Christian Philosopher Explores Causes of Atheism
James S. Spiegel has an uncomfortable thesis to propose
By Lillian Kwon.
A professor of philosophy and religion at Taylor University in Upland, Ind., Spiegel has written a 130-page book, The Making of an Atheist: How Immorality Leads to Unbelief , in response to the New Atheists. But unlike the numerous responses that have emerged from Christian apologists, Spiegel's book focuses on the moral-psychological roots of atheism.
While atheists insist that their foundational reason for rejecting God is the problem of evil or the scientific irrelevance of the supernatural, the Christian philosopher says the argument is "only a ruse" or "a conceptual smoke screen to mask the real issue – personal rebellion."
He admits that it could appear unseemly or offensive to suggest that a person's lack of belief in God is a form of rebellion. But he said in a recent interview with the Evangelical Philosophical Society that he was compelled to write the book because he is convinced that "it is a clear biblical truth."
His goal in writing the book is neither to provoke people nor show that theism is more rational than atheism. Rather, his aim is to direct people to "the real explanation of atheism."
"The rejection of God is a matter of will, not of intellect," he asserts.
"Atheism is not the result of objective assessment of evidence, but of stubborn disobedience; it does not arise from the careful application of reason but from willful rebellion. Atheism is the suppression of truth by wickedness, the cognitive consequence of immorality.
"In short, it is sin that is the mother or unbelief."
God has made His existence plain from creation – from the unimaginable vastness of the universe to the complex micro-universe of individual cells, Spiegel notes. Human consciousness, moral truths, miraculous occurrences and fulfilled biblical prophecies are also evidence of the reality of God.
But atheists reject that, or as Spiegel put it, "miss the divine import of any one of these aspects of God's creation" and to do so is "to flout reason itself."
This suggests that other factors give rise to the denial of God, he notes. In other words, something other than the quest for truth drives the atheist…
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|Recommended Resources: The Making of an Atheist: How Immorality Leads to Unbelief | The Real Face of Atheism by Ravi Zacharias|