Many atheists often describe certain things as being “deplorable,” “atrocious,” or “wicked.” Arguably the most famous atheist in the world in 1976, atheistic philosopher Antony Flew, confessed that the Nazis committed real, objective moral atrocities during the 1930s and 1940s when they slaughtered six million Jews (Warren and Flew, 1976, p. 248). Many atheists admit that it would be morally wrong to rape a woman or to sexually abuse and torture a four-year-old child. Richard Dawkins, the most recognized atheist in the world today, has even boasted that someone who does not believe in evolution may be “wicked” (1989).
Such recognition by atheists of anything being morally wrong begs the question: How can an atheist logically call something atrocious, deplorable, wicked, or morally wrong? According to atheism, we are nothing but matter in motion. We allegedly evolved from rocks and slime over billions of years. We supposedly arose from animals—living organisms that have no sense of morality. Animals eat their young, kill their mates, and steal the food of any animal from which they can successfully take it—whether friend, foe, or family member. Atheists allege that “we are animals…. We like to think of ourselves as elevated above other creatures. But the human body evolved” from animals (Marchant, 2008, 200:44, emp. added). Thus, the fact is, as Dr. Thomas B. Warren concluded in his debate with Antony Flew, “[T]he basic implication of the atheistic system does not allow objective moral right or objective moral wrong” (1976, p. 49).
Atheistic philosopher Jean Paul Sartre summarized godlessness well when he said, “Everything is indeed permitted if God does not exist” (1961, p. 485, emp. added). If atheists refuse to admit that real moral objectivity exists, then they are forced to admit that when the Jews were starved, gassed, and experimented on “like the animals” they supposedly were (cf. Marchant, 2008), the Nazis did nothing wrong. If human life really is as worthless as bacteria (as atheist Eric Pianka said naturalism demands), then there would be nothing truly wrong with systematically spreading the ebola virus for the purpose of eliminating 90% of the human population, which Dr. Pianka suggested needed to happen in order to save the Earth (see Mims, 2006). Atheists who theoretically take atheistic evolution to its logical conclusion, are forced to admit what Dan Barker acknowledged in his debate with Kyle Butt in February 2009: that, if need be, he would rape millions of girls to save the rest of humanity (Butt and Barker, 2009, pp. 33-36). After all, if we are nothing but advanced ape-like creatures, and “our male ancestors became ancestors in part because they conditionally used rape,” then, as evolutionist Randy Thornhill confessed, “rape is evolutionary, biological, and natural” (2001; cf. Thornhill and Palmer, 2000)—a sickening thought.
Atheists can say, “We don’t like that,” or “We would never do that,” but they can never logically say that something is objectively wrong or right. If they do, they are making a self-defeating statement. They would be contradicting the very naturalism they espouse. If they actually admit that for atheism no objective standards for “good” and “evil” can exist, then rape could just as well be right, while a virtue like bravery could be bad. Either way, atheism loses. It is either contradictory, and thus self-defeating, or it is too horrible for even the most contemptible to contemplate.
“The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none who does good” (Psalm 14:1).
Butt, Kyle and Dan Barker (2009), The Butt/Barker Debate: Does the God of the Bible Exist?(Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
Dawkins, Richard (1989), “Book Review,” The New York Times, section 7, April 9.
Marchant, Jo (2008), “We Should Act Like the Animals We Are,” New Scientist, 200:44-45, October 18-24.
Mims, Forrest (2006), “Dealing With Doctor Doom,” The Citizen Scientist, www.sas.org/tcs/weeklyIssues_2006/2006-04-07/feature1p/ index.html.
Sartre, Jean Paul, (1961), “Existentialism and Humanism,” French Philosophers from Descartes to Sartre, ed. Leonard M. Marsak (New York: Meridian).
Thornhill, Randy (2001), “A Natural History of Rape,” Lecture delivered at Simon Fraser University, March 16, http://www.d.umn.edu/cla/faculty/jhamlin/3925/Readings/Thornhill_on_rape.pdf.
Thornhill, Randy and Craig T. Palmer (2000), A Natural History of Rape (Cambridge: MIT Press).
Warren, Thomas B. and Antony Flew (1976), The Warren-Flew Debate (Jonesboro, AR: National Christian Press).
A Response to Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris
Many Christians have replied to philosophically sophisticated forms of atheism (Nietzsche, Bertrand Russell, Michael Martin, Kai Nielsen, et al), but today there is also a growing literature of atheism geared to the popular level, the realm of the so-called village atheist. Joel McDurmon tackles popular atheism in a popular but cogent way. A fine apologetic work.–Dr. John Frame, Professor of Systematic Theology and Philosophy, Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, FL
Joel McDurmon is a graduate of Reformed Episcopal Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and an adjunct speaker, writer, and researcher for American Vision.