Simple Minded said
Perhaps if each of us were in a situation which is potentially life threatening, every couple years or so, we might have more appreciation of the simple aspects of life, and we would be less materialistic. Would this naturally lead to more awareness of God?
Appreciation of God/the Divine/etc. has always seemed more readily available to me, in a simple setting. For example, walking through the woods rather than walking down a city street. People who live in rural setting seem more inclined to believe in God than city dwellers.
For whatever reason, this thread became a debate between one atheist ("oao") and lots of theists. "oao" repeatedly insisted that Jesus might well have existed (even though he/she doubts it), but it still doesn't matter; all it would mean that some guy once lived.
After observing the conversation for a week or so, I asked "oao" if he/she acknowledges that a spirit realm could possibly exist. Perhaps sensing a trap, he/she never responded (and seemingly has fled the jurisdiction).
Of course, based on the evidence to date, I expected the answer to come back, "No." Obviously, I'd have demanded to know how he/she could possibly know that.
Materialistic scientism simply assumes
there is no reality outside the concrete evidence of taste, touch, sight, hearing, and smell. This assumption is purely arbitrary, though, as anyone with sense must acknowledge. No one could possibly prove such a postulate, and to claim that those who have evidence to the contrary must submit that proof in the form of sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing defies logic. Proof of extra-dimensionality, by definition, cannot be confined to this dimension of reality. To contend otherwise might be compared to having a five year old child demand of an adult proof that sexual reproduction exists, stated in terms strictly confined to his own personal physical experience. Absurd.
If an angel were to cross over into our realm, right now, in the room "oao" is sitting in, and tell him/her that another dimension DOES in fact exist, and that it's just as rich and full of life as this one is, I wonder how well he/she would hold up under the strain. Would it be possible to keep him/her from committing him/herself to a mental institution?
Atheism is not intuitive. It takes a high degree of training to become a scientistic materialist. There is a certain conscious dedication required to maintain that position, too. It's a mark of pride with them, that no evidence can dent their self-created shell. I'm guessing it does indeed become harder if one lives amongst nature. Paul, after all, in Romans chapter 1, says as much: all creation is self-evident proof that God created it.
I am deeply saddened by people like "oao."