Suppose one of your friends tells you that they think that there is a ghost in their house. But it is a friendly ghost, who helps them find things and has an interesting sense of humor. Suppose another friend tells you that they lost their keys, but used an ouija board to locate them. Yet another friend tells you that they went to a psychic and they exposed secrets and mysteries about them that they could not possibly know. You would be inclined to think that these things are weird, spooky, and even silly. Most people are not aware that atheism is right in line with these bizarre practices. Atheism can be categorically shoved in with ESP, magic, ghosts, ouija, and spells. It leads one to conclusions that are just as bizarre and unlikely. I suggest that there are at least 5 reasons that atheism is weird.
1 – Atheism suggests that the universe created itself. Throughout the centuries, atheism has been forced into the position that the universe is eternal and uncaused. But today, modern science reveals that the universe did have an absolute beginning a finite time ago. All of nature must have had a cause. This cause must be beyond nature. Nature could not give rise to itself for the same reason that a woman could not give birth to himself. But that is precisely what the atheists are reduced to suggesting.
Doctor Lawrence Krauss, a popularizer of science, has popularized the idea that the quantum vacuum is the cause of the universe. However, as Johann Rafelski and Berndt Mueller’s point out in their book The Structured Vacuum, the quantum vacuum is not nothing. It is space without matter; it is part of the universe. So the atheists are forced to the conclusion that the universe gave rise to itself, a suggestion as absurd as a woman giving birth to herself.
2 – Atheism suggests that human beings have always existed. To preface this a tad, one of the signature arguments for the existence of God is the Kalam Cosmological Argument. One of the premises in this argument is, “everything that begins to exist has a cause.” One of the responses that atheist laymen like to give is that nothing begins to exist. The stuff out of which something is made has always existed, and thus it did not begin to exist. But as Bill Craig pointed out, this leads one to the conclusion that they have always existed.
So he asks, “Did I exist before I was conceived? Where was I, during the Jurassic period?” What about the World Trade Center? Did it exist prior to it being built? What about my conscious? Where was it, during the Big Bang? Atheists are reduced to this embarassing conclusion that they have always existed. Thus, atheism brings one to fringe beliefs, indistinguishable from claims of the New Age religions and Mystery Cults of old.
3 – Atheism suggests that the universe does not exist. Again as a response to the Kalam Cosmological Argument, some atheists suggest that the universe does not even exist. Both Doctor Peter Atkins and Doctor Victor Stenger have suggested this in their work. They suggest that there is an equal amount of positive and negative energy in the universe, and therefore, there is 0 energy and nothing that needs to be explained. Thus, they conclude, the universe does not exist, and this argument is null and void. So, the Kalam Cosmological Argument pushes atheists so far into the corner that they must deny their own existence.
Of course the problem with this objection is that just because there is an equal amount of positive and negative energy, does not mean that you have 0 energy. You have positive and negative energy! That is sort of like saying that because you went on a trip, and your outbound route was equidistant to your inbound route, that therefore, you did not go on a trip. It is patently ridiculous, and yet, that it precisely what the atheists are forced to believe, because of their atheism.
4 – Atheism suggests that there are no objective moral values. CS Lewis said that when he was an atheist, he believed that the evil in the world disproved the existence of God. But then he realized, “to what was I comparing the universe to when I called it evil? You do not call a line crooked unless you have some idea of what straight is. You do not call something evil unless you have an idea of what good is.” For one to call something evil, you assume a standard of morality that is beyond humanity. Atheists know this. That is why Richard Dawkins said that there is no good, no evil, nothing but pitiless indifference. Virtually every atheist scholar admits this.
But who can live in such a world? Nobody really thinks that human beings do not have value. Nobody really thinks that their loved ones are just as valueless as a goat, or a sheep, or a chicken. That is the philosophical position that atheists give lip-service to, but they do not live that out. They live as though the people in their lives do have value, and their moral decisions really do matter. But their philosophical position is in stark contrast with what even they can see plainly. Thus, atheism is a strange fringe view.
5 – Atheism forces theologians into bizarre interpretations of the Bible. When one removes God from the Bible, they remove the source of miracles and prophecies. So when there is a long-range prophecy, like the Babylonian Captivity, naming Cyrus hundreds of years before he existed, atheist theologians become very uncomfortable. They look for every possible naturalistic way out of this problem. They look for ways to explain this without appealing to God. So they are forced into weird interpretations, like that Isaiah was actually written during the Babylonian Captivity. Despite that there is no evidence of this view! It is just read into the text.
Atheism therefore leads people to interpretations of the Bible comparable to Mormon or Jehovah’s Witness theology. Their naturalistic assumptions determine the outcome of the biblical text. Like other fringe views and Christian cult groups, atheists intentionally twist Scripture to protect their sacred presuppositions: the view that there is no God.
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