What is the point of Atheism?

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I once rejected God’s plan for my life. It was by far the best and most beautiful of the two main options that lay before me. But I cast God’s plan into the sea and watched as the ship sailed on indifferent to my petulant action. I had my reasons. We all have reasons. We also have emotions. Who reigns? What governs your inner kingdom?

Without faith in Jesus Christ what reigned in my inner kingdom was self-regard, self-justification, self-concern, self-pity and so on. In this world, in my former atheistic world, I did it my way. No longer.

I now see the world for the fraud it is. Secular humanism everywhere, but not a drop of love to drink. In faith we breathe and live – without it we are offered a culture of death. Follow in faith the way of Jesus Christ and follow life. Gain an eternal life worth living for. Pray, fast and have faith in the Lord. Amen.

 

 

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49 thoughts on “What is the point of Atheism?

  1. So did you feel more selfish as an atheist? How so, and why did you not address this and action it before going back to religion?

    • The ‘issue’ as you call it was a lack of faith in God. You assume too much – ‘going back to religion’- is an assumption on your part. You refer to feelings (which I see you have now edited out) but it is not just about feelings. It is fair to say that I was more likely to follow feelings when I had no faith in God.

  2. Miracles do happen and the fact that your comment changed in front of my eyes without you having anything to do with it is another reason to believe in God. As for feelings, you feel that my vision of life without God is too pessimistic; after having lived this life, I will say it is a pretty accurate assessment.

  3. Atheist: a person who disbelieves or lacks belief in the existence of God.

    Agnostic: a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God.

    Your definition of Atheism bears some resemblance to both agnosticism and atheism but is neither one nor the other. So you ought to be clear whether you are stating a view based on Atheism or Agnosticism.

    Assuming either position is established you deny this has any bearing on the kind of person they will become. Is that correct?

    If this is your position you are effectively saying that first principles are not important. But this is not the way things are in life for without agreement in first principles there is unlikely to be agreement further down the line unless one chooses to live a superficial existence and refuses to engage in any meaningful debate.

    Atheism is not about ‘impressions’ as you would have it, but in having a conviction that God does not exist. Your definition of Atheism expresses your subjective impressions.

    • “my definition comes from 15 years or so of letting atheists define themselves rather than me, you, or webster.”

      Then your definition is based upon individual experience, which is nice, but is has no objective value or basis for agreement and further discussion.

      “principle have nothing to do with christianity, atheism, or the color of grass nor are there “first principles” (a term in epistemology, and a pipe dream they will tell you … ask rorty or quine after all).”

      A principle is a fundamental truth. If you deny the existence of truth why should I believe anything you say?

      “atheism and theism and any response to the question of the existence of the god is wholly one of impression. and conviction and belief are also two very different things.”

      You ought to read Saint Thomas Aquinas. You will find far more than ‘impressions’ to refute subjective opinions.

      “i have no intention of debating. if you want to understand the epistemology from my viewpoint, i have two articles on the subject and one on this topic itself “in defense of: atheism and theism”.”

      The theory of knowledge is an interesting subject, but not the primary focus of this debate, which is about Atheism.

  4. Not really trying to sell you on atheism here, but the point of atheism is that we can’t accept God because we don’t believe there’s sufficient evidence. I understand that religion and faith gives your life more meaning, but to an atheist such as myself, that doesn’t make his existence so. Something doesn’t exist because it would be convenient for it to exist.

    Are you speaking about morals? A reason to live? Atheists don’t believe we need to believe in God for any of these things. If you’re going to ask “What is the point of atheism?”, the point is being right. Why not worship Zeus or Ra?

    Again, I know I’m not going to convince you on atheism here. Your post just makes it seem like atheists are willingly rejecting God, but we don’t reject anyone. We just don’t think they exist.

    • Thanks for your post. There are many reasons why a person might decide that they are an atheist. It could be because they have not yet found the evidence they are looking for, but since we are talking about faith, what sort of evidence is it that would convince you? Some are convinced of the reality of God by private revelation, but this is hard to come by for the worldly-minded according to Thomas a’Kempis. May I recommend you read ‘Confessions’ (Penguin books edition) by St. Augustine. It was written over 1500 years ago and you will soon discover that he knew more then than many people do today. Besides it is very well-written, St. Augustine asks many questions, and it is said to be the first classic autobiography.

      • Private revelation has been cited for thousands of gods throughout history. I also really attempted Catholicism when I was young and raised into it, but I found no personal benefit from it. I would need something in the physical world that I can point to as evidence, and I’m unconvinced of the objective historical legitimacy of the Bible (which I also think is a pretty flawed text to serve as a moral guide anyway).

        I’ll check out the Augustine book if I can fit it into my reading list, always looking to read more on the subject. I’ve read some Augustine before, but it was mostly political theory.

        Thanks!

      • I appreciate your thoughts. I recall someone saying many years ago that they had tried praying and never got an answer. Others have also said similar to you and dismissed private revelation because religious experience is a universal phenomenon and the world and his wife have claimed it. When I was 16 I thought of myself as an Existentialist! That is I thought that our choices defined who we are. Only now do I realize that all these things either miss the point or do not go deeply enough into the subject. My faith is not based on private revelation alone. After reading, for example, St. Teresa of Avila, you will find compelling evidence for its authenticity in her life, which is available in her autobiography, yet a Christian faith is not necessarily based on private revelation. It may also be of interest to note that some notable Saints’ bodies are found to be incorruptible; that is their bodies remain inexplicably free from decay over centuries. My faith recognises that Jesus Christ is God and is the second person of the Holy Trinity. In a moment of truth I vowed to Jesus Christ to stop drinking alcohol. The effects of alcohol had over the years lessened my resistance to the occasions of sin. But since making my heartfelt vow I have never felt inclined or wanted to drink alcohol again. I am no longer enslaved to satan. You or others may scoff at my words, but I know now what has taken me a painful lifetime to realize. I tried all the secular and atheistic ideas and they simply don’t work. When I once worked at a shelter for the homeless I could see that Mankind was broken and no man made ideology was going to fix it.

        I cannot speak for the bloke I mentioned earlier in this reply, who once prayed and didn’t perceive an answer, but it is possible that he either never prayed hard enough or was not willing to give up what he was addicted to and attached to – his secular idols, if you like – despite his prayers and protestations. There are many counterfeits in this world, but this does not prove the original is false. I know now that Traditional Catholicism is true and the only sure way to salvation. This is is not to say that others cannot be saved, but it is a harder road, especially without the Holy Catholic sacrament of Confession. If you can find a Roman Catholic Church which offers a Traditional Latin Mass (Tridentine Mass) why not attend? What have you got to lose?

        I have read quite a bit which I found helpful in my journey of faith and sometimes you need to get the right translation. Below are some links which might help for further reading or interest:

        https://mosaicross.wordpress.com/2016/06/16/conversion/

        https://mosaicross.wordpress.com/2016/08/19/the-god-delusion-by-richard-dawkins/

        https://mosaicross.wordpress.com/2016/08/14/fire-in-the-minds-of-men/

        https://mosaicross.wordpress.com/2016/08/01/the-early-church/

      • Well I see that you place a heavy emphasis on personal revelation, something I suppose I just can’t get behind. I’m fortunate enough to be living a wonderful, prosperous life on my own merits, and I don’t feel that I need to turn to religion, even when there are hardships. (I’m all for humanism and existentialism, however!) I think religion has really helped a lot of people, and it gives them a great sense of comfort, but I suppose I would need to see such a revelation for myself. I can’t take the revelation of others as evidence for the biggest claim one could possibly make. I also see that you’re not a fan of Dawkins, but I actually found The God Delusion to be a pretty important text for me to develop in my beliefs and understand the atheist position (although Dawkins can be a jerk sometimes). On the topic of incorruptibility, I believe these bodies should be allowed to be examined by the scientific community. There have been examples of wax masks, incisions uncovered signifying significant preservation methods, and other indicators that this phenomenon is no miracle (also a strange inclination towards saints held of high regard in Catholicism but no other sect.) All of these inclinations towards the existence of God are often speculation based on documents with little historical validity, and the existence of God (with his desires and actions, etc) is one of the biggest claims one could make. You need extraordinary evidence for such a claim, and I really don’t see any at all aside from personal testimony. However, I appreciate your thoughtful response and your respect.

      • Do you believe George Washington was the first president of the USA? Do you believe Abe Lincoln was a president of the USA? If so, have you met either? By faith, you believe in our history of these two being a president. Just as by faith one knows in God’s existence. It’s human nature because of sin to believe there is none. May you continue to ask questions and seek out answers. The easiest is to look up – 🙂

      • Thanks for the comment. For the record the bulk of my theological questioning is in the past. I hope my testimony makes it clear that my faith is in The Traditional Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church. Incidentally, I’m English. God bless you and your family for 2017.

      • I can observe evidence that George Washington and Lincoln were Presidents. Many documents, photographs (in the case of Lincoln), paintings, journals, etc. Extensive records are kept about the history of the US Presidency. The existence of God has none of this evidence, and personal revelation is not a valid piece of evidence either because it’s not observable outside of the individual. What about personal revelation that Zeus existed? What about when Ra spoke to his followers? By your own logic, Zeus also exists.

        I should also point out that presuming that God exists is THE biggest claim one could make, far greater than who a United States President was, and such a claim requires even more concrete evidence as a result.

      • Ah yes I’ve seen The Atheist Delusion. With all due respect, the film is just some guy surprising uneducated college freshmen on the street and cherry-picking interviews where they contradict themselves or look confused. This is NOT evidence. I could do the same for any subject. It’s shameful and laughable. I’d like to see the filmmaker debate a scholar on the subject instead of cherry-picking random interviews.

        The film puts forward the watchmaker analogy, a fallacy that refuses to acknowledge Darwinian evolution (and even if you reject Darwin’s theory of evolution still makes no sense. The lack of knowledge about where something came from does not by default point to a creator. That’s the “God of the gaps” fallacy at work.). The movie also completely straw mans and misrepresents evolutionary theory with more of this on-the-spot questioning. The filmmaker either ignores or honestly doesn’t understand the theory of evolution.

        The film also puts forward this notion that the conditions of the universe formed in just the right way so that life could exist, when we’re fairly certain via evolution that life adapted to these conditions, not the other way around.

        The film also suggests that because we have a conscience, that must have come from a God who puts forward a definite right and wrong. This is also a terribly flawed notion with no logical connection. Morals are relative and they are derived by humans, something that has been studied and measured over time. In fact, human consensus on various moral questions continues to change every day. It’s not definite. The Bible condones slavery, misogyny, rape, and other acts that I guarantee the Church would not condone today. Has God changed his mind?

        I could recreate this movie from an atheist perspective with a camera, stock footage of nature, and a couple of hours on a college campus. It doesn’t prove anything; it’s just surprising uneducated or surprised people and packaging their reactions as evidence.

        These questions don’t have simple answers, but the filmmaker asks these round-about questions to suggest that they do. I guarantee that some of the people the filmmaker spoke with gave more accurate, length responses that fully refute the interviewer’s questions, but those conveniently were NOT included in the film.

        The film has various other flaws, but I think I’ve said enough. Thanks for your time and respect. Have a great 2017!

      • I never said God does not exist. This isn’t something that can be proven. Why doesn’t Zeus exist? I believe there’s an equal chance for the Christian God existing just as much as there’s a chance for Zeus, Ra, or any other unseeable entity. This is why the burden of proof is on the believer.

      • There are many reasons why a person might decide that they are an Atheist.
        Anyone who claims that it is a decision, is either innocently wrong, or intentionally lying. You either believe, or you don’t! You are either convinced, or you’re not. I did not choose not to believe. I have never been presented with evidence that is even faintly believable, much less convincing. 🙄

      • Thank you for your view on this. First of all the blog I aim to re-post tomorrow presents a few things which you may not have considered. Although as far as a thorough explanation on God’s existence you will, of course, have to turn to the writing of Saint Thomas Aquinas. This video might help: https://youtu.be/3N9IPxWb_gA although it cannot replace a reading or study of his theological arguments. As for the initial point you made about decisions. You say that there are many reasons why a person might decide they are an atheist. Then you say anyone who claims this is a decision is either innocently wrong or lying. So I guess your point is that it is an instinctive decision which is not based on reason? If this is your position then surely it is time to consider the arguments which support reason as it would in most important decisions we make in life? But my brief blog on atheism was not written at the time I write about because it is a look back at an event in my life which took place many decades ago. It is only upon reflection and prayer that I became aware of the thoughts I have subsequently written about. So I did not do what I did attributing my actions to atheism but in recollecting these events in the passage of time I realise more clearly what was motivating my actions. It might be more accurate to describe my actions at that time as nihilistic but I am unaware of any nihilistic viewpoint which is not strongly associated with atheism.

      • I didn’t say that there are many reasons for a person to choose to be an Atheist. You did! Don’t you remember? I merely lifted a line from your post, changed it into Italics, and placed it at the beginning of my comment, to indicate that it was your quote. Then I provided, what I thought were, several cogent arguments against it.
        I have been studying this dichotomy for over 60 years. There are very few aspects that I haven’t considered. You seem quite enamored of St. Thomas Aquinas. While he was a deep thinker, and presented several interesting opinions, he was still preaching to the already persuaded. I have found nothing in his writings which cannot be easily countered. I can as easily accept Frederick Nietzsche, who did not say what many people, both Atheist and Christian, believe he said.
        Even your description of your journey, seems to verify my above claim. You were in a position/situation where you were not convinced. What you decided, was to look for proof of a position that you could accept and – SURPRISE – wanting it to exist, you found it.
        While the viewpoint of Atheists being nihilists exists, it does so only in the desperate, judgemental, brainwashed minds of Ultra-Christians. The Atheists who I know, go about their days, happily, morally, productively and lovingly, manning suicide hotlines, volunteering at soup kitchens, donating to homeless shelters. This contrasts to ‘Good Christians’ who actively work to tear world society down, to bring on the (unproven) End Times.
        The number of Atheists in prisons, per capita, is less than 1/10th that of Christians. In California, every second male in penitentiaries is named Jesus – Hay-Zoos. 😳

      • Oh I see you lifted a line from a conversation I had with someone else and expected me to remember this from several years ago? Funny.

        If you have been ‘studying this subject for sixty years’ I ought to say in reply my thesis was on contemporary atheism, albeit this was a generation ago.

        I did not say that atheists are nihilists but that the similarity between them is close enough to draw a reasonable comparison. Besides, as I have already explained, this is a retrospective take on what happened. You were not there. I was. And I can assure you that the thought of God did not at that time cross my mind. My actions at that time spoke far more words than I had in my vocabulary. Now I have the words – I can look back and describe them.

        You write:

        While the viewpoint of Atheists being nihilists exists, it does so only in the desperate, judgemental, brainwashed minds of Ultra-Christians.

        I answered the first part of your diatribe but as for the rest it is odd that you judge Christians and yet, at the same time, in the same sentence, accuse them of being ‘judgemental’. Can you not see just how ironic this is? And as far as my being ‘brainwashed’ have you ever stopped to consider that it may well be you who has been brainwashed by a secular, atheistic and politically correct society which has used people’s passions as way of controlling them? For more on this I recommend you add to your already extensive knowledge by reading Libido Dominandi: Sexual Liberation and Political Control by E. Michael Jones.

        And yes, I am sure you know many ‘loving atheists’. I did too. And I was one of them. The difference is I now accept objective truth exists and aim to apply this to what I believe and the way I live my life. If you believe subjectivity is truth, and that everything is relative, you may simply make up the rules to suit yourself and follow your passions which, without restraint, can and does lead many people to drink excessively, take drugs, and even contemplate suicide. These issues impact on the lives of millions of Americans every year.

        Jesus said: Jesus saith to him: I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by me. He wasn’t lying but many of the people who currently rule our world are.

      • Well…. The Atheist decision claim did seem to be a significant point of your post, and I was obviously arguing against it. I just felt that it would be reasonable for you to know who to attribute it to.
        Even if your thesis was written some years ago, both Atheism and American Christianity have changed some, but in both cases, it’s just further distinctions, without much of a fundamental difference. Some time ago, I read a graduate’s thesis that absolutely, positively, guaranteed that there would only be four books in the Harry Potter series.
        As proof, the deep thinker listed, among other things, the four Gospels in the New Testament – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, as well as the four basic elements – Earth, Air, Fire and Water. Of course, we know what happened – the series went to 7 books and 8 movies. A well-presented thesis does not reality make.
        I did not say that you went looking for ’God’, only a situation where you felt more comfortable. The fact that you eventually discovered the Christian God, is not surprising.
        What’s funny, is that you will stipulate to the existence of my large group of happy, non-nihilist Atheists, admit that you know of such a group yourself, but when you had nihilistic thoughts, you felt that you had to blame it on Atheism, probably because you had been taught, and believed, that Atheists, and ONLY Atheists are nihilistic. It is just the opposite. Most Atheists are as far from nihilism as it’s possible to get. Any similarity is only in your mind. Good Christians fall to the lure of their passions, and become drunks, addicts, and prison-bound felons.
        I wish that there were two words to distinguish varieties of ‘judgemental.’ We all are judgemental of all things, at all times. I am judgemental of observed reality. Too many Christians are judgemental of things that they were told, or the way they want things to be. To not know the difference, merely makes people ignorant. To not want to know the difference, makes them stupid. 😯

      • Then my answer is that I was not looking for a situation ‘where I felt more comfortable’. Indeed, the reverse is possibly the case, since every Christian must carry his Cross and that is not an easy thing to do. Truth is preferable to falsity or being comfortable. You possibly misunderstand my point but it is not surprising since it is not easy to understand another’s life by reading a few things online which is why it would be prudent to avoid too many immediate conclusions. I never said ‘only’ Atheists are Nihilistic. What I said was there appears to be a logical connexion and, it seems to me at least, that an atheistic mindset is more prone to nihilism. For example, famous names associated with Nihilism include: Nietzsche, Sartre, and Camus. Could they be described as atheists? Yes, I think so. And tellingly perhaps two of those names are associated with the subject of suicide. My guess is many people who drink excessively, regularly take drugs, are addicted to pornography or, are considering suicide, are doing so because they have not found True freedom of life lived in faith in Jesus Christ. By God’s grace this is not only possible but has happened countless times in the past two thousand years. It has happened to me. Have you read the Gospel of John? If so, read it again and try the Douay-Rheims version. It is more accurate in my estimation. By the way, I am not saying that Christians cannot fall into sin, of course they do, but that does not negate the truth of Christianity. And those that have fallen into sin can return to a relationship with God after penance and confession.

  5. You finding happiness in faith does not prove faith is real.
    There are many miserable and horrible religious people but this does not prove that faith causes the negatives. It is the person who controls their behaviour. To attribute positive or negatives to anything else is lazy.

  6. Please forgive me for not reading all the comments; I just want to say what is on my mind. Let me start off by saying that I am currently as fervent of an atheist as I ever was a Catholic, and I considered joining the priesthood until I discovered priests can’t marry. I studied the history of the Church, both the good and the bad, and slowly became a firm nonbeliever. I find your inclusion of all atheists into the group that you inhabited as a nonbeliever rather repulsive. Many atheists I know are good and kind and generous, as I try to be. A good many atheists are as you describe, only concerned with themselves. I would say that this says absolutely nothing about an individual’s personal beliefs! It says a ton about the person, however. It says they are devoid of compassion, empathy, and pretty much every other good attribute a person can possess. It says that ANY deeds they do are to directly benefit them, whether those are “good” or “bad” deeds. So in other words, YOU are repulsive, YOU must be completely devoid of any trait that would indicate you’re in possession of a shred of decency. YOU disgust me!

  7. Atheism is simply the realization that ALL claims of God or Gods existing are unsubstantiated claims and therefore should not be accepted or validated. Hence a lack of belief.

    Beyond that I think the point is to live a truly authentic life not based on religious doctrine and false pretenses.

    • Thank you for your comment. What is a ‘truly authentic life’? On what criteria do you judge what this is? As for my thoughts on Atheism for all practical purposes a life lived without acknowledging the existence or sovereignty of God will suffice since our actions often speak louder than words or dictionary definitions. What I mean is that I know some people may claim they are Agnostics or Humanists yet it is the way they live their lives that more accurately defines what they truly believe. My blog is written looking back on a life that was lived without any regard to the sovereignty of God. And for all intents and purposes I might as well have been described as an Atheist even though I might not have claimed this label for myself at the time.

      p.s.

      I recommend you read ‘The Foundation of Christendom’ by Prof. Warren Carroll, which is the first book mentioned in the link/blog below.

      See link: https://mosaicross.wordpress.com/2017/05/21/the-unfolding-story-of-mankind/

  8. A Matthew Henry quote sprung to mind when reading your article – “It is he who calls himself an atheist who is so hardened in his sin that he wish there be none to call him to an account.”

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