I recently read an article in the Sydney Morning Herald about Sarah Attar, the first female track and field athlete to represent Saudi Arabia at an Olympics.
The article was largely a celebration of this event, which is indeed a wonderful achievement.
My reading was soured, however, when I started to read some of the comments which accompanied the article.
Among the first was this one from someone who calls himself MikeSyd:
While we are on the topic, Lolo Jones could take the time to reflect upon her (religious) life and confirm how absolutely useless her worship of her Imagniary friend in the sky has been in relation to helping her avoid and heal from injury, fulfill her Olympic and relationship ambitions. Ditto the American long jumper: seen feverishly communicating and appealing to his Cloud Fairy between disappointing jumps that landed him into a very un-supernatural-blessed third.
The theme of religion-bashing was sprinkled throughout the rest of the comments, which set me to considering.
One of the proud claims of religion-bashers and Atheists is that their world-view is arrived at through the careful application of reason and logic.
If you think about it though, this claim is not actually accurate.
I would even suggest that most people who bash religion or adopt an Atheist mindset do not know why they do so. Many are simply unthinkingly ‘running with the crowd’ without actually applying very much brain-power as to why they’ve decided to believe what they do.
Certainly the majority who rail against religion have not applied scientific logic to arrive at their beliefs: Atheist commentary on religious points of view often borders on frenzied fanaticism.
They might have adopted the ‘scientifically supported’ views of peers, mentors or figures of authority, but my belief is that it would be rare for them to actually have explored these views in-depth themselves.
The Scientific Method is “a method of procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses:”
(Oxford English Dictionary)
It might be summarized thus:
- Ask a Question
- Do Background Research
- Construct a Hypothesis
- Test Your Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment
- Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion
- Communicate Your Results
Any sincere scientific search for truth in the question of the existence or non-existence of God would look at the billions of people on the planet who do believe in some form of deity and conclude, at the very, very least, that the concept of a real God warrants further investigation. But no, the majority of religion-bashers do not arrive at their view of religion through objective observation and repeated experimentation which has been subjected to peer review.
Their views are not even theoretical constructs, they are opinions, plain and simple. They are not arrived at through reason and logic. They are arrived at through bias, emotional knee-jerk reactions and vivid imaginations.
Many, as evidenced in the comments to the article above, have their basis in a severe hatred of anything religious or superstitious.
Cold, hard evidence is rejected with the naive explanation that ‘I’m right because I can think for myself and the rest of the world must be deluded’, but where a religious person is urged to prove the existence of God, there is also a reluctance to disprove the existence of God on the part of the Atheist.
The problem is that it is very hard to disprove the existence of God. Most attempts are simplistic mind games.
The best approach I’ve seen is the one which takes the claims of Christianity and of God himself and puts them to the test.
And when using this approach it is a mistake to make the proof too complex.
Let’s distil a proof of undeniable simplicity:
- The Christian Bible claims that God is real
- God himself claims in the Bible that he will answer you when you pray to him”You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13
A proof for the existence of God then?
- Ask God if he is real
Can it get any simpler?