Saturday, 10 July 2010

A common atheist misunderstanding

Atheists commonly misunderstand it when Christians are critical of a primarily this-worldly and hedonic life - i.e. a life dedicated to maximizing gratification and minimizing suffering.

Atheists commonly misunderstand Christians to be arguing that a worldly and hedonic life *predisposes* a person to commit sins (where 'sins' are understood by the atheist as a list of behaviours that transgress the moral law).

But this is a misunderstanding of the Christian belief about the nature of sin.

The Christian perspective is that to live a this-worldly and hedonic life - a life orientated primarily toward personal gratification - precisely *is* the state of sin.

And if the atheist does not understand what the above means, then he does not understand the Christian message, and is arguing against a Straw Man.