Saturday, January 8, 2011

Answering Atheism

"The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works; There is none that doeth good." Psalms 14:1

The sin discussed in the verse above is known by the term 'atheism' today. However, the concept is still the same. There is a lot of wisdom in this verse for more than the obvious reason of God's existence, but also because of the logical fallacies that atheists have had to cling to in order to hold on to their (false) belief system. During the next several articles, which will be an on-going series, we will explore the many contradictions that are offered by an atheist.

Recently, I have been afforded the opportunity to have discussions with many atheists, and though I had these conversations at different times with different people, one point would always be brought up by the atheist's corner; they believe that through science they have the advantage of logical thinking on their side. They also believe that through this science, they can say with absolute certainty that there is no god, especially not the God of the Bible. They do this by trying to point out the scientific impossibilities of certain events that the Christian holds sacred ever happening. However, I would like to take a moment to break down the atheist's argument piece by piece, and show the fallacies of such a belief.

Atheist Fallacy #1: "Atheism is the abdication of all religious beliefs, especially those involving a God."

This is clearly false, and we can see this by breaking down the word 'atheist' itself. The term atheist is made up of two root words, 'a' which means 'without', and 'theos' which means, 'god'. Literally, the word atheist means 'without god'. The problem with this is that in order for someone to proclaim themselves an atheist, and thereby reject all religious beliefs regarding a God, requires one to make an absolute decision regarding God in the first place. Therefore, if one has made a concrete decision regarding the existence, or non-existence of god, they have therefore bought into a belief regarding religion, thereby subscribing to a religious belief. This, of course, would make the argument that atheism is an abdication, or a renouncing of all religious beliefs, essentially false.

Atheist Fallacy #2: "God cannot be proven empirically, through the scientific method, therefore He doesn't exist."

This concept is based in a quote by the Evolutionist George Gaylord Simpson who said, "It is inherent in any definition of science that statements that cannot be checked by observation are not really saying anything..." In other words, Mr. Simpson would like you to believe that anything that cannot be proven scientifically through the scientific method is not really anything at all.

The key to proving fallacy in this lies in something very basic to human life; emotions. When you feel love, hurt, anger, excitement, stress or sadness, do you have a tangible way of measuring these emotions? If you do not, then George Gaylord Simpson (and every atheist who subscribes to this train of thought, for that matter) would like you to believe that your emotions are not real. However, we know that it is our emotions and the way we employ them that make up our personalities. Without our personalities, we are nothing but empty shells. Does this mean that an atheist is willing to admit that their emotions, and by default, the lack of their personalities have taken away their rights to be considered human? I would think not!

Another problem an atheist has in employing this thought process is in the fact that God is not subject to the laws of science, as man is. In order to believe this, we have to be willing to put God on the same level playing field as mankind, and we know that this simply is not the case. Just as you are not subject to a paper airplane you create, God, as their creator, is not subject to the laws of science. This is important to remember, especially when considering the First Law of Thermodynamics, which states that matter nor energy can neither be created nor destroyed. This gives us the answer to how it is possible that God has always existed. He is not subject to the law of science that requires He be created.

Atheist Fallacy #3: "God was not necessary to create the universe and all that was in it."

This is a big one in the atheist community. If they are able to minimize the necessity of God in creating anything, then in their minds they have won the argument. However, this is the weakest point for an atheist to argue because they are making a charge or an accusation, but have no evidence to prove it.

The best explanation they have to offer comes recently by Dr. Stephen Hawking who is quoted saying, “Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist... It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the Universe going.

However, with all due respect to Dr. Hawking, this does not answer the fundamental question of where 1) the law of gravity itself came from, 2) where the particles or matter that was pulled together by said gravity came from? The First Law of Thermodynamics states that neither matter nor energy can be created nor destroyed from nothing. This single law in itself refutes Dr. Hawking's assertion that the universe is here due to gravity. In fact, in order to believe in both the First Law of Thermodynamics, and the fact that the universe and all that exist within it are in fact in existence, one would be forced to believe in the idea of an Original Creator (i.e., God). There is no other logical conclusion.

Simply put, until the atheist can reconcile such a large contradiction, there should be no need to consider the atheist platform any further. 

Atheist Fallacy #4: "Science can prove there is no God."

During my discussions with atheists, this claim is thrown around so cavalier that it is almost frightening. The problem with this argument is the fact that science is always evolving and changing as our understanding grows. Science in itself hasn't really began to take off until the past 400 years. This is a problem considering an atheist would like us to believe that the universe and Earth have been in existence for almost 7 billion years! It has been only in the past 400 years that we've gained a truer understanding of our universe and planet alike through science. The fact is, what we hold as scientific facts is always evolving.

Think about when Christopher Columbus sailed the oceans. The general "scientific fact" of the day was that the Earth was flat, and you could sail right off the edge of it if not careful. However, we know this to be false today because of science evolving. Another example is the belief of what caused many to fall ill. For centuries, the "scientific fact" of the day said that it was because of evil deeds that someone fell ill. However, today we know that it is because of things like bacterial, viral, and fungal infections that causes people's illness. In 1847, Doctor Ignaz Semmelweis first suggested people wash their hands in order to keep from spreading illness. The idea was originally scoffed at, until it caught on and the mortality rates of hospitals plunged.

The point is that science is a young, ever-evolving subject. And in so being, it is dangerous to say that we have reached such an understanding about anything that we are able to completely dismiss such a consequential thing as the existence of God. Remember, God is not subject to the laws of science, because He is not tangible, and therefore subject to be proven or dis-proven empirically. Science is no more ready to provide an argument against God as it was in the 1400's to argue for the existence of a flat Earth. As we previously mentioned, science has a hard time proving their own beliefs on how the universe was created, let alone dis-proving it's creation by God!

Famous religious skeptic and professor of physics and astronomy, Chet Raymo is quoted as saying, "Science cannot rule out heaven and hell because they are beyond the reach of empirical investigation."

It is my belief that as science evolves, as well as our full unadulterated understanding of it, we will see how God and science are in one accord with perfect harmony.

Atheist Fallacy #5: "Religious beliefs are held by those in society that are weaker minded, and need to hold onto fairy tales."

This statement always makes me smile because it is an arrogant statement for an atheist to believe. An atheist will tell you that the universe is in existence because of something called, The Big Bang. In case you are unfamiliar with the concept of The Big Bang, let me take this moment to fill you in. The Big Bang is a scientific theory that says that tiny atoms of matter were floating freely around the vast empty space that the universe now occupies. These atoms began floating closer and closer together due to the law of gravity, until they were pulled so closely in together, that enough energy was formed that made a large explosion and sent larger chunks of matter flying throughout the universe, thereby creating the planets, suns, moons, asteroids, and other bodies that create our universe.

When I think about this, it takes just as much (if not a lot more!) faith to believe in the concept of The Big Bang because an atheist again cannot answer the questions that need to be answered regarding the origination of the tiny particles of matter, the law of gravity, what caused the pull of gravity on these tiny pieces of matter, and how these tiny pieces of matter, said to only be a few atoms in totality, mushroomed into celestial bodies big enough to create our universe.

To believe in the fairy tale that is The Big Bang, one would also require a belief in a concept that is a direct contradiction to the Chaos Theory, which states that you cannot get order from chaos without a direct outside intervention. Simply put, the universe could not create the designs it shows throughout it without an outside interference (i.e., God).

We've already covered how God is not subject to the laws of nature and science, therefore, making it unfair to say that the accounts of God are fairy tales. Which one takes more faith and is more likely to be a fairy tale, belief in The Big Bang theory, which is full of scientific contradictions, or belief in an everlasting, ever-loving God of the Bible?

Atheist Fallacy #6: "Religion is the cause of most of the wars fought throughout humanity."

Simply put, this is clearly proven false by the evidence! The recorded history of human warfare goes back to the beginning of recorded human history itself. A recent comprehensive compilation of the history of human warfare, Encyclopedia of Wars by Charles Phillips and
Alan Axelrod documents 1763 wars, of which 123 have been classified as a religious conflict. So, what atheists have considered to be "most" really amounts to less than 7% of all wars. It is interesting, however, that 66 of these wars (more than 50%) involved Islam, which did not exist as a religion for the first 3,000 years of recorded human warfare, and well over 600 years after the birth of Christianity!

It would actually be more accurate to say that most wars have been due to an atheist agenda, since again, the word atheist means 'without God'. But that would be an unfair classification, so I will refrain from making such a charge. I would not want anyone to think I believe atheists have started many of the wars in history in order to force their belief system on others. Doing so would be irrational, right?

While this is a small sample of the arguing points made by atheists today, I believe it is still a fair representation of their stances. As we have proven here, the atheist has indeed shown themselves to be a fool for believng in such contradictions. And while we as Christians must ultimately rely on faith (Hebrews 11:1), we are able to know and base our faith in Him who knows all things (1 John 3:20).  And when the time comes to make a decision whether or not to follow God, the most logical choice will always be to side with Him, who truly exists and is the creator all things.

1 comment:

  1. I love how you speak with such confidence about such heavy topics. I can see you really have a passion for this kind of stuff! Thanks for teaching me something new!