Having good reasons for one’s position makes one’s case persuasive. People are free, of course, to believe what they want and many people engage in wishful thinking as a way of life. Ironically, atheists will often accuse Christians of this type of thinking, when it is the opposite that is true. In fact, understanding what atheism really asserts is the first step to realizing that it is inherently not provable. It simply cannot be done. Of course,people will always have doubts – they may doubt God’s existence, or wonder about the “goodness” of God’s character, but being certain He’s not there? That’s a pretty big project to take on.
Consider: A true “atheist” holds that there is no God – they “know”- affirmatively – that he does not exist. Now, they may claim that they have reasons to support this position. They might point to the existence of evil to show that the Christian view of God is perhaps mistaken, or they may rely on the claims of Darwinism to show a possible alternative to special creation. They may attack the reliability of the Christian scripture, pointing to what they believe to be contradictions in the resurrection accounts. But none of these arguments supports the claim that nature is all that there is; that God, as we understand that concept, is simply a product of imagination or wishful thinking. So what must they do? Well, to really be certain that nowhere in the universe can God be found, atheists would have to have access to the entire universe. Given the size and scope of the visible universe, this is quite a task. Add to that any aspects that may elude our sensors – dimensions other than the four within which we exist – and the task becomes even more insurmountable.
Here is the odd thing about such a quest. In order to really satisfy oneself that the universe is devoid of God, the searcher must attain complete knowledge of the universe, for any lack of knowledge could relate to the very place that God is present. Moreover, since God preceded and transcends this universe, one would have to have the capability to examine anything that exists beyond the universe. One would have to possess the ability to examine other dimensions or other universes, or be able to show that no such dimensions or universes exist. In short, then, one must become omniscient – possess total and complete knowledge of all places and all things – for only then could he know with the certainty atheism connotes that we are in fact alone.
Ironically, of course, at this point the searcher would possess the attributes of God. Proving atheism is, in the end, a futile quest, for one would need to be God to prove that He doesn’t exist.
Posted by Al Serrato