Sunday, January 24, 2010
Does Atheism Defy Logic?
Bishop Fulton Sheen once said that the chief characteristic of an atheist is not that he believes in nothing but that he will believe in anything. Maybe. I was always intrigued by the atheist philosophy or epistemology. I felt it was more of a form of rebellion and chic irreverence than a firm system of belief. Years ago I read a book review of something called the scientific basis for the belief in God. The chances of the earth being formed by some accident of physics was one over some trillion to the trillionth power. In other words, impossible. Here is a recent link to the book (http://www.usnews.com/blogs/god-and-country/2009/05/04/francis-collins-a-scientific-basis-for-god.html). I have another approach to atheism that might shed light on its moral vacuity. An atheist does not believe that there is a supreme being. That is, human life begins and ends as we know it. Once you die, you are a mass of physical matter indistinguishable from the ground in which you are buried. Every person will end up the same: soulless. If this is a given, I have on occasion posed this question to an atheist: why should murder be illegal? If all humans are going to die anyway and their souls never resurrected, living is nothing more than the postponement of the inevitable. Sort of like sitting around waiting to pay the toll to get over a bridge. Each life is nothing more than a blink of an eye relative to time. It is insignificant. Whether you live a productive or happy life is beside the point. You and your loved ones are going to die anyway and end up in the same predicament regardless of what they did during your living years. So the big question is this: are there any moral consequences to committing a heinous act? Let us say you walked into a school and opened fire on a room full of children, killing them all. You then killed yourself. If you are an atheist, the answer must be no. You might answer that the families of these children will suffer. That may be true, but they can do themselves a big favor and commit suicide. That will end their misery. And since their is no after life or God, they will become part of the earth. They will end up no different from the person who murdered the children. Of course, people do not routinely behave this way because it is unnatural. The reason it is unnatural is because life is a gift from God and people have a God given moral compass that they struggle mightily to adhere to, often times unsuccessfully. The secular establishment has always boasted that millions of people have died because of religious persecution. This fact is true. But that does not detract from the point. People are capable of evil even if they pretend to adhere to a moral code inconsistent with their acts. Well, that is my Sunday morning sermon. Now, time to prepare to worship at the altar of a few other supreme powers: football, cigars, scantilly clad waitresses, and wine.