Atheists often promote themselves as intelligent, logical, scientific, rational, etc. They even had a proposal to call themselves 'brights'! The aggressive 'new atheists', such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and company, like to portray those of us who believe in a supernatural Creator as irrational, unscientific, unintelligent, ignorant, or even 'needing help' (Dawkins). The entertainment industry often reinforces these perceptions by portraying 'religious' people (Christians particularly, and especially church leaders) as buffoons or hillbillies (almost never as a university professor, for example).
Reality runs against these perceptions. Isaac Newton, the greatest scientific mind of all time, was a Christian believer, as were other founders of modern science. Surveys have consistently shown that people with a strong adherence to the Bible's authority are the least likely to be superstitious, in contrast to the average de facto atheist. Indeed, one atheist expressed his chagrin that "some of the most intelligent and well-informed people" he knew were Christians.
There is much more to say. Atheists believe that everything came about by purely material processes-the universe, life, mind, and morality. However, do they have a rational, logical basis for this belief?
They actually believe in miracles without any reasonable cause for the miracles. That is, they believe in magic, or the occurrence of things without a sufficient cause. What we commonly call 'magic' is actually illusion. For example, a rabbit does not just appear from an empty hat; there has to be a logical physical explanation; a sufficient cause. Illusion needs an illusionist. Stuff does not happen without something to cause it to happen. Even young children understand this law of causation. Magic, where things 'just happen', is the stuff of fairytales-there is no such thing.
Here are five major examples of materialists believing in magic (and there are more), or miraculous events without any sufficient explanation or cause for those events.
1.Origin of the Universe
Materialists (atheists) once tried to believe that the universe was eternal, to erase the question of where it came from. The famous British atheist Bertrand Russell, for example, took this position. However, this is not tenable. The progress of scientific knowledge about thermodynamics, for example, means that virtually everyone has been forced to acknowledge that the universe had a beginning, somewhere, sometime-the big bang idea acknowledges this (ideas like the multiverse only put the beginning more remotely, but do not get rid of the pesky problem).
The big bang attempts to explain the beginning of the universe. However, what did it begin from and what caused it to begin? Ultimately, it could not have come from a matter/energy source, the same sort of stuff as our universe, because that matter/energy should also be subject to the same physical laws, and therefore decay, and it would have had a beginning too, just further back in time.
So, it had to come from? Nothing! Nothing became everything with no cause whatsoever. Magic!
"The universe burst into something from absolutely nothing-zero, nada. And as it got bigger, it became filled with even more stuff that came from absolutely nowhere. How is that possible? Ask Alan Guth. His theory of inflation helps explain everything."
So proclaimed the front cover of Discover magazine, April 2002.
Physicist Lawrence Krauss, one of the loud 'new atheists', has tried to explain how everything came from nothing; he even wrote a book about it. However, his 'nothing' is a 'quantum vacuum', which is not actually nothing. Indeed, a matter/energy quantum something has exactly the same problem as eternal universes; it cannot have persisted for eternity in the past, so all their theorizing only applies after the universe (something) exists. Back to square one!
Materialists have no explanation for the origin of the universe, beyond 'it happened because we are here!' Magic: just like the rabbit out of the hat, but with the universe, a rather humungous 'rabbit'! 'Stuff happens!'