I came across a op-ed in the LA Times the other day. The authors were asserting that DNA studies in recent years have “proved” that “God didn’t make man; man made god.” The authors introduced the article by quoting John Lennon and then asserting that the only world that makes any sense is a world without God. Following is the introductory paragraph…
Before John Lennon imagined “living life in peace,” he conjured “no heaven … / no hell below us …/ and no religion too.” No religion: What was Lennon summoning? For starters, a world without “divine” messengers, like Osama bin Laden, sparking violence. A world where mistakes, like the avoidable loss of life in Hurricane Katrina, would be rectified rather than chalked up to “God’s will.” Where politicians no longer compete to prove who believes more strongly in the irrational and untenable. Where critical thinking is an ideal. In short, a world that makes sense. http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jul/18/opinion/la-oe-thompson-atheism-20110718
I sympathize with the authors…I too am horrified at some of the words spoken and the deeds done in the name of religion. But to conclude that because Osama bin Laden followed his murderous path in the name of religion that the only world which makes sense is a world without God is a fallacy, a non sequitur.
I could proclaim that I am the greatest NBA player to ever play the game. Someone might call me out and declare me to be “off my rocker.” But then declaring that the only world that would make sense is a world without the NBA! That is absurd. Just because I might go around claiming to be something I am not does not make that which I claim to be a part of absolutely illogical. And just because Osama bin Laden is a delusional murderer does not make God illogical.
For what bearing do His followers actually have on God? God is who He is. What I do in the name of God doesn’t constitute the actual being of God. Because God exists and acts, He defines the way I ought to live, but never does the way I live define who God is. Someone might go around claiming to be a Christian while he slaughters 90 people, but what bearing does that have on God?
If I say I am a Christian, a follower of Christ, and then murder my closest friend, it does not disprove the existence of God, it only reveals that my heart is full of hate and that I actually don’t know God, who is love and that I am in need of redemption and the mercy of God.
Just as if I were to claim to be an NBA player when clearly (very clearly) I am not…what bearing does that have on the NBA? The same people who argue that a godless world “just makes sense” should also try to argue that the world would be a better place without any sports just because some sports players have a criminal record. That is the argument they make in regards to God. They say because people sin, we don’t need God. But for those who have been redeemed, the opposite is true. Because we sin, we reveal the absolute depth of our need of God, our hope and redeemer.
To push this op-ed article further into the realm of absurdity let’s consider what type of world truly doesn’t make any sense. A world without God. Without God who will make the world right in due time…The monkeys we supposedly have evolved from? Without God, who will bring justice to the raped, the oppressed, the mistreated, the suffering…The dirt they are buried in? Without God, who would be there to keep this world from collapsing in on itself…The dark matter and quarks that scientists themselves can’t explain? Without God, who will redeem rebellious, sinful humanity? I think history has proven that humanity will never save itself.
With all the injustice and evil in the world, blaming God and religion for all the world’s problems seems like the logical answer, for it is the easiest. But blaming God effectively removes the only hope one has for truly experiencing a world that makes sense. Perhaps the authors ought to follow their own advice and think critically about God.