The Incoherency Of Atheism
In which it is argued that atheism cannot be communicated intelligibly, that their denial of God is invalid, existentially impossible, and idiosyncratic and scientifically unacceptable.
The piece in Skeptics Magazine (Vol 22 no 2) by Page and Navarick on Three Shades Of Atheism reminded be of a similar piece done on 4 types of aliens. While a good case was made that aliens can be divided into four groups a more rational path would be to ask if aliens exist; if not the categorization is moot.
This essay will demonstrate there is no foundation on which atheism can claim existential or logical validity. Atheism is a hope based on speculation not a valid existential position. Forget we cannot prove non-existence. That was never the issue. Equally, the inability to prove God exists to those determined to reject all positive evidence is not evidence He does not exist. When science starts accepting only those ideas no one can dispute then perhaps it would be time to impose this same criterion on proofs of God.
That is, if God is the Creator of all things and exists solely in this state and condition demanding proof of His Existence that amounts to demonstrating he is a physical object within time and space is doomed to failure. This is not a failure of evidence it is a failure of the experimenter to design the experiment to suit the evidence sought.
But lets move on to the core of the matter. Can empiricism define truth? The Verifiability Principle says us that all truth must be verifiable. Empiricists say verification requires experimental science. However, no experiment can substantiate the assertion. The verification principle remains experimentally unverified.
But have we not missed the point? We can only verify what we have given meaning. Logically we can determine A+B=C. The equation is true but meaningless until the factors are identified. If the human mind did not give the elements meaning and attach significance to the information we could double the amount of empirical data we had and we would still have no knowledge. It is the human mind that turns observation into information.
Atheism is an assumption God does not exist an assumption impossible to substantiate. Atheists will claim their rejection of all God claims is typologically the same as denying the claims of children who say Santa exists.
When atheists say God does not exist what they say is God is irrelevant. This is why their inability to prove non-existence is not considered important, if He exists He does not exist in a form that generates consequences. An atheist thinks stepping off a high building proves gravity exists and that not believing in gravity has consequences. They do not see this same direct correlation of cause and effect when it comes to dealing with God.
A key point in the atheist position is that science can be done just fine without God. The point I assume is that if truth can be discovered independently of God then scientifically speaking belief in God is irrelevant. There are no consequences for disbelief from the scientific standpoint. Even if the claim truth must be established by empiricism cannot be empirically proved if we can discover what appears to be true using empiricism then so far as the scientific endeavour is concerned belief in God is irrelevant and superfluous. Atheism is adopted when no consequences appear connected with the position one takes regarding the existence of God.
The assumption atheists make is that people can go through life as atheists with the same felicity and confidence as those with faith. But if we divide our test subjects into groups A and B and test them for results what findings will there be if the groups were formed using a random selection process? To understand the consequence of non-belief, atheism has to be compared to belief. If belief is not present in the test subjects then one is ultimately only testing one atheist against another despite the groups being labelled A and B. In other words, if you do not know what faith is how do you compare atheism to it?
This is not being pedantic. It poses a serious scientific problem when studying the impact of atheism on a population not appreciated by either atheist or Christian researchers. Everyone who labels themselves a Christian or believer think they belief. Believers identify as non-atheist. But this problem comes down to identifying who God is. If we do not ensure the believer has accepted God how can we know if the disbeliever has actually rejected God and not some phantom?
Atheists have demanded God kill them to prove He exists. This is an informal experiment done by atheists as much for its shock value as for a love of truth. Such tests prove God does not react as atheists think He ought and that God does not permit human beings to set the parameters of his existence. This is not tantamount to saying there are no consequences for disbelief. If God exists then the fundamental assumption one has to admit is that the reverse statement is not true. The result of believing in a lie will be that one is heir to the consequences of accepting a lie. We can also assume that if reality is what is true or that reality corresponds to the truth then a lie cannot be coherent with the truth or with reality.
Which leads us to conclude that if it is said: ‘God did not kill me for cursing him so there is no God’; the speaker does not know God. Nothing in the bible tells us a person can tell God to kill him and expect this to happen. In fact, the bible says God is not impacted by what we do good or bad. Curses are not a significant factor in determining Gods behavior.
Think of it in this way, if God is truth and truth coherent responding to an atheist in the way atheist demand would not be consistent with who God is. If God is love acting as an atheist demands would serve to prove God, as a God of love, does not exist. It would only prove God is not the God he says he is which may satisfy the atheist but it would prove God false.
This illustrate the problem atheists have. The claims of atheists are incoherent. They claim there is no God but their claim is incoherent. To make the claim requires a meaningful concept to communicate the claim. But to make such a claim to those who know He exists makes the statement meaningless. I could say gravity does not exist but true or not the statement is simply incoherent to everyone else.
Atheists claim they exist. Is there any method by which their existence can be confirmed? They make a claim but the one making the claim must provide the evidence that supports the claim.
If there is no empirical way to confirm beyond our capacity to doubt the existence of an atheist it is unreasonable to expect unassailable proof as to the existence of God.
To claim God does not exist is to say implicitly that a coherent truth exists independent of God. If the only possibility of a coherent world view requires we accept the existence of God then the atheist position is of necessity, incoherent. To prove atheism incoherent, we do not have to prove God exists, we only have to prove atheism is contradictory.
If God did not exist there would be no absolute parameters of truth. We say reality exists but ultimately there is no reality without God. Reality can be shown to be a mental construct composed of information. Some may assert reality is confirmed to exist by independent observation by independent observers but racists independently confirm for other racists that racial prejudice is valid.
If truth was a matter of confirmation then democracy is all that is needed to ascertain truth. We have already demonstrated that empiricism cannot verify all truth. We may say empiricism defines truth but the claim that all truth is or ought to be verified by empirical means is incoherent.
To rely on mechanical devices to ascertain truth in the way empiricists do hardly solves anything and severely limits what can be discovered because of the limitations that are built into mechanical devices. Mathematics ensures coherence within the parameters of the theorem and its discoveries can be linked and incorporated into a greater coherence, but the truth of mathematics is often unrelated to anything real. Yet, in the final analysis all that matters is the level of coherency established. There is no external measure that is objective measure of truth.
When atheist ask which God we believe in, tell them we believe in the God that is coherent with the truth for God is truth and all that is true is coherent with God. God created coherence.
Which brings us to Creation. The incoherent atheist position is that matter, energy space and time exist as the totality of all things. By this they mean the universe contains all things.
God created man for a reason and the universe for man. If God was creating a mechanical device the existence of human beings is incoherent. We would not fit in. God is not a watch maker nor is he a mathematician. He is for want of a better word, a communicator, he communicates truth. To communicate one needs an originator but also a message and a receiver and if what we are doing is creating information the receiver must be able to interpret, decipher and comprehend the message.
Without God what need is there for information and without God where does information come from and why would we be able to comprehend information when there is no originating being or source?
Atheists say there is no God meaning there is a reality sans God. This implies reality without God is more coherent than reality with God? Or, in another way, atheism suggests that putting the idea of God into the mechanistic universe of atheism messes up the works. They are right but still incoherent.
The idea of a mechanistic universe seemed to make sense but has proven incoherent. The inability to reconcile the idea of God with a mechanistic universe has led atheists to their conclusion God does not exist but this conclusion has not led to better understanding. Indeed, this primitive view of reality is fast being eroded by physics. The idea of a material reality exists only because the alternative does not correlate well with atheism.
The issue with atheism is not simply about which flavor of reality they prefer. If truth is of all one piece then to reject the centerpiece, the cornerstone, is to have reality itself unravel. But atheists are of the opinion they can build a believable world view without considering God. Perhaps but what do they say? They say atheism is simply the rejection of God. They explain atheists come in all flavours and varieties. The only thing that unites atheists is their rejection of God. If nothing unites them then they do not have a shared or common reality. If God was a false proposition ought not a similarly cohesive world view emerge from giving up the world view of Christianity?
Descartes was the first to encounter the same conceptual brick wall that befuddles atheists. It is impossible to reconcile the material world with the spiritual. Descartes tried he created a perverse dichotomy that satisfied no one and the issue remains unresolved. Phenomenologists followed the implications of a two-substance universe to their logical conclusion. The conclusion was that if the world is material then it is absurd. It was as if embracing absurdity was a way to counter the very absurdity one had embraced.
Overcoming this absurd conclusion is an isue dealt with elsewhere and will not be gone into here. See my Book Human Rights Versus Legal Rights for a fuller treatment.
The less philosophical abandoned God altogether and just assumed materialism. The more thoughtful became empiricists and logical positivists. The failure of Descartes to convince anyone he had proved God had to exist led to a more determined conclusion that God was as good as dead. But if was dead where was the greater truth that emerged or ought to have emerged from the rejection of such a central fallacy? They themselves testify they gained no coherence from rejecting God and in fact lost the coherence Christian theology gave them.
If we put a dozen atheists on an island they would not only realize nothing unites them but there is a lot that drives them apart. Each would have a personal ethics but their ethics would have nothing in common with the ethics of his fellows. They would not share any ideas on how the economy ought to work, how society ought to be arranged, or who ought to rule. This can be shrugged off as atheists freeing their minds from the slavery of belief in God but it means more. If they were stranded without chance of extraction they would have to come to a resolution as to the reality they would subscribe to.
Christians already share a reality.
Once a person has liberated himself from the boundaries of faith what possibilities confront him, what wide open vista greets him or her as he steps outside of the confines of Christian faith? The possibilities are actually only two, one can live by faith or by law. This is the truth given in the bible and it holds good for all times and all places.
When someone rejects faith in Jesus they have only one place to go, a reliance on the law and in the case of an atheist reliance on secular law which does not even have the backing of Divine retribution. We already know humans cannot follow the law and most given the opportunity will circumvent it. So what sort of foundation has the atheist on which to build a reality or even a stable society?
The law says Thou Shalt Not Kill but kill we must though we can refrain from this to varying degrees. How will the atheist solve this simple dilemma no group of secular persons has solved to date?
Who will run the community or will they attempt to create an anarchist society? If they opt for the anarchist model who will break trust first and assert his authority over the rest? It will happen it is just a matter of time. In any group, there is always the person who wants to organize the rest. If the group has the power to impose its will on the individual then larger group will have the power to impose their will on smaller groups and a clique of the most powerful or the most ruthless will have the power to impose their will on the rest. Given any scarcity in any desired good there will be the temptation to impose a claim to the lions share of the desired good.
What strong group of persons will accept scarcity if they can impose their claim on the rest?
But we even hardly need to go there. Atheists say there is no God but this means one of two things, either there is a reality in which there is no God or there is no concept of God. If God is not a valid concept then the statement, there is no God is nonsense. The concept must exist and it has to exist as a definable datum. What atheists mean when they say there is no God is that a reality exists that contains no perceivable entity that matching the concept of God.
What reality is this in which there is no God? Is not reality also a conceptualization? If the choices are a reality created by God and a reality not created by God then surely one or the other is a perverse idea and one or the other is a very fundamental and significant truth? Saying there is no God or asserting there is a God is not typologically the same as saying there is a Santa or there is no Santa.
What other choice is there that has the same significance and so much potential consequence? Believing in God may make one the object of scorn and ridicule but apart from the bafflement of atheists what other downside is there to belief?
On the other hand, one must ask what atheists gain by denying God? The most advanced and successful scientists in the world are Christian. The most well-adjusted people in the world are Christian. The most successful nations in the world are Christian. Of course, the date is skewed somewhat by the imprecision of the definition of what makes a Christian or a society Christian used in such studies. But the correlation is close enough to prove atheists do not gain anything by denying Christ.
But they are convinced he does not exist. But we ask again, what reality is this in which there is no God? If there is a reality without God it must be an apprehended reality. One cannot rationally say that the reality one is in is not of one part. Nor assert there is a Platonic reality that is perfect and coherent and has no God.
Atheist say the world is material, we have noted physics has increasingly thrown doubt on that. So what world is this that has no God? Atheists say in their world God is not needed. But if this is so why does not everything become understandable when the existence of God is rejected? Does rejecting God enable us to understand mind, love, or the complexity and capabilities of humans? What real advantage is there to positing a world without God?
Think of ten atheists on an island? What is their common reality? They agree there is no God. This does not help them to divide the island into political jurisdictions? It does not give them information on how to create a workable economy. What if there is one source of drinking water on the island? How does being an atheist help them decide how to administrate the stewardship of their sole source of potable water? They do not have a shared faith to bring them together and help them settle their differences so how has atheism helped them?
In setting up their island home no doubt they will agree that it is not legal to murder, but what do they mean by this? Is there a consensus on how to define murder or illegal death? The only thing they have in common is that they are atheists. There is no God in their reality and so no higher authority to appeal to. Some may want to right to kill those who intrude on their private property. Other atheists may wish to ban all killing even the killing of animals. How do they mediate disputes and settle differences? If there is a legal system in place then they inherit a system for ordering their activities but a group of atheists stranded with no social institutions in place have no clear way of mediating disputes but physical force.
If it is true that murder is both ok and forbidden and that only people with property should vote and everyone should have the right to vote, and a countless number of other diametrically opposed viewpoints make up reality how is it true to say reality is singularly without God? Why is the consensus on the God question more meaningful than their lack of consensus on everything else?
But let’s say atheists create a reasonably stable society, they write a law that is illegal to murder except in defence of life, and ones dog. Many other laws are also legitimized and the island becomes like our own society and legislative democracy.
The reality they now live in is defined by law. But law never satisfies all contingencies, sometimes following the law is unwise. If you ask a resident if God exists they will say no, if you ask is it ok to speed many will say no and many others will say yes if you do not get caught and others will say it depends on if it is a life or death emergency or not.
Everyone agrees there is no God but this consensus has no impact on the community. Why is their reality real when the only thing it contains common to all is a rejection of God? Is reality not supposed to be coherent, that is all of one piece? How can it be good in one reality to kill interlopers and in the same reality not right to kill even animals regardless of the provocation?
To, see the point more clearly, imagine the stranded persons being Christians and as Christians they share a common moral code and code of conduct. They need far fewer laws and police simply because they are in agreement about how they ought to live. They do not even enact a law against murder because none would consider taking a life and more importantly none of them would put another in a situation in which the person felt their life threatened.
Imagine a spirit of evil turns these Christians into atheists. Some reject God continue to live a godly live but others engage in debauchery and satanic rituals.
Previous to this the group believed God existed and they lived a fairly coherent life. As atheists that coherence is gone and morally members take off in different directions. The point being here that according to theory rejecting God ought to produce good results. What happens is that the group rejects God and they lose the harmonizing factor that a shared believe provides.
When we stop believing in Santa or unicorns there is a small but real advantage, the same goes for not believing in aliens. Had NASA not believed in aliens we could have saved untold billions of dollars. The key to the atheist benefit is supposed to be the empirical advantage but this is not visible. Truth cannot be confirmed by empiricism nor is empirical procedure prevented by belief.
But we come back to the claim by atheists that there is no proof of God. By this they mean empirical proof. Even here when an atheist says there is no empirical evidence for God they mean there is no material evidence of God. Is there empirical evidence the material world exists as atheist’s claim? In the empirical world, so far as atheists would have it, all evidence is physical all tests are designed to give confirmation of a physical cause and everything has to have a material basis. Atheists say they cannot see or see any manifestation of God. They mean they cannot prove God exists in time and space.
We knew that already.
The empiricists say he has the advantage over Christians because he is able to fashion material answers to scientific questions. But this is to put the cart before the horse. Where is the empirical evidence that materialism provides answers closer to the truth or consistent with the truth? All an atheist does is say there is no God so as to validate answers based on the premise that there is no God basically creating confirmation bias. But the goal is to discover the truth regardless of where it leads of the conclusion it forces upon us.
When an atheist says God does not exist he is using language and conveying information about his particular (read personal) reality. He is saying his material based reality cannot contain God, thus he admits God is not material and cannot be in or be contained in a material universe. So, he can say there is no evidence for God but he means the material universe as he understands it does not encapsulate the concept of God. What he is saying in effect is that the concept God (as he understands it) is not consistent with the concept of a material universe.
But we have already ascertained the concept of a material universe is not coherent and not supported by the latest empirical data. No one, no Christian at least, argues that God is part of any material universe so the atheist is incoherently arguing that God does not exist because God as conceived or understood by Christians is not part of the material universe as understood by atheists.
So, we begin to suspect an inconsistency in the atheist’s universe. They claim the material universe exists but science suggests otherwise, they claim God does not exist based on the impossibility of God being contained in time and space, but their rebuttal is a strawman because no one says God is in time and space. The claim is made because the atheist rejects what he says are supernatural agents. His position is that only natural agents and forces can exist. By natural agents he or she means agents and forces connected to the natural that is physical world. But when they seek proof of God what they look for is a material God. When they disprove God they disprove a supernatural agent exists within the time/space continuum. Is it necessary to point out that if they had found God within the parameters of their search pattern it would have been really, really weird?
If the claim is that a supernatural agent cannot exist in an environment in which supernatural agents are excluded is a significant position to take then atheists have achieved a victory but it seems to the casual eye all they have stated is the obvious without proving anything of significance.
The atheist does not leave the argument there but moves on to demand that if a supernatural agent can exist then its existence must be demonstrated to be possible within the space/time continuum In effect the put conditions on the proof based on what they have already ensured is a logical impossibility. This is incoherence at its finest.
Why do they not ask a Christian to demonstrate supernatural agents are possible within the supernatural realm?
The concept of God does not allow God to exist within time and space. The concept of a material God is jarring and brings up images of carven idols. Are atheists asking Christians to prove God is a graven image, it seems to be what they are trying to accomplish.
Atheists will say they are not saying the concept of God does not exist. But what does it mean to say a non-conceptual God does not exist? If reality is not composed of concepts then what are we thinking of when we think about reality? When it is said, God does not exist, what is being said? Is it the same as saying Santa does not exist? The sentence structure is the same. No one bats an eye when Zeus is said not to exist. Is this not typologically the same?
But what is a sentence? How can we have nouns and verbs and adjectives without information? Does not the structure exist to enable understanding? How is there understanding without a source of meaning, a means of transmission and an intelligent and therefore conscious recipient?
If we say God Created the universe then we are saying there is such a thing as a universe that God created, or are we? What do we mean by ‘such a thing’ in this context? We are saying there is a reality God created. By implication God is a reality in his own right and He did not create himself as creation implies a time and space event.
Saying God does not exist is primarily a twisted way to recognize God does not exist as a self-created part of the rest of Creation. But this is obvious and no one disputes this.
We can talk about God because God is a concept that has coherence and the concept can be communicated. Concepts have an inner consistency; a concept is what a materialist would call an atom of understanding. Concepts serve as the building block of communication.
When an atheist says God does not exist they are trying to say the thing the concept God is based on or points to is not there. But all we know is our conceptualization of things. Atheists want to say there is a reality beyond our conception of it and this does not make sense. It does not conceptually cohere. If we cannot conceive of reality we cannot be aware of it, if we are aware of it we are aware of it in a conceptual form, as information in fact.
When it is said Santa does not exist it is not a claim there is a reality beyond our conception or conceptualization of reality. All we are saying is that the concept of Santa is a fable because it only exists in isolation, it is a story because it does not cohere with our established truth. No one demonizes Santa to prove he does not exist. We use the same concept, the same argument used to explain Santa to children but understand that it is just a story used to explain an event we want to give a greater meaning too (than is present in the reality of a parent buying their children gifts).
When atheists say there is no God they are trying to say there is no thing in the reality that exists that corresponds to the concept of God. However, they fail to prove there is a reality that corresponds to a reality that exists apart from our conceptualizations. Where is this reality that exists apart from our concepts of reality?
There is only our concepts and the information that we have.
This is the petard atheists fall upon. They want a dispassionate objective observer to whom they can relate. They want a grand and majestic method of comparison to which they can weigh and measure truth. But they reject God. In the end, all they have is their own opinion which they glorify. Atheism is secular humanism and once the fancy rhetoric is stripped away secular humanism is all about the glorification of the individual.
When God is dismissed all that is left is personal opinion. They think reality is a kind of scale in which a statement can be put and found wanting or adjudicated which is not altogether wrong but the only measure they have is their emotional state. Atheists reject God as he cannot be fitted into this schema of theirs in which they are the final arbiter of Good and Evil.
But where is reality? What is matter, energy space and time but the concepts which we use to talk about them and think about them? What are they but the concepts we use by which their nature is communicated from one person to the other? Where does one find time but in relation to the concepts which are used to describe it? We say time is the passage of events but what is this by a statement trying to convey to others who we think of time, how we conceptualize it? Reality is a communication, what is real is what we can communicate and how real something is, is dependent on how able the concept can be conveyed. Reality is a body of knowledge shared that is all it is. We seek truth by seeking to understand the knowledge we were given, we do this by trying to fashion concepts that reflect the information.
To say God does not exist is not the same as saying Santa does not exist. The concept we have of reality and the concept we have of Santa are not coherent. There is no reality in which Santa is present. As a concept, he exists in a very special and artificial universe. There is however no universe in which God is not compatible except in the limited and isolated universe atheists create.
Santa makes sense to a child because they wake up in the morning and see gifts that had to come from somewhere and their parents say they came from Santa. But parents know where the gifts came from and they know where the concept of Santa came from and what the concept really stands for and how it fits in with all the other truths they know.
What is the material world but a concept? It has parameters and elements and one aspect of the atheist reality is that there is no room for God. This only tells us that the concept of God atheists have and their concept of reality are not consistent.
One of the basic ideas of the material universe is that it cannot be willfully altered by human or supernatural influences. Thus, an atheist will challenge God to prove Himself by striking him down dead for cursing him. Atheists do not realize this would not be of much help as people die suddenly all the time. Once an atheist is dead the proof would not help him much.
All atheists prove is that their idea of God is not consistent with any God that exists.
Indeed, it is fair to say the atheist is trying to prove humans can alter reality and impact the supernatural realm by their speech and actions. If there is a reality and it is not amenable to subjective alteration (not such a strong claim in the light of the new physics as it once was) then there is a physical reality. But what do we even mean by this?
When you read this paragraph, it carries a meaning. The components are standard words and letters and rules of grammar. All the components are subject to rearrangement but the meaning is not. The physical medium of the language is not what is important, what is important is the message. The medium is not important only the information.
God has communicated a message to us, it is information that we see or experience as reality. We can change some things and alter the bits and pieces by which the information is conveyed to us but we cannot alter the message itself that is we can garble the message but we cannot create a new message in place of the information given us.
When atheists deny God, they are not referencing a reality they are messing up the truth of the message they were heirs to. They cannot point to an objective reality independent of our concept of it any more than they can point to a God independent of our conception. Now they can deny the concept of God has validity but ultimately, they cannot deny that the concept, the information we have about God, exists. For if no information existed about God the information could not be rejected by them.
The question then is if this information is like the information we have about Santa? The concept of Santa has no use except to children and the parents who do not want the kids knowing it was them who provided the gifts. Taking our Santa does not impact reality and leaves no visible logical holes.
The same goes for the rejection of all the various gods and myths. They can be rejected without consequence or problem. When it comes to the Christian God as revealed in Scripture we notice rejection comes with serious repercussions.
We have noted that rejecting God leaves a gaping hole in the sense the atheist needs a moral foundation or First Principle by which his choices and beliefs can be evaluated. People often do not understand the logical necessity of God. They think He is an all powerful being who demands obedience but do not see him as a kind of moral gravity. When we reject Him, we end up floating in a moral universe in which direction is not possible.
The boast that nothing unites atheists but their rejection of God is in fact a testament to their amorality and hopelessness. Once God is rejected all they have left is their emotional reaction to give them a sense of direction.
Atheists will promote some First Principle like freedom or democracy or property rights to give themselves and their universe some order. Atheists see freedom as a right. They see God as a restraint on their freedom.
When Atheists reject God, this is a choice. In the atheist mind, what he or she gains is freedom. But it is a freedom without any structure, we have already noted that the rejection of God does not actually produce anything of substance.
This appears to confer upon the atheist a great advantage. Atheists are free of the what they call the stifling conventions of Christianity. But to what end?
God created reality and if He did this reality has to have only one possible configuration, the one in which it was formed. By rejecting the only way reality can be understood those who reject God lose the only way they can come to a common understanding.
Atheists gain freedom but it is a freedom that is unbounded. They gain a limitless freedom because they have entered a world of illusion, the world of subjectivity for want of a better word.
Without God what holds their worlds together?
Going back to the island we see 100 atheists will not have any common principle to serve as the foundation for a new society. Atheism only exists when it can rest on the strong foundation of Christianity. Now, an atheist will scorn this statement and declare Christianity is only a recent innovation and limited at that, such a claim does not take into account all the cultures elsewhere in other times.
True in one sense but we must realize Christianity is just a recent development based on the truths written in our hearts. The expression of these truths which we call Christianity is recent and local but the truths which Christianity expresses are eternal and universal. A group of Christians put in the same position as a group of atheists would create a coherent social structure with far fewer problems, not that there would not be problems because the church is not the best expression of Christian truth at least as construed. But this is not the issue here.
We mentioned atheists laud their commitment to personal freedom as the great guiding principle of their life. Given a group of atheists how do they form a society based on mutual obligation when their first principle is freedom? Without the acceptance of some mutual obligation a social structure cannot be developed. Societies are based on trust not freedom.
Let’s look at the situation again. We posit 100 atheists on an island. There is one source of fresh water. Atheists must determine how to administrate this scarce resource. There will be industrial, personal and agricultural demands on the water. I will not go into all the possible debate elements. A discussion with one hundred participants and three options is not going to be resolved by discussion and votes. At some point the group will have to resort to the imposition of force. The discussion will have to give way to a a decision taken by a source of authority.
Atheists must resort to some means by which they can invalidate the very freedom they hold dear. Even the American Revolution came to the conclusion a Federal government had to be instituted. Its power needed to be consolidated in and through a civil war. This was a Christian nation superficially but it was not by any means a theocracy. Indeed, there are arguments to the effect the Christian foundation was usurped by a satanic influence but this is not the subject of this essay.
Choices can only be made by individuals and a resource to be administrated needs someone in charge. A group approach can be implemented and this will require the use of some form of democracy but in the end consensus is a long and difficult process and can often lead to a bitter and complete breakdown between different camps. At some point a choice needs to be made and this will invariably reflect one views even when subscribed to by a majority of opinion.
Then one man has to be the spokesperson and the physical expression of the position taken. The Supreme Court has a Chief Justice and its decisions are expressed by one appointee.
But what is freedom but the protection from consequences? How can one be free if one can be shot for what one does? How can one be free if one’s choices can lead to eternal hellfire? Is one free if one is lost? Who has more and fewer choices than a man lost in a forest? He can go anyway he chooses but then what kind of choice has he as to the direction in which he ought to go? An atheist can go anywhere and do anything he chooses but what significance is there in the choice he makes? An atheist can choose its gender but only because it has no real way of choosing gender, it is just guess work, a shot in the dark, a subjective hunch with nothing to either guide or hinder the choice.
But what distinguishes a human being more than our human gender-positive ability to make a choice? To be free is to be free of the conceptual definers that distinguish a choice. A man can choose to be a man he cannot choose to be woman. The concept of what a woman is precludes a man being a woman but we still must choose. This is something a atheist cannot comprehend.
The Christian chooses to believe but he does have to choose. Atheism is the refusal to make that choice. As they refuse to choose they lose the very capacity to choose.
The capacity to choose defines what it means to be human. Atheists reject the need to choose. If an atheist will not choose then they cannot choose to reject God. What they do is choose to reject the human ability to choose.
Choices are determinations of value. To have a choice one must be able to determine value. Values are human inventions and conventions. To an atheist the idea or concept of God has zero or even minus zero value as they hate God. To choose to be male means choosing to value the idea of maleness over femaleness. By why choose one or the other, the atheist cannot compute the value of one in terms of the other because they have lost the capacity to value choice.
If the atheist values freedom above everything else how do they reconcile freedom with a system of set values? If being a man is inherently more valuable to a man than being a woman the man as atheist is not free, he is obliged to be a man. The problem with choices is that once one recognizes option A is of more worth than option B one is rationally and morally obliged to choose A. This is not freedom. At least not in the eyes of a liberal.
Mankind’s problem is that we have all bought into the liberal ideology. We all pay lip service to the imagery of freedom as provided by liberals, or perhaps it is better to say we have all bought into the imagery of freedom that is known of as liberalism for indeed the idea of freedom as being the absence of restraint predates what we know of as liberalism.
Atheism is then a sub-group of liberalism based on freedom but centered on freedom from God. But in the final analysis we have learned that rejecting God is commensurate with saying one does not believe in reality. Not that atheists mean to say they do not believe in reality per se but they do as with liberals generally believe in freedom and we have seen what that means.
Atheists do not believe in a fixed or absolute reality, a reality which impinges on them in a moral and implacable way. They accept gravity exists and time and space but reality is like a huge playroom to them. It has boundaries but the fun is in trying to break down not in playing within them and even less in seeing the game as trying as hard as one can to fulfill the spirit of the rules.
Atheists test boundaries trying to see how far they can go. What they do not understand it is the boundaries they accept that define them. Atheists see reality as physical and reject the supernatural and even subjective. Society is something to warp and twist until it breaks. But what they fail to understand is that humans are not individuals nor some mass. We are what we are in concert with others. The bible refers to the social unit as a church, basically it is what we see in secular terms as our social networks.
Atheists may or may not see a need to cooperate with others. They may or may not see a need for some sense of justice. When reality is a physical configuration a society is just some set of rules people create to make their social relations go more smoothly. However, we have seen that there is no physical reality as a kind of objective existence separate from the observer. All we see is our concepts. Matter is just a concept and everything we do to prove the existence and nature of matter is simply us exploring the coherence of the concept.
Society is ultimately a set of shared concepts. Democracy is a concept that has certain parameters that we think helps society operate better. Atheists think that the concept of God is a deterrent to social harmony and our ability to reason. By denying God they think they have rejected something superfluous or extraneous but what do they replace it with? They eliminate the one concept that serves as a uniting idea. God, by definition, is superior to humans and by virtue of his existence can rightfully demand we submit to his rule. Atheists reject God but what do they replace Him with, but their ego.
Atheists demand freedom but ultimately, they cannot just reject submission to God they reject all barriers to their own supreme individuality. When God is gone there are no barriers to the expansion of ego. In the final analysis, this is what the rejection of God is about.
But what is the individual part from society and what is society apart from its shared concepts? When atheists say there is no God they think they are saying there is no entity in reality, that corresponds to God. Their rejection assumes there is a reality that exists in which God does not exist. But then why does this reality not emerge when God is rejected? Where is this reality, this new society? They reject their own concept of God but this is not the same as the concept that Christians accept when coming to Christ. The atheist rejection is of a concept created by them to be rejected.
What would science be like if a scientific theory could be rejected on the basis of a peevish dislike of the theory? Yes, an opponent can poke holes in an idea and provide objections to it but if the theory is to be rejected those opposed must provide a better alternative.
Just as they create a concept of themselves which is good and form a concept of good that is defined by who them imagine themselves to be so they form a concept of God out of that which they hate. This is why God says he is hated by those who reject Him.
One does not reject those whom they love but the one we love is conceptualized as composed of favorable qualities. Christians see God as composed of all the things that we admire and praise but atheists do not see this as part of God. Where Christians see love, compassion and forgiveness, atheists see hate, petty dogmatism and cruelty.
So, which is the real God? Which reality exists and which does not? Is the question even meaningful?
How does one test for reality?
There is only one possible test. It is also a test for rationality and sanity. It is called the test of coherency. If one’s ideas are not coherent they cannot be real by definition. If something exists it cannot also not exist. Reality conforms to the law of logic because ultimately reality is information. Information can only make sense or it is not information. Information is communication just as evidence is an interpretation of an observation. What is real is simply what can be communicated. Reality is shared information. If we cannot share the information, if we cannot communicate the concept or share the concept it ceases to be part of reality.
Reality is ultimately the amount of information we can share, humans are advanced simply because our systems of communication, our ability to form and articulate concepts is advanced.
But if all we have is information and the laws relating to information one of the most fundamental laws of information is that information needs an intelligent source of origination. Information has to be created that is conceived or conceptualized. It cannot just appear. Information without an intelligence to comprehend it is an absurd idea and if the idea is absurd it cannot exist. If the idea is absurd it cannot exist as an idea and therefore cannot exist as a concept, cannot be communicated and cannot be part of reality.
Letters cannot make information unless they are ordered by an intelligence that seeks to communicate with another intelligence. If there is information in the atheist universe it had to come from an intelligence.
God is the Great Communicator. He gave us not just a reality but an understanding, a single way of comprehending the information we have. This we call reality. Like any communication it can only be understood fully in the way it was sent. The message cannot be comprehended without the originator because in the end the message is about He who originated it.
The atheists say the world is real, they rationalize what they see and think and say it makes sense but can they communicate this understanding rationally? Reality is not about the individual’s subjective conception. We all have a personal reality but this is not reality. A solution to the energy crises is not a solution so long as only one person knows it; or only knows a solution incapable of being communicated. The solution to be real must be communicated. To be communicated it has to be communicatable. To be communicatable it has to be coherent, that is all the bits have to form information that is meaningful and intelligible by the hearer. A solution has to be an intelligible concept. God is intelligible and he is cohesive in that He is consistent with all known and knowable truths. Atheism is simply the rejection of an infinitely useful concept.
Truth is a social construct. But it this is only so no individual idiosyncrasy can define reality. Reality is conceptual and the concepts must be coherent but the measure of coherence is ultimately if that coherence can be shared. This creates the need for society and ultimately for social organization so that communication can be shared in an orderly and indeed coherent way.
The social organization God has formed is called a church. The church is said to be the body of believers but the bible makes it clear that so far as the church in its earthly manifestation is concerned the church has structure.
The church is not all believers not an individual but a social organization or social unit. A church is a body of believers associated with a political jurisdiction. The church is the manifestation of Christian stewardship over a given polity.
Reality comes down to can a person communicate his atheist reality or not? They already confess there is none. They can assert there is no God and that is the totality of it. Individual atheists will add this or that to the base statement but this is just the ramblings of an incoherent and personal conception of reality of no interest to any sane person.
We do not need to prove there is a God, we do not even need to prove the conception we have of reality with God is coherent, we only need demonstrate atheists are incoherent. If atheism is incoherent their reality is invalid and belief in God becomes the only other option. True, we need to look at various conceptions of God and their implications to see what conception has the most information value but that is another issue.
If I say I do not believe in Santa and my reality has no need of Santa then I ought to be able to provide a coherent view of reality in which Santa is absent, and this reality must be shared or sharable with others who reject Santa. No adult says I do not believe in Santa but I share no other believes or claims with anyone else who does not believe in Santa, all rejections of Santa are based on the coherent and shared claim that it is the parents who provide the gifts to their children.
In fact anyone who said there was no Santa and held to any other belief than it is parents who provide the gifts would be thought more odd than the person who still thought it was Santa that provided the gifts. In keeping with the scientific method those parents who reject the claim that Santa is real do not just reject the claim they offer an alternative explanation for why kids get gifts at Christmas.
Atheists by saying there is no God mean there is no such concept as God that they share with others. They still have an understanding. They know the truth. In their view, there is a reality in which there is no God. However, they admit there is no shared or communicatable reality associated with the idea that there is no God. They say there is no God but they cannot communicate what they mean because their ideas of God are idiosyncratic, unsociable and thus intrinsically incoherent. We all know and agree on who Santa is and when we reject Santa everyone agrees on what idea is being rejected and we all know what the alternative theory is that replaces the Santa concept. When atheists deny God they deny a God that no one believes in. The concept of God atheist use to rationalize their rejection is not a concept anyone uses but them in pursuit of their denial.
Atheists may claim they reject all gods but until they can know all gods they cannot rationally reject them and their rejection is as incoherent as a person who rejects all medications without being aware of what might be covered by the concept.
Atheists claim they understand the world better without the conceptualization of God and yet they do not show any sign of understanding anything. Also, the claim is incoherent if they do not understand God in the way those who accept Him do. There is no science that can only be comprehended by those who have rejected God. Christians occupy all sciences and make profound and significant contributions.
When someone rejects something, it has to be defined. It is incoherent to reject what is not known. To say reality exists without God still requires the atheist to define what God can be eliminated without destroying the concept of reality. What does an atheist eliminate that leaves reality intact? I can say reality does not need Atrotachies but what is that? What am I saying? The sentence is incoherent not because the sentence structure prevents meaning but because the concept cannot be communicated. The fact atheists use the letters G O D does not mean they refer to what Christians worship.
Atheists in short need to prove their claim that they are atheist has meaning. They say they are atheists because they claim they can meaningfully deny the existence of God, or deny the claim that God exists. It is true, the sentence itself has meaning grammatically. Rationally they do not need to say God does not exist to be atheists. Unless one asserts God exists, one is by default an atheist. But that is the point. People agree there is a God and they create coherence from this. To not accept God is not simply to carry on without taking a diversion it is carrying on without joining humanity.
We are part of reality. However, this reality is social. The physical reality we see is not as significant as the social reality. The physical reality is a set of understandings we were brought up with, that we learned as part of growing up. We were born into this world as a physical being but we communicate with in through our bodies. However, there is a human world that is social and it has to be consciously joined. Culture is a reality that is not simply consensus it is a coherence established by communication. Refusing to communicate or communicating something unintelligible does not mean one has established a community or joined society.
By not asserting faith in God the atheist puts himself on a conceptual island surrounded by other atheists. They cannot communicate to Christians, they cannot comprehend the concept of God shared by Christians but they also cannot articulate what it is they reject and what is worse they have no social construct to replace God.
Atheists create a society of isolated individuals with nothing in common but their hate of God.
But since this hate is directed against a component of their own subjective reality all they do is hate that which they themselves created, this is incoherent, it cannot be shared or communicated because it is inherently irrational.
In reality, no one can actually reject God. Atheists only fail to accept Him. Compiling a list of names is not sufficient to demonstrate one has rejected God. Atheists need to recognize God but in the recognition, they must accept God as God. This they will not do so they reject a strawman.
Atheists cannot confirm or prove they reject God and so cannot confirm they are atheists. They can be seen as unsaved because they will not actively accept salvation but their claim to atheism is incoherent. All they can rightfully claim is that they reject God’s free gift of salvation.
Atheists also say the person making the claim provide evidence to substantiate the claim, extraordinary claims such as the one that God does not exist or that atheism is possible or that there is a reality sans God requires extraordinary proof. But atheists are inherently unable to provide proof for any of this. They know what they mean by God but they cannot communicate a knowledge of God that is conceptually coherent with the knowledge of God others have and so the claim they are atheist is incoherent. What they are is people who refuse the Free Gift of God and even that is incoherent.