How do you feel about Atheism?
In 2011, four men who argue for Atheism met in the home of one member of the group, and talked freely. They have been described as the “Four Horsemen of the New Atheism.” After their meeting, they continued to argue against religion and they opposed any belief in God. The New Atheists are known to be aggressive and preachy, and they have been called fundamentalists and evangelicals for their beliefs.
At first, the aggressive Atheists opposed Christianity, and they seemed like a sect of disaffected Christians. Recently. Some of them spoke against the religion of Islam, and that didn’t work for them. They are now accused of “Islamophobia” which is socially unacceptable prejudice. Some aggressive Atheists have been criticized and rejected because of their opinions about Islam, and the New Atheism movement is struggling now, a victim of political correctness.
They did much better when they only attacked Christians.
READ: The New Atheism
If you want a sample of how aggressive Atheists speak, here are some recent titles:
- Why I Became an Atheist: A Former Preacher Rejects Christianity
- The God Delusion
- Outgrowing God: A Beginner’s Guide
- God: The Most Unpleasant Character in All Fiction
- God Is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything
- Fighting God: An Atheist Manifesto for a Religious World
- A Manual For Creating Atheists
So how do we answer those aggressive and angry words?
Those words are designed to make believers angry, and to provoke arguments. Aggressive debating, with sneering put-downs, is the arena where the New Atheism prospers. The Atheists did not invent this forum, it is actually an old tradition from medieval Christians. Imagine monks engaging in fierce debates; and that tradition of academic debates was passed on to modern universities like Oxford.
There are some debaters who can answer the aggressive Atheists in their arena. This is a brief video:
If you want to see a longer debate, with both sides speaking:
The Christian speaker makes the point that God gives us standards and morals. If there is no God, we can never be sure about anything. Aggressive Atheists who are very sure that they are correct, are like evangelists who preach their beliefs to convert other people. They believe the world will be better if we are all like them.
The failure of the argument is simple; If there is no God, we can’t honestly preach anything. I have no reason to say that I am correct and Hitler was wrong, for example. There is not moral compass, and the powers that lived without God, Nazis and Communists, showed us what no-God looks like.
We were told about this thousands of years ago: “The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds; there is none who does good.” (Psalm 14:1)
When we say, with assurance, that there is no God, we need a divine authority to tell us that and to make us believe sincerely. It’s like saying “there is no God, and I know that’s true because my god told me.” No-belief is really just a different belief, and there must be a god-like authority to assure us that it is correct, if we strongly believe.
So, if the Christian debater is correct, how should we react to aggressive New Atheists?
We should be who we are.
As a follower of Jesus, I know we have orders, directly from Jesus. We have rules for the game, moral standards, and we should not adopt the angry and aggressive posture of some people. We are called to show a different kind of aggression, we should be aggressively kind, even with people who seem like our enemies.
It’s a radical concept, but we have a God who gave us this standard:
As you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. (Luke 6: 31 to 36)