(My youth pastor is awesome. He is also my Sunday school teacher. This entire post is based on a lesson that he taught us once.)
Atheism is odd because it groups people together by lack of belief and not belief.
Atheism — Disbelief in the existence of God or gods.
Atheism could also be described in this way:
A- — Not; without.
Theism — belief in the existence of God or gods.
So “A-theism” is without belief in the existence of God or gods. I am going to focus mainly on atheists disbelief in the Christian God. There are really three main reasons they think He cannot exist (I know there are more, but these I think are the main reasons, so I will focus on these).
1. Lack of empirical evidence.
Empirical — Based on, concerned with, or verifiable by observation or experience rather than theory or pure logic
Honestly, I agree with atheists. There is a lack of empirical evidence for God. I have never seen God, nor have I touched, tasted, felt, smelled, or heard (I mean physically hear, like the tweet of a bird or motor of a car) Him.
2. The problem of evil.
Basically, they see Christians proclaiming the gospel and then turning around and doing terrible things. They see good people being plagued with problems and wonder how a good God could allow something like that to happen.
3. The problem of disbelief.
It basically goes like this: If God is real, He is all good. If He is all good, He would want to reveal Himself to people. There are reasonable people who do not believe in God, so He must not be revealing Himself, so He must not be all good, so He must not be real.
Those are three of the main reasons atheists do not believe in the existence of God. I shall go over them and tell you what is wrong with those reasons. I’ll start with empirical evidence.
As I said earlier, I agree that there is no empirical evidence that God exists. If you have any, please tell me, I would love to make a post about it. Why, then, is this not a good reason to disbelieve God? Because God is not empirical! He does not have a head, feet, or hands. He does not have a body. Searching for empirical evidence of a non-empirical God is useless. Let us say you are in your house and you think your neighbor across the street is playing music. To find out, you decide to smell really hard and see if you cannot smell some music. That would be ridiculous because music is a sound, not a smell. Or let us say an army general receives a tip that there are aircrafts undetectable by radar in the area. To be sure, he searches the radar. Seeing that the radar is clear, he exclaims, “There are obviously no aircraft undetectable by radar here.”
Do not search for empirical evidence of a non-empirical God.
The problem of evil. I’ll use Green Peace as an example. Let us say I am walking down a street and I see a man. He is proclaiming for Green Peace. “Recycle. Buy electric cars. Save animals. Stop global warming.”
After I walk by him, I turn around. When he thought no one was watching he threw his coffee cup onto the sidewalk. And there was a trashcan right next to him. Even worse, there was also a recycling bin as well! So I say, “He is not even doing what he says we should do!”
I am therefore forced to come to this conclusion: Green Peace is a fake organization. It was made up a long time ago by somebody who wanted to control people. If I said that, I would be a moron.
If an ambassador comes to a country and says, “In my country we do so-and-so and we say so-and-so,” and does and says other things, should I then conclude that the country he is representing does not exist? No, but he is failing to represent his country.
Why do bad things happen to good people? Well, look at it this way: there are no good people. Also, bad things are not always bad to have happen. God lets us have trouble to teach us.
Let me tell you a story someone said once on this subject.
“When my daughter was three, she had butterfly boots, and they were her favorite boots. One day, my wife and I decided it was time to potty train her. I told her where the toilet was. I told her to tell me if she needed to go to the bathroom. I equipped her with everything she needed. Then we decided it was time for her to quit wearing diapers. So we dressed her up in a sundress, and she put on her favorite boots. I knew what was going to happen. Suddenly she gave me a terrible look and pee ran down her leg and into her favorite boots. We cleaned her up and cleaned her boots, and I don’t think she has ever peed herself again. Am I a wicked person for allowing that to happen?”
My youth pastor also once said, “If I let my son pick up something hot so he would learn not to, am I evil? Should he say, ‘A good dad would never let something like that happen to me. I refuse to believe that he exists.'”
And lastly, the problem of disbelief. If God is real He must be all good. Yes, I believe that. If God is all good, He must desire to reveal Himself to people. Yes, I believe that as well. Since there are reasonable people who don’t believe in God, He must not be revealing Himself, and must not be real. God is not revealing himself? Who is Jesus? What is the bible for? Who are you saying that to in hopes of convincing them that God is not real? Who is writing this blog right now? God is revealing Himself. “Then why are there reasonable people who do not believe in Him?” you ask. Define “reasonable people”, and I’ll tell you. If evolution is true, and the facts are there, why are there reasonable people who do not believe in evolution? Disbelief in something is not good evidence for its nonexistence.