Don Boys is a former member of the Indiana state legislature and a permanent member of the wingnut brigade, as evidence by this profoundly ridiculous column at BarbWire about why atheists don’t exist. Funny, I’m pretty sure I do exist. And the rhetoric is so idiotic that it will just leave you shaking your head.
Angry, audacious, asinine atheists profess loudly to all who will listen–even to those who won’t–that God does not exist. They are especially overbearing and offensive even obnoxious during the Christmas season. Atheists also do not believe in Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, and Peter Pan but they do not try to convince others of their non-existence. However, I don’t believe in atheists and neither does God. The Bible clearly teaches that God loves the world and wants everyone to place faith in Him to guarantee forgiveness of sins and a place in Heaven. Atheists don’t exist because God will not permit it.
That’s a lot of alliteration from an active asshole with an axe to grind. The rest of this would be viewed as gibberish by a mildly intelligent 9 year old.
It seems the writings of prominent philosophers such as Socrates, Plato, Seneca, etc., indicate they knew much more of the Divine nature than they thought safe or prudent to reveal to others. They were also aware of the Hebrew nation and their Scriptures and rejected them. Those judicious men, aware of their cultural and political circumstances, refused to honor God and turned to the most absurd idolatries and superstitions. Consequently, they degraded themselves by the most vile, vain, and vulgar deeds.
Most people of the ancient world and into the first century refused to profit by the light they had and chose darkness rather than the light. Because they refused to live up to the knowledge they possessed, they died in darkness.
However, men may argue that they know whether or not they believe in God; after all, they are the final authority as to what they believe. But they are not. Men have a deceptive heart and cannot know it according to Jer. 17:9. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Plus they have a rebellious nature so they cannot be trusted to declare what they believe. And people must understand that saying it a thousand times does not change the fact that they do believe in God. We were created with a need for God and a desire for Him even though sin gets in the way.
Gibbon remarked, that “the philosophers regarded all the popular superstitions [religions] as equally false; the common people as equally true; and the politicians as equally useful.” This was probably a correct account of the prevalent feelings among the ancients. Cicero, a few years before Christ, showed that they had the knowledge of one God: “There is something in the nature of things which the mind of man, which reason, which human power cannot effect; and certainly that which produces this must be better than man. What can this be called but God?” Again, he wrote, “What can be so plain and manifest, when we look at heaven, and contemplate heavenly things, as that there is some Divinity of most excellent mind, by which these things are governed?”
No, Cicero didn’t “show” anything. He made an assertion, just like Boys is making assertions. And quoting the Bible does not provide any support for that assertion.
There is no doubt that the ancient Greek and Roman philosophers were convinced of God’s existence but thought it was the better part of wisdom to keep it from the hoi polloi. All for the stability of the state.
Seriously? The opposite is true, of course. Religion almost always provides a strong support for the stability of the state. We didn’t have the divine right of kings for centuries by accident.