The psychology of atheism?

"N" is for "Non Sequitur"
Image by BinJabreel (Is on Hiatus) via Flickr

So I’m playing around with DirecTV’s search for a program feature and wonder what might come up if I typed in “atheist.” Sure enough, a single program populated in the list: “The Psychology of Atheism,” which was on a show hosted by R.C. Sproul.

So I scheduled it and promptly forgot about it.

Until I was looking at my recordings list and noticed it recorded this morning. It was only a half-hour show and, even though I knew Sproul was a Christian apologist and not likely to have anything rational to say, I decided I could stand it for 30 minutes.

The presentation actually began very rationally and sensible. He quoted some preeminent philosophers and made some very objective observations about the theist-atheist debate on whether or not a god exists. One of these (and I’m paraphrasing) was that we can all agree that the question of god is one that automatically comes with psychological baggage. I can agree with that.

He made a few observations like simply stating that without God, life would be meaningless (a la Kant) isn’t sufficient enough of an argument to say that a god exists. I can agree with that, obviously.

But then Sproul uses not logic, reason or scientific observation to arrive at his conclusion that a god -and not just any god but his God- exists! What then, does R.C. Sproul use to defend his position that a god, his God, exists?

The Apostle Paul.

I shit you not.

He makes the GIANT leap of moving from the question about the existence of a god to affirming that existence with the writings of an Iron Age misogynist. He interprets Paul as stating that the “denial of God” is a moral issue not an intellectual issue. Yet Sproul does nothing to create an intellectual link between the existence of a god in the universe and that god being his God; the god of Sproul’s own culture. And he has the gall to state it’s a “moral question” and makes an argument that atheists are immoral since they deny the “truth of God revealed in nature.”

And, no, Sproul doesn’t give an intellectual example of this “natural evidence” either. We are left to take it on faith that what he’s saying is true. What he’s saying about truth is true, that is.

This is coming from the guy who’s son was defrocked for tax fraud, identity theft, and “spiritual abuse” (whatever that means). Oh, and Jr. was a misogynist as well, referring to his wife as “barren” even though she already gave him 6 children. I’m betting the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Such presentations by apologists are never really intended for viewing or attendance by atheists and skeptics, however. They’re presentations probably designed with the primary intention of maintaining the flock and keeping the flock close, pointing out the dangers of thinking for yourself or asking the wrong questions, after all, those atheists are immoral and you don’t want to go down the path of immorality. Do you?

The flock and their shepherd.

Don’t forget, flock: the best shepherds eventually slaughter their flocks after fleecing them for years.

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