Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth! For those concerned, I am recovering nicely today and I appreciate a donation made by a kind reader in light of all that has happened. Here at Deeper Waters, I greatly appreciate prayers, kind comments, and donations. Lately, I’ve been guiding you through a look at atheist sound bites. After reading last night’s, a reader suggested I tackle how atheists say “When you understand why I dismiss all other gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”
This to me again reveals a lack of real thinking. What is going on when an atheist makes this remark is that he is a priori dismissing any supernatural being whatsoever and so when the topic of the God of Christianity comes up he just looks and says “Oh. It’s supernatural? Okay. I disregard it.”
Now there’s a great line between someone who says “I’m really not sure with the evidence I have before me right now” and someone who says “There is absolutely no reason to believe in any deity whatsoever.” When I write about these remarks, I am not condemning sincere intellectual doubt. In fact, I admire that. I have a number of atheists I am friends with and one reason I respect them is that they don’t use nonsense sayings like the ones I am critiquing. Now it could be that there are emotional reasons for not accepting faith still, but there is still an openness.
As my reader said last night, it’s just a fancy way of saying that they believe without evidence. Once again, there is a great gulf that needs to be crossed. Let us suppose that you are an atheist and you do not believe there is sufficient evidence for you to believe in God. Okay. That does not mean that I do not think the evidence is sufficient. You can hear my reasons and say “Those are weak reasons.” For the sake of argument, let’s suppose they are. There is a great difference between weak reasons and no reasons.
When someone is quick to describe religion as a delusion or brainwashing of indoctrination, I really have to wonder about their mindset. I do not deny that in some systems, like the cults, there is brainwashing and indoctrination going on. However, I think that can happen just as easily in atheist regimes. Those are wrong things to do whatever the belief system. I have no problem with atheist parents raising up children to be atheists however, just as they should have no problem realizing my Christianity is extremely important to me and I’m going to raise up my children to be Christians. However, I also want them to know they can openly question their faith at any time.
I can understand also someone being suspicious of many claims of deities, but when it comes to a religious claim, I offer the same advice in each case. Take each one on a case-by-case basis. This is exactly what I do with miracles. When someone says “What about different miracle claims in other religions?” Well first off, if there is any miracle, atheism is in a heap of trouble. Second, examine the miracle claim and see if it holds up to scrutiny. If it does, then you look and see if there’s any propositional content to be derived from it. I am open to miracles in other religions entirely. They could be a case of the true God shining light in a place of darkness or could be a result of darker demonic powers. I don’t rule them out a priori.
The problem comes down again to the mantra that is given. “There’s no evidence!” Atheists have started saying this so much that it looks more like they’re trying to convince themselves instead of me. Do atheists really think every Christian is so dumb that he just blindly believes something enough to commit his whole life to it and be ready to die for it?
Many atheists might also think there are no good arguments for God’s existence. I do not believe in giving a lot of new evidence because to me, the old arguments have never been answered satisfactorily. Now I do not believe they all work. If you want to say the ontological argument doesn’t work, be my guest. I do think something like the existence/essence argument of Aquinas works great. It’s easy for an atheist to say something like “X philosopher refuted that.” Okay. Don’t just say it. Show me. Point me to the writings. Tell me how you think the argument works out and let’s discuss it.
The line as it is today though is entirely ignorant. I believe in the God of Christianity because of the evidence. The atheist can either take my argument seriously, or he can give this cop-out line that is usually given.
That this is becoming a sound bite amongst atheists shows that they’d rather just give cop-outs instead of intellectually engage opposition.