As many of you know the New Atheists (as they are called) not only believe that God doesn’t exist, they believe that religion is evil and ought to be extinguished. They love to especially attack Christianity, because it is so bold as to blatantly tell its opponents that they are wrong. There are many things I can say on the subject, but I would like to address just one small flaw in their thinking.
Many of them, such as Sam Harris, have a distorted logic in how they argue against the existence of God. I will simplify their arguments here for times sake and just point out one of the huge flaws of it. See if you can spot the flaw before I demonstrate it. Remember they are assuming God exists for the sake of their arguments.
Their argument is basically thus:
Christians that a good God exists:
1) This God wrote the bible
2) The Bible encourages or at least condones slavery
3) We all know that slavery is evil
4) God condones evil and thus is evil himself
5) So either God isnt good, the Bible wasn’t written by Him, or slavery is actually ok.
Forgive the simpleness of my explanation of one of their arguments, but that is basically what I think they are arguing for. Did you spot the flaws? Yes, there are more than one.
Now many Christians go right into defending the Bible’s view on slavery, which is needed and clearly the New Atheists are wrong in their Bible interpretation, but Christians shouldn’t start with this argument because there is an even simpler and more effective direction to go.
What is the first premise assume in their argument? They assume that God exists, and then go into attacking such an existence, but they are not consistent in their thinking about his existance. Let me demonstrate how by saying what they really mean and see if you can see where the flaw is.
Lets assume God exists
1) This God wrote the Bible as a declaration of his will, character, and desires for humanity.
2) The Bible teaches that slavery is ok
3) Man believes that slavery isn’t ok
4) God must be wrong and man right
5) Or God doesn’t exist
6) Or the Bible isn’t written by God
7) Or slavery is actually ok
And so the Christian is stuck with a conundrum accepting all bad options, but this is just a simple case of a logically flaw of the excluded middle not to mention an equivocation error where slavery means different things to us then in the Bible, thus are real option could be:
8) God wrote the Bible, God is good, your understanding of slavery in the Bible is wrong.
Back to their arguments: Wait did you guys catch that? They are basically saying: “If God exists, and He says that slavery is ok, he must be wrong because I know that it isn’t”. See that? The Atheist is placing his own sense of morality over God’s. He is claiming that what he knows or feels about a subject trumps God’s (even if God exists). If this isn’t arrogance I do not know what is.
I am simplifying my argument since I think the only valid complaint that the Atheist can have is that the morality of Bible is wrong, but this begs the question how do they know? Now I know that the Atheist has a few other options but I don’t think they are as valid. Real briefly allow me to explain. If God exists by definition he has to be good, in other words He is the standard, so this argument falls on its face just by definition. God may have not written the Bible, but your sense of morality is inadequate as the primary reason not to believe it. If God truly wrote the Bible, and the Bible actually does teach slavery as ok, well then it is ok! This last critique can be answered two fold, one being how most Christian Apologists do, by explaining the Bible’s view of slavery.
Now for the sake of argument the Atheist could be right and God doesn’t exist, but all these arguments are nonsense if that is the case, and I am not trying to prove that God exists with this article. I am merely pointing out how insincere they are in their critique and how flawed it is.
The point is, if God exists then whatever he says goes. IF God says that slavery is ok, then it is ok no matter what you or I or the Atheist feels about it. My point here is that they are disingenuous in their thinking. They want to start with the premise assuming God exists and then they attempt to disprove it from there, but they use reasoning which is inconsistent with assuming God exists. Of course I think they are also wrong in their analysis of the Bible (it doesn’t teach that slavery is a good and desirable thing to God), it doesn’t teach what they are claiming it does, but that doesn’t have anything to do with how flawed their argument is. What the Atheist is really saying here, is that his own sense of morality is superior to God’s, that really he is God and God isn’t. His point is that God’s morality is dependent on him, not he on God’s. But if God really existed would this really be the case? Their argument starts by assuming God exists, but they don’t stay consistent in that and go right into assuming he doesn’t exist half way through the process.
Think about it this way. Don’t we see people all around the world who’s ethic seems messed up? Their own morality seems flawed to us. Wouldn’t even the Atheist claim that there are people who are wrong in their morality, mistaken in their since of right and wrong? What about those people who still think slavery or murder is right, wouldn’t the Atheist claim that they are wrong in their ethic? They should, they are claiming God can be wrong in his ethic, thus it is no big thing to believe that other men can be wrong in theirs can it? Or do they claim that God can be wrong but man never is? In that case who really is God?
So, if they do affirm that some men are wrong in their ethic, what makes them so sure they are not those men? Why are they convinced that their ethic, not God’s is correct? I think it is because of Roman’s 1. They hate God and want nothing to do with him, so they are illogical and biased in all their thinking about Him, and I believe their arguments regarding the Bible and slavery prove this.
When an atheist comes up to you and tells you God isn’t good because he commands X, you just say to him, so what if he did, if he is God does he sit under your authority? I have always told people, that if God commanded murder and rape, then it would be ok, because God is the standard for morality not us, if God says something is good or bad then it is good or bad because he said it not because we feel a certain way about it. Men have been very wrong in their ethic before, so why should we believe that the Atheists have it right, and God has it wrong? Don’t get me started on the fallacious idea that morality exists outside and above God…