As usual, I’ve gotten into another discussion regarding Christianity and Atheism. This time, however, it has to do with the core of Christianity– the very question of what does it mean to be a person.
You see, what you believe about people is pertinent to what you believe that people can do, what society can achieve, to what things you should put your work into doing. It defines what is possible, and what path to take.
What I’ve written in a comment on Why One Atheist is Angry I’ve reposted here, at little bit more general. You can refer to the original post to see it all and in context.
The question of whether it is possible or even desirable to have a government based on reason alone and not impacted by religion must be answered by looking at people. As long as there are people involved that have a belief structure, they are going to make judgment calls based on that structure. People make decisions based on the things that impact them.
Contrary to the atheistic model that denies a soul or an inner desire for a God, I don’t believe that man will ever not have a belief system about the spiritual world, and so to strive for something that is impossible is an exercise in futility at best.
Though I don’t have a problem striving to eliminate any of the things that you mentioned in support (slavery, hunger, disease) I believe that these too are impossible to completely cure because of what I believe about the world– and that is the true core of the problem.
The core of the problem can be identified as what your view of the world is– is it a place where people can continually get better? Is man the best there is? Can people continually strive to be good?
I don’t believe so. The world is going to continue to decay. Man is fallen, and will continue to be so. People can strive to be good, but they will fail apart from God’s grace.
And that’s why I make the leap to call atheism a religion. In it’s own right you can claim that it’s the absence of a god, but because religion can be defined by a particular worldview and applying that belief to a person’s actions– atheism has a worldview and follows a humanistic set of beliefs about it.
An atheist believes that there is no god. He’s not an agnostic who does not know, but requires an active belief to prove the very thing that he believes is untestable. It’s truly an illogical position for it requires absolute knowledge about something that is claimed to be unknowable.
As for my beliefs– since when are you an expert on what I believe? I believe that anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved– all those that believe in their heart and confess with their mouth the Lord Jesus will be saved. This includes those that may not share what I believe in regards to interpretation of the Scriptures.
And even then, why would I let being a minority bother me? Christians have seldom been the majority if you look over the course of history. I also think that Christianity becomes the most pure under true persecution– and though I’m not desiring persecution I recognize that Christianity’s growth has been punctuated by it.
The problem with atheism is, again, that it is married to humanism and is not content to let people believe what they will but attempts to use the vehicle of government to indoctrinate children into adherence of its particular religion. Rather than being neutral towards religion, it tells children that religion is folly. Rather than allowing people to practice their religion, it forces it out of the classroom.
I could link to story after story of people that tried to submit homework assignments about Jesus, that wanted to give oral reports about their faith, who wanted to testify about God at their graduation activities, who wanted to pray before their ball games and instead of being able to exercise their freedom to believe what they wish, they were told they would be imprisoned.
That is the exact problem I’m stating. You can’t be both offended by Christianity and at the same time say it’s irrelevant. You can’t see it’s like believing in Santa Claus at the same time you want to erase any and all mentions of it.
Oh, and Christians have lived in countries that are not Christian– there are Christians in secular countries, Christians in Muslim countries, etc. And yet it’s not the Christians who are protesting and requiring the removal of things of cultural significance (both traditional and current).
We can certainly go down the trail of why a nation based on Christianity is superior to that which is based on atheism or Islam if you want, but again, I’m not going there at this time. And my feelings about what is above a judge are irrelevant. I’m a servant of the Creator of the Universe who holds this world in the palm of my hand. What do I care what flies above a judge?
My point is that atheism isn’t neutral, it’s aggressive. It’s not irreligious, but contains a set of core beliefs about things and holds them as tightly (if not more so) than those that worship a god. It is more aggressive in its attacks on other religions than Christianity.