Unless thought is valid we have no reason to believe in the real universe (C.S. Lewis).
The dominant inciter of the self-inflated New Atheists (NAs) is Richard Dawkins. He defines religion as a “virus of the mind” (Dawkins: Viruses of the Mind). He also embraces a worldview that espouses that all life is ultimately meaningless. This is a contradiction, since even the thoughts of the NAs would be meaningless and no better than a “virus of the mind.” Their thoughts would just be bouncing neuro-chemicals in their brain box. The ultimate outworking of anti-theism is that everything rational is in fact irrational and just an illusion. This would mean that their own statements are meaningless, thus they are false; obviously, despite the outworking of atheistic thought, there really is meaning.
Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion would fail any introductory philosophy or religion course (atheist Michael Ruse: Science and Spirituality).
To expect to learn anything about important theological problems from Richard Dawkins or Daniel Dennett is like expecting to learn about medieval history from someone who had only read Robin Hood (Rodney Stark).
Dawkins attempts to disprove theism through empiricism (truth is found through man’s unchaperoned five senses). But the form of any worldview, including the NAs’, requires a priori (something prior to or independent of observation and experience, which is assumed to be true) equipment. But a priori truths cannot be justified from observation. Universal norms (laws of logic and moral absolutes) must be taken for granted in forming any worldview, but empiricism cannot provide the conditions that are necessary for universal fixed norms. Resting one’s worldview on observation, apart from the universal pre-essentials, can only result in nonsense and the unintelligibility of that which one observes. Interpreting and making sense of that which is observed cannot come from observation alone. There must be knowledge equipment already supplied that is not wholly justified by the five senses. God provides the prior essentials for the intelligibility of observation that empiricism requires. God is unavoidable for the construction of any worldview, including a faulty one that rests upon empiricism.
God is the Ultimate Reference Point
Try to rebuff theism and one has no ultimate authority to assert that he understands anything in the cosmos. God is the ultimate reference point, and He is the judge of all things. God is the foundation for all meaning, purpose, morals, and rationality. God alone is the one who makes any rational argument possible and reasonable. There is assured proof that God lives. Bahnsen put it well when he specified, “The Christian offers the self-attesting Christ to the world as the only foundation upon which a man must stand to give any ‘reasons’ for anything at all. The whole notion of ‘giving reasons’ is completely destroyed by any ontology other than the Christian one. The Christian claims that only after accepting the Biblical scheme of things will any man be able to understand and account for his own rationality” (Always Ready). All anti-theists intellectually fail to ground the atheistic ground are standing on.
For the purpose of illustration, Bahnsen likens the argument that God does not exist to the argument that air does not exist. One needs to be breathing air while arguing that it does not exist. If air did not exist, one could not live in order to debate the subject. The NAs take enormous swigs of God’s logic as they endeavor to disprove theism. Anti-theists depend on God to make their arguments against His existence (illustration originated by Van Til). God is the compulsory preexistent condition for making any argument possible, including an argument against theism. As the unbeliever debates God’s existence he presupposes that God does in fact live.
Purpose and Bearing
A universe whose only claim to be believed in rests on the validity of inference must not start telling us the inference is invalid (C.S. Lewis).
Atheist Michael Ruse asserts: “Let me say that I believe the new atheists do the side of science a grave disservice. I will defend to the death the right of them to say what they do—as one who is English-born one of the things I admire most about the USA is the First Amendment. But I think first that these people do a disservice to scholarship. Their [the New Atheists] treatment of the religious viewpoint is pathetic to the point of non-being. Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion would fail any introductory philosophy or religion course. Proudly he criticizes that whereof he knows nothing. As I have said elsewhere, for the first time in my life, I felt sorry for the ontological argument. If we criticized gene theory with as little knowledge as Dawkins has of religion and philosophy, he would be rightly indignant. … I am indignant at the poor quality of the argumentation in Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens, and all of the others in that group. … The God Delusion makes me ashamed to be an atheist. Let me say that again. Let me say also that I am proud to be the focus of the invective of the new atheists. They are a disaster and I want to be on the front line of those who say so” (Ruse: Science and Spirituality).
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