A Theological/Bible Related Commentary
It’s a “Mystery”
Rather than provide a blow-by-blow account of what Christian commentators have had to say elsewhere in respect to the issues covered in this series, I will simply focus on the two most resilient “defenses” apologists have had to offer when caught in a particularly difficult exegetical bind.
The first of these I find inherently dishonest and intellectually bankrupt. It is completely devoid of any real quantitative substance. Yet, it is, without a doubt, one of the most frequently used defensive rebuttals atheists have encountered in debate with believers, and the one which usually puts an end to any further discussion. It is the tried-and-true “It’s a Mystery” defense; favored most by Catholic apologists.
What the It’s-a-Mystery defense purports to maintain as fact is that we humans are so stupid (in relation to God) that we cannot even hope to fathom the reason why God did this or God did that―that “something” being anything one finds theologically perplexing to the point of being left wholly baffled by it; such as the question: Why are people of faith made to suffer so? Another one being: Why do we find real contradictions in God’s sacred word? (Such as: Did Jesus actually rise on the 3rd day as per I Cor. 15:4, or on the 4th day as per Mark 9:31?; to cite just one example.)
Therefore, the faithful must accept that any “perceived” theological conundrum; any inexplicable problem dealing with biblical inerrancy issues; or any apparent “ungodly” acts of behavior on the part of God, are “mysteries” only God holds the answers to. In spite of the obvious staring the believer right in the face, the believer is to believe, no matter what!
But what about the skeptic who finds such “blind” faith utterly revolting, even dangerous? Where is the “truth” of the Christian faith supposed to exist if it is entirely unprovable? And why on earth should children be made to pray to, and then worship and adore the actual Creator of everything evil? Out of “love,” or because of the fear that if one doesn’t, one will be made to suffer horribly?
(I would just point out that a real God could just poke his head through the clouds and at least attempt to explain himself in terms we humans could understand; but that it would be just plain knock-down impossible for an imaginary God to do, now wouldn’t it? I would further point out that God would rather an atheist suffer indescribably brutal torment, agony, and anguish for all of eternity (!) for simple non-belief than truly reveal himself as He did to Doubting Thomas and Paul on the way to Damascus, and thus save their “soul.” (Makes you wonder how much the God of Christianity really wants to save souls, doesn’t it?)
Either it is beyond His “limitless” powers to reveal Himself to us moderns, or else He’s really a Supernatural Sadist simply having his way with hapless man. But most obvious is the fact that He’s simply flat-out imaginary!)
The question now becomes, does the It’s a Mystery defense truly provide any real kind of a substantive rebuttal to the skeptic, or is it merely an evasive “cop-out”? We atheists believe it the latter. The statement, “It’s a Mystery,’ for all it’s worth, answers absolutely nothing.
The second, and the most intellectually bankrupt “defense” imaginable for an “out-debated” Christian apologist to resort to, is to simply blurt out: I don’t care what you say! I’m going to believe anyway !! (Followed by a parting, exceedingly pious, “I’ll pray for you” directed towards the skeptic.)
Now how many times has the atheist heard that retort (or some variation of it) at the end of a hotly contested theological debate? And the “clincher” for the apologist? Why Paul’s words in I Corinthians 1:20:
Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? (NIV)
In other words, a God who has an absolutely astounding inability to prove to skeptics he truly exists, has decided to reinforce that inability by counseling believers to treat logic and reason―in other words, “God-given” intellect―as so much used toilet paper when it comes to matters of personal faith.
And what other passage of scripture do apologists gleefully point to in defense of such irrational belief? Why I Corinthians 1:19, where God says, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”
Some kind of “Super Intellect,” that “God,” isn’t He?
We have focused on the decidedly evil nature of God in this series. But not to despair, for God does not really exist. He is purely the invention of man. Nonetheless, it is astonishing to see that Christians worship and adore the true Creator of evil (within the scope of their faith) instead of despise Him. But that’s blind faith for you. It is as irrational as it gets.
Next Time: Jesus God versus God the Father (here)