“Is scientific atheism a frivolous exercise in intellectual contempt? Dead on!” (1)
The last few years have been quite a journey for my spiritual life. More blog posts have been faith based as my journey has grown, such as ‘The Power of Prayer‘, ‘Discipleship, Love and Charity‘. Additionally, there was the publishing of Everyday Miracles; a book full of miracles of what God has done in people’s lives globally, with testimonies coming from people all over the world. A second book is on the way….
Throughout this journey, I have encountered more prejudice and discrimination from atheists, and I am dedicating this blog to respond to some of these, and provide more answers to everyday questions and assumptions that atheists I’ve encountered have shared. This blog is a follow on from the original post I made in December 2016; Responding to the Atheists who made assumptions about my religious beliefs
Jesus did not exist
Jesus existed. There are multiple accounts of his existence outside of the Bible too. One account comes from Tacitus; one of the greatest Roman historian and senator (2). Tacitus wrote about the crucifixion of Jesus under the order of Pontious Pilate. Tacitus further describes the early Christians as “a most mischievous superstition” of whom are named after a historical figure called ‘Christus’ (Christ). When Tacitus recorded this, it was at the same time the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts were written; 30 years after Jesus’ death.
‘About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he was one who performed surprising deeds and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Messiah. And when, upon the accusation of the principal men among us, Pilate had condemned him to a cross, those who had first come to love him did not cease. He appeared to them spending a third day restored to life, for the prophets of God had foretold these things and a thousand other marvels about him. And the tribe of the Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared’. (3)
The above account comes from a man called Josephus who was a Jewish priest, scholar and historian (4). He was born in the year 37/38AD – only 4/5 years after Jesus. In his writing of ‘Antiquitates Judaicae’ (Antiquities of the Jews), is the above account he has of Jesus.
The Bible has been scientifically disproved
Going back to my first point, with evidence of Jesus’ existence, this overrides this argument. Science does not override history. Historical accounts have proven the existence of Jesus.
You’re deluded/it’s a bunch of fairy tales
…. Yeah… and I love wearing my long red coat, and pretending I’m little red riding hood….
Do people realise how ignorant these statements are? As previously highlighted, there is evidence that Christ existed. Christianity makes up 33% of the world’s population (the world’s largest religious group, followed by Islam at 24%), (5), and so to say that 1/3 of the world’s population is deluded for believing in ‘fairy tales’, is another thoughtless comment.
To make matters more uncomfortable, more people globally have been killed by atheists – see below (6).
- Pol Pol; an ardent atheist, and the Khmer Rouge, killed between 1.5-2 million people in Cambodia between 1975-1979
- Hitler hated Christianity as much as Judaism, and killed 11 million.
- Deaths in Soviet Russia between 1917-1987 under communist rule accumulated to 61 million deaths
- Mao Zedong was responsible for the deaths of 20-46 million people in China (7) (8) (9)
Furthermore, millions of people globally experience the power of God in their own lives through Answered Prayers, spiritual experiences and miracles. I’ve often wondered why people so dismissive of these experiences and encounters? Check out the above links – what have you got to lose?
Those who are Christian/follow a religious belief are uneducated and stupid.
I’ve encountered this on multiple occasions..and it’s another arrogant assumption. There is no correlation between intelligence and faith, and it is disrespectful and discriminatory to say that someone is an idiot for what they believe in.
If this were the case, explain the example of Dr Antony Flew? He was friends with Richard Dawkins and was an outspoken atheist…. who converted to Christianity after doing extensive research. He intended on disproving the existence of God, but found more evidence for God, and converted to Deism, and the belief of a supreme being and higher intelligence. (10) (11) (12). Professor Antony Flew was a top scientist along with Richard Dawkins; he was not an uneducated or a stupid person – his testimony flies in the face of this statement. Furthermore, the case of Professor Antony Flew challenges the perception that Christians cannot be scientists.
Additionally there is this article from Aleteia (2019) which explores the conversion of three former atheists to Catholicism. All 3 of them did research, had ‘encounters with God’, and found their way to Christ;. None of them are stupid – they researched it, and found Christ, and are all educated women (13). (Perhaps all atheists who think this should do the same, and let’s see where it leads 😉 )
You cannot be a scientist and Christian
When I hear this statement, I often wonder if they forgot that many of the original scientists were actually Christian. Many great Christians contributed to the development of science and scientific theories, such as Lise Meitener, whom was the second woman to get a doctorate at the university of Vienna (14). Lise was born into a Jewish family, but converted to Christianity. Along with her team, she discovered nuclear fission.
Another example is Galileo; who is considered to be one of the most highly influential physicists, astronomers, inventors and scientists to ever lived. Whilst his work caused him to come into conflict with the church, he remained a devout Christian (15). He invented the telescope in 1609 which enabled him to see 20 times more than the naked eye, and was able to identify that the planets all revolve around the sun, and are therefore, proving the Earth was geometric (16)
Feel free to share you thoughts and ideas – no hate or disrespect.
(1) David Berlinski ‘The Devil’s Delusion’ (Basic Books, 2009)
(2) Reasonable Theology ‘Jesus Outside the Bible, 1: Tacitus’ Available online at: https://reasonabletheology.org/jesus-outside-the-bible-1-tacitus/ Accessed on 19/04/2020
(3) Flavious Josephus Home Page ‘Josephus’ Account of Jesus. The Testimonium Flavinum: Available online at: http://www.josephus.org/testimonium.htm Accessed on 30/04/2020
(4) Britannica ‘Biography of Flavius Josephus’ Available online at: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Flavius-Josephus Accessed on 30/04/2020
(5) World Population Review Religion by Country Available online at: https://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/religion-by-country/ Accessed on 26/05/2020
(6) Premier Christianity ‘5 Uncomfortable Facts Atheists Need to Hear’ Available online at: https://www.premierchristianity.com/Blog/5-uncomfortable-facts-atheists-need-to-hear Accessed on 15/06/2020
(7) Patrick Heuveline, “The Demographic Analysis of Mortality Crises: The Case of Cambodia, 1970–1979”. Forced Migration and Mortality (2001). National Academies Press. pp. 102–105
(8) Ian Johnson Who Killed More: Hitler, Stalin, or Mao? Available online at: https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2018/02/05/who-killed-more-hitler-stalin-or-mao/ Accessed on 15/06/2020
(9) Joseph Rudolph Rummel ‘Death By Government’ (1994: New Brunswick Transaction Publishers, p. 10, 15, 25)
(10) Creation Ministries International ‘Former Leading Atheist Argues for the Existence of God’ Available online at: https://creation.com/review-there-is-a-god-by-antony-flew Accessed on 29/05/2020
(11) William Crawley ‘The Athiest who Changed His Mind’ Available online at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/ni/2010/04/antony_flew_the_atheist_who_ch.html Accessed on 29/05/2020
(12) Mark Oppenheimer ‘The Turning of An Athiest’ Available online at: https://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/04/magazine/04Flew-t.html Accessed on 02/06/2020
(13) Aleteia ‘These Three Women, All Former Atheists, Found their Way Back to the Catholic Church’ Available online at: ‘https://aleteia.org/2019/11/12/these-three-women-all-former-atheists-found-their-way-into-the-catholic-church/ Accessed on 30/05/2020
(14) Tyler Huckabee ‘9 Groundbreaking Scientists who Happened to be Christians’ Available online at: https://relevantmagazine.com/god/9-groundbreaking-scientists-who-happened-be-christians/ Accessed on 30/05/2020
(15) Ibid – I do recommend having a read of this article – very interesting!
(16) The Galileo Project ‘Galileo’s Telescope’ Available online at: http://galileo.rice.edu/bio/narrative_6.html Accessed on 30/05/2020
Other books and articles I highly recommend
Amy Orr-Ewing ‘But Is It Real?’ Answering 10 Common Objections to the Christian Faith’ (Inter-Varsity Press, 2008)
David Berlinski ‘The Devil’s Delusion’ (Basic Books, 2009)
Professor Antony Flew ‘There is a God‘ (HarperOne, 2007)
Roger Carswell Before You Say “I Don’t Believe” (10 Publishing, 2014)
Adrian Chiles ‘My Atheist Family was Appalled when I converted to Catholicism; But it’s Given me Great Peace’ Available online at: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jan/08/atheist-family-catholicism-40s-peace-father-ben Accessed on 30/05/2020#
Rosaline W. Picard ‘Sample of Famous Artists and Scientists who were Christians’ Available online at: http://web.media.mit.edu/~picard/personal/great_xians.php Accessed on 30/05/2020
Antony Flew ‘BeThinking: Professor Antony Flew Reviews the God Delusion’ Available online at: https://www.bethinking.org/atheism/professor-antony-flew-reviews-the-god-delusion Accessed on 02/06/2020
Science News ‘Richard Dawkins branded ‘Secular Bigot’ by veteran philosopher’ Available online at: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/3348563/Richard-Dawkins-branded-secularist-bigot-by-veteran-philosopher.html Accessed on 02/06/2020