Post Author: Bill Pratt
If you’ve read this blog for any period of time, you’ve probably noticed that there are quite a few blog posts dedicated to discussions of atheism (there is no god or gods) and the philosophy of naturalism (all that exists is found in the material universe). Atheism and naturalism generally go together, although not always.
Some of you may wonder why I (Bill) should spend so much time talking about atheistic naturalism when less than 5% of the population explicitly subscribes to this worldview. Most of us don’t personally know practicing, outspoken atheists, so why bother addressing this worldview so often? That’s a good question and one that I’ve asked myself.
The answer is that although the general populations of Europe and North America (the areas of the world that impact American culture the most) are not explicitly atheist, the percentages go way up for those who inhabit the highest levels in academia. The academic world’s embrace of atheistic naturalism is unique among all the challengers to Christianity.
This may just confirm for some of you that academics are “not right in the head” or “out in left field” and that we should just ignore them. While some of them may be like that, we ignore them at our peril. I firmly believe that the ideas that are imbibed in the universities among academics eventually make their way to the general population. History has proven this out time and again.
The battle of worldviews is being fought at our western universities and the major contenders are Christian theism and atheistic naturalism. As a Christian apologist, I feel drawn to this battle as I consider it to be the heavyweight bout.
Now, I am not saying that we should ignore other worldviews that attack Christianity. On the contrary, on this blog we have addressed many other worldviews, especially Mormonism, as my co-blogger Darrell is a former Mormon and understands that worldview extremely well. I am merely saying that atheistic naturalism deserves a lot of ink because of the devotion of many western intellectuals.
Even though our friends and neighbors are rarely hard core atheists, atheistic naturalism impacts our culture often in ways we don’t even realize. There are more and more people who are practical atheists, even if they don’t call themselves atheists. They live as if God does not exist, even though they would not say they don’t believe in God if they were asked. Our friends and neighbors are taking in naturalistic ideas without even knowing it.
How are they taking in these ideas? Through the pop culture. How is pop culture picking up on these ideas? From western intellectuals. We cannot just ignore the academic world. We owe it to our fellow man to counter atheistic naturalism. C. S. Lewis, as always, is ready with a helpful bit of advice. “Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered.”