I love the post, above, as I have been pondering similar things for weeks now.
I have gotten fond of Dear Prudence, the commonsensical advice columnist in the Washington Post. Since she is an atheist, I do, however, often find myself silently arguing with her. Here is why.
Prudence claims the same principles that the Bible says govern the universe. Only
. . . as an atheist, she can’t do that. Not without acknowledging that she is actually a post-Christian-era personage who is actively rejecting Christianity while trying to retain its logical underpinnings.
Did anyone ever actually promise non-believers that everything would just work out right? Actually, no. God, in creating the world, created common grace so that the rain falls on the crops of everyone, not just those who acknowledge the God who creates the rain. But, beyond that common grace, things can badly misfire in the lives of unbelievers because, um, the events of their lives are supposed to act as an impetus to draw them to Jesus. That is specialized, saving grace, applied to the individual.
The Bible does say that all things work together for good to those who love God. But that is different than what is normally quoted.
Another point I often ponder is that, if there is no God, then there is no reason to tell people to not be superstitious. I mean, wouldn’t a superstitious person have just as much of a chance of being right in his estimate of how a world works without God in it? What would make a logical person better than a superstitious person, under those circumstances? Either the world would operate randomly or it would be held together by some inexplicable system that was never devised by a God. Either way, superstitious beliefs should seem more valuable to an atheist than to a person who believes God exists and is in sovereign control. Right?
And, as Prudence often says that life is not a zero sum game, I especially have to challenge her on where she got that belief, if not indirectly through the Scriptures. I mean, she constantly tells women who are not rejoicing with their newly engaged friends that life is not zero sum and that they too could meet the man of their dreams any day now. I mean, each happy bride does *not decrease the possibility that a single girl will get married. There are roughly the same number of heterosexual people of both genders and the same percentage of them would make good mates. So there!
But the most humorous superstition/zero sum belief that Prudence has to oppose on a weekly basis is the idea that, when one couple conceives, they have just decreased the chances that their friends will conceive at the same time. She regularly has infertile couples (or others who are slow to conceive) practically cursing their friends who have had the audacity to conceive a child in their vicinity. They act as though the couple who have conceived a child have sucked all the oxygen out of their world in order to do so. And they justify unbelievable rudeness and displays of ill manners toward the expectant couple as a result.
Back to the idea that, without God, we don’t have a predictable world system and . . . well, how can Prudence prove that life is *not zero sum? What if the universe really does have a random pregnancy lottery and . . . once the hundredth couple conceives each day, no one else gets to conceive? Just sayin’
What actually happens, I believe, is that Western atheists enshrine the mores of the Golden Age of Greece and enthrone logic and philosophy. How very Western-centric of them, eh? Only . . . there are so many other times and places from which we could draw ideas, if there were really no God.
Do our American atheists really mean to suggest that logic and philosophy are, in and of themselves, Gods? If so, at least acknowledge that that is the starting point, for other atheists in the world may disagree.
As for me, I am glad to believe in a sovereign God, for I don’t have to worry about waking up one day and finding that I, myself, am the most advanced life form there is! LOL!