Who is afraid of atheism? // The observer
Being a religious is certainly not back in fashion. Not a nun, a “nothing“- an atheist, an agnostic or” nothing in particular “. In the middle of unprecedented decline of American Christianity, this demographic group is growing rapidly in the United States, adding a huge 29 million to its numbers in just 10 years. Twenty-nine million in 10 years. There is no doubt that America is running towards its post-Christian future at breakneck speed.
To speak ill of this tendency is enough to make progressives and diehard skeptics cringe. For them, there is nothing wrong with a post-Christian America. On the contrary, it will be a monumental victory when man finally breaks free from this ancient superstition. The mission of these atheist and secular activists is therefore quite clear: to inaugurate, as Richard dawkins puts it bluntly, âa world without religionâ. For so-called ânew atheistsâ like Dawkins and Sam Harris, tolerance is not an option. Indeed, the title of a 2006 article by Harris says it all: “Science must destroy religion.” And as we have seen, the movement is succeeding beyond its wildest dreams.
But the breakneck speed of social change left us in such a daze that we forgot to ask ourselves what it would cost. Indeed, the popularization of the post-Christian and postmodern worldview threatens the fundamental assumptions that have defined the West and made it prosper. If atheists like Dawkins win, we will have traded the Christian system of hope, freedom and love for the total nudity of atheism. Let me explain.
In atheistic evolution, man is nothing special, just another rung on the “progress” ladder, and when we are gone we will have been just a jolt, an Ozymandias, in the end. ‘universe. Our existence is basically meaningless because we evolved from a meaningless and unintelligent process.
See how easily, then, the case and the incentive to be moral crumble in such a framework. He’s useless “[loving] your neighborâ- except when it is in his best interests. After all, like Dawkins when written, “DNA neither knows nor cares” about such things, “DNA just is. And we dance to its music. In the absence of God’s purpose, life turns into nothing more than a filthy competition for power and a reckless pursuit of self-indulgence.This is not to say that atheists cannot be moral, but that those who are, like Ravi Zacharie suggested, “simply [live] better than its philosophy justifies it.
Beyond that, the very idea of ââan objective morality existing even in a goalless world is utterly ludicrous. Same atheist philosopher Thomaslike NageI of NYU admits this, writing: “… an evolutionary self-understanding would almost certainly force us to abandon moral realism – the natural belief that our moral judgments are true or false regardless of our beliefs.” Without such a moral foundation, there can be no objective good or bad for the materialist. Even the most vicious and brutal dictators like Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin cannot be called “bad” in a world where subjective morality and relativism are all we have.
In the absence of a soul, heaven and hell, there is also no ultimate justice. This means that bad people (not that we can objectively call them that, but I’ll digress) can get away with atrocities without ever facing a final judgment, and âgoodâ people are not reciprocally. never rewarded. To pretend that it will not affect human actions is to delude yourself. The effects can only be terribly horrifying and tragic.
Yet in the midst of it all, we still have the audacity to stand up for equality and freedom. How? ‘Or’ What? In the atheist setting, we just can’t. Once the Judeo-Christian worldview has been cast aside in America, there can be no solid basis for such noble things. The Bible tells us that we are all made in the image of God, leading the founders conclude “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights âsuch asâ Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness â. The bible of naturalism does not provide such a logical basis for human rights and freedom. Rather, it is the State – and not a Higher Power – that arbitrarily orders rights from its inhabitants, and with as much or as little as it pleases. Such rights – indeed all rights – are at the mercy of the state, ready to be taken away at the whim of a tyrant. If the horrors of the 20th century have taught us anything, it’s that the civilization that abolishes God is far from the paradise it promises to be. It is a aimless, freedom and hope. All that remains is desolation, oppression, and a cold, bleak nihilism.
And the only logical conclusion of atheistic thought is indeed nihilism. Everything does not make sense, everything is just a series of chemical reactions. What is emotion, what is love in such a worldview? Nothing, only the biological and the material. So it doesn’t make sense to be moved by a line of poetry, a work of art or music, a beautiful sunset or by the love you have for others that is beyond words. It is simply irrational, childish and incomprehensible. I hope I don’t have to explain what this would mean for the company.
But what if atheists are right? What if “reason” is all we have? Even if this were true, atheists – most ironically – couldn’t even trust their own logic. Why? Nagel best explains it: “[e]evolutionary naturalism implies that we should not take any of our beliefs seriously, including the scientific image of the world on which evolutionary naturalism itself depends. Christians understand that the foundation of human reason comes from creation by an intelligent God, but for atheists reason lacks any support, the implications of which I cannot even begin to imagine.
This does not mean that Western civilization is a utopia of righteousness. Anyone who knows a thing or two about history knows that is not true. But at the very least religion foresees that it is necessary to give up their worldview to achieve their evil ends. The springs of atheism lack such restraint. Maybe that’s why Benjamin franklin, a Deist, noted”[i]f Men are so wicked we see them now with religion[,] what would they be without this?The Judeo-Christian worldview that built America provides it with the basis of meaning, morality, freedom, universal rights, love, beauty, and reason. Atheism has nothing to offer, figuratively or literally.
To follow the path of Dawkins and Harris, to advocate the exile of God and of the religion of our culture, is indeed to destroy all that is noble, just and significant. Don’t believe those who say that a post-Christian America is a better America. Our nation cannot lay its foundations and hope to live long.
Atheists and laity promise Babel once we remove the halls of religion. They will be quite disappointed. There cannot be such a city. We will only live in the rubble of what made us great.
Andrew Sveda is a freshman at Notre Dame in Pittsburgh with the intention of majoring in political science. Besides politics, Andrew enjoys acting, playing the piano and playing tennis. He can be contacted at [emailÂ protected] or @SvedaAndrew on Twitter.
The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.