The atheist Richard Dawkins authored a book entitled “The God Delusion.” In it, he ridicules Christians specifically for believing God’s existence. While Dawkins travels through a litany of stories, anecdotes, and diatribes, he never really gives a defense for his own position and why it ranks superior than that which he pegs as a delusion. He simply pokes fun at the Christian faith, his primary goal as he stated at the outset. However, stories, anecdotes, and ridicule are not defenses of one’s position. Rather, they are irrational.
While Dawkins does refer to arguments of evidence, proof, and science, he provides little to defend his position of atheism from those arguments. All he concludes in his reference to them is that they offer no reason to believe in God without providing syllogistic arguments in support from them. His arguments are not from syllogistic reasoning but based on speculation and ridicule without support. Additionally, he spends an extensive amount of print on defining delusion while referencing other people’s claims and then making his own claim. He then meanders into a defense of his own claim by stating his book is “less shrill” and “tame” compared to other published works. However, “less shrill” and ridicule remain shrill and irrational. Shrill and ridicule are traits of intolerance and irrationalism. Such traits not only show opposition to different ideas, philosophy, and religion, but they also engage in intentional acts to destroy these ideas, philosophy, and religious beliefs. Today’s atheism delivers such actions by pursuing court actions, demonstrations, and in some cases violence against religious activity, specifically Christian beliefs.
Delusion consists of not only actions but thoughts. A belief system and worldview guides thinking and behavior. Consider the atheistic belief system. It is the belief in the non-existence of God and regularly rails against God and those who believe Him. How rational is it to believe in what a person alleges does not exist? That equates to believing in magic and pixie dust. In doing so, atheism affirms what it denies – God. For one could not know what does not exists, for there is no knowledge in non-existence. One cannot conjure up in one’s mind that which does not exist. Try thinking of non-existence. What would non-existence look like? Can a person entertain non-existence in one’s mind if there is no knowledge of that which does not exist? If one thinks or speaks of God, that person affirms knowledge of God. That is, one imagines what God or some god looks like and formulates it into a straw man when associating it with a particular religion or specifically biblical faith. That straw man is formulating an argument based on what one believes another holds.
One cannot escape this logic by claiming that superman, trolls, or fairies do not exist, and one can imagine them. These fictitious characters are extrapolations of what exist in the real world. Someone simply imagined a man who could fly or a flying tiny human-like creature with wings one calls a fairy sprinkling pixie dust everywhere. We witness wings on birds and imagine them attached to a small human form. Humans are creative in their imaginations. Movies and television exhibit this creativity. However, creating out of imagination and believing that such created objects are actually real or that they become real when we imagine them is fantasy, child-like, or delusional.
Many have created gods in their imagination. However, they have done so as extrapolations from what exist in the real world. Virtually all of the Greek and Roman gods possess features of humans or animals. One cannot find a god or gods in the world religions, except the Christian faith, not extrapolated from the real world and imposed on some god or gods.
Such a stance is a belief in alleged non-existence and non-knowledge. Such thinking and actions are delusional and irrational. It is a true leap of faith, because no basis exists at all for such belief.
The psalmist affirms the irrationality and delusion of those who refuse to accept God,
How long will you people turn my glory into shame?
How long will you love delusions and seek false gods?” (Psalm 4:2)
The psalmist claims in rhetorical questions that seeking after that which does not exist is delusional. Religious leaders in the nations surrounding Israel created gods extrapolated from the created order. The Greeks did that as did the Romans in elevating gods they created from their imaginations after observing objects in the created order. They glorified non-existence and non-knowledge. It is one thing to create fiction by extrapolating characteristics of that which exist in the real world and admitting that it is fiction, but it is quite another to claim that such created fiction is real and then worship this fiction.
Atheism follows the same pattern as polytheism by continually thinking about and speaking of that which they claim does not exist. Such thinking and acts are just as delusional as creating gods in one’s mind, which atheists must do to speak of them. Atheism must imagine some sort of god to speak of the Christian biblical God, for it cannot think or speak from non-knowledge. Atheism cannot speak of the biblical God without having read or studied God from the source – the Bible. Quite frequently, atheists ignore the Bible in talking about the biblical God and thereby create a straw man god, and not the biblical God and ridicule it. That is tantamount to a person continuously having a conversation with oneself as though that person’s other self actually existed or thinking of or speaking with an imaginary friend created in one’s mind. Atheism creates in their own mind some god it believes Christians believe. That is also a delusion. The psalmist had such delusion in mind when he wrote his words. A delusion is claiming that which is false true and that a person can think of or have a conversation with what one created in one’s own imagination, that is non-knowledge.
Psalm 4 brings us back to reality by having the psalmist’s words correspond with reality, not gods that are false but the God of all existence, not gods created from the created order but the one true God separate and distinct from it and over it.