Hover over Romans 1:20-22 for proof of God's existence, and over Matthew 5:27-28 for Judgment Day’s perfect standard. Then hover over John 3:16-18 for what God did, and over Acts 17:30-31 for what to do.

Monday, May 26, 2008

A Renewed Respect for Voltaire

The website of an atheist group, which refers to itself as “Wonderful atheists,” states, “This compilation of quotes, from some of the world’s greatest thinkers, gives me hope that our battle is just.” The list, at first glance, looks impressive.

It’s packed full of quotes from "just" fighters for truth--men like Karl Marx, Marilyn Manson, and Satanist Anton LaVey.

Of course, one of the world’s greatest thinkers, Albert Einstein, is at the top of the list. But for some reason they don't quote him saying how he hated being quoted by atheists: "In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what makes me really angry is that they quote me for support of such views." Albert wasn't stupid. He believed in the existence of God. He said, “I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know his thoughts. The rest are details.” (The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton University Press, 2000 p.202)

They quoted Thomas Jefferson (who also believed in God). They quoted free thinker Mark Twain (who believed in God, but justifiably hated established religion). Walt Disney is listed. So are Helen Keller (who also said, “I try to increase the power God has given me to see the best in everything and every one, and make that Best a part of my life”), Galileo, and Charles Darwin. Each of these people were called “great thinkers” and none of them were stupid. They believed in God.

However, many of those quoted railed against organized religion. It seems strange that they didn’t quote Jesus Christ, who railed against the religious leaders of His day, asking them how they were going escape the damnation of Hell. So did John the Baptist. He called the religious leaders a “brood of vipers,” and asked, “Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?”

The atheists of course quoted the French author and playwright Voltaire. They then said of him: “Perhaps never really an atheist, nonetheless, Voltaire changed late in life into a fearless crusader against religious cruelty and injustice. In Voltaire’s time it was forbidden to be an Atheist. Admitting to be one, brought the death sentence. Hence he was a Deist for most of his life.”

So, according to them, Voltaire was probably a secret atheist who pretended to believe in God. That seems to clash with his own thoughts on atheists. This is what Voltaire said of them: “The atheists are for the most part impudent and misguided scholars who reason badly, and who not being able to understand the creation, the origin of evil, and other difficulties, have recourse to the hypothesis of the eternity of things and of inevitability.” He hated organized religion as any self-respecting and thinking person should, and he thought that atheists were rude, misguided folks who didn’t know how to reason. Wow. I have a renewed respect for the man.

He also said, “What conclusion shall we draw from all this? That atheism is a very pernicious monster in those who govern; that it is also pernicious in the persons around statesmen, although their lives may be innocent, because from their cabinets it may pierce right to the statesmen themselves; that if it is not so deadly as fanaticism, it is nearly always fatal to virtue . . . If there are atheists, whom must one blame, if not the mercenary tyrants of souls, who, making us revolt against their knaveries, force a few weak minds to deny the God whom these monsters dishonor” (A Philosophical Dictionary by Voltaire).

Atheists are "impudent," "misguided scholars," who "reason badly" and are "pernicious."

I guess he must have somehow foreseen some of the nasty atheists' comments on this blog.