Yet Another Arrogant Atheist Rant
One would wish that the angry atheists came up with something new for a change – something original or something clever. Instead, all we get from them are the same old tired clichés and bumper sticker objections that have been raised ad infinitum, ad nauseam, and have been carefully dealt with in equal measure.
There certainly is nothing new under the sun when it comes to these angry misotheists, and one wonders why they keep getting a free run and incessant air time when all they can come up with are such stale, tired and vacuous objections to the God they claim does not even exist. Indeed, why do they spend their entire lives getting all worked up about such a non-existent being?
Just who is being irrational here? But we have yet another example of these guys shooting off at the mouth, pretending to be wise, although actually proclaiming themselves to be fools (Romans 1:22). And as is often the case, the very thing that the Apostle Paul pairs together in this regard we find with this guy.
I refer to English actor and author Stephen Fry who is both an atheist and a homosexual. He recently “married” his young male lover, thirty years his junior no less. How often do we find that those lashing out against God are the same ones seeking to justify their immoral lifestyles? The two certainly go together.
He recently was interviewed on the TV show, The Meaning of Life. Here is how one article describes this encounter:
The weekly show features discussions about the purpose of life, religion, and what happens after death. A clip released ahead of Sunday’s screening saw Fry discussing his views on God from his perspective as an atheist. “Suppose it’s all true, and you walk up to the pearly gates, and are confronted by God,” asked Bryne. “What will Stephen Fry say to him, her, or it?” The 57-year-old replied: “I’d say, bone cancer in children? What’s that about? How dare you? How dare you create a world to which there is such misery that is not our fault. It’s not right, it’s utterly, utterly evil. Why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid God who creates a world that is so full of injustice and pain. That’s what I would say.”
Byrne’s second question, “And you think you are going to get in, like that?” only served to fuel his fervour. “But I wouldn’t want to,” Fry insisted. “I wouldn’t want to get in on his terms. They are wrong. Now, if I died and it was Pluto, Hades, and if it was the 12 Greek gods then I would have more truck with it, because the Greeks didn’t pretend to not be human in their appetites, in their capriciousness, and in their unreasonableness… they didn’t present themselves as being all-seeing, all-wise, all-kind, all-beneficent, because the god that created this universe, if it was created by god, is quite clearly a maniac… utter maniac, totally selfish. We have to spend our life on our knees thanking him? What kind of god would do that? So, atheism isn’t not just about not believing there’s a God, but on the assumption there is one, what kind of God is he?”
Visibly staggered by Fry’s answer, Byrne said: “That sure is the longest answer to that question I ever got in this entire series.”
Yawn. Just another hot-headed atheist who thinks he knows it all. So smug. So pompous. So arrogant. So self-satisfied. So wise in his own eyes. And so deadly wrong. As I say, these accusations have been around for ages now, and have been dealt with time and time again.
The first has to do with the so-called problem of evil: how can a good God allow suffering, etc. It has been raised countless times and it has been dealt with countless times, yet these guys act as if they just thought up this objection, and that it is unassailable.
Well sorry, but it is neither fool-proof nor a knockout blow against theism. Indeed, if Fry were half as clever as he pretends to be, he would know about the library of work out there satisfactorily dealing with these sorts of objections. And he would know that a growing number of philosophers do not find much weight in these objections, certainly in their logical formulation (referred to as the deductive problem of evil).
Known as the issue of theodicy (defending the ways of God to man in relation to evil and suffering), there has been oceans of ink spilled on this. I happen to have already penned 35 articles on this, so I will not repeat myself here: https://billmuehlenberg.com/category/apologetics/theodicy/
But just a very few quick words nonetheless. This world of course is not how God intended it to be. He made all things good, and intended a wonderful love relationship between creature and Creator. But sin entered the world, spoiling everything. That is why we now have bone cancer and suffering and misery.
But God did not leave us alone in this situation. He sent his own son to make things right, to restore our broken relationship, and to eventually put an end to all evil and suffering. And he did this by suffering himself, by entering our world and taking upon his perfect person all our sin and its deserved punishment.
So this ludicrous idea that God is somehow aloof from, and totally indifferent to, our plight and our suffering could not be further from the truth. No one cares more, and has gotten more involved in our dilemma, than God. And it is for that very reason that we do owe him our lifelong gratitude.
This has absolutely nothing to do with God being a “maniac, totally selfish” as Fry so fool-heartedly claims. Anyone who would do so much for us when we don’t deserve it in the least most certainly is worthy of our praise and worship and attention both now and for eternity.
What a wonderful God we serve: one who loves us so much that he refuses to leave us in the mess we have gotten ourselves into. He has done all he can to redeem us, to deliver us, to set us free, and to put us back into right standing with Him.
But those who refuse to accept this gracious and free gift have nothing to complain about. Indeed, they will only have themselves to blame for the hellhole they have made for themselves. And those who lash out the most against such a gracious and loving God are those who are the most bound by their own rebellion, sin and selfishness.
At the end of the day, it is not intellectual objections that keep atheists from coming to Christ, but their moral condition. The simple truth is, they prefer their sin (in this case, homosexuality included) to the holiness and purity of the God who is there.
BTW, no wonder Fry prefers the mythic Greek and Roman gods. They were really just glorified men. They were just as petty and capricious and finite and faulty as we are. It is ever so much easier to deal with gods like that than with the real, true and living God: the God who is totally exalted above his creation, without blemish or fault, the one who holds us all morally accountable.
These atheists do not need more answers, more theodicy, more apologetics. They need to stop their rebellion and stop shaking their fists at their Creator (and eventual Judge). As C. S. Lewis once put it, “Fallen man is not simply an imperfect creature who needs improvement: he is a rebel who must lay down his arms.”
Until Fry does that, he is simply sealing his own fate. Tragically, he may well fry forever, if he persists in his hatred of God and in his arrogant vaunting of self. But it need not be this way. As always, we must pray for people like Fry. Pray that he eventually will see the light, turn from his sin and rebellion, and become a new creation in Christ.
27 Replies to “Yet Another Arrogant Atheist Rant”
Ray Comfort had an excellent response to this:
Stephen Fry needs to have a think about where he gets his yardsticks of morality from. He – like most atheists – doesn’t appreciate that he uses God’s morality in an attempt to rail against Him. His argument destroys itself, for he cannot open his mouth in accusation without first assuming God’s standards of right and wrong, good and evil, kind and mean, etc. Matter alone – which is all there is in an atheistic worldview – cannot invoke any kind of morality, or reason for that matter, and be a consistent paradigm.
As a friend of mine often says, they constantly want to borrow from God’s toolbox to try and build their arguments that He doesn’t exist.
Yes good stuff Mark. Atheists depend on and need God in everything – even in their vocal denunciations of Him.
He looks like he is 85 years old.
Oh crap he’s only 57. See that is what that dangerous lifestyle will do to you. It will kill you off 2 to 3 decades early. Not a health alternative.
Fry is featured in the film V For Vendetta as a homosexual who treasures the Quran. Set in a dystopian Britain police state ruled oppressively by conservative types (Chrisitians I would guess since it’s a Hollywood production) his character secretly is homosexual and he reveals to the main character a storeroom featuring a Quran that is one of many precious items he has concealed from confiscation.
The irony is sadly and sickeningly laughable on so many levels.
True, Fry doesn’t factor the Fall into his thinking. But, like churches that get various important doctrines wrong, many in the church get this wrong too. Specifically, theistic evolutionists have to think that the Fall was purely a spiritual event that had no impact in the natural world (so wouldn’t explain Ray Comfort’s comments that Mark Rabich quoted: “Then there are the hundreds of thousands of children who have been killed in earthquakes, floods, famines, tornadoes, tsunamis, and hurricanes.”)
As non-Christian Philosopher of Science, Professor David Hull wrote:
Christians and churches that teach that God used evolution have to teach that death, disease, suffering, natural disasters, and so forth (including thorns) are all part of God’s “very good” creation, and cannot logically claim that this is not how God intended it to be. And the consequences of this teaching affects entire nations. F. Sherwood Taylor of Oxford wrote in 1949 that “…I myself have little doubt that in England it was [the long ages of] geology and the theory of evolution that changed us from a Christian to a pagan nation.”
A nun once said to me years ago “suffering is a jewel. It gives you the chance to build character”. It is true that you, or others who see a tragedy unfold, can fight to overcome adversity. The choices we make, every word we speak, amounts to something significant. It seems God has a purpose for the people of Earth, uniquely positioned in the Orien spiral arm of the Milky Way galaxy. Jesus, the Son of God, came to Earth to pass on the message of God the Father’s great plan and like a flickering candle flame, his words of good news have been passed down through the ages to those who will listen.
The main problem with Fry’s claim is that it is based on the nonsense idea that people are good no matter how evil they are. An idea common to people who are blind to sin. The Biblical position is that people are evil no matter how “good” they think they are; a view people’s eyes have to be opened to. When Fry has to face the wonder of his maker, this perspective will become very clear and obvious.
They incorrectly quote “judge not” thinking we should not judge because it hurts them but of course, the Biblical position is that we are encouraged to not judge people unless we are on firm ground because it hurts ourselves. If we are found to be wrong. (Eg Job’s friends) then we will be shown clearly to be wanting. We are, however, called, instructed and encouraged to admonish and edify others as an act of love.
All fairly obvious when you start to appreciate the stupendous power and majesty of God.
I think Romans 1: 22 “although they claimed to be wise, they became fools” was written to remind us of the likes of Fry and his ilk and the all through to the end of the chapter illustrates why his thinking is distorted. As scripture also says, despite the contrary evidence in the glory of creation, “a fool in his heart says there is no God”.
The question is not “how can God allow evil and not perform a miracle at absolutely every corner and our every demand?”, but “How come that the human race, after being responsible for not only giving entry to evil into God’s perfect world through the first sin, but continuing with evil every day has not been annihilated by God who would have been perfectly justified to have done so? Why then is HE still calling every human being in spite of their inherent rebellion and even that committed by choice to come and follow Him and receive eternal life for no other reason than that God decided to love us to the extent of paying the price which that rebellion would have cost us, eternal damnation. Turn the question on its head and watch those who would speak like Fry open their mouth with nothing to say.
The show is produced and broadcast on RTE TV in Ireland. It appears the interviewer wasn’t carrying out his duties by further questioning Fry on his appalling lack of knowledge of Christian apologetics.
But then, is it the aim of the program to seek those answers? It appears not, from which we can conclude, the show is not really serious in searching for the meaning of life, but just another pithy time-filling vehicle to sell advertising and provide a soapbox for nobodies who sole claim to fame is that they are actors.
To ask a person like Fry about the transcendental issues of life and death is like asking the likes of Russell Brand on the meaning in fidelity and abstinence.
If not going to heaven means going to the “other” place,from biblical descriptions, I think the name “Fry” is ominous. By the way, in case Fry was wondering, the answer to the meaning of life, the universe and everything is 42.
If tiny specks on a tiny speck in the universe try to speculate on what God should be like, we are bound to talk nonsense. On the other hand, if such a God were to reveal himself both in words and in a person…
I used to watch his “QI” TV show for the interesting questions but gave up because of the vulgarity. He deliberately uses the show as a platform for humorous allusions to homosexual practices, a strategy designed to acclimatize viewers to homosexuality as the “normal”, done thing. I understand this principle of desensitization was devised by gay activists during the eighties. He’s manipulative and subversive.
As an atheist he lacks the discipline and sophistication of atheist thinkers like Flew or Stove. Bit of a clumsy twit.
Krish Kandiah has done a good job of utilising Fry’s comments to address the people Fry is influencing and their own questions about God’s goodness with ‘gentleness and respect’: http://www.christiantoday.com/article/stephen.fry.says.god.is.capricious.mean.minded.stupid.but.lets.not.get.angry/47174.htm
Fry’s world view can’t have answered his questions on matters of origins, meaning, morality and destiny that successfully – didn’t he unsuccessfully attempt suicide recently?
And @ Mark- 100 % agree with your comments about borrowing God’s toolbox. R Zacharias succinctly puts a similar argument when confronting the” how can God allow evil” comment. His response is- that since you believe in good and evil, there must be a yardstick against which to gauge standards of good and evil, and if you believe in such concepts, you must believe in a moral law to measure standards of good and evil- and if there is a moral law (something which can’t exist in a world of naturalism, which must exist in a state of blind, pitiless indifference) there must be a moral lawgiver which exists outside of the natural world- which can only be God. It is also true that atheist’s belief that a powerful, all-knowing God does not exist, means that, for the atheist to absolutely know that for certain, they themselves must be all-knowing- which is what they’re trying to deny exists. Their’s is an argument which lacks logical coherence.
So the fryed fool wants action without consequences?
He wants action without a reaction?
He wants to openly rebel against God then demands he hold everything in unison?
Sounds very two year old to me. Two year olds do things, then get upset when they go horribly wrong (in their eyes).
Poor fry, he has not developed beyond the emotional intelligence capacity of a two year old, such a shame.
Let me see if I get this straight – sin entered the world, therefore this god of yours allows children to die of bone cancer.
Either your god is all-powerful and is an ethical failure in allowing this to happen, or, your god isn’t all-powerful in which case it can’t possibly be responsible for creating the world.
As to the morals of people who choose to worship a super-being so ethically-flawed that it allows children to die of bone cancer…well…if they *do* have morals it’s certainly *despite* belonging to this crazy-club, not because of it.
Thanks Craig. Let me see if I get this straight – the God you claim is nonexistent, yet spend all your time worrying about, arguing against, and getting bent out of shape over, is actually just someone made in your image, existing only to do your own bidding.
You can’t keep hating a God who dares to enter your world, invade your space, and makes reasonable demands of you, yet also insist that he intervene and does things nonetheless when you want him to. You want him out of your life entirely so you can live your selfish lifestyle, but then you want God deeply involved in life, as in ‘doing something’ about cancer. You want God to intervene when it comes to illness, but you want him to get lost when it comes to how you run your life. Sorry but you can’t have it both ways. But I realise that logical consistency is not generally a strong suit of the misotheists.
Since when does the creature have a right to tell the creator how to run the show? It would be just as helpful to insist that a three year old can call all the shots, and tell his parents what they can do and how they can do it. To show respect and consideration for a wise parent is the least any sensible child can do. Only a pompous twit would tell the parents to get lost, and insist that they – as a mere child – can do a much better job of running everything.
And of course your tired complaint about God has been dealt with time and time again, as I already stated in my article. But since you are out of your depth with where so many major thinkers and philosophers are at with this discussion, and not up on the literature, let me help you here just a bit. There are plenty of formulations which can be mooted here, but let me offer just one very simple one:
1. Since God is all-good, He has the will to defeat evil.
2. Since God is all powerful, He has the power to defeat evil.
3. Evil is not yet defeated.
4. Therefore, evil will one day be defeated.
As I stated in my piece, when man chooses to shake his fist at God and tell him to get lost, then yes, all sorts of crap happens as a result. It is the same as buying some complex piece of technical equipment, throwing away the assembly and operating instructions, and then flying in a rage with the manufacturer when you end up with a complete mess of things. Makes as much sense as what you are proffering here: refuse the good that our creator has in mind for us, go your own way, find things all fouled up, and then get mad at God for it. Yep, makes perfect sense.
God is too much of a gentleman to force us into a love relationship with him. Indeed, coerced love is no love at all. So he allows us real freedom – the very thing angry atheists always demand – but then allows us to live with the consequences of our bad and terribly myopic choices.
Sorry but I have little sympathy for these tired and quite empty objections which I hear all the time. Of course I used to throw around the same vacuous criticisms, as have millions of others, only to come to see that the God who exists most certainly is the supreme being in the universe who most definitely deserves my praise, respect and love. I can only pray that you come to the end of yourself and make the same liberating and life-changing discovery.
@ Craig- you mention “morals” and “ethics”? Where, pray tell are the origins of what is ethical and unethical, moral or immoral in a cold pitiless world of blind indifference od the materialist worldview, which exists when you take God out of the equation? Where does your measuring stick come form?Your moral gyroscope? Pray tell how where that comes from- evolution, perhaps?
But, according to your incoherence logic, its OK to “sneak” God’s ethics and morality in to the argument, when you want to give Him a serve, and then ignore Him when h
He makes demands on yourself. See my previous comments.
Craig never claimed he worried about “this god of yours.” He was primarily questioning the logic of people who believe in something that is supposedly all powerful, yet has to blame and punish his own creation for making mistakes due to circumstances that needn’t exist in the first place (i.e. why create a forbidden Tree of Knowledge that allows for the possibility of sin when God was going to forbid them to eat from it anyway?).
As for your formulations, Bill, what makes you say God is “all-good”? Isaiah 45:7 states: “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.”
The Almighty is eternal and unchangeable. He has always created evil and will continue to do so eternally.
Thanks Andrew, but of course Craig is worried about this God – he is obsessed with him, just as you are. You guys insist that he does not exist, yet you seem to spend every waking moment of your lives hyperventilating about all things divine, even wasting all your time arguing with theists right now! I have found no one to me more obsessed with God than atheists are.
And I must say I get a bit amused when atheists come here pretending to be first class theologians! And I can get a bit impatient with those who refuse to deal with what has been written, and instead keep setting up handy straw men to pull down. I realise that this makes the atheists feel good about themselves, but it adds nothing of substance to the discussion.
Those who actually read what I wrote will see that I already said that God allows us to make our own choices, and he allows us to live with the consequences of those choices. As I said, if a silly three-year-old insisted on telling his parents to get lost, and tried to do everything himself and in his own way, we all know he will quickly get into all sorts of trouble and misery. No one would think it logical if the kid blamed his parents for his tragic outcome. Yet that is just what we have here: angry atheists and others demanding that God get lost, so they can run the whole show on their own. They of course end up getting into all sorts of mess and tragedy, yet still incredibly manage to pin the blame for this on God. Sorry, but I prefer a bit of rationality here, and not such silliness.
And I must say I had an even bigger laugh when we now get atheists claiming to be Old Testament scholars and experts in biblical Hebrew! Of course as any first year OT student knows, the KJV which you interestingly use here is not at all a good rendering of the little Hebrew word ra. It is rightly better translated calamity, misfortune, or even disaster. No, God is not the author of evil. But he is gracious enough to allow us puny creatures to shake our fists at Him and make a miserable mess of everything. One can hardly blame God for this mess when we insist upon it and bring it upon ourselves. And of course, no, God is not eternally creating. He made the created order once, and it was “good” as he rightly declared. But man chose to turn their backs on God and recklessly try to be their own boss. That brought with it all the mess we now experience. So please spare us the theology lectures. With all due respect, you are simply embarrassing the cause of atheism here.
Oh, and please explain to all of us just what wonderful words of comfort you offer to someone with cancer: ‘Crap just happens in a meaningless world, so get used to it’?
Firstly, I’d like to say that I am an atheist, non-believer, whatever. I’m a. Firm believer of living and let live but ill still question things that perplex me.
Using this article and Fry’s rant as an example, what is being said here is because of sin, God ‘gave’ us bone cancer. This almighty being, who created us in his own image, giving us free will, the free will to sin, which ironically, p****s him off, so amongst other things, gives us bone cancer. This seems to be massively flawed logic.
Thanks Craig. But if you read what I wrote here – several times now – you will see that it is not really a case of God giving us something. We give ourselves something. We all demanded that God get lost, and he like a gentleman allowed us to go our own way, with all the lousy results that followed.
This is a fallen world, and not as God intended it to be. But mankind, with their free will, chose to go their own way, and are now paying the price for this madness. But God did not leave us in this horrible dilemma. He came into our world, became one of us, died a horrible death in our place, and healed many people while on earth. One day all suffering, sickness and evil will be done away with. And people are even now sometimes being healed of things like cancer when prayed for. So healing and hope is with us now, and we look forward to even more to come. But contrast all this with the dead end black hole of atheism. I much prefer the Christian hope to the sheer helpless and hopeless baloney that your atheist heroes cough up, such as Dawkins:
“Theologians worry away at the `problem of evil’ and a related ‘problem of suffering.’ … On the contrary, if the universe were just electrons and selfish genes, meaningless tragedies… are exactly what we should expect, along with equally meaningless good fortune. Such a universe would be neither evil nor good in intention. It would manifest no intentions of any kind. In a universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference. As that unhappy poet A.E. Housman put it: ‘For Nature, heartless, witless Nature. Will neither care nor know.’ DNA neither cares nor knows. DNA just is. And we dance to its music.”
And atheists think we should be happy with that reply to the problem of evil and suffering?? Sorry, I just don’t have enough faith to be an atheist. I will take the living God any day of the week to the bleak and miserable anti-God worldview which offers no hope and no help whatsoever, either now or in the next world.
Without a re free will, where would humankind be. God created humanity with a choice – a choice between having the “knowledge of good and evil” or not. Humankind choice the former. To have the choice love anyone or anything or not, requires a free will. A free will allows us to chose to love, or to hate. And in choosing to love, also means a choice to love God and to worship Him. Please explain Craig, in the Dawkinsian world of blind, pitiless, cold indifference where does the choice of love come from- how did it “evolve”? Of course, the choice to hate has been adequately demonstrated since time immemorial- even today as we write, the unspeakable evil perpetrated by IS is again making headlines. I asked some questions of you about good and evil, but you chose not to answer them- still we keep asking. And as for cancer, it exists as a result of the fall of humankind corporately and not because of the “sins’ of the victim- and God also uses pain and suffering as instruments of
His grace. I hear and see regularly of victims of incurable illnesses being healed through God’s miraculous intervention in answer to prayer. To some, pain is a blessing- sufferers of congenital analgesia long for the ability to feel pain. It wold stop them injuring themselves constantly. Back to the cancer question- most cancers (90-95%) are caused by environmental factors- indulgence of carcinogens and pollutants- pollutants are a result of disobeying God’s command to have stewardship over creation. Ingestion of carcinogens is a result of bad habits like smoking and over indulgence of alcohol- activities which again would be against the will of God (the body being the temple of the Holy Spirit) 5% of cancers are hereditary- a mutation or misfiring in the DNA. caused by something which may have happened a generation or so back. Again, the bible points out that the sins of the fore-fathers can extend to the third and fourth generations. Beats me how the DNA of a living creature could “evolve” to prematurely kill members of that species- I thought it was about ensuring the “survival” of the species, not its death. If cancer is part of the “natural” process of evolution, why get upset about it? Again, its all meant to be blind pitiless indifference isn’t it? If you’re upset by the untimely death of cancer sufferers, don’t get angry at God, get angry at Darwin- its his theory which makes it all so matter-of-fact and inevitable. Any comments on the self-confessed omniscience of atheists, by any chance?
What the atheist fail to recognize is the fundamental law of entropy. They simply do not appreciate the unintelligible effort God has put into this universe and the effort needed to keep it working. Scientists are starting to understand some of this with the concept of “dark energy”. I.e the energy their theories predict must exist in order for the universe to exist and to keep existing. This physical universe is such that if it is not continually supported things fail. Similarly if God does not continually heal us we get sick – that is simply the nature of the physical universe and the consequence of unbelievably complex lifeforms existing in a world where the normal, probabilistic events as shown by quantum mechanics, mean that things must degenerate and decay (Eg. rusted, moth-eaten – Matt 6:19-20). They expect everything to be done for them – they want to call the tune and have God dance but even when Jesus was in His human form He refused to call Himself “good”. Their idea of God is based totally in the lies of mysticism and “magic” and the ideas of wand waving and not in the reality of actually having to get things done while at the same time battling the forces of evil that are jealous and resent the position of honour the human race has been given.
I recall seeing a photo in the vein of this sort of propaganda of a little girl being attacked by a wild animal with the huge caption “Where was God?” to which I want to know where was the cameraman? Its time for the human race to start working with God and not against Him.
Why does God not just change things? He is changing things but not in our time scale. Why was the hypothetical little girl not healed of her bone cancer? Did she or even her parents bow down to God, repent and ask God for healing? When you learn to trust God you understand that He is completely just but there are often complex reasons why people do not get healed. I personally have been healed countless times by God but often not until I changed my behaviour. I know, however, that I must eventually decay and break down – that is simply the nature of it. When you can come up with a better universe you should let God know but in the meantime you need to understand that being unjust is one of the multitude of things that God cannot do.
In response to God being able to cure cancer- my response is (and credit to R Zacharias)- could it be that one of the millions of children aborted each year was the one God intended to be the genius who discovers the cure for cancer- but someone, who didn’t know God, chose to do away with (for convenience) before they had a chance to grow up and find that cure. Don’t blame God, blame humanity.