воскресенье, 24 августа 2014 г.

God doesn't exist because.... (Or: "I see no ships")

After 9/11 and the Twin Towers atheists decided that enough was enough; religion was no longer to be tolerated, but eradicated. And the New Atheism was born. Its advocates were nicknamed the Horseman of the Apocalypse, including Richard Dawkins, a biologist at the University of Oxford.

Richard Dawkins, once the voice of calm Anglosaxon reason in the face of religious obscurantism, has recently Twittered himself into a corner with statements advising the abortion of all Down syndrome children in the womb as a matter of moral obligation. He also let the side down by refusing to debate with Christian apologist, William Lane Craig.

But the Crusade continues. And the news feed on the social network sites deal up an almost daily diet of caricature mockeries of religion. Here is today' offering:

For those of you who don't know, Mr. Tickle is one of the Mr. Men from Roger Hargreaves series of children's books, and, naturally, a laughable, fictional character. Just because someone has written a book about something - so the logic goes - doesn't mean it is true.

My initial response was the following:

The problem with my response is that it focuses too much on atheism's historical record, rather than its underlying logical flaw, namely that God does not exist because I don't believe in Him.

The bottom-line, knock-down argument for not believing in God is that there is allegedly no evidence for God's existence and therefore to believe is absurb and without foundation. Whenever evidence is presented, such as the very existence of a universe (cosmological argument) or the argument from design (teleological argument), this is discounted. 'No evidence' in this case means 'no evidence an atheist would accept'. Believers in God defy reason by failing to believe in self-creating universes, self-designing organisms and self-regulating moral absolutes.

Generations of Soviet school children were told that God didn't exist because Darwin had disproved Him and Gagarin hadn't seen Him in space. Betrand Russell's prepared answer for the Final Judgment was: "Sir, why did you take such pains to hide yourself?" This from the man who stated, "When I die, I rot." Bertrand Russell was cremated. Atheism's more contemporary advocates rely on more subjective analogies, such as the fairies at the bottom of the garden, the spaghetti monster or the booby trap for God. These add more heat than light to the debate and serve to bolster the subjective plausibility of atheism rather than its objective basis.

I am reminded of the words of Admiral Nelson (famous admiral in the British Navy who fought in the wars with Napoleon). When faced with the threat of enemy ships he famously put his telescope to his blind eye (lost in battle) and said, "I see no ships." As the saying goes, "There are none so blind as those who will not see." (i.e. don't want to see).

By contrast hear the words of the 19th Psalm: "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands."

And the Apostle Paul: "For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse." 

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