Why God is Necessary for Rational Thought

by Glenn Smith

The view presented to us by the modern worldview is that God is either nonexistent or unnecessary. We are told that everything in the physical world can ultimately be explained by the natural sciences. According to this atheistic view, everything we experience can be explained ultimately by physics and chemistry. Such a view is called naturalism or physicalism.

Philosophers have wrestled for centuries with several concepts that give naturalism trouble, including:

          • Consciousness from unconscious matter
          • Beauty and quality of life
          • The basis for morality

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These things have been the subject of much discussion since ancient times. It is difficult for the naturalist to explain how one set of visual sense data can be more beautiful than another while still holding that they are all caused by natural forces. Often the conversation turns to survival of the individual or group. Survival seems to be a favorite motivator for naturalists when there is no other obvious explanation. Survival motivations present still more problems, as we have discussed previously (see here)

But for the sake of argument, let us assume that all that exists are natural physical forces such as gravity, electromagnetism, friction, and the like. We will even throw in survival, since it is so important to our naturalist friends’ worldview. If true, then natural forces would seem to explain all effects that we encounter, including the drive for survival and human consciousness.

Atheist guru Richard Dawkins has said “DNA neither cares nor knows. DNA just is. And we dance to its music.” So according to naturalists like Dawkins, our thought processes just are, and we are dancing to their music. Atheists like Sam Harris go to great lengths to explain how humans do not have free will, since all our thoughts are determined by previous causes, which were in turn caused by physical laws of nature. Harris short book Free Will has a picture of the words free will being controlled by puppet strings, with the clear message that we do not control our own thoughts, but rather all our thoughts are controlled by natural forces…

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Why God is Necessary for Rational Thought | Thomistic Bent