Monday, June 2, 2008

I Don't Believe in the Existence of Atheists

I don't believe atheists exist. I am seeing many books hit the best seller by prominent atheists such as Richard Dawkins or Sam Harris denouncing all people of faith no matter the faith. Although they tend to target Christianity above the rest, they also lump Christianity in with all other faiths as equally invalid. The truth they claim is that there is no God, no spirituality, and no reason for existence. They debunk all people of faith and purport that humanity would have less violence and hate if people left faith behind and moved into the new era of atheism. They imagine a world with no belief in God as the ideal world for humanity.

These atheists try to circumvent the logical fallacy of atheism. For one to prove a negative, one must be omniscient. Thus, atheists can never know there is no God for they cannot know all things without being gods themselves. So at best, they are agnostics – people who don't know if God exists or not. Therefore, they cannot base a philosophy on his non-existence for they cannot prove their supporting foundation of their belief system. Notwithstanding, they continue to base their philosophy on this unstable foundation in which they must employ faith in order to believe there is no God. So now the atheists who are decrying faith are in fact using faith themselves to support their hypothesis, yet they continue to believe themselves to be more scientific and intellectual than people of faith.

I say that I do not believe in atheist, because if a person claiming to be an atheist truly examines his worldview he must logically conclude that it cannot exist in reality. Atheism simply does not line up with reality. Atheism is self-defeating and thus cannot exist as a viable philosophy. [Thus it is really the philsophical construct of atheism that I don't think anyone can fully align theirselves with, rather than that the person who espouses atheism doesn't exist. They most certainly do exist. And their worldview is important in the market place of ideas, which is why I'm hoping to promote inerchange between worldviews by pointing out some logical fallacies.]

Moreover, if there is no God, there is no way to judge wars and violence as injustice. Atheist cannot justify their blaming people of faith, for if there was no god there would be no grounds to blame anyone for any supposed injustice. Atheists borrow from the worldview of faith in order to substantiate their own anti-faith worldview. Without the former, they would not have a leg to stand on to support the latter. Justice does not and cannot exist apart from God. There is no framework for it to be founded upon in atheism.

The atheist looks at the turmoil in the Middle East and sees one religious group fighting the other for religious reasons and concludes that a world without belief in any religion would bring about peace. This seems to be a logical conclusion, but it is in error. In part, they have the right idea for religion devoid of knowing God can cause problems on an individual and international scale. However, it is not evidence against God's existence, but against man trying to find security in rules and tradition without surrendering themselves to God and having a real relationship with the living God.

This distinction may seem like mere semantics and word play, but it makes all the difference in the world. The Answer to the world's problems is not found in religion nor in atheism, but in knowing the One True God. The hope for humanity will not be found in irradiating belief in God, but in cultivating belief in the God who is known through Jesus Christ. This cannot be accomplished by force, or manipulation, thus no wars or violence are encouraged by Jesus. Jesus lived love and those who are truly known by Him are to be examples of His love to the world.

Atheism replaces one's desire for a spiritual life with a gaping void of nothingness, whereas Jesus fills the void that was designed to be filled by Him like nothing or no one can. Only living the life you were made for can satisfy.

Relevant Magazine published this for me on their on-line magazine last year. You can follow the link to that article below.

Resurging Disbelief: Relevant Magazine


Shannon said...

"Thus, atheists can never know there is no God for they cannot know all things without being gods themselves. So at best, they are agnostics – people who don't know if God exists or not."

This is an extremely weak argument that has been attempted before.

A non-believer (The person not making any claim or suggesting to have any answers) does not carry the burden of proof. The person making the claim (the believer who claims to know the answers) however does.

We are all born Atheists and we are taught about God in our adolescence and adulthood. Some of us simply state "I don't believe that to be true. I don't see any evidence to support you claims." This does not mean the burden of proof now falls in to our laps.

If a man is brought up on charges, the burden of proof falls on to the prosecutor, not the defendant. The prosecutor is making the claim that this person is guilty (God exists). We do not simply allow the prosecutor to walk into the courtroom, say "He's guilty" and then force the defendant to plea his case. Why is this situation any different? The burden of proof falls on the person making the claim, the theist.

This is how we see theists:

I someone believes in an invisible Dragon I have no evidence an invisible dragon exists nor do I have to have any evidence. Instead I think it’s up to you to provide me evidence that this invisible Dragon does not exist. Oh, you can’t? Since you cannot prove the Dragon does not exist, the Dragon must exist.

Lame right?

Trekin4JC said...

Hi Shannon,

The argument in this blog is only a part of the bigger picture. If you check out my other blogs I present a framework for who God is and why. I think people have to be educated into atheism. I know you would say the same for Christianity.

I agree that it is my responsibility as a Christian to demonstrate that God is real and that He loves you. In person, I would have more options to do that, whereas on a blog forum, I can only write about what I believe and present written arguments for that belief. One problem that arises is that this forum is impersonal in that you don't know me and I don't know you and I can't prove that when I share an experience I'm not making it up. So when I say I have encountered God you equate that to a child saying she saw Santa Claus.

I hope though that your open to talking more about belief systems and how we arive at them and how we can measure their corespondence to reality.

DB said...

Dawkins and Hitchens (the authors of the books you mention) do not deny the possibility of a god existing, rather are very skeptical. In the "God Delusion" Dawkins even defines himself technically agnostic, leaning atheist because god is something unprovable. So, I suppose you are right that atheists cannot exist without taking that final leap of faith, if you will. But it hardly proves that the "possible" god is the god of Abraham.

I agree with Trekin4JC that the burden of proof lies with the Christians to prove that they, of all religions, hold the correct views. Your everyday Christians works at proving this through Christ's teachings of love, while the fundamentalists think that attacking atheists and making the standards of belief near impossible to swallow. Which would best help in converting?

For example, a normal Christian will say God works in mysterious ways and is impossible to know his intent by giving us the creation story without the expectation of others to believe it literally. That is easy to swallow and works. Then the fundamentalists, who speak out more for your religion (making them the figureheads with no objection from the other Christians) would have us believe in a six day creation and if not, we are wrong and not Christian enough to their standards. I can't swallow that. Neither can a large majority of Christians who do not take the Bible that literally, yet still follow the teachings of Christ and accept him in their lives regardless of their literal view.

In the end, I don't think outward aggression, no matter how mild, towards Atheists, such as "I don't believe in Atheists" helps your cause of love by putting them on the defensive. I am more willing to follow someone who shows me love to prove their point rather than calling me out. Telling me I am going to hell for not believing doesn't work, even if it is your view. Perhaps just showing me love will work. Finding Christ to avoid hell is not very sincere. Finding Christ to know love is. Christians are their own worst enemy.

-btw, I saw your comment on a blog inviting non-Christians to your blog. Thanks and I hope you don't mind.

Trekin4JC said...

Hi, DB, I, the author of this blog, and Trekin4JC are the same. I don't know why blogspot post my name as Trekin4jc when I respond.

I do welcome non-Christians to my blog. I want to provide an atmosphere of interchange between our worldviews. I think we can both learn from each other.

I'm sorry if my blog sounded unloving. That was not the intent. I was trying to speak of it in a philosophical paradigm in that blog. Also, I had written some time ago before I really started to interact more with atheist. I hope maybe you will return and check out other blogs to see what I have to say and share your insight on those as well.

I do value and love atheist and I'm sorry if my blog communicated otherwise.

Just because our worldviews are different doesn't make me see you or others as less than me or non-existent. I merely meant that the philosophical contruct wasn't viable.

DB said...

Try going to "dashboard" then "edit profile" then change "display name." Might solve the problem...though that might seem too easy lol!

I meant to say I agree with Shannon on the burden of proof. But I think you see the point anyways. Most Christians are about Love as I suspect you are by reading all your other posts. The point I was making is that the fundamentalists are generally the ones putting out those extreme views causing a rift between non-Christians and Christians.

I didn't take your blog as disrespectful at all as I can see it is not intended to be so as I read your other posts. But this combative argument is often played out on fundamentalist blogs everywhere with a truly negative tone (and in Christian authors on par with Dawkins). I'll visit from time to time as I think your point is sincere :-)

Trekin4JC said...

Hi DB, I agree with Shannon too as I said in my response to her. As a Christian who is part of the Church I feel responsible for the existence of atheism. I feel like it is more a response to religion than to God because sometimes Christians have represented to the world a view of God that is not authentic and deserves to be challenged.

I too dislike it when Christians respond to Dawkins or Harris in the same spirit in which they write.

However, I do believe the complete Bible as the revealed words of God. Although I don't think I have ever been seen as a fundamentalist. I see that word as steeped in religion and legalism.

Thanks for your responses. You are always welcome to drop by and offer your comments.

Trekin4JC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeanine said...

"This cannot be accomplished by force, or manipulation, thus no wars or violence are encouraged by Jesus. Jesus lived love and those who are truly known by Him are to be examples of His love to the world."

I want to make a point here, but am afraid it will be assumed that I am saying I support a specific war going on right now. Thus I will state clearly that all of my research has lead me to strongly disagree with most American military actions of our days. That assumption cleared up I can go further into my point.

I strongly agree that "This cannot be accomplished by force, or manipulation," but I do not believe that this actually means that "no wars or violence are encouraged by Jesus."

More specifically I am thinking about the original revolutionary war, that hard fought, gained, for hundreds of years, a land of unusual levels of freedom. I believe that when given no other choice, violence and wars must be used to defend ones freedom. Freedom is always hard won away from the "gadiation robbers" (an LDS term) or conspirators, or lovers of power. Always there are people out there trying to take away what is not rightly theirs, and always we must fight against these people to maintain our freedom.

db said "Finding Christ to avoid hell is not very sincere. Finding Christ to know love is." A good point well made. Something that is good for all us 'Christians' to remember.

I am intrigued by Trekin4JC idea that getting down to the foundation of our world views we will find that we can communicate better, and that arguing over social standards only confuses the communication and increases the assumptions of 'outsiders'.


Karla said...

I wasn't arguing for pacifism. There are reasons for war. I was speaking about how Jesus never advocated forcing anyone to believe in Him. It can't be a forced thing, not by politics, or by war, or by social pressures. It has to be a heart change of the individual. And that can't happen by force.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.