The Logic and Reason of Free Thought
Vol: 75 Issue: 19 Wednesday, December 19, 2007
One of the arguments most often advanced against Christianity and the existence of God is that such a belief is not ‘rational’.
In fact, atheists and secular humanists are fond of calling themselves ‘free thinkers’ — wearing that label as a pejorative against those of faith, who, by implication are not.
The word “rational” means, “consistent with, or based on or using reason or logic.” So, how rational is it to believe in a Creator God?
Where did energy, time, matter and the dimensions in which we live originate? In theory, even a void must have an origin.
Rational thinkers postulate that the universe came into being via the “Big Bang” — that is, the universe simply exploded into existence by itself at some point in the unknowably distant past.
So let’s examine the idea rationally. There is no scientific explanation for the creation of energy, matter, etc., so that leaves but one seemingly logical conclusion.
If these things have no point of origin, yet they are, then logically, they must have always existed. But that doesn’t work, since everything in the universe has a starting point.
What was there before the Big Bang caused the universe to expand into it? Was there an ‘it’ for the universe to expand into.
Where did ‘it’ go? Was it a void before the Big Bang? Where did the void come from? What made the universe explode into existence? What was it before it exploded? And who made the void in the first place?
It is a law of physics that energy must be created — it simply cannot spring into existence on its own. THAT would take a ‘miracle’ and free thinkers deny miracles are possible.
But the laws concerning energy, mass, time, distance, etc. all pre-exist humanity, and the laws of scientific conservation say that they cannot be broken. That is what we call them the “laws” of physics.
But at some time in history, they all had to be broken at least once in order to come into existence. But that is impossible, since it would require a miracle.
But the fact that ANYTHING exists means, by definition, that a miraculous suspension of the prime laws governing the universe had to take place first.
Is your head spinning yet? This is what ‘free thinkers’ call ‘rational’.
Then there is the scientific problem with the creation of life. Science has never been able to create life out of non-life.
It takes life to create life, even in a test tube, a Petrie dish or a laboratory cloning experiment.
Rationally speaking, that leaves only one of two conclusions.
After all, if the most brilliant scientific minds on the planet can’t force something to happen that occurs randomly and easily, without either human direction or resources, they are either stupid and incompetent, or it must be impossible.
If it is impossible, then it would require a miracle, that is, a suspension of the laws of the universe, for life to exist. Yet, irrationally, it does.
Even if a scientist were able to somehow create life out of non-life, it would still require the assistance of a living scientist.
There is a joke about an atheist scientist who challenged God to a contest creating a man out of dirt.
God refused the challenge, telling the scientist that before He could accept the challenge as fair, the scientist had to first create dirt.
According to the ‘free-thinking rationalists,’ life was created out of non-life, without any sentient intervention, by a random accident of such complexity that it is impossible to reproduce under even the strictest laboratory conditions.
Man is himself a rational being because of the incredible complexity of the human mind. The human mind is invisible, cannot be measured, felt, tasted, smelled or weighed.
It is contained, like a ghost, within an organ called a ‘brain’. Yet it is the mind that separates man from all the other animals with brains in the universe.
Man is the only flesh-and-blood mammal in the universe with the ability to reason. Where did that ability come from? A superior brain?
(The Primate Research Institute at Kyoto, Japan recently conducted a mental acuity test between Kyoto University students and chimpanzees. The test measured raw brain processing power, and in every test, the chimps won. So much for superior ram material. Why aren’t the chimps testing us?)
Man is also the only being with hard-wired, inherent emotions like remorse, compassion, pity, love, kindness, gratitude or generosity.
The human mind discovered that the human body is made up of more than ten trillion DNA cells, each of which is more advanced than the most advanced computing device the human mind has ever conceived of.
One strand of DNA contains enough encoded information to fill a library of 200 volumes of books at 200 pages each. Our bodies contain 10 trillion of these individual supercomputers.
Logic and reason say that such complexity is impossible without a design, but it exists, nonetheless. Logic and reason would demand a master programmer.
This again, leads to one of two possible, logical, reasoned conclusions for what makes man the only mammal with the ability to reason things out in that invisible, untouchable, thing we call the human mind.
The first conclusion is that man was created in God’s image. Free-thinkers prefer ‘random chance’ as the more logical and reasoned explanation.
(“Random chance” employs the same logic and reason that theorizes that a pile of silicone, left alone in a cave for ten billion years, would evolve into a self-programming dual-core 3.0 GB personal computer, (including keyboard monitor and mouse) with a 350 GB hard drive, high-end video card and pre-loaded with Windows Vista, Microsoft Office and Norton AntiVirus 10.0)
Finally, what does applying logic and reason tell us about the Bible?
No other Book in history has been read more times, debated more thoroughly, translated into more languages, touched more lives or remained more relevant to the present,.
Moses compiled the first five books of the Bible, (the Pentateuch) fifteen hundred years before Christ. The last book of Scripture, the Book of the Revelation, was closed and sealed before the turn of the 1st century.
In all the centuries of its existence, despite constant and unrelenting attack through the ages, not one single word, not one point of geography, history, science, medicine or other fact has ever been proved wrong.
And it is as relevant today as it was when it was compiled. There is no book in human history that even comes close.
Logic and reason suggest but two possible explanations. The first is that it is a book of myths. The second is that it is the inspired Word of God.
To accept the first conclusion, one must reason that forty men of different backgrounds and different periods of history, kings, shepherds and drifters, without contact with one another, wrote a total of sixty-six different books, all of which flow together as a single narrative, from the perspective of God, “telling the end from the beginning and from the ancient times the things that are not yet done.” (Isaiah 46:11)
Further, applying logic and reason, one must conclude that those books, which when assembled, became the greatest best seller of all time, to the exclusion of all other books every printed in all human history, are the product of random human effort.
It seems that in order to reconcile logic and reason with ‘free thought’ the first step involves discarding all the rules that dictate their use.
Only one conclusion can be possible. Atheism, as it applies to reason and logic, doesn’t describe a person who believes in nothing. It describes a person who can believe in anything.
To reach any other conclusion would be irrational.