Can Atheism Explain The Big Questions?

Author : boyd
Publish Date : 2021-05-12 07:20:47
Can Atheism Explain The Big Questions?

A lot of people are tired of religious authority telling them what to do and have opted for a bit more freedom in their lives. One popular reaction is to go for atheism as it seems to offer a science-based, non-religious solution to our human troubles. Facing this as a Christian, I need to think through this issue of the explanatory power of atheistic belief. Just how does atheistic belief explain our humanity and how to live life compared with Christianity?

EXIST
Atheistic belief has no strict, single code of belief. There are various ways that people feel comfortable with the central belief that God, in the traditional meaning of the word, such as the Supreme Being, does not, or most probably does not exist. Atheism thus confronts theistic belief, that is, the general belief that God, as Supreme Being possesses a personal objective existence - he is truly there.
Some hold their atheistic belief with varying degrees of conviction. But still, this big idea is at the centre, that God does not exist.

So now, the big question that then confronts us is how will atheistic belief explain itself and the meaning of our humanity, or will it leave that role to other beliefs that are most comfortable with atheism, such as secular, atheistic humanism?

THINKING
Standing on its own basis, atheism has no firm answer to the human dilemmas of 'why am I asking these questions about my thinking, and does it matter if I don't have any meaning or value? And does it matter if there is no God and no purpose to anything? Why care about trying to save the planet and get an education - is it all social manipulation from clever leaders trying to control me for their own advantage?
Let's begin to nail this down. If my thinking has validity based on a supremely rational Creator God, then I suggest any thinking and beliefs that arise from atheism are confined to the theory of evolution. This will advise that you value your beliefs, those that appeal to you, not because you have any real objective value, but because it will assist natural selection in passing on the fittest genes to the next generation. There is no real reason for the survival of humanity other than that it likes the idea that it is special, without there being any final reason for the preservation of the species.

QUESTIONS
So, as atheism denies God's existence, that might get you wondering how it is able to do that in the first place, seeing it has no way of answering final questions. After all, the belief is based on a universe composed of physical matter. On that basis, the foundation for atheism is a belief in materialism.
Either way, all the big questions about the meaning of life, death, love, truth, value, morality, guilt and forgiveness, have no final meaning in atheism, or atheism would be awarding itself ultimate meaning, which on its own terms, it has no way of knowing. But as its own belief is a protest against the existence of God as the ultimate source of meaning and personal existence, atheism unintentionally awards itself a sort of ultimate knowledge, without which it cannot assert its denial. From where does it get that sort of ultimate knowledge? Atheism will likely say from science. So, from where does science get that sort of ultimate knowledge? Perhaps it will say from the truth of materialism; that only matter exists, so that rules out a non-material God. But how does it know that materialism is a final or ultimate truth? It doesn't - it is an ideology, a sort of faith commonly given the prestigious name 'science'.

ANSWERS
Well, what then are the answers and explanations given by atheism? At the end of the day, this will amount to 'Follow your own instincts.' But the central answer that all atheists know but suppress fits what the Bible says about our humanity, that despite 'the heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork' (Psalm 19:1), and seeing the clear evidence of the awesome majesty of God in creation, people already know more than they are prepared to admit; 'For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse' (Romans 1:19-20).
Now, as a result, you already know enough to rule out atheism as a final answer - its own claims disqualify it as self-contradictory. It says final truth does not exist, but wants you to believe atheism as if it were final truth.

In summary, atheism is a protest against final truth and thus has no answers for the big questions. For these we all need the word of God, and supremely the word of Christ in the saving, reconciling truths of the good news of God's undeserved favour in Christ, his death and resurrection.

ANSWERS FOR A SEARCHING GENERATION

Michael J. S. Austin, Ph.D. has authored several books and many articles that offer answers for many of life's big questions - 'Is biblical Christianity finished, or does it still speak to the 21st century?'

Take a look at my eBook or paperback, 'DAWKINS' DILEMMAS' to see how Richard Dawkins' atheistic belief cannot support itself, either as philosphy or science.


A lot of people are tired of religious authority telling them what to do and have opted for a bit more freedom in their lives. One popular reaction is to go for atheism as it seems to offer a science-based, non-religious solution to our human troubles. Facing this as a Christian, I need to think through this issue of the explanatory power of atheistic belief. Just how does atheistic belief explain our humanity and how to live life compared with Christianity?

EXIST
Atheistic belief has no strict, single code of belief. There are various ways that people feel comfortable with the central belief that God, in the traditional meaning of the word, such as the Supreme Being, does not, or most probably does not exist. Atheism thus confronts theistic belief, that is, the general belief that God, as Supreme Being possesses a personal objective existence - he is truly there.
Some hold their atheistic belief with varying degrees of conviction. But still, this big idea is at the centre, that God does not exist.

So now, the big question that then confronts us is how will atheistic belief explain itself and the meaning of our humanity, or will it leave that role to other beliefs that are most comfortable with atheism, such as secular, atheistic humanism?

 

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THINKING
Standing on its own basis, atheism has no firm answer to the human dilemmas of 'why am I asking these questions about my thinking, and does it matter if I don't have any meaning or value? And does it matter if there is no God and no purpose to anything? Why care about trying to save the planet and get an education - is it all social manipulation from clever leaders trying to control me for their own advantage?
Let's begin to nail this down. If my thinking has validity based on a supremely rational Creator God, then I suggest any thinking and beliefs that arise from atheism are confined to the theory of evolution. This will advise that you value your beliefs, those that appeal to you, not because you have any real objective value, but because it will assist natural selection in passing on the fittest genes to the next generation. There is no real reason for the survival of humanity other than that it likes the idea that it is special, without there being any final reason for the preservation of the species.

QUESTIONS
So, as atheism denies God's existence, that might get you wondering how it is able to do that in the first place, seeing it has no way of answering final questions. After all, the belief is based on a universe composed of physical matter. On that basis, the foundation for atheism is a belief in materialism.
Either way, all the big questions about the meaning of life, death, love, truth, value, morality, guilt and forgiveness, have no final meaning in atheism, or atheism would be awarding itself ultimate meaning, which on its own terms, it has no way of knowing. But as its own belief is a protest against the existence of God as the ultimate source of meaning and personal existence, atheism unintentionally awards itself a sort of ultimate knowledge, without which it cannot assert its denial. From where does it get that sort of ultimate knowledge? Atheism will likely say from science. So, from where does science get that sort of ultimate knowledge? Perhaps it will say from the truth of materialism; that only matter exists, so that rules out a non-material God. But how does it know that materialism is a final or ultimate truth? It doesn't - it is an ideology, a sort of faith commonly given the prestigious name 'science'.

ANSWERS
Well, what then are the answers and explanations given by atheism? At the end of the day, this will amount to 'Follow your own instincts.' But the central answer that all atheists know but suppress fits what the Bible says about our humanity, that despite 'the heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork' (Psalm 19:1), and seeing the clear evidence of the awesome majesty of God in creation, people already know more than they are prepared to admit; 'For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse' (Romans 1:19-20).
Now, as a result, you already know enough to rule out atheism as a final answer - its own claims disqualify it as self-contradictory. It says final truth does not exist, but wants you to believe atheism as if it were final truth.

In summary, atheism is a protest against final truth and thus has no answers for the big questions. For these we all need the word of God, and supremely the word of Christ in the saving, reconciling truths of the good news of God's undeserved favour in Christ, his death and resurrection.

ANSWERS FOR A SEARCHING GENERATION

Michael J. S. Austin, Ph.D. has authored several books and many articles that offer answers for many of life's big questions - 'Is biblical Christianity finished, or does it still speak to the 21st century?'

Take a look at my eBook or paperback, 'DAWKINS' DILEMMAS' to see how Richard Dawkins' atheistic belief cannot support itself, either as philosphy or science.



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