One of the things that I've noticed, even as a child is that being in rebellion to God seemed to make a person stupid or foolish. Even today I witness intelligent people doing things that are so obviously going to turn out badly. Yet they do them anyway. When I first began interacting with those who live according to the atheist faith, which is by definition in rebellion to Creator God, they struck me as dull of mind and slow of thought. Yet, because atheists, on average, are no more or no less "sinful" than anyone else, I began to wonder if it was simply one's alienation from God and not sin itself that causes smart people to do and think in a really stunted manner. Let me give you an example that has been touched on in recent posts.
Dawkins, Harris, Dennett and Hitchens.
Every single one of them is an intelligent person.
Every single one of them is an educated person.
Every single one of them has asked the kindergarten level question,
“Who / What created God?”
Most, if not all atheists have also asked this question. Why? Well, there’s a lot of reasons but one of them is a quirky trait that seems to be shared by all atheists. Atheists seem to be, to an extreme very literal, black and white, rigid and repetitive, linear thinkers. If Matthew says that an angel talked to Mary at the tomb of Jesus, and John says the angel spoke in the presence of women, atheists cannot see any other possibility than it must be a contradiction. They really can't do it. Now, some of them are just too stupid to be able to see more than one possibility yet many are at least intelligent enough to have graduated high school.
Nevertheless, the ability to comprehend the nature of anything that can’t be seen or touched is simply beyond the average atheist. Take for instance these scientific facts:
. Everything that begins to exist has a cause / explanation for its beginning.
. The universe had a beginning.
. Therefore the beginning of the universe had a cause and an explanation for its beginning.
Until they recognised the metaphysical implications of a universe with a beginning, atheists could allow themselves to agree with Hume, “I’ve never asserted anything so ridiculous as to suggest that something could begin to exist without a cause.” That was the old and somewhat more intelligent atheist.
Realising the spot in which this puts them, modern atheists, the so called New Atheists are actually willing to say with a straight face that something probably CAN just pop into existence without a cause. One of the New Atheists even tells his devotees, that Nothing "evolved" into, well, everything. When one reaches that level of internal confusion, it’s not a great leap to see how an intelligent person can allow h/herself to ask, “Well, if God made the universe, who made God?”
Remember, atheists have no problem with saying that something is infinite, or that it has always existed, or that it’s eternal, as long as that something isn’t Creator God. However, if God exists, then He exists outside of and prior to the universe. God is not material. He is Spirit. He does not need a cause. He has always been. He is infinite. He is eternal. Asking, “What caused an infinite or eternal Being to begin?” or, “When did an eternal being begin to exist?” is illogical and incoherent.
Illogical statements are something that atheists usually take great pains to avoid, except when they’re confronted with the reality of Creator God. Then, it seems, all bets are off. The fact remains, and it remains a fact that is based on what science tells us is true, that everything that begins to exist, including the universe, had its cause from something outside of itself. There are no known exceptions to this observed and consistently verified rule.
When it comes to the origins of our universe, we must choose between Matter as infinite and Creator God who is Spirit, as infinite and eternal (existing outside of time). Reason states that it must be One and not the other for matter cannot pre-exist itself either physically or chronologically, nor can matter bring itself into existence or create itself. Again, it is impossible for Matter to be infinite or to exist from eternity past.
Again, atheists used to agree that there cannot be an infinite regress of cause. Confronted with the reality of the nature of matter, modern atheists, supposedly intelligent atheist insist that Creator God, who is Spirit, must also adhere to the law of first cause. Again, it is so elementary it's difficult to understand how these individuals cannot grasp that physical laws do not apply to Spirit. Since God is by definition outside the universe, He is not part of any series, be it regressing or not. That means that the rules of the series, including the rules of causation will not and cannot apply to Him.
1) Matter is eternal - or
Creator God is eternal
2) If Matter isn’t eternal then Matter is able to bring itself into existence - or
Creator God brings matter into existence
3) Matter, against impossible odds, accidentally or purposely produces life - or
Creator God purposely produces life from Matter
4) Matter arranges and designs itself exquisitely and intricately - or
Creator God arranges and designs Matter exquisitely and intricately
5) Matter produces a life of meaning and context and purpose - NOT! - or
Creator God produces a life of meaning and context and purpose.
Modern atheists will tell you that since the first supposition is impossible and the second is unpalatable, "Nothing caused the universe to come into being. It just happened and we need not consider it further. Please pass the cookies."
“So vast, without any question, is the divine handiwork of the Almighty Creator.”
Nicolaus Copernicus, cited in Owen Gingerich, “God’s Universe" (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2006) 9.