Daniel Sommer on the Foolishness of Atheism

Though many in the world consider belief in God to be foolish, the psalmist declares that it is the fool who says there is no God (Psalm 14:1). In his book, Plain Sermons, Daniel Sommer explained the words of the psalmist and how they are true of the atheist.

Daniel SommerBut suppose that a man will arise and say, ‘There is no God,’ and will, therefore, say, ‘I do not believe that I shall have any existence beyond this life.’ Such a man we may answer in the words of David, king of Israel, ‘The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God’ (Psalm 14:1). For a man to say that he does not BELIEVE there is any God might be a reasonable saying, for he would thereby imply that he has not become acquainted with sufficient facts and truths to convince him that a being exists who is worthy of being called God. But when a man boldly says, ‘There is no God,’ he pronounces upon all evidence with which he is acquainted, and upon all that is beyond his acquaintance. He not only declares that he has not been CONVINCED of God’s existence, but he implies that in all the entire domain of fact and truth and reason evidence cannot be found which WILL CONVINCE him. Such a man pronounces on all that he KNOWS, and on all that he does NOT KNOW. David declares that the man who does all this is a ‘fool,’ and we should not dispute what David says on this subject. The fact that David lived in the Jewish Age does not, in this instance, prevent his words from being justly applied to the Gospel Age. The man who says, ‘There is no God,’ may still be classed with fools” (Plain Sermons, p. 62-63).

Those who say there is no God (atheists) are not simply saying that they have not seen sufficient evidence to convince them of God’s existence. If they simply lacked evidence, they would be agnostics. The atheist is much more bold and arrogant in his claim. Rather than saying he has not seen sufficient evidence, the atheist believes that no such evidence could possibly exist. Therefore, unless the atheist claims infinite knowledge (which would be a foolish claim in itself), he must make his assertion based upon an assumption of everything that he does not know.

Truly, “the fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (Psalm 14:1).


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