Thursday, October 14, 2010

Boo! Ghosts for the Atheist

Just in time for Halloween, my article "Ghosts for the Atheist," published in 2009, is now available online. I offer 10 "ghosts" to "haunt" the worldview of atheism.


Luke said...

I'm not an atheist [smile], but I've read enough stuff now that I'm going to try to dispel a few of these "ghosts" to see how well I have the concepts down. I'd be very interested in your thoughts...

Ghost #1: Cosmology.
I used to laugh at the "it's always been here" argument, but it logically follows: If we have a law of conservation of energy and matter, then we can't have a beginning. In fact, it's the exact same argument for God: I AM. Well, the universe: IT IS.

Ghost #2: Design.
The obvious argument against this one is to point out how much of the world is clearly not well designed. From large strings of "useless" stuff in genes, to the barely-suited-for-their-environment of several species, I've seen this argument pushed back as an argument against a Designer.

Ghost #6: Atheism as Nihilism.
Over-arching meaning is just a human felt need. Far more important to do good here and now for both us and those of the future than to be such hateful, mean, and sick people as to call on a "god" as a justification for evil. (see #10)


Luke said...

Ghost #8: Pascal's Anthropological Argument.
I'm guessing the argument would be: Because people are either intelligent or they're utter fools.

Ghost #9: Explaining Christ.
This one is easy to get around: Reject any evidence that Christ was real. Then reject Scripture's account of Him. Then--if it gets this far--remind people that the Bible is, overall, a rather hateful/hurtful document, and so even if Jesus had some good stuff to say, you should still reject Christianity. ...and, finally, point to how unloving Christians are. Christ, clearly then, makes no difference in lives, so He need not be explained.

Ghost #10: Christianity’s Positive Influence.
Much like #9 above (and related to #6): Sure, some Christians have had positive influence... which may counteract all the horrible things done in the name of Christ. But many others have done good as well. In fact, many religions (followers of which Christians believe are destined to hell) have had tremendous positive influence. But, taken as a whole--Christianity included--the overall affect has been negative.

That's my understanding of the rebuttals. Thoughts?


Robert Velarde said...

Hi, Luke. I'll see if I can get around to posting some comments/replies to your post this weekend. For more on #8 Pascal's anthropological argument see my article on the topic here:

When I was an atheist, I had a rebuttal for everything, so in some sense there's no way to satisfy every critic, but of course we can try!

Robert Velarde said...

Luke, some of your posts were duplicates so I deleted those. Maybe Blogger was acting up or something.

Toyin O. said...

Interesting article.

Rey said...


Is it possible to use this article on another Christian blog as a help tool? If so, what do you require me to do?

Thanks in advance...

Robert Velarde said...

Rey, thanks for your interest in the article. It was originally published in Christian Research Journal (, so you'd have to check with them regarding rights to reuse the piece. You are, of course, welcome to link to it.