Saturday, January 19, 2008
The Fool Has Said...
Posted by Nikkolas S. Jakson
The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Psalm 53:1 (also Psalm 14:1)
Read the above carefully. What does it say? I'm not concerned about the fool part. I couldn't care less about the opinions of dead bible writers. I also don't give a damn (hey, if it was good enough for Rhett, its good enough for me, I don't need to use stronger language) about the narrow-minded opinions of narrow-minded Christian morons. No, what I'm referring to is where the atheist says "There is no God", in his heart. Think about that. The fool does not say in his mind there is no deity, but in his heart.
How many atheists are atheists because they searched for God but could not find Him (Her?). I would guess quite a lot. That was true in my own case. I never wanted to "hate" God. I simply gave up the search. I was a born-again Christian for many years. When I finally concluded it wasn't the truth, I became an atheist, but that didn't last long. I still wanted the comfort of believing, thinking, wrongly I now realize, that I needed God to give my life meaning and purpose, and to get through the hard times. I really thought, like most theists, that I would be less alone in this sometimes harsh world if God was "with" me. So after Christianity I considered Islam (I bought every book I could find on it. I remember going to used bookstores and nearly buying out the Islamic sections of their shelf's. I had a Muslim friend who sort of influenced me in that direction as well, and I seriously looked into the religion) , I also considered Judaism (the Jewish emphasis on goodness as opposed to salvation based on what you believe appealed to me greatly), before finally settling on theism without religion, or Philosophical Theism. I thought I could have my cake and eat it too, but the problem of evil became too much to overcome in the end. I also knew that God was completely silent. I prayed for answers, for a sense once again of God's presence, for any kind of sign He was there (I did sometimes get my hopes up, looking at every seeming coincidence as if it meant something, but then I would remember all the disconfirming evidence around me and within my own life and the lives of those I knew and loved).
One thing that really makes me angry is the asinine view that atheists don't reject God because they can't believe intellectually, but because they are in moral revolt against God's rules, e.g., sexual behavior, etc. What utter bullshit (there, I used a bit of a stronger word, happy now)? That idea is even repeated endlessly by so-called "sophisticated" Christians such as the nasty little theist Dinesh D'Souza. Well, I even spent time (in my weaker moments) with some Jehovah's Witnesses and some Mormons, hoping I could find something in those faiths that was real. But I could no longer believe. I tried but it was impossible. I would have gladly accepted all the restrictions on behavior that religion tries to impose (usually unsuccessfully even among many of their most devout) because I wanted, with all my heart, to really believe there is a God who cares. The failure of so many sincere seekers to find this invisible God is only one more piece of evidence that such a God does not exist, for if He did, would he not reach out to His children and let them know He loves them and cares for them? Why would he let them become atheists after they have tried so hard to find him? Of course not all atheists have traveled this path, and some have never gone through a religious phase, but many, many have. Where was God when they were crying out to Him?