By Elias Ayala (M.A.T. & Mdiv)
Reason #1: Atheism cannot provide the preconditions of intelligibility
Any worldview, to be rational and coherent, must provide an intellectual framework with which to make sense out of reality. If a particular worldview cannot provide that which is necessary for rational thought and knowledge acquisition, then the worldview should be rejected. Atheism as worldview does not and cannot provide the necessary worldview ingredients to allow for rationality and coherence. While it is important to acknowledge the varied varieties and forms with which atheism can appear, it is important to recognize that no form of atheistic thought can ground the laws of logic, which are a necessary foundation for any sense of coherency and knowledge. Without the universal transcendent laws of logic, a worldview is left with incoherency and contradiction. If naturalistic atheism is true, then there is no room for transcendent logical laws of thought; for in a world that is purely physical in nature there is no room for the existence of non-physical realities such as the transcendent laws of logic. Hence, if atheism were true, then the laws of logic would not be transcendent, universal, and conceptual in nature. Logic would be a human convention based upon agreed principles and rules of thought, which are reduced to merely physical activities occurring in the brain, and which are determined by the laws of physics. However, if logic is not absolute and transcendent, then persons are free to operate upon “different” laws of thought arbitrarily invented to fit one’s needs. Knowledge on this view, would be impossible. Hence such a worldview should be rejected.
Reason #2: Atheism leads to materialistic determinism
If materialistic atheism were true, it follows that men do not have “minds”, but only physical brains. The notion of “ideas” and “concepts” would have to be reduced to physical brain activity which are determined not by rational volition and reflection, but by the laws of physics. On this view, free will is illusory. A person does not rationally weigh hypothesis and reach rational and logical conclusions, but rather, every conclusion to a thought is physically determined by preceding physical brain activities. Hence, whatever a person believes about anything is determined not by the person, but by the laws of physics acting on the person’s physical body and brain. If this is true, this too would destroy the possibility of knowledge since any claim to knowledge may be responded to with: Your brain made you say that. A worldview that results in the destruction of any possibility of gaining knowledge, should be rejected.
Reason: #3: Atheism cannot account for objective moral values and duties
If atheism were true, there would be no objective moral values and duties. Now, the atheist can reply: So what? That’s right. Morality is not objective; it is a human convention which has developed within our species because it has evolutionary survival benefits. However, the atheist cannot live consistently with this affirmation. Interestingly enough, many atheists do affirm the objectivity of moral values and duties; the problem comes in the fact that atheism cannot ground such realities. For if God does not exist, moral values would lack an objective standard, and there would be no one to obligate men to act in a morally dutiful fashion. The atheist can bite the bullet here and just deny the objectivity of objective moral values and duties; however, based upon our first reason, even a denial of the reality of objective moral values and duties require a worldview foundation upon which rational thought is possible. If atheism cannot account for the transcendent laws of logic, then the rational denial of objective moral values and duties seem to conflict with the pre-commitment to a purely physical reality. Hence, not only can atheism not account for objective moral values and duties, but it cannot even account for the rationality required to reject the existence of objective moral values and duties. For such evident irrationality, atheism should be rejected.
Reason #4: Atheism does not allow for the intelligibility of science
This reason for rejecting atheism is connected to reason #1, in that because atheism cannot provide any grounding for the transcendent laws of logic, then the entire enterprise of science becomes unintelligible, since the very process of scientific inquiry, investigation and hypothesizing presupposes the transcendent laws of logic. Without logic, science does not and can not make sense, nor could anyone reach any meaningful scientific conclusions. Furthermore, apart from the inability of atheism to ground the reality of the non material conceptual laws of logic, and hence science, the very process of science presupposes an orderly, and meaningfully predictable universe, such that the order within our universe provides a way to learn about our environment and establish the realities of natural laws. Since science is such an integral process and method to learning about our world, and atheism cannot provide the worldview context with which science is intelligible, then atheism should be rejected.
Reason #5: Atheism cannot justify the use of induction
Related to reason #4, science presupposes the validity of induction. Induction involves the projecting into the future based upon regularities of the past. For instance, we understand that every morning the sun rises, and then sets in the evening, rises and then sets again. There is really no doubt for many as to whether the sun will rise tomorrow morning. This surety is based upon the repeated pattern of the sun rising and setting in the past. We project this regulatory experience into the future, hence, expecting the future to be like the past because its always been that way. This is induction. However, on atheism, a worldview which posits randomness and purposelessness, why should we expect the sun to rise every morning? The atheist may argue that the sun has always risen in the morning in the past, and hence it is reasonable to assume that it will rise again in the morning. However, this line of argumentation has committed the logical fallacy of circular reasoning; in terms of which one assumes the very thing they must prove. When asked, why will the sun rise tomorrow, it does no good to say because it has risen every morning prior, since such an answer does not answer the question. We know the sun has risen in the morning in the past, but why think that it must rise tomorrow morning? You see, for the atheist must assume regularity, and uniformity; however, these assumptions do not fit with a worldview that posits that the universe is random and purposeless. While affirming a random universe, the atheist must presuppose contrary to his worldview, a sense of order which does not make sense if atheism and atheism’s assumptions about the universe are true. If the atheist cannot justify induction as well as his assumption of the uniformity of nature, then he has no basis for science, and in a much more serious sense, human experience itself; since we by necessity must live our lives assuming both the validity of induction and the uniformity and orderliness of nature. For these reasons, atheism should be rejected.