Theologian C. S. Lewis once said that atheism is too simple because it doesn’t stand for anything. In my many discussions with atheists, they have indeed illustrated Lewis’s point to me, but some of them recognize they should at least stand for something so they claim to follow a belief system called secular humanism which has its own doctrine stating what they actually stand for.
From the “Humanist Manifesto III as quoted in The Cabana Chronicles: Book One, and The Religions of Secular Humanism and Christianity: 1. Knowledge of the world is derived by the scientific method. It is derived by the observation and experimentation and rational analysis. This is called empiricism. It is our evidence. 2. Humans are an integral part of nature, the result of unguided evolutionary change. 3. Ethical values are derived from human need and interest as tested by experience. This is called naturalism. 4. Life’s fulfillment emerges from individual participation in the service of human ideals. 5. Humans are social by nature and find meaning in relationships. 6. Working to benefit society maximizes individual happiness.
When I first read this Manifesto, the first thing that came to mind was it’s omission of any reference to God; and that certainly would be expected from an atheistic doctrine. But, as Lewis also once said, it’s hard to ignore God; He is all around us. In their lame attempt to ignore the existence of God, they are indeed arbitrarily making reality too simple. Existential philosopher Albert Camus once said that “We (atheists) don’t aim so high.” The correct statement should have been “we won’t aim so high.”
They have no excuse for their unbelief because the existence of a creator is logically inferred through his creation; and, since they claim to revere science, they should agree with Einstein when he said his Theory of Relativity relied on the consistency of design in the universe. Design logically implies a designer. Furthermore, the very existence of our concept of what is right and what is wrong, our “ethical values,” infers a God-given conscience in all of us. The fact we have a concept of what constitutes “human ideals” supports this concept of a conscience. The fact that we are motivated to work “to benefit society” supports the concept of a conscience. Just as the creation and the design of that creation logically implies a creator, the existence of our conscience implies a creator.
Atheists who subscribe to the belief system of secular humanism also state they believe that man is merely “the result of an unguided evolutionary change.” They believe that our existence as human beings on earth is the result of some chance occurrence that began as a single cell and somehow over millions of years miraculously evolved into a human being. Even though they revere the scientific method, it seems they don’t understand what that should mean; a theory remains a theory unless proved by evidence. Those who revere empiricism aren’t empiricists because, to date, no evidence has been found which supports the concept of how many evolved from a single cell. Evolution is therefore just another theory, not a scientific principle.
Christians understand the concept of evolution in a different way. In Mere Christianity, Lewis infers man is curious about the next step in evolution. What happens after us? Where do we go from here? He answers the question from a Christian perspective in stating that we believe evolution represents a change from being creatures of God to being sons of God. He tells us “The first instance (of the next step in evolution) appeared in Palestine two thousand years ago. In a sense, the change is not “evolution” at all, because it is not something arising out of the natural process of events but something coming into nature from outside”
Lewis is of course referring to the entrance of Jesus Christ into this world. He refers to Christ as not just the first instance of the new man, but the new man. “He is the origin and center and life of all the new men. He came into the universe of His own will, bringing with Him the new life.”
Atheists of course have not been influenced by what Lewis called Christ’s “good infection.” There is an empty void where Christ would be, and they are left with no recourse but to strike out on their own and attempt to define their beliefs. The simplicity of their Humanist Manifesto should be obvious, and I trust the reader will see the shortcomings of their postulations. Believers in Christ understand the truth can be known only through Him. “I am the way, the truth and the life.” We can be truly new men and women only in believing “No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6.