When the Cambodian king Norodom Sihanouk died in 2012, thousands of Cambodians swore they saw him in the moon. They believed his face literally appeared in the moon.
I remember once teaching Buddhist monks in Cambodia some English. I had finished explaining what the word millennium means. I said that we are now living in the third millennium according to the western calendar. I said that in the future we will have a 4th millennium, a 5th millennium, a sixth, etc… One of my students then said, “Oh, we will have come back many times by then.” He was referring to reincarnation of course.
Approximately 95% of Cambodians are Buddhist. Before Buddhism, Hinduism dominated in Cambodia. Cambodians don’t practice Buddhism at the same level. Some practice it very little. Some dedicate their whole lives to it, the monks for example.
However, you won’t find western-style atheism in Cambodia, or any country like it. The conditions necessary for atheism to flourish simply don’t exist in a culture which does not believe in a logical, reasonable, predictable Creator.
Science, as we know it today, was born in the Christian world. Christianity is the mother of science. The purpose of science is to study the physical universe, discover predictable patterns, and then use that knowledge to make life better for humanity. The first scientists were able to adopt this method due to the fact that they believed nature was predictable because it was created by a logical God. Modernism was based on the belief that we could know and understand how the universe works and manipulate the physical world to our advantage. As belief in God dwindled in the western world Post-Modernism rose. Post-Modernists are suspicious of absolutes: absolute truth and absolute patterns.
Atheism was born in the west when people began to believe that God could be understood with the same scientific methods used to understand the physical universe. Of course that does not work. How can you measure the One who created the universe as though He were a product of the universe? Atheists demand that God be scientifically provable.
Christian apologists, therefore, knowing that they can’t prove God scientifically, will turn to non-physical things to prove God: morality, consciousness, love, truth, goodness, and beauty. Morality, for example, is difficult to account for in a survival-of-the-fittest evolutionist world.
Christianity then, being the mother of science, is also the mother of Atheism. The belief in a logical and reasonable God gives us the ability to think likewise. But, when one steps off the foundation of God, and makes logic and reason the new foundation, disbelief in God arises. Unfortunately though, as the disbelief in God increases, the ability to think logically and reasonably decreases.
I’ve noticed that the militant atheism so popular ten years ago is being replaced with a much softer version today. Those outspoken atheists of the past are realizing the insanity which is taking over much of the field they liked to play in before. Gay marriage, for example, was widely accepted by atheists, but the new gender issues of today are not. If you look at popular Atheist Youtube creators you’ll notice their recent videos are much more anti-SJW compared to their older videos which are more anti-Christian/religion. Scroll down on Pat Condell’s videos for example.
This video is another good example…
It should come as no surprise to atheists that, as their own ability to think logically and reasonably is a direct result of Christianity, a rejection of Christianity is also a rejection of logic and reason. The evidence of that is all around in the insane social issues which plague western culture today.
Christian morality/logic/reason has been the immune system to the world’s evils in the past centuries, but as Christianity itself is rejected, that same morality/logic/reason is becoming an autoimmune disease. Hopefully people come to their senses sooner rather than later.
6 thoughts on “The Mother of Atheism”
I’ve seen this claim many times, but it really doesn’t seem to hold true.
Six-hundred years before Jesus was born, Thales argued that the world operated according to logical and predictable principles, explicitly claiming that it did so without need for divine intervention. Mathematics, medicine, engineering, astronomy, and many other sciences were founded in these pre-Christian societies. The Christian world entered this game relatively late, after important contributions had already been made by pagans, Hindus, and Muslims.
I agree that there were scientific advancements in pre-Christian societies, but they were all false dawns and drops in the ocean compared to what we’ve seen in the Christian world. The technological advancements we’ve seen in the west (especially over the last two-hundred years), I would argue, would never had happened in these pre-Christian societies. I could be wrong of course, but I don’t think those societies had the “scientific staying power” with their often chaotic and frivolous religions.
They were certainly not “false dawns and drops in the ocean.” These were the foundations upon which all the work of later Christian scientists had been built. Without the work of Euclid, Eudoxus, Archimedes, Diophantus, Al Khwarizmi, and many, many others there could not have been a Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Leibniz, or any other of the Christian powerhouses of science. The medical discoveries of Hippocrates, Galen, and others are still important in medical schools, today.
Indeed, the formal sciences had been progressing steadily in the Greek and Roman empires UNTIL Christianity took hold. Then, from about the 5th Century until the 10th, it was the Islamic world which preserved and developed science until the Latin-speaking world rediscovered mathematics and astronomy and medicine through translation of Arabic texts.
As I wrote in the article: Science, as we know it today, was born in the Christian world. And I also wrote about Modernism, which holds to the idea that we can know and manipulate the forces of nature to our advantage. That way of thinking led to the major advancements in science and technology we see today. My argument is that, even though some pre-Christian cultures had some science, the explosion of science/technology which occurred in the west over the last few centuries would never had happened in those cultures (it didn’t happen in those cultures). This is not some obscure argument. It’s rather obvious.
And, as I wrote in my reply, this is patently false. The advances which the Christian world has made in science were built upon a foundation laid by pagans, Hindus, and Muslims.
I wholeheartedly disagree. I think that the explosion of science and technology which we’ve seen in the West over the last few centuries could very well have happened in the absence of Christianity. Herophilos discovered the circulation of the blood nearly 2000 years before Christianized Europe rediscovered it. Archimedes was on the verge of discovering calculus two millennia before Leibniz and Newton. Aristarchus proposed a heliocentric model of the universe seventeen centuries before Copernicus.
As I mentioned, the Greek and Roman fathers of science were making constant and steady progress in mathematics, medicine, astronomy, and engineering UNTIL Christianity took over the Empire. I see absolutely no reason to think that the scientific advances we’ve seen in the last few centuries would not have similarly been discovered by the pre-Christian pagan cultures, had they survived, as they were by Christian Europe.
Right… I agree that scientific advancement was occurring in the pre-Christian world. And, I can also agree that the scientists of the Christian west based their studies on those advancements. (I’d question the Muslim claim, but I don’t want to get into that.) The explosion in science/technology in the west may have happened regardless of Christianity — as I say above, I could be wrong on that. But, I’m not basing my argument on what could have been, I’m basing it on what actually happened. But at this point I’m just repeating myself. Anyway… The article is about the origin of atheism, not science. But, I should have been more clear in my article that when I say: “science as we know it today” I’m equating that with Modernism.