Watches Without Watchmakers
An Atheist watches a documentary about mechanical watches. The intricate details of the extremely complicate machine fascinate him. He loses himself into all its tiny components, and deeply appreciates the complex way in which these little pieces work together. A mechanical watch truly is a fascinating object, and he should well feel amazed as he discovers the way it works.
Of course, being an Atheist, our friend in front of the TV set does not wonder who made the watch. He does not even think that, if there is a watch, there must be someone, or something, who caused it to be in existence; someone, or something, who put together the little, delicate parts that compose it, and the material of which these parts are made before they were made.
No. Our friend is absolutely sure, utterly persuaded that no one made the watch. The watch simply came to be. It was there. It just was. All its wonderful internal workings, all the extremely delicate balance that allows it to function just exist, without any cause, without any reason, and without any intelligent mind behind it. Actually, our friend – being an Atheist – is incensed at the idea that if there is a watch, then there must be a watchmaker. He can easily get angry when confronted with the simple fact that not only it is impossible that this exceptionally complicated watch could simply be, by itself, out of pure coincidence; but it is also impossible that all the complex, delicate, extremely sophisticated components of the watch could have assembled themselves by themselves, out of pure coincidence and blind luck; hey, he would not even admit that even the raw materials, the very atoms of which the components are made, cannot have created themselves by themselves!
No. Our friend is perfectly persuaded that from nothing came something. Therefore, a sophisticate array of delicate mechanisms all working together in an extremely delicate balance just popped out of absolutely nothing.
What do you say? That the Atheist documentary watcher actually knows that if there is a watch, there must be a watchmaker? That if he goes back to his parking lot in the evening and does not find his car, he knows that something or someone (be that thieves, police, or hurricane) caused that car to be brought away, then the car did not vanish by itself? That if he needs a new car, he knows that he will have to buy one, because cars do not have the habit of creating themselves by themselves, out of nothing?
Well, yes, you might be right. It is, in fact, quite likely that, in absolutely all aspects of his life bar the most important one, our Atheist friend is perfectly persuaded that the principle of causality rules his entire reality. He knows that if there is an effect there must be a cause, and that from nothing comes nothing. He applies these principles all the time, to absolutely every issue under the sun, bar one.
It is only when he has to submit to a superior Power, which then means obey to this Power, that he forgets, literally, the entire universe around him.
Some people will say that he has “his heart in the right place”, and this assertion is, if taken in isolation, most certainly true. His heart is, I wholeheartedly agree, certainly situated in exactly the same place as the heart of everybody else, and I am also absolutely persuaded that he can experience love and kindness, be it for his loved ones, for the Amazonian Forest, for the Panda, or for some abstract, perfect world he has created in his own mind.
Still, think of what I have just written about this man, and reflect about the immense scale of his rebellion; you will, at this point, realise that if, after a life of perfect acceptance of the existence of watchmakers, the man dies refusing to acknowledge, let alone submit to, The Head Watchmaker, he has deserved the punishment; and no, no amount of faith in the existence of human watchmakers, or love for his dog, will be of any help.