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The poverty of the Atheistic Worldview

>> Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I have been working on a new book critiquing the atheist/materialist worldview. Lord willing I'll be done by the end of this year. It is difficult considering the fact that ministry keeps me pretty busy from morning to evening. My hope is to produce a work that will function as a refutation of the atheistic worldview as well as an apologetic manual for dealing with the atheistic worldview and presenting the Gospel of God's grace. God says, "the fool says in his heart there is no God" (Psalm 14:1). My intention in writing this work is to demonstrate (from a Biblical perspective) that the atheist really does 'know' God but that he/she is suppressing the truth about Him. The ultimate goal is to dig into the unbeliever's worldview and show that "something is wrong" with their relationship with God and that they can repent and believe in Christ to receive forgiveness and eternal life.

Here is a quick excerpt (please forgive any typos :]. Also, all of the references are in the actual work. ):

What one believes about man and his place in it will have serious and lasting consequences on how they think personally and how they affect others during their time in this life. This is no trivial matter. Any thinking person needs only to take a quick glance at history to agree with me on this point. Christian or not, the questions related to the existence of God and the Atheistic vs. Christian Theistic worldview are devastatingly important. For, if as atheists claim, we are simply matter-in-motion and all of life really only devolves to a simply naturalistic, materialist explanation of the universe then ultimately… nothing matters. I’m not simply speaking about personal significance in this world. I’m talking about science, reason, logic, explanations, debate, language, education, love, beauty, family, morality--- you name it… it doesn’t matter.

Mushy mindedness

Not only does atheism make all of life meaningless, but nothing in life can be coherent or intelligible. What I am describing is the materialist worldview that leaves us with no foundation for reason, logic, science, the uniformity in nature or morality. If Atheism were true, why should we be logical or moral? It will be argued by the atheist, “Because we want to be good to each other and logical in our thinking.” And to this I say “why should I be consistent or logical in my thinking or be concerned with being good to anyone?” To which the Atheist declares, “Because we want to be honest and work towards a greater good that will lead to the most happiness for others.” But you see the atheist is being entirely arbitrary and inconsistent. If his claim were true that humans amount to suitcases of biological goo randomly moving throughout the universe; I would have no foundation, need, reason nor moral requirement to be consistent, logical, honest or in any way ethical. In point of fact, why should I care at all about the happiness of others? What if this bag of biological goo gets his ultimate happiness from injuring and exploiting others? What if I develop a civilization that values hurting others and thinking irrationally? If atheism were true, atheists would be totally inconsistent to be morally indignant or upset with me for doing so. Hitler, Stalin and the terrorists who crashed their planes into buildings on 9/11 were very happy to do what they did. Atheism is intellectual poverty.

Sadly, atheists are seemingly quite content with a worldview that is internally inconsistent and unintelligible. Apart from the Christian worldview we cannot make sense out of our everyday experience. If the atheistic/materialist worldview were in fact true and reality amounts to nothing more than matter-in-motion then what you are doing right now reading this book wouldn’t make any sense at all. As a matter of fact your reading this work at this very moment presupposes a Christian theistic worldview. All of language, thought, science and debate rest on the foundation of induction. Put more popularly… the uniformity in nature. In other words all of us every day assume that the future will be like the past; and rightly so. You can’t live in this world otherwise. You can’t get out of bed, brush your teeth, listen to the news, drive your car or do anything at all without assuming the uniformity in nature. More simply that future events will be like past events. Yet the atheist tells us that "The Cosmos is all there is, or was, or ever will be." -that all of life is in the end simply matter moving throughout space. Matter in motion is an appropriate way to put it. There shouldn’t be any reason to look for uniformity in nature, apply scientific principles or appeal to immaterial and universal abstract entities such as the laws of logic. So in the end the atheist affirms one thing with his lips and lives his life according to different principles every step he takes.

The word hypocrite comes to us from the Greek word hupocrites. This word had its origin in the world of ancient theater. In the ancient theater the actors didn’t wear makeup, they wore masks. For each character they portrayed they placed a different mask upon their face. While on the inside they truly were someone else they placed a facade upon their face pretending to be someone they truly were not. Atheist’s live every day according to certain presuppositions and principles. They have as it were a Christian theistic approach to the world and daily life. They live as though they are practical theists every day with every breath and at every turn. They look to the uniformity in nature to function as well as appeal to universal and invariant laws. Atheists listen to professional musicians and applaud at the majesty and beauty of their skill. They kiss their wives and hug their kids as if there were such a thing as the reality of love. Yet, when engaging the world on the subject of God they hide themselves behind the profession of atheism and thus don the mask of hypocrisy and play the role of the unbeliever. Atheism is woeful and deplorable hypocrisy.

The Christian claim is that we live in a world that is governed by a sovereign, all-knowing God who has ordered it in such a way that he carries everything along to its intended purpose . Christians can make sense out of what we are doing. We have a rational basis and explanation for applying scientific method, utilizing the laws of logic and for the assumption that nature is uniform. Because we believe in a sovereign God who governs this universe and sees to it that it is uniform. Even your reading this work is an exercise in the uniformity of nature. You are assuming that I will attempt to utilize and adhere to the laws of logic, that I will make my arguments coherent and that I will attempt to be consistent, honest and fair. From a Christian perspective to be illogical, unreasonable or dishonest would be a sham. Our thinking is to reflect God’s thinking and to engage in contradiction is in fact to lie. Christians can make sense out of science, reason, logic, morality and the like because we have a view of life that satisfies the preconditions of intelligibility of all these issues. In other words, we have a rational foundation for all that we think and do every day--- atheists do not. Christian apologist and philosopher Dr. Cornelius Van Til brilliantly likened the unbeliever to the small child who reaches up to smack his father in the face yet is dependent upon his father to hold him upon his lap to do so. Atheists have hijacked the Christian view of life and reality in order to live and function daily. And yet sadly, atheists spew forth constant denials about the reality of and existence of their creator. It will be demonstrated that atheists are in the end, willfully and actively suppressing the truth about God.

Only the Christian theistic worldview can answer the simplest and most complex questions about reality, knowledge or how we should live our lives in relation to one another. Put more philosophically the questions that relate to metaphysics, epistemology and ethics. I will argue in this work that apart from the Christian worldview you cannot prove anything. Now obviously atheists prove things. They try to be logical, utilize scientific method and appeal to morality. However, their worldview cannot make intelligible use of these things and in the end the atheist is only borrowing from the Christian worldview all the while arguing against it. Atheists are crypto-theists. In the depth of their being, they know the God Christians are speaking about.

Atheism is a cancer

Think for a moment about the utter foolishness of unbelief and how unworkable atheism is as a worldview. Atheists are always reveling in the many supposed benefits of their unbelief. They speak about the freedom, superior morality and overall betterment of life and mankind connected to their view. Yet, how many hospitals have atheists built? How many orphanages or homeless shelters? How many atheistic institutions have been created in the name of atheism’s beliefs and ideals to feed the poor, clothe the naked or heal the sick? How many of Richard Dawkins devotees have sacrificed their lives to make sure the hungry eat, widows are cared for, children have homes or clean water, rent is paid or the sick are healed? I am not suggesting in any way that atheists are the worst people in the world-- by no means. But, how many hospitals have been erected in the name of Charles Darwin? Atheism as a view of the world is a cancer on mankind and is shamefully unworkable. It takes everything and gives back nothing. To quote the late Christian apologist Dr. Walter Martin, “Atheists are the gadflies of civilization.”

Famous atheist Dr. Richard Dawkins claims that Christians are happy with not knowing. Or that they are satisfied with being blind-faith religionists. This is only a demonstration of his total failure to do adequate work in his critique of Christians or to be fair and honest in his arguments. Of course his thoughts do sell a lot of books and do appeal mightily to the modern anti-Christian bias--- about that there can be no question. Many thinking readers’ dissatisfaction with his work is that he wrestles with a false-characterization of Christians and doesn’t really accurately portray what Christians think or argue and have promoted historically.

Christians rest on a foundation of objective truth. Christians are quite capable and comfortable answering the tough questions and have a long history of doing so. We are in fact commanded to give a reasoned defense of what we believe. As a matter of fact, reason and truth are foundational to all Christians think and do. It’s in our blood. We believe in a God who has revealed Himself to His creation both supernaturally and ultimately personally in the person and work of Jesus Christ. This God says “Come let us reason together”. The Christian faith is based on the objective facts of God’s existence, Personal revelation and all of the implications that come from those truths. Jesus entered into the world and claimed that He was in fact “the Truth”. The early Christian claim was not “let go of your mind and follow Jesus” but is summed up best by the Apostle Peter who said, “we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty”. The Christian claim is and always has been based on objective and historical truth. God is not the author of confusion.

The dark path of atheism

If we take a brief look at some of the underlying implications of the atheistic view of the world what do we get? We have to believe that there is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning or purpose in life, no reason to assume the uniformity of nature (thus making all scientific inquiry meaningless), no real beauty, no real love, no human dignity and no reason to believe in objective truth. Atheism forces us to belief in the absurd. Atheists believe that life comes from non-life, that non-intelligent matter becomes intelligent, that non-moral matter suddenly starts trying to be nice to each other and is expected to do so on a regular basis, that inorganic matter becomes organic matter and that simple biological components of matter magically become more complex--- Oh, how marvelously miraculous! And remember atheists claim to not believe in miracles. It takes an enormous amount of blind-faith to buy into the atheistic worldview and we must remember that atheists aren’t supposed to have any.
The end result of the atheistic worldview can be summed up very succinctly in a public statement by evolutionist Dr. Will Provine, professor of the history of biology at Cornell University. While describing the evolutionary worldview’s implications he stated:

“No gods, no life after death, no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning in life and no human free-will. We are all deeply connected to an evolutionary perspective. You are here today and gone tomorrow and that is all there is to it…It starts by giving up an active deity. Then it gives up the hope that there is any life after death. When you give those two up the rest of it follows fairly easily. You give up the hope that there is an imminent morality. And finally there’s no human free-will. If you believe in evolution you can’t hope for there being any free-will. There’s no hope whatsoever of there being any deep meaning in human life. We live, we die and we’re gone! We’re absolutely gone when we die!”

Thankfully some atheists are thinking clearly about the lasting results and implications of their worldviews. This statement from Dr. Provine is chilling indeed and gives us a small glimpse into the inevitably dark nature of Atheism.

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