Below I have presented five questions that I do not believe that atheists will be able to plausibly answer.
1. Despite the culture or era, sane humans have the innate sense of what’s right and what’s wrong and we prefer to do what’s right to help our fellow humans. No matter the major religion, we all are aware of the Golden Rule. We prefer the humble over the braggarts, the selfless over the selfish, and the truthful over the liars.
Cross-cultural sociologists and psychologists and leadership scholars like Hofstede, Trompenaars, House, and Schwartz have found that societies vary in ways inconsistent with our innate morality. For example, not all societies are considered “cooperative or collective.” Collective societies are in Asia, Northern Europe, the Arab region, Africa, and South America. Highly individualist societies are in Western Europe, the United States and Canada. Many societies are hedonistic, hierarchical, and have preferences against gender egalitarianism. So, what we know that we ought to do is often inconsistent with what we are actually doing. How do we know what we ought to do?
Evolutionary biologists have made observations to posit that cooperative societies were better poised for survival and over thousands of years in the distant past, groups fared better than individuals. Yet they haven’t considered that cooperation is just as likely as competition. Biochemist Sy Garte notes the errors in trying to explain human morality with evolution, which he states is only about the diversity of life on earth. Biologists have also made propositions about empathy, yet I have not seen propositions on the survival value of other desirable human traits, such as humility, gratitude and forgiveness.
Furthermore, even in ancient historical times, we have examples of highly individualistic and highly successful societies, such as those in ancient Greece and Rome. Cooperative societies over the past couple of thousand years are not necessarily positioned better for survival, because it has been shown that individualism is more beneficial in some ways. For example, a multitude of global studies have correlated gross domestic product with individualism (Hofstede, 2001). Individualism also corresponds with capitalism, innovation, competition and entrepreneurship. So, why do even individualists know that we ought to help the weak, feed the poor, and be honest, humble, just, cooperative, empathetic, forgiving and loving? Why is it that all societies, regardless of their practices, know what we ought to do? Where did we get this moral compass?
2. What accounts for the empty tomb and the resurrection appearances of Jesus? Roman pagans, Jews, and Christians in Jesus’ time have all have indicated that Jesus’ tomb was found empty – and multiple sources have indicated that second class women made that important discovery. In fact, Paul stated that five hundred people witnessed Jesus over the next forty days after He rose from the dead. Many Biblical and extra-biblical sources have indicated that early Christians preached illegally in support of Jesus for decades, braving beatings, stoning, crucifixions, beheading, and being burned to death.
3. If an atheist’s position is that the universe is the product of chance and necessity (instead of the product of intelligence), how can he or she explain the fact that the universe is structured rationally, logically and with mathematical precision and predictability?
Pope Benedict XVI: “If nature is really structured with a mathematical language and mathematics invented by man can manage to understand it, this demonstrates something extraordinary. The objective structure of the universe and the intellectual structure of the human being coincide.” Further information can be found here:
4. Larry Moran said “According to what we know about the natural world, humans are not special in any way and life does not have a purpose.” Richard Dawkins said “DNA neither cares nor knows. DNA just is. And we dance to its music.” If atheists adhere to the belief that the purpose of human life is merely to procreate and survive, is it possible to determine that human life has any more value than animal life – since animals share the same basic purpose?
5. Why have so many atheists determined that the life of a fetus in a mother’s womb is less valuable than the life of his or her mother? What standard do they use to value human life?
Thank you for your time.
Hofstede, G. (1980; 2001). Culture’s Consequences. Comparing Values, Behaviors, and Institutions Across Nations. Tilberg University, Netherlands. Sage Publications.
House, R.J., Hanges, P.J. Javidan, M., Dorfman, P.W. & Gupta, V. (2004) Culture, Leadership, and Organizations. The GLOBE Study of 62 Societies. Sage Publications.
Schwartz, S.H. (1992). Universals in the Content and Structure of Values: Theoretical Advances and Empirical Tests in Twenty Countries. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 25. Accessed May 28, 2018 at: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.220.3674&rep=rep1&type=pdf
Trompenaars, F. & Hampden-Turner, C. (1993; 2012). Riding the Waves of Culture: Understanding Diversity in Global Business. McGraw-Hill Companies.