Humanists Refuse The Evidence of
Is the Belief in the Supernatural Harmful?
CLAIM: The Harms of the Supernatural Outlook
of believing that supernatural beings control the world, people have often misdirected
their energies in attempting to solve problems. Instead of studying the world
to discover scientific solutions to problems, they performed religious activities
in an effort to obtain the assistance of benevolent supernatural beings or thwart
the influence of malicious ones.
of energies is seen, for instance, in the history of the attempts to prevent the
outbreak and spread of diseases in Europe. The historian Andrew White relates
that, during many centuries in the Middle Ages, the filthiness of European cities
repeatedly caused great plagues that sent multitudes to their graves..
must be desperate to try this argument. The premise is false, and even if it were
true, it provides no proof nor evidence that supernatural miracles never happened.
At best a humanist might say, "I don't like that supernatural miracles
happened, because I believe they harmed people." And that belief still
would not be in accordance with historical reality.
Does this sound
anything like Christianity?
performed religious activities in an effort to obtain the assistance of benevolent
supernatural beings or thwart the influence of malicious ones.
is not Christianity. Not at all. This is a description of people who follow pagan
gods. This is why technological progress was limited prior to Christianity. People
believed in capricious and arbitrary gods who needed to be bribed, conjoled, and
tricked into helping humanity.
Dear humanist: don't use examples from
paganism to try to discredit the Bible.
The example of a misdirection
of energy given by the humanist writer, is that there were filthy conditions in
European cities during the Middle Ages, and this resulted in multiple outbreaks
of disease resulting in death.
This is true. But, it would not have
happened if people had followed what the Bible teaches.
People in the Middle
Ages did not know that filth was bad... or that filth was the source of disease.
They did not know about microbes, and germs, and viruses. It is also true that
people in at the time of Moses also did not know these things. Yet, the Mosaic
Law includes provisions concerning cleanliness, sanitary practices, and the treatment
of people with infectious diseases that were practical and effective at stopping
the spread of disease.
People didn't know about germs, but God did. And
through His law He protected those who followed His law from disease and infections.
During the 14th century the bubonic plague spread throughout Europe. The Jews
were following the sanitary laws of the Bible and their death rate was just 5%
that of the Gentile population.
Arturo Castiglioni writing in "A History
of Medicine" notes that: "The laws against leprosy
in Leviticus 13 may be regarded as the first model of a sanitary legislation."
did not live in filth in the Middle Age because they believed in the supernatural.
They lived in filth because they did not know what the Bible taught.
The humanist assumptions about how belief in the supernatural impacts human activity
are not supported by historical reality.
But they have still more
to say on this topic: Based on biblical teachings,
Christian theologians during those centuries thought the plagues were caused by
the anger of God or the malevolence of Satan. The Bible gave them ample support
for their belief. It contains numerous instances of God punishing people by means
of pestilence (e.g., Exodus 32:35; Numbers 16:44-49; Jeremiah 21:6). And in describing
Jesus healing miracles, the New Testament attributes the following afflictions
to demons: blindness (Matthew 12:22); muteness (Matthew 9:32-33); lameness (Luke
13:11,16); epilepsy (Matthew 17:14-18); and insanity (Mark 5:1-13).
God use disease as a punishment? Do demons cause disease? Get
the answer... click here.