Sunday, December 16, 2007

A Pastor Admits, "God Doesn't Exist"

The obvious madman in the photograph is none other than the Rev. Klaas Hendrikse, the Dutch Protestant cleric who claims that he does not believe in God's existence in his best-seller, 'Believing in a God Who Does Not Exist: Manifesto of an Atheist Pastor', which is currently being reprinted for the third time, according to 'The Times' yesterday.

According to Klaas, "The non-existence of God is for me not an obstacle but a precondition to believing in God".

Hendrikse then begins to wax lyrical:
"I am an atheist believer. God is for me not a being, but a word for what can happen between people. Someone says to you, for example, 'I will not abandon you' and then makes those words come true. It would be perfectly alright(sic) to call that God."
Hmmm, interesting theory: 'God' is not an entity, the creator of the cosmos and all that is in it, but simply a transaction between people when an intention or action is declared and fulfilled. In other words, for Hendrikse, 'God' is not a noun but a verb. Thus, according to his definition, someone who says "I'm going to kill you", and subsequently does it, is 'God'.

Interesting stuff, indeed, but there's just one small problem with your definition, Klaas.

The word atheist is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as:

1.One who denies or disbelieves the existence of a God.

2. One who practically denies the existence of a God by disregard of moral obligation to Him; a godless man.
So, if you are using the word atheist in either of its proper meanings, what right have you, Klaas, to hold yourself out as an ordained minister of religion and spout all that rubbish you do?

Perhaps that's why the general secretary of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands, Bas Plaisier, has criticised Hendrikse for treating Christian belief as a "dogma that can be put out with the rubbish". Still, according to 'Ecumenical News International', the denomination is not planning at present legal or disciplinary steps against the pastor, Plaisier said.

In other words, the church doesn't mind it's pastors lying to their flocks of sheep, but would prefer them to maintain the fiction that their 'God' qua 'God' does in fact exist.

Seems that Klaas is not the only madman in the Netherlands, then.


collin G. said...

Spinosa and other philosophers and many theologians have said the same thing for centuriesbut in different ways. God does not "exist" as a person,ot as many persons or as a substance of any sort.
Whatever is,is in God. This is an old story and the story, presented in the form of an ontological argument was long the only way to come to terms with the word "God." Hendricks is simply reviving use getting all upset when a pastor who wants a little attention decides to write a book in that same philosophical spirit of provocation.

The Merchant of Menace said...

I'm not upset about Hendrikse's need for attention, just interested in exposing his psychopathology.

As for Anselm's ontological argument 'proving' the existence of 'God', this was shown to be a nonsense in his own lifetime by his contemporary, Guanilo.