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Liberal_Jihad_Cover.jpg Forward USA

Monday, December 27, 2004

A Leap of Faith

Atheists and agnostics are betting on a losing hand.

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S. T. Karnick’s article A Victory for Theism, published 12/21/2004 on The American Spectator website, deals with the great flap arising from stories that prominent atheist Antony Flew had become a believer.

Atheists of the world indignantly denied the reports, and Flew himself said, with regard to theism, “They certainly have not persuaded me.”

Writer Karnick then notes, “However, Flew has indeed conceded what must be seen as the criticial point. It is this: that atheism has, at its base, a leap of faith exactly identical to that which theists make. Theists look at all the evidence we encounter in the natural world and conclude that it is consonant with belief in an intelligent, all-powerful being behind it, whom we call God. Atheists look at the same evidence and conclude that this cosmos must have all just happened somehow. The critical point is that neither position is provable .”

This is one of the principal points made in Proof of God’s Existence.

There are a great many things believed by vast numbers of people, things that cannot be absolutely proved.  David Hume’s famous skepticism left Western philosophers with the uncomfortable awareness that familiar, everyday events occur in the same way so often and so regularly that we predict their occurrence with certainty.  Yet there is nothing provable about our predictions beyond the probability that the expected events will occur. 

If we disallow the certitude of religious Jews’ and Christians’ faith (and I do not), and if we look only at probabilities, atheists and agnostics are betting heavily on very long odds.  The secular materialism that is the philosophical accompaniment of their beliefs has almost never worked as predicted.

In contrast, Christian and religious Jewish faith in the living and eternal God has produced the greatest improvements in human living standards in world history.  Those improvements are more importantly spiritual than material, but the material side of religious individualism whips the secular materialism of socialism every time.