The Pastor and the Atheist
Sunday morning. I had just made myself some rye toast with onion farmer's cheese for breakfast and a nice cup of joe. And just for the reference, I like my coffee like I like my women: Black and sweet.
I flop onto the furniture and assume Sunday-morning-couch-potato-breakfast position then flick on the tellie. Whatever comes up is completely random week to week because I could have been watching anything on Saturday night and I don't give a baboon's fart what time I get up on Sundays.
But there, for the few breif moments before I find the remote, is Pastor Ed Young Senior. And as I quickly look for whatever happened to the clicker (-why they have to make them tiny and out of black platic is beyond me...they should be neon green or safety orange or something-) that's when I overhear his 'discussion with an atheist.'
First of all, let me point out that I highly doubt that this argument ever took place. I doubt old Ed knows the difference between an Atheist and a non-believer. And (this is a warning to all) whenever anyone starts up a conditional argument then you should be wary. It's a good sign that flim-flam could be headin' your way.
His 'argument' went like this:
I asked the Atheist if he believed there were good people and bad people. The Athieist agreed there were. Then I asked him if there could be effect without cause. (He goes off on a tangent story for a moment here, presumably to explain to the audience dullards that when something happens there has to be a reason for it.) The Atheist conceded that there is no effect without a cause. Then I asked if there was such a thing as moral laws. Again the Atheist said there was. But by now he knew he was cornered because there had to be a cause if moral law was the effect. There could not be a moral law without a moral law giver.
By that point I'd had enough. Even frickin' telletubbies would have seemed more intelligent, but after hastilly changing the channel I did change back. Not to see if people were eating this up. Of course they were. I did so just to check out that his name was Ed Young Sr.
You know what the biggest problem with Atheists is? They don't have any preachers or evangelical shows like this.
While Ed's argument seems to follow logical progression it's more full of holes than Alpine Lace cheese. One at a time. I won't touch the first question abut 'good and evil people' because there are libraries of books on that. I could write blogs forever defining what good and evil are, so the first question I'll just gracefully concede to Ed.
The second question is there I have to put my foot down, however. As humans, we are faulted by our own perception. Before the invention of microscopes, it was widely believed that maggots or insects just generated spontaneously from rot. No one envisioned that eggs or reproduction could be involved. If you're on the street and you hear a shot then turn to see two people holding guns, which one actually fired? Someone might say 'the one that's not bleeding' but there's no way of knowing if someone was wounded before the shot rang out. In other words, cause and effect is dicey and jaded. Things can happen for reasons we can't percieve, and sometimes they happen for reasons other than what we believe.
But the concluson is there the logic falls apart completely. It is a complete fallacy to believe that:
1) Atheists are unethical or amoral by nature.
2) There is no moral law to an Atheist.
3) Atheists are crushed under the obvious logic of God's Word (The Bible, Q'ran, whatever)
First of all, any given group will have people who are unethical or amoral. That includes Atheists as well as the religious. Sin knows no boundaries of belief. But conversely there is nothing that indicates that the majority of criminals are Atheists. In fact, the proportional group dynamics fill about the same pie-chart as the rest of humanity.
And to say that Atheists have no moral law would be to completely ignore the works of Hobbes, Meslier, Engels, Hegel, or the millions that have followed in their footsteps. Philosophy is morality and vice-versa. Even philosophies that challenge morality (such as nihilism) do so with purpose.
But finally, to claim that the word of God has any given Atheist in it's crushing grip of reason as they are intellectually wanting is just a joke. What about how the works of Machiavelli changed the history of Europe? To the Pastor Ed Young, was such a man simply a figment? A Satanic amalgam of myth meant to mislead mankind?
But forget all of that. Let's go back to my morning. I had my coffee and my toast. Just like I knew I would. The reason I knew I would is because of zoning laws. A moral law writen by man that makes sure that my toaster and stove work safely. And nowhere in the Bible does God say 'thou shalt install 120 volt lines and 15 amp fuses for hosehold use.'
I know that when I go outside that I will probably not get run rown as I cross the street. Even though nowhere in the Q'ran does it say 'he that maintains a speed of 25mph in a residential neighborhood has the blessing of Allah.'
And even though the hardware store across the street is run by Jews, I have never heard the owner say 'it pleases God that your pipe fittings should be dope sealed.' Maybe he says it when I'm not around, but I doubt it.
There are shitloads of laws that have been written by man to protect their fellow man...without any influence from any God.
But we seem to need to thank God for when things go right anyway. Just like we need to blame the Devil for when they go wrong.