan of redemption would result in the creation of a new humanity in a new Heaven and new Earth, determine that the net result was infinite good compared to a small amount of bad?

Bk, I appreciate you reading all four posts. Thank you.

"What I get out of your four posts is that you don't have emotional feelings that you can attribute to God and that you have some questions about why God did what he did. Is that it?"

Not emotional feelings, I had plenty of those, but they were not the basis of my faith. God was not tangible to me. In the end the only way to make God seem more real to me was by surrounding myself with things that reminded me of him. Reading scripture all the time, listening to Christian music, constantly praying. I don't really have questions about why God did what he did. I was just thinking through things out loud in a manner of speaking. Of course we can jump to the atonement fest that began with Joe's post. :-)

"I guess that you seem to pull up and talk a lot about how seeing things from a different perspective (presumptively, starting from the idea that God may not exist) has left you disbelieving in God."

I always presumed God did exist, actually up to the last few weeks of my faith. Since I was a wee lad I presumed God existed. My faith was very important to me. It was only the realization that for all my faith he still wasn't as real to me as you are, or as any other person. It was very troubling to me that the most powerful being in the universe couldn't or wouldn't communicate with me like you are right now.

"You see, you dismiss the explanation because you believe (rightfully) that an omniscient God would have known from the very start that Adam and Eve would be doomed to fail, and therefore he set them up to fail. Now, I don't agree that God set them up to fail, but for the sake of argument let's assume that you're right.

So what?"


These were just personal notes of mine, so saying God set them up to fail was just an emotional statement. I don't believe in a literal Adam and Eve, though I do not rule out the possibility of a creator God, and an omnipotent God could certainly have done everything just like Genesis claims, though, to me, it just doesn't make much sense. Weird, I just flashed back to the days when I was trying to figure out how all the animals could have fit on the ark. I would say "You only need one breed of dog or cat." That was a long time ago. Oh dear, I'm rambling. Unlike a lot of ex-Christians I have fond memories of my faith. :-D

"Are you saying that God, knowing that man would not succeed, shouldn't have created us? "

No, I'm not saying that at all. I'm saying that if the god of the Bible actually did it all the way the Bible says that he did, he sure doesn't seem very godlike. Knowing that Christ's sacrifice would bring forgiveness, wouldn't it have just been easier to just forgive us all, hell even just those who wanted to be forgiven? Also, original sin, to me, is ridiculous, why am I responsible for what Adam and Eve did? Yes, according to the Bible I've sinned too, and all have fallen short, etc. etc. But even, if by some amazing feat I live a sinless life I am still seen as guilty thanks to Adam and Eve.

"Are you saying that God could not see value in humanity that makes it all worthwhile despite the pain that has resulted from the Fall? Couldn't God, knowing that the end result of his plan of redemption would result in the creation of a new humanity in a new Heaven and new Earth, determine that the net result was infinite good compared to a small amount of bad?"

Sure, but why believe all that when you are more real to me than God?

If God set up the rules, fully knowing the outcome, why did he create the rules so he would be tortured and killed? I think Joe said it's because he wanted to experience suffering so we knew he could relate to us.

Ok, off to bed. ;-)

Use of Content

The contents of this blog may be reproduced or forwarded via e-mail without change and in its entirety for non-commercial purposes without prior permission from the Christian CADRE provided that the copyright information is included. We would appreciate notification of the use of our content. Please e-mail us at christiancadre@yahoo.com.