I was born in Castlerea, Co. Roscommon in 1957 and had a traditional catholic upbringing. Life was good in Castlerea; it was a great place to grow up, leaving me with many fond memories of the town.
In my early teens I abandoned faith and declared myself to be an atheist, more out of a desire to be different than from any deep well-thought-out reasons. Over time I came to really hate religion and felt strongly that the world would be a far better place without religion. I well imagine that had things not changed, I would have become a big fan of Richard Dawkins and the New Atheists when they became popular. I became very vocal about my atheistic views and enjoyed challenging my friends who still practiced religion. But all was to change, and change quite dramatically.
In the late 1970’s many of my friends converted to New Testament Christianity and they thankfully turned the tables on me by challenging my atheism. They brought to me the evidence for the reliability of the Bible and the evidence for the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus. Of course, if the Lord Jesus rose from the dead, as the Bible declares, then He is who He claimed to be, the Divine Son of God, and Calvary was indeed the most awesome event that had ever occurred in history.
I was to discover that there are a number of serious problems with atheism, a number of significant facts that leaves it with not a leg to stand on. Atheism seeks to support its viewpoint using science, but I was to discover that science, properly understood, does not in fact contradict faith in God, but instead both science and the Laws of Logic contradicted atheism.
I discovered something: There are in essence only three possible explanations as to why our universe exists, and therefore humanity itself. Let’s have a look at each of them.
That the world created itself by spontaneous generation:
Science has established that there had to be a beginning, so on this point there is common agreement between the Bible and science. Those who hold to this view say that there was at one point nothing, and then there was something and that nothing caused this to happen. Spontaneous generation means that things simply began on their own without a cause. But such a notion is contradicted by the second law of logic, the law of causality, which declares that every effect has a cause. So for something to have come into being there has to have been a cause.
Did Everything come from Nothing?
Spontaneous generation also flies in the face of a basic law of science that says “ex nihilo nihil fit” (“out of nothing, nothing comes”). We are asked to believe that 15 to 18 billion years ago the universe exploded into being, with absolutely nothing existing before the Big Bang. This theory starts with nothing, then there is a mighty explosion, and the result is the universe as we know it. The question that must be asked is: What exploded? The idea that the universe came into being by way of a great explosion, when there was nothing there to explode, is absolute nonsense. It is sheer irrationality. It is unscientific and illogical.
That the world Is self-existent, having always been:
This is the more common view held by those who deny the existence of God. in this view there was always something, then that something exploded in the Big Bang resulting in the universe. This view also fails the tests of logic and indeed the laws of science. This theory claims that several billion years ago all that existed was compacted into a ‘point of singularity'. In this ‘point of singularlty’ was compressed all matter and all energy. Then, for reasons unknown to those who claim this theory, it exploded, and out of that explosion came this wonderful complex universe that we know. This is extremely strange thinking. Can anyone point to an explosion that did not create anything other than chaos and destruction and yet atheistic science would have us believe that all the beauty and complex intricacies of our universe came about through an explosion!
Even one of the basic laws of science, the scientific law of inertia, shows that the ‘point of slnguiarity’ could never provide the answer to our existence. The Law of Inertia declares that things which are at rest will remain at rest unless they are acted upon by an outside force. So, for example, a golf ball sitting on a tee will remain on the tee until something or someone causes it to move. The point of singularity would have remained motionless unless acted upon by some outside force, so, if we accept this theory, we are still left with a huge question: What caused the explosion? And for good measure we can throw in the question: Where did the point of singularity come from? Also, as with the proposition above, this notion also contradicts the Law of Causality which states that for every effect there has to be a cause. Simply put, when something happens, something caused it to happen. So what caused the Big Bang?
The third - and wonderfully satisfying - explanation for our existence...
is that there is a glorious super-natural eternal Being who created all things, God Almighty. As I journeyed out of Atheism into Christianity I discovered something very significant about the human heart, something about my own heart. The atheist is not an atheist because of any lack of information or knowledge. Paul the Apostle in Romans chapter one makes it clear that God has given to all mankind sufficient evidence of His existence, both in the beauty and splendour of creation and also internally in our consciences. So compelling and all-sufficient is this evidence that Paul tells us that we are left “without excuse”. My atheism, and indeed all atheism, is a matter of choice. I chose atheism because I did not want the alternative, a Creator God to whom I am accountable.
Now, of course, there were others factors that brought about my atheism, but they were very much secondary reasons. Like countless thousands of others I was less than impressed by Catholicism; in my experience it just did not present a good picture of God, so i threw the baby out with the bathwater. But thankfully I was to discover that the Lord is infinitely more wonderful and glorious than the God I had learned about through Catholicism.
If you are like me, those many years ago, and have adopted atheism because of a bad experience with religion, can I encourage you to take another look? Can I suggest that you read the Gospels?
On Biogenesis: “Omne vivum ex vivo” translated “All life can only come from existing life”
- Louis Pasteur
“In the view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognise, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what makes me really angry is that they quote me for support for such views.”
- Albert Einstein
“The most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.”
- Isaac Newton
“When the answer is simple, God is speaking.”
- Albert Einstein *