Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Atheism: Shooting itself in the foot

I'm not a trendy individual, and I don't rush to get in line to follow the latest fads, but there are some pop culture issues I try to keep a finger on the pulses of. The gaining-volume-by-the-moment militant atheism movement has, once again, picked up a tired argument, and is attempting to make it fresh, relevant, and damning (when, in actuality, it is: old, ancillary, and only damaging to their own cause).

What are they dusting off and repeating? They are attempting to resurrect the old:

"The God of the Old Testament is evil / immoral challenge."

The form and (lack of) substance of the tirade usually follows the pattern of picking a particular verse from the Bible, typically from Exodus, Leviticus, or even Deuteronomy, which involve punishments for various acts, and then saying something to the effect of: "See, that's just not fair!" or "Well, that is obviously not right!" or "This proves that God is cruel and arbitrary."

This type of shallow argument falls flat on it's proverbial face for at least two obvious reasons:

In an atheistic worldview, with no god, no higher power, no transcendent authority, the concept of right and wrong, good or bad, moral evil or injustice, DOES NOT EXIST. Sorry Sam Harris, no amount of evolutionary fairy tales arriving at a "moral compass" can be tolerated.

Even if one were to be extemely generous and allow the naturalistic explanation of "ethics" or "morality" the evolutionist is still forced to admit that injustice, good, and evil do not actually exist, they are merely an imaginary feeling imposed upon us due to genetic mutation and selection.

In the naturalistic worldview, morality is no more than a freak of natural selection, a by-product of higher-functioning mammals to increase survival among communal species. In reality, this view is little more than a just-so type story, a self-fulfilling prophecy that must be true since god cannot exist. To the atheist, it is true, not because of any evidence or discovery, but because it HAS to be...because everything in life MUST HAVE an evolutionary explanation. Fairy tales for adults.

Where am I going with this look into the pseudo-scientific explanations for morality? It is quite simple: an atheist CANNOT claim that God is "immoral, unjust, evil, or arbitrary." If they will think about it logically, they are contradicting their own "faith" when attacking ours with that potshot. They risk shooting themselves in the proverbial foot as they take cheap shots against the Bible.

An atheist saying that God is immoral, is like a prostitute claiming that pornography is wrong. Both of them lack the necessary credibility when it comes to making moral pronouncements.

For an atheist to claim that God is somehow "wrong" when handing out physical punishments for criminals on Earth, they are commiting a serious logical fallacy...and one that is so  Sesame Street simple, it's a wonder that they even go there.

Ask an atheist: (assuming that God exists)
"Does God have the right to govern His own creation?"

This is a very tricky question for them to answer, they are in a catch-22, so to speak. (some of you are starting to see the predicament they are in)

If they say "YES" then their entire argument fails---game over. If God has the right to govern His own creation, then He has the right to say what the ramifications and punishments are for various sins against Him, and for crimes against humanity.

If they say "No," then they have to give a logical defense for an answer that defies normal experience. Ask them on what basis God does not have the right to govern what He has created.

There will be much mental squirming, mumblings, and then, often, a string of verbal tirades against you, and "your stupid Bible," and "your ignorant religion!"

Often they will react with an EMOTIONAL argument, such as "Well, I don't understand why God would do that!" or "What could be the possible reason God would command that!?"

This only deepens their logical hole. Why? Because emotional arguments are baseless, and one's lack of understanding, in no way, affects the reasonablesness of a claim. A parent understands this all too well. Oftentimes we tell our children to do things, things of which their young, inexperienced, and immature minds do not fully grasp or understand. But their lack of understanding does not invalidate the request, command, or expectation.

There are purposes and reasons for the requests and commands of a transcendent creator that are much higher above us than we are above the understanding level of a child. Just because a punishment or a statement is puzzling to us, does not de facto invalidate the Bible as divinely inspired.

When atheists or skeptics parade these type of self-contradictory and illogical arguments, yell out as the child in the story of old: "Look---the emperor has no clothes!"

Hopefully, they will look, and eventually see the truth.