The Spirit Of Man, AfterthoughtJul 25, 2014
Last week I wrote about "The Spirit Of Man," (as opposed to the Spirit Of God) and how atheists traditionally have had uncontested ground on which belief treats man better. You know the bit about "all the wars started over religion." I quoted Dr. William Oddie, a leading English Catholic scholar, writer and broadcaster, who put to rest the myth that somehow atheism leads to compassionate societies and communities. His thoughts provide the incisive insight into history and the mind of the atheist that only a former atheist, which he is, can articulate. In part, the quote is:
You need an intellectual start. Mine was the sudden realization of having looked at the history of the 20th century, the first century where avowed atheism had such a massive effect on the history of the human race, and I said to myself, “Is this the century of wisdom or a folly unknown in all human centuries?”
That was the real characterization of this century, this terrible century. You then ask the question, “Does this have anything to do, causally, with the loss of the Christian faith?” because the most venomous and effective atheism was in those countries which had formerly been Christian — we’ll leave China out of it — but Russia, Germany, and the answer was yes.
So one was driven to the conclusion that in this most self assertive and arrogant culture the human race had ever seen was also the most spiritually barren and bankrupt and that, therefore, about religious questions it seemed it was turning out, it was wrong and not right.
This relatively smaller question made me think of the larger question — that is, about Truth — for the atheist thinks there is no Truth. In fact, the atheist lives by the axiom that There is no truth. Of course, that fails straightaway because if it is true that there are no truths, that statement itself is not true.
Ironically, if that statement could be true, all scientific fact, wherein the atheist puts his faith, would not be true. So, certainly, there is truth. The atheist would have to admit that. The question then becomes who establishes the truth. Scientifically, can man create all the amazing phenomena in nature? No. Could it have just been that way through some sort of ever being nature? There's the divide. While it is difficult to believe that the entirety of the universe just happened, and that no superior being created all that is seen and unseen and put them into motion, it may not be provable to the atheist .
On matters of morality, however, the atheist's philosophy cannot hold up. Man cannot create truth because man easily enough creates competing "truths." Man could not, for example, create the natural law of freedom because man more often than not suppresses freedom (often through atheist, authoritarian regimes). If the only "truths" (or man created alternatives) are to counter what is instinctive (or natural), then everything is relative. If everything is relative, man cannot create Truth. But there must be a truth, because man (the atheist) concedes he can create it, even if it is only to serve a relative purpose. So, if there is to be a Truth, and Truth means only one way, man cannot create it.
Either that or there is no truth. But since that can't be, someone had to establish Truth. That can only be one Being.