Friday, January 16, 2009

Irony abounding.

In the U.K., the news says, atheists and 'free thinkers' have hired advertising space on buses to say: "There is probably no God, so relax and enjoy your life."
It is impossible to say in a few words how utterly self-contradicting and absurd that statement seems to me. It is meant to be wise and reassuring, 'freeing' people from worry. In fact, to think that there was no God would be one of the most terrifying things imaginable. To relax and enjoy life you would have to feel secure in the knowledge that help was available in certain situations.
If there was no God, who is there to turn to and seek help from? Would they care to tell me what they think about that? If they say 'human intelligence and people' they invite me to point out just how disastrously unreliable and wrong-headed human beings have shown themselves to be, so often through history.
I once asked a militant atheist who he put his trust in, what did he feel he could rely on for guidance and answers to problems in life. He said "Myself, and a select few others."
I could have told him that he was one of the people I would be least able to trust and feel safe in the hands of! Like so many hard-headed 'intellectuals' I've known, that man had quite a ruthless attitude to those he disapproved of. Given the chance, he would have run the world in a way he was sure was right, and look out any one who disagreed and got in the road. That was what happened in the regimes of people like Hitler, Stalin, Lenin and Mao Zedong. The leader and the little in-group round them made all the rules and everyone else had to just do as they were told. If the leaders got something wrong, no-one had better dare to critisize. And there is the irony. The ones who consider themselves fit to run the lives of other people are the ones who least inspire my confidence. To be that sure of themselves is a danger sign for a start. Note that I'm saying 'sure of THEMSELVES', not sure of what they believe. Such people feel they can assume the power of God to decide how life must be for everyone else.
It should be obvious that certain things are absolutely beyond human control and help. Can anyone prevent a tsunami? How about the emergence of new diseases, to which there is no cure? What about drought, or a collision between this planet and a meteor, or any other such thing that no human can prevent? It could be rather hard to 'relax and enjoy life' when there are so many uncertainties and dangers, that no human can protect us from.
It is an old saying, that 'there are no atheists on a sinking ship'. In other words, you can be complacent and think 'who needs God' when everything seems to be going well. When it all goes bad, and no human power can change the fact, how does the clever atheist handle that? If we live or die by blind chance, and there is no real fairness about life, how can you relax?
Atheists trying to sweep away belief in God make me think of ants trying to be elephants. They simply make themselves look ridiculous.
Of course, we all have a right to our beliefs. I won't start trying to persecute atheists. But do they know just how LITTLE they impress me with what they think is their cleverness?

13 comments:

Amy said...

Interesting stuff!

Randi Jo :) said...

very good Andrew. Hope you had a blessed holiday season! :)

Farrah said...

Very good, Andrew. If I may add another point that is very significant in my mind: Think of all the people who have been born and never had the chance to live a long, happy life . . . Or to experience many of the joys life has to offer. Think of all the children who died early and those people with serious physical affictions that prevent them from getting married, having children, walking along a beach at sunset . . . If there is nothing after this life, then life is a very cruel thing for many. And for those who live full lives, for it all to end is a cruel thing, as well.

One of the things God showed me through illness is that even if I have perfect health and unlimited resources (money, etc.) I could never experience all the wonders of the universe even in many lifetimes. But the things I'm missing out on in this life are insignificant compared to the glorious life after death. I can truly say with Paul, "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable" referring to the resurrection. (I Cor. 15:19) There is no point in living. We may as well cheat, murder, rape, and do whatever we want, for tomorrow we die.

The atheistic view of life is extremely negative, unfair, and hard on humans. Only God's plan for eternity evens up the playing field in this unpredictable, cursed world.

Debzilla said...

Atheists often think Christians are weak. I've known too many of them trying to elevate themselves to a God-like position with their self proclaimed superior beliefs. They are indeed not clever.

I don't have a personal religion, and I don't think there is a good way to justify that..

Anyway, thank you for giving me a glimpse into your book. It's been added to my list and I'll be purchasing one soon.

Democracy Lover said...

I must point out that God doesn't seem to be all that effective in preventing tsunamis, new killer diseases, or droughts. Or perhaps God is merely directing those horrors at those who offend Him. Either way, it does little to inspire devotion.

Certainly evangelical atheists are sure they are right, but so are evangelical Christians, and the devoted practitioners of every religion. Their cleverness may not impress you, but the cleverness of fundamentalist Christians doesn't impress anyone either.

Andrew Clarke said...

I can see what you mean, Democracy lover. It seems to me though that atheists more commonly claim to be intellectually superior than Christians. Christianity by its own teaching calls for people to be humble, not arrogant. It doesn't seem to me that Christians sneer and laugh at atheists as commonly as atheists speak demeaningly to or about Christians.

Farrah said...

The percentage of Christians that don't impress anyone is insignificant in the big picture. Truth is truth, no matter how many distort and misrepresent it. Fundamentalists aside, there are plenty of Christians with compelling and clever arguments against atheism. :-)

Fr. Peter Doodes said...

The ads ignore the fact that in the UK (where I am) when you look at the organisations that are involved with helping the poor, dispossessed, depressed, lonely, sick or work in any capacity in the hospice movement, they are full of Christians.

The fact is that Christianity works, and no amount of atheistic opinion about God will ever change that.

Culpster said...

Andrew
I am definitely on the same page with you on this one. I just wrote a blog similar to this one actually. I’ve been reading all these new atheist books and blogs. You’re right. They can be rude! Richard Dawkins called C.S. Lewis “artless” in “The God Delusion”. Why can’t he argue with Lewis’s ideas if he has such a problem with them? Why must he put him down?

There are crazy Christians just as there are crazy atheists. But you don’t see the great Christian apologists calling atheists stupid, idiots, or artless. Yet, you find the great atheists doing just that. That I think is the problem. When their best start acting nuts then what does that say about the rest? Not that I have anything against atheists. I just think they can talk about science or philosophy without getting so mad every time somebody disagrees. They sure expect that from us!

jeleasure said...

Hi Andrew,
I've been absent from your blog in the recent weeks. Unhospitable weather often has plumbers, such as myself very busy.

This is a great post. Share your feelings and hopefully impact an atheist. They don't impress me either.

The fact that so many will say they place the trust for help in themselves is rediculous. We can not often overcome those things which attack our bodies and the environment around us.

Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Jim

Amanda said...

I do believe in God, but I don't agree with the superiority that many Christians seem to have. I don't like that there's a certain way you have to believe in order to be accepted. I suppose I just don't quite understand either Atheists or Christians.
Thanks for visiting my blog on Blogger, I write now at http://amandacowell.typepad.com if you're interested. :)

JMMEE said...

Well-thought, well-said. I heard of those new "bus ads" on the radio here in the States and simply shook my head.

You reiterate my belief in an excellent manner. Life without believing in God would be terrifying, discouraging, and depressing.
Blessings!

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