The Unhappy Atheist

I’ve never met a happy atheist.
Atheists are angry, often full of hatred. They are angry at religion and religious people, and since most people on the planet are religious, this means they are pretty much misanthropes. Atheists are often people who have been wronged by religious people, and their anger taints everything they do.
Atheists are usually intelligent; so intelligent in fact, that they think they are smarter than everyone else. Therefore they are full of arrogance, contempt and even rage against people for being so stupid as to believe in a god. They are condescending and patronizing, and their supposedly “objective” and “intellectual” criticism of religion is always laced with insults and negative emotion.
I have never read or heard an atheist argument that relied solely on logic. They use every propaganda trick in the book: straw men, exaggeration, reframing the argument, etc. They seemingly cannot present a logical point of view on the subject of religion that does not rely on distortions or attacks.
Atheists have a bleak view of the universe: there is no purpose to life, no code of ethics to guide us, no comfort in tragedy and death. There is simply cold, brutal Darwinism, a short, meaningless existence, and then utter nothingness.
If atheism brought inner peace, everyone would embrace it (except those who enjoy being conflicted.) Instead, the majority of people embrace religion.
Atheists are now attempting love and kindness, but they will tire of it. Atheists’ inherent sense of superiority will fill them with disgust for the weak. Atheists will burn out with no source of compassion to plug into and no well of joy from which to draw.
Atheism has nothing to offer you. Let go of your anger and your arrogance. They aren’t helping you.

Your idea of Heaven is boring to me

What is your idea of what Heaven is like? Dressing in white? Choirs of angels? Fluffy clouds?

Ask most Christians and they will tell you that eternity will consist of us praising God, and that’s pretty much it.

This sounds boring to me.

Indulge me for a moment while I ramble…

The Universe is currently measured as being 28 billion light-years in diameter. This is because our telescopes allow us to see 14 billion light-years in either direction. As soon as we build larger telescopes, our idea of the Universe will grow even bigger. Also, our estimation of the size of the Universe is predicated upon the fact that we are using Earth as center point. If, as it turns out, the Earth is not in the center of the Universe (and it very likely is not,) our image of the Universe will expand even further. The Universe could be 100 billion light-years across, or a trillion, or a hundred trillion.

Discussing things in terms of light-years sometimes allows things to drift past us without truly grasping their significance, so let me just refresh your memory:

Light is the fastest thing known. It travels at 186,000 miles per second. It makes the journey from our Sun, located 93 million miles away, in about eight minutes. Therefore, a light-year is how far light can travel in one year. It is 5,865,569,000,000 miles. So the size of the known universe is how far light can travel in 28 billion years.

This is a staggering, almost incomprehensible amount of area. Now, remember that it is not empty space, but full of stars. It’s easy to think of stars as little pinpoints of light instead of what they are-suns. There are approximately 125 billion galaxies in the known universe, each containing (it is guessed) in the neighborhood of 100 billion suns apiece.

Try to imagine that. It’s difficult, but try.

Do you have that picture in your mind? Now, let me ask you….

Do you really believe that God made all of that for the sole purpose of showing His greatness because He wants nothing more out of man than worship for all eternity? That he is uninterested in any endeavor, any pleasure, any form of self-expression from mankind except perpetual flattery of His ego?

I think that Heaven is more amazing than we can imagine.

Think about the difference between being a fan and a worshiper. A fan maintains his/her own identity and sense of self while giving praise to a thing or person because of the qualities that the person or thing demonstrates. There may be moments where the fan loses themselves in the moment of enjoying the object of their adoration, but they always come down and are themselves again. It is the becoming of self again that makes the fan truly appreciate the thing they are a fan of; they have something with which to compare that altered state.

How could we fully appreciate God unless we had some “down time” that enabled us to rest and enjoy something else besides worship?

God is a creator, and He doesn’t change. He’s an artist that doesn’t stop making new things. And why would he do that if the things He’s making weren’t going to be enjoyed?

I have no doubt that when we see God face to face it will be so incredible that we will gladly fall down and praise and glorify Him….but what about after that? Eternity is a long, long time.

I can’t help but think of The Doctor in the Dr. Who series, the recent version with David Tennant as The Doctor. He loves humanity, and sees life as a big adventure to be enjoyed. Sure, he punishes evildoers, but they really had it coming. People who are basically good get the benefit of his blessing. I’d like to think of God that way, and of Heaven as just a big TARDIS machine-traveling through space and time in one adventure after another.

Was the Bible inspired or dictated?

Evangelical Christians will hate this blog because I will not only tip over their sacred cows, I will kill them and eat them with barbecue sauce.

Atheists will hate it, because despite all of my criticism of Christianity, I still believe in God. And I will take plenty of shots at them, too.

Liberal Christians will hate it because even though I question the Bible, I will not endorse some kind of permissive, alternative lifestyle. Nor will I concede that “all roads lead to  God.” One road leads to God; Christ.

The rest of the world will not care about what’s here.

So why am I bothering?

I think that there are things beyond our knowing as mortals, but the attempt to understand them is part of what makes us ready to be immortals.

So, let”s get to it.

Was the Bible inspired or dictated?

The Bible is the Word of God, or so we’re told. Straight from God’s mouth to the stylus of a few select men, and we just sort of take their word for it. It’s kind of amazing when you think about it. Millions of people living their lives on the basis of what a few guys say that God told them when they were alone, often with no audible voice. If someone came up to you and said, “Hey, I just invented this new religion. Where’d I get my ideas? Oh, from the voices in my head,” you’d have them locked up immediately. But I’m giving the Bible the benefit of the doubt for the moment. Let’s say that these guys really did hear from the Almighty. Fine. Now, here’s a crucial question: did they write down exactly what they heard/felt/saw, or, being human, wrote down kind of what they heard/felt/saw? In other words, was the Bible dictated or inspired?

When I was a  lad, such a question was unthinkable to me. God wouldn’t allow His word to be juggled with, not with souls at stake. Anyone who questioned the Bible’s divine origin and exact transcription must be simply looking for a loophole for sin. After all, if you can’t trust the Bible to be exact, how can you obey it?

There are occasional hints in the Bible that let you know that maybe it’s a little less than the exact the Word of Jehovah. 1 Corinthians 1: 14-16 is one such passage. It seems so innocuous at first glance, and second, and probably hundredth:

“I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, so no one can say that you were baptized in my name. (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.)

Picture these verses being written for the first time. God is dictating Scripture, and the Apostle Paul’s sitting there like some kind of holy secretary, writing down shorthand or whatever, so he can put it on a scroll later, or maybe God just talked real slow or Paul wrote really fast. Anyway, God’s talking, and he says: “Okay, this happened.”And then He goes, “No, wait, this happened. Oh, I don’t remember.”

That’s a pretty big deal. Either we have to conclude that God is this senile old man, rambling on and contradicting Himself, or we have to go with the more obvious explanation- that Paul wrote the thing himself. No angels whispering in his ear or guiding the pen like some kind of automatic writing session.

The word “inspired” comes from the Latin word that means “to breathe upon.” The primary definition of inspire is “to exert an influence on.” So perhaps God “breathed” on certain people and influenced what they should write. Perhaps He is still doing that today. After all, don’t we say that preachers, priests and ministers are “inspired” when they write a sermon?

There are two responses to this that I feel are incorrect-the person who says, “See, the Bible is full of crap, and so I don’t have to believe in it,” and the person says, “Well, then, I can just interpret it how I like.” Both miss the point and are ultimately self-serving.

Whether or not someone hears from God comes down to what kind of life they lead-good or evil. Another word for “breath” in the Bible is “spirit.” if someone is being inspired by God, they are getting a dose of His Spirit. And the fruits (results) of the Spirit are obvious-love joy, peace, patience, kindness, faith, and self-control (Galatians 5:22.)  Does this sound like the Christians you know? I know it doesn’t sound like me all of the time. I have a lot of work to do.