What to Say to Atheists?

By Jose Oliveira, M.Div.

atheistYes, it’s true, I cannot prove God’s existence scientifically. But, you know something else that is also true? Neither you can prove that God does not exist. The certainty of the existence of God is in every human being. You, as an atheist, can deny – it is your right – but I know God has put the knowledge of Him in the personality of every human being, because personality, as a gift from God, bears the hallmark of God – it is divine.

Believing or not believing in God is not an epistemological question of whether God exists or not – this knowledge is innate in man. Rather, it is a psychological issue, as it refers to the human capacity to make decisions. In this case, it refers to whether or not to accept the existence of God. Atheists are people who decided not to believe in the existence of God; otherwise, how can you not believe what is not? So that the atheist can say, “I do not believe in God” he must first accept the hypothesis of the existence of God, as a theory – and there it is formulated- even for the atheist — the idea of God, which he rejects it, saying, “I do not believe it.”

Believers or atheists, we all know that all things require a first origin. When I was a child, I used to play with friends “the why of the whys.” This game consisted of simply to ask “why?” to anything your playmate would say. The result was that if we would take the game far enough, one finally would have to answer either “I don’t know” or “because God wanted it, or made it so.” Keep asking yourself about the ultimate origin of all things and you will come to the conclusion that at some point there must have been an uncaused cause. This ultimate cause is God. Or, you can say that the process is repeated “ad infinitum,” and then, you also have found God, because God is the Infinite.

Most atheists have a god, which some admit, but others not. In fact, atheists might have two of their gods: either themselves, or science, (which, in this case, I call it pseudo-science). Recently, talking with someone who calls himself an unbeliever, he said, “I am god, I am my own god.” As for their science-god, I call it pseudo-science, because it is a set of scientific theories that atheists put together to deny the existence God; forgetting, altogether, that real Science is not concerned with to prove or disprove the existence of God because God is not a scientific object, is a matter of religion, faith.

Being as I am an inveterate fan of Humanity, I highly admire our race. We are the crown of creation in this planet, or evolution, as atheists would understand. I admire atheists because they are people that really think. Unfortunately, they have come to wrong conclusions on what is basic, like the existence of God. Nonetheless, atheists have many valid arguments in the field of Humanities, especially economics, philosophy, sociology and psychology. Atheists are a class of human beings that best utilize this marvelous gift from God to humans – their minds. In this respect, they are, themselves, a living proof of the existence of God.

But I do have some difficulty with some types of practices (which I cannot call arguments, because in reality they are not) they use to emphasize their points of view. One such practice, mixed with sarcasm and irony, is the habit of exposing to ridicule the opposite position (Theists), instead of presenting solid arguments for their own position. As most of us know, ridicule is a resource used in debates when a part ran out of good arguments . It is called the argument of desperation. I have seen it, lately, often displayed on Facebook, by some people who call themselves atheists. Perhaps, because they do not believe in a divine judgment in the after-life, they think they can treat other people and their religious beliefs with such disrespect. I ask: why atheists do not help human evolution and become a bit better human beings by respecting their peers, even though they might think differently?

My intention is not to condemn atheists… After all, everyone is free to make their own decisions. I mean, if you are an atheist and decided not to believe in God – that’s terrible and sad – but, it is your decision, and you are the one who will live with it, and at the end of this life, you will appear in the presence of God to justify your choice. Yes, that’s right: the fact that you say you do not believe in God, does not mean that He does really not exist. I can tell everybody, as much as want, that I’m not, or I do not consider myself my father’s son; but that does not change the fact that he is, really, my father. So with God: deny all you want, but this makes no difference to the truth that you are God’s creature and so loved by Him. Oh, yes, it is only my opinion — mine and of billions of other people on this planet, who, according to atheists, are all wrong …But, even if it were solely my opinion, I believe it has, at the very least, the same fundamental weight and value than theirs. So, in the same way I respect your pseudo-disbelief, I would like that you, kindly, respect my belief.

Note: Topics such as the existence of God are discussed in Systematic Theology under “Theology Proper”, in a section sometimes called Prolegomena, where the arguments for and against Theism are presented. They also are studied in Apologetics, a practice that sometimes I do, but not very comfortably, because it feeds on the conflict. The Illinois Theological Seminary Online has some courses discussing the existence of God. Attending these classes the student is preparing himself for the ministry and strengthening his or her theistic beliefs. If you would like to know more about our school, click on the link below:

http://indepthseminary.webs.com

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