1 June 2012

The Cruelty of Atheism

(Gospel e-Letter - June 2012)

It’s hard to defend the faith in the face of unbelief. Recently I was invited on a TV discussion about faith. The panel included a Roman Catholic priest (who happened to be a very good friend of mine), an atheist and a humanist (that’s an atheist by different name).

The atheists presented themselves as non-religious, rational and scientific. They claimed that science has done away with the concept of God. Science has explained how we came about through millions of years of evolution, they said; we are not any different from other animals, it simply happened that Homo sapiens evolved a bigger brain. As humans we are not dependent on or accountable to any higher Being; we only have ourselves to decide what is good and bad for us. We can construct our ethic on the human value of love without any divine revelation. Furthermore, they said, there is no design in nature, and this is the only life that we will ever live. At death, we simply cease to exist.

It was impossible, of course, to answer in a few minutes all their claims, but I tried to expose some weaknesses and fallacies in their arguments.

I pointed out that science does not have an answer for the origin of the universe. The Big Bang theory, at best, explains how the universe unfolded, but it gives no clue as to how it all began. How can we account for the existence of the universe? Why should there be something rather than nothing? Can something come out of nothing? Science clearly states that there is no natural process that creates matter or energy. An atheist needs more faith (a blind, contrary-to-science faith) to believe that the universe has no cause. It is perfectly logical to believe that an eternal God ‘created the heavens and the earth’.

Moreover science has yet to explain the origin of the genetic information in our bodies. I asked the humanist, who happened to be a computer programmer, if software is written by chance and random processes. How then can the human genome, which is equivalent to the information in several hundreds of books, be written by blind processes? When we see a beautiful picture, we admire the artist; when we read a good book, we praise the author … why do we find it so difficult to recognize the Mind that has written the blueprint of life?

But if, as the atheists say, we are here through millions of years of struggle for the survival of the fittest, why should we reverse the evolutionary process and adopt love as the main principle of our ethic?  Why shouldn’t we, if we want to be consistent with atheism, get rid of the weaker and handicapped among us to enhance human evolution?

Lord willing, my wife and I are expecting our third baby later on in June. I hope and pray that she will be a healthy baby, but what if she happens to have Down syndrome? In the atheistic worldview, people see little or no value in a handicapped child, and in fact, tests are routinely carried out during pregnancy and these children are aborted. That is cruel but consistent with atheism. As Christians, my wife and I will love, cherish and care for our baby just the same, for whether she is healthy or not, she is still made in the image of God.

Atheism is cruel. It takes away the value of human life. It takes away all hope. At death we cease to exist, our bodies are recycled and that’s the end of it. On the other hand, our belief in God gives us hope that goes beyond the grave. Through his Son Jesus, we have the hope of eternal life.

If atheism is true, life is absurd and cruel beyond words. But God is! Life is meaningful. Life is the discovery of the experience of his love, even now and for eternity.