“…And no religion too-hoo…”
Imagine the world that our atheist friends yearn for, the one they say is inevitably on its way because religion is going out of style like spats, and we have evolved past the need for it. Most everyone is a non-believer in religion, organized faith, the supernatural, or anything outside the materialist box.
Imagine the consensus is non-faith. Everyone agrees that there’s no God up in the sky, the universe randomly appeared out of nothing, and we human beings create our own moral consensus.
Freethinkers rejoice. We don’t talk about the fact that there’s no God anymore because it’s no longer a debate. It’s not even an issue.
Everybody thinks with crystal-clear lucidity. Insanity, gone. Reason for conflict or war, gone. Harmony and peace prevail because there’s no longer any spiritual conviction making people care about righteousness or goodness. Nobody’s invested in anything enough to have serious disagreement.
Cultural atheism is the societal religion. We have thrown off the shackles and taken off the blinders. Finally we can think freely.
Do we imagine that all non-believers are true non-believers?
Sure, there are some committed atheists who understand why they are atheists. They are devoted to the maintenance of societal consensus. Defenders of the truth. They teach. They disciple. Because it’s important.
Then, there are the unreflecting atheists who were born into their non-faith. They don’t think about it. They say the right things and they believe them because it’s what they’ve always been taught. Everybody thinks these things. They are cultural atheists who swim in the water they’re immersed in. Indeed there are many who call themselves atheist, but don’t understand their own worldview. They are nominal atheists without any real interest in the cause.
What do you think the ratio would be? And wouldn’t that be a lot like the world now, under the tyranny of superstitious religion?
And might there not be skeptics in the freethinking world? Heretics? One of the things acknowledged by that bygone antique, the Bible, is that all human beings are fundamentally self-seeking and contrary. There will be people who perversely insist that there is a God, He wrote us a book, He sent His only Son to earth as a man…even if they don’t mean it.
Here’s one illustration of the fact that non-belief can be as committed as belief:
In largely Muslim Pakistan, a taboo atheist subculture endures
The criticisms of the faithful by atheists include:
Why do millions of Christian people disagree? Why are there multiple denominations? Differences in doctrinal interpretation must mean that all doctrine is false. The conclusion is not at all logical. Because we’re not robots but freely-thinking humans, we experience our own separate journeys of learning the faith. If we were all mindless followers, wouldn’t our stories be nearly the same?
Or maybe there is that divide between believers: the vast numbers of nominal and the comparitively few committed believers. The news that anti-faith proponents can’t seem to digest: most people who might call themselves religious are nominal; the numbers of believers who have really invested, examined and intentionally adopted are relatively few.
The Bible predicts that the world would be just so. The way is narrow, and few enter therein. Those who Christ will address with, “I never knew you” may not be speaking with authority or proper knowledge when they discuss their experience of the faith. Atheist apologists usually prefer to argue with the low-hanging fruit.
And if the current discourse of atheists on social media or mass media is any indication, that utopia where everyone goes about their lives relieved of the burden to acknowledge a god, free to finally act and think without the religious detour, finally able to arrive at some kind of real reasonable, natural stasis, will never happen. Because no atheist I have ever encountered seems able to dismiss God from his thoughts for a single second. The typical atheist is more invested in his awareness of the existence of God than most Christian believers I know.
When the atheist paradise arrives, the world may be filled with heretics and nominal atheists. And the few true believers will have the onerous task to keep orthodoxy alive.
For the record I hate that vapid song Imagine.
Fanatical non-belief in any form of god is a rather ridiculous stance. At the same time, unreasoning belief in a god that defies logic and, when analysed, shows up as a rather despicable and irrational being, also hasn’t got much going for it. In other words, it is high time that believers dumped the bits that are purely based on old myths and legends or politically-motivated inventions, and focussed on the key elements.
Agreed. I’m not sure I can interpret the attitude of your reply.
As I’ve discussed above, there are many who misunderstand a faith in which they haven’t really invested. They are poor apologists. But there are many (relatively few by comparison) who base their faith upon reliable accounts of real history, and logical and convincing thought from the faith’s founder and his first disciples. There are many who do focus on the “key elements” handed to us from a loving Creator.
My point here was that the “faith”, if you will, of atheism is likely to experience the same vicissitudes that religion does.
The problem is that the Adam and Eve story is obviously an unsophisticated myth. filled with contradictions and illogical aspects. In fact, an insult to any god worthy of the name. If that invalidates Original Sin, then how does a Saviour come into the matter? There is also the complete lack of actual contemporary evidence of his existence. One doesn’t need to be an atheist to find all of this inconclusive.
If one expends only enough interest on any matter to find what is “obvious” that is likely what one will find. As kindly as I can say it, the same could be said for “unsophisticated.” There is much even there, in that very story, which is neither–even if one were to treat it merely as literature. And that is no insider opinion.
The tragic human tendency, as the sparks fly upward, to be drawn to do the wrong thing–what some call “sin”, is no invalidated myth. Can anyone deny that a Savior is needed, and then rail against all the evil he sees in human beings, without seeing his self-contradiction?
As for “a complete lack of contemporary evidence”–it is simply not true. There is extra-biblical evidence; and some might say that a contemporary account written by many different witnesses beginning within several years of the happenings is quite good evidence. On any other subject of history, very much less is accepted without question.
Again, I am sorry for your losses and the sad business you’ve had to carry out so far this year.
Genesis conflicts with proven scientific research on many aspects (as does Exodus and the story of the flood). ‘Sin’ is a human construct as is morality. It needs no religion to define it nor anything more than a decent grounding in social responsibilities for the majority to reject it — or not survive. One of the main ways the majority has kept communities in check so far, paradoxically enough, has been through inventing a deity/deities.
Sorry, but contemporary evidence does not exist. Period. What is most conclusive is that evidence which SHOULD exist is simply not there. What does exist has been compiled by men like Constantine, for own political advantage, very much after the fact. The ‘other historical figures are accepted with less evidence’ argument has been blown out of the water pretty conclusively.
So, I find that while I would love to be convinced that the beliefs of my youth were well-founded, the more I study the less that appears likely to happen. What does present itself is that the Supreme Being (and the universe and existence has too much purpose and cohesion in evidence for such to be doubted, in my opinion) is infinitely more complex than any religion allows for, and certainly does not display any petty human behaviour.
Thank you for your sympathy. The matters do seem to be resolving with good progress made so far.
If I were to research a given topic by reading exclusively items which were skeptical about said topic–say I wanted to find out all about Churchill, yet I only read his detractors–would that be honest and objective research? Judging by what you’ve said–I don’t know you– you seem to have very successfully avoided the tremendous wealth of thought which would support the integrity of Scripture. What I’ve read (and there is over two thousand years of thought, philosophy, history, apologetic, by some of the greatest minds the world has seen, nothing to be sniffed at!) refutes all that you’ve said–all of it–except for “the Supreme Being (and the universe and existence has too much purpose and cohesion in evidence for such to be doubted, in my opinion) is infinitely more complex than any religion allows for, and certainly does not display any petty human behavior…” Agreed. But the Supreme Being revealed in Scripture is just as you have said, and much more.
I would just leave you with two suggested resources which could inform you comprehensively and positively about the Christian faith: Reasonable Faith by William Lane Craig, and Why I Am a Christian: Leading Thinkers Explain Why they Believe Edited by Geisler and Hoffman.
The thought supporting religious writings generally started in the stone age, and unfortunately hasn’t made all that much progress since, in spite of alleged great minds being applied. There is a wealth of looking at trees and ignoring the forest.
Actually I have read, and have read people who have read, with the aim of supporting a belief in the Christian faith, I and they have failed miserably, while I have also seen Craig flounder hopelessly in several debates with atheists like Hichens, Harris and Dawkins. The latter three also indulged in inanities, but less so. But those are just games. Reading books by them tells far more, but the more is disappointingly less. Arguments on both sides are based on evidence which doesn’t exist or is not proven, and points are scored with side issues without really fringing on what should be the main focus of speculation — what’s it all for? Earning the right to strum harps while sitting on clouds in sing-songs with angels and the like doesn’t cut it. Nor does avoiding a hot climate. Nor does any thinking that humans are more than an insignificant cog in the design.
The collection edited by Geisler and Hoffman are mainly typical apologetic essays with more fervour than fact and (with a couple of rare exceptions) much off any worthwhile attendant topic.
You and I are at different stages of discovery. Who is to say which is more advanced?
“The typical atheist is more invested in his awareness of the existence of God than most Christian believers I know”
That is both very sad, and sadly very true.
LikeLiked by 1 person