Monday, February 23, 2015

"Earth is not the Center of the Universe" - Response to Common Bible Attack

Have you heard this comment? I've heard it many times. It's getting pretty tedious. You can almost predict with 100% certainty that if you're in a discussion about Christianity that touches on science, it's only a matter of time before a self-professed "intelligent atheist" tries to lecture the 'ignorant Christians' on how backward their beliefs are. This comment is one of their most favorite ones.

"People used to believe the earth was the center of the universe, but now we have science! and we know that those old Christian superstitions about a God who loves us and makes us the centerpiece of His creation are just old, unscientific stories from a long-lost age of backward ignorance" 

or something like it. Doesn't it sound familiar? Doesn't it sound dumb? Wait, it gets better:

Chronological Snobbery FAIL

The atheist snobbery goes like this:
1. Christians believe God made the universe for them (this is false, by the way)
2. Therefore, Christians used to believe the earth was in the center of the universe, because the center is obviously the most important (importing 21st century assumptions, here)
3. Those idiots thought we were in the center, but SCIENCE has shown that that's not true! har har!
4. Therefore, since SCIENCE leads to truth and Christianity does not, atheism is the rational belief system and Christianity is something to be ashamed of believing.

The problem is, the fundamental premises of the argument are false.

"A common thought in the Middle Ages was that the centre of the universe was the worst place to be. For example, Dante’s Divine Comedy(c. 1310) has nine circles of Hell inside the Earth, getting worse as they approach the center. Satan was right at the centre of a (spherical) earth, at the centre of the universe. In the opposite direction, the nine celestial spheres of heaven increased in virtue and closeness to God as they got further from the center. We certainly do not hold to Dante’s vision, but in this light moving the earth away from the center was a promotion in the eyes of people in the Middle Ages, not a demotion, as 21st century anachronistic skeptics claim.", "Refuting Absolute Geocentrism", bold emphasis added.
In other words, 

1. Christians never assumed that their relationship to God meant that they occupied a special 3-D location inside the universe
2. They therefore never assumed they were at the center.
3. Therefore, the fact that we are not "at the center" is not a scientific contradiction to Christian beliefs, whether theological or historical.
4. Therefore, any atheist or other person who makes this claim is blinded by presumptuous arrogance, and they are the ones who are truly ignorant.


~ Rak Chazak

PS God made the universe for the demonstration and maximization of His glory. If your reason for rejecting Christianity is that you think it's a belief that coddles people's desire to feel important by saying that everything God does is for your sake, then check yourself. You're even less important than you think you are.

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