The Hopelessness of Atheism – Dr. Jack L. Burton

by / January 17, 2017

Overview

The greatest downfall of atheism is that it provides no purpose for anything. It provides no reason for our existence. It acknowledges no purpose for the universe in particular or for mankind in general. Above all it provides no hope beyond this life.

 

Those that Oppose Themselves

The Apostle Paul exhorts believers in 2 Timothy 2:24-26 to be ‘gentle’ and ‘patient’ when instructing others concerning the truth of God’s Word. He says that they ‘oppose themselves’ and are ‘taken captive’ by the devil ‘at his will’.

This passage in quite a unique sense seems to have been written with atheists in mind; for, in no other group that I have encountered have I met with more willing acceptance of blatant contradictions. Having held to somewhat of an atheistic/agnostic mindset myself for a brief time before my Salvation in Christ Jesus I can tell you that this is likely due in no small part to the fact that those who hold to such a mindset are far more interested in experience than consequence.

In the Myriad of encounters which I have had with atheists over the years I can sum up their general attitude with one word: arrogant.

Of course this is hardly surprising considering the fact that we’re speaking of individuals who believe that our entire existence is the result of an onset of completely inexplicable random events with no purposeful origin. This means that we are here without purpose and when we are gone it is as if we had never been.

The atheistic mindset is far more interested in experience than consequence.

Essentially then what the atheist is claiming is that we come from nothing, we return to nothing, and yet somehow in between everything else is full of meaning. This is a complete and utter contradiction!

I have asked many atheists if they truly love someone. They often have given me a snide retort in the affirmative. Then I have asked them ‘why’. If all we are is a bunch of chemicals that have somehow managed to come together and learned how to think and feel and act, and are destined one day only to disintegrate back into the same lifeless chemicals scattered about the cosmos – why should we care about anything at all?

Some have no answer while others will provide a kind of ‘trap door’ response claiming that the two points are not related. However, this is simply delusional!

Pouring your entire life into the welfare of your child, for example, when you believe that they will one day utterly cease to exist is tantamount to taking every paycheck you earn and throwing it directly into a fire!

In fact, it is even worse than that.

By investing in an empty eternity for your children, you teach them to do the same for their children. Pretty soon small problems in this life become huge crises because there is no hope beyond this life when you are taught from childhood that this is all there is.

Do you ever wonder why depression, drug use, alcoholism, divorce, and suicide have all been major issues in the United States since the 1960’s?

Because we have been teaching our children wholesale now for nearly 7 decades almost completely unchecked that they are evolved ‘star-stuff’ and when they die they become more ‘star-stuff’.

No soul. No spirit. No purpose. No hope.

 

The Evidence and Contradiction of Purpose

In the real universe all actions have consequences and all effects have causes; but, this is not so in the world of the atheist. Atheistic ‘philosophy’ touts no purpose to the formation of all that exists, and claims total annihilation of everything that matters at the end.

No causal purpose. No final consequences.

Every action we take requires purpose. Even if we are simply doodling on a piece of paper or whittling a piece of wood, everything we do has purpose – even if that purpose is simply to entertain us or occupy our idle time. Furthermore, to accomplish any given task we must act with purpose. As we act there are consequences to our activity (as well as our inactivity). In fact, we witness this principle of ‘cause and effect’ around us all the time. Newton’s Third Law of Motion is predicated upon this principle; and, without the same principle life could not thrive or even exist! Yet, the very foundation of atheism proclaims that an entire universe necessarily teeming with purposeful activity came into existence without purpose. The same foundation further asserts that no purposeful cause led to the effect we call ‘life’ – yet all life on earth clearly has its own place and purpose!

In the real universe all actions have consequences and all effects have causes – not so in the world of the atheist!

Such contradictions place atheism in a precarious position at best. At worst they undermine and destroy its very foundation.

 

The Promise in Purpose

In stark contrast to the atheistic mindset, the Bible teaches us that, ‘All things were created by Him [God] and for Him, and by Him all things consist’ (see Colossians 1:16‑17). Not only is there great comfort in this proclamation; but, it agrees with everything that we witness in our daily experience in this life. All things are created with purpose and continue to serve that purpose in a manner that is integral to the whole of our environment on earth. In science this is called ‘observational evidence’.

We never observe ‘purposeless’ existence – especially where life is concerned.

King Solomon begins writing what became the third chapter of Ecclesiastes with the following words: “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). He then goes on for nearly a dozen verses listing specific items for which there are specific times, finally relating the entire chapter to the life of mankind.

We never observe ‘purposeless’ existence – especially where life is concerned.

Near the end of the chapter he speaks of the futility of all of our labors if we all simply ‘turn to dust again’ (v20). However, amid this worldly lament, he shines a ray of hope in verse 21 that strikes a clear division between mankind and the animal kingdom as he asks, “Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward toward the earth?” This reference clearly speaks of mankind being an eternally “living soul” (Genesis 2:7) as God created him alone to be.

 

Summary

We live in a world crying out for hope. Atheism offers no hope – only contention. As followers of Christ Jesus we are called to ‘sanctify the Lord’ in our hearts and to ‘be ready always to give an answer to everyone that asks’ for a ‘reason of the hope’ that is in us (see 1 Peter 3:15). This is not a blind, wishful ‘hope’ – but hope that rests in the provable eyewitness account of the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:1-6).

 

In His Love,

Dr. Jack L. Burton

-Hebrews 11:1-3

 

References

(1) National Institute on Drug Abuse: Drug Facts: Nationwide Trends.

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/nationwide-trends

(2) The Physics Classroom: Newton’s Third Law.

http://www.physicsclassroom.com/class/newtlaws/Lesson-4/Newton-s-Third-Law

 

Additional Reading

(1) Darwinism: Survival without Purpose. Jerry Bergman, PhD.

http://www.icr.org/article/darwinism-survival-without-purpose/

 

Notes

  1. All Bible quotes in this article are taken from the KJV.
  2. Bible passages in double quotes (“) appear exactly as found in the KJV.
  3. Bible passages in single quotes (‘) have been modified for emphasis or ease of reading only (such as capitalization of pronouns referring to God, bolded text, or modernized punctuation, etc.) without altering the actual wording of the text.

 

Disclaimer: While to the author’s knowledge all of the information cited in the referenced material related directly to the content of this article is correct and accurate, the author in no way endorses any of the cited references in their entirety – especially where the material contained therein is in direct contradiction with the Creation account given in the Word of God.

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