by guest blogger, BroKen
I hope you realize that in these letters I have not been arguing for my God or any other specific religious deity. There are many possible explanations for the ideals of morality, love, beauty, reason, etc. besides the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Some possibilities include Deism; the idea that God got the universe going and has since left it, and us, on our own. There is Pantheism; the idea that some spiritual reality permeates all physical nature. There is Dualism; its fundamental reality is an eternal struggle between equally matched Good and Evil which can never be resolved. There is even Pantheistic Dualism popularized in the Star Wars saga; “You cannot imagine the power of the Dark Side, Luke!” The list goes on and on.
These letters are merely trying to get you to re-examine what is obvious to the vast majority of human beings, past and present. We have rationally concluded that “atoms and void” are not an adequate explanation for human existence. The things we think are most important all point to something outside ourselves. Therefore, I have been asking you to consider a baby step away from atheism. The whole giant leap of faith probably would be too much.
Many people, especially atheists, are convinced that religion is a deeply, if not purely, emotional affair. They imagine people who are gripped by fear of dying and overwhelmed by grief over lost loved ones, who then create a comforting fantasy. They imagine people frustrated by the lack of justice in the world who then dream up a celestial cavalry coming in the nick of time. These imaginings are a caricature of religion. Like all caricatures there is truth mixed with some key distortions.
Yet I am struck by how often some (thanks, Zoe) atheists themselves resist rational explanations of phenomena. There is order in the universe. “So what! It just happened that way.” DNA molecules carry information. “Yeah, that means nothing!” Humans have deep mystical experiences. “Well, alcohol and LSD do that, too.” Such consistent and powerful resistance makes me wonder if there isn't some emotional blockage.
Could it be that some (thanks, Zoe) atheists have been wounded by a religious authority and therefore reject both the religious and the Authority it represents? It wouldn't have to be a religious authority. Any authority is a fitting stand in for God. Might, at least, some atheists be saying in effect, “To hell with you and the horse you rode in on!”? The horse, of course, is God.
Or could it be that some (thanks, Zoe) atheists, like the rest of us, have done something for which they are deeply ashamed? Now they cannot bear the thought of something, or, so much worse, some One was watching them to hold them accountable. Might there be some emotional component to the atheists' lack of faith?
Have you, Dear Unbeliever, considered at least the possibility of that source for your rejection of what seems to most rational human beings, a reasonable faith?