Assuring the world that God does not exist is the new fad. Dawkins, Harris and their contemporaries put forward a number of arguments, and then sit back satisfied with their own wisdom. God is cruel, the Bible is a fairy tale, Jesus never rose from the dead, religion is evil and other gems frequently flow from their pens and mouths.
Riding in on the ship of naturalism, and dining on materialism, they serve up a menu of evolutionary development for all that exists. Evolution replaces theism, deism and metaphysics. Any objections are dismissed as ignorant or religious bias, itself an effect of the evolutionary process.
Some are trialing the wake of this ship, trying to find the middle ground between their faith and the evolutionary paradigm. God uses the evolutionary process to create, they say. But don’t try to prove that scientifically, because that is not scientific. The ship we are following, after all, is naturalism. As regular readers of my blog know, I don’t think there is any justification for theistic evolution. It is an untenable compromise, placing either evolution or religion in distress.
I am more concerned though, with how the various non-Christian schools of thought, those who assure us of the non-existence of God, can know what they say. Their position, built on the absolute of omnipotent chance, is, to say the least, quite inconsistent with itself. Knowledge is normally defined as justified true belief.
Let’s break that down a bit. For anyone to know what they say is in fact, fact, it has to be believed to be true. One cannot believe in something that one knows is not true, i.e. false propositions cannot be knowledge. Justification is the assurance that those beliefs have a high objective probability of being true. This is accomplished only if such a belief is the result of reliable cognitive faculties or processes.
Back to our sailors of the grand ship naturalism, powered by the winds of evolution. Evolution is defined in broad terms as descent with modification, ensuring the adaptation of organisms to their environment. The problem for our non-believing friends is the burden of proof that shows how such an adaptive process can lead t0: 1. A belief system, since the process of evolution has no use for beliefs, only physical traits that ensure survivability; 2. Reliable cognitive process or faculties, because if man is evolved from the lower species, how do we know that our thoughts are rational?; 3. Justification of the process without being viciously circular, or in other words, what is the objective evidence for the adaptation/belief paradigm?
Of course, my own recent brushes with mortality reminds me of the relationship so often missed by both believer and non-believer alike, our relationship with time. How arrogant is it not to think that we have absolute answers from a human perspective, when we are here for what is a brief flicker of existence?
David had the same thoughts:
Psa 39:4 “O LORD, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am!
Psa 39:5 Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Selah.
Psa 39:6 Surely a man goes about as a shadow! Surely for nothing they are in turmoil; man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather!
But for the Christian, the question is easily answered. We an eternal hope, we stand in a relationship with the eternal one. Our only adaptation is an infusion of grace, our justification the Almighty.
Psa 39:7 “And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.
Psa 39:8 Deliver me from all my transgressions. Do not make me the scorn of the fool!
Psa 39:9 I am mute; I do not open my mouth, for it is you who have done it.
Psa 39:10 Remove your stroke from me; I am spent by the hostility of your hand.
Psa 39:11 When you discipline a man with rebukes for sin, you consume like a moth what is dear to him; surely all mankind is a mere breath! Selah.
Psa 39:12 “Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear to my cry; hold not your peace at my tears! For I am a sojourner with you, a guest, like all my fathers.
The non-believers fleeting existence, coupled with his unbelievable propostions pose no challenge to the eternal God. Long after they are gone, God will still be, and His children with Him.
Don’t get on the wrong boat. Bound by irrationality and unjustified belief is no way to go through life. Spend your time on earth getting to know your Father in heaven, so that you may face eternity with hope.