The Atheist can only come to the conclusion of despair according to Ecclesiastes,but humans always try to go to the area of non-reason for meaning in their lives instead of turning to God!

____

Francis Schaeffer pictured below:

_________________

How Should We then Live Episode 7 small (Age of Nonreason)

#02 How Should We Then Live? (Promo Clip) Dr. Francis Schaeffer

The clip above is from episode 9 THE AGE OF PERSONAL PEACE AND AFFLUENCE

10 Worldview and Truth

In above clip Schaeffer quotes Paul’s speech in Greece from Romans 1 (from Episode FINAL CHOICES)

Two Minute Warning: How Then Should We Live?: Francis Schaeffer at 100

A Christian Manifesto Francis Schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR

Dr. Francis schaeffer – The flow of Materialism(from Part 4 of Whatever happened to human race?)

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical flow of Truth & History (intro)

Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of History & Truth (1)

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of Truth & History (part 2)

The Atheist can only come to the conclusion of despair according to Ecclesiastes,but humans always try to go to the area of non-reason for meaning in their lives instead of turning to God!

In the following post Dustin Shramek notes:

Francis Schaeffer illustrates this problem well. He says that we live in a two story universe. On the first story the world is finite without God. This is what Sartre, Russell, and Nietzsche describe. Life here is absurd, with no meaning or purpose. On the second story life has meaning, value, and purpose. This is the story with God. Modern man resides on the first floor because he believes there is no God. But as we have shown, he cannot live there happily, so he makes a leap of faith to the second story where there is meaning and purpose. The problem is that this leap is unjustified because of his disbelief in God. Man cannot live consistently and happily knowing life is meaningless.

Atheism and Death: Why the atheist must face death with despair


By Dustin Shramek


The title of this paper may catch some off guard. You or someone you know might be an atheist and you feel as though you have no despair when contemplating your death. I don’t doubt that there are many atheist that, in fact, have no despair over death. But, for the atheist to live without despair, they must do so inconsistently. In my paper, I will show why it is logically inconsistent for an atheist to live and face death with happiness.

To do this I want to present two major arguments. The first is from the theist point of view that life is meaningless without God and thus death is hopeless. This is derived from two of the world’s top philosophers, William Lane Craig and Ravi Zacharias (both are theists). It should be noted that this argument will be supplemented with the thoughts of several respected atheistic philosophers so one does not think they are being biased.

The second part of the paper will show why death is a necessary evil within the atheistic world view. To demonstrate this I will be drawing from the works of a major contemporary, atheist philosopher, Thomas Nagel. Both arguments are convincing by themselves, but I hope to show that with the two of them together, it is even more compelling to believe that the atheist must face death with despair. I don’t doubt that many atheist have been able to boldly face death without fear, but I do believe that they were being inconsistent in their world view.

Albert Camus said that death is philosophy’s only problem. That is quite the statement. Not only is death a problem, but a it is a large one. Why is death such a problem for someone like Camus? He was an atheist and I will attempt to show that death is a problem for all atheists.

Atheism cannot offer any comfort in the face of death. You see, everything we do includes some kind of hope. However, what kind of hope can the atheist give in the face of death? One may say that death is the final freeing of all desires and thus is good. Or that one can have hope in death if they are suffering. These really are just false hopes that I hopefully will clearly show.

After the death of his friend, Arthur Hallam, Alfred, Lord Tennyson composed his poem, “In Memorium”. This poem show the struggle he had as he wrestled with grief and the question of what ultimate power manages the fate of man. It shows the struggle he had between his realization of the consequences of his choice between atheism and God. I will quote a lengthy excerpt to feel the full impact.

Thine are these orbs of light and shade
Thou madest Life in man and brute;
Thou madest death; and Lo, thy foot
Is on the skull which thou hast made.

Are God and Nature then at strife
That Nature lends such evil dreams?
So careful of the type she seems
So careless of the single life,…

“So careful of the type?” but no.
From scarped cliff and quarried stone
She cries a thousand types are gone;
I care for nothing, all shall go.

“Thou makest thine appeal to me
I bring to life, I bring to death;
The spirit does but mean the breath:
I know no more.” And he, shall he,

Man her last work who seem’d so fair
Such splendid purpose in his eyes,
Who rolI’d the psalm to wintry skies,
Who built him fanes of fruitless prayers,

Who trusted God was love indeed
And love creation’s final law–
Tho’ Nature, red in tooth and claw
With ravine, shrieked against his creed-

Who loved, who suffer’d countless ills
Who battled for the True, the Just,
Be blown about the desert dust,
Or seal’d within the iron hills?

No more? A monster then, a dream.
A discord. Dragons of the prime
That tear each other in their slime,
Were mellow music match’d with him.

O life as futile, then, as frail!
O for thy voice to soothe and bless
What hope of answer, or redress?
Behind the veil, behind the veil.[1]

Atheism has parented this offspring, and it is her legitimate child–with no mind to look back to for his origin, no law to turn to for guidance, no meaning to cling to for life, and no hope for the future. This is the shattered visage of atheism. It has the stare of death, looking into the barren desert of emptiness and hopelessness. Thus, the Nietzschean dogma, which dawned with the lantern being smashed to the ground, now ends in the darkness of the grave.[2]

Is this true? Is there no hope in atheism? Is there no meaning in a world without God? William Lane Craig offers a resounding yes.

Craig argues that if God doesn’t exist, then man and the universe are doomed to die. There is no hope of immortality. Our lives are but an infinitesimally small point that appears and then vanishes forever.

Jean-Paul Sartre affirmed that death is not-threatening provided we view it in the third person. It isn’t until we face the first person, “I am going to die,my death,” that death becomes threatening. Most, though, never assume first person attitudes during their life. So the question arises, “Why is my death so threatening?”

This is because within an atheistic world view there can be no meaning or purpose. I’m sure that many will be quick to disagree with me because they are an atheist or know an atheist who does ascribe meaning and purpose to their lives. But is this consistent within the atheistic world view? I don’t think so.

If everything is doomed to go out of existence, can there be any ultimate significance? If we are inevitably faced with nonexistence can our lives have any ultimate significance?

Influencing others or influencing history doesn’t give your life ultimate significance. It only gives it relative significance. Your life is important relative to certain events, but there is no ultimate significance to those events if all will die. Ultimately, your life makes no difference.

Even the universe is doomed to die (due to the Second Law of Thermodynamics). So what ultimate difference would it make if the universe never came to exist at all if it is doomed to become dead?

Mankind is thus no more significant than a swarm of mosquitoes or a barnyard of pigs, for their end is all the same. The same blind cosmic process that coughed them up in the first place will eventually swallow them all again.[3]

If one’s destiny is the grave, what ultimate purpose is their for life? The same is true of the universe. If it is doomed to become a forever expanding pile of useless debris, what purpose is there for the universe? To what end is the world or man in existence? There can be no hope, no purpose.

What is true of mankind is true of individuals as well. So there can be no purpose in any individual’s life. My life wouldn’t be qualitatively different than the life of a dog. This thought is expressed by the writer of Ecclesiastes, “The fate of the sons of men and the fate of beasts is the same. As one dies so dies the other; indeed, they all have the same breath and there is no advantage for man over beast, for all is vanity. All go to the same place. All come from the dust and all return to the dust” (Ecc 3:19-20).

The universe and man are cosmic accidents. There is no reason for our existence. Man is a cosmic orphan.

Without God the universe is the result of a cosmic accident, a chance explosion. There is no reason for which it exist. As for man, he is a freak of nature–a blind product of matter plus time plus chance. Man is just a lump of slime that evolved into rationality. There is no more purpose in life for the human race than for a species of insect; for both are the result of the blind interaction of chance and necessity.[4]

If we are only cosmic accidents, how can there be any meaning in our lives? If this is true, which it is in an atheistic world view, our lives are for nothing. It would not matter in the slightest bit if I ever existed. This is why the atheist, if honest and consistent, must face death with despair. Their life is for nothing. Once they are gone, they are gone forever.

Friedrich Nietzsche admitted that with the end of Christianity comes nihilism, which is the “denial of the existence of any basis for knowledge or truth; the general rejection of customary beliefs in morality, religion, etc.; the belief that there is no meaning or purpose in existence.” In “The Will to Power”, Nietzsche says this,

What I relate is the history of the next two centuries. I describe what is coming, what can no longer come differently: the advent of nihilism.. ..Our whole European culture is moving for some time now, with a tortured tension that is growing form decade to decade, as toward a catastrophe: restlessly, violently, headlong, like a river that wants to reach the end, that no longer reflects, that is afraid to reflect.[5]

Bertrand Russell, a famous atheistic philosopher, even admits that life is purposeless. I quote him at length,

That Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the grave; that all the labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins–all these things, if not quite beyound dispute, are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built.[6]

“Only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair,”? What can be placed on such a foundation?

Even Jean-Paul Sartre affirms the absurdity of life when he says, “Being is without reason, without cause, and without necessity. The very definition of being release its original contingency to us.”[7]

Three of the most important atheistic philosophers, Nietzsche, Russell, and Sartre, all admitted that apart from God life is meaningless and absurd. So how do people live happily with this world view? They live inconsistently. For if one lives consistently, he is unable to live happily

Francis Schaeffer illustrates this problem well. He says that we live in a two story universe. On the first story the world is finite without God. This is what Sartre, Russell, and Nietzsche describe. Life here is absurd, with no meaning or purpose. On the second story life has meaning, value, and purpose. This is the story with God. Modern man resides on the first floor because he believes there is no God. But as we have shown, he cannot live there happily, so he makes a leap of faith to the second story where there is meaning and purpose. The problem is that this leap is unjustified because of his disbelief in God. Man cannot live consistently and happily knowing life is meaningless.

Of course, atheists don’t want to live in this kind of a predicament so they attempt to ascribe meaning to life and value to death. Walter Kaufmann does this in his book, Existentialism. Religion. and Death. The last chapter is entitled, “Death Without Dread”. He quotes several poems from a span of 150 years by poets from many different countries. He shows that death is commonly viewed without fear and he hypothesizes that death is only feared as a result of the impact of Christianity on culture. One of the poems quoted is by Matthias Claudius (1740-1815), it is entitled “Death and the Maiden,” and was eventually set to music by Franz Schubert.

Death and the Maiden

The maiden:
Oh, go away, please go,
Wild monster, made of bone!
I am still young; Oh, no!
Oh, please leave me alone!

Death:
Give me your hand, my fair and lovely child!
A friend I am and bring no harm.
Be of good cheer, I am not wild,
You shalt sleep gently in my arm.[8]

He goes on to quote Nietzsche from Twilight of the Idols, “To die proudly when it is no longer possible to live proudly. Death freely chosen, death at the right time, brightly and cheerfully accomplished amid children and witnesses.”[9]

Nietzsche saw death as the ultimate liberation. He even emphasises the desire he has to freely choose when he dies. Kaufmann affirms this when he says, “We should also give up the unseemly Christian teachings about suicide and accept it as a dignified and decent way of ending our lives.”[10]

When Sartre, who agreed with Nietzsche, was asked why he didn’t commit suicide, he replied by saying that he didn’t want to use his freedom to take away his freedom. This is an absurd solution though, because they say that freedom is the problem with its aimlessness, pain, and despair.

Kaufmann argues that if we live life richly and not expect to live long lives then when we die we can combat the hopelessness of death because we won’t feel cheated or won’t feel as though we need more time. The problem lies in the fact thay kaufmann makes the jump to the second story. He wants to ascribe meaning to a richly lived life, which I’ve shown can’t be done in a God-less universe. When he says that one won’t feel as though they’ve been deprived of time when they die is wishful thinking. One of his contemporaries, Thomas Nagel (an atheist) shows the falsity in this thinking.

Nagel begins his discussion of death with this statement, “If death is the unequivocal and permanent end of our existence, the question arises whether it is a bad thing to die.”[11]

He argues that if life is all we have, then its loss is the greatest loss we can encounter. Nagel’s goal is to see whether death is in itself an evil, how great of an evil it is, and what kind of evil it is.

If death is an evil, it is because of the loss of life and not the state of being dead, or nonexistant. Some say that dying is the the real evil. But Nagel points out that he wouldn’t really object to dying if it wasn’t followed by death. He says,

If we are to make sense of the view that to die is bad, it must be on the ground that life is a good and death is the corresponding deprivation or loss, bad not because of any positive features but because of the desirability of what it removes.[12]

There are three objections that many have raised about the proposition that death is an evil. 1) One may doubt that there are any evils which solely consist in the deprivation or absence of possible good, particularly when one doesn’t mind the deprivation (because they don’t exist). What you don’t know, can’t hurt you. 2) How is the supposed misfortune assigned to the subject? So long as one exists, he isn’t dead, and once he dies he no longer exist. So there can be no time when death, if it is a misfortune, can be ascribed to the subject. 3) Finally, the asymmetry of our attitudes towards our posthumous and prenatel nonexistence. Why can we view the eternity after our death as bad, but not the eternity before our birth?

He illustrates the errors of the first two objections with a simple illustration that is analogous to death. Imagine an intelligent man being reduced to the mental condition of a content infant. Even though he is content, we pity him. Yet, he doesn’t realize this tragedy, for he is a content infant. Does the phrase, “What we don’t know doesn’t hurt us,” apply to him? If so why do we pity him? Second, it isn’t the content infant who is unfortunate, rather, it is the intelligent adult who has been reduced to this condition.

We shouldn’t and don’t focus on the content infant, instead we consider the person he was and the person he could be now. So his reduction to this state and the premature ending of his adult development is a catastrophe. Just as death is a catastrophe.

What about the problem of our asymmetrical attitudes towards our posthumous and prenatel nonexisetence?

Lucretius was the one who first pointed this out. He recognized that no one finds it disturbing to contemplate the eternity before their birth, which really is the same as the eternity after their death. Thus, it is irrational to fear death.

Nagel disagrees, he argues that the time after death is the time in which nonexistence deprives a person. “Any death entails the loss of some life.”[14] So the eternity after death isn’t the same as the eternity before birth, because one is deprived of life. Some may argue then, that one is deprived of life before birth as well because they could have been born earlier. But Nagel shows the fallacy of this thinking by pointing out that if one is born any earlier (except a few weeks premature), they would not be the same person. So it doesn’t entail the loss of any life. Lucretius, and any one who agrees with him, is wrong in thinking that it is irrational to fear death on the basis that we aren’t bothered by our prenatel eternity.

Life makes known to us the goods of which death deprives us. Death, no matter when it happens deprives us of some continuation of life. While it is tragic for a 17 year old to die, it is just as tragic for a 90 year old to die because both are deprived of life and the good that comes with it.

Viewed in this way, death, no matter how inevitable, is an abrupt cancellation of indefinitely extensive possible goods. Normality seems to have nothing to do with it, for the fact that we will all inevitably die in a few score years cannot by itself imply that it would not be good to live longer. Suppose that we were all inevitably going to die in agony — physical agony lasting six months. Would inevitability make that prospect any less unpleasant? And why should it be different for a deprivation?[14]

Not many atheists are as consistent as Thomas Nagal when they speak on death. Kaufmann says he can face death without hopelessness because he lives richly and that gives meaning to his life. But what kind of meaning is it? If Kaufmann never existed, what ultimate difference would it make? None. If the atheists faces this honestly, how can he view death with anything but despair?

As shown in these two extended arguments, death apart from God cannot be faced with anything but fear and despair if one is to live consistently within their atheistic world view. The only way an atheist can face death without despair is by ascribing ultimate meaning to their life, which is a jump to the second story and is completely inconsistent with atheism.

Certainly it doesn’t follow, then, that theism is true simply because the atheist must face death with despair. If the atheist is right we must follow the instructions of Bertrand Russell and build our lives on the “firm foundation of unyielding despair.” We must look for the truth and then logically structure our lives accordingly. Obtaining hope from religion for the sake of hope, when that religion is not true, is simply obtaining false hope. False hope is no hope at all.

That is why it is crucial to examine our world views to see if they are logically consistent and correspond to reality. It does one no good to put faith and hope into a god who doesn’t exist. However, if a god does exist, we must put our faith and hope into the right one.

We’ve seen that within the atheistic world view there can be no meaning or purpose and this leads to hopelessness. The atheist must choose whether he wants to live consistently or happily. For as long as he is an atheist, he can’t do both.

Notes1. Alfred, Lord Tennyson, In Memorium, (The Macmillan Company: New York, NY, 1906), pp.83-85, 55: 4-5; 56: 1-7.
2. Ravi Zacharias, A Shattered Visage: The Real Face of Atheism. (Baker Books: Grand Rapids, Ml, 1990), p. 105.
3. William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics, (Crossway Books: Wheaton, IL, 1984), p. 59.
4. Craig, p.63.
5. Friedrich Nietzsche, “The Will to Power,” trans. W. kaufmann, in <i?existentialism from=”” dostoyevsky=”” to=”” sartre<=”” i=””>, (The World Publishing Company: Cleveland, OH, 1956), pp. 109-110.
6. Bertrand Russell, Mysticism and Logic. (W.W. Norton and Company, Inc.: New York, NY, 1929), pp. 47-49.
7. Jean-Paul Sartre, Being and Nothingness, (Philosophical Library: New York, NY, 1956), p.537.
8. Matthias Claudius, Death and the Maiden. Quoted in Walter kaufmann, Existentialism, Religion and Death (New American Library: New York, NY, 1976), p.228.
9. Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols. Quoted in Walter Kaufmann, Existentialism, Religion, and Death. (New American Library: New York, NY, 1976), p.237.
10. Walter kaufmann, Existentialism, Religion, and Death. (New American Library: New York, NY, 1976), p. 248.
11. Thomas Nagel, Mortal Questions. (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 1979), p.1.
12. Nagel, p.4.
13. Nagel, p.7.
14. Nagel, p.10.

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  • Batman123456  On October 9, 2016 at 10:01 am

    The Atheist can only come to the conclusion of despair according to Ecclesiastes,but humans always try to go to the area of non-reason for meaning in their lives instead of turning to God!     
         
    *THORAN
         Breaking news: A religious person tells Atheists what Atheists think. Atheists think religious person is idiot
    In Other News: Water, Wet.
         
    *DUSTIN*
         

    In the following post Dustin Shramek notes:
    Francis Schaeffer illustrates this problem well. He says that we live in a two story universe. On the first story the world is finite without God.      
         
    *THORAN
         I’ve already debunked this on another websight.
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    This is what Sartre, Russell, and Nietzsche describe. Life here is absurd,      
         
    *THORAN
         Awesome!
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    with no meaning or purpose.      
         
    *THORAN
         What? You don’t like tea?
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    On the second story life has meaning,      
         
    *THORAN
         Meaning is subjective
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    value,      
         
    *THORAN
         How much are you willing to pay a mugger not to kill you? That’s how much life is worth.
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    and purpose.      
         
    *THORAN
         You decide that for yourself.
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    This is the story with God. Modern man resides on the first floor because he believes there is no God. But as we have shown, he cannot live there happily,      
         
    *THORAN
         You haven’t shown that at all.
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    so he makes a leap of faith      
         
    *THORAN
         Faith is what religious people do.
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    to the second story where there is meaning and purpose. The problem is that this leap is unjustified because of his disbelief in God.      
         
    *THORAN
         You just said he has to or he’ll kill himself.
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    Man cannot live consistently and happily knowing life is meaningless.     
         
    *THORAN
         Ok, I don’t think you and I are speaking the same language. Your definitions of “absurd”, “consistent” and “justify” are clearly completely different from mine. I WISH life was absurd.
         
    *DUSTIN*
         

    Atheism and Death: Why the atheist must face death with despair

    By Dustin Shramek

    The title of this paper may catch some off guard.      
         
    *THORAN
         Not really. I’m used to theists strawmanning me.
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    You or someone you know might be an atheist and you feel as though you have no despair when contemplating your death.      
         
    *THORAN
         There is no “feel asif” with emotions. You have an emotion right this second or you don’t.
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    I don’t doubt that there are many atheist that, in fact, have no despair over death.      
         
    *THORAN
         You mean when someone dies or just in general 24/7 because we have nothing better to do?
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    But, for the atheist to live without despair, they must do so inconsistently. In my paper, I will show why it is logically inconsistent for an atheist to live and face death with happiness.     
         
    *THORAN
         Why would you kill yourself if you’re happy?
         
    *DUSTIN*
         

    To do this I want to present two major arguments. The first is from the theist point of view      
         
    *THORAN
         Hey! You were talking about us!
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    that life is meaningless without God and thus death is hopeless.      
         
    *THORAN
         Are you talking about the theist view or are you talking about the theistview of what what life would be like without god because oh look i’ve gone cross eyed.
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    This is derived from two of the world’s top philosophers, William Lane Craig      
         
    *THORAN
         Oh for fuck’s sake! Him?
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    and Ravi Zacharias (both are theists).      
         
    *THORAN
         Duh! Next you’ll get the top three imams in Pakistan to talk about Judism.
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    It should be noted that this argument will be supplemented with the thoughts of several respected atheistic philosophers so one does not think they are being biased.     
         
    *THORAN
         Uh huh. Trying to convince us you’re not gonna be bias. Riiiiight, that’ll work.
         
    *DUSTIN*
         

    The second part of the paper will show why death is a necessary evil within the atheistic world view.      
         
    *THORAN
         Enough with the Wrestler “I’m gonna get you hulk hogan” Bullshit! Just get on with it!
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    To demonstrate this I will be drawing from the works of a major contemporary, atheist philosopher, Thomas Nagel.      
         
    *THORAN
         Never heard of him.
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    Both arguments are convincing by themselves, but I hope to show that with the two of them together, it is even more compelling to believe that the atheist must face death with despair. I don’t doubt that many atheist have been able to boldly face death without fear,      
         
    *THORAN
         All sentient beings face death with fear you idiot! You’re SUPPOSED to be scared of things that can kill you! Fear is an evolutionary trait that keeps you alive!
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    but I do believe that they were being inconsistent in their world view.     
         
    *THORAN
         When a Theists says “inconsistent in their worldview” they always mean “contradicts my straw-man”
         
    *DUSTIN*
         

    Albert Camus said that death is philosophy’s only problem.      
         
    *THORAN
         Really? Philosophy’s only problem? Not people thinking it’s bullshit? Not Zeno’s paradox? Not the fact that it can be debated endlessly without ever settling anything?
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    That is quite the statement. Not only is death a problem, but a it is a large one. Why is death such a problem for someone like Camus?      
         
    *THORAN
         Why isn’t death a problem for you? And if death is not a problem for you, why are you not a terrorist?
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    He was an atheist and I will attempt to show that death is a problem for all atheists.     
         
    *THORAN
         Death is a problem for EVERYTHING!
         
    *DUSTIN*
         

    Atheism cannot offer any comfort in the face of death.      
         
    *THORAN
         Duh.
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    You see, everything we do includes some kind of hope.      
         
    *THORAN
         No it doesn’t.
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    However, what kind of hope can the atheist give in the face of death?      
         
    *THORAN
         Ok… is your main problem with Atheism that it discourages suicide? Because… that raises a hell of a lot of questions about you.
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    One may say that death is the final freeing of all desires and thus is good. Or that one can have hope in death if they are suffering. These really are just false hopes that I hopefully will clearly show.     
         
    *THORAN
         So is 72 virgins.
         
    *DUSTIN*
         

    After the death of his friend, Arthur Hallam, Alfred, Lord Tennyson composed his poem, “In Memorium”. This poem show the struggle he had as he wrestled with grief      
         
    *THORAN
         NOPE! NOPE! SKIPPING THE POEM!
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    Atheism has parented this offspring, and it is her legitimate child–with no mind to look back to for his origin, no law to turn to for guidance, no meaning to cling to for life, and no hope for the future. This is the shattered visage of atheism.      
         
    *THORAN
         So… a Theist straw-man?
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    It has the stare of death, looking into the barren desert of emptiness and hopelessness. Thus, the Nietzschean dogma,      
         
    *THORAN
         Why would I, a humanist, give a shit about Nietzsche?
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    which dawned with the lantern being smashed to the ground, now ends in the darkness of the grave.[2]
    Is this true? Is there no hope in atheism?      
         
    *THORAN
         For what?
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    Is there no meaning in a world without God?      
         
    *THORAN
         Mean is an abstract concept and abstract concepts exist in minds.
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    William Lane Craig offers a resounding yes.     
         
    *THORAN
         He also thinks you can mock the definition of Atheism by saying “you’re saying that Atheism is some kind of, AAA theism…” he wasn’t even saying a different word! He was just pronouncing the A weird. We yes, Craig, we do think Atheism is some Atheism. We also think dogs are some kind of… Doouuug.
         
    *DUSTIN*
         

    Craig argues that if God doesn’t exist, then man and the universe are doomed to die.      
         
    *THORAN
         The Book of Revelations says the same thing.
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    There is no hope of immortality. Our lives are but an infinitesimally small point that appears and then vanishes forever.     
         
    *THORAN
         How come when you say it you expect us to be depressed but when Carl Sagan or Neil Degrass Tyson say it it’s awe-inspiring?
         
    *DUSTIN*
         

    Jean-Paul Sartre affirmed that death is not-threatening provided we view it in the third person. It isn’t until we face the first person, “I am going to die,my death,” that death becomes threatening.      
         
    *THORAN
         And ice is cold.
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    Most, though, never assume first person attitudes during their life. So the question arises, “Why is my death so threatening?”     
         
    *THORAN
         That’s so stupid I’m not even clear on how that’s a paradox.
         
    *DUSTIN*
         

    This is because within an atheistic world view      
         
    *THORAN
         NEVER tell Atheists what Atheists think!
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    there can be no meaning or purpose.      
         
    *THORAN
         Fuck you for telling me what I think.
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    I’m sure that many will be quick to disagree      
         
    *THORAN
         BECAUSE YOU’RE TELLING US WHAT WE THINK! If you tell us what we think, and we disagree, you are automatically wrong.
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    with me because they are an atheist     
         
    *THORAN
         Ok… so… you KNOW Atheists don’t think like that? You KNOW Atheists will disagree with you when you tall us what we think? Then why even say it?
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    or know an atheist who does ascribe meaning and purpose to their lives. But is this consistent within the atheistic world view?      
         
    *THORAN
         So… you think the way Atheists think and the way Atheists think are different things?
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    I don’t think so.     
         
    *THORAN
         Ok, i’m not mad at you anymore, just completely confused. How the fuck can what Atheists think and “the Atheist worldview” be different things. I myself say “the atheist worldview” doesn’t even exist because Atheists are individuals and anyone who gets all their religious philosophical and political ideas from a single thing without at least some slight variation is a brainwashed idiot, but that’s what I think. I’m curious what your logic is.
         
    *DUSTIN*
         

    If everything is doomed to go out of existence, can there be any ultimate significance?      
         
    *THORAN
         This is one of the things I don’t like about religion, the arrogance to think the universe is all about you.
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    If we are inevitably faced with nonexistence can our lives have any ultimate significance?
    Influencing others or influencing history doesn’t give your life ultimate significance.      
         
    *THORAN
         What the hell does then?
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    It only gives it relative significance. Your life is important relative to certain events, but there is no ultimate significance to those events if all will die. Ultimately, your life makes no difference.     
         
    *THORAN
         In the direct-to-dvd animated movie Crisis on Two Earths, several DC superheroes go to Earth 3, where all the villains are heroes and all the heroes are villains. Owlman (evil batman) has some disagreements with Batman (good Owlman) about destroying the entire multiverse. Batman argues against destroying the entire multiverse based on Humanist logic. Owlman, on the other hand, sounds like you.
         
    *DUSTIN*
         

    Even the universe is doomed to die (due to the Second Law of Thermodynamics). So what ultimate difference would it make if the universe never came to exist at all if it is doomed to become dead?     
         
    *THORAN
         Yep, Owlman.
         
    *DUSTIN*
         

    Mankind is thus no more significant than a swarm of mosquitoes or a barnyard of pigs, for their end is all the same. The same blind cosmic process that coughed them up in the first place will eventually swallow them all again.[3]     
         
    *THORAN
         I’m not even exaggerating when I say you sound like a genocidal supervillian dressed like an owl.
         
    *DUSTIN*
         

    If one’s destiny is the grave, what ultimate purpose is their for life? The same is true of the universe. If it is doomed to become a forever expanding pile of useless debris, what purpose is there for the universe?      
         
    *THORAN
         I could say the same thing about the Book of Revelations.
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    To what end is the world or man in existence? There can be no hope, no purpose.     
         
    *THORAN
         “Purpose” is subjective.
         
    *DUSTIN*
         

    What is true of mankind is true of individuals as well. So there can be no purpose in any individual’s life. My life wouldn’t be qualitatively different than the life of a dog.     
         
    *THORAN
         There’s that arrogance again, you think you’re better than a dog?
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    This thought is expressed by the writer of Ecclesiastes, “The fate of the sons of men and the fate of beasts is the same. As one dies so dies the other; indeed, they all have the same breath and there is no advantage for man over beast, for all is vanity. All go to the same place. All come from the dust and all return to the dust” (Ecc 3:19-20).
    The universe and man are cosmic accidents.      
         
    *THORAN
         An accident is when a sentient being does something it did not intend. We’re Atheists. We don’t blame anything on anthropromorphic non-human beings, unless a monkey did it.
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    There is no reason for our existence. Man is a cosmic orphan.     
         
    *THORAN
         Not really. Orphans are special. We’re related to all living things on Earth.
         
    *DUSTIN*
         

    Without God the universe is the result of a cosmic accident, a chance explosion.      
         
    *THORAN
         You repeat yourself a lot.
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    There is no reason for which it exist. As for man, he is a freak of nature–a blind product of matter plus time plus chance.      
         
    *THORAN
         That’s not how evolution works you idiot.
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    Man is just a lump of slime that evolved into rationality. There is no more purpose in life for the human race than for a species of insect;      
         
    *THORAN
         There’s that arrogance again.
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    for both are the result of the blind interaction of chance and necessity.[4]     
         
    *THORAN
         Necessity, getting closer to how evolution works.
         
    *DUSTIN*
         

    If we are only cosmic accidents,      
         
    *THORAN
         You know what? If you are getting tired by the time you get to this point reading this comment, it’s YOUR fault. Stop repeating yourself!
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    how can there be any meaning in our lives? If this is true, which it is in an atheistic world view,      
         
    *THORAN
         *sigh* again with the telling is what we think. Oh wait, wait, no, you think the way Atheists think and “their worldview” are unrelated entities yet the “Atheist worldview” even exists somehow. Carry on.
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    our lives are for nothing. It would not matter in the slightest bit if I ever existed. This is why the atheist, if honest and consistent,      
         
    *THORAN
         In other works if we don’t think your straw-men are complete bullshit.
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    must face death with despair.      
         
    *THORAN
         And we do think you’re full of shit, so we don’t.
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    Their life is for nothing. Once they are gone, they are gone forever.
    Friedrich Nietzsche      
         
    *THORAN
         Nietzsche does not speak for all Atheists. Hell he didn’t even get along with other Atheist philosophers in his own time.
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    admitted that with the end of Christianity comes nihilism, which is the “denial of the existence of any basis for knowledge or truth; the general rejection of customary beliefs in morality, religion, etc.; the belief that there is no meaning or purpose in existence.” In “The Will to Power”, Nietzsche says this,
    What I relate is the history of the next two centuries. I describe what is coming, what can no longer come differently: the advent of nihilism.. ..Our whole European culture is moving for some time now, with a tortured tension that is growing form decade to decade, as toward a catastrophe: restlessly, violently, headlong, like a river that wants to reach the end, that no longer reflects, that is afraid to reflect.[5]     
         
    *THORAN
         Which is as meaningless to Humanists as the Bible is to Atheists in general.
         
    *DUSTIN*
         

    Bertrand Russell, a famous atheistic philosopher, even admits that life is purposeless. I quote him at length,     
         
    *THORAN
         At length? Really?
         
    *DUSTIN*
         

    “Only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair,”? What can be placed on such a foundation?
    Even Jean-Paul Sartre affirms the absurdity of life when he says, “Being is without reason, without cause, and without necessity. The very definition of being release its original contingency to us.”[7]
    Three of the most important atheistic philosophers, Nietzsche, Russell, and Sartre,      
         
    *THORAN
         What about Dawkins? Voltaire? Bill and Tedd?
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    all admitted that apart from God life is meaningless and absurd.      
         
    *THORAN
         Absurd? Awesome!
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    So how do people live happily with this world view?      
         
    *THORAN
         You already said we’re “inconsistant in our worldview” therefore the “worldview” you are describing does not exist.
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    They live inconsistently.      
         
    *THORAN
         See?
         
    *DUSTIN*
         
    For if one lives consistently, he is unable to live happily     
         
    *THORAN
         And if we used Owlman logic like you we’d kill ourselves. So why not go with Batman? Better yet, Superman; helping people for the sake of helping people. Even Ultraman makes more sense than your Owlman logic. He doesn’t give a crap about the Universe, let alone the Multiverse, he’s fine ruling one planet. Owlman is the only one who’s beliefs endorse suicide. So why are you quoting Owlman?
         
    *DUSTIN*
         

    Francis Schaeffer illustrates this problem well. He says that we live in a two story universe.      
         
    *THORAN
         For fuck’s sake, I KNOW you already said THIS.
         
    *DUSTIN*
         

    • Everette Hatcher III  On October 10, 2016 at 8:06 am

      Thank you for taking time to write. I have several atheist and agnostic friends who I have eaten with and corresponded with for over 20 years now and I hope you and I can become friends. Apathy reigns in our time and it is refreshing to find someone who cares deeply about the big issues in life.

      I will be replying to you in a more complete way as time allows in the future. Let me respond to your first several points. FIRST POINT was that I am as a religious person telling you what you think as an atheist.

      There was an amazing man by the name of H.J.Blackham (1903-2009) and he was the former president of the BRITISH HUMANIST ASSOCIATION and he was an ATHEIST!!!! What do you think he had to say about the meaning of life from the viewpoint of an atheist? Francis Schaeffer and Dr. C. Everett Koop quoted him in their book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?

      The humanist H. J. Blackham has expressed this with a dramatic illustration:

      “On humanist assumptions, life leads to nothing, and every pretense that it does not is a deceit.”

      Schaeffer goes on to say: One does not have to be highly educated to understand this. It follows directly from the starting point of the humanists’ position, namely, that everything is just matter. That is, that which has existed forever and ever is only some form of matter or energy, and everything in our world now is this and only this in a more or less complex form.

      _______________

      Schaeffer is saying, “If man has been kicked up out of that which is only impersonal by chance , then those things that make him man-hope of purpose and significance, love, motions of morality and rationality, beauty and verbal communication-are ultimately unfulfillable and thus meaningless.” (Francis Schaeffer in THE GOD WHO IS THERE)

      Let me recommend to you the You Tube “How Should We then Live Episode 7 small” by Francis Schaeffer and it runs 28:35. The first 3 minutes of that episode starts off with these words:

      The history of the nonchristian Philosophers up until the 18th century went like this:

      Here is a circle which stands for what the unified and true knowledge of the universe is. The next man would say “No,” and cross out the circle. He then would say “Here is the circle.” Then the next man would say “No,”and cross out that circle. Then he would make his circle and the next man would cross it out and make his circle. This continued through the centuries. They never found the circle, but they optimistically thought someone would beginning with man himself and on the basis of man’s reasoning alone.

      Then the endless rows of circles through the and the crossing out were broken and a drastic shift came because the humanist ideal had failed. Humanist man gave up his optimism for pessimism. He gave up the hope of an unified answer and this makes modern man who he is.
      ____________

      In other words, philosophers through the years have come to the place where they have embraced a pessimistic point of view. AGAIN I AM MAKING THE POINT THAT IS NOT JUST MY OPINION ABOUT WHAT ATHEISTS BELIEVE BUT ATHEISTS THEMSELVES WHO ARE SAYING THESE THINGS.

      Concerning your SECOND POINT about religious people being the only people that have faith I present to you an atheist by the name of Arif Ahmed and he said:

      “There are other examples in life where committing oneself means staking your life like flying on a plane to France tomorrow. That is committing your life to something or taking a drug which is comitting your life to something. These are precisely not cases where you should make a leap in the absence of evidence. These are the cases we demand evidence the most strongly and it seems to me that religious belief if it is genuine is the case then that demand is the same and even raised to higher degree.”

      It really does come down to the fact that we either have evidence for believing the Bible is true or we do not. Here below is a letter I wrote to Dr. Ahmed concerning the evidence for the historical accuracy of the Bible.

      Dr. Arif Ahmed, University of Cambridge, Philosophy Dept,

      February 23, 2015

      Dear Dr. Ahmed,

      As you can tell from reading this letter I am an evangelical Christian and I have made it a hobby of mine to correspond with scientists like yourself over the last 25 years. Some of those who corresponded back with me have been Ernest Mayr (1904-2005), George Wald (1906-1997), Carl Sagan (1934-1996), Robert Shapiro (1935-2011), Nicolaas Bloembergen (1920-), Brian Charlesworth (1945-), Francisco J. Ayala (1934-) Elliott Sober (1948-), Kevin Padian (1951-), Matt Cartmill (1943-) , Milton Fingerman (1928-), John J. Shea (1969-), , Michael A. Crawford (1938-), Harry Kroto (1939-), Edward O. WIlson(1929-), Lewis Wolpert (1929), Gerald Holton (1922-), Martin Rees (1942-), Alan Macfarlane (1941-), Roald Hoffmann (1937-), Herbert Kroemer (1928-), Thomas H. Jukes (1906-1999), Glenn Branch, and Ray T. Cragun(1976-). I would consider it an honor to add you to this very distinguished list.

      I just finished reading the online addition of the book Darwin, Francis ed. 1892. Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters [abridged edition]. London: John Murray. There are several points that Charles Darwin makes in this book that were very wise, honest, logical, shocking and some that were not so wise. The Christian Philosopher Francis Schaeffer once said of Darwin’s writings, “Darwin in his autobiography and in his letters showed that all through his life he never really came to a quietness concerning the possibility that chance really explained the situation of the biological world. You will find there is much material on this [from Darwin] extended over many many years that constantly he was wrestling with this problem.”

      Here is a quote I ran across recently from you:

      There are other examples in life where committing oneself means staking your life like flying on a plane to France tomorrow. That is committing your life to something or taking a drug which is comitting your life to something. These are precisely not cases where you should make a leap in the absence of evidence. These are the cases we demand evidence the most strongly and it seems to me that religious belief if it is genuine is the case then that demand is the same and even raised to higher degree.

      In this letter I want to discuss this issue of faith and evidence and your statement above is a good starting point on this very issue. I AGREE THAT ONE SHOULD NOT “MAKE A LEAP IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE.” Francis Schaeffer has a wonderful story that he tells on this same subject and I wanted to share with you later in this letter.

      Many secularists have claimed that Christians do not even have the right to have a place at the table. However, the vast majority of great scientists of the last 500 years did hold the view that we live in an open system and they did not hold the view of the uniformity of natural causes in a closed system. Recently I read the article ANSWERING THE NEW ATHEISTS, by KerbyAnderson, Sunday, January 30 th, 2011, and that article notes:
      Are science and Christianity at odds with one another? Certainly there have been times in the past when that has been the case. But to only focus on those conflicts is to miss the larger point that modern science grew out of a Christian world view. In a previous radio program based upon the book Origin Science by Dr. Norman Geisler and me, I explain Christianity’s contribution to the rise of modern science.{27}

      Sean McDowell and Jonathan Morrow also point out in their book that most scientific pioneers were theists. This includes such notable as Nicolas Copernicus, Robert Boyle, Isaac Newton, Blaise Pascal, Johannes Kepler, Louis Pasteur, Francis Bacon, and Max Planck. Many of these men actually pursued science because of their belief in the Christian God.

      Alister McGrath challenges this idea that science and religion are in conflict with one another. He says, “Once upon a time, back in the second half of the nineteenth century, it was certainly possible to believe that science and religion were permanently at war. . . . This is now seen as a hopelessly outmoded historical stereotype that scholarship has totally discredited.”{28}

      ….Do religious people have a blind faith? Certainly some religious people exercise blind faith. But is this true of all religions, including Christianity? Of course not. The enormous number of Christian books on topics ranging from apologetics to theology demonstrate that the Christian faith is based upon evidence.

      But we might turn the question around on the New Atheists. You say that religious faith is not based upon evidence. What is your evidence for that broad, sweeping statement? Where is the evidence for your belief that faith is blind?

      Orthodox Christianity has always emphasized that faith and reason go together. Biblical faith is based upon historical evidence. It is not belief in spite of the evidence, but it is belief because of the evidence.

      The Bible, for example, says that Jesus appeared to the disciples and provided “many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3).

      Peter appealed to evidence and to eyewitnesses when he preached about Jesus as “a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know” (Acts 2:22).

      The Christian faith is not a blind faith. It is a faith based upon evidence. In fact, some authors contend that it takes more faith to be an atheist than to believe in God.{7}

      _________________

      Francis Schaeffer also has discussed the nature of proper Christian faith with this story below:

      Suppose we are climbing in the Alps and are very high on the bare rock, and suddenly the fog rolls in. The guide turns to us and says that the ice is forming and that there is no hope; before morning we will all freeze to death here on the shoulder of the mountain. Simply to keep warm the guide keeps us moving in the dense fog further out on the shoulder until none of us have any idea where we are. After an hour or so, someone says to the guide, “Suppose I dropped and hit a ledge ten feet down in the fog. What would happen then?” The guide would say that you might make it until the morning and thus live. So, with absolutely no knowledge or any reason to support his action, one of the group hangs and drops into the fog. This would be one kind of faith, a leap of faith.

      Suppose, however, after we have worked out on the shoulder in the midst of the fog and the growing ice on the rock, we had stopped and we heard a voice which said, “You cannot see me, but I know exactly where you are from your voices. I am on another ridge. I have lived in these mountains, man and boy, for over sixty years and I know every foot of them. I assure you that ten feet below you there is a ledge. If you hang and drop, you can make it through the night and I will get you in the morning.

      I would not hang and drop at once, but would ask questions to try to ascertain if the man knew what he was talking about and it he was not my enemy. In the Alps, for example, I would ask him his name. If the name he gave me was the name of a family from that part of the mountains, it would count a great deal to me. In the Swiss Alps there are certain family names that indicate mountain families of that area. In my desperate situation, even though time would be running out, I would ask him what to me would be the adequate and sufficient questions, and when I became convinced by his answers, then I would hang and drop.

      ___________

      What kind of evidence is today that would convince you that God exists and the Bible is true? I submit to you that Biblical Archaeology is a field that has advanced tremendously in the last few decades and I propose you look in that area. Did you know that Charles Darwin was looking for evidence that confirmed the Bible’s accuracy back in the 19th century and this is one of the exact areas that he mentioned.

      Darwin wrote in his Autobiography in 1876:

      “But I was very unwilling to give up my belief; I feel sure of this, for I can well remember often and often inventing day-dreams of old letters between distinguished Romans, and manuscripts being discovered at Pompeii or elsewhere, which confirmed in the most striking manner all that was written in the Gospels.

      Francis Schaeffer commented:

      This is very sad. He lies on his bunk and the Beagle tosses and turns and he makes daydreams, and his dreams and hopes are that someone would find in Pompeii or some place like this, an old manuscript by a distinguished Roman that would put his stamp of authority on it, which would be able to show that Christ existed. This is undoubtedly what he is talking about. Darwin gave up this hope with great difficulty. I think he didn’t want to come to the position where his accepted presuppositions were driving him. He didn’t want to give it up, just as an older man he understood where it would lead and “man can do his duty.” Instinctively this of brains understood where this whole thing was going to eventually go…

      SINCE CHARLES DARWIN’S DEATH WE NOW HAVE LOTS OF HISTORICAL RECORDS AND MUCH EVIDENCE FROM THE FIELD OF ARCHAEOLOGY THAT SHOW THE BIBLE IS HISTORICALLY ACCURATE.

      Just like Darwin you need to ask yourself this same question but you will be doing it almost a century and a half later: Is the Bible historically accurate and have I taken the time to examine the evidence? Obviously Darwin was hoping that archaeology would provide some hope for the accuracy of the Bible. Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject and if you like you could just google these subjects: 1. The Babylonian Chronicle, of Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem, 2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism), 4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites, 6.Shishak Smiting His Captives, 7. Moabite Stone, 8. Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III, 9A Verification of places in Gospel of John and Book of Acts., 9B Discovery of Ebla Tablets. 10. Cyrus Cylinder, 11. Puru “The lot of Yahali” 9th Century B.C.E., 12. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription, 13. The Pilate Inscription, 14. Caiaphas Ossuary, 14 B Pontius Pilate Part 2, 14c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.,

      AFTER ADEQUATE AND SUFFICIENT QUESTIONS OF YOURS BEING ANSWERED THEN YOU CAN BECOME CONVINCED AS SCHAEFFER’S STORY POINTS OUT.

      This might interest you that my good friend in Little Rock Craig Carney has an uncle named Warren Carney who lives in Dayton, Tennessee, and Warren was born in 1917 and he is last living witness of the Scopes Monkey trial. His father took him to the trial every day since they lived in Dayton and it was the biggest happening in the town’s history. Also I attended the funeral of Dr. Robert G. Lee (1886-1978) at Bellevue Baptist in Memphis and he is the minister who presided over William Jennings Bryan’s funeral in 1925. Of course, William Jennings Bryan took on Clarence Darrow at that famous trial. Below is an excerpt from the CD I sent you from Adrian Rogers on DARWINISM and it mentions some evidence presented by evolutionists in favor of Evolution. DOES THIS EVIDENCE FROM EVOLUTIONISTS EVEN COMPARE TO THAT I HAVE PUT FORTH CONCERNING THE ACCURACY OF THE BIBLE?

      ADRIAN ROGERS FROM HIS MESSAGE ON “DARWINISM”:

      The evolutionist can’t explain the steadfastness, the fixity, of the species. Now, what does the Bible say about the species? Well, Genesis 1, verses 11–12: “And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit”—now, listen to this phrase—“after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:11–12). You continue this passage. Ten times God uses this phrase, “after his kind”—“after his kind,” “after his kind”—because like produces like.

      Now, the evolutionist must believe that reproduction does not always come kind after kind. There has to be a mutation—or a transmutation, rather—between species—that you can become a protozoa; and then you can become an un-segmented worm; and then you may become a fish; and then you may become a reptile, and move from one species to another. Now, all of us know there is such a thing as mutation. If you have roses, you can get various varieties of roses. If you have dogs—canines—you can have everything from a poodle to a Great Dane, but they’re still canines; they’re still dogs. The scientists have bombarded fruit flies with gamma rays or some kind of rays to cause mutations, and they get all kinds of strange fruit flies. But, they never get June bugs; they’re still fruit flies. You see, there are variations and adaptations that God has built, but you never have one species turning to another species. You never have a cat turn into a dog that turns to a cow that turns to a horse. You just don’t have that.

      Now, men have tried to do that. I heard, one time, about a marine biologist who tried to take one of these beautiful shell creatures called an abalone and cross it with a crocodile. What he got was a crock of baloney. And, anytime anybody tries this, that’s exactly what they come up with.
      Now, you say, “Pastor Rogers, why are you so certain about the fixity of the species, the steadfastness of the species?” Number one: because the Bible teaches it, and that’s enough for me. But, let’s move beyond that. We’re not talking about theological reasons now; we’re talking about logical reasons. Friend, if this is true, you would expect to find transitional forms in the fossils. There are billions of fossils; there are trillions of fossils— multiplied fossils. In not one instance—are you listening?—in not one instance do we find a transitional form. None—there are none.

      Now, there are some people who will attempt to show you a proof of these, but I can tell you that eminent scientists have proven that these are not true. You would think that if man has evolved for millions and billions of years, and that life has evolved from one-celled life, some amoeba, to what we have today, that, in the fossils in the earth, we would find these transitional forms. But, they’re not there. The people talking about finding the missing link… Friend, the whole chain is missing—the whole chain is missing. Now, you ask them to prove it—that that is not true; and, they cannot come up with evidence. Well, you say, “But Pastor, they seem to have the proof. What about these ape-men? What about these people who lived in caves—these cave dwellers?” We have cave dwellers today. People have lived in caves through the years. “But, what about these things that we see in the museum? What about these creatures in this Time-Life advertisement?” Those are the products of imagination, and artistry, and plaster of Paris.

      Some years ago—in 1925, I believe it was—in Tennessee—Dayton, Tennessee— we had something called The Monkey Trial. Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan were in a court case. A teacher had taught evolution in school, and there were people who sued that evolution should not be taught in school. Now it is reversed— you’re sued if you don’t teach evolution in school. But, there was a great debate, and Clarence Darrow, who was a very brilliant lawyer, was presenting evidence for evolution. Part of the evidence that Clarence Darrow presented was Nebraska Man, and he had all of these pictures.

      Now, what had happened is there was a man named Harold Cook. And, Harold Cook had found a piece of evidence, and out of that piece of evidence the artist had created this half-man, half-ape—this Nebraska Man. Well, what was it that Clarence Darrow used as evidence that Harold Cook had discovered? It was a tooth. I didn’t say, “teeth”; I said, “tooth.” He had a tooth; and, with that tooth, he had devised a race—male and female.

      I was interested in reading, in my research for this message, where a creationist went to the University of Nebraska, where they have the campus museum. And, since he’s named Nebraska Man, they have the replica of Nebraska Man there, in the museum. So, this creationist went in there and said, “I want to see Nebraska Man.” So, they took him in there, and in a case were the skull and the skeleton of Nebraska Man. And, the creationist said, “Are these the actual bones of Nebraska Man?” “Oh,” he said, “no, they’re not the actual bones.” “Well,” the man said, “where could I see the actual bones?” “Oh,” he said, “well, we don’t have the bones. These are plaster of Paris casts of Nebraska Man.” “Well, you must have had the bones to make the cast.” The man in charge seemed embarrassed. “We don’t have any bones. All we have is a tooth.” That’s Nebraska Man. And, what they had done was to take a tooth, take some imagination, take an artist, take plaster of Paris, take some paste and some hair, and glue it on him—make a male, make a female, make a civilization called Nebraska Man out of one—one—tooth.

      What about the Piltdown man? I, in college, was introduced to the Piltdown man. Where’d we get his name? Well, Charles Dawson, in Piltdown, England, found in a gravel pit a piece of a jaw, two molar teeth, and a piece of a skull. For 50 years, this was known as “the Piltdown man,” but it was later shown to be a hoax. And, The Reader’s Digest, in 1958, said this—and I quote: “The great Piltdown hoax was an ape only 50 years old. Its teeth had been filed down and artificially colored.” Well, we laugh at that, and we say anybody could have a joke pulled on him. Yes, but friend, the scientists took this and put it in the museum for 50 years. Do you see how anxious man is to make a monkey of himself? I mean, it was a hoax.

      Is your faith in the evidence that supports the theory of evolution comparable to the faith I have in the Word of God being true and God creating the world? Recently I ran across the term “Implicit Faith” and I thought of your view that evolution must be true and we have to be living in a closed system. When I read the book Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters, I also read a commentary on it by Francis Schaeffer. I wanted to both quote some of Charles Darwin’s own words to you and then include the comments of Francis Schaeffer on those words. I have also enclosed a CD with two messages from Adrian Rogers and Bill Elliff concerning Darwinism.

      The passages which here follow are extracts, somewhat abbreviated, from a part of the Autobiography, written in 1876, in which my father gives the history of his religious views:—

      “By further reflecting that the clearest evidence would be requisite to make any sane man believe in the miracles by which Christianity is supported,—and that the more we know of the fixed laws of nature the more incredible do miracles become,—that the men at that time were ignorant and credulous to a degree almost incomprehensible by us,”

      Francis Schaeffer commented:

      He now says who can accept the miracles? But notice again this is an argument from presuppositions, because what this means is that he has accepted the uniformity of natural causes in a closed system which I say is the basic presupposition of modern man. So therefore since he has accepted a closed system he assumes there is no miracle, but that doesn’t mean he has any evidence that there were no miracles. It doesn’t mean he is at ease as a man because he has ruled these things out. Darwin is a man in tension. Does the uniformity of natural causes in a closed system explain the wonder of the universe and secondly the mannishness of man? He himself feels caught on these two great hooks of the real world. In others I would say, “DARWIN your presuppositions don’t even satisfy you. You rule miracles on the basis of your presuppositions but your belief of the uniformity of natural causes in a closed system does not even satisfy you.” Darwin went to his death unsatisfied and yet he was forced to give up his own presuppositions but he never gave them up. It seems to me you have the old man Darwin perspiring in his tension that you can only think of Paul’s conclusion in Romans 1, that when men deliberately turn away from the truth that is there, the external universe and the mannishness of man, God gives them up to an unsound mind. If there even was anybody that ever demonstrated this it was Darwin himself at the end of his life. It is a position that Darwin holds with implicit faith. You must understand what the term IMPLICIT FAITH means. In the old Roman Catholic Church when someone who became a Roman Catholic they had to promise implicit faith. That meant that you not only had to believe everything that Roman Catholic Church taught then but also everything it would teach in the future. It seems to me this is the kind of faith that these people have in the uniformity of natural causes in a closed system and they have accepted it no matter what it leads them into.

      There was an amazing man by the name of H.J.Blackham (1903-2009) and he was the former president of the BRITISH HUMANIST ASSOCIATION. Francis Schaeffer and Dr. C. Everett Koop quoted him in their book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?

      The humanist H. J. Blackham has expressed this with a dramatic illustration:

      On humanist assumptions, life leads to nothing, and every pretense that it does not is a deceit.79

      One does not have to be highly educated to understand this. It follows directly from the starting point of the humanists’ position, namely, that everything is just matter. That is, that which has existed forever and ever is only some form of matter or energy, and everything in our world now is this and only this in a more or less complex form.

      _______________

      To sum up Schaeffer is saying, “If man has been kicked up out of that which is only impersonal by chance , then those things that make him man-hope of purpose and significance, love, motions of morality and rationality, beauty and verbal communication-are ultimately unfulfillable and thus meaningless.” (Francis Schaeffer in THE GOD WHO IS THERE)

      IF WE ARE LEFT WITH JUST THE MACHINE THEN WHAT IS THE FINAL CONCLUSION IF THERE WAS NO PERSONAL GOD THAT CREATED US? I sent you a CD that starts off with the song DUST IN THE WIND by Kerry Livgren of the group KANSAS which was a hit song in 1978 when it rose to #6 on the charts because so many people connected with the message of the song. It included these words, “All we do, crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see, Dust in the Wind, All we are is dust in the wind, Don’t hang on, Nothing lasts forever but the Earth and Sky, It slips away, And all your money won’t another minute buy.”

      Kerry Livgren himself said that he wrote the song because he saw where man was without a personal God in the picture. Solomon pointed out in the Book of Ecclesiastes that those who believe that God doesn’t exist must accept three things. FIRST, death is the end and SECOND, chance and time are the only guiding forces in this life. FINALLY, power reigns in this life and the scales are never balanced. The Christian can face death and also confront the world knowing that it is not determined by chance and time alone and finally there is a judge who will balance the scales.

      Both Kerry Livgren and the bass player Dave Hope of Kansas became Christians eventually. Kerry Livgren first tried Eastern Religions and Dave Hope had to come out of a heavy drug addiction. I was shocked and elated to see their personal testimony on The 700 Club in 1981 and that same interview can be seen on You Tube today. Livgren lives in Topeka, Kansas today where he teaches “Diggers,” a Sunday school class at Topeka Bible Church. DAVE HOPE is the head of Worship, Evangelism and Outreach at Immanuel Anglican Church in Destin, Florida.

      The answer to find meaning in life is found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted.

      Thank you again for your time and I know how busy you are.

      Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.com, http://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, Box 23416, LittleRock, AR 72221, United States

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