Atheists doubting the validity of atheism

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One of the most popular arguments for God's existence is the teleological argument. Derived from the Greek word telos, which refers to purpose or end, this argument hinges on the idea that the world gives evidence of being designed, and concludes that a divine designer must be posited to account for the orderly world we encounter.

Research and historical data indicate that a significant portion of atheists/agnostics often see the their lives and the world as being the product of purposeful design (see: Atheists and belief in fate and in intelligent design).[1]

In addition, notable professing atheists have had the characteristic of variability and instability when it came to maintaining thoughts in accordance with atheism. For example, Jean-Paul Sartre was one of the leading proponents of atheism of the 20th Century.

Yet Jean-Paul Sartre made this candid confession:

As for me, I don’t see myself as so much dust that has appeared in the world but as a being that was expected, prefigured, called forth. In short, as a being that could, it seems, come only from a creator; and this idea of a creating hand that created me refers me back to God. Naturally this is not a clear, exact idea that I set in motion every time I think of myself. It contradicts many of my other ideas; but it is there, floating vaguely. And when I think of myself I often think rather in this way, for wont of being able to think otherwise.[2]

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Richard Dawkins and agnosticism and atheism

The agnostic Richard Dawkins publicly flip-flops between the positions of agnosticism, atheism and militant atheism (see: Richard Dawkins and agnosticism).

Leonid Brezhnev

See also: Atheism and death

Leonid Brezhnev served as General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union which had state atheism. Under Brezhnev, religious believers received harsh treatment and the Soviet Union's anti-religious stance was maintained and there was a fundamental inequality between those with religious belief and those who subscribed to atheism.[3]

In his nuclear arms negotiations with President Jimmy Carter, Leonid Brezhnev, the leader of the Soviet Union which had state atheism, said, "God will never forgive us if we don't succeed."[4]

Gary Thomas wrote in Christianity Today about Brehnev's funeral and the actions of his widow:

As Vice President, George Bush represented the U.S. at the funeral of former Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. Bush was deeply moved by a silent protest carried out by Brezhnev's widow. She stood motionless by the coffin until seconds before it was closed. Then, just as the soldiers touched the lid, Brezhnev's wife performed an act of great courage and hope, a gesture that must surely rank as one of the most profound acts of civil disobedience ever committed: She reached down and made the sign of the cross on her husband's chest. There in the citadel of secular, atheistic power, the wife of the man who had run it all hoped that her husband was wrong. She hoped that there was another life, and that that life was best represented by Jesus who died on the cross, and that the same Jesus might yet have mercy on her husband.[5]

Charles Darwin often had overwhelming thoughts the world was designed

Charles Darwin wrote in his private notebooks that he was a materialist, which is a type of atheist. In his autobiography Charles Darwin wrote about the diminishment of his religious faith and Darwin stated that he was an agnostic.[6] Darwin's worldview is best described as agnosticism/weak atheism (see: religious views of Charles Darwin) [7][8]

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy states:

In 1885, the Duke of Argyll recounted a conversation he had had with Charles Darwin the year before Darwin's death:

In the course of that conversation I said to Mr. Darwin, with reference to some of his own remarkable works on the Fertilization of Orchids, and upon The Earthworms, and various other observations he made of the wonderful contrivances for certain purposes in nature — I said it was impossible to look at these without seeing that they were the effect and the expression of Mind. I shall never forget Mr. Darwin's answer. He looked at me very hard and said, “Well, that often comes over me with overwhelming force; but at other times,” and he shook his head vaguely, adding, “it seems to go away. ”(Argyll 1885, 244)[9]

Atheist PZ Myers dreamt about dying and standing before the pearly gates of heaven

PZ Myers

(photo obtained from Flickr, see license agreement)

See also: Atheism and death

On April 2, 2012, Science Daily reported that Death anxiety increases atheists' unconscious belief in God.[10] In a 2012 Psychology Today article, Dr. Nathan A. Heflick reported similar results in other studies.[11]

On October 22, 2014, the atheist PZ Myers bolstered the case that atheists have an unconscious belief that God exists. Myers wrote in a Pharyngula blog post: "I woke up from a dream a little too early this morning. I dreamt that I had died and gone to a cliché. That’s right, I was standing before the Pearly Gates…"[12]

It is evident that Myers has no intellectual/evidential justification for the non-existence of God. For example, when the evangelist Ray Comfort asked Myers why he is an atheist Myers gave the illogical, circular argument response of: "Why am I an atheist? Because there is no God".[13] Previously, the Christian apologist Ken Ammi criticized Myers for merely presupposing God's non-existence, but not providing argumentation for this position.[14]

There have been no reports of theologians or creation scientists having dreams that atheism is true.

Atheism has a lower retention rate compared to other worldviews

See also: Atheism has a lower retention rate compared to other worldviews

According to recent research by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, in the United States, a majority of those surveyed who were raised in atheist or agnostic households, or where there was no specific religious attachment, later chose to join a religious faith.[15][16] A notable example of a person raised in a atheistic household who later became a Christian is William J. Murray. Mr. Murray is the son of the late atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair who founded the organization American Atheists. In 1982, William J. Murray founded the Religious Freedom Coalition.

In addition, in atheistic Communist China, Christianity is experiencing explosive growth.[17][18] On July 3, 2005, the New York Times reported concerning many countries in the former Soviet Union: "A return to religion in Romania and the region's other formerly Communist countries has in many places outrun the speed at which the church can screen and train clergy..."[19]

See also

Essay:

References

    • Does everything happen for a reason?, New York Times, October 17, 2014
    • Children see the world as designed by David Catchpoole, Creation Ministries International, Published: 16 July 2009
    • Atheist Jean-Paul Sartre made the candid confession: "As for me, I don’t see myself as so much dust that has appeared in the world but as a being that was expected, prefigured, called forth. In short, as a being that could, it seems, come only from a creator; and this idea of a creating hand that created me refers me back to God. Naturally this is not a clear, exact idea that I set in motion every time I think of myself. It contradicts many of my other ideas; but it is there, floating vaguely. And when I think of myself I often think rather in this way, for wont of being able to think otherwise." Source: Escape from God: The Use of Religion and Philosophy to Evade Responsibility By Dean Turner, page 109
    • The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy declares: "In 1885, the Duke of Argyll recounted a conversation he had had with Charles Darwin the year before Darwin's death: In the course of that conversation I said to Mr. Darwin, with reference to some of his own remarkable works on the Fertilization of Orchids, and upon The Earthworms, and various other observations he made of the wonderful contrivances for certain purposes in nature — I said it was impossible to look at these without seeing that they were the effect and the expression of Mind. I shall never forget Mr. Darwin's answer. He looked at me very hard and said, 'Well, that often comes over me with overwhelming force; but at other times,' and he shook his head vaguely, adding, 'it seems to go away.'(Argyll 1885, 244)Notes to Teleological Arguments for God's Existence
  1. Is Christianity Alone Fully True and is Jesus Christ Really the Only Way To God? -- Part 4
  2. Soviet Religious Policy Under Brezhnev and After by JOHN ANDERSON
  3. INTERVIEW WITH PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER
  4. ATHEISM, quoted from Gary Thomas, Christianity Today, October 3, 1994, p. 26 , website of SermonIllustrations.com
  5. http://www.update.uu.se/~fbendz/library/cd_relig.htm
  6. Darwin’s real message: have you missed it?
  7. American Scientist May 1977:323
  8. Notes to Teleological Arguments for God's Existence
  9. Death anxiety increases atheists' unconscious belief in God, Science Daily, Date: April 2, 2012
  10. Atheists, Death and Belief in God The Effects of Death Reminders on Atheists' Supernatural Beliefs, Psychology Today, Published on May 25, 2012 by Nathan A. Heflick, Ph.D. in The Big Questions
  11. Just another dream by PZ Myers, October 22, 2014
  12. Evolution Vs. God Movie
  13. PZ Myers Emotively Vociferous but Intellectually Mute by Ken Ammi
  14. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/defectors-to-faith-mark-a-growing-trend/story-e6frg7ko-1225710667095
  15. http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1204/religion-changes-affiliations-survey
  16. http://www.millennialstar.org/christianity-exploding-in-china/
  17. http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/shows/cwn/2008/August/Christianity-Growing-in-China-/
  18. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/03/international/europe/03romania.html
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