Difference between revisions of "Atheism"

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*[[Essay: Does Richard Dawkins have machismo?]]
*[[Comedy and satires concerning atheism]]  (large collection of comedy/satire concerning atheism)
*[[Comedy and satires concerning atheism]]  (large collection of comedy/satire concerning atheism)
*[[Essay: Does Richard Dawkins have machismo?]]
*[[Essay: John Wayne vs. atheist Paul Kurtz|John Wayne vs. atheist Paul Kurtz]]
*[[Essay: John Wayne vs. atheist Paul Kurtz|John Wayne vs. atheist Paul Kurtz]]
*[http://www.tektoonics.com/etc/parody/fundyath.html You may be a fundamentalist atheist if....]
*[http://www.tektoonics.com/etc/parody/fundyath.html You may be a fundamentalist atheist if....]

Revision as of 15:02, 1 August 2010

Paul-Henri Thiry, Baron d'Holbach (1723 - 1789) was an early advocate of atheism in Europe.

Atheism, as defined by the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and other philosophy reference works, is the denial of the existence of God.[1][2][3] The atheistic worldview has a variety of effects on individuals and society at large which will be elaborated on shortly. In regards to individuals adopting an atheistic worldview, atheism has a number of causal factors that influence its origination in individuals which will be addressed. In addition, critiques of atheism will be offered and some of the historical events relating to atheism will also be covered (for example, since World War II a majority of the most prominent and vocal defenders of the theory of evolution which employs methodological naturalism have been atheists).[4]


Types of Atheism

There are different types of atheism, based on different answers to the following questions:

  • What God or gods does the atheist deny?
  • Why does the atheist deny?
  • How does the atheist's denial manifest itself?

Atheism and Which God or gods?

The Greek philosopher Socrates

Since atheism is denial of the existence of God or gods, it is important first to identify in which God and/or gods the atheist denies. In ancient times, for example, Christians were accused of being atheists because of their denial of the pagan gods, even though they believed in the Christian God.[5] Socrates was also accused of atheism, although references to God run throughout his recorded statements.[6] Also, Albert Einstein and Baruch Spinoza professed belief in "God," but they defined "God" as the cosmos as a whole, and without personality.

Atheism and Why do Atheists State They Disbelieve?

Atheists claim there are two main reasons for their denial of the existence of God and/or disbelief in God: the conviction that there is positive evidence or argument that God does not exist (Strong atheism which is also sometimes called positive atheism), and their claim that theists bear the burden of proof to show that God exists, that they have failed to do so, and that belief is therefore unwarranted (Weak atheism).

Manifestations of Atheism

There are three ways that atheism manifests itself:

  • Militant atheism which continues to suppress and oppress religious believers today especially in Communist countries.
  • Theoretical atheism: atheism of the mind -- that is, believing that God does not exist.
  • Practical atheism: atheism of the life - that is, living as though God does not exist.[7]

Attempts to dilute the definition of atheism

See also: Attempts to dilute the definition of atheism

Charles Bradlaugh, in 1876, proposed that atheism does not assert "there is no God," and by doing so he diluted the traditional definition of atheism. Since 1979, many atheists have followed Bradlaugh's thinking further and stated that atheism is merely a lack of belief in any god.[8][9] The motive for such a shift in meaning appears to be to an attempt to shift the burden of proof regarding the existence of God to the theism side.[8]

In the article, Is Atheism Presumptuous?, atheist Jeffery Jay Lowder, a founder of Internet Infidels which owns and operates the Secular Web (the Secular Web is a website focused on promoting atheism, agnostics and skeptics on the internet), states that "I agree (with Copan) that anyone who claims, "God does not exist," must shoulder a burden of proof just as much as anyone who claims, "God exists."[8] In short, the attempt to redefine atheism is merely an attempt to make no assertions so no facts need be offered.[8] The attempt to redefine atheism, however, is not in accordance with the standard definitions of atheism that encyclopedias of philosophy employ which is that atheism is a denial of the existence of God or gods.[1][2][8]

Atheism and Agnosticism

The terms "atheism" and "agnosticism" are often used interchangeably, referring only to how strong the atheism is. The word "agnostic" was coined by the atheist evolutionist Thomas Henry Huxley to be a more presentable and socially acceptable word than "atheism." The blurry distinction of the terms is often used to avoid criticism, as an atheist can simply claim they are only agnostic.

Biblical Statements Regarding Atheism

The psalmist David wrote: "The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God.'"

The writers of the Bible considered the existence of God to be self-evident and Moses simply wrote: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." (Genesis 1:1).[10]

Accordingly, the psalmist David wrote the following:

"The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God.' They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good." - Psalms 14:1 (KJV)

The psalmist David also stated that "The heavens declare the glory of God..." - Psalms 19:1

The Apostle Paul wrote to the Romans that the creation testifies the existence of God, when he wrote the following:

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse..." - Romans 1:19-20 (NKJV)

Weakness of Atheism in Prominent Atheists and in Large Populations

Notable professing atheists have had the characteristic of variability and tenuousness 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.[11]

Charles Darwin wrote in his private notebooks that he was a materialist, which is a type of atheist. (see: religious views of Charles Darwin) [12][13]

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)[14]

Instances of the Weakness of Individuals' Attachment to Atheism Through Secularistic Upbringing

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, as noted earlier, 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]

Reverend William T. Cummings is famous for declaring "There are no atheists in foxholes.[20]

Claims of the Conditionality and Nonconditionality of Atheism

Henry More wrote the following: "In agony or danger, no nature is atheist. The mind that knows not what to fly to, flies to God."[21] Reverend William T. Cummings is famous for declaring "There are no atheists in foxholes."[22] Chaplain F.W. Lawson of the 302d Machine Gun Battalion, who was wounded twice in wartime, stated "I doubt if there is such a thing as an atheist. At least there isn't in a front line trench."[23] On the other hand, the news organization MSNBC featured a story in which atheist veterans claimed that there are atheists in foxholes.[24]

Atheism and Communism

Karl Marx said "[Religion] is the opium of the people". Marx also stated: "Communism begins from the outset (Owen) with atheism; but atheism is at first far from being communism; indeed, that atheism is still mostly an abstraction."[25]

Vladimir Lenin similarly wrote regarding atheism and communism: "A Marxist must be a materialist, i. e., an enemy of religion, but a dialectical materialist, i. e., one who treats the struggle against religion not in an abstract way, not on the basis of remote, purely theoretical, never varying preaching, but in a concrete way, on the basis of the class struggle which is going on in practice and is educating the masses more and better than anything else could."[26]

The atheism in communist regimes has been and continues to be militant atheism and various acts of repression including the razing of thousands of religious buildings and the killing, imprisoning, and oppression of religious leaders and believers.[27][28][29][30][31][32][33] In the atheistic and communist Soviet Union, 44 anti religious museums were opened and the largest was the 'The Museum of the History of Religion and Atheism' in Leningrad’s Kazan cathedral.[34] Despite intense effort by the atheistic leaders of the Soviet Union, their efforts were not effective in converting the masses to atheism.[35][36]

China is a communist country. In 1999, the publication Christian Century reported that "China has persecuted religious believers by means of "harassment, prolonged detention, and incarceration in prison or `reform-through-labor' camps and police closure of places of worship."[31] In 2003, owners of Bibles in China were sent to prison camps and 125 Chinese churches were closed.[32] China continues to practice religious oppression today.[33] According to Asian Economic News, in 2004 the atheistic and communist government of China had an internal document which directed the Chinese media to promote atheism, instructed internet media to remove user comments that advocate alternative spiritual views, and called for a ban on publications that disseminate religious material out of step with Marxism or atheism.[37] The efforts of China's atheist leaders in promoting atheism, however, is increasingly losing its effectiveness and the number of Christians in China is explosively growing.[38][39]

North Korea is a repressive communist state and is officially atheistic.[40] The North Korean government practices brutal repression and atrocities against North Korean Christians.[29][30]

It has been estimated that in less than the past 100 years, governments under the banner of communism have caused the death of somewhere between 40,472,000 to 259,432,000 human lives.[41][42][43][44][45][46] Dr. R. J. Rummel, professor emeritus of political science at the University of Hawaii, is the scholar who first coined the term democide (death by government). Dr. R. J. Rummel's mid estimate regarding the loss of life due to communism is that communism caused the death of approximately 110,286,000 people between 1917 and 1987.[47] Richard Dawkins has attempted to engage in historical revisionism concerning atheist atrocities and Dawkins was shown to be in gross error.

The theory of evolution played a prominent role in regards to atheistic communism.[48][49] Communists, in particular Stalinists, favored a version of Lamarckism called Lysenkoism developed by the atheist Trofim Denisovich Lysenko.[50] Lysenko was made member of the Supreme Soviet and head of the Institute of Genetics of the Soviet Academy of Sciences.[51] Later Lysenko became President of the All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences.[51] Many geneticists were imprisoned and executed for their bourgeois science, and agricultural policies based on Lysenkoism that were adopted under Stalin and Mao caused famines and the death of millions.[50]

Dr. Carl Wieland, Managing Director of Creation Ministries International, published an article entitled The blood-stained ‘century of evolution’ which declared:

Communism also took evolution to its logical conclusion. If everything just evolved from ‘natural law,’ then man’s opinion, not God’s Word, determines what is right and wrong. If the working class can take power by armed struggle, then this is ‘right,’ regardless of how many must die to bring in the socialist paradise. Communism’s death toll far outranks the Nazis’—probably more than 90 million worldwide.3

Some have suggested that the bloodthirsty deeds of Stalin were an ‘aberration’ from the revolution’s ideals. However, it was Lenin, the ‘father’ of the Russian revolution, who ‘perfected the science of mass killings,’ and total, merciless brutality as the ultimate method of political control. Evolution was the chief tool used to brainwash communism’s masses into ‘scientific atheism.’ If everything just evolved, then everything is at the whim of the most powerful, and there is no Maker to whom to be answerable. Hence Stalin’s belief that killing millions of people was no worse than mowing your lawn (grass is our cousin in evolutionary doctrine).

Mao’s reign of terror and lies resulted in the deaths of tens of millions. It is no coincidence that his two favorite books were by the evolutionists Darwin and Huxley. With millions dying from his forced famine, his physician records that Mao said, ‘We have so many people we can afford to lose a few.’ His successors have since persecuted and killed hundreds of thousands more.[52]

Criticism of Atheism

Commonly Cited Arguments Against Atheism and For Theism

Anselm of Canterbury's version of the ontological argument appeared in his work Proslogium.

In relation to the debate between theism and atheism, theists often criticize atheism as being contrary to persuasive argument and have a number of arguments against atheism. Arguments for the existence of God include:

  • Teleological argument: The universe exhibits overwhelming evidence of deliberate, intelligent, purposeful design, which implies an intelligent designer
  • Cosmological argument: Every event in our universe necessarily has a cause. However, it is impossible that there should be an unending chain of causes going back. Therefore, there necessarily must be a cause distinct from the universe as we know it which is capable of causing all things and is itself uncaused. Atheism denies that that first cause is God.
  • Ontological argument: According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, "Ontological arguments are arguments, for the conclusion that God exists, from premises which are supposed to derive from some source other than observation of the world — e.g., from reason alone."[53]
  • Historical arguments for the existence of God. For example, arguments stemming from historical accounts such as Christian historical apologetics, Christian legal apologetics and archaeological evidence such as Bible archaeology;
  • Experiential arguments for the existence of God: Arguments based on personal experience and human intuition. According to philosopher Alvin Plantinga belief in the existence of God exists is a "properly basic" belief and not based on inference from other beliefs but is rationally justified due to one's circumstances of immediate experience of God.[54]
  • Presuppositional Apologetics
  • Christian apologists Peter Kreeft & Ronald K. Tacelli have published Twenty Arguments For The Existence Of God[55]
  • Bible scientific foreknowledge

Atheism and Mass Murder

Joseph Stalin's atheistic regime killed tens of millions of people.
See main article: Atheism and Mass Murder

Christian apologist Gregory Koukl wrote relative to atheism and mass murder that "the assertion is that religion has caused most of the killing and bloodshed in the world. There are people who make accusations and assertions that are empirically false. This is one of them."[56] Koukl details the number of people killed in various events involving theism and compares them to the much higher tens of millions of people killed under regimes which advocated atheism.[56] As noted earlier, Richard Dawkins has attempted to engage in historical revisionism concerning atheist atrocities and Dawkins was shown to be in gross error.

Koukl summarized by stating:

It is true that it's possible that religion can produce evil, and generally when we look closer at the detail it produces evil because the individual people are actually living in a rejection of the tenets of Christianity and a rejection of the God that they are supposed to be following. So it can produce it, but the historical fact is that outright rejection of God and institutionalizing of atheism actually does produce evil on incredible levels. We're talking about tens of millions of people as a result of the rejection of God.[56]

Nobel Prize winner Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was asked to account for the great tragedies that occurred under the brutal communist regime he and fellow citizens suffered under.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn stated the following in relation to atheism:

Over a half century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of old people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: "Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened.

Since then I have spend well-nigh 50 years working on the history of our revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: "Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened."[57]

Atheists in America and Charity

See main article: Atheism and Uncharitableness
According to a study by the Barna Group regarding charitable giving:"The typical no-faith American donated just $200 in 2006, which is more than seven times less than the amount contributed by the prototypical active-faith adult ($1500). Even when church-based giving is subtracted from the equation, active-faith adults donated twice as many dollars last year as did atheists and agnostics."[58]

Concerning the issue of atheism and uncharitableness, the evidence indicates that per capita charitable giving by atheists and agnostics in America is significantly less than by theists, according to a study by the Barna Group:

The typical no-faith American donated just $200 in 2006, which is more than seven times less than the amount contributed by the prototypical active-faith adult ($1500). Even when church-based giving is subtracted from the equation, active-faith adults donated twice as many dollars last year as did atheists and agnostics. In fact, while just 7% of active-faith adults failed to contribute any personal funds in 2006, that compares with 22% among the no-faith adults.[59]

Arthur C. Brooks wrote in Policy Review regarding data collected in the Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey (SCCBS) (data collected by in 2000 by researchers at universities throughout the United States and the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research):

The differences in charity between secular and religious people are dramatic. Religious people are 25 percentage points more likely than secularists to donate money (91 percent to 66 percent) and 23 points more likely to volunteer time (67 percent to 44 percent). And, consistent with the findings of other writers, these data show that practicing a religion is more important than the actual religion itself in predicting charitable behavior. For example, among those who attend worship services regularly, 92 percent of Protestants give charitably, compared with 91 percent of Catholics, 91 percent of Jews, and 89 percent from other religions.[60]

ABC News reported the following in respect to atheism:

...the single biggest predictor of whether someone will be charitable is their religious participation.

Religious people are more likely to give to charity, and when they give, they give more money: four times as much. And Arthur Brooks told me that giving goes beyond their own religious organization:

"Actually, the truth is that they're giving to more than their churches," he says. "The religious Americans are more likely to give to every kind of cause and charity, including explicitly non-religious charities."[61]

Given that atheistic evolutionary thinking has engendered social darwinism and given that the proponents of atheism have no rational basis for morality in their ideology, the immoral views that atheists often hold and the low per capita giving of American atheists is not unpredictable.

Atheism and Immoral Views

scientific foreknowledge in the bible
101 Scientific Facts and Foreknowledge is a creationist booklet that was given a favorable review by creation scientist Dr. Duane Gish.[62] The booklet focuses on the subject area of Bible scientific foreknowledge.
See main article: Atheism and Morality

The Barna Group found regarding atheism and morality that those who hold to the worldviews of atheism or agnosticism in America were more likely, than theists in America, to look upon the following behaviors as morally acceptable: illegal drug use; excessive drinking; sexual relationships outside of marriage; abortion; cohabitating with someone of opposite sex outside of marriage; obscene language; gambling; pornography and obscene sexual behavior; and engaging in homosexuality/bisexuality.[63] Given the many diseases associated with homosexuality, the Bible prohibition against homosexuality is quite arguably one of the many examples where the Bible exhibited knowledge that was ahead of its time. Although Western atheists generally subscribe to the evolutionary paradigm, there is a conflict between the evolutionary paradigm and Western atheists often having favorable views toward homosexuality. In 1993, Professor Miron Baron, M.D., the renowned medical researcher and Professor at Columbia University, wrote in BMJ (British Medical Journal) "...from an evolutionary perspective, genetically determined homosexuality would have become extinct long ago because of reduced reproduction."[64]

In 2007 the Baptist Press reported:

...a pollster at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, found that adults who profess a belief in God are significantly more likely than atheists to say that forgiveness, patience, generosity and a concern for others are "very important." In fact, the poll found that on 11 of 12 values, there was a double-digit gap between theists and atheists, with theists more likely to label each value "very important."

The survey by sociologist and pollster Reginald Bibby examined the beliefs of 1,600 Canadians, 82 percent who said they believed in "God or a higher power" and 18 percent who said they did not.[65]

Dr. William Lane Craig states the following concerning the comments of debater Dr. Kai Nielson who advocates atheism:

He doesn’t really defend his point there, but he says, "I have a reason why we should be moral." He says, "It’s in our self-interest to be moral." I was really surprised to hear that coming from him. That sort of purely self-interested motivation for morality is, I think, fatal to the atheistic position because for someone who is sufficiently powerful not to be worried about what others do, self-interest can only lead to a sort of self-aggrandizing hedonism. It leads to the kind of life of a Marcos, a Papa Doc Duvalier, a Mbbutu, and so forth. Self-interest will never be able to justify an ethic of compassion. And so I think that was a fatal admission on Dr. Nielsen’s part for the atheistic worldview.[66]
An essay by the Christian apologist Dr. James Spiegel describes Bertrand Russell as a "misogynistic and a serial adulterer; a chronic seducer of women, especially very young women, even in his old age."[67]

Dr. Phil Fernandes states the following regarding atheism and moral relativism:

Nietzsche preached that a group of "supermen" must arise with the courage to create their own values through their "will to power." Nietzsche rejected the "soft" values of Christianity (brotherly love, turning the other cheek, charity, compassion, etc.); he felt they hindered man's creativity and potential....

Many other atheists agree with Nietzsche concerning moral relativism. British philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) once wrote, "Outside human desires there is no moral standard." A. J. Ayer believed that moral commands did not result from any objective standard above man. Instead, Ayer stated that moral commands merely express one's subjective feelings. When one says that murder is wrong, one is merely saying that he or she feels that murder is wrong. Jean-Paul Sartre, a French existentialist, believed that there is no objective meaning to life. Therefore, according to Sartre, man must create his own values.

There are many different ways that moral relativists attempt to determine what action should be taken. Hedonism is probably the most extreme. It declares that whatever brings the most pleasure is right. In other words, if it feels good, do it. If this position is true, then there is no basis from which to judge the actions of Adolph Hitler as being evil.[68]

Evolutionist and atheist Richard Dawkins stated in an interview: “What’s to prevent us from saying Hitler wasn’t right? I mean, that is a genuinely difficult question."[69] The interviewer wrote, regarding the Hitler comment, "I was stupefied. He had readily conceded that his own philosophical position did not offer a rational basis for moral judgments. His intellectual honesty was refreshing, if somewhat disturbing on this point."[70]

An essay by the Christian apologist Dr. James Spiegel examines the morality of some well known atheists. Dr. Speigel describes Bertrand Russell as a "misogynistic and a serial adulterer; a chronic seducer of women, especially very young women, even in his old age."[71] Spiegel refers to the atheist Karl Marx as a "fiercely anti-semitic; egocentric, slothful, and lecherous; exploitive of friends and unfaithful to his wife; sired an illegitimate son, whom he refused to acknowledge."[72] In addition, Spiegel describes atheist Ernest Hemingway, who committed suicide (please see: atheism and suicide), as "a pathological liar; also a misogynistic womanizer and self destructive alcoholic.[73] Lastly, Spiegel refers to atheist Jean-Paul Sartre in the following manner: "in his old age Jean-Paul Sartre—notorious for his sexual escapades with female students, often procured by his colleague and lover Simone de Beauvoir."[74]

Given that atheistic evolutionary thinking has engendered social darwinism and given that the proponents of atheism have no rational basis for morality in their ideology, the immoral views that atheists often hold and the low per capita giving of American atheists is not unpredictable.

Atheism and Miracles

See main article: Atheism and Miracles

In relation to atheism and miracles, modern scholars are divided on the issue of whether or not David Hume was an atheist.[75] With that caveat in mind, Hume is well known for arguing that it is always more probable that the testimony of a miracle is false than that the miracle occurred.[76] Christian apologists William Lane Craig, Norman Geisler, C.S. Lewis, JP Holding, and others have shown the inadequacy and unreasonableness of Hume's position regarding miracles.[76][77][78][79][80][81][82]

Atheism and Questions of Origins

See main article: Atheism and Evolution

Creationist scientists state that the first law of thermodynamics and the second law of thermodynamics argue against an eternal universe or a universe created by natural processes and argue for a universe created by God.[83][84][85] A majority of the most prominent and vocal defenders of the evolutionary position which employs methodological naturalism since World War II have had the worldview of atheism.[86][87] Creation scientists assert that the theory of evolution is an inadequate explanation for the variety of life forms on earth.[88] In addition, the current naturalistic explanations for the origin of life are inadequate. The theory of evolution has had a number of negative social effects.

Atheism and Mental and Physical Health

The prestigious Mayo Clinic found that that religious involvement and spirituality are associated with better physical health, mental health, health-related quality of life, and other health outcomes.
See main article: Atheism and Mental and Physical Health

The is considerable amount of scientific evidence that suggest that theism is more conducive to mental and physical health than atheism.[89] The prestigious Mayo Clinic reported the following on December 11, 2001:

In an article also published in this issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Mayo Clinic researchers reviewed published studies, meta-analyses, systematic reviews and subject reviews that examined the association between religious involvement and spirituality and physical health, mental health, health-related quality of life and other health outcomes.

The authors report a majority of the nearly 350 studies of physical health and 850 studies of mental health that have used religious and spiritual variables have found that religious involvement and spirituality are associated with better health outcomes.[90]

In regards to data that relates to mental health and atheism, in December of 2003, the University of Warwick reported the following:

Dr. Stephen Joseph, from the University of Warwick, said: "Religious people seem to have a greater purpose in life, which is why they are happier. Looking at the research evidence, it seems that those who celebrate the Christian meaning of Christmas are on the whole likely to be happier.[91]
Currently, there is an ongoing debate on whether atheism was a causal factor for Friedrich Nietzsche's insanity or whether it was caused purely through disease.

Duke University has established the Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health.[92] The Duke University Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health is based in the Center for Aging at Duke and gives opportunities for scholarly trans-disciplinary conversation and the development of collaborative research projects.[93] In respect to the atheism and mental and physical health, the center offers many studies which suggest that theism is more beneficial than atheism.[94]

The Christian group Teen Challenge reported the following:

Teen Challenge claims of a 70% cure rate for the drug addicts graduating from their program attracted the attention of the U.S. Federal Government in 1973. Most secular drug rehabilitation programs only experienced a cure rate of 1-15% of their graduates. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, funded the first year of this study to evaluate the long term results of the Teen Challenge program.[95]

Teen Challenge has a number of studies that indicate the high effectiveness of their drug treatment program compared to other programs.[96]

Currently, there is an ongoing debate regarding whether atheism was a causal factor for Friedrich Nietzsche's insanity or whether it was caused strictly by disease.[97][98][99][100][101][102][103] An article published on the Hong Kong Baptist University website offers the following regarding the cause of Friedrich Nietzsche's insanity:

Trying to explain what caused his insanity can only be a matter of speculation. Some people believe it was the result of a physical illness. Others interpret his suffering as that of a true prophet, almost as if he were accepting the punishment on behalf of those who could not see mankind's tendency towards self-destruction so clearly. Still others regard his final fate as a natural outcome of his philosophical outlook.[99]

The Russian-born psychoanalyst and writer Lou Andreas-Salomé, who had a brief and tempestuous affair with Nietzsche, believed that Nietzsche's philosophy can be viewed as a reflection of his psychology and that his madness was the result of his philosophizing.[104] In addition, the French historian René Girard asserted that Nietzsche's philosophy led to his insanity.[105]

Atheism and Suicide

See main article: Atheism and suicide

Although there are recent studies relating to atheism being a causal factor for suicide for some individuals, an early proponent of atheism being a causal factor for suicide was the Reverend Dr. Robert S. MacArthur.[106][107][108] In 1894, the NY Times stated the following in relation to atheism and suicide:

Dr. Martin urged that a great cause of suicide was atheism. It was, he said, a remarkable fact that where atheism prevailed most, there suicides were most numerous. In Paris, a recent census showed one suicide to every 2,700 of the population. After the publication of Paine's "Age of Reason" suicides increased.[108]
Pitzer College sociologist Phil Zuckerman stated concerning suicide rates: "this is the one indicator of societal health in which religious nations fare much better than secular nations."

The same NY Times article quotes the Reverend Dr. MacArthur describing suicide in the following manner:

It is mean and not manly; it is dastardly and not daring. A man who involves his innocent wife and children in financial disaster and disgrace and takes his life and leaves them to bear the burden he was unwilling to bear, is a coward.[108]

In 2004, the American Journal of Psychiatry reported the following:

Religiously unaffiliated subjects had significantly more lifetime suicide attempts and more first-degree relatives who committed suicide than subjects who endorsed a religious affiliation. Unaffiliated subjects were younger, less often married, less often had children, and had less contact with family members. Furthermore, subjects with no religious affiliation perceived fewer reasons for living, particularly fewer moral objections to suicide. In terms of clinical characteristics, religiously unaffiliated subjects had more lifetime impulsivity, aggression, and past substance use disorder. No differences in the level of subjective and objective depression, hopelessness, or stressful life events were found.[109]

The website Adherents.com reported the following in respect to atheism and suicide:

Pitzer College sociologist Phil Zuckerman compiled country-by-country survey, polling and census numbers relating to atheism, agnosticism, disbelief in God and people who state they are non-religious or have no religious preference. These data were published in the chapter titled "Atheism: Contemporary Rates and Patterns" in The Cambridge Companion to Atheism, ed. by Michael Martin, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, UK (2005). In examining various indicators of societal health, Zuckerman concludes about suicide:

"Concerning suicide rates, this is the one indicator of societal health in which religious nations fare much better than secular nations. According to the 2003 World Health Organization's report on international male suicides rates (which compared 100 countries), of the top ten nations with the highest male suicide rates, all but one (Sri Lanka) are strongly irreligious nations with high levels of atheism. It is interesting to note, however, that of the top remaining nine nations leading the world in male suicide rates, all are former Soviet/Communist nations, such as Belarus, Ukraine, and Latvia. Of the bottom ten nations with the lowest male suicide rates, all are highly religious nations with statistically insignificant levels of organic atheism."[110]

Australian online opinion writer and lecturer in ethics and philosophy at several Melbourne theological colleges, Bill Muehlenberg, in his essay The Unbearable Heaviness of Being (In a World Without God) states the following:

Announcing, and believing, that God is dead has consequences. And it is we who suffer the most for it. We cannot bear the whole universe on our shoulders. We were not meant to. We must let God be God. Only then can men be men. Only then can we find the way forward to be possible, and the burdens not insurmountable.[111]

Sigmund Freud's View of Religion

Sigmund Freud in his laboratory

Psychologist Sigmund Freud was a proponent of atheism who argued that theism was detrimental to mental health.[112] Oxford Professor Alister McGrath, author of the book The Twilight of Atheism, stated the following regarding Freud:

One of the most important criticisms that Sigmund Freud directed against religion was that it encourages unhealthy and dysfunctional outlooks on life. Having dismissed religion as an illusion, Freud went on to argue that it is a negative factor in personal development. At times, Freud's influence has been such that the elimination of a person's religious beliefs has been seen as a precondition for mental health.

Freud is now a fallen idol, the fall having been all the heavier for its postponement. There is now growing awareness of the importance of spirituality in health care, both as a positive factor in relation to well-being and as an issue to which patients have a right. The "Spirituality and Healing in Medicine" conference sponsored by Harvard Medical School in 1998 brought reports that 86 percent of Americans as a whole, 99 percent of family physicians, and 94 percent of HMO professionals believe that prayer, meditation, and other spiritual and religious practices exercise a major positive role within the healing process.[112]

Freud remains popular among postmodern literary academics, who use his anti-Christian pseudoscience as a basis for their own anti-Christianity and moral relativism, even though his theories were disproved decades ago.

Atheism and Deception

For more information please see: Atheism and deception

As alluded to earlier, prior to Charles Darwin publishing his evolutionist work On The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life, Darwin wrote in his private notebooks that he was a materialist, which is a type of atheist.[113] Charles Darwin’s casual mentioning of a ‘creator’ in earlier editions of The Origin of Species appears to have been a merely a deceitful ploy to downplay the implications of his materialistic theory. [113]

German scientist Ernst Haeckel was a very influential proponent of the evolutionary position and Haeckel was an advocate of atheism.[114] Ernst Haeckel attempted to portray himself as an ethical proponent of atheism, however, history shows he was a deceitful individual.[115][114][116] [117][118] The March 9, 1907 edition of the NY Times refers to Ernst Haeckel as the "celebrated Darwinian and founder of the Association for the Propagation of Ethical Atheism."[114]

Noted evolutionist Stephen Gould wrote the following regarding Ernst Haeckel's work in a March 2000 issue of Natural History:

"Haeckel’s forceful, eminently comprehensible, if not always accurate, books appeared in all major languages and surely exerted more influence than the works of any other scientist, including Darwin…in convincing people throughout the world about the validity of evolution... Haeckel had exaggerated the similarities [between embryos of different species] by idealizations and omissions. He also, in some cases — in a procedure that can only be called fraudulent — simply copied the same figure over and over again.…Haeckel’s drawings never fooled expert embryologists, who recognized his fudgings right from the start. Haeckel’s drawings, despite their noted inaccuracies, entered into the most impenetrable and permanent of all quasi-scientific literatures: standard student textbooks of biology... Once ensconced in textbooks, misinformation becomes cocooned and effectively permanent, because…textbooks copy from previous texts.... [W]e do, I think, have the right to be both astonished and ashamed by the century of mindless recycling that has led to the persistence of these drawings in a large number, if not a majority, of modern textbooks!"[119]

Stephen Gould continues by quoting Michael Richardson of the St. George’s Hospital Medical School in London, who stated: "I know of at least fifty recent biology texts which use the drawings uncritically".[119]

Intelligent design theorist Michael Behe exposed the fraudulent nature of Haeckel's embryos in a NY Times article.[117] It appears as if Stephen Gould was irritated that the fraud was exposed in manner that publicly embarrassed the evolutionary community - namely though a high profile NY Times article.[117]

In addition, many of the ideas that Haeckel supported had a number of negative social effects.

Modern Proponents of Atheism and Deception

As mentioned previously, a majority of the most prominent and vocal defenders of the evolutionary position which employs methodological naturalism since World War II have had the worldview of atheism.[120][121] The continued use of deceitfulness has continued by modern evolutionists. In recent times, evolutionists have tried to convince the public of the supposed validity of the evolutionary position by frequently using the term "overwhelming evidence" or similar terms in relation to the alleged existence of evidence that supports their position.[122] For example, Richard Dawkins, a prominent advocate of atheism and the evolutionary position, claimed in an interview with journalist Bill Moyers that there is "massive evidence" for the theory of evolution.[123] However, the scientific literature certainly contains material which illustrates the deceitfulness of stating there is "overwhelming evidence" to support the evolutionary position which is a commonly cited aspect of Western world atheism. For example, in January 2000 scientist Simon Conway Morris stated the following:

When discussing organic evolution the only point of agreement seems to be: "It happened." Thereafter, there is little consensus, which at first sight must seem rather odd. -(Simon Conway Morris, [palaeontologist, Department of Earth Sciences, Cambridge University, UK], "Evolution: Bringing Molecules into the Fold," Cell, Vol. 100, pp.1-11, January 7, 2000, p.11)[124]

Dr. Jonathan Sarfati states the following in relation to the diluted definition of the word "evolution":

...many evolutionary propagandists are guilty of the deceitful practice of equivocation, that is, switching the meaning of a single word (evolution) part way through an argument. A common tactic, ‘bait-and-switch,’ is simply to produce examples of change over time, call this ‘evolution,’ then imply that the GTE [General Theory of Evolution] is thereby proven or even essential, and creation disproved. The PBS Evolution series and the Scientific American article are full of examples of this fallacy.[125]

Evolutionary Position Gradually Losing Public Support

There is evidence to suggest that the evolutionary position is gradually losing public support in the United States.[126] The prestigious science journal Science reported the following in 2006: "The percentage of people in the country who accept the idea of evolution has declined from 45 in 1985 to 40 in 2005. Meanwhile the fraction of Americans unsure about evolution has soared from 7 per cent in 1985 to 21 per cent last year.[126] In January 2006, the BBC reported the following in respect to Britain:

Just under half of Britons accept the theory of evolution as the best description for the development of life, according to an opinion poll.

Furthermore, more than 40% of those questioned believe that creationism or intelligent design (ID) should be taught in school science lessons.[127]

The Wall Street Journal reported: "A comprehensive new study released by Baylor University yesterday, shows that traditional Christian religion greatly decreases belief in everything from the efficacy of palm readers to the usefulness of astrology. It also shows that the irreligious and the members of more liberal Protestant denominations, far from being resistant to superstition, tend to be much more likely to believe in the paranormal and in pseudoscience than evangelical Christians."[128]

Irreligion and Superstition

See also: Theory of Evolution, Liberalism, Atheism, and Irrationality

In September of 2008, the Wall Street Journal reported:

The reality is that the New Atheist campaign, by discouraging religion, won't create a new group of intelligent, skeptical, enlightened beings. Far from it: It might actually encourage new levels of mass superstition. And that's not a conclusion to take on faith -- it's what the empirical data tell us.

"What Americans Really Believe," a comprehensive new study released by Baylor University yesterday, shows that traditional Christian religion greatly decreases belief in everything from the efficacy of palm readers to the usefulness of astrology. It also shows that the irreligious and the members of more liberal Protestant denominations, far from being resistant to superstition, tend to be much more likely to believe in the paranormal and in pseudoscience than evangelical Christians....

This is not a new finding. In his 1983 book "The Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener," skeptic and science writer Martin Gardner cited the decline of traditional religious belief among the better educated as one of the causes for an increase in pseudoscience, cults and superstition. He referenced a 1980 study published in the magazine Skeptical Inquirer that showed irreligious college students to be by far the most likely to embrace paranormal beliefs, while born-again Christian college students were the least likely.[129]

Intellectuals Increasingly Rejecting Atheistic Ideology

According to Munich theologian Wolfhart Pannenberg "Atheism as a theoretical position is in decline worldwide."[130] Given that the evolutionary position is a often cited component of the ideology of atheism in the Western world, the gradual loss of public support of the evolutionary position is one of the many factors which are eroding the ideology of atheism. Oxford scholar Alister McGrath cites a number of additional factors in regards to the decline of atheism as an intellectual position.[131] [132]

Given the many factors which are eroding atheistic ideology McGrath states:

...Atheism is in trouble. Its future seems increasingly to lie in the private beliefs of individuals rather than in the great public domain it once regarded as its natural habitat.[133]
True Free Thinker is a Christian apologetics website which offers many refutations of atheism.

Anti-Atheism Websites

Two of the more notable anti-atheism websites are: True Free Thinker and Atheism Analyzed.

Liberal Media - Apostles of Atheism

The Media Research Center released a study in 2008 reporting pro-atheism bias by major press outlets in the United States.[134] The study is not surprising given the liberal bias that commonly exists in the major media outlets.

Richard Dawkins, pseudoscience, and other errors

For more information please see: Richard Dawkins and pseudoscience and Richard Dawkins, atheist atrocities, and historical revisionism

Within the evolutionary science community and the creation science community, Richard Dawkins has faced charges of engaging in pseudoscience and also has faced charges of committing elementary errors.[135][136]

Within the evolutionary science community and the creation science community, Richard Dawkins has faced charges of engaging in pseudoscience and also has faced charges of committing elementary errors.[137][138]

The website True Free Thinker notes:

Moreover, note that with regards to “assertions without adequate evidence” evolutionary biologist and geneticist, Prof. Richard Lewontin, referenced Carl Sagan’s list of the “best contemporary science-popularizers” which includes Richard Dawkins. These authors have, as Lewontin puts it, “put unsubstantiated assertions or counterfactual claims at the very center of the stories they have retailed in the market.” Lewontin specifically mentions “Dawkins’s vulgarizations of Darwinism” (find details here and here).

Even renowned evolutionary biologists H. Allen Orr, David Sloan Wilson, and Massimo Pigliucci have called into question the power that Dawkins once had as an intellectual, since he has made elementary errors in The God Delusion.[139]

In 2010, a new discovery regarding the eye further discredited the evolutionary quackery of Richard Dawkins.[140] In addition, in 2010, the journal Nature featured an interview with the evolutionist, biologist, and atheist David Sloan Wilson who criticized Richard Dawkins for denying the evidence for the societal benefits of religion.[141][142]

Also, as mentioned previously, Richard Dawkins has been rightfully charged with engaging in historical revisionism concerning atrocities committed by members of the atheist community.

Reasonable Explanations for Atheism

See main article: Causes of atheism

There are a number of reasonable explanations for atheism:

  • Moral depravity: The history of the atheist community and various studies regarding the atheist community point to moral depravity being a causal factor for atheism.[143][144][145][146][147] In addition, there is the historical matter of deceit being used in a major way to propagate atheism from the time of Charles Darwin onward. Francis Thompson wrote: "Maybe the atheist cannot find God for the same reason a thief cannot find a policeman." (see also: Atheism and morality ). The Bible asserts that "The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God.' They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good." (Psalms 14:1 (KJV)). The biblical fool is said to be lacking in sound judgment and the biblical fool is also associated with moral depravity. For example, the biblical book of Proverbs states: "A wise man is cautious and turns away from evil, But a fool is arrogant and careless. A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, And a man of evil devices is hated. The naive inherit foolishness, But the sensible are crowned with knowledge."(Proverbs 14:16-18 (NASB)). The book of Proverbs also has strong words regarding the depravity of biblical fools: "The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul: but [it is] abomination to fools to depart from evil." (Proverbs 13:9 (KJV)). Regarding the deceitfulness of fools Proverbs states: "The wisdom of the sensible is to understand his way, But the foolishness of fools is deceit." (Proverbs 14:8 (KJV)). Noted Bible commentator and clergyman Matthew Henry wrote regarding atheism: "A man that is endued with the powers of reason, by which he is capable of knowing, serving, glorifying, and enjoying his Maker, and yet lives without God in the world, is certainly the most despicable and the most miserable animal under the sun."[148]
Noted ex-atheist and psychologist Dr. Paul Vitz
  • Atheistic upbringing. However, according to recent research by the Pew Forum 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.[149][150] In addition, as noted earlier, Christianity is experiencing rapid growth in atheistic Communist China and has experienced rapid growth in former Communist countries. [151][152][153]
  • Rebellion: Atheism stems from a deliberate choice to ignore the reality of God's existence[154] Dinesh D'Souza declared: "Look at Satan's reason for rebelling against God. It's not that he doesn't recognize that God is greater than he is. He does. It's just that he doesn't want to play by anybody else's rules. This idea that it is better to reign in hell than to serve in heaven is Satan's motto, and it turns out that this is also the motto of contemporary atheists such as Christopher Hitchens." [155]
  • Naiveté/Gullibility: Many atheists have embraced a number of far fetched, unworkable, and errant notions and ideologies such as communism, abiogenesis, and evolution despite abundant evidence of their falsity.
  • Irrational thinking: As noted earlier, a comprehensive study by Baylor University found that the irreligious and the members of more liberal Protestant denominations, tend to be much more likely to believe in the paranormal and in pseudoscience than evangelical Christians.[156] Also, as noted above, a 1980 study published in the magazine Skeptical Inquirer found irreligious college students to be by far the most likely to embrace paranormal beliefs, while born again Christian college students were found to be the least likely.[157]
  • Superficiality: Noted ex-atheist and psychologist Dr. Paul Vitz has stated that he had superficial reasons for becoming an atheist such as the desire to be accepted by his Stanford University professors who were united in disbelief regarding God.[158]
  • Error: Some argue that atheism partly stems from a failure to fairly and judiciously consider the facts[159]
  • State churches: Rates of atheism are much higher in countries with a state sanctioned religion (such as many European countries), and lower in states without a sanctioned religion (such as the United States). Some argue this is because state churches become bloated, corrupt, and/or out of touch with the religious intuitions of the population, while churches independent of the state are leaner and more adaptable. It is important to distinguish "state-sanctioned churches," where participation is voluntary, from "state-mandated churches" (such as Saudi Arabia) with much lower atheism rates because publicly admitted atheism is punishable by death.[160]
  • Self-deception[161]
  • Satanic deception [162] (see also: Atheism and satanic deception )
  • Poor relationship with father: Some argue that a troubled/non-existent relationship with a father may influence one towards holding the position of atheism.[163] Dr. Paul Vitz wrote a book entitled Faith of the Fatherless in which he points out that after studying the lives of more than a dozen leading atheists he found that a large majority of them had a father who was present but weak, present but abusive, or absent.[158][164] Dr. Vitz also examined the lives of prominent theists who were contemporaneous to their atheist counterparts and from the same culture and in every instance these prominent theists had a good relationship with his father.[158] Dr. Vitz has also stated other common factors he observed in the leading atheists he profiled: they were all intelligent and arrogant.[158]
  • Division in religion: According to Francis Bacon, atheism is caused by "divisions in religion, if they be many; for any one main division addeth zeal to both sides, but many divisions introduce atheism."[165]
  • Learned times, peace, and prosperity: Francis Bacon argued that atheism was partly caused by "Learned times, specially with peace and prosperity; for troubles and adversities do more bow men’s minds to religion."[165] In addition, Jewish columnist Dennis Prager has stated that a causal factor of atheism is the "secular indoctrination of a generation."[166] Prager stated that "From elementary school through graduate school, only one way of looking at the world – the secular – is presented. The typical individual in the Western world receives as secular an indoctrination as the typical European received a religious one in the Middle Ages." [167] In addition, in communist countries (such as the former Soviet Union) atheistic indoctrination occurred in the educational system through such venues as schools, atheist museums, and clubs.[168][169] Atheists and secularists rarely point out that universities such as Harvard, Princeton, Oxford, Cambridge, and many others were founded by Christians.[170][171]
  • Negative experiences with theists
  • Scientism: Science has in many ways become a new god.[172]

Atheism and the Existence of Evil

Dr. Ron Rhodes
See main article: Atheism and the Problem of Evil and Atheism and satanic deception

Those who advocate atheism commonly state that the existence of evil is a problem for theism which holds to a good and powerful God.[173] Theodicy is the branch of study in theology and philosophy that defends the goodness of God despite the existence of evil.[174] In traditional Christianity and Judaism the book of Job is used to explain the existence of evil.[175] In recent times Christian apologists often cite Alvin Plantinga's free will defense when it comes to the subject of the existence of evil.[176][177] The work of St. Augustine is also cited in respect to theodicy.[178] Dr. Ron Rhodes of Reasoning from the Scriptures Ministry states regarding this issue regarding the existence of evil in relation to atheism:

...it is impossible to distinguish evil from good unless one has an infinite reference point which is absolutely good. Otherwise one is like a boat at sea on a cloudy night without a compass (i.e., there would be no way to distinguish north from south without the absolute reference point of the compass needle).

The infinite reference point for distinguishing good from evil can only be found in the person of God, for God alone can exhaust the definition of "absolutely good." If God does not exist, then there are no moral absolutes by which one has the right to judge something (or someone) as being evil. More specifically, if God does not exist, there is no ultimate basis to judge the crimes of Hitler. Seen in this light, the reality of evil actually requires the existence of God, rather than disproving it.[179]

Atheism and the Foundation of Modern Science

In his essay Of Atheism Sir Francis Bacon wrote: "I had rather believe all the fables in the Legend, and the Talmud, and the Alcoran, than that this universal frame is without a mind."

The birth of modern science occurred in Christianized Europe.[180] Sociologist Rodney Stark investigated the individuals who made the most significant scientific contributions between 1543 and 1680 A.D., the time of the Scientific Revolution. In Stark's list of 52 top scientific contributors,[181] only one (Edmund Halley) was a skeptic and another (Paracelsus) was a pantheist. The other 50 were Christians, 30 of whom could be characterized as being devout Christians.[181] Sir Francis Bacon, sometimes referred to as "the Father of Modern Science", wrote in his essay entitled Of Atheism the following: "I had rather believe all the fables in the Legend, and the Talmud, and the Alcoran, than that this universal frame is without a mind."[182]

‎In False conflict: Christianity is not only compatible with Science--it created it Stark writes in relation to atheism the following:

Recent historical research has debunked the idea of a "Dark Ages" after the "fall" of Rome. In fact, this was an era of profound and rapid technological progress, by the end of which Europe had surpassed the rest of the world. Moreover, the so-called "Scientific Revolution" of the sixteenth century was a result of developments begun by religious scholars starting in the eleventh century. In my own academic research I have asked why these religious scholastics were interested in science at all. Why did science develop in Europe at this time? Why did it not develop anywhere else? I find answers to those questions in unique features of Christian theology.

Even in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the leading scientific figures were overwhelmingly devout Christians who believed it their duty to comprehend God's handiwork. My studies show that the "Enlightenment" was conceived initially as a propaganda ploy by militant atheists attempting to claim credit for the rise of science. The falsehood that science required the defeat of religion was proclaimed by self-appointed cheerleaders like Voltaire, Diderot, and Gibbon, who themselves played no part in the scientific enterprise......[183]

Dr. Charles Thaxton states in relation to atheism the following:

P. E. Hodgson in reviewing Stanley Jaki's Science and Creation said: "Although we seldom recognize it, scientific research requires certain basic beliefs about the order and rationality of matter, and its accessibility to the human mind . . . they came to us in their full force through the Judeo-Christian belief in an omnipotent God, creator and sustainer of all things. In such a world view it becomes sensible to try and understand the world, and this is the fundamental reason science developed as it did in the Middle Ages in Christian Europe, culminating in the brilliant achievements of the seventeenth century."[184]

Bertrand Russell and Christianity

The evidence points to Bertrand Russell being a "weak atheist" or an agnostic (Bertrand Russell wrote an essay entitled Am I An Atheist Or An Agnostic?).[185] In 1927, Bertrand Russell wrote an irrational essay entitled "Why I am not a Christian" which was based on a lecture Russell gave the same year.[186][187] Below are some works by Christian apologists which show the inconsistencies and logical fallacies of Bertrand Russell's essay:

It is also noteworthy that Russell was widely infamous for his immoral behavior and public promotion of promiscuity and sexual sin.

Atheism and Debate

See main article: Atheism and Debate

Below are some examples which demonstrate unreasonableness in atheist debaters.

Doug Jesseph

In October of 1997, atheist Jeffery Jay Lowder, a founder of Internet Infidels, stated that he believed that in regards to atheism "the most impressive debater to date" was Doug Jesseph.[188] Yet Doug Jesseph claimed in a debate with William Lane Craig in 1996 that the origin of life had a detailed atheistic explanation(s).[189] In 1996, John Horgan wrote the following regarding what the highly respected origin of life researcher Stanley Miller believed to the case regarding naturalistic explanations of the origin of life: "Miller seemed unimpressed with any of the current proposals on the origin of life, referring to them as “nonsense” or “paper chemistry.”"[190] In addition, in 1996, John Horgan wrote the following in Scientific American: "The origin of life is a science writer's dream. It abounds with exotic scientists and exotic theories, which are never entirely abandoned or accepted, but merely go in and out of fashion."[191]

Gordon Stein

Dr. Greg Bahnsen became known as the man atheists fear most due to Michael Martin's cancellation of their scheduled debate.

In 1985, Christian apologist Dr. Greg Bahnsen and prominent proponent of atheism Gordon Stein had a debate at the University of California, Irvine regarding the positions of atheism and theism. John Frame wrote regarding the debate in which Dr. Bahnsen used the transcendental argument for the existence of God that "In the end, Stein walked and talked like a broken man."[192] The Greg Bahnsen-Gordon Stein debate was recorded and transcribed and was dubbed "The Great Debate".[193]

Greg Bahnsen and Michael Martin

Dr. Greg Bahnsen became known as the "man atheists fear most".[194] This is because Harvard-educated Dr. Michael Martin was scheduled to debate Bahnsen but pulled out of the debate at the "eleventh hour" according to a press release at the time. The press release at the time said that Dr. Martin offered ruses on why he pulled out and didn't want the scheduled debate recorded but the real reason was that "...Michael Martin is afraid that he will be publicly humiliated just as his friend and fellow atheist, Dr. Gordon Stein, was...".

Martin later released his transcendental argument for the non-existence of God (TANG) in 1996 which was rebutted by Christian apologists.[195]

Creation Scientists tend to win creation-evolution debates

See also: Atheism and Debate and Creation vs. Evolution Videos

Richard Dawkins stumped
The video From a Frog to a Prince, produced by Creation Ministries International, features Richard Dawkins being stumped by the question of a creationist.[196] The interviewer asked Dawkins for an example of genetic information arising from a mutation.[197] A shortened version of the video has been translated into 10 languages.[198]

As noted earlier, a majority of the most prominent and vocal defenders of the naturalistic evolutionary position since World War II have been holders of the world view of atheism.[199][200] Creation scientists tend to win the Creation-Evolution debates and many debates have been held since the 1970's (particularly in the United States). Generally speaking, leading evolutionists generally no longer debate creation scientists.[201] In an article entitled Are Kansas Evolutionists Afraid of a Fair Debate? the Discovery Institute states the following:

Defenders of Darwin's theory of evolution typically proclaim that evidence for their theory is simply overwhelming. If they really believe that, you would think they would jump at a chance to publicly explain some of that overwhelming evidence to the public. Apparently not.[202]

In 1994, the arch-evolutionist Dr. Eugenie Scott made this confession concerning creation vs. evolution debates:

During the last six or eight months, I have received more calls about debates between creationists and evolutionists than I have encountered for a couple of years, it seems. I do not know what has inspired this latest outbreak, but I am not sure it is doing much to improve science education.

Why do I say this? Sure, there are examples of "good" debates where a well-prepared evolution supporter got the best of a creationist, but I can tell you after many years in this business that they are few and far between. Most of the time a well-meaning evolutionist accepts a debate challenge (usually "to defend good science" or for some other worthy goal), reads a bunch of creationist literature, makes up a lecture explaining Darwinian gradualism, and can't figure out why at the end of the debate so many individuals are clustered around his opponent, congratulating him on having done such a good job of routing evolution -- and why his friends are too busy to go out for a beer after the debate.[203]

Various ruses of Richard Dawkins concerning his alleged refusal to debate creationists

Richard Dawkins has a number of ruses concerning his alleged refusal to debate creationists. Evolutionists inconsistency concerning debating creationists was commented on by the Christian apologetic website True Free Thinker which declared: "Interestingly enough, having noted that since some atheists refuse to debate “creationists” but then go on to debate some of those people but not others, it is clear that they are, in reality, being selective and making excuses for absconding from difficulties..."[204]

2009 origin of life debate

For more information please see: Origin of life and Atheism and Debate

In 2009, intelligent design proponents Dr. Stephen Meyer and Dr. Richard Sternberg debated atheist Dr. Michael Shermer and Dr. Donald Prothero concerning on the topic of the origin of life.[205] The Discovery Institute declared concerning the debate:

To call the debate a massacre would be a discredit to Sitting Bull. The only thing I can say is that Shermer needs to add a point to his booklet on how to debate "creationists" — namely, leave Donald Prothero at home in his van by the river...

Some of the best points came later in the debate, when Sternberg slammed Prothero with factual put down after factual put down, citing the current literature time and again. His command of the subject matter — from population genetics to junk DNA — was so far and above beyond Shermer and Prothero's knowledge, so far above their pay grade, that it was almost painful to watch him school them point after point. As I said before, shortly you'll be able to watch the debate for yourself. But be warned, it isn't pretty.[206]

An audio copy of the debate has been made available to the public.[207] In addition, the debate is available at YouTube.[208]

Richard Dawkins and Recent Debates

Atheist Richard Dawkins Lost a Debate to a Rabbi and then Claimed Debate Never Took Place

For more information please see: Richard Dawkins and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach was named the London Times Preacher of the Year 2000 and is the author of 20 books.[209] Recently Rabbi Schuley Boteach reported that college student audience voted that he won a debate between himself and Dawkins and then Richard Dawkins claimed the debate never took place. (the debate later turned out to be video taped). [210][211]

A video of the debate that Dawkins lost to Rabbi Shmuley Boteach is available at Rabbi Schely Boteach's website.[212]

Refusal of Richard Dawkins to Debate Christian apologist Dinesh D'Souza

For more information please see: Richard Dawkins and Dinesh D'Souza

Christian author Dinesh D'Souza wrote that the recent refusals of Richard Dawkins to debate him and other knowledgeable Christian apologists was bizarre.[213][214][215] Dinesh D'Souza also accused Dawkins of chasing down weak opponents to debate him in situations where Dawkins controls the editing. [216][217][218]

Dr. Jamie Glazov wrote concerning the refusal of Richard Dawkins to debate Dinesh D'Souza:

As many readers can attest, D’Souza has debated Daniel Dennett, Christopher Hitchens, Peter Singer, Michael Shermer, Dan Barker, and other well-known atheists. He intellectually cut those guys to pieces. Harris and Dawkins are just afraid to meet D’Souza. D’Souza writes: “And my challenges to Dawkins to step into the arena have only met with pathetic rationalization: ‘Richard is simply too busy and smart to debate you Dinesh.’ Busy doing what besides being caught with his pants down by Ben Stein? And I guess he's smart because he doesn't want to risk further embarrassing himself and destroying his public reputation. Won't it be hilarious if the ‘party of faith’ is unafraid of opposing arguments while the ‘party of reason’ cannot withstand the arguments of its critics? This is what Henry James might describe as a most interesting turning of the screw.”[219]

Christian apologist Dr. William Lane Craig is Reported to Have Called Dawkins a Coward

See also: Richard Dawkins and William Lane Craig

Dr. William Lane Craig is one of Christianity's leading defenders and many individuals over the years have attempted to arrange a debate between Dr. Craig and Richard Dawkins. Richard Dawkins has offered various ruses on why he will not debate William Lane Craig, which Dr. Craig supporters have shown were inconsistent and merely a dodge to avoid debating one of Christianity's strongest advocates.[220][221]

Christian apologist Dr. Victor Reppert reported that Dr. William Lane Craig told him in a private email that Richard Dawkins is a coward for refusing to debate him.[222] Currently, there is a petition requesting Richard Dawkins to debate Christian apologist William Lane Craig.[223][224]

Notable Atheists Who Became Ex-Atheists

Ex-atheist Lee Strobel

In respect to ex-atheists, there have been some notable incidences of atheists rejecting their faith and converting to Christianity, or at least to the acknowledgment of the possibility of God.

  • Lee Strobel converted from atheism to Christianity and then became a Christian apologist.[225] Before investigating the claims of Christianity Strobel had obtained a undergraduate degree in journalism and also obtained a law degree from Master of Studies in Law degree from Yale Law School. Strobel was an award-winning legal editor of the Chicago Tribune also won Illinois’ top honors for investigative reporting (which he shared with a team he led) and public service journalism from United Press International.[225] After a nearly a two year investigation of the evidence for Christianity, Strobel became a Christian.[226]
  • C.S. Lewis abandoned his atheism and became a Christian. Lewis was very much influenced by the writings of George MacDonald and G. K. Chesterton.[227] In Surprised by Joy, Lewis says: "In reading Chesterton, as in reading MacDonald, I did not know what I was letting myself in for. A young man who wishes to remain a sound Atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. God is, if I may say it, very unscrupulous."[228]
  • British philosopher Antony Flew abandoned atheism and became a theist as a result of a longterm contemplation of the intelligent design issue. Formerly, he had been a renowned debater for atheism. According to the news organization MSNBC, Flew became a theist because he believed a super-intelligence was the only good explanation for the origin of life and the complexity of nature.[229] In 2006, Flew and 12 prominent academics urged that intelligent design be taught in British government schools.[230]

The work of ex-atheist and psychologist Dr. Paul Vitz is often cited in respect to atheism. As alluded to earlier, Dr. Vitz wrote the work Faith of the Fatherless.

Views on Atheists

In regards to various views on atheists, research in the American Sociological Review finds that among several groups listed, those who hold the position of atheism are the group that Americans relate least to in terms of their vision of American society and are the group most likely to be mentioned as one that Americans would not want to have marry into their family.[231]

Position: This group does not at all agree with
my vision of American society:
I would disapprove if my child wanted
to marry a member of this group:
Atheist 39.6% 47.6%
Muslim 26.3% 33.5%
Homosexual 22.6% NA
Conservative Christian 13.5% 6.9%
Recent Immigrant 12.5% Not Asked
Hispanic 7.6% 18.5%
Jew 7.4% 11.8%
Asian American 7.0% 18.5%
African American 4.6% 27.2%
White American 2.2% 2.3%

Brights Movement

Richard Dawkins is listed as an enthusiastic bright by the Brights Movement website.[232] ABC commentator John Allen Paulos remarked of the Brights campaign, "I don't think a degree in public relations is needed to expect that many people will construe the term as smug, ridiculous, and arrogant" (Paulos 2003).[233](photo by Shane Pope, obtained from this source, see license agreement)

The Brights Movement was started in 2003 by Paul Geisert and Mynga Futrell, to assist in the advocacy of a naturalistic worldview.[234][235] The movement had a media campaign and was announced in Wired magazine (by Richard Dawkins), Free Inquiry (by Richard Dawkins), and the New York Times op-ed page (by Daniel Dennett).[234] However, according to a 2004 Skeptical Enquirer article, the "Brights label reinforced a longstanding stereotype."[234] The article stated the following: "Atheists already have a terrible rap for being coldhearted rationalists who attend Mensa gatherings and dismiss religious believers as simple-minded fools."[234] In October of 2003, in a article by the Guardian Dawkins associated being a "bright" with being an intellectual.[236]

Chris Mooney states in his Skeptical Enquirer article:

..a recent attack on the Brights movement in The Wall Street Journal by the conservative thinker Dinesh D'Souza confirms my worst fears (D'Souza 2003). The article blithely ignores a key caveat that the Brights defenders have explicitly laid out-namely, that the label isn't meant to suggest that religious doubters are smarter than everyone else. But I actually think this misrepresentation ought to be blamed more on Dennett, Dawkins, and the original founders than on D'Souza--for reasons I will explain.

In his original New York Times op-ed announcing the Brights label, Dennett wrote, "Don't confuse the noun with the adjective: 'I'm a Bright' is not a boast but a proud avowal of an inquisitive world view." That's certainly nice in principle. But who did Dennett think he was kidding? How could anyone hear the label Bright and think anything but that atheists were claiming to be smarter than everyone else? As ABC commentator John Allen Paulos remarked of the Brights campaign, "I don't think a degree in public relations is needed to expect that many people will construe the term as smug, ridiculous, and arrogant" (Paulos 2003).[237]

New Atheism

Dissent Magazine stated the following about the "New Atheism":

A number of prominent authors and scientists have published books in the past year that advocate a "New Atheism." The books, which include Daniel Dennett's Breaking the Spell, Richard Dawkins's The God Delusion, and Christopher Hitchens' God is Not Great, have sparked considerable public controversy across the political spectrum.[238]
Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr.

Dr. Albert Mohler Jr. describes some of the key attributes of the "New Atheism":

Now, WIRED magazine comes out with a cover story on atheism for its November 2006 issue. In "The New Atheism," WIRED contributing editor Gary Wolf explains that this newly assertive form of atheism declares a very simple message: "No heaven. No hell. Just science."...

Wolf accomplishes a great deal in his article, thoughtfully introducing the work of militant atheists such as Dawkins, Harris, and Dennett. At the same time, he probes more deeply into the actual meaning of the New Atheism as a movement and a message.

At the beginning of his article, he gets right to the point: "The New Atheists will not let us off the hook simply because we are not doctrinaire believers. They condemn not just belief in God but respect for belief in God. Religion is not only wrong; it's evil. Now that the battle has been joined, there's no excuse for shirking."[239]

Impact of the New Atheism

The "New Atheism" has not had much of an impact in terms of gaining new adherents to atheism. In a March 10, 2008 USA Today article Stephen Prothero stated the following regarding the impact of the "New Atheism":

Numbers lie, but they also tell tales untrustworthy and otherwise. So the key question stirring around the much discussed U.S Religious Landscape Survey released in late February by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life is what tale does it state about the state of the union.

For some, the story of this survey, based on interviews in multiple languages with more than 35,000 adults, is the strength of American Religion.

Not too long ago, I wrote that American atheism was going the way of the freak show. As books by Christopher Hitchens and other "new atheists" climbed the best seller lists, I caught a lot of flak for that prophecy. But atheist make up only 1.6% of respondents to this survey....[240]

A prime reason for the ineffectiveness of the "New Atheism" is the shallowness of its material. For example, even atheist philosopher Michael Ruse stated that Richard Dawkins' book The God Delusion made him "embarrassed to be an atheist".[241]

The "New Atheism" largely has a unfavorable view outside the United States as well. The liberal leaning British publication the Guardian stated the following regarding the "New Atheism":

Anti-faith proselytizing is a growth industry. But its increasingly hysterical flag-bearers are heading for a spectacular failure...

These increasingly hysterical books may boost the pension, they may be morale boosters for a particular kind of American atheism that feels victimized - the latest candidate in a flourishing American tradition - but one suspects that they are going to do very little to challenge the appeal of a phenomenon they loathe too much to understand.[242]

Atheism and the Bible

See main article: Atheism and the Bible

Biblical skeptics have been disputing the reliability of the Bible for centuries. Christian apologist JP Holding rightly states that Bible exegesis and Bible exposition is a multi-disciplinary pursuit, and often critics of the Bible have not done a fraction of the due diligence required to make an allegation regarding the Bible. Holding states the following:

Having now been engaged in apologetics for eight years actively and more years than that on the side, I have long since come to a conclusion that I have shared with others, but will now present in a systematic form here for the first time. My conclusion is a warning that is appropriate for any new readers (hence I link this article from my front page) and will be familiar to veteran ones.

I'll sum it up to begin: Whenever you run across any person who criticizes the Bible, claims findings of contradiction or error -- they do not deserve the benefit of the doubt. They have to earn it from you. Here's why.

It doesn't take very long to realize that a thorough understanding of the Bible -- and this would actually apply to any complex work from any culture -- requires specialized knowledge, and a broad range of specialized knowledge in a variety of fields....

Not even most scholars in the field can master every aspect -- what then of the non-specialist critic who puts together a website in his spare time titled 1001 Irrefutable Bible Contradictions? Do these persons deserves our attention? Should they be recognized as authorities? No, they deserve calculated contempt for their efforts. (By this, I do not mean emotional or behavioral contempt, but a calculated disregard for their work from an academic perspective.) They have not even come close to deserving our attention, and should feed only itching ears with similar tastes.[243]

Christian theologian and apologist Bernard Ramm wrote the following regarding Biblical skeptics, in his often cited work Protestant Christian Evidences:

A thousand times over, the death knell of the Bible has been sounded, the funeral procession formed, the inscription cut on the tombstone, and committal read. But somehow the corpse never stays put.

No other book has been so chopped, knifed, sifted, scrutinized, and vilified. What book on philosophy or religion or psychology or belles lettres of classical or modern times has been subject to such a mass attack as the Bible? With such venom and skepticism? With such thoroughness and erudition? Upon every chapter, line and tenet?

The Bible is still loved by millions, read by millions, and studied by millions.[244]

Christian apologists have responded to the various biblical errancy and claims of contradictions by atheists with an array of well known websites. Some popular ones include: Tektonics - Apologetics Encyclopedia, A Christian Think Tank, Apologetics Press :: Alleged Discrepancies, Inerrancy.org, and many more.

In addition, many Christian scientists and apologists such as the Christian scientists and apologists at Creation Ministries International and CreationWiki assert that the Bible, although not written as a science text book, shows an understanding of science beyond what was believed to exist during the time the various Bible books were composed.[245][246]

Internet Infidels and other Atheist Websites

As mentioned previously Internet Infidels (also known as the Secular Web) is one of the principal websites for those who advocate atheism, agnosticism and skepticism on the internet. Christian apologist JP Holding has stated regarding the website Internet Infidels the following: "The Secular Web has a few intelligent people, but overall has long been a haven for every skeptical know-it-all to pronounce judgments upon matters outside of their expertise."[247] Although JP Holding has written rebuttals of the more well known members of the skeptical community such as David Hume[248], Friedrich Nietzsche[249] and G.A. Wells[250][251], Holding has also written rebuttals of lesser well known members of the secular community who publish and/or are featured on Internet Infidels such as:

Targeting of Young People by Atheists on the Internet

In 2007, WorldNetDaily feature a column by Chuck Norris which stated the following regarding atheism and the Internet:

Atheists are making a concerted effort to win the youth of America and the world. Hundreds of websites and blogs on the Internet seek to convince and convert adolescents, endeavoring to remove any residue of theism from their minds and hearts by packaging atheism as the choice of a new generation. While you think your kids are innocently surfing the Web, secular progressives are intentionally preying on their innocence and naivete.

What's preposterous is that atheists are now advertising and soliciting on websites particularly created for teens...

YouTube, the most popular video site on the Net for young people, is one of their primary avenues for passing off their secularist propaganda.[260]

Atheism in Academia

In 2001 atheist and philosopher Quentin Smith stated the following in respect to atheism:

Naturalists [atheists] passively watched as realist versions of theism … began to sweep through the philosophical community, until today perhaps one-quarter or one-third of philosophy professors are theists, with most being orthodox Christians…. God is not 'dead' in academia; he returned to life in the 1960's and is now alive and well in his last academic stronghold, philosophy departments."[261]

In 2004, Professor Alister McGrath, professor of historical theology at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University declared, "The golden age of atheism is over."[262]

Denials That Atheists Exist

Dr. Cornelius Van Til

It has been asserted by various theist that atheists do not exist. In relation to a biblical statement on atheism Sir Francis Bacon stated in his essay Of Atheism the following regarding atheism:

The Scripture saith, The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God; it is not said, The fool hath thought in his heart; so as he rather saith it, by rote to himself, as that he would have, than that he can thoroughly believe it, or be persuaded of it....It appeareth in nothing more, that atheism is rather in the lip, than in the heart of man.[182]

In addition, Christian philosophers and apologists Dr. Cornelius Van Til and Dr. Greg Bahnsen argued there are no atheists and that atheists are actively suppressing their belief and knowledge of God and enigmatically engage in self-deception.[263] The English poet Edward Young wrote in his famous work Night Thoughts that "By night, an atheist half-believes a God."[264]

The Christian Cyclopedia states regarding atheism the following:

It is not possible for a man to be an atheist, in the commonly accepted sense, in his innermost conviction. No amount of reasoning will erase from the human heart the God-given conviction that there is a Supreme Being; those who theoretically deny God's existence replace Him with something else.[265]

French Revolution and Atheism

For a related article please see: History of Atheism

The University of Cambridge reports the following historical relationship between atheism and the French Revolution:

Between 1700 and 1750 thousands of atheistic clandestine manuscripts circulated across Europe (although still only read by a very small minority)...

The French Revolution (1789-94) would dramatically transform the power relationship between belief and unbelief in Europe: whereas before atheism had been 'high brow', discussed in the cafes and salons of Paris, henceforth it would set itself down among the people. A strident unbelief became a real political factor in public life, as the anticlerical 'dechristianisation' period following the revolution would demonstrate. The impact of the French Revolution in inspiring people to put the irreligious ideas of the Enlightenment into practice would extend beyond France to other European countries, and to the American colonies (although in the latter it would take a deistic rather than atheistic form).[266]

Atheist population as a percentage of various countries' populations

Financial Times (FT)/Harris Poll among adults in 5 countries in 2006
See main article: Atheist Population

In respect to the atheist population as a percentage of various countries' populations, specific research on atheists conducted in 2006 suggests that the true proportion of atheists is 4% in the United States, 17% in Great Britain and 32% in France. A survey published in the 2005 Encyclopedia Britannica stated that 2.3% of the world's population consists of individuals who profess "atheism, skepticism, disbelief, or irreligion, including the militantly antireligious." In regards to the 2.3% figure just mentioned, the 2005 survey cited by Encyclopedia Britannica survey did not include Buddhist in regards to the 2.3% figure and Buddhism can be theistic or atheistic.[267]

Other Well Known Proponents of Atheism

The perverse and cruel atheist Marquis de Sade in prison, 18th century line engraving.

Prominent holders of the position of atheism and atheist schools of thought have been or include:

Atheism Quotes

See main article: Atheism Quotes
  • "I have a fundamental belief in the Bible as the Word of God, written by men who were inspired. I study the Bible daily. Opposition to godliness is atheism in profession and idolatry in practice. Atheism is so senseless and odious to mankind that it never had many professors." - Sir Isaac Newton
  • "The Seventh Judicial Circuit of the Court of Appeals of the United States held that atheism is a religion and therefore it cannot be promoted by a public school. Currently public schools are promoting atheism through a dogmatic and uncritical teaching of materialistic theories of origins." - John Calvert, Intelligent Design leader[269]
  • "Atheism is a disease of the soul before it becomes an error of understanding." - Plato[270]
  • "Maybe the atheist cannot find God for the same reason a thief cannot find a policeman." - Francis Thompson
  • "Look at Satan's reason for rebelling against God. It's not that he doesn't recognize that God is greater than he is. He does. It's just that he doesn't want to play by anybody else's rules. This idea that it is better to reign in hell than to serve in heaven is Satan's motto, and it turns out that this is also the motto of contemporary atheists such as Christopher Hitchens." - Dinesh D'Souza [271]
  • "The atheists are for the most part imprudent and misguided scholars who reason badly who, not being able to understand the Creation, the origin of evil, and other difficulties, have recourse to the hypothesis the eternity of things and of inevitability." - Voltaire[272]
  • "Atheists put on false courage and alacrity in the midst of their darkness and apprehensions, like children who, when they fear to go in the dark, will sing for fear." - Alexander Pope[273]
  • "An atheist’s most embarrassing moment is when he feels profoundly thankful for something,but can’t think of anyone to thank for it." - Mary Anne Vincent
  • You think you are too intelligent to believe in God. I am not like you. -Napoleon Bonaparte
  • The real attitude of sin in the heart towards God is that of being without God; it is pride, the worship of myself, that is the great atheistic fact in human life. – Oswald Chambers
  • The truth of God's existence is the benchmark from which all landmarks are located. The truth of God's existence is the foundation on which all truth rests. God existed before evil existed, and God will exist after evil is annihilated. To deny the existence of God is an act of insanity so severe that God says that person is a fool (Psalm 14:1; 53:1). - Dr. Joseph Thomas Kennnedy
  • God is dead not because He doesn’t exist, but because we live, play, procreate, govern, and die as though He doesn’t. - Chuck Colson
  • If there were no God there would be no atheists." - G. K. Chesterton (1874 - 1936)[274]
  • "Nobody talks so constantly about God as those who insist there is no God." - Heywood Broun
  • "Atheism is a crutch for those who cannot bear the reality of God." - Tom Stoppard
  • "I gave in, and admitted that God was God." - ex-atheist C.S. Lewis, On relinquishing atheism at age 31 in 1929[275]
  • "A little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion." - Francis Bacon
  • "In his book Modern Times, the historian Paul Johnson referred to Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini as the three devils of the twentieth century. Interestingly, Nietzshean dogma influenced each of them." - Ravi Zacharias[276]
  • "The atheist risk everything for the present and the future, on the basis of a belief that we are uncaused by any intelligent being. We just happen to be here. That one is willing to live and die in that belief is a very high price to pay for conjecture." - Ravi Zacharias[277]
  • In his essay rebutting a work of atheist Jeffery Jay Lowder Christian apologist JP Holding wrote the following: "...I find that there is no such thing as "reasonable non belief." The litany of excuses, wild speculations, and other absurdities ground out by skeptics and critics doesn't deserve the adjective "reasonable"."[278]
"In his book Modern Times, the historian Paul Johnson referred to Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini as the three devils of the twentieth century. Interestingly, Nietzshean dogma influenced each of them." - Ravi Zacharias[279]
  • "An atheist is a man who believes himself an accident." — Francis Thompson[280]
  • "To be an atheist requires an indefinitely greater measure of faith than to receive all the great truths which atheism would deny." - Joseph Addison, The Spectator, Mar. 8, 1711[281]
  • "It is hard to see how a great man can be an atheist. Without the sustaining influence of faith in a divine power we could have little faith in ourselves. We need to feel that behind us is intelligence and love. Doubters do not achieve; skeptics do not contribute; cynics do not create. Faith is the great motive power, and no man realizes his full possibilities unless he has the deep conviction that life is eternally important, and that his work, well done, is a part of an unending plan." - Calvin Coolidge, speech, Jul. 25, 1924[282]
  • "Among the repulsions of atheism for me has been its drastic un-interestingness as an intellectual position. Where was the ingenuity, the ambiguity, the humanity of saying that the universe just happened to happen and that when we're dead we're dead?" - John Updike[283]
  • "God never wrought miracles to convince atheism, because his ordinary works convince it." - Sir Francis Bacon[283]
  • "The habit of arguing in support of atheism, whether it be done from conviction or in pretense, is a wicked and impious practice." - Marcus Tullius Cicero (106–43 B.C.), Roman orator, philosopher, statesman[284]
  • "...those who are not at all to be tolerated who deny the being of God. Promises, covenants, and oaths, which are the bonds of human society, can have no hold upon an atheist. The taking away of God, though but even in thought, dissolves all; besides also, those that by their atheism undermine and destroy all religion, can have no pretence of religion whereupon to challenge the privilege of a toleration. As for other practical opinions, though not absolutely free from all error, yet if they do not tend to establish domination over others, or civil impunity to the church in which they are taught, there can be no reason why they should not be tolerated." - John Locke[285]
  • "How to trap an atheist: Serve him a fine meal, then ask him if he believes there is a cook." — Source Unknown[286]
  • "I once wanted to become an atheist but I gave up . . . they have no holidays." - Henny Youngman[287]
  • "He complained in no way of the evil reputation under which he lived, indeed, all over the world, and he assured me that he himself was of all living beings the most interested in the destruction of Superstition, and he avowed to me that he had been afraid, relatively as to his proper power, once only, and that was on the day when he had heard a preacher, more subtle than the rest of the human herd, cry in his pulpit: "My dear brethren, do not ever forget, when you hear the progress of lights praised, that the loveliest trick of the Devil is to persuade you that he does not exist!" - Charles Baudelaire's short story, The Generous Gambler written in 1864

See Also

Gustave Doré's depiction of Satan from John Milton's Paradise Lost. See: Atheism and deception and Atheism and satanic deception

Online Videos concerning atheism and related topics

External links

General Articles on Atheism:

Christian outreach to atheists on YouTube:

Satire/Comedy concerning atheism

Unreasonableness of Atheism:

Atheism and uncharitableness:

Atheism and Cowardice:

Atheism and Science:

Decline of Atheism:

Various Issues in Regards to Atheism:

Atheism and History

Reverend Maurice Roberts delivered a sermon entitled The folly of atheism[288]

Atheism and Some Recent Events



Recommended Reading

General Works On Atheism:

Book on the New Atheism:

  • R. Albert Mohler Jr., (2008), Atheism Remix: A Christian Confronts the New Atheists, Crossway, ISBN 9781433504976

Atheism and History:

  • Dimitry Pospielovsky, (December, 1987), A History of Marxist-Leninist Atheism and Soviet Antireligious Policies, Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN 0312381328
  • Dimitry Pospielovsky, (November, 1987), Soviet Antireligious Campaigns and Persecutions (History of Soviet Atheism in Theory and Practice and the Believers, Vol 2), Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN 0312009054
  • Dimitry Pospielovsky, (August, 1988), Soviet Studies on the Church and the Believer's Response to Atheism: A History of Soviet Atheism in Theory and Practice and the Believers, Vol 3, Palgrave Macmillan, hardcover: ISBN 0312012918, paperback edition: ISBN 0312012926


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  142. http://www.apologetics.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=469:the-causes-of-atheism&catid=96:bonus-content&Itemid=80 The causes of atheism
  143. http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/5-barna-update/58-practical-outcomes-replace-biblical-principles-as-the-moral-standard
  144. http://abcnews.go.com/2020/Story?id=2682730&page=2
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  146. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/henry/mhc1.ii.html
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  151. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/03/international/europe/03romania.html
  152. "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse..." —Romans 1:19-20 (NKJV)
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  199. http://www.icr.org/article/811/
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  201. http://www.skepticfiles.org/evo2/credebec.htm
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  221. http://manawatu.christian-apologetics.org/sign-the-richard-dawkins-should-debate-william-craig-petition/
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  225. Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life. - book review
  226. Lewis, Surprised by Joy op cit.
  227. There is a God, leading atheist concludes: Philosopher says scientific evidence changed his mind
  228. Former famous atheist Antony Flew asked for intelligent design to be taught in British schools.
  229. Edgell, Gerteis & Hartmann 2006
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  233. Bright (n.)--What is the definition?
  234. The future looks bright - The Guardian
  235. Not too 'bright'L: Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett are smart guys, but their campaign to rename religious unbelievers Brights could use some rethinking (Page 2)
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  242. The Bible - Quotes from Famous Men
  243. Bible Scientific Foreknowledge
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  286. http://www.bible-sermons.org.uk/text-sermon/475-the-folly-of-atheism