Roy Abraham Varghese on the “New Atheism”


There is a GodAt the foundation of the “new atheism” is the belief that there is no God, no eternal and infinite Source of all that exists. This is the key belief that needs to be established in order for most of the other arguments to work. Int is my contention here that the “new atheists,” Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Lewis Wolpert, Sam Harris, and Victor Stenger, not only fail to make a case for this belief, but ignore the very phenomena that are particularly relevant to the question of whether God exists.

As I see it, five phenomena are evident in our immediate experience that can only be explained in terms of the existence of God. These are, first, the rationality implicit in all our experience of the physical world; second, life, the capacity to act autonomously; third, consciousness, the ability to be aware; fourth, conceptual thought, the power of articulating and understanding meaningful symbols such as are embedded in lanuage; and fifth, the human self, the “center” of consciousness, thought, and action.

Three things should be said about these phenomena and their application to the existence of God. First, we are accustomed to hearing about arguments and proofs for God’s existence. In my view, such arguments are useful in articulating certain fundamental insights, but cannot be regarded as “proofs” whose formal validity determines whether there is a God. Rather, each of the five phenomena adduced here, int heir own way, presuppose the existence of an infinite, eternal Mind. God is the condition that underlies all that is self-evident in our experience. Second, as should be ovbious from the previous point, we are not talking about probabilities and hypotheses, but about encounters with fundamental realities that cannot be denied without self-contradiction. In other words, we don’t apply probability theorems to certain sets of data, but consider the far more basic question of how it is possible to evaluate data at all. Equally, it is not a matter of deducing God from the existence of certain complex phenomena. Rather, God’s existence is presupposed by all phenomena. Third, atheists, new and old, have coplained that there is no evidence for God’s existence, and some theists have responded that our free will can be preserved only if suce evidence is non-coercive. The approach taken here is that we have all the evidence we need in our immediate experience and that only a deliberate refusal to “look” is responsible for atheism of any variety.

Roy Abraham Varghese in There is a God – How the world’s most notorius atheist changed his mind.

I am reminded of the Apostle Paul’s words in Romans 1:18 where he informs us that the problem of those who don’t believe is not a lack of evidence, but the suppression of it.