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  1. #1
    books555's Avatar
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    "Worldwide decline in atheism cited" reads the headline in Washington Times

    "Worldwide decline in atheism cited" reads the headline in last month's Washington Times.(1) With the recent recantation of atheist icon Anthony Flew, atheism as a worldview is growing a more unpopular a position.

    Atheism as a worldview gained its prominence in the modernist era where rationalism was the foundation for knowledge. But because postmodernism is chiseling away at that foundation, the younger generations don't buy it. In fact, I have found in speaking to many teenage audiences that atheists are scarce. And those who dare proclaim the view tend to be those who have done so not because of rationality, but because they dare to be different.

    Paul Vitz, in Faith of the Fatherless: The Psychology of Atheism, writes Freud and others who reduce belief in God to unmet emotional needs may owe their disbelief to the very same cause. As Vitz says, "Atheism of the strong or intense type is to a substantial degree generated by peculiar psychological needs of its advocates." His analysis is that it often stems from defective father figures.(2)

    Quentin Smith, an astute atheist, has remarked, "Naturalists [atheists] passively watched as realist versions of theism … began to sweep through the philosophical community, until today perhaps one-quarter or one-third of philosophy professors are theists, with most being orthodox Christians…. God is not 'dead' in academia; he returned to life in the 1960's and is now alive and well in his last academic stronghold, philosophy departments."(3)

    There are several reasons for the decline of atheism as I see it. First, while philosophy was once respected as the underpinning discipline of all disciplines in the university, today its authority is being challenged with cultural force by the other humanities departments as postmodernism muscles its way onto the cultural stage. Second, even in philosophical quarters, atheism once sat as high priest in the philosophy of science. The Intelligent Design movement has taken great strides to show the philosophical prejudice of naturalistic philosophy and that there's an alternative, rational, and coherent way to see the universe through the lens of a Creator. Third, much evidence has been proffered in research hospitals all over the world that the psychological conditions of faith and hope in a higher power produce results. Atheistic, prosaic views of death and suffering are less likely benefits to those who hold them. Fourth, along with postmodernism and openness to the psychological effects of "faith" is openness to potpourri spirituality.

    Atheism is dying under its own irrelevance. People are finding that it isn't ultimately livable. Yet new and unhelpful ideas and worldviews are emerging quickly to take its place. A new opportunity for the church is upon us to offer both the rationality of theism as well as the spirituality of walking with a living God who really exists. Here's the double-edged message that I believe Christians need to prepare to use: In my own journey, the message of Jesus Christ was compelling, not only because it was true, but because Christ offered to help me walk the healthy life. And in my experience in speaking across the United States, I can attest that testimony after testimony among our youth is much the same. Our young people want to live for something that makes sense, is healthy, and is helpful. But they also want it to be filled with love, adventure, life, and all the legitimate pleasures God created.

    Be alert. Keep your ear to the culture. There is good work to be done. Let us as Paul "press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me… forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead" (Phil 3:12-13.) Let us be prepared to walk and talk an intelligent and emotionally healthy walk with the risen Savior.


    (1)Washington Times, Weekend Edition, March 7-13, 2005.
    (2) In David C. Downing, The Most Reluctant Convert: C. S. Lewis's Journey to Faith (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002), 32.
    (3) Quentin Smith, "The Metaphilosophy of Naturalism," Phil 4, no. 2 (2001): 3, 4, quoted in J. P. Moreland and William Lane Craig, Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2003), 3.

  2. #2
    books555's Avatar
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    Atheism is dying.




    Consider this statement by Joe boot reguarding our concious nature


    We are aware of three sides to our conscious nature. We are obviously physical beings, with appetites that are met by the physical world, and those appetites demand satisfaction from this source only. We are intelligent beings, capable of knowledge, have a strong desire to know things, and an aptitude for inquiry and long to know "why." We are also spiritual and moral beings. This last quality is the one I'd like to focus on today.

    No matter how hard we try to escape this reality, human beings have an irresistible longing that is correlated to God. This is expressed not only in an innate desire to worship, but in the need to understand what life is about—how we are to live and what we are to live for. In short, what the meaning and purpose of life is and how we can be happy. We therefore raise questions about right and wrong. We find ourselves troubled and uneasy inside because of our behavior and that of others. Sometimes a strange guilt oppresses us, but we cannot easily identify the cause. We have a sense of ultimate accountability for our actions, even when we consider ourselves answerable to no one. These feelings can be summed up in the word conscience, a self-knowledge about good and bad, right and wrong, an internal policeman whom we either ignore or heed. The Bible teaches that God has put this "law" in the heart and that only through obedience to the voice of conscience can we begin to address the spiritual longings of the moral side of our nature.

    Keeping these things we know about ourselves in mind, I would argue that we no more need proof of God than a baby needs proof that food is available or that a child needs proof of things to be known. The existence of God, a recognition of accountability, and a sense of moral duty are all assumed as readily as the other categories of appetite. We may seek to escape this or reason it away (and some people resent the implications), but it lingers still.

  3. #3
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    Here is a peice of the time magazine article.

    During the last quarter century, a remarkable revolution has occurred in American philosophy. This change was so noteworthy that even the popular media observed it. In an article entitled "Modernizing the Case for God," published on April 7 of 1980, Time magazine commented,

    In a quiet revolution in thought and argument that hardly anybody could have foreseen only two decades ago, God is making a comeback. Most intriguingly, this is happening, not among theologians or ordinary believers, but in the crisp intellectual circles of academic philosophers, where the consensus had long banished the Almighty from fruitful discourse.{1}

    The article quotes Roderick Chisholm to the effect that the reason that atheism was so influential a generation ago is because the brightest philosophers were atheists. But today, Chisolm says, many of the brightest philosophers are theists, and they're using a tough–minded intellectualism in defense of that theism. Premiere among this new crop of philosophers stands Alvin Plantinga of the University of Notre Dame, a sort of latter–day Anselm, whom the late J. L. Mackie, perhaps one of the most prominent atheists of our day, has facetiously canonized as "St. Alvin." A few years ago, Plantinga gave a paper entitled, "Two Dozen or so Theistic Arguments," in which he laid out an impressive and very creative array of arguments for the existence of God.{2} Unfortunately, the conventional wisdom that Hume and Kant put a permanent end to theistic arguments still widely persists among undergraduate students in philosophy today. This conventional wisdom is simply rooted in ignorance, and the very fact that we’re having this debate here this evening, I think, is testimony to the fact that this question is still very much a live issue today.

  4. #4
    ginkobulloba's Avatar
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    Yeah, so what?

  5. #5
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    God is not dead in the acedemic world today. Some of our greatest thinkers are christian. Many people seem to think if you are a christian, you must have left reasonable thinking at the front door.

  6. #6
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    Yawn . . .

  7. #7
    books555's Avatar
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    Yawn.

  8. #8
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    if you guys get that close again with your mouths open, i dont know what ill think..

  9. #9
    BiteTheDust is offline Junior Member
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    I myself was raised as a Atheist by my parents from a child, but as I grew older, my faith for what ever reason just came to me. I was drawn to have faith in God, for what ever reason, wheter it be the hard times I have ahd so far in life or the internal need to look up to somone to have faith in or motivation.

    Who knows, I just know I have faith and that there are many others who try so hard to ignore this feeling of a holy leader. Of somone to follow or trust or just to feel comforted there is more to our bland lives.

    Who knows, just my 2 cents.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tock
    Yawn . . .
    only boring because its not one of your long, drawn-out papers on liberal minded bullshit. dont you have a tree to hug or a dolphin to save?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MASTERDBOL
    only boring because its not one of your long, drawn-out papers on liberal minded bullshit. dont you have a tree to hug or a dolphin to save?
    No . . . but I do have you . . .
    -Tock

  12. #12
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    strongly religious people really piss me off. their arguments (especially books) go absolutly nowhere.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by redmango
    strongly religious people really piss me off. their arguments (especially books) go absolutly nowhere.


    What are my arguements? Your just digging yourself into a whole. Have you read a good deal of my posts?

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