When faced with all the crimes the Church has committed in the past and the present – the judgementality, the bigotry, the discrimination, even the violence – the Christian who doesn’t understand unity will turn to the world and denounce and condemn these “other Christians”, distancing themselves from their works.

But the Christian who understands unity will turn to the world and say, “I am sorry.”

Anyone who would object to the notion of God on the grounds of suffering, should only do so with the knowledge that there exists one religion that conceives of a God who experienced more of that suffering than any other being in the universe, in order to rescue us from it.

If “God” is to be found guilty, then this God must be among those put on trial, as a suffering God is the only God Christians have ever proposed.

On the Progressiveness of Science and Conservatism of Religion

We all know how often science and religion are pitted against each other. And it happens in so many ways. Various inherent differences are suggested between these two enterprises. They say that science appeals to reason while religion appeals to authority; science improves society while religion hinders society’s progression. We’ve all heard the fairy tales – you might not call them fairy tales, but I do. Anyway. There’s one particular difference that I commonly hear suggested as existing between science and religion, which I want to address here. And that is that science is inherently progressive, while religion is inherently stubborn or static.

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Any time someone begins a sentence with “I don’t believe a good God would…” I pay no attention to the words that follow. For these sentences display a profound and arrogant lack of understanding of the concept of God and of goodness.

And every word is just another bite of the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

That thing called evidence.

It is remarkable how often I hear it said that there is no evidence for the existence of God. Of course this is uniformly said by atheists – not that remarkable – but what is truly jaw-dropping is when they say it in the middle of a debate against a theist, as if to bring to the table some agreed-upon axiom.

This is a fascinating speech by celebrated atheist, Sam Harris.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6BxzA3hbGc

If you watch the whole thing you’ll hear a lengthy, and challenging, moral criticism of the Christian faith. But if you were watch this in its entire context, you’d see that this was one of Harris’ speeches in a debate against William Lane Craig, about whether or not morality can truly exist without the existence of God. And then you would hopefully realise the futile irrelevance of Harris’ entire speech here, because rather than justifying the existence of morality in an atheistic universe, he simply presupposes his own atheistic moral law, and uses it to attack the moral standing of Christianity, making its God out to be a monster, and his followers out to be psychopathic – all the while unable to actually justify the reality of his moral categories without reference to a deity. In short: a disgusting, fat, greasy circular argument.

But putting that issue aside, if you watch the first 30 seconds of this video, you will hear him say in passing, “now happily there is no evidence that the Christian Hell exists”, and then if you watch the whole thing you’ll hear him repeatedly make very similar remarks. And thus the main reason I bring this video to your attention is that it is a classic example of an atheist, mid-debate, blurting out loud his assumption that there isn’t any evidence for God; just putting it out there in passing. This is wrong on many levels: it’s circular, it’s arrogant, and most importantly, it’s false.  Continue reading

“Let me get this straight. You think the Creator of the Universe cares personally about your life, and that you know, with absolute certainty, what he wants for all of humankind. While I think that we’re basically alone, not very special, and are just fumbling through our random existence trying to do the best we can. And I’m the arrogant one?” -Daniel Miessler

Yes I believe all those things. But I don’t believe any of them with absolute certainty (that’s a bit of a straw man / false dichotomy in disguise).

This is a very late reply. But I just noticed this ‘question’ again and thought I’d just address it for kicks.

Now I don’t know personally the guy who composed this quote, so I wouldn’t call him arrogant. But it is interesting that this quote does acknowledge the ubiquity of the accusation towards atheists that they are arrogant. And in my experience, I don’t think this is an unfair accusation. I have met some very humble atheists, but there is no shortage of your good old stereotypical arrogant atheist.

However whenever I find myself thinking that an atheist is arrogant, it is nothing to do with their worldview. Their arrogance is not intrinsic to, or necessitated by, their atheistic beliefs. It’s just something about their personality and the way they argue about things that, regardless of what they believe, comes across as arrogant.

And thus it is fascinating, a very cunning move, that in response to such an accusation, an atheist would turn the charge back on the Christian, but unwittingly, it would seem, retort with a charge of an entirely different breed of arrogance to the one they themselves have been accused of: two kinds of arrogance which are not assessable by the same criteria. That is, while the atheist has been accused of having an arrogant personality, he charges the Christian with having an arrogant world-view; it is claimed that the very beliefs a Christian has make him arrogant. Really, this is quite a different charge to the one given to atheists. The atheist’s personality has been evaluated, and then he responds by evaluating the Christian’s beliefs. This isn’t a very consistent rebuttal.

But apart from that, Christianity is not and arrogant world-view. Yes I believe the creator of the universe cares about me personally, and I have beliefs about his desires for all mankind. But these statements say much more about the character of God than they do about my own character. They are theological claims. I believe God cares about me. I also believe he cares just as much about every other human. I believe God loves every individual personally and deeply.

Now here again comes the inconsistency of the atheist’s argument. I suppose that it is claimed that it is arrogant to think there’s something special about humanity – that we are valuable, even more valuable than rocks and sparrows. This is nothing like the kind of arrogance the atheist has been accused of. While I believe there is something special about humanity, even go so far as to say we are more important than other things in the universe, atheists are being accused of thinking that they are more important, or smarter, or better than other humans. Hopefully we can see the colossal difference between thinking your species is special, and thinking you are special compared to the rest of your species.

On top of that, everything I believe about God loving me and all other people comes with a couple of qualifications. God doesn’t love me because I’m good. He loves me despite the fact that I’m actually evil. God loves all humanity not because of who we are, but despite everything we are, and everything we’ve done. I don’t believe that I’m in any way deserving of God’s love. That God loves me is informative entirely of God’s character, and has nothing to do with my own.

Call this worldview offensive in whatever way, but arrogant is the last thing it is.

On Human Value.

– Written 25th July 2010


What makes a human life valuable? Well. God does.

Not only is it God who does, but it is only God who can make human life valuable.

Let’s slow down.

Let me tell you, there is no such thing as intrinsic value. That is to say that everything that has value only has it because there is something external to it that benefits from it in some way. Value is placed upon something. It is located in the mind of the valuer, not within the thing itself.

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Pride.

Pride isn’t the same as arrogance.

Pride isn’t the unattractive character trait for the rich and the intelligent.

Pride isn’t as conspicuous. It lurks in the depths, underwriting all kinds of vice.

Pride is the thing that makes you feel like you’re better than someone because they are arrogant and you are not.

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(written 24th July 2010)