Written By Thomas Perez. March 8, 2014 at 6:42AM. Copyright 2014.
It has come to my attention (for quite sometime now) that many seem to deny the existence of a divine Being, or Higher Power if you will, in favor of a pessimistic point of view concerning the “Almighty.” They often make arguments pertaining to God’s non-existence with certain goal orientations in mind in order to make their point of view valid. The goal of the denialist are often found in blogs, various postings on social media, and different websites serving their “call.” The call of denial often takes the shape and form of reason and/or logic.
Deniers would often cite: “Why didn’t God stop the murder of that child?” “Why didn’t God stop the molestation of that child?” “Why didn’t God heal that cancerous tumor?” “Why are there plagues, catastrophes, and whole sale deaths when these things occur, when God could of easily prevented it?” These questions are warranted. Moreover, they seem particularly truthful when we couple the questions set forth above with the hypocrisy that we see in various religions today. They are also made even more abundant when those who are agnostic, or atheistic in character, see the discrepancies of doctrinal indifferences between different organizations and religious orders. According to the atheist, this is out right foolishness – a result of Holy Writ, be it the Scriptures, the Qur’an, or the various Vedic Texts. Atheists often take pleasure in exposing theological ideologies. But this exposure is through faulty logic or a form of ms-placed theology of their own.
As a Universalist/Reconcilationist I try to see the good in all. The reason of it all. The logic of it all. I too question these things. But unlike Job, I have a perspective, whereas Job just had an unfinished faith. I assume it was even more difficult for Job who only saw things through a glass/mirror even more darkly than that of the Apostle Paul centuries later. But unlike the agnostic or atheist, I choose not to use certain religious rhetoric like, “all things work together for good” because then (like the agnostic and atheist) I’m tempted to sarcastically cite, “I just have to figure all this out.” Moreover, I would have to justify the molestation of that child. I would have to justify the murder of that child. I would have to justify the death of innocents – born and unborn – as in man’s decision to abort a child. The atheist would quote; “Hey didn’t God say, I have laid out my plans for your life?” “So it was God who aborted the child, not man.” “It was God who killed that child or at least allowed it to happen, after all, aren’t all things in His hands?”
So what do we do, or say to this as believers in Christ?
I am sure that most of you who have followed my notes have read the article, ‘Does God Really Heal or Perform Miracles?’ If you did, then I will not bore you with repetitiveness. In the nutshell the article dealt with; personal testimonies, the laws of immutability with reference to miracles/healings, moral implications of miracles/healings, miracles as a possible transitional phase and the human spirit. If you did not read it, then I suggest that you do (but be prepared, it is 23 pages long). In that article I have tried to cover everything from every possible angle. To the best of my ability I do believe it was presented with all due respect and in the most unbiased fashion – I least I hope so.
The Atheist Declares the Glory of God Without Knowing It
Atheists often decorate God with religious rhetoric. But this rhetoric is often in the guise of the Abrahamic faiths, namely Christianity. Why is Christianity signaled out more so than Judaism or Islam remains a mystery to me. But I would venture to say, from what I can tell with reference to those with whom I am acquainted with, that the signaling out of Christianity is due in part to their own aspirations. Perhaps these aspirations were faulty to begin with or they simply failed to meet their high expectations of the moral and euthyphro dilemma. This apparent faulty expectation of decorations are imposed upon a Supreme Being through what is called, “Theory of Thought.”
According to “Theory of Thought” By Jason Shaw, Quote; “it reveals an architecture for the interaction of thought in a multidimensional space, called mind-space. It is a theory of everything that describes the principles of philosophy, religion, and science as reflections from the properties of hidden models.” – Unquote. Theory of Mind suggests purpose of thought. It also warrants empirical investigations involving our environment or surroundings. It would suggest that atheists are seeking a purpose as to the great question of, “why?” The “why” has appeared in the questions set forth above by such deniers.
Yet by asking the question, they assert the explicit reason why they believe in the Divine due to the unconscious constant habit of wanting purpose and meaning for the aforementioned questions above. Since we (and the atheist for that matter) have no real concrete evidence as to “why” these things happen, we often seek out the meaning or purpose of the “why” by presenting theories. Once the theories are presented then the questions pertaining to the purpose can be explored: “Why did he/she commit the murder?” “Why did that man/woman suffer so much before they passed away?” “What makes an individual a maniac, a rapist, a thief, a pedophile, a prostitute, a dysfunctional person or an all around complete screw-up?” Moreover, “why does natural, or as some would call it acts of God, occur for no apparent reason or purpose except death?”
Before I even attempt to answer that let me quote 4 individuals who shared the Theory of Mind thought…
“I have deep faith that the principle of the universe will be beautiful and simple.”
“The difference between making a breakthrough and not can often be just a small element of perception.”
“All of physics is either impossible or trivial. It is impossible until you understand it, and then it becomes trivial.”
“We have learnt that the exploration of the external world by the methods of physical science leads not to a concrete reality but to a shadow world of symbols.”
Arthur Stanley Eddington
Moreover, even Aristotle in his De Anima and the Parva Naturalia, assumes something which may strike some of his modern readers as odd. He takes psychology to be the branch of science which investigates the soul and its properties, but he thinks of the soul as a general principle of life, with the result that Aristotle’s psychology studies all living beings, and not merely those he regards as having minds: human beings. So, in De Anima, he takes it as his task to provide an account of the life activities of plants and animals, along side those of humans (De Anima ii 11, 423a20–6, cf. ii 1, 412a13; cf. De Generatione Animalium ii 3, 736b13; De Partibus Animalium iv 5, 681a12). In comparison with the modern discipline of Psychology, then, Aristotle’s psychology is broad in scope. He even devotes attention to the question of the nature of life itself, a subject which falls outside the purview of psychology in most contemporary contexts. On Aristotle’s approach, psychology studies the soul (psuchê in Greek, or anima in Latin); so it naturally investigates all ensouled or animate beings.
This Aristotelian approach to non-human beings as having purpose is now being studied in the animal kingdom. Monkey’s and elephants demonstrate this concept of cognition or/and purpose of self awareness toward itself and those around them when faced with what we would call moral dilemmas. The show of purpose. All creation (or for those that prefer, evolution) demonstrate purpose. However, only those who would opt to add reason into the mix would conclude that the purpose must have a reason – hence purpose = reason. Reason then would imply a “why.” Hence Reason + Why = Purpose. Purpose = cognition. Cognition of thought and the Theory of Mind = Questions. And questions = Priori’s.
What is a Priori? A priori is the relating to, or denoting reasoning, or knowledge that proceeds from theoretical deduction rather than from observation or experience. In other words, a priori does not prove a theory, it merely suggests the best alternative. And while we don’t have the answers as to why God allows “this” or “that” to take place, neither does the atheist. However, the questions set forth above still exists – the Theory of Mind still exists. The purpose of the “why” still exists for the atheist. Every time they ask why or make a satirical or sarcastic statement on social medias, or various blogs, they are proving Priori. Which, when looked at in reverse, deals with; questions minus (-) the Theory of the Mind (-) Cognition (which means they themselves do not exist – a-la Rene Descartes). Cognition (-) Purpose (they have no purpose because they do not exist). Purpose (-) Why = No reason.
In other words, they give us nothing. And in the long run, they cancel themselves out due to faulty logic. Of course they are not physically cancelled out, but they are cancelled out by their denial of the Divine by means of expressing the “why.” You can not express the “why” and still express a denial of the Priori because when you do, you cancel the various questions set forth by yourselves above. It is a self conflicting paradox that the atheist finds himself or herself in. It is uncompromising. It is unforgiving.
However, even though it may seem uncompromising and unforgiving, there is a ray of hope for the atheist. Instead of concentrating on the Abrahamic faiths, perhaps they should begin to look upon themselves inside. The inside conception of which I speak of can be found in any civilized social structure. It can also be found in many eastern religions. Christianity and the other Abrahamic faiths see things on the outside (from without) while eastern religions see things from within. The Buddha’s, Sages, and even Jesus Christ Himself saw the need for both (the outward and inward) and expressed this in their teachings. They were expressed orally and through their actions. I would venture to say that the Abrahamic faiths are religions that deal with the “Theory of Thought (mind) – morality, responsibility, freewill, and the like. While eastern faiths are pertaining to the “Theory of Being” – who we are. Science can not answer the Priori, neither can it answer “who we are.” And while science may be able to answer the empirical fundamentals of humanity, (as in its mechanics), it can not answer – who or why we really “are” – a thing that exists – a cognitive “I”
However, let it be known that atheism is accepted within some religious and spiritual belief systems, including Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Raelism, Neopagan movements such as Wicca, and nontheistic religions. Jainism and some forms of Buddhism do not advocate belief in gods, whereas Hinduism holds atheism to be valid. But some schools view the path of an atheist to be difficult to follow in matters of spirituality.
Johnson, Philip et. al. (2005). “Religious and Non-religious Spirituality in the Western World (“New Age”)
In David Clayton’s, A New Vision A New Heart A Renewed Call – Volume Two (William Carey Library). p.194.
Matthews, Carol S. (2009). New Religions. Chelsea House Publishers
Kedar, Nath Tiwari (1997). Comparative Religion. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 50
Chakravarti, Sitansu (1991). Hinduism, a way of life. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. p. 71
Moreover, there are various concepts concerning atheism. The following are a list of such concepts and their corresponding characteristics: According to Campbell, Colin. 1971. Towards a Sociology of Irreligion. London: McMillan p. 31. “Irreligion describes an absence of any religion. Anti-religion describes an active opposition or aversion toward religions in general. When characterized as hostility towards religion, it includes antitheism, anticlericalism and antireligion. Anti-religion when characterized as indifference to religion, includes apatheism. When characterized as the absence of religious belief, it may also include agnosticism, ignosticism, nontheism, religious skepticism and free-thought. Irreligion may even include forms of theism depending on the religious context it is defined against, as in 18th-century Europe where the epitome of irreligion was deism.”
Therefore when confronted by a denialist, make sure you determine of what sort he or she may be, other wise you just might be wasting your time with an antagonist rather than a true seeker of truth. With that said, let us come to the crux of the matter in which we began our discussion, “why?” The atheistic school of thought, regardless of their particular persuasion, must blame themselves for the murder of that child, for the molestation of the child, or for the death of that diseased cancerous individual. But you may cite, “why blame the atheist, when even the clergy are blamed of such?”
One simple answer: “Reflection.”
While, as I said, the Abrahamic faiths look outside of themselves for answers even when they have done wrong, the atheist choosing to deny any form of Higher Authority, condemn themselves because they must look upon the inward – since they do not concede to the outward. They fail. They fail humanity. Personally, I‘d rather have a Divine Being that failed me, than being held responsible for the failure of humanity due to my inward self failing. But as demonstrated in my previous article ‘Does God Really Heal or Perform Miracles?’ – God is not subject to issues of morality, nor is He/She obligated to intercede (this has been dealt with extensively in the article mentioned with ref to all Biblical citations) – therefore the God concept, if you will, does not fail. It is the atheistic school of thought that fails.
When they fail, they cease to exist metaphorically speaking. They cease to exist due to the reasons mentioned in and through Priori. But perhaps they no longer view the Priori as a prerequisite. If that is the case, then they must concede to themselves. If they concede to themselves, then they set themselves up as the Final or Higher Authority upon which they deny existing through the eastern religions. Therefore their paradox continues…
They deny “Reflection” without realizing it.