Who’s really looking for “easy answers”?

The basic claim of atheists is that they are superior to believers because, in their view, believers look for easy answers.  In their view, belief in God boils down to an easy explanation for all matters scientific, even though that is the last thing on the mind of most believers.

My contention, especially when I hear atheists speak, is just the opposite.  When I hear people like P.Z. Myers, Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins speak, their attitude is not one of scientific inquiry but one of “closed book”: “I read Darwin, and Darwin had all the answers!  I didn’t have to believe in God anymore!”    They are the ones who have intentionally sought out a reason *not* to believe in God.  Why have they done this, if belief in God is such a simple answer?

God does not answer questions: God opens up a whole new realm of questions.  In reality, the study of science always opens new doors: first the molecule was thought to be the basic unit of matter; then the atom; then the proton, neutron and electron; now we have nuons, quarks, tachyons and other theoretical sub-nuclear particles.  What happened before the Big Bang?

For the theologian, the questions extend far beyond the big bang.

Scientific and philosophic minds ask these questions.  Atheists do not.  They settle on the easiest answers science provides and say, “God does not exist.”

Belief does not answer questions; it creates more.  It also doesn’t provide an easy way of life, since belief requires morality.  Atheists balk at the notion that atheism is inherently amoral, yet there really is no basis for any objective morality without a moral lawgiver.  Atheists can only be positivists, at best, and usually are moral solipsists, at worst.

What is the more challenging belief system?  One that says we evolved from apes, therefore we are little better than apes, therefore we can justify any action that we commit as due to our genetic heritage?

Or a belief system that says a higher being created us with a special dignity that we must live up to, that we are spiritual as well as incarnational beings, that our intellect and spirit should ultimately have control over our body?

This, of course, is why Darwin is so all-fired important to them.  Nevermind that it’s been perfectly obvious from day 1 that there are things in the Bible that are not miracles yet not sensical, either (such as blatant historical errors).  The Fathers taught that, if it comes to the Bible versus science or history in a matter of science or history, you go with science or history.

Whether God made Adam out of clay or out of a primate, it doesn’t really make a difference, but to atheists, who want an easy out, it does.  Darwin is so important to them because, with Darwin, they can discount Genesis, and it’s not the first part of Genesis 1 they really care about; it’s Genesis 2 and 3.

When Darwin becomes your Gospel, then you can discount Original Sin.

Who’s really looking for easy answers?

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10 responses to “Who’s really looking for “easy answers”?

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Who’s really looking for “easy answers”? « The Lewis Crusade -- Topsy.com

    • And in the above tweet, Dan J. contradicts his own claim to not thinking he’s superior to Christians. A “smackdown”? “How dare those Christians express their views! Fellow atheists unite and beat this person up, because we’re smarter than he is and superior, even though we know zilch about philosophy!”

      Which brings me back to your claim that you can derive a moral theory from evolution. Communism is a “moral theory” derived from evolution. Nazism was a moral theory derived from evolution. Eugenics was a moral theory derived from evolution. Ben Stein points all this out in _Expelled!_ and atheists shoot the messenger. Every time in history that atheists have had power to run the show, horrible atrocities have happened. How about this for a moral theory derived from evolution: evolution says that the animals that survive are the ones which reproduce. Therefore, Catholics are biologically superior to atheists.
      In the end, any moral theory derived from science only cannot stand, because there is nothing inherently binding about it. Some atheists say that Plato disproved the need for God to justify morality, but he didn’t; he avoided the question. And if Plato did devise a morality devoid of God, it only proves my point, as I would hardly want to live in the totalitarian, eugenicist dictatorship advocated in _The Republic_.

  2. How can you expect to be taken seriously when you are inherently wrong from your first sentence?

    “The basic claim of atheists is that they are superior to believers because, in their view, believers look for easy answers.”

    The basic claim of atheists is that god or gods do not exist, or are extremely likely not to exist. No superiority is claimed.

    I find quite the opposite to be true, in that religious believers claim moral superiority, as well as demand special treatment, simply based on their belief in a deity.

    You do it yourself in this very post: “It also doesn’t provide an easy way of life, since belief requires morality.”

    I could provide you with links relevant to the basis of morality’s link with biological evolution, but if you’re like most bible-thumpers, you’d simply disregard it like you do any other evidence that doesn’t fit with your biblical thinking.

    • Depends upon what you mean by “basic.” For atheists, the point is not that God doesn’t exist, but that they hate believers, Christians in particular, and they don’t want to follow the Natural Law in some respect. That would be positivism. You’d still be defining your own morality based upon some arbitrary standard that *you* choose.
      I am not exactly a “Bible thumper,” in the proper use of the term, since I am a Catholic and emphasize the Natural Law as the basis of morality, not “the Bible,” though that is probably too difficult a distinction for an atheist to comprehend.

      Evolution, which is just a scientific theory, with no more philosophical import than that the earth revolves around the sun or that America exists or that water is made of hydrogen and oxygen, is crucial to atheists because it provides an escape.
      Atheists ignore the fact that something similar to evolution was pointed to by Aristotle, Hobbes and even Augustine. Atheists and Fundamentalists both ignore the fact that Aristotelian “science” was far more problematic to the Bible than any modern science. Newtonian physics made some of Aquinas’s theories problematic, but Aquinas’s metaphysics holds up better under Einstein than it did even under Aristotle.

      When I hear “Darwin Thumpers” beat their drum, their motive is not “God doesn’t exist”; their motive is “I’m smarter than you are.”
      Atheists claim that no higher power exists (except possibly aliens), and that they therefore have some knowledge that makes them smarter than the 90%+ of the world’s population who believe in such a higher power.
      Their “evidence” for the non-belief of a higher power is that they can explain human development, sort of, by a process of random steps that have led to the amazing diversity of life. An open minded Christian looks at the same evidence, as he or she looks at any scientific nature and says, “How can you look at the complexity of this process and *not* believe in God?”
      Of course, as C. S. Lewis says, atheism is a self-defeating logical paradox, because it claims rationality while insisting there is no such thing as reason: if the brain is nothing more than the sum of its neurotransmitters, if the whole thing is just random chemical reactions, how can you be certain of your own intelligence?

  3. Evolution, which is just a scientific theory, with no more philosophical import than that the earth revolves around the sun or that America exists or that water is made of hydrogen and oxygen, is crucial to atheists because it provides an escape.

    Do you know what a ‘scientific theory’? The “just-a-theory” statement is a red flag of ignorance. By the same token, gravity is ‘just-a-theory’. A theory is a falsifiable explanation for a large set of data which provides testable hypotheses. Natural selection is a theory which is so well tested that it is also a fact. I don’t need evolution to be an atheist, by the way. The paucity of evidence for the claims of Christianity is more than enough to reject them. Nor do I hate believers. I just find the gibberish they spout to be ludicrous.

    Of course, as C. S. Lewis says, atheism is a self-defeating logical paradox, because it claims rationality while insisting there is no such thing as reason: if the brain is nothing more than the sum of its neurotransmitters, if the whole thing is just random chemical reactions, how can you be certain of your own intelligence?

    Cogito ergo sum.” If Lewis is the best you’ve got, you’ve already lost.

    • I’m not using the “Just a theory” thing the way you imply. I’m saying that science has no business talking about theology. I’m saying science is just science. It explains the mechanics, but that is only a small fragment of existence.
      You just refuse to admit the evidence for Christianity: both the archaeological evidence of the Bible’s historicity (far more than other ancient history events taken as facts), and the day-to-day evidence that prayers are answered. Atheists do to theology what “creationists” do to science: ignore the evidence that doesn’t fit their view and then focus on examples that do.

      I dont’ say how you can say there’s enough evidence to prove evolution happened, per se. The fossil record is full of holes, and even if it were, it’s a mountain of suppositions based upon the presumption of human reason, which, as I stated above, is a self-contradiction of atheists, since atheism is literally an irrational metaphysic.
      Whether men evolved from other primates or were molded from clay matters very little to me. Either way, God did it.
      That said, you cannot tell me evolution is proven unless you can go back in time and witness it actually happening.

      • I’m saying that science has no business talking about theology.

        Let’s make a deal then: You keep your religion out of science, and we’ll keep science out of religion.

        “How dare those Christians express their views! Fellow atheists unite and beat this person up, because we’re smarter than he is and superior, even though we know zilch about philosophy!”

        Nice way to attempt to put words in a person’s mouth. Nice way to fail at it too. Once again, where is my supposed claim of superiority? Your inferred claim that atheists know nothing about philosophy is quite ridiculous.

        …day-to-day evidence that prayers are answered.

        Please provide this much-desired evidence. Because it would be proof of the existence of a god, or some other supernatural entity, I’m certain there would be a Nobel prize in it for you.

        The fossil record is full of holes…

        That’s completely irrelevant. Even without the fossil evidence, there is enough scientific evidence for biological evolution that the scientific community regards it as fact.

        Your rehashing of tired arguments which have been refuted time and again by the sciences exposes your ignorance of the subjects at hand.

    • I just find the gibberish they spout to be ludicrous.

      You dont’? Then why is every atheist website I’ve ever seen filled with invectives against Christians? Why is every atheist I’ve ever met hostile and hateful, ready to bait Christians into a shouting match over how “stupid” we are? Why do atheists insist on peppering their language with profanity?

      What does Descartes have to do with anything? Descartes was a devout Catholic who was arguing against atheism, saying that our capability to think proves the existence of God. End result is the same as Lewis.

  4. I’m not using the “Just a theory” thing the way you imply. I’m saying that science has no business talking about theology.

    Science has nothing to say even where theology makes statements about reality? Nonsense. Besides, what does evolution have to do with theology? Precisely nothing.

    Descartes was a devout Catholic who was arguing against atheism, saying that our capability to think proves the existence of God.

    Indeed, he was religious. However, his philosopical statement was not implying in any way that the capability to think proves god(s) exist, else it would have ended “ergo Deus“.

    Then why is every atheist website I’ve ever seen filled with invectives against Christians? Why is every atheist I’ve ever met hostile and hateful, ready to bait Christians into a shouting match over how “stupid” we are?

    Yet Christians do not hesitate to call atheists “fools”. Do you read your own stuff? You’re not exactly a voice of diplomacy yourself. Why are you so hate-filled against atheists? Why are you so argumentative (particularly over things that are factual)? Why do you bait atheists? Pot calling kettle black, you are. I’ll wager that you antagonize atheists just to get a negative response so you can confirm your bias that the person is just another angry atheist. Perhaps you should look to yourself to see why that is, not to the people you antagonize.

    You just refuse to admit the evidence for Christianity: both the archaeological evidence of the Bible’s historicity (far more than other ancient history events taken as facts), and the day-to-day evidence that prayers are answered.

    Archeological evidence demonstrates the bible’s historical accuracy? Oh, don’t get me started! Well, you did, so here you go…

    No archeological evidence whatsoever for the Exodus. None. Nada. And there is no way for 500,000 people to wander any desert and not leave a trace.

    Harod died long before Quirinius was governor of Syria, which means Mary was pregnant with Jesus for about 10 years.

    The census getting Mary and Joseph to Bethelehem never happened.

    There is no evidence that the Massacre of the Innocents ever occurred.

    The gospels were written decades after Jesus’ supposed crucifixion by people who likely didn’t even live in the region, not by eyewitnesses (which wouldn’t be enough anyway, since the extraordinary nature of the claims requires a much more stringent standard of evidence).

    I can do this all day. As for prayer, I know of no double-blinded study in peer-reviewed journals. Please cite the evidence for prayer being answered.

    Whether men evolved from other primates or were molded from clay matters very little to me. Either way, God did it.

    This is precisely the kind of head-in-the-sand nonsense that is self-contradictory of your position, not mine. You claim without substantiation ‘magic man dunn it’ and then accuse atheists of presuppositionalism? Oh, that’s rich! I reject out of hand unfalsifiable statements like “God did it.” that that can’t be differentiated from made-up crap.

    That said, you cannot tell me evolution is proven unless you can go back in time and witness it actually happening.

    We have done exactly this not only by looking at the fossil record but the genetic record. We have even observed evolution in the lab. Your whining does not change that evolution occurred and is occurring doesn’t change that one whit. The evidence for evolution comes from a vast array of disparate disciplines such as geology, paleontology, molecular genetics, comparative morphology, cladistics, embryology, evolutionary development, animal husbandry- well, you get the picture. All point to the same single conclusion: evoluiton. When there are that many disciplines pointing to the same answer, that answer is treated as a fact.

    Is the reason that you don’t accept this because you do not accept historical empirical data? That’s bizarre, since you rely on historical evidence that you didn’t directly observe and you draw conclusions from every day. I suppose any excuse will do when you are desperate to deny what is indeed fact. That’s sad.

    • You’ve got quite a bit here, but there is a difference between engaging in a discussion and using the f-word fifty times as the folks over at PZ Myers’ blog do.

      Science doesn’t deal with questions of reality. Philosophy does. Philosophy is about what reality is. Science is about how reality works. Atoms and genes tell me lots of things about the mechanic sof the universe, but they tell me very little about ontology and teleology.

      And there you go with the usual atheist “Magic Man” garbage. Atheist “Logic”:
      1. I love evolution
      2. I’ll throw out some examples of things in the Bible that don’t make sense or there is archaelogical proof of, and discount the others.
      3. Start using works like “duh” and “Magic Man” to make Christians sound stupid–or else just start using the f-word and the d-word and implying death threats.

      There is a biblical fragment of Matthew at Oxford which has been dated to 50 AD–confirming the Traditional Catholic teaching that Matthew was written first and by Matthew (who, as a tax collector, would have been literate).

      Exodus? Something that happened 3,000 years ago in the desert? Watched a documentary a while back about a mountain in the Sinai range that matched all the descriptions of the Biblical “Mt. Sinai.” Then there was the recent Egyptian coin thing.

      How about the Shroud of Turin–an image proven to be *not* painted, featuring details about physiology and crucifixion that a hypothetical medieval forger couldn’t have known. Made in a photographic negative style a medieval forger couldn’t have known. Bearing seeds from plants and pollen found only in palestine, seeds dated to the early first century.
      “Carbon dating” done over 20 years ago said “it’s medieval.” At the time, believers said, “Carbon dating is inaccurate,” and atheists said we were anti-scientific. Yet the specific carbon dating of the Shroud has been discredited, and carbon dating itself has come into doubt.

      Our Lady of Guadalupe: again, no scientific way to explain how the image got imprinted on the tilma, esp. with the technology available at the time. Ophthalmologists have looked into the eyes of the real painting and said they contain a level of detail in the iris that no forger could emulate. The eyes have been magnified and show the reflection of several men in 15th century garb.

      Why would the Apostles face death and die for something they knew was a hoax? How would a group of people who were largely uneducated fisherman successfully orchestrate such a hoax, spread their message to others, etc.?

      DNA? Again, *if* creation happened exactly as Genesis describes (I don’t think it did, myself), there’s no reason to think that DNA should be signifcantly different across species. However, if creation happened by some process of evolution, it is ludicrous to look at such a process and *not* see the hand of a designer behind it. But there is still no conclusive proof that evolution happened.

      There was a well-published double-blind study in the late 1990s where some patients were prayed for and others were not. No patients were told what group they were in. The patients who were prayed for recovered more quickly, while those who were not prayed for were more likely to die.

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