I know some will find this ridiculously offensive. I honestly don't mean to be so. But on the other hand, this is exactly what I think. It'll be in the sidebar under "Popular and/or Important Posts," so casual passers-through won't have to search too hard.
There are many other verses along these lines, but these are enough to tell you what I think.
...The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good.This is the natural state of man since the Fall. Even what he thinks is good is corrupted, and no one, on his own, seeks out God. The fool goes even further, saying to himself that there is no God. You can easily see, then, that when I hear someone say that there is no God, I immediately think that he is a fool. I may not say so out loud, but that is exactly what is going through my head.
14:2 The LORD looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God.
14:3 They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.
Being a fool, in this sense, does not imply real stupidity, that is, mental retardation. The Scripture is not saying that that people who do not believe there is a God are suffering from a deficiency of gray matter. I have known highly intelligent atheists, and read of many more. But high intelligence does not prevent a man from believing and doing many, many foolish things, as most highly intelligent people can testify from personal experience.
The stupid man cannot know; the fool cannot understand this:Again, this is not to say that the atheist is suffering a deficiency of gray matter. The idea here is that he is so blinded by his rejection of God that effectively he cannot know anything about Him. You can talk and talk and talk to such people, and you will never, on your own, get anywhere.
92:7 that though the wicked sprout like grass and all evildoers flourish, they are doomed to destruction forever;
92:8 but you, O LORD, are on high forever.
...and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side.As an aside, I have to mention that I can no longer read these verses without thinking of a discussion I had with another Christian blogger who stated that torture is never right. If it's never right, what was this fellow doing in torment? But I digress.
16:24 And he called out, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.'
16:25 But Abraham said, 'Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish.
16:26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.'
16:27 And he said, 'Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house--
16:28 for I have five brothers--so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.'
16:29 But Abraham said, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.'
16:30 And he said, 'No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.'
16:31 He said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.'"
The atheist--I am not speaking here of the agnostic, or of people who say they're atheists because they think it's intellectually fashionable but actually are still wondering--is not, despite what he will tell you, open to being convinced by the evidence. Nothing on this planet will convince him, not even if someone rose from the dead before his eyes. He will try to explain away the evidence of his own eyes instead.
Knowing this, having been fully convinced of its validity through much experience, I have pretty much quit arguing with atheists on evidential grounds--on any grounds, period, actually. They simply don't care. The only reason they will ask you for evidence or argumentation is so they can reject it--often grossly contradicting themselves in the process--and then pretend to themselves that they are fair-minded.
For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.There's all kinds of stuff here, obviously, but what's important for this post is that I believe that atheists do, somewhere in the core of their beings, know that there is a God. They could hardly do otherwise. It is dreadfully obvious, so obvious that it requires willful blindness not to believe it. They simply hate Him, and do everything in their power to convince themselves that what they know to be true simply isn't.
1:20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
1:21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
1:22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools,
1:23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
1:24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves,
1:25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
1:26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature;
1:27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
1:28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.
1:29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips,
1:30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,
1:31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.
1:32 Though they know God's decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
These people are on a level with the fellow who will stand in a puddle and claim that he doesn't know that the water is making his feet wet. You can argue the nature of the evidence with them if you want, but it is pretty much a waste of time. The Bible describes such people as mockers and scoffers. They are, as I said in another post, less interested in real argumentation than they are in hooting out their derision in the streets and chucking feces at the church windows. If evidence was the only issue, they'd believe. Again, the words are:
For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.Evidence isn't the issue. They see the evidence, know exactly what it points to, and make a deliberate decision to reject and suppress it.
How, exactly, a person goes from being a non-believer under those circumstances to being a believer is a topic for another post, but it starts in John 6:44:
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him...No one comes to God simply because he figures things out. It may seem that way to him, but that is not actually what happens. Unless and until the Father draws that person, rather than figuring out the way to God, he will figure out his way from God. That's the real problem.
Now, then, that is what I believe about non-believers. Offensive as all get-out, I know, but now you know what I think.