Twitter is an excellent geography! I like to go there almost every day. The 140 character limit for each tweet forces you into a sort of train ride experience when trying to hold a conversation, and I am slow of speech, (even slower in person often.) Usually several boxcars hurtle past before I have a chance to hop on board. This means that I sometimes struggle to do an impromptu question justice, especially if unfocused.
The following "Conversation with an Atheist" story is compiled from one such Twitter interaction where I feel I fell off the train somewhere, and still don't know where I missed a step. "Occult Think Tank" was presenting some very good questions, I think, though he became quite angry at some point. When I realized he was angered by my return questions, I stated such and broke off the 'convo', knowing we would get nowhere with that line of emotion, as you can see. Such "antisocial" arguing would only defeat my purpose for being on Social Media to start with. I believe there are a total of 36 cars on this train, mine and his, so be sure to click the READ NEXT PAGE button at the bottom, if it shows up and only the first 24 are showing.
1. Why should a God care about individual humans (or me,) since He is so big?
And a few traditional questions I've heard before:
2. If God is real, why does He allow children to starve?
3. Do you personally care about the lives of inchworms or ants? Do they pray to you? Do you get [angry] over their behavior?
4. If God is not in our dimension, then how could He possibly exist?
5. What if Christians are wrong about their pompous ideas of God and what if God sees their belief in His concern over their lives as pompous pride, which He despises?
Since I did such a bad job of communicating within the 140 character limit, I think I should be given a do-over. So, allow me to speak directly to @OccultThinkTank I heard you and I wasn't ignoring your very good questions OTT. My answer was presented in the form of 2 questions:
1. How is it that you exist, in the presence of starving children?
2. Does the fact that I can't see someone negate their existence?
I know that I have a habit of answering a question with a question, which annoys some people. It really is a habit because I was an elementary school teacher before I retired, and it is not meant to sound so condescending. It was just the way I answered questions for so many years to children. So, it became a part of my habits, even with adults, and probably this is not a good thing about me. I apologize if it offended you.
To elaborate, when you say that the fact of starving children proves God does not exist, you are saying one existence proves another's non-existence. That is as illogical as me saying that because starving children exist, then Occult Think Tank must not be real. You can't use one existing phenomenon to deny the existence of another. The question of "Why do children go hungry?" is both a philosophical argument and a question of morality. While I agree wholeheartedly that the existence of world hunger shames the human race, I deny that it shames God, their Father. We as humans residing on Earth with these hungry children are the ones with the most "power" to do something about the problem of human hunger. We shouldn't expect God to do our work for us. We should and can expect God to do the work that we can't do. If I see my neighbor starving and send God to feed him, then as you said I am being pompous and using God as a pet, in addition to neglecting my human duty to my neighbor. But, it doesn't disprove the existence of God. It just makes us seem invisible as humans who do nothing.
Often children go hungry while they have earthly Fathers and Mothers, or grandparents who could feed them. For example, if a man fathers a child unwed, and the mother doesn't tell him he is a father, and in her state of emotional upheaval wanders around uncared for and is unable to feed the child, then the child will be hungry. Or, if the mother tells the man he is going to be a father, and he abandons her, and she can't feed the child, then the child will be hungry. But, that doesn't prove that the father doesn't exist in either case. The father does exist. The only question here would be 'Does the father care about his child?' Whether he cares for the child or not won't matter if he is not given a say in the matter. The mother can even choose to have an abortion without his consent today. To me that is sad in the case of men who would gladly raise a child, but are denied the life of their own flesh and blood. And, here is the parallel I was trying to draw, that God is our Father, and He gives us free will to choose our own lives. If we choose to allow our children to starve, we made that decision ourselves, not God. God was taken out of the matter by the separation of church and state. Do you want Him to overrule the governments now, who allow their citizens to starve?
To explain my second point, the fact that you can't see God does no more to disprove His existence than the fact that I can't see you prove your non-existence. I do believe you exist OTT. I certainly know that because, as you pointed out, I interact with you. We communicate. I was trying to draw the parallel there when I asked if the fact I can't see you means you don't exist. God does interact with us. I know this because He speaks to me in prayer, and I speak to Him. He also has worked for me, saving me miraculously from many situations that I could have never saved myself.
And, I believe that because I accept His love for me, and because I believe in Him and His death on the cross, this makes me His child. I receive Him as my Father. Because I am His, when this world ends, I will have eternal life after death. My Soul will live with Him in glory. We all are living souls, and souls are eternal. You are more than flesh and body. You have a Soul and Spirit that are invisible to the human body. Just look at a dead body and you will see that something is missing... the spirit and soul have left the body. Just because you didn't see them doesn't mean they don't exist. Just because I can't see you doesn't mean you don't exist and have feelings.
But, what about the question of why God cares for the human race? As I stated on Twitter, God is an omniscient Spirit who both formed & desires communion with the mind of man. This is the part that is the most shocking to you and to many Christians. God not only created us, but He created us to communicate with us on an interpersonal level. He wants our love and praise, just as much as you or I want each other's friendship. He is not only in some far away dimension where we can not interact with Him, but He is here in the affairs of man. He sees the things that we do to each other, and He cares. We will all one day answer to God for the way we have treated our brother. Perhaps you don't believe at all in God's personal communication and interaction with mankind. I recognize your disbelief, but I also recognize the existence of the spiritual world.
In regards to the ants and inchworms, yes they intrigue me. I kept ant farms in the classroom, and ordered mealworms when I taught Science/ Biology, along with many other critters. But, the only one that ever spoke to me was one of my cockatiels. Amos would whistle and call "pretty girl." I was not sure he was referring to me :) But, he knew those words when he was given to me and I had no luck trying to un-train these catcalls from his speech, nor with teaching him any other vocabulary.
Now for the last question. What if Christians are wrong in their belief of God, and god is real, but not in the way that they expect? That is my favorite of all your questions OTT, because it points out the importance of communicating with God. You can go to church all you want, and listen to all the sermons you want. You may read hundreds of books, and even wordy blogs like mine, but in the end the ideas they give you may be all wrong about God. How will you know? Allow me to here answer your question with a reminder for Christians. You will only know a God you have interacted with personally yourself. In the end, will God know you?
Matthew 7:20-23 Therefore by their fruits you shall know them. Not every one that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out demons? and in your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.