Analysing street literature

It doesn’t matter how secular a country is, it won’t take long to hear a street preacher bellowing in a busy town or city centre. 

They could be surrounded by a thousand atheists, yet the biggest impact is from that one religious person ensuring their personal beliefs are brought to everyone’s attention. 

I decided to pick up a leaflet today. I do it quite often, and it didn’t take long to find flaws in the argument.

Do all atheists find believers misguided fools?

The first page reads as follows:

The atheist tries to satisfy himself that there really is no evidence for Gods existence and so he thinks that people who believe in God are misguided fools.

Firstly, girls can be atheist too! Although an atheist may see a believer as a misguided fool, to assume that we all do is wrong. We all know how offended someone would be if they were called that, so from not believing in God to seeing everyone that does as a ‘misguided fool’ is a big jump. And it successfully portrays atheism as arrogant and negative in the very first sentence. Shame on you!

The fool has said in his heart there is no God

The author of this leaflet states that although atheists see believers as misguided fools, the bible tums that on it’s head not once, but twice with the line above from Palms.

Twice! Is twice really enough to convince you that it is foolish to be sceptical? It really shouldn’t. 

It is already apparant that atheism  isn’t arrogant, the Bible is. The only one accusing someone of being a fool is the Open-Air Mission, the provider of this specific leaflet.

The reason it is wise to believe in God is you cannot prove he doesn’t exist. To know he doesn’t exist, is to know the following three points are all true:

  1. They have existed for all time and have identified that God isn’t there.
  2. They have been everywhere and have seen that God isn’t anywhere.
  3. They know everything and therefore know for certain that God is non-existent.

‘Since none of the above is true of anyone, we must all conclude, that at the very least, God may exist.’

Woah! There is a huge difference between saying God may exist, and saying God does in fact exist. The three points make it impossible to prove there isn’t a deity governing the universe, but doesn’t rule out any other God in the hotseat.

  1. Have you existed for all time and have identified Allah isn’t there?
  2. Have you been every where and have seen that Zeus isn’t anywhere?
  3. Do you know everything and therefore know for certain Thor is non-existent?

When you see it from this perspective it quickly makes sense to disregard the three points above.

To use the ‘you don’t know’ approach invites all religions to step up to the pedestal that you feel you are on. Stop doing it!

Why can’t I see God?

We don’t have to put our fingers in an electrical socket to make sure the electricity is flowing before we are willing to put the plug in place.

I am confident that doing so would result in a shock. This has been demonstrated and can be explained with ease. So far, I have not found God to be so consistent with proving his existence when requested to do so. Apparant acts of God proving his existence show no hallmarks of the Christian God. They are so vague in fact that many religions claim it is their personal God carrying out the same act. 

‘There are tremendous marks of design, order and complexity all around us. Someone said of our solar system that it had been put together like a finely tuned clock.’

Someone also said that the Queen was a lizard along with many politicians. That someone probably doesn’t have all the answers! When you think about it, a clock has such a complex system to carry out such a simple task. We have to go huge lengths to make these things work, we are only human after all. 

Why does God have to create such a vast, complex, seemingly finely tuned solar system to sustain life? He wouldn’t if he is infinitely wise and powerful. This is the human mind failing to comprehend the wisdom of the Gods that we choose to believe in. 

A watch has to be complex because we cannot find an easier way. God shouldn’t have the same problem.

We don’t deserve to see Him and neither could we cope with seeing Him for God is holy and just. We are so small and we live for ourselves and for sin. That is God’s own verdict upon us.

If we don’t deserve to see him, why should we give a shit? If God chooses to make us so small that we cannot comprehend him, that is his problem. If I could create a civilisation would I choose to make this civilisation microscopic? So small they cannot see me? So small I struggle to connect with them? It seems like God really has a common sense deficiency.

Why is the world in such a mess?

According to the literature God does not start wars, spread AIDS or fly planes into buildings, people do. 

This is true. But God, especially if he demands respect, still has a huge role to play and holds a lot of responsibility. I feel like I have my fair share of responsibility in talking about the Syrian refugee crisis or dealing with the levels of homeless on our streets. I didn’t create these people, nor did I cause these problems. I however have empathy. This empathy is something God seems to lack. If you feel God is justified to look on and not intervene, stop worshipping today.

Sin entered this world through the first man and woman? Not a good excuse.

The world went from complete perfection to trouble and death in the blink of an eye.

Oh did it now? How were Adam and Eve able to commit sin in a completely perfect world? Someone is telling porky pies somewhere.

As for natural distasters, we are well aware of why they occur, even if it is difficult to prevent or predict them. This is not down to human greed! If it were, why is it that the ones suffering have nothing, and the greedy bankers have it all?

Why doesn’t God come and help?

‘God has been intervening on behalf of His people right throughout history’

No he hasn’t.

‘You only have to read the Old Testament of the Bible to see many miraculous ways in which God stepped into situations to rescue the Israelites, such as freeing them from slavery in Egypt.’

Can we have a more recent example?

Also, if the world is in such a mess because of sin, why does he intervene from time to time? Please don’t go from saying God doesn’t intervene because it isn’t his problem, to saying God does intervene every now and then. Keep it consistent!

Verdict

Literature such as this only asks more questions from the answers it so desperately wants to provide. I do like collecting these misinformation leaflets however as it helps me to see the flaws in religion and to show others why it isn’t as worthy as it claim to be. Thankfully, I seemed to be the only one to have picked one up today.

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