Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Why is Atheism Attractive To So Many?

I still haven't figured out the attraction of atheism.

Here's a post I made today at a site run by a Toronto scientist whose mission in life (at least his bloglife) seems to be refuting belief in God.

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According to the atheistic worldview, we are uncreated, undesigned, without ultimate purpose or destiny.

We are capable of immaterial behaviours such as reasoning, contemplation; we are driven by immaterial concepts such as justice and love, and yet the world is strictly material, nothing more than a complex interaction of chemicals. The love we feel in our hearts for our children is really nothing more than deceptive chemical reactions of our uncreated brains put there by mindless evolutionary forces to help ensure our survival. We are, at heart, of no more value than swamp gas.

Also, I haven't figured out why, in an atheistic worldview, why reason should be trusted. If our brains are undesigned, and we are the outcome of mindless, undirected material processes, why should rational thought mean anything?

A person might believe all this -- we are uncreated, undesigned, unloved -- but shouldn't this evoke great sadness, rather than the glee typically exhibited by atheists?

9 comments:

Raphael Alexander said...

I suspect that atheism, much like all religions, is largely nurtured in the home.

Anonymous said...

Probably right raphael.....tho some have turned to atheism in reponse to bad experiences in their home or church.Some claim the hypocracy of Christians turned them off God...sad...
I would like say to those people get your eyes off the weak and stumbling believers. They didn't go to the cross for you...Christ did.
Heb 12:1-2
Vicki

RkBall said...

Atheism, at heart, is a choice, a preference. St. Peter says that people are "wilfully ignorant" of the fact that God created the heavens and the earth.

Why would people choose atheism? Because it fits the observable facts? No, because it appeals to the temptation to be gods over our own lives.

Who was it who said, "you shall be as gods"?!

If there is no God, we are accountable, ultimately to no-one. So we can do whatever we want, with impunity.

This, I think, is the appeal of atheism.

Man would rather trade fellowship with a God of love, and eternal life with Him in heaven, for a temporal life lived on earth as a god (over oneself).

Talk about bad decision-making!

Curiosis said...

rkball,

Somehow I doubt that you would characterize your disbelief in unicorns as a choice. You didn't choose to not believe, you are left no choice by your reasoning and experience.

I was raised in a Baptist home and had no bad experiences with christianity. But once I started to really look at my beliefs, I realized that I had no good reason for them. They simply didn't hold up to scrutiny.

The title of your article should have been, "Why is Reality Attractive to So Many?"

RkBall said...

Curiosis -- belief in unicorns and belief in God are not in the same league. There is all kinds of evidence around us that makes belief in God reasonable. Here's a starter-kit:

- the apparent design, order and beauty all around us -- you have to work really hard not to see it

- the existence, in a supposedly mindless, purely materialistic universe of life -- a planet teeming with life

- the longings of the human heart -- for knowing the truth, to be loved, and for life beyond death -- all of which are meaningless in an atheistic, purely materialistic universe

- immaterial realities such as logic, abstract mathematics, conciousness and conscience, which are absurd in a materialistic universe

- the sheer, massive improbabability that the finely-tuned universe in which we live just popped into being

The Bible says, and upon much reflection I believe it, that atheism is a wilful choice, that a person, for whatever deep and dark reasons within their soul, choose to kill God.

If man is entitled to "kill God", then presumably you would agree that God, if He does exist, has an equal right to "kill man".

It is into this dilemma, that man is perishing that God offers a lifeline - Christ.

When man rejects Christ, he has twice-rejected God.

No, my friend, I'm afraid atheism is a dead-end street - it's got no future.

You say you reached your conclusions by reasoning. However, unless you are created and your brain designed, trusting in your reasoning processes is illogical, unreasonable.

The very fact that you are capable of reasoning, and have faith in reason as a reliable mechanism, is evidence for belief in design and creation.

Thanks for commenting -- I appreciate your sincerity.

Curiosis said...

rkball,

I do see beauty and order around me, but that in itself isn't evidence of a creator, much less the creator that you believe in.

And there is a very good explanation for life...evolution.

No god is needed for me to have emotions or long for things. I do those things because my brain is very complex.

I think that you have confused materialistic with matter. Abstract ideas such as love and justice can exist in a universe devoid of the supernatural because they describe states of being. We can define love and justice, and compare the world around us with those definitions.

You can say that I chose to be an athiest, but it would be incorrect. I cannot believe in something that appears absurd to me. I can't kill someone that I have no reason to believe even exists. I can no more "kill god" than you can kill the tooth fairy.

Ask yourself, what would it take for you to believe in the Greek god Zeus? That is what it would take for me to believe in your god. If you have that kind of evidence, then I would be happy to see it. Until that standard is met, I have no reson to believe.

RkBall said...

"I do see beauty and order around me, but that in itself isn't evidence of a creator, much less the creator that you believe in."

If you saw a painting that exhibited the characteristics of beauty and order, would that be evidence of a painter? Remember - evidence is not the same as proof.

"And there is a very good explanation for life...evolution."

Darwinian evolution is a hypothetical working model for the development of life, but not for the start of life. Nor for the existence of matter. Nor for the apparent fine-tuning of the universe to support life.

"No god is needed for me to have emotions or long for things. I do those things because my brain is very complex."

That's not the point. The point is that, without a God who designed you, these emotions and longings are absurd. They are false. There is nothing out there. You exist for no reason, no purpose. You are of no more value or worth than swamp gas. Be reasonable. You are, ultimately, worthless, and, in a material, uncreated world, your emotions are absurdities.

"I think that you have confused materialistic with matter."

If you look up the dictionary definition of materialism, as a philosophy, you will learn that it does in fact equate to matter. As an atheist, you are pretty much stuck with a materialistic view of reality.

"Abstract ideas such as love and justice can exist in a universe devoid of the supernatural because they describe states of being. We can define love and justice, and compare the world around us with those definitions."

Yes, we can define them. But why should they exist in an uncreated, unintended universe?

And, if the universe is uncreated, and purely materialistic, they cannot actually exist in any kind of absolute sense. They can be nothing more than the figments of the chemical drips occuring inside our brains. If all humans died out, so would love, justice, reason, honor, etc.

In an alterate universe, beings could evolve who valued killing and torture and dishonesty, and their views would be no better or worse than ours, because there would simply be no objective standard outside of ourselves to judge things by.

If there is no God, no design, no purpose, then there is, ultimately, no right or wrong, and the emotions that contradict this are once again false witnesses.

If life is unintended, then surely there can be no ultimate wrong in destroying life.

"You can say that I chose to be an athiest, but it would be incorrect. I cannot believe in something that appears absurd to me."

If there is no Creator, and no design to the universe, why should things not be absurd? Why do you, irrationally, believe that things should "make sense"? Once again your undesigned brain is playing tricks on you.

Here's what I think is absurd:

- you believe in order, but not an Order-giver

- you believe in natural laws, but not a Law-giver

- you believe in life, but not a Life-giver

- you believe in immaterial notions but discount the possibility of an Immaterial Being

- you believe in reason, emanating from a junk-yard brain devoid of design or purpose

- you are but one of six billion human beings, all of whom may think differently and have different views of reality, yet you believe that among the 6 billion views of life, yours are correct. On what rational grounds should you believe anything that comes out of your undesigned brain? And why should it, objectively, be more likely to be actually true than what other people think?

"I can't kill someone that I have no reason to believe even exists. I can no more "kill god" than you can kill the tooth fairy."

If God exists, you can, at least metaphorically, kill Him by denying not only his existence, but as you seem intent on doing, the very possibility of His existence.

"Ask yourself, what would it take for you to believe in the Greek god Zeus? That is what it would take for me to believe in your god. If you have that kind of evidence, then I would be happy to see it. Until that standard is met, I have no reson to believe."

There is a difference between evidence and proof. There's plenty of rational evidence for the existence of a Creator, and it's really an uphill struggle to avoid it all.

If you said you had insufficient reason, I could at least respect that, but when you say that you have no reason to believe, I suspect we are getting into the realm of wilful preference.

Enjoy life while it lasts.

And try not to let it bother you that, by your own admission to being undesigned and uncreated, you are ultimately no better or valuable than swamp gas.

As for me, I'll go on enjoying my status as a redeemed child of God, living in a created universe full of purpose, design, and possibilities.

faustfire said...

- you believe in life, but not a Life-giver

So who gave life to your so-called god?

RkBall said...

"Who gave life to your so-called God?".

Faustfire:

I'm always left with the impression that the person who makes this kind of comment thinks they are being terribly clever. They aren't.

There are three problems with your short question.

The first, "who gave life" implies there was a point in time when someone may have given life to God. In fact, prior to creation of the universe time did not exist. And, it is clear from a scientific point of view that time had a beginning. So, I would put to you, "where did time come from"?

Secondly, the question implies that God's existence is contingent, contingent upon someone else creating him. It isn't. Unlike our existence, which is contingent -- his existence is by definition necessary. That's what make Him God.

It also makes Him a tad smarter than you.

Finally, He is not "mine"; and He is not "so-called" as you dismissively suggest; He is God.

He declares Himself in the Bible in which He reveals Himself and His plan of bringing a rebellious human race back to Himself.

He says "Come to Me". But the choice is yours.

Heaven. Or hell. Your choice.

The next move is up to you.

"... nothing intellectually compelling or challenging.. bald assertions coupled to superstition... woefully pathetic"