Gordon Clark Quotes – Atheism, Naturalism

The atheist who asserts that there is no God… claims omniscience and omnipotence

The atheist who asserts that there is no God, asserts by the same words that he holds the whole universe in his mind; he asserts that no fact, past, present, future, near, or far, escapes his attention, that no power, however great, can baffle or deceive him. In rejecting God, he claims omniscience and omnipotence. In other words an atheist is one who claims that he himself is God; and the pantheist must be said to join him in the same claim.

A Christian Philosophy of Education, 38

The… naturalistic view… implies that the mind… is an evolutionary product rather than a divine image

This nontheistic, naturalistic view is difficult to accept because it implies that the mind, too (as well as the body) is an evolutionary product rather than a divine image. Instead of using eternal principles of logic, the mind operates with the practical results of biological adaptation. Concepts and propositions neither reach the truth nor even aim at it. Our equipment has evolved through a struggle to survive. Reason is simply the human method of handling things. It is a simplifying and therefore falsifying device. There is no evidence that our categories correspond to reality. Even if they did, a most unlikely accident, no one could know it; for to know that the laws of logic are adequate to the existent real, it is requisite to observe the real prior to using the laws. But if this ever happened with subhuman organisms, it never happens with the present species man. If now the intellect is naturally produced, different types of intellect could equally well be produced by slightly different evolutionary processes. Maybe such minds have been produced, but are now extinct like the dinosaurs and dodos. This means, however, that the concepts or intuitions of space and time—the law of contradiction, the rules of inference—are not fixed and universal criteria of truth, but that other races thought in other terms. Perhaps future races will also think in different terms. John Dewey insisted that logic has already changed and will continue to change. If now this be the case, our traditional logic is but a passing evolutionary moment; our theories—dependent on this logic—are temporary reactions, parochial social habits, and Freudian rationalizations; and therefore the evolutionary theory, produced by these biological urges, cannot be true.

The difference between naturalism and theism—between the latest scientific opinions on evolution and creation; between the Freudian animal and the image of God; between belief in God and atheism—is based on their two different epistemologies. Naturalism professes to learn by observation and analysis of experience; the theistic view depends on Biblical revelation. No amount of observation and analysis can prove the theistic position. Of course, no amount of observation and analysis can prove evolution or any other theory. The secular philosophies all result in total skepticism. In contrast, theism bases its knowledge on divinely revealed propositions. They may not give us all truth; they may even give us very little truth; but there is no truth at all otherwise. So much for the secular alternative.

A Christian Philosophy of Education, 137-139

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