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Using Common Sense

January 22, 2014

The Bible Leadership class was alive and ready today.  This semester will focus heavily on apologetics, and few things can fire up the student like an interview of an atheist.  I took time today to show the class the interview with the late Doug Adams, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.  In the interview, Doug Adams presents some verbal gymnastics with the word “believe” as presented in the Christian faith.  He played around the  idea that he did not indeed have a belief system:

“Other people will ask how I can possibly claim to know. Isn’t belief-that-there-is-not-a-god as irrational, arrogant, etc., as belief-that-there-is-a-god? To which I say no for several reasons. First of all I do not believe-that-there-is-not-a-god. I don’t see what belief has got to do with it…”

“As a carapace for the protection of irrational notions from legitimate questions, however, I think that the word has a lot of mischief to answer for. So, I do not believe-that-there-is-no-god. I am, however, convinced that there is no god, which is a totally different stance…”

In other words, he denies that he has a belief, then states his belief.  However, since he deems himself an authority and even a “radical Atheist” (his own words) he felt that he could undercut the very definition since he was quite cocksure of his faith.

The room erupted in laughter as I read the interview.

“Just because he claims it’s not a belief doesn’t make it so,” chuckled Austin.  “Just because you say you truly don’t believe there is an Abraham Lincoln doesn’t make it a fact, no matter what your celebrity status.”

“I don’t get it,” said Brandon.  “He wants to try to re-invent words, and then he claims that it’s the Christian who has the problem with dealing with the truth.”

I also played a clip from an atheist interview program on dealing with the unreliability of the New Testament, specifically in the area of archaeological finds.  The atheist claims that you can never make an archaeological search with a bias.

“But most everyone goes on a treasure hunt with a design to find the treasure, truly believing it’s there,” said Mary.  “Whether you’re looking for dinosaurs or gold coins, you are spending your time and effort at a certain location with the bias that you will indeed find what you are looking for.”

“Besides, ” said Jacob, “once you make the Biblical find, you hold it up for scrutiny to all the other scientific minds for verification.  His statement doesn’t make sense.”

Another statement also brought the room to a standstill  in which an authority (the PR director of made the claim – much to the delight of his fellow atheist – that nobody, but nobody could ever state a historical find as a fact.

Brandon was amazed.  “Historians have no right to point at Ford’s Theater’s balcony chair and say that it is a fact that Lincoln was shot here?”

The more we read, the more questions come up about the atheist belief system.  Occam’s Razor – which for so long was the atheist’s favorite hangout – seems to be an uninviting obstacle now.


Source:  The above excerpt was from American Atheists’ David Silverman interview with author Douglas Adams in 1998 for American Atheist magazine. This interview in the Winter 1998-1999 issue of American Atheist magazine (Vol. 31 #1).

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One Comment
  1. Rick Mattish permalink

    I get similar responses from my students when sharing quotes from evolutionists.

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