Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Practical and Ideological Effects of Skepticism and Atheism

The following quote is from John MacArthur's book, "The Jesus You Can't Ignore" (p. xviii). I've added this book to my Reading List.

"The practical and ideological effects of skepticism are as potent as those of heartfelt devotion--only in the opposite direction. Someone who rejects God has repudiated the only reasonable foundation for morality, accountability, true spirituality, and the necessary distinction between good and evil. So the atheist's private life will inevitably become a living demonstration of the evils of unbelief. To whatever degree some atheists seek to maintain a public veneer of virtue and respectability--as well as when they themselves make moral judgments about others--they are walking contradictions. What possible "virtue" could there be in an accidental universe with no Lawgiver and no Judge?"

Allow me to present you with a real-life example of the mindset of an atheist skeptic--a mindset that sadly proves Pastor MacArthur's point all-to-well.

Recently, I wrote a "Letter to the Editor" in my local newspaper. As expected, my letter was met with some negative reactions.

The latest response to my letter, which the paper printed, was written by an atheist who does not live in my community. He is part of a small group of atheists who troll about Christian blogs, forums, and YouTube channels. This particular atheist, like others in his small online circle, has what could be described as a rather unhealthy fixation (almost stalker mentality) toward the staff of Living Waters.

Here is what the atheist wrote:
In response to “Double-murder/suicide shows society’s ills,” Sept. 8:

I also offer my sympathy to the families involved.

I must also scold Tony Miano for taking this tragedy as an excuse to proselytize and say Dr. Martin Strassner was a bad person because he may not have believed the same thing Miano does.

Miano even goes further to call Dr. Strassner selfish by killing himself. Suicide is not a selfish act, but one done under great pain and suffering that Miano and most of us will never be able understand.

But to Miano, this is just another excuse to push his gospel agenda and is typical of him. He is obsessed with going to places where people died and turning tragic events into a stage for himself.

He clearly has nothing better to do than troll for these tragedies and yell at cars passing down the street, claiming how depraved everyone is for not believing the same things he does, all while carrying his holier-than-thou cross.

Shame on you, Miano.
As is typically the case with atheists who have no case, this atheist starts his letter with a red herring--introducing a topic not related to the subject at hand.

The atheist wrote: "I must also scold Tony Miano for taking this tragedy as an excuse to proselytize and say Dr. Martin Strassner was a bad person because he may not have believed the same thing Miano does."

I never said Dr. Strassner was a bad person because he did not believe as I believed. I never met Dr. Strassner, so I have no idea what he believed. I said that according to the Word of God, no one is good.

But the use of logical fallacies is consistent with an atheistic worldview in which there are only subjective, not objective, standards for morality. This is born out in the fact that atheists are quick to cry "foul" when others use logical fallacies, but it is considered "fair play" for atheists to make ready use of them in their argumentation.

And by what standard does this particular atheist "scold" me (and later closes his letter with the retort "shame on you, Miano")? By the atheistic, naturalistic, subjective, sliding scale, anything goes, "what's true for you may not be true for me" code of conduct? Please.

After all, as Doug Wilson has so aptly put it, "The universe just doesn't care." By scolding me, the atheist reveals the contradiction in his own thinking. As an atheist, he would readily assert there is no fixed, objective, transcendent, eternal, God-breathed Law or moral standard that applies to all people everywhere. Yet he contradicts his own mindset by saying I was wrong for implying that Dr. Strassner was not a good person. If there is no objective moral absolutes, then I can't be wrong. No one can be wrong. Eat, drink, and be merry; for tomorrow we die!

The atheist who wrote the letter dresses himself in the veneer of virtue while clinging to a worldview that is, by design, utterly devoid of virtue. As Pastor MacArthur rightly asks, "What possible 'virtue' could there be in an accidental universe with no Lawgiver and no Judge?"

So, while the atheist wrote his letter in an attempt to castigate me for my "Letter to the Editor," his efforts have had an entirely different effect. In an attempt to take the moral high ground, he showed the inherent flaws in the atheistic worldview. He had to steal from the woodpile of the Christian worldview to build his house of straw. His letter serves as a prime example of the practical and ideological effects of skepticism and atheism.