The Folly of Atheism

“The folly of atheism is evidenced by the light of reason. Men that will not listen to Scripture, as having no counterpart of it in their souls, cannot easily deny natural reason, which rises up on all sides for the justification of this truth. There is a natural as well as a revealed knowledge, and the book of the creatures is legible in declaring the being of a God, as well as the Scriptures are in declaring the nature of a God; there are outward objects in the world, and common principles in the conscience, whence it may be inferred.”

“One died for asserting one God; none, in the former ages upon record, have died for asserting no God.”

Stephen Charnock, The Existence and Attributes of God [DISCOURSE 1, ON THE EXISTENCE OF GOD]


Question: Would you willingly die for asserting, “There is no God?”


8 thoughts on “The Folly of Atheism

  1. I’d very much prefer not to, and I would do my absolute best to avoid it, and though I hope very much I would not do so, it is possible that I may, if if pushed with the threat of death, give in to contemptible cowardice and falsely claim myself a theist of the demanded nomination.

    However, I would very much hope that I would not capitulate to the kind of monster that would attempt to kill me for the mere act of speaking the truth about my opinions.

    So if push came to shove, yes, I would willingly die – both for my beliefs, and my right to choose my belief as I see fit.

  2. Translated : “The reason people are atheists is that they don’t understand, like we do, that a assertive book that people we know very little about wrote has as much bearing as phenomena that can be independently tested and corroborating evidence found to support do. There is a natural knowledge and a knowledge that is just as good that God apparently spoke into the heads of people thousands of years ago, that we believe God spoke to because they said he did. They, collectively say that there is a God (if they said that there wasn’t a God, there wouldn’t be much reason to believe them about anything). They say there’s a God, so there must be. Also, I have a conscience, therefore there is a God.”

    “Oh, yeah, people believe there is a God enough to die for it, but no one believes that there isn’t a God enough to die for that lack of belief. Therefore, God exists.”

    I admit that this argument is fine if, and only if, you ascribe full relevatory status to scripture and the “book of creatures”. If the goal of the passage is to explain atheism to believers, I believe that the believers are getting a raw deal if they ascribe to this message. If the goal is to convert atheists, Charnock is going about it in completely the wrong way.

    Answer: No, and it doesn’t have any bearing at all on the argument.

    P.S. Please don’t be typical and refuse to acknowledge my post. I would love to discuss this topic in greater depth. I, too, am a seeker of truth, albeit on a different path.

  3. Let me get this straight,

    you’re saying that because no one is willing to die for atheism (I’m having a hard time even writing this, since the mere words are dribbling of teh stoopid) – then atheism is foolish?

    Please, enlighten me if there is any point you are willing to make which is not as ridiculous as the one just mentioned.

  4. “Reason” is a mixture of logic and emotion. That is…it is applied thought that “feels” right. Being reasonable does not automatically imply being right; simply that you’re willing to share your theory of how you got from A to B. That theory may very well still be wrong.

    My question is not, “would you die for asserting there’s a god?” But “WHY would you die for asserting there’s a god?” Especially now, when there is absolutely no need. The entire concept of killing or dying for religion is barbaric. How it’s considered a test of faith is beyond me. Any thug in the street can kill or be killed. Make your life mean something. Use your faith for something constructive. Then we’ll talk.

  5. Kudos Thomas, I whole heartedly agree.

    This postulation is a non-issue and a distraction from the actual question of theism against atheism.

    “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”

    While this quote doesn’t address this topic directly, it generally sums up the point that it would take some kind of irrational belief in martyrdom to bring someone to forfeit their life for belief. If I die in the name of atheism, what have I accomplished? Take this as opposed to dying because you refuse to commit some atrocity (or dying committing some atrocity in the name of god). In those cases you retain or gain (supposedly) something from the loss. Your “movement” is given strength. I wouldn’t die to assert that gravity exists, because gravity exists regardless of my life. It would be capricious to think that the non-existence of god hinged on me… Which I find to be an ironic statement as theists are so often harping that we atheists are capricious enough to deny a higher power. Well, why is it that your higher power relies upon you and you alone?

  6. ‘Question: Would you willingly die for asserting, “There is no God?”’

    Nope! I will try to open minds to rationally think about the ideas of gods and submit them to scrutiny, and I will fight hard for my right to disbelieve.

    If someone had a gun pointed at me, not only would I not die for the claim that “There is no God” (I don’t like that statement anyways, it assumes a false dichotomy between monotheism and atheist, and assumes I am a strong atheist), I would even say that I believe in a god. It’s just not something worth dieing for – they’re just words.

  7. One of Dostoevsky’s characters, who was an atheist put himself to death to redeem humanity, an anti-christ…we’re past this absurd reasoning, accept me as a human being first, blessed are those who doubt.

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