” In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”
….. Genesis 1:1….
Understanding the implications which flow from this sublime statement reveals why atheism is utter nonsense and the scriptures can correctly say in Psalm 14 :1 :
” the fool has said in his heart there is no God”
Anyone who says that there is no God is of necessity a fool for without God and the supernatural it is impossible to define a concept of truth , free will or morality (what one ought to do) i.e the existence of the supernatural is an absolute requirement if the concepts of truth, free will and morality are to be valid.
The reason is simple. If there is no supernatural human beings are fully determined by the matter within their bodies, the laws of physics and the events which have occurred prior to the moment the human is in.
Human consciousness (thoughts) would be wholly produced by the above
Most of us today hold that we are a human person who reasons and thinks and holds to certain truths – the “ghost in the machine concept”.
This concept would be false and the exact opposite of what would obtain.
Without the supernatural our thoughts , wholly produced by the chemical reactions in our brains , would be the first phenomenon . These thoughts will then produce the epiphenomenon of our consciousness i.e the awareness of self which defines us and our believes.
We have no control over any of the three components which determine our thoughts i.e the matter within their bodies, the laws of physics and the events which have occurred prior to the moment we are in.
Within naturalism / atheism therefore humans are fully determined – much like a rock is fully determined only we are more complex .
We can therefore have no valid concept of truth , free will or morality.
Truth , free will and morality can only be valid concepts if human beings have a component which allows us to function independent of matter and the laws of physics i.e independent of the natural in arriving at truth, defining morality and having the free will to pursue both.
See an extract from Sam Harris’ and Daniel Dennett’s discussions on free will below.
xxxxx ENDS xxxxx
Reflections on FREE WILL
A Review by Daniel C. Dennett
Daniel Dennett and I agree about many things, but we do not agree about free will. Dan has been threatening to set me straight on this topic for several years now, and I have always encouraged him to do so, preferably in public and in writing. He has finally produced a review of my book Free Will that is nearly as long as the book itself. I am grateful to Dan for taking the time to engage me this fully, and I will respond in the coming weeks.—SH
Daniel C. Dennett is the Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy, and Co-Director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University. He is the author of Breaking the Spell, Freedom Evolves, Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, Consciousness Explained, and many other books. He has received two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Fulbright Fellowship, and a Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Studies in Behavioral Science. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1987. His latest book, written with Linda LaScola, Caught in the Pulpit: Leaving Belief Behind.
This essay was first published at Naturalism.org and has been crossposted here with permission.