Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas, Especially To You Atheists

Many of you have likely heard about how there was a series of widespread unofficial ceasefires that took place around Christmas of 1914 during World War I.  Apparently, during the week leading up to Christmas, parties of German and British soldiers began to exchange seasonal greetings and songs between their trenches; on occasion, the tension was reduced to the point that individuals would walk across to talk to their opposite numbers bearing gifts. It is said that on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, many soldiers from both sides – as well as, to a lesser degree, from French units – independently ventured into "no man's land", where they mingled, exchanging food and souvenirs. In some places it became so friendly that the troops played soccer against each other.

Sometimes on this blog, for understandable reasons, the rhetoric is the World War I equivalent.  I, for one, am calling a truce for the Christmas Season. I wish all of you, especially my atheist friends, a very Merry Christmas!

Oh, and one more thing. Most weeks I “participate” in an online church service.  It is held at  By participate I simply mean that I attend, although there is a “chat” aspect that I also do.  The people at Cross Point are authentic and, as far as I am concerned, represent what the Church should look like. Sometimes people who do not attend church will attend church on Christmas.  If you would like to check it out this Christmas in a very non-threatening way, it would be great.   The online service is December 23rd at 5 P.M. Central time.  Would love it if you stopped by.

Again, to get back to the original theme of this post, I wish all you, especially you atheists, a very Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Andrew the Atheist's Return

Hello All!!  Sorry I had to be away.  It appears Tim has been chewing the bit waiting for me.  I'm afraid as the holidays approach, I won't be online much.  Sorry again.

Okay, so, I suppose I'll start with this idea that everyone worships something.  I find this ridiculous.  Believe it or not, christians, not everyone thinks like you.  Some people are quite happy NOT worshiping anything.  That is not to say I worship nothing.  That is to say I do not worship anything.  I'd like to flip this around.

Everyone is skeptical of something.  Unlike Tim's assertion about worship, I know that everyone reading this blog is skeptical about something.  Let's take the dragon in my pants, for example.  Anyone actually believe there is a dragon in my pants?  I didn't think so.  Do you apply the same level of skepticism to your belief in your god?  Do you?

My point is that the questions I've been asked about my dragon have been very disappointing.  I've been asked for evidence, and I've supplied it.  Remember the sound of the roar and the stinky breath?  Scientifically reproducible, verifiable, measurable evidence.  When you rejected this evidence, did you come closer to understanding why I reject your assertion the placement of the earth from the sun is evidence for god?  Why not?   And I think that was it.  I was really hoping I'd get some kind of argument against the dragon, but I've nothing.

If we are not skeptical of one thing, that leaves us vulnerable to getting suckered by another.  For example, if I were a believer, more specifically a christian, more specifically a biblical literalist, I would have a hard time understanding science.  My gullibility in believing there is a god has lead to me not understanding properly the world around me.  I might think the world was only a few thousand years old.  I'd have to have wild fantasies about why science did not coincide with my religion.

I could think that  women should not be permitted to speak.  I might think that flying planes into buildings is a good idea.  I think you get my point.  When we are not skeptical about supernatural claims, we become vulnerable to being gullible to frauds.  The supernatural IS a fraud, after all.

Now, on to Hitch's sad passing.

Yes, Hitch was flipping awesome.  Yes, it is sad he is gone.  But atheism is not sad.  It is inspirational.

It is your beliefs I find depressing.  If all my work is for naught, and all I have to do is believe, then why do anything?  My beliefs, not my works, are important.  God's got it all in his hands; he's got some plan.  Why interfere?  Why make things better?  If god wanted to, he'd fix it.  Might as well just wait to die and go to heaven.  There, I won't do anything either.  I'll be happy all the time without a care at all.  Nothing I did in life would matter, and my existence would no longer matter either, as nothing would matter.  I'd just be happy.

No, I find atheism much more inspirational. Perhaps it is not atheism.  Perhaps it is Humanism.

The atheist does not look to the next life to find reward or consequence.  We look to this one.  We find cause to do good and avoid evil here, now, in this life.  WE are the ones who are responsible for our lives.  WE share this existence and have an obligation to make it the best we can.  We need no carrot and stick routine.  We find joy and satisfaction that our actions have real value in this life, no other.  THIS is the life we look to improve, not some fantasy in some other realm.  Why does this life so fail to hold our attention that we have to cheapen it with man-made myths and monsters?  This is the life we look to live and impact.  God isn't here; we are.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Atheism Is Depressing: On Christopher Hitchens

I am sure most of you reading this know that a few days ago Christopher Hitchens died.  For you atheists, he was one of your champions. He is known largely for his book, “God is Not Great.”.  Someday on this blog we should perhaps have a debate about that book.  In any case, that is not my purpose today. My purpose today is to focus on one of his quotes.  Specifically, when he was diagnosed with cancer, he said the following:
"I'm here as a product of process of evolution, which doesn't make very many exceptions. And which rates life relatively cheaply. I mean, most human beings who've ever been born would have been dead long before they reached my age. And I would think in most of the rest of the world — well, I know it — is still true. So to be relatively healthy at 62 is to be dealt a pretty good hand by the cosmos, which doesn't know I'm here — and won't notice when I'm gone."
For us Christians, this is an extremely sad position that you atheists are required to take, namely this idea that the cosmos does not know that you exist and will not notice when you are gone.  This is such a sad position because it has such negative consequences. If you are an atheist, and if you truly believe what Christopher Hitchens says then:

1. What is the purpose of life?

2. How can there be any basis for ethics?

If there are no consequences in the next life for my actions, then I am free to hurt as many people as I want in this life.  If there are no consequences in the next life, then I suppose the purpose of life is pure decadence.  If there is not life beyond the grave, then there is little purpose to this life beyond self-indulgence. If there is no God, you are on your own in life.  To us Christians, that seems so empty and depressing.

Don’t you atheists feel like atheism is a depressing philosophy?  If atheism is true, there is no point to anything.  If on the other hand, Christianity is true, life is rich with meaning.  What is holding you back from accepting that you are created, that your life has a purpose, and that eternity can be spent with God in heaven?  

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Measure Of A Man Is What He Worships

I do not know what has happened to our friend Andrew.  I have been waiting for him to respond to my last post, and nothing has happened. As a result, I want to continue the theme of my last post and address you atheists again.

The first thing I want to say, is that I overstated it in my last post. There are such things as atheists. Some of you may have been put off by the overstatement, and missed the point. That is why I want to revisit this idea.

I know that some of you do not believe in a god.  Thus, you are by definition atheists.  Still, here is the important point.  We all worship something.  Stop and think about that for a moment.  It is impossible not to worship something.  I suppose I should first define what I mean by worship. I suppose what I mean by worship is "adoring reverence or regard." You may not give reverence to God, but I am sure you give reverence to something or someone.  It may be yourself. It may be science. It may be a relationship. It may be your work. It may be money or fame or success.  The point is that everyone worships something.

I believe that the measure of a man lies not in his wealth, his abilities, or his success. Rather the measure of man is the object of his worship.

And here is the key.  We Christians believe that if you worship anything less than God (and everything is less than God), you will always ultimately be destroyed by the thing that you love.  The worship of money...I do not need to tell you where that can lead.  How about success?  What happens once you have succeeded?  What is next?  How about relationships?  I think we know that even the most cherished relationships can cause deep heartache and do not often last forever.

Examine your life.  At some point in your life, if you are not worshiping God, the thing that you are worshiping will hurt you badly. At that time, I hope you will remember these words, and remember how ready God is for you to accept Him.

What do you have to say about that?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

There Is No Such Thing As An Atheist...

Here is the thing... there is no such thing as a real atheist.  We all worship something or someone.  Everyone has a god.  And here is the problem for you who call yourselves atheists.  Whatever you worship will, in the end, cause you heartache, pain, and ultimately will be the death of you.

Someone else said it much better than I did:  
“[I]n the day-to day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship — be it JC or Allah, bet it YHWH or the Wiccan Mother Goddess, or the Four Noble Truths, or some inviolable set of ethical principles — is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough. It’s the truth. Worship your body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly. And when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally grieve you."  David Foster Wallace, Commencement AddressKenyon College, 2005
What do you worship?