Friday, November 26, 2010

The Continued Insecurity of Atheists

Each year at Christmas and Easter, the world atheists live in and try and make sense of is threatened more than it normally is with the in-your-face external reminder that Jesus Christ actually lived and that His body is still missing. And because the insecurity they have about their position is so strong and the faith in their negative existential stance so weak, they put up billboards and signs to try and make each other feel better. They say they do it to encourage in-the-closet atheists to 'out' themselves, but in reality, it's pretty apparent that the real motivation is to help those in such groups stave off thoughts like: "I'm not along am I? It sure feels like it."

Their latest billboard says "You KNOW it's a myth. This season celebrate REASON". One spokesman for the group says,"Much of the campaign is positive; we're not defining ourselves by negativity". No, it's not disrespectful at all and quite positive to essentially say to people "Hey, you don't believe in fairy tales like all these other buffoons right? Then, please, for the sake of reason, separate yourself in a clear and unmistakable way from these mindless and ignorant people."

For the atheist on your Christmas list, I have a couple of suggestions. First, is Stephen Meyer's relatively new book The Signature in the Cell. Richard Dawkins, the hero to many atheists, says this about the specific complexity of life: “What lies at the heart of every living thing is not a fire, warn breath, nor a ‘spark of life’. It is information, words, instructions. . . . Think of a billion discrete digital characters. . . . If you want to understand life think about digital technology.” Stephen Meyer agrees. In fact, his book has been getting praise from Christians and non-Christians alike who all agree. Meyer's basic question in the book is this: where does the information that Dawkins references in the previous statement come from? In one interview, Meyer describes it like this:

“If you’re trying to explain an event in the remote past you should rely on our knowledge of the cause/effect structure of the world and you should be looking for a cause that has the capability or power to produce the known effect in question. It is the principle of sufficient or adequate reason [atheists - take note!]. Darwin’s mentor Charles Lyell gave this to him. Lyell put it this way: ‘In investigating the past we should be looking for causes now in operation’. Now as to information and intelligence: What is the cause now in operation of digital information? That is intelligence. By using Darwin’s own principle of reasoning, we can use an inference to the best explanation: intelligence produces information.”

But what answer do the atheists who produce the "choose reason" billboards have to Meyer's challenge? Is it the answer their hero Dawkins gave in the movie Expelled where aliens came here and planted DNA? That's not a very 'reasonable' answer.

The second book worth giving to an atheist friend is Mike Licona's new book on the resurrection of Jesus entitled: "The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach". The book is basically Licona's doctoral dissertation and is centered on a philosophical 'appeal to the best explanation' approach to why Jesus' tomb is empty. Using only the principles employed by historians to validate other events in the past, Licona investigates other explanations for why Jesus' body is still missing besides a resurrection. Although some atheists ignore all the evidence for the actual existence of the Nazarene carpenter and try and say He was all made up (see billboard above), they check their brains at the door because every reputable scholar in the world - both believing and unbelieving - admits that Jesus lived and was murdered under the reign of the Roman prefect Pontius Pilate. And as for the resurrection, even the atheist Gerd Ludemann says: “It is historically certain that Peter and the other disciples had experiences after Jesus’ death in which Jesus appeared to them as the risen Christ.” Given such statements, it would seem that anyone trying to call Jesus a myth wouldn't be taking a 'reasonable' position.

So this year, my recommendation is to get each one of the books above and fill your 'friendly' atheist's stocking with true reason rather than the material they've taking in thus far.

Two last notes to these atheist associations: (1) Why not do real good this year and instead of trying to comfort yourselves by mocking Christianity, how about spending that billboard money on helping the Haitian relief organizations that still need so much assistance? (2) I'm still waiting for your billboards that mock Islam in the same way you do Christianity. And don't forget to include your address and phone number at the bottom so any Muslim extremists know just where to find you.


Anonymous said...

Dear Robin Schumacher,

The first half of your opinion was very nicely done and I commend you for it. You should have stopped there, however.

You see, in the second paragraph that you wrote, your bigotry against Muslims became very evident. This should have been an issue between you and the atheists, not between you and the Muslims, but I am of the opinion that since your knowledge of religion is quite shallow, you turned your anger against us.

There are over one and a half billion Muslims in the world and not all of us are terrorists, matter of fact very few of those who "claim" to be Muslims are terrorists. The terrorists are despised by the overwhelming majority of us, as much as they are despised by you. I have to wonder, do you know any Muslims? I doubt it, and if by a long-shot you happen to know one, then he/she is likely not a terrorist because you are still alive, am I correct?

Do you think it would be fair for me to label you a Quran-burner, or a Mosque-burner because this has become the new trend in America? No, it would not be fair. So please, in the future, please be more careful in what you say or write, because once we commit our thoughts to speech or paper it becomes irrevocable.

Have a nice day!

A decent Muslim

Michael said...

The christian right has been attacking atheists and agnostics for centuries. It's so blatantly out there that most christians don't even realize how offensive it is. Christians are constantly pushing politicians to pass laws to force everyone to comply with their moral codes. Every conservative talk show demeans people who don't practice what is in the bible. Evangelists constantly berate the "demoralization" in America of those who don't practice what is written in their bible. People show up on my doorstep saying I'm going to spend eternity in damnation if I don't believe what is in their little book. The funny thing is that all these "books" people believe in were written by humans, not some supreme being. I personally believe that if a supreme being wanted me to follow his word, he or she would have sent the word themselves and not had men write in whatever they want. If there is a god out there, he sure doesn't get involved in what's going on down here on Earth, so I'm pretty sure he's not going to hold me to some text written by different men conflicting each other's doctrines. Don't accuse atheists of attacking the Christian religion. The christians started this, and we are only now vocalizing our rights to not have our lives dominated by other people's beliefs.

Anonymous said...

Not big on logic and reason, are you? Sorry that people who think logically offend you. Are you a Republican?

Robin Schumacher said...

Actually, I'm a big fan of logic and reason; it's just that after studying atheism, I arrived at the conclusion it takes far more 'faith' to believe than Christianity and is much more unreasonable.

I'm assuming you're an atheist and therefore think you're a person of reason? If so, help me out with your logic regarding our origins. How did an impersonal, amoral, meaningless, and purposeless universe accidentally create personal and moral beings who are obsessed with meaning and purpose? Logic and science dictate that an effect always resemble its cause in essence, so what gives?

Robin Schumacher said...

Decent Muslim -

I do have friends who are Muslims and you are right: they are not terrorists. I've changed the wording at the end of my entry to reflect your correct remarks. Thank you for writing.

Robin Schumacher said...

Michael - thanks for your comments. Actually, someone's morality is always imposed; the debate always centers around who's.

God did send His Word personally when Jesus came to show us what God is like. Do you have any problems with Christ?

If you want to be an atheist, then you have the freedom to choose that path, but I would encourage you to really look hard at its foundation and the weaknesses of its many arguments. Let me know if you're interested at looking into such things.

ymoore2563 said...

I for one, agree with all you've said here, and thought your responses to the comments were very good, as well. Thank you for posting this.

God Bless,

In Him, Bonnie

ymoore2563 said...

Enjoyed your post and all the comment responses by you, as well. Thank you for your testimony of the truth, and your devotion to the things of the Spirit of God.

In Him,