The question of what makes the world develop has been controversial over the years. Scientists present their worldview by citing technological development as the engine that steers world developments. Historians and anthropologists have also presented their arguments that the world has evolved over millions of years to the extent of changing and developing various life forms and structures that people see today.
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On their part, Atheists belong to the school of thought that believes that the world develops due to scientific interventions, rather than divine powers. This study concurs with the Atheist doctrine that claims that God does not exist. The paper presents various facts that substantiate the fact that the world develops because of science and not supernatural powers. However, it will first present the historical analysis of the doctrine and the reason for its promulgation development. It will also provide objections to the validity of the doctrine before giving a personal opinion on atheism and development of the world.
Historical Analysis of the Doctrine and Reasons for its Promulgation and Development
According to Cragun, atheism can be regarded as the denial of the common belief that a deity exists (12). Skepticism, free thought, and criticism of the existing religion and deities motivated the first person to proclaim atheism in 18th century (Ostrowick 163). Ecklund and Long assert that the foundations of atheism lie in the presumptions that no empirical evidence can be used to measure or prove the existence of deities (254). Atheists’ views deem it illegitimate to believe in the presence and powers of a being that one cannot prove scientifically. According to Bergmann, the problem of evil also formed the foundation of atheism (278).
Atheists realized that the world was full of evil acts and happenings. Therefore, they questioned why and how a supreme deity that had powers to prevent and stop evil could allow it to happen. Various religious texts are also full of episodes where individuals who were favored by a particular deity killed and maimed thousands of human beings. For instance, the Bible presents a scenario where God killed all people with floods, leaving only the family of Noah (Genesis 6:1-22).
The other factor that motivated the initial Atheists to reject any claims of supernatural powers was that the projections that various religions gave concerning their deities and actions that would happen, or had happened in the past, were incoherent (Cragun 14). Explanations of the current happenings through religious texts and revelations are also found to be inconsistent. For instance, Atheists do not believe in the possibility of feeding a crowd of more than 5000 hungry people with two fish and five pieces of bread. Atheists are also said to have found their antagonism of other religions and existence of deities from the fact that religions object some scientific concepts that cannot be falsified. Some facts such as the law of gravity cannot be falsified.
However, in Christianity, Jesus (the Son of God/deity) is depicted walking on the water against the law of gravity (Knibbe and Droogers 283). Atheists refer to such concepts as unrealistic and a direct antagonism of scientific facts. To them, such facts cannot be disapproved through religious teachings on divine powers. The fact that planets exist, the world is spherical, and that scientists have found no heaven is also a great point of antagonism between religious people and Atheists.
The term ‘Atheist’ was used in France as early as the 16th century. However, the modern atheism has its roots in Vedic and the classical antiquity period. In India, Atheist schools have existed over the years. For instance, the Samkhya and Mimamsa are schools that have always rejected the subsistence of god/gods. Another explicit school of Atheists in India is the Carvaka that has been operational since the 6th century BC (Knibbe and Droogers 283).
This school has come out clearly in its disapproval that deities exist (Cragun 16). The school teaches the need for people to follow the route of Atheists. In Greece, the Cyrenaic school also ascribe to the same belief that no deity has power to control the developments of the world. Jainism and Buddhism, which are common in India, are other forms of atheism. In Africa, the pygmies do not have deities, gods, spirits, or totems. For instance, when their people die, they bury them immediately and forget about them. They did not make any ceremonies or prayers. The modern atheism spread from the early reformation and renaissance period in Europe. The greatest supporters of atheism were found in French.
They have worked hard to strip France of religion and any belief in God (Ecklund and Long 256). Communist Atheists spread atheism during the world wars. In fact, the ideologies of Max and Lenin on atheism still run high in states that were under communism. Marxist-Leninist atheism is still common in places such as China, Cuba, and even in the Northern part of Korea.
The presumption that all persons are born Atheists since a child does not ascribe to any religion is also a point of focus by Atheists in proving their numbers (Ostrowick 165). The current or new Atheists use various foundations to develop their dogma. For instance, they demand answers from people who believe in the existence of a god to prove who created him before he could create the world as they claim. The story of the existence and conviction in God is like a fairy tale that cannot be sensed (Ecklund and Long 256).
Atheists consider other people wrong in their support of God’s existence since they cannot offer evidence of their God’s background and/or source of powers. Moreover, they consider the God of the Bible and the Quran evil since he allows death and suffering of the same people he claims to love, yet he does not do anything about it (Nelson 495). This observation about God contradicts his character and hence the reason why Atheists cling to their views. Finally, Atheists are for the idea that the question of where the earth and its contents came from has been answered through evolution science and not supernatural influences. Therefore, religious people continue to be ignorant of science and technology.
Objections to the Validity of the Doctrine
Various objections against atheism have been put forward from various quotas. The first argument is the availability of a causal relationship for everything that exists (Knibbe and Droogers 283). The fact that science and history cannot substantiate some world development is enough to declare atheism an invalid doctrine. When Atheists deploy scientific means to verify the origin of the earth, they fail to understand that science can only prove a concept or happening to a certain degree.
For instance, they do not answer the question, ‘what triggered the bang that they associate with the formation of the earth?’ If human beings evolved from other animals, does it mean that evolution stops since they do not evolve anymore? Where did the first animals originate from so that evolution can begin from them? The argument by Atheists that God does not exist empties the assumption that the world was created or had a cause from a certain force. Failure to offer answers to the above questions proves the existence of God whom Christians, Muslims, and other believers associate with the origin of everything (John 1:1-8).
Dawes reveals how Atheists have defended their argument that if there were a god, God, or a deity who created the universe and various forms of beings and objects that exist therein, then he must also have been created (3). Atheists find fault in the explanations that a particular deity existed without being created. However, since God is all-powerful, nothing is impossible for Him and that the story of creation must have had an initial point or force that triggered world developments such as the formation of the earth and its contents.
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Believers of supernatural powers associate the force with God. Although scientific facts and theories can be proven in an empirical way, Atheists have failed to apply such theories to disapprove the creation theory in a logical, empirical, and replicable manner. The second objection against atheism is that the nature is designed in a certain manner that all things work under a certain control of an agent (Knibbe and Droogers 284).
A certain body must be behind the operation of any machine, project, or activity. Considering the world and its elements as a work in progress, it suffices to agree with natural laws that a certain being must be behind the earth formation and its developments. Such a being can only be God whom Atheists have refused to acknowledge. Things could not have happened in a particular manner by themselves without someone to design and regulate how they work. This observation brings out the argument that God designed all things and hence the reason why they work in a certain systematic manner as witnessed in the carbon cycle, growth of people, trees, water cycle, and human reproduction.
According to Nelson, Atheists cannot also use science to disapprove or prove the issue of death, and/or where the spirit comes from (497). In defense of such arguments, Atheists use science to explain the design of the universe and all its elements. However, as aforementioned, science is only efficient to a certain margin. Failing to get the absolute truth behind the world development using science does not imply that it (truth) does not exist.
Hence, a method or force that knows the mystery behind what people have failed to understand must be in place. For instance, can Atheists verify what triggers the operations of the centrifugal and centripetal forces that keep the world in its form? Moreover, Atheists claim that the designer that believers pledge allegiance to should not allow people to destroy what he has initiated, for instance, the destruction of the Ozone layer. However, using the illustration of the authority that is bestowed on the owner or head of any family, vehicle, or a project, one can see how the owner has the freedom to utilize what he or she owns the way he or she pleases.
God has the power to handle His creation the way He deems right and that it does not matter whether His way of handling it pleasing to the creation or not. A moral argument has been raised against atheism. It suffices to claim that although morality exists in all humans and that it has always existed since time in memorial, a certain being must have defined morals and/or instilled the sense of wanting to do what is good or shun evil (Bergmann 279).
Hence, people set laws, establish police forces, military, and security to guarantee order and better life as the designer (God) had intended. The argument here is that this moral duty cannot originate universally from all human beings and hence the reason why believers of supernatural powers acknowledge a force that tells human beings to be moral in their actions.
Conclusion: Opinion on Atheism and the Developments of the World
In an opinion, atheism is right is its arguments about the world and its developments. The fact that the world has become very religious, despite the absence of empirical evidence to prove the origin of various deities, is incoherent. The ultimate rejection of scientific facts on the existence of the world together with what it accommodates without adequate evidence is also a great disapproval of the subsistence of supernatural powers.
Science offers measurable facts and that all its recommendations can be replicated. Atheism has succeeded in disapproving the existence of deities. Besides, believers of supernatural beings have also failed to offer scientific facts about their claims on the existence and happenings in the world, for instance, the witnessed increase in evils in the presence of a supernatural being who has no powers to terminate them (Nelson 495). Therefore, it suffices to declare God or gods inexistent and that science controls the nature and developments of the world.
Bergmann, Michael. “Skeptical Theism and Rowe’s New Evidential Argument from Evil.” Nous 35.2 (2001): 278-296. Print.
Cragun, Ryan. “The Oprah-Nyad Affair.” Humanist 74.1(2014): 12-17. Print.
Dawes, Gregory. “In defense of naturalism.” International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 70.1 (2011): 3-25. Print.
Ecklund, Howard and Elizabeth Long. “Scientists and Spirituality.” Sociology of Religion 72.3 (2011): 253-274. Print.
Knibbe, Kim and Andre Droogers. “Methodological Ludism and the Academic Study of Religion.” Method & Theory in the Study of Religion 23.3/4 (2011): 283-303. Print.
Nelson, Derek. “Inquiry, Conversation And Theistic Belief: William James And Richard Rorty Get Religion.” Heythrop Journal 50.3 (2009): 495-507. Print.
Ostrowick, John. “Can Bayes’ Theorem, given the evidence of this universe, be used to support theism?” South African Journal of Philosophy 32.2 (2013): 163-172. Print.