So I finish writing another article for leavingjesus.wordpress.com and it dawns on me from time to time that sometimes, when a religious person relinquishes the faith that they had devoted themselves to, they are then led to a dark place, a place of utter questioning and confusion or despair. One of the friendly faces that may show itself is atheism, the refusal to acknowledge the truth of God anymore. It is kind of like when people get out of a relationship after a painful realisation and don’t want to get into another one due to the pain and lack of trust, except in too many instances there’s a lot more arrogance involved.
But atheism is not a good step forward. To give up on the whole notion of God is a self-destructive step.
Instantly, I can hear the voices say “hey, wait there, I’m an atheist and I live a very fulfilling life.”
You know, it doesn’t matter what worldview a person chooses, there are always people who share it that will say their lives are fulfilling, be it christian or muslim or hindus or nazis or “agnostics” or whatever. But the issue isn’t whether someone is comfortable or not or have a subjective feeling of fulfilment or not. It’s whether the worldview is a consistent one and whether it is truly a good choice to accept it.
So is atheism a good positive step to take in a general sense?
Is it a good step morally? If a person believes that there is no God, then where do their morals come from? There is no objective standard for morality anymore. It’s not as if there is some principle that everyone must follow, because everyone has different ideas what the principle should be. And there’s no objective way of finding it out. Some choose rationalism, science, emotionalism, spiritualism, politics. But all of this is just a subjective choice made in a individual brain, a clump of grey matter. If a person can get away with certain actions, then there is no real reason not to. A person who decides to reject the existence of an absolute foundation of the universe, i.e., God, essentially has made it that when he or she claims that something is morally wrong, there is absolutely no reason why his or her view on morality should apply to anyone else. The same for when they say that something is morally right as well. All that happened was that his or her mouth moved due to some chemical imbalance of the brain and puffed out air and audio vibrations. That’s it.
That’s one thing I find societally and morally undercutting about atheism and what adds to their hypocrisy when so many demand that things are right or wrong, or claim that they are “moral” individuals. In the eyes of a God-fearing observer of such an individual, the individual atheist may be a good person, but that is only because of the objective sense of right and wrong that comes from the foundation of Torah-theism. But in terms of the foundations of the worldview of that atheist, having no such foundation, then it makes no difference if they are good or bad as those words have no real meaning except personal tastes at the time, nothing more, maybe less. In such a worldview, based on the fact that pain and death is just a fact of life, there is nothing essentially wrong with causing pain or death to others. Pedophilia, rape, theft, murder, corruption, all of these are facts of life with no moral difference between those acts and those of goodness and kindness. It’s all just personal actions, pleasure, brain conditions and taste.
Looking at cultures throughout history up until today, today’s moral standards are the dregs and remnants, the echoes of a Torah worldview dragged through the paganism and imperialism of an old christianity which has now been de-toothed and crippled by the rise of humanism, the belief that only human reasoning and science is the key to truth, a belief that has failed in so many of its promises but clings religiously to the advances in technology which, although meaning to bring people relief, further isolates on person from another under the illusion that computer codes and virtual existence comprised of digital pulses is a real way of living. (Man that was a long sentence!) The atheists of today, betraying their own worldview, unconsciously steal from the old (yet still present) Torah worldview to wrap themselves in a shell of morality. But as they reject the foundation of that worldview, they only have a hollow morality, changeable, man-made, empty of any real power except whatever force they can muster for themselves as individuals, or the same persuasion techniques used by the very religious evangelists they wish to remove themselves from, or the tyrannical force of the fickle and immoral governments they think they normally put into power.
It has to be said that they only think that they put such entities as government into power because the choice is always limited to parties that are essentially the same, the people they vote for can never represent them as these representatives can only realistically represent themselves as it is impossible to present thousands or millions of individuals, and what really happens in the end is that they end up under the power of the tyrannical government systems: those who are classed as “public servants” end up making the public their servants and slaves and source of revenue (i.e., indentured servitude).
So morally speaking, atheism is a hollow worldview that has more to do with self-delusion of fulfilment rather than having any absolute or real substance to their morality.
Atheism has a similar problem when it comes to knowledge, truth, or history. With atheism, there is nothing absolute or concrete about knowledge or truth. It’s just someone’s opinion, someone’s individual perception. So there is no real study of history, just a search for past relics of perceptions. The best thing they have is pragmatism: whatever works is fine. But that’s what everyone else has so they have no advantage. Once you go beyond human experience, the time span that humans have been on this planet, there is no real history, just a shell game of assumptions, biases, and limited knowledge based on guess and unprovable axioms. All of these human qualities are then set to feast upon silent circumstantial evidence to create stories and myths that that are held aloft as if the quest for truth has been realised, only for it to be dashed to the ground as rubbish when perceptions, political alliances, focus of funding and biases change. Just look at the history of science for the many theories trashed that were once almost sacred. As someone once said:
The odd thing is that science has such a ridiculous track record to serve as such a powerful veto-house of truth. If we think in terms of centuries and millennia, few other disciplines turn inside-out so flippantly and quickly as the natural sciences. Nothing can take the puff out of the scientific chest more than a study of its history. Perhaps that’s why it’s so rare to find science departments requiring courses in the history of science. The history of science provides great strength to the inductive inference that, at any point in its history, that day’s science will almost certainly be deemed false, if not laughable, within a century (often in much less time). (Douglas Jones, Credenda)
Or in other words, to marry the science of today is to prepare to become a widow tomorrow. Science, outside of human experience, as as much truth context as a fairy tale. It’s anyone’s guess.
Why bring this up? I write on a blog where I show the ineptitudes and fundamental weaknesses of christianity. All too often when a person leaves christianity, they think something like atheism is a viable worldview and all too often their religious zeal or devotion is carried over into that vacuous religion (yes, I’m talking about atheism), sometimes to the point where they move from atheism to anti-theism. They fill the void that atheism is with their old moralities to shout out against the evils of religion (remember how empty the word “evil” is in atheism) or to shun anything to do with God or objective morality.
To be in such a situation and think that one has moved forward is a delusion. It’s true that there has been movement, but not all movement is forward.
It is still very much possible, even after one has released oneself or been released from religions (including atheism), to have a healthy respect and acknowledgement of God and a standard for morality and knowledge and history. It takes a lot more effort and reflection than adopting such a inert and unworthy worldview as atheism.