God’s Not Dead, Chapter 1 – The End of Faith? (pt4)
THE END OF FAITH?
This subsection of the chapter begins with some items I wanted to look up and will link here for you. The cover of TIME magazine from 1966 titled “Is God Dead”, Friedrich Nietzsche, Charles Darwin, a quote from Karl Marx relating religion as “the opium of the people.” Also mentioned are an obituary for God from The Economist from 1999 and a retraction in the book God Is Back.
Speaking of the “new atheists” the author writes:
The term new atheists has been given to a group of skeptics who have sought to revive the arguments against God and repackage them for a new generation. Ironically, very little is new about these atheistic arguments. In fact, the success of their claims is mostly due to the fact that the theistic responses to their claims – which are the truth about God – have not been widely circulated.
What makes the new atheists new is the fact that we no longer need to be silent for fear of retribution. Human rights have come far in recent years and we no longer fear speaking out against religion and irrational beliefs. For him to say “the theistic responses” “have not been widely circulated” seems like he believes it to be a conspiracy against these responses. “Ironically” the arguments are old but the “responses” are even older. Think about it. There is no need for an argument against a god claim until after the god claim exists. So if the author thinks the atheistic arguments are invalid because they’re old, what then of the old theist claims?
Mr. Broocks quotes C.S. Lewis from Mere Christianity about his conversion to Christianity. The final line I will quote here.
When I was an atheist I had to try to persuade myself that most of the human race have always been wrong about the questions that mattered to them most.
The author must share the sentiment about atheists thinking most of the human race has been wrong about the “questions” but I see no difference in that statement about atheists and if you changed the word atheist to Christian or to Muslim. Just a few of the questions I made note of in the margins:
- What causes disease? ……SIN or demons
- What happens to the sailors who don’t return home? ……Calypso or Poseidon or the Sirens
- Where does lightning come from? ……Zeus or perhaps Thor, no Raijin
I’m sure it seems like I’m being petty and mentioning those mythological things no one believes in anymore but just think about this… that’s how most atheist/skeptics see the modern religions too!
Truth is another word for reality. When something is true it’s true everywhere. The multiplication tables are just as true in China as they are in America. Gravity works in Africa the way it does in Asia. The fact that there are moral truths that are true everywhere points to a transcendent morality that we did not invent and from which we cannon escape.
Morality is a very hot subject between theists and atheists. An Atheist Experience video clip explains some or click here for a kid friendly explanation or just Google it and see the many independent blogs of atheists explaining their view on morality. Most atheists view morality as a social construct that changes or evolves with the society. Its funny that some theists argue that God’s morality is unchanging while not accepting some of the Old Testament wrongs simply because “it was a different world then.” The author continues:
For instance, lying is wrong everywhere. So is stealing. Cruelty to children is wrong regardless of what culture you’re in or country you’re from.
This is a bold claim that just isn’t backed by reality. What if a starving family needs food and must lie or steal to make it through the day? Just because the author thinks this too would be wrong doesn’t actually make it wrong to everyone everywhere. That way of thinking is so egocentric to think what you think is the most correct and best way and everyone is to be held to that standard. What is the line for “cruelty”? Spanking? Refusing food to a child who would overeat? The very fact that the lines are grey between what is considered right and wrong is evidence for an adapting morality. In a god given morality system there would be no extenuating circumstances, no grey areas to the law. If the laws were given by a god there wouldn’t be thousands of Christian sects debating the intricacies of his/her laws.