The Lazy Atheist?—Part 1
Penn Jillette, of the popular magic duo Penn and Teller, spent some time pontificating on the existence of God over at NPR’s site. Doug TenNapel does a masterful job (with a little salty language) at his blog of dismantling the confused Vegas trickster, so I won’t try to reinvent the wheel. But I would like to offer an observation:
Atheists Tend to be Intellectually Lazy When it Comes to Defending Their Atheism
What a wonderful world it must be where you can simply make metaphysical proclamations without bothering to support them with any arguments. To be fair, Penn is not alone in this; this is typical of atheists—but is it justifiable?
I believe that there is no God. I'm beyond Atheism. Atheism is not believing in God. Not believing in God is easy -- you can't prove a negative, so there's no work to do.
Atheism assumes a naturalistic worldview—only material things exist. This is the point where we need to start asking questions.
Is the proposition that only material things exist itself material?
If so, where did they discover it? Under a microscope? Did they trip over the proposition in a parking lot?
If not, the game is over. (That is, of course, unless they’d like to try their hand at proving that material things produce non-material things.)
How about morality? Are moral laws merely human conventions?
They must be. Then by convention Nazi Germany can institute its final solution. The civilized world might not like it, but hey, who are they to judge?
By the way, if morals are culturally defined by the majority, then the moral reformer is by definition amoral. That means people like Martin Luther King should be spurned not praised.
How is science possible in an atheistic universe?
Science depends upon the regularity of the universe. We talk about the law of gravity, the laws of thermodynamics, ect., but how can there be such laws in a world were everything comes about by random chance? All they can do is describe what has happened in the past. They have no foundation for drawing conclusions about future events. Atheist philosopher David Hume’s Problem of Induction makes this very point.
It is impossible, therefore, that any arguments from experience can prove this resemblance of the past to the future; since all these arguments are founded on the supposition of that resemblance. Let the course of things be allowed hitherto ever so regular; that alone, without some new argument or inference, proves not that, for the future, it will continue so.David Hume (1711 - 1776)
Does the Emperor Have Clothes?
For any worldview to be viably considered, it must be able to make sense of reality. This, of course, would include Christianity. In part 2 I’ll make the case for Christianity by considering the aforementioned questions.