Answering the Atheists



Sam Harris

Atheist Sam Harris wrote a slender volume entitled 'Letter to a Christian Nation,' in which he intones, "One of the enduring pathologies of human culture is the tendency to raise children to fear and demonize other human beings on the basis of religious faith." (Sam Harris, Letter to a Christian Nation, p. 80). And if you don't believe it, reading this author's hate-filled screed will surely convince you. Without a hint of irony, he offers as hope of progress, ". . .we are less comfortable with ideologies that demonize whole populations. . ." (Sam Harris, The Moral Landscape, p. 177). Is he right to demonize Christians, or does this author's demonization of a whole population make you less comfortable?:


Intellectual Honesty The Jains
Islam Mass Murder
The Potter and the Clay Disagreement
Hate Speech Sermon on the Mount
Nailed to the Cross Moderates and Extremists
Brave New World Conflict of Interest
Lost Liberty What Planet?
Sympathy for the Devil


Sam Harris dreams of remaking society in his own image. Most of us will not feel welcome nor secure in this brave new world, nor are we meant to. He is the conspiracy theorist's nightmare come to life and learned to talk. He is not hostile to religion, only to monotheistic religion; his atheist utopia will be filled with New Age spiritual practices, borrowed from the "spiritual geniuses" of pagan darkness. In the world of which he dreams, atheist "moral experts" will keep the rest of us in line. The legal system of this brave new world recognizes thought crimes, even thought crimes which carry the death penalty. Yes, but surely even the devil knows not a man's thoughts? You think? Civil libertarians will be alarmed to learn the world of the future boasts lie detectors hidden in the panelling:

Christopher Hitchens

This best-selling author is another of the 'new atheists' who rose to prominence as vocal supporters of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. His literary contributions to the debate include a hatchet job on Mother Theresa and the book 'god is not Great.' Given that his own mother committed suicide, one can't help but suspect Mother Theresa's goose was cooked when she took on the title 'Mother,' which is a common and not particularly significant title used by Roman Catholic religious orders. This theophobe's politics are eclectic to say the least; a former Trotskyite, he became the darling of the pro-war Neocons. While making no principled rejection of Marxism, he did come to realize he had hopped on the wrong bus; once he understood the bus was not moving, he hopped off, without repentance or regret:


Invasion of Iraq Better Behavior
Morality Parasites
Church and State Divide and Conquer
Lynch Mob William Jennings Bryan
Inexorable Logic Charles Darwin
Honorary Atheists Wildly Divergent Accounts
Bart Ehrman Ancient of Days
Slavery Walk the Walk
Court-Martial Vast Erudition
Substitutionary Atonement Bible Study
Sabbatai Sevi Sympathy for the Devil
Challenge



Atheists often feel little affinity for other atheists and thus have difficulty building group cohesion. However, as the 'New Atheists' have shown the world, atheists can sing the old human heart-cry of 'We-all are better than you-all' just as lustily as any other. The consolidating 'enemy'-other is us, the dangerous, insidious theist. While dying of esophageal cancer, Christopher Hitchens penned a stirring tribute to his fellow atheists, thanking them for their "comradeship" and urging them on to the barricades:

  • "It is these forces among others which will speed the day when humanity emancipates itself from the mind-forged manacles of servility and superstition. It is our innate solidarity, and not some despotism of the sky, which is the source of our morality and our sense of decency.

  • "That essential sense of decency is outraged every day. Our theocratic enemy is in plain view. . .To have had a small part in this resistance has been the greatest honor of my lifetime: the pattern and original of all dictatorship is the surrender of reason to absolutism and the abandonment of critical, objective inquiry. The cheap name for this lethal delusion is religion, and we must learn new ways of combating it in the public sphere, just as we have learned to free ourselves of it in private."
  • (Christopher Hitchens, April 22, 2011, 'Dear fellow-unbelievers').

This group solidarity is striking when you realize his indictment against religion is that faith creates an 'us-them' division within society. It is a long-standing preference of totalitarians to reduce the human race to a disorganized dust of individuals, standing against the all-powerful state; Roman emperors were fearful even of volunteer fire brigades, lest the firemen might develop a sense of group identity and loyalty. Evidently the take-away message is that our 'us' is good, yours is bad. We are expected to thrill at the beautiful way atheism creates community, while that's precisely what's wrong with Christianity. And incidentally, atheism is not very good at creating community.

Lost Tomb

Has science discovered the tomb of Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and their son, 'Sonny,' too? Or do you have to be careful that what you're watching on TV isn't junk science?


Statistics Hypothetical People
Code-Talkers New Deal
On the List Who are They?
Random Distribution Mariamne
Maria Deja Vu
Futility Constantine
Keeping Kosher Embarrassment of Riches
Good Penmanship Low Bidder
Enticed Israel Joseph's Bones
Mitochondrial DNA Tselem
Grave with the Rich Married to a Prostitute
Acts of Philip Eye of Horus



Lawrence Krauss

This author's great discovery is that, if you redefine 'nothing' to mean 'dark matter and dark energy,' and you redefine 'something' to mean 'visible energy,' then the old saw about 'Why is there something rather than nothing,' has been redefined to mean, 'Why (or rather, How) is there visible matter and not just dark matter and dark energy?' Even more exciting, if you redefine 'something' to mean 'candy and gum-drops' and 'nothing' to mean 'vegetables,' the question becomes, 'Why are there candy and gum-drops rather than just vegetables?' Mmm, when do we eat?

Learn from the atheists, "Nothing is not nothing. Nothing is something." (Neil deGrasse Tyson, quoted front page, 'A Universe From Nothing,' Lawrence M. Krauss), and discover why, to be an atheist, you must be willing to turn off your mind:




Proofs of God's existence

The Christian pursuit of natural theology goes back to Paul the apostle, who saw proof of God's reality in the mute testimony of His creation: "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse..." (Romans 1:20). Natural theology seeks to discover what may be known about God without recourse to His own revelation to mankind.

Indeed, it's only with information derived from natural theology that God's self-revelation in the Bible can be validated. The question, 'Who authored the Bible?', is addressed no differently from any other question of authorship or attribution: compare known works from the author's hand with the work whose authorship is in dispute.  Is this newly discovered sonata by Beethoven? Is that sonnet by Shakespeare? Absent documentary or evidentiary authentification (to which the correlate in Bible study would be miracles), the investigator's only strategy is comparison with known works by that author's hand. Is the petty, score-settling god who took up space in the Koran to threaten Mohammed's estranged uncle the same God who made the expansive Rocky Mountains? The only way to know is to find out first...just who did make the Rocky Mountains, if anyone? Does God exist?

A Posteriori Proofs

A posteriori proofs admit evidence derived from sensory experience of the world; a prior proofs do not. Here are some common a posteriori proofs of God's existence:

 

Contingency

This proof does not ask much of the world; if there is only one thing which exists, which can be known to be contingent through inventory of its concept, this proof is happy. After all, it's far from obvious that our sensory experiences give us a peek into a 'real world' out there; though commonly assumed, the proof of this can be surprisingly elusive. Be that as it may, from our own awareness, we can know 'there is something in the world which thinks'; this 'thinking thing' can serve as our one contingent thing.

A 'contingent' thing is a thing which may be or not be; its existence is not necessary. To give a sufficent reason for a contingent thing to exist, one must look outside it, beyond it either to another contingent or to a necessary being. The world is filled with things whose existence depends upon other things; we realize this because they come and they go, like smoke or vapor. If the cause for their existence lay within them, they would ever abide. We can recall times when we were, but then we run into a brick wall; we are contingent beings. This is a matter of common observation: "Indeed, You have made my days as handbreadths, and my age is as nothing before You; certainly every man at his best state is but vapor. Selah." (Psalm 39:5).

If we admit the existence of even one contingent thing: a 'thinking thing' which was not always, say -- it follows necessarily that there is also some necessary thing. Yet there is one contingent thing; therefore God also exists. The hinge point is that everything cannot be contingent; if we set off down a daisy chain where one contingent thing derives its existence from another, which in turns derives its existence from another contingent thing, we are in the state of an economy which functions through everybody borrowing five dollars from one another: where did the five dollars come from to start the system?

Not everything can be contingent: "We find in nature things that are possible to be and not to be, since they are found to be generated, and to be corrupted, and consequently they are possible to be and not to be. But it is impossible for these always to exist, for that which is possible not to be at some time is not. Therefore, if everything is possible not to be, then at one time there could have been nothing in existence. Now if this were true, even now there would be nothing in existence, because that which does not exist only begins to exist by something already existing. Therefore, if at one time nothing was in existence, it would have been impossible for anything to have begun to exist; and thus even now nothing would be in existence -- which is clearly false. Therefore, not all beings are merely possible, but there must exist something the existence of which is necessary...Therefore we must admit the existence of some being having of itself its own necessity, and not receiving it from another, but rather causing in others their necessity. This all men speak of as God." (Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, First Part, Q. 2, Article 3).

Nothing that once did not exist can be the cause of its own existence. When it did not exist, how could it call itself into being? Thus, all contingent things depend upon something outside themselves for their existence. If any contingent thing exists in the world rather than nothing, then a necessary being must also exist.

  • "But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee: Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee. Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the LORD hath wrought this?"
  • (Job 12:7-9).

Order

As we cast our gaze about the world, we find the objects around us obeying natural law with wondrous docility. Why is the world that way at all? Why do natural things conserve their own properties and behave in predictable fashion; why doesn't water burn like gasoline on Monday, and quench fire on Tuesday? The very smallest things are not so accommodating, so we know it need not be this way!

Why does the human day-dream of mathematics fit the world hand in glove -- just as if God were a mathematician? Mathematics works, from from observation, but from the opposite direction, from deduction.  Its objects are not even objects in the world; no material thing is the triangle of the geometricians, only a feeble caricature thereof.  Yet in the end mathematics is found an apt model of the universe. How could that be, unless the mind that made the world thinks along the same lines? Likewise, the world obeys law, just as if it trembled in fear of judgment. Law implies a law-giver.

When D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson set out, in his On Growth and Form, to detail the superfluity of order in the world, sometimes called beauty, he found what he sought in gratuitous abundance. Intelligibility implies intelligence; the simplest and most economical account for an intelligible world is an intelligent artificier.


Fossil

The End

"The fifth way is taken from the governance of things. We see that things which lack knowledge, such as natural bodies, act for an end, and this is evident from their acting always, or nearly always, in the same way, so as to obtain the best result.  Hence it is plain that they achieve their end not by chance, but by design. Now whatever lacks knowledge cannot move towards an end, unless it be directed by some being endowed with knowledge and intelligence, as the arrow is directed by the archer. Therefore some intelligent being exists by whom all natural things are ordered to their end; and this being we call God." (Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, First Part, Q. 2, Article 3).

Living creatures are so constructed as to be competent to continue their existence; their construction is fitted to their needs. But widen the focus to the whole: if natural constants were set slightly off their present values, life would not be possible. The universe is a vast machine for producing life; life is good, yet the universe, being unthinking, cannot know that life is good. Thus it works to achieve an end of which it can have no cognizance. Some mind, capable of apprehending the good, must therefore have moved it so.

"The numerical values that nature has assigned to the fundamental constants, such as the charge on the electron, the mass of the proton, and the Newtonian gravitational constant, may be mysterious, but they are crucially relevant to the structure of the universe that we perceive...Had nature opted for a slightly different set of numbers, the world would be a very different place...More intriguing still, certain crucial structures, such as solar-type stars, depend for their characteristic features on wildly improbable numerical accidents...And when one goes on to study cosmology -- the overall structure and evolution of the universe -- incredulity mounts." (The Accidental Universe, P.C.W. Davies, p. vii.)

Both the 'pencilled-in' constants and the basic laws of nature are suited to make the universe a home for living things, as are also the starting conditions: "This delicate balance of initial conditions has come to be known as the 'fine-tuning' of the universe for life. We've come to discover that the universe is fine-tuned for the existence of intelligent life with a complexity and delicacy that literally defy human comprehension." (William Lane Craig, Does God Exist? Kindle location 503). If the universe were intentionally designed of a set purpose, it would not look any different from the way it does look.

Up

Design

"Should a man see a house carefully constructed with a gateway, colonnades, men's quarters, women's quarters, and the other buildings, he will get an idea of the artificier, for he will be of opinion that the house never reached that completeness without the skill of the craftsman; and in like manner in the case of a city and a ship and every smaller or greater construction. Just so anyone entering this world, as it were some vast house or city, and beholding the sky circling round and embracing within it all things, and planets and fixed stars without any variation moving in rhythmical harmony and with advantage to the whole, and earth with the central space assigned to it, water and air flowing in set order as its boundary, and over and above these, living creatures, mortal and immortal beings, plants and fruits in great variety, he will surely argue that these have not been wrought without consummate art, but that the Maker of this whole universe was and is God. Those, who thus base their reasoning on what is before their eyes, apprehend God by means of a shadow cast, discerning the Artificier by means of His works." (Philo Judaeus, Allegorical Interpretation, III, XXXII, 98-102).

Up

Is it begging the question to define 'God' prior to investigating His existence...or lack thereof? It's never been so held with other non-existent things, like phlogiston or the lumeniferous aether.  How can one investigate whether a thing exists in the world, without knowing what the thing sought is? How to differentiate it from whatever other things might be brought in by our drag-net, so as to say, 'No, that's not it'?

When physicists go looking in the world for 'dark matter' or 'black holes', they must first define what they understand these looked-for things to be.  How else to know what is looked for? Definitions of words need not be understood so as to imply existence; for instance, 'A griffin' is an animal represented in ancient art with the fore part of an eagle and the hinder parts of a lion.  Anyone who knows what a griffin in, out for a stroll spotting one, could instantaneously say, 'that's a griffin!' -- its definition is every bit as solid and clear as a rufous-headed towhee. Yet no one expects to see one.

So when the physicists define 'dark matter' without having yet found it, their definition should not be understood to imply, 'Dark matter exists, and has the following characteristics'; but rather, 'If dark matter exists, it has the following distinct characteristics.' How else could one know what to look for, or whether it had been found? Likewise we understand that, if God exists, He is omniscient, omnipotent, exists necessarily, is omnipresent, etc.; it's not begging the question to define what you're looking for, before going out in the world to see whether it's there!

Is the beauty of the world evidence of its nature and origin? “Philo presents the argument in its simplest syllogistic form. 'No work of art is self-made. The world is the most perfect work of art. Therefore, the world was made by a good and most perfect Author. Thus we have the knowledge of the existence of God.' [De Monarchia, i. 4]”
(Hodge, Charles (2015-02-13). Systematic Theology: The Complete Three Volumes (Kindle Locations 4379-4380). GLH Publishing. Kindle Edition.)




A Priori Proofs

 




Shell

Anselm's Proof

Anselm's original enunciation of his proof was a bit sloppy; thanks to adept criticism by Gaunilo the Fool, he tightened it up thereafter. If simple existence is listed as an attribute of God, the proof is defective; predicating existence of a thing is a judgment whether a concept in instantiated, not an attribute. But the mode of existence -- necessary existence -- may well be an attribute.

Anselm's proof may be summarized,

a.) If God exists, He exists necessarily. (This does not assume God exists; it's no more than saying, 'If dark matter exists, it is dark'.)

b.) Any being which exists necessarily cannot not exist. (Definition of what it means to exist necessarily).

c.) Therefore, God exists.

Want your money back? Too bad: critics of the proof from Thomas Aquinas to Immanuel Kant have trained their fire at the defective version; the corrected version is surprisingly bulletproof. After defining God as 'that than which nothing greater can be conceived', Anselm continues, "And it [that than which nothing greater can be conceived] exists so truly, that it cannot be conceived not to exist. For, it is possible to conceive of a being which cannot be conceived not to exist; and and this is greater than one which can be conceived not to exist. Hence, if that, than which nothing greater can be conceived, can be conceived not to exist, it is not that, than which nothing greater can be conceived. But this is an irreconcilable contradiction. There is, then, so truly a being than which nothing greater can be conceived to exist, that it cannot even be conceived not to exist; and this being thou art, O Lord, our God." (Anselm, Proslogium, Chapter III).

The proof has been harshly treated by theologians, but better received by the rationalist philosophers, Descartes, Leibnitz and Spinoza, who incorporated it into their systems. Herein lies a problem: some people will say this proof demonstrates an 'impersonal God.' But neither this proof, nor any other proof of God's existence, demonstrates 'there is an impersonal God;' rather, these proofs leave us with an outline. Other features must be sketched in, from elsewhere, to show the full portrait. The proof may be summarized as: if it is possible for God to exist, then He must exist, or 'What may be and must be, is'.


Anselm's
Proslogium

Fossil


The comic incompetence of certain atheists in these matters may be seen, for instance,

  • "All three of these arguments rely upon the idea of a regress and invoke God to terminate it. They make the entirely unwarranted assumption that God himself is immune to the regress."
  • (The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins, p. 101).

This is the delightful, 'Who created God?' 'argument.' In truth, at this point, we do not have a complete list of the divine attributes; we do not know that God is 'personal,' though neither have we any grounds for thinking Him 'impersonal.' For further information, we must make the leap to revelation, though we do not leap blindly, nor into the dark, knowing what we now know.


By Chance Complex Versus Simple
Alien God Ancient Error
Declaration of War Hero-Worship
The Binding of Isaac Thomas Jefferson
Judge of the World Retention Rate
Absence of Belief Edgardo Mortara
The First Amendment Adolf Hitler
False Advertising Bigger is Better
Secondary Causes Thy Neighbor
Gospel of Judas Joseph Atwill



Richard Dawkins is one of the new atheist authors trying to lift the old Enlightenment idea of Jesus' non-existence out of tin-foil-hat territory and into respectability, although he concedes that "Jesus probably existed" (Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, p. 122):

Up



Sky-Dome




  • "The ancient Hebrews believed that this earth was the center of the universe, and that the sun, moon and stars were specks in the sky.
  • "With this the Bible agrees.
  • "They thought the earth was flat, with four corners; that the sky, the firmament, was solid -- the floor of Jehovah's house.
  • "The Bible teaches the same.
  • "They imagined that the sun journeyed about the earth, and that by stopping the sun the day could be lengthened.
  • "The Bible agrees with this."
  • (Colonel Robert G. Ingersoll, 'About the Holy Bible,' II.).


Sky Dome

The atheists say that the Bible portrays a flat earth covered by a solid sky dome, sort of like an inverted metal Revere-ware bowl. But when one searches for any such structure described in the Bible, it flees away from one's eyes. Devoted Bible-readers, who search the scriptures daily, do not recall encountering it. And that, it turns out, is because it isn't in there, it's in the Book of Enoch...or somewhere. Which is practically like being in the Bible...or not.

As readers of anti-Christian polemic soon discover, the atheists want to accuse not only "ancient Hebrews," but also all Christians prior to the modern era, of believing in a flat earth. The level of intellectual dishonesty displayed by this egregiously false, yet persistently repeated, accusation, is staggering.


Thriceholy Radio

The Bible

  • "The Bible may, indeed does, contain a warrant for trafficking in humans, for ethnic cleansing, for slavery, for bride-price, and for indiscriminate massacre, but we are not bound by any of it because it was put together by crude, uncultured human mammals."
  • (Christopher Hitchens, 'god is not great,' p. 102).

Is this true? Does the Bible, once of whose central stories tells of the liberation of Egypt's slaves, 'contain a warrant for slavery'?

 




Golden Age of Atheism

"The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God." (Psalm 14:1).

Atheism is older than the proclamation of the gospel, dating back to before the fifth century B.C.:

  • "Protagoras of Abdera, the son of Menander, said that there are no gods, and that God does not exist at all."
  • "Diogenes of Smyrna, or some say he was from Cyrene, held the same opinions as Protagoras."
  • "Theodorus, who is called the atheist, said that discussion of God is silly. For he believed that there is nothing divine, and therefore urged everyone to steal, forswear themselves, rob, and not die for their countries."
  • (Epiphanius, De Fide VII, 9,20-21, 28).


  • "...with reason did the Athenians adjudge Diagoras guilty of atheism, in that he not only divulged the Orphic doctrine, and published the mysteries of Eleusis and of the Cabiri, and chopped up the wooden statue of Hercules to boil his turnips, but openly declared that there was no God at all."
  • (Athenagoras, A Plea for the Christians, Chapter 4).

Diagoras is also mentioned by pagan theologian Maximus of Tyre,

"And if through the whole of time, there have been two or three atheists, grovelling and insensate men, whose eyes wander, whose ears are deceived, whose souls are mutilated, a race irrational, barren, and useless, resembling a timid lion, an ox without horns, a bird without wings, yet even from such a race as this you will be persuaded that there is something divine. For this they unwillingly know, and unwillingly assert; although you deprive divinity of good with Leucippus, though you subject him to human passions with Democritus, though you change his nature with Strato, though you ascribe to him pleasure with Epicurus, though you deny his existence with Diagoras, though you acknowledge that you are ignorant what he is with Protagoras." (Maximus of Tyre, The Dissertations, Volume I, Dissertation I, p. 7).

The twentieth century was the golden age of atheism, with many nations throughout the world proclaiming themselves officially atheist. During this time frame it was still possible for morally earnest seekers to get sucked into this cruel and martial ideology, believing it to be the answer to the world's ills. Bertrand Russell promised the advent of a new era of happiness, if only people would discard religion: "The knowledge exists by which universal happiness can be secured; the chief obstacle to its utilization for that purpose is the teaching of religion." (Bertrand Russell, Has Religion Made Useful Contributions to Civilization? Why I am not a Christian, Kindle location1053). Can anyone believe that now? Did communism produce material abundance? Did Freudian psychotherapy solve the problem of human unhappiness? Nowadays, the insurance companies won't even pay for it, because it yields nil therapeutic benefit. Socialism and its attendant follies failing to deliver the groceries, most of the officially atheist regimes ultimately collapsed.

Josef Stalin and Mao Zedong dreamed of what a paradise this world would be, if only you could get rid of all the religious people:


  • "Imagine there's no heaven
    It's easy if you try
    No hell below us
    Above us only sky
    Imagine all the people
    Living for today...


  • "Imagine there's no countries
    It isn't hard to do
    Nothing to kill or die for
    And no religion too
    Imagine all the people
    Living life in peace...

  • "You may say I'm a dreamer
    But I'm not the only one
    I hope someday you'll join us
    And the world will be as one.

  • "Imagine no possessions
    I wonder if you can
    No need for greed or hunger
    A brotherhood of man
    Imagine all the people
    Sharing all the world...

  • "You may say I'm a dreamer
    But I'm not the only one
    I hope someday you'll join us
    And the world will live as one."
  • (John Lennon, 'Imagine').


For all of atheism's institutional entrenchment in the academic and entertainment realms, only 3 per cent of the population so self-identify. Thus better things may be hoped for the twenty-first century. Much of Europe, meanwhile, has already become post-Christian. The fun-loving young people of Great Britain are showing us all how well that's working out, with their riots and mayhem. Here at home, progress has already been made; the insurance industry has freed us from one notorious quack.

The Atheist Hall of Shame

1. Sigmund Freud. During the twentieth century academia was persuaded to adopt a world view which might seem to have been invented by a billy goat pondering life, out there in the fields: that sex is the end-all and be-all of life. This concept was perceived by its adherents as liberating, and imagined to be conducive to mental health. Has ever any little tribe lost on an island made itself ridiculous in quite this manner?:


Quackery Moses and Monotheism
Rebranding Catholic Scandal
Reaction Formation L. Ron Hubbard



2. Karl Marx and Frederick Engels. This atheist duo dreamed of a workers' paradise, a Land of Nod. It never happened,—what a surprise,— but a whole lot of people got in the way and got killed:


In Fashion Surplus Value
Wipe 'Em Out Leon Trotsky
Does it Work? Outdated
Product Witness
Progeny Communism Today



3. Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. This is the man who made it happen, who put the theory into practice and touched off the great atheist blood-bath which would be the twentieth century:


New Views for Old The Theory
Atheism We the Living
Opiate of the Intellectuals How Did it Work Out?
Love Thy Neighbor So What



At this point the atheists call a halt and demand, 'Don't you know these men are not atheists?' In order to read these prototypical atheists out of the fold, they thereupon adopt unusual, novel and not hitherto heard definitions of the word 'atheist.' Can you do that?:




Atheists erect billboards proclaiming, You can be Good without God. Do they deliver the goods? Sometimes, decidedly not:

"The state torturers in Soviet prisons understood this all too well. Richard Wurmbrand, a pastor who was tortured for his faith, reports, 'The cruelty of atheism is hard to believe when man has no faith in the reward of good or the punishment of evil. There is no reason to be human. There is no restraint from the depths of evil which is in man.'" (quoted in William Lane Craig, On Guard, Kindle location 506).

Atheists indict Christianity for the Inquisition and the Crusades, both of which were deflections from the Christian ideal as set forth in scripture. How about their own human rights record?:


Bhagat Singh Mao Zedong
Pol Pot Enver Hoxha
The Derg Che Guevara
No True Atheist Why?
Tu Quoque Prince of Tyre
Atheist Armies Jim Jones
The French Revolution



Bart Ehrman

Bart Ehrman

This best-selling author is the atheists' favorite Bible scholar. He commonly resorts to arguments from authority ('experts agree'); can his assertions be defended otherwise? He bases the defense of his world-view on sharp elbows, namely a vigorous effort to exclude the Christian voice from the secular university. If the atheists can 'corner the market' in a certain venue, let's say Big Ten universities, have they also cornered the truth?:


Jack Sprat Who Is
Literacy Pagan Readers
Quick Learners Corruption
Thy Word is Settled Happenstance
Handmaids Spelling
Inspired Translations Riches over Poverty
Bible Contradictions Among the Phibionites
Jesus the Jew Slugs and Chimpanzees
Salvation by Child-bearing The Adulterous Woman
Dormitive Faculty Inerrancy
Savage Temper Suffering Servant



Bible Contradictions

Atheists report the existence of 'Bible Contradictions.' Are there any such, or only over-interpretation?:


I Thirst Timothy the Gentile
Faith vs. Works Love Your Enemies
Paul the Maverick Seeing God
Realized Eschatology He Hanged Himself
Uncorroborated False Witness
Atonement Head Covering
Men and Angels From Everlasting
Preach the Faith Bishops and Deacons
Cock Crow Wrong Day
Two Genealogies Editor's Choice
Sermon on the Mount. . .or Plain The Twelve



The Third Day Cain's Wife
Mustard Seed Polygamy
Jephthah's Daughter Ex Nihilo
Rainbow Sign Through the Fire
Eating Lobster A Jealous God
Cry of Dereliction Binding of Isaac
Transfiguration Jewish Trial
Miracles Disagreement
Four Feet The Census
Easter Morn



You Can Be Good Without God

Can you? Atheists nowadays like to put ads up on buses which read, 'You Can Be Good Without God.' Sometimes they will even add, 'Millions Are,' which contradicts the 'good' census of Jesus of Nazareth, thought by some to be a recognized authority in the field:

"And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God." (Mark 1 0:18).

The first problem is a math error: the atheists are counting millions who are "good," every last one of them, God bless 'em, while Jesus counts One. Without understanding the magnitude of the sin problem, none can appreciate the need for a Savior. The strength of the contesting side is also often underestimated; it's not ignorance that is the enemy, "'The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil' (1 John 3:8). . .There is no other power in the world that can do this. The Devil is stronger than all humans, all armies, all politics, and all human morality put together. We have no chance against him except by one means, the power of Jesus Christ operating through us because he dwells within us." (John Piper, Bloodlines, p. 88).

Secondly, do the two parties even mean the same thing by "good"? Ask both sides to take a piece of paper and start to list behaviors they would classify as 'good' or 'bad.' The Christian eagerly begins to fill up his list, including "Flee fornication." (1 Corinthians 6:18). But in this matter, many atheists prefer to emulate the barn-yard animals: "Would that ye were perfect—at least as animals! But to animals belongeth innocence." (Atheist Friedrich Nietzche, Thus Spake Zarathustra, Chapter XIII). The atheist who accepts Christian sexual morality is rare bird. When a newly fledged atheist starts down the long road of moral compromise, that's usually the first to go, as explained in Richard Dawkins' revised ten commandments: "Enjoy your own sex life (so long as it damages nobody else) and leave others to enjoy theirs in private. . ." (Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, p. 300). But of course.

The concept of humility as a virtue, as opposed to 'self-esteem,' might be another domino to fall, as this is not the normal pagan perception: "He used a small child as an object lesson and taught by this means that humility is of the greatest importance in His kingdom (Matt. 18:1 ff.). This is a virtue which the Greeks despised and for which the Jews were certainly not noted. In the process of training the Twelve, Jesus imparted them a totally new code of values." (Donald Guthrie, A Shorter Life of Christ, p. 101). Perhaps Ayn Rand's arrogant and triumphalist ethics is a better fit for atheists than is the Sermon on the Mount.

So on down the list: the Christian sketches out a life of dignity, fidelity and nobility, while the atheist seeks to prove that, if you set your goals low enough, you can surely achieve them. One list is long, the other very, very short. If the connotation of 'good' is in any way similar between the two parties, its denotation, what items are included within that class, is altogether different. One list aims for the skies, the other list limbos down to see how low you can go and still have a list. So this advertising slogan suffers the defect of equivocation: the two sides mean very different things by their shared term of "good."

To underscore the difficulty, realize that to atheists, being 'good' may well mean lying, cheating and stealing. For example, consider the case of Teresa McBain, a pastor and an atheist. What would you counsel her to do: the honorable thing, and resign her position, which she could not fulfill in good faith? Or to keep on cashing the paycheck the suckers kept on giving her? The correct answer is apparent to all but atheists, who gave Ms. McBain, who had never yet quite got around to sharing with the paying customers her contempt for them, a rousing ovation. "The Clergy Project is a magnet for charlatans and cowards who, by their own admission, openly lie to their congregations, hide behind beliefs they do not hold, make common cause with atheists, and still retain their positions and salaries." (Atheists in the Pulpit — the Sad Charade of the Clergy Project, by R. Albert Mohler Jr., August 31, 2012.) Everyone can understand that it was wrong for Bernie Madoff to lie to people and take their money. . .or do atheists understand even that?

To avoid false and deceptive advertising, the atheists must insert a caveat: 'You can be good without God; you will, of course, have to radically redefine what you mean by "good," and not by way of expansion.' But that is too lengthy to fit on the side of the bus; may I suggest a briefer slogan. Movie-goers will remember when Mae West showed off her diamond ring to a hat-check girl, who exclaimed, "Goodness, what beautiful diamonds!" "Goodness had nothing to do with it, Dearie." replied Mae. Thus the atheists' new slogan to paint on buses: 'Goodness has nothing to do with it!' Goodness has nothing much to do with the pointless lives awaiting those who stoop to enter the joyless, collapsed black hole of atheism.




Mass Murder

  • "I want you to understand that where this Bible has been, man has hated his brother—there have been dungeons, racks, thumbscrews, and the sword. I want you to know that the cross has been in partnership with the sword, and that the religion of Jesus Christ was established by murderers, tyrants and hypocrites."
  • (Colonel Robert G. Ingersoll, Lectures of Robert Ingersoll, Lecture on the Mistakes of Moses).

The New Testament prescribes shunning heretics, not murder:

"If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds." (2 John 1:10-11).

When and why did things change?


New Testament Early Church
Albigensian Crusade Waldensians
What Went Wrong? Canaan
Constantine No True Scotsman
Pagan Intolerance Atheist Mass Murder
Islam The Crusades
All or Nothing Iraq



If There is No God, Then All is Permitted

During the heroic age of Atheism this movement produced, not the shrill small voices of today's 'New Atheism,' but larger than life figures both on the left and on the right. Today's 'New Atheists' often take a 'me-too' line in matters of morals: 'You can be good without God.' Their moral code is a pale and partial imitation of Christianity. But some of the older champions of this movement, like the towering German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, didn't want to be good. They hoped for a new birth of humanity cleansed and freed from the dead weight of Christian morality. To these authors, Christian ethical teaching was very much part of what was wrong with Christianity. Popular author Ayn Rand is within this tradition:

Atheist Ayn Rand

Colonel Robert Green Ingersoll was a popular nineteenth century whistle-stop speaker, offering red-hot theophobia:

Criminally Insane
"If a man would follow, today, the teachings of the Old Testament he would be a criminal. If he would strictly follow the teachings of the New, he would be insane."
—(Colonel Robert G. Ingersoll, The Best of Robert Ingersoll, page 4).

Bible Contradictions Bible Difficulties
Flat Earth Slavery and the Bible
Wealth and Poverty Zingers
Build Upon the Sand Three Gods
Famine and Flood Just a Man



Christmas Day

"'Now the birth of Jesus Christ was in this wise. When his mother, Mary, was espoused to Joseph, before they came together she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.' Yes, and the Greek demigod Perseus was born when the god Jupiter visited the virgin Danae as a shower of gold and got her with child." (Christopher Hitchens, 'god is not great, pp. 22-23).

Christmas Day

Fossil

Six Days

In classical antiquity, inquirers such as Aristotle opined that the world is eternal. The Bible said it was not. Nonbelievers no longer argue the point, but continue to find fault. How does the Bible itself define a 'day'?

Six Days

Why Doesn't It Work?

Oh, but it does. King Hezekiah, in sickness, prayed for a cure:

Modern-day believers do not report King Hezekiah's 15 additional years of life, but rather seven and a half:

"Research conducted partly at the University of Colorado at Boulder has found that regular churchgoers live longer than people who seldom or never attend worship services. For the first time, that extra lifespan has been quantified. While there are differences between genders and races, in general those who go to church once or more each week can look forward to about seven more years than those who never attend.

"Life expectancy beyond age 20 averages another 55.3 years, to age 75, for those who never attend church compared to another 62.9 years, age 83, for those who go more than once a week." (Science Daily, May 17, 1999)

The researchers made an effort to isolate the effect of religiosity on health, rather than to belabor the already well-known facts that smoking, excessive drinking and drug use are bad for your health. Irreligiosity in and of itself, it turns out, is bad for your health. Atheists will exercise their imaginations to find psychological explanations for this and other similar results. But theists already have a simple and sound explanation.



Moreover, the atheist who does not succumb to ill health may do away with himself by his own hand, because atheism is positively correlated with suicide attempts and suicidal ideation: "Subjects with no religious affiliation were more often lifetime suicide attempters, reported more suicidal ideation, and were more likely to have first-degree relatives who had committed suicide than religiously affiliated subjects." ('Religious Affiliation and Suicide Attempt,' by Kanita Dervic, M.D., Maria A. Oquendo, M.D., Michael F. Grunebaum, M.D., Steve Ellis, Ph.D., Ainsley K. Burke, Ph.D., and J. John Mann, M.D., American Journal of Psychiatry, p. 2305, December 2004). Atheism kills; those who are ladling out this poison help no one.

Two precursors to suicide, substance abuse and mental illness, are also less prevalent amongst believers: "The negative correlation between religiosity (religious beliefs and church attendance) and the likelihood of
substance use disorders (of both alcohol and drugs) has been extensively documented in the U.S., and Europe. . .Further, individuals who are more religious, or who attend church more frequently, have generally been found to have better mental health." (Edlund, Mark J.; Harris, Katherine M.; Koenig, Harold G.; Han, Xiaotong; Sullivan, Greer; Mattox, Rhonda; et al. (2010). Religiosity and decreased risk of substance use disorders: is the effect mediated by social support or mental health status?. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology: The International Journal for Research in Social and Genetic Epidemiology and Mental Health Services , 45(8), pp 827-836. doi: 10.1007/s00127-009-0124-3.)

Atheist Cults

It's sometimes said, 'If you don't believe in something, you'll fall for anything,' and the atheists prove it, spinning off a variety of novel cults that revolve around such science fiction themes as aliens and reincarnation:


Rael Scientology
Cryonics Communism
No True Atheist Common Characteristics
Tu Quoque Buddhism
Ayn Rand Liberalism
Jim Jones Temple of Reason
Astrology Zeitgeist the Movie



Meteorology

  • "'We no longer turn to God for answers as to why the skies drop hail or why plagues spread. Science has answered those questions,' Brown said."
  • (On His Home Turf, Public Discussion: Dan Brown (author of the Da Vinci Code), Maine Sunday Telegram, April 30, 2006, p. E3).

Secondary Cause
Confederate Chain
"It is true, that a little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion; for while the mind of man looketh upon second causes scattered, it may sometimes rest in them, and go no further; but when it beholdeth the chain of them confederate, and linked together, it must needs fly to Providence and Deity."
(Francis Bacon, Wikiquote)

Get Rid of Your Computer

Everyone who talks with atheists on the internet, I'll wager, has had this strange conversation:

Atheist: "Why don't you get rid of your computer?"
Christian: "Why would I do that?"
Atheist: "Because an atheist invented it!"
Charles Babbage
Ninth Bridgewater Treatise

Atheists have picked up the impression from somewhere that everything was invented by atheists. They must be following orators like Colonel Robert G. Ingersoll, who said, "Infidels are the intellectual discoverers. Infidels have sailed the unknown sea and have discovered the isles and continents in the vast realms of thought. What would the world have been had infidels never existed?" (Robert G. Ingersoll, Lectures of Robert Ingersoll, Lecture on the Great Infidels). For the record, Charles Babbage, the father of the computer, was a theist. Fortunately we theists like to share.

Up

The Man Who Wasn't There

Remember her?:




Madalyn subscribed to the school of thought that Jesus never existed. This school of thought remains perennially popular with atheists, even though under normal methodology, it lacks all plausibility and shows contempt for evidence. Atheists like to call themselves 'brights,' but here we come to a fork in the road where one is left wondering just how dumb you have to be to be an atheist. Look at the methodology:

The inquirer is to seek parallels between two works, Josephus' 'War of the Jews' and the New Testament. But if there is little or no congruence between the passages advanced as parallel, the inquirer is allowed to widen the net, seeking other passages in which there is a character of the same name, or usage of the same word, because these parallels were intentionally concealed by their crafty originators. Moreover, words can be redefined as needed to produce a parallel; 'healing' is not commonly thought to be exactly the same thing as 'killing,' but 'killing' will be redefined to mean 'healing' for the sake of producing parallelism between Jesus and Titus, who were not otherwise in the same line of work: Titus, a military commander, killed people, and Jesus, a healer, healed them.

Employing these rules, what can not be made parallel?:


The Flavians Black Humor
Prophetic Perspective Quality Control
Tie a Red String Highly Prefigured
Son of Man The Supreme Pontiff
To the Lions U.S.S. Missouri
Cannibal Feast Replicants
How Many Gods? Malachi



   Click To Bookmark This Page!