Dear Atheists . . .

Atheists have always fascinated me.  Atheists pride themselves on rationality over faith, science over religion, reason over indoctrination, physics over metaphysics.  That’s fine, so let us use logic and reason in our discussion with the existence of God.

First of all, let’s talk science.  Science can never prove the existence of God (I freely admit this), but let’s not forget that science does not disprove God’s existence either.   Science is not concerned with God or His existence, but with the measurable universe in which we live.  God is transcendent, or “outside” of the known universe and not something that can be defined or measured by science, so why use science as a standard for non-belief?  In fact, if science could measure God, then God would no longer be God!  If anything, recognize the limits of science and stop assuming that science has anything to do with God.  Atheist flaw number one: bad logic regarding science and its role in faith.  Remember, atheists, if science could disprove God, then all scientists would be atheists.  In fact, there are plenty of scientists that believe in God, many of whom came to belief due to their scientific discoveries about the universe itself!

Second, let’s talk “reason” over belief.  The stereotypical atheist will “reason” that proving God is like proving a unicorn: proving something does not exist does not mean it exists either, therefore it is reasonable to assume it does not exist.  True to a degree, but allow me to poke holes in this reasoning.  First of all, the atheist confuses the nature of God with other “imaginary” beings.  The nature of a unicorn has always been mythological and we can easily discount myths as real.  Unicorns have never been the “eternal constant” from which the universe was created.  Neither have the mythological Greco-Roman gods, or the flying spaghetti monster.  Do not misappropriate the transcendence of God to the immanence of mythological figures.  Second, atheists wrongly assume that something needs to be “proven” in order to exist.  Unlike the atheist, I readily accept that there are things that can never be scientifically proven yet can still exist.  I do not assume that the physical world is all there is and there is nothing outside of it.  In fact, I believe having that mentality is extremely limiting and narrow-minded, the exact foci from which atheists attack religion!  Just because I can’t prove God does not mean God must not exist.  From this argument, the atheist will revert back to the “unicorn/spaghetti monster” argument, which I have already covered.  Remember that plenty of scientists believe in God without believing in unicorns, even though they have no measurable proof for God’s existence!

Third, atheists wrongly assume a personal God in their attacks against God, and use it to disprove a transcendent God.  This is also known as the “invisible man in the sky” argument.  In using this reasoning, the atheist conveniently assumes two things: A) that God is a personal God (ie, interacts with the universe, which is a different argument altogether) and B) God should act in accordance to a predetermined set of criteria.  By affixing personal characteristics to God and describing God as the “invisible man in the sky,” the atheist can discount the existence of God when those characteristics fail to hold true (if God existed, He would do something about the evil in the world right now, for example).  That is not logic, that is simply stacking the deck to suit your own opinion in order to arrive at a predetermined answer, also known as begging the question (arriving at a proposition which requires proof but no proof has been given).  You can believe in a transcendent God without believing that God is a personal God or actively at work within the universe; many people do!  Atheists, please do not assume that God must be a personal or conform to certain patterns of behavior in order for Him to exist.

Fourth, the atheist often points to religious hypocrisy as a reason not to believe in God.  Let’s assume the atheist is correct in religious hypocrisy.  Atheists say that religion is responsible for wars, genocide, countless evils, etc., therefore if we rid the world of religion, the world would be a better place.  I do not deny the numerous atrocities that have been committed in the name of religion.  But let’s not forget that religion is also the driving force behind humanitarian efforts in third world countries, outreaches to the poor and oppressed, and a source of hope in worlds of darkness.  I have yet to see any atheist organizations go into Africa, or Haiti, or other areas affected by natural disasters, famine, poverty, etc. to lend a helping hand.  Furthermore!  I say that atheism is responsible for FAR more evil and death than the entire history of religion!  Atheist leaders such as Stalin, Pol Pot, Milosevic, and Mao Zadong (to name a few!) have the blood of HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS on their hands.  Religion, on the other hand, has just a small fraction of that blood.  Now I am not saying that two wrongs make a right, but it is clear that a world controlled by atheists would be a much larger disaster than a world in which we recognize a living God and our actions have consequences in the eyes of that God.  A world without divine consequence is a permit for evil, and this proof has been adequately and substantially demonstrated during this past century.  A world without religion would never “live as one” and John Lennon believed, but would tear itself apart, therefore it is logical to believe that a world with religion is much better than one void of religion.

Finally, let me say this: belief for or against God is always a matter of faith.  If you believe something WITHOUT having any proof to back up your belief, it is an issue of faith.  Just as I freely admit that my belief in God is done out of faith (I call it reasoned faith), the atheist must accept that making a commitment to believe there is no God, without having any proof other than personal beliefs, is also taking a leap of faith.  The only ones that have the luxury of not committing to a belief either way are the agnostics, the ones that simply say “I don’t know!”  The rest of us who have taken a side must be willing to accept the role that faith plays.  The theist says “I have faith” while the atheist says “I lack faith.”  But guess what?  Your lack of faith is transformed to a new form of faith when you utter the words “There is no God” with only your belief to back up your claim.  The “intelligent” atheist would recognize this dilemma and retreat back to agnosticism rather than push a bad position without realizing the hypocrisy of it.

To the atheist, I have a few questions: what would it take for you to believe in God?  Many say they would require God to appear to them, or do something miraculous.  What if God were to do that?  Would you attribute it to God, or would you say it was a fluke of nature?  In other words, is there any room for God in your narrow way of looking at the universe, or are you simply comfortable in setting your own criteria for your own beliefs in order to justify your actions?  Or is religion, and not God, the real issue at heart?  If that is the case, you should examine your motives for your beliefs and recognize that personal bias, not logic, is the real reason you believe the way you do.

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4 Responses to Dear Atheists . . .

  1. I found your blog this morning and really enjoyed your post, even though I am myself, an atheist. You actually helped clear some things up that I’ve been wondering about. Namely, the Christian take on some important issues. Although I was raised Baptist, I believed on “blind-faith” and was never taught, or searched for, the reasons behind the belief.

    I appreciate the tone of your blog, as so many discussions (even one-sided ones) between Christians and atheists end up so full of attacks and hate. It sounds like we are on similar journeys, even if we end up in very different places.

    I look forward to reading your future posts.

    • polemicist says:

      I was not raised in the church at all. My mom believes in God but never took us to church, and my dad considers himself an atheist/agnostic. At UCSB, I discovered the reasons for people’s unbelief in God were not rooted in logic per-se, but against religion itself. After considering the existence of God, I came to believe that the universe must have had a creator, or prime mover. It’s a bit ironic how we rebelled against our past and arrived at two different places. I wish you well on your journey!

  2. morsec0de says:

    “but let’s not forget that science does not disprove God’s existence either. ”

    I don’t forget that. Let’s also not forget that science does not disprove the existence of Bigfoot, the chupakabra, or leprechauns. The response I have to that is…so?

    “God is transcendent, or “outside” of the known universe and not something that can be defined or measured by science, so why use science as a standard for non-belief?”

    Because there’s no indication that ‘outside’ exists. All we have is your claim…and that’s not good enough.

    “Remember, atheists, if science could disprove God, then all scientists would be atheists.”

    I highly doubt this, as evidenced by the simple fact that science disproves creationism, yet there are still some small number of scientists who believe it.

    “Remember that plenty of scientists believe in God without believing in unicorns, even though they have no measurable proof for God’s existence!”

    So what? We don’t listen to scientists just because they’re scientists. We listen to them because they have evidence and the scientific method to back up what they say. Whenever they speak without those things backing them up, why should we listen to them?

    “what would it take for you to believe in God?”

    Observable, repeatable, scientific empirical evidence.

    “Many say they would require God to appear to them, or do something miraculous. What if God were to do that? Would you attribute it to God, or would you say it was a fluke of nature?”

    That depends entirely on what the event was.

    How about this: Jesus (or the god of your choice) comes down and gets an international press conference. He says who he is, what he’s about, and what he wants from us. Then he does something significantly impressive…like suspend gravity for everyone on earth for about 60 seconds.

    At the absolute least, this establishes Jesus as a significantly powerful being that should be taken seriously. He’d certainly get my attention.

    • polemicist says:

      A) Using science as a “Godometer” is like using barometer to track velocity: you are using the wrong standard of measure and as a result you are getting useless data to “prove” your beliefs. My point is that atheists should not cling science as proof that there is no God because science is not meant to measure God at all. As I said before, science is not concerned with God or God’s existence, so it is no surprise that tons of scientists believe in God, none believe in unicorns, or in your case leprechauns. Do you see the differences between the two?

      B) There is every indication that “outside” exists given what we know about the formation of the universe, its finite nature, and the fact that natural laws exist without any explanation to why. Just because we can’t see it/measure it does not mean it does not exist. Mistakenly assuming that only what we can perceive must be the only thing that exists and nothing else can exist is not only narrow-minded (sound familiar), but extremely arrogant.

      C) Give me one reputable scientist that still believes in creationism. It’s always good to back up your claims before posting opinions without proof to back them up.

      D) So if Jesus were to hold a press conference and do what you said, would you believe in God? If so, what do you think would happen if you told people thirty years down the road about Jesus’ press conference? Do you think they’d believe you, or would they consider it a hoax and try to disprove it? By your criteria, Jesus should have to perform miracles for everyone, and why should he? To amuse you or to satisfy your curiosity?

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