The Faith of Atheism

The extent to which Christians are criticized for their faith always surprises me. In current American culture, and especially in science-based fields like IT, one is viewed as unintelligent or at least ignorant if they believe in any kind of religion. It is automatically assumed that if you find faith to be a credible notion then you must lack in basic deductive reasoning or logic. The only way to arrive at answers is by science, and to think that science could lead to God is laughable.

Take a moment to examine the foundations of this world view, though. In order to follow it you place a great deal of weight on two pillars, people and science. You must assume in the first place that it is at all possible for humans to fully understand the mysteries of the universe. Secondly, you must assume that science is a capable vehicle for arriving at those answers. I won’t claim to know what the full intellectual potential of humanity is, but it’s safe to say that at this point we do not know everything. I think any reasonable scientist would agree with that. As to the method, I’m as much a fan of science as anyone. In fact, I thoroughly believe that as we uncover more that science will lead us right back to God. However, science can only provide answers based on the answers it already has. Science is constantly disproving its own findings from decades before based on new information that has recently been acquired. It’s just the nature of how it works, and that’s okay. The trouble comes when people think, with a great amount of hubris, that people (who don’t understand everything) can use science (that hasn’t uncovered everything) to make definite declarations about the universe, its origins, and all it holds. Also, there’s the issue of scientists being bought or swayed to produce skewed results in support of a particular idea. They are only human, and it does happen.

So, to bring it back around to faith, people such as myself believe that God created the universe and all that’s in it. Take a moment to stand up, walk outside of the man-made rectangle you’re sitting in (where it’s so easy to feel in control), and literally think outside of the box. Look around at nature with all of its complexity and intricate detail. Take in the hundreds of types of life just within your yard at home or the grounds at your work. Then think about how, to date, not one other life-supporting planet so perfect as this has been found in all the known universe. Think about the vastness of space with all of the planets and stars it contains, most of which we’ve not viewed yet. Then tell me how you’re not living a life of faith by depending on people, who are equally as fallible and weak as you are, to not only understand all of that fully but to also rule out the existence of something they don’t understand in all the areas we haven’t yet observed.

Let me give you another example. Let’s say that based on today’s knowledge and the research of the world’s top minds you come to the conclusion that there is no God (what other reasonable conclusion is there, right?). Going on that information you live a life with no regard for God and die at an old age, having spent your years pursuing the things of this world. It’s possible you achieved fame, wealth, and enjoyed a long list of pleasures. Eighty years after your death science has progressed enough to explore all of the universe, to examine the basic building blocks of life, and finds conclusive evidence of God. You and all those who confidently followed the minds and science of your day will have missed God completely. There is no second chance to seek Him out. By contrast I will have lived a peaceful life of faith, crafting my actions on the advice of a God I believe to be infinitely wise, and then end my days without regret. Each of us will carry the same things from this life past the grave, nothing. But I have the hope of eternity with a loving creator after having spent what is, in retrospect, a very short time on this earth. If things go the other way and I’m the one that’s wrong then I’ve still lived that same peaceful life following wise teaching and, hopefully, doing good to those around me. I’ve lost nothing because we both end in nothing, and I’ve made a much smaller gamble.

In the end the atheist lives their life based on faith just as much as the religious among us. They like to think it is an intellectually superior position based on concrete evidence. However, in truth it is built on imperfect systems that were created by even more imperfect people. I choose to place my faith instead in a mighty God capable of creating all these things, and to view science as a way to find Him and the glories of His creation rather than as a way to dismiss Him. He is revealed through creation, through history, and through His work in the hearts of men (including my own). His name is Jesus Christ, He sacrificed Himself to set you free, and I’d love to tell you about Him sometime.

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