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Supernatural atheism

Unsplash/Garidy Sanders
Unsplash/Garidy Sanders

Have you ever been at your favorite restaurant and, suddenly, you were struck with the overwhelming fear that a rhinoceros would pop into existence right next to you?


You might be if you were physicist and atheist Dr. Lawrence Krauss. In his book, A Universe from Nothing, Krauss can’t dismiss such a possibility given he thinks our beginning came from something like a quantum vacuum outside our reality where things just pop into existence without a purposeful cause.

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OK, maybe that’s too much of a stretch and you don’t worry about something like that. But if you dismiss God like Krauss does and start noodling on why we’re here, maybe you reach the conclusion that we got really, really, really, really, really, really lucky and all the building blocks of the universe over time randomly arranged themselves just perfectly and, wham, here we are.

The problem is, astrophysicists like Hugh Ross have calculated that the odds of all anthropic constants and quantities (122 at last count) coming together by luck alone to be one chance in 10 with 138 zeros after it. If you think that sounds like a whopper of a crapshoot, you’re right, especially when 1. there are only 1070 atoms in the entire universe and 2. mathematicians point out that anything that exceeds 1050 power is the exact same thing as zero chance.

Maybe that’s why Stephen Hawking admitted that the initial configuration of a universe like ours seems to have been “very carefully chosen.”

But maybe such matters don’t concern you. However, it’s hard for anyone these days to not shake their head over the moral state of affairs in which humanity currently finds itself, and maybe you do that.

But without God, a person has no objective guardrails to guide them with respect to moral values and duties, so it becomes really hard to criticize anyone’s actions because all things become mere preferences. However, atheist Sam Harris disagreed years ago and wrote his book, The Moral Landscape, in an attempt to show that science can indeed define objective morality.

His attempt, though, was somewhat of a dumpster fire because he first redefined good to be “the flourishing/well-being of conscious creatures,” and then he turned around and admitted that it was possible for the peak of the “moral landscape” to be occupied by flourishing rapists, murderers, and thieves.

Meaning it’s possible that goodness and creaturely well-being are not identical. Meaning, his moral theory collapses upon itself.

When it comes to these kinds of theories, G. K. Chesterton said it best: “When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become capable of believing in anything.”

The trinitarian god of atheism

Christianity has the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as its Trinity. Not to be outdone, atheism has time, matter, and chance. And make no mistake, atheism’s trinitarian god is every bit as miraculous and supernatural as Christianity’s.

Balderdash, you say!

Well, Merriam-Webster defines “supernatural” as: “Of or relating to an order of existence beyond the visible observable universe”; “departing from what is usual or normal especially so as to appear to transcend the laws of nature.” And when you look at the theories of origin, meaning, morality, and destiny put forward by those scoffing at God, you quickly see a pattern of those explanations being either incoherent or not of this world.

Witness Stephen Hawking’s “imaginary time.” Or cyclical universe models proposed by Steinhardt and Penrose.

These theories have rightly been labeled “alien physics” because they don’t govern the universe as we know it. It’s invented to support a theory in which they have faith outside empirical evidence and proceeds from a presuppositional commitment to naturalism.

The amusing thing is, such conjectures are actually supernatural at their core.

Dr. Stephen Meyer describes it this way:

“There is a form of naturalism now which I call … exotic naturalism. It’s a form of supernatural materialism where things are posited beyond this universe in order to explain the key features we have about the key indicators we have of a beginning to this universe as well as the fine-tuning of the universe as well as the deep mystery of the origin of life. I think there's a tremendous basis for skepticism about these exotic forms of naturalism … You've made your bread and butter as a skeptic and rightly so. Many of the things you're skeptical about, I'm skeptical about. But I’m suggesting that there is an appropriate skepticism about these extremely and increasingly convoluted materialistic models that are invoking things beyond this universe beyond any possible observational confirmation as explanations.”  

The thing is, no matter how you section reality, you will always end up with something that owes its existence to something other than itself. Such things, including us, are known as contingent entities in one form or another that depend on a necessary actuality.

This being true, according to Meyer and others, with purely naturalistic explanations and their trinitarian god of time + matter + chance failing to produce such a necessary being that provides existence to everything else, the atheist faith is now turning to supernatural theories to support their claims.

But why not consider the supernatural God of the Bible as a source for everything we know? Why not cast-off unreasonable doubts and an a priori bias of a closed universe and consider a transcendent Creator instead?

Dr. Norm Geisler ends his book, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist by offering some good answers to those questions: “Have you ever thought about questioning your doubts? Just ask yourself, ‘Is it reasonable to doubt that Christianity is true in light of all the evidence?’ Probably not. In fact, in light of the evidence you ought to have a lot more doubts about atheism and every other non-Christian belief system. They are not reasonable. Christianity is. So, start doubting your doubts and accept Christ. It takes too much faith to believe anything else.”  

Sounds right to me. 

Robin Schumacher is an accomplished software executive and Christian apologist who has written many articles, authored and contributed to several Christian books, appeared on nationally syndicated radio programs, and presented at apologetic events. He holds a BS in Business, Master's in Christian apologetics and a Ph.D. in New Testament. His latest book is, A Confident Faith: Winning people to Christ with the apologetics of the Apostle Paul.

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