Irrational Atheism

May 2nd, 2011 by BEBlogger

I recently read a quote attributed to Dr. Gregory House, lead character from the TV program House: “If you could reason with religious people, there would be no religious people.”

Of course Dr. House is a fictional character, but that these are the sentiments of real life atheists can be gleaned easily from the writings of Sam Harris, David Mills or Richard Dawkins, among others.

Ah yes, Almighty Reason, god of the godless.  That which separates men from apes and Christians.  If I weren’t so busy hunting rattlesnakes for back woods cultic rituals, I’d have time to develop my intellect like unto that of Messrs. Harris, Mills, and Dawkins. But alas!  Priorities you know.

Irony aside, atheists assume questioning God’s existence is reasonable, while Christians (and all other theists) operate on irrational faith.  Naked reason, or filtering sense acquired data through rational processes, is the proper means of knowing.

But not so fast.  Things are not so simple.  Take the premise “Reason is the (only or otherwise) way to know.”  How does the atheist know that?  There’s no way to prove it.  If one uses reason to prove that statement, it amounts to circular reasoning.   We can assume reason is a way to gain knowledge, but we can’t prove it unless we assume the very conclusion we’ve all ready embraced.  To think this way is to operate by faith, howbeit a deficient “blind faith.”

Furthermore, where does abstract reason originate in a chance, material universe?  If we consist of evolving matter, then reason is merely a byproduct of the chemical reactions in our brains.  Thus reason is in constant evolutionary flux like everything else, so we can never validate our reason.  Put another way, if our brain is evolving, then it is in some sense deficient.  How then can we trust reason, any more than we can trust defective eye sight?

Thirdly, why value reason?  Is reason good?  From where does that value judgment originate?  Certainly not from an amoral universe.  The cold, lifeless universe imposes no “shoulds” or “should nots” or “goods” or “evils.”  The atheist says we should value reason.  Again I say “Prove it.”

Finally (overlooking for now the previous point, that an amoral universe cannot be the source of morals), what assurance does the atheist have that reason will be used justly and not unjustly; for good, not evil?  Certainly thieves, murderers, and jay walkers use reason to commit their indiscretions.  Reason should be used for good, but tell that to Josef Stalin.

As a Christian, I value reason.  Everyone, including atheists, knows things by it.  But reason can only be the product of a mind greater than man’s, namely God.  He made us in His image and endowed us with reason.  It is not irrational to believe reason comes from God.  However, to seek it in a mindless, amoral, chance universe is a fool’s errand.