25th March 2012

Aggressive Athiests

“Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools…. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.”
Romans 1:22, 25 (NIV UK)

I believe that most atheists are really agnostics. In times of crisis, for example, they, like everybody else, tend to resort to prayer. When the chips are down, they hope a merciful and benevolent God is there for them.

But some of those whom we might call “aggressive” atheists are different. They like to use science and logic to try to convince believers why they should stop believing. Using science and logic, they argue, it is impossible to prove that God exists.

Richard Dawkins, for example, has compared the idea of an imagined Flying Spaghetti Monster with belief in God. God is no more real or provable by conventional means of proof than a flying spaghetti monster, he argues. It is just made up.

He’s right about one thing. The existence of God can’t be proven by conventional means of proof. You can’t prove God exists using science and logic. You can only know God by faith, not by scientific study. You can only know God though God’s own revelation of himself, not by mathematics, logical deduction or the scientific method.

But what these aggressive atheists don’t like to admit is that, just as the existence of God cannot be proven through science and logic, neither can it be disproven through science and logic. They have no more grounds to disprove God’s existence using conventional means of proof than we believers have to prove God’s existence using science and logic.

The tools of belief in God are revelation and faith, start to finish, not science and logic. The atheist has no basis to disprove what can only be held true by faith. The Flying Spaghetti Monster and other such analogies are not valid analogies for belief in God because they miss the very heart of why so many people believe.

God’s personal revelation of himself through Jesus Christ makes sense of the world. It assures us that we matter, that we are not here by accident, and that we were created on purpose and for a purpose. It makes love matter, because by faith we hold that God made us because he loves us, and in that love he will make us into people who can love as he loves.

Aggressive atheists can scoff about the lack of scientific proof for the existence of God, but they are looking in the wrong place. By standing on their premise that God doesn’t exist, they miss the still small voice of revelation, and the personal joy of knowing God and knowing God knows them.

I like to say that in the end, there is really only one kind of atheist: those who will one day come to faith. That’s my prayer.

Thank you, Holy Father, for my being among the average—not too wise, not too clever. Wise enough to know my need of you, however, and clever enough to know that without you my life has no meaning. But now we know enough to live the life you call us to, with your help. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Study by Joseph Tkach

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