The Faith of an Atheist

The Faith of an Atheist

I’ve been reading a great deal about atheism and the growing number of atheists in America. It’s really hard to pinpoint how many there are out of the estimated 305 million Americans, but around 20 million atheists seems to be the current agreement among different polling agencies. Although there are many different types of atheists, the most well-known is the Materialist who believes that physical matter is the only reality. Atheists rely heavily on scientific evidence to support their position, which is that there is no physical evidence that God exists. One of the most respectable modern atheists, Christopher Hitchens, asserts that “the concept of God or a supreme being is a totalitarian belief that destroys individual freedom, and that free expression and scientific discovery should replace religion as a means of teaching ethics and defining human civilization.”

Christopher Hitchens

I took a great deal of time to read different atheist blogs, visit atheist websites, and read about other atheists leading their message of free thinking like Christopher Hitchens, Peter Atkins or Richard Dawkins. Each intellectual, whether famous or not, has an in-depth argument as to why God does not exist. The only way I could truly begin to understand their argument was to immerse myself in the science that they feel best supports their logic, beginning with the Big Bang Theory.

"Matter cannot spring from nothingness."

When reading about the Big Bang Theory, there is no reasonable explanation for how the primeval atom, as Georges Lemaître named it, came to be. Although the theory does not state in finite terms that one, single atom was present before the massive explosion (Although earlier versions of the Big Bang Theory suggest it), it does state that dense matter existed. What is impossible to scientifically explain is how the matter got there. What is improbable is that the matter that initiated the Big Bang came from nothing. Matter cannot spring from nothingness.

During the initial stages of the Big Bang, the universe went through a short period of aggressive expansion that was required for life to be possible anywhere in the universe. This process in the early stages of the universe’s expansion is called  Nucleosynthesis. Nucleosynthesis is the process of creating new atomic nuclei from pre-existing nucleons (protons and neutrons). Without Nucleosynthesis, the universe would have been made up entirely of hydrogen. Additionally, it was Nucleosynthesis that helped bring the universe to a size specific enough to have life. Any smaller in the early stages and life would not exist on Earth. What makes Nucleosynthesis interesting in discussions about the Big Bang theory is if the process would have lasted longer than 3 minutes the entire expansion would have collapsed. What also makes Nucleosynthesis interesting in the Big Bang discussion is the doubt within the scientific community that it did only last 3 minutes. In other words, it should have lasted longer considering the chaos that was taking place.

“If our Solar System were located any closer to the center of the Galaxy, we would not exist.”

Let’s fast forward from Big Bang to our Solar System. Our Solar System has been in a stable rotation for nearly 5 billion years, and our Solar System is located somewhere between the outer arms of our Milky Way Galaxy. If our Solar System were located any closer to the center of the Galaxy, we would not exist. Furthermore, without Jupiter in our Solar System, we would be the constant victim of space debris. If it weren’t for our precise axis (Which is 23.5 degrees) the Earth’s Summers would be far too hot and the Winters far too cold to harbor life. Imagine a 15 mile thick sheet of ice on top of where you’re sitting right now or a sweltering 300 degree Summer.

What can be concluded in just these few theories? That there are specific requirements for life to have began and be maintained on Earth. There are not just a few loose requirements through scientific discovery, but many strict, specific requirements that require a reader several days to look over. Without these distinct preconditions, I would not be writing this blog because I would not exist. It’s been identified concerning the Big Bang that it was improbable for something to be created from nothing, that the speed of the initial expansion was necessary for life to spring from the universe, and without the specific timeframe of 3 minutes  of Nucleosynthesis the universe would have been made up entirely of hydrogen. Furthermore, our position in the Milky Way, in the Solar System, and the tilt of the Earth’s  axis are highly critical in maintaining life on Earth. Any minor variance would cause our planet to be a lot like Venus, which has an atmosphere of carbon dioxide and nitrogen, and a surface that exceeds 800 degrees Fahrenheit.

When you question the scientific field concerning the numerous proposals lacking scientific

"I haven't even touched the surface of biology simply because the subject is equally vast."

explanation, their response is this: It was random chance and a set of perfect conditions. I only chose a few theories and situations, beginning with the Big Bang, that have been given the random chance/perfect conditions statement . I haven’t even touched the surface of biology simply because the subject is equally vast (Like the quandary of the human eye, the assertion of molecules coalescing into cells) and has equally numerous, shoulder-shrugging remarks. Random chance and perfect conditions have become the mantra of the scientific field for many unexplained theories beginning with the Big Bang up to man walking upright and building fires. When you look up the word theory in the dictionary, you will find this:

–noun, plural -ries.

1. A coherent group of general propositions used as principles of explanation for a class of phenomena: Einstein’s theory of relativity. A proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural, in contrast to well-established propositions that are regarded as reporting matters of actual fact.

“If a theory is sound and accurately explains the phenomenon under question, a scientist is challenged to find factual support for it.”

A theory, as stated above, is not a fact. If a theory is sound and accurately explains the phenomenon under question, a scientist is challenged to find factual support for it. However, finding factual support for a theory is not the same thing as proving a theory. By the way, if a theory were true, it wouldn’t be a theory anymore,  it would be a fact. Therefore, the question must be asked: If scientifically you cannot prove a specific theory, and the theory is still in question, and there are large gaps in explanation of a theory, then what motivates an atheist to believe there is no God based on that theory? The answer is undoubtedly, unarguably, undeniably, unquestionably simple. An atheist has faith. If faith is to have confidence and trust in a person or thing, then a Materialist atheist has faith that the scientific community, and scientists, are correct in their assumptions that point to a naturalistic cause for life, as well as the universe’s existence even when there’s strong suspicion as to the final conjecture.

The question I would ask is this: If an atheist has faith in something that isn’t scientifically

"If an atheist has faith in something that isn't scientifically proven, why would they insist on discrediting religious people who also have faith in something that isn't scientifically proven?"

 proven, why would they insist on discrediting religious people who also have faith in something that isn’t scientifically proven? It is reasonable and fair to disagree with believers, but in my dealings with atheists I haven’t seen the rational, calculated responsibility of the scientific community in the way they respond. I have seen harsh, absurd, nonsensical statements made from all kinds of atheist circles. I have also seen much of the atheist movement dismiss any and all arguments from believers, Christian Apologetics, and people of many religious backgrounds. No matter the clash between atheist and believer, the atheist finds it acceptable to take an imperious position as opposed to offering an intellectual rebuttal. There is nothing scientific about an atheist’s approach to the God question. Instead of admitting they don’t know, but believe that there is not God, they make harsh judgments against believers and suggest a malformation of the mind that has caused 2.1 billion people to believe in a Creator.

“If atheism were allowed to rule the world, what would this world look like under their rule?”

As I wrap up Part 1 of my 2 Part blog on atheism, I am already challenging anyone who reads this to consider the following questions before my next post: If atheism were allowed to rule the world, what would this world look like under their rule? Additionally, what does atheism have to offer?  These are valid questions that must be asked of a group who place their faith in science. If “scientific discovery should replace religion as a means of teaching ethics and defining human civilization”, then what would our world look like if religious morals were discarded and replaced with the scientific values of an atheist? What is a scientific ethic? These are the questions I ponder when dissecting the mind of an atheist, who without a doubt is as faithful to a human being’s evaluation of theoretical uncertainty as believers are in an Omnipotent Being they have never seen.

Advertisements

About Modern American Man

I'm a blogger from the Pacific Northwest who wants to create dialogue about American culture.
This entry was posted in Post A Week Challenge 2011, Serious Discussions and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s