The failure of atheism to account for rationality

As a worldview, atheism is intellectually bankrupt and is wrought with philosophical problems.  In this video, let's look at the inability of the atheistic worldview to account for rationality.

Now, I've already done a lot on this topic on the CARM website and in videos.  So I'm not going to get into this very deeply here.  However, I can summarize by saying that atheism cannot account for rationality.  You see, logic is based upon universal truth statements which we call the laws of logic.  Such laws are, for example, the law of identity, the law of non-contradiction, and the law of excluded middle.  These universal truth statements are what rational arguments are based upon.  If these additional laws changed depending upon the situation, location, time, or an individual’s personal preferences, then there is no basis for rationality; and truth could not be known.  Truth would then depend upon situations and personal opinions.  If that were the case, then I could say that blue sleeps faster than Wednesday, and whatever I say is always true because I claim it.

But, this is not rational, and you and I both know that isn't.

In the Christian worldview, the universal truth statements are derived from God.  These universal truth statements--these laws of identity--are conceptual by nature.  Why?  Because they are statements.  Statements require minds; and since logic is the process of the mind, the logical foundations upon which rationality depends are of the mind and are conceptual by nature.  If the atheist were to say that logical processes are not of the mind or that the truth statements which are the foundations of logic are not of the mind, then he is being irrational.  After all, truth is a statement which agrees with reality.  And because truth is constructed in statements, a mind is required for such statements to be made.

Let me clarify.  If a rock is all that exists in the universe, it is true that a rock is the only thing that exists.  But saying that it is the only thing that exists is a statement which requires a mind.  If there are no minds and the rock is all that exists, no statements can be made about the rock.  It would not be known that it was the only thing existing.  But truth statements are known. Therefore, all such truth statements require minds; and the universal, logical absolutes, truth statements that form the basis of rational thought require a mind to be made and known.

Atheism has no way of accounting for these universal truth statements.  Atheists can try and state that the laws of logic are based upon human minds, but this cannot be because human minds are different and contradict each other as well as themselves.  Since logical absolutes are universally true, they cannot be the product of human minds because human minds are limited, are not universally true, and often contradict each other.  If the atheist wants to say that the logical absolutes are merely descriptions of behavior of the universe, then how would an atheist by observation determine the third law of logic, the law of excluded middle, which says that statements are either true or false?  He couldn’t.  If the atheist wants to say that logical absolutes are the result of chemical processes in the brain, that can't work because it would mean that logic could be altered by brain chemistry.  Some atheists say that logic is a product of human language, but that doesn't work because languages are subjective and culturally variable where logic is not.  If the atheist says that logic is a property of the universe like motion and gravity, the problem here is that you cannot measure the laws of logic where such things like weight, mass, heat, and cold can be measured.

So, atheists repeatedly try to respond to the issue of trying to account for rationality founded in universal truth statements also known as logical absolutes.  But in all their trying and all their attempted logical outcry, they fail.  Why?  Because atheism doesn’t have the substance to account for rationality.  It is deficient as a worldview.

But, Christianity comes to the rescue and states that the universal truth statements reflect the universal mind.  We, as God's creation, are able to recognize them because we are made in God’s image.  Where Christianity provides an answer to this important issue, atheism clearly fails to deliver.


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About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.