. . . nobody will ever die from thinking God created the universe or having some doubts about the proposition that hydrogen is a substance which, if you leave it alone for 13.5 billion years, will turn into Angelina Jolie.
Mark Shea (Hat tip: regular commenter LCB)
By materialistic philosophy I don’t mean the “acquire all the things you can” way of life. I mean the worldview that everything is material and that nothing is spiritual. It is also called evolutionary, Darwinian, macro-evolutionary, naturalistic and other terms. Think of it as the nothingness-to-molecules-to-man / elephant / fish / caterpillar-butterfly / etc. worldview (or just meditate on the opening quote).
This worldview has six fatal flaws:
1. It isn’t true. The facts do not support it — the Cambrian explosion, the rarity of beneficial mutations, irreducible complexity, time required, and so much more. Twisted facts and unethical suppression of tough questions and the truth prop up the worldview for now, but it is crumbling.
2. Even if evolution could happen the way materialists describe it, it doesn’t prove that it did happen that way. Just because something is possible doesn’t mean it happened. Darwinists commit this error daily.
3. Even if it did happen that way, it doesn’t prove that there isn’t a God. Remember, macro-evolutionary theory just tries to explain how life evolved. Despite major efforts it can’t explain how chemicals came to life, let alone how the chemicals came into being in the first place.
This is the top error that people like Richard Dawkins make. They are quick to assume that support for evolution disproves God’s existence. Their transparent lack of logic just makes them poster boys for Romans 1. They aren’t dispassionate scientists. They are on a mission to ignore God and science is just their tool of choice.
Romans 1:18-20 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
4. Even if it did happen that way and there is no God, then it is the cause of all religious beliefs, including my belief that the resurrection of Jesus is the best explanation for the facts agreed to by nearly all historians. Therefore, pride about not being religious is illogical for materialists .
If all we are is a series of chemical reactions, then life is truly deterministic and I have no choice in any of my decisions. My chemical makeup and circumstances fated me to go from atheism to Christianity.
5. Even if it did happen that way and there is no God, then there is zero grounding for morality. Those are just chemical reactions making you think there is such a thing. Of course, macro-evolutionists rarely go three sentences without making a moral claim, but that inconsistency doesn’t seem to trouble them.
6. Courtesy of commenter Bubba, I offer another fatal flaw:
[Materialistic naturalism] also cannot account for human rationality, which the supposedly rational atheists affirm even if they deny the reality of the moral law.
If human thoughts are merely the result of physical and chemical processes, then they can be no more rational than the by-products of other biological organs — the bile of the liver, or the carbon dioxide from the lungs.
And if human rationality is illusory, then we cannot draw any trustworthy conclusions about the world around us.
Materialism is ultimately an argument that all arguments are invalid, and the philosophy is therefore self-defeating.
Other than that, materialistic philosophy is a great idea.
To recap, materialist / macro-evolutionary / Darwinist philosophy fails because:
- It is not supported by the evidence.
- Even if it was possible it doesn’t mean it happened.
- Even if it did happen it doesn’t disprove God’s existence.
- Even if it did happen and there is no God then it “created” religious beliefs.
- Even if it did happen and there is no God it doesn’t ground morality.
- It can’t account for human rationality. It selects for survival, not truth.
P.S. Here are some definitions from the good folks at Dictionary.com:
Materialism: The philosophical theory that regards matter and its motions as constituting the universe, and all phenomena, including those of mind, as due to material agencies.
Naturalism: The view of the world that takes account only of natural elements and forces, excluding the supernatural or spiritual. The belief that all phenomena are covered by laws of science and that all teleological explanations are therefore without value.