“The atheistic philosophers, who do not agree to accept the Supreme Personality of Godhead as the original cause of creation, think that the material world moves by the action and reaction of different material elements. A simple example of the interaction of elements occurs when we mix soda and acid and the movement of effervescence is produced. But one cannot produce life by such interaction of chemicals. There are 8,400,000 different species of life, with different wishes and different actions. How the material force is working cannot be explained just on the basis of chemical reaction.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 4.11.17 Purport)
Friend1: I heard a really good argument recently.
Friend2: Who was involved? Husband and wife? Those can get out of hand quick. It becomes something like a car-wreck. You know the damage is bad, but you just can’t look away.
Friend1: Sorry, I should have been clearer. This was an argument of a philosophical nature; more of a discussion than a disagreement.
Friend1: It was about the origin of life.
Friend2: Atheism versus theism?
Friend1: Something like that.
Friend2: Okay, please continue.
Friend1: Well, you know about the atheist’s argument that life comes from chemicals. We are all just a certain composition of these chemicals.
Friend2: I’ve had atheists argue with me. They say they don’t believe that. Well, to be more clear, they do believe in the chemicals aspect, but they say that doesn’t invalidate morality and other such things.
Friend1: What do you mean?
Friend2: It’s a little difficult to understand. They say that we are chemicals, but that there is still a purpose to life: progress.
Friend1: That doesn’t make sense. So random collisions have a purpose? Isn’t randomness the opposite of intelligence?
Friend2: Exactly. I’m just telling you what I’ve heard. That kind of atheist is more of a nature-worshiper. People follow the Supreme Personality of Godhead in all respects.
“All of them – as they surrender unto Me – I reward accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Pritha.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 4.11)
The atheists worship God in His feature of the material nature. That is His separated energy.
Friend1: Right. Okay, before we get sidetracked let me tell you this argument. So the one side says there is no God. Everything is chemicals. The atom is the essence of life.
Friend2: Paramanu. Even atomic theory is explained in the Vedas!
Friend1: The counterargument goes something like this: “Okay, if life comes from chemicals, please provide the missing ingredient to bring a dead body back to life. It’s not that hard. Just do it. Find the chemical.”
Friend2: Wow. I really like that one. Of course they will argue that progress is being made. They are on their way. One day success will happen.
Friend1: Yeah, you have to love that.
Friend2: They are really shameless, if you think about it. Science has been consistently wrong.
Friend1: The material variety?
Friend2: Yes. Natural philosophy, as it was once called. That is the meaning to progress, after all. You can only progress from something if that something is defective. Since the study relies on progress, it is implied that there is imperfection at every point.
Friend1: Wow, I love that.
Friend2: I heard it from His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. One of those things where you sit back and think as soon as you hear it.
Friend1: So what is the proper explanation for the missing ingredient?
Friend2: What do you mean?
Friend1: Well, we know the scientists can’t bring the dead body back to life? How does the theist do it?
Friend2: You can’t. Spirit soul has left. Life comes from life. A living thing gets its existence from the spirit within. That’s why you can have something as small as an ant and still have life. The matter covering spirit doesn’t really make a difference. Once the animating force within leaves, nothing can be done to revive the dead matter.
Friend1: How do you get new life, then?
Friend2: Spirit travels to a new destination. In fact, that travel occurs constantly. The body of an individual is never fixed. There is the time factor. Through time the individual spirit soul lives in an ever-changing body. When that body is finally completely discarded, the soul travels to a new destination.
Friend1: What is the origin of everything, then?
Friend2: God. He is inconceivable, achintya. He is without beginning, anadi. He is without end, ananta. He glances over the unmanifest material substance, pradhana, which then transforms into the three modes of material nature. Those modes are like ingredients that combine to create the many varieties of species. Still, without the spiritual injection there cannot be life. Spirit is attached to Supreme Spirit, and one who understands this is on their way to solving the mystery of life.
Of chemicals only life composed,
Eventually back to earth disposed.
When hearing this argument old and tried,
Ask that simply missing ingredient provide.
To that body once living,
Again the spark to it giving.
Truth that life only from other life sent,
Departed soul towards next body went.