The best way to answer a faulty argument is to attack it at its foundation. Anything else is just breaking windowns. For example, the operating assumption of Lawrence M. Krauss’s book, A Universe from Nothing, is:
“the startling conclusion that most of the energy in the universe resides in some mysterious, now inexplicable form permeating all of empty space. It’s not an understatement to say that the discovery has changed the playing field of modern cosmology.
“For one thing, this discovery has produced remarkable new support for the idea that our universe arose from precisely nothing.”1
There was no “discovery” in the usual sense. Nothing was actually found, or should I say, not found. No experiments were done to demonstrate that anything “arose from precisely nothing” let alone the entire universe.
It’s one thing to observe the orbit of the planets and whether Mercury’s orbit is “a perfect ellipse that returned to itself,” as Newton predicted based on certain calculations, or that “the ellipse shifts slightly each orbit.”2 It’s another thing to propose a theory that the universe arose out of nothing when by the author’s own admission “science is changing the playing field in ways that make people uncomfortable.”3 We’ve seen it from Newton to Einstein to whatever the new theory is today and what it will be tomorrow. Each time there’s less science and more scientism.
Even if Krauss’s “nothing” is not really nothing, he and other materialists must still account for the nothing that’s not really nothing as most people understand the meaning of nothing and a whole lot more.
Richard Feynman (1918-1988) said the following:
“People say to me, ‘Are you looking for the ultimate laws of physics?’ No, I’m not, I’m just looking to find out more about the world and if it turns out there is a simple ultimate law which explains everything, so be it. That would be very nice to discover.
“If it turns out it’s like an onion with millions of layers and we’re just sick and tired of looking at the layers, then that’s the way it is, but whatever way it comes out, it’s nature is there and she is going to come out the way she is, and therefore when we go to investigate it we shouldn’t predecide what it is we’re trying to do except to try to find out more about it.”4
Would Feynman have ever entertained the belief that God was behind the onion’s millions of layers? Any true scientist would have to say yes. In too many cases, however, atheists give an unequivocal no.
Feynman had a hand in the development of the atomic bomb. He regretted the part he played. I don’t see why anybody who believes in evolution would be morally quixotic about wiping out molecule men, women, and children. The weapons only extinguished animated gooey masses that came to be off the rape and death of previous life-form molecule globs. At death, Feynman and Hitler had the same end result as those who died at Hiroshima and Nagasaki and in the Nazi death camps. There wasn’t any moral accounting for any of them. No one will be there to say “well done good and faithful servant” or “go straight to hell.”
So how do atheists account for a moral worldview that can ultimately be judged? They can’t. Atheists are moral kleptomaniacs. “They can’t stop themselves from stealing biblical presuppositions in order to function and make sense of the universe. Unbelievers do believe in God, but they have convinced themselves that they don’t. They are self-deceived (James 1:22-24).”5
We should be thankful that atheists aren’t fully consistent with their matter-only worldview and that they steal from the moral universe they deny. If they didn’t, and enough people followed the materialistic/naturalistic worldview consistently and relentlessly, there is no telling what might happen.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881), author of Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov with its Grand Inquisitor, wrote about the implications of a consistent materialistic worldview that becomes consistent with its operating presuppositions: “The preachers of materialism and atheism who proclaim man’s self-sufficiency are preparing indescribable darkness and horror for mankind under the guise of renovation and resurrection.”6
Nicolas Zernov comments on Dostoevsky’s conversion and the impact it had on his worldview thinking:
“He foresaw that those who rejected Christianity and the Church did so to prove to themselves and to others that men were masters of their own destiny and that no moral power higher than man’s existed in the Universe. These ‘benefactors’ were building a gigantic prison of compulsory uniformity and would show no mercy to those who refused to be slaves in the future totalitarian realm. Men were afraid of freedom, according to Dostoevsky, and eager to exchange it for security and material prosperity.”7
How does any of this play out in the real world? Do people imbibe the spirit of the age without thinking about its full consequences? Justin Vollmar used to be a pastor who had run the Virtual Deaf Church online for the last four years. A few weeks ago he told his online followers that he is now an atheist because there is “NO GOD” and Christianity is “all nonsense.”
There’s more background to the story. The church that employed Justin Vollmar describes him as a “vengeful, pathological liar.” You can read the church’s response here. Of course, if there is no God, there could can’t be a determiner of what’s ultimately morally right or wrong and thus no pathology, vengeance, or lying. In the grand scheme of an evolved cosmos, there is no “Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of [his] intentions,” as the framers of the Declaration of Independence put it. There is no one outside the material cosmos to whom the atheist can make his moral point stick.
I wonder how anyone can say that he KNOWS there is no God. The key word here is “know” in an absolute sense, as in “know for sure with no doubt.” The Bible takes a different position. It states unequivocally that everybody knows that God exists:
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures” (Rom. 1:18-24).
On the one had we have a conglomeration of atoms called “Justin,” who entered this evolved world through two other conglomerations of atoms called “parents,” who says there is no God. On the other hand we have God saying that everybody knows the true God and those who deny His existence are actually suppressing the truth. There was a time when almost nobody questioned the existence of God. This could be why the Bible says, “The fool has said in his HEART there is no God” (Psalm 14:1). No one would ever say it out loud since it’s such a ridiculous proposition.
Who is Justin Vollmar? He looks to be around 40 years old. This makes him a “person” of limited knowledge and experience, and maybe of no knowledge at all given what we know of evolutionary beginnings (as evolutionists tell their mythology).
Here’s some of what he signed on the video. Notice the progression of thought:
“Atheism mean[s] I believe that there is no God. Yes, God is just an illusion or theological concept. Jesus is not the Son of God, He did not rise from the dead. Nor is He born of virgin mother. I completely deny those.”
He begins with a definition of atheism which he admits is a faith: “I BELIEVE there is no God.” From this he moves to “God is just an illusion or a theological concept.” What he should have said is, “I BELIEVE God is just an illusion or a theological concept, but who am I to maintain this since I am less than a speck when compared to the vastness of the cosmos?” But even that’s too much certainty and credibility for a bag of meat and bones animated by electricity.
The following is from the television show X-Files:
DANA SCULLY: “Electrons chasing each other through a circuit — that isn’t life, Mulder.”
FOX MULDER: “Yeah, but what are we but impulses? Electrical and chemical through a bag of meat and bones. You’re the scientist. You tell me.”8
Why should anybody put their faith in anything an evolved entity named “Justin Vollmar” or any “thing” (we are all just “things” if there is no God) says? Given atheist mythology, as Richard Dawkins, the high priest of atheism tells it, we only “appear” to be designed. So what gives anybody confidence in the non-purposed result of “natural selection, the blind, unconscious, automatic process”?9
For the record, “natural selection” is not an operational entity like the work engineers, doctors, or mechanics perform. Natural selection can’t DO anything because it’s not an “it.” Evolutionists ascribe personality and intelligence to “natural selection” and “evolution.” “Evolution did this” or “Natural selection did that.” Impossible.
While belief in the invisible (to us) nature of God is a philosophical no-no among evolutionists; it’s OK to believe in the invisibility of this “evolution” entity that has supposedly created life out of non-life and has developed a moral code for us to live by.
As J.B.S. Haldane famously stated, “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. If my mental processes are determined wholly by the motion of atoms in my brain, I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms.” ((Possible Worlds and Other Essays (London: Chatto & Windus, 1927), 209.))
C. S. Lewis expanded on Haldane’s materialist logic:
“A strict materialism refutes itself for the reason given long ago by Professor Haldane: ‘If my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain, I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true . . . and hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms.’ If minds are wholly dependent on brains, and brains on bio-chemistry, and bio-chemistry (in the long run) on the meaningless flux of atoms, I cannot understand how the thought of those minds should have any significance than the sound of the wind in the trees. Christian theology can fit in science, art, morality, and the sub-Christian religions. . . . The scientific point of view cannot fit in any of these things, not even science itself.”10
In response to the Haldane quotation, one person responded, “The whole point about science is that it’s not about what is true, it’s about what works.” How does the moral pragmatist determine if “what works” is moral? Haven’t we often heard, “Don’t impose your morality on me”? “Different strokes for different folks?” Hitler believed killing Jews was the right thing to do. Exterminating the Jews would “work.” Are we to believe that mass murdering tyrants like Stalin, Hitler, Idi Amin and others ever thought that what they were doing was evil? Haldane was an admirer of Joseph Stalin, describing him in 1962 as “a very great man who did a very good job.” Stalin was a mass murderer who most certainly believed in doing what worked from his point of view.
So the person who listens to an animated batch of chemicals (e.g., Richard Dawkins, Daniel C. Dennett, Sam Harris, or any other noted atheist) pass air over his evolved vocal cords and to make a claim of certainty has to ask himself how much trust he wants to put in that person. Justin Vollmar needs to ask himself the same question. His problem is that given his operating assumptions, how can he trust a brain composed only of atoms that evolved from nothingness? Of course, he can’t even be certain that he’s asking the right question in his newly adopted worldview.
The smartest guy in the room is still only a speck of a molecule in the vast reaches of the cosmos. Pull back from light years of travel to the most distant star and ask yourself, “Do I want to trust my eternal destiny to what comes out of his evolved brain?”
So here’s my rendition of “If I Had a hammer”:
If I had a hammer,
I’d hammer in the morning,
I’d hammer in the evening,
All over this land,
I’d hammer out danger,
I’d hammer out a warning,
I’d hammer out that atheists,
Don’t have a way
To account for morality or anything else,
All over this land.
- Lawrence M. Krauss, A Universe from Nothing: Why There is Something Rather Than Nothing (New York: Free Press, 2012), xiii.(↩)
- Krauss, A Universe from Nothing, 3.(↩)
- Krauss, A Universe from Nothing, xv.(↩)
- Richard Feynman and Jeffrey Robbins, The Pleasure of Finding Things Out: The Best Short Works of Richard P. Feynman (Cambridge, MA: Perseus, 1999), 23.(↩)
- Jason Lisle, The Ultimate Proof of Creation: Resolving the Origins Debate (Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2009), 70.(↩)
- Dostoevsky, Journal of an Author No. 50 (1873). Quoted in Nicolas Zernov, Eastern Christendom: A Study of the Origin and Development of the Eastern Orthodox Church (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1961), 198.(↩)
- Zernov, Eastern Christendom, 199.(↩)
- “Kill Switch, X-Files (Season 5, Episode 11).(↩)
- Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence Reveals a Universe Without Design (New York: Norton, 1987), 5.(↩)
- C. S. Lewis, “Is Theology Poetry,” delivered at the Oxford Socratic Club, 1944, published in They Asked for a Paper (London: Geoffrey Bles, 1962), 164–165.(↩)