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Religion of Friday, 11 March 2011

Source: Nana Yiadom.

The “No God” Religion.

By : Nana Yiadom.

I am reminded of this truth every time I watch a nature documentary. What I see as the extraordinary genius of my Creator, the narrator sees as the mere random fluctuation of blind evolution on the planet. Atheist John Dewey reportedly said “ To me faith means not worrying.” That may have given him some comfort, at least when he said it. But all people even atheists at some point worry, or at least wonder what lies beyond this life.

The fact is we cannot get away from believing in something, even if that something is nothing. It is a paradox.The truth is even atheists have a religion. It is a religion of “no-religion”. It is based in faith no matter how much they protest and in this write up would explain the four major tenets of “No-God” Religion.

The term “atheist” derives from two Greek components--- a negative prefix, which signifies “no” “not” “without”, and the noun theos, “God”.

A kindred form of the term is found in Ephesians 2:12, where the Apostle Paul notes that pagan Gentiles were “without God”(atheos), ie, without a relationship with the Lord. In considering the meaning of the term, it must be noted that the word has some flexibility.

a)In its broadest sense, atheism repudiates belief in any sort of deity transcendent to man. “Matter” is all there is.

b)In a more limited aspect, one may contend, “I believe in my own kind of “God”, but I do not believe in the God of the Bible”. The “deist” falls into this category. In reality, however, this is a form of atheism.

c)One may be theoretical theist, but a practical atheist. That is, he claims to believe in the God of the Scriptures, but he lives as though there is no God. Atheism has been aptly called “the fool's religion”. That descriptive is not meant to be insensitively harsh, rather,it is an affirmation of stark reality.”The fool has said in his heart, there is no God” (Psalm 14 :1). Atheism is “religious” and it is “foolish”. Note the following. First, the English word “religion” enjoys considerable elasticity. A Professor of Phylosophy at the College of Wooster once noted “ one may be religious and not believe in God( in any conventional sense). A number of atheistic organisations in the U.S. have incorporated as “religious” entities in recent years in order to secure tax-exempt status. In July of 1999, the Freedom From Religion Foundation in Wisconsin conducted a national mini-convention in San Francisco ( about 150 people showed up).The meeting was punctuated with fervent services---the congregation waved their hands in the air, and sung hymns( like “Nothing fails like Faith”). A journalist wrote a piece about the debacle under the title”Non believers keep their faith alive”. Second, the descriptive “fool” is an apt characterization of the atheist. In Psalm 14:1 the Hebrew term “naba” describes one who is “spiritually senseless”, as well as the person who is characterized by “moral depravity,spiritual irresponsibility, and social insensitivity” (Isaiah 32:6). Atheists are not guided by reason. In his opening remarks to the saints in Rome, the Apostle Paul refers to the heathen Romans as those who “refused to have God in their knowledge”(Romans 1:28).He refers to them as “vain” ( empty) in their “reasonings”, “senseless “in heart, “fools “ who have rejected wisdom( Romans 1:21-22) and without understanding(verse 31).

Disbelief in God is the epitome of intellectual irresponsibility. In this article I will discuss atheism from three vantage points, its motives,its irrationality, and the utter void it brings to the lives of its adherents.

ATHEISM'S MOTIVES:

Atheism arises out of human rebellion.After citing the arrogant claim,”There is no God”(Psalm 14:1),the psalmist provides the motive behind the infidelity: “they are corrupt,they have done abominable works. There is none that does good( Psalm 14 :2ff). The assertion :”There is no God” is in fact treated in Scripture not as a sincere if misguided conviction, but as an irresponsible gesture of defiance. In context of (Psalm 10:4), it is expounded as a gamble against moral sanctions, in (Job 21:7-15) as impatience of authority, in (Romans 1:18-22)as intellectual and moral suicide. Atheist philosopher Jean Paul Sartre declared “Everything is indeed permitted if God does not exist”. He further stated that without God there are no “values” that can “legitimize our behaviour”. ATHEISM'S IRRATIONAL TENETS OF “FAITH”: While atheism boasts of its “rational” approach to the major issues of existence, actually, this ideology is woefully barren of logical procedure. Let's consider the following: “Thou shalt not believe in causation.” Atheism's creed flies in the face of the fundamental law of science----The law of causation. One writer , James Gillis, expressed it quaintly “ Only in atheism does the spring rise higher than the source, the effect exists without a cause, life comes from a stone, blood from a turnip, a silk from a sow's ear, and a Beethoven Symphony from a kitten's walk across the keys”. In logic there is a maxim which affirms that “ every effect must have an adequate cause”. Since the Universe exists, the question that challenges the thinking person is this: What was the “cause”?. Whence came the “matter” of which the Universe is constituted?. The philosophy of unbelief has suggested two possibilities.

The Universe is eternal.

The idea that the Universe has always existed is out of vogue today-----even with most skeptics. Robert Jastrow, a professed agnostic, has argued( upon the basis of scientific data, e.g., the second Law of Thermodynamics) that “modern science denies an eternal existence to the Universe, either in the past or in the future.

The Universe created itself from nothing !

Others have postulated that the Universe created itself from nothing. Prof Victor Stenger described it in this way: “The Universe is probably the result of a random quantum fluctuation in a spaceless, timeless void”. That meaningless assemblage of words is the nearest thing to a literary “black hole” one could imagine. First, if there was ever a time when nothing existed, nothing would exist today, for nothing produces nothing but nothingness !. Second, there are no scientific data that indicates matter has the ability to create itself. If such were the case, there ought to be some evidence of it, but the First Law of Thermodynamics argues that no matter is being created. Logically then, one is driven to the conclusion that the Universe had a non-material commencement. But atheism casts logic aside and opts for a self serving superstition.

“Thou shalt not observe order or design”.

Atheism cannot explain the order or design that is characteristic of our Universe. Note that the very term, Uni-verse, suggests a mechanism of unity. The ancient Greeks called the Universe “kosmos”, which conveyed the basic meaning of “arrangement” or “order”, because they observed that the “world” was characterized by order. The heavens are regulated by “ordinances” (Job 38:33, Jeremiah 31:35). It hardly seems reasonable that this structured adornment is the result of a gigantic explosion( the mythical “big bang”), and yet that is precisely what skeptics believe. If the Universe is characterized by design, it must have had a Desiggner, for it is a fundamental premise of “ critical thinking” that design demands a designer.

The human body, with its intergrated systems, e.g. Bones, muscles, nerves, circulation, digestion,etc, eloquently testifies that the human being has been “ fearfully and wonderfully made”(Psalm 139:14). A skeptical professor authored a textbook on physiology which he called “Human Design”. The title of the book conceded more than the author intended. Is it reasonable to assume that the book--- a skillfully crafted conglomerate of paper,ink, cloth, glue, stitching, and a lenghty message conveyed by symbols is testimony to intelligent design, but the author who produced the book is but an accidental “freak” of nature ?. What kind of reasoning is that ?.

“Thou shall not confess the true origin of life”.

Atheism cannot explain the presence of biological life upon our planet. That mysterious essence known as “life” is fanstastic phenomenon that baffles the most brilliant within the scientific community. Atheists believe that life was “spontaneously” generated”, though there is not a shred of evidence to demonstrate that postulation. In fact the maxim, “life comes only from life” is firmly verified that the concept is called “ the law of biogenesis”. Atheists thrust aside all evidence and common sense and speculates that conditions on the primitive earth must have been so radically different from what they now are, that life somehow could have “jump- started” itself. The truth is since life does not have the ability to create itself, it must have been fashioned by an eternally living Cause. That Cause is God.( Acts 17:24-28). “Thou shalt not blame anyone for immoral conduct”. Atheism cannot explain the concept of morality and ethics. Why is there in man a sense of the “right” and “wrong”, when no other biological creature upon the globe entertains an ethical sensitivity?.

The Void of Unbelief.

Finally, one must sadly note this. There is a voidness of soul that is an abiding companion of atheism ever haunting its devotees as no physical malignancy ever could. After the death of former “Beatle” George Harrison, news sources quoted him as saying( in those final days when he knew cancer was consuming his life) “ When all has been said , there are only three questions that matter. Where did I come from ? What is my purpose ?. And where am I going?. Had he posited these intriguing inquiries to an atheist, he would have drawn a perfect blank. As noted above, the atheist knows absolutely nothing relative to his origin. Moreover, from the skeptical vantage point there really is no purpose in human existence. Atheism is a bleak worthless ideology. It robs the brain of reason, the conscience of moral guidance, the mind of tranquility and the soul of hope.