Believers are enchanted somehow when they find a scientist that affirms their delusions. It’s not very common, as most scientists are not actually believers so finding someone that has become an apologist and uses the same old debunked arguments atheists have had to respond to for decades.
Enter Dr. Sarah Salivander, (who?), a PhD. in astrophysics and an ex-atheist and self described Christian apologist. A recent article about her praises her conversion to Christianity and of course goes on at length to outline what she really thinks about atheists and their non-belief.
One of the first things we see is a screenshot of a tweet from her that is nonsensical and actually gets atheism, and religion, all wrong. In the tweet she points out 5 failures of atheists, each one of which any atheist could easily dispute. But we’ll have none of that shall we? She’s a PhD. and therefore her blanket statements may be taken as fact. Or should they? From the beginning it starts coming off the tracks.
1. Start with the assumption of no God.
Well, I ‘m not sure how she came to that conclusion but most atheists I know were once believers and did not start with any assumptions about God, but came to that conclusion over time. Sometimes years. We can see who’s making an assumption here and it’s not exactly something one would say if they ever actually knew any atheists. That’s okay though, because, as I began, she’s an apologist and this is one of the standard arguments apologists make.
2. However, also start with Christian morality.
Exactly what is Christian morality? This, again, is the same-old-thing we hear constantly: morality comes from God. The same people refuse to recognize that long before people starting believing in their version of God, that people did in fact have morals: theft, rape, murder, were all looked down upon in pretty much every ancient society we know of because affirming the same would destroy any stable community. It’s easy to discover, if anyone takes the time, to look at ancient texts and discern that they too encouraged moral behavior and punished those that broke those laws that ensured a stable society.
3. Remove the bits you don’t like.
Like murder, rape, and theft? Oh wait, maybe she’s referring to abortion and homosexuality, the former, never addressed in her holy text, and the later, was a prohibition in the Old Testament as her god (Jesus) never spoke about either. but then, of course, she forgets to mention the bits that Christians like to forget about as in genocide and rape, which is a very common theme in the same Old Testament. Of course, she never actually elucidates on these bits she refers to, but then inconvenient facts are well, inconvenient, aren’t they?
4. Proclaim that it’s self evident.
I know there are atheists that will say that “There is no God”, in fact, I think I’ve become one of those over the years, but listening to most atheists, it is not self evident that there is no God. In fact, most atheists I know will say they see no proof of a God, but if there were some proof provided, they would change their mind. The problem is that, year over year, the same apologists give the same argumentation as proof, which is not proof, but an assumption based on nothing factual. This is just a fatuous argument.
5. Ignore the meaninglessness of a Godless universe.
More apologetics without meaning. It is only Christians that believe that without God, life is meaningless and that the universe has no purpose. Who says the universe is supposed to have some sort of purpose? And as far as. life, the same question arises. Something anathema to these apologists is the idea that every human being makes their own purpose in life. Only those still living in a bronze age mindset where you can believe that God created not only the universe, but the Earth in 6 days (yes, she believes this!) would actually claim that it is their God that provides meaning,
I would encourage everyone to read the article in its entirety. there’s a link provided as well to a FAQ of questions asked by atheists that I would call Apologetics Gone Wild. More of the same that does nothing to convince anyone other than believers that atheists have no argument for their non-belief. I read the questions Dr. Salivander claims to have received from atheists, and of course, read a few of the response. I learned nothing. In fact, I cannot believe these are actual questions from atheists at all! I think they are contrived. None in the list would I ever ask. Standard apologetical nonsense.
I’ve written before that I am skeptical of those that claim to be ex-atheists and this fawning article on an “astrophysicist” I think only enforces what I have always thought: they were never truly atheists at all. These people, although claiming to be atheists at some time in their lives, were looking for something else, something that atheism didn’t provide. Atheism doesn’t make any promises, or offer any comfort that some may be seeking.
We’re a disparate group. Some like to refer to atheists as a community, but I object, in that we are in fact not a group that agrees about everything. I don’t view this as being a negative, in fact, just the opposite in that we choose to think as we want. No one decides for us what is rightthink. Unlike theists, and their accompanying apologists, we don’t require The Digest of Apologetics (don’t look for it, I just made it up) to tell us how we need to behave, or what we should or should not believe.
That’s the difference in being an atheist versus any apologist/believer: We think for ourselves.
6 thoughts on “A Scientist and an Apologist?”
This reminds me of an old saying I heard once.
” There is a difference between a Dr. of Medicine & a Dr. of Theology. One precribes drugs, and the other might as well be on drugs”
In the event that my retirement planning goes awry, which may well happen since I have little idea what I’m doing in that department, my last-resort plan to bail myself out of financial ruin is as follows:
1. Publicly out myself as an atheist and as having been the author of my blog for all those years.
2. Convert to evangelical fundamentalist Christianity a few months later.
3. Use my history as an ex-atheist and my Ph.D. to make money by writing, speaking, and whatever else people will support.
Oops! I just realized I left out a step.
2a. Become a psychopath.
Did you happen to read the FAQ? I cannot recall any atheist I know that would ask such questions of a believer. I actaully wanted to go there in the post, but decided to wait, another post, to address.
My first thought about this woman is that her family should have her checked for dementia. I haven’t time to read the site and the FAQs, etc, but will get back to this, because it is priceless entertainment. Thanks Jim.
You are blogging too fast for me to keep up… LOL.
I would appreciate it, when you have time, to go through the FAQ and submit here, your take on those “questions that atheists ask”.
Jim, did you read her testimony here: https://sixdayscience.com/2015/05/11/my-testimony/
It is, to my mind, most typical of a young person who is seeking something more in her life that is not only comforting, but which “answers” all her questioning. She was turned off by the Ayn Rand Institute’s support of partial-birth abortion and instead of becoming a Conservative Atheist, she turned to a Creator Deity belief. Then compound that with her falling in love with and marrying a devout Christian, suffering early tragedies, being separated from her support group and clinging to that which makes her feel whole. She knows of the Multiverse theory and Multiple Lives theory and suspects that any who support them are merely trying to escape the reality of God, but I really just skimmed that. I don’t know how old she was when she fully accepted Christ, but I suspect she was not out of her 20s yet.
I truly just skimmed it though, as I also skimmed through the FAQs. I will go through them all a bit more thoroughly, just for the heck of it.
Busy week, this week.
All of this taken together seems to be the result of believers, who are naive about atheism and atheists and whose opinions and beliefs tend to be juvenile. There is no there there.