Paradox Class with Hugh Ross and Default Atheists
School is in Session
My wife and I had the pleasure of going to the Sunday school class of Dr. Hugh Ross (1) last week. (2) I used to go several years ago, but had to stop going because life simply got in the way. For now, we do plan on going when he’s in town, which doesn’t seem that often, unfortunately. On a quick side note, I was pleasantly surprised to hear Ross on the Frank Sontag show the next day!
As usual, Hugh brought up several interesting topics including NDE’s, the idea of life on Mars, his experience with the recent Origins of Life conference in San Diego and he read from Ecclesiastes 9 as well.
Pass the Salt Please
His information on the conference was quite interesting; telling us that the research on the origins of life, is basically the same material it’s been for several years, albeit with some repackaging. This is a general secular conference, with 60% of the attendees being from NASA. Yes, it’s a pretty big deal.
Ross, told us how so many of these scientists were intrigued by his team (from Reasons to Believe). The curiosity was that they were scientists and Christians, but wanted to know as to what “kind” of scientists they were.
They probed to know what kind of post doctorate work/research they’ve done, where they’ve done it etc. After passing the test of these questions, that they were legitimate scientists, they opened up more, to hear what they were all about. Several of them asked for business cards from Ross.
Default Atheism vs Emotional Atheism
Ross mentioned that many of them were default atheists. What he meant, was that such folks, who had dedicated their lives to science, so much so, that the idea of God existing, really wasn’t on their radar. The idea to them, was that: “hey, I’m a scientist, I do science, and scientists are atheists, right?” kind of mentality. In short, they weren’t really married to atheism, it just wasn’t something that they really considered.
This default atheism, is quite different than the emotional atheists, who are very committed (and vocal) to their worldview, many of which are missionaries of their cause. I’d like to speak on this for just a moment.
Appeals to Emotion Rather Than Logic
Recently, I came into contact with a friend of mine who I’ve known for years, who was a professing Christian way back when, but is a skeptic now–an agnostic if I recall (AKA negative atheist). He responded to one of my posts on Facebook, and I could tell by his words, he was ready to blow.
We ended up talking on the phone, and the first hour or so, he ranted about how he had been wronged by several churches–given what he told me, I totally agreed with him that he had every right to be mad like he was. (However, none of that, on the level of logic, should explain his skepticism concerning evidence)
Guilty Until Proven Innocent
So many demand evidence for the existence of God, claiming that the “lack of evidence” for his existence, is why they’re atheists. Meanwhile, there’s almost always a story (or stories) where something happened in their life, (3) that ultimately led to their atheism (with the gaps of “looking for evidence” being filled in later, to make it as if their pursuit was one of intellect, rather than emotion).
It seems, that so many atheists/skeptics that I’ve met, their atheism is ex post facto, meaning after the fact, as aforementioned. This seems to be the case with many atheists, especially those of the emotional stripe.
I’ve been told this isn’t so, but if that’s the case, then why are so many of them emotional about this?! Some will claim that they’re simply mad because of how theism ruins the political arena, or the fabric of society etc., but I suspect that this is a thinly veiled alibi of the deeper issue. (Perhaps not for all, but many)
Going back to default atheism, I think the true atheism should be, just that, one of honest non-emotional inquiry, rather than onset hostility that quickly demands answers. I’ve seen in recent years, people call themselves “anti-theists”, which I think is a better label–and more honest–for those who simply abhor theism or anything related to it.
1. If you’d like to hear the audio of the class, go to the Paradox Sunday School website. (The date to look for is 7-23-17)
2. We bought two of his books, the one’s seen in the title picture.
3. Some have even admitted this privately, that they’re mad at God because a family member died, or something else tragically happened in their life.