Sunday, July 31, 2011

Christian Liars?

In debates between atheists and theists I notice a strange phenomenon which I am just beginning to understand, where atheists, like Gollum triumphantly accusing his alter ego of being a murderer, gleefully label theists as "liars for Christ". To them I offer this analysis.

It's odd that you have to believe those who disagree with you are not simply ignorant or uninformed, but must be liars. You don't seem to understand what a lie really is - an intentional falsehood.

However, a recent book made me think about this issue. It is irrational to insist that a people bound to serve the Lord of Truth are intentional liars, rather than ignorant. What causes this paranoid reaction?

I now realize it is probably a manifestation of intellectual insecurity. In such debates, atheists are often confronted with new and shocking information, such as the fact that Hitler was trying to implement Darwinism, or that he persecuted and hated the Church, much as some atheists do. If these deep-seated convictions have been overturned by new discoveries, what other "knowledge" that you possess may be fiction? How could you have been hoodwinked so long by myths invented by, for example, two people in the 19th century*. It is such a shock that they can only respond, "lies! All lies!", a response of denial, shock, and rage, sometimes childishly "disguised" with LOLs galore.

It is perfectly understandable, since even many theists have bought into the many modern myths being fed us in our schools. I was at a seminar where a very educated man demonstrated his complete ignorance on Galileo, insisting that he single-handedly brought science to the world. The poor man - something of a celeb in our field - was totally ignorant that the Catholic Church had been the prime sponsor of science for over a hundred years!

It's funny that those with "question authority" bumper stickers all over their cars actually rarely do so.