Modern Atheism 101
Remember the morning last May when I went upstairs to the loft and Keith read a passage from Rabbi Moshe Averick’s Nonsense of a High Order: The Confused World of Modern Atheism? Well, after he finished reading the book, he passed it along to me.
As most of my readers know, I was an atheist with naturalism as my worldview for the first four decades of my life. Then my first marriage failed, and I went on a search, which changed my worldview – as in this post about Baylor University Professor Roger E. Olson’s The Essentials of Christian Thought: Seeing Reality Through the Biblical Story. Olson wrote, “…this ultimate reality, Yahweh, is by nature loving-kindness, a long-suffering and compassionate God who also cares about justice and will not forever withhold judgment.” Love, suffering, compassion, justice, and judgment—I pitched my tent within that reality.
In The Perennial Gen, I’ve written about the dilemmas of atheism, but Rabbi Averick does a far better job, making short work of modern atheism and well-known atheists, such as Christopher Hitchens. Averick states: “The struggle to seek the truth and let the truth determine our agenda, rather than use our personal agenda to determine what we will accept as truth, is the essential battle we must be prepared to fight if we wish to be fully human.”
Atheism and the Origin of Life
In the beginning, creation, how did life begin, according to modern atheism? Dr. Francis Crick (an atheist) said, “An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle.” A miracle.
Though many scientists believe in Darwinism, not one would claim that evolution created bacteria, the simplest and oldest known life form. Bacteria are not simple, and the conditions required for life are staggering. Miraculous.
Another truth: Scientists are human: they want honor, recognition, and job security like everyone else. As Dr. Stephen J. Gould (an atheist) said: “Our ways of learning about the world are strongly influenced by the social preconceptions and biased modes of thinking that each scientist must apply to any problem. The stereotype of a fully rational and objective ‘scientific method’ with individual scientists as logical (and interchangeable) robots is self-serving mythology.”
This explains why “science” is not necessarily scientific.
Atheism on the Meaning of Life and Morality
What does atheism have to say about the meaning of life? There is no meaning; life is pointless; the ‘self,’ free will, thoughts, and experiences are illusory. But people need purpose, so we pretend life is meaningful.
As for morality in modern atheism, “…the terms morality and personal/societal preference are identical and interchangeable,” according to Rabbi Averick’s extensive research. Therefore, atheists are amoral. Without God, there is no morality.
Thus, science from an atheist perspective, “…has nothing to tell us about who we are, where we came from, and where we are going.”
Where does this leave us? Rabbi Averick: “I would suggest that it is the responsibility of each individual to invest the time, effort, and energy necessary to discover the truth about the meaning, purpose, and direction of his or her own existence. Otherwise, we are all faced with three equally lamentable alternatives: (1) heedlessly following the path that our society has conditioned us to travel, (2) manufacturing our own comforting illusion, or (3) making ourselves ‘comfortably numb’ and playing out our lives as aimless, rudderless pieces of driftwood following the path of least resistance.”
And so, my search for God’s truth continues.