Dear Restricted Atheist,


You live inside of a box. The Atheist says, “My reason is all that matters. What reason I find outside of myself, I find in others, and seek to add it to my own so that my view of reality is broadened.” Self, ego, or “I”, is your greatest obstacle to understanding Ultimate Reality. Your sense of unique, irreducible, distinct, individual personhood, is the ultimate illusion and the great obstacle to supreme enlightenment. Truth and reality are connected to the “I” that is distinct and separate from humanity, the one who calls himself “I Am”. The answer to ultimate truth and reality is not a statement or a piece of evidence. It is a person. Atheists live inside their box of reason. Christians realize that the “box” is an illusion, a distraction that obscures your view of the truth. Only when we understand the divine “I” can we truly understand the human “I”. This is not a blind faith, but an enlightening one.

“We have reasoned ourselves into oblivion” – Anonymous

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9 thoughts on “Dear Restricted Atheist,

  1. Daniel, I am curious where you got this from. Are these your words? Just wondering.

    “Self, ego, or “I”, is your greatest obstacle to understanding Ultimate Reality.”

    Could you define “Ultimate Reality”, and explain how it is different from just plain old “reality”? Is this anything like the difference between a “Christian” and a “True Christian”?

    “Truth and reality are connected to the “I” that is distinct and separate from humanity, the one who calls himself “I Am”.”

    I have never been presented any evidence that this claim is based on anything but faith (wishful thinking).
    As for me, I never make a truth claim until I KNOW, (knowledge based on facts based on evidence) that my claim is true. You apparently do not subscribe to that philosophy, as you continue to confuse BELIEFS with KNOWLEDGE, and in the process, you attempt (unsuccessfully) to find fault in the (atheistic) process of reasoning.

    “Your sense of unique, irreducible, distinct, individual personhood, is the ultimate illusion and the great obstacle to supreme enlightenment.”

    Are you experiencing this “supreme enlightenment” you speak of? I sure hope so, for if you are not, then you are a hypocrite.
    So, please share (explain) how you arrived at this stage of life’s experience and the benefits you are enjoying (now) as a result of this supreme enlightenment. And, please tell me what I have to do – RIGHT NOW – to experience “supreme enlightenment”.

    “We have reasoned ourselves into oblivion”

    Obviously a philosophical claim, for we are still here, trudging alone in our day-to-day lives, looking for answers, and as best as we can tell, we are no where near “oblivion”.

    1. Are these your words?

      Yes, except for one sentence. This post is a string of thoughts connected to a single concept – reality has nothing to do with our perception.

      Ultimate reality is a purely objective reality. It has nothing to do with our perception. “Plain old reality” is the subjective reality that people refer to when they talk about how they perceive things. It changes based upon a change of mind.

      I never make a truth claim until I KNOW, (knowledge based on facts based on evidence) that my claim is true.

      This is never completely true. Everyone acquires knowledge outside of themselves. This requires you to have faith in other people, trustworthy teachers, books, statistical findings, and information relayed through various mediums. And I say faith because you have no first hand knowledge of the “facts” or “evidence” presented to you. Everyone has faith. It’s not just a religious term. Without it there would be no schools, language, love, and many other things. Shared knowledge requires faith.

      Your sense of unique, irreducible, distinct, individual personhood, is the ultimate illusion and the great obstacle to supreme enlightenment.

      This is the one sentence that is not mine. It’s by Peter Kreeft. This “Supreme Enlightenment” is the result of having your mind renewed daily (Romans 12:2). How do you do this? You must put yourself aside to understand the only “I” that matters, God. Reading his words will challenge your perceived view of reality and bring you closer to an objective reality not created by us.

  2. Bob,

    I’m curious. What is your explanation for me finding the Bible legitimate and life changing, and you having the opposite experience? It can’t be lack of reason or intelligence on either part.

  3. bob – “I never make a truth claim until I KNOW, (knowledge based on facts based on evidence) that my claim is true. ”

    Daniel – “This is never completely true. Everyone acquires knowledge outside of themselves.”

    I disagree. I, (meaning me, myself) never claim that I know something unless I know from personal experience. I may pass along something an expert has said or written as an alternative, but I do not claim it as knowledge for myself. Like evolutionary biology. I know very little. I know what I read, but I do not know if it is entirely factual. I do not have “faith” in the findings of experts, when it comes to such things. I make conclusions, and if or when conflicting findings are presented, I alter my conclusions. If this is “faith”, it is far different than the “faith” exercised by religious believers.

    This “Supreme Enlightenment” is the result of having your mind renewed daily (Romans 12:2).
    I ask again, are you experiencing this “supreme enlightenment” you speak of?

    I’m curious. What is your explanation for me finding the Bible legitimate and life changing, and you having the opposite experience? It can’t be lack of reason or intelligence on either part.

    I am not sure. Perhaps the atmosphere we were raised in, or our social environment as young adults. I can’t even explain why I believed for 25 years (probably very similarly as you do) in the God of the bible. I can explain why I gave up that faith, but I can’t explain why I held onto it for so long.
    I think the reason so many Christian thinkers like you (not those who just believe because it is what they have always done) continue to believe is because they can’t (or won’t) imagine that they could possibly be wrong, that the God they believe in has to be real, in spite of the lack of evidence for his existence. But I am not sure. It is one of those psychological aspects that puzzle me daily.

    Can you explain why there are so many believers in gods other than the one you believe in, and why you discount all of those gods as mythical?

  4. One other quick point: I do not deny that the bible can be “life changing”, but I would have to qualify it slightly – I conclude that a belief in, or faith in the claims presented in the bible, along with the many written commentaries, apologetics, and sermons that a believer is subjected to can have an altering affect on a persons world view. But that affect can be good or bad.

  5. “I ask again, are you experiencing this “supreme enlightenment” you speak of?”

    I do not like this question. It makes me feel like if I answer positively then I think I am better than other people. I don’t think I am better than anyone else. So to answer your question I say …yes… but only so much as my perception matches objective reality. That’s really all “supreme enlightenment” means – Your ability to understand reality for what it truly is as taught to you by an outside force (God). For this to happen, you must submit yourself to his teaching. As I live responsibly with the light that I am given, he gives me more as I am ready to handle it.

    “Can you explain why there are so many believers in gods other than the one you believe in, and why you discount all of those gods as mythical?”

    I answer this with a question. How many gods do you know that say they have created the entire universe out of nothing? Look at each god’s claim and see if they answer all of life’s questions. The Christian God and the Muslim God are the only ones that I can think of that say these things. (Not to say there aren’t more, I just don’t know.) However, both Christianity and the Muslims derive their perception of God from Judaism. But throughout the years, the Muslim God has evolved into another identity other than the God of Christianity – which still matches the God of Judaism. In my mind, the Judeo-Christian God is the only one that gives legitimate, plausible answers to the reasons behind the nature of man, historical mistakes, our origin, our future, and many other questions posed by philosophers throughout history. This God also answers the questions of metaphysics, epistemology, philosophical anthropology, and ethics satisfactorily. This and my personal relationship with him, which is real (not imagined), are huge factors for my continual belief in him, and why I discount other gods.

  6. “So to answer your question I say …yes… but only so much as my perception matches objective reality. That’s really all “supreme enlightenment” means – Your ability to understand reality for what it truly is as taught to you by an outside force (God).”

    I guess I have a hard time matching up much in these statements. You claim that your perception “…matches objective reality” and then claim that this “reality” is taught to you by God. I think many would not consider your perception to be based on objective reality. I think your next statement makes this evident :

    “For this to happen, you must submit yourself to his teaching.”

    This is obviously a religious belief, a mantra repeated by any number of faiths around the world. I mean, just look at the language – “…submit yourself to his teaching”. That is how religious people talk. You can easily picture a Muslim, Buddhist, Mormon, Catholic, all of them using this terminology. But would you expect to hear a high school student say this in reference to his algebra teacher? No.

    “As I live responsibly with the light that I am given, he gives me more as I am ready to handle it.”

    I hope you can somehow understand that this is not a statement based on objective reality. It is based on religious indoctrination evidenced by your use of the word “light”.

    “How many gods do you know that say they have created the entire universe out of nothing?”

    I hope the obvious questions are:

    1 – How do you know that the God you believe in said anything that is written in your holy book?

    2 – How important is a “claim” of creation? I mean, a claim is only a claim. Guilty people claim to be innocent all the time.

    “Look at each god’s claim and see if they answer all of life’s questions.”

    Are you actually making the claim that the God you believe in has provided the answer to ALL of life’s questions? If so, where does he provide these answers? Are they written down somewhere or does he actually offer them verbally as they are asked?…or, do you need to rethink, reword, or retract this claim you just made?

    “However, both Christianity and the Muslims derive their perception of God from Judaism. But throughout the years, the Muslim God has evolved into another identity other than the God of Christianity – which still matches the God of Judaism.”

    Daniel, please do some research, please. I would be glad to offer some resources from some very learned people who have spent many, many years studying Christianity and Judaism, and they can offer some very obvious conclusions showing that Christianity has evolved just as you claim the Muslim faith has. I can’t believe you aren’t aware of this. I mean, just ask a Jew if his God and your God are exactly the same.

    “In my mind, the Judeo-Christian God is the only one that gives legitimate, plausible answers to the reasons behind the nature of man, historical mistakes, our origin, our future, and many other questions posed by philosophers throughout history.”

    This is what you believe, as you state initially – “In my mind…”

    “This God also answers the questions of metaphysics, epistemology, philosophical anthropology, and ethics satisfactorily.”

    I would disagree, probably completely and entirely. Examples are to many to even list.

    “This and my personal relationship with him, which is real (not imagined), are huge factors for my continual belief in him, and why I discount other gods.”

    I believe that I can offer proof that you have no “personal relationship” with any god, and that it is not real but is entirely imagined, but I don’t know if I should even try.

    Daniel, I was on the soccer field last week taking pictures for a team. As I was waiting for the last few kids to show up, a man approached down the sidewalk near the field. He was alone but was talking aloud just as if there was a person walking with him. He crossed the field and sat on a bench and for the next 15-20 minutes, just carried on a conversation with, who – an actual invisible friend, or perhaps his God? Who was he talking to? Was he sane or did he have some mental issues?
    I think it would have been obvious to you and me, and anyone else observing, that this fellow had, in some form and for some reason, lost touch with some aspect(s) of reality.

    I am guessing that it would have been impossible to reason with him, to convince him that what he was experiencing – in his mind – was not reality. He probably “knew” he was talking to someone, someone who actually could hear what he was saying and perhaps, even answered.

    I wonder what the difference is between this fellow and me, when I was a believer, and I would spend time with my head bowed, either in a group (church, etc) or with my family, or alone, and I would actually believe that the words I was uttering were being heard by an invisible, supernatural entity.

    I guess when Christians claim that what they have with their God is a “relationship”, and I then objectively look at the relationships I have with my family, friends, and acquaintances, it becomes evident to me that Christians claim to have this holy relationship because they are taught that they are supposed to have it, yet there are none of the obvious signs of a “relationship” as we know. It is entirely one sided. There is no evidence that God hears or answers prayer, or intervenes in the lives of Christians in any way.
    Just as so many Christians in the Charismatic or Pentecostal church’s “speak in tongues” because they are taught that they are supposed to speak in tongues. And they then believe that these “tongues” are a by-product of the “relationship” they now have with God.

    As the saying goes – with regard to religion, it is easy to deceive someone, but very hard to undeceive them.

  7. To offer proof that my relationship with God is imagined and not real, you would have to be a complete authority on all things pertaining to me, my life, and my relationships. Since I know you are not my authority, you cannot offer proof about the existence or non-existence of any of my relationships. How arrogant.

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