Hmmm… I think I heard that phrase on TV once. There is a strong desire for both sides in any argument to adopt the “neutral” point of view, to be in line with what the “common man” (or woman) might think. The Scriptures basically say that humanity knows God is out there (“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Psalm 19:1 for example). So from God’s point of view the “neutral” or unbiased stance is belief in Him, and as a believer in Him, I can hardly disagree*.
However the “new atheists” have in many ways tried to claim the neutral ground. Atheism has been redefined from “believing there is not a God” to “not believing there is a God”. This is simply because the first instance has proved too hard to prove. It is also not in line with what most people believe: the second is much more neutral-sounding and allows a little room for doubt. It is trying to establish atheism as the absence of a point of view, and therefore the natural starting-point of any enquirer. I disagree (naturally) but thus far it (the viewpoint) could be consistent, in fact it has a little humility in it (it is just a statement, that at the current time, the person declares they have not found sufficient evidence for the existence of God)! It is the further steps to grab the neutral ground that cause problems.
“There is no absolute Truth”
This is a brilliant attempt to pluck the neutral ground away from Bible-based Christianity. After all, if there is no truth, how can the Bible contain it? However, the question I have yet to gain any satisfactory answer to is this: “Is that absolutely true?” If “yes”, then there is absolute truth, and the statement is false. If “no”, then it is not true (at least in part) so the statement of there being no absolute truth is still false. It is a philosophy that immediately self-destructs!
Biblical answer: There is and I have met Him.
“Only the Sith deal in absolutes”
General Kenobi puts his philosophical foot in it: no wonder his clones shot him in the back! The next problem we encounter is about “tolerance” but this makes a neat bridge to it. After all, this sentence is pretty much… yes, you guessed it… an absolute.
“There is no absolute right or wrong”(morally) “You’re so judgemental”(in itself a judgemental statement) “Christians are intolerant”
Yes, we are sometimes. Sorry about the times we get it wrong. However, if by “intolerant” you mean we can’t tolerate other points of view… can you? After all, if I am meant to tolerate the point of view that the morals of Western Society as decided by our all-knowing Government trump the Bible, then can the people of Western Society not tolerate Christianity? In other words, we make moral judgements! Yes, we do. So are the people claiming that we are “intolerant”. Their whole argument centres around the total lack of need for any central Law-Giver (i.e. God) and the ability of society or people to make up their own values. But then they still want some absolute morals, especially when they want Christianity to be in the wrong.
The obvious disclaimer here is that while I can obviously deal with other people having other points of view and I can respect those individuals, it is quite ridiculous to tell me I must therefore respect their point of view. Should atheists be forced to “respect” religions they despise as being false? Should Christians? Should God? So, to summarise: tolerant of people, yes, false things… no.
Biblical answer: the Good is what pleases God, our loving Creator – Father. It includes such things as the sanctity of human life and the right to own property (no theft) and much more besides.
All comers are welcome to post responses to this post, on the subject of the “No absolute truth” and “No absolute morals” points of view above…
*Well I can actually, but I am hardly going to win the argument…