Response to an Atheist Friend (4)

Recently we had 28 people from an atheist group visit our church, then I went to their atheist meeting. One of the guys has written a first draft of a book about atheism. He was trying to get other members of his group to read it and give him feedback, but they weren’t, so I offered to do it. He is intelligent and makes some valid points in his book, including some complaints against Christians. I thought it might be interesting to share a few things he wrote, along with my feedback to him. Here’s one:

My atheist friend writes:

And it seemed to me that all an atheist (for that, without really intending it, is what I had become) has is Truth…

I responded:

What truth? Whose truth? Your truth? Hitler’s truth? Mao Tes-tung’s truth? Stalin’s truth? Isn’t it true that without an objective source of truth, everyone gets to decide truth for themselves? Don’t you have to admit this? And that some societies might (and do) choose truth that includes genocide or rape?

He also writes that since he came to believe there is no God who gave us purpose, he got to make up his own purpose. That he could choose to hold whatever he wanted sacred. And that he could choose his own ethics and morality.

I wrote in the margin:

What if you choose your purpose to be raping women? What if you hold sacred exterminating handicapped people? What if society decides its rules include eliminating a minority group? These are, obviously, explosive examples, but they make a point. And its a true and good point. And, again, if you don’t deal with these problems, your book doesn’t seem intellectually honest to me…