Atheist Memes: ‘Reason’s Greetings’?

By Tom Gilson Published on December 8, 2018

“Reason’s Greetings.” Hey, those atheists sure keep scoring “cute” points, don’t they? And who knows? You might get a card with that greeting in the mail this year.

I’d be more than happy to see one come, myself. I’d see it as an invitation to interact, and I’d be up for it. Reason came from God, and properly applied, it points straight back His direction. That’s not exactly what these atheist greetings have in mind, though, obviously.

Atheist Pride: “We’re Smarter”

But I see a couple of interesting things going on there. First is the skeptic’s proud self-congratulation: “We’re smarter than those Christians. We’re the reasonable ones.”

This “reasoning” pride of theirs shows up everywhere you look. Poke around atheist organizations and you’ll always find them touting their commitment to reason. Poke around further, and you’ll find out what that means to them. “We don’t believe in invisible fairytale sky-gods. We only believe in what science can show is true.”

It reeks of the putdown.

We’re smart; religious people are stupid. Can it get any clearer than that?

Let’s not react the wrong way, though. There’s something worthy of pity there. It reeks of the putdown, first of all. In my experience that never comes from people who are comfortable just being themselves. It seems like a sad, hard way to live.

God’s Way of Humility

God’s way is the path of humility instead — with God Himself setting the example. “Christianity,” wrote historian Bruce Shelley, “is the only religion to have as its central event the humiliation of its God.” He meant the Crucifixion, but it really began at the first Christmas. Phillipians 2:6-8 tells of Jesus Christ,

who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

For us ordinary humans, God’s way of humility is both terrifying and freeing. It means admitting we’re not as good as we thought, and certainly not good enough to make it. At the same time it means realizing it’s not about being good enough. We don’t have to measure up to some “good enough” standard. Instead we need to trust in Christ alone.

So Christians don’t have to be the best people on the planet; not even the smartest. There’s no intelligence test for admission to the Kingdom of Heaven. And thank God for that! Who’d want to live forever in some kind of faculty lounge?

So of course I’ve seen Christians fall short in reasoning. I’ve had to admit errors often enough myself, and I’m sure there are many more I’ve passed blithely by.

Not Living Up to Their Label

At the same time, though, the atheists I’ve interacted with have fallen pathetically — and consistently — short of living up to their self-claimed “reason” image. I’ve debated dozens of them online. Time after time they fall short in their reasoning. They make charges that backfire. One fellow told me he’d believe in God (I’m not making this up) if God would do something “highly improbable” like “making the moon sprout legs and do a moonwalk.”

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He’s got an image of what God would be like if there were a God. Turns out, that kind of god doesn’t exist. Funny thing: Christians don’t think that god exists either! That sort of error happens so often, I’ve taken to asking atheists why they don’t get bored, always disproving gods no one believes in to start with.

I’ve seen leading atheists confuse science with non-science. They demand evidence for God while ignoring what “evidence” really means. They argue in circles. They miss key words, thus misrepresenting arguments. All those happen frequently in my experience. It’s worth noting, though, that I can show examples of them all from one highly influential atheist, a University of Chicago biologist, no less.

Trying Too Hard

Of course there are much better atheist thinkers than that. I’m betting, though, they’re not the ones sending “Reason’s Greetings” cards.

I feel mostly sorry for the ones who do. Same for those who push their “reason” image so hard in other venues. For that’s how it comes across to me: they’re trying too hard. Acting defensive. Pushy. Delivering a putdown, but an ineffective one.

It’s an example we must be careful not to follow. We don’t need to, for God’s way is both reasonable and humble.

 

Part of a series on atheist memes.

Tom Gilson is a senior editor with The Stream and the lead editor of an anthology on atheist irrationality: True Reason: Confronting the Irrationality of the New Atheism (Kregel Publications, 2014). Follow him on Twitter: @TomGilsonAuthor.

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  • kenneth20754

    Forget dancing moons–they would not believe even if God raised someone from the dead.

  • Brand New Key

    One of the biggest lies is that Christians are anti-science and anti-reason. There are many thousands of Christians working in science and medicine, and there are Christians who have won Nobel Prizes in the science. If we were anti-science, would we be using the internet?

    They have their own myths which cannot be proven.

    • Andrew Mason

      Part of the problem is Atheists want to define science and reason in such a way as that it excludes Christianity – in effect create a circular reasoning loop.

      • Anthony Cieszkiewicz

        Because the atheist limit themselves to materialism to vehemently (new atheists) reject the metaphysical and materials evidence of the God of Scripture (Revealed Law, hence they reject Natural and Metaphysical Laws all of which by the means of the root cause analysis point to God. Concurrently given their optimism of fate and luck they concurrently reject that they have been endowed with a Purpose, framed by God for each of them. Their irrational reasoning is circular (do loop) that eventually leads to the circular firing squad and 2+2=4. Then of course the leftist will suspend their belief in science to pursue their whimsical and fluid sexual fantasies. In their “me too” world “left is right, right is wrong”.

  • Reason is totally blind without (and therefore totally subservient to) Faith, which is founding oneself in God who is the only standard.

    • kenneth20754

      “Credo ut intelligam” is certainly a sound epistemology, but it is an overstatement to claim that reason is “totally” blind. The noetic effects of sin don’t penetrate quite that far.

  • tz1

    Where are Atheists destroying Santa Claus and runing Christmas for kids?

  • Craig Roberts

    The atheists say: “If God is so good, why does he allow evil?”

    I say: “If God is so great, why do I need to be constantly defending Him against atheists?”

    It seems to me that if God is really so great, than He can defend Himself.

    • Oh, He can. He could make human activity obsolete in every way whatsoever. It’s just that He hasn’t chosen to do that, and thank God for that.

  • davidrev1911

    “…In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”

    — Richard Dawkins, “River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life,” (1995).

    Reason? Reasonable? Notice how Mr. Dawkins exemplifies one of whom possesses a curiously transcendent, self-existent, omniscient, thus omnipresent “God’s-eye-view” of EVERYTHING in existence, within the known universe. Hmmm… Yet he’s never, to this very hour, revealed to the watching-world just HOW he came to “know” ALL of that stuff…scientifically???

    This sort of wrongheaded human posturing could be why the Ruach Elohim, or Ruach haKodesh, has revealed that “the FOOL has said in his heart, there is no God.” (e.g., Psalm 14:1; Romans 1:18-22; 3:10-18)

    • Craig Roberts

      What the ‘fool’ fails to appreciate is that if there were in fact nothing but “pitiless indifference” we wouldn’t exist. We live because He cares.

      • davidrev1911

        AMEN & AMEN! Nor would the ‘fool’ demonstrate the least bit of concern about all those things mentioned in Dawkins’ paragraph about which he seems to be cognizant – and dare I suggest…
        concerned?? 🙂

  • Kevin Quillen

    God said that ALL people know He exists. He made it evident in nature and in man’s heart. Atheists are LIARS!

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