Wednesday, May 25, 2005

We Know He's Guilty, But There's No "Evidence"

One of the things which has continually confronted me during online discussions with atheists and non-Christians is the need for evidence that they can acknowledge. They sometimes need a photograph of God: sounds simple enough, but that photograph has to be authenticated by all, I repeat, all the photography experts in the world that this photograph wasn't "faked". It doesn't stop there, since now all, as in all religious people in the world, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikh, Hindu, etc., would have to agree that, yes, that person in the photograph is God and not someone else. Yet, I have met the atheist who is also a skeptic which, even if this preposterous requirement of "evidence" is met, will still not believe, because they have already assumed a priori that since Premise 1 - All sightings of the supernatural is an instance of hallucination, Premise 2 - All "evidence" of God is a supernatural sighting, Conclusion - therefore any evidence of God is just an hallucination.

And yet, despite the unwarranted assumption that the lack of any "solid" evidence for a phenomenon automatically means that that phenomenon hasn't happened, outside of relgious arguments, "supposing" is seen as equal to science, if not science itself. One of my favorite shows on TV are the CSI: Crime Scene Investigator series of shows. Numerous times, the investigators reconstruct a crime scene based on whatever "evidence" they can find. Most of the time, they are able to get an admission of guilt, by reconstructing what happened even if they had never been there to see what happened. Yet there are those times when the evidence only goes so far, and the criminal goes free because the evidence isn't enough to arrest or hold them. We, as the audience, are usually privy to what actually happened, and sometimes we feel the frustration the fictional characters feel when the fictional characters go free.

Yet once in a while, in real life, criminals get to go free inspite of the overwhelming evidence that should have kept them in jail. In A Celebrity Murderer Beats the System, an unrepentant murderer named Wilbert Rideau gets to go free for being, supposedly, "the most rehabilitated prisoner in America"; it doesn't matter that he blames everybody but himself for the crimes; even when
[i]n 1961 Rideau robbed a Lake Charles, Louisiana bank using a gun he'd purchased the day before along with a buck knife. He ordered three employees into his car and drove them to a bayou. There he emptied his gun into them at point blank range, hitting two in the neck and a third in the arm. One escaped into the water; one feigned death. The third, Julia Ferguson, made the mistake (according to the others) of begging for her life. Rideau drew his knife and plunged it into her heart, killing her...
he still thinks that he isn't criminally liable because
  • it's the fault of the weapon he happened to have; if he didn't have it, he reasoned, he wouldn't have committed the crime
  • it's the fault of the bus that he missed; if he hadn't missed it, then he wouldn't have been so pissed that he needed to vent his ire on a bank and its employees
  • it's the fault of those he shot; they tried to escape—he only did what he logically had to do, shoot them
  • it's the fault of racism; those he shot and stabbed were white so, he reasoned, of course the jury will find him guilty, since he's black
  • it's the fault of being too young; he was just 19 years old, so now that he's older, he's not liable anymore
  • it's the fault of the media; they turned it into a media circus, so he was flabbergasted into admitting guilt

So, what has this to do with the skeptics and the atheists? The fact that a lot of people honestly think that Rideau was the victim rather than the criminal, inspite of all the "evidence". Those in Rideau's camp have claimed that the facts were in their favor, not the other way around.

We know that God exists. We know that Jesus is who He says He is... we know that Jesus fully intended to claim that He was God, and that the only way to salvation is through Him. Yet, inspite of all the "evidence", they would convince us that the facts actually are for atheism or paganism. In the above example, Rideau's supporters claimed that Rideau was not guilty because a mob of angry white people wanted to do Rideau bodily harm, therefore he was innocent (even if it doesn't logically follow); atheists love to point to the supposed viciousness of the Crusades and groups of misguided Christians as the reason why Christianity is not true (even if history shows that the popular conception of Crusades being run by power-mad popes is a misconception).

We know that God exists. Yet whatever evidence we have will never be accepted and, in fact, be controverted to prove otherwise, as Rideau's lawyers have done to make Rideau "the victim" instead of the victimizer. Christians will always be the "bad guys" and the atheists will be the "good guys", no matter what we do. We know what really happened... yet even now Christians will mouth the philosophies of the lie instead of the truth just so that they can seem to be learned. Seminary professors and University summa cum laudes, supposedly Christian, but who would rather deify Marx and Mao than fall down at the feet of Jesus.

As Ærynn would say, it is a fallen world; so what did I expect? My anxiety pushes to the roof when I think that I will be raising my children in this world.