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Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Why are Christians so Anxious to Have Atheist Deathbed Conversions?

Lawrence Krauss has nice essay on the rather fanatical insistence on the part of some Evangelicals that famous atheists have had deathbed conversions to Christianity (never Islam or whatever.) He, and others, have suggested that much like going to church on Sundays, it helps validate their faith, even more so if the "convertee" is someone famous and highly respected.

In the end, what evangelists don’t recognize is that atheism is not a belief system like Christianity, from which one might defect after hearing some arguments or having a few sombre conversations. It is, instead, simply a rational decision not to accept the existence of God without evidence. As wise thinkers, including Laplace, Hume, Sagan, and Hitchens, have often said, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. It’s hard to imagine a more extraordinary claim than that some hidden intelligence created a universe of more than a hundred billion galaxies, each containing more than a hundred billion stars, and then waited more than 13.7 billion years until a planet in a remote corner of a single galaxy evolved an atmosphere sufficiently oxygenated to support life, only to then reveal his existence to an assortment of violent tribal groups before disappearing again.

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