Is Atheism an Intellectual or a Moral Issue?
"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard."1
I recently watched the DVD, "Journey Toward Creation … Travel Back to When Light First Sprang from Darkness," narrated by astronomer and author, Dr. Hugh Ross. Because of modern technology we are now able to view vast areas of the universe going back millions of light years. The incredible vastness of the universe and its formation is staggering. To accept all of this as happening by chance would take a mountain more of faith than to believe it all happened by intelligent design by a divine creator. And still the atheist says there is no God.
If I say there is no God, I make myself the final voice of authority and therein usurp the role of God in my life. I become a god unto myself. Furthermore, the more we learn about life and the more educated we become the more we realize how little we know about this world, let alone about the vast expanse of the universe. As Thomas A. Edison said, "Until man duplicates a blade of grass, Nature can laugh at his so-called scientific knowledge … it is obvious that we don't understand one millionth of one percent about anything."2
Undoubtedly there are many factors as to why we believe what we do. For many, much is shaped by their upbringing and what they were taught in their formative years. One's belief system is also affected by how personally honest or dishonest he/she is with his/her inner truth. For instance, if I have unresolved supercharged repressed negative emotions, the defenses I have developed to protect myself from being in touch with these painful emotions give me warped lenses through which I view life's events and end up with a distorted world view. As Cecil Osborne said, "Every unshed tear [and buried emotion] is a prism through which all of life's hurts are distorted."
In the end we ultimately believe what we choose to believe—often what is the most convenient for us. For instance, if I choose to believe in God, I know I am morally responsible. On the other hand, if I chose not to believe in God, I delude myself into thinking I am not morally responsible and can live as I please. For example, "Philosopher Mortimer Adler, one of the great intellectuals of the twentieth century, believed Christianity was true, but refused to accept it because it would interfere with his lifestyle. In time, he overcame that objection and became a Christian, which, given the evidence, was the only rational thing to do."3 I would dare to suggest that maybe, just maybe, his honesty led him in his choice to make a commitment of his life to God and become a Christian.
So is atheism an intellectual or a moral problem? As Bill O'Reilly would say, "We report—you decide."
Note: If you have never made a commitment of your life to God and would like to do so today, be sure to read the article, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian—without having to be religious" at: http://tinyurl.com/8glq9.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be personally honest so that I will not have a distorted world view and a distorted view of reality. Please lead me on the path to truth so that I will clearly see all truth including the truth about You, the universe and all creation. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."
1. Psalm 19:1-3 (NIV).
2. Quote DB, http://www.quotedb.com/quotes/3508
3. Chuck Colson, BreakPoint, October 11, 2007