The first march on Washington took place on the National Mall in Washington, DC on November 2, 2002. It was billed as the Godless Americans March on Washington (GAMOW). There were about 2000 in attendance. The rest of the atheists were teaching in our nation’s colleges and universities. Apparently they couldn’t get the day off.
With the lack of attendance, the atheists waited ten years before their next Godless rally. This time they called it the “Reason Rally.” It was “billed as a celebration of reason and a ‘coming out’ event for atheists, as opposed to an anti-religion one.” But like all Godless rallies, this one devolved into an anti-religion rally. The atheists couldn’t help themselves. Richard Dawkins, the high priest of atheism, told the receptive crowd, “Mock them, ridicule them in public. Don’t fall for the convention that we’re all too polite to talk about religion.”
Reason had nothing to do with the rally. Atheists have nothing to offer but slogans that come across more like a very bad religion than science. According to atheists, the universe popped into existence out of nothing. Somehow, contrary to all reason, scientific observation, and in violation of the laws of physics and biology, life spontaneously arose from non-life. If there is any mocking to go on, I suspect that it’s the theists who are in a better position to do the mocking.
The biggest problem that atheists have with their supposed scientific worldview is a way to account for reason and morality. If we are the product of only matter, then how do atheists account for reason and morality, neither of which have any material substance?
Even atheist Kai Nielsen understands that morality cannot be accounted for with an appeal to materialistic and naturalistic assumptions:
We have not been able to show that reason requires the moral point of view, or that all really rational persons, unhoodwinked by myth or ideology, need not be individual egoists or classical amoralists. Reason doesn’t decide here.
The picture I have painted for you is not a pleasant one. Reflection on it depresses me. . . . The point is this: pure practical reason, even with a good knowledge of the facts, will not take you to morality.1
The consistent logic of atheism has led people to do things without any regard for morals since reason leads inextricably to moral autonomy. Consider, for example, the sexual predator and cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer. He appealed to his atheistic and evolutionary believes for justification for his murders. His father, Lionel Dahmer, explained it like this:
If it all happens naturalistically, what’s the need for a god? Can’t I set my own rules? Who owns me? I own myself.2
Atheists will immediately protest that they are as moral as the next guy. This may be true but it’s not the point. How do atheists account for reason and morality in a godless, materialistic, and naturalistic cosmos? Only by borrowing from the Christian worldview that they ridicule and despise.
Douglas Wilson, in his debate with the late anti-theist Christopher Hitchens in the film Collision, defined atheists this way:
“There are two tenets of Atheism. One, there is no God, Two, I hate Him.”
I would add a third: “But we need the moral worldview of the theists so our worldview won’t self-destruct.”
- Kai Nielsen, “Why Should I Be Moral?,” American Philosophical Quarterly 21 (January 1984), 90. Quoted in Francis J. Beckwith, William Lane Craig, and J. P. Moreland, To Everyone an Answer: A Case for the Christian Worldview (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2004) 116. [↩]
- See the A&E Biography documentary on Jeffrey Dhamer: The Monster Within (1996). [↩]