“On Atheism” from a Non-Believer

Although I prefer a less caustic tone, this article about atheism, written by a non-believer is worth a read:

“On Atheism”

This part is especially interesting:

Atheists will argue that atheism is the opposite of religious belief, but that’s what is called a gratuitous assertion. The atheist believes there is no superior being. They have no proof of this as there can be no proof. In that regard, atheism is illogical as it is something that can never be proved. Christianity, in contrast, can be proved. Christ could show up and confirm the tenets of the faith. The same is true of Islam or Judaism. In other words, even though there is no proof now, there could be proof. That’s not possible with atheism.

I do disagree with this earlier thought though:

The believer is willing to accept, without evidence, the truth of some statement, while the skeptic is unwilling to accept statements without proof.

Emphasis mine.

That is blind faith, not faith. There are probably plenty of “blind faith” believers, but Christianity is not devoid of evidence. It is just not convincing for everyone. Additonally, I am definitely a skeptic…including of much of what Christians often believe…and am convinced that is what the Bible teaches us to be (e.g. see Acts 17:11)…not to mention what a God who gave us brains expects.

My Christian Belief Does Not Make Me Superior…

Atheist checked off on listDid that title make you think I was going to apologize for the excesses of Christianity…or possibly the reverse…that somehow I imagine I am better than non-believers?

Actually, it was a play of this interesting article I saw a few days ago:

“My atheism does not make me superior to believers. It’s a leap of faith too”

Based on what I’ve seen in social media, a lot of new atheists should read the piece…for instance:

But my conviction that there is no God is nonetheless a leap of faith. Just as we have been unable to prove there is a God, we have also been unable to prove that there isn’t one. The feeling that I have in my being that there is no God is what I go by, but I’m not deluded into thinking that feeling is in any way more factual than the deep conviction by theists that God exists.

I keep this fact in mind – that my atheism is a leap of faith – because otherwise it’s easy to get cocky.

And, after noting that religion doesn’t have a corner on bad attitudes, the author posits:

Perhaps this is not religion, but human nature.

As I once said in a Twitter dialogue with Penn Jillette:

And “blind faith” in anything, religious or secular, is a very dangerous thing…

Sometimes our blind faith is in ourselves…what we “know.” The article’s author, Ijeoma Oluo, probably realizes that too.

I hope she finds the God she doesn’t believe in (yet). Her intellectual honesty can be used within the church…and that God wants her in His fold.

Okay, I Stipulate God Is an Alien

To my atheist readers and friends, the article below will come off a bit snarky, but I actually respect your skepticism and penned it the way I have to prompt dialogue, not insult your laudable aversion to blind faith.

Alien with haloIt seems to me that atheists (and others) can hold I am someone who has blind faith in fairy tales since I believe in God, but (at the same time) they can provide far-fetched explanations for the inexplicable and it’s okay. Can’t explain why this universe is so perfectly designed for life? Posit a zillion universes out there with ours just happening to be one with conducive conditions. Can’t explain where the Big Bang came from? Just, ironically, take all our physical laws out of the picture as Steven Hawking did:

At this time, the Big Bang, all the matter in the universe, would have been on top of itself. The density would have been infinite. It would have been what is called, a singularity. At a singularity, all the laws of physics would have broken down. This means that the state of the universe, after the Big Bang, will not depend on anything that may have happened before, because the deterministic laws that govern the universe will break down in the Big Bang.

You can pretty much propose anything and still look down on people who believe in the supernatural…

Because science.

Now a rough segue…but I promise it’ll all be connected before we are done. 🙂 [Read more…]

A God that Does Not Want to Be Measured Will Not Be Measured

Measuring tapeOne of the (many) shortcomings of Christian religion to atheists is that God remains unmeasurable.  Here is a being that purportedly has often interfered in the natural realm (including its very creation), yet no scientific instrument, photograph, video, or so on has captured a single one of His miracles (although I'm sure some Christians would argue otherwise).

Yet, as much as it might be claimed a cop-out, reality is that…

A God that does not want to be measured will not be measured.

Now, that is actually slightly inaccurate in that it implies God has hidden Himself, whereas Christians believe that He has actually gone through great efforts to reveal Himself, finally providing the ultimate form of communication: [Read more…]

“Alan the Atheist”

If you are a regular reader of my bulletin articles, you already know that Twitter is often an inspiration for what I write. This week's motivation began when a Christian I follow retweeted:

I am #atheism, and the behavior of the most fanatically devout is so often my best argument. #islam #catholicism #christianity

I responded to the original tweeter:

Legit embedded criticism of religion acknowledged *****. However, do misbehaving rabid atheists equally disprove atheism?

What ensued was a conversation that continued long enough to mean I was a wee bit tired the next day. Initially it was painful—and I ultimately I found out why:

I started suspicious of you because you are a minister. I have found your profession to debate dishonestly in the past.

Ouch…but mostly because I suspect it is true.

The conversation improved after that, although he no more ended as a Christian believing in our resurrected Lord than I ended as an atheist believing in evolution. At best, we laid a foundation for future interactions. We will see what the future holds.

However, what I especially found interesting is something in common between the four atheists that crossed my path that night. Here is the Twitter bio of the original gentleman:

Atheist Twitter Bio #1

Demanding proof of all religions' legitimacy. How offensive you find my tweets is inversely proportional to your rationality.

That wasn't especially contentious, but also not very welcoming to those of us who believe. The second atheist of the evening was a biologist the first suggested could answer any questions I have about evolution. From his Twitter profile: [Read more…]

“Two rival religions? … The real struggle is between Christianity and Post-Christianity.”

A liberal telling a conservative...There is a very interesting article by Albert Mohler that is worth your time titled, “Two Rival Religions? Christianity and Post-Christianity.” Not only does it explain why it is near impossible to convince a liberal Christian of something outside their worldview, but it (in great respect) puts into words how secularism is itself a religion with holy writings, priests, and so on.  For instance:

Secular liberalism also identifies certain sins such as “homophobia” and sexism. As Kainz sees it, the secular scriptures fall into two broad categories: “Darwinist and scientistic writings championing materialist and naturalistic explanations for everything, including morals; and feminist writings exposing the ‘evil’ of patriarchy and tracing male exploitation of females throughout history up to the present.”

The priests and priestesses of secular liberalism constitute its “sacerdotal elite” and tend to be intellectuals who can present liberal values in the public square. Congregations where secular liberals gather include organizations such as Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, the National Organization of Women, and similar bodies. These groups “help supply a sense of affiliation and commonality for the religiously liberal.”

In some ways I’d like to copy the whole article for you :-), but instead of plagiarizing…please take time to read Dr. Mohler’s piece.

Why I Am a Heretic

I am no longer going to update this post. Instead please see the Beliefs page to read the most up-to-date list of what I believe.

AKA, "What I Believe"

Guy preaching with a staff and a stone tabletI had an interesting conversation with a Twitter friend, and after he agreed to an uncomfortable implication of his belief system I commended him on being willing to admit it. I then suggested that someone else who held that same belief system would not be willing to make the same admission, to which he replied:

Yes, I believe he would. I probably wouldn’t just throw that out there in the public forum of twitter. He may not be comfortable with saying

To which I replied:

Why not? If it is true it’s to God’s sovereign glory isn’t it?

My response would seem a whole ‘lot more apropos if you understood what belief system it was in response to. 🙂

Either way, although I can understand choosing a proper forum for airing one’s beliefs, I kind of was taken aback at the idea that someone who has no problem debating for his theological worldview then wouldn’t be willing to lay all his cards on the table.

So, here are all my cards. Traditional Christians will find plenty to consider me a heretic, but I’m not going to do a bait-and-switch on you. (Most of this is from a post I did a couple years back on fahrner.us. All biblical quotes are from the English Standard Version. Oh, and I reserve the right to modify this post at any time, so if you want to beat me over the head with my own words, be sure to grab a screenshot. :-)) [Read more…]

God is Dead (Again)

A GalaxySpace.com had to know they were going to grab some attention a tile like this for an article:

“The Big Bang Didn’t Need God to Start Universe, Researchers Say”

And the beginning of the piece doesn’t disappoint:

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Our universe could have popped into existence 13.7 billion years ago without any divine help whatsoever, researchers say.

That may run counter to our instincts, which recoil at the thought of something coming from nothing. But we shouldn’t necessarily trust our instincts, for they were honed to help us survive on the African savannah 150,000 years ago, not understand the inner workings of the universe.

Instead, scientists say, we should trust the laws of physics.

“The Big Bang could’ve occurred as a result of just the laws of physics being there,” said astrophysicist Alex Filippenko of the University of California, Berkeley. “With the laws of physics, you can get universes.”

As a result of such confidence, I immediately gathered all my bibles and started a bonfire.

Well, maybe not quite yet. 🙂 [Read more…]

My Close Personal Friend Penn Jillette

Okay, I'll be up front…I have never even met Penn Jillette…so the title of this article might be considered a wee bit of an exaggeration. 🙂

No, he isn't a close personal friend, but I have had a couple times where Penn has responded to me on Twitter…and considering he's got over 1.7 million followers, that's almost like being famous. 🙂

At this point some of you might be saying, "Who is Penn Jillette?" This is what he has (right at this moment) on his Twitter profile:

Twitter Bio of Penn Jillette

More than 1/2 (by weight) of Penn & Teller at the Rio in Vegas, Penn's Sunday School Podcast, P&T Tell a Lie on Discovery, P&T: Fool Us! on ITV.God, NO! – book

As that blurb indicates, he is the larger half of the Penn & Teller act, a pair of comedic magicians. If you have ever seen them, you also know he's the half that speaks (his smaller compadre never utters a word). And speak he does…during his magic acts…during their multiple TV shows…and in any other opportunity he is given. He is loud, fun, informative, and interesting…

And an extremely committed atheist. [Read more…]

Creation Belief = Bad Commencement Speaker

"What worried me the most was the fact that he said if you do accept evolution that you’re somehow ethically lacking."

First, I don’t know if Dr. Carson actually said that, but, theoretically, if materialistic evolution (no God) is right, there is no real foundation for ethics. That doesn’t mean atheists are less ethical, but with no "absolute moral authority," who really decides what is wrong or right? If it is society, we've seen over and over how well that works…and it is no better when left in the hands of "enlightened" leaders.

Regardless, is it a new litmus test for non-controversial college commencement speakers that they can’t believe in creation?:

“Dr. Ben Carson’s Beliefs On Evolution Stir Controversy At Emory University”