The Making of an Fundamentalist Atheist

The Making of a Fundamentalist Atheist

Mark Twain once said ” there are reasons, good reasons and the real reason.” What is the real reason for your faith or lack of it?

I have noticed lately, that there seems to be an increase in the number of atheists I run across.  Most of whom are white educated males.  To be honest, for the life of me, I cannot understand why anyone would want to be an atheist. In fact, I’m always asking them the why question.  In reply, I usually get something along these lines; it is the reasonable position. In reply, I generally respond with another why question. Their answer is often; science has proven it.  My reply is how?   I seldom get any answer, and if I do it is usually an appeal to a pseudoscience. The truth is that there are no scientific arguments against the existence of God.  Science does not make arguments against God’s existence. The question of God’s existence is outside of the realm of scientific inquiry.[1]

I had a few atheists tell me that scientists don’t believe in God, therefore this is proof it’s not reasonable to believe in God. This statement is absolutely false.  Einstein is one of the foremost scientists of the last century, and he was a believer in a deity[2], though he did not seem to like organized religion. Still another great modern scientist who is a believer is Francis Collins lead scientist for the Human Genome Project. The truth is that as far as the hard sciences go, it is about a 50-50 split.[3]  Even if 95% of scientists did not believe in God it would not prove that God did not exist. 95% of scientists believed the sun rotated around the earth before Galileo, they were wrong. In fact, they were the ones that convinced church leaders to censor Galileo. At one time 95% of scientists believed that the empty space in the universe was filled with a substance they called ether, they were wrong. We should be cautious about counting the noses of scientists in determining the truth.

Still, other atheists have said they’re “just trying to follow the truth.” Of course, following the truth is a noble undertaking if there is such a thing as truth. However, without a cosmic order and consciousness can there be any real truth?[4]  If our thoughts and actions are nothing more than the interplay of atoms in our brain, how can there be any truth in the traditional sense? The best that one could hope for is a pragmatic utilitarian view of truth, i.e. whatever works. If this is the case, belief is superior to unbelief because people of faith are happier than unbelievers. Note the book “The Happiness Hypothesis” by Jonathan Haidt.

When everything is said, thought-through atheism is simply a negative faith that cannot be proven.  It is based on suppositions that cannot be proven or disproved.  Atheism can only raise questions about the existence of God, but it can never prove its negative position. When you look at its evidence for its suppositions, they just do not exist.

In view of this, I decided that there must be some other reasons besides ‘reason’ for people embracing this negative faith, so I began to look for an answer.  The following is what I came up with.  Some of my answers border on science and some on psychology. I freely admit that I am biased for faith in a deity. One reason being I believe faith is healthier for the individual and sociality as a whole. I have given evidence to this in previous writings.

Some may feel that it is not ethical to analyze someone’s beliefs, looking for a psychological basis for them.  However, atheists have been doing this for hundreds of years declaring that the believer’s faith came from an emotional need to have a father figure, which believer’s then projected into heaven to watch over them. Note that in Fauerbach’s, “The Essence of Christianity” it is actually when atheists analyze people’s faith in God, that they are simply attempting to look at faith scientifically. They are analyzing it by using the law of cause and effect. I have no problem with that, as long as they apply the same principles to their non-belief, which they seldom do. Of course, this lack of self-examination is an indication that their faith is based more on dogma than reason.

Before looking at what I believe causes people to become atheists. I would like to say that in many ways I do respect the negative faith of many atheists.  Many atheists have more convictions in their world view than many believers have in theirs, and many unbelievers are men of integrity and excellent moral character.  I have a number of friends who are atheists and find them to be good friends. Of course, all this does not prove that atheism is true

What is the root of Atheism?  I do not have all the answers to this question but there is one thing I know atheists are made and not born.[5]  Children by their very nature are mystical and multi-dimensional.  So, what causes people to lose their sense of wonder and of the spiritual?  What causes men to suppress their spiritual nature?

The Christian Factor

One of the main roots of unbelief is Christianity itself, for it teaches that God is a good God.  This is fine for adults; however, as some children grow up, they begin to see that the world is filled with suffering and evil. This causes confusion in the child’s mind which cannot be reconciled with the idea of a good God and a world fill with suffering and evil. For the immature mind, the only way to reconcile the apparent contradiction is by renouncing reality or to deny God. The majority of people do a little of both however, there are some children who choose to deny God.   Of course, the problem of evil and suffering are subjects that much ink has been spent on by theologians and philosophers with less than satisfactory answers.

The best answer that I’ve found is that suffering in itself is not evil but rather it’s a part of a perfect environment to serve God’s purpose of building, growing up, and maturing people.  Suffering in the form of pain serves to warn us when our body is in danger of being permanently hurt or injured. It also warns us that things may be out of order or out of balance biologically and even socially. Therefore, it gives us the opportunity to change and grow.  If you think of suffering in this light, it’s hard to look upon all suffering as evil.  It only becomes evil when you add the human will to the equation. When a human inflicts suffering and pain on another human unnecessarily, it then can become evil.  Even if one continues to look upon suffering as evil this view in itself is not evidence that God does not exist.  It would simply imply that God is not all good and that the God of the Bible is not the true God.

The Environment Factor

 The family environment can also contribute to the loss of faith.  If one is brought up in a home of unbelief or in one of little spirituality, where sacred things are seldom spoken about or totally disregarded, your chances of being an unbeliever are higher than if you were raised in a spiritual atmosphere.  If your early experience of religion is negative for instance, having parents who are religious, but hypocritical, may have a negative impact on you or having a clergyman whom you didn’t like may also contribute to unbelief.  There is some strong evidence that an overbearing father or an abusive father may have a cynical impact on people’s faith.  This seems to be especially true for males. The hostile and negative feelings they have for their father are transferred to their heavenly father.  It’s interesting to note that the apostle Paul tells fathers not to provoke their children to wrath. Could it be that an overbearing father could be the source of much unbelief? In science, this is called psychological transfer.

Many others may lose their faith when they attend a college and fall prey to an atheist professor and a hedonistic environment. Young people are impressionable, and a highly educated professor can surely put doubts in their youthful minds.  However, if they do lose their faith, it will most likely not be the reasoning power or the knowledge of the professor but rather the indoctrination of the environment created by the materialistic university atmosphere. Being spiritual is not cool on most college campuses.  On the other hand, the intellectual ability seems to have little to do with people’s faith position.  Emotions and environment are the biggest players in whether or not one has faith.  After they make a choice of beliefs, then reason is used and intellectual information is compiled to support and justify a position, which is accepted by faith, whether negative or positive.

The worst college environment for making atheists is a religious school where the professors and the majority of the student body live like the devil, but teach morality and religion. This kind of environment creates an emotional doubt which is deadlier to faith than intellectual doubt.  It was in this kind of environment where I began to question my childhood faith. However, in my case, I did not lose my faith in God, but in the institution which claimed to represent Him.  I am thankful for a good friend who pointed out to me the difference between faith in the Great Spirit and human religion. As faith is often misplaced, so it is with doubt. When religion does evil, it should raise doubt in religion, not God.

The problem that often surfaces during the college years is one of the wrong presuppositions. Young people growing up in semi-religious and even very religious homes often have a naïve supposition that religion has all the answers, or at least it ought to. When they attend college, they suddenly realize that it does not and in some cases their faith is shattered. Of course, the truth is that all human knowledge has what I call brackets. Brackets are question marks and contradictions that cannot be understood, at least at this time.  In religion, we call them mysteries, in science, they’re called anomalies and in philosophy they’re paradoxes. Young people of faith need to be taught that faith has its brackets.

In the college environment, there are certain fields of study like psychology, which are still being deeply influenced by Sigmund Freud’s atheism. Atheism seems to be a prerequisite for becoming a psychologist or a psychiatrist in many people’s thinking.  If you select these fields of study it will become harder to maintain your religion; not for intellectual reasons but rather because of the environment which the people in the field create. They create a world without God, and it is difficult to live in their fictional world for very long without damaging your faith.  If you think )  you are immune to this kind of environmental influence stop kidding yourself.  You are living a delusional life. It has been shown repeatedly that many people who are taken hostage in time will begin to sympathize and even convert to their captor’s ideology. When you give yourself over to a materialistic world view, you have been taken captive and most likely, will convert. If you are a College student, my advice to you is to watch out what kind of world you choose to live in. The apostle Paul said, “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. (Col 2:8)

On a larger-scale, it is obvious that if you are born in a culture like Russia where atheism is the state philosophy, it is more likely that you will be an atheist. However, even after 70 years of the state trying to eradicate religion, faith still remains strong in Russia.  It has been estimated that as many as 80% of the Russian population believe in God.  This strengthens the position that man by his nature is homo-religious, i.e. by his very nature he is religious.

Biological Factor

Even in the realm of the spiritual-minded, there will be varying degrees of God-consciousness.  A case in point is the scholar and the mystic.  The religious scholar may have a hard time understanding the mystic, and the latter may even question the faith of the scholar. Here within the confines of faith you have the same experience that you see between the atheist and believer. Could the problem be genetic?

I brought this subject up at a meeting of ministers and their wives and as expected I was met with some resistance… So I proposed a little experiment to test my idea. I asked each person to think about their earliest awareness of their God-consciousness and then asked them if theirs was stronger than their siblings.  Without exception, they said theirs was stronger than their siblings. Though the sampling is small about 20 people, it does give some credence to the belief in spiritual intelligence. Of course, like all forms of intelligence, it can be increased or diminished by its use or its lack of use. The lack of use could lead to atheism.

Therefore, it is quite reasonable to believe that some people who are born with the right-brain structure have an advantage in sensing the deity.  This also explains why some believers experience God in different ways and to various degrees.  Does this mean that a person born with small antennas (metaphor) cannot believe in God?  No, it simply means that those folks need to work harder at it or learn to trust other men’s experience of God.  This kind of trust is needed and used in every area of life, why not in the area of faith?   The reason this is hard for the atheist is that people blessed with a high degree of intellectual knowledge seems to believe that it is superior to all other forms of intelligence. In other words, their ego blinds them to the truth.    This seems to be confirmed by Scripture. ” knowledge puffs up and love builds up.”

The Pride Factor

The source of much atheism is human pride.  Many atheists use their atheism as a badge of their intellectual superiority.  This is very similar to the way some religious people use their religiosity to boost their self-esteem. Their religion allows them to think that they are more moral than others. Like the religious person, the atheist’s self-esteem begins to depend on their identification with unbelief and the sense of intellectual superiority it gives them.  In essence, they cling to their unbelief in order to save their souls for without their unbelief; they would be soulless. They would just be a part of the herd without an identity.  They refuse to call themselves agnostic for there is no glory or superiority in saying I don’t know and there are no arguments to be made to show their superiority.  What else can explain their choice of atheism over agnosticism, which is a far more reasonable position than atheism.  This may explain why so many atheists are white, mid-class college-educated males.  A group that is known for their pride, large egos, and loss of identity.

Misunderstanding of the Difference Between Faith and Religion

I have also found that many atheists have a very narrow view of faith and religion. Their view is very similar to the religious fundamentalist, both seem to have a hard time separating faith from religion.  This may be caused by a simple blind spot in the unbeliever’s thinking, but it seems to be dominant in much of their arguments against the existence of God.  I cannot help, however, to notice in their conversations and writings that most of their criticism of belief in God is really a criticism of religion. They fail to see that the hypocrisy of religion does not in itself offer proof that there is no God. It simply proves that there are hypocrites in religion.  Hypocrites play golf, but that does not mean that golf is a bad game, or it’s only terrible when hypocrites play.  The bias of many unbelievers toward religion seems to blind them to the fact that religion is like every other endeavor of mankind; it can be good or evil depending on the nature of the men who are playing the game.

My experience has been that if the person is brought up in a cult or has a fundamentalist view of religion (like most young people), if they lose their faith in their religion or church, they may also become skeptical about God as well. The reason for this is that their faith was in their religion and not in God.  This confusion between God and religion is prevalent in churches that teach they are the one true church.  In these organizations, the church becomes an idol who veils the real God.  I have meant hundreds of individuals that have left these organizations.  Some became atheists,  although they never lose the belief that their former organization totally represents the Christian religion.  So, they believe that if they can show the errors of the church or religion, then they have discredited belief in God.

However, misconduct of some churches and clergy now as in the past confirms that the bible is true.  The scripture in fact teaches that such an organization would arise and bear bad fruit turning people always from Christ and real faith. The apostle Paul warns the church in Acts 20:29-31 “I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock.  Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.” And again in 1 Tim 4:1-3, “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars.  Whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.”  If one is going to judge the Christian faith, it would seem logical to judge it based on the life and teaching of Jesus and not on a group’s behaviors that may or may not be truly following Jesus.

You may be surprised that I am thankful for the atheistic criticism of religion. In many ways, it reflects the Spirit of prophecy as seen in the Scriptures. Jesus and all the prophets criticized religion for its hypocrisy and its empty rituals and traditions.  However, when the critics fail to see the difference between religion and God, they have stepped out on some very dangerous ground. Ground that cannot be defended by reason or science.

Moreover, as demonstrated by the Russian experiment, you cannot get rid of religion much less faith by atheistic education or even force.  If you suppress it in one place, it will break out in another.  You are just simply wasting your time and energy.  However, wasting one’s time is a matter of choice but destroying a person’s faith is a sad undertaking.

An honest unbeliever, Dr. E. Wengraf once confessed,  “Every piece of anti-religious propaganda seems to me a crime.  I surely do not wish it to be prosecuted as a crime, but I consider it immoral and loathsome.  This not because of zeal for my convictions, but because of the simple knowledge,  acquired through long experience, that,  given the same circumstances, a religious man is happier than the irreligious.  In my indifference and skeptical attitude toward all positive faith,  I have often envied other men to whom deep religiosity has given a strong support in all the storms of life.  To uproot the souls of such men is an abject deed.  I abhor any proselytizing.  But still,  I can understand why one who believes firmly in a saving faith tries to convert others.  But I cannot understand a propaganda of unbelief.  We do not have the right to take away from a person his protecting shelter, be it even a shabby hut,  if we are not sure we can offer him a better,  more beautiful house.  But to lure men from the inherited home of their souls, to make them err afterward in the wilderness of hypotheses and philosophical question marks, is either criminal fatalisms or criminal mindlessness.”

The Factor of Evil

Often evil men use religion to cover up their evil, you might say they dress it up with religion. However, evil men also sometimes deny their evil by renouncing God.  In the last century atheists like Stalin and Mao, under the banner of atheistic communism have murdered over 100 million people. I am pointing this out not to count noses but to demonstrate that religion doesn’t kill people and atheism doesn’t kill people; evil people kill people. Immoral people will use any religion or ideology that will justify their evil. However, it is evident that some belief systems, including atheism, are more likely to be used to justify killing, than others. Evil people will also avoid and reject anyone or anything that might bring their evil to light.  The teacher said, ” This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. However, whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”  This helps us to understand why some men choose atheism, though this would represent a small minority.

The Factor of Human Nature

One of the basic causes of atheism is a simple rebellion attitude. Some men by their very nature are rebellious. You could say they were born doubters, doubting all authority.  Their doubting is not grounded in a superior intellect but rather in a rebellious nature and a strong appetite to do their own thing without any outside limitations; this included any limits imposed by a deity. In fact, some men are so rebellious they rebel against the limitations placed on them by nature. In many ways, the whole folly of the human race is in rebelling against God and nature. The atheist wants to expel God and his law from the universe and many in science want to overcome nature as though it was our enemy.

On a more basic level, many men choose atheism simply because they are too lazy and indifferent towards spending time and energy to seek the truth.  I have found this to be the prevalent cause of what you might call shallow atheism. Of course, the same thing could be said of believers that inherited their faith from the culture without putting it through the test of reason.  However, if the truth about God is to be found one would have to expect it to be difficult since learning physics is difficult and knowing an infinite God would even be harder if he did not simplify it somehow.  Of course, he did simplify it by revealing Himself in and through Jesus Christ.

Conclusion

Many of the ideas in this article are the same arguments used by unbelievers to criticize believers. All I have done is simply reversed them.  This demonstrates that atheism is just a faith very similar to any religious belief.  Any psychological argument used to explain away a belief in God can be used to explain atheism. Both atheism and faith in God are based on faith. Both are metaphysical in their nature.  The atheist in many cases is actually more religious than the believer in God.  In any case, the new atheists are organized and are as committed to their non-belief as any fundamentalist religious people.  In the end, the debate is really who’s religion is right.

[1] The US National Academy of Sciences has gone on record with the following statement: ‘Science is a way of knowing about the natural world. It is limited to explaining the natural world through natural causes. Science can say nothing about the supernatural. Whether God exists or not is a question about which science is neutral.” Taken from “Who made God?, Searching For A Theory Of Everything” by  Edgar Andrews.

[2] Einstein did not believe in the traditional view of God held by Jews or Christians. He had a mystical view of God in which he had said more than once; he had a religion of one.

[3] According to the poll, just over half of scientists (51%) believe in some form of deity or higher power; specifically, 33% of scientists say they believe in God, while 18% believe in a universal spirit or higher power. By contrast, 95% of Americans believe in some form of deity or higher power, according to a survey of the general public conducted by the Pew Research Center in July 2006. Specifically, more than eight-in-ten Americans (83%) say they believe in God and 12% believe in a universal spirit or higher power. Finally, the poll of scientists finds that four-in-ten scientists (41%) say they do not believe in God or a higher power, while the poll of the public finds that only 4% of Americans share this view. Pew Research Center for the People & the Press survey, conducted in May and June 2009

[4] Atheism has been pushed into a corner where they are obligated not only to deny the existence of God but also any other ordering principle in the universe, which might infer a deity. However from this position it is impossible to confirm in any reasonable way the concept of truth.

[5] Infants are hard-wired to believe in God, and atheism has to be learned, according to an Oxford University psychologist.  Dr Olivera Petrovich told a University of Western Sydney conference on the psychology of religion that even preschool children constructed theological concepts as part of their understanding of the physical world. Psychologists have debated whether belief in God or atheism was the natural human state…. Dr Petrovich said her findings were based on several studies, particularly one of Japanese children aged four to six, and another of 400 British children aged five to seven from seven different faiths. “Atheism is definitely an acquired position”, she said. The Age, July 2008 by Barnet Zwartz. www theage.com.

God Can Exist Even If Atheism Is True

Quodlibetal Blog

It is becoming increasingly more common for atheists to define atheism, not as the denial of the existence of God, but as a lack of belief in the existence of God. As such, these atheists maintain that atheism is merely the lack of any affirmation of the existence of God.

Atheist B. C. Johnson says, “Theists believe in God, while atheists do not have such a belief.  Many theists insist that it is the responsibility of the atheist to offer evidence justifying his lack of belief in God.  But is the theist’s demand rational?  Must the atheist justify his lack of belief in God?   Or does the burden rest with the theist? [B. C. Johnson, The Atheist

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One Thing Missing-One Thing Missing An Argument Against the Existence of God

One Thing Missing

An Argument Against the Existence of God

 Not long after I started to study atheism, it dawned on me that atheists lack one thing in their philosophy. That one thing is an argument against the existence of God. Now, this is not to say that they do not have arguments, for they have numerous arguments ranging from the nature of the world and the universe to arguments attempting to prove the superiority of their reasoning power over believers in God. They have arguments showing the source of faith and the evils of religion. However, the one thing they lack is a clearly defined argument against the existence of God.

This is one reason why they are continuously trying to shift the burden of proof to those that believe in God. Of course, their arguments about the burden of proof somehow, in their  way of thinking, it seems to further justify their arguments or should I say their lack of arguments for the non-existence of God. However, shifting the burden of proof to the believer is really a confession that they have no actual argument for their faith. If they did have a real argument, we would hear little about the burden of proof.

What about their arguments from science? They have no arguments from science[1]. The so-called arguments from science are mostly the pointing out of things that we now understand which in the past were not understood and were contributed to God by some religious men. The atheist often uses the expression, “God of the gaps”[2] as though the only reason for belief in God was to fill in the gaps in human knowledge (an assertion without any evident to support it). In fact, theologians were warning Christians not to use God in this way before atheistic scientists even came up with the idea or the expression.

Some unbelievers claim that religion slows down the march of human knowledge because people will fill the gaps either by ignoring them or by filling them in with God[3].  On the other hand, a brief survey of the history of science reveals that many discoveries,  including some of the most outstanding ones were discovered by believers. I think the truth is that dogma is what slows down progress in any discipline and science has its own brand and share of dogma. If you work against the established tradition or dogma in science, just  as in religion, you will be ostracized from the community. This God of the gap’s argument is a quibble and not a real argument, for it says nothing about God but rather demonstrates how ignorant or indifferent some men were in the past to science, and how some of them justified their ignorance.

Take, for instance, the big-bang theory, which explains how the universe came into existence. The atheists will say your see “You religious folks could not explain the creation of the universe, so you simply said God did it” e.g. the God of the gaps[4]. The believer could simply respond “We now know how God did it thanks to science.” Science tells us how, but faith tells us who; that a super-consciousness did it. He started with creating the universe out of nothing as taught in the opening verses of the Bible and then ordered it from the simple to complex. All this was taught in scripture while science was still teaching that the universe was eternal, without beginning or end.  By the way, it was a Catholic priest who first set forth the theory that is now known as the big bang[5]. It seems he was not retarded by the God of the gaps.

It is amazing that very time science finds the mechanism that God used to create or make things the atheist heralds that God is no long needed to explain things. However, finding out how God  accomplished something does not prove that he doesn’t exist, it simply tells us how he did it. Learning how Henry Ford  built the first car doesn’t prove that Henry did not existence.

The only way unbelievers can prove that God does not exist, is by starting with the dogma or presupposition that He does not exist. But, if your view (opinion) of the evidence comes from a presupposition or a dogma, you are simple reasoning in circles. Your suppositions prove the evidence, and the evidence proves your suppositions. Now, that sounds more like faith than reason and more like religion than science. Yet, this is exactly what atheists often do. In the end, the God of the gaps is just another straw man to deflect people’s attention away from the lack of real evidence. Remember that the explanation is not the evidence. To explain everything with a naturalistic explanation is not proof in itself that your explanation is indeed a fact.

In reading the material of many atheists, I have discovered that many of their supposed arguments against God appear to be more like arguments against organized religion. Of course, if you do not have any facts or an  argument against one problem (the existence of God) you need to find something else, another straw man. In arrogating their  argument about the non-existence of God, they have chosen religion as their primary straw man. I had often wondered why atheists resist the idea that there is a difference between religion and faith in God, and then it dawned on me, that to make a distinction between faith and religion would take away their straw man of religion. Once faith and religion are separated, they would have no metaphysical concept to criticize. Atheism needs organized religion in order to survive[6]. It needs a target that it can construct arguments against. It cannot construct a sound argument against God so it must target religion.

In what I am about to say I do not wish to leave the impression that I am for or against religion. However, we should strive for an accurate appraisal of religion.  When atheists argue against religion, they seem to try to focus on all the negative aspects of religion and they totally ignore all the good it has done. It appears that they believe that if you can heap enough dung on religion, it might kill it.  For some this tactic may work, but not for the honest person.  In most cases the target of  choice is the Christian religion, for it is the biggest target and is hard to miss. It is made up of billions of people throughout the ages and has attracted all types of people, some good and some bad. Like people in general, it has done good and evil. However, to be fair, in the past before the welfare state came into existence it had taken care of the poor for centuries, and it continues to minister to the poor and disadvantaged around the world. It laid the foundation for Western civilization by building schools and hospitals. It has resisted the spread of totalitarian governments around the world, which includes atheistic communism. On the other side of the coin, where are the hospitals or nursing homes, which were built by atheists? In my experience (which I admit is limited) I have never seen an organized attempt by atheists’ to minister to people in nursing homes or hospitals. Yet they rail on the evils of the Christian church. At their best, atheists use the absolute power of the state to collect money in the form of taxation to help people, which seems to be nothing more than a form coercion, which they somehow interpret as a moral virtue.

This is not to say that religion does not have its problems. But, should we expect anything different? Religion is made up of human beings and humans have a propensity for messing things up. Where is the human system that has not failed to live up to its ideals? I think the best,  that humans can do is to make sure that the system  they cling to offer a higher vision of human potential, but we should not be surprised when they fail. This holding out of a high vision of human potential, I believe is done to varying degrees by most religions. Of course, like everything, there are good religion and bad religion. This is simply a fact that many atheists do not recognize.  The radical atheist believes that religion poisons everything, and this faith demonstrates their distorted view of reality. It is totally out of balance and is just not true. What I am calling for is a fair and accurate view of religion, which many atheists have not done.

However, ones view of religion has nothing to do with the question of God. At this point, the matter of the utilitarian nature of religion is a question that can be debated, but is seldom actually  brought up by atheists.  Religion is typically brought up as a straw man by atheists to divert people’s attention away from the question of God’s existence, since they have no real answers or arguments. At best, they raise some questions and make shallow attempts to use science to prove their faith and dogmas.

Some may reply that their conclusion from science, that there is no God, is inferred from  scientific fact. That may be true, but inferences are not facts. Facts, like stone lying on the ground, tell you nothing[7].  An inference is simply your interpretation of the facts. Inferences or interpretations are not based on reason alone. Reason is one part of the equation and is never alone. There) are hidden biases and suppositions in any inference. An honest person of faith will admit this by adding the element of faith to the equation. It is the atheist who hangs on to the enlightenment faith and dogma that reason can stand alone. In many cases, reason is the handmaid of one’s passion and dogma.

In my personal discussions with atheists, again I admit that it’s limited, I have sensed that their views of God and religion are influenced by strong passions of anger and hatred, which seem for most to be void of any real personal source. I have asked them what religion had done to them, to make them so bitter toward it. Some retort that their father made them go to church or that their parents were religious, and it did not help them; they were hypocrites. Others have pointed to all the bad done by religion in the past. But, does religion hurt people or do people hurt people.  You see religion is neutral. Its character is made up of the people in it.  In this, it is like government; it can be good or bad depending on the men and women in it. I can hardly believe that reasonable people will use reasons like this to reject God or for that matter, even religion. However, there is a reason for their rationale and in most cases; no one will ever know the true root of their unbelief. For those interested in reading more about the possible reasons for atheism see my article entitled the “Roots of Atheism, The Making of a Fundamentalist Atheist.”

[1] Werner Heisenberg physicist and Nobel prize winner for physics confirms  this, “If anyone wants to argue from the indubitable fact that the world exists to a cause of this existence, then this assumption does not contradict our scientific knowledge at a single point.  Scientists do not have a single argument or fact with which they would contradict such an assumption, even if it was about a cause which–how could it be otherwise– would evidently have to be sought outside our three-dimensional world” Wermer Heisenberg quoted by Hans Kung Pages 79-80 in “The beginning of All Things: Science and Religion”.

[2] The expression “God of the gaps” was coined by a Christian theologian Henry Drummond. He used it to point out that the Christian should never use God to fill in the gaps of human knowledge.  Strangely the expression was picked up by some scientists who accused Christians of doing the very thing Drummond condemned.

[3] Atheists and scientist might consider that early man was just not interested in filling the gaps. History bear out that they were wholly capable of filling a number of the gaps if they so desired. However, they were busy building languages, systems of thought, religion and political theory, which were a necessary foundation for modern science.

[4] Christians and Jews have believed for centuries the universe was created. It was science, which lagged behind for thousands of years. Before the Big Bang theory science believed that the universe was eternal with no beginning or ending.

[5]  Georges Lemaître, a Catholic priest, was the first to propose the bi… g bang theory and was given approval by the Pope to publish it.

[6] Atheism is a negative parasitical worldview which is wholly dependent on religion. Without religion it would contribute nothing to humanity.

[7] See my article on “Rocks on The Ground” on lyleduell.me.

Chaos or Cosmos? An Argument for the Existence of God

Chaos or Cosmos?

An Argument for the Existence of God

When we observe cultures around the world, we see what seems to be a continuous declension into disorder when things are left alone and in turn a constant reordering of things by human intelligence. We see this tendency in every culture, a disordering and a reordering. Otherwise any culture would soon slip into chaos. Moreover, when I examine my own personal life it is obvious that if I neglect to organize and reorganize my stuff, it will soon fall into disorder, suffer damage and eventually fall apart. I find the same thing is true in my thought life; it seems that I spend a great deal of time keeping my thought world in order. When a person’s thoughts are out of order, we say they have a mental disorder or that they are crazy. Don’t you find it strange that we must continually keep our thoughts ordered? Have you ever asked yourself the question, “Who is the I, which keeps the thoughts of me in order?” It seems that everything that is ordered must have an intelligence to set it into order and maintain it. The ordering does not just happen; it takes consciousness to set it into order.

However, when we look at the quantum world, it seems at first to be chaotic, but we know that there must be something working there, setting it in order, else it would fly apart and we know that out of the chaos of the quantum world comes the cosmos[1] or orderly world and universe. This raises the question, what kind of force keeps it in order and is that force unintelligent or intelligent? The naturalist tells us that the universe simply fell together and that it maintains itself without any intelligence to order it. But is that really what we see going on in the universe, our world and in ourselves?

The problems for naturalism are huge, but one of the biggest dilemmas is showing how order came out of disorder, without the aid of intelligence. This is like saying that reason came out of non-reason. They point to evolution and natural selection as the cause, but natural selection presupposes something to pick from, something which previously existed, something which has already been ordered. Natural selection never can be causal when it comes to ordering things; it always starts with something and develops it. It must start with something that is already ordered. If naturalists start with non-directed or Darwinian evolution, they are starting with a mindless process and are claiming that an irrational process ordered the universe. If this were the case, how could they trust their own reasoning?[2] Why should you trust the well-developed brain of a monkey? Darwin himself had doubts about mans power to reason correctly. He said in a letter to a friend “with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?”[3]

In all areas of life, we see the law or principle of “order coming out of disorder. This raises the question; where does this law come from and what is the force behind it? There can only be two hypotheses that can answer this question. (1) The hypotheses of the naturalist who says basically it just happened, or the law always existed. In other words, it was all an accident or that’s just the way things are. Some in this school go so far as to say that the order we see in the universe is an illusion and it only appears to be orderly. This is no answer but rather the quibble of a man in a corner with no place to run. To me, all the answers of the naturalist seem to be nothing more than begging the question. (2) Then there is the theistic hypothesis that a cosmic order, i.e. God created and ordered the universe[4] and in turn keeps it ordered by his divine power. This is not to say that the forces he used are beyond our discovery. Sometime in the future it is quite feasible that we will understand these forces. However, discovering the “how” will never do away with the cause as many atheists or naturalists would like to think.

[1] The word derives from the Greek term κόσμος (kosmos), literally meaning “order” or “ornament” and metaphorically “world,” and is antithetical to the concept of chaos.

[2]  In The Weight of Glory, C.S. Lewis wrote, “if minds are wholly dependent on brains, and brains on biochemistry, and biochemistry (in the long run) on the meaningless flux of the atoms, I cannot understand how the thought of those minds should have any more significance than the sound of the wind in the trees”  (page 230).

[3] Darwin’s quota: Letter to William Graham, Down (July 3, 1881), In the life and letters of Charles Darwin including  an Autobiographical Chapter, edited by Francis Darwin (London: John Murry, Albernarle Street, 1887), Vol. 1, 315-316.

[4] To say that God created does not mean he created everything out of nothing instantly. He could have created things fast or slow. Seeing He is outside of time space-time.

 

The Idols of The Age

The Idols of The Age

“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness…. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.” Rom 1:18-23

The majority of people today, both Christian and non-Christian, believe that idols were a problem in Biblical times but are no longer a problem for modern man. However, this is only true when one uses the term idol or icon in their most restrictive sense, as an image of God made with human hands. In its broader sense an idol could be anything which is exalted to a place of being one’s absolute or ultimate concern, or anything that would form or shape one’s values (Col. 3:5).

In his book “Radical Monotheism and Western Civilization”, H. Richard Niebuhr points out that our true God is the thing that forms our center of value and holds our loyalty.

In addition to our true God, Niebuhr speaks of a faith in a pluralism of gods; a faith that draws its meaning from a number of lesser objects, like money, sports, hobbies, work, politics, etc, things that people exalt to an unreasonable level in their life, things that seem to possess them and control them e.g. sex, alcohol, drugs, money, etc.

Now a person with a pluralist faith many even have as one of their gods the true God. However, to them on a deeper level, He is simply one among the many and may influence them to about the same degree as any of their gods. It could be said that this faith represents the faith of the majority of the population that claim to be Christians.

Niebuhr goes on to say, Our faith-in these gods then take two basic and dominant forms, “a pluralism that has many objects of devotion and a social faith (religion) that has one object, which is, however, only one among many” (page 18).

By the expression “social faith” he means that people have put their faith in a group or society of people making them the center of one’s values and making them the absolute of his loyalty. Social faith can be directed toward a family, tribe, nation, political party or a religious group. In this, it turns these groups into its absolute or God. When this happens, men have created their idol.
Probably the most obvious example of a social faith is the faith of a member of a cult, whose faith, though not recognized by the individual, is centered on the group and not God. On the secular side, it could be a person that is involved in a political party to the degree that the party is his ultimate concern and is the entity, which shapes his values and loyalty. You can spot one of these idolaters by their blind loyalty to their party. Many of these people think they joined a political party because it lines up with their values, but in the end, it is the party that shapes their values. This secular party god seems to be the fastest growing cult in our society, as people lose faith in their tradition religion, they turn to politics for meaning.

It is self-evident that the majority of humanity is incurably religious and that all men have an ultimate concern, which dictates their values and loyalty. It may not be known to their conscious mind, but it is there, working on a subliminal level molding them and controlling them.

In view of the above, we must conclude that few men live without idols and that all men have their ultimate concern, even the atheist. Moreover, we must conclude that many which fancy themselves as Christians have made the true God one among the many and are guilty of idolatry and disloyalty to the real God. It is little wonder that Jesus asked his disciples the question “When the Son of Man comes will he find faith on the earth?” That is a true faith in the real God. “Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.” 1 John 5:21

More Nonsense of the New Atheists.

More Nonsense of the New Atheists.

The new atheists claim that they do not bear the burden of proof in their argument against God because atheism is not a belief but rather it is a non-belief. Right, atheists nor anyone else, is able to prove or disprove a non-belief. Nor can they argue for or against a non-belief. In fact, you cannot even speak about a non-belief other than simply to say, “I do not believe it”. A non-belief is nothing and how can you possibly speak of nothing? However, I know of only a handful of intellectual atheists who are consistent and refuse to speak about the subject of God.

If you are arguing for or against something you are not arguing from a state of non-belief because that is impossible. If you argue, you must be arguing from some other position or ideology than a non-belief. You cannot as, most atheists do, argue against God and then claim atheism as a non-belief. Atheists must argue against God from either naturalism or a materialistic worldview and both of these ideology’s depict a belief system. As soon as the atheist appeals to these ideologies to prove his atheism he shoulders the burden of proof. In other words, the minute the atheist open their mouths using naturalism or materialism to support his atheism he assumes the burden of proof.

In essence, they have to borrow or steal beliefs from other ideologies to support their un-belief in God. If they don’t want any burden of proof, they should simply shut their mouths and not form arguments from either materialism, scientism or naturalism. Of course, this will not happen because the majority of new atheists are filled with beliefs, emotions and appetites by which they feel compelled to justify their beliefs or should I say un-belief. Therefore, they will continue to use the meaningless argument of having no burden of proof to justify their endless talking and arguing about a subject they say does not exist. Nonsense!

I Believe (An essay on science and faith)

Author:  Skip Reith

Date:  9/26/2015

I Believe

I believe!  These two little words contain a lot of power.  These two little words are also misused, misunderstood, abused, and often ridiculed.  What do we mean when we say I believe?  That is what I will explore today.

Belief is that understanding a person has when they analyze and process all of the facts and information they have on a particular subject.  Belief can come from direct observation (I’ve been to New York so I believe it exists); or belief can come from indirect information – that is from an authority on the subject (I’ve never been to Tokyo, but I believe it exists because I have been told by maps and people who have been there that it exists).

One important note before I continue.  When I use the term authority here, I am not talking about some governmental organization.  I am talking about an expert on the subject whose knowledge, skill, and background gives them a special place in the hierarchy of understanding on the subject.  An authoritative source is one step up from an expert.  If the authoritative source is a person then that source not only is an expert, but that person also has a breadth and depth of knowledge around the main subject that allows them broad understanding on the subject.  If the source is not a person, then the source is complete and detailed.  For example, a professional astronomer with 30 years experience is an authority on astronomy.  The complete body of written papers and books on astronomy is an authoritative source on the subject.  In addition, an authority on the subject is one that other people agree and believe is an authority on the subject.  Is possible to think a person is an authority on a subject when they are actually not an expert and may have little knowledge in the subject.  (This technique is used all of the time by advertisers.  They get a famous person to promote their product.  Since people know the authority of the famous person’s specialty, they subconsciously assign authority to this other, advertised subject as well.)

Let’s look at belief in more detail.  Belief and knowledge are similar, but not identical.  Belief is your understanding of a situation, but you may not be able to prove that understanding to another.  Knowledge is a direct understanding of something that you can easily prove.  I know one plus one equals two and I can prove it in a number of ways, including demonstrating the summation with two pennies.  I know New York exists (or at least it did) because I was there.  I cannot prove its existence now because I am not there.  I can show evidence of my trip (pictures and souvenirs) but until I go back I can’t definitively prove its existence.  So, at the moment I believe that New York exists.  My belief in the existence of Tokyo is indirect.  My only proof is the maps and pictures I have seen of Tokyo.  If someone does not accept the authority of my proofs then they will not believe in Tokyo.

Science is the attempt to quantify beliefs and turn them into provable knowledge while authenticating the proofs.  The scientific method (described in my Observation – Applying the Scientific Method to Religion) is a disciplined approach to proving an understanding and turning belief into knowledge.  For example, I could apply the scientific method and fly to Tokyo and prove to myself that it exists, turning my belief into knowledge.

The problem with science is that it can only prove physical things.  It can prove the existence of matter and the existence of something called gravity, and so on.  It can dig out the understanding of how things function and explain the interactions of various objects.  Science also has beliefs, but to make it sound more important, scientists call those beliefs theories.  The scientific method attempts to prove that the theories are correct and to expand the understanding and details of those theories.

Science cannot prove strictly personal items.  It is not possible to weigh love, measure directly satisfaction, or count hate.  It is not even possible to directly analyze pain.  Scientists try to measure these strictly personal objects, but everything science does with these items is indirect.  For example, a doctor may ask you your pain level on a scale of 1 to 10, but that is a subjective measure and not an objective measure.  It is impossible for the doctor to measure directly your pain level.  The doctor cannot get a scale out and weigh your pain.  Even brain scans and EEG measurements do not measure pain they just measure physiological response to nerve stimulation.  Your awareness of pain is greater and more personal than the physiological response.

Consider, for example, love.  I know that I love my wife, son, step children, grandchild, dog, cats, and so on.  I cannot prove that love, except by my actions and that is just indirect.  No one could take out a ruler and measure my love.  Science cannot apply the scientific method to my love in such a way that others could know definitively my love.  Love is completely and utterly personal.

It is impossible for one person to know directly what another person feels.  Even if we could hook two people’s brains together, they still could not know each other’s feelings because our emotions, our response to external stimulations, our core being is determined by every experience we have had up to that point.  Since no two people follow the same path in life, no two people experience emotions the same way.  This puts love in the belief column.  Although I KNOW I love my family, I cannot prove it.  So ultimately, I can only say I believe in my love.

Others may believe that I do, in fact, love my family.  Others experience love themselves, and even though they do not have the same feelings towards my family as I do, they understand that those feelings exist.  Sometimes people may not understand why that particular feeling exists (“how is possible that people actually loved Hitler”), but they understand that there is such feelings.

What about stuff that many people may not experience directly?  What about, for example, spiritual experiences that many people may never encounter.  If something like love cannot be quantized or measured and therefore are not subject to the scientific method, something like spiritual experiences are even further removed from science.  If we cannot prove our love to another, when that other person also experiences love, how can we prove spirituality and religious belief to someone who has never undergone that experience?  It is at this point that ridicule and disbelief occur.

If a person cannot understand directly a spiritual belief of another and has no indirect proof, then that person is faced with a problem.  If the unbeliever (atheist) accepts that the other has had a spiritual experience, then that means the atheist is deficient in some manner.  Unless the atheist wants to admit this deficiency (which is rare) they then have to take the second path – trying to prove the other person’s beliefs are false.  Yet, spiritual experiences are not something you can measure.  It is not possible for the atheist to get out a scale and say “see your belief does not measure up!”  The attack on spiritual and religious knowledge must take different approaches.

One approach is the strawman approach.  In this approach, the atheist constructs a strawman; that is, they liken the religious belief to some other, more tangible belief, and then attack the strawman.  For example, someone could say that the belief in God is like the belief in Santa Claus.  Since we all know Santa Claus does not exist, it is obvious that God does not exist.  This argument fails on many dimensions.

Santa Claus is a belief children develop because they accepted their parents and adults as an authority on the subject.  The adults lied to the children (we hide that fact by calling it a fantasy or a story, but it is still a lie).  The children have no other source, so they accept the adult’s authority.  They believe in the existence of Santa Claus on authority of the lying adults.  Once the children grow old enough to perform an independent validation, they uncover the lie.  Their belief changes because they have new facts and data.

An atheist saying that belief in God is like a belief in Santa Claus is actually saying that belief in God is like a belief in a lie that some authority told you.  This may hold for children and extremely gullible people, but it does not hold for discerning, open minded adults who have directly experienced God.  In addition, the believer has additional proof of God that the believer in Santa Claus does not have.  There are corroborating historical documents that validate some of the religious writings.  There is the fact that millions of people have died for their belief – something that has not happened over the belief in Santa Claus.  More importantly, the belief in God is open to everyone, and everyone can run the religious experiment.  That is, each person has the opportunity to follow the authoritative sources on God and see the results for themselves.

The other approach an atheist can try to discredit a religious belief is to claim that science has never proved God exists and they only believe in science.  Before I get into what science can and cannot prove I have to address this belief in science.  Science has brought a lot of knowledge and understanding to the world.  Science has enabled a lot of engineering and technology that brings enhanced medicines, labor saving devices, and so on.  (It also enhanced war, pollution, oppression, and other ills, but we don’t need to go there for our current discussion.)  So, saying you believe in science seems reasonable.  The problem is most people have no idea what they are talking about or what they believe in when they say they believe in science.

First off, almost everything we call science these days is actually engineering.  Computers, cell phones, air planes, medicines, surgical procedures, cars, TVs, and on and on are all engineering feats.  For the most part, the science on these things is done behind closed doors and people never see the actual science.  Most people wouldn’t even know the scientific method if it hit them in the face.  So, what people are really saying when they say they believe in science is that they believe in the technology they have and they believe the authoritative sources that they are exposed to who proclaim the greatness of science.

Let’s look at those authoritative sources.  In most countries a major part of scientific research is funded by the government.  Research gets published in journals, but most people have never even seen a scientific journal, let alone read one.  Even though scientists publish, the publication is controlled by a review from scientific peers.  The government controls what scientists investigate through funding, and therefore control what scientists understand and believe.  I will point out that the government is controlled by politicians and bureaucrats not scientists or even people with a scientific background.

People’s exposure to science first comes about in school.  The classes are taught by the teachers, who are managed by administrators, and the whole thing is controlled and regulated by the government.  A lot or research and enhanced scientific advances come from universities.  Universities get a major part of their funding either directly (through grants) or indirectly (through tuition) that is paid by the government.  Other sources of scientific information and “discovery” comes from governmental agencies like NASA, national science foundation, food and drug administration, US department of agriculture, the atomic energy commission and its various follow on agencies, the department of defense, environmental protection agency, national weather service, US geological survey, and on and on.

Some people are exposed to science through things like public television.  Public TV gets a majority of their funding from the government.  If you perform a review of a lot of “scientific” articles on public media you will find that a lot comes from some governmental source (like NASA). Non-governmental entities, like the Discovery Channel may present “scientific documentaries” but these are often sensationalized stories.  Interestingly enough, many of the critics of these documentaries are government funded agencies and government supported public media.

So, when a person says they believe in science, they are really saying that they believe in the government.  The government is controlled and run by politicians, and we all know that politicians lie, cheat, twist the truth, hide information, and do whatever they can to remain in power.  Since most people have no direct experience with science, then when an atheist says they believe in science what they are saying is that their belief is just like the belief in Santa Claus – it’s based on a lie.

As I have shown, science cannot prove or disprove love.  Science cannot measure anything that is personal.  Scientists cannot measure thoughts, feelings, ideas, responses, or any of thousands of deeply personal experiences.  Yet, we all know these are real.  Science cannot answer basic questions like why does the universe exist or what is the meaning of life?  While modern science has discovered a huge amount about the physical reality, there is way more to our existence than just the physical.

Science (as people define science, which are the physical and social sciences) cannot, and never will, be able to scientifically prove personal, internal experiences of people.  Science is limited.  So, when an atheist says they only believe in science, they are also saying that they do not believe in emotions, thoughts, ideals, creativity, art, spirituality, honor, or God.  That’s kind of a limited point of view.

When I say I believe in God, I am not saying that I believe that someone once told me God exists and I accept their authority on the subject.  I say I believe because I have personal knowledge that I have tested using the scientific method.  I have investigated life with and without God.  I have researched God, the authoritative writings, and talked with people who I feel are experts on the subject (both for and against).  I have weighed all of the evidence and data and I have found that the evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of believing that God exists.

I cannot prove God’s existence.  I cannot pull out a photograph of God or take out my telescope and show you God.  However, I have looked deep inside myself and have found God there, waiting for me.  I cannot force you to believe.  I can only say that if you run the experiment – that is, if you follow the teachings of an authoritative source on religion and God, then you too may experience God in a way similar to (but not exactly the same as) my experience.

I hope you do.  I hope that you run the experiment and prove to yourself the existence of God.  However, if you instead try to hide behind science and use science as a shield, you will find that the shield is very small indeed and not much protection against larger truths.

The Cruel Joke of Atheism

The Cruel Joke of Atheism

Atheists fiercely argue with theists about the existence of God. But why? Is it simply to win an argument to justify themselves intellectually, or is it out of love for the theist, believing that the theist would be happier as an atheist? In order to have any of these motives they would have to make a moral judgment on the value of religion and religious people. The problem is that in doing this they are doing the exact thing that they criticize religion for, i.e., making moral judgments of what is good or bad. I believe there is a story in antiquity about people who wanted to usurp the right of the deity to determine good and evil and become the judges, assuming the role of God.

Let’s talk about the happiness hypothesis first. Drawing from my personal experience, which I admit is limited, I have a number of friends who are atheists, and I do not think of them as especially happy people. From reading blogs written by atheist on the Internet, I would not personally judge those people as happy people. Some seem to be hinting at their emptiness and unhappiness in their compulsive blogging and criticism of religion.

The only real study I have found on happiness is Jonathan Haidt’s book, The Happiness Hypothesis, in which he clearly points out that believers are overall happier than unbelievers. By the way, Jonathan is an atheist. He claims that his book is based on scientific research. So the idea that atheists are spreading happiness is nothing more than a cruel joke. Of course, the atheist must believe the allusion that atheism is the salvation of the world and that materialism is the new gospel (good news). Is it really good news that we are just sacks of star-dust with a bio-chemical illusion maker, which we call a brain, telling us what to believe and leading us from nothingness to nothingness? According to the atheist, this is good news giving us all kinds of meaning and purpose. Is it good news or a bad joke?

Other atheists say they do not believe in God and speak out against faith because they believe it is not true or in some cases they say that it is evil. However, what do they mean by truth and evil? How can they condemn anything as evil? It seems the reality would be that it would be very hard to believe in the traditional meaning of truth or evil if there is no final and ultimate authority that stands above man. Is there is no authority outside of man as to what would make a thing right or wrong? Reason? The next question would be whose reason? Who determines whose reason is correct? Of course, the atheist believes in reasoning done by atheists, for they are the only reasonable people. Of course, in the end under their thinking it will be the reasoning of the guy who has the gun (power), which in the end means the state. Who do you think determines right and wrong in atheistic China or Russia? In atheistic cultures religion is not just wrong, it is bad and those who practice it are put into prison. Who determined that morality? Reason or the state?

Atheists, in order to prove their world view, must be able to establish by science that there is no God and that science can establish morality. However, they can do neither. All they can do is assert that there is no God on their own authority. Fortunately, in this country they don’t have the guns (power) as they did in communist Russia. Their problems with science proving that there is no God is huge, for anyone who knows anything about science knows that science cannot prove the existence of God or disprove it. The US National Academy of Sciences has gone on record with the following statement: “Science is a way of knowing about the natural world. It is limited to explaining the natural world through natural causes. Science can say nothing about the supernatural. Whether God exists or not is a question about which science is neutral.”[1] So much for their appeal to science. So, what about their appeal to science for their proof of atheism? Reality or a bad joke?

When it comes to morality, only someone desperate for an argument would infer that science should or could create morality. Morality is a subject of philosophy and metaphysics, not science. It seems to me that when talking to atheists about morality they don’t like,[2] they quickly become moral relativist and dismiss it.[3] However, when it comes to the morality they use to make judgments against religion, they are absolutists. Another one of their cruel jokes.

In reality they want us just to accept their opinion because it is their opinion and their opinion is based on an assumed world view of naturalism,[4] which they assume is reality. In this assumed reality, their arguments win by default and become the absolute.[5] Yet, if they are consistent with their world view, their beliefs are nothing more than a chemical reaction in the brain and are not real, especially if one of those beliefs is faith in a God. Of course, faith in reason is not a belief according to them, but reality and this reality proves their position that all beliefs in a God are an illusion. Of course, reason is real even though you cannot see it, taste it, smell it, or feel it. It seems to me, reason is a concept or belief like the idea of God. However, for the atheist God is an illusion and reason is real.[6] What a joke.

Still another cruel joke is that atheists are never consistent in the area of morality, nor are they fair or accurate in many of their moral judgments. For instance, they lump all religious groups and faith groups together and make sweeping generalities. An example is one made by one of their leaders in Religion Poisons Everything.[7] Of course, the first problem with this statement to a thinking person is: What is religion? The next question will be: Is there more than one, and if so, which one are you talking about or are you talking about all of them? What happens if you define religion as the practice of virtue? Would the practice of virtue poison everything? If a person’s religion was to love his fellow-man as himself, does that religion poison everything? Only if you subvert the religion and turned love into hate would that be true. However, if you subvert the religion, it is no longer that religion but another form of religion. The other form may poison everything but the original may be good. Another cruel joke of atheism is that it must deny this common sense truth that there is good and bad religion.

Their absolutist concrete mentality proves them to be very much like the religious people they judge as judgmental. Of course, as I have said elsewhere, they are the mere image of a fundamentalist religious person. This is nothing but a cruel joke, but this time the joke is on them.

[1]  Taken from Who made God?: A Searching for a Theory of Everything by Fay Weldon.

[2] Leftist of all kinds especially dislike morality which places limits on their sexuality; for example sexual preference, abortion, euthanasia, etc.

[3] Morality that restricts so-called sexual freedoms.

[4] Naturalism is an ideology that believes that nature is all that exists or is the whole show.

[5] Proof of this is the lack of references to any authority other than themselves in their articles on their blogs. All they have is their opinion or the talking points they get from other blogs, on which they feed their opinions.

[6] The problem is that if reason is real, free will must be real, but according to many atheists like Sam Harris, free will is an illusion.

[7] God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Hitchens.

Spaghetti monsters, Unicorns, and God?

Spaghetti monsters, Unicorns, and God?

Spaghetti monsters, unicorns, and hobgoblins. If you have ever talked to an atheist I’m sure you’re familiar with some of these fictional creatures that they compare belief in, to a belief in God. They say a belief is just a belief and cannot be proven or disproven unless you have tangible proof. But is this true or is it just some mumble jumble from someone wishing to win an argument?

Atheists say they do not believe in beliefs, but is that true? The truth is they believe in some beliefs and not in others. For example, they cannot see, touch, smell or hear their great, great, great, great grandparents however; they believe that they existed based on the fact that they themselves exist. This is  an inference based on causality; the existence of something that is seen now; can prove that something else (which cannot be seen) did or does exist. The causal inference is based on the law of cause and effect; we can infer some things by experiencing the existence of other things.

If we observe an effect, we know that there must be something equal to or greater than the effect and that cause cannot be just a belief, for beliefs without a corresponding reality can do nothing. The idea of a gun cannot shoot you, nor can an idea of a dog bite you. Yet there is something, so there had to be something to create it, not just an idea or belief. God is not just a belief. Therefore, the law of causality places the belief in God in a completely different order of beliefs than spaghetti monsters and unicorns which have no causality factor. Unless you give spaghetti monsters and unicorns causality power; i.e. the characteristics of God that is, all powerful, all knowing and eternal. Of course, if you did that you would simply be changing the name of God.

Atheists say they don’t believe in beliefs however they themselves believe the most unbelievable things that can be imagined, i.e. they believe that something came from nothing. People who believe that something could come from nothing; could also possibly believe in spaghetti monsters and unicorns. Those who believe in the law of cause and effect cannot believe such nonsense.  Do you know why they believe that something came from nothing? Because one atheistic scientist wrote a book claiming it happened.[1] If this is the kind of faith and gullibility required to be an atheist, then I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist.

Subsequently, there are hundreds, perhaps thousands or tens of thousands of atheistic scientists and atheists who believe in a multi-verse of 11 dimensions without having one bit of objective evidence to support it. Are these people irrational? What about the atheist that believes in alien life forms? The truth is those atheists believe in all kinds of things that they’re not allergic to. I bet some of them believed in Santa Claus until someone told them that his real name was Saint Nick

I wonder if they believe that in one of those fairytale universes, that there might be flying spaghetti monsters and unicorns. If you can believe in fairytale universes, couldn’t you also believe in the magical creatures that populate those universes?

In reality atheists just want us to accept their opinion (beliefs) as concrete fact, even if they are nonsense. They have no facts; all they have is suppositions and assertions. They fail to see that their belief in materialism and naturalism is no different in kind from other people’s belief in God; the different is their opinions (beliefs) have not fulfilled the law of cause and effect[2]. Therefore, their beliefs in materialism and naturalism are equal to believing in spaghetti monsters and unicorns[3]. Moreover, if they are consistent with their world view (none are) their beliefs are nothing more than a chemical reaction in the brain, which are determined by the law of cause and effect; a principle that they only believe in when it’s convenient and advantageous for their own arguments.

Consider for example, the beliefs of love and reason. You cannot see, touch, hear or taste love. Yet, most normal people and some atheists believe it is real, however, it is a belief that you cannot put under a microscope, so does that make it just an illusion or just a belief?  What about reason itself.  Is it real or just a belief?  There are some atheistic scientists like Sam Harris[4] who do not believe that love, reason or free will, really exist. He believes that they’re just beliefs or allusions. He says that we are just “biochemical puppets”. Yet, reason has taken him and others to the place that they can deny reason.

How do they know they’re right if they can’t trust reason? If atheists believe that we are biochemical puppets or soft machines why do they spend so much time arguing about their beliefs or lack of them? Are they simply programmed to be contentious and contrary? No, the truth is that their ideologies of materialism and naturalism have taken them into fallacious thinking, which has led them into denying the simplest truths of reality. This reminds me of the words of Aristotle. “For as bats’ eyes are to daylight so is our intellectual eye to those truths which are, in their own nature, the most obvious of all.”

 

[1] These atheistic scientists are brilliant men and they know that the law of cause and effect is devastating to their atheism. The idea that something came from nothing was created for the sole reason to skirt the law of cause and effect. Since the time of the big bang theory which basically says that the earth and the universe had a beginning some atheistic scientists have been trying to explain away the law of cause and effect and that the universe had a beginning. Their efforts have led to the nonsense of some claiming that there are multiverse’s and that something can come from nothing.

[2] Materialism and naturalism both have to believe that everything is eternal without begin or end and void of first cause or a prime mover. The only other explanation is that some came out of nothing spontaneously, again no first cause. Both of these ideas seem to contradict the consensus of science that the universe began in what is known as the big bang and deny the law of cause and effect.

[3] Believers have no problem meeting the demands of the law of cause and effect because they start with an uncreated consciousness which is the cause of all things. Spaghetti monsters and unicorns fit in the category of beliefs like, something coming from nothing, which s the spaghetti monster of atheism.

[4] Sam Harris is one of the guru’s of the new atheists’ movement.

Searching For God

Searching For God

“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands.  And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else.  From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, We are his offspring.’  “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone-an image made by man’s design and skill. In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. Acts 17:24-30

In mans search for God, one of the big questions is, where do we start? Traditionally we start with God and our discussion would center on God or religion. But is God really where we should begin? Wouldn’t it  be more logical to look at the material which we know best? And is not that material, humanity?

If we start with God, we end up judging God by human standards and man’s reasoning, as though we ourselves were gods or as though we believe we have enough knowledge to make a sound judgment of Him. In this, we are saying that God’s existence depends on him  yielding to our criteria. Therefore, the biggest problem by starting with God is that as soon as we put him on trial, we have implied a number of  assumptions. We have assumed that we have the right to judge the creator, which infers that we have the authority, power and knowledge to do so.  We also assume that our reasoning is accurate enough to make a judgment on God. However, when human reason is put on trial, we will likely find her to be a sick lady; sick with finiteness and sin. So, what does she have to say of God that cannot be questioned?

Then again, if we start with man, there are two hypotheses that we can begin with. The first one is;  man is a creature that is purely an accident and the result of natural causes. Who over time has evolved into the creature that we know today. Then there is the theistic hypothesis; that man was somehow created by a deity, then something happened to the experiment and it went awry.

In this article, we are going to assume that the Christian or God hypothesis is correct, which would mean that man was created by a deity and something went awry. In tradition theology this is referred to as the fall of man. If this hypothesis is true, our attention should turn away from judging God, to cross-examining and judging mankind. In this view, humanity should be put on trial and be held accountable for its beliefs and its unbelief.

Now, if the Christian hypothesis is true, what should we expect to see? To begin with we should expect to see a creation (beginning) of all things, including man.  It also seems logical to think that we should see in a humanity created by God, an  intimate awareness of God, which would include a universal knowledge to some degree of good and evil.  It would mean that man as the image bearer of God would have a consciousness that was capable of choosing good or evil. It would also entail God creating a universe that is orderly and predictable based on laws, which a finite being like man could trust, in conducting and ordering his life.

Let us start with the latter quality, the habitat of man must be orderly, predictable and based on law in order for man to survive. When we look at the earth and universe that is exactly what we find. Now, if there were no God and the earth was an accident would we expect to find order or would we expect to find chaos?  However, when we look at the universe we do not find chaos or disorder. We find the laws of nature, which are immutable, giving man a perfect habitat to live in. These laws infer a law giver. The law and order of the universe is exactly what one would expect to find if a consciousness had created the universe.  It is this law and order in the universe that allows us to do science or philosophy. Without the consistency of the laws of nature reason would not work.

What about the hypothesis that mankind has an innate awareness of God? To begin with the Christian hypothesis proclaims beyond question that mankind as a whole has been given an awareness of the uncreated God. The apostle Paul says, “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse; for although they knew God they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man or birds or animals or reptiles” (Rom 1:19-23). The text infers that when men rejected this revelation of God’s existence that their reasoning and behavior become corrupted. The scripture does not reveal how their reasoning was corrupted, nor to what extent, it simply says that it happens when men reject God. However, it does seem that the text is pointing more to a corporate occurrence, rather than an individual one.

Is there secular evidence to support a universal revelation or consciousness of a higher power or cosmic order?  In actuality there is, however without any evidence it seems to be a self-evident truth that mankind in general is homo-religious, i.e. by his very nature he seems to be religious[1].  Religion is simply an outward symbol of a belief or an awareness of something that transcends this dimension[2]. The universal presence of religion is  strong evidence that God has revealed himself to all men, and that mankind has often neglected, rejected it or corrupted it. The scripture says, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt. They do abominable deeds, there is none that does good.” (Psalms 14:1) In this passage the writer put everyone who does wicked deeds in the category of being an atheist.

In biblical times being an atheist had more to do with behavior than beliefs. Very few would have denied the existence of God or the gods in the ancient world. Modern atheism arose out of modern mans rebellion against the catholic Church and it misuse of power. It took its organized form in humanism and later in liberalism. Both philosophies are centered in rejecting any authority of man or God. The roots go deep into anarchy and rebellion against authority.

In addition, there is also a study done by Oxford University Psychologist Dr. Olivera Petrovich,  who demonstrates that children around the world are hardwired to believe in God as creator.  One of her conclusions is that “Atheism is definitely an acquired position.” Petrovich research is keeping with Steven Pinker’s study of human nature, in which he confirms that human beings are not born as a blank slate, but rather are hard wired in a number of ways[3].

Closely connected with an innate awareness of God, we should expect an innate sense of right and wrong if God created everything. What’s more, when we turn to the world that is exactly what we find. We find a sense of right and wrong everywhere. Of course, the naturalist will argue that morality is a creation of human reason and evolved over time.  However, in saying this they cannot produce one bit of evidence to prove their hypothesis, for they were not there to witness it.

What we have to work with today is our own experience that morality is universal and does not depend on reason alone.  Remember that Germany under the Nazis was the most intellectual culture of its day and yet it was the most barbaric.  Reason in itself does not lead to morality.   Reason needs a cornerstone from which it may lay its foundation on, to be able to reason from.

Our hypothesis infers that we should be able to pin point a beginning, or a creation where God made all things, including man in his image[4]. Well, when we turn to science it tells us that the universe had a beginning.  Scientists referred to this beginning as the ‘big bang’. The big-bang theory actually postulates that the universe came into existence out of nothing and this is exactly what you would expect if God created the heavens and earth as Genesis 1:1 teaches.  Prior to the Big-Bang theory, science taught us that the universe was steady and fixed i.e. eternal without beginning or end.

I admit that the above does not prove the existence of God, but it does show that the world in which we live is the kind of world, which we would expect to find if there was a God.

 

[1] Talcott Parsons, served on the faculty of Harvard University from 1927 to 1973. says “The view that belief in the supernatural is universal has been completely confirmed by modern anthropology. Religion is as much a human universal as language or an incest taboo, which is to say a kinship system. Any conception of ‘natural man’ who is not encumbered by such ‘cultural baggage’ belongs to fictional picture of prehistory, for which there is no solid evidence for the human, socially organized stage. The view that such ‘baggage’ ought to be dispensed with and that rational man should ‘face reality’ without any ‘superstition’ is a product of sophisticated culture, in no way true of the original human condition. Quoted in “An Interpretation of Religion by John Hick, page 21.

[2] William James speaks of this experience in his book “Varieties of Religious Experience, a Study in Human Nature”.

[3] The Blank Slate, The Modern Denial of Human Nature, by Steven Pinker.

[4] Here for are study, it does not matter how he did it, fast or slow.