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The Faith of an Atheist

by William J. Stewart

Some time ago, I had the opportunity to talk with a self-proclaimed Atheist. I found it to be a rather interesting conversation. He discussed several things which he found to be adequate evidence to discount the existence of God, none of which stood to any measure of inspection. Yet, he vehemently stood firm on the grounds of "scientific fact." He related to me that he found believing in God to be an impossibility, due to a lack of evidence. I heard him out, and then decided to share with him some things important to his situation.

I began with the statement, "It takes more faith to be an Atheist than it does to be a Christian." If nothing else, this statement certainly perked his interest. He then declared to me that Atheism requires no faith, for it is based upon solid scientific data. I went on to share the following number of points with him concerning the faith of an Atheist.

To Be An Atheist, One Must Believe...
That God Does Not Exist

As we look about us, we see that man is a religious creature by nature. Regardless of where you go, you will find people who have a need to worship some greater being than themselves. The Romans and Greeks had their mythological gods. Many submit themselves to the worship of Buddha. Allah is considered by a great number of people to be worthy of worship and praise. But most of all, the God of heaven, the one true God is the focus of many. If you were to stand on a street corner, asking whether people believe in God or not, I say with confidence that if each individual answered truthfully, you would be hard pressed to find any who will say no.

This brings us to one of two conclusions:

  1. It is practical and sensible to believe there to be an eternal being superior to ourselves;
  2. The larger part of society is completely irrational.

To Be An Atheist, One Must Believe...
That Matter Is Either Eternal Or It Created Itself

To hold to the ideas of atheism, which is for the most part partial to the theory of evolution, one must believe that matter is either eternal or it created itself. Seeing that the Atheist has removed the possibility of a Creator, these are the only two options which remain.

I asked the individual about the nature of the universe: eternal or had a beginning? An seemingly easy question, but over and over, he declined to give a straight answer. Yet, if we look at the evidence, we understand that the universe had a beginning. Scientists themselves attempt to assign an age to our planet, and the universe as a whole. Those things which are eternal have no age. The reason they attempt to assign an age to the world in which we live is because it bears the characteristics of age. Such things which are eternal are not governed by time. We are told in Scripture that with the Lord a "day is as a thousand years, a thousand years as a day" (II Peter 3:8). Yet, the universe is subject to time. The universe is running down. It is wearing out. Things on earth are corrupt and worsening year after year. It is approaching an inevitable end. It cannot be eternal.

The only other option for those who deny the presence of a Supreme God is that the universe created itself. That is possibly the most absurd thing which could ever be considered. Matther does not have the ability to create itself. A desk cannot bring itself into existence. What man has ever created himself? If matter were able to create itself, consider the chaos which would occur! One would possibly be driving along a road, and a tree would appear from nowhere! Yet such things do not occur!

To Be An Atheist, One Must Believe...
That Life is Spontaneously Generated

In denying the existence of God, the Atheist is forced to believe that life is able to spontaneously generate. In other words, life can come from that which has none. We understand God to be the Creator of all things, and that He is the source of life. Yet, if we remove God from the picture, we remove the breath of life which He gives. Thus, somewhere along the line, according to the Atheist's belief system, life spontaneously came into being. It never existed before. It has absolutely no source. It just started itself somehow at some time.

To Be An Atheist, One Must Believe...
That Order and Design Are Results of Non-Intelligent Accidents

As we look about us at the wonders of creation, we can understand that God is the Master Designer. He purposefully created the world with order. Trees need carbon dioxide, mammals need oxygen. The two complement one another with the exchange of these gases. Our planet is exactly the correct distance from the sun. Any closer, we would burn up. Any further away, we would freeze. Approximately 2/3 of the earth is covered with water. This keeps the core temperature at an acceptable level. The gravitational forces on earth are such that we can walk freely about, without fear of being driven into the ground, nor lifted into space. The human body is a wondrous design. It is designed to repair itself in many instances. It has several functions which automatically are cared for without the need for us even thinking about them. As was written, we are "fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalms 139:14).

The Atheist though must affirm that all these wonders, and many, many more are merely the result of an accidental happening. They claim that no intelligence was involved in the forming of our world. It was simply the process of a "big bang." If such is possible, that something as wonderful as the universe can result from an unintelligent "bang," then something which is infinitely simpler should also be able to come together with a logical order and design without intelligence. For instance, what if we should disassemble a watch, place all the parts into a box, close the box, and begin shaking. How long before the watch will be fully assembled again? Shake as much and as hard as you can, you will never result in a watch. Though all the needed parts are present, a watch maker is also needed. A source of intelligent construction. How much more does the universe need an intelligent Maker?

To Be An Atheist, One Must Believe...
That Non-Consciousness Evolves to Consciousness

The theory of evolution affirms that we are the descendants of a one cell organism. This one cell organism has no consciousness. It does not know that it exists. We, who are conscious of ourselves, and of the happenings surrounding us, according to the assertions of the atheist have evolved from this creature. How is it we became conscious beings? Can consciousness come from unconsciousness? If it can, does that mean that someday my desk will be aware of itself? I should hope not; it may decide then to walk away, since it would be its own being.

To Be An Atheist, One Must Believe...
That Non-Morality Evolves to Morality

Atheists have a hard time explaining morality. If we evolved from creatures who operate on instinct, not conscience, how is it that we have developed the ability to use conscience? Where did morality find its beginning? Did one ape finally decide that killing another ape was wrong? Did one decide that it was wrong to steal another ape's supper? No such things have occurred! Morality finds it origin in the existence of God. He has given a law, which therein establishes morality. However, the Atheist cannot explain where morality came from.

Further, the Atheist can not give a reason for doing good. There is no reason, if we will not be judged. Why should we yield our own desires in order to serve others? The answer, we shall be judged!

Truly, Atheism is a faith. And without doubt, upon careful examination, it would seem that it takes more faith to be an Atheist than it does to be a Christian. Paul wrote, "since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things which are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse" (Romans 1:20). The world which we live in declares on a daily basis, God Is. If one is sincere in their search, they cannot help but come to the conclusion that there is an eternal God, who is Creator of all.

"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." (Genesis 1:1).