The Arrogance of Atheism
Lately I’ve been amusing myself by spending time with the social site reddit. One of the prominent sub-reddits, is atheism, and it’s managed to remind me why I find radical atheists almost as offensive as fundamentalists. (Almost, since they don’t tell other people how to live, they just sneer at other people for their beliefs). So let me respond to fire with fire, atheism is, ultimately, intellectually disreputable.
You cannot know with certainty that there is no god, in the sense of a creator of the universe, for example. It is impossible. You can assert that it is unnecessary, but that is not the same thing as impossible. Certainly you can say “there’s no reason to believe God created the universe in 7 days, 4,000 odd years ago”, but who cares? If Biblical literacy is your target, it’s just about shooting fish in a barrel, isn’t it?
The fact is that we don’t know. Arguably, we can’t know. We can say “God as described literally in the bible cannot exist”, but we cannot say “God does not exist”.
Which is why, at the end of the day, I stick with agnosticism. I don’t know if there’s a god, or an afterlife, or a soul. (I have opinions, but I am aware they are opinions, not facts). As such I know that I don’t know, and I don’t presume to tell people that I do know. I don’t dismiss out of hand, say, children born speaking languages they have no exposure to, or near-death experiences, or mystical experiences. At the same time, I know there may be a simple materialistic explanation for them.
Likewise I remember always that there’s no reason for anything to exist, that the biggest absurdity of existence is existence. Humbled by this fact, I feel no need to spout off and say “I KNOW”.
I don’t know.
And neither do you.