Friday, January 22, 2010

Why Christians Should Stop Arguing with Atheist Progressives

I let myself be lured into arguing with an atheist friend of mine today.  First he said I must believe that Satan was behind the tectonic plate movements in Haiti, since, of course, Pat Robertson said so (which he didn't) and therefore I "must" believe it.  Then he claimed that I was "..trying to use reasoning and evidence, yet when asked for any evidence and reasoning behind the very existence of the devil you are using the defense “it’s a matter of belief.”

Except I never said "It's a matter of belief." He said that on my behalf without any help from me. Then he made some garbled comment about believing in "...talking snakes and drinking blood of dead God on Sundays."  Then, he went right on to "I would like an evidence which would not be riddled by gross logical fallacies" and offered to recommend some books for me to read that would fix me right up with my whole distorted belief system.

Oh, and then he suggested that if I were "intellectually curious" (oh, like George Bush wasn't you mean) then I might actually read some of the great books on how stupid Christians are.

I love it when progressives who are also atheists start tossing around book titles and asking you to prove God mathematically. Oh, and he made sure he pointed out that he has more education than 95% of ordinary mortals so "elitist" was an okay label with him.

The thing is, when you attack someone's belief system, they tend to get defensive. My friend's reaction was to defend his faith. I can't fault him for that. Atheism is no less passionate a belief system than any other religion.  My friend made it clear that I must prove that Satan exists if I am to believe in him.

The problem with that is he is under no similar compunction to prove that Satan does not exist. The fact is, you cannot prove a thing does not exist, only that you have never seen it yourself. I, for instance, have never seen a black hole and neither has anyone else. They can only infer the existence of a black hole by it's effect on objects around it.

I infer the existence of Satan in much the same way.  Progressivism actually began with a fine intent and had some very positive effects on society.  Crusty old capitalists were convinced to voluntarily treat their workers better. Christians began to perform organized acts of charity to improve the lot of those less fortunate than themselves.  But something happened to the movement early on and turned it a nightmare ideology based on beliefs that are totally at odds with Christian principles.  Eugenics, mass murder, persecution and tyranny sprang up from progressive roots with a speed and ferocity that was breath-taking.

The regularity with which this happens in history, points with certainty to the existence of a cool and evil intellect behind this transformation. At least it points with sufficient clarity to convince me that this evil entity exists.  Can I prove he exists? No, for I have never met him, although a person whose veracity I trust tells me she has met one of his agents in the flesh.  I have no reason to doubt her.

I am curious as to why folks like my friend even bother to argue with me.  It makes no sense. Atheists assume there is no God. Researchers like B.F. Skinner, proceed from that assumption and are led, logically, to the conclusion that men's ideas and attitudes and behaviors are entirely the product of operant conditioning. By that logic we basically have no free will.  Free will is, then, an illusion produced by our evolutionary proclivities.  The book he recommended that I read claims that people see meaning in randomness because of our evolutionary makeup and not because there is any inherent truth or meaning in life at all. 

If this is so, my friend's argument is the product of a lifetime of experiences and events that have conditioned him to believe as he believes and act as he acts - nothing more.  If that is so, then he believes what he believes quite by accident.  I, on the other hand, believe what I believe entirely by choice. Logically, he cannot help but pick an argument with me. He is conditioned to do so.  Since I am also conditioned to believe what I believe, according to his belief system, then neither of us are arguing because we want to, but because we are conditioned to.

Logically, only a person with free will could choose to stop the argument.  The responsibility, then, for ending the argument is entirely mine.  Since my belief system says that I am able to choose, I, therefore, choose not to argue.

Don't worry about my friend. He'll ramble on a while, score what he thinks are a couple of devastating points and then move on, congratulating himself on how he showed me up!

I love making atheists happy.  They have so little to be truly happy about.

I'm just sayin'

Tom King - Flint, TX

No comments: