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February 17, 2009 / beidson

Atheism’s Anemic Appeal to Authority

If a person is going to make absolute statements about reality, he must at least rest his confession on something that is permanent and fixed, or otherwise he will lose his footing.  Absolute statements are appeals to authority, whatever that authority may be.  But if the authority is not permanent, if it will not continue forever, then there is no sufficient approach by which we may appeal to it in any absolute sense.  Every endeavor to set our feet down on a truth would only be an occasion to trip us up.  Therefore, we must appeal to solid realities when making absolute statements.  You cannot build a city on water.

As for atheism, it is impossible for such a worldview to be coherent in any ultimate sense.  Though it may pretend to make sense of carnage and greed and survival, it cannot answer questions which transcend the material realm.  Atheists may speculate, but they can never be certain about anything other than their own disbelief.  You must leave the realm of God in order to reject the idea of God, because if you wish to mess around with divine realities, then you must also submit to them, and this, ultimately, is what atheists refuse to do.

Atheism, in the most minimalistic sense, is simply the rejection of a super authority.  It is not so much about evidences against the knowledge of God as much as it is reasons to refuse to submit to a supreme authority.  Put simply, it’s not that atheists don’t believe in God; it’s that they don’t believe in authority.

This puts them in quite a predicament, because making absolute statements about the non-existence of God can only make sense if those statements are fixed on some certain truth, or some fixed meaning.  But they do not have this.  In fact, they purposely reject this, and in doing so, have tied their hands.  They must instead appeal to a lesser authority, and this is certainly no way to speak about truth and transcendent realities.  Their appeal is anemic and sickly due to their own denial of that which gives strength and credibility.  They are quite literally starving themselves to death intellectually because they want to make true statements but have no basis for truth.

An  atheist may not recognize this rejection of authority.  He may believe he is merely a naturalistic humanist who simply believes our existence is understandable through a worldview other than theistic.  He may respect his boss, pay taxes to the government, and tip his hat at a soldier returning from war, and see these as evidences of due respect toward authority.  But he has not gazed long enough at the deeper issue, that his rejection of God is not the rejection of a Divine Being or Creator, but the rejection of One who is Law-Giver and Judge.  In consequence, he must now find anothe place to set down his truths, but without acknowledging a final authority, he has limited his options to zero.  He can only build on temporal realities, and as he so proudly boasts, these realities are always evolving.  And so too is his truth.

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