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MacArthur: How Can Atheists Be Thankful?

MacArthur: How Can Atheists Be Thankful? November 26, 2012

John MacArthur, president of The Master’s College and Seminary and host of his own radio show, writes an idiotic and insipid column in the Moonie Times where he wonders how atheists could possibly celebrate Thanksgiving if they don’t believe in God.

Thankfulness is one of the distinguishing traits of the human spirit. We sense the need to say thanks, and we realize we ought to be more grateful than we are. We furthermore perceive that we are indebted to (and accountable to) a higher power than ourselves — the God who made us. According to Scripture, everyone has this knowledge, including those who refuse to honor God or thank Him.

Ingratitude is dishonorable by anyone’s reckoning, but to be willfully ungrateful toward the Creator is to deny an essential aspect of our own humanity. The shame of such ingratitude is inscribed on the human conscience, and even the most dogmatic atheists are not immune from the knowledge that they ought to give thanks to God. Try as they might to suppress or deny the impulse, “what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them,” according to Romans 1:19.

Gee, a book written by people who believe in God says that everyone knows there is a God even if they don’t know it? Well that’s a terribly compelling argument. Why didn’t I think of that? Of course, “scripture” contains lots of stupid claims like this.

One atheist has practically made a hobby of writing articles to explain why atheists feel the need to be thankful and to answer the question of whom they might thank. His best answer? He says atheists can be grateful to farmers for the food we eat, to doctors for the health we enjoy, to engineers for the advantages of modern technology, to city workers for keeping our environment clean and orderly — and so on.

Here’s the problem with that: Tipping the waitress or tipping one’s hat to sanitation workers doesn’t even come close to resolving the problem of whom Mr. Dawkins should thank when he looks at the stars, stands at the edge of the Grand Canyon, or studies the world of countless wonders his microscope reveals in a single drop of pond water.

No one. Gratitude is only meaningful to those with a capacity for understanding it, meaning those with brains that allow such abstract thought. It would be absurd to express gratitude to a tree, since they can’t understand it anyway; the same holds for deities, since existence if a prerequisite to understanding.

After all, the starting point for atheistic materialism is the equation nobody times nothing equals everything. What could possibly be more irrational?

Jesus H. Christ on a pogo stick. That isn’t a straw man, it’s an entire straw universe.

On some level, atheists themselves surely realize this. Proof of their internal angst is seen in the fact that so many of them are not content merely to disbelieve. They are militant in their opposition to God. They hate the very thought of God and would love to have every mention of Him removed from public discourse — as if that would somehow remove the burden of their own ingratitude and relieve the pangs of a guilty conscience.

But as Scripture says, it is the ultimate folly to try to suppress our own innate sense of obligation to our Maker. “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’” says Psalm 14:1. In short, to deny God is to debase one’s own mind and dehumanize the whole person.

I’ll take amateur and moronic armchair psychology for $1000, Alex.

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