The Independent Variable - Matt Haugland

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

10 Reasons Why I am an Atheist: #10

Instead of writing on a new topic every day, the next several posts will be a series on the same topic. I recently came across a list from an atheist web site ( of 10 reasons why the author is an atheist. I will go through theses reasons one by one, examining their assumptions and discussing my thoughts on them. For each one, I will list the assumptions behind them, and give one of the following verdicts: False Assumption (if the reason is based on a false assumption about God/Christianity), Logical Fallacy (if the reason depends on a logical fallacy), or Compelling Reason (if it is a compelling reason that should be examined more carefully). For brevity I will assume the arguments are against Christian theism rather than deal with every form of theism.

I'll start with #10: "The creative activities of the various gods are faulty, to say the least! Evolution explains deformed, disfigured and brain-damaged babies; religion has no explanation!"

1. Evolution is essentially true, or at least is the best theory we have.
2. Theism is inconsistent with evolution.
3. God would not create "deformed, disfigured and brain-damaged babies."

False Assumptions

Personally, I agree with assumption #1, that Evolution is, at the very least, the best theory we have. I also am a Christian and believe that God created animals and humans through the process of evolution. I see absolutely no contradiction in that. In my opinion, a careful reading of Genesis, along with an understanding of the original language and context, is remarkably consistent with what science has shown.

But even if I am wrong about that, the 3rd assumption is not true. There's nothing in the Bible that suggests God would not create "deformed, brain-damaged babies." Rather, it says God has a purpose for everything, and some things that may appear "bad" to some people are actually blessings in disguise. I recently had the pleasure of spending time with a toddler with Downs Syndrome. She was one of the happiest, most beautiful children I have ever seen. Some may call it a "defect", but from what I know of people who have Downs Syndrome and other genetic disorders, I think they are closer than the rest of us to what a loving God would want people to be like. People who look down on them are the ones with the bigger defects.


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