A video produced by an atheist organization has been quite popular lately. It is called, Welcome to this World, and is a satirical presentation of the Christian faith. You can see the video here, and be sure to read the point by point rebuttal.
While I think the rebuttal is great, I also think this is a good chance for Christians to go on the offensive, and show the absurdities of the atheist worldview. So I took the liberty of creating an alternative narration. This is not “answering a straw man with a straw man” because I have taken these ideas from the atheists I have read, and they are for the most part either from Nietzsche (the most consistent atheist) or the members of what is called the New Atheists (Hitchens, Dawkins, Pinker, Dennet, and others).
By the way, Internet Monk was kind enough to publish my remix, and you can see the comments for that here.
My child, welcome to this world. Before you grow up, there are a few things we must tell you.
First, you are the chance, random result of certain biological processes, and nothing more. Your father and I were inborn with a desire to spread our own genes and thus, you are here. This is why we “love” you. In turn, we are also solely the result of the same impersonal drive of our ancestors to competitively reproduce their own DNA. In truth, just as a chicken is an egg’s way of making more eggs, you are your gene’s way of making more genes.
Oh, you will have false, deluded people who insist on making up stories about life having a purpose beyond this, but they lie. The cosmos is a closed system of matter. There is nothing outside it. Nothing. The universe simply is. It has no purpose. And your own life, as part of this material universe, likewise simply is. It has no purpose.
Again, because there is nothing outside the universe (or at least nothing that could conceivably affect the universe), then matter is all there is. You may someday wonder about the “why” of this. “Where did the matter come from? Why is there something rather than nothing?” But there is no answer to that. The matter simply always existed. There is no reason why.
Matter exploded into order not through the design or plan of anyone or anything, but solely through an impersonal explosion (again, don’t ask about the who or why of the explosion). As the matter cooled, it formed itself into galaxies, stars and planets, and then somehow (we haven’t figured this part out yet) it changed into life. That life evolved without help or design from anyone, and, in time, single cells of bacteria turned into ants, dogs and humans (including you of course). Life is simply organized matter.
As your young mind learns logic, it will also see the implications of this truth. You will see, for example, that your sense of free will is an illusion. Just as we can tell the occurrence of the next comet, we could, if we had all the data, tell the next occurrence of everything, for everything in a closed universe must operate according to the laws of physics working out the results of the big bang. Of course, you may feel you can do as you desire. But you forget that your desires themselves must have a previous material explanation in a closed, material universe. As one of our great prophets, Nietzsche, said,
If one were omniscient, one would be able to calculate each individual action in advance, each step in the progress of knowledge, each error, each act of malice. To be sure, the acting man is caught in his illusion of volition . . . this assumption that free will exists, is also part of the calculable mechanism.
In other word, my child, your free will is an illusion. Your own mind will convince you of this if you think through it: in a material world, where your mind itself is simply molecules colliding without reason or purpose, what could the concept of “free will” possibly mean? As another prophet, Skinner, has said, “A person does not act on the world, the world acts on him”.
Since this is so, it follows that no actions can be “good” or “evil”. They simply are. The Prophet Nietzsche again:
We don’t accuse nature of immorality when it sends us a thunderstorm, and makes us wet: why do we call the injurious man immoral? Because in the first case, we assume necessity, and in the second a voluntarily governing free will. But this distinction is in error.
Therefore, we will not punish you for being “bad” nor reward you for being “good”, for you had no choice in the matter. In any case, who are we to say what is “good” or “bad”? We are simply pre-determined bodies of organized molecules like yourself. The only thing we have chosen by free will is to believe in a closed, materialistic universe that makes free will impossible.
As your mind grows, you will also need to make sure to not be deluded by the idea of “truth.” Certainly, some things will seem true. But remember your origins! Your mind is simply your brain, a physical organ, and it, like the rest of your body, has evolved from non-thinking matter. And no-one and nothing is there to guide this evolving, other than the unreflective desire to reproduce. Therefore, your mind evolved, not to find truth, but to reproduce your DNA. Simply put, we have no reason to believe your mind has any other purpose than your genitals have, and thus no reason to think the idea of truth (if there is such a thing) matters to the mind. The Apostle Steven Pinker puts it well:
We are organisms, not angels, and our minds are organs, not pipelines to the truth. Our minds evolved by natural selection to solve problems that were life-and-death matters to our ancestors, not to commune with correctness or to answer any question we are capable of asking.
Exactly. The question to ask is not whether an idea is “true” but whether it is “useful” to spreading your DNA. (You may wonder if this makes our worldview self-defeating; it’s is best not to think too much about that. It is not useful).
This is the glorious world you have been born into. Do not be deceived by those claiming you have value because you are human, or made in the image of some imaginary god. The only difference between yourself and a fly is that your genetic information is more organized, just as a car is more complex and organized than a bike. In reality, they are both just matter. To be sure, sometimes one is more helpful than the other to get around in, but that all depends on whether you live in the Texas countryside or in downtown Hong Kong. In reality, the matter in you (and thus, you yourself) is not more valuable than the matter in a corpse or a stone of the same size. Of course, this applies to the other people you will meet also. Everyone and everything is the same: simply matter. And when you die, nothing will remain of you except a few memories in a few other bodies of soon-to-be dead matter.
My child, in keeping all these things in your mind from the start, you will be one of the few to rise above the herd and see clearly. Even some of our fellow atheists still cling stubbornly and inconsistently to foolish notions of human freedom, human meaning, absolute truth, and all the accompanying nonsense of morality, justice and purpose. BE CONSISTENT! Then you can end up like our great martyr Nietzsche, who bravely endured the insane asylum for his consistency. Yes, you will find for yourself the greatness seeing the world like the wise skeptic Mark Twain did near his death:
A myriad of men are born; they labor and sweat and struggle; … they squabble and scold and fight; they scramble for little mean advantages over each other; age creeps upon them; infirmities follow; … those they love are taken from them, and the joy of life is turned to aching grief. It (the release) comes at last—the only unpoisoned gift earth ever had for them—and they vanish from a world where they were of no consequence,…a world which will lament them a day and forget them forever.
Yes, my child, welcome to this world!