A Complete and Thorough Defense of Atheism: Chapter 4
Good to hear you’re beginning to see things the way they are. Now that you've accepted the atheistic view of morality, it is time to move on to another subject: logic.
Logic, as far as we are concerned, is a method of argument. It is a procedure of a chain of reasoning that either deductively (necessarily) or inductively (in all probability) reaches a conclusion. The study of logic defines and categorizes, and constructs and puts to use, all the different logical methods of argument.
In other words, logic is a concept of argumentation. There are other aspects about it that set up basic ideas about the world (the law of non-contradiction, etc.). At this point of our study, the word ‘concept’ should immediately strike you as something not likely to really be, as atheism is a material, non-conceptual religion. That is not to say atheists have not attempted to account for it. Let us see if any of the following possible explanations can adequately elucidate logic’s origin within an atheistic worldview.
Explanation #1: Laws of Logic describe how our brain thinks.
Logic is not used by its practitioners to describe our thoughts; it is used to correct it. If it were a mere description, it would be impossible to think illogically. It also has nothing to do with the origin of logic (mostly because it misunderstands what logic really is).
Explanation #2: Laws of Logic are rules our brain thinks by.
If so, then logic does not exist outside our brain. (Does logic not exist in a desert that no one lives in?) And if logic consists of rules our brain works by, how can that be atheistic? We do not believe in rules of any kind. And again, this does not explain logic’s origin.
Explanation #3: Laws of Logic are conventions society has adopted.
So similar conventions would be using the English or metric system, or driving on the right or left side of the road? Logicians describe these laws to be unchanging, universal rules, and they apply to everyone, everywhere. None of these definitions could possibly account of any of these traits, not to mention its origin. And unchanging, universal, absolute laws are totally inconsistent with atheism - a random, changing, uncertain worldview dependent on the ever fluctuating laws of the universe.
The great problem of logic is that it is a natural law. Natural laws are, atheistically, a contradiction – how can something be both a natural part of this world and a conceptual rule?
We are bound to an assumption of atheism. Spiritual, superstitious, immaterial, or abstract conceptual entities cannot and do not exist. If atheism is true, conceptual logic, with all its abstract and arbitrary rules and laws, is impossible.
So, what are the implications here? Now we have freed ourselves from yet another burden of religion: the ruthless and arbitrary rules of being logical. There is no need to defend or prove anything to anyone, for the means by which that happens assumes this false entity’s laws. There is no need to ‘force’ atheism on anyone; we have no logical or moral obligation. After all, we all die sooner or later – this world is senseless, meaningless, lawless and logic-less. Live according to it, accept it – or don’t. Without logic it is perfectly permissible to behave rationally when you don’t believe such rules exist, for if rationality is nonexistent, you may contradict yourself as much as you please.
Dear Mr. Dogood,
Do you have any idea how absurd this sounds? If there is no logic, contradictions can exist and fallacies are valid – why say atheism is logical, or religion irrational, when such standards don’t exist? Why argue anything at all? As you have conveyed, life is meaningless, and none of us will be here long anyway. Why care what anyone else believes? Yet among your first few letters you stressed the importance of spreading atheism to others.
How can I accept atheism as the most logical religion when it teaches logic does not even exist?
Finally, you call natural laws an oxymoron, a contradiction; does this not denote you own use of logic? What about other natural laws – laws of science and mathematics? Do they not exist as well?
Atheism is a worldview that sees the world naturalistically, for what it is. We do not deny the laws that govern the universe just because we don’t follow rules in our own lives.
Once again you misunderstand. You claim I am not being rational in my rejection of reason. If I contradict myself in previous letters, they are not in any way diminishing my current message; they enforce it. Since logic does not exist, it can both exist and not exist at the same time, and I may draw from it as I please. If I wish to argue and persuade others, I may; I cannot control my own whims or thoughts at all anyway.
‘How can I accept atheism as the most logical religion when it teaches logic does not exist?’ Ah, but this is the very beauty of atheism! In an atheistic universe, we are free from logical or moral standards and can do whatever we please. We may truly live up to your own goal of ‘encouraging others to live the best life they can live.’
You are actually perfectly correct in writing that scientific and mathematical laws do not exist. If you consider the universe’s origin, this makes perfect sense. The Big Bang model as we know it today consists of a particle coming from nothing. Past that, scientific and mathematical problems surmount, but staying right here at the beginning we have the foundations of atheism: lack of scientific, mathematical, and logical laws. While physicists scurry about looking for another solution, they all must face this one issue: how do you get something from nothing? They who consider themselves scientific atheists try to warp evidence and sneak their way around such a problem, missing the point that it is the very heart of atheism.
Why then, does Nature seem so orderly, so scientific, and so logical in its consistent methods today? The answer to that I do not know. I only know that in my experience, Nature appears logical.
But how do I define, how do I interpret, these experience? I see them, I hear them, and I taste, touch and smell them. These senses are structures that evolution has designed over millions of years. Perhaps survival of the fittest modeled them to give me a false impression of security in the world. Perhaps it adds to one’s chances of survival to not see the world for the senseless, random conglomeration of matter and energy that it really is.
Dear Mr. Dogood,
So what you are saying is I can’t really know what I perceive in the world, that it is impossible to know basic things about logic, science, math, morals and the world – but that you know this and are certain of it? Didn’t you use your senses to make these observations?
But your defense is even weaker than that. You have use logic to prove logic doesn’t exist. You may claim your right to contradictions all you like, but this is really getting ridiculous.
You sound like nothing more than an over-philosophic Christian. You are over-analyzing my arguments and not realizing the truth behind them.
If there is no God, there is simply no foundation for logic, science, morality, mathematics or free will. We are engaged in nothing more than a game of chance with chemical reactions governing our actions, thoughts and role in the game.
Dear Mr. Dogood,
Many factors played their part in my conversion to atheism. One of them was that Christians simply don’t always seem to live according to the Bible. Another is that I didn’t like being told I was wrong all the time when I was just having fun with my friends. But these only led up to my real decision to switch, and that occurred when my younger sister passed away.
Sophia was a girl of fanciful thoughts and whims. She knew how to make everyone laugh and found joy in all the little things in life. She was, needless to say, very dear to our hearts. She was only ten years old.
When the doctors told us Sophia had leukemia all of us were shocked. Everything about her showed the zest and vibrancy of a little girl. When they then told us she would never recover, I don’t think any of us really accepted it, really understood its full meaning – even as she lay on the hospital bed, her tiny frame withering away. It seemed like a nightmare that I couldn't wake up from.
Then she passed. That was it – she was gone. I awoke to the terrible realization. Our hopes, our prayers, our tears – all was unanswered. All was unheard. Sophia was dead.
Our church offered what sympathy it could. I was speaking with the pastor, my lifelong spiritual leader, in urgent need for an answer.
“How could God let this happen to us? How could He let this happen to her?”
The pastor was silent. I really think he wanted to help, and that he thought he was doing all he could. But his response was merely this: “Frederick, we don’t know why God lets bad things happen. But we know that He is good, and that He works all things together for good. We can have faith in that.”
Maybe after visiting so many dying friends and preaching at so many funerals he could still believe that, but I had seen enough. There are too many horrible things in this world for there to be a God of love.
And so I turned to atheism. My education only strengthened my new beliefs. I was convinced that I was embracing not only reason, but a more realistic truth of the world. But now, you tell me there is no truth. There is no reason. And you have the audacity to assert that death is good.
What is atheism, if it is not a release from religion to reason?