Category Archives: Atheism

Edwards on Atheism

“There is no one thing whatsoever more plain and manifest, and more demonstrable, than the being of God. It is manifest in ourselves, in our bodies and souls, and in everything about us wherever we turn our eye, whether to heaven, or to earth, the air, or the seas. And yet how prone is the heart of man to call this into question! So inclined is the heart of man to blindness and delusion, that it is prone to even atheism itself.”

~ Jonathan Edwards, “Man’s Natural Blindness in Things of Religion” quoted by James S. Spiegel in The Making of an Atheist (Chicago, Ill.: Moody, 2010), 9.

Atheism & Human Significance

Here’s a candid statement from the famous US Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes on the inability to infer human significance from an atheistic presupposition. He wrote these chilling words:

I see no reason for attributing to man a significance different in kind from that which belongs to a baboon or a grain of sand.

~ quoted in Time “The Nation: A Clearer Voice?” (Sept 21, 1953)

Hitler or Heffner?

“If God is dead, somebody is going to have to take his place. It will be megalomania or erotomania, the drive for power or the drive for pleasure, the clenched fist or the phallus, Hitler or Hugh Heffner.”

~ Malcolm Muggeridge, A Third Testament (New York, NY: Ballentine Books, 1983).

The Irony of Modern Intellectual Progress

Richard Tarnas provides some helpful insight into the dehumanizing effects of modern scientism:

The more modern man strove to control nature by understanding its principles, to free himself from nature’s power, to separate himself from nature’s necessity and rise above it, the more completely his science metaphysically submerged man into nature, and thus into its mechanistic and impersonal character as well. For if man lived in an impersonal universe, and if his existence was entirely grounded in and subsumed by that universe, then man too was essentially impersonal, his private experience of personhood a psychological fiction. In such a light, man was becoming little more than a genetic strategy for the continuance of his species, and as the twentieth century progressed that strategy’s success was becoming yearly more uncertain. Thus it was the irony of modern intellectual progress that man’s genius discovered successive principles of determinism — Cartesian, Newtonian, Darwinian, Marxist, Freudian, behaviorist, genetic, neurophysiological, sociobiological — that steadily attenuated belief in his own rational and volitional freedom, while eliminating his sense of being anything more than a peripheral and transient accident of material evolution.

~ The Passion of the Western Mind: Understanding the Ideas that have Shaped Our World (New York, NY: Ballantine Books, 1991), 332.

The Great Question Confronting Modern Humanity

“The great question confronting modern humanity is this: Granted that the universe contains both persons (like you and me) and impersonal structures (like matter, motion, chance, time, space, and physical laws), which is fundamental? Is the impersonal aspect of the universe grounded in the personal or is it the other way around? Secular thought generally assumes the latter — that persons are the products of matter, motion, chance, and so on. . . .

If the impersonal is primary, then there is no consciousness, no wisdom, and no will in the ultimate origin of things. What we call reason and value are the unintended, accidental consequences of chance events. (So why should we trust reason, if it is only the accidental result of irrational happenings?) Moral virtue will, in the end, be unrewarded. Friendship, love, and beauty are all of no ultimate consequence, for they are reducible to blind, uncaring process. . . .

But if the personal is primary, then the world was made according to a rational plan that can be understood by rational minds. Friendship and love are not only profound human experiences, but fundamental ingredients of the whole world order. There is someone who wants there to be friendship, who wants there to be love. Moral goodness, too, is part of the great design of the universe. If personality is absolute, there is one who cares about what we do, who approves or disapproves our conduct. . . .”

~ John Frame, Apologetics to the Glory of God (Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R Publishing, 1994), 35-36.

The Temptation to Practical Atheism

” . . . one of the most consequential ideas embedded in modern institutions and traditions and habits of thought is theological. Stated bluntly, it is the assumption that even if God exists he is largely irrelevant to the real business of life. To put this somewhat more tactfully, contemporary society and culture so emphasize human potential and human agency and the immediate practical exigencies of the here and now, that we are for the most part tempted to go about our daily business in this world without giving God much thought. Indeed, we are tempted to live as though God did not exist, or at least as if his existence did not practically matter. In short, one of the most insidious temptations fostered within contemporary secular society and culture, a temptation rendered uniquely plausible by the idea and assumptions embedded within modern institutional life, is the temptation to practical atheism.”

~ Craig Gay, The Way of the (Modern) World (Grand Rapids, Mi.; Eerdmans, 1998), 2.

Bertrand Russell on The Purposelessness of Life in an Impersonal, Random-Chance Universe

bertrand_russell

Atheistic philosophers like Bertrand Russell are sometimes completely honest about the necessary implications of their basic assumptions. It is sheer folly to suggest that one can discover meaning out of ¬†ultimate meaninglessness. Ponder the sad and terrifying implications of Russell’s atheistic materialist worldview:

That man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling can preserve an individual life beyond the grave; that all the labours of all the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins — all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand.

~ Bertrand Russell, quoted by Carl Becker The Heavenly City of the Eighteenth Century Philosophers (New Haven, CT; Yale University Press, 1932), 13-14