Denouncing all religions, as atheists do, only elevates its own version of faith over all other belief systems. What is its ethic? Why should anybody follow anything an atheist has to say? By what standard? Whose atheist version of law?
Atheists have denounced religion as the source of all evil in the world. This is nonsense. The 20th century was the bloodiest on record, and it was dominated by atheist regimes.
Atheists are starting to feel the pressure of answering questions about the foundation of morality, so they create campaigns claiming that anybody can be good without God, all the time not mentioning that the goodness they claim to be doing is borrowed from theism:
“A number of atheist organizations have joined together to release a series of billboards throughout the Gulf Coast this week, presenting messages that tell people that they are not alone if they don’t believe in God, and that people can be good ‘without a god.’”
It’s not that atheists don’t do good things. They do, but only in a world where there is a universal standard of what it means to be good. How do atheists determine goodness and badness from the chemical composition of the brain? Why should the chemical reaction in one atheist’s brain be told what to do by the chemical reaction in another person’s brain?
Are we to believe that Hitler and Stalin believed they were doing something that was evil? The defendants at Nuremberg didn’t think so.
Margaret Sanger (1879-1966) wrote in her 1920 book Woman and The New Race, “The most merciful thing that the large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.” The title of the chapter where this quotation is found is “The Wickedness of Creating Large Families.” To whittle down the size of a family by killing “one of its infant members” is a good thing according to Sanger.
Atheists who are good are good because they reflect the image of God:
“For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus” (Rom. 2:14-16).
In the world of atheism, there is no one to make an ultimate judgment about anything. Adolf Hitler and the world’s greatest philanthropist will meet the same fate at death since, according to atheism, “All we are is dust in the wind.” There is no way to extract morality from dust, even when it’s animated by electrical impulses coming from an evolved brain that evolutionists can’t explain how nothing became something and that something evolved into a moral entity that can say something is good and something is evil.
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 buildup of electrical energy and dissipated through a lightning 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
How can our conception of reason be trusted to account for anything given its evolutionary origin and elusive matter-based origin and functionality? Darwin understood the dilemma. “But then arises the doubt,” he 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? I cannot pretend to throw the least light on such abstruse problems. The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble by us; and I for one must be content to remain an Agnostic.”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 in order to be good.
Lewis again gets to the heart of the problem: “If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.”3
- C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1970), 52–53. [↩]
- Francis Darwin, ed., Charles Darwin Life and Letters, 2 vols. (London: John Murray, 1887), 1:313. [↩]
- C. S. Lewis, “The Rival Conceptions of God,” Mere Christianity (New York: The Macmillan Co., 1956), 31. [↩]