Old Arguments Revisited, Part 1

I mentioned in my earlier post “How I Got Into Apologetics, Part 2” that after reading a Newsweek dialogue between a Christian and an atheist I became inspired to write up a few responses to atheism.  They’ve stagnated in my diary for about four years now, so I thought I might dig them out, dust them off, and show them to the world.  At the time I wrote them I was very impressed by them, and I still think they’re okay, especially considering that I came up with them almost independently.  However, if you have much familiarity with apologetics, you probably have seen similar arguments to these in other places.

I had basically two arguments: one against atheistic ethics, and another against atheistic dogmatism.  I’ll give the first in this blog and share the second in a later entry.  So, my plan for the next few blogs is to reexamine these arguments to see if they’re any good, as well as to refine them to make them a little more rigorous.
So, here’s the first one, edited only for spelling and grammar.  Keep in mind I wrote this when I was 17, so it’s definately not perfect.

[According to atheism] it in no way matters what you personally believe about morality or ethics.  Your whole belief system rests on the presupposition that life, existence, the universe is completely meaningless.  You believe that the accidental movement of random chemicals created a pointless universe and more random chemicals came together for no reason and made no true accomplishment by spawning the first living tissue.  And this living tissue slowly evolved into life as we know it today, still riding that evolutionary train down an unguided track to nowhere in particular.  As such there is no meaning in life whatsoever.  So no system of ethics has any bearing on “natural law.”  You can say, “I think it’s wrong to murder,” or “I think it’s wrong to rape teenage girls,” but scientifically, you’ve got no leg to stand on in that belief.  The random chemicals reacting in your brain to make you think and feel that it’s wrong to rape people have no meaning.  The value of your system of ethics has no more value than the system of another person that says “I’ll rape who I want to rape.”  In the same way, it doesn’t matter if the majority of mankind agrees with your system of morality.  Zero plus zero is always going to be zero.  Zero times ten billion is always going to be zero.  See, from a logical, mathematical, and scientific standpoint, you would only be able to find meaning in the world if it had meaning to start with.  I’m not saying that you can’t conduct your life as if it had meaning.  But, just as you can pretend all day long that you are a starship captain and not really be one, you can pretend until the day you die that your life has meaning, but that doesn’t mean it does.  Bottom line, zero plus zero has never been and never will be anything but zero.  If zero is all you have, zero is all you ever will have.

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