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. Not too long ago I posted a review of Sirens of Titan, a novel by the late American sci-fi writer (and evolutionist and ATHEIST) Kurt Vonnegut. Much of the review confronts the reader with the logical consequences of the materialistic worldview. Something Francis Schaeffer called “tearing the roof off”. The review is online here

    http://www.samizdat.qc.ca/arts/lit/LettertoKurt_PG.htm

    That this has landed on my lap is mostly my oldest son’s fault as he had to do a paper in a philosophy class on this novel. Yes, a “philosophy class”…. When he’d finished, he dumped the novel on my lap and said “Hey, Dad, read this.” I had already read a couple novels by Vonnegut so I had a good idea what to expect. That such novels are made “required reading” in colleges and universities is of course due to the fact that Vonnegut’s work represents a worldview approved by our educational elites, but another reason is that Vonnegut is deemed “useful” for undermining any vestige of a Judeo-Christian morals or worldview in young adults who are still in the stage of developing their view of life. So such literature is put deliberately before young adults. I have run into other similar cases myself.

    Just to be up front, the language in my review is a bit coarse at times, but I think appropriate. I approached this review as a letter to Vonnegut written by one of his pals, asking personal questions. Since Vonnegut raises the question of “religion” in this novel, later in my review I do attempt to present the Gospel, but beginning with empirical evidence for the Fall, something Vonnegut was QUITE familiar with.

    Basically I’ve written this with the young adults in mind, most of whom will never set foot in a church because of the brainwashing they get in education and in mainstream media.

    Take care

    Paul Gosselin
    St-Augustin, Qc
    ==========================================================
       Don’t LOOK at anything in a physics lab.
       Don’t TASTE anything in a chemistry lab.
       Don’t SMELL anything in a biology lab.
       Don’t TOUCH anything in a medical lab.
       and, most importantly,
       Don’t LISTEN to anything in a philosophy department.
    ==========================================================

      1. I think Ravi Zacharias explains this very well. There are three levels of Philosophy. The first is theory, the second is the arts, and the third is what he calls “kitchen table”. He describes Nietzsche as one who was very good at taking philosophy to the arts. The problem with it is, the arts bypass your intellectual filter and then it gets applied around the daily interactions (kitchen table). You see this in politics too. Artists create a narrative and illustrate it with a lot of emotional manipulation to make it seem true, or that you’re a bad person for not agreeing. Listen to songs by pop artists and you’ll hear some of the most dreadfully stupid logic that on a theoretical level would be dismissed from the first lines or so. Take John Lennon’s (and now Yoko’s) Imagine. One of the most popular yet logically shallow songs ever. People love this song, and they really think that a world with no religion, no cosmic justice, and no possessions would be wonderful. Take this stupid song to it’s conclusion and you come to a meaningless nihilistic fatalism with a catchy tune.

        Ravi also quotes Dostoyevsky, “At first, art imitates life. Then life will imitate art.Then life will find its very existence from the arts.” You’re seeing this happen with the rise of “reality” TV. Some of the dumbest programming on TV. He explains that Philosophy should be understood on a theoretical level, illustrated through art, and applied around the kitchen table.

      2. Yes, of course, there is a time and a place where reasoning, logic, evidence is required and necessary (Isaiah 1:18 or 1 Peter 3:1), but a Christian should never forget that Christ himself was a Master-Storyteller. You know, all those Parables… And this is characteristically human, the need to fit into a story, a Grand Narrative. And that’s what the Bible is of course, a VERY rich and wide-ranging narrative, with chronology, adventure, history, wisdom, poetry, romance, and even philosophy.

        The Bible has it all.

  2. I lead a small men’s group that’s reading Geisler and Turek’s book “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist.” They quote Adolf Hitler from Mein Kampf:
    If nature does not wish that weaker individuals should mate with the stronger, she wishes even less that a superior race should intermingle with an inferior one; because in such cases all her efforts, throughout hundreds of thousands of years, to establish an evolutionary higher stage of being, may thus be rendered futile. But such a preservation goes hand-in-hand with the inexorable law that it is the strongest and the best who must triumph and that they have the right to endure. He who would live must fight. He who does not wish to fight in this world, where permanent struggle is the law of life, has not the right to exist.
    Geisler, Norman L.. I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist (Foreword by David Limbaugh) (p. 189). Crossway. Kindle Edition.
    We discussed the following points:
    *1.1.1.1.1. **At least we can see that Adolf dispensed with love as a higher value.*
    *1.1.1.1.2. **If Adolf (and I think Nietzsche) was right about Darwinism and the moral imperative of a master race to succeed over and at the cost of a lesser people, then the Christian imperative of agape love has to be wrong.*
    *1.1.1.1.3. **Can most normal human beings have a problem with this?*
    *1.1.1.1.4. **Does this dichotomy lead us to the obvious conclusion that there is a very special system of absolute morals that the human race simply cannot be relied upon to identify on its own?*
    *1.1.1.1.5. **This completely rational argument based on the false premise offered by Darwinism leads to oblivion.*

  3. WK,
    Just a little nitpick, shouldn’t you include the Ressurection at the end of your post to argue for *Christian* theism?
    But I wanted to bring you attention to something. I hope you are familiar with Ed Feser and his blog. Anyway, this fall he will have had his new book ‘Five Proofs of the Existence of God’ released and one is on what he calls the ‘Augustinian Proof’ which is a more broader version of the ‘Mathematical Applicability’ argument listed at the end. It will be one of the most in depth defences of that sort of argument in recent years. I thought you would enjoy reading it.

    1. Yes, I should, I wonder why it’s not in there. I know about Feser and he is very good, but too much philosophy and not enough discussion of scientific and historical evidence.

  4. Materialists (or maybe physicalist is a better term…) are more the issue. There are all kinds of atheists, as the word itself only implies a denial in the belief that there is a god/gods. The majority of materialists are staunch atheists.
    I am an atheist that believes in spiritual things. My practices are along the lines of certain pre-Christian systems, just without the worship of any deities. Atheist might not even be a good enough term. My idea of “god” is more like recognizing the universe as the closest thing to such a concept. I see it as highly probably that consciousness is eternal. Something that has always been, and will always be, shared by anything living. I certainly believe the higher self survives “death”.
    As for Christianity, with all due respects, I just can’t agree with it. Even as a former, heavily devout Lutheran, I can’t accept all the inconsistencies in any genesis of Christianity (as with most religions). I don’t think it was Jeshua Bin Joseph’s intent for there to be so many divisions and misinterpretations of his teachings.
    As for the “militant atheist” type, I’m sure most reasonable people are off-put by them. Being a loud jerk just annoys other people. Constantly asserting that there is no God, no soul, blah, blah, blah, is just a waste of breath and energy.
    Anyways, I’m not here to push anything. I’m just here to throw another fish in the aquarium for people to observe.
    Peace.

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