I know that sounds harsh and it sounds like I am calling atheists stupid. I am not. You may think I am questioning the logic and reasoning of atheists. I am not. What I am saying is that atheists can’t think.
Let me give an example to illustrate my point. Please follow along. As you may know the first computer was built in 1957 to do complex mathematical calculations. Computers have come a long way since then. Now we have computers that are extremely complicated. We even have computers with artificial intelligence and computers that can learn.
With the first computers the technician would input a bunch of data. The computer would crunch the data and output a result. If you always input the same data you would always get the same result. The only things that have really changed are that computers will take data in a number of different ways. We can upload data from databases, spread sheets, text, pictures and audio. There are even computers that can see and hear, simulating human capabilities.
One of the more exciting trends in computers is computers that adapt their programing. Today’s computers can identify patterns and trends and make assumptions. They remember past inputs and relate them to current activates and make decisions based on this greater amount of data.
There is computer research into making organic computers. That is storing information using organic molecules like certain proteins.
When we talk of computers we sometimes use phrases like, ‘the computer is thinking’, or ‘the computer decided’, but do computers think? Do they decide? They appear to, but they don’t really. In spite of the science fiction movies to the contrary; computers don’t think. Computers don’t make decisions. Computers only make some very simple calculations. Then they stack those calculations in very complex ways and output a result. That is all. They can appear to think but they don’t. The same is true of humans at least from a naturalistic atheistic perspective. I am assuming that this type of atheist not only denies the existence of God but of anything that would be considered supernatural. For the naturalistic atheist everything can and should be explained in terms of matter and energy. Human thought is simply the interactions of chemicals and electrical impulses in the brain. Thinking is a complex physical function; that is all.
The best analogy we have is that of a computer. Our bodies, like a computer, take in data from all kinds of sources; basically our five external senses and a few internal senses. All of this information is processed through our brains. Within our brains there are a tremendous number of variables. There is the basic wiring of our brains determined by genetics and developmental factors. There are chemicals which are affected by nutrition and emotions. There are past memories which contribute data to the computations. All of these factors come into play and these variables are changing all of the time. So each time we think about something our thought processes change some because the variables are constantly shifting.
In the end the brain is nothing more than a very complex computer. It is an organic computer so it functions somewhat differently than an electronic computer. There are chemicals which enhance or inhibit electrical transmissions, but in the end the human brain simply makes computations based on the input data and the electro-chemical functions.
We do not think; at least in the way we think about thinking. (I know that is a convoluted and contradictory sentence but you understand what I am saying). We think that we direct our thought. That is, I control the direction and paths of my thought. But the brain cannot do that. The impulses within the brain must take the paths of least resistance. They cannot be directed. Any changes in direction of impulses must come by way of chemical changes, and those chemical changes are caused by other electrical or chemical changes. The point is that the changes are all internal, they cannot be directed. For them to be directed would require a force outside of the brain, body or environment. By definition that force would be supernatural.
There are only two possible conclusions:
- We don’t think. We only believe that we think. Thinking is an illusion. Something that developed through the processes of evolution and currently serves some purpose in survival of the species (or it severed some purpose in the past).
- We are more than a brain and a body. We have a mind in addition to the brain. The mind is a supernatural element that works outside of the physical realm but somehow interacts with our brains and bodies. Our minds give us all of the elements that we understand as thinking: directed thought, free will, independent decision making, self-awareness, and personhood, even logic and reasoning.
Atheists can’t think. Not that they are stupid. It is that thinking the way we understand it cannot happen within the brain alone; it requires a mind, supernatural component. That leads us to a supernatural realm, something that cannot be explained by matter and energy alone. Not only do we conclude that a supernatural realm exists but we exist in it. We are supernatural.
There is another point that is apparent. If the mind interacts with the brain then the supernatural interacts with the natural in a very “natural” way. This discussion does not lead us to conclude that there is a God; not at all but if there is a supernatural realm and we are part of it, then don’t you think we should at least explore this realm? Don’t you think that we should explore the possibility of God?
I hope you enjoyed thinking along with me. If you were thinking along, then you were doing it from a Christian world view not a naturalistic world view. For those who were approaching this from a naturalistic world view, I hope the data your brain received from reading this created a predictable series of chemical and electrical interactions that were perceived and “understood” as thought.