The Mystery of the Missing Malaysian Airplane – And Other Mysteries…

The Mystery of the Missing Malaysian Airplane – And Other Mysteries…

ImageThe mystery of the missing plane is exercising the media like nothing else has done for quite some time. Constant news updates reveal that every imaginable line of enquiry is apparently being followed. 

One aviation  expert told callers to a  popular radio phone-in show this week that even far-fetched possibilities, dismissed at the beginning, are now being considered  Nobody knows anything, and so all sorts of possible, if unlikely, explanations are being examined by the experts.

The media is working hard, endlessly interviewing the various experts in aviation technology, with commentary wall to wall round the clock, and  newspaper reporters and TV presenters are pointing to maps and other images galore, all carefully explained for maximum audience comprehension. Calls to mind Our Lord’s observation that “…the children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light.”

For, if Catholics spent half the amount of time, energy and imagination on working to explain the great mysteries of our Faith as the news-researchers and chat show hosts are doing to explain the mystery of the missing Malaysian flight MH370, the world would be converted in no time.

As you may have guessed by now, this is a corny way to introduce a thread of discussion on atheism and agnosticism. A discussion with a difference because the key question is not “how can we prove to unbelievers that God  really exists?” but, rather, do atheists and agnostics really exist?  Take a look at the photo of the rescue workers at prayer at Kuala Lumpur airport.  Is there anyone who hasn’t uttered a prayer for the passengers, crew, and relatives of all those on board missing flight MH370?

In short – if there really are unbelievers and agnostics in the world today, isn’t this a greater mystery than the mystery of the missing plane? Greater, even, than any mystery of our Faith?

Comments (145)

  • myatheistlife

    Why, it’s no mystery at all. I’ve not uttered a prayer of any kind for the plane or it’s missing passengers. Not even one ‘tsk tsk, that’s a shame’ for them. The statistical chances that this will happen somewhere in the world every so often is extremely close to 100% and by extreme I mean so close you can’t tell the difference. The mystery is that people still pray when there is overwhelming evidence that it does nothing to make the situation better nor bring the missing people back to us alive. If you’re praying for them, why don’t you take a break and see if there is some way you can support the science based efforts to find them… if god was going to save them the plane would’t be lost now, would it? Oh wait, your god has a plan. Perhaps this tragedy is part of his plan, in which case your prayers do nothing because they would contravene his plan. You’re wasting your breath and pretending you’re better than non-believers because you’re wasting your time praying instead of actually, you know, actually searching for the missing people. As for the picture? You can find the ignorant and frightened everywhere on the planet. Seeing them pray means nothing more significant than to demonstrate that people still live in fear and foolishly believe that incantations will cause the laws of the physical world to be interrupted at the behest of nobody in particular and anyone in general. Witchcraft and magic are fairy tales. Calling out to a spirit being to alter the course of the natural laws has never worked in any setting where is can be shown to work. It’s just wishful thinking and while so many are busy with their wishful thinking they are not searching for missing people.

    Yes, the real mystery is why anyone still believes that prayer does anything but waste time and resources.

    March 18, 2014 at 3:38 am
    • Fidelis

      I completely disagree. Some of the greatest minds in the world of science and history and arts have believed very strongly in God. You are unjust in speaking in such a disparaging way about people who pray. I’m afraid the wishful thinking is on the part of those who hope there is no God, otherwise they’ll have a lot of answering to do for the way they lives their lives without him.

      God does not withhold his grace, his divine life, from anyone unless they reject him.

      I suggest you try opening your heart and mind and even saying a prayer of petition, not to test God but in an act of true faith and you might be surprised at the outcome.

      March 18, 2014 at 10:51 am
      • myatheistlife

        That’s all fine I suppose. I don’t suppose you have any proof or credible evidence whatsoever of the existence of this god you know so much about. According to your holy text, your god does withhold his grace. It says so right there in the first book.

        It’s truly sad that you have to speak for your god. Surely an omnipotent being is capable of speaking for itself. The fact that mere humans have to speak for your god and defend it speaks volumes about the existence of said god.

        I do have an open mind, open enough to consider that there is no evidence for a god, any god, never mind the special case you pray to. Faith is _not_ a virtue, it’s an willful act of self delusion that defies logic and reason.

        March 18, 2014 at 2:57 pm
      • Frankier

        Do you have any proof that God doesn’t exist? Why do believers always have to prove the existence of God while you lot always sit back and offer no proof of your disbelief? I find it easier, a lot easier, to believe in a creator than to disbelieve.

        I would never bother to go on to an atheist leaning website and start asking them for proof that there is no God. I am just not interested for the simple reason that I respect their disbelief, end of story. It will be their problem at the end of the day when they will discover they were, in fact, totally wrong.

        Do you feel that you are maybe a wee bit too smart to be believing in the same God that simple Irish peasants believed in? If that is the case, why waste your time?

        I can never understand why atheists, or those who loftily claim to be,
        always pick on Catholic beliefs when condemning God. I don’t suppose you will bother interfering in, say, a church of Scotland, a salvation army or any one of the many thousands of false religions’ websites to air your views.

        I suppose though that it is some form of a compliment that you fear the Catholic Church so much with it being a formidable barrier to your desired
        secular society.

        March 18, 2014 at 6:09 pm
      • jamiealbion


        It’s impossible to prove that something doesn’t exist. Presumably you don’t believe in fairies. But can you *prove* that fairies don’t exist? No. However, the fact that you can’t disprove the existence of something doesn’t automatically mean that we should therefore believe in it.

        The burden of proof is on the one who is making the positive claim. If I was to tell you that I had telekinetic powers, I may well be telling the truth, but until I produce proof of them you would be right to disbelieve me. Atheists and agnostics apply this same logic to your claims about the existence of God. The burden of proof is on the theist, not the atheist.

        March 18, 2014 at 9:19 pm
      • Faith of Our Fathers

        Jamie i would like to ask you a question. You state you come from a Christian home and that all kinds of problems have come your way without you turning to a deity you no longer believe in. Do you believe in law and order I.E social if you do then you will agree that our social law structure is based on the 10 commandments .Unfortunately as these are no longer thought to be taken literarly our social and moral society has broken down . Now i would not think for a moment of banning secular law which has brought society such perils of sexual diseases as AIDS ABORTION soon to be such nice things like EUTHANASIA -now mind and dont grow old-S.T D.s of all and any description -Funny how you never hear how much it costs the Nation in medical bills for such-and especially as people who want to indulge in the same are offered thousands of free Condoms if they want them-Also the explosion on the scene of Rampant Homosexuality who want same to be taught to young children . Welcome To Your Godless Pagan Society. When the strong no longer support the weak -Thats what Hospitals were built for -Society will break down even Mr Putin knows that and thats why he is building up the Russian Church.

        March 19, 2014 at 7:24 pm
      • Tirrey

        A wilful act of self delusion(incorrect use of an,obviously the sound decides the use)

        March 18, 2014 at 10:34 pm
      • myatheistlife

        Tirrey, no malice of grammar here, just a typo… mea culpa

        March 19, 2014 at 12:02 am
    • greatpretender51

      Careful, MyAtheistLife, your utter contempt is showing for people who do not share your beliefs. So much for “tolerance,” “inclusion,” “equality,” and all the other bogus buzzwords your camp tosses around as you attempt to portray yourselves as enlightened, sophisticated and compassionate. I think the real mystery is why you are paying attention to this website, where we simple-minded rubes are obviously stuck in our archaic, rigid superstitious beliefs, so far beneath the lofty level of awareness to which you have attained…

      March 18, 2014 at 11:17 am
      • myatheistlife

        Stupid and dangerous ideas deserve mockery, not respect or tolerance. The original post begs the question of whether there really are agnostics and atheists. Yes, there are.

        When you use the phrase ‘your camp’ you demonstrate a marked lack of knowledge about me. I do not have a ‘camp.’ I speak for no one other than me and no one speaks on my behalf. I’m not a member of a group or follower of some trend.

        March 18, 2014 at 3:01 pm
      • catholicconvert1

        ‘Stupid and dangerous ideas deserve mockery, not respect or tolerance’.

        What about Atheistic Communism, who murdered untold millions of religious people, not just Christians? These people were murdered in the name of Atheism, as they saw religious people as a threat to their ‘Godless’ state. Do these ideas deserve ‘respect’ and ‘tolerance’? You Atheists (or most of you) feign respect and tolerance, or what passes for it, but in private, you are all mini-Maos or mini-Stalins.

        March 20, 2014 at 7:51 pm
      • myatheistlife

        Lets make this simple: you wear blue clothes, I wear blue clothes so you must be an atheist, right?

        You don’t have to be a good person to not believe in gods. Atheism does not make you good or bad – it is not a world view. State atheism in communist countries is part of their political program, but that does not mean all atheists are communists or genocidal.

        Genocidal tyrannical governments do not deserve respect, regardless of their stance on religion.

        The insinuation that all atheists are communists is ludicrous and makes you look silly… at best.

        March 21, 2014 at 12:55 am
      • catholicconvert1

        I never said all Atheists were Communist. I was just using a comparison from when you commented on the ‘stupidity’ of religious belief. Of course you’d say what the Communists did was ‘political’. That’s just convenient for you. They destroyed religion in Russia etc because the followers were seen as ‘reactionary’ and opposed to their Atheist agenda.

        March 21, 2014 at 12:32 pm
    • Frankier

      Sad, really sad comments. If I was of the same opinion as you I would be afraid to leave the house.

      I’ll say a wee prayer for you my friend.

      And by the way, God has a capital G, the one I believe in anyway, and nothing or nobody will change that.

      Meantime, cheer up a little.

      March 18, 2014 at 12:54 pm
      • Josephine


        It makes me very sad too when people say they don’t believe in God.

        It’s things like using a small “g” to refer to God that is evidence of bad feeling, a bitterness that shows there’s something rankling with that person.

        I think we’ve talked about this before on the blog which is where I’ve read some say that they do actually believe in God but keep pushing it away, suppressing it. A good way to do that is to mock.

        I’m glad that we are not having to give “evidence” for belief in God because the bottom line is you have to accept that there is a God and then, funnily enough, you don’t need that kind of evidence which non-believers keep asking for.

        I will also pray for “MyAtheistLife”.

        March 18, 2014 at 2:52 pm
      • myatheistlife

        Using proper grammar and punctuation is not bitterness. I do not believe your god to be real and do not feel any need to give special deference to a fairy tale character. There is no credible evidence for any god. As you indicate, your god only real if you believe in it.

        Save your prayers Josephine, spend that time giving to the needy instead.

        March 18, 2014 at 3:08 pm
      • Frankier


        We do spend time giving to the needy.

        Over the years many trillions of pounds have been, and are still being, given to the needy. The biggest contributors in a world wide basis to education and health care is the Catholic Church, i.e., those ordinary people who believe in what you would describe as fairy tales.

        How much time do you spend giving to the needy?

        March 18, 2014 at 6:22 pm
      • myatheistlife

        Well, for the word god to get capitalized it needs to be the first word in a sentence. If you are trying to tell me your god’s proper name is god with a capital g I’m going to ask you to prove that such a being exists. Then I’ll ask why your god doesn’t have a real name. You know, like YHWH or Zeus or Thor or something.

        Why would you be afraid to leave the house? Is that some veiled threat? Thanks, but no thanks, I don’t need your condescending ‘wee prayer’. Why don’t you spend that time donating to the needy instead.

        March 18, 2014 at 3:05 pm
      • Frankier

        Could you explain why you consider my remarks as being some veiled threat?

        Regarding spending my time donating to the needy, read previous reply.

        No matter where the word God is in a sentence it gets capitalized.

        I’ll repeat, cheer up!

        March 18, 2014 at 6:35 pm
      • myatheistlife

        Frankier, I do not understand the ‘leave the house comment’ so I was curious if it was some kind of warning.

        No god gets special treatment and god is not a proper noun. Some believers might think so but then some believers think the earth is the center of the universe too.

        If you come do half my work for me I’ll get happier 😉

        March 19, 2014 at 12:07 am
      • editor


        To claim that you thought Frankier was issuing some kind of veiled threat is patent nonsense. He doesn’t know who you are and now that you’ve told us elsewhere that you live in Texas in the USA, more than a tiny wee distance from where Frankier lives in Scotland, it seems even more ridiculous.

        Gerragrip wummin!

        March 19, 2014 at 12:48 am
      • catholicconvert1

        Texas???? God bless Rick Perry!! He might not be Catholic, but at least he defends God’s Law, unlike Cardinal Dolan.

        March 20, 2014 at 7:54 pm
    • fryderykfranciszekchopin

      myatheistlife, obviously you don’t have much to do with your atheist life. If that’s the way you think, you’d probably be better off joining a science blog instead of wasting your time harassing this one. And which ‘god’ are you referring to? If I recall there are gods of nature that could change the course of natural laws.

      March 18, 2014 at 3:30 pm
      • myatheistlife

        fryderykfranciszekchopin, there are no gods, just fairy tales and wishful thinking. As it happens, regarding my time, it’s your lucky day because I happen to have a few moments to reply to your comments here.

        March 18, 2014 at 3:34 pm
      • fryderykfranciszekchopin

        And what about the ‘fairy tale’ of the 33 Chilean miners who, after 70 days of being trapped in mines one and a half miles deep came out, every one of them alive? Families of the miners kept a 24 hour vigil at the mine head in front of a statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe. I suppose the fact that everyone was praying to Our Lady for them was just coincidence? Almost seems like that fairy tale came true.
        Well, these fairy tales work for me…

        March 18, 2014 at 4:01 pm
      • editor


        The Chilean miners is an excellent example. The first thing they requested was a statue of Our Lady which stayed there throughout their ordeal. Every one came out of that mine, alive and well.

        Not long after there was a similar accident (I think in Australia) where there was no mention of God or prayer. There was a very different outcome at the end of that tragedy – sadly.

        March 18, 2014 at 9:53 pm
      • Vianney

        And remember that everyone of those Chilean miners made the sign of the Cross or fell to their knees when they came out.

        March 18, 2014 at 11:41 pm
      • myatheistlife

        Actually, those Chilean miners were saved by a Texas oil driller with just the right skills. You can claim your god gave him those skills in spite of the obvious arguments but then you have to explain why your god decided to risk the life of the miners to show off the talents he supposedly gave to an oil driller. Let me give you a hint, that line of reasoning will end badly. There is zero reason to believe that a god of any description had anything to do with the rescue of those miners. I live in Texas and I find your ignorance of the skills of that driller insulting.

        March 19, 2014 at 12:10 am
      • fryderykfranciszekchopin

        God probably did not ‘risk the life of the miners to show off the talents he supposedly gave to an oil driller. ‘ The fact that the oil driller came on the scene at the right time to save those miners was providential. I have no doubt that he was a talented person, but the Australian miners were killed just because there was no Texas oil driller there to save them?? I’m not sure whose line of reasoning will end badly….if God exists, then miners would probably have much more of a chance than if their lives depended on Texan drillers.

        March 19, 2014 at 12:50 am
      • myatheistlife


        The Chilean miners got lucky. A lot of miners do not. The point is that it was not a god that saved them. The Australian miners had no Texas driller… presumably just god. They’re dead now. When miners are trapped, it’s up to humans to save them as no god seems interested in creating miracles for them.

        March 19, 2014 at 12:58 am
      • fryderykfranciszekchopin

        You seem to have missed my point. In the case of the Australian miners, there was no mention of prayer or God whatsoever. The outcome? Not a single man alive.
        But with the Chilean miners- plenty of prayer and mention of God. The outcome? Every one alive. Somehow that doesn’t really sound like just pure luck, to be brought alive out of the mines after about two and a half months.

        March 19, 2014 at 5:06 pm
      • myatheistlife

        So was god with the believers who brought down the WTC Towers, but not the people trapped inside? Confirmation bias is what they call it when someone says ‘look, they prayed and the miners were safe’ but for the Aussies you presume there were no prayers. On just mine accidents alone your theory can be disproved by all the times prayer was offered without stop until the miners were found dead. Why would you even make such an argument that is so easily refuted?

        March 20, 2014 at 2:28 am
      • editor


        You are so clearly sold to the wonders of science and evidence (forgetting that certain “evidence” has put innocent people in prison for years, and in dear old Texas where you live, put innocent people to death, no doubt) so there really isn’t a lot any of us can say to change your mind. You continually present false dichotomies and twist what we are saying about prayer (the Chilean miners example given by Chopin is a case in point – you’ve taken that completely to a false extreme. You just don’t get it.)

        God is not working to your plan. He is not a “designer God” who acts as YOU think He should act – therefore, we really will not be able to convince you and – as I said in the blog article, top of this thread – we are under no obligation even to try.

        God has implanted something of Himself in each soul – it’s your task to submit to HIS design, HIS plan, not the other way round.

        We’d love to help you but, really, at this point in your life you’ve made up your mind and all we can do is wish you well. As I said earlier in this comment, you just don’t get it – and, moreover, you don’t want to “get it”, so I suggest we leave it there because although you say you are “open” to the idea of God, as long as there is “evidence” you refute the evidence at every turn because it’s not your kind of evidence.

        Hope the weather is good over there in Texas but if it’s erratic, as it is here, it’s not because the supermarkets don’t charge for plastic bags, no matter what some numpty scientist tells you 🙄 Trust me 😀

        March 20, 2014 at 11:20 am
      • catholicconvert1

        Some would say that 9/11 was a conspiracy. As I do.

        March 21, 2014 at 12:34 pm
      • catholicconvert1

        ‘Got lucky’.

        Oooh…the chemical chance. Everythings about ‘chance’ or ‘coincidence’ with you Atheist isn’t it?

        March 20, 2014 at 7:56 pm
      • myatheistlife

        Are you in a bad mood today or is this your general demeanor?

        March 21, 2014 at 12:56 am
      • editor

        Chopin – brilliant!

        You’re now moving fast up the payscale!

        I hope our American friends will understand that it’s gone past 1.a.m. here so while I’m just dying to answer some of MAL’s most recent posts, I just have to get my beauty sleep. How much, you’ll probably never know 🙄

        March 19, 2014 at 1:10 am
    • editor


      You appear to be very strong in your determination not to believe in God. That’s understandable. Accepting God’s revelation to us, means changes in our attitudes and behaviour, big time. I see Petrus has pointed out below the connection between sexual attitudes and behaviour and atheism. Given the permissive atmosphere in which we live, then, it’s perfectly understandable that so many people choose to reject even the very idea of God.

      Prayer is not “wishful thinking”. Prayer is a raising up of the mind and heart to God, and if we include petitions for help of various kinds in our prayer, then we can be certain that we will receive an answer, although not – like the “magic” of which you speak – always what we requested (or sometimes, demanded!)

      God, the supernatural, does exist. Ever wondered why so many atheists are hooked on films about aliens or films about the devil such as the Exorcist? Believing in the devil means we can behave howsoever we wish. Accepting God is a very different matter altogether.

      A couple of bloggers have mentioned the miracles of Lourdes. There are other miracles, declared so after intense scientific study. Here’s one that took place in Argentina, involving what we call a “Eucharistic miracle.” I’d be really interested to read your opinion of it, after you’ve read the information below and listened to the scientist on the video.

      As you may know, Catholics believe that when the priest, at Mass, pronounces the words of Consecration over the elements of (unleavened) bread and wine, the elements cease to BE bread and wine and become the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ – although they continue to look like unleavened bread and wine.

      In one parish in Buenos Aires, a Host became the subject of scientific examination when it changed appearance into what seemed to be a lump of meat.

      “…[T]he then Archbishop of Buenos Aires, who is the present Pope conducted a thorough investigation. A tissue sample piece of meat into which the Host in the tabernacle had changed in 1996, was examined medically by a forensic examiner. It was noted that it is certainly the part of a human heart. As the pathological institute further noted that it had to be the heart of a living man. These are living cells. The coroner had not been instructed on the origin of the sample, so as not to affect the outcome in any direction.” Source

      March 18, 2014 at 7:29 pm
      • myatheistlife

        Editor, I can see that statistics is not your hobby. If less than 15% of America is atheist and more than 50% believe in aliens then your statement about aliens is not even close enough to be wrong. You’ve made others of similar kind in the same comment. You should fact check the numbers you use and be a bit more open to the reality of things.

        Prayer has never been shown to accomplish anything but make the person doing the praying feel better about themselves. It is wishful thinking. Rick Perry didn’t manage to get any rain on his ‘day of prayer’ likewise no other bit of praying has ever been shown to do anything useful.

        If you truly belive that prayer works, why don’t you and other believers get together and solve the problem of so many children under the age of 5 starving to death every day… get that fixed through prayer and I’ll start asking why it worked.

        March 19, 2014 at 12:54 am
      • Fidelis


        I notice you didn’t comment on the video of the Eucharistic miracle which is placed just above your last comment.

        I’d really like to know your views about what that scientist says.

        March 19, 2014 at 1:52 am
      • myatheistlife

        Yeah, the host miracles are unsubstantiated… er, if I can use that word. The video presenter doesn’t claim it to be proof or offer to show corroboration by scientists not affiliated with the church. It’s a sales pitch. Snake oil. If you’re gullible and want to believe it probably sounds like a true miracle. It’s not. If it was there would be much more investigation and much wider interest.

        If it truly is heart tissue a police investigation needs to be conducted, but of course was not. Although, in Poland when the same story/stunt was tried an investigation was called for. I don’t know the results of that yet.

        Even if we grant this to be a miracle I will tell you it’s a damned poor way for an omnipotent god to try to show himself to be extant.

        See, when NASA discovers something they share it with the world and let everyone examine it and there is discussion and testing and more of both… then it is pronounced. These miracle things? Well, they are secrets and shared like secret truths but have no ring of truth except to the gullible.

        There is no big conspiracy to make miracles look fake. If someone has a miracle, bring the evidence let science in general have a look. That doesn’t happen and when it does the miracles turn out to be fakes – Turin Shroud anyone?

        March 19, 2014 at 2:55 am
      • catholicconvert1

        How can bread turn from wheat and water to flesh and blood? It’s interesting it was heart. The Sacred Heart is evidence of our Divine Lord’s love to the World, and the Eucharist is His loving and unending sacrifice brought to the present. I think the fact that it was heart is particularly staggering.

        March 20, 2014 at 8:00 pm
      • myatheistlife

        And there is no credible evidence to support the claim that it was heart tissue. It’s the kind of story that conmen tell.

        March 21, 2014 at 12:57 am
      • catholicconvert1

        Er…well…y’all better watch the video.

        March 21, 2014 at 12:35 pm
  • Burt


    Your atheist life does seem a very insular and self centered one, where the fate of the innocent passengers and their worried families you don’t possess enough sympathy to raise in your words “Not even one ‘tsk tsk, that’s a shame’ for them”
    I wonder if atheistic/antitheistic attitudes are generally more prevalent tendencies among misanthropes and sociopaths?

    March 18, 2014 at 2:50 pm
    • Josephine


      I didn’t think of that. It is very inhumane not to feel sympathy for other people in trouble so maybe atheists are inclined to sociopathic tendencies. I never thought of that. Sociopaths don’t feel empathy (I know one myself) and they are very self-centred. All the more reason to turn to God for help.

      March 18, 2014 at 2:55 pm
      • myatheistlife

        Josephine, why does your god let so many innocent children starve to death every day?

        March 18, 2014 at 3:12 pm
      • Josephine


        God doesn’t let children starve – greedy people with lots of money around the world take care of that. God has given us all the ability to help end starvation, but the politicians prefer to build nuclear weapons instead.

        March 18, 2014 at 4:35 pm
      • Burt

        Indeed it is obscene that a single child should die of starvation in this day and age. I wonder if MYATHEISTLIFE (MAL) has noticed that the powerful governments who have the means to prevent such an outrageous situation but have not the will to do so are antitheistic in general in fact to be more specific they are anti Catholic.

        March 18, 2014 at 5:39 pm
      • bededog

        Very well said. I agree wholeheartedly.

        March 18, 2014 at 11:16 pm
      • myatheistlife

        Well, then, why does he ignore their prayers for food, or the prayers of other believers that they get food? You can’t have it both ways. Either your god intercedes at the behest of prayers or your god does not. Which is it?

        March 19, 2014 at 12:12 am
      • catholicconvert1

        Philippians 3:10- That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable to his death.

        March 20, 2014 at 8:03 pm
      • Josephine


        I didn’t mean that every atheist is a sociopath, so I apologise if you thought that’s what I meant when I agreed with Burt that someone who shows no concern for the people in the missing plane might be a sociopath. I’m not saying you are, BTW, obviously I don’t know you, I was just speaking generally.

        March 18, 2014 at 4:37 pm
      • Frankier

        You just have to laugh at atheists always blaming the God that doesn’t exist for all the disasters, natural and unnatural, in the world.

        They talk about innocent children starving to death but never seem to mention the many unborn, innocent children in the world who get the Dynorod treatment while still In their mother’s womb.

        At least Dynorod leaves a tidier job when they’re finished.

        March 18, 2014 at 6:48 pm
      • jamiealbion


        You wrote: “You just have to laugh at atheists always blaming the God that doesn’t exist for all the disasters, natural and unnatural, in the world.”

        Atheists don’t blame God for disasters. Why would we blame someone whom we don’t believe exists for bad stuff happening? Rather, the fact that so much terrible suffering exists in the world is one reason many people don’t believe in God.

        March 18, 2014 at 7:24 pm
      • editor


        “…the fact that so much terrible suffering exists in the world is one reason many people don’t believe in God.”

        That argument would only hold water if God Himself hadn’t demonstrated to us that – however alien it is to our human way of thinking – there is a value and a purpose to suffering.

        We have very limited human intelligence (yep, even moi! God made that up to me by giving me above average glamour, beauty, charm and wit, so, hey, I’m not complaining…)

        As I was saying before I so rudely interrupted myself, humans have very limited intelligence. We think in a very limited way. Even the cleverest human beings cannot begin to grasp the really important issues about life and eternity.

        If God had not become man and humbled Himself in order to suffer and die, then you would have a case for saying that you can’t believe in a God who permits suffering. As it is, history reveals that He did become man, suffer and die and there is nobody on this earth who will ever have to match His suffering.

        It’s that M word again, Jamie. It’s a mystery. Which isn’t a cop out. Ever seen my favourite detective Columbo? Talk about sad – he’s dead but I still watch the re-runs when I catch them. Anyway, we get to see the murder at the beginning of the film but Columbo has to work it out, check out the evidence, speak to the witnesses, follow the clues. All the while, there am I in my armchair, chocolates & Diet Coke in hand, saying “Columbo! You need to THINK! The clues are there!” In other words, to say something is a “mystery” is not to say there’s no answer. It’s to say we cannot see the answer right now. For whatever reason. It’s like the missing Malaysian plane. It’s gotta be somewhere. Even if we never find out in this life, it’s somewhere. We just don’t know the why’s and the wherefore’s. Doesn’t mean there’s no answer. There is. Without a doubt.

        It’s like a friend shows you a tapestry, wrong side. Shock horror, it’s a piece of cloth in a frame with threads all over the place. Ugly. You’re thinking “Goodness, she’s got no taste” just as she realises her mistake and turns the tapestry over so that you can enjoy the beautiful picture when it’s right side up.

        That’s what it will be like at the Last Judgment, Jamie. I can’t wait to see the picture, right side up. What about you? Do you really want to be in that other place, all hot and bothered and full of regret? “If only I’d listened to that Catholic Truth crowd…” 🙄

        That what you really want, Jamie?

        March 18, 2014 at 7:42 pm
      • myatheistlife

        Do you know how almost 1/3 of pregnancies end? Natural abortion. Your god aborts them rather than ensure that they make it to birth. I won’t start an abortion discussion here. While caring people worry about those that are living you and those like you instead worry about bringing more people into the world to starve along side the dead that starved yesterday. Yeah, that makes sense.

        March 19, 2014 at 12:49 am
      • jobstears


        I am late joining this discussion but have read with interest the comments on this thread, especially yours. You keep bringing up the question of suffering as if the presence of suffering necessarily precludes the existence of God. It does not. Catholics look to the Cross and accept suffering as a part of life. God did not cause suffering- we humans do, and we do it very effectively by using our wills – wills which are entirely free – to hurt one another. God does not force us to do evil, we choose to do it. Human beings possess a mind, a soul and a will. Incidentally, even if you happen to not believe in a soul, it does not follow that there is no such thing as a soul. You don’t see the sun on a cloudy day but stay out in it long enough and your skin will burn- whether you acknowledge the presence of the sun or not.

        So please, stop using the argument of starving children to prove God does not exist. If all the atheists in the world would unite and go about trying to feed the starving, there would be no starvation- why not band together and do that?
        Look up statistics on starvation in countries and then take a good look at the governments of those countries, and you will see for yourself that corruption and greed are responsible for starvation.

        Like Frankier said, cheer up! 🙂

        March 21, 2014 at 3:02 pm
    • myatheistlife

      Oh nicely done sir, slyly calling me a misanthrope and sociopath. Clearly this kind of skill is one of the better lessons in your holy text, no? If all the religious minded of the world were ACTUALLY full of the concern and caring they claim it would be a wonder if there were any starving or needy people left in the world.

      As you read that, 6 children under the age of 5 starved to death somewhere on this planet. Why don’t you get off your ‘sympathy’ and do something about problems that can be fixed?

      March 18, 2014 at 3:11 pm
      • McDuff

        @MYATHEISTLIFE: The Catholic Church does a great deal of charitable work, all across the world. Their missionaries and religious orders devote a great deal of their lives in charitable work. They pray, but they don’t stop there. Look at the work they’ve done throughout the ages. It’s not fair to accuse those who are sympathetic, or say they’ll ‘pray’ for something of not physically acting. Humans: feel, think, then act. Would you like physical evidence of the work that we do, or support? It’s hard to tape every action 😉

        Have a blessed week mate 😉

        March 18, 2014 at 6:15 pm
      • myatheistlife

        The Catholic Church also closed their orphanage doors rather than let GLBT families adopt. It has also promoted the spread of AIDs on the African continent. It clothes itself in gold and oppulance while chlidren starve. It _is_ the largest pedophilia ring in the history of humanity and continues to operate as if nothing is wrong. If you’ve not read C.Hitchens’ scathing write up on Mother Teresa you should.

        Charitable work elsewhere does not absolve the RCC of the harm it has done and still does across the globe. I understand that even evil organizations will have good people working for them but that does not excuse the organization nor those good people for choosing to work with such an organization knowing the corruption within and the harm that it does to others.

        March 19, 2014 at 12:27 am
      • McDuff

        Awesome, separate from religion I’ll be starting my save the ‘Chlidren’ campaign. I’m accepting donations starting now.

        The RCC is made of humans, the world holds them to a standard above what is expected of everyone else. For an organization, it’s done a lot of good, and no one is saying it’s perfect.

        Sounds more like you’re saying the Church went and brought AIDs to Africa….they have a stand on the matter, but it hasn’t stopped them from ministering to the people dying from AIDs. And it doesn’t change what they’ve done in Missionary work to help try and ease the general suffering in the country. It’s not the RCC’s fault that corruption is what it is there, or that they have diseases. You’d think the way people go on that the RCC brought the disease in and is spreading it like the White people did to the American Indians with small pox (under the guise of ‘charity’)

        Pedophilia is a societal issue. Look at the time, look at the people and try hard to use your brain. Being as huge and influential as it is, the RCC gets the most media attention for the problem. Let’s not pretend it wasn’t/isn’t a big problem in any other institutions.

        Why should forgiveness and absolution figure into this? I’m talking about the RCC as an institution. You’re accusing it of being evil. Good and evil are a point of view, Overall the Church does more good than harm. As a social justice advocate I think the RCC is an important organization, and being as large and far reaching as they are should be worked with not against.

        March 19, 2014 at 1:12 am
      • myatheistlife

        Please tell me what other institution harbored pedophiles and protected them from the law? Globally? Ministering to those dieing of AIDs means little when your organization did all it could to stop the methods which would have prevented the spread of AIDs.

        No, no organization is too large to fail. Criminal organizations should fail. The corrupt and plainly bigoted treatment of GLBT community is reason enough for the RCC to fail. The protecting of criminals is reason enough to fail. The interference with acceptance and spread of protection measures for countries suffering with AIDs epidemics is reason enough to fail.

        Your pleading only needs a little bit of changing and it could have been said of Hosni Mubarak.

        There have been debates on whether the church is a force for good in the world. You should google them. Hint: the church does not come out looking innocent.

        If you are a social justice advocate it boggles my mind how you can claim affiliation with the RCC. It stinks of everything that the christ despised in the synagogues.

        Playing RCC apologist means that you simply don’t get it. The RCC is a criminal organization.

        March 19, 2014 at 1:46 am
      • Fidelis

        There is an article on this on the CT website which I read a while ago – here it is

        It quotes research into allegations against the Church re. child abuse, by a Jew – he comes to the conclusion, based on the facts, that the Catholic Church is not a criminal organisation as you say,and that Catholics should “hold their heads up high”.

        For all your talk about evidence and so on, you seem to follow the populist line on this subject.

        March 19, 2014 at 1:57 am
      • myatheistlife

        You might well think that. The problem is that Catholics were not demanding an accounting and seemed quite alright with the church protecting pedophiles, helping to spread AIDs and so on. If you protect/harbor a fugitive from the law you are guilty of a crime. I don’t care what some other religious leader concludes… let’s examine the crimes of the Jewish religion today, shall we? So we have one ‘mob boss’ saying another ‘mob boss’ did no wrong. Hmmmmm and your citation is from a Catholic affiliated organization. Is it any wonder they have good things to say about the RCC? How can you seriously offer that up as an argument?

        Defending the RCC is quite distasteful and, I think, indefensible. Let the courts decide who is guilty or not. What the RCC has done consistently is hide their crimes and currently there are many deep investigations into church run organizations which abused children across the globe. The findings have unanimously been disgusting, and clearly evident of criminal behavior condoned and/or protected by the church itself. It’s not just the RCC, but we’ve only been talking about the RCC. Religion seems to like criminals and they it. Prison populations are full of believers. Even though that is a bit off color the statistics bear it out.

        March 19, 2014 at 2:28 am
      • editor


        One of our bloggers, Pat McKay, has made a study of the myth that the Church is causing deaths by AIDS in Africa due to teaching against contraception including condoms. He’s obviously busy elsewhere or he’d have been on to answer you by now, but he’s quoted across the internet, so I’ve rooted out the following brief correction from him to “the African Myth”:

        “I’M sure reader Jim Linden means well when he advocates the use of condoms to help prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa.

        Alas, he is propagating a myth. Official World Health Organisation statistics reveal the only nation where HIV/Aids is declining is Uganda.

        The reason is that Uganda is one of very few countries to reject the condom culture and promote chastity before marriage and fidelity within it.

        This is the only formula for safe sex and is precisely what Christianity has been preaching for over 2000 years.

        Contributing to charities that promote the use of condoms and other birth-control methods will do nothing but fuel the flames.” Source

        So, contrary to what you say, it’s not defending the teaching of the Catholic Church which is distasteful (nobody’s defending abuse of children or cover up – that’s a given) but, rather, defending and promoting the distribution of condoms and thus reinforcing the illusion of safety. That’s criminally dangerous.

        March 19, 2014 at 10:33 am
      • myatheistlife

        Unfortunately I could not find any source data for the statements made by McKay and plenty of information by WHO and UNAIDS about the effectiveness of condoms when used as _part_ of an AIDS prevention plan. If I read your comment correctly you have all but stated that the WHO and UNAIDS are criminally dangerous groups.

        When the church official calls condom use immoral and evil it removes what might be the only available prevention method for many people. In doing so the church condemns such people not because condoms cause harm or actually increase sexual activity but merely for religious reasons. Defending the church’s actions regarding birth control and condoms is offensive.

        Which pope was it that said prostitutes using condems were a little less evil than those that do not? Still, the church preaches that condom use is evil, discouraging people from using an effective prevention against STD’s and AIDS. The friends of the church can try to justify it any way they like but it is still an effort to control the lives of others at the risk of harm or death to those others.

        In the middle ages when the church ran just about everything and dictated the rules for the rest, why is it that prostitution in Europe (generally) was so well established? Which church officials said that prostitutes protected the virgin female citizens and prevented more dangerous avenues for sexual gratification?

        Preaching one thing and doing another…
        where is the highest rate of unwed mothers? Would you be surprised to find that it’s almost always the area of highest religiosity.

        I think that your beliefs have truly clouded your view of the world and of the truth.

        March 20, 2014 at 2:00 am
      • editor


        I’ve just noticed your parting shot about prisons being full of “believers”. Hardly.

        The statistics may show that prisons may be full of people baptised as Christians, or who profess a belief in God (no big deal, even the Devil knows there’s a God) but how many – if any – do you think were practising the Faith? Sunday Mass-goers? Regular Confession? Daily Rosary?

        And they were obviously not living up to it if they were stealing, lying and murdering their grannies.

        For someone who jumps on every assertion we make along the lines of “where’s the evidence” you really do ignore the evidence when it suits.

        Gerragrip wummin!

        March 19, 2014 at 10:42 am
      • myatheistlife

        I did say it was off color. Are you trying the no true scotsman fallacy? Is a priest that molests children a believer? They are practising the faith, Sunday Mass goers, do confession and daily rosary and so on.

        Why in the world would you think that religion makes you a good person? Clearly even the most pious among the Christians are wont to break the laws with an abandon.

        March 20, 2014 at 2:03 am
      • catholicconvert1


        You may, or may not, be aware that the former Holy Father, Benedict XVI removed 600 paedophile Priests.

        You won’t answer questions on what Atheists do for charity. Atheism is evil as they are not fully human. In the Congo, 10 years ago there were 40 gynaecologists, but now there are 150, all trained by the RC.

        contraception doesn’t work. What about diseases such as HPV which is spread via skin to skin contact, as is herpes and genital warts. What about oral sex, which can spread throat cancer? The dept for disease research and control, a US govt dept, said that in the next 30 years over 50% of sodomites will have AIDS. Where’s the condoms? Have you heard of Edward C. Green and ‘risk compensation’? Where people make efforts to protect themselves with condoms, they partake of riskier sexual practises and promiscuity.

        March 21, 2014 at 12:41 pm
      • McDuff

        I heard some talk about California public schools, and then the Mormons harboring pedophiles. I think there are quite a few institutions that will harbor criminals who fall under them. I personally hold that criminals give up their rights, and sex offenders, especially pedophiles should under no circumstances be protected from the law.

        The Church does not, protect pedophiles. In proven cases the priest is defrocked (removed from church service) and given up to the law. When you have cases from over 15+ years ago, facts and circumstances are very hard to prove. I work in a law firm, and I’ve been working with and in law for some time. Proving cases with worn out trails are extremely hard and in the end usually impossible to prove. Even though these cases aren’t proved (and cannot be) the Church still treats these seriously and does not allow the priests to stay in circulation. Needless to say even with the false accusations, the lives and careers of those priests are ruined.

        The Church is doing what it can to deal with the problem, and is not protecting or harboring criminals.

        March 19, 2014 at 2:27 am
      • myatheistlife

        I’m calling bs on that. You said it yourself.. if the ‘church’ finds them guilty they turn them over to the police. That’s not how it is done in polite society. The police and courts decide who is guilty, not the church. There is no argument on that because to advocate that the church adjudicate criminal hearings is to advocate for theocracy and if that i your play then I’m 110% against you.

        March 19, 2014 at 4:14 am
      • editor

        How many teachers and other professionals are turned over the police on every allegation against them? Suspended during an investigation, yes, but turned over to the police?

        Thank heavens I don’t live in Texas…

        March 19, 2014 at 10:44 am
      • editor


        Very well said. There were two cases in the past couple of weeks, one a priest in Aberdeen, former university chaplain and another priest in Ireland, both of whom were falsely accused, tried and convicted and sentenced to prison time. Both convictions have been overturned. How did I find out? Blazing front page headlines? You kidding? in both cases the newspaper reports were the equivalent of footnote space in an essay.

        The media has a clear agenda with this child abuse issue and it’s got nothing to do with protecting children.

        March 19, 2014 at 10:38 am
      • Faith of Our Fathers

        Well it certainly didn’t take you long to show your true Homosexual bigoted colours .Always nowadays since you lot have come out of the closet you now Trawl through decent religious sites peddling your wares.

        March 19, 2014 at 2:38 am
      • Fidelis

        The Church is not called RCC as the editor of this blog points out quite a lot. It’s the Catholic Church.

        I don’t understand how “good and evil” can be a “point of view”. Is the evil of murder just a point of view? What if someone has the view that murder isn’t evil? What then?

        March 19, 2014 at 1:54 am
      • McDuff

        True, the abbreviation is convenient though. CC sounds like carbon copy. ‘The Church’ from henceforth.

        Murder is wrong. Using good vs. evil gets complicated when dealing with people who don’t believe in absolutes. Right, vs. wrong is more, socially more acceptable and generally understood. Murder is wrong, and upsets society. Murder is evil means something darker. I don’t disagree, it’s a sinister matter, but since I was focusing on the Church as a secular not spiritual institution, I wanted to keep it as nonreligious as possible.

        March 19, 2014 at 2:51 am
      • myatheistlife

        I’m not sure if you were replying to me, but let me have a go. Murder is not evil. It happens all the time. Most of us call it breakfast, or dinner etc. Only certain types of ending life are considered bad manners in our society. Not all societies hold the same values. Good and evil are subjective points of view. period. That is life and you already live with it but do not recognize it.

        March 19, 2014 at 4:17 am
      • editor


        Thanks for that! I get tired being the only one to point it out. Google ‘How did the Catholic Church get its name’ for an excellent explanation of why we should never use “Roman Catholic”

        And excellent point about “good and evil” – but then how could an atheist think otherwise than that these are subjective concepts? WHO decides what is “good” and what is “evil”?

        Western societies have thrown out the very idea of God and so they have the problem of having to work out who or what authority to accept in His place.

        So, they choose instead just to overturn legislation protecting us from our worst instincts – to kill unborn babies and infirm elderly (especially those who may be a “burden”), to marry people of the same sex and so on. No holds barred, when you put God out of the picture.

        It would be a great idea if only we didn’t have that eternity thing to consider. Me, I really can’t stand excessive heat.

        March 19, 2014 at 10:48 am
      • catholicconvert1

        Why would any sensible organisation let sexual deviant adopt children, and bring them up in their wicked ways? Did you not know that many LGTB ‘parents’ abuse their ‘children’ as did those Priests, who so vilified in the press, and who were active homosexual pederasts. 80-90% of cases were sexual (consensual) relationships between grown men and sexually mature teenage boys. THere were few cases under ten, or involving girls.

        March 20, 2014 at 8:07 pm
      • myatheistlife

        I’m not surprised you didn’t offer any citations for that bit of bigotry. You call others sexual deviants yet find it perfectly okay for grown men to have sexual relations with 10 year olds. You are a twisted individual.

        March 21, 2014 at 1:03 am
      • catholicconvert1

        Well..that’s the thing. I don’t condone paedophilia, but I’m afraid the sex abuse scandal was a homosexual problem. Have you heard of the ‘gay’ activist, Peter Tatchell? He wants the age of consent reducing to 10, because he said, and I quote ‘I’ve met many 10 year olds who have had sex with adults, and it gave them a feeling of great joy’. Can you support this? Why do you think that gays want to adopt?

        March 21, 2014 at 2:40 pm
  • jamiealbion

    I’m an atheist who was brought up in a Christian home. I lost my faith around 9 years ago. There are many reasons why I don’t believe in God, with the efficacy of prayer (or lack of it) pretty high up the list.

    In the above blog post, the editor asks, “A discussion with a difference because the key question is … do atheists and agnostics really exist?” Are you suggesting that people who identify as atheist or agnostic are actually pretending not to believe in God since we *know* deep down that he really exists? Surely you can’t be serious? As much as I disagree with many claims of Christians and other theists, I acknowledge the sincerity of their belief. I know what it’s like to believe in God and the power of prayer deeply and completely. My faith was sincere, but my current unbelief is just as sincere. Since I’m not in a position to say, e.g. “I know that deep down you really know this Christianity is a load of hogwash”, I don’t see how believers such as yourself can speculate on the sincerity of an atheist’s lack of belief.

    Like Myatheistlife and hundreds of millions of other people, I haven’t uttered a single prayer for the plane or its passengers. I also haven’t prayed during many times of crisis during the last nine godless years of my life, including when I almost drowned, when my mother was diagnosed with cancer (she recovered), or on the two occasions when I was made redundant with a wife and three kids to care for. When I was a Christian, I prayed every single day and sincerely believed that prayer affected the lives of me and others. In fact, good and bad things happen to me and those I know at exactly the same rate as they did when I was a Christian (I suppose “good” and “bad” are somewhat open to interpretation but that’s another issue).

    I would be very interested to hear if any of the Catholic bloggers could recount an answered prayer from their own lives that couldn’t have simply been a mundane coincidence. I’ve not heard a satisfactory example yet, but I am open-minded about the issue. I used to believe that my prayers were answered, but this is down to the way that I interpreted and rationalised events. This video explains the rationalisation process that many believers go through:

    Now, some atheists may believe that you lot are a bit dim and unsophisticated, but I don’t have this view of all theists. I’ve met plenty of sharp, erudite Christians and some pretty dumb atheists. As bright as some Christians are however, I don’t find their arguments satisfying.

    Jamie, a Scottish atheist

    March 18, 2014 at 3:15 pm
    • Josephine


      I’ve had my prayers answered, unmistakeably, but you wouldn’t see it that way because you seem to think an answer to prayers should be something spectacular. Nothing spectacular has happened to me but I know that I’ve had my prayer answered.

      I wondered if this article by a doctor appointed to the Medical board in Lourdes would be of interest.

      My own experience at Lourdes was amazing, although I wasn’t there as a sick person, just as a pilgrim. One thing I consider to be a sort of minor miracle, which everybody experiences, is that when you come out of the baths at Lourdes, which are not out in the sunshine but inside a huge kind of dank place, you are completely dry. I’d been told about that but when I experienced it I was amazed. You have to take off all your clothes and be wrapped in a huge towel (it’s all done very modestly) and taken to the waters. You go into the water and are completely immersed. Then you are taken back with the huge towel round you back to your clothes a few feet away and you just dress again – the towel is used as a kind of screen to protect modesty. It’s not used to dry yourself because there is no need.

      March 18, 2014 at 4:46 pm
      • crofterlady


        I lived in Lourdes for years, and I can assure you that when emerging from the baths in mid winter, one is certainly NOT dry. Rather one is VERY wet and freezing. The summer experience, I have been told, is due to emerging from a very cold bath to heat and that makes a body dry very quickly. I do believe passionately in the miracles which have occurred at lourdes but just wanted to set the record straight.

        March 18, 2014 at 5:04 pm
      • editor


        I’m disillusioned! If you hadn’t gotten here before me, I’d have been agreeing with Josephine and wishing I’d thought of that example, for I, too, was amazed when I came out of the baths at Lourdes completely dry. Admittedly in sunny July. Remember that concept – sun?

        I know you lived in Lourdes for quite a long time so will take your word for it but can’t help thinking that we all come out of baths and showers in our warm homes yet we still need to dry off.

        Still, you were cold, wet and freezing, so game set and match to you 😀

        March 18, 2014 at 7:51 pm
      • jamiealbion


        During my 20+ years as a Christian, I didn’t think that an answer to a prayer had to be “something spectacular”. Like I said, I interpreted mundane, everyday events as being “signs” that God had answered my prayers. All I asked was if you (or anyone else) could give an example of an answer to a prayer that couldn’t have been a coincidence.

        I’ll give you an example to illustrate the type of thinking I typically employed. When I was a Christian, a girl at my church was a primary school teacher. There was a wee boy in her Primary 1 class who came from a very bad background, with his dad in jail and his mum a heroin addict. One day, he didn’t turn up for school and it turned out that he and his mum were missing. I prayed *really* hard that this child would be OK, as did my friend. After almost a month of fervent daily prayer, my friend confessed to me that she had all but given up hope. The next day, the wee boy turned up at school, completely unharmed.

        I was full of joy when I heard this news, absolutely convinced that God had answered my prayers. As for the month or so I had to wait, I simply rationalised that God’s ways are not ours and that perhaps He was teaching me how to be patient and humble. If an atheist had told me back then that it was only a coincidence, I would have said pretty much the same as you: “I’ve had my prayers answered, absolutely and unmistakably, but you won’t see it that way because your heart isn’t open to the Lord”.

        At the evangelical church I used to attend, there were a number of ex-Catholics. Most came along as a result of being witnessed to by members of my congregation. Any Catholic who joined our church was seen as “proof” of our prayers being answered. But presumably, if an evangelical was to convert to the Catholic Church after you prayed for them, you would “unmistakably know” that your prayer had been answered.

        Did you watch the video I posted a link to? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on it.

        March 18, 2014 at 7:46 pm
    • editor


      I’ve just watched the video you posted (I re-saved it in your post so that the video would show here as it saves having to leave the blog and re-enter – hope you don’t mind.)

      I mean, are you asking us to take that stuff seriously? It’s just over 8 minutes of primary school level argument. It really is, with all due respect.

      For one thing, the narrator talks constantly about “the milk jug” when the milk is not in a jug at all – it’s in one of those plastic-type containers that we buy in the shops. So, it seems HE’s the one suffering from an optical illusion! In any event, if he can’t recognise the existence of a plastic milk container when he sees it, little wonder that he has problems believing in the existence of God 😉

      The psychology of the presentation is appealing to human pride. All the way through, I’m “smart” – too “smart” to believe that God answers prayer. That’s cute. Dishonest, of course, but cute. Somebody needs to tell that guy that some of the greatest minds in the planet and throughout history (including famous scientists) not only believed in God but created their music and explored the universe for the express purpose of giving great glory to Him.

      Then we have the distortion of the nature of prayer which begins where you would expect it, right at the beginning of the video. Unfortunately, the Protestant website which the video-maker chose to quote, gave him a helping hand by advertising prayer as if our every problem (financial, health, whatever – there was a lengthy list) just required an “I want this, Lord, please and thank you” and God would fix it.

      Of course, there was mockery of the truth that God does not always answer prayers of petition right away or in the way we would like Him to do. That’s an easy one for atheists. They have the advantage of being able to SEE scientists (ignoring the fact that they often-times disagree with one another) while we do not, of course, see God with our human eyes (except, in faith, when we adore the Blessed Sacrament). They can ask the scientist a question or make a request and understand his response because he’s human and we all tend to think and act in approximately the same or similar ways. God, on the other hand operates in a very different manner: “My ways are not your ways…”

      The video-presenter made the central mistake of trying to compare things which are not comparable: viewers are to treat the milk container (he thinks “jug”) as if it has supernatural powers; he cites a psychological study to show that sick people who were prayed for not only fared no better than patients who were NOT prayed for, they did worse. I mean, is this guy for real? There are so many variables in there that such a “study” cannot be any such thing – what a nonsense.

      So, Jamie, sorry, but that video will never convince me or any other “smart” Catholic – humility never was my strong suit 😀

      March 18, 2014 at 10:24 pm
      • jamiealbion


        The video narrator is American. In American English, a “milk jug” means a plastic milk container. Check on Google Images 😉

        You may dislike the mocking tone of the video, but I believe the central analogy remains valid. The Christian puts himself in a position where he can’t lose: God either answers our prayers swiftly, or doesn’t answer them right away, or “answers” them in a way we don’t expect. With this mindset, just about anything that happens can be interpreted as God intervening in our lives.

        What about the evangelicals at my old church who prayed for Catholics to leave the Catholic Church and join our church? Were their prayers answered in your opinion?

        March 18, 2014 at 11:38 pm
    • catholicconvert1

      I asked God to come into my life, and He did, that’s why I became Catholic. I asked for the gift of chastity and purity (with His Blessed Mother’s intervention, and I stopped engaging in impure behaviour. I was a cynical, hardened Atheist like you, who loved to sin and do evil things, as said above. God blessed me, and I am clean. I may disgust some of the more delicate and sheltered souls on this blog, but that’s how I was, and that’s how God healed me.


      March 20, 2014 at 8:11 pm
      • catholicconvert1

        Converting such a sinner and Atheist such as me, with my hatred for religion, was perhaps one of God’s greatest miracles.

        March 20, 2014 at 8:12 pm
  • Burt

    I was not being sly MAL, I merely pointed out the words that came out of your mouth. It was your own sentence gave you away. You exhibited your own lack of empathy with how you described your own level (or lack of )of concern. Your misanthropy is clearly demonstrated. The only thing that might be an injustice in my comment was possibly to ponder if in general that is an attribute of all or lets say most atheists. I do suspect it is.

    March 18, 2014 at 3:24 pm
    • myatheistlife

      Burt, do you go through your day worrried about the tens of thousands of people who will starve tomorrow or the thousands that starved today? Do you have no compassion for them? Do you not pray for them every waking hour that your god might intercede on their behalf? Is my honesty too much for you to handle? Each and everyone of us is tainted and blind to the pain and suffering that is life on this planet. Insinuating that I’m calous because I don’t feel pity for those that you do is just ludicrous. Get a grip and read up on the number of people that die every minute somewhere on this planet… the thousands that you probably have never ever given a thought about before, if you even do now.

      You and others might not like my honesty, but I can assure you that there is a very high probability that you live your life as if the deaths of thousands of people per day mean not one iota to you. If this were not so common I’d call you a hypocrite.

      Tell me again how it is that you have compassion and atheists do not?

      March 19, 2014 at 12:35 am
      • Burt

        Clearly MAL it is my honesty that you don’t like and not visa versa.
        I was truly taken aback by your admission that you had not the slightest element of sympathy for the passengers or their distressed families.

        Now if I did go around constantly worried about people who might starve today I would have a very abnormally high level of compassion – to the extent that it would be difficult to function and take care of my own affairs.

        On the other hand if I caught the evening news and watched family members expressing their distress regarding the uncertain fate of their kin, and felt no sympathy, as you admitted you don’t feel, then clearly that would be an abnormally low level of compassion.
        The most charitable thing I can say about that is that maybe you did not see the same news reports I did, or / and you lack imagination.

        Call me a hypocrite if it makes you feel better, but I am being completely honest, and it is my honest conclusions that you don’t like.

        Sorry if my honesty offends you pal.

        March 19, 2014 at 10:11 am
      • editor


        The fact that people are dying every minute on this planet isn’t the most important issue. Nobody is every going to end up in Hell because they were abused, starving, or suffered any other deprivation. The worry is those souls who caused the needless hunger and suffering and people who reject God (usually the same folks) – those are the people who worry us.

        Your alleged honesty is no such thing. You constantly present false dichotomies as “evidence” and present yourself as compassionate about the extremes of suffering in the world, at the same time blaming the Catholic Church and its members for doing nothing about it – despite the evidence given to you several times that no institution does more to alleviate world poverty and disease than the Catholic Church.

        Far from being “honest” you are markedly the opposite.


        I removed one sentence from your last response to MAL because it could be interpreted as being a (very) personal remark. Let’s stick to the issues 😉

        March 19, 2014 at 10:55 am
      • Burt

        Aww Editor…I enjoyed that sentence …you made me look much more benign than I really am now…between you and me I had point though?

        March 19, 2014 at 12:15 pm
      • editor


        You definitely had a point! That is the problem 😀

        March 19, 2014 at 12:39 pm
      • myatheistlife

        Nobody is going to end up in hell. It does not exist. Basing morality in this life on some supposed next life and the promise of rewards there is insane. The adjective ‘needless’ isn’t necessary unless you think there is such a thing as needed hunger and suffering.

        There is no such thing as a soul, so I take it you meant persons. Insinuating that causing hunger and suffering is usually the act of non-believers is insulting. Adding that the godless worry you is even better. In this country more than 70% of the people claim belief in a god. Is it your opinion that the other 30% are the source of harm in the world? Are you asserting that god belief makes you a good person somehow? Do you believe that it was non-believers that brought down the World Trade Center buildings? Is it non-believers who are burning supposed witches on the African continent? Is it non-believers who persecute GLBT people?

        March 20, 2014 at 2:14 am
      • editor


        There is “needless” hunger because if the politicians around the world had their priorities right nobody would be hungry. That is, nobody would NEED to be hungry because, well, er… they would have food – paid for out of the money that is currently paying for nuclear weapons and luxury hotels for politicians visiting the Third World to look at the starving people so they can write up their long-winded reports that nobody reads.

        I know I’ve told you to gerragrip more than once, but I have to say gerranothergrip !

        March 20, 2014 at 11:30 am
      • editor

        More than once you’ve mentioned homosexual people & people who changed from being men to being women and vice versa…

        Mind me asking if YOU are in that category? Are you LGBT ?

        If so, are you the L, the G, the B or the T ?

        March 20, 2014 at 11:33 am
      • catholicconvert1

        Well… re the LGBTU people, the Atheist Communists did a darn good job of persecuting them. It was illegal until 1991, an imprisonable offence. It was also a mental illness. You do talk bilge.

        March 20, 2014 at 8:14 pm
      • myatheistlife

        Again with the claim that atheists are or are just like communists. Your ignorance is staggering.

        March 21, 2014 at 1:03 am
      • catholicconvert1

        Again, only a comparison you yokel.

        March 21, 2014 at 2:44 pm
  • jamiealbion

    As an atheist, I certainly feel concerned for the missing people from the flight, but as I explained in my previous comment (awaiting moderation, presumably since it contains a link) I also haven’t uttered a single prayer for them. MyAtheistLife could perhaps have been more careful in his choice of words in his original post, but I can’t see how a single blog comment would lead you to conclude (or at least suspect) that most/all atheists are misanthropes and sociopaths.

    I regularly give money to charitable causes. I have done a considerable amount of voluntary work at homeless shelters and soup kitchens. I’ve adopted a couple of stray dogs and loved every minute of watching them transform from being terrified of their own shadows to being happy family pets. My wife (also an atheist) works as a carer for mentally handicapped adults. An atheist friend of ours has recently completed a period of voluntary work at an orphanage in Nicaragua.

    I’ve met plenty of good, caring Christians and some pretty nasty atheists, but this is by no means an overall trend. Please tell me, am I a misanthrope and sociopath because I don’t believe in a supernatural creator?

    March 18, 2014 at 3:51 pm
    • Josephine


      I didn’t mean to infer that all atheists are sociopaths. I’ve already apologised for giving that impression to Myatheistlife.

      I don’t doubt that many atheists are good people who give to charity etc, just as there are plenty of Catholics who don’t do such good things, but our first duty is to God and only after that to other people. No matter how kind an atheists may be, if he denies God, he will have to answer for it in the next life. I know that’s not what you want to hear but it is true nonetheless. I do not mean to offend, but I think I could be remiss in my duty not to say so.

      March 18, 2014 at 4:52 pm
      • jamiealbion


        I was referring more specifically to Burt’s comment. Perhaps I should have specified that – sorry!! No hard feelings 🙂

        March 18, 2014 at 7:59 pm
  • Petrus

    I’ve met a lot of atheists and agnostics. However, I honestly believe that the vast majority do actually believe in God. They convince themselves that they don’t believe, but in reality they are angry with God.

    They are usually angry because, just like Lucifer, they will not serve. The pride of atheists is astounding. They are the complete centre of their universe. In reality, they try to usurp God.

    In actual fact, I think that a lot of atheists are the way they are because of their sexual desires. One devout Catholic that I knew, suddenly became an atheist because he wanted to use contraception. He become so furious with God that he convinced himself that he didn’t believe.

    Other atheists claim not to believe in God because of a tragic event in their life. They are angry because the being that they claim doesn’t exist didn’t prevent the tragedy. There’s no logic. We’ve seen that from one of our so called atheists above: “Why does God allow babies to starve?”

    This is the tragedy and fallacy of atheism. Their God given gift of free will is almost thrown back in God’s face. Atheism is truly diabolical.

    The funny thing about a lot of atheists is that they don’t bat an eyelid about avoiding walking under ladders because it’s bad luck. Neither do they bother about reading horoscopes or saluting magpies. They put their faith in the wrong things every single day but then claim to have no faith. Tragic.

    March 18, 2014 at 5:05 pm
    • editor


      “In actual fact, I think that a lot of atheists are the way they are because of their sexual desires. One devout Catholic that I knew, suddenly became an atheist because he wanted to use contraception. He become so furious with God that he convinced himself that he didn’t believe.”

      On the button. I know of a similar case myself and it’s very sad to see someone choosing to reject God in order to somehow justify their promiscuity. In fact, I always think of this when I watch celebrities being interviewed on TV and mocking their lost Catholic Faith.

      March 18, 2014 at 10:33 pm
    • jamiealbion


      Your post contains many points so I’ll answer them one by one.

      “I’ve met a lot of atheists and agnostics. However, I honestly believe that the vast majority do actually believe in God. They convince themselves that they don’t believe, but in reality they are angry with God.”

      — This is one of the most common things I hear from theists: “Why are you so angry with God? You do believe in God deep down”. No, really, I don’t. I can’t see how someone can be angry with a being whom they sincerely believe doesn’t exist. Many atheists have a lot of anger towards religion because they think it causes a lot of harm in society, but this is not the same thing as “anger towards God”. People don’t believe in God because they aren’t convinced by the arguments that theists give for his existence.

      “The pride of atheists is astounding. They are the complete centre of their universe.”

      — Our vast universe contains hundreds of billions of galaxies with each one containing billions of stars and planets. You, however, believe that YOU are the pinnacle of creation, literally the most important thing in the universe. Atheism assigns mankind no such special status. Where is this pride you speak of?

      “In actual fact, I think that a lot of atheists are the way they are because of their sexual desires.”

      — You can think this all you want but until you come up with something to substantiate such a claim it remains nothing more than your opinion.

      “One devout Catholic that I knew, suddenly became an atheist because he wanted to use contraception. He become so furious with God that he convinced himself that he didn’t believe.”

      — Since I don’t know you or your friend I can’t make a judgement on this particular case. However, it’s not unusual for a few niggling questions about certain doctrinal issues to eventually result in a complete loss of faith months or years down the line. Did your friend actually tell you words to the effect of, “I’m angry at God because the Catholic Church won’t let me use contraception; therefore I don’t believe”? Again, how can somebody be angry at a being they don’t believe exists?

      “Other atheists claim not to believe in God because of a tragic event in their life. They are angry because the being that they claim doesn’t exist didn’t prevent the tragedy. There’s no logic.”

      — Yet again, you claim that atheists are pretending not to believe in God because they are angry with him. The problem of evil has perhaps become a cliched argument, but it’s become cliched because there has yet to be a satisfactory answer given for it.

      “The funny thing about a lot of atheists is that they don’t bat an eyelid about avoiding walking under ladders because it’s bad luck. Neither do they bother about reading horoscopes or saluting magpies.”

      — It is indeed possible for people to reject one unsubstantiated supernatural claim yet accept another unthinkingly. However, I’ve yet to meet an atheist who has a skeptical worldview who has any qualms about walking under ladders.

      March 18, 2014 at 11:00 pm
      • editor


        You’ll have heard lawyers say (at least on TV courtroom dramas!) at the end of a trial that it comes down to whether or not the jury believes the defendant or his accusers. That’s it. We either accept God, Creator and Saviour, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, on HIS word or we reject Him on the word of (some) scientists and malcontents. You pays your money and you takes your pick.

        St Thomas Aquinas – one of the greatest thinkers and theologians ever – teaches that it’s the wrong way round to think we need proof of the existence of God and then we’ll believe (kinda doing Him a favour ).

        On the contrary, we have a duty to embrace belief in God – and in no time at all we’ll have had all the “evidence” we need. if we say we’ll believe in God when some scientist or A.N. Other can actually prove in some unmistakeable way that He exists, is to say that your OPINION will change and you’ll agree that God exists. That’s not Faith.

        It’s brain-dead stuff to look for scientific evidence for God in the sense atheists mean. Like that daft psychology study of sick people and prayer. What numpties to carry out such an experiment. Did they really think God was going to “cure to order”? I’d say only one word to those numpties were we ever to meet – Gerragrip. (or is that three words? …)

        I don’t know you Jamie, but you’ve told us that you are an ex-Christian having jumped ship from a Protestant evangelical church.

        You were right to jump ship. You just jumped into the wrong lifeboat. Hint, hint 😀

        March 18, 2014 at 11:14 pm
    • catholicconvert1

      That’s true Petrus, people, on the surface hate rules and discipline. But underneath, we all have a craving and need for order. On a humorous note, there are only two rules in the Catholic Church. Rule number 1, you do not draw on the walls, rule number 2, you obey all the rules!!!


      March 20, 2014 at 8:17 pm
  • Burt


    I certainly do not think ALL those who do not believe in God are sociopaths, but many dedicated anti-theists in my experience do exhibit such tendencies. MAL strikes me as quite typical of a certain type who seem to have a need to rail against God and those who believe in God.

    By your own admission you have been at some time in your life drawn to Christianity but have for some reason lost your faith. Because of that example you do not fit the type that I conjecture might be drawn to atheism because of a personality trait that may tend towards sociopathic.

    March 18, 2014 at 5:17 pm
    • jamiealbion


      Fair enough; perhaps it was a misunderstanding on my part. However, when you write things like, “The only thing that might be an injustice in my comment was possibly to ponder if in general that [misanthropy or sociopathy] is an attribute of all or lets say most atheists. I do suspect it is”, you can perhaps see from where my misunderstanding might arise. You have clarified your views however, so let’s not quibble over a sentence.

      March 18, 2014 at 8:31 pm
      • Burt


        I’m glad we cleared that up. Now I did force myself to watch (put up with) that Video of yours, I found it pretty patronising to be honest. That “Now your a smart person…” stuff…Do me a favour!
        I for one believe in the truths of the Catholic Church largely because of reason and logic. My faith has also been backed up by an honest appreciation of the remarkable relic the Church possesses that is the Holy Shroud of Turin. I thank Our Lord for the love he has to people like me who are skeptical by nature (doubting Thomases).
        Visit the website and use all your faculties of intelligence you possess. Also be honest with yourself. It really is quite the most remarkable witness to the Passion of Our Lord Jesus and he has obviously wanted it to be a witness to us even in our age of forensic science. It is testimony of the truth of the Gospel.

        March 18, 2014 at 10:21 pm
      • editor

        Burt – thank you for that comment and link to the Turin Shroud website.

        “It is testimony of the truth of the Gospel.” – spot on.

        March 18, 2014 at 10:30 pm
  • Burt

    For some reason I have been referring to MYATHEISTLIFE as YAL…It should of course have been abbreviated MAL.

    March 18, 2014 at 5:22 pm
    • editor

      I’ll go through and change YAL to MAL for you.

      March 18, 2014 at 10:31 pm
      • Burt

        Thank you Editor..I am glad you told me you would do that in advance ..I might have gone off thinking it was a miracle 😉

        March 18, 2014 at 10:40 pm
      • editor

        That did make me laugh! I’d normally delete these last couple of comments but that is so comical that I’m going to leave them. Mission accomplished – YAL is not MAL.

        March 18, 2014 at 10:58 pm
  • charlesmcewan

    Clearly atheists do not believe in God. It is a choice they make and they argue that their’s is the logical choice and ours is delusion. The reason they often give is that we need a psychological prop and that they are not so dishonest. The question is whether their’s is the logical choice based on the evidence. First of all they refuse to even look at miracles because by definition according to them they cannot possibly occur so there is no reason to even consider them. Very convenient. It’s called cooking the books. Then they claim that science has proved the non-existence of God. In fact when you look at the scientific evidence you find the exact opposite. There is a huge amount of argument both ways but to cut to the chase, the atheist argument depends on the foundational idea that the Universe happened by chance so if that idea is proved to be false then the the only alternative is that it didn’t happen by chance. Is that right or is that right? There is a lot of evidence in two CDs which people can obtain which pretty well proves that it is scientifically impossible for the universe to have occurred by chance. One CD is called “Unlocking the Mysteries of Life” and the other is “The Privileged Planet”. I’d be interested to find out if our atheist contributor is willing to look these up and consider the evidence presented in them.

    The other argument is about the suffering of people in the world. There’s no doubt this occurs and that it is at least permitted by Almighty God. So what is being advocated? Clearly the suggestion is that Almighty God should intervene remove our free will and make us virtuous by decree but that would hardly produce virtue because we’s all be robots. If we are going to get to Heaven we have to choose it. Of course if Heaven and God do not exist then we are all deluded and ending for oblivion but if God does exist our friend may find that one day he will be suffering under the hoof of satan while the people who did suffer are living in the presence of Christ who suffered and died for them.

    March 18, 2014 at 5:43 pm
  • greatpretender51

    Speaking of mysteries, Editor, here’s one: how is it that you started a brand new post with the word “atheist” in it, and before you could say “What is the population of Glasgow?” an atheist comes on to make the very first post! Why are the atheists paying such close attention to this blog?

    March 18, 2014 at 9:11 pm
    • editor

      Great Pretender,

      I notice that, myself. We think we’re alone all alone in the blogosphere and then – as you say – we post something on atheism and voila!

      Still, they’re very welcome. You be nice to them, mind.

      March 18, 2014 at 9:50 pm
      • greatpretender51


        I never met an atheist I didn’t like…

        March 19, 2014 at 12:23 am
      • editor

        Great Pretender,

        I hop those atheists are saying the same about the Catholics they’ve met…

        March 19, 2014 at 10:57 am
    • myatheistlife

      I’ll tell you why, being that I’m the atheist you speak of. Editor tagged the post with ‘atheism’ which I read at random off of the reader. The title caught my eye and it turns out that the ‘other mysteries’ needed a comment by an actual atheist – yes, we do exist and the post did not sit well with my understanding of the world. I was not trolling theist blogs for fun and profit. You can stop wondering if there is some conspiracy. People read posts… it’s that simple.

      March 19, 2014 at 12:42 am
  • Leo

    Atheism – The belief that there was Nothing, and Nothing happened to Nothing and then Nothing magically exploded for no reason, creating everything, and then a bunch of everything magically rearranged itself for no reason whatsoever into self –replicating bits which then turned into dinosaurs.

    Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? Yeah, right.

    March 18, 2014 at 11:22 pm
    • myatheistlife

      Do you know who you are quoting there? You should google Laurence Krauss’ “A Universe From Nothing” — there are youtube videos of his talks on it. Nothing is not the nothing that you and others assume or that most of us presumed not that long ago. S Hawking wrote a book recently which details why no god was necessary for the universe to look the way it does now. Gravity has made it this way. You can go all god of the gaps on it and say your god made the big bang happen, but that’s just falacious. The point here is that what you have said is patently untrue and silly.

      March 19, 2014 at 12:46 am
      • Burt

        ” Nothing is not the nothing that you and others assume or that most of us presumed not that long ago…”

        There is a perfect example of the ludicrous line that atheists are forced into to maintain their ridiculous, irrational, illogical position.

        Do you think it sounds “smart” to ditch logic because L Krauss or S Hawking come along like real snake oil salesmen and sell you that line?

        How gullible can you get? perfect fodder for the emperor’s tailors ..”Oh this material looks like nothing..but really it’s the finest most exquisite…”

        The fact is it pure logical deductions that bolster my belief in God, especially the more we are able to observe through science, the overwhelming evidence of a universe fine tuned for life to be possible at all as has been referred to elsewhere on this thread.

        I say that by applying the rational principle espoused by Catholic rationalist William of Occam..That the best explanation of something is most likely to be the simplest explanation..That the universe appears to be purposely arranged and fine tuned for life to exist is that it IS purposely arranged and fine tuned for life to exist.

        That the fact that there is appearance of design as only a mind can produce Is precisely because a mind has produced it.

        You carry on holding your illogical position based on your inferior feelings to Professors Krauss and Hawking if you like..I know snake oil salesmen when I see them.

        March 19, 2014 at 11:46 am
      • myatheistlife

        You should read what Occam had to say a bit more carefully. Positing a fine tuner is exactly what the razor abhors. so, yeah, go read about that some more.

        March 20, 2014 at 2:19 am
      • Burt


        you ignored the point I made. Understanding the principle espoused by Occam that: (To quote Wiki) if there are multiple possible explanations for an event or result, the simplest is almost always correct.

        I am explaining to you that the unassailable logic of the uncaused cause, let’s call it the God hypothesis, is very far from what you have been disparaging as fairy tales. It comes down to pure logic. This is the logic you happily ignore.

        Many atheists allow L Krauss and his kind to bamboozle them to the extent they seem proud to swallow the kind of nonsense that exists in some of the weirder modern fairy tales. They posit theories that read like some of the more outlandish Superman comic stories such as paralel worlds and bizarro multipul universes rather than opt for the most rational explanation that the reason for the fine tuned universe, there is indeed as you put it yourself, a fine tuner.

        I will be disappointed in you MAL if you don’t respond to Leo here who has done a better job than I am able to do in showing you that our faith is not blind faith but draws very much upon Reason, and that is why it is and always has been lived by the greatest thinkers the world has known.

        March 20, 2014 at 11:36 am
  • Vianney

    There are no atheists on a death bed. Many nurses and doctors will tell you of the number of so-called atheists who ask for a clergyman when the end is near. I heard that atheist Claire Rayner asked for a rabbi just before she died.

    March 18, 2014 at 11:47 pm
    • myatheistlife

      ‘You heard’ is not evidence. There are atheists in foxholes and deathbeds and all around you. Trying to deny such a fact is childish, at best.

      March 19, 2014 at 12:43 am
      • jamiealbion

        Correct. Christopher Hitchens’ last words were not “I’ve found Jesus” or anything to that effect. There are even stories floating around about Darwin converting on his deathbed, all completely unsubstantiated.

        March 19, 2014 at 8:15 am
      • editor


        Even if Christopher Hitchens HAD said “I’ve found Jesus” on his deathbed he’d already left instructions that no priest or minister should be called to his deathbed, nobody should pay any attention and put it down to his state of mind at the point of death. He is one soul who made a very public rejection of God.

        I would also very much doubt Darwin’s alleged deathbed conversion – that’s the danger with certain people who think they can live as they like and then repent on the point of death. They are only too ready to believe stories about people who did just that, but it’s most unusual for someone who has rejected God throughout life to turn to Him on the point of death. Mostly, the heart is so hardened that the person doesn’t WANT to convert, doesn’t WANT to see God and will turn away after death when they meet Him.

        That’s why it is foolish to depend on having the chance to convert before death. I’ve heard people actually saying that they would return to the Faith before they die. How do they know they won’t be killed crossing the road ten minutes after making that presumptuous statement?

        No, big mistake. Deathbed conversions are rare and risky. They do happen, of course, and I’m sure Vianney is correct to say that medical staff in hospitals have evidence of last minute requests from patients who wish to reconcile to God and His Church before death. However, none of us can rely on having the time to make that choice at the end of our lives. There’s a (chilling) story in the life of one of the great priest saints who was called to the deathbed of a man, by his worried wife. The man shouted at the priest to “get lost” being very free with his opinion about God and the Church, and for a while the priest tried to persuade him to confess and receive the Last Rites. No way. He yelled at the priest to go and eventually the priest turned away and walked to the bedroom door. He stood there for a few seconds and looked over at the man who shouted again “What are you looking at? I told you to go – now go!”

        The priest replied: “I am looking at you because I have been at many death beds where I was certain the soul would go to Heaven. This is the first time I’ve attended a death bed where I was sure the soul was destined for Hell.”

        Reflect, those of you who may think of relying on a death bed conversion. Today is the feast of the Patron Saint of a happy death – St Joseph. Let’s pray to him for all those in danger of dying a far from happy death… one that will be followed by eternal damnation.

        Here endeth the lesson…

        March 19, 2014 at 11:06 am
      • Burt


        March 19, 2014 at 11:17 am
  • catholicconvert1

    The majority of people on this most venerable blog, were born in Catholic homes and raised in the faith. I, on the otherhand, was raised in an Atheist home, which was very intolerant of religion. However, my sad and boring Atheist life was to change…..for the better. A teacher at my high school was a Catholic lady, and she was devout. I noticed her cross and medals around her neck, and mockingly I asked if she was ‘a Roman Catlick’. Anyhow, we became friends and she began bringing in religious literature, and for the first time I prayed from my heart, and the living God entered my life and bestowed His grace upon me. I am now a completely new person, and since that time, I’ve never been happier. Life is like a jigsaw, and until then mine was missing a piece. I am now a complete person, since that void was filled. I praise God every day, that He didn’t pass me by. God is an all-powerful being, filled with infinite love, who is capable of performing all the ‘mumbo-jumbo’ (as you would put it) in the Bible and more.

    March 19, 2014 at 8:47 pm
  • Leo

    “Nothing is what rocks dream about” – Aristotle

    “To an atheist, the universe is the most exquisite masterpiece ever constructed by nobody.” –G. K. Chesterton

    My Atheist Life

    You said at 12.46am March 19, that “nothing is not the nothing that you and others assume or that most of us presumed not that long ago”.

    Well you might want to redirect your words of “patently untrue and silly” towards all those gullible unfortunates who have chosen to be bewitched by the conceited high priests of atheism who have waged war on theology, philosophy, and logic. With all this talk off phobia, maybe we could call them “logicphobes”.

    If you are going to enlist Laurence Krauss to justify your claims, it is only fair to warn you that you choose to resemble the deluded mythical figure who brought spaghetti to a knife fight. Relying in Laurence Krauss to reject creation ex nihilo rather disqualifies one from all rational, logical debate with adults. You have already chosen, My Atheist Life, to parade you ignorance on other issues on this thread, but we’ll deal with the “nothing” issue first.

    Confronted with the brick wall of logic, and the inevitable consequences of admitting an uncaused First Cause, when addressing the question of creation ex nihilo, Krauss simply attempts to run around the end by changing the meaning of the term “nothing”, in best Humpty Dumpty fashion.

    Before going any further, I should add that what follows draws in large from an excellent article by Peter S Williams MA MPhil, entitled A Universe from Someone: Against Laurence Krauss

    Page 149 of his book, A Universe From Nothing: Why There is Something Rather Than Nothing, contains the candid admission that the kind of ‘nothing’ Krauss has been discussing up to that point is:

    “the simplest version of nothing, namely empty space. For the moment, I will assume space exists, with nothing at all in it, and that the laws of physics also exist. Once again, I realise that in the revised versions of nothingness that those who wish to continually redefine the word so that no scientific definition is practical, this version of nothing doesn’t cut the mustard”.

    Like other high priests of aggressive atheism, Krauss has tried to bar admittance of theology, philosophy and indeed basic logic to the debate. One gets the distinct impression from these individuals and their disciples that rejection of God is the starting point. All evidence must be crammed and pressed and chopped, if not ignored, in order to fit into the atheist’s leaky test tube.

    As William E. Caroll writes: “The desire to separate the natural sciences from the alleged contamination of the ‘word games’ of philosophy and theology is not new; now, as always, it reveals an impoverished philosophical judgement.”( William E. Caroll, ‘The Science of Nothing’)

    At least Krauss is upfront about his mindset.

    “I can’t prove that God doesn’t exist,” says Krauss, “but I’d much rather live in a universe without one.”( Lawrence M. Krauss, ‘Lawrence M. Krauss, on A Universe From Nothing’, Time Out, Sydney)

    Krauss has little time for philosophy. Krauss shows his contempt for philosophy when he states that: “the only knowledge we have is from experiments … the only knowledge we have about the world is empirical” (Lawrence M. Krauss, ‘Unbelievable: A Universe From Nothing? Lawrence Krauss vs. Rodney Holder’)

    As atheist philosopher of science Massimo Pigliucci muses:

    I don’t know what’s the matter with physicists these days. It used to be that they were an intellectually sophisticated bunch, with the likes of Einstein and Bohr doing not only brilliant scientific research, but also interested, respectful of, and conversant in other branches of knowledge, particularly philosophy. These days it is much more likely to encounter physicists like Steven Weinberg or Stephen Hawking, who merrily go about dismissing philosophy for the wrong reasons, and quite obviously out of a combination of profound ignorance and hubris (the two often go together, as I’m sure Plato would happily point out). The latest such bore is Lawrence Krauss, of Arizona State University. ( Massimo Pigliucci, ‘Lawrence Krauss: another physicist with an anti-philosophy complex’)

    In A Universe From Nothing, Krauss spends all but 4 pages (cf. pp.174-178) addressing questions besides the fundamental question of whether one can get a universe from nothing.

    As atheist scientist Jerry Coyne complains: “much of the book was not about the origin of the universe, but dealt with other matters, like dark energy and the like, that had already been covered in other popular works on physics. Indeed, much of Krauss’s book felt like a bait-and-switch.” (Jerry Coyne, ‘David Alberts pans Lawrence Krauss’ New Book’)

    Krauss’ assault on logic runs head first into the famous claim that ‘out of nothing, nothing comes’ (a claim that goes back to Parmenides of Elea in the 5th century B.C), a claim that is clearly true by definition. ‘Nothing’ doesn’t have any properties capable of doing anything – certainly not creating something. Hence, nothing can come ‘out of’ (i.e. be caused by) nothing.

    Parmenides and Plato … use the term ‘nothing’ to mean ‘nothing’ (i.e. ‘that which there is no such thing as’). Nothing should not be thought to be a vacuum or a void (which is dimensional and orientable – where you can have more or less space); and it is certainly not a physical law. Inasmuch as the laws of physics have real physical effects, they must be considered to be something physical. ( Robert J. Spitzer, ‘The curious metaphysics of Dr Stephen Hawking’

    Saint Thomas Aquinas summarises the issue as follows:

    “that which does not exist begins to exist only through something already existing. Therefore if at one time nothing was in existence, it would have been impossible for anything to have begun to exist; and thus now nothing would be in existence — which is absurd.” (Saint Thomas Aquinas, quoted by Robert E. Maydole, ‘The Third Ways Modalized’)

    Krauss actually admits on page 152 of A Universe From Nothing that “it would be disingenuous to suggest that empty space endowed with energy, which drives inflation, is really nothing” while on page 172 he acknowledges: “All of the examples I have provided thus far indeed involve creation of something from what one should be tempted to consider as nothing, but the rules for that creation, i.e. the laws of physics, were pre-ordained. Where do the rules come from?”

    By page 174 of A Universe From Nothing Krauss still hasn’t gotten round to addressing the million dollar question: “I have focused on either the creation of something from preexisting empty space or the creation of empty space from no space at all… I have not addressed, directly, however … what some may view as the question of First Cause.”

    Quite so. You can put that to music, Laurence.

    The attempt to deny the existence of God by means of Krauss’ “Humpty Dumpty” approach to language (“a word means just what I choose it to mean”) resembles in force of argument nothing so much as the hole in the donut. Simply put, Krauss cannot justify his attempt to deny logic by means of empirical evidence, the only type he appears receptive to.

    If any logic-defying atheist really can’t grasp the concept of “nothing” in this debate, I suggest they eat nothing for a week or two, and report back to us.

    March 19, 2014 at 9:31 pm
    • Josephine


      Fantastic post! I loved your “You can put that to music, Laurence.”

      I notice that MyAtheistLife hasn’t even tried to respond to your latest comment (has she answered any of yours? I’d be amazed)

      I hope you never forget about this blog – your posts are just the best.

      March 20, 2014 at 7:05 pm
      • Leo


        Thank you for your extremely flattering comments. But I’m just a cutter and paster, really. That’s all.

        MAL did reply previously, with the comments I referred to at the start of the above post.

        I know the length of these comments probably tests peoples’ patience, but I better dispel any rumours that it’s because I’m getting paid per word! Now if that was the case…

        March 20, 2014 at 10:33 pm
  • charlesmcewan

    The BBC did a Horizon programme some time ago entitled “Is Everything We Know About The Universe Wrong”. It was about the Standard Model of Cosmology and clearly stated that built into the Standard Model of Cosmology are theories that don’t make any sense and the problems begin less than one second after creation because the Big Bang explosion should have produced a universe that was “lumpy and messy with patches that were at vastly different temperatures from one area to another [However] in all directions the temperature appears to be almost exactly the same”.

    An answer to this came with Alan Guth’s Theory of Inflation i.e. that there was an initial period of expansion to allow the temperature to equalize so that inflation would produce a universe that wasn’t lumpy and messy. Guth’s theory had also to postulate that inflation occurred just long enough to equalize the temperature prior to the actual Big Bang. The theory therefore is rather contrived and artificial but it offered an explanation and there was no other theory available. The Standard Model of Cosmology then had to face another problem because gravity does not work as it should. Stars at the outer limits of a galaxy should be travelling more slowly than those nearer the center. We see this in our own solar system with planets such as Jupiter and Saturn moving more slowly than Earth or Venus. However, the outer stars in a galaxy are moving faster than those closer to the centre. This was totally unexpected so cosmologists came up with another contrivance i.e. Dark Matter.

    Dark Matter is unlike any other kind of matter because it does not emit or reflect light and therefore cannot be observed. Mathematical calculations revealed that in order to explain why gravity does not work as it should, there must be five kilograms of Dark Matter for every kilogram of normal matter, and this matter must be all around us even though we can’t perceive or measure it in any way. This is rather a surprising suggestion bearing in mind that, in rejecting anything spiritual, the sceptics insist that we should only accept evidence that can be objectively measured or observed.

    Another problem with the Big Bang theory is that immediately after a normal explosion, objects are impelled at phenomenal speed but later on the objects slow down and stop. It was assumed initially that the expansion of the universe would eventually slow down and stop and possibly go into reverse after that. However Edward Hubble in 1928 showed that the universe was not slowing down but rather the reverse – it was accelerating. That doesn’t happen in a normal explosion in which the fastest speeds occur at the beginning. After the initial explosion, deceleration should occur but Hubble showed that the speed was increasing. In order to explain this, the theory of Dark Energy had to be invented. Dark energy causes anti-gravity where distant things are repelled from each other thus causing the continual acceleration.

    “Dark Energy makes the universe expand and as the universe expands more dark energy is created to fill the gaps – in other words there must be something in nothing. Dark energy is the energy of nothing – taking over more space filled with even more nothingness.”
    Horizon, BBC Two, Is Everything We know About the Universe Wrong?

    All in all therefore the Standard Model of Cosmology is so full of inconsistencies that it needs contrived theories added on to explain what should not be occurring and all these add-on theories are unproven. Maybe our Atheist friends should consider that Atheism is a theory which requires unjustified assumptions to maintain its credibility

    March 20, 2014 at 7:00 pm
    • Josephine

      Charles McEwan,

      What a great post. However, I get the feeling that nothing will convince atheists that the Big Bang theory doesn’t work. It’ll be interesting to see if MAL or Jamie even try to answer your points from The Horizon programme.

      March 20, 2014 at 7:09 pm
    • editor


      I think your post has hit our atheist friends between the eyes ! Silence has, since, descended !

      Peace, perfect peace !

      March 22, 2014 at 11:33 pm
  • Vianney

    Pity our atheist pal has gone, he might have liked this little story I’ve just come across.

    A young primary school teacher with liberal tendencies explained to her class that she was an atheist. She asked her class how many of them were atheists too.

    Not really knowing the meaning of ‘atheism’, but wanting to be like their teacher, their hands shot up. But there was one exception. Lucy did not go along with the crowd. The teacher asked her why she was different.

    ‘Because I’m not an atheist.’

    ‘Then,’ asked the teacher, ‘what are you?’

    ‘I’m a Christian.’

    The disconcerted teacher asked Lucy why she was a Christian.

    ‘Well, I have been brought up knowing and loving Jesus. My mum is a Christian, and my Dad is a Christian, and I am a Christian.’

    The teacher, rather angry by this time, said loudly, so that all the class could hear, ‘What if your mum had been a moron and your dad had been a moron? What would you be then?’

    After a pause, Lucy smiled. ‘Then’, she said ‘I’d be an atheist’.

    March 23, 2014 at 11:10 pm
    • editor


      Fantastic !

      March 23, 2014 at 11:18 pm
  • Graeme Taylor

    If you seriously want to meet Almighty God, The Most Holy Trinity, then get on your knees and implore Our Lady, Mary, the Mother of God to intercede on your behalf for the graces that you need.Then you will know, oh you will know so fast.

    Almighty God’s mercy is infinite, do not be afraid, be grateful and thank Him and praise Him.

    March 23, 2014 at 11:23 pm

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