American Vision received the following email from Peter who objected to our commercial forcing the moral implications of atheism.

I am a big supporter a freedom of speech. I have no qualms regarding an individuals’ persuasion religiously or otherwise. I am complaining about your advertisement against ‘Militant Atheism’ you intend to broadcast globally via the Internet and Television. This advertisement brings you down to the level of all militants and fundamentalists, whether they be Muslim, Christian, Hindu or whatever. It reeks of ignorance, intolerance and racism. The infantile tone in which it is delivered is surely an insult to any viewer. Militant atheism does not exist. The French Revolution, Nazism and Communism are Nationalistic ideologies which were, and are not, flown under the banner of Atheism. If you take your blinkers off you may discover that among others—Hitler and Napoleon were deeply religious. This is opposed to things like President Bush’s war on terror, Middle Eastern terrorist activities, Genocide in Africa to name current issues. Need I delve into the past?? I will not, as surely you know the horrible deeds done in the past under the banner of ALL FORMS of religion. Atheism exists for peace and tolerance of all beliefs for all people. Perhaps you would like to have a video conference with me so that we can weed out where we are coming from and have a sensible debate. I would be happy to speak to anyone who can tell me why what you are preaching is helpful to mankind.

I pointed out to Peter that Atheism cannot account for morality. I did not accuse him of being immoral, but I did accuse him of borrowing his choice of moral living from the Christian worldview, the very worldview he denounces. He expresses moral outrage on a number of fronts, but he cannot account for any type of moral living given his atheistic assumptions. At death, if atheism is true, there is no difference between Adolf Hitler and Abraham Lincoln, so why should there be any moral difference between them this side of the grave? At death, we are no more than dust in the wind. In life, we are nothing more than wet dust!

Atheism is a worldview driven by faith in a system of thought supposedly generated by a brain that evolved from a pre-biotic soup of chemicals that randomly emits electrical impulses through its gray matter no different from a build up of electrical energy and dissipated through a lightening strike. But how can a materialist know that an evolved brain can be trusted to know anything authoritatively or claim that certain behaviors are morally right or wrong given purely materialistic assumptions? C.S. Lewis puts it this way:

If the solar system was brought about by an accidental collision, then the appearance of organic life on this planet was also an accident, and the whole evolution of Man was an accident too. If so, then all our thought processes are mere accidents—the accidental by-product of the movement of atoms. And this holds for the materialists’ and astronomers’ as well as for anyone else’s [thought processes]. But if their thoughts—i.e., of Materialism and Astronomy—are merely accidental by-products, why should we believe them to be true? I see no reason for believing that one accident would be able to give correct account of all the other accidents.[1]

Charles Darwin saw the same problem when he argued for the existence of God by use of reason. How can our conception of reason be trusted to account for anything given its evolutionary origin—even if it actually exists—and elusive matter-based origin and functionality? “But then arises the doubt,” Darwin argued, “can the mind of man, which has, as I fully believe, been developed from a mind as low as that possessed by the lowest animals, be trusted when it draws such grand conclusions?”[2] Of course, given theistic assumptions, the ability to reason and the reality of morality are accounted for in the proposition that “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” and “created man in His own image” (Gen. 1:1). The atheist recoils at such talk, but he actually needs this premise to account for all the tools he uses to denounce the God he claims he does not need.

Peter, like so many atheists, is an “interloper on God’s territory. Everything he uses to construct his system has been stolen from God’s ‘construction site.’ The unbeliever is like the little girl who must climb on her father’s lap to slap his face. . . . [T]he unbeliever must use the world as it has been created by God to try to throw God off His throne.”[3]

C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1970), 52–53. [2] Francis Darwin, ed., Charles Darwin Life and Letters, 2 vols. (), 1:285:
[3] John A. Fielding III, “The Brute Facts: An Introduction of the Theology and Apologetics of Cornelius Van Til,” The Christian Statesman 146:2 (March-April 2003), 30.