“They Are Without Excuse”
Truth is available and there is no excuse for not knowing about the Creator.
WHO are without excuse? Let Scripture answer: “What can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world his invisible [essence], namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” (Rom. 1:19, 20, RS) Yes, “they are without excuse,” those who deny the existence of the true and living God, Jehovah. Atheists are on the increase according to Gallup polls. False religion has repelled many people from coming to know God. But the truth is now available to all honest-hearted persons. So there is no excuse for not knowing the Creator and Supreme Sovereign of the universe, Jehovah God.
Why are they without excuse? Because creation testifies to God’s existence: “His invisible qualities are clearly seen from the world’s creation onward, because they are understood by the things made, even his eternal power and Godship.” Jehovah’s prophet admonishes: “Lift up your eyes on high, and see who hath created these.” Does not what we see in the sky testify to Jehovah’s power? Why, even a person with low intelligence who sees an automobile for the first time does not believe that all its parts just happened to put themselves together. There had to be intelligent supervision to produce such a complex creation; yet how much more complex is the least of God’s creation that our eyes behold in the sky!—Rom. 1:20, NW; Isa. 40:26, AS.
So the heavens speak of God’s glory: “The heavens [both the literal heavens and the “new heavens”] are telling the glory of God, and the sky shows forth the work of his hands. Day unto day pours forth speech, and night unto night declares knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard; yet their voice goes forth through all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.”—Ps. 19:1-4, AT.
Jehovah’s power and other perfections may be known from the beauty, excellence, variety and immensity of his creation. And, indeed, the scale of perfections evident in the universe implies the existence of an absolute standard, a perfect Being. So as Christ’s apostle said: “They are without excuse.”—Rom. 1:20.
ORDER AND HARMONY IN NATURE
The order in the universe speaks of God’s glory. Everything in nature is so definitely planned and has such a purposeful design that it shows intelligent planning. Why, it has taken the best minds of great scientists to discover only a few of the laws of nature. Are laws made by accident? What intelligent planning exists in regard to our earth! The sun’s distance from the earth is just right. The moon’s distance from the earth is just right. The earth is tilted on its axis just right. The mixture of gases is just right. The relationship between plants and animals is just right. What infinite wisdom is behind that cycle in nature! Animals take in oxygen, exhale it again combined in carbon dioxide while plants take in carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen. An accident? Unthinkable!
How obvious that the earth was prepared for man! Said one medical authority: “There are probably a thousand conditions which would have to be fulfilled before man could inhabit the earth. Not only must there be light, many kinds of food, water, proper atmosphere, appropriate temperature, the nitrogen cycle, etc., but there are hundreds of chemical reactions in the body which contribute to man’s life processes. The chance that all conditions for life would have been fulfilled by pure chance is one in billions. It is very evident that the earth was prepared for man. This fact alone proves the existence of a conscious God.”—The Physician Examines the Bible, p. 318.
A man who delved profoundly into the secrets of nature was Thomas A. Edison. He invented the phonograph and the electric light bulb and patented more than a thousand other inventions. Asked one day whether he believed in God, Edison replied: “After years of watching the processes of nature, I cannot doubt the existence of a Supreme Intelligence. The existence of such a God can, to my mind, almost be proved from chemistry.”—Reader’s Digest, April, 1954.
THE EXISTENCE OF LIFE AND INTELLIGENCE
The existence of living creatures whose nonexistence is possible implies the existence of a necessary Creator. Man cannot create life from the elements. Yet are we to think that the elements created man? We can take a lesson from the beasts, the birds and the fish. Said Job: “Ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the birds of the heavens, and they shall tell thee: or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee; and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee. Who knoweth not in all these, that the hand of Jehovah hath wrought this?”—Job 12:7-10, AS.
Yes, even the eye of an eagle can teach us a lesson, can direct us to the Author of life. So impressed with created things was Sir Isaac Newton, the English mathematician, physicist and astronomer who conceived the idea of universal gravitation, that he said: “Whence is it that nature does nothing in vain; and whence arises all that order and beauty which we see in the world? . . . How came the bodies of animals to be contrived with so much art and for what ends were their several parts? Was the eye contrived without skill in optics, or the ear without knowledge of sounds? . . . And these things being rightly despatched, does it not appear from phenomena that there is a being incorporeal, living, intelligent?”—Optics, by Sir Isaac Newton, Bk. III, Query 25.
The more that scientists study the universe, the more they must recognize a Supreme Intelligence behind it. Albert Einstein, the noted physicist, is said to have peered deeper into the secrets of the universe than any other man. The secrets he has fathomed made him no atheist, as he admits: “It is enough for me to contemplate the mystery of conscious life perpetuating itself through all eternity; to reflect upon the marvelous structure of the universe, which we can dimly perceive, and to try humbly to comprehend even an infinitesimal part of the intelligence manifest in nature.”
Another reason why those who refuse to recognize Jehovah as Creator are without excuse: intelligence exists. If man arose without intelligent guidance, why should he have intelligence? Can unintelligence create intelligence? Why, even men with the keenest intelligence cannot create intelligence that is superior to their own. Oh, they have made robot brains. In the mathematical field they are superb. Yet they are not more intelligent than man. A distinguished mathematician and logician of Princeton University, Alonzo Church, has carefully analyzed electronic calculators and mechanical brains. He said: “No machine can ever solve all problems solvable by a live mathematician.” Yet atheists believe that intelligent man, though he cannot create life or even anything more intelligent than himself, was created by a force with no intelligence. Does it make sense?
To say that there is no Supreme Intelligence is to say that the universe has evolved something higher than itself, it has created intelligence. And to think that anything can create something it does not itself possess is the most vacuous kind of empty-headed reasoning.
INSTINCTIVE AWARENESS OF GOD
Man is endowed with an instinctive awareness of God, an awareness that should prompt all men to glorify Jehovah. Indeed, the mind is compelled by the law of its own being to conceive of some absolute and infinite Best. It is compelled to believe that every effect has a cause. So there must be an uncaused First Cause that possesses within himself the reason for his existence.
Nature abhors a vacuum; so does man the idea of a Godless universe. The urge to worship is a powerful instinct. An article in Woman’s Home Companion for April, 1954, contained a subtitle that said: “We all feel an urge for God as powerful as our instinct for sex and hunger, says a daring new school of psychiatric thought.” The instinctive demand by all for a Supreme Being argues that One exists.
Another aspect of the instinctive urge to worship is that it is universal. It exists among men of all races, all nationalities. Even atheists worship something, though it may be their own philosophical atheism. The urge to worship is so widespread that if there were no God it would be impossibly difficult to imagine why people should spontaneously reach the conclusion that there is one.
THE BIBLE AND FULFILLED PROPHECY
Still another reason why atheists are without excuse: They have the Bible, God’s revealed Word. Its prophecies and fulfillments alone prove that this is a Book whose authorship could not be of men. Before the mighty empire of Babylon fell, the Bible foretold it. (Jer. 51:37) The Bible foretold the successive rise of Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome and the Anglo-American empire. (Dan. 8:3-25; Rev. 17:10-14) One Bible scholar counted 332 distinct prophecies that were fulfilled in Christ. A mathematician figured out that the chance of one man’s fulfilling all those things was one in eighty-four followed by ninety-seven zeros! These and other prophetic accuracies prove beyond any question that a superhuman Intelligence was behind the Bible. That Intelligence is the Author, Jehovah God.
The arguments of atheists show that they have not really studied the Bible. Rather, they have listened to the clergy of Christendom who have taught lies concerning Jehovah God, such as the one that he is the proprietor of a roasting compartment for human creatures called “purgatory.” This hell of literal fire and other false doctrines such as trinity and immortality of the soul have turned some people away from God even before they investigate his Word. The Bible does not teach such unreasonable doctrines. They are taught by false religion, not by true Christianity. The atheist has erred in that he has wrongly assumed that the false religions of Christendom are of God. Rather, they are of the Devil.—2 Cor. 4:4.
So it does no good for the atheist to point to the ghastly persecutions, inquisitions and wars for which the so-called Christian religion has been responsible. The Bible declares such religions false: “They publicly declare they know God, but they disown him by their works.”—Titus 1:16, NW.
Many atheists claim that the world always existed, that it never started. But science has proved such reasoning wrong. The discovery of radioactivity has proved that there could be no past eternity of matter. And the confirmation by Palomar’s 200-inch Hale telescope of the expanding universe also proves the atheists wrong. Life magazine in its issue of December 20, 1954, featured a major article on the expanding universe. It presented the latest scientific opinion: “All the clues of science point to a time of creation when the cosmic fires were ignited and the vast pageant of the present universe brought into being. And this time was five billion years ago.”
In these “last days” of Satan’s world there is a very special reason why atheists are without excuse: the Christ-foretold preaching of the good news of God’s kingdom by Jehovah’s witnesses and the demonstration by Jehovah’s witnesses that true Christianity does exist. (Matt. 24:14) Christendom has not lived by Bible standards; this should be plain to the atheists. That Jehovah’s witnesses do should be equally plain. Further, the news of Jehovah’s new world and how it will end pain, sorrow, suffering and death shatters basic atheistic teaching.—Rev. 21:1-4.
Atheists boast of being men of reason and vision. So did the ancient philosophers. Today’s atheists think in much the same foolish manner in which even the wisest of ancient philosophers discoursed about God, not excepting Socrates or Plato. Who can read their works without being struck with the empty-headedness of their reasonings, as well as with the stupidity of their nonsense when speaking about God? The Bible well says: “They did not glorify him as God nor did they thank him, but they became empty-headed in their reasonings and their unintelligent heart became darkened.” So like the ancient philosophers of yesterday are the atheistic philosophers of today: “They are in darkness mentally, and alienated from the life that belongs to God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the insensibility of their hearts.” Who says there is no God? “The fool said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’”—Rom. 1:21; Eph. 4:18, NW; Ps. 14:1, AT.
Since there is compelling and overwhelming evidence that Jehovah is the true and living God, Creator and Supreme Sovereign of the universe, the plea of ignorance cannot be admitted in its full latitude except for idiots. The atheists cannot plead ignorance. The agnostics cannot plead ignorance. The evildoers cannot plead ignorance. The idolaters cannot plead ignorance. For if they are willing to exercise their faculties and employ their minds in diligent search, men have within their reach the means of coming to know Jehovah God. So God’s decree is: “They are without excuse.”