An atheist explains the real consequences of adopting an atheistic worldview

A conflict of worldviews
A conflict of worldviews

If you love to listen to the Cold Case Christianity podcast, as I do, then you know that in a recent episode, J. Warner Wallace mentioned a blog post on an atheistic blog that clearly delineated the implications of an atheistic worldview. He promised he was going to write about it and link to the post, and he has now done so.

Here is the whole the whole thing that the atheist posted:

“[To] all my Atheist friends.

Let us stop sugar coating it. I know, it’s hard to come out and be blunt with the friendly Theists who frequent sites like this. However in your efforts to “play nice” and “be civil” you actually do them a great disservice.

We are Atheists. We believe that the Universe is a great uncaused, random accident. All life in the Universe past and future are the results of random chance acting on itself. While we acknowledge concepts like morality, politeness, civility seem to exist, we know they do not. Our highly evolved brains imagine that these things have a cause or a use, and they have in the past, they’ve allowed life to continue on this planet for a short blip of time. But make no mistake: all our dreams, loves, opinions, and desires are figments of our primordial imagination. They are fleeting electrical signals that fire across our synapses for a moment in time. They served some purpose in the past. They got us here. That’s it. All human achievement and plans for the future are the result of some ancient, evolved brain and accompanying chemical reactions that once served a survival purpose. Ex: I’ll marry and nurture children because my genes demand reproduction, I’ll create because creativity served a survival advantage to my ancient ape ancestors, I’ll build cities and laws because this allowed my ape grandfather time and peace to reproduce and protect his genes. My only directive is to obey my genes. Eat, sleep, reproduce, die. That is our bible.

We deride the Theists for having created myths and holy books. We imagine ourselves superior. But we too imagine there are reasons to obey laws, be polite, protect the weak etc. Rubbish. We are nurturing a new religion, one where we imagine that such conventions have any basis in reality. Have they allowed life to exist? Absolutely. But who cares? Outside of my greedy little gene’s need to reproduce, there is nothing in my world that stops me from killing you and reproducing with your wife. Only the fear that I might be incarcerated and thus be deprived of the opportunity to do the same with the next guy’s wife stops me. Some of my Atheist friends have fooled themselves into acting like the general population. They live in suburban homes, drive Toyota Camrys, attend school plays. But underneath they know the truth. They are a bag of DNA whose only purpose is to make more of themselves. So be nice if you want. Be involved, have polite conversations, be a model citizen. Just be aware that while technically an Atheist, you are an inferior one. You’re just a little bit less evolved, that’s all. When you are ready to join me, let me know, I’ll be reproducing with your wife.

I know it’s not PC to speak so bluntly about the ramifications of our beliefs, but in our discussions with Theists we sometimes tip toe around what we really know to be factual. Maybe it’s time we Atheists were a little more truthful and let the chips fall where they may. At least that’s what my genes are telling me to say.”

In his post, Wallace comments on the statement above, but for more, you should listen to the podcast.

This fellow is essentially expanding on what Richard Dawkins has said about atheism:

In a universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, or any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference… DNA neither knows nor cares. DNA just is. And we dance to its music. (Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life (1995))

And Cornell University atheist William Provine agrees: (this is taken from his debate with Phillip E. Johnson)

Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology tells us loud and clear — and these are basically Darwin’s views. There are no gods, no purposes, and no goal-directed forces of any kind. There is no life after death. When I die, I am absolutely certain that I am going to be dead. That’s the end of me. There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning in life, and no free will for humans, either.

And what about Florida State University atheist Michael Ruse:

“The position of the modern evolutionist is that humans have an awareness of morality because such an awareness of biological worth. Morality is a biological adaptation no less than are hands and feet and teeth. Considered as a rationally justifiable set of claims about an objective something, ethics is illusory. I appreciate when someone says, ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself,’ they think they are referring above and beyond themselves. Nevertheless, such reference is truly without foundation. Morality is just an aid to survival and reproduction, . . . and any deeper meaning is illusory.” (Michael Ruse, “Evolutionary Theory and Christian Ethics,” in The Darwinian Paradigm (London: Routledge, 1989), pp. 262-269).

I see a lot of atheists these days thinking that they can help themselves to a robust notion of consciousness, to real libertarian free will, to objective moral values and duties, to objective human rights, and to objective meaning in life, without giving credit to theism. It’s not rational to do this. As Frank Turek said on the latest episode of “Cross Examined”, atheists have to sit in God’s lap to slap his face. We should be calling them out on it. I think it’s particularly important not to let atheists utter a word of moral judgment on any topic, since they cannot ground an objective standard that allows them to make statements of morality. Further, I think that they should have every immorality ever committed presented to them, and then they should be told “your worldview does not allow you to condemn this as wrong”. They can’t praise anything as right, either. This is not to say that we should go all presuppositional on them, but if the opportunity arises to point out how they are borrowing from theism in order to attack it, we should do that in addition to presenting good scientific and historical evidence.

Positive arguments for Christian theism

13 thoughts on “An atheist explains the real consequences of adopting an atheistic worldview”

  1. Wow, this quote is shocking but, at the same time, brutally honest.

    If we truly are the result of a cosmic accident, there is really no other way to look at life.

    Great post. I am a big fan or Wallace.

    God bless,


    1. “If we truly are the result of a cosmic accident, there is really no other way to look at life.”

      This statement doesn’t compute. What does our cosmic origin have to do with how we want humanity to be in the future?

      Indeed, this is the fundamental difference between what the atheists think they are arguing against and what theists are actually concerned with. Atheists are concerned with how things are. Theists are concerned with how things ought to be. Everything else they believe flows from this essential difference.

      The truth is that the two are not incompatible, if one considers all the things we don’t yet understand.

      The writer of that quote is basically taking a snapshot of all the science he thinks he knows and saying that’s all there is to life. Interesting that atheists seem to want to transplant this postage stamp type of existence into the experience of everyone else. It’s a phenomenally ignorant and rapacious thing to do, even for an atheist.

  2. Dostoevsky explained this well, without a foundation of belief, there is no reason a materialist can claim anything but random ignorance that ends with gulags for the powerless. And Francis Schaefer described the same dilemna in “Escape From Reason.”

    When an atheist co-worker in the 80’s said he didn’t have a problem with my belief in God i told him he is mistaken. If I claim to talk to a God I can’t see to get answers for questions that don’t materially exist then in the near future me and my fellow believers will HAVE to be labeled as crazy people. A materialist, secular society will have no choice if they want to live in a purely secular society, i.e. one they can control.

    1. I think they are becoming increasingly impatient with our moral values. They find our disapproval of their actions (abortion, divorce, premarital sex, single motherhood by choice, same-sex parenting, etc.) to be an unnecessary and unwanted brake on their accelerating desire for selfish gratification. They especially don’t like that we vote for laws that favor the rights of children, unborn and born. And they don’t like that we teach our children that what they are doing is wrong. How far will they go to stop us? You can just look in cultures that have less Christian influence to find out. Not all atheists resent the free exercise of religion, but many do.

  3. I grew up in an evangelical community and have done my fair share of door knocking over the years but I think you folks are mistaken in your assumption that atheists see despair in an indifferent universe. I don’t think that’s the case. As well, whether it is despairing or not is irrelevant, as the real issue is God’s existence. If God doesn’t exist, then the universe as coldly indifferent is the reality we have. I don’t personally see that as reason for despair. Secondly, even if there is some intelligent designer out there we have no idea about his true nature. One can as easily posit a malevolent God as a benevolent one.

  4. I agree to some extent.
    Being atheist is what really gives us free will. No destiny, no “providence”, no “god’s plans”.
    In fact, morality is just another evolutionary tool. Capable of thinking as we are, I know that “obeying” some constraints will make my life easier, even more joyful. Nothing about what theists say. This is a solely social morality, which changes from community to community, time to time.
    Summing, I have a sense of respect the same way I have a sense of danger. My brain learned that this is good, so i chose to do it.

    1. If the human brain is the cause of free will then we are more than the product of a blind evolutionary process. Materialistically our brains work through bio-chemical, bio-electrical and bio-mechanical processes. Those processes are deterministic in nature. They follow the laws of physics and causal relationships. How could they cause free will?

  5. The atheist author quoted is mistaking nihilism with atheism. Indeed there are a number of positions available to atheists, including those with an objective view of morality, absurdism, or even several sects of Buddhism. Obviously atheism lends itself more readily to nihilism, but that doesn’t necessitate a causation as there is a great deal of work done on objective morality within an atheistic worldview.

  6. Most people should just get on with life. Just leave your beliefs out of your conversations and get on with your lives people. Does it matter what belief you have? It appears to me everyone just keeps on cramming their beliefs down societies throats . If you want to belive one way that is your right. If you don’t believe in religion then don’t. What we believe is no one’s business . Why does our society make such an issue on these matters? It only tells me they don’t have enough things to do on a daily routine .

    1. Is that your belief, Elaine? If so, why are you including it in this conversation? And why are you cramming it down my throat, and the throat of everyone else reading?

    2. Because everyone thinks they are right and that since they feel that way then everyone else hast to feel that way. It’s a case of my opinion is more important than yours.

  7. Fascinating that atheists want to avoid the road their belief leads to. “There are no rules but the ones you make up” is not an option, what is material and observable is the only creed left. i’ve never met an atheist who lived like one, however, which always makes me laugh.

    Even the evidence of what happens to humanity when the Judeo-Christian god is forceably removed from social structure is avoided like the plague. Dostoevsky predicted the gulags decades before they happened, not because he was magic, because he was unflinching in the face of reality.

    It’s interesting to watch atheists chase their tales and I try my best not to laugh out loud.

  8. “All human achievement and plans for the future are the result of some ancient, evolved brain and accompanying chemical reactions that once served a survival purpose.”

    I’d give good money if some atheist would pontificate on what survival purpose all their boring pontificating serves. Not to mention the endless circular arguing of their ‘point’ which they so often crow about having proven, then immediately return to arguing AS UNPROVEN. The contradictory nature of that never crosses their minds.

    And it’s boring. If you’re so convinced there’s no God, then why don’t you act like it? You don’t spend all your time arguing against the non-existent like this anyplace in society, excepting a mental ward. One can’t help but wonder whether mental wards would be emptier if their inhabitants would shut up about how George Washington didn’t exist.

    A great part of the reason I’m no longer agnostic: I couldn’t stand the tedium. I also couldn’t figure out why someone who believed this life was all there was would want to spend any of it arguing about things that didn’t exist. Carpe droning? I always found that just too stupid for words. A Creator, on the other hand, would give endless reasons for reason and the examination thereof. Question begetting question on the nature of HIS nature, etc.

    That said, enjoyed this article and the comments were pretty great too. WK, I think perhaps it hasn’t occurred to Elaine that the natural expression of a BELIEF is to want to share it with others. Now, we know the atheists can’t lay claim to that, because they claim atheism is not a belief, but the ABSENCE OF a belief..LOL. The Harris, Hitchens & Hawkins Hippodrone–er, Hippodrome. Andrew: My opinion IS more important than yours–but only yours. ;-)

    Vic: Go ahead and laugh. Even agnostics laugh at atheists: we sure did when I was agnostic. Hadn’t thought about that with Dostoevsky: interesting observation. :-)

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