MOSCOW, November 5, 2011 − I recently wrote that the Big Bang theory points toward God. Since experience, science, and common sense tell us things do not just pop into existence, I argued for a transcendent cause – God – which brought the universe into being.
This contention exasperated many of my unbelieving readers. But even though they rejected my thesis, they had to plead ignorance when it comes to the universe's origin.
One reader who goes by the name Calladus wrote: "[M]ost atheists that I know say, 'I don't know what caused the Big Bang.' I don't know. That's an honest answer, isn't it?"
The commenter is right: It is honest to admit our ignorance. His admission is also instructive because it contains a revealing inconsistency.
According to the dictionary, an atheist is “one who denies the existence of a deity.” Despite the fact that Calladus claims to be to be such a person, he also confesses he doesn't know what brought the universe into existence.
But if he does not know that, he must also concede it is at least possible the universe was brought forth by a transcendent cause.
What this means is that Calladus does not know – and cannot know – for sure whether or not God exists.
If he wanted to be precise in his use of terminology, Calladus would call himself an agnostic. This term more accurately captures his “I don't know” admission.
I don’t mean to single out this particular reader. In fact, I appreciate the time he took to contribute to the heated discussion. I use his comment because his position typifies the atheist.
Most atheists deny God's reality until pressed to address the great questions of existence, the origin of the universe being one. When you demand a clear explanation, the sceptic will almost always confess his ignorance. “I don't know,” is the answer you usually get.
I have seen this happen again and again. If you want to see an eye-opening instance watch this debate between Christian thinker William Lane Craig and Australian philosopher Peter Slezak.
Professor Slezak is a well-known public figure and an outspoken atheist. But when pressed by Craig, he makes an astonishing admission: He concedes we cannot know for certain whether God exists or not. This is indeed a remarkable admission from a hardline skeptic. Despite his admission, however, Professor Slezak still wants to call himself an atheist, i.e., someone who claims God does not exist. Talk about inconsistency and cognitive dissonance from an intelligent man who should know better.
When you query atheists, you realize their insistence on God's non-existence is not based on reason, logic, evidence or science. Most skeptics deny the existence of God because they do not wish God to exist.
In his epistle to the Romans, the Apostle Paul explains that the denial of God is willful suppression of the obvious on the part of fallen humanity. According to the apostle, the existence of God is evident, “for since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools...”
Atheism's shaky foundations can be in most cases easily exposed with a few pointed questions. After the pretension to objectivity falls away, what remains is mere personal opinion.
Wishing that God did not exist is everyone's prerogative. But one would hope for more intellectual consistency from those who claim a worldview informed by reason.
"We don't know a millionth of one percent about anything," said Thomas Edison. This may be an exaggeration, but by any objective measure we know very little about the universe and the world in which we live.
The question everyone must ask is this: Is it possible that God resides somewhere in that vast abyss of the unknown?
If we wish to be honest, we can remain agnostics at best.
Born and raised under communism, Vasko Kohlmayer is a naturalized American citizen. He has lived in several countries under various forms of government, but he still marvels at the goodness of God and the wonder of life.
He has written for a number of newspapers, magazines and internet journals. Vasko currently lives in Europe with his long-suffering wife and two beautiful daughters. He is the founder of The Christian Writers Foundation.