Atheism's Failure ... Again

Psalms 14:1 announces The fool says in his heart, There is no God. A recent interview with executive director of the North Texas Church of Freethought revealed exactly the folly of atheism. Zachary Moore is that director. He terms himself a freethinker, but reading his responses in the Dallas Morning News article (8/30/2009) showed just how little thought he has given to the matter of God’s existence.

First, the interviewer asked about the point of an atheist church. Mr. Moore replied that we re a church of freethinkers, which means that we try to understand the natural by relying on reason and evidence. Do you get the clear implication there? Religious people must, therefore, not rely on reason and evidence. Of course, that is probably true of some religious people (just as it is probably true of some atheists). However, many believers in God have arrived at their conviction based on reason and evidence. Why then does Mr. Moore slander them? Does he really mean to say that faith and reason are always at odds? It seems so, because he concluded his response to the question about his church by saying At the NTCOF, we re different because we don t ask people to believe, we just ask them to think. Once again Mr. Moore is pressing his false dichotomy between believing and thinking. He wants to pretend that rational people don t believe but instead reason. Yet does Mr. Moore not believe in anything? I wonder if Mr. Moore believes Julius Caesar existed or that there is such thing as a love? These are matters that are beyond the purview of empirical evidence (you can t put Julius Caesar or love in a test tube) yet the evidence does cause most thinking people to believe in them, doesn t it? For someone who majors in free thought this is stunningly poor reasoning.

It gets worse when the Mr. Moore is asked about why any atheists should be interested in empathy, kindness, or serving others. This is a huge issue for atheists that they can never answer. If there is no God then there is no outside standard, no external law, and no means of establishing such. Everybody can and should do exactly as they please. There is no final judgment or eternity to be worried with, so live as you want. Thus, any kind of socially reprehensible self-centered behavior is no longer wrong. There is no such thing as right or wrong. There is simply no legitimate way to say Stop that! All one has to do is respond with Why not and who are you to say I can t?

Mr. Moore tries to dodge this obvious consequence of atheism by saying I don t think it’s a huge leap for people to see that we need to help others in order to help ourselves. So there it is. People should be kind, generous, and moral to others because we need others to help ourselves. In other words, be good to others because that is good for you. But what if it is not good for you to be kind to others? What if you could help yourself more by being evil? Mr. Moore cannot tell you that such would be wrong or sinful or even evil. He can t even give you a rational reason to not do so except that he wishes you wouldn t. When it comes down to it Mr. Moore cannot say what Hitler did was wrong (after all, it worked for him). No atheist can reasonably condemn any behavior from anybody because there is no standard to judge behavior by! Again, I certainly recognize that it is not good for society at large but why should anybody care about society at large? What happens when serving others isn t of any use to the atheist? Here is atheism’s deepest folly. It takes away the moral underpinnings of society and cannot offer anything in its place. How dismal!

Finally, Mr. Moore is asked What experiences would you have to have to believe in a deity? Moore says I don t think it’s too much too ask to be able to talk to a deity personally before I m asked to worship it. This is a classic failure of many atheists: demand that God meet their criteria or they will refuse to acknowledge Him. Mr. Moore’s criteria is a personal audience with God. Has he not considered that if there is a God that God might have a very good reason for not granting such an audience? What if being in God’s presence would obliterate Mr. Moore with the grandeur of God’s majesty and awesome nature (note Exo 33:20)? God would be doing Mr. Moore a favor by not jumping through his hoops but Mr. Moore does not even acknowledge that possibility. There are other considerations too. Perhaps there is a God but that God is not able to communicate with Mr. Moore in a direct fashion? Human beings might be so far below God that He can no more communicate directly with them than you can talk to an ant! Or what if there is a God and He simply does not want to talk to Mr. Moore because He does not care about Mr. Moore? What if God doesn t want to speak directly to people today because He is interested in them choosing Him based on faith? All of these are real options but they are options Mr. Moore has not considered. Obviously, as a believer in the God of the Bible I would not affirm either of the first two choices. I believe God can communicate in direct fashion (and has done so), and I do believe God does care about Mr. Moore. I also believe the third option is a very real possibility since God has never chosen to overwhelm human skepticism but wants people to find Him in faith (see Acts 17:27). Yet none of this matters to the atheist. God didn t do to suit him so that is the end of God. Isn t this akin to saying to Nolan Ryan hit a home run right now or I won t believe you re a baseball player? Mr. Moore dictates his own standards for God to meet and unless God does so, then he won t believe (or serve) God. Such is obviously unreasonable - something a bit shocking for someone who prides himself on being such a clear thinker!

The truth is that God has left more than enough evidence for His existence (creation, for example, see Rom 1:19-20), and more than enough evidence that the Scriptures are His communication to people (its prophecies for example). What remains now is for you and I (and Mr. Moore) to think about, evaluate, and consider this evidence. When done fairly and objectively men and women by the millions have reached one conclusion: God is! We hope and pray that every atheist will lay aside the prejudices and preconceived notions necessary to sustain atheism’s foolishness and instead decide to think clearly and freely that he or she would come to the very same conclusion.