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The Selective Search for Intelligence

Intelligent Design Seeker Atheism

Contributed By: Seth Dillon | Date Posted: 2018-07-18

Scripture: Ephesians 4:17

Author: Seth Dillon
7

ILLUSTRATION

In the movie Contact, Jodie Foster plays Dr. Arroway, an atheist scientist who works for the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) program at an observatory in Puerto Rico. She and her colleagues work tirelessly using high-tech equipment to analyze the airwaves for possible signals sent by extraterrestrial life.

 After years of patiently scanning the skies, they finally hit the jackpot -- a strong signal repeating a sequence of prime numbers, apparently emitting from the Vega star. The moment Dr. Arroway hears a pattern in the signal, she immediately recognizes that it was produced by an intelligent source.

"Those are primes!" she exclaims. "Two, Three, Five, Seven...those are all prime numbers and there's no way that's a natural phenomenon!"

APPLICATION

Dr. Arroway's reaction to the pattern in the signal is a reasonable one. The human mind naturally recognizes purposeful patterns when it encounters them, and logically infers that they are the product of intelligence. But for those who have made up their minds that God does not exist, the search for intelligence is highly selective. Dr. Arroway, like her atheist colleagues, is only prepared to see intelligence where they want to see it. The complexity they encounter in nature, and even in their own DNA, though far more complex than a list of prime numbers, does not impress them in the same way.

It seems that the weighty implications that come with an admission to the existence of God have closed their minds to what should be obvious to them.

"So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts" (Ephesians 4:17-18).

The Drowning Stranger Dilemma

Morality Atheism Motivation

Source: Blog Page: Well Spent Journey

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Mitchell Dillon | Date Posted: 2017-05-03

Author: "Matt" at Well Spent Journey
4

ILLUSTRATION

This is from the Well Spent Journey blog.

Excerpt:

Here’s a thought experiment.

_____

Imagine that you’re a healthy, athletic, 20-year-old male. It’s the morning after a thunderstorm, and you’re standing on the banks of a flooded, violently churning river.

You notice an object floating downstream.

As it moves closer, you suddenly realize that this object is a person. The head breaks the surface, and you see a panic-stricken elderly woman gasping for air. You’ve never met her before, but vaguely recognize her as an impoverished widow from a neighboring village.

You look around for help, but there’s no one in sight. You have only seconds to decide whether or not to jump in after her – recognizing that doing so will put your own life in significant peril.

APPLICATION

The author continues:

Is it rational for you to risk your life to save this stranger? Is it morally good to do so?

For the Christian, both of these questions can be answered with an emphatic “yes”.

The Christian is called to emulate the example set forth by Jesus, who not only risked, but sacrificed his life for the sake of others. The Christian believes that the soul is eternal, and that one’s existence doesn’t come to an abrupt end with death.  Additionally, he can point to the examples of countless Christian martyrs who have willingly sacrificed their own lives.

For the secular humanist, the answers to these questions are much more subjective. When I previously asked 23 self-identifying atheists, “Is it rational for you to risk your life to save a stranger?” only 4 of them responded with an unqualified “yes”.

Biologically speaking, the young man in our scenario has nothing to gain by jumping after the drowning woman. Since she’s poor and elderly, there are no conceivable financial or reproductive advantages involved. Evolutionary biologists often speak of “benefit to the tribe” as a motivation for self-sacrifice…yet the young man’s community would certainly place greater practical value on his life than that of a widow from a neighboring village.

Secular humanists argue that people are capable of making ethical decisions without any deity to serve as Moral Lawgiver. On a day-to-day basis, this is undeniably true. We all have non-religious friends and neighbors who live extremely moral and admirable lives.

In the scenario above, however, secular ethics break down. The secular humanist might recognize, intuitively, that diving into the river is a morally good action. But he has no rational basis for saying so. The young man’s decision is between empathy for a stranger (on the one hand) and utilitarian self-interest & community-interest (on the other).

In the end, there can be no binding moral imperatives in the absence of a Moral Lawgiver. If the young man decides to sit back and watch the woman drown, the secular humanist cannot criticize him. He’s only acting rationally.

A Firm Foundation

Hope Atheism Grief

Source: Mysticism And Logic, pp. 47-48 (New York: Barnes & Noble, 1917).

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Mike Sechler | Date Posted: 2015-02-09

Scripture: Job 1:21 ; Revelation 21:3

Author: Mike Sechler
2

ILLUSTRATION

Russell famously wrote this about the meaning of life:

"That Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the grave; that all the labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man's achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins--all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul's habitation henceforth be safely built."

APPLICATION

Bertrand Russell once said that “no one can sit at the bedside of a dying child and believe in God.” Well I beg to differ. My faith is the thing that strengthened me. How else can I make it through? We cannot do anything else. This fire drains away everything else.

My question for the famous atheist Bertrand Russell is this: What would you say to a grieving father like me? What answer do you have? Only a God infused hope for a better world can provide a firm foundation upon which to build a life, as well as overcome the despair of death.

No firm foundation can be found in a meaningless universe, and that is no more evident then when facing the death of a loved one.

"The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised" (Job 1:21).

"And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away'” (Revelation 21:3-4).

The Sound of Pounding Footsteps

Atheism Witness Followership

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-01-28

Scripture: Romans 10:15 ; 1 Peter 2:15

Author: Ravi Zacharias / Illustration Exchange
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Pastor Takes Year Off From God

Atheism Control New Birth

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-01-09

Scripture: Romans 12:2

Author: Illustration Exchange / Paul Wallace
2

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Anyone Can Have a Change of Heart

Atheism Intelligent Design Science

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-09-17

Scripture: 1 Timothy 2:4

Author: Antony Flew
5

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Science is Not the Only Source of Truth

Atheism Science Truth

Contributed By: Seth Dillon | Date Posted: 2014-08-23

Scripture: 2 Timothy 1:9

Author: Seth Dillon
2

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Turning An Atheist Worldview Upside Down

Atheism Worldview Compromise (Convictions)

Contributed By: Larry Lewis | Date Posted: 2014-01-19

Scripture: Romans 1:25

Author: Unknown
6

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Atheist Churches

End Times Apostasy Atheism

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-11-20

Scripture: Matthew 13:30

Author: Illustration Exchange
4

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Atheism's Contradiction

Atheism Apologetics Witness

Contributed By: Rod Crowell | Date Posted: 2013-11-20

Scripture: Psalms 8:2 ; 1 Corinthians 5:11

Author: Rod Crowell
3

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