Tract #9: Why Do Atheists Reject God?
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Why Do Atheists Reject God?
God is loving, good, caring, and the creator of all things. He wants what is best for everyone and offers divine salvation. So why do atheists reject Him?
The short answer is that atheists don’t reject God — we just don’t believe that He exists.
Along the same lines my Uncle Steve is a 75-foot-tall Norwegian man who lives in Colorado. Do you believe that Uncle Steve exists? If not, would you say that you reject him, or that you don’t believe he exists in the first place.
But if someone offers you a wonderful gift — like eternal life — and you push it away, isn’t that rejection? Sure it is, but the analogy doesn’t work for atheists. In order for an atheist to reject something that God offered, the atheist would first have to believe that God existed. In order to reject something, you must first know that you are being offered it.
My giant Uncle Steve wants to give you free fishing lessons after you die, and all you have to do to get them is tell everyone you know that you think Uncle Steve is your favorite uncle. Would you accept this offer? If not, would you say that you are rejecting the fishing lessons or that you don’t consider the offer to be a serious one?
Atheists know in their hearts that God exists but reject Him for their own selfish reasons. Atheists don’t think that the evidence for the existence of God is compelling. If you are going to insist that atheists “know in their hearts” that God exists, what is to prevent an atheist from turning the argument around on you, saying, “Theists know in their hearts that there is no God, but want to believe He exists for their own selfish reasons.”
Looking at this another way, if I told you that I knew in my heart that Uncle Steve existed and that I knew that deep in your heart you knew it, too, would you take me seriously? Of course not, because you reason that Uncle Steve doesn’t really exist. You might even feel it was kind of insulting for me to insist that you believe in something you don’t see any good reason to believe.
To you, the evidence for the existence of God might be very solid, but to an atheist God and Uncle Steve aren’t all that different.