This will be an interesting post for you guys to read. I am in essence debating with my past self. I wrote a Facebook post a little over four years ago as a conservative Christian trying to reach out to Atheists! Little did I know that just three years and a few months later I would tip my hat entirely to those who promote reason over faith. The role of faith has eroded from my mind altogether in favor of having less certainty paired with a stronger filter for acquiring true and lasting knowledge. The bold italics contain my present thoughts. Enjoy!
(Biblically, Could Sin Be The Root Cause Of Atheism?)
Intriguing title isn’t it? Some of you may be wondering, how is sin connected to someone’s belief system of atheism? I believe the Bible gives us some great insight into the whole issue. Again some of you may be thinking to yourselves that I can’t use the Bible to prove to an atheist that God exists! Isn’t that circular reasoning?! No, no it isn’t and here’s why. The Bible has it’s own set of presuppositions just like anyone else does. So if one presupposes that one can only prove God through using naturalistic reasoning then they are being narrow minded and putting the whole issue in a box without giving any attention to what kind of valid reasoning the Bible actually gives for why there is a God and why sin can be explained as the leading cause of atheism today.
Ah yes, but this is precisely the problem. This ancient Bible that you allude to is a compilation of literature that espouses the views of just one faith tradition out of hundreds and hundreds of others. You are claiming that only one set of scenarios can be authoritative and inspired. Talk about biased! Good point about comparing the presuppositions of various perspectives, however, a big part of this puzzle is to acknowledge what categories of evidence are the most reliable and consistent? Why should I discount the miracle claims of other faiths in favor those in Christianity? You seem to be operating from a double standard.
In the book of Isaiah 59:2 it says, “But your iniquities (sins) have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.” Sin is the leading cause of atheism today because it separates people from having a relationship with the living and true God! Many atheists today believe there is no God because they’ve never felt close to Him, they’ve never seen a miracle, never seen a light from heaven, never had a prayer answered. The Bible says that there’s a reason for that. It says that we should feel that way because it is a symptom of a disease!
Since sin separates people from God it can in some cases ultimately lead to the corruption of one’s conscience and moral judgment. In Romans 1:28 it addresses one of the problems that we can find among people in atheism and all people who reject the true God, it says, “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;” Also over in 1 Timothy chapter 4:2 it speaks of the fate of many individuals who persist in unbelief and immorality as using the analogy of a hot iron branding and searing one’s conscience. Do you ever wonder why some people don’t feel bad about the unspeakable evils that they commit? It’s because God has allowed them in their chosen path of wickedness to be disconnected from even having a normal conscience that should bring guilt for their wrong doing!
Hold the phone my friend! Are you familiar with confirmation bias? You have erected a moral framework that claims absolute knowledge about the human condition. You claim to be speaking on behalf of an all wise supernatural being. Good luck creating a consensus with that line of reasoning! Not only that, but you are assuming that all human beings know that the Biblical God exists in some way, shape, or form. You think that humans are born with an internal moral understanding that matches the scenario for good and evil that is found in your Bible. Go ahead, test that claim by surveying this world’s belief systems. You are going to find many striking differences between the moral framework of your Bible and those who operate from different perspectives. Surveying humanity does actually defeat this idea that people are somehow in denial of an internal morality that was given to them by the God of Christianity. To the contrary humanity is astonishingly diverse in the area of moral expression. Geography and culture plays a rather large role!
You must provide more than just Bible verses and moral directives from a God that I can neither see or confirm within my existence. Also, what is a conscience and how can you demonstrate that certain deviations from Biblical moral commands somehow tarnishes me morally? You are assuming a massive amount of destruction that is going on behind the scenes. How important is objectivity within your view? Do you acknowledge that nobody truly has a leg up in the department of subjective argumentation?