August 25, 2012

Does Mental Illness Cause Atheism?

On a broadcast of "Evidence for Faith", Keith and Kirk (both are former atheists) discussed a study from the Psychology Department at the University of British Columbia called "Mentalizing Deficits Constrain Belief in a Personal God". It shows that people with a tendency toward mental disorders, especially autism, are more likely to be disbelievers. The more severe the autism, the stronger the disbelief.

To try to determine the causes of atheism has been the subject of several projects. There is probably no single cause, however. 
The last three points, above, seem to emphasize the findings in the autism study.

Now I want to take this out of the realm of scientific research and personal experience into the spiritual realm.

There is a term that I learned a couple of years ago that is used in certain apologetics and theology circles. It is the "noetic effect of sin". To keep this to the surface level, I will just say it means that sin affects the entire person, including reasoning abilities as well as morality. This is most strongly emphasized in Romans 1.18-28, with the emphasis that "God gave them over". I have encountered people who are brilliant in some ways, but when it comes to anything related to God, Jesus, the Bible, salvation and so forth, they not only become antagonistic, but their reasoning abilities become nonexistent.

This is the spiritual version of "atheism causes brain damage". That is, the spiritual nature is continually damaged by rejection of and hatred for God. Their sin increases, they hate God more, commit more sin, their sin increases, other areas of life are impaired (especially reasoning)...

So, I think that perhaps both "atheism causes brain damage" and "autism impacts atheism" (I am using unrefined descriptions for simplicity and emphasis) are true. One feeds the other.

The only way out of this vicious circle is salvation through Jesus Christ. All have sinned (Romans 3.23) and the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ (Romans 6.23). When someone humbles himself and says, "I am a sinner" and accepts Jesus Christ through faith, he becomes a new creation (2 Cor. 5.17) and receives new life (1 John 5.11-12).

While physical, emotional, psychological and sociological influences cannot be erased, they can be managed by becoming a new person in Jesus Christ.

August 23, 2012

Astonishing Atheist Arrogance and Hypocrisy

Thank God that atheism and evolutionism are dying off! Unfortunately, the moldering corpse of atheism is still walking around, preaching the false gospel of evolutionism and making a general nuisance of itself.

After that appetizing introduction, I am pleased to announce that part of this article is about food. Sorta.

Atheists can't seem to understand why most people do not like or trust them. Would obnoxiousness have anything to do with it? I think so. It seems to make sense that if you choose to offend large segments of the population (usually through misrepresentation), it would reinforce public opinion that they are cafones. Of course, the typical rebuttal of atheists when someone tells the truth about them is a petty, "You're a bad man so everything you say is a lie and therefore there is no God" nonsense. Small minds attack people instead of dealing with concepts. Hate and persecution take many forms.

But wait, there's more! Food, remember?

Because a coach followed long-standing tradition of allowing the public school football team to get fed by area churches (who do the expected Christian thing to not only give food, but share the gospel message), an atheist group plays the dishonest card of, "The Constitution is being violated! Separation of church and state! Waaaaaah!" And yet, despite their pretense for wanting to enforce the law for equal treatment for everyone, they were nowhere to be found when B. Hussein Obama makes rules that violate the religion of millions of American Catholics. Flaming hypocrisy. How good is that?

In another food-related item, Prudhomme's Lost Cajun Kitchen offered a discount on Sundays to patrons who brought in their church bulletins. An atheist who has never even been there filed a complaint about it. Now the world knows about John Wolff, who made the complaint simply because he hates religious people.

Ironically, this has backfired. As the the Gaystapo's attacks on Chick-Fil-A gave them increased business, Lost Cajun has had an increase in business! Bully for you against the bullies.

Hey, I think that's part of my problem with the mentality of this kind of atheist — I can't stand bullies. Anyway, check the link early in this article and find out about atheism going down the drain.

August 20, 2012

I Got Your "Extraordinary Evidence" Right Here, Pal!

While listening to the August 12, 2012 podcast of "Stand to Reason" with Greg Koukl, I heard something that I could not only use, but fit in quite will with my intellectual and spiritual development. I was pounding the desk and shouting out, "Yeah!". Then I realized that all my co-workers were staring at me. Then I further realized that my outburst only happened in my mind, so everything was fine.


Greg was going on about the withered old canard, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" (popularized by Carl Sagan, a variation on a quote from Laplace, also a variation on a similar quote from Hume). There was something about that saying that struck me about its wrongness, but I did not know why. All I knew was that it was rubbish. Then Greg pointed out that there is substantial arbitrariness to that remark. The speaker demands that you please him or her with the evidence. You can listen to the part of the show that got me all agitated (in a good way) here:

But for me, this goes deeper. Koukl gave me a football and I started running with it.

I have said that many atheists are control freaks. They want to tell you how to run your own site or ministry (ask Matt Slick of CARM about that sometime), control the conversations and so on. They are constantly looking to "one up" and get the upper hand over you. Since they can seldom win with reason, they resort to manipulation, personal attacks, outright lies, intimidation and especially ridicule. (You know, if you can't destroy the message, destroy the messenger). I wonder if even they know what they hope to accomplish with that petty nonsense?

They have their presuppositions that there is no God, no supernatural entities, no miracles (and yet they believe in evolution despite the complete absence of evidence). Their worldview is based on naturalism (materialism).

The Christian is supposed to base his or her thinking on the Word of God (2 Cor. 10.5). We have presuppositions that God exists, miracles happen, that Bible is not only true, but our ultimate standard, foundational to knowledge, and other presuppositions.

Whenever atheists want to debate science or philosophy (or a mix) on "neutral ground", it's not happening, Hattie. They want the Christian to abandon God's Word, but they still keep to their naturalistic presuppositions. In essence, they want proof of God's existence (Romans 1.19-22), the bodily resurrection of Jesus from the dead, evidence against evolution, the reliability of the Bible and all sorts of other things. They make themselves the ultimate standard, while God is in the dock, waiting for their decision about him! But don't be fooled, you can give evidence after evidence, and they have rescuing device after rescuing device (that is, excuses).

Dr. Jason Lisle pointed out something that really struck me. The disciples were with the risen Lord, but some still doubted. How much more evidence can someone need? Belief is not so much a matter of evidence, but a matter of the will. People disbelieve because they want to.

Now, back to the original contention: "extraordinary evidence". First, who made that "rule" in the first place? Second (as was previously mentioned), it is arbitrary. Third, not only is the unbeliever arrogantly judging God, but has upped the ante; is it difficult enough to play his game and have him reject evidence. The unwitting Christian has just accepted the fact that the unbeliever is going to make it even more difficult to convince him. Oh, they pretend to be reasonable, and that is one reason the Christian will fall into the evidence argument trap in the first place.

Christian apologists forget the first part of one of their favorite verses (1 Peter 3.15 NIV). We're ready to give a defense, and apologetic, for the faith, but we forget that Jesus is Lord. I am all in favor of giving evidence, but it must be in a framework that God's Word is true, and in obedience to it. There is no "neutral ground".

August 19, 2012

Biochemist: From Atheism to Biblical Creationism

“Christianity is the foundation of modern science and explains why we can do science: a rational God created a rational man in his own image so that he is able to understand the creation with his mind. Indeed, the Creator Jesus Christ is called the Logos (Λόγος John 1:1–3), and makes sense of this orderly universe and complexity of life. Those believing in a naturalistic explanation for the origin of life are the ones with a blind faith.”
— Dr. Matti Leisola
Dr. Leisola was an evolutionist and an atheist. He studied enzymes, amino acids and DNA. After being confronted with the realities of the Christian worldview, he did some serious thinking. He found that evolution does not have a solid foundation, and a naturalistic worldview requires blind faith.
Dr Matti Leisola obtained his D.Sc. (Tech) in biotechnology from the Helsinki (Finland’s capital) University of Technology in 1979. His extensive career includes winning the Latsis Prize for a significant young researcher in 1987 in Switzerland, being Director of Research (1988–1997) in an international Biotech company, and most recently Dean of the Faculty of Chemical and Materials Sciences at the new Finnish Aalto University. He has published over 120 papers, mainly on enzyme research, authored 20 articles in books or conference proceedings, and obtained six patents. Dr Leisola’s scientific articles are cited about 1300 times in the scientific literature.
Creation Ministries International interviewed Dr. Leisola, and you can read the rest of his story here.

Mock a Holy Book and See What Happens

Despite their claims to "lack belief" in God, skeptics (that is, hate-filled mockers) will troll and attack anything Christian because they know what the Bible teaches about how Christians are supposed to respond to our enemies. These blatant hypocrites do not dare to give Mohammedans the same treatment, probably out of fear for their lives. Mock Mohammed, burn a Koran, and people die.

And yet, Western governments keep on coddling the "religion of peace" instead of taking action and telling them to act like the civilized people that they pretend to be.

But I'm digressing a bit.

Contrast the fear of violence from Islam for almost any slight, large or small, real or imagined, with Christianity. Although dishonest misotheists portray us as unkind when we stand up to their bullying, there is no reasonable assumption that their lives are in danger from us.

So, they mock.

A play called "The Bible — The Complete Word of God (Abridged)" is a flat-out mockery of the Bible. (They pompously pretend it's in the spirit of "Life of Brian", but that movie did not set out to mock anyone.) Although we protest and make our objections known, scoffers know that we are not going to behead them on television or murder the performers and producers. They take advantage of us and what the Bible teaches. But they choose to forget that there is a God, and there will be a payback time — from him.

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