On atheism, Fox News and Christmas

If I was an atheist and I had to watch this on my news program I’d be really annoyed… Particularly because O’Reilly is fixated on the idea that Christmas is about the baby Jesus – it’s not, it’s about the birth of the Lord Jesus. He grew up and did some stuff. That’s why we care.

It’s in response to this ad from the Humanist society…

The ad has a clever tagline. It’s a shame they can only trot it out once a year. But sadly, that’s not really what humanism is. That’s what secular humanism is. John Calvin has been described as both a Renaissance humanist and a “Christian humanist“.

The author

Nathan runs St Eutychus. He loves Jesus. His wife. His daughter. His son. His other daughter. His dog. Coffee. And the Internet. He is the campus pastor at Creek Road South Bank, a graduate of Queensland Theological College (M. Div) and the Queensland University of Technology (B. Journ). He spent a significant portion of his pre-ministry-as-a-full-time-job life working in Public Relations, and now loves promoting Jesus in Brisbane and online. He can't believe how great it is that people pay him to talk and think about Jesus.

10 thoughts on “On atheism, Fox News and Christmas”

  1. I think it's more fun asking them to define "evil" – I think that's when they sound stupid… "There's no such thing as evil, just a harm based equation that we should embrace to tackle questions of morality"…

    I think, and I've posted this somewhere, that this is where they're at their weakest philosophically.

    It's the great "what's next" of atheism – so you've rejected God? What's next?

    Atheism is great at restricting things to the tangible – ie scientific naturalism – it's terrible at philosophy, logic and morality/ethics.

    1. "Atheism is great at restricting things to the tangible – ie scientific naturalism – it's terrible at philosophy, logic and morality/ethics."

      I guess you missed the whole Enlightenment thing. :-) You know, Kant, Locke, Jefferson, etc. Philosophy doesn't even start to get interesting until you toss out the inconsistent bronze-age guidebook written by wandering desert people.

      1. Tossing out the guidebook would be an odd decision given that I believe in the guide.

        And because I'm a Christian I think those philosophers are brilliant but misguided.

        I would have thought the categorical imperative was on the nose with modern atheistic ethics – you know, the idea that there are certain absolute moral rules… I though harm based ethical analysis was the new black.

  2. Bill O'Reilly is super entertaining to me. My friend who works on his set says as soon as taping is over he has his assistant put anti-aging cream all over his face. That delights me for some reason. :)

  3. Good: Acting in a compassionate and empathetic manner. Pleasurable experiences.

    Evil: A lazy story telling device. Used as a general term to describe “bad things” without actually having to examine cause.

    Nathan loves discussing the evil issue but has never been able to put a solid argument for it himself. Only that arguments denouncing it as a concept must be wrong.

    1. "Nathan loves discussing the evil issue but has never been able to put a solid argument for it himself. Only that arguments denouncing it as a concept must be wrong."

      No, what I haven't been able to do is convince you that you're wrong. Which is pretty hard given how stubborn you are.

      I am yet to see a solid argument for atheism – perhaps you'd like to share one.

      I guess that atheism struggles at this point because philosophy is in the realm of the "why" question, and most atheists don't see the point of answering that question because there is no tangible evidence for why. It can rely on emotions and other irrational things.

  4. We atheists are so silly not to accept the definition of good as that which is aligned with the arbitrary will of God, under which the predetermined eternal punishment of billions of souls based on whether they were lucky enough to be born in a time and place conducive to becoming a member of the one true religion, a competitor among a confusing sea of religions all making mostly mutually-exclusive claims to absolute truth, is "good".

  5. I agree that the concept of evil (which doesn't have any ontological being btw) is the Achilles heel of Atheism. There is a great divide between the the logical outworking of 'no objective standard of good' and the fact that pretty much every normal person acts as if there is. The best defence I've come across is for a concept called 'inter-subjective morality'. It avoids the obvious pitfalls of subjective morality, while still clinging to a remnant of objectivity – kind of a group-think idea. I don't think it works, but I haven't really seen any of the 'big' apologists deal with it.

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