Book Plunge: In God We Doubt Conclusion

How shall we wrap this up? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

In these last two chapters, we find Humphrys being rather charitable. For instance, the main point he wants to get across is how the new atheists want to say we would be better off without religion. John Lennon’s Imagine would have us all think the world would be a better place if we got rid of religion.

Not so fast. Humphrys rightly points out that when you look at the mass killings of people in the 20th century, it wasn’t religion that was largely responsible. It was Communism. When you look at the major wars that happened, religion could be a factor, but it was way down the list if it was.

How about those Muslim suicide bombers? They weren’t the first. It was the Tamil Tigers that came up with the suicide bomber strategy. That was a Marxist-Leninist group in Sri Lanka. He does say that Muslim bombers today are not reflecting mainstream Islam to which I want to say “How are they not?” After all, the first Muslim groups were hardly peaceful.

He also points out that some might say extreme religion is a danger, but materialism and consumerism is also a threat. What about all these kids who are wanting to go on apps like TikTok and become celebrities? What about a culture that wants more and more and more and yet is never happy?

This isn’t to say Humphrys is entirely positive about religion. He says that it’s not that religious people don’t have time to reason out their beliefs. They don’t want to. They don’t want to think about things that have been done in the name of God. His example of this is an alleged Roman Catholic who doesn’t even believe in the deity of Christ, but finds theism comforting.

It is true that God can be a great comfort, but I do not believe in God for comfort. I believe in Him because of the evidence. I am also not bothered by the “Christians have done evil in history.” Yeah. All of us have. That’s because we’re all fallen creatures. I don’t think we should ignore the question, but it’s not a defeater.

In the end, what do I think keeps Humphrys from believing? It’s not reason. He doesn’t really deal with any arguments for the existing of God in this book. If anything, his argument seems to be more emotional. He has a hard time with evil, but if he does, that should make it all the more reason for him to be a theist.

I think about a meme I saw an atheist share yesterday with a woman, presumably in Africa, holding a dead child and crying and for us to think about how easy it is to worship God when we’re not that woman. No doubt, that woman is suffering, but as I have argued before, take away God. What do you have? This is definitely a hypothetical as I think if you take away God, nothing can exist, but you still have the crying woman and the dead child.

The problem is still the same. What you have removed is hope. On Christian theism, there is a God who will deal justly in this situation. There is a God who can bring good out of evil. There is a God who can raise the dead. Atheism takes away the possibility of hope and still leaves the problem. How is that reasonable?

Keep in mind, I am not saying that that makes Christianity true, but it sure gives you reason to consider it seriously and to at least want it to be true on some level, especially if you say you care about the woman involved. If there is no greater source of justice and hope in the universe, well some people just get dealt a very bad hand of cards and it sucks to be you if you get that bad hand. Christianity has someone overseeing the game who will make sure justice will come out right in the end.

That should give us hope and also give us a degree of fear. Justice will come for us as well. We better make sure we are ready.

We can pray that Humphrys reconsiders his opinion. Perhaps those arguments really are better than what an inquisitive child can see through. Perhaps there really is a God who loves Him out there and can give hope and justice.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Book Plunge: Divergent Paths of the Restoration

What do I think of Steven Shields’s book? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Behold the words of Joseph Smith:

“Come on! ye prosecutors! ye false swearers! All hell, boil over! Ye burning mountains, roll down your lava! for I will come out on top at last. I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet…When they can get rid of me, the devil will also go” (History of the Church, Vol. 6, p. 408).

So we are often told by Mormons. Look at how much the church has split. Look at how many denominations there are! However, Joseph Smith held his church together. I mean, we know about some groups, but there’s only a small number. Right?


As it turns out, there were differences even in the lifetime of Joseph Smith. After he died, there was more and more separation radiating out of the church. To be fair, not all splinter groups are major groups. Some would only have a few people. Some, however, did have sizable followings.

Not only this, many Mormons will point to the Scripture they have, the translations of plates that they did, and the revelations that Joseph Smith received. The hard part here is that many of these other groups claimed the exact same thing. Many of these groups had people who claimed that they had revelations and that God had called them to carry on the work of Joseph Smith or sometimes that even during the time of Smith, the church had gone astray.

It’s as if many of them followed the exact same blueprint.

Many of these also get very far away from Mormonism. Some of them come to embrace New Age teachings. You have some that are extremely friendly to the LGBTQ position. There are some that get into a sort of Gnosticism.

The author has done in-depth research on these with references at the end of each section. He does point out that some of these are more unverified and some of these do just exist on the internet. There are, of course, many of these groups that are real and there come to be splinters of the splinters.

This is a great book to read also because you can get plenty of these groups and I just go to Mormons I interact with and ask “Why not this group? They have the exact same credentials as your group does with claiming revelation. Why do you not accept them?” We are also often accused of having a closed canon. Well, the main LDS church has a closed canon with regard to these other groups.

This book is also very large. There are over 900 pages of information. Still, if you want to know more about what happened in the life and after of Joseph Smith in relation to the unity of the church, this is the place to go. You can find it here.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Book Plunge: Things Atheists Say That Simply Make No Sense

What do I think of Patrick Prill’s book? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I was given this book by a friend when he told me he had an extra copy and I found it intriguing. I was pleased to see in the table of contents that indeed, there was something saying that one dumb thing that is said is that Jesus never existed. Seriously atheist community. If you meet one of your own who is saying this, it’s best to ask him to please be quiet on your behalf.

I would ultimately describe this book as a gateway book. Each chapter is short and thus good for the purpose of small group discussion. You don’t have to read any prior chapter to understand the latter ones. You can just go to whatever you’re dealing with to see what is said.

This is also largely dealing with the new atheists, which is just fine because it’s more likely the lay Christian will also be engaging with your common internet atheist types who will be using new atheist material. The book deals with objections relating to the universe, to God, to Jesus specifically, to morality, etc. There is a final section introducing atheists who became theists. Not all of them became Christians, but they became theists.

So the positives. First off, as I have said, the chapters are short and they do have several references so you can look beyond this book and get more information. Notes are extremely helpful to see and yes, they are footnotes. Prill lets you know where he gets his information from.

I think my favorite chapter was the one on religion leading to war. There is information here that I found quite helpful for this common question. As I said, this is entry-level, but on this question this is an excellent entry.

For some criticisms, I do think that when Josephus is talked about, there is not enough said about the different versions we have of what Josephus said. Your average internet atheist will know about this and it could very well catch a  Christian unaware. This is also important since sadly, this is one of the most common objections I come across. (Again atheists, please clean up your own house. I know there are a lot of you that recognize this claim as nonsense thankfully.)

My biggest criticism though is in a chapter on asking if God is required for objective moral values to exist. If I had a hand in any sort of rewriting of a second edition of the book, this is the chapter I would change the most. As a Thomistic thinker, I was really stunned when I got to one part of this.

Prill asks if the question of if morality could exist if God didn’t and the answer is, perhaps.


This isn’t just about morality anymore. This is dealing with everything else. If it is possible for something to exist if God does not, then this means that ultimately, God is not the grounding of everything that exists. Scripture says about Jesus regularly in the New Testament in places like John 1, 1 Cor 8, Col, 1, and Hebrews 1, that Jesus is the means by which God created everything else and without Him, nothing else would exist. The logical conclusion, one I am sure Prill would deny but unfortunately a statement like this leads to, is that God is not foundational for existence. It would mean that it is not God’s nature to be, but that being is something He possesses.

Definitely fix that in any future entries. After all, if God doesn’t exist, then really nothing else exists at all. There is no ground of being.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

An Open Letter To Elon Musk

Has Twitter changed? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Dear Mr. Musk.

When you bought Twitter, I saw a breath of fresh air come in. Finally, conservatives could be just as free as anyone else to share their thoughts. No more would we see anything about hate speech. I found I could actually enjoy Twitter again. The first day, I came on saying statements such as if you were born a man you would die a man and vice-versa, that marriage is between a man and a woman, that Elaine Page was and always would be a woman, etc.

It felt good again to have a place to interact with some of my favorite conservative influencers. I was especially pleased to see when you freed the Babylon Bee. However, last night, I got disappointed.

As a conservative, I regularly go to the Biden Twitter page to see what is being said there. Last night, I saw he had posted something about mental health hotlines. The people on them were trained to especially handle Veteran’s issues and LGBTQ issues.

Now with Veterans, many of us can understand. PTSD is not uncommon in the world of those who serve. Also, many of them do struggle with suicide if they have that. LGBT was an interesting inclusion so I just asked “Funny you seem to imply that a lot of LGBTQ people have mental health issues.”

Within seconds, BAM! I get hit with my account being restricted. Why? I had said something hateful.

Excuse me? How do you know the state of my own heart? What is this great power that Twitter has that they think they can read that?

You see, I am on the Autism spectrum. If you asked me if myself and my fellow human beings on this spectrum have a mental health problem, I would say yes. That’s not being hateful. That’s being honest.

Now if I say the same about the LGBTQ community, does that mean that I hate them? Not at all. I don’t hate them any more than I hate myself and my own community, which is not at all. If anything, I am an advocate for people in my own mental health community. If I meet someone who is absolutely convinced that they are a girl when they are really a boy, my thought is not hatred. It’s sadness. I want them to see themselves as they truly are, a boy. I want them to embrace their identity that they have by virtue of being born male. I want them to avoid what I think is a dangerous and horrible mistake.

You can disagree with me all you want. That’s cool. If there is disagreement, then we discuss it.

But if that is not allowed, then why should I think Twitter is any different from what it was in the past? The Babylon Bee got banned for making a statement that was deemed anti-LGBTQ. I was thankful when you brought them back, regardless of what anyone thinks of the Bee. The old adage is that it’s better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a question without debating it.

As I write this, of course, I am sure that you, Mr. Musk, were not personally involved with the decision. You could see this and read it and immediately agree 100% with what I have said. If anything, you might actually disagree with my belief, but agree that I have the right to express it. I have in no way said anything that implies hatred towards a group or that we should bring violence to them.

I did appeal, naturally, but what good does that do? No one discusses my case with me. I have a small area in which to state my reasons why I did not violate any rules. I am not allowed to hear why they think I am wrong. Your staff becomes judge, jury, and executioner. If anything, you are making me guilty of fault crimes, which is very Orwellian.

I encounter beliefs every day that I disagree with. Some of them I think are quite stupid. I also encounter people who say things that are quite vicious about my Christian community. I have no wish to ban them from areas I am in charge of. When I was married, about the only way I dropped a banhammer on my Facebook was if someone insulted my wife. That was it.

Why do I do this? Because I really value disagreement. That leads to debates and that leads to discussing the issues that are important to us as Americans. Part of freedom means that even if I don’t like what you say, I will fully agree you have the right to say it.

Now I would agree if someone were threatening actual violence against someone, yes, something needs to be done. Even in that case though, I say bring in the police. Let them handle it. If someone says something completely ignorant against my belief system, I don’t ban them. If anything, I want them on display. I want people to see the other side for what it is.

When the LGBT community acts in this way, it becomes apparent that they are the sacred group of the day that you dare not speak against. How far does it extend? If we are going to start banning people from expressing opinions, we are going down a very dangerous slope.

I urge you Mr. Musk, if you read this someday, to make sure Twitter doesn’t become what it used to be. As far as I am concerned, right now, it is.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

False Common Knowledge: All Sin Is The Same In God’s Eyes

Does God really see all sin as the same? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

There are some ideas that are so commonly heard in the church that most of us never question them. The problem is that if we never question them, they are assumed at the start when really, there’s no basis for them. One common one is one I heard recently and it occurred to me I have never written about as far as I can remember. This is the idea that all sin is the same in God’s eyes.

Let’s suppose you never had a police record at all. Then one day you’re going down the interstate and you wind up going 20 MPH over the speed limit. An officer pulls you over and lo and behold, you no longer have a perfect record. It just takes one ticket to do that.

Let’s suppose again you never had a police record at all. Then one day your neighbor is playing loud music way too much and you go over to his house and when he opens the door you pull out a gun and shoot him several times in the chest resulting in his death. You go back over to your place thinking no one else saw you and no need to arouse suspicion, but you were heard and the police come over and arrest you. You no longer have a perfect record. One crime did that.

With sin, all it takes is one to remove a perfect record, but that does not mean that all the sins are the same any more than speeding and murder are the same.

In John 19:11, Jesus says to Pilate that the one who handed Him over is guilty of a greater sin. In the Gospels, Jesus also says the sin of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven in this age or the age to come. He says that if someone leads a child to stumble, it would be better for him to have a millstone attached to him and be thrown into the sea.

In the epistles, Paul writes to the church in Corinth that is heavily messed up and calls them out for many sins, but when he gets to the man who is sleeping with his father’s wife, he says to hand this one over to Satan. He says that some have died because of how they handled the Lord’s Supper. He regularly has listings of sins that if one is practicing these shows that he is not of the kingdom.

If we look at the Old Testament, we see there were some sins that led to death and some that led to much lesser penalties. We see from Jesus that the Old Testament had some commandments that were greater than others. (Which wouldn’t make much sense if all sins were the same.) We also see the dilemmas caused with the question of Rahab and the Hebrew midwives lying. If all sins are the same, then does it really matter?

I really can think of no Scripture that gives any indication that all sins are the same. Somehow, we got this idea and it has been spoken so much that we have come to believe it. It just isn’t so. We should strive to avoid all sins to be sure, but that does not mean all sins are the same.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Quests Matter

Do we need something to do? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I don’t know if school was like this for you, but for the most part for me it was. I was the kind of student who did all my work in class, came home and played video games and other such things. Most reading I did was things like Peanuts, Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, etc. Of course, I did read the Bible. I had that read for the first time in middle school.

Do I remember a lot of things I studied in school? Nope.

I thought about this listening to Timcast yesterday where Vivek Ramaswamy was on a livecast and discussing his philosophy. He did talk about the God-shaped hole, but he also applied it to purpose. Man needs a purpose in his life. Man needs something to do.

Question. Why is it that when a child gets home from school, things like video games and playing sports with friends matters more than the schoolwork does? Why is it that can still be the way today? If you don’t want to go with video games, go with something else. How many guys know more about their favorite sports team than their jobs? How about their favorite TV shows?

In these cases, we’re getting involved in something greater than ourselves. Reading a good fictional book can get you into a story that is different from your own and if you get caught up in it, you can literally lose track of the world around you. I have read many a mystery when I go to bed at night and I am still working out trying to figure out who it is. I remember reading Odd Billy Todd and when the story ended, felt disappointed because now I knew my interaction with these people I had read about was all done.

This can happen when you watch a movie or a TV show. To this day, I remember the first time I watched Smallville (Spoiler alert coming) and I got to season 5 and saw the death of Jonathan Kent. That was painful for me when I saw it. I respected that man so much he was like another father to me. I’m sure many of you can think of a similar case.

And as a gamer, when I play a game, I find myself getting caught in a story and I want the story to succeed and I want to be the best that I can be at the story. I want to learn what I need to learn to bring about the best outcome in the story. All of these get us caught in something greater than ourselves and from the world of gaming, I call them quests.

I remember talking to a professor here who told me thinks tests are the best way to have students learn something. I disagreed. Any student can spend all night cramming and memorizing the information and then ace the test and just a bit later, forget it all. It was not learned to succeed outside the classroom. It was learned to succeed at the class.

However, what classes can you be interested in? Ones where you see something that is immediately relevant to your life outside of the classroom. If you enjoy philosophy and history, you will readily learn those and really, the tests won’t matter to you. Instilling a love of the subject and seeing its relevance helps you learn it.

Now what about Christianity? I have often written about a major problem we have in the church is we make evangelism being all about going to Heaven. Why do you get saved? So you can go to Heaven. Why do you repent? So you can go to Heaven.

What if we make it about something else? What if we say Christianity is the story of good conquering evil. Peter Kreeft once said about apologetics that it’s the closest you get to saving the world. That’s a statement I remember. What if Christianity was not about you? What if it was about your role in a story greater than yourself?

What if you learned this stuff from the Bible not just so you could know it, but so you could apply it in the battle? What if it was not just about being a good person, but being a heroic person? What if it was depicted as a battle to win the souls of the lost and stop the spread of evil in the world?

This is one reason my PhD research at this point is set to be on video games and Christianity, with an emphasis on the importance of quests. Games draw us in because we get drawn into something greater than ourselves. Hopefully, we will do the same with Christianity.

And in the end, maybe that could help our evangelism.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)


Book Plunge: In God We Doubt Part 13

Are we just serving our genes? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

In this chapter, Humphrys makes a list of heroic people and why they did what they did. An atheist like Richard Dawkins will write that we are living in service of our selfish genes. It’s a reversal of sorts of the Christian view. In our view, we are doing what we do in service of God, but in the atheist view, it is in service of ourselves. (Not sure how aborting your children works with that considering they can’t pass on any more genes for you or sterilizing your children through “gender-affirming care”, but that’s another point.)

But Humphrys doesn’t think this works. He talks about the Virginia Tech shooting as one example. Liviu Librescu, a 76 year-old math teacher, held the door shut so his students could escape through the windows knowing this would lead to his death. On another aside, it is disappointing that in these cases, many of us can bring to mind the shooter, but not the heroes that held back the shooter to some extent. Was Librescu doing this to serve his genes?

Humphrys doesn’t find this credible, and again, I agree. In a sense, genes have become a sort of god for Dawkins and others who go this route. Whatever the genes are commanding, this must be obeyed. This is not to say that we don’t have base desires that we all fall prey to. If we didn’t, there wouldn’t be a problem with obesity, broken marriages, STDs, etc. in our world today.

Humphrys goes on to list a number of heroes and it’s worth reading this chapter just to hear what their stories are. Too often when we think about evil, we ask what is it that makes evil people do what they do? Could it perhaps be better to ask “What is it that makes good people do what they do?” and then find ways to make that far more likely to happen? Just a long shot here, but maybe we should consider the virtues that lead to people doing that and celebrate those virtues and condemn the vices that go the other way.

However, there is an unfortunate statement in this chapter in that Humphrys concludes that atheists have the best arguments. What they don’t have is a grasp of what it is that makes human beings what we are. I agree with the latter, but I definitely disagree with the former.

On the latter point, could we not consider that if atheists don’t have that, could that lead to the idea that man is more than just a material being? Could it lead to the idea of essences and substances? Could it lead to a soul, a spirit, or something of that sort? Would this not be a problematic position for atheism to explain anyway? If human beings are just material objects and we have been studying matter for so long and have personal experience with this matter, shouldn’t we have a good idea of what we are?

However, throughout this book, there has been little attention paid to theistic arguments. Even in the chapter featuring Craig, the only response given was that it was nonsense, all of it, and then Humphrys goes on to criticize Craig instead of asking his side how they can better answer Craig. I don’t see the Thomistic arguments ever dealt with nor do I see the philosophers used that have taken on the problem of evil.

Humphrys then is too dismissive. It seems that evil is just something that controls his thinking and that is the real draw. How can a good God allow evil? The problem is this is often a much more emotional argument than a rational one. We see this when Humphrys says that when a cab driver murders his wife and four children, that overpowers an argument.

Could it be atheists actually have the more emotional opinion?

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Why did David have a Census?

Who is the one who incited David? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I saw someone share this in a group and figured I should write something on this common objection. If you go to 1 Chronicles 21, you see this.

“Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel.”

Okay. That sounds pretty clear. The devil rises up against Israel. David then takes a census.

Yet when you see how 2 Samuel 24 starts, there’s a tiny difference there.

“Again the anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, “Go and take a census of Israel and Judah.”

Okay. So maybe having the Lord instead of Satan isn’t a tiny difference.

What’s going on?

Let’s start by looking at the first one. One of the problems with the translations we have today is that people rarely look behind them. The text says Satan. Well, obviously that’s Satan. Right?

Maybe not.

For one thing, the devil comes against David in this and the response is to….take a census?

Sure. In Israelite law the king was not supposed to do that, but why would he do it here? If the devil wanted to tempt David, weren’t there better ways that would appeal to David a lot more? To give an obvious one, that one last time of naked woman bathing within eyesight sure seemed to do the job pretty well.

If you look at the word for Satan in the text, you will find it doesn’t always refer to the angelic being. For instance, in Numbers 22 when Balaam is riding on his donkey, the Angel of the Lord stands as a Satan for Balaam. What? You don’t remember reading that? Because the text doesn’t say that. It says the angel stood as an adversary for him. Later in that chapter, the angel of the Lord uses Satan in an active sense to say that he was opposing Balaam.

In 1 Samuel when David is among the Philistines, they are scared to go to battle with him in the ranks lest he turn Satan on them to win the favor of Israel. Oh, wait. The text says the same thing again. It says that he will turn into an adversary to them.

In 1 Kings 5, the reign of Solomon is peaceful because there was no Satan against him. Wait. There it is again. Adversary. Yet when Solomon turns against God, there are raised up several Satans, no, adversaries, in the form of leaders of armies to fight against him.

True, the term is used in Job and Zechariah to refer to a figure much more like the fallen angel that we know of today, but that does not occur in the historical literature at all. In all likelihood then, this is what is going on here as well.

This also explains why David would then have a census. If another army is coming up, David will count his fighting men then. That is a failure on his part to trust in the Lord.

Also, none of this means that there is no fallen angelic being known as Satan. It just means that that is not who is in reference here. In this case then, the text has the Lord putting David to the test by raising up an army against him, and David fails.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Book Plunge: In God We Doubt Part 12

Does Humphrys understand evil and morality? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

We’re on the final section of this book. Humphrys begins this with talking about evil, the card he seems to play most often. He talks about the case of a taxi driver  who murdered his wife with a baseball bat. Then he went upstairs, got one of his four small children and took her downstairs and murdered her. Then he did the rest with his other three children.

From here, Humphrys goes on to tell us about theodicies, which are said to be how to justify the ways of God to men, a term I don’t care for. It assumes that God needs to be justified. Still, it has been around a long time and if you mean an answer to the problem of evil, it is fine.

However, he says for those who take a less intellectual approach, the cries of a child resonate more than an elegant argument. This is a quite telling statement. At the start of this book. Humphrys said anyone with the mind of an inquisitive child can see the God arguments fail. Now at the end, he is saying those who do not go the intellectual route are more persuaded by the case of this murder.

Yet at the same time, if there is no God, then ultimately, what this taxi driver did doesn’t matter in the long run. If he was never caught, he got away with it. There will never be justice for the woman and her children. They will never enjoy life again. If there is a God, and especially the Christian God, there is no free pass for this man. He will face judgment. Even if he repents, the consequences of his action will carry over into eternity still.

Later, Humphrys will speak of the view of theists that atheists could develop a moral code, but without God, there is no way of knowing good from evil. Humphrys says that this is rubbish. How is that so many societies who didn’t know that this monotheistic God existed still produce a moral code very similar in many ways to what is had today?

Once again, Humphrys is someone who does not know what the argument is and if anything, his objection actually DEMONSTRATES the claim of theism. No one is saying you have to have knowledge of God to know right from wrong. Scripture even argues in Romans 2 that all men know this because God has placed it on their hearts in some way.

What the argument claims is that if God does not exist, there is no metaphysical basis for good or evil. (Actually, there’s no metaphysical basis for anything, but that’s another post.) Good and evil as ideas make no sense apart from God. As Dostoyevsky said, if there is no God, anything goes. One does not need to know of this God to know good from evil, but this God needs to be for the knowledge to be there.

Right now, I am also reading The Plague by Camus where he attempts to answer the claims of someone like Dostoyevsky by having a plague in a city killing multiple people and so the city is sealed off from the outside world. The hero is a doctor who does not believe in God, and yet he goes about trying to relieve the suffering of the people of the city. Therefore, God is not needed for morality.

The problem is this is still the world and in this world, good and evil still exist and you don’t have to be a theist to believe in those. However, giving a metaphysical basis is different. What is this good? Why should I think the doctor is the hero? Why should I see him as the good guy?

He also says in America, that some Christians are so convinced of the evils of abortion that some doctors fear their lives due to what has happened to their unfortunate colleagues. It is difficult for us to think of people who have been bombing abortion clinics. For me, just one name comes to mind. These are by and far the exception. Of course, Humphrys doesn’t really give a reason why abortion should be allowed and while I don’t agree with murder in response, I do agree that abortion is a great evil, one of the worst actually.

He also asks if theists can produce a moral code atheists can agree to. He thinks there are plenty of rules that we could all get along with, but then says that even Jimmy Carter said that he has lusted in his heart in an interview. He says this caused a stir in the Baptist community, but why should it? Does anyone really think they haven’t committed this sin, especially my fellow men? Besides this, a moral code should be something you strive to live up to. It should not be easy.

He then produces his own moral code that he says our more enlightened society should embrace to put to death the fundamentalist mindset. On top of the list is homosexuality is not a sin. If all he said was the temptation is not a sin, I would agree, but if he means the behavior, he needs to give me a reason why I should think this. We can talk all we want about how progressive and enlightened we are in society, but when you look at the rate of STDs and of broken families and fatherless children, does anyone think we are really better off?

What a shock that the next one is a woman should be allowed abortion as long as the rules of society are followed. Here we have a talk of enlightened society and what do you know? The first two rules are about sex. Why am I not surprised?

He also says there is hardly a soul alive he is sure who does not regret some sexual adventure. Humphrys must not know a lot of people. I could introduce him to several. Odds are, you can as well.

He then goes on to give a study of the trolley problem where atheists and theists by and large gave the same example and someone like Dawkins uses this to show you don’t need God to know right from wrong. What is missed is that as someone like Tom Holland has pointed out in Dominion, this is because also there is a background Christianity in us all. Would Dawkins be appalled by some of what he would see in ancient Greece and Rome? Quite likely. He and Humphrys make the same mistake again. They think that you have to be religious in order to have epistemology here, when the claim is not an epistemological one, but a metaphysical one. This is one of the most common mistakes in atheist argumentation that I see them making left and right.

They never learn.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)



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