Monday, September 13, 2010

Thoughts on atheism

In broad terms, atheism can be defined as a disbelief in the existence of deity. Most of us have come across people who claim to be atheists and have heard them say, "I do not believe in God and never will." I wonder if they would be surprised to hear me say, "I don't believe in atheism and never will."

It's true. I don't believe that there is such a thing as an actual atheist. I believe that people claim to be atheists but, in truth, I think it is really a symptom of a deeper illness. I have my reasons for coming to this conclusion though my reasons would be unlikely to hold water with those who say that God doesn't exist.

I think that "atheism" is a "disconnect" between body and soul. The disconnection is the illness and "atheism" is simply a symptom of the illness. There are probably many reasons why this disconnection may take place. A few causes could be:
-immense spiritual, emotional, or physical trauma to a person
-anger at God on a deep level that cannot be accessed
- a conscious turning away ( which wouldn't really be "atheism" but pride and making a deity of oneself)

I believe that the knowledge of God is built into the soul of every human being. How can it not be if we were created in his image? Some people may not have heard about God but this has nothing to do with unbelief. If someone were to tell them about God they would probably grasp the truth of Him fairly quickly because the truth is already planted within them, though they might not yet  be aware of this knowledge.

I sometimes will hear someone who does not believe in God  define atheism not as unbelief but rather the absence of a belief in a deity. The use of the word " absence" is what strikes me most about this definition as the word absence signifies a void. I think that God gives "clues",even through language, about the truth of life.

I rarely argue about God with those who claim to be atheists. I do not want to cause more grief to a soul that is already suffering. Instead, I place the person in the hands of our gentle Savior who is the only one who can really cure their illness. I simply state my belief in God and then turn it over to Love Himself. Intellectual knowledge rarely changes what a person believes. Grace on the other hand...

12 comments:

  1. Good point Mary. I too do not believe that someone that says they do not believe in God, somewhere in their spirit since God has put His spirit in us, an atheist will always have a piece of God in them. Whether they choose to believe it or not.

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  2. It also occurred to me that it's much more difficult to not believe in God than to believe since everything points at God if we pay attention. It must take some effort to sustain this disbelief since we were fashioned to believe otherwise. "Atheism" is only a temporary condition, anyway. Sooner or later everyone changes their minds ;)

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  3. Mary: OT: I am leaving you an award on my blog. God bless,

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  4. Thank you, Esther!
    I'll come collect it as long as it's not the ugliest blog award or the worst punctuation award (lol). My punctuation is very poor so maybe I would have to accept that one but I think my blog would only come in third or fourth for the ugliest blog award because I spent 2 minutes the other day changing the template ;)

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  5. Mary, interesting post. I too pray for them as we know the Lord loves them as his lost sheep and will not stop looking for them.
    Your blog looks great!

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  6. Fascinating reflections on Atheism. The most important point for me that I take away from your post is that atheism shows a woundedness. In my youth I had such an anger against God, and though I had not thought about it since, for a brief time, I wished God to not exist, because of immense emotional and spiritual trauma, just like you say! Your post reminded me, and gives me a renewed sense of compassion toward these unfortunate souls. It really goes to show that we must look kindly upon all, for we do not know their burdens. Thank you, Mary.

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  7. Hi Colleen! I'm glad you like the new look.

    I put up this post because there have been so many debates online lately about the existence of God due to Stephen Hawking's new book. My husband jumps right into the thick of these debates but I prefer to pray for those who do not believe because it seems like debating just causes others to dig in their heels further. While my thoughts may anger someone who is a professed atheist, I think those who don't believe DO suffer from a spiritual illness and prayer helps more than debating an issue over and over again. They simply need God's healing just as the rest of us do.

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  8. Robert,
    Thank you for your comment. There was a time in my life that I was angry at God, too. I guess you could say that I "ignored" Him for a while. God has mercy on everyone, thankfully, for that is the nature of pure love! We cannot judge those who do not believe because we don't understand the wounds of their hearts. God understands, however, and his grace is always at work.

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  9. What a great post. Very interesting ideas about atheism. I have a friend who is an agnostic and much of your description of the atheist fits her too, I think. Love your idea about clues in the language. So true.

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  10. Thank you for commenting, Rosemary. I have some friends who are agnostic but I think that "sitting on the fence" probably gets uncomfortable after a while ;) The human brain is finite so the infinite cannot be understood through the intellect alone. Dissatisfaction in the spirit and a yearning for something more will often "nudge" a person off the fence and push them to search deeper.

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  11. I've never met an atheist I'm aware of and have never had conversations with one, but I agree with your thinking. Arguing doesn't work with people who want to defend an ideology. We can only set a good example and commend them to God and His lovely Mother.

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  12. Barb,
    Never? That's surprising in this day and age :) I agree about setting good examples and leaving them in God's hands. Arguing often makes people dig in their heels.

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