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Return to 4th Quarter 2023 articles.

The title of this article is WILLFUL BLINDNESS with a picture of a man with a blindfold saying atheism.

In his book Reflections on the Existence of God, Richard Simmons used the phrase “willful blindness” to describe many people's rejection of God and the Bible. This phrase is not confined to people who reject God because they are ignorant. Even scholars and scientists are guilty of willful blindness.

Thomas Nagel, a philosopher at New York University and a promoter of atheism, described his willful blindness well: “I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers. It isn't just that I don't believe in God and naturally hope there is no God! I don't want there to be a God. I don't want the universe to be like that.”

a hand showing stop.

Years ago, a young man attending my presentations at Purdue University asked many questions. When he became silent, I asked him, “What are you going to do with all of this evidence?” He responded, “I don't want to quit having sex with my girlfriend, and so I am going to ignore it.”

Richard Dawkins, considered the world's leading atheist at the time of this writing, says, “Even if there were no actual evidence in favor of Darwinian theory … we should still be justified in preferring it over all rival theories.”

a dissatisfied young man crossing his hands with refusal.

Agnostic astronomer Robert Jastrow has made this observation: “Scientific reactions provide an interesting demonstration of the response of the scientific mind — supposedly a very objective mind — when evidence uncovered by science itself leads to a conflict with the articles of faith in our professions. It turns out that scientists behave the same way the rest of us do when our beliefs are in conflict with the evidence. We become irritated, we pretend the conflict does not exist, or we paper it over with meaningless phrases.”

Teen blond girl showing a cross gesture

Recently, a reader asked why we continue to tell people that God exists. He said that, in his experience, people are not going to be confused with the facts and that we were wasting our time by presenting evidence for God. I asked why he continues to read the things we publish. He responded that he knew his arguments for rejecting God were getting weaker and weaker as he read how much good evidence is in our materials.

a man covering his face making a negative sign.

The fact is that, in time, being guilty of willful blindness will bear destructive fruit. I suspect my young friend at Purdue is no longer sleeping with his girlfriend. I feel for him, knowing he missed the full joy of sex as God intended. I also feel for those like Dawkins and Nagel who cannot tell you why they exist or the ultimate purpose for their lives. Having no eternal purpose for life leads to disappointment and frustration. Jesus said he came to give life and to give it more abundantly (John 10:10). Acting on evidence is a first step in allowing God's Spirit to influence our lives (Acts 2:38).

— John N. Clayton

Picture credits:
© New Africa/Bigstock.com
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© Mangostar/Bigstock.com
© cookiestudio/Bigstock.com
© barriolo82/Bigstock.com

Scripture links/references are from BibleGateway.com. Unhighlighted scriptures can be looked up at their website.