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Why Atheists Don’t Exist

Why Atheists Don’t Exist  or… Atheist Arguments that don’t make sense.  (Part 1)

I used to be an “atheist.”  So I know all the in’s and out’s of atheism. I could argue with the best about religion and it’s irrational delusions, about the “proofs” that there is no God, and about how everything can be explained scientifically, and that the idea of God and the need for God are just the products of a primitive worldview.  I learned from history how the Church persecuted scientists like Galileo because of perceived threats to religion, and how religious wars were responsible for all the suffering in the world. Evolution showed that all life was accidental but occurred naturally without the need for a divine intervention or creation myth. Yada-yada-yada. Knowing these arguments first hand and believing in them wholeheartedly, I can now say that most atheist arguments are illegitimate, made with bad premises and indefensible assumptions.

I like what Adam Carolla says about being atheist. He wants to be an atheist because he is lazy and he wants to be left alone. He doesn’t understand angry or proselytizing atheists, because they are guilty of doing the very thing they accusing religious people of doing: namely, making a big deal out of religion.  In other words, those who are zealous atheists and have an axe to grind have something else going on in their lives that has nothing to do with atheism or religion.

Argument One: God Does Not Exist – Proof  is Too Much Evil, Injustice and Suffering in the World.

I call this argument the argument of theodicy: If God is exists, why doesn’t he stop or prevent evil, sickness, disaster, and injustice? Since he does not prevent or stop these things, it proves he does not exist.

For an atheist to make this argument, it is usually used against the existence of God, but it really isn’t a valid argument, because the entire premise rests upon Judeo-Christian assumptions about the nature and character of God. In other words, atheists have to assume that God is both good and omnipotent, fair and just. Such an argument would not work against Hindus, who have a manifestation of God as a violent and vengeful goddess named Kali. Nor could it be used against Sunni Islam, because while Allah is called merciful, he is also not bound to any human ethical standards nor required to be consistent in all his ways. For an atheist to make this argument, therefore, he must be assuming that God, if he exists, must be both Good and Just. He is illegitimately using Christian beliefs as the foundation of his argument… which implies he holds some innate, and internal value system that is based upon Christian morality and beliefs. More on that later…

The problem with this premise is that there is no guarantee that God is good or just. From their evolutionary belief system, for example, it could be argued that God is not personally involved or concerned about individual human beings any more than we are concerned about spiders and gnats. From the washout of dinosaurs, it could be interpreted that God or a god is merely experimenting with creation with emotional disinterest. Or it could be argued, as Deists did, that God set it all in motion and then sat back and did not interfere, watching how it all plays out. God could be amused by human suffering and take some perverse pleasure in it, as did the The Gamesters of Triskelion, or the Vorlons and Shadows of Babylon 5. In other words, atheists have no right to raise a moral question regarding the existence of God, because it assumes too much what God must be like. It assumes a Christian worldview.

However, it could be argued that the very need to argue for a just and compassionate, good God is evidence of a moral conscience and a confession of belief in the way things ought to be, if there were justice and goodness in the universe. This anger or disquiet in the atheist’s mind over injustice is perhaps the very best evidence we have for the existence of God. For why should the atheist expect or want this justice unless he or she has some intimation of the way things ought to be and that reality is not conforming to this ideal? It is a sense that things are out of balance, that evil, selfishness, and injustice do indeed prosper, and they ought not to. If an atheist truly believed that there is no God, then he should not be bothered by the appearance of accident, injustice, sickness or disaster, war or survival of the fittest, because that is just the way things are in an evolutionary and accidental universe.  In fact, if he does believe in an accidental, evolutionary universe, he or she should not be troubled by the rich taking advantage of the poor, the weak being ruled by the strong, or the smart taking advantage of the simple, because it means the genes of the strong and the intelligent are prospering, while the weak are wasting away.

If one is committed to an evolutionary world view, one should also not be a liberal democrat either, for providing money and services to the poor in the form of charity only increases the weaker elements of the human race to survive, based not upon merit but sloth. By viewing nature, “red in tooth and claw,” the atheist should conclude that power and might rule by natural right, and that we should not interfere with this natural mechanism lest we undermine the evolutionary survival progress.

A true evolutionary belief system would agree instead with Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planed Parenthood. Sanger viewed welfare as a detriment to society because it increased the number of poor blacks and foreigners.

Margaret Sanger Deutsch: Margaret Sanger (* 1879)

Margaret Sanger Deutsch: Margaret Sanger (* 1879) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Organized charity (modern welfare) is the symptom of a malignant social disease… increasing numbers of defectives, delinquents, and dependents. My criticism, therefore, is not directed at the ‘failure’ of philanthropy, but rather at its success.”3 The urban poor, and their increasing numbers, she called, “an ever widening margin of biological waste.”4 Welfare, she believed, encouraged the breeding of the poor, or “human waste,” as she called them. She feared that welfare would encourage the urban poor to give birth to those “stocks that are the most detrimental to the future of the race…”5 Therefore, she believed the government should actively encourage the sterilization of those who are unfit to propagate the race, using as her motto: “More (children) from the fit, less from the unfit.”6

What I am saying is that an atheist may have a moral conscience and a sense of right and wrong based upon some assumption of a universal standard, but he has no basis for it in an atheist world view of an accidental universe, guided by the instinctive and unconscious forces of evolutionary mandates.  In fact, all morals could be seen, as an impediment to the survival of the fittest and actually be preventing the successful evolutionary process. Take for example a hemophiliac who can survive with drugs, but passes on hemophilia to succeeding generations. Whereas if he were not treated and died without reproducing, the genetic weakness would die out. In this case, charity is actually damaging the health of the human race. Note. I am being purposefully cruel here to show the consequence of true atheistic principles which are diametrically contrary to the compassionate principles of Christianity, and indeed of most other religions.

I argue instead that because such a proposal of heartlessness is revolting even to the majority of atheists, it proves in a sense that atheists don’t really exist (except perhaps psychopathic ones).  Atheists, by their general desire and belief in a moral system, and by their frustration with a world that does not display this justice, are in fact confessing a faith in an ultimate moral standard which must be upheld by a universal ethic that can only find its foundation and justification in the existence of a good and just God, who represents the created order as it ought to be, not as it presently is. This innate longing for justice and the good, is indeed evidence of an awareness of the nature and character of God planted in every human being. And while not all humans share a Judeo-Christian set of ethics, all cultures display morals and standards and ethics that are not to be violated by their tribe or community.  While atheists may argue that such morals are evidence of the self-preservation of the species and the gene pool, in fact, such morals and standards protect the weak from those who are stronger, and who could take what they wanted by power if not by “right.”

The Adam Carolla Show (podcast)

Why then, are atheists angry and mad at the idea of a good and just God? Well, if we take Adam Carolla’s view, the reasons may have more to do with personal issues than with actual objective principles of logic.  I know a lot of people who reject faith of any sort due to loss of a loved one, failure to see healing from disease, or accidental death, or the tragedy of crime or war. They have personal loss which they cannot reconcile with the idea of a caring God. Others have political motivations. They hate the moral standards that represent constraints upon behavior, whether that be fidelity in marriage, respect for the life of the unborn, or heterosexual norms. They hate the Christian idea of God, but they would have no reason to hate the Hindu gods, whose morals are more flexible. So really it is Christianity and Christians they hate, and that works towards an ironic form of intolerance. While claiming to be tolerant and asking for tolerance, these same folks often are so intolerant of Christianity that they would like to see them rounded up and killed. The vitriol is everywhere evident on any comment section of any online newspaper.

Yet none of that angry proselytizing, or disappointed sorrow actually becomes a valid argument against the existence of God. It may allow one to question whether God is indeed good or not, but the moral argument fails to prove or disprove the existence of a God who may be totally unconcerned with human existence.

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25 comments on “Why Atheists Don’t Exist

  1. If he is not just, then why worship at all?

    • That isn’t the point. The point is that the atheist argument against the existence of God makes too many assumptions about the nature and character of God and assuming that God must be moral and just is an illegitimate assumption and a faulty starting point for the logic and reasoning of the argument. IOW, the idea that because there is evil or injustice in the world, therefore there must be no god, is a non sequitur. A better argument might be made that ‘if there is no god, there is no such thing as evil or injustice, because those are imaginary constructs of the desire for self preservation. Those ideas are in fact illusory. In an accidental universe things just happen and people act as they are programmed to do by genetics and evolutionary instincts. The idea of evil and injustice is just a figment of the imagination.’

  2. […] Corollary 1. Why Doesn’t God Heal Amputees? or Why Doesn’t God Do Miracles? […]

  3. Believe it or not, I mostly agree with this post. I have used the “problem of evil” argument before, but never as a proof of no god, just bringing into question an omnipotent, omnibenevolent god. If there is a god, he/she/it is most likely not the idealized version our religions think he/she/it is.

    Now I’m curious, Jefferis, what religion are you, if any? (sorry if this has been covered in another post, you can link to it if it has)

    • Traditional Christian. I have a whole site dedicated to cultural review: The ScholarsCorner.com However, I am probably not acceptable to fundamentalists or liberals. I’ve done entire courses on American Civil Religion vs. Christianity. And the problems of trying to prove creationism with the scientific empirical method.

      For me, the problem of evil is a necessary corollary to the existence of human freedom. If you cannot choose wrongly, you are not free.

      • Free will might explain moral evil, but what about natural evil? Why would God set up a universe with so many random, lethal events–everything from tornadoes to supernovas?

      • You are asking one of the deepest theological questions known to man, and if you can indulge a Biblical Worldview for the sake of argument, I can give you an explanation that is not pleasant but which makes sense.

      • Okay, this is rather involved. It presumes that Genesis 1 – 3 are true with a trans-dimensional consequence. If you read my post on Creationism vs. Intelligent Design I linked to, you’ll have some background on the theology of supra-dimensional creation.
        Genesis 1 states that God created the heavens and the earth and then put human beings in charge of the earth to have dominion over it and bring it into order (the same ordering principle of Genesis 1:1 where God brings order out of the primordial chaos. Human beings are created in the image and likeness of God and are given both freedom and responsibility. They are creative beings that reflect the creativeness of God. Adam’s first act is to name the animals, which is a derivative act of creativity. The earth, in its original created state, does not experience death, all animals eat plants, no violence is in the original creation. It is Edenic and peaceable.

        If I gave my child a toy and he plays with it and breaks it, I could have prevented it by giving the toy, but not allowing the kid to play with it. While not a play-toy and deadly serious, God gives humanity the earth to care for it. And God does not take back what he gives.

        Because freedom includes in its very nature the possibility of its misuse, evil choices are a possibility. And because love is a free and voluntary act and can never be coerced, God created humanity with the capacity for love and the intent that love should rule heaven and earth.
        When Adam and Eve choose reject God’s counsel as to right and wrong and make up their own rules (eat the fruit), they rebel against love and choose selfishness. The tree of knowledge of good and evil is not talking about intellectual knowledge, their human rebellion is the choice to become evil. (The biblical word “to know” means, to become one with through intimacy. So God told them not to choose to embrace evil and they decided to do it anyway). But according to Genesis 3, their choice to become evil did not only affect them, it infected all of creation, which the people owned and were responsible for. What was to be ruled with dominion, and ordered by humanity, became unruly and out of control (sort of like an nuclear fission test that gets out of hand). Time and space were altered. The creation fell into time and space: death, decay, and entropy became normal whereas before, the creation experienced none of that. Not only did death and decay enter creation, but the disruption of nature caused the animal kingdom to become predatory, the weather to become violent with storms, the earth to groan under the weight of human evil, and earthquakes and tsunamis to wreck havoc upon the earth.
        To show that this is not the norm and to show what authority humanity was supposed to exercise, in an undefiled, morally perfect state, Jesus commands the violent wind and waves to cease and they immediately become calm. (Matt 8:24-27).

        In other words, God did not create a Creation full of evil and intent on accident, but human beings choose to become evil and abandon their rightful rulership of the earth and allow it to melt into chaos. Now, with billions of people choosing evil as much as the good, the entire creation reflects the chaotic rebellion of humanity. In Gen 3, Adam and Eve not only leave their estate as rulers of the earth, but they give their dominion over to the devil and make him their lord. He now becomes master of the earth and does what damage he can, although he is not a creative being and is limited in intelligence and power to accomplish his own purposes. He lives in confusion.
        However, he does tempt Jesus with a real temptation, when he offers to give Jesus all the kingdoms of this world in a moment in time if he too will only fall down and worship evil. It is a real temptation because, as the devil says, “they have been given to me (my man), and I give them to whomever I choose,” (Luke 4:5). Jesus however succeeds where Adam failed. Jesus chooses only the good, thought it costs him his physical life … until he is raised from the dead.

        So, the short answer to why there are natural disasters is, God did not intend it, but it is our fault. And if we will walk in repentance and choose to do good, we too might exercise the same authority over the wind and the waves as Jesus and bring the creation back into line.

      • Thanks for taking the time to explain. I admit, I haven’t heard that take on creation before. The main problem I see is that the snake (or devil) existed before Adam and Eve’s original sin. So surely Satan isn’t their fault too. Did God create Satan purposefully or is Satan also eternal and someone defy God’s omnipotence?

      • The scriptures talk metaphorically about the creation of Satan, whose name means “the Shinning One.”

        “You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, carnelian, topaz, and jasper, chrysolite, beryl, and onyx, sapphire, carbuncle, and emerald; and wrought in gold were your settings and your engravings. On the day that you were created they were prepared. With an anointed guardian cherub I placed you; you were on the holy mountain of God; in the midst of the stones of fire you walked. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you. In the abundance of your trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned; so I cast you as a profane thing from the mountain of God, and the guardian cherub drove you out from the midst of the stones of fire. Your heart was proud because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I exposed you before kings, to feast their eyes on you.” Ezekiel 28:13-17, RSV.

        Satan was considered the chief of glory and worship before the Fall. He was close to God, but became jealous of the creation of humanity because they were created “higher” than the angels. Satan, being an angel was being displaced in his own eyes. So the betray seems to have taken God “by surprise.” I use that term advisedly, because I’m implying that the outcome was not the intent of Satan’s creation. He does not crawl on his belly until he causes Adam to sin and instigates the rebellion. So, of God’s perspective, we see Jesus saying of Judas, who is a type of the ultimate betrayer:

        “Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.” Psalms 41:9, NIV.

        Satan defied God’s omnipotence and thought he too could create his own reality by mimicking God’s ability to create the universe by speaking a Word.

        “How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will make myself like the Most High.’ But you are brought down to Sheol, to the depths of the Pit. Those who see you will stare at you, and ponder over you: ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms,” Isaiah 14:12-16, RSV.

        But he overstepped his bounds and overplayed his hand. His rebellion was the beginning of his undoing. He got the earth for a little while, but will end in devastation.

      • And you believe all this literally? Or metaphorically? And if metaphorically…what do you suppose really happened?

      • I believe it as both. There is metaphor in that there are things, principles, that are not reducible to human understanding. Jesus used parables, stories, to tell truths greater than literal facts can reveal. However, I do believe that some form of transdimensional interaction between God and the creation takes place. For instance there is a record of such a transdimensional encounter between God and humanity in Exodus:

        “Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made of sapphire, clear as the sky itself. But God did not raise his hand against these leaders of the Israelites; they saw God, and they ate and drank.” Exodus 24:9-11, NIV.

        What would it mean to have an encounter that transcended 4 dimensions? The 5th and 6th dimensions (heaven?) would not be subject to the time and spatial limitations of our Newtonian experience. Apparently this intersection of heaven with earth would defy common language and descriptions. There are many listings of these supernatural experiences in the Scriptures: Elijah taken up in a fiery chariot, Ezekiel seeing beings that glowed with light, Moses and Jesus on a mountain top that were so filled with light that their skin glowed, and finally a resurrected Jesus passing through walls and disappearing into what appeared to be clouds. As I am at a loss to explain God’s nature and existence, I am at a loss to explain these divine and human encounters.

      • I’m at a loss to explain them too…that’s why I’m an atheist.

      • So the question then is “are you a searcher” or are you just content to dismiss things you cannot explain :-) ?

      • I search for knowledge that I can be reasonably certain is true. I am comfortable with unknowns when the evidence is lacking. For me, the probability that the Bible is literal truth is so incredibly low, that it doesn’t make sense to invoke something like Pascal’s Wager, much less believe with all my heart and soul. I remain skeptical, but thank you for your answers. They provided much clarification as to where you are coming from, even though I can’t find my way there myself. :-)

      • Well, may your search go well for you. However, I would counsel you to not use “literal” as the fulcrum for making decisions about what is true or not. Parables speak truth more pointedly than literal facts can often do. Remember that in Genesis, Adam means “man,” and in some sense is a representative of all human beings in their relationship to God. Adam’s problem, aside from rebellion, was dishonesty. He lied, pointed the blame at others, and would not take responsibility for his own actions. In the story, God has a dual problem: Adam is now afraid of God because of his evil deeds, and he is not honest enough to admit his misdeeds. You cannot be reconciled with someone who refuses to admit he has done anything wrong. Yet the whole Bible is a testimony of how God desires confession, honesty, and through them forgiveness and an easing of conscience and the end of guilt and fear.

      • The Bible has some great moral lessons. As stories, most of it is a fine book, but when you get into other dimensions and an original human action affecting weather patterns and tectonic plates plates of today, you lose me.

      • Yeah, well you need to have a revelation or it won’t make sense. I’ll be getting into that in another post. I have to catch up on work after begin away, so it may be a week or so.

      • “For me, the problem of evil is a necessary corollary to the existence of human freedom. If you cannot choose wrongly, you are not free.”

        I completely agree with this, actually.

  4. […] the previous articles, we have shown that no one can disprove the existence of God, and that atheists believe there is no […]

  5. […] the previous articles, we have shown that no one can disprove the existence of God, and that atheists believe there is no […]

  6. […] Why Atheists Don’t Exist (incisivereview.com) Share this:TwitterStumbleUponFacebookPinterestLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post.   […]

  7. […] I have mentioned in previous articles, there are many reasons why atheists do not believe. There are legitimate reasons that cause people to question the reality of God: suffering, the […]

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