The following “Closer To Truth” video clip is a typical example of atheists conflating human behavior with the question of the existence of God. The interview is between host, Robert Kuhn and Michael Ruse. Kuhn is an agnostic, Ruse is an atheist philosopher of science.
The original subject of the program was on the New Atheism, but Ruse’s argument is that the question of atheism is a moral issue. He said that while Richard Dawkins’s arguments are philosophically and metaphysically horrendous, what he’s after is the morality of the Bible, of church history, Catholic priests and little boys, etc. To which Ruse concludes:
“Belief in God is not just wrong; it’s morally wrong….because religious beliefs lead to such horrendous effects all the way.”
Kuhn responds to this assertion:
“In my mind there is absolutely no correlation, zero, I mean zero correlation between what religion has done and “is there a God?” …I mean there is no relationship whatsoever, so I understand if you have a moral question against religious practices or what religion has led to from an organizational point of view, but to really understand the nature of atheism versus theism itself, it’s not a social moral issue.”
Then Ruse brought up the thirty years war, as if that was refuting Kuhn’s point.
Kuhn tried his best to tell Ruse that just because God is invoked in disputes in history, those things don’t address the question of the metaphysical existence of God.
“That’s an absurdity, that’s a human absurdity, but the impact of whether God really exists has nothing to do with it”
Amen. Kuhn gets it, but Ruse carries on sarcastically with his fallacious argumentation.
What Kuhn is trying to say is, YES, we SHOULD make the world a better place and eradicate war and fight against radical extremism, but that’s not the same issue as whether God exists or not. It’s not even an argument against Christian theology. As I’ve said before, if we stop cherry-picking history, we can only conclude that human beings poison everything.
To his credit, Ruse finally dropped this absurd line of reasoning and articulated his theological problem with the Christian God, which is trying to combine the Greek idea of God (divine simplicity) and the modern idea of God (personal theism). This is a legitimate argument. I’ve dealt with it in my series of posts on the classical argument for the existence of God.
Ruse then admits, “Ontologically, I’m more of an agnostic,” which again, is refreshing in light of the dogmatic certitudes of the new atheism of Dawkins and his ilk. Of course, Ruse is no idiot. Atheist ontology itself is totally incoherent (see graphic below, click on pic for explanation) and he probably knows it. They all hope that science will one day unlock this conundrum. The only problem with this wishful thinking is that science, by definition, is forever locked within the material realm. It can only vanquish the little “gods of the gaps” (see graphic below). It cannot address the existence of God.
Ruse clearly has a beef with “Christian” people behaving badly in history. I would agree with him on that. But, let’s be clear—this is no argument for atheism.
One more point. Ruse also had a sadly typical view of heaven…meeting St. Peter at the Pearly Gates…(picture Gerber babies with wings playing harps on clouds, etc.). He said, “I don’t believe in that God.” Well, I don’t believe in that God either. Neither does anyone who knows anything at all about Christian theology.
Here’s the video clip.