1. An atheist assigns himself to life with merely finite purposes
Like others, atheists enjoy many smaller meanings of life– things like friendship and love, pleasure and sorrow, Mozart and Plato. But to be consistent with atheism, the atheist cannot allow for transcendent meaning. If the atheist is honest, he will admit to feeling that there is something more to existence —something bigger, something that transcends his finite limitations. To maintain his position, the atheist must suppress the nagging feeling that there is more to life than what is temporal. Someone said, “The blazing evidence for immortality is our dissatisfaction with any other solution.” According to Scripture, God has, “set eternity in the hearts of men” (see: Ecclesiastes 3:11). Suppression of this reality is a survival mechanism of atheism. But the atheist encounters even more perplexing difficulties.
2. The atheist must also suppress the demands of logic
He is like the man who finds an encyclopedia lying in the woods and refuses to believe it is the product of intelligent design. Everything about the book suggests intelligent cause. But, if he accepted such a possibility, he might be forced to conclude that living creatures composed of millions of DNA-controlled cells (each cell containing the amount of information in an encyclopedia) have an intelligent cause. His controlling bias against God will not allow him to accept this.
3. Yet, ironically, the atheist has to believe in miracles without believing in God
Why? Well, one law that nature seems to obey is this: whatever begins to exist is caused to exist. The atheist knows that the universe began to exist and since the universe is, according to the atheist, all there is, the very existence of the universe seems to be a colossal violation of the laws of nature (i.e., a miracle). It’s hard to believe in miracles without God.
4. An atheist must also suppress all notions of morality
He is not able to declare any quality to be morally superior to another. To do so would logically require an absolute standard of goodness and duty. He may offer his preferences with reasons behind it, but he has no basis for claims of moral superiority– only for personal choices. For an atheist to declare peace better than war or love better than hate, he must answer the question: “Says Whom?” Unless morality is established by some transcendent source of authority to whom all people must answer, it cannot be more than alternative choices based on personal preferences. The atheist is stuck believing that morality has no real claim on you or anyone else.
5. In fact, the atheist must conclude that evil is an illusion
For there to be evil, there must also be some real, objective standard of right and wrong. But if the physical universe is all there is, there can be no such standard (How could arrangements of matter and energy make judgments about good and evil true?). So, there are no real evils, just violations of human customs or conventions. How hard it would be to think of murderers as merely having bad manners.
6. The atheist must also live with the arrogance of his position
Although he realizes that he does not possess total knowledge, his assertion that there is no God requires that he pretend such knowledge. Although he has limited experience, he must convince himself that he has total experience so that he can eliminate the possibility of God. It is not easy to hold the arrogant assertions required by atheism in a society that requires blind tolerance of every ideology.
7. The atheist must also deny the validity of historical proof
If he accepted the standard rules for testing the truth claims of historical documents, he would be forced to accept the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The account of Jesus’ resurrection is strongly validated by standard rules for judging historical accuracy. The extensive manuscript evidence of eyewitnesses to the resurrection is presented in an unbiased, authentic manner. It is the atheist’s anti-supernatural bias that keeps him from allowing history to prove anything.
8. Finally, atheists must admit that humans are not importantly different from other animals
According to the atheist, we are simply the result of blind chance operating on the primordial ooze, and differing from animals by only a few genes. Yet, the wonders of human achievement and the moral dignity we ascribe to human beings just do not fit with the claim that we are no different than the animals. The realities of human creativity, love, reason, and moral value seem to indicate that humans are creatures uniquely made in the image of God.
The atheist’s problem with belief in God is not an absence of evidence but suppression of it. “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. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:20-22).
Steven W. Cornell,