Why do atheists hate God?
Recently, I have had a lot of conversations with atheists. Many express a strong hatred of God. I have been at a loss to explain this. How can you hate someone you don’t believe in? Why the hostility? If God does not exist, shouldn’t atheists just relax and seek a good time before they become plant food? Why should it matter if people believe in God? Nothing matters if atheism is true.
Aldous Huxley (1894–1963), the brother of the atheistic evolutionist Sir Julian Huxley, advocated a drug-fuelled utopia. He gave the reason for his anti-Christian stance:
If God does not exist, shouldn’t atheists just relax and seek a good time before they become plant food? Why should it matter if people believe in God?
“I had motive for not wanting the world to have a meaning … the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation, sexual and political.”1
Like Huxley, some people don’t like God because they don’t like moral constraints—you can make up your own rules, or have none at all, if God does not exist. They hate God and Christians because they are actually not confident that God does not exist and seeing Christians may remind them that they are ‘suppressing the truth’ (Romans 1:18).
What about atheists who had a church/religious upbringing? Some of them hate God because of evil things done to them by teachers in religious schools or by church leaders—people who on the face of it represented God. Antipathy towards God is an understandable reaction, sadly (although illogical).
Some atheists complain of Christian ‘intolerance’ in speaking about hell. But if those who spurn God’s forgiveness will suffer God’s wrath, as the Bible teaches, shouldn’t we Christians be warning everyone about the danger and how they can be saved? How is that ‘intolerant’?
Many complain about hell; they are angry at God because of hell. I understand that teachers in certain church-based schools, and parents in some ‘religious’ homes, commonly used the ‘fear of God’ to make children behave. “You are bad; you will burn in hell if you don’t behave.” But such a simplistic works-oriented approach not only trivializes this most serious of subjects, it negates the Gospel of God’s grace. (We are all ‘bad’ in God’s eyes, and ‘behaving properly’ will not save us—only Jesus can.)
A child who is having difficulties may well conclude that there is no way out for them, leading to years of nightmares about suffering in hell. Such a troubled teenager hearing an atheist say that evolution explains how we got here and that God is a myth2 could find this to be a liberating message, a release from their fears.
The Gospel (good news, see p. 41) is missing from all this. The Bible tells us that God is in the business of salvation. Though His wrath regarding sin is all too real (as seen in the Fall and Flood judgments; pp. 12–14, p. 15), we need not suffer it. Those who come to Him in repentance and faith will not be turned away (John 6:37). See also pp. 33–34.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
It is strange that people hate God, who loves so much.
Some atheists complain of Christian ‘intolerance’ in speaking about hell. But if those who spurn God’s forgiveness will suffer God’s wrath, shouldn’t we Christians be warning everyone about the danger and how they can be saved? How is that ‘intolerant’? It would be extremely unloving not to tell others of this. A gift of Creation magazine might be a good place to start.
- Huxley, A., Ends and Means, 1937, pp. 270. Return to text.
- But evolution is the myth, as seen in this issue of Creation, pp. 16–17, 23, 35–37, 44, 46–48, 54–55, 56. Return to text.
Excellent! Simply put and powerful in its simplicity.
The prevalence of the Law in Christian teaching without the dominance of God’s saving grace has a lot to answer for in the church. Imagine how effective we would all be if we really understood how all encompasing God’s grace is.
Very Good article.
Utimately, atheists reject an authority greater than themselves.
The Bible explains very clearly why atheists do not believe in God. 2 Pet. 3:3–7 explains that it is because they “walk after their own lusts.” It is not a logical intellectual problem but a problem with their heart and carnal mind. Atheism and evolution are illogical on the surface, therefore the problem cannot possibly be intellectual.
I am what most would consider atheist. I do not hate God. As is pointed out I can not hate what I do not believe in. I am sometimes frustrated by what believers do or say. Just as believers are frustrated by what non-believers do or say. When two people do not see eye to eye it can become easy to interpret the frustration as anger.
When I become frustrated I have to be careful to do two things: 1) Watch what I say and how I say it. I do not want to hurt another person with unconsidered speech. 2) Consider the possibility that I am actually wrong.
I think if everyone-believers and non-believers kept both of those things in mind perhaps the dialog can move beyond accusations and into understanding if not agreement.
Thanks for your irenic comments. What you espouse is a biblical approach to getting on together. 1 Peter 3:15,16 says (to Christians),
”… always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess. Yet do it with courtesy and respect …”
We do endeavour to always act with courtesy and respect, although we don’t always get it right, especially when responding to folk who are very rude to us. It is some of the latter that stimulated me to write this article, which is an attempt to understand their anger. Some of them settle down a bit after a friendly, reasoned reply, but not all; some rage on.
As you suggest, some of this anger is due to misunderstanding, and I tried to address one of the profound misunderstandings of what Christians believe that causes some of this angst amongst atheists (regarding hell).
You also say, “I do not want to hurt another person with unconsidered speech.” I commend your attitude. Again, the Bible in Colossians 4:6 says, “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” However, what moral imperative does atheism provide that compels you to treat others with such decency? Some very high-profile atheists have taken a very different view (Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, etc.). Even some of the current crop of ‘new atheists’ do not act very nicely towards those with whom they disagree. It seems that atheism is not the source of your civilized behaviour.
I always found it interesting that anti-theists will go to great lengths to attempt to prove the non existence of someone they don’t believe even exists.
Their hatred is not from non-belief but from a deep seated realization that in all likelihood they will have to give account to ‘someone’ and fear and trepidation coupled with a stoney heart give rise to a venomous hatred of anyone and anything that is even remotely Christian.
We know because God is clear in Romans that “they are without excuse.”
All of creation cries out and worships our mighty God and His awesome works.
I really love these articles I get from CMI and read every one. I have always wondered about this problem. The above article is wonderful, God’s Amazing Grace, where would we be without it?
The problem I think with atheists is we ALL have a God given brain, whether we believe in God or not. That is why they can’t always explain their reasoning, and neither can we, Hope you understand what I am trying to say.
What about the spiritual blindness of non-believers? We have an onus as believers to spread the word of God, but do we not also need to recognize their spiritual blindness and instead of focusing on their behaviour, rather focus on our own role? Of course being offended when someone offends our Savior would be a typical response, it does not however, give us excuse to not conduct ourself as Christ would.
As Dezmond said “you can’t hate what you don’t believe in”. Anti-theists hate God because they are Satan’s children and he has hated God since evil was found in him and he was thrown out of heaven, sadly to Earth. Satan knows God and like his followers believes in his ultimate destination—the lake of fire. Well written, as usual Don.
I am writing a argumentative essay in my Comp.1 class and I have to write the atheists' points of view and reasons why they don't believe in God. That's why I found this page. I find it very difficult to write about because I am a Christian and I believe in what I know what God to be. I know that He has brought me out of the mess that I have created for myself and I also know that as a young child knowing God and being hurt I turned away from God and rebelled against Him. He never left me. I could still hear his voice asking me why I was doing what I was doing. God has his way with everyone differently. But one thing that really stood out to me was that an atheist would not believe in God and would turn to hate because they didn't want to be held accountable for their actions? I don't get it. If they don't know God then why is there hate? I actually feel sad for all the world who is really like this. I was so naive to all the people who just don't want to accept God. It makes me really sad, because God said that every knee shall bow before him. all the people who dont believe will not be permitted to go to heaven. They get to see God's face so there is no doubt in all their minds and all the world that there is a God and yet it will be too late. I pray for all the people who do not believe in God or have been hurt and have turned away from God. I pray that they will find peace back in their life and know God once more. (before it is too late.)
Speaking as an proud atheist, I agree with Dezmond F. I don't hate what I don't believe in. I was raised a catholic and yes I do have morals regardless of this stupid comments about atheists not having a sense of right and wrong. As an atheist I don't go around to believers and tell them they are wrong. They believe in what they want. I really don't care. If believing in a god or something like that makes a person happy or feel fulfilled, awesome. Go for it.
I don't care for what believers say very much but I keep my opinions to myself because of it being such a sensitive subject.
I could not see where the article or any of the respondents said that atheists don't have a sense of right and wrong (although atheism itself provides no basis for such). Your Catholic upbringing undoubtedly had a lot to do with shaping your morals.
In regards to what Phil H. said about Satan's children and all that crap, he obviously has no idea what he's talking about. Telling an atheist about going to hell is like telling a believer about going to Candyland. It doesn't scare us because we don't believe in this Satan character or any gods. And when you said; "If God does not exist, shouldn’t atheists just relax and seek a good time before they become plant food? Why should it matter if people believe in God?" I, like many atheists I know don't care whether somebody believes in a god or not but it's the fact that us not believing is such a horrible thing. We get believers shoving their religion down our throats so why are we not allowed to fight back with our opinions and beliefs? And about Adrian having morals because of the Catholic upbringing I think is BS. I'm positive that even if they weren't brought up catholic, they'd still have great morals. I think it's just how you were brought up no matter what your beliefs are. I was brought up as an atheist and I still have morals. I know right from wrong but then who's to really judge somebody's morals? Everyone thinks differently and sees things differently so everyone has somewhat of a different sense of what's right or wrong. Does it mean anybody is wrong or unmoral? No.
"everyone has somewhat of a different sense of what's right or wrong. Does it mean anybody is wrong or unmoral? No." Smile. This reinforces the point that there are no objective moral standards in atheism.
Without the existence of a god, there are plenty of things that would still matter, to a person and to a society. Arguably, that could indeed be the situation that we're in right now. Religious faith and purposeful values are not mutually exclusive.
If people somehow knew that there really was no such thing as a god, then I expect there would still be plenty of things that matter, like family and friends, community, honesty, etc., just as there are in communities without religion today.
With or without the existence of a god, people can and do still make up their own rules. I agree that atheism seems unlikely to be the direct source of anyone's civilized behaviour. However, there are plenty of other sources of civilized behaviour that have nothing to do with imaginary beings. Arguably, theism might be the direct source for many people's bad behaviour.
The objective moral standards that are common to all people are naturally common to all atheists too. Atheists tend to value most of the same things that theists value. Christianity does not have a monopoly on ethical judgments and good behaviour. It never has and probably never will.
Atheists could potentially be more morally virtuous than Christians, or followers of any religion, because their behaviour is not influenced by such ridiculous ideas as "it's written down, so do it" or "the silent invisible thing said do it, so do it" or "everyone else here is doing it, so do it".
Please note (again!). Nowhere have we said that atheists can have no sense of morality or meaning and purpose in life. But what we are saying is that in their materialistic worldview, there is no logical basis for objective morality or ultimate meaning and purpose. Atheists who actually think about these things realize it, for example, Dr Will Provine—that evolutionary materialism (and there is hardly any other game in town for atheists) means no meaning, morals or purpose. I cited Aldous Huxley who sought a philosophy of meaninglessness by abandoning Christianity.
How can a materialist derive moral principles and purpose to our existence from mere energy and matter? There are just no 'oughts' in physics and chemistry. What is, is, that's all.
As an agnostic I've recently had a lot of discussions with both theists and atheists. I've argued both make truth claims without justification - when in fact no-one knows if God exists, or does not. Both responded in remarkably similar ways - adducing circumstantial 'evidence' and tortured logic in an attempt to support their view. Cannot both just admit they don't know, and focus on what can reasonably be known?
Christian theists? The Resurrection is as sure a testimony from history as one could get that God exists . Many a skeptic has had their skepticism overturned when they honestly looked at the evidence.
You say that we can't know if God exists or not. You can't possibly know that. It is merely your assertion, like the atheist's that God does not exist.
You are half right: the atheist is wrong. :-) But as far as God is concerned you are in the same boat as the atheist: "I didn't know" won't cut it any better than "I didn't believe in you". God says to both that you have no excuse (Romans 1:18-21). For powerful arguments that an eternal, powerful, non-material, eternal, super-intelligent Creator-God like the one described in the Bible must exist, see also Who created God?
There is more. When we put our trust in Jesus for forgiveness of our sins and are adopted into God's forever family, there begins a relationship that transcends intellectual arguments. Trying to convince a real Christian that God does not exist is like trying to prove to me that my wife does not exist.
In your answer to Lee H you refer to objective morality or ultimate meaning and purpose of life. This "objective" morality you so value is actually very subjective. I assume that your meaning of life and consequent morality is based on "honouring God". This then clearly shows the subjectivity because "hounouring God" is not the purpose of life for Muslims, Budists, Hindus, Humanists, etc. It's your subjective morality. What an arrogance!
I also find it offensive to see that you list Stalin, Hitler, etc. as examples of Atheists. You must know better. They were power hungry mass murderers. Are you saying that they came to that because they were not Young Earth Creationists? Lee H (above clearly shows that not believing in the Judaic Christian god does not mean that you are without morals.
Objective moral standards can only come from 'on high'; from our Creator. These are stated in the Bible, which claims to be the 'Word of God' and for which there is ample evidence for those who are willing to see it. "You shall not murder" (Exodus 20:13) has nothing to do with my subjective opinion. It is the height of arrogance to ignore our Creator and set our own standards of morality.
Nowhere have we said that Hitler was an atheist (he was not Christian either). But Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao, Ceauşescu, Hoxha and many other "power hungry mass murderers" were indeed atheists. If any Christian behaved like that it would be totally hypocritical, but there is no objective moral standard in atheism that makes the abhorrent behaviour of these atheists 'wrong' or even hypocritical.
However, nowhere have we said that atheists cannot have morals; I don’t know how many times we have to say this.
Atheist do NOT hate god. we simply do not believe god is real. we neither love or hate god. Christians do you hate Allah, Apollo, Krishna, Zeus? no because you take a atheistic stance on them.
Exactly: true atheists would not hate God. The third sentence made that point. But many self-professed atheists apparently do hate God. Christopher Hitchens was one who recognized this in himself and said he was actually a misotheist (God-hater) not an atheist. Richard Dawkins also seems to be a God-hater (see Is Richard Dawkins an atheist?).
How can you technically hate God if you don't believe he exists? What most atheists hate is the IDEA of any god, the way his character is portrayed in the "sacred texts" and the readiness and insistence of the gullible to embrace claims that don't stand up to scrutiny and that are devoid of evidence. The vitriol expressed by atheists is also the result of efforts by believers to foist their values on the rest of society.
See my response to the previous comment.
Christian faith is not "devoid of evidence"; that is an outlandish claim. See, for example: Can we believe the Gospels? A former chief magistrate examines the witnesses to the resurrection Atheists are not angry at New Age beliefs, for example, because they are indeed devoid of evidence. It is precisely because the evidence is troubling that many 'atheists' are angry at being reminded that they are rebelling against their Creator. What atheist Thomas Nagel says about his 'fear of religion' is to the point.
I have found the total opposite to be true, most "true" atheists are not angry at all, they deal with reason and fact. I for one hated god when I believed he existed for many reasons, however he doesn't exist so how can I hate him?,,to the person who quoted the man written bible explaining why atheists hate god, I hate to say but your an idiot to state and believe that we think only of ourselves etc..I am a full time nurse and a volunteer, I believe that humans need to take care of each other as well as the earth,,so get off your knees, stop looking to the sky for answers and stop judging others and start helping others......peace out
That's what the article says; a true atheist would not be so bothered, but the fact that "many" atheists (note: many, not all and not necessarilly most) do express hate for God is revealing.
No one said that atheists think only of themselves. And it is good that there are atheists like you who think of others. But the 'golden rule' comes from the Bible, not atheism. There is nothing in atheism that says anyone should 'do unto others as you would have them do unto you' or 'love your neighbour as yourself'. Physics and chemistry (materialism) gives no logical basis for 'oughts' (what ought to be; distinctions between 'good' and 'evil'). See the Provine quote above. Materialism + "reason and fact" do not produce moral standards.
First, let me express my compliments to Don Batten for a very well written article. I have experienced first hand this vehement hatred towards God and Christians from atheists. What comes to mind is where Paul expressed in 2 Corinthians 2:14-17 (full quote below) that Christians spread the fragrance of the knowledge of God. To the believer it’s the fragrance of LIFE, to the unbeliever it’s the fragrance of DEATH. That is my take on one of the reasons why atheists act the way they do.
When dealing with an atheist I believe the foremost question is, WHY DO WE EXIST. We are born into this existence and witness the miracle of life all around us. World wide the majority of people suffer some type of pain and misery, be it physical, mental or in spirit for much of their lifetime. So, if this idea that we just die and exist no more. That there is no Creator and that from nothing, by nothing, for nothing became everything is true, then every life that ever lived, or ever will live, plus the entire universe is totally pointless and nothing more than a great cosmic joke. However, there is a Creator! All creation and the MIRACLE OF LIFE bear witness to this. All creation came through Jesus Christ who is also the SAVIOR to those who will accept Him. Accept Christ while you still have a chance.
All I or anyone can do is spread the SEED as shown in 1 Corinthians 3:5-7 (full quote below) “in hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth” as found in 2 Timothy 2:23-26 (full quote below).
2 Corinthians 2:14-17 (NIV) But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task? Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God.
1 Corinthians 3:5-7 (NIV) What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.
2 Timothy 2:23-26 (NIV) Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
I don't hate god like i don't hate poseidon or zeus or buddha... it's all the people and &5%$#@!& that come with mostly monotheism deities...
Ironic. Poseidon and Zeus were brothers in the pantheon of Greek gods and Buddha was never a 'god', but a mere man (in fact Buddhism is a form of atheism). None compare in the slightest with the Creator-God of the Bible, for whom there is plenty of evidence for those who are willing to see it (Romans 1:18ff). Of course you don't hate such non-Gods; they provide no challenge to your unbelief. But that you have bothered enough to comment undermines your assertion that you don't feel strongly about the God of the Bible. And of course you are bothered by those who serve the Living God; their very presence reminds you of your own rebellion against your Creator, for which you will be held accountable - unless you repent and turn to God for forgiveness, which He offers freely because of what Jesus Christ has done for us. This is not just 'any old' monotheistic deity but the Creator of the Universe, who graciously now offers redemption to His rebellious subjects.
I am an Atheist. I will not try to force my opinions on anybody - nor will I try to convince those that believe in God that there is no God.
I do look at the bible and other religious scripture and see a fantastic code of life. At the end of the day whether I believe in God or not, I cannot say that the bible is a load of nonsense... whether fact or fiction if we all followed the morals set out in this book (and others from different religions) then the world will be a better place.
I am from the UK - I went to Church when I was at Boarding school, and 1/2 my family are Muslims while the other 1/2 are church of England...I have had religion thrust upon me many, many, many times...perhaps this is enough for some people to say "I hate god" - not actually meaning GOD...but merely the subject of God.
I certainly do not hate god...as I do not believe in god - nor do I hate the IDEA of god...I do not hate any religious deity etcetcetc. I DO HATE being told I am wrong to be atheist.
Better to be told now that you are wrong than to find out when it is too late. You should be pleased that Christians care enough for your eternal welfare that they are willing to risk your ire to tell you what you need to know to escape your Creator's judgment (BTW, Islam can offer no certainty of escape).
As a Christian I do not hate being told I am wrong (atheists do it frequently and often quite rudely). I just feel sorry for those who are so wayward as to think that the universe and life 'just happened' with no sufficient cause and that we invented God rather than the other way around.
Just thought I'd compliment you on your article. Funny how atheists use this "I don't hate God because how can I hate someone that doesn't exist?" excuse. I just had a similar situation happen to me. I was on a post on Facebook commenting on a different subject and made a single comment on how atheists hate God and a day or two later I got an email from a young lady who wanted to set me straight. I explained to her that I didn't mind "debating" with her but to know that I wouldn't argue with her and as long as she was respectful then I would answer her mutually. I represent Christianity and with that in mind I will speak as a believer. She just could not fathom how I could keep answering her and still maintain my beliefs when clearly she didn't. As respectful as I was she called me a liar, expressed how I didn't know her and was judging her feelings, how my speech was plain offensive, and I expressed to her only what the Bible says. I told her that I didn't say these things to attack, in fact she contacted me. I told her she had a choice and it was up to her and then I was accused of stuffing my religious beliefs down her throat. No matter how I responded I was in the wrong and then she finally got the hint that I wouldn't argue with her and she left off her conversation. And that hasn't bothered me, but I pray for her because clearly God is speaking to her soul because her salvation does.
"I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." -Ghandi
As an atheist, it's articles like these that really make me sad. Not because I am offended or take it personally, but because it upsets me that people like you draw such drastic conclusions of a group of people from a select few. Most of my friends are Christian, some creationists, and this is just a subject we don't talk about; because they respect me enough as a person to allow me to do what makes me happy.
Of all my friends, I have done the least amount of ridiculous stunts, among which are drinking, smoking, sleeping around, etc. I'm 19 years old. I've only had one boyfriend. I'm a member of my county's 4-H program, I raise horses and pigs, I am very active in the community and local charities, the ASPCA being among them. I've even helped my friends at one of their local church events. Looking at me, no one would ever suspect me to believe differently then them or have "tainted morals." I am strong in my character and very straight edged and I am proud of that. I don't need the fear of consequences to make me be kind to a stranger or take responsibility. Morals come from how you are raised insociety, not from religion.
To address the article, I will also say that you cannot hate something that you do not believe exists. ALL hostility that you experience with atheists is due to the followers of a deity, not the deity itself. Ghandi's quote says it all, really.
Also, we really do prefer not being told we are wrong. Or rather, you can tell us that we are wrong and debate with us (because surely we will say the same to you), but do not do so and then say it is for our own good. We do not see that as a favor, or a good deed on your part. It's actually quite rude. And very presumptuous.
Does your complaint against Christians apply to all your Christian friends? Or is this just being 'clever'? Note:
1. Not everyone who says he/she is a Christian is; Jesus made that clear.
2. The call is to follow Jesus, not those who say they are his followers. What have you against Jesus?
3. Nowhere have I/we said that atheists can't be nice people.
4. Morals come from society not from 'religion'? But 'religion' is what makes or breaks a society. Living in the USA, your social values are still heavily influenced by strong Christian traditions.
5. Whatever 'society' decides is OK then? What if you were raised in a cannibal tribe? Cannabilism is then 'moral'? That is a pretty fluid basis for morality.
6. The hostility I am talking about is indeed directed at God. Christopher Hitchens even said he was actually a misotheist (God-hater) not an atheist. Other high-profile atheists such as Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris are, like Hitchens, God-haters. I have made the point that a real atheist would not be angry at God, or even Christians for that matter (see Is Richard Dawkins an atheist?
7. If your Christian friends truly believed what the Bible says, that you are heading for an awfully bad eternity, they would be making every effort to see you repent (change your mind). If they are not doing this, they either don't believe the Bible or they don't really love you. You could even gauge the reality of their Christianity by how much effort they are making to see you converted (even if it offends you).
8. Nobody likes to be told they are wrong, but if I was living in a way that was leading to my destruction, surely I would want my friends to tell me I was wrong? That is hardly rude or presumptuous.
I am an Atheist and most certainly DO hate Yahweh(The God of the Bible) I find 'It' to be a God of atrocious violence, that makes Hitler and Stalin look like 'Choir Boy's'. This is a God who will convict me of 'Thought Crimes' and DEMAND worship on pain of everlasting torture.This is a God who supposedly made me imperfect and incapable of believing what I consider to be TERRIBLE evidence, but yet will punish me for being what I was created to be?
On another issue raised the one of 'Objective Morality, why is this even important? Does everything have to be measured by some hypothetical ultimate standard? Can I NOT say I am rich if I am in the top .01 percentile? Do I have to compare my wealth to Bill Gates to decide if I am wealthy, does Bill Gates have to compare himself to Kings and Pharaohs of yore for the same reason? Why do atheists do good things, How about the "Golden Rule'? That has been around far longer than Christianity. I REALLY would like to believe in Fairy-Tales because the cold, callous nature of REALITY isn't always pleasing nor is our ULTIMATE fate(Yes, you too will be worm food, bet on it) but I can't fool myself so I feel better.Your BEST bet is on science, IF any of us will become immortal or immortal like, it will be because of hard work from our fellow travelers.
Thanks for the affirmation of the theme of the article. However, it is bizarre in the extreme to compare God to Hitler and Stalin. See Is the Bible ‘evil’? Moral accusations against God and Scripture fall flat. Ironically, if God does not exist and there is no judgment, which you object to, there will be no ultimate justice for those who suffered at the hands of tyrants. But if there is to be an accounting for Hitler and Stalin, what makes you so special that God would not hold you accountable for your actions? Are you less morally responsible than they are? Where could God draw the line? But the incredible thing is that God is willing to forgive anyone who will recognize their sinfulness, repent of it and turn to Him for forgiveness. That's why Jesus came. And God reckons that the evidence for His existence is not weak, but undeniable (Romans 1); see Who created God?
Comparison of a quantitive thing like wealth to a qualitative aspect like moral standards is hardly a sound argument.
The 'golden rule' is not universal. Just think how its practice was so lacking in those states that based themselves most strongly on atheism: the USSR, North Korea, Albania. Think also about societies based on other major religions; how much do people follow the 'golden rule' (which is explicitly stated in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible)? And what evidence is there that the 'golden rule' predates the Bible? But more importantly, only Jesus said, "love your enemies"; that is peculiar to Christianity and a major reason for the civil societies that exist today based on that heritage. This heritage is rapidly being lost and we are descending into an age of barbarism.
Jesus' resurrection is God's guarantee that death is not the end. While all our bodies might well be 'worm food', that is not all there is. Romans 8:11 says, "If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you."
The main reason atheists fight so hard against religion is because it brings us great pain to see our brothers and sisters so blinded by it's glorious fabrications. While we have been forced into hiding for centuries we've had to watch our fellow men destroy themselves for religion. We express anger and frustration not as violence or hatred against the myth of god or the blindly faithful, it is an expression of the pain we feel at hundreds of thousands of deaths over religion. Watching from the sides powerless until recently we have seen the powerful create myths to control the weak and twist the minds of generations. Religion is a cancer of the mind that few escape once exposed and to see so many die for nothing, it would be criminal not to act. Although it is not mentioned in the above artical I feel it important to point out that atheists do have morality. Without the almighty to scare us into behaving many wonder where we could find morality, the short answer is from the world around us. For example the majority of atheists abhore murder and capitol punishment, this is because when you destroy a life you destroy it's potential. Every life has the potential to do tremendous good, tremendous harm, or remain neutral but if that life is extinguished then the potential is lost. We focus not on some ethereal reward or punishment but rather on our legacy. Do we want to be remembered as a good man who improved the lives of many, an inspiration for peace and harmony or a horrible person briefly remembered and then forgotten? The answer is clear.
"Religion"? Did you know that evolution is a religion? There are many religions and some of them are quite evil. We are not interested in religion, but Christ. Jesus, the One who said, "love your neighbour as yourself" and "love your enemies" calls us to follow him. What have you against Jesus? A society built on Jesus' teaching would be a just, caring, free society, so either you are commenting on another religion or some poor representation of Christianity.
Atheists "forced into hiding for centuries" Really? Not in the United States, surely? I don’t know what fiction you are reading as history, but fiction it is. Atheists have never been free-er to believe as they do and that freedom comes from the biblical principles that were applied in the constitution of the USA.
Atheists can have morals? We have never said otherwise. But we have pointed out, as have atheistic thinkers/philosophers, that atheist morality is problematical because there is no way to get ‘ought’ (what should be) from matter and energy (materialism). Why should it be ‘good’ that someone leaves a ‘good’ legacy? In the materialistic view, we all just become fertilizer when we die and ultimately the universe will run out of energy and everything will be dead. No legacy. Bleak, isn’t it? But it does not have to be that way; see Clare's testimony.
You get your morals "from the world around us"? Like the 'law of the jungle', 'might is right' or "nature red in tooth and claw" (Tennyson)? Atheist Richard Dawkins said that he does not look to the natural world for moral values. A world built on such would not be a very nice place. No, you have to 'make them up'. So one person thinks that cannibalism is OK and another disagrees; who is right? It is just a matter of opinion, or who has the power (e.g. Stalin). See Atheism: no objective morality (please note, the article does not say that atheists cannot be 'nice' people or necessarily 'immoral').
You say that most atheists "abhor murder", but atheists are at the forefront of aggressively pushing the 'right' of a woman to murder her unborn baby (or even her born baby, as per Dr Peter Singer and others).
Also, if you really abhorred murder, you would approve of capital punishment for murder. As one theologian said: "Capital punishment, according to the Bible, far from cheapening human life by requiring the murderer's death, demonstrates its unique value by demanding an exact equivalent to the death of the victim." (in this article on the Christian foundations of law and liberty in the West).
You rail against 'religion' for causing deaths, but again, where Christ has ruled in the lives of a people, life has never been more secure. Furthermore, you lament "hundreds of thousands of deaths over religion", but what about the more than 150 million who died in countries where atheism and evolution was enforced as the state religion? And that was just last century. If atheism had nothing to do with those deaths of millions, then Christianity had nothing to do with the deaths of "hundreds of thousands". If people lived as Jesus called us to live ("love your enemies"), how many people would have died supposedly in the name of Christ?
Jesus calls us to follow Him, not ‘the hypocrits’.
Some atheists have said that they do not hate God because they don't hate other gods like Allah, and Buddha (though he is not a god)- but the point is that they don't exist so you don't hate them. Many atheists show hate towards God by mocking Christians and their idea of God and continually making up half-assed attacks on Christianity to make it seem wrong, like calling God evil while refusing to listen to reason that they can't call ANYTHING evil or good.
How many atheists make up Youtube videos, radio shows or websites about why Budhism is wrong, or Hinduism, or even Islam? Much less than how much they make websites about why Christianity is wrong. I do not hate atheists, I can respect what they believe in - but everytime I find myself debating an atheist - every time I fairly debunk their arguments, they get aggressive and resort to name-calling and these are atheists who would tell you at the beginning of the argument that "I wish to have a good debate with you with no name-calling or mocking". You shouldn't enter a debate "knowing you are going to win", but to learn more. As a Christian, I debate so I can know more and to stand up for Christianity - if I had never engaged in any debates, I would not know as much as I do now about Christianity.
As for the atheists who repeat that there are evil things in the Bible - you are missing the point - you CANNOT possibly tell that God is wrong for performing justice, because you have no basis of right or wrong - it's just you who decides to follow rules or no rules at all.
Ironically, when an atheist charges God with immoral actions, he is tacitly admitting that God exists, because he is claiming an objective moral standard by which he judges God and such an objective moral standard can only exist if God exists.
Evelyn B., says she is an atheist and does not hate God and implies that those who wrote the article have no sense. But it is easy to prove that Evelyn does hate God because on being told what God says she hates it, so she must hate God. Two Scriptures come to mind 1) "the fool says there is no God? 2) "you shall not commit murder" As a nurse what will Evelyn do when she is confronted with the situation of a child being murdered while still in the womb? Will she plead for the child, demonstatong a love that may cost her everything or will she fear man and let the child be killed?
This was a great article. I don't think Atheists Hate God I think they Hate they can't explain the unexplainable. In many of the sites I see alot of hate coming from them. They constantly want proof. When I ask for proof on their belief that there is no God they can't give me any. However there is much proof of the existence of God. Many artifacts have been found. It doesn't matter what proof there is. Just as in Jesus' day his own people didn't believe he was God either. Although he performed many miracles in front of them as "Proof" but still non belief. It's quite amazing actually that the non belief continues today. Atheists constantly bring up all the killing God did etc in the Old Testament. It's man that has caused most of that due to their sinful ways. Then they say if there is such a God how could he let all those people die. He gives people their own free will and able to make their own choices. He isn't going to stop every tragedy that may come your way. He doesn't work like that. It's not part of the plan. It's sad as a Christian to see all the hate on the internet regarding this subject. It makes me question myself if they don't believe then why are they on this page? It's one or two reasons either they find complete joy in fighting with people or they have doubts of their own beliefs. I never go on Atheist sites and tell them they are wrong. Haven't done it once. I honestly feel we shouldn't have to defend the Bible or God. But with my faith I am taught to spread the good news. That you can have eternal life with no more tears, No more pain and no more hurt. Who in their right mind wouldn't want that? I know I do. To think once you die that is it nothing more and there is no purpose on this earth is very very sad. If they don't believe they call it a fairy tale or myth and to myself I find that very hurtful. It's like killing Jesus over and over again feeling his pain because he loves all of us and wants all of us to be with him when we die. I honestly can feel how he feels. In my prayers I'm hoping that many people will turn around and truly read God's words and not take them out of context like I have seen happen so often. In going to Bible study I am able to understand what I am reading. That is another thing Atheists profess that they know the bible better than Christians and they have read it. Why read it if you don't believe in it? Just to fight? I don't understand that logic. But it's good they are reading it because that is God's intent that everyone will know God's word. So when the time comes they will have known God's word and have still chosen to turn away from him. That's what it comes to in the end. Just like with a child. If the child doesn't obey they have to pay the consequences, they are punished. Same with God we are his children if we disobey the same will apply. God loves all of us. He is giving people plenty of their time on earth to come to him. Seek and you shall find him. He is always there.
Although I find your argument interesting, I am struck by your opening statement "Recently, I have had a lot of conversations with atheists". A lot of conversations? With atheists? Surely you require a stronger foundation to begin an argument that suggests all atheists hate God. Who were these atheists? What was the context of these conversations? If I was asked, 'do you either (A) agree entirely with the Christian construct of God, or (B) hate God', I would be hard pushed to decide one way or another.
And these atheists, who are they to represent atheists as a whole? Did they enter this so called conversation claiming to speak for all of us? You never put them in any kind of context. Are they high up in the atheistic infrastructure? Basically, what I am suggesting is that, just like a comedian's 'I was in a bakery the other day', you haven't actually had a lot of conversations recently, but have amalgamated several conversations and, also, your notion of what atheists think.
So, here's my take. I don't believe in a Christian God. The God I hope for doesn't have any human pettiness, doesn't even comprehend human pettiness. The God I hope for doesn't punish anyone for wanting to live their lives as they see fit, unless they do this at the expense of an other, any other. God, as a constant, universal force does not agree or disagree with the transient nature of human morality; and it is human morality, not objective morality, as objective morality would mean that these are morals that, even if people break, ALL people agree with, all the time, since the beginning of time, never erring, never rewriting.
Atheists are not against you, but when you're so defensive about your faith and your God it can often come over as aggression. Belief in God is a wonderful thing, particularly if that God wants only what is best for you and those around you. We are not going to burn in hell for not believing, why would this wonderful being do such a petty thing? Because I didn't believe in him? He's omnipotent, he's the creator of everything, he's all seeing, all knowing, and will continue infinitum. How would I begin to know how to believe is such a force! You will say the Bible, but for this heavenly being to turn ghost writer has always struck me as false. This is a book by believers, for believers, surely?
So, I do not hate your God. More importantly, I do not hate you for your faith in God, or feel jealous, or live a wholly materialist life.
I've had a lot of conversations with a lot of Christians recently, and they all agree that not only do I not hate God, but that my ideas and moral stand point are at least on a par with theirs. All of them said that. They all went on to say that they had never, ever met an atheist who was anything less that an average decent human, who could betray the same frailties and flaws that anyone of their faith could betray. That's what they all said.
It would be helpful if you read the article a little more carefully. Immediately after the sentence you quoted, it continues, "Many express a strong hatred of God." So where did I say that "all atheists hate God"? I said no such thing.
You ask about these atheists who hate God, "Are they high up in the atheistic infrastructure?" Christopher Hitchens does not come much 'higher' and he actually said of himself that he is a miso-theist, a God-hater, rather than an atheist. Richard Dawkins seems also to be a God-hater.
The god you hope for is what the Bible calls an idol; something of your own making. And not being able to comprehend human pettiness, it will be rather limited in knowledge, not omniscient like the Creator-God revealed in the Bible and creation. Such a limited 'god' would of course demand nothing of you; nice! A 'god' of your own making would certainly fit Dawkins' "God delusion" idea. But there's the rub; God invented us, not the other way around. And, like it or not, He will hold you and me accountable for what we do with His offer of forgiveness. Why not accept it?
Objectivity of morals does not mean that "All people agree with, all the time, never erring, never rewriting". An objective truth (e.g. the world is round) does not depend on whether people believe it or agree with it. Such would be a subjective truth.
You say that "Atheists are not against you". Do any of the following names ring a bell? Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett? All have written quite disparaging books about God. See A review of The Delusion of Disbelief. And there are plenty of other high-profile atheists who are openly hostile to Christian belief.
You say, "We are not going to burn in hell for not believing, why would this wonderful being do such a petty thing?" Because our existence is significant and our behaviour is important. You want our existence to be trivialized to be of no eternal consequence. That is not enobling but demeaning. God expects of us something not expected of mere animals because we are significant; "made in God's image".
As for the Bible, it claims over and over in many ways to be 'the word of God'. There is plenty of evidence that this is no mere human construction. See the section headed "Biblical evidence for the existence of a divine author" in Chapter One of the Creation Answers Book.
Some of the atheist responses here have been revealing. The article specifically stated "I have had a lot of conversations with atheists recently, many of whom expressed a strong hatred for God". Yet so many responses have been as if Don was addressing the person in question and saying to them "and this applies to any atheist reading this piece, including you". I suppose it's fair enough for non-misotheistic, genuine atheists to be frustrated by the large number of such people, but rather than address this there've been a wealth of responses that have simply said "that's not me, stop stereotyping atheists" without realising that nothing of the sort was being done! Misotheistic pseudo-atheists may well indeed not be as widespread as genuine atheists, but I too can most certainly attest to their considerable presence, as I imagine can most Western Christians!
One question - you mention Aldous Huxley, and the fact that he was the brother of the Humanist Sir Julian Huxley; Aldous of course was not an atheist but a pantheist (that is, a believer in Eastern Mysticism, like another famous evolutionist JBS Haldane). Although pantheism is most certainly not theism (as "god" is not a person in pantheism) and is functionally indistinguishable from atheism, particularly in terms of the absence of someone from above humanity to "set the rules", it's still an important distinction.
It's interesting, incidentally, how this pantheism has sometimes manifested itself in some of the most famous naturalistic scientists of all - as well as Haldane, we have Einstein and Sagan to name a couple (even Hawking has occasionally hinted at a "god-of-the-laws-of-physics" type thing). It's as if some of the best minds realise that the very existence of regular, repetetive, inviolable forces simply cannot be explained by nature alone but rather require some additional entity as explanation. But the idea that this explanation should be the sustaining influence of an exceptionally powerful Person (or, perhaps more accurately, three People) who occasionally ADDS EXTRA to these regular forces (never mind one who, ~6,000 years ago, had a brief spate of 6 days where He did rather a lot extra) is intolerable. Seems like both their potent minds and the far-more-potent one of the Holy Spirit have been doing their best to point them to the truth. It really does sadden me to know that such people, who have done so much to give humanity knowledge and understanding of God's world, ultimately refused to do something as simple as reach out to their Creator and ask for His forgiveness. He'll never reject you, after all (Matthew 11:28-30; John 6:37).
Thanks. It's good to clarify that Aldous Huxley was a pantheist of sorts (I did not say that he was an atheist, but only that he lived in the manner of an atheist and had a strong antipathy for the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; God with a capital 'G').
I also think that it is best to speak of the triune nature of God in terms of 3 persons than 3 "people": A biblical defence of the trinity (I assume this was just a 'slip of the pen', so to speak).
I have read your article and comments and I have some remarks about your questions.
(I have read God's Delusion in French)
So, to put all in a nutshell, my answer is that I agree with your conclusions. I would just add that I think that an atheist may also hate God's idea because she/he may have realized she/he has been deceived.
Or an atheist might be angry because he/she has been deceived into thinking that he/she has been deceived, by reading silly books like The God Delusion. :-)
Note: Francois submitted a 'comment' that was three times the length of the original article; far too long to publish, so it was edited down to something of reasonable length and retaining his main point (this is a commenting system, not for essay-publishing).
I love it! I am constantly told that not believing in god will cast me down to hell. Hahahaha! My friend, you are only one god less atheist than me. Perhaps a Pagan diety was the true faith, or Islam is the true faith? If you don't believe in those and just think some guy named JC came down and saved you, wouldn't you burn in that religions hell? If I followed your logic, I would have to believe in every religion (including Satanism) to be able to surely go to some kind of etherial plain. And please, stop comparing all atheists to Aldous Huxley. He is not the 'atheist king' by any means. Atheists don't hate god, we hate ignorance, and an article, and website such as this are petri dishes for ignorance. May Buddah have mercey on your chakras.
One and zero are very different!
Let me see if I can summarize your point: Because there are various claims about God and the afterlife, therefore none of them are true? That is logical?
And how could you believe every religion when they contradict one another?
BTW, Buddhah is long since dead and buried, unlike Jesus. Even according to Buddhist teaching, Buddha can have mercy on no one. In fact there is no mercy, only 'just deserts' (according to the tenets of Buddhism). Nor is there any guarantee of forgiveness in Islam. Only in Jesus is there assured forgiveness; that's why He said, "I am the way the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6).
You just have to look at the outcomes in societies built on different religions (or atheism) to see which way is worth checking out (and atheism does not look very nice; think of a death toll 150 million (plus) last century).
I quote [from R. D., United Kingdom, 18 September 2012] "One question - you mention Aldous Huxley, and the fact that he was the brother of the Humanist Sir Julian Huxley; Aldous of course was not an atheist but a pantheist (that is, a believer in Eastern Mysticism, like another famous evolutionist JBS Haldane). Although pantheism is most certainly not theism (as 'god' is not a person in pantheism) and is functionally indistinguishable from atheism, particularly in terms of the absence of someone from above humanity to 'set the rules', it's still an important distinction." unquote
I think you are confusing J.B.S. with Richard Haldane(Viscount). They were from a large and influential family which has followed no fixed philosophical course. J.B.S. was an ardent communist and made public statements which were anything but pantheistic. However like most people he did not always agree with himself and so made some statements which disagreed with materialism (e.g.in 'Possible Worlds') even the dialectical variety.
It really is disingenuous to suggest that Atheists have a hatred of God. Of course they don't; As you pretend to acknowledge, you can't hate something that you don't believe in. Perhaps you have misinterpreted a hypothetical; e.g. "If God did exist, then he is cruel brute, and why would one want to worship him?", or perhaps you are attempting to rationalize your own belief by convincing yourself that God is intrinsically obvious and that everyone believes, which is nonsense. It's not God that Atheists hate. It's the more militant members of his "fan club" that they don't like.
Now, to be fair, I know Christians who are truly wonderful people, but I've also encountered many who are obnoxious and hypocritical holier-than-thou's. Beliefs do not make one a good person. Behavior does. And that is the point; People will be good or bad, and they always find a way to rationalize their behavior, religion or not. Simply having a moral code doesn't make one moral (e.g. Ted Haggard). In fact, Christianity offers the ultimate morality loophole; You can live the most immoral life; rape, steal, and kill, but at the last minute you can be "born again" and make your way into heaven. Someone else who has lived a selfless, kind, giving life, but who has never "found Jesus", for whatever reason, is going to hell. Is that justice?
You ask, "Why should it matter if people believe in God?". For most of us, it doesn't. Personally, I don't care what people believe. If you want to impose some Bible-based moral code within your own church community, then that is your business. Where we do run into a problem, however, is when you organize politically to impose your so-called "morality" on everyone else.
"Disingenuous"? "Pretend to acknowledge"? Why is it that so many atheists seem to feel the necessity to question the integrity of those they don't like? It is an example of the ad hominem fallacy.
It's also an idea to read the comments before commenting, as you can save yourself some effort. See for example, the response to Sean K., Canada, 9 June 2012 (and others).
I find it curious that you don't care what people believe and you claim that it has little to do with their behaviour. Do you think that Christians would have flown planes into the Twin Towers ('911')? Do you think Stalin's materialism had nothing to do with his ability to preside over the deaths of many millions of his subjects? Do you think that Pol Pot's beliefs had nothing to do with his murderous tyranny?
Hypocrisy (Haggard) does not argue against the value of good moral standards. Indeed, if Haggard was an atheist he would hardly be a hypocrite, because what moral standard would he have transgressed? It is because he professed to be a Christian and to stand for a high moral standard, that his behaviour is rightly seen as so reprehensible.
And yes, there may be 'Christians' who are "obnoxious", but Jesus calls us to follow Him, not those who say they are His followers. In fact, he even told a parable about how you can't know the wheat from the weeds until they bear fruit.
As for God's justice, all of us deserve death for our rebellion against the owner of the universe. It is the wonder of it all that any of us can be forgiven, which is only possible because of His provision in Jesus Christ (Romans 6:23). Ultimately, the 'unforgivable sin' is continuing to break the first and most important commandment (Matthew 22:38) in refusing to humbly accept our need of forgiveness and continuing to go our own way.
As for imposing moral codes, atheists are working to impose their 'moral code' through the political system. They are at the forefront of the push to liberalize abortion, for example, imposing their 'morals' on innocent unborn babies. Would you like a law passed that says that Christians are not allowed to be involved in politics? It is the nature of our democratic freedom that people we don't like have the right to be part of the political system to work for a society in keeping with their beliefs and principles.
The Bible says that "righteousness lifts up a nation". The famous British poet, T.S. Eliot wrote: "If Christianity goes, the whole of our culture goes. Then you must start painfully again, and you cannot put on a new culture ready made ... You must pass through many centuries of barbarism." (T.S. Eliot, Notes Towards the Definition of Culture, Faber and Faber, 1948, p. 122.) If you take away the Christian influence, you won't end up with an atheist utopia, but hell on earth (think about the Communist states of last century, or North Korea now, compared to South Korea).
Bo. P makes a very valid point in that the only difference between yourself and an Atheist is that you are an atheist with respect to every god that has ever been worshiped by humanity other than one. You flippantly state that "One and zero are very different", but the fact is that the Atheist's position is consistent and logical, while yours is not. On what basis do you dismiss other gods that cannot equally be applied to the Judeo-Christian god?
Citing the Bible is no proof. There are other holy books. Why are those not valid? Personal religious experiences don't count either. Followers of other religions have had these too. How do you dismiss those?
In short, what can you offer to differentiate your beliefs from those of a deluded person?
The ONLY way to test this is for your god to manifest in a supernatural way. In fact the Bible describes exactly this in 1 Kings 18; The prophet Elijah challenges the Baalites to prove that Baal exists by setting an offering on fire, at which they fail. The biblical implication is that claims of a deity can be tested.
So, I propose a test. I can supply you with a large number derived from two prime factors which only I know. If you can, by the power of prayer, factor the number then the test would be passed. With current technology it would take many times the age of the Universe to achieve, so the only explanation would be supernatural.
Perhaps you will argue that "God doesn't work that way", but isn't that "convenient", and you must think God is a monumental hypocrite if he cannot be held to the same standards of proof that his prophets hold other gods.
LionelT: Bo. P makes a very valid point in that the only difference between yourself and an Atheist is that you are an atheist with respect to every god that has ever been worshiped by humanity other than one. You flippantly state that "One and zero are very different",
Don Batten: Flippantly? Believing in one Creator-God is the antithesis of trying to believe in no creator (everything made itself with no sufficient cause?).
LionelT: but the fact is that the Atheist's position is consistent and logical, while yours is not.
Don: ipse dixit? I'm sorry, but I don't have enough 'faith' to be an atheist, which would require me to believe in cosmic evolution, or bury my head in the sand and try not to think about it. See Although widely respected, the Grand Theory of Evolution is really quite preposterous.
LionelT: On what basis do you dismiss other gods that cannot equally be applied to the Judeo-Christian god?
Don: We could start with the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Mohammed and Buddha remain dead in their graves, along with all other religious leaders. Jesus said, "I am the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). As His resurrection authenticates this claim, then logically, all competing claims are wrong.
LionelT: Citing the Bible is no proof.
Don: It is if it has the authority of the Creator of the Universe, which it demonstrates it has: See the Answers Book section titled "Biblical evidence for the existence of a divine author" (p. 11) and Should we trust the Bible? and Using the Bible to prove the Bible?
LionelT: There are other holy books. Why are those not valid?
Don: See Holy books?
LionelT: Personal religious experiences don't count either. Followers of other religions have had these too. How do you dismiss those?
Don: I fail to see where I argued that personal experience 'proves' the truth of Christian claims.
LionelT: In short, what can you offer to differentiate your beliefs from those of a deluded person?
Don: You have been reading Richard Dawkins, the man who criticizes non-biologists for commenting on evolution and then he writes a book about theology and philosophy, fields in which he has no expertise. To see just who is deluded, see Critique of Dawkins' God Delusion.
LionelT: The ONLY way to test this is for your god to manifest in a supernatural way. In fact the Bible describes exactly this in 1 Kings 18; The prophet Elijah challenges the Baalites to prove that Baal exists by setting an offering on fire, at which they fail. The biblical implication is that claims of a deity can be tested.
Don: God instructed the prophet Elijah to do this. Since you apparently accept the reality of this event, it should be sufficient for you to see that the God of Elijah is real (the same God who is revealed in Jesus Christ on the Earth).
LionelT: So, I propose a test. I can supply you with a large number derived from two prime factors which only I know. If you can, by the power of prayer, factor the number then the test would be passed. With current technology it would take many times the age of the Universe to achieve, so the only explanation would be supernatural.
Don: I doubt that even this would convince you, because there is already sufficient evidence and you don't believe. Jesus said, "If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead." (Luke 16:31)
LionelT: Perhaps you will argue that "God doesn't work that way", but isn't that "convenient", and you must think God is a monumental hypocrite if he cannot be held to the same standards of proof that his prophets hold other gods.
Don: Indeed God does not work that way. The Bible you like to quote records Satan tempting Jesus (Matthew chapter 4) to do something like you suggest, demanding a gratuitous miraculous sign from God. Jesus rebuked the devil and He rebukes you: "Again it is written, 'You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'" (Matthew 4:7)
Don: God is the all-powerful, all-knowing Creator of the Universe and is especially not beholden to Lionel the atheist, or anyone else. He sets the rules, not you, and you should get used to the idea because one day He will hold you accountable for your willful rejection of His right to rule over you. The Bible says in Romans chapter 1 that you have no excuse:
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. (19) For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. (20) For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. (Romans 1:18-20)
Don: Although God will not play your silly games, He does promise that "You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29:13). The Bible also says that "God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9). Anyone who comes to God humbly, willing to admit their need of forgiveness, God will forgive, because of what Jesus has done for us. "The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23).
"This reinforces the point that there are no objective moral standards in atheism."
Why are religious people so obsessed with the idea that moral principles must be objective?
Who is obsessed? The article was not about objective morality; it was a passing response to a comment by an atheist.
Since you are interested in objective morality, you might be interested in another atheist's attempt to justify objective morality from an atheist's position: Atheism—no objective morality?
This article is a joke. It amounts to one huge ad hominem attacking atheist on the assumption that they hate God. How can you hate what doesn't exist? When you use these hate tactics it shows atheist have facts on their side. The bible says women have to marry their rapist. Christians can't justify bible as a moral code. Its a bad one. Shell fish an abomination? Don't make me laugh.
It does not look like you read the article very carefully.
The ad hominem fallacy involves "attacking the opponent's character or personal traits, instead of engaging their argument". An example would be "Your argument can't be true because you are a country hick." We have not done that. Indeed, the famous former (deceased) atheist Christopher Hitchens called himself a "misotheist" (God-hater).
About your 'rape' complaint, I suggest you try for a moment to understand the cultural context. Bible scholar Lita Cosner comments (from Evil Bible fallacies):
Deuteronomy 22:28-29: To understand the reason behind this law, it is necessary to point out a few details. First, the Hebrew word here is simply the word “to have sexual relations with”; some English translations simply interpret this as “rape.” In the ancient world, women were so closely guarded by their families that it is possible that in this instance, it is not rape at all, and that the woman was willing. Furthermore, even in the case of rape, the woman might well demand that the man marry her because she would be unmarriageable. See 2 Samuel 13:1–22 for an instance where a rape victim demanded marriage.
Also, the food laws were clearly only for the pre-Christian Jews and were designed to keep the Jews separate from the pagans nations so that they would not be contaminated by their evil practices such as child sacrifice to their gods (see All food now 'clean').
One thing I'll say is that since I posted the above comment [about Haldane] I found this comment from Haldane, which is quite revealing:
"My practice as a scientist is atheistic. That is to say, when I set up an experiment I assume that no god, angel or devil is going to interfere with its course; and this assumption has been justified by such success as I have achieved in my professional career. I should therefore be intellectually dishonest if I were not also atheistic in the affairs of the world."
(Of course, this comment is fallacious in so many ways - it presumes that the theist is the sort of theist whose capricious god is prone to miracles at any and all the time, rather than one who performs miracles only with great discretion and economy as Christianity's God does. But the comment does reveal something about Haldane's theistic views.)
There is also a big difference between historical science, which includes origins, and operational/experimental science, which Haldane is referring to here; see It's not science!
I really do not not think that atheists, as a whole, hate God. For most atheists God is just not an issue that they think or care about most of the time, and most find the kind of phobia, or loathing of God (misotheism is the technical word) exhibited by some more militant figures a little embarrassing - much as many Christians find some of their more conservative brethren a little awkward. And, of course, it depends what God they are meant to be hating. They may believe that, say, the God of Jesus who tells you to love your enemies and sell all you have and give it to the poor is a delusion but not one that is dangerous or unpleasant but the kind of God that apparently wants to limit educational curricula or denigrate their sexuality, something worthy of hating.
My article spoke of my interactions with atheists and mentioned 'many'; not all. Certainly the noisy ones who are so much in the public eye seem to hate God. As we have pointed out, Christopher Hitchens, one of the 'four horsemen' of modern atheism, actually said he was a 'misotheist', not an atheist.
There are certainly some 'militant' Christians who embarrass me at times, but are they 'conservative'? A conservative Christian takes the Bible as authoritative and the ratbag element are embarrassing precisely because their behaviour is out of sync with the Bible's teaching. Of course none of us are totally consistent with God's word, so we can all be guilty of shameful actions at times. I find those who profess to be Christian but deny the basic tenets of the faith to be the biggest embarrassment (e.g. the Jesus Seminar crowd).
BTW, it is the same God who said "love your enemies" (etc.) and "go and sin no more" (to the adulterous woman at the well in Samaria). God created sex, so He does not 'denigrate' it, but He does expect us to enjoy what He has given in the manner in which He intended, which is in the context of the marriage of an eligible man and woman. When we honour God by doing things as He intended it results in the greatest happiness and social justice possible. It is sin we should hate, not God.
Nor does God want to 'limit educational curricula'. The modern era of education for all arose in societies governed by Christian principles. The universities were founded and run by Christians as Christian institutions a long time before the present era of secularism (Godlessness).
You are probably alluding to such things as the teaching of evolution (the atheists' creation myth). We have consistently said that evolution should be taught in schools, but it should be taught 'warts and all'. It is the teaching of evolution as dogma that Christians oppose, which is exactly what atheists at the forefront of 'defending evolution' (e.g. the atheist-founded and atheist-headed NCSE in the USA, or BCSE in the U.K.) want to defend. Not content with protecting evolution from any criticism, atheists in the UK managed to cajole the government education authorities into banning creation from religious education classes (would you believe?!).
Atheists were also at the forefront of banning God from public schools in America so that atheism (secularism) now has free reign. So who is it that is 'limiting educational curricula'?
Of course, the question should be asked as to the appropriateness of teaching a religious viewpoint about history (evolution) in science classes. Evolution would perhaps be more appropriate in a course on ancient history, taught alongside other views of history, such as that revealed in the Bible. It is certainly gobbling up valuable time that could be better used to teach students more of the the wealth of useful operational science that so enriches our lives (and which again has Christian roots). It reminds me of what the Bible says in Romans 1: when people abandon God, He gives them over to doing futile (useless) things. We are seeing that in the nonsense being taught in science classes; such as microbes changing into microbiologists, all by accidental changes in the DNA of the orginal chance-origin microbe. It's no wonder the atheists don't want any opposition to this dogma!
I'ts not that I hate christianity or their God, it's I hate the people that preach it on everybody else. the people that crash a gay wedding. those are the people I hate. there is good in religion but there are so much bad and flaws that for me it ways out the good.
one thing I'd like to point out is you said they hate something they don't believe in. I hate the boogeyman but he's not real. I hate ghosts but I certainly don't believe in them
just wanted to comment
Do you know that Christians are motivated to share about Jesus with you because they care about your eternal destiny? Christians believe that without Jesus you will suffer God's judgment (whether you believe in God or not). If they did not care about you, they would keep quiet to avoid risking your anger towards them. Would you rather they did not care about you?
I would be really surprised if Christians would "crash a gay wedding". I would be interested in more information about this; when and where and what exactly happened. I would not 'crash' someone's ceremony, though I don't accept that gay marriage is legitimate. Acceptance of such as 'marriage' means legalizing the deliberate depriving of children of the right to a mum and a dad; and that I cannot support. It also means legitimzing behaviour that God says is sin, just as sex outside of marriage is sin for heterosexuals. For more information about homosexuality and the Bible, see Homosexuality Q&A. Jesus gives those who follow him the power to rise above their sinful desires. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says that in Christ we are new creations, or new creatures, "all things have become new". There can be a new start with new hope.
If you don't rant and rave against people who believe in ghosts and the boogeyman, then I can't see how there is any parallel with the atheists who rant and rave against Christians and believing in God. I can't imagine you calling people who believe in ghosts insulting names, so you don't hate ghosts at all, like the loud atheists hate God.
I'm sorry that some Christians have offended you. However, Jesus calls us to follow Him, not 'Christians'. What have you against Jesus? He has brought the greatest good this world has ever seen. If you want to see life without Jesus, just look at any of the communist countries of last century (Stalin, Mao, etc.) or North Korea today, or any number of countries that base their societies on something else today.
I do hate the concept of God. There is no point in being irenic, capitulation with religion is a disgusting thought. And the reasons I hate religion are not because it makes bogus laws that follow no intrinsic thought, but because it holds back human progress, both technologically and morally. Theists brainwash their children, and allow a tyrannical myth to scare them into thinking they are not 'worthy.' What an atrocious concept. We are all born dirty. And you claim that without evidence. The concept of God is immoral, and I hate it. Even if God could get around the fact that he cannot actually exist (outside of a deistic interpretation based on deterministic realism,) I would never follow such a retched character,sitting through sacred litany. No, I would rebel, as any true human being has done in the past to tyrants. Many Christians are such patriots, but they don't seem to realize that God is essentially a beefier Britain.
“I do hate the concept of God.”
DB: So does the devil, but at least the devil acknowledges He is real, not just a concept.
“There is no point in being irenic, capitulation with religion is a disgusting thought.”
DB: Sounds like Screwtape (the devil’s supervisor-demon in Screwtape Letters, by famous former atheist, C.S. Lewis). But then God is disgusted with ‘religion’ too; He wants us to follow Jesus, the Son of God, not religious ritual. There’s a big difference. See what Jesus said to the ‘religious’ Pharisees in Luke 11:42.
“And the reasons I hate religion are not because it makes bogus laws that follow no intrinsic thought, but because it holds back human progress, both technologically and morally.”
DB: Yes, lots of ‘religion’ does that, but I suggest that you have a very faulty understanding of the history of scientific progress and civilizing social reform if you think that Christianity has hindered it. It’s quite the opposite. See, for example, Christianity as progress. Just think for a moment of what countries you would most like to live in and you have virtually listed the countries have been most strongly influenced by the Bible.
“Theists brainwash their children,”
DB: Who is it that founded, funded and runs the pretentiously called “National Center for Science Education” to protect evolution from critical analysis in the schools of America? Atheists! Who is it that is at the forefront of trying to remove Christian influence from public life in America? Atheists! The same thing can be seen in other countries, such as the UK, where atheists again have led the charge to prevent children from questioning evolution. When young people are prevented from hearing a different point of view, that is brainwashing!
“and allow a tyrannical myth to scare them into thinking they are not 'worthy.' What an atrocious concept. We are all born dirty. And you claim that without evidence.”
DB: Any parent who has raised children has seen plenty of evidence that children are not ‘born innocent’!
“The concept of God is immoral, and I hate it.”
DB: How does an atheist judge God as being immoral? By what standard of moral absolutes do you do this? A moral sky-hook? See: Atheism—no objective morality? You cannot get moral absolutes from physics and chemistry. God is the measure of all goodness and without Him “every man does what is right in his own eyes” (as in the times of the Judges in Old Testament Israel). Even the British atheist A.C. Grayling joked, “You can see we no longer really believe in God, because of all the CCTV cameras keeping watch on us.” Without God you have no objective moral standard by which you can judge God.
“Even if God could get around the fact that he cannot actually exist (outside of a deistic interpretation based on deterministic realism,)”
DB: Now you are claiming omniscience as well; you know everything there is to know, so you know that God “cannot actually exist”! Please see who created God?
“I would never follow such a retched character,sitting through sacred litany. No, I would rebel, as any true human being has done in the past to tyrants.”
DB: I think you mean ‘liturgy’? But perhaps you need to broaden your experience a little; most churches in American don’t even follow a liturgy.
You have rebelled, and knowingly, it would seem. So you will have no excuse when God holds you accountable at the judgment.
“Many Christians are such patriots, but they don't seem to realize that God is essentially a beefier Britain.”
DB: God made everything and so He owns and is in charge of His creation, including America and Britain. Thus, He is much “beefier” than anything you can imagine. He sets the rules and He judges the hearts of men. Being just, He judges rightly (Jeremiah 11:20). He is also the all-powerful One who not only brought the universe into being, but will bring it to a fiery end (2 Peter 3:7). But He is also love and is willing to forgive anyone who recognizes their sinfulness and admits their need of forgiveness and receives it, as offered through what Jesus has done (dying in our place, taking the punishment that we deserved). It is strange indeed that you would want to have nothing to do with the One who offers you a free pardon.
Religion is for those who can`t deal with that humans are just smart monkeys drifting trough space on big pall of rock. Also, if you are going to believe in something that's have no hard evince, why not to believe in something cooler. Perkele is the best.
No, Christianity is not about believing because we want to believe. The natural tendency of man is to run away from God, the theme of the the Bible from cover to cover, and the testimony of countless Christians before God arrested them.
The former atheist, C.S. Lewis, aptly described himself as the most reluctant convert to Christ, but he was forced by the wealth of evidence to believe. And there is no shortage of evidence for anyone with eyes open to see it. So the Bible says that no one has any excuse for denying that God exists because of the evidence (Romans 1:18ff).
"Why not believe in something cooler?" Perkele? The Finnish god of thunder and a popular Finnish swearword? And you object to believing in the Creator of everything, for whom there is abundant evidence???
I do not belive in god because there is no evidence, and all that belive say you have to have faith in god. Another thing I have to say is if there is a god that lets man rape and murder children then hides behind man has free will I have no need for him. For the ones that say atheists do not belive so they can behave with no morals, you dont even want me to post the number of stories about religious people saying one thing then living another.
Your comments echo several that have already been published, so this is getting a bit tedious (please read the other comments and responses above). This is a not a poll of atheists' views and I never claimed that atheists in general hate God, only that I have had many conversations with atheists and I have amongst those conversations experienced many who are angry at God.
With rape, I wonder if you have ever thought of the lack of justice of a world where there is no divine judgment awaiting rapists? That is the world of the atheist; the rapist gets away with it.
I also wonder if you have considered what a world would be like where you were forced like a puppet on a string to 'behave'? For what you want God to do for the rapist He should also do to you because you are not without fault either (none of us are).
As for atheists being moral and some 'Christians' behaving badly, see Can we be good without God? And please note what I said in response to a similar complaint from Lionel T above:
And yes, there may be 'Christians' who are "obnoxious", but Jesus calls us to follow Him, not those who say they are His followers. In fact, he even told a parable about how you can't know the wheat from the weeds until they bear seeds ('fruit').
No one stops using money because there are counterfeits. Indeed the existence of counterfeits points to the reality of real money. Please don't give up on the real thing because you have experienced the false.
I am an atheist. I don't hate god, because obviously, you can't hate something that doesn't exist. I hate the idea of god. I hate the idea of heaven or hell. I hate the bible, so full of contradictions. Most of all, I hate the people that want to push their religion on me, which is what this site does. You give no facts. You are completely opinionated.
I suggest you read the comments and responses already posted. Your comments are only echoing what others have already said.
I find this rather ironic: "You give no facts. You are completely opinionated" when you have provided no evidence for your assertions, which are nothing more than your opinions. There is plenty of evidence on creation.com, if you are open to evidence. There are over 8,000 articles and many videos to inform you of the evidence, if you are interested. For example, regarding your assertion that the Bible is "full of contradictions" (is it really reasonable therefore to "hate" it?), see Answering Bible skeptics.