Thursday, June 14, 2012

An Atheist Look At Bible Christians

Paula Kirby has written another article that has atheists cheering. It is actually a pretty good critique of Sola Scriptura Christianity. She noticed the inconsistency in what different Christian groups believed and also the certainty with which they believed it.
Some of us, on the basis of our relationship with God, knew him to be loving, compassionate, generous, always reaching out to us, pitying our mistakes rather than condemning them. Others, on the basis of their relationship with God, knew him to be angry, jealous, punitive.
Some of us knew that God had more important things to worry about than our sex lives; others knew that human sexual impurity was deeply offensive to him.
Some of us knew that God wanted us to respond to other people’s shortcomings with tolerance and forbearance and humility; others knew that he wanted sin to be made an example of, to be held up and publicly rebuked.
Some of us knew that God was offended by conspicuous consumption when so many people had nothing; others knew that God showered wealth along with other good things on those of whom he approved.
Some of us knew that God saw all religions as different expressions of people’s yearning for him; others knew that traditional, orthodox Christianity was the only route to him.
Some of us knew that the devil was just a myth to explain the existence of evil; others knew that the devil was very real and a genuine threat to our souls.
Some of us knew that there was no way God could ever allow such a thing as hell; others knew that hell was very much a part of God’s ordained order.
We all knew we were right, and we all based that knowledge on the personal relationship we had with him.  How could any of us possibly be wrong?
This is the fruit of Sola Scriptura. The credibility of Christianity can be fairly mocked. People see Christians are just believing what they want to believe and claiming it is from God. It really isn't that impressive. It drives people away from the faith.

So she rightly questioned the method people were using to arrive at that certainty. So far so good. But then she declare atheism to be a solution. How is that? Is the atheist answer not just as arbitrary as the multiple Christian answers?
And this brings us to something very important about atheism.  Atheism is not in itself a belief. Few atheists would be so bold as to declare the existence of any god at all utterly impossible.  Atheism is, quite simply, the position that it is absurd to believe in, much less worship, a deity for which no valid evidence has been presented.  Atheism is not a faith: on the contrary, it is the refusal to accept claims on faith.
You wonder how many atheists she knows. Many of them seem pretty sure of themselves. then you wonder how many Christians she knows. I don't know any that claim to believe based on no evidence. That would be absurd.

Her refusal to accept claims of faith.Where does that come from? She seems to start with some evidence. Does a little bit of reflection. Then she takes an intuitive leap to an absolute principle. That sounds like faith to me. How is her process different? Because she does not worship anything? But worship is just a right response to the knowledge of faith. In her case the right response is a lack of worship. At least worship in the way a religious person normally does it.

Has she really gotten around the issue? That a person's answers to moral and spiritual questions were more a reflection of that person rather than a reflection of a deeper reality? I don't see how. Atheism has that too. You have tried to solve a problem of too little reliable knowledge of truth by rejecting the main source of that truth. But rejecting a source, even a questionable one, does not give you more knowledge.

Catholicism actually fixes the questionable method and makes it reliable. If protestantism is a TV antennae with fuzzy reception Catholicism is the cable service. It makes everything come in much clearer. Atheism is just throwing out the TV. It is not really a solution.

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