What About The Flying Spaghetti Monster and Other gods?
Defeating raging new atheists
by Mike Robinson
“The onus is on somebody who says, I want to believe in God, Flying Spaghetti Monster, fairies, or whatever it is. It is not up to us to disprove it” (Richard Dawkins).
It was always going to be difficult to defend atheism (in fact, impossible; only God could prove a universal negative), but even zealous devotees of the new atheism concede things are going worse than hoped. This newfangled anti-theism got off to a rough start because the majority of their leaders and their internet cliques were philosophically and theologically naïve—especially Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and Richard Dawkins. On Dawkins, non-theist Michael Ruse opined, “The God Delusion makes me ashamed to be an atheist.… Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion would fail any introductory philosophy or religion course. Proudly he criticizes that whereof he knows nothing.” Nonetheless, the surly e-atheists have been working hard but are evidently overwhelmed, trying to defend the indefensible. The growing legions of Christian apologists have made things much more difficult by refusing to concede any ground as they unleash a myriad of arguments in favor of theism.
By now, the militant neo-atheists involved in missionary work seem to be in a state of boredom. Their aggressive verbal abuse just doesn’t seem to pack the same kick it had when it was novel to be ill-mannered and insolent in arguing against Christianity. The new atheists are angry because their pugnacity is so stale that no one cares anymore when they call good people horrific names.
Name-calling may get one’s endorphins lit-up, but it doesn’t make for good argumentation. The issue is God. God not only exists; He must exist and anti-theists loathe this truth. God is infinite, all-knowing, all-powerful, everywhere-present, independent, lofty, and impeccably transcendent. Yet, His majestic loftiness extended within His omnipresence allows Him to be immanent everywhere. The God of the Bible is the eternal fount of all that is and will be—He is the infinite basis of all truth and actuality, the Complete Absolute flowing in aseity upon which all contingent things are wholly reliant. The true God is the unity grounding and sustaining all the innumerable particulars. Yahweh is the ultimate bridge and netting of the one and the many—the unifier of all the diversity. So God is not only one; not merely a monad or a lone oneness, but the three distinct infinite and eternal persons in one being (Matthew 28:19).
Thus, it is this holy and transcendent God in whom the new atheists bleakly attack. But wait. When one attends an atheist worship service led by Reverend Dawkins or another atheist priest, the preacher will almost always profess: “I do not believe in God, Santa, the Easter Bunny, elves, pixies, or leprechauns. Moreover I reject the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM), Apollo, Thor, and Allah, so I am merely a man who believes in one less god than the Christians.” But this will not offer any real assistance to the ingenuous atheist. Opinions concerning pixies and FSMs are tied to a particular type of being. Such notions are in the same category as ideas about whether snow is on the mountain or whether Big Foot exists. Beliefs regarding God concern the transcendent—the source who provides the preconditions for knowledge—the cause and foundation for all human experience. The eternal unchanging God is the basis for everything in heaven and earth because He is the foundation for all reality. Elves and material mutable gods have the same limits as material items, biological things, and molecules—all of which are submissive to the force of light, motion, and energy. Not so with the transcendent God, the high and lofty one. Not only is God not submissive to the forces of nature, but He also sustains them. The Lord God is in a completely different ontological category than the FSM, elves, Thor, and Santa…
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image credit: Arne Niklas Jansson