The following is an email I sent to an atheist who attempted to justify and account for an atheistic worldview using philosophical arguments. This is standard practice. Unfortunately, one must presuppose the presence and reliability of the mind. How can an evolved brain give rise to an immaterial thought-producing entity?_______________________
First year philosophy stuff is right. You know as well as I do that there is no single “philosophy.” One of the best explanations of Philosophy I’ve heard is, “A course where you learn why the previous philosopher was wrong.” I had to chuckle when you claimed that the church had been such an inhibitor of science when today we find the scientific community denouncing well respected and credentialed scientists who doubt the dogma of Global Warming (changed to Climate Change because warming cycles are natural and historical) enthusiasts. Those who disagree with the “accepted science” of the day are compared to “Holocaust deniers” and “flat earthers,” pejoratives that intentionally obscure the truth. Denying the accepted science has a long history.
Don’t get me started on the “scientific” insanity called “transgenderism.” Our newly appointed Supreme Court Justice could not define what a woman is because she said, “I’m not a biologist.” The thing is doctors are performing surgery on men who claim to be women and women who claim to be men. These doctors have taken courses in biology, anatomy, and physiology. They know better, or they should.
Ultimately, atheists live off borrowed capital. They pontificate on what they claim is true and right, and yet can’t account for their own existence or anything else. They claim to use reason, and yet given materialistic assumptions about the nature of reality, there is no way to account for it. Show me empirically that reason exists. Don’t retort, “Well that’s first-year philosophy stuff.” You are looking for empirical evidence to prove God’s existence, so give me empirical evidence that reason as an entity exists. You can’t, and yet you believe in it and use it (presuppose it), but you can’t account for it. That’s the point of the debate: Accounting for your claims. Appealing to philosophical platitudes is not an argument.
The Impossibility of the Contrary
Those who deny God have no way to account for the uniformity of nature and its laws. “[N]atural man does have knowledge, but it is borrowed knowledge, stolen from the Christian-theistic pasture or range, yet natural man has no knowledge, because in terms of his principle the ultimacy of his thinking, he can have none, and the knowledge he possesses is not truly his own. . . . The natural man has valid knowledge only as a thief possesses goods.”Buy Now
Atheists never explain how an inert beginning to the cosmos became a cosmos with meaning, rational beings, and moral precepts. Where did the encoding of the DNA come from? What is the origin of information? Richard Dawkins claims that the cosmos only “appears” to be designed. That’s like saying that a Corvette, a much simpler “design,” only appears to be designed. No one would ever assume that any automobile spontaneously arose from a few nuts and bolts into a seemingly designed marvel. Evolution is one of the most irrational worldviews around. It only has credibility because there are scientists who have attached their names and reputations to it.
I hope Dawkins’ The God Delusion isn’t the source for your views. (In a subsequent email, John did refer me to The God Delusion as the source of his views on the science of atheism. Of course, there is no science in his book.) Dawkins was handed his hat in a debate that took place between him and a colleague of his at Oxford, scientist and mathematician John Lennox some years ago. See Douglas Wilson’s book The Deluded Atheist: A Response to Richard Dawkins’ ‘The God Delusion’ (2008). Again, I challenge you to demonstrate what I’ve asked you to demonstrate given naturalistic/materialistic assumptions. I’m not looking for theories and postulates. These are a dime a dozen. I want the hard science behind your claims. I challenge you empirically to demonstrate the following:
• Reason as an entity exists.
• Morality as an entity exists.
• How did non-physical information come into being?
• How did non-physical information organize itself in a meaningful way?
• What is the origin and physicality of mathematical formulation?
• How the modern-day evolution model is not another name for spontaneous generation writ large.
Again, I’m not looking for a philosopher’s theory; I want to see the empirical science.
John, like all atheists you are living by faith. But unlike the Christian worldview of faith, your faith cannot account for the world you believe in. Your narrow reading of science tells me that you are not aware that even non-Christians are perplexed by the questions I’ve raised. Loren Eiseley, writing in Darwin’s Century (1958, 1961), admitted that “the philosophy of experimental science … began its discoveries and made use of its method in the faith, not the knowledge, that it was dealing with a rational universe controlled by a Creator who did not act upon whim nor interfere with the forces He had set in operation…. It is surely one of the curious paradoxes of history that science, which professionally has little to do with faith, owes its origins to an act of faith that the universe can be rationally interpreted, and that science today is sustained by the assumption” (62).
But you’ll say, “But now we know better.” No, we don’t. Consider this:
In 1985 biologist Michael Denton noted—in Evolution: A Theory in Crisis—that Darwinism was cruising for a bruising. Now he’s back with Evolution: Still a Theory in Crisis, which shows—with three decades of new research—that Darwin’s theory needs hip replacements, for “there is now a growing chorus of dissent within mainstream evolutionary biology.”
He’s right. Darwin himself wrote, “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous successive slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” It has broken down, as advances in paleontology, genomics, and developmental biology show.
For example, mainstream researchers Douglas Erwin and Eric Davidson have noted that “classic evolutionary theory, based on selection of small incremental changes,” is clearly inadequate. Günter Wagner in Homology, Genes, and Evolutionary Innovation writes, “Adaptive modifications often involve only the modification of existing cis-regulatory elements,” but truly new developments “require large-scale reorganizations of the gene regulatory network.” (World)
If you were truly consistent with your atheistic, naturalistic, and materialistic assumptions, you and I could not live together in the world since there would be no justification for the prohibition against killing, what we call murder because of biblical absolutes. Look at a short video clip titled “Cruel Logic” and see if you can do better than the professor tied to his chair.
I’ve heard the claim made that the human mind invented God. This is a curious assertion given that it’s the atheist mind that says there is no God. Which is it? Why is it wrong to accept what the mind once thought and now it’s OK to accept what the mind now thinks? 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 energy like static electricity. 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? Former atheist 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. (C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1970), 52-53.)
How can our conception of reason be trusted to account for anything given its evolutionary origin and its non-physicality? No atheist who claims atheism is scientific has adequately answered this question. In general, atheists assume certain things to be true because they must be true. That’s not good enough. Since science is your revelatory god, trot him out for all of us to see. We keep hearing all the things “evolution” has done. I would like to see him, her, or it.
Galileo, the hero of some atheists, got in trouble with the scientists of his day because he could not back up his theories with science. The Roman Catholic Church’s position, stated by Cardinal Bellarmine in 1615, followed the Council of Trent in upholding the interpretation according to traditional (Aristotelian) authority until observational evidence was available requiring its revision. Galileo was condemned, not because the Bible conflicted with his theories and observations, but because they conflicted with Aristotle. The same is no less true for today’s atheists.
If Evolution is Right, Can Anything be Wrong?
Atheism cannot account for rationality, love or morality. This does not mean that atheists are always irrational, unloving and immoral, but it does mean that they can't account for rationality, love and morality given their assumptions about the origins of the universe and our accidental place in it.Buy Now