Thomas Jefferson was once quoted as saying,
“Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because if there be one he must approve of the homage of reason more than that of blindfolded fear.” – Source: Letter of Thomas Jefferson to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787.
Many atheists love to hold this quote up as a demonstration of Thomas Jefferson’s lack of Christianity, but in fact the quote comes from a superb mentorship letter on how to become a well reasoned individual. It is not an attack on Christianity when you plainly read the letter. In it he praises the ability to entertain divergent ideas, and act rationally per our own inner moral reckoning and conscience. He goes on in this same letter to state,
“Do not be frightened from this inquiry by any fear of its consequences. If it ends in a belief that there is no god, you will find incitements to virtue in the comfort & pleasantness you feel in it’s exercise, and the love of others which it will procure you. If you find reason to believe there is a god, a consciousness that you are acting under his eye, & that he approves you, will be a vast additional incitement; if that there be a future state, the hope of a happy existence in that increases the appetite to deserve it; if that Jesus was also a god, you will be comforted by a belief of his aid and love. In fine, I repeat that you must lay aside all prejudice on both sides, & neither believe nor reject anything because any other persons, or description of persons have rejected or believed it. Your own reason is the only oracle given you by heaven, and you are answerable not for the rightness but uprightness of the decision.”
Right there in the 2nd sentence he says that the belief in God over a non-belief will be a “vast additional incitement” towards hope in Jesus, and then he ends stating that our own reason is an “oracle given you by heaven, and you are answerable not for the rightness but uprightness of the decision.” That word uprightness is key to understanding what he meant, uprightness means to be honorable and honest with oneself. This is actually a tongue-in-cheek joke, considering the fact, if you are answering to God for the reasonableness of your Atheism you may want to rethink the rightness of your argument at that point; and so you had better hope God judges your honest intentions far more than your rightness at that point. In Thomas Jefferson’s mind this would be a characteristic of a Just God, a God that discerns the intents of the heart to come to a proper judgment. But wait isn’t that exactly what God say’s about Himself in the book of Jeremiah?
“I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” – Jeremiah 17:10
So to be fair to Thomas Jefferson, this letter is an obvious example of the role Thomas Jefferson played as a mentor towards certain promising individuals and correspondences in legal professions. In this case his nephew Peter Carr. He even went so far as to include a reading list and books that sampled a sizable portion of human history, and thinking. This letter is a basic 101 lesson in Reason, not a treatise on Thomas Jefferson’s rejection of God, far from it. The use of this one quote out of context by atheists, just shows that they are shaping facts per their own proclivities and perspectives. Atheists are doing everything wrong as argued in the above letter by Thomas Jefferson, a supposed hero of secular thinking. They are bending facts to suit their belief in no god.
The Slippery Slope of the Atheistic Worldview
The frailty of the atheistic worldview hinges on one thought. That there is NO GOD. The problem with this one thought is it can’t be tested and proved beyond a shadow of a doubt, and therefore can’t be maintained from a purely rational standpoint. You would have to provide physical proof attesting to God’s “non existence” at some point to be a true Jeffersonian skeptic.
Knowing full well nobody can emphatically prove that there is NO GOD, one has to become an agnostic if they are honest with themselves. That one thought begins the decent into full on Theism. Logic will literally take us step by step into theism, not atheism.
This is how true rational thinking works, it starts with questions,
When an atheist becomes honest with themselves and realizes that there is a possibility a creator God may exist, they become an agnostic at that very moment. Though this change is subtle they are essentially conceding the fact that hmmm, maybe God could exist. This one thought is a slippery slope, because we then must ask the question, if God exists, is He self-aware in the same way we are? Or is He simply an enigmatic spirit that imbues all of creation as a lot of eastern religions or New Age mystics conclude? To what extent is this mysterious spirit of creation aware? Does this spirit have a name? We certainly identify other self-aware creatures by given names, would God not also have a name? So if this “Universal Spirit” is conscience and has a name, well then has He tried to communicate to humankind? If so how was this interaction recorded?
You can see how in just a matter of moments you can ask a few questions and logically think that there could be a God. That this creator God could feasibly have a name, that named God, could have interacted with humankind, and if so then what would be the result of that interaction? Once you arrive there in your thinking presto, you have the Bible! At this point you have to start contending with the idea that just maybe God did speak to us, and we need to pay attention to what this creator God is trying to communicate.
The difference with atheism is there is no progression of logic, there is no rationality of thought. It is just dogmatic assurance without empirical evidence that there is NO GOD.
This is exactly what Thomas Jefferson was getting at, he was stating plainly that the question of God is something each of us has to weigh and discern for ourselves. There is no room for judgment and ridicule, there is only room for logic and honesty of conscience. Coming to any number of conclusions as to whether there is a God or not, ultimately is going to have dramatic effects on your life. The search for Truth and God, tops the list of the noblest of pursuits one can undertake. So why is that atheists choose, to launch attacks, and sue organizations that have religious displays or tenants? Maybe it is because their premise lacks the evidence and logical underpinnings necessary to truly be taken seriously, so instead they resort to name calling, and state oppression to force their views upon people. True religion presents their arguments and lets you decide what you want to do from that point on. Atheism is the religion of the state and the state is force. Once you understand that connection you realize that there are ulterior motives behind state sponsored atheism that has nothing to do with intellectually honesty and more to do with out-right mind control and the dumbing down of populations as to their divine nature.
If you would like to see what an honest scientist/biologist looks like in this day and age, here is a quote from a recent article talking about the findings of a Ph.D from the California Institute of Technology,
“Axe says he first became interested in evolution while working on his Ph.D. in California, so at Cambridge he extensively studied DNA and proteins.
“[My strategy was] to look at the constraints on gene sequences and protein sequences and see if the constraints were loose enough that evolution could work or if they were too tight so that evolution couldn’t work,” Axe said in a recent interview with the Discovery Institute.
While conducting his research at Cambridge, Axe began to doubt the validity of Darwin’s ideas.
“I was consistently starting to find that [the constraints on gene and protein sequences] were too tight—that the target that had to be hit for something to work as an enzyme was too small for accidental changes, accidental mutations,” he said.
Axe decided that Darwin’s natural selection observations were valid and scientifically sound. However, based on his research, he concluded that evolutionary processes are unable to create new species and life forms.” (Christian News)
This is what true investigation looks like. Dr. Axe researched the evidence, and is now making his findings and conclusions known to the public through a newly published book. The scientific community should welcome such insights and investigations. But let’s face it, he most likely will suffer tremendous persecution for his conclusions by his peers to the point of even losing his funding. That is the sad state of our scientific community. Money corrupts everything it touches, and the scientific community has become notorious for compromising their research and studies to back the anti-God views of their moneyed financial backers in Government and the private sector. Jefferson in the above letter warned against the then Christian charlatans, but you can be assured if he were alive today he would be warning against the atheistic charlatans by that same measure.
Our society has been set up to ridicule, and brow beat anyone that believes in a God. The way our government funds schools, curriculums, universities and museums through huge endowments to perpetuate the NO GOD myth is not Jeffersonian at all, in fact it is out right tyrannical. In the above letter Jefferson encourages this young man to entertain both sides of the debate, weigh the evidence, and then come to a rational conclusion about the evidence presented. This is an exercise that is lost on the America public. Americans have given up on the use of reason and civility, instead they are emotional and bigoted with their opinions.
Atheists are not the champions of reason, they are dogmatic adherents to a state sponsored religion. When they use the courts to harm others they are no better than religious terrorists. Harm is harm, and given our nature as human we should reason that it is wrong to harm others, and it is wrong to brow-beat people into believing something that their conscience is at odds with. If their conscience screams that there is a God, then they need to be okay with that, and so does the state. The state is there to protect religious expression, not squash it. If the state is actively squashing the use of reason and the free exercise of religion then I would like to refer you back to another of Jefferson’s writings, the Declaration of Independence.
Article posted with permission from Wake the Church
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