Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth! With the Christmas season coming up, I would like to write about a sign that has been showing up in some places for our look at atheist sound bites tonight. This one has shepherds and a star like a typical nativity scene. However, it also has “You know it’s a myth. This year, celebrate reason.”
Never mind that the whole idea of the Christ myth if that is what is being propagated is entirely against reason. My contention with it at this point is the idea that if you are reasonable, then you are ipso facto an atheist. After all, it is only the unreasonable people who believe in a deity of some sort. We live in a scientific age and therefore we do not believe in any of this nonsense.
There is no necessary connection between the two. Someone can be an atheist and be intelligent. Someone can be a theist and be intelligent. Someone can be an atheist and be an idiot. Someone can be a theist and be an idiot. The problem is that the atheist in this case is immediately writing off the theist as irrational. (This is the same idea we see in the writings of the new atheists, such as Victor Stenger writing a book about the new atheism taking a stand for science and reason, and note how closely those two are tied together.)
To start out saying that one side automatically uses reason and the other doesn’t is to poison the well. However, we have all been touched by this bias to some extent. Picture a pastor being on a TV talk show. How is he automatically going to be viewed in the eyes of the public? This is someone who doesn’t have a clue. All he has are his religious platitudes and he can have no study in anything outside his faith. I have no doubt this is how people were viewing the Jesuit automatically who appeared on Larry King’s program with Stephen Hawking as a guest discussing his newest book.
Of course, we Christians have unfortunately done much to help this stereotype. The new atheist teach a false view of faith. We need to make sure we’re not teaching the same view. Are we really holding to our intellectual grounds? Are we meeting the atheists on their turf or not? We should be able to. If we believe Christianity is a religion of truth and describes reality as it is, then we can be sure that we can take reality on on any level.
Now that doesn’t mean don’t do your proper study. I think a Christian who wants to take his intellectual ground in the sciences should study science. Don’t enter thinking you will win because you are a Christian. Being a Christian is no excuse for laziness in studies. God is under no obligation to come through for you where you are deficient due to your own laziness.
Should we celebrate reason? Of course. I intend do. My reason tells me Christianity is true and thus, this year, I will celebrate reason. Let’s make sure we do the same the rest of the year and show those who contradict that we really are reasonable people.