When I look at my friend Mr. Irony the atheist, there are many glaring incongruities between the actual results which take place in and around his religion and behaviour, and the normal or expected results of his belief and his actions, which he self professes.
Consider this - Atheism is ironic and self defeating. It appeals to reason for the existence of a reason-less universe. It appeals for orderly thought in an existence to which there is no order. It has a message that has a purpose to prove that there is no purpose. Its morality is to argue that there are no morals, except the reasons and morals that they themselves purpose. I think you can see what I’m getting at and where Mr. Irony got his name from.
Mr. Irony tries to reason his belief on “evidence”. It’s the starting proposition for all of his arguments. But in order to have evidence, the evidence must be presented for any investigation to begin. So what they will say is that the burden of proof or evidence lies with the believer in God. I disagree. Mr. Irony is minority who is recently new to the show, and goes against all historical evidence left behind to us since the dawn of mankind - which is some message about the gods or God. Perhaps it would be fair to say that the burden of proof should lie with him?
But Mr. Irony doesn’t believe in a God. That is to say he is not a Bible sceptic, rather he does not believe in a greater authority. But it is apparent that the evidence he tries to use is by quoting “erroneous scriptures” in the Bible; the irony here being that he is reading and quoting from a book which he supposedly believes is fake and putting this forward as his evidence. This is illogical as much as it is ironic.
Mr. Irony really needs to take a universal stand here. Does he not believe in a God, or does he not believe in the Abrahamic God? His reasons seem only to centre on the latter, and more specifically Christianity. But there is a reason for this which I believe is also ironic. Let’s consider for a second that the Muslim faith won over Europe and that Sharia law was in place throughout the globe. Would it be the case that Mr Irony would even exist? I would say absolutely not.
The Western World through the adoption of the Christian Faith, a Faith whose core belief is about love, tolerance, and understanding, has become such that it has allowed them to voice their disdain of it. I don’t for a moment suggest that war and violence committed in the name of the Christian faith has not occurred, but that does not distract from the core belief. Blaming the core belief of the Christian Faith for violence committed by man would be akin to blaming science for violence committed by gunpowder or blaming the math behind the atomic bomb. They just don’t match up. For every evil that has occurred in the name of Faith (and science for that matter) there have been immeasurable goods done.
Mr Irony will tell you that religion suppressed or suppresses science - the famous argument being Galileo. Those are just simply overstatements and not true. On the topic of Galileo, he was given a room belonging to one of higher orders of the Vatican when he visited the pope. There was actually a personal conflict between them and he called the pope some names, some of which weren't far off I might add, because the pope was being silly. Galileo was told to sign a document by the church recanting his observations because they conflicted with church doctrine. He wasn’t tortured or mistreated. After his death, when his theories were proven, he was reburied in the main body of the basilica in 1737 after a monument had been erected there in his honour. So the Church was sorry.
No man is infallible and this was proven by Galileo in astounding (possibly the most astounding and pertinent fashion one could possibly contrive). I would put it to my Christian readers who believe that the Authority is at work; this was a clear message - no man but Jesus is infallible, as the Pope was believed to be at the time.
There is no more suppression of science because Christians understand, and understood a long time ago, that science will never be able to debunk God. As scientists have learned more and more throughout history, so have the people. As knowledge has been gained by the scientists, so has it been gained by men of Faith. It is clear (certainly to me) that the Philosophy of “Why we exist” is mutually exclusive from the Philosophy of “How we exist”.
I often point out to Mr. Irony that religious teachings are, in fact, the best and most comprehensive explanation of “Why we exist”. But that’s not a question that he likes to ask because he is not interested. The irony here is that he asks so many questions, but not the ones he doesn’t want to.
So let’s look at Mr. Irony’s tactics.
1. I’m so clever and you are dumb – They believe themselves intellectually superior because they follow the great scientists of the world and that’s where the clever stuff happens. They seem to think that they personally proved Higgs Boson and that they rub shoulders with the IQ elite. They receive a distasteful sense of satisfaction from the standpoint of belittlement.
The reason for this thinking is because most of them often suckle at the benign teat of knowledge, which the likes of Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, drip out. My main issue of contention with both of these men (and their like) is that neither gives a proposition for living a good life. They only want to knock religion and say how silly it is. Their whole defence against faith is purely ad hominem and alternative-less. They’re just professional ranters who suspiciously name their books as offensively as possible, obviously for reasons of maximum profits. (I did laugh at one of Hitchens atheist followers saying “R.I.P Hitchens” on a forum the other day ... touché!!)
2. Faith is Blind – Well literally I suppose it is. But what do they base their faith on? What do they believe in and how much of it can we see? Absolutely positively nothing. I would say that “faith” is the same as a world view. Atheists have one world view, religious people have another. So the irony is that their faith, a belief that there is no God, is their world view which is also blind.
The difference is though, that Faith for the Christian is in the heart. They can feel it and engage with it and nurture it from within. They can live by it and make a difference with it. It can teach them humility and compassion and from within it they can grow empathy and kindness. They have a basis on which to base their Faith and example by which to live by.
Conversely, and rather sadly so, the atheist faith is somewhat void. It is purely in his head and he has to wait patiently for the next CERN announcement, or the next Dawkins book which will be an elongated and bound rant. There their faith ends.
3. The all new “Bible Basher” - Mr. Irony doesn’t realise that no matter how many scriptures he may quote which sound absurd, the person of Christian Faith (or any other Abrahamic religion for that matter) does not consider the Bible a pseudo-scientific book. He doesn’t understand that the main points about the Bible are not talking snakes and whales swallowing people, or floods with boats that have many animals. Has Mr. Irony done such little research to not know that these were stories told by word of mouth for thousands of years, with symbolic meaning? Some of them before the Bibles time in ancient Babylonia.
Mr. Irony wants to ask about a literal and/or symbolic nature of Scriptures while he wears the sceptic’s goggles. But Mr. Irony wants it literal or not, but that’s just not the way it works. When Jesus said "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener”, does he really expect us to take literally that Jesus was a tree? Let’s not be silly.
One of the main points of the Bible is gaining Gods wisdom through Scripture and establishing an understanding of how to live with kindness in your heart. One need only look at the atheist’s behaviour of mockery and insult, anything to get a reaction, to understand that they could really do with some of these teachings
The fundamental point in the Bible though, for anybody who has actually studied the Bible, is Prophesy fulfilment. My Christian friends should take great comfort here because, in such magnificent and beautiful fashion, Mr. Irony is actually becomes the subject of prophecy.
2 Thessalonians 2:4 - He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God.
(Atheists are the gods of their own worlds)
Psalm 14:1-3 The fool says in his heart, "There is no God."
Psalm 10:13 Why do the wicked get away with despising God? They think, "God will never call us to account."
One needs only to watch the response this article will arouse and observe the reaction to the nerve which I have touched. In closing I will say that we should show kindness to our atheist brothers and sisters because they are lost. The vitriol and anger spurned towards our Faith is just a representation of the darkness inside them that forces them to lash out.
Be patient. Show them love, understanding and kindness. Recognise the driving force behind their mockery, know the source of their hatred, understand their acrimonious contempt, have patience with their irritability, be tolerant of their maliciousness and let your wisdom in God show that all their spite falls on ears and eyes that are blind and deaf to such things.