Friday, May 11, 2007

Nightline and Proof of God...Part 2

While thinking more about the debate between "The Rational Response Squad" and the dynamic duo--Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort--I had a few more thoughts.

I am not sure if this is a word for word quote, but Kelly of the RRS at some point said,"I would rather burn in hell than serve a megomaniacal God." This statement was made in the context of one of the most common atheistic arguments against God and religion: Great atrocities and genocide have been committed in the name of God. Atheists feel that since horrendous things have happened at the hands of religious leaders and movements, that religion must therefore be false and hateful.

Well, I definitely am not going to deny that terrible things have occurred throughout history at the hands of religious people. Yes. It has happened.

However, once again let's use the atheists' own arguments and logic to examine their beliefs. If genocide is a point of exclusion for belief, then we should run screaming in horror from the atheist point of view.

Stalin: communistic atheist in USSR
death toll during his reign: at least 20 million--though some say that number is actually low

Pol Pot: communistic atheist in Cambodia
death toll during his reign: about 2 million

Hitler: crazy, whacked-out "suspected atheist"--Suspected is in quotes, because though Hitler occasionally used the Church and spoke in "religious" themes, the general consensus is that it was all part of his manipulation and propaganda to get the German population to accomplish his will. Much of his inspiration came from Nietzsche, an avowed atheist.

death toll during his reign: at least 6 million Jews, 5-6 million others

What is even worse about these facts is that all of these people were murdered by atheistic regimes in less than 50 years.

So, let's not kid ourselves about the implications of belief systems. The truth is that power-hungry people will use any excuse to accomplish their goals. They might cloak their motivations in religion or atheism, but either way, it doesn't prove that there is no God. It only proves that great evil can dwell in the human heart, a given premise in Judeo-Christian thought.


Rick said...

You missed the point Kelly was making. It's not that God doesn't exist or is not worthy of worship because of what is done in his name, but because of what he has done by his own hand. God sent the flood, plagues, famines, pestilence, war, genocide, and all sorts of torments to his chosen people and those they came in contact with.

God is consumed with jealousy over a small number of people who don't listen to him. He punishes severely and capriciously. He behaves like a megalomaniac. If there's a role model for totalitarian, genocidal control freaks (Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot), it's God.

Saying God is all-loving is a self-brainwashing technique to ignore the overwhelming evidence that the God of the bible is petty, cruel and vain.

The injustices that have been done in his name over the centuries isn't proof of much else other than those responsible are doing their damndest to emulate the god they encounter in the bible.

terri said...

Welcome Rick.

Perhaps that quote was taken out of context. It would be hard to tell by the very brief, edited version on Nightline, but it seemed to be lumped together with the "great atrocities" argument.

Discussing the God of the Bible and how to interpret plagues, famines, and judgements from Him is one thing. Declaring that it proves He doesn't exist is quite another.

I am an unabashed christian, so of course, I have my own reasons for belief. My point is not about Christianity specifically. I am merely examining some of the common arguments made by atheists to support their belief that there is NO God.

This is Part 2 in that effort. You can check out the home page if you want to peruse Part 1 which deals with other inconsistencies in the logic of atheism.

Part 3 might follow soon.....depending on how much time I have.

Capo di tutti capi said...

Could the point have been MISSED worse than this?

Since when is Hitler/Stalin or Pol Pot the GOD and SAVIOUR of the religion of Atheism?


The Hitler/Stalin/Pol Pot argument is nonsense, anyway.

Hitler was a Christian:
Stalin was not religious but he was faithful (to his own illogical ideology):

And.. as far as I remember, I never saw Pol Pot giving lectures as to the beauty of science and futility of irrational thought.

God on the other hand, did is "responsible" (not that he exists or anything) of all the murders in the OT.
That was the point Kelly made.

terri said...

capo...Hitler was not a Christian. He may not have been a strict atheist, although that is hard to tell, which is why I wrote the little blurb about it in the first place. Trust me...I don't think that anyone wants to claim Hitler as one of their own.

As far as Stalin and Pol Pot...Communism is very clearly based on the rejection of religion. To deny that is to dny history.

You can say, "They don't represent "true" atheists, or my brand of atheism. They are anomalies." However, that's not the point. I could just as easily say that the people who ran the Spanish Inquisition weren't "true" Christians, (and trust me, their actions definitely warrant that assertion) but how far would that argument go with you? Wouldn't you respond to that by saying that even if they weren't "true" Christians, that somehow they were influenced by Chrisitanity and therefore the casualties lay at the feet of religious belief?

That is my main issue with atheists. One can't have it both ways. If an argument is going to further atheism's point, shouldn't atheism be able to stand up to its own line of thinking?

Capo di tutti capi said...

"He may not have been a strict atheist, although that is hard to tell, which is why I wrote the little blurb about it in the first place. "

- He wasn't an atheist at all, as seen in this quote:

“We were convinced that the people needs and requires this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out.” -Adolf Hitler, in a speech in Berlin on 24 Oct. 1933

"As far as Stalin and Pol Pot...Communism is very clearly based on the rejection of religion. To deny that is to dny history."

- One can reject religion for various reasons, and in the case of communism, religion and the belief in a Higher Power stood against their doctrine.
- Dawkins writes against religion because .. well - you already know why if you read the books :)

The "breed" of atheist Dawkins is promoting is the rational atheist, not the one that rejects religion at all costs because mormons piss them off or whatever.

"You can say, "They don't represent "true" atheists, or my brand of atheism. They are anomalies."

- The fact that they were atheists is as irrelevant the fact that they promoted social equality.
Would you say social equality is a bad thing?

The problem with the Inquisition (and the rest of the holy wars) is that they were justified by blind adherence to some doctrine, not because they were "true" to any particular religion.

This is what Dawkins promotes - awareness that opinions should be based on evidence.

In our culture faith is seen as a virtue - a commonly used phrase is "of course there is no objective evidence, that's why it's called faith".

If you believe you have rational reasons to be a Christian, and still disagree with his point after you've read TGD (or any of the other atheist books available), then you are not part of his target audience.

The target of his books is the large number of people who are religious because they weren't offered any alternative; those raised with the idea of a God and can't (or are afraid to) express their doubts.

terri said...

What's is intriguing about your Hitler quote is that it doesn't say anything about what *he* believes; it only says that people need religion, so he's going to protect it and use it. It says more about his political machinations than anything else.

C'mon...we all know that Hitler had an ace propaganda team and would use whatever he could to control the people.

But as I said...who wants to claim Hitler?