Tuesday, May 10, 2016

What apologists believe... (a.k.a. "I don't have enough faith to be an apologist")

I've been reading apologetics again. More of the same old, same old, I'm afraid. The writer of Ecclesiastes was right, there is nothing new under the sun.

One thing that I have noticed this time around, though, is one particular belief that many apologists seem to share: they believe that everyone has to believe in something

Fundamental to their message is that those people who don't have faith in the Creator God of the universe, must have faith in some other impersonal process that caused the universe to come into existence and ultimately is responsible for the instigation of and evolution of life on earth.

I can't really see a good reason for them to hold this belief, but several apologists I have read recently have made the same basic case; that the atheist must have faith in some process or other, for which there is little or no evidence, and this is (apparently) less reasonable and rational than having faith in God.

It seems that, for apologists, the opposite of faith-in-God must be faith-in-something-else.

I don't agree. The opposite of faith-in-God is doubt-in-God.

I think what is happening here is that all apologists have a great central belief at the very heart of their worldview, and they can't imagine what life would be like without that central belief. So they impose a similar worldview onto others, taking the central belief in God out of the picture, and leaving a big hole that simply must be filled with something.

The thing is, for many non-believers, the lack of certainty in where we came from and what happens after death, and such topics, is not a big deal.

We are here now. How did this come about? Well, actually, I don't know. Various people have come up with various theories, with various amounts of evidence or reasoning which support them. Apologists are among those who have selected one of those theories, placed their faith in it, and (as an article of that faith) have dismissed all the other theories as being invalid. I'm currently in a position of agnosticism with regard to the various theories of origins. I have looked at evidence and reasoning for God, and the evidence and reasoning for other theories, and (at present) can't see compelling reasons for selecting one of the various theories on offer as my preferred 'belief'. I certainly can't see any compelling reason to put faith in one.

Apologists, particularly the sort that claim things like "I don't have enough faith to be an atheist", seem to think that everybody must choose to put their faith in one or other of the various competing theories.

Nah. Not choosing is quite a reasonable position to take.

The standard evangelical Christian worldview requires its adherents to believe in certain things. Belief is seen as the way to salvation. Other worldviews do not actually require adherence or belief.

I just wish some apologists would understand that.