Atheistic Evangelism

by Luke Nix

Atheist EvangelistsI think my ultimate goal would be to convert people away from particular religions toward a rationalist skepticism… I would like people to be converted away from religion to skepticism. –Richard Dawkins

Today I want to talk a bit about atheistic evangelism. Specifically, the naturalistic atheism. With the presence of the "New Atheists" and many others who follow in their footsteps, it seems that there is a lot more proselytizing of atheism than in previous years. I am quite confused at this phenomenon for three reasons: according to naturalism, first, there is nothing after a person dies; second, everything that happens is determined; third, everything is meaningless and purposeless.

No Life After Death
On the first point: if there is nothing that happens after death, the naturalist should be busy doing what brings them the most pleasure before they take the eternal, unconscious nap. Spending time telling people that there is no life after death is not going to make a slight bit of difference in the long run if there really isn’t. They are not having any lasting effects on people. I would think that this reasoning would make the vocal naturalist think twice about giving up time that could be spent on carnal pleasures to tell someone that there is no God. I mean, this really should be depressing…if no lasting impression can be made, why not pleasure one’s self as much as possible with the little bit of time they have of conscious life?

I would really like to leave it there, but I won’t. The problem is that if naturalism is true, then there are no objective "should"’s or "should not"’s. Which means that the naturalist is free to determine what they "should" or "should not" do. If they get more pleasure out of insisting that no God exists than out of some other action they could be doing, who is anyone else to tell them they are wrong or "should" be doing anything else? By vehemently denying the existence of God, naturalist A is being just as consistent in his worldview as married naturalist B who sleeps with a new woman every night for kicks, both are just as consistent with naturalist C who devises ways to exterminate an entire race of human beings. One has no right to judge the other; one has no right to tell the other that they "should not" be acting out their chosen desire…then again, they can still judge one another if it brings them pleasure. It is their choice.

No Free Will
On the second point: by providing reasons to not believe in God, naturalists are assuming that the people they are attempting to convince have a choice in the matter. On the contrary, naturalism has no room for free choice. Free choice requires the existence of a mind, not just a brain. The brain is a mechanism that reacts to input (from the senses). The input provided by the naturalist is not guaranteed to produce more naturalists. There is no assurance that the new input will override the previous input. In fact, the brain (or person) does not make authentic choices, it only reacts to the input in ways predetermined by the DNA nature gave to it.

Because of that, every person has already been randomly, fatalistically determined to either believe in God or not…

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RECOMMENDED RESOURCES:   Reasonable Faith (3rd Edition): Christian Truth and Apologetics / I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist / Contending with Christianity’s Critics: Answering New Atheists and Other Objectors / More Apologetics Resources >>>