Letter to an Atheist


You are correct in saying that "the existence of an all-powerful creator cannot be disproved" yet the standard atheistic position claims emphatically that there is no God. (Perhaps you are not so emphatic in your atheistic belief). Another way to state your position is that "there could be a God."

A corollary to this is that "there could be no God" and yet as you point out, "believers" of many religions zealously cling to a vast assortment of religious practices based on various ideas about the nature of this God.

I submit that faith (belief) is the process by which a person observes evidence, draws conclusions, and then tenaciously hangs on to those conclusions. In this sense all humans have some sort of faith, or more precisely, all humans have faith in some set of conclusions.

But there are differences in these "faiths." For example, someone today who believes that the earth is flat is simply ignoring the ample evidence to the contrary. However, for someone living 1,000 years ago this was not such a ridiculous idea. We can "judge" the quality of a particular "faith" by measuring it against what we can observe. If a certain "faith" doesn't line up with observable reality very well then a sincere seeker should reject it as a viable option. And conversely if a certain "faith" does match observable reality then it is reasonable and sensible for a person to adopt it. I for one do not wish to adopt an unreasonable faith.

The atheistic "faith" generally has the following tenets:

  1. All observable phenomena can be explained in terms of matter, energy, space, time, and the natural laws.
  2. Miracles are impossible.
  3. There is no all-powerful creator.

I find the atheistic position problematic because there is contrary evidence. In summary:

  1. Modern astrophysics and the big bang theory demonstrate that there was as creation event which originated from outside this universe. (Quotes from leading scientists)
  2. The atheistic tenets cannot adequately explain certain observable phenomena such as consciousness, love, and morality.
  3. The natural laws have no mechanism to design and create the bio-machine we call life. The natural laws do not possess intelligence.
  4. We sense that there is a realm of the spirit which is by definition outside of the atheistic tenets.

Just for the record I should mention that some of the cherished doctrines of the fundamental Christian faith should be rejected because they don't line up very well with reality. These are:

  1. Young-earth creationism — See my web page on Creationism for information about the old-universe, old-earth view which many Christians have adopted.
  2. The misuse of science — Christian young-earth creationists often misuse the second law of thermodynamics in "proving" their case.
  3. Noah's global flood — A local flood fits the biblical text perfectly. The Ark only needs enough animals to assist Noah's family in "jump starting" their economy once the waters recede. The purpose of the ark was not to preserve animal life on earth from extinction.
  4. Humans created recently? — Not so! In reality, Adam and Eve were the first humans of redemption history, created about 10,000 B.C.and the first modern humans appeared 200,000 years ago.

In my opinion there is ample evidence for the Christian faith and the Bible. Some of the more significant:

  1. That there is a creator outside of this universe who created it in the big bang. That the necessary characteristics of this God perfectly matches the Biblical description of Him.
  2. The archaeological evidence supports the notion that the Bible is historically accurate in its claims.
  3. The sense I have of my own sin nature—my strong tendency to be a sin-oholic. The Bible explains this sin nature in a satisfying way and provides a solution to the "sin problem." In my quest for truth this was an area in which the other "faiths" I explored were notoriously weak.

We must allow others to have their own opinions about things but we also must organize ourselves into a society in which our beliefs and practices don't interfere with others. This presents a problem for certain types of faiths:

  1. Faiths that insist on forcefully converting everyone.
  2. Faiths that invade other people's freedom.
  3. Faiths that lower the quality of life for everyone by publicly exposing us all to nasty stuff.

There would seem to be a "higher law" that dictates how we should behave in order to have peace and harmony in our civilizations, But this "higher law" is beyond the natural laws — more evidence for a spirit realm and a creator who has established absolute standards for human life.

You are in alignment with this "higher law" in the way you gently and considerately discuss your belief in atheism. I commend you for contributing to a world of peace and harmony. May the Lord bless you as you seek the truth.