Atheism and Christianity Compared — One View

4 Jan

I have seen two or three blog-posts recently that try to either reconcile or differentiate the ethical and moral beliefs of atheists and Christians.  I think this is because atheists are making louder noises about their desire to not be bothered by religion.  Recognizing the right of people to choose atheism over theism, and having come into Christianity from a position of agnosticism (fence-sitting) myself, I would like to present my own view of the implications of growing atheism in this country and abroad.

It may well be that a current-day atheist has a moral value system that approximates that of a Christian (or exceeds that of a Christian, depending upon how low you set the bar in order to qualify someone as a Christian).  However, it seems to me that the logical conclusion a society reaches as it  slides into an atheistic philosophy is a realization that nothing matters.  Nothing.

With no directed purpose to civilization, with our lives being perceived as less than a nanosecond in a sea of meaningless time and eternal nothingness, what is the motivation to even stay alive, much less to help others stay alive – simply fear of the inevitable personal annihilation/nothingness?  Do we not see this creeping syndrome in the abortion statistics already?  The only thing that would hold an atheistic civilization together would be the need to hang together in a cooperative manner to survive.

Murder, for example, would not be a moral dilemma, but rather a practical decision – does this person being considered for murder add value to society, or not?  If not, why not just terminate him/her?  It’s not like (s)he is preparing for anything.  We have seen the extinction of millions upon millions of humans throughout history for expediency, have seen it on a grand scale even within the last century, and still see it today – the powerful who have no sense of the sanctity of human life viciously prey upon the weak without hesitation.

Without a divine purpose and related moral law, there is nothing.  Who cares if you make someone else’s life easier or harder, when neither your life nor theirs has any lasting importance?  Why do we search for cures to illnesses, when life is without purpose, and has no value within a value system founded outside and above our selves?  Letting a sick person die leaves more resources for others.  Likewise, when a person ceases to be productive by getting too old, or becoming disabled, why not simply kill them and preserve resources for others (as has happened in many societies throughout history, especially with slaves)?  If we don’t want a higher population, or don’t want as many girls, or as many boys, just kill the fetuses/babies, for within nature they are no more important than ants, to be snuffed out at will.

Even if there really was no God, atheists should hope beyond hope that moral and ethical foundations always exist that are based upon belief in a divine being who cares about people and outcomes here on earth, and encourages people to look beyond the here and now.  The alternative is much worse than the implication of government death panels under Obamacare – and much, much worse than the simple inconvenience of having to be exposed to someone’s religious beliefs.

Lucky for them (and for all of us, of course), atheists today are surrounded by such moral and ethical religious foundations in most countries – to one extent or another.  In America, atheists should not only be thankful for religion that affirms the sanctity of life and gives eternal purpose to life (and thus to us poor humans) but thankful for a Constitution that protects their right to believe and express whatever they want to about God and religion.  A marvel, really, when we consider that the founders were overwhelmingly believers in God.

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