Atheism’s Fatal Flaws

Atheism Fatal Flawsby Chris Banescu –
Atheism and materialism are illogical and internally inconsistent philosophies. Both are self-contradictory and suffer from fatal flaws that destroy their legitimacy and render them useless. Unfortunately, these obvious flaws are always ignored by atheists and materialists and insufficiently understood by those who believe in God and hold a theistic view of the universe.

Before we proceed, I believe some basic definitions are in order.

Atheism, is a theory that presumes that God does not exist. It is a doctrine that categorically denies the existence of a deity. By inference, atheists do no believe in anything supernatural and claim that nothing exists outside of natural phenomena and physical matter. They reject the notion that God created the universe, matter, life, and man.

Materialism, is a theory that holds that physical matter is the only reality and things like thoughts, feelings, reason, faith, and consciousness can be explained solely in terms of matter and physical phenomena. It is a belief system that excludes the existence of the supernatural and denies that anything outside of matter exists. According to C.S. Lewis, “people who take that view think that matter and space just happen to exist, and always have existed, nobody knows why; and that the matter, behaving in certain fixed ways, has just happened, by a sort of fluke, to produce creatures like ourselves who are able to think.” By inference, materialists also reject the notion that God exists and played any part in creating the universe, matter, life, and man.

Theism, on the other hand, asserts that God exists and that He invented and created the entire universe, all matter and energy, all moral and physical laws, all life, and man. Theists proclaim that God is supernatural and eternal, exists outside of Nature, and is the ruler of the universe. They believe in a personal God who is active in the affairs of men and sustains all life, matter, and energy. Religious Christians, Jews, and Muslims, hold this view. They maintain that God is quite definitely good and righteous, “a God who takes sides, who loves love and hates hatred, who wants us to behave in one way and not in another,” explained Lewis.

Since materialism is inherently atheistic, for the remainder of this article, wherever I use the term “atheist” and “atheism”, please assume that I am referring to both atheism and materialism.

atheists believe we are all just accidental byproducts of random events

To better spot the fatal flaws at the very core of atheism we need to explore the theory’s presumptions. As explained above, atheism categorically rejects the existence of any creator or intelligent designer who invented or created anything. Therefore, atheists say the entire universe and all life just stumbled into existence, they know not how or why. Since atheism doesn’t allow for any planned creation, design, or intelligence, then logic dictates that the only alternative left is to assume that everything exists simply by accident. Accordingly, atheists believe we are all just accidental byproducts of random events; the unlikely results of a blind process of haphazard collisions of matter that eventually brought us to our present state and gave rise to our ability to think and reason. They contend that their views are true and theists are wrong. They insist their theory is right and theism is false.

This fantastical scenario presents us with several insurmountable problems inherent in the atheist worldview. First of all, the atheist’s reasoning, if we can even call it that, is internally inconsistent and violates its own presumptions. Second of all, the theory itself is self-contradicting, hence illogical. The theory’s inconsistency and intrinsic logical errors become very clear when posing just two questions.

(1) How can we possibly trust the thoughts of any atheists?
How can we trust the atheists’ thoughts or believe anything they assert? As C.S. Lewis observed, “if their thoughts are merely accidental by-products, why should we believe them to be true? I see no reason for believing that one accident should be able to give me a correct account of all the other accidents.”

If all thoughts arose from illogical and haphazard processes, then they cannot be trusted to give us a logical and reliable evaluation of anything, including the accidental thoughts of atheists. We have no sound basis available to believe anything the atheists tell us. How can we rely on chaos and accidents to provide us with consistent and universally “true” concepts to being with? Which brings us to the atheists’ absurd use of language.

(2) What authority allows the atheists to say that anything is true or false, right or wrong?
How can atheists possibly use categorical adjectives such as “true” and “false”? Where in the world do they come up with universal concepts like truth and falsehood to begin with? Didn’t they just claim that our entire existence is the accidental byproduct of chance. How can one accident be more true than another accident?

How can one accident be more true than another accident?

The same inherent flaw prevents atheists from judging anything to be right or wrong. Something can only be considered right or wrong if we apply the same standard of evaluation and compare it with an actual absolute standard of right that must exist. But only theism makes those kinds of judgments and comparisons possible. This is how, for example, we can say that George Washington was right and Adolph Hitler was wrong, or that Democracy is good and Marxism is evil. A random series of accidents cannot produce a brain that looks at the products of many other chains of accidents and then starts judging their actions to be “right” or “wrong.” It’s nonsense!

Yet, nonsense is precisely what the atheists are trying to peddle. They use theistic universal principles – that atheism categorically rejects – in order to prop up their own assertions. On Monday, atheists tell us that the universe, life, and everything else are just accidents, that truth and falsehood are illusions, that right and wrong are just subjective opinions. Then on Tuesday, they’re back trying to persuade us that they are right and we are wrong, that what they say is true and what we believe, is false. This is insolence on a grand scale.

absolute standards of truth and right do, in fact, exist

Truth and falsehood and right and wrong can only exist if absolute standards of truth and right do, in fact, exist. This is how human reason can be trusted to correctly and consistently evaluate whether anything is true or false, or at least whether some things are closer to the truth than others. But such universal and logical standards cannot exist under the atheist worldview. Their own theory does not allow them to exist.

The truth is that most atheists are not really atheists. In trying to convince us that they are right and we are wrong they inadvertently pay homage to the very God they deny. They unconsciously confirm the reality and veracity of theism. For in presuming that truth is knowable and consistent, that the reasoning of our minds is reliable and logical, and universal concepts such as right and wrong do exist, they annihilate the very foundations of their illogical faith in atheism. Ultimately, they show themselves to be children of the same God they so passionately insist does not exist.

Comments

  1. Peter says:

    It think it is not always productive to generalize about materialists, atheists, and atheism. It is probably less helpful to caricature them. While these are not coherent worldviews (IMO), those that generally hold them might see this characterization as a simplistic straw man.
    A materialist/atheist might deny randomness, accident, and “unlikely results of a blind process of haphazard collisions”, and would likely point to some robust theories of self-organization in the material order. They will likely use different definitions for randomness and accident than a theist.
    Further complicating matters are questions arising from quantum mechanics where causality and probability seem engaged in a bizarre dance of paradoxy.
    Monistic materialists and theists both make truth claims regarding the material order. The material Christ made the most scandalous claim of all in claiming that He is the Truth.
    The post-modern flavor of atheism is skeptical about, or outright rejects, the claims of both materialists and theists. It sees classic ontology, epistemology, and language as oppressive and abusive. At risk of caricature myself, it has created two or three generations of perpetually aggrieved, Oprah-ized occupiers – women and ‘men without chests’. (cf. C.S. Lewis)
    This is what we’re up against.

  2. Billy Bean says:

    I am grateful that postmodernity has exposed the hubris of so-called “progressive” modernity. As N.T. Wright has said, postmodernism has eloquently proclaimed the doctrine of the Fall to the modernists, who presumptuously assumed that it was all “onward and upward” for the human race since the Enlightenment. But the postmodernists themselves are in need of the proclamation of the Gospel. Their “hermeneutic of suspicion” has gone to seed, producing a general paranoia and an ironically dogmatic agnosticism that leaves us defenseless against the epistemological acid of solipsism. I see little “progress” from an age in which people were sure there is no God, to an age in which they are no longer sure of anything at all. Absent a radical rethinking of the entire secularization project, I see only the inevitable intellectual collapse of the West.