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Friday, April 10, 2009

Atheism’s Plagiarism

Outright atheism, certainly in its modern incarnation, has always had a minority following (see http://www.investigatingatheism.info/history.html & http://www.investigatingatheism.info/historyeighteenth.html), despite its adherents' claims to the contrary. The atheist complains that open disavowal of God’s existence was not only proscribed but was met with painful, and often deadly, punishment. While there is some truth to this - though an exaggerated and emotionally-charged polemic is pushed forward - it is more true that formerly people in all likelihood were less likely to jettison their commonsense. The ordinary ploughboy was eminently qualified to reason from the physical world, to its being a perspicuously created order, to a Creator. Today people are less capable because the contemporary “intellectual” environment is vociferously weighted toward a naturalistic, evolutionary worldview. This Stratonician attitude “comprehends” the way things are by means of a worldview in which on a priori philosophical grounds any actual or theoretical involvement by God is excluded. Of course, a presumption of Stratonician atheism is logically unwarranted because it is just that, a preconception or bias.

The real intellectual battle is whether or not excluding God can, in the least, explain how life came to be. Undeniably evolution is the atheist’s major tool in her apologist’s arsenal for this task. Evolution historically relies on Stratonician atheism, Sydney Anglican Diocese remonstration notwithstanding that evolution is God’s way of doing things because “science” has demonstrated this. (Boy, talk about getting one’s scientific apples mixed up with religion’s oranges!) But I digress from my purpose.

Arguably the most common explanation why atheism is so conspicuous in modern times is that it is a Christian heresy: it could only emerge from, and is a reaction to, the ubiquity of Christian thought. Genuine ancient atheism is probably and more accurately described as agnosticism. In any case, it never gained anywhere near the popularity of its modern incarnation and certainly did not devote its energies on solely promoting a view of a cosmos sans God.

That our modern atheism parasites off Christianity is humorously seen in its latest indefatigable program plastered prominently on the sides of British buses. The ‘Probably no God’ campaign wasn’t an original idea but one that derived its existence from comedy writer Ariane Sherine’s spotting a Christian message on the side of a bus. This spurred her to raise close to half a million dollars on an indulgent campaign. Ironically, the verse that Sherine saw was a misunderstanding of a critical comment Christ made against believers. Correctly comprehended it would have lent powerful support to atheists’ accurate assessment that Christians frequently sanctimoniously self-promote.

In the Gospel according to Luke, this doctor-historian wrote that the Creator stated, “[Nevertheless w]hen the son of man comes, will he really find faith on the earth?” Christ immediately follows up with the parable about the self-effacing tax collector and the self-righteous religious authority. His disciples then tried to prevent children from accessing him and were rebuked for this. Christ’s message was that we, as Christians, have got to be ever so aware that we do not indulge in self-promotion, that we in fact do not end up turning the Gospel on its head by having our “righteousness” replace his. This “death” of self, may I suggest, is the faith Christ queried would be found when he returns. It is the type of faith that derives from that never-ceasing battle Christians should wage internally against themselves: pride in their own righteousness.

Sherine and the atheists missed an opportunity to bring our communities a little closer to each other. After all, regardless of our differences, one thing is sure: we both have a common origin. The question is which is the true answer, the atheist’s pond scum or God’s love for all of us?

BTW, to all our atheist friends, have a joyous Easter and thank Christ for those penalty rates or the day off.

2 comments:

neil moore said...

Meanwhile, I am sure our Atheist friends in Sydney are as relieved as many others - Christian and non-Christian - that the NSW Government has overturned the decision of the Director of Nursing at Royal North Shore Hospital to ban bibles and crucifixes from the chapel at the hospital.

The Director of Nursing's view that the chapel should have regard for non-Christian religions didn't wash with a government 'under the gun'.

All the drama got too much and it drew scathing criticism of Atheists on one major radio network. It certainly set back the work of Atheists trying to make themselves look okay people in the eyes of Sydney public.

For my part I would have been happy to see the crucifixes go but I would want the bibles to stay.

Neil

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