Today we have an oldie-goldie from Jason Lisle, the creationist astrophysicist who used to be employed by Answers in Genesis (AIG), ol’ Hambo’s online ministry.
For reasons which have never been explained, Jason left AIG a few years ago to go to the Institute for Creation Research (ICR), where he is now “Director of Physical Sciences.” Nevertheless, AIG sometimes re-prints his old essays, which is what they’ve done today. This one is titled Atheism: An Irrational Worldview.
We’ve written about a few of Jason’s essays on the same subject — for example: Jason Lisle: The Logic of Faith — but the one AIG has republished today was originally dated 10 October 2007. That was before your Curmudgeon started this humble blog, so what we’re seeing now may be the beginning of Jason’s exploration of this bizarre concept. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
By embracing materialism, the atheist has destroyed the possibility of knowledge, as well as science and technology.
That may be the most astonishing opening sentence we’ve ever encountered while exploring the fantasy-land of creationism. And Jason is just getting started. Sit back, dear reader. This is going to be fun. Then he says:
Materialistic atheism is one of the easiest worldviews to refute. A materialistic atheist believes that nature is all that there is. He believes that there is no transcendent God who oversees and maintains creation. Many atheists believe that their worldview is rational — and scientific. However, by embracing materialism, the atheist has destroyed the possibility of knowledge, as well as science and technology. In other words, if atheism were true, it would be impossible to prove anything!
At this point we should remind you of something we’ve often said before: This isn’t an atheist blog. Your Curmudgeon is easy to get along with, and we’re never troubled by anyone’s religion — as long as he doesn’t use it as a license to interfere with the rights of anyone else — and that certainly includes the right to conduct scientific research and to teach science. The National Center for Science Education has a list of Statements from Religious Organizations that support evolution. We have no problem with any of those. That probably makes your Curmudgeon a rarity in The Controversy between evolution and creationism, but we’re used that. Anyway, let’s read on to see what else Jason says:
Reasoning involves using the laws of logic. These include the law of non-contradiction which says that you can’t have A and not-A at the same time and in the same relationship. For example, the statement “My car is in the parking lot, and it is not the case that my car is in the parking lot” is necessarily false by the law of non-contradiction. Any rational person would accept this law. But why is this law true? Why should there be a law of non-contradiction, or for that matter, any laws of reasoning?
Why should there be any laws of reasoning? BWAHAHAHAHAHA! How could there not be? Jason continues:
The Christian can answer this question. For the Christian there is an absolute standard for reasoning; we are to pattern our thoughts after God’s. The laws of logic are a reflection of the way God thinks. The law of non-contradiction is not simply one person’s opinion of how we ought to think, rather it stems from God’s self-consistent nature. God cannot deny Himself (2 Timothy 2:13), and so, the way God upholds the universe will necessarily be non-contradictory.
Oh. That explains why the universe looks old, but creationists insist that it isn’t. Okay. Here’s more:
The materialistic atheist can’t have laws of logic. He believes that everything that exists is material — part of the physical world. But laws of logic are not physical. You can’t stub your toe on a law of logic. Laws of logic cannot exist in the atheist’s world, yet he uses them to try to reason. This is inconsistent. He is borrowing from the Christian worldview to argue against the Christian worldview. The atheist’s view cannot be rational because he uses things (laws of logic) that cannot exist according to his profession.
Your humble Curmudgeon can try to defend logic. The universe is what it is. It can’t also be what it is not. Because we are part of the universe, logic is an essential premise for all rational thought. A premise like that isn’t held by faith, but by necessity. Religious doctrines, in contrast, are entirely optional. The doctrines of one religion can and do contradict those of another, yet they all have fervent adherents, despite their incompatible dogmas. That means logical thinking is the only universally effective way to think about and deal with the reality in which we exist.
But that won’t have any effect on Jason. Moving along, he tells us:
The atheist might say, “Well, I can reason just fine, and I don’t believe in God.” But this is no different than the critic of air saying, “Well, I can breathe just fine, and I don’t believe in air.” This isn’t a rational response. Breathing requires air, not a profession of belief in air. Likewise, logical reasoning requires God, not a profession of belief in Him. Of course the atheist can reason; it’s because God has made his mind and given him access to the laws of logic — and that’s the point. It’s because God exists that reasoning is possible. The atheist can reason, but within his own worldview he cannot account for his ability to reason.
Skipping a few paragraphs with more of the same, here’s another excerpt:
As a last resort, the atheist may give up a strictly materialistic view and agree that there are immaterial, universal laws. This is a huge concession; after all, if a person is willing to concede that immaterial, universal, unchanging entities can exist, then he must consider the possibility that God exists. But this concession does not save the atheist’s position. He must still justify the laws of logic. Why do they exist? And what is the point of contact between the material physical world and the immaterial world of logic? In other words, why does the material universe feel compelled to obey immaterial laws? The atheist cannot answer these questions. His worldview cannot be justified; it is arbitrary and thus irrational.
No comment. Then the article has two big paragraphs which constitute Jason’s conclusion section. Here’s a bit of that:
Clearly, atheism is not a rational worldview. … Since the God of Scripture is immaterial, sovereign, and beyond time, it makes sense to have laws of logic that are immaterial, universal, and unchanging. Since God has revealed Himself to man, we are able to know and use logic. Since God made the universe and since God made our minds, it makes sense that our minds would have an ability to study and understand the universe. But if the brain is simply the result of mindless evolutionary processes that conveyed some sort of survival value in the past, why should we trust its conclusions? If the universe and our minds are simply the results of time and chance, as the atheist contends, why would we expect that the mind could make sense of the universe? How could science and technology be possible?
And now we come to the end:
An atheist is a walking bundle of contradictions. He reasons and does science, yet he denies the very God that makes reasoning and science possible. On the other hand, the Christian worldview is consistent and makes sense of human reasoning and experience.
And so, dear reader, Jason has spelled out the utter hopelessness of your position, as clearly as anyone ever has. Perhaps it’s time for you to reconsider your silly ideas and embrace his.
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