There are significant turning points in the history of mankind. We are now living in one of them. Some call it globalization and some say that this is the genesis of the “information age.” These are true, but there is yet a more important concept than these. Although some are unaware of it, great advances have been made in science and philosophy in the last 20-25 years. Atheism, which has held sway over the world of science and philosophy since the 19th century is now collapsing in an inevitable way.
Of course, atheism, the idea of rejecting God’s existence, has always existed from ancient times. But the rise of this idea actually began in the 18th century in Europe with the spread and political effect of the philosophy of some anti-religious thinkers. Materialists such as Diderot and Baron d'Holbach proposed that the universe was a conglomeration of matter that had existed forever and that nothing else existed besides matter. In the 19th century, atheism spread even farther. Thinkers such as Marx, Engels, Nietsche, Durkheim or Freud applied atheist thinking to different fields of science and philosophy.
The greatest support for atheism came from Charles Darwin who rejected the idea of creation and proposed the theory of evolution to counter it. Darwinism gave a supposedly scientific answer to the question that had baffled atheists for centuries: "How did human beings and living things come to be?" This theory convinced a great many people of its claim that there was a mechanism in nature that animated lifeless matter and produced millions of different living species from it.
Towards the end of the 19th century, atheists formulated a world view that they thought explained everything; they denied that the universe was created saying that it had no beginning but had existed forever. They claimed that the universe had no purpose but that its order and balance were the result of chance; they believed that the question of how human beings and other living things came into being was answered by Darwinism. They believed that Marx or Durkheim had explained history and sociology, and that Freud had explained psychology on the basis of atheist assumptions.
However, these views were later invalidated in the 20th century by scientific, political and social developments. Many and various discoveries in the fields of astronomy, biology, psychology and social sciences have nullified the bases of all atheist suppositions.
In his book, God: The Evidence, The Reconciliation of Faith and Reason in a Postsecular World, the American scholar Patrick Glynn from the George Washington University writes:
The past two decades of research have overturned nearly all the important assumptions and predictions of an earlier generation of modern secular and atheist thinkers relating to the issue of God. Modern thinkers assumed that science would reveal the universe to be ever more random and mechanical; instead it has discovered unexpected new layers of intricate order that bespeak an almost unimaginably vast master design. Modern psychologists predicted that religion would be exposed as a neurosis and outgrown; instead, religious commitment has been shown empirically to be a vital component of basic mental health…
Few people seem to realize this, but by now it should be clear: Over the course of a century in the great debate between science and faith, the tables have completely turned. In the wake of Darwin, atheists and agnostics like Huxley and Russell could point to what appeared to be a solid body of testable theory purportedly showing life to be accidental and the universe radically contingent. Many scientists and intellectuals continue to cleave to this worldview. But they are increasingly pressed to almost absurd lengths to defend it. Today the concrete data point strongly in the direction of the God hypothesis.
Science, which has been presented as the pillar of atheist/materialist philosophy, turns out to be the opposite. As another writer puts it, "The strict materialism that excludes all purpose, choice and spirituality from the world simply cannot account for the data pour in from labs and observatories."
In this article, we will briefly analyze the conclusions arrived at by different branches of science on this issue and examine what the forthcoming “post-atheist” period will bring to humanity.
TO BE CONTINUED...
Last edited by justme; 06-28-2008 at 12:01 PM.
In your own words and understanding, what is Atheism for you?
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