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Discussion 1 to Talk Back 89
We do not want to insult you

by: Jasmine Taylor

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Please do not pray for me, I find it unbearable that people such as yourself think it is their duty to do my praying for me. Pray for someone for whom the act will be appreciated.

Anyway, I must respond to your words, here quoted:

“I will never feel insulted by your group, no matter how many "666" references or purposefully disrespectful non-capitalizations of "god" you may attempt to stick in my craw. I see them for what they are; a lashing out meant in retaliation for years of having to be confronted with the "stumbling block" which is Jesus Christ. He does solicit a response and a decision, to either accept or reject Him, so your irritation and consternation for this ought to be re-directed to Him; others are simply bearing witness, but I digress. Once you have personally encountered Him, your demand for scientific proof will become irrelevant.”

Now, Ben, we here at the UCTAA do not want to insult you, per se; if anything we want to insult questionable ideas, not people. We do not aim to be “purposefully disrespectful” in non-capitalising the word “god”. I don’t think anyone here believes that respect has anything to do with it. We do not capitalise “god” because we feel it is simply a word, not an idea deserving of the grammatical rules applied to proper nouns. Yahweh, on the other hand, deserves a capital, as it is a proper noun, in the same manner as Zeus, Gilgamesh, Ben etc. It is just grammar, Ben, not (dis)respect. Just because you call your god, God, by name, doesn’t mean we all have to all the time.

Further to all this, our “lashing out” (and there's far less of that than you seem to think) is not aimed at any god, or divine son, which is why we do not direct it there. We may become angry or upset with people, Ben, but not any god. We ‘lash out’ at these people for their disrespect of others, and their ignorance of truth. Jesus is not a stumbling block. Jesus is, like most things, an idea we can reject or embrace – as you admit. We have decided to reject Jesus, and for that people such as yourself make it their duty to remind us that if we are ‘wrong’ then, oooh, look out! Thanks, Ben, but we already heard that one.

You go on with the classic “once you have personally encountered Him…” – well I have. And my personal encounter with Jesus is the sole reason I am such a militant apathetic agnostic person now. My years (14) in the church environment were harmful and destructive to my personality, my self-esteem, my development as a well-rounded person, and even my education. My personal relationship with Jesus, or God as you shall put it, did not make my demand for scientific proof irrelevant. It did, in fact, make my demand for scientific proof far more relevant. I became very sick of people like you telling me that the reason things are the way they are is because “God did it”. That, my friend, is not an answer. Once I grew out of the ‘tooth fairy’ stage, I grew out of the ‘accepting the first answer I’m given without thinking on it’ stage. Let us move on…

You say,

“I know there is a God, because despite your pointing out some of the more difficult to understand parts of nature, (all of which are the direct result of sin's destructive wake - creation was once perfect) the world is replete with beauty and order. It could have no more come about by chance than could a bomb going off in an auto parts store result in the formation of an automobile.”

I don’t see how you saying that the world was once perfect, and that only God can make things beautiful and ordered, is any more valid than me saying that the world was once controlled by extra-terrestrials, and only extra-terrestrials could have made those gorgeous Pyramids. If I have faith in those ‘facts’ does it make them true? According to your curly reasoning it does. Why do you believe that nature is incapable of beauty? Why do you believe that the reason a rose smells beautiful is because God said so? It just isn’t important, Ben. Nature is a wonderful, beautiful, ordered, and ever-changing thing. I am happy with that. I don’t have to attach a reason to it. You say God did it, and it’s beautiful. I say, it’s beautiful. God or no. And please, stop with the old watchmaker argument already. All it does is illustrate that you, along with many other religious people, can’t distinguish between chance and billions of years of Earth’s existence and evolution. I seek knowledge which has scientific evidence because I seek true facts I can depend on. If I sought my knowledge based on beliefs alone, I might still be an apostolic Christian.

To sum up: