Atheism’s Hopelessness

Posted: December 8, 2011 in Uncategorized
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Bertrand Russell, one of the most famous of atheists, once wrote that the foundation of atheism is “unyielding despair.” Another atheist, Richard Dawkins is reported to have said, the “universe is bleak, cold and empty; but so what?”

It is hard for me to imagine a belief system with hopelessness at its core. There is no God from whom we originate, there is no God to comfort us when we suffer, there is no God to whom we are accountable, there is no God to greet us when we die.

Any semblance of morality would be dependent upon an “assumed goodness in mankind.” But history suggests the opposite.

Christian faith offers a much different picture than any other world view. There is a God who created everything. Man chose sin and death. God set in motion a plan of redemption that ultimately involved God invading history as a man named Jesus. He was born, He lived without sin, He died in place of all sinners, He rose from the dead to be Savior, He is coming again to establish His kingdom in a new earth at the end of the ages. Believe it or not, that is the story of the Bible.

That is why the story of Christmas brings great hope into a dark and bleak world. The angel announced, “Behold I bring you Good News of a Great Joy which is for all people. Unto you is born a Savior.”

The other day I wrote a blog about atheism. Someone responded that like any other religious faith, it is a belief system. I am grateful that my belief system has hope, not hopelessness at its foundation. But for me, my faith is built upon more than simply belief.

  1. “It is hard for me to imagine a belief system with hopelessness at its core”

    As ‘atheism’ isn’t a belief system, you don’t have to imagine it.

    “But history suggests the opposite.”

    No it doesn’t. We love longer, are healthier and safer than we’ve ever been.

    That isn’t world-wide, and we aren’t perfect. But a study of history shows vast improvements.

    • The other day I made the comment that atheism was about knowledge, and you offerred correction that it was a “belief”. It may be different for everyone, and not an organized belief system, but in the sense that we think systematically in the west, it is some kind of “belief system”. Or do you want to move back to it being knowledge.

      Yes, technologically we are improved. But I would have to stick my head into the sand like an ostrich to not notice that the human slave traffic is at its greatest, the brutality of war is at its greatest, oppression by governments and so on. Human history repeatedly demonstrates the moral corruption and selfishness of mankind. WW II was said to be the war to end all wars. Wrong. I stand by the statement that history shows differently. Mamy governemts are implementing blasphemy laws, so that someone who disagrees with their religious perspective can be persecuted, imprisoned, and even murdered. I may not agree with your beliefs, but I will stand beside you to defend your freedom to believe as you do.

      • “but in the sense that we think systematically in the west, it is some kind of “belief system”. Or do you want to move back to it being knowledge.”

        Atheism is a single position on a single issue. You need to be more than one thing to be considered a ‘system’.

        There are many worldviews and belief systems that could include atheism. But none of those systems are called atheism, or should be considered what atheism is.

      • I think that I agree with what you just said. A person can embrace a worldview that includes atheism, but atheism is not by itself a worldview. But I do not believe the opposite is true. Pretty much any theistic view would be predicated upon the starting point being “God”. At least from a Christian perspective, it is all inclusive. It is the worldview.

      • I don’t think you have commented on the point, which is hopelessness that is inherent in atheism.

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