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Darwin made it easy to become an intellectually fulfilled atheist (Talk.Origins)
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By providing a naturalistic explanation of biological origins, evolution promotes atheism. "Although atheism might have been logically tenable before Darwin, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist" (Dawkins 1986, 6)..
Source: Berlinski, David. 1996. The deniable Darwin. Commentary 101(6) (Jun).
(Talk.Origins quotes in blue)
- Naturalistic explanations of origins are not necessary for atheism. Nobody in the world can explain the origin of everything anyway. Leaving one more thing unexplained does not much matter.
- Naturalistic explanations of origins do not make atheism mandatory. If God is the creator, it would make sense that he would be responsible for creating everything, including evolution and the laws that make it operate.
While these are true they do not represents what the claim says. The claim says that “evolution promotes atheism” and “made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist". While Evolution is not necessary for atheism, nor makes atheism mandatory, it helps one to be an atheist, which is the actual point of the claim.
3. Darwin was not alone in providing naturalistic explanations. Many people before him removed God from explanations for parts of the universe. Pierre-Simon Laplace provided a natural explanation for the origin and stability of the solar system. Friedrich Wöhler synthesized urea, showing that there was no "vital" element in organic material. David Hume argued that design was not necessary for the origin of life. Darwin, by providing the mechanism, merely filled in one of the last gaps. It was possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist even before Darwin.
While this is true, Darwin’s gap was important from an atheistic point of view, since it allowed for a naturalistic origin of Man kind.
4. There is nothing wrong with being an atheist if you want to be an atheist. That some people disapprove only shows that there is something wrong with religious bigots.
There is nothing in the claim that says there is anything wrong with being an atheist. The point of the claim is to show the atheistic nature of Evolution, not to say anything against atheist.
Actually, the only problem with being an atheist is the consequences of atheism being wrong and the Bible being right.
5. Due mainly to its being rife with intellectual dishonesty, creationism also drives some people to atheism.
It is no surprise to find some people educated by schools that taught Evolution as fact, who make a profession of faith, and for a time embrace a form of creationism, only to be lead into atheism by reading some anticreationist material. This is particularly likely if the person did not really accept the Lord as Savior but may have simply recited a prayer not really believing.
Anticreation material often accuses creationists of intellectual dishonesty so it not surprising that someone lead into atheism by such material would use such an accusation as an excuse.