Why is it that anytime I see someone say, “atheism destroyed”, they always end up presenting really weak arguments? Watch the below video and let me know in the comments what you think about Pastor Greg’s ideas on atheism.
Here are my thoughts.
First of all, vocal atheists, such as myself, aren’t “fighting” against the gods. Yes, gods, as in plural, but I’ll get to that in my second point. We are arguing against the various fan clubs of the gods. All 50,000+ variations of fan clubs dedicated to over 4,400 imaginary gods (30million+ by some counts of Hindu gods).
It’s the fan clubs that try to force their beliefs on to others.
It’s the fan clubs that try to put their beliefs into science classrooms.
It’s the fan clubs that try to restrict human rights.
It’s the fan clubs that imprison people of other faiths or no faiths.
It’s the fan clubs that hack nonbeliever’s apart with machetes.
So no, we are not fighting against the gods, we are fighting against the people that claim to speak for gods & think others need to follow their beliefs. We don’t believe the gods exist, but we know their fan clubs do, just like we don’t believe Harry Potter is real, but we know the fan club dedicated to him are. You can bet that if the Harry Potter Fan clubs tried to force others to accept the laws of the Wizard world or started imprisoning Muggles, that we’d start fighting against them too.
Second, Pastor Greg Locke says the fact we “fight” against his god means we have a “sneaking suspicion” his God is real. I’m guessing Pastor Locke is working under the misconception that atheists argue against Christianity more than other religions; I could be wrong, but I doubt that I am. This would explain why he would think we only suspect his god is real…why else would we argue against his god more.
Pastor Locke needs to understand that his perception is skewed by his location & the very fact he’s Christian. Being Christian, & a Pastor at that, he is going to see & experience atheists arguing against Christianity more than against other religions. I mean, why would I argue against Brahma if I was talking to Pastor Locke?
Furthermore, being in America, he’s going to end up talking to more American atheists, & more Western atheists in general. With America being a Christian majority country, American atheists (and Western atheists in general) are naturally going to argue against the religion that affects their lives the most or that they left & know the best.
This will all lead to Pastor Locke having the misperception that atheists are only concerned with his god. It’s unsurprising that Pastor Locke doesn’t see atheists like myself arguing with Muslims or Hindus. Since I follow atheists from around the globe, I get to see atheists in India arguing against Hinduism. I get to see atheists in Israel arguing against Judaism. I see atheists in Turkey & Pakistan arguing against Islam. I see atheists from all over arguing with theists of all stripes.
Pastor Locke’s logic that arguing against Yahweh somehow means that atheists suspect Yahweh is real would suggest that atheists that argue against other gods mean they must suspect that god is real. I can guarantee Pastor Locke wouldn’t agree with that, so by extension, he should accept arguing against his god doesn’t mean there’s a suspicion his god is real. To not accept that would require a Special Pleading fallacy.
Third, he challenges us to go outside & ask god to reveal himself to us. Well, news flash Pastor Locke, millions of us have done that, some many, many times. For myself, I asked Jesus to be my savior as a young child and a couple times in my teen years too. As an adult, in fact just this year, I begged God, with tears in my eyes, to show me that my mom had actually gone to heaven as she believed she would. I got nothing as a child, teen or adult.
I already know that Pastor Locke’s answer will be one of the following:
- You weren’t sincere enough.
- He answered you and you missed it or chose to ignore it.
How do I know this? Because these are the only answers Christians ever have to it. They are the unfalsifiable cop-outs used to avoid admitting their god may not be real.
Answer #1 is obviously not a sound refutation since it requires the ability to read minds. To be honest, my gut reaction to this answer is to simply say, “Screw you, you insensitive jackass.” To tell me I wasn’t sincere is to tell me that my tears and my grief weren’t real. It is to tell me that I wasn’t sincere in my pleas to know if my mother was safe and happy. So please Pastor Locke, I challenge you to look me in the eyes & tell me I wasn’t sincere.
As for answer #2, if God answered my pleas to know if my mom was safe, why would I choose to ignore it? Why bother asking in the first place to just ignore the answer? That should make no sense to anyone with a shred of empathy.
What if he answered me and I just missed it? This version of answer # 2 implies God is too incompetent to communicate in a manner that I couldn’t miss or ignore. I doubt Pastor Locke would agree his God is incompetent, so we can safely say answer # 2 is not a sound refutation either.
Where does this leave Pastor Locke then? If he, or anyone else, has an answer that isn’t covered by #1 or 2, I’d love to hear it in the comments below.
The simple fact is, there are millions of atheists that are former Christians or that have tried to call on the Christian God & they all got nothing. Millions of them. The idea that not a single one of them was sincere enough or that every one of them ignored or missed god’s answer is patently dishonest on the part of apologists.
The Problem of Divine Hiddenness soundly refutes the core Christian doctrine that god desires a relationship with all of us. The fact millions of us have tried to call on God & got nothing in return forces them to come up with fallacious cop-outs and bad logic to try & explain away this fact.
“Atheism destroyed in 2 minutes…”? No, Pastor Greg Locke, you didn’t destroy atheism and I sincerely doubt you could destroy atheism if you had 2 hours to do it.
Oh, I almost forgot, I loved how you ended with a weak version of Pascal’s Wager, “what have you got to lose?”
I’ll leave this as a response to that: