Skip links

The Heresy of Atheism

Selective focus on the word “atheism”. Many more word photos in my portfolio…

And He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief. ∼ Matthew 13:58

 Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe; help my unbelief.”∼ Mark 6:6

On November 16, 2006, I was invited to engage in a public debate at The Ohio State University in my home city of Columbus, Ohio against one of the political action leaders of American atheism, Daniel Barkan. Mr. Barkan had been brought up as a child by his parents to be an evangelist, and began preaching publicly as a young boy; but as he approached adulthood he lost his Christian faith and came to embrace the faith of atheism.

I began the debate by speaking of Plato’s notion of Beauty as The One source of all things, then I added ideas from St. Anselm and how the great Notre Dame University philosopher Alvin Plantinga has shown how Anselm’s Ontological Argument for the existence of God has never been disproved. When the time came for Mr. Barkan to give his opening remark, he wanted to know why the Catholic Church was anti-homosexual and why it had never formally excommunicated the Catholic members of the Nazi Party in Germany. Needless to say, we never quite got on the same track and after the debate he told me his debates were never quite so intellectual and quiet, he was accustomed to shouting matches he told me, over questions like why babies sometimes suffer and die.

However, what convinced me that atheism is a religion, and in my opinion a heretical religion was what happened in the question and answer period for the audience. An Ohio State University student got up and asked Mr. Barkan, “if I drew a circle or pie shape that represented all the possible knowledge that exists, how much could you fill in with your human reason?” Mr. Barkan was silent because he knew he was caught, that atheism is not some sort of champion of secularized human reason. The young man went on; “you can’t answer Mr. Barkan, because you or no one else has in their minds the knowledge of all reality, therefore your atheism is a belief, not a fact, a belief just like belief in God, its just that given what you do know you choose not to believe in God, while others with just as much knowledge as you or more, choose to believe in God.”

Read more at Crisis Magazine –

Share with Friends: