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Atheist Beliefs — Part II

Atheist Beliefs

Part II – Modern Applications

Atheism is a belief system. Atheists don’t like to admit it but it is. They want us to believe atheism is based on scientific facts, not beliefs. However, the basic tents of atheism are unproven and cannot be proven. You must believe atheist doctrine in order to be an atheist.

This discussion of atheist beliefs is divided into three sections. The first section examined ancient atheist beliefs. Lucretius produced the most complete statement of this system of belief during the first century B.C. in his book On the Nature of Things. This second section concerns the growth of atheism and the application of atheist doctrine to new areas such as science and business. The third section discusses one of the ugliest developments of atheism—scientific racism.

In the ancient world very few people admitted a belief in atheism. Atheism dragged on with just a few followers through the fall of the Roman Empire, the Dark Ages, and the Middle Ages. Lucretius’ book was lost and, by all appearances, was lost forever. In 1417, Poggio Braccolini, a former papal attendant, discovered Lucretius’ manuscript in an unknown monastery in Germany. The book immediately became an important foundation for the Enlightenment.

Courtesans made up their own rules. Atheism flourished in the courts of Europe.

Courtesans made up their own rules. Atheism flourished in the courts of Europe.

 

Atheism returned to Europe with a vengeance during the sixteenth century. Courtesans in the royal courts of Europe fanned the flames of atheism. Freethinkers, mostly in France, added fuel to the fire. During the eighteenth century atheism captured Enlightenment thought and thinkers. The dominance of French atheism culminated in the French Revolution and the subsequent establishment of the first modern atheist state.

In the previous essay we examined the ancient beliefs of atheism. Modern atheism applied those beliefs to Western civilization. During the twentieth century atheism transformed our society but did not improve it.

Why did atheism not improve society? Well, atheism acts like a thief. The Bible says in John 10: 10, “The thief comes only to steal, to kill, and to destroy.” (NAS) Atheism certainly fits that description.

Please consider these two areas of our society that were transformed by atheism.

Science Is Atheistic in Structure and Content

Atheists don’t like to share. They have taken control of science, forcing God out. Now they continue to keep God out of science. Evolutionary biologist and atheist Richard Lewontin provides an example of this attitude.

It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.

Conflict is not inevitable.

Conflict is not inevitable.

 

In other words, because science deals with the physical world, non-physical concepts can play no part in science. Scientific atheists also claim that materialism is the only world-view compatible with science. Atheist and biologist Stephen Jay Gould theorized that science and belief inhabit two separate, non-overlapping worlds.

The lack of conflict between science and religion arises from a lack of overlap between their respective domains of professional expertise—science in the empirical constitution of the universe, and religion in the search for proper ethical values and the spiritual meaning of our lives.

But Gould also acknowledges the difficulty in maintaining this position.

Non-overlapping magisteria

Non-overlapping magisteria

 

This resolution might remain all neat and clean if the nonoverlapping magisteria (NOMA) of science and religion were separated by an extensive no man’s land. But, in fact, the two magisteria bump right up against each other, interdigitating in wondrously complex ways along their joint border. Many of our deepest questions call upon aspects of both for different parts of a full answer—and the sorting of legitimate domains can become quite complex and difficult.

Western science arose within a Christian world-view. This is why science and Christianity “bump right up against each other” and have a “joint border.” In fact, atheism is the upstart that wrestled science from Christianity’s embrace.

This is why atheism cannot explain some of the most fundamental principles of science. These principles include the existence of a law-based universe, the uniformity of nature, and cause and effect.

Atheists believe that chaos produced the order found in the universe. This belief is totally irrational. Nor is it supported by the evidence. Christian Sye Ten Bruggencate addresses uniformity of nature.

“As far as science goes, science is dependent on the uniformity of nature, or no scientific prediction could be made. Problem is, no atheistic worldview can account for the uniformity of nature, the very foundation of science.”

Science depends on cause and effect

Science depends on cause and effect

 

The existence of God undergirds these fundamental concepts of science. Uniformity of nature produces an organized, rational design. A law-based universe requires a law-giver. The uniformity of a law-based universe is expressed in cause and effect.

Atheism cannot reject these fundamental concepts. If they did, science would fail. However, they try to add their own beliefs and prejudices. For example, they continually try to establish their own origin myth as scientific fact.

The atheist origin myth consists of three basic tenets. First, the universe is eternal; second, the universe is composed of corpuscles (atoms) and void; and, third, corpuscles randomly connect together to form all living and non-living objects.

For the last three or four centuries atheists have tried to ram these concepts into science. During the twentieth century, science started to gain some measure of maturity. This newly gained maturity caused a reexamination of the atheist origin myth.

Here are the results: science no longer holds to the first atheist belief—the eternal universe. The second belief is called into question as science and quantum mechanics struggle to understand the boundaries between energy and mass. The credibility of the third belief is undergoing review due to a new understanding of the astounding complexity of life.

The words of physicist Werner Heisenberg ring true:

“The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you.”

God gives us guidelines for science. Atheists ignore the Giver and His guidance. They have conclusively proved that unguided science easily becomes misguided science.

Before long, the arrogance and rebelliousness of man applied some of atheism’s “science” to totally unimagined areas, such as business.

Survival of the Fittest

The publication Darwin’s book On the Origin of Species in 1859 totally changed the world. Actually, years before Darwin wrote his book, atheists believed random combinations of atoms produced the world and everything in it. Darwin’s most important contribution to the theory of evolution was the mechanism called “natural selection.”

Is this behavior appropriate for the work place?

Is this behavior appropriate for the work place?

 

Herbert Spencer invented the phrase “survival of the fittest.” The phrase appeared in his Principles of Biology, published in 1864. Spencer applied the principle of “survival of the fittest” to his own economic theories.

“This survival of the fittest, which I have here sought to express in mechanical terms, is that which Mr. Darwin has called ‘natural selection’ or the preservation of favored races in the struggle for life.”

Can a simple phrase cause such an enormous change in society? At times, yes! A simple phrase such as “Remember the Alamo!” or “Remember the Maine” served to motivate and justify acts of war.

Another example comes from the Gospel of John in the Bible. In John 3, Jesus tells Nicodemus “you must be born again.” This simple phrase revolutionized man’s understanding of God’s love and salvation.

“Survival of the fittest” quickly was adapted to justify the differences between classes in society. The man who was rich or owned property was said to do so based on his superior moral qualities of industriousness, temperance, and frugality. Any attempt by the state or by social do-gooders to help the lower stratum of society would interfere with natural processes. The poor were unfit. They should not be helped in their struggle for existence.

Social Darwinists argue that the strong should see their wealth and power increase. The weak should see their wealth and power decrease. Social Darwinists opposed government handouts, safety regulations, and child labor laws. They believed the weak should not be pampered. If the weak cannot survive, then let nature take its course.

Ebenezer Scrooge demonstrated this attitude in Charles Dicken’s classic book A Christmas Carol. When a couple of gentlemen approached Scrooge for a donation for the poor, Scrooge’s response was:

[Scrooge] “I don’t make merry myself at Christmas and I can’t afford to make idle people merry. I help to support the establishments I have mentioned [prisons and workhouses]: they cost enough: and those who are badly off must go there.”
[The gentlemen] “Many can’t go there; and many would rather die.”
[Scrooge] “If they would rather die, they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”

How did someone become rich and successful in America? Was it because of hard work? Was it due to education and skill? Was it just luck? According to social Darwinists such as Herbert Spencer and William Graham Sumner, the people who were the most fit to survive became successful. If a person was poor, it was because he lacked the necessary skills to achieve success. He was not fit to survive.

According to James Rachels* in his book Created from Animals: The Moral Implications of Darwinism, capitalists quickly interpreted the survival of the fittest theory as “an ethical precept that sanctioned cutthroat economic competition.” How was this connection made?

Survival of the fittest fits hand in glove with the competition inherent to capitalism. “Survival of the fittest” also is known as “the law of the jungle.” These two phrases justify all sorts of hateful behavior in the name of survival. For example, if there is a job that you and I want, my survival and the survival of my family validates any action I can take to destroy your chances to get the job.

Survival of the fittest? Who can survive here?

Survival of the fittest? Who can survive here?

 

Darwinism helped justify the ruthless exploits of capitalists such as Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller. Carnegie summarized and validated his brutal business practices in his essay The Gospel of Wealth, saying,

The price which society pays for the law of competition . . . is also great . . . But, whether the law be benign or not . . . It is here; we cannot evade it; no substitutes for it have been found; and while the law may be sometimes hard for the individual it is best for the race, because it ensures survival of the fittest in every department.

Survival of the fittest, according to Carnegie, is justified because it produces wealth. Of course, this does not apply to the thousands of men who worked for Carnegie and were paid the lowest wages possible. Survival of the fittest only works for predators. The predators win; everyone else loses.

John D. Rockefeller reportedly once said that the “growth of a large business is merely a survival of the fittest . . . the working out of a law of nature . . .” For Rockefeller, survival of the fittest justified kickbacks from railroads and other forms of unfair competition.

Sorry, John D., but people are not roses.

Sorry, John D., but people are not roses.

 

Rockefeller maintained a Christian front while he abused his workers. His depth of commitment to Christianity is called into question by his support for the theory of evolution and his belief that the early books of the Bible are mythology. His treatment of others also causes people to wonder how closely he followed Jesus.

“Survival of the fittest” is part of the ethics of atheism. It is a modern addition to the pursuit of pleasure.

A refreshing point of view

A refreshing point of view

 

Conclusion

Atheism is a belief system. What you believe does make a difference. Beliefs are expressed through actions. Actions affect others.

People throughout history have been self-centered and greedy. We also are competitive. We want to know who is best. We want to be first. But if we always have been that way, is it fair to blame atheism for the deficiencies mentioned in this article? How could atheism change us and our society?

Before the age of atheism people knew how far their actions could go. There was an accepted standard of behavior. People also accepted the existence of absolutes. Right and wrong, good and bad served as real concepts to limit the actions of people. At times it was very difficult to define right and wrong, good and bad, justice, et cetera, but people believed in and valued these concepts.

The laws and values of the Bible supported this search to define good and bad and other absolutes. The Ten Commandments laid a foundation for many laws and legal codes. People felt it was important to follow the teachings of Jesus, such as, “love your neighbor as yourself.” They recognized the importance of the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” They often fell short of the standard but at least there was a standard for behavior. People believed God would hold them accountable for their behavior while they were here on earth.

Atheism changed all of this. Suddenly there were no rules—there was not even a God. There was no accountability. People could do whatever they wanted to do. They could be as bad as they want to be. There is no future for the person who tries to be as bad as he wants to be.

The Bible says the following in Proverbs 14: 12:

There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.

Under the spell of atheism, people went down the path that seemed right to them. This path ends in death.

 

The universe includes more than just physical laws.

The universe includes more than just physical laws.

 

* http://www.icr.org/article/darwins-influence-ruthless-laissez-faire-capitalis/

7 Comments Post a comment
  1. Well argued!

    Like

    February 17, 2017
  2. No. You are wrong. The word “atheist” is crazy. Way label a non-beiliving. You do not label a person that do not belive in Santa or trolls.

    I am from Sweden. Before christianity came to scandinavia people belived that a God (Thor) created the flash. We now know better.

    Like

    August 19, 2017
    • Throughout history people have asked fundamental questions about themselves and the world around them, such as, Who am I? Why am I here? How did the earth come into existence? People developed belief systems to answer these questions. Many people believe God brought the world into existence. The existence of God answers their fundamental questions. These people are called theists.
      Other people answer these basic questions without referring to God. They believe the world always existed. They do not believe in the existence of God. In English, these people are called atheists from the Greek words for “no God” or “without God.” Atheism is a belief system because it is used to answer these fundamental questions.
      You asked why this does not apply to belief in trolls or Santa Claus. Because most people do not believe Santa Claus created the world. Neither did trolls. For this reason belief in God is a completely different category from belief in trolls.

      Like

      August 19, 2017
      • No, it is not. God, Santa, Trolls, Thor and Oden is all a creation of the human imagination. Not to belive in imaginary things is just a sane state of mind.

        Beliving in the existence of fiktion carakters is insanity.

        Sorry if this offends you.

        Like

        August 20, 2017
      • Why should an open, sincere discussion offend me? My degree is in philosophy.

        First, please understand that materialism is a very small world-view. It pretends the non-existence of love, hate, pride, and many other powerful parts of our normal experience.
        In addition, science proves the shortcomings of materialism. For a long time forces such as magnetism or gravity were considered as occult forces. That’s what atheists called them–occult forces. They could not be seen, felt, or experienced by the senses. Materialists said they were imaginary.
        Do you really want to deny the existence of gravity because other materialists called it imaginary?
        Although gravity cannot be seen, touched, etc., we can see its effects. Those who have examined gravity closely are convinced that it exists.
        So it is with God. He is a powerful force. If you examine Him closely, you can see how He affects and influences the world. It’s not like that for Santa, Trolls, or Odin.
        Second, the existence of a God is a logical necessity. Eternity and infinity require the existence of this Being. So do space and time.
        Thank you for the discussion. It’s stimulating!

        Liked by 1 person

        August 26, 2017
  3. I think that there is some “force” striving fore more complexity. If you take some ingridients and put it in a boul and stir, everything gets just more scrambeld and blended. But in the universe everything goes in opicite directions. Everything becomes more complex. First it was the stars that lit. When they dyed they exploded sending out more complex material. And on planets in the habital zone from a star even more complex structions formed in water. And fore milions years eventually life vas created. This to got more complex and eventually started to wonder over all things. Now we are on the brink of creating AI that soon will be smarter then humans. They will probobly spread out in the universe and maby meet similar creations from outher planets. The whole universe is probobly filled whith life, not just on Earth. We have no proof of life on any place but here. But if the force of life is God, surly he did not just let it be life on just one planet of billions.

    In the Bible you find nothing about life on outher planets. The reason is that the ones who wrote the bible had no idea how big the universe is.

    Who Gabriel was I do not know. But he probobly knew all we know today and more. God must have told him. Maby homo sapiens was not ready to be informed. But I think we are now.

    So if God exist, he will soon let us in to the galactive collective. And there will beparadice on earth.

    But if God does not exist we may still make first contact whit life on outher planets. It will be exiting to hear if they beilive in a God or if they are atheist.

    Like

    August 26, 2017
    • Thomas, your comments sound like those of an agnostic rather than an atheist. The word “agnostic” was invented by Thomas Huxley during the 19th Century. An agnostic is a person who believes the world consists of more than just matter. An agnostic a person who is searching and looking for answers.

      You sound like a person who is truly and sincerely looking for answers. I wish you the best in your search for answers. Don’t ignore God in your search. Many people believe He is the answer. Don’t ignore science either.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 29, 2017

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