The Catch-22 of Atheism

One’s worldview is based upon what one believes to be the Ultimate Reality. The most fundamental intellectual choice to be made is whether or not God exists. For if God does exist, it is possible that he has a certain purpose and regard for us, his created creatures. If he exists, then it is possible that our beliefs and actions matter, and there is such thing as objective morality. Of course, in order to affirm these things, we have to move beyond the basic fact of God’s existence to a more detailed belief system. My view is that Christian theism is correct, which entails real (as opposed to fabricated) purpose in life, inherent value of human beings, and objective moral truths.

If God does not exist, then it logically follows that there is no true purpose for man’s life; there is only the purpose man invents in his own mind in order to make a pointless life emotionally tolerable. Man’s beliefs and actions do not matter, as there is no objective morality. Even the idea that humans should act in a way that helps fellow man survive and thrive is absurd, for we know that mankind faces inevitable extinction. Why exert the effort? It will be for naught in the end. Besides, without objective morality, there can’t be any objective “shoulds” or “should nots.” Man is a cosmic accident–nothing more, nothing less, and the very cosmos that spat him out will eventually annihilate him.

The catch-22 for atheism is that If atheism is true, it doesn’t ultimately matter that it’s true.

The interesting thing is, there are people (including brilliant scholars) dedicating their lives, their careers, to atheism evangelism. They behave as if atheism is of utmost importance, and believe that the rest of humanity must be cured of their superstitions. Why do they not see the stark contradiction in this? They deny the actual implications of their very own belief system. They protest any displays of religious significance on public property. Why? Why does it matter? They erect monuments to atheism in a demonstration of “equal rights” for their view. But, if their view is correct, it doesn’t matter that it’s correct, so why bother? If they are evolved in such a way as to disbelieve theism but I am evolved to believe it, who are they to judge their view “better” than mine? It’s only the diversity of our brain chemicals, after all. It makes no difference.

Christianity suffers from no such paradox, for if Christian theism is true, that truth is of infinite importance.

Christians are fully justified in promoting their belief system, because if it is TRUE, it automatically MATTERS that it’s true. If we are created by God and he has a purpose and conditions for our life that determine our eternity, then our beliefs and actions in this life are crucial. Notice I’m not saying this in any way implies that Christianity is true. I’m saying that Christian evangelism is philosophically justified–it logically follows from the belief that Christian theism is true. It doesn’t suffer from the catch-22.

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