People look at you like you’re weird because you don’t have social media, but when you actually step back and look from the outside you realise no, I’m not weird. Spending hours of your time staring at your smart phone, instead of enjoying life is what’s weird… that’s so weird. – Cal Newport
Something that I think almost everyone today can sympathise with is how much time social media and big tech suck out of our lives.
Love it or hate it, no one can deny the fundamental presence of big tech in our modern lives.
If you’re one of the people who has shifted over time from off-handed comments about how much time we spend on social media, to becoming legitimately concerned that it is negatively affecting other aspects of your life, then you’re not alone.
Editor’s note: This is a huge post. SciAm’s stupid article has, like seriously, 15 points(!), and I’ve interspersed my responses throughout it’s text (SciAm is in blue block quotes). So I’ve provided a contents page at the beginning of this post (with links to each section!), if you can’t bring yourself to read the whole thing… even if I think it’s awesome.
(Also what’s this green block quote? That’s fancy! After three years of blogging I’ve finally started dabbling in source code, so I’ve added some extra features to this post (like a contents page with links!), just as a taste.
So, just know the blue quotes are text taken from the Scientific American article. Green quotes are any other ordinary quotes from other sources, including my own little footnotes)
Scientific American has fallen far from its staunchly Christian roots
John Rennie has cowered away from answering actual creationist arguments, and has mostly resorted to tackling weak, outdated, even straw-man arguments such as ‘evolution is just a theory’
SciAm’s cowardly refusal to even acknowledge Jonathan Sarfati’s stellar response to the original 2002 publication, proves my second point
>15 years since it was originally published, the Scientific American’s article is still a huge pile of vitriolic hog wash
If you ask an atheist this question most often they will carefully explain to you that atheism is ‘a lack of belief in God’.
They’re very sensitive about this.
A lack of belief is not the same thing as non-belief. To claim God ‘does not exist’ is an absolute statement, and one which is virtually impossible to prove deductively.
So the atheist will simply say they ‘lack belief’ and will say this is mostly because of a ‘lack of sufficient evidence’ (agnosticism).
Some atheists are happy to flat-out deny the existence of God and explicitly deny He exists, but most do not.
In practise however, virtually all atheists live life as if God does not exist and harbour a characteristic antagonism towards religious belief.
“I do not believe in God. I am an atheist. I consider myself a Critical thinker, and it fascinates me in the 21st Century people still believe in, as George Carlin puts it, ‘the invisible man living in the sky’.” – Seth MacFarlane
In fact many of the most recognisable atheists, like Richard Dawkins, appear to have made a name for themselves primarily thanks to their condescending, albeit charismatic, public personas.
If you belonged to a political party or a social club that was tied to as much bigotry, misogyny, homophobia, violence, and sheer ignorance as religion is, you’d resign in protest. – Bill Maher
Belief in any kind of god is, in the mind of many atheists, the antithesis of intelligent, human reasonableness.
Supposedly atheism captures a spectrum of beliefs, from outright rejection of any supernatural phenomena at all, to more of an openness to some more spiritualised forms of religion which do not necessarily believe in a ‘god’ per se (like buddhism, or even weird stuff like Satanism and nature worship).
But for the most part atheism rejects any reference to the supernatural, including ghosts and the paranormal, inter-dimensional spirituality, the human soul or any kind of afterlife (including reincarnation).
What you see is what you get.
Given that atheism rejects the supernatural atheists are, unsurprisingly, huge fans of science.
To many atheists, science has all the tools to explain virtually all of our existence, because science is the study of the natural world, and the natural world is all there is.
How does the atheist explain our world?
Atheism is a worldview really, just like Christianity is a worldview.
Atheism may try to limit itself to ‘a lack of belief in gods’, but lacking a belief in gods requires one to hold at least minimal beliefs about other things without reference to any god.
If God does not exist, then what caused the universe to exist?
How is it that the universe seems to be so perfectly fine tuned for life?
What is morality and where did it come from?
Atheism should be able to offer some alternative explanations for these things. Most importantly, as Ravi Zacharias explains here:
“A worldview basically offers answers to four necessary questions: origin, meaning, morality, and destiny [purpose].”
In other words, a belief that God doesn’t exist (or is not the most likely explanation), needs to be able to explain (or at least have some idea) how to answer questions like what mechanisms gave rise to the universe, biological life, human consciousness or the laws of nature and logic? Do our lives have meaning? Is there such a thing as good and evil?
Realistically it should be able to offer up a more compelling response than that given by any alternative.
In fact if atheism is the correct worldview, and it is true God does not exist, then you would expect atheism to have better, more likely explanations for everything we see.
Except it doesn’t.
In fact atheism fails to explain the majority of big picture questions it should be able to explain.
She’s the author of an excellent blog dedicated to empowering Christian parents to raise their kids with a good, solid foundation in Christian apologetics.
Mrs Crain has a great blog and has written some great articles about everything from how to teach your kids to think critically, to the potential warning signs and consequences of raising your kids on a watered down faith.
A lot of people assume teaching their kids apologetics would involve some kind of formal event: Dad comes home from work with his suit and briefcase, loosens the tie (only slightly), then sternly gathers the children and announces, “Kids, it’s time to talk about…apologetics… but it doesn’t have to be like this!” – Natasha Crain
It’s a brilliant blog, which makes mine look like a cheap soap-box. It has a lot of really great, readable information and some of the big hitters in apologetics such as Dr J Warner Wallace for example have openly endorsed and featured her work.
Scanning through Mrs Crain’s posts I stumbled upon this one:
I’m very interested to know where other Christian’s, especially big hot-shot apologists, stand on evolution. How you see Genesis, and the relationship between the Bible and science says a lot about how you view scripture, in my experience. So naturally I was intrigued to get some insight into one of my new favourite bloggers’ perspective on this vital issue.
Editors note: In my last post I took issue with yet another random internet thing I found, and explained what was wrong with it. This post I thought I would go on the offensive. This post is my own little random internet thing, please enjoy.
Atheists claim the intellectual high ground. Atheism is not shackled by the crushing bonds of outdated superstition and religious nonsense. Atheists are clever, sensible people who believe in science, and trust the evidence.
Atheists don’t have blind faith, this is just for silly fundamentalist Christians and creationists.
Or so they would like you to think.
The truth is atheists claim to believe in science, but they actually believe…
Do you ever doubt your faith, or wonder if you could be getting it all wrong?
The prodigal son is truly the exception to the rule today.
The heartbreaking reality is that the church is in decline. More importantly, it’s the youngest generations that are turning their backs the fastest. Something like 59% of youth, raised in the church, will leave and never come back.
Why is this?
What the hell is going on?
I mean we have bright fancy lights and loud music. We have trendy pastors who wear ripped jeans and printed tee’s right? What more do these kids want?
Maybe the church is simply becoming less ‘relevant’. Maybe they are learning the ‘truth’ at school and university. Maybe it’s social media and the ‘fake news’.
Or is it something simpler?
As usual, I think the Bible can give us some clues as to why this might be happening.