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Admitting the Obvious

Admitting the Obvious

Isn't it time atheists were asked to face up to the obvious?

What God Wants Most of All for You (1)

An unpersuasive lot

It may surprise some readers to know that only somewhere around 2% of the world’s population profess to being atheists.


The more celebrated atheists of our time – those who advocate against all forms of religion and for an entirely secular and materialistic worldview – are outspoken, loud, and seemingly ubiquitous. Their books sell in large numbers. They hold university positions and conduct widely-publicized speaking tours. They are applauded and supported by the popular media, although, within their own intellectual circles, many consider them an embarrassment. They have been subsidized to produce lavish visual presentations of their arguments, and to have these broadcast on public television networks in the US and elsewhere. They have managed to ensure that their view of the world should be the only permissible opinion drummed into schoolchildren in this and other nations. They have led the (largely successful) effort to keep the voice of religion out of the public square and off all public property.

Atheism, atheists insist, is the only reasonable worldview. Thus it must be explained, celebrated, and enforced by law, while any and all competing worldviews shall be reduced to the level of mere fancy.

Atheists have been at it for over a generation now. And 2% of 7 billion people is as convincing as they have managed to be.

Why are they so unpersuasive? With all those books, TV series, lectures, interviews, classroom presentations, decisions of courts, and actions of legislatures, what’s keeping atheists from attracting, let’s say, something more like the 32% of the world population who profess some form of faith in Jesus Christ?

It is possible that, in spite of all the atheistic pomp, parading, pressure, and propagandizing, those who have read their books, viewed their TV series, and considered their arguments can’t get past what is most obvious to everyone:

God exists.

And even the atheists know it.

The god of atheism
Even atheists believe in god (note the small “g”). If we define God (merely for the sake of conversation, at this point) as that which is ultimate, enduring, indestructible, inevitable, and, therefore, true – that than which nothing is greater or more powerful or more lasting – then all atheists believe in god.

Their god is simply matter/energy in some form or another, and the processes (“natural laws”) which are determined by and govern the composition and workings of matter.

Matter (and energy, which is the same thing) being the god of atheism, we would expect atheists to revere their chosen deity, to pursue it aggressively, celebrate it exuberantly, embrace and enjoy it fully, and evangelize it enthusiastically.

And this is precisely what we see among atheists and those who are, to any degree, enthralled by their materialistic religion.

Atheists believe in god. They may not call their god by that title, but material/energy is their god, nonetheless. The god of atheism is impersonal, uncaring, to be sure, lovely and mysterious and majestic, but, in the end, hapless to satisfy the deepest and most enduring longings of the human person.

How do they know?
It would be interesting to learn why our atheist neighbors believe so strongly in their god, and what they hope to gain from this deity. How have they become so unabashedly convinced that matter/energy is that which deserves the faith and hope of the human race? And how do they know – as they appear so earnestly to know – that their chosen deity is reliable and alone?

And what more than the briefest moment of existence, the merest shadow of knowledge, and the most fleeting experience of meaning, purpose, and happiness can the god of atheism supply its adherents?

For it seems clear that what the god of atheism wants most for its adherents is life without meaning, death without significance, and oblivion without end.

This being so, one wonders, what’s all the celebrating and propagandizing about?

Do you know any atheists? Share this column with an atheist friend and ask if he’d be willing to talk with you about his faith.

T. M. Moore
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T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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