This blog is about my journey from theism to atheism. This was part of my "coming out" endeavors. Keep this in mind and it will make more sense to you as you read. When I originally posted this many people did not know where I actually stood on these things...

I hope that this letter will open up some eyes that have been “blinded” about me in the past. I know some evil things have been said about me, and in a sense I understand why, but what hurts the most is friends whom I loved ex-communicated me altogether. Rather than dialoguing with a friend, they abandoned me… Again this was no surprise considering my stance and struggles at the time. But, where were the loving, compassionate, friends when I needed them the most…? I guess this one is a mystery as well…

I admit this letter is long overdue. However, I was going through some old emails from the past and stumbled across this dialogue with a man I knew of, but I didn’t know his religious background well. He heard about my condition and wrote me a lengthy letter. This is my response to him. I will leave his name out for specific reasons. You can place your name in his spot if you’d like

Dear, _____________,
I first of all want to thank you for your email and concern. It means a lot that you care enough to write me concerning my walk with “god”. You have always been a guy that I thought highly of and enjoyed dealing with. I mean that with all my heart.

However, my position goes much deeper than what was written about in your email. I don’t know what was said, but, anger has nothing to do with where I am. I’m sure that, whatever was said was meant well, but seems to have been severely misconstrued. I’m also sure as far as work ethics go no one wants to talk to me about my position in the work place, and this I understand. Religion is a touchy subject with many. I know!

I’m not sure where to begin… I guess the best place is to begin at the beginning. I apologize for the length of this email and, whatever is laid out in this email is in no way directed towards you in any negative way. I don’t know much about your religious background, so I will try to spend as much time as I feel necessary to get my points across. I know I will not in any way deal justice to my position in one email. However, I have much to say on this subject. If you choose to discus further, I will be delighted! My hope is to narrow this polemic down to a single premise to avoid evasive language. I hope to be as clear as possible and straight to the point.

To began, my position is a result of many years of, studying, pondering, praying, crying and dialoguing with many people from common lay people to people with M.A’s and Ph.D’s, within many areas of study. I was even featured on the font page of a well known radio talk show host in Atlanta, Ga. Needless to say I am where I am today based on my intellect, not emotion. Many people today are emotionally driven. I want to say on the outset, emotions are not all together bad. We must, in a sense, be emotionally driven. Religion, beliefs, and philosophy without emotions are boring, but we need to be careful not to let our emotions determine what is true for us.

When talking with other’s, I have often realized that many get upset, angry, and even want to cut ties when you tap into something one is emotionally attached to. When I think about this it saddens me.
Feelings should not substitute for the careful appraisal of arguments and evidence. Many people feel emotionally attached to ideas and arguments that they were taught as children, or at critical moments in their lives and are afraid to let go, or even consider anything else. They allow emotion to control their thinking and will not approach it with rational thinking.

I have also realized, the more intense our emotional state, the more difficult to think clearly. Once emotion become involved, we have to exert conscious effort to keep rational. As I mentioned above we cannot avoid this all together but we need to be constantly aware of the fact that if emotion gains ascendancy in any situation, clear thinking is going to suffer. Since we cannot avoid our emotions, nor should we ever avoid clear thinking, however, we must bridge the gap between the two. An idea, even of the most rarefied sort, is never devoid of emotion, for every idea is the brainchild of the naturally emotional creature who is man.

What should move people in a sound argument is its intellectual substance, not whatever emotional overtones the argument may carry with it. However, this type of rhetoric is what gets spilled out behind pulpits everywhere.

A conclusion should be accepted not because we feel good about it, but because we see that it is true and therefore worthy of acceptance. The only thing really worth feeling good about is the truth!

I often ask the question, “Would you want to live your life based on a lie?” or “Would you rather know the truth no matter the consequences?” Most people will say, “No!” to both. But, to my surprise some will still say, “Yes…” This is usually because of fear for the unfamiliar… which is sad.

I have been raised in church all my life. When I turned 16, I was in and out for a few years, as some teenagers do. I experimented with drugs; alcohol, marijuana, ecstasy, cocaine, etc… I knew then, that this is not the life that I wanted to live. I knew better than this. I was raised better than this… In January of 2000, I started attending church again. I went every time the doors were opened. I never missed a service in over 4 years (including revivals, camps, and all special services). I was called to preach at the age of 19. I was licensed as a minister a few years later. From the age of 19 to 25, I taught, Sunday school, bible studies, preached, lead services, and even taught seminary classes. The church I was attending is affiliated with Parkersburg Bible College. I also took courses in theology and apologetics from Stand to Reason, Southern Evangelical Seminary, and Biola University. I said all that to say this, it would be ignorant on my part to quit attending services because of man. I knew better than this. I said it before, and I will say it again, “Neither anger nor man has anything to do with where I am intellectually.”

Sure, as a part of the ministry, I felt obligated to talk to my former pastor about certain issues and I did. These issues ranged from personal issues I had, from eschatology and every area in-between that arose. As a result of many dialogues I had with him, the deacon board, and other ministers. I was told it would be best to leave. I was told that, I needed to stop studying so much, and that I was being deceived by Satan. Now, keep in mind at this point I was not an atheist. I was defending the bible! Not by my personal revelations, but by using proper hermeneutics and exegesis. I knew I had a good case and I was going to defend it no matter the cost. So I did what I felt was best, I left New Life. When I left there, I went to another church. This didn’t get me down. Of course I was saddened by the fact that I wasn’t going to be fellowshipping with people that I loved like family. But, I was actually motivated more than ever! The disciples were often misunderstood, but they stood for what they felt was right and so was I!

At this time, I began to venture into other areas intellectually. After studying theology proper, as well as systematic theology, hermeneutics, exegesis, and apologetics further, I began to dialogue with others. I felt obligated and called to spread and defend the message. I studied as much as I did for no other reason than to defend the Christian faith. This was my calling!

1Th 5:21, “Prove (test, examine) all things; hold fast that which is good.”
2Ti 2:15, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

I rented a building in Albemarle, advertised it on the local channel, and as a result taught over thirty people weekly. I had many people of different denominations, as well as a Jewish lady, and even another pastor from a church in Badin attending. After teaching many different people from different walks of life, 1Peter 3:15 became more alive to me as a result of many questions that were asked of me, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.”

One night I was talking with an atheist on the internet and he introduced me to another guy from the Philippines. He happened to be a radio talk show host who defended atheism. We debated the subject of God for many days. I used every argument I had in my arsenal. I cracked open all my theology and apologetic texts books. I hit him with the, Kalam Cosmological argument, the argument from design, irreducible complexity, the teleological argument, anthropic principles, Pascal’s wager, etc… After answering all my arguments, I knew I wasn’t going to convince him, but it was good practice and intellectual exercise. After our debate, I then decided to delve into many of the points he brought up. I began to read more than just Christian based books since that was all I had read previously. I read books on science, physics, philosophy, historical criticism, and comparative religion. I was not prepared for the overwhelming evidence I was about to encounter.

After many months of study and countless sleepless nights. I was terrified of what I had uncovered. But, now it was too late to turn around. I had already uncovered too much to erase from my memory. The more I studied, the further I slipped away from church all together. At this point I began to blog. I wrote many blog’s on what I was dealing with hoping to get more answers. I prayed, cried, and pleaded with god over and over. But, no answer… from him or anyone else. All anyone could ever say to my questions were, “well… you just have to trust and have faith…” this wasn’t good enough! What is faith anyways? It doesn’t make sense to have faith in that which you have no good reasons to believe in… but, that is what faith is believed to be by modern day contemporary Christians. But, if this is what faith truly is, then, anything is permit-able. However, I knew that this is not the kind of faith that the bible talked about. I wrote a blog when I was still a believer entitled, “The curse of intellectual pacifism”. For your convenience I will post it:

The curse of Intellectual Pacifism...
By Bradley Freeman

Today when the average layman is challenged about what it is they believe and what are the reasons behind their worldview (namely Christianity), instead of having good reasons, they simply shrug it off and say, "I don't need reasons, I have faith and that is all I need."
This is the common response in Christianity today. But this view is NOT Biblical and nobody really believes this way. Let me explain:

Faith in the contemporary sense is "Blind" without evidence. But this was not the common view of faith until the late 1700’s into the early and mid 1800s during the first, second, and third great awakenings. The first great awakening which was preached by George Whitfield (1730s to the 1750s). His popularized, rhetorically powerful, and emotionally directed preaching set the stage for relativism and the emerging church. Shortly after Charles Finney preached the layman’s prayer revival (1856-1858). Although, much good came from these revivals, but their over all emphasis was immediate conversion to Christ instead of a studied period of reflection and conviction; emotional, simple, popular preaching was presented instead of intellectually careful reflection on the scriptures taught. Sadly as historian George Marsden notes, “anti-intellectualism was a feature of American revivalism.”

Obviously their is nothing wrong these emotionally driven revivals in and of themselves. The problem rests in not having any root. Jesus spoke a parable which speaks to this very matter (Luke 8:5-8;11-15).

If we focus on conversion alone, without caring for the root (Knowledge, truth, rationality, and the true Apostolic doctrine), when temptation comes they will soon fall way because there is no grounding for their faith. Which leads me to say, faith in the Biblical sense is evidence or claims supported by good reasons or justification. Many Christians are taught that faith is blind as some type of spiritual ignorance, (ignorance is bliss). However, Biblical Faith is knowing! Having assurance! Biblical Faith is not wishing or blind; it is confidence! I want to take a few minuets to address the all-to-common misconceptions of faith.

A "faith healer" named John Smith offers to heal Mark of his cancer. John lays his hands on Mark and prays, but the cancer remains. John waves Mark away, saying, “This is your problem. You don't have enough faith.”

A Christian faces several objections to his beliefs that he cannot answer. He says, “I don't care what people say, I still have faith.”

Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard “contends that the scriptures included in the Bible verify that the Christian belief system is based on a leap of faith, not on tangible proof.” This is because Christianity involves paradoxes offensive to reason.

The famous author and skeptic Mark Twain said, “Faith is believing what you know ain't so.”
What is wrong with this picture? The answer is that all four of these examples offer an incorrect definition or understanding of what Biblical faith is all about. Twain's own definition correctly defines the way "faith" is understood by far too many Christians today -- but it does not match the Biblical definition of faith, and as the first two examples suggest, “faith” is a badly misunderstood concept in the church at large.
Faith in the Biblical sense is evidence or claims supported by good reasons or justification.

Hebrews 11:1 says, "Now faith is the substance [assurance] of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

The New English Translation reads like this: "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, being convinced of what we do not see."
Biblical Faith is knowing! Having assurance! Biblical Faith is not wishing or blind; it is confidence!

What gives us confidence? Evidence!

You cannot have assurance for something you do not know!

To know something means you have knowledge, but what is "knowledge"?

To have Knowledge means you have a; True, Justified, Belief!
You cannot have knowledge of something unless it is, True, you have justifiable reasons, and you believe it. Knowledge is knowing something to be true!

You may think you know something and your belief turns out to be false. Therefore, MERE BELIEF is not sufficient in and of itself for knowledge.

You cannot REALLY know something unless your belief is TRUE but, It is a contradiction to say, "I know that it is raining outside (and it be true), but I don't believe it is raining outside." No matter how much “faith” you may have.

In order for me to know something, it must be true and believed. But here again, a mere true belief is not sufficient in and of itself because you may have a true belief just by guessing. If I guess at a particular thing and I believe it to be true. What if this thing turns out to be true, did I know it to be true?

No, because I only guessed! Therefore, I cannot claim to know something to be true, if I am only guessing or hoping.

We must have justifiable reasons to back up our beliefs. The idea of justification is the ideal of reasons for belief. It is not a good reason for believing something that I wish were true which is mere wishful thinking; reasons have to be consist of other things that are true.

Beliefs must be based on evidence if they are to count as knowledge. Now the question arises, "What is truth?"

Truth is the way things are in the world outside of ourselves (objective). Therefore it is a contradiction to say (objectively) that any particular thing is, "true for you, but not true for me." What is true for me might not be true for you is self-defeating and irrational. There can only be one truth on a particular subject religious or moral lest we break the laws of logic. If your "truth" contradicts my "truth" what is truth? Therefore, in order for us to have true knowledge, we must have an objective true, justified, belief.

The Bible says, "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear." I Peter 3:15 (KJV)
The New American Standard Bible reads like this: "But sanctify the Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence."

Christians today have this fear that if we study or rely on scientific evidence we might see something that contradicts Christianity and be forced to change our views and become an agnostic or even worse an atheist.

This fear is one we ought not to have. We should be seekers of truth no matter the consequence… If I see four chairs in front of me, I believe they are there, I have good reasons that they are there (I can see them). But I cannot prove that I am not dreaming or hallucinating! Maybe my brain is in a vat, but still yet, I take myself to have the truth! Namely there are four chairs in front of me! This is called rational intuition!
Mathematical facts cannot be scientifically or empirically tested! In-fact science presupposes math!

The laws of logic cannot be scientifically or empirically tested! But we know that they are true! How? By our intuition!

Our rational intuition presupposes all scientific and empirical knowledge!
Take for instance Modus Ponus: If P then Q. P therefore Q.

Is this true? Yes! If P is true then Q is true. P is true, therefore Q is true. This follows necessarily! What convinced you? Was it the black writing on the monitor? What if I typed it in red or blue, would it still be true? Of coarse!

What if I erased it and said it? It would still be true! Sure it would!

What convinced you? Nothing convinced you scientifically or empirically! You can just see that it is true! But this seeing is different than seeing with your eyes. It is your intuition that convinced you and this, my friend cannot be tested scientifically or empirically! This is where correct faith comes into play.

If someone claims that Faith is blind (in the contemporary sense) ask them why they believe in Jesus? Why not the tooth fairy instead?

If they give you reasons they violate their own system, therefore nobody really believes in blind faith!

In my above blog, I have no quarrels with this kind of faith at all. We all live by these principles. My problem is claiming that to be true that is not either empirically verified, or known by rational intuition. Some may say, well I know God exists by my “rational intuition”. If so How? We can see logic is the means of correct thinking by means of rational intuition, but how can we know any supernatural entity exists by this method?

I wrote this response to a video on God tube on “atheism? The atheist doesn’t exist” a few weeks ago, and was later banned from the site:

“There are many problems with this video. First of all, we “know” through empiricism. If what we claim cannot be verified empirically, then, the default position should be non-existence! (I cannot prove that fairies do not exist. However, this is no reason to believe in them) Often, empiricism is also contrasted with rationalism. For example; anyone could just as easily make the same sorts of claims in this video, but attribute them to: space aliens, purple unicorns, or the flying spaghetti monster. However, no matter what you may believe, on the contrary, the default position is non-existence, since, what is being claimed cannot be known to exist. The bible and many scholars make such claims about God in which science is free to evaluate. Science has an obvious role in studying physical objects. One can always make claims by abstracting God so that it is out of the realm of scientific investigation. But, this god would not be recognized by anyone nor could be, except by wishful thinking. Atheists make claims based on facts, not wishful thinking. Atheists make absolute statements about that which is most reasonable. For any Christian to say, “You don’t know for a fact that God doesn’t exist, therefore, you cannot make any absolute statement about his non-existence,” is faulty logic. You can very easily see the fallacy if I were to say, “You cannot prove that purple unicorns do not exist on Pluto, therefore, purple unicorns must exists!” Christianity makes the absolute statement of Gods existence, that he can be known personally. God is often viewed as a supreme, transcendent being beyond matter, space, and time and yet the foundation of all that meets our senses that is described in terms of matter, space, and time. Your claims fail under scrutiny. Your claims can be tested and has been shown to be fallacious.”

Another guy wrote me concerning my response to this video told me that no matter what any man has to say Jesus has more to offer us, etc, etc…. He then said, Dawkins only promises death and non-existence after life but, Jesus offers life eternal who are you going to believe?

I responded:
“It’s not a question as who has “more” to offer. Rather, it is a question of which is most probable. If your worldview were truly based on what has more to offer, you surly wouldn’t be of the Christian persuasion. Instead, you would most likely lean more towards Mormonism, or perhaps Unitarianism. It’s obvious you didn’t choose your worldview based on “who offers more.” It’s most likely you are a Christian because you were raised as such. If you were born in Israel, you would have been brought up Jewish. If you were born in Africa, you would be worshiping the great Ju Ju. If you were born in Pakistan, you would be defending Allah. I was once a Christian. I have attended seminary. As well as studied apologetics for years. I was once a licensed minister. This, however, gives me no more credit than the next person, but, what I hope to portray is that I am not an atheist because I don’t know any better, angry at god, or just simply turned my back on such a deity. However, I do agree with you when you stated, “This video nor any amount science or logic will ever prove God exists and anyone who attempts this will fail.” You are absolutely correct. I will also add, No amount of science or logic will ever prove or disprove fairies.” This, however, doesn’t mean we should believe I them no matter how much we want their existence to be true or what they have to offer us. Especially if what they have to offer is not probable, much less attainable. Based on what you wrote concerning faith, you said: “If, your faith is built upon science or even another person because it is a false-faith”, tells me a lot about your perception of belief. Because, you also said, “…because science and rationality tends to, lead towards atheism (because it does), and since this contradicts my worldview (because it does), I cannot accept these methods of inquiry (which is ultimately what you are saying). My belief system is not based on science or logic, its based on faith and anything else is false (or as you put it false faith)”, …All parenthesis are mine… tells me that not only do you not know for a fact God exists, but that you too are at least agnostic to the fact of Gods existence, you just hope that it is true (faith). On the outset you may want to disagree with this observation, but if you critically examine your own beliefs, you then and only then understand what I am saying. You are atheist to the fact of the existence of Allah, Mithra, Dionysus, Horus, Osirus, and many many other gods. On that note, I will leave you with this quote from Stephen Roberts, “I contend that we are all atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”

In a second post on the same video, I wrote:

Just like in this video, it is often argued, that, if we just look around us, we can clearly see by common sense that this world in all of its complexity cannot be an accident. One of the many books that I have read on the topic of creationism and intelligent design is the “Privileged Planet” which explores a “startling” connection between our capacity to survive and our ability to observe and understand the universe.

It asks the question, is creation a mere coincidence? Or does it point to a deeper truth about purpose and intelligent design in the cosmos? This 444 page book gives example after example of how intelligently designed the universe appears to be. One common argument that is given by creationist and appears to be the premise of this book as well as this video is William Palely's teleological or watch argument which goes as follows:

If I stumbled on a stone and asked how it came to be there, it would be difficult to show that the answer, it has lain there forever is absurd. Yet this is not true if the stone were to be a watch... William Paley’s observation goes as follows: A watch = A watch maker. Therefore, A universe = A universe maker.

The universe is made of natural matter, therefore, the creator must be supernatural, and therefore God must exist. The watchmaker argument is a classic example of a false analogy because it assumes that because two objects share one common quality, they must have another quality in common. This argument is wrong, because it concludes something that is not supported by the criteria. It is best clarified by another example: Leaves are complex cellulose structures. Leaves grow on trees. Dollar bills are also complex cellulose structures. Therefore money grows on trees (which, according to the idiom, they don't).

The argument first assumes that a watch is different from nature, which is uncomplicated and random. It then states that since the universe is so complicated, complex, and ordered it too must have a creator. Thus, the argument gives the universe two incompatible qualities. The watchmaker argument is not a proof, it is an analogy. It is contradictive, misses many important features, does not aid us in knowing who the watchmaker is, and most important does not stand alone as evidence of god, but must rely on external evidence. Therefore the argument does not in the least prove that the world was designed by a superhuman being.

Of course the question immediately arises: how is the idea that a god popped the universe out of nothing a hypothesis at all? There is a sense in which this question is relevant, and we will examine it later, but, The question of an ultimate cause or explanation for the way things are, is no more meaningful than to ask a theist why his god is the way he is. Given the necessary nature of existence, it cannot be the case that “some explanation is needed” for fundamental constants which are inherent to existence. We should not be surprised or befuddled that the universe is adapted to our needs, since we evolved within the universe and its parameters!

Sure, it may seem to our “common sense judgment” that the universe is fine tuned for our existence, but science shows us that the evolutionary process adapted us to this universe in which we live. Many Christians are against the theory of evolution and declare, its just a theory and cannot be proven. I then must add, your creationist argument is just a theory also and you have absolutely no evidence for it at all other than the Bible, but if you use the bible as your evidence you have condemned yourself to the logical fallacy known as circular reasoning and therefore proves absolutely nothing. You end up right back where you started from.

Circular reasoning goes as follows: The Koran is the word of God (Allah)... The Koran says that God (Allah) exists... Therefore, God (Allah) exists...

This in no way proves anything, because you are begging the question. You are affirming to be true that which is in question. Now back to the Anthropic principle. If I were to do something as simple as picking 25 cards at random from a face down deck, I could very easily look at the cards and declare, “How improbable!” And indeed how improbable it is, if I were to ask you to draw the same 25 cards at random from a face down deck what is the probability that you would pick the same 25 cards in order?

Mortimer Adler makes a point when he asks, “Why is there something rather than nothing?” But, this question assumes that there is supposed to be nothing: that the natural state of the universe is supposed to be nonexistence and that a divine creator therefore must have had his hand in it. What evidence do we have to support the presupposition of the universes natural state of nonexistence? Whoever said that this was the case? Tradition, Religion, Ancient writings that we call holy? Can these theories be scientifically verified by empirical evidence? Can whatever it is that you believe be tested and trusted? If so how?

So why is there “Something rather than nothing”? Philosopher Bede Rundle calls it “philosophy's central, and most perplexing, question.” His simple answer is, “There has to be something.” What does this presuppose? Many conceptual problems are associated with this question. How do we define nothing? What is “nothing”? Aristotle described nothing as, that which rocks dream about. But, if we can describe what nothing is, then, doesn’t that presuppose that it has properties? Or does nothingness lack properties altogether? If it has properties, doesn't that make it something? We can close our eyes and conceive what “nothing” is, but can we ever know what nothing truly is? Is the question of nothingness beyond our reach? What is the state of nothingness?

I believe that we all intuitively understand that nothing cannot ever be. Even a creationist must claim something always existed and that there was never “nothing” i.e. God. This is why theist has the theory of God who is infinite.

Theists claim that God is the answer to this perplexing question, but, then, why is there God rather than nothing? If your answer is God always existed, you have no more grounds than the atheist does when he says that the universe has always existed. Actually you have a much weaker case. This is known as the God of the gaps argument. This goes as follows:

I don’t know (it goes against my common sense judgment), therefore, God must have done it…

Assuming we can define nothing, why should nothing be a more natural state of affairs rather than something? In fact, we can give a plausible scientific reason based on our best current knowledge of physics that something is more natural than nothing! From a scientific perspective, the question is why shouldn’t there be something rather than nothing? What law of science clams that the universe is NOT supposed to exist?

There is no such law. On the contrary the law of the conservation of mass energy i.e. the 1st law of thermodynamics leads us to a radically different conclusion. The mass energy which now constitutes our universe has always existed, though the universe as we observe it today did indeed have a beginning at the big bang. The “big bang” leads me to talk about what is known as the “first cause argument.” The entire concept of “first cause” assumes a previous existence. But, instead of recognizing that causation assumes existence, creationist espouse a perverse “backward logic” that existence of the universe assumes causation i.e. that the universe was created out of nothing ex nihilo and thus requires a supernatural intervention.

What evidence is there that the universe emerged ex nihilo? What evidence is there that mass energy which constitutes the universe always existed? We have NO evidence that mass energy appeared ex nihilo, and we have well confirmed empirical observations that mass energy cannot appear ex nihilo. Conclusion: Our universe of mass energy in one form or another has always existed. If mass energy has always existed, there is no need for a god of supernatural interventions. To presuppose a god, throws a wrench in the gears. Instead of one complex system, you now have two. God cannot be empirically verified and modern scientific knowledge points away from a superhuman existence.

We did not pop into existence, rather we evolved from matter. This can be verified. Stanly Miller who was an American chemist, and biologist who is known for his studies into the origin of life. Miller performed an experiment that proved organic molecules could have spontaneously formed on early earth from inorganic precursors. The now-famous “Miller-Urey experiment” used a highly reduced mixture of gases - methane, ammonia and hydrogen to form basic organic monomers, such as amino acids. Whether the mixture of gases used in the Miller-Urey experiment truly reflects the atmospheric content of early earth is a controversial topic. It is also irrelevant, because what Miller proved was that life could spontaneously appear naturally in the right circumstances.

When it comes to our understanding, we must remain logical. Logic is a part of our everyday lives. “IF” God created us, then he created us to think this way. If he exists, he must also abide by these logical rules. This is well known by the Christian Apologetic community. Dr. Norman Geisler wrote a piece about this subject in his “Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics.”

“Logic is the basis of all thought, it is the basis of all thought about God (theology). Some object that this makes God subject to logic…All rational statements must be logical. Since theology purports to make rational statements, theological statements are subject to rules of rational thought, as are any other statements. In another sense, God indeed is subject to logic, but not because there is something more ultimate than he. Since logic represents the principles of rational thought and since God is a rational Being, God is subject to his own rational nature. Insofar as logic manifests reason it flows from the very nature of God, and God is subject to his own nature. Indeed, he cannot act contrary to it, ethically or logically. For example, "It is impossible for God to lie" (Heb. 6:18). Likewise, it is impossible for God to contradict himself. Both violate his basic nature. God is not only subject to his own rational self-consistency; he also is subject to logic which is derived from it. For we could not even begin to think about or talk about God without the law of noncontradiction. In this sense, logic is prior to God in that we need to use logic before we can even think about him rationally. Logic is prior to God in the order of knowing, but God is prior to logic in the order of being. Logic is prior to God epistemologically, but God is prior to logic ontologically. To object that this makes God subject to our logic sets up a faulty dichotomy. Logic is logic; it is not "our" logic as opposed to "his." Ours is based on his. God's rational nature is the basis of our rational nature. He made it that way so we could understand something about him. The law of noncontradiction applies to God's thoughts as well as to ours. People did not invent it; they discovered it.”

I included this so that we could start on the same rational “playing field.” Now since we see that logic must be applied to “God” and our understanding of God, I want to make clear that we must not fault logic if we encounter a logical problem with God, his existence, or word. Remember, it was he that created us to think this way! (That is if he exists).

If we start with (a) true premise(s), and follow the rules of logic, we will come to true conclusions.

I also want to add; extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
If I told you I have a mother and a father, it wouldn’t require extraordinary evidence, because I exist. If I exist, I was born. If I was born, I must have a mother and a father. However, if I told you I was born of a virgin, I must go out of my way to provide extraordinary evidence to support my claim.

Also, logic and science are negative tests for truth. A lot of people have the misconception that scientist’s just make up theories to deceive people. This is NOT how science works. Scientists come to conclusions based on empirical evidence. Starting with what is true, and then tries to DIS-prove the new theory.

Logicians and scientists are skeptics. Yes, scientists try to disprove their own theories. This is how science works! However, when scientists can’t disprove the new theory, but has empirical evidence backing its claim it moves from being a “theory” to a fact or law of science, e.g. Gravity.
I believe in Science, rationality, and empiricism. I am a skeptic to anything that falls outside of these boundaries, and with good reason! I know I presented a lot of material here. I don’t mean to be overwhelming. I just wanted to make sure I cleared up a lot of what might have been said behind my back. I also want to say, although I did cover a lot of material in this email, I have not in no way presented everything I wanted to. I left the biggest issue out for time being (comparative religion). I hope we can continue our conversation. I promise my next emails will not be so over whelming! I just wanted to make clear what I feel was misconstrued.

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Comment by Bradley Freeman on March 31, 2010 at 10:47pm
I got different reactions from different people. Some were angry with me, others were literally scared of me as if I was now Satan incarnate, while even some sympathized with me and later joined me. Two of my closest friends who were also ministers, after trying to convince me that I was making a huge mistake and that I was flat out wrong actually later left Christianity as well after many many talks together.

So the reaction you get from people really boils down to how open the people are to new ideas. Sadly most are not even though they tell you they are. I once had a woman tell me that I was being, "closed minded" after I wouldn't agree with her apologetic arguments (not to mention she learnt most of them from me!) After I calmly explained to her, "You are not telling me anything I don't already know." I explained the fallacies, but yet she still persisted that I was being closed minded and unreceptive to the holy spirt... I wanted to call her bluff so I turned the tables around on her. I said, "Look...if you can prove to me that I am wrong I would be more than happy to change my views, but let me ask you. If I can prove to you beyond a shadow of a doubt that your worldview is irrational and that there is no reason to believe in the claims you are making, would you change your views?" She said, NO... I then simply asked, "who is being irrational?" Silence....

So expect different reactions from different people and have fun with it.
Comment by Objection on March 31, 2010 at 9:26pm
Btw, when you stopped being a religious leader, what were people's reactions?
Comment by Objection on March 31, 2010 at 9:22pm
I agree. Unlike some others, an atheistic perspective is easy for me to swallow, since I believe I can make my own purposes in life.

btw, I should've mentioned the youtube user, Evid3nc3, used to be a devout christian. I think I got the idea I mentioned earlier from this particular video in his de-conversion series:

2.3 Deconversion: Other Christians (Part 1)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnTbkgcFi7k&playnext_from=TL&...
You should check out the entire series sometimes. I enjoyed it very much.
Comment by Bradley Freeman on March 31, 2010 at 7:35pm
I can defiantly agree with your proposal. Faith is (I like Richard Dawkins words) "Sexed up" denial. I was in a debate a few weeks ago with a pastor from my home town. Obviously the word "faith" came up during our discussion. Once he realized his arguments weren't carrying their own weight, he resorted to the famous "F-word" by saying, you must have it... He also said, "If we reason everything out before we act we will stop when reason fails. Reason limits us, faith releases us". I replied, "What would you say that "faith" releases us from? It cant be the irrational in order to find greater truth. All I would have to ask is how so? If you give me reasons, you invalidate your claim by trying to validate it with your reasons. By using faith to validate your claim is self-defeating. If its not the irrational that faith releases us from, then what is it? why would we want to be released from what is rational or on the side of probability? There is a reason for everything. If we never come to a rational conclusion it's no fault of reason, it's a fault of our misunderstanding of the claims or lack of evidence altogether. However, even if we dont have conclusive evidence, rationality always falls on the side of probability. Extraordinary claims require extrodinary evidence. If i told you i have a bag of cheetos in my car you would probably beleive me because it wouldnt take very much to prove my claim. However, if i told you i was born of a virgin, now that would take extrodinary proof to validate my claim. The "reason" your worldview resorts to faith and hope is because there isn't any hard evidence for it's claims, so you can only "hope" that it is true. I simply lean on the side of probability...The only thing reason limits us from us the irrational which is a great thing to be limited from! I agree that faith and reason are not always compatible. I will go as far far as saying they can't be. If they were you wouldn't need such a word. Walking by faith and not by sight sounds noble, but try it out by walking across a busy highway and see how far you get."

As far as debating atheist while I was a Christian; there arguments did bother me. They did get me thinking a lot. However, that didn't convince me alone. It took a lot of personal inspection. I t was a combination of things. I ultimately wanted Truth not matter the consequence, because Truth is what is most important above all. I would rather know the Truth and be uncomfortable, than believe a lie and be comfortable.
Comment by Objection on March 31, 2010 at 7:09pm
Hi Bradley, welcome to AN!

What do you think of my proposal that religious faith is synonymous with denial?
http://www.atheistnexus.org/forum/topics/is-faith-synonymous-with

Anyhoo, did debating with atheists reinforce your belief, or erode your belief? Was debating with atheists effective at all, or was the majority of your de-conversion caused by internal dialog?
I'm interested because one other devout christian on youtube (Evid3nc3) had shown me that it was pretty ineffective to debate with devout theists. Rather, debate is good for sowing the seeds of doubt. Also, the primary purpose of debate should not be to persuade your opponent, but to persuade the people listening to the debate, that are on the fence (the agnostics, the weak-faithed christians).
Your opponent might be emotionally motivated, anyways, not logically motivated.

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