Reason Rally: Atheist Group Therapy

The atheists have the reason rally coming up? What’s my take on it?

I heard about the Reason Rally through Ratio Christi, an organization, which I work with, dedicated to bringing sound apologetics to the Christian campus. The Reason Rally is to be held on March 24th at Washington D.C. and plans to unite atheists and agnostics together to celebrate reason.

You know these groups. These are the atheists who say they don’t have any sort of unified front or anything of that sort. They just all happen to share a non-belief. The only thing they have in common is that they lack a belief in God. We’ve heard it, but this seems to go against it.

Before too long, let us start preparing for the non-unicorn rally or the non-leprechaun rally. We then can ready the non-fairy rally. Why? Well we’re not making any statements about reality with these rallies. All we’re saying is that we lack belief in those. Obviously, that does not mean that we think they don’t exist. It just means we lack belief that they do. Makes perfect sense. Right?

I didn’t think so.

Richard Dawkins will be one of the main speakers, which tells us about all we need to know. Richard Dawkins of course is the leading horseman of the new atheism with his book “The God Delusion.” This book has practically become a Bible for most online atheists today with a new fundamentalism that says “Richard says it! I believe it! That settles it!” Dawkins has spoken. The case is closed.

Never mind that Dawkins has ran with his tail between his legs from William Lane Craig and most recently has done so from a clergyman who interviewed him. In reality, most of us who are in the field of Christian apologetics would love a chance to debate the horseman.

Dawkins has made numerous unbacked statements that in essence become simply dogmatic “statements of faith.” Dawkins treats “Who made God?” as the ultimate stumper for Christians and repeatedly says that faith is believing something without evidence, a definition that he gives no evidence for.

Yet in all of this, Dawkins proclaims himself as a champion of science and reason, as if not believing in God automatically means you are a person of reason. Obviously anyone who is a Christian or a believer in any sort of deity has sold themselves out to delusion and abandoned reason. This assertion is not defended. It is just asserted.

Let us keep in mind the saying of Chesterton. “There are two kinds of people in the world, the conscious dogmatists and the unconscious dogmatists. I have always found myself that the unconscious dogmatists were by far the most dogmatic.” Chesterton would see the Reason Rally as an example. While the new atheist crowd wishes to speak against dogma, they simply take one dogma and replace it with another.

Dogma is one of those terms not really understood. In reality, we all have some dogmas. We all hold some beliefs in high honor that we wish others to hold. The difference between myself and the new atheists is that I know I am dogmatic. The new atheists do not know it and in turn end up pushing their dogma the most.

This is the belief that they have the market on reason. They have it so well, they need to merely assert their beliefs without argument and the world will consent. Think of how one Christmas they had the posters that said “You know it’s a myth. This season, celebrate reason.”

But what would be a myth? Is it a myth that Jesus was born? Are the events surrounding his birth a myth? Is everything in the gospels a myth? We do not know. We are not told. All we supposedly know is that deep down, all of us know that this is a myth and we need to abandon it for reason.

No argument is given. All that is given is an assertion. You can just say to someone “You believe in a being that is not scientifically detectable!” or “You believe in someone who is invisible!” or any sort of line like that. Yes. I do believe in a being like that. Can you demonstrate why that is ipso facto false?

In reasoning with many new atheist types online, I have found this mindset to be common. Why do so many “free-thinkers” think exactly alike? It gets to the point of saying “Okay. I know your argument. I can practically show you what book it’s in and what page it’s on. Can we get to a real argument sometime?”

It doesn’t matter how bad the argument is. If it’s from the new atheists, it is used. “It is reasonable to believe Jesus never even existed.” Never mind that professors of ancient history would have a hard time controlling laughter at such a statement. The giver of this statement has 99% of the time never read anything on historiography. They probably don’t know that the favorite biblical authority of the new atheists, Bart Ehrman, thinks this position should be abandoned. All we need to know is that a new atheist made the statement.

As sad as all of this, what is even sadder is that Christians aren’t generally capable of engaging. You don’t need to spend all you time in an ivory scholar to be able to answer these people. High schoolers could be easily trained to be able to answer them. It’s also certainly not that Christians are outnumbered. We certainly have the majority. It’s that most of us just don’t have the right equipment to do the job.

When our troops were storming Normandy, many of them would land in the water and unfortunately had this baggage of equipment they did not need then that would weigh them down and they would sink to their deaths or be so slow that they would be easy prey. We can get a lot of “equipment” through many of our feel-good books, and there is a place for non-apologetic material, but we need a church that is equipped with such material. Ideally, every church should have at least one point man to go to to answer questions.

Why not try to make a presence at Reason Rally, as I hope to do. That is exactly what True Reason (Link below) is doing. Consider this information of theirs:

Together, we represent Christians from the United States and around the world who believe that Christianity is a reasonable worldview. Our goal is to demonstrate a humble, loving and thoughtful response to the Reason Rally. We’ll be equipped there with:
Gifts of kindness to give away–free bottled water, for example
Mini-book (32-page) summarized versions of Reason Really, an exciting soon-to-be-published ebook written especially for this purpose.
Flyers advertising that ebook.
A limited number of copies of a currently published book on Christianity and atheism.

I will be doing what I can to be there and I’d love to see you there. Let’s be there to argue not against reasoning, which we should all love, but to argue against bad reasoning. Let us replace the reason of Dawkins with what Ratio Christi is named for, the Reason of Christ.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

A link to True Reason can be found here

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