So how does G.K. Chesterton challenge an athiest?

In our previous post, we looked at G.K. Chesterton’s approach to apologetics.  It raises an interesting question of how then does Chesterton call out an atheist?  In his book “Orthodoxy”, Chesterton makes an interesting analogy.  In challenging the materialist/Darwinian reductionist view of natural selection as the biological truth principle, he likens this to the mental illness of schizophrenia.  He discusses that only in schizophrenia (and strict Darwinian materialism) can one see the complex  actions of their enitre world filtered through a single paranoid (or egotistic) axiom.  In the chapter titled “The Maniac”, Chesterton says “they (materialists) are universal only in the sense that they take on a thin explanation and carry it very far.  But a pattern can stretch forever and still be a very small pattern.  They see a chessboard white on black and if the universe is paved with it, it is still white on black.   Like the lunatic they cannot alter their standpoint; they can not make a mental effort and suddenly see it black on white…”  This is not to say that materialistic reasoning is wrong but that it is most effective when understood and used within it proper sphere.  I wonder  how many novel scientific discoveries could be made if “white on black” was suddenly seen as “black on white”?


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