Hopelessness of atheism

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The Rev. Dr. Robert Stuart MacArthur was an early proponent of atheism being a causal factor for suicide.[1][2][3] See: Atheism and suicide

On March 8, 2013, Damon Linker wrote in The Week:

If atheism is true, it is far from being good news. Learning that we're alone in the universe, that no one hears or answers our prayers, that humanity is entirely the product of random events, that we have no more intrinsic dignity than non-human and even non-animate clumps of matter, that we face certain annihilation in death, that our sufferings are ultimately pointless, that our lives and loves do not at all matter in a larger sense, that those who commit horrific evils and elude human punishment get away with their crimes scot free — all of this (and much more) is utterly tragic.[4]

Although Bertrand Russell was an agnostic, he had favorable views of atheism.[5] Bertrand Russell wrote in 1903 about entropy and the universe:

That man is the product of causes that had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve individual life beyond the grave; that all the labors of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man's achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins- all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand.

"Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding dispair, can the soul's habitation henceforth be safely built." [6]

In a letter to Lowes Dickinson, Bertrand Russell wrote:

We stand on the shores of an ocean, crying to the night and the emptiness; sometimes a voice answers out of the darkness. But it is a voice of one drowning; and in a moment the silence returns” (Bertrand Russell, Autobiography, p. 287 as quoted by Leroy Koopman, “Famous Atheists Give Their Testimonies,” Moody Monthly, Nov. 1975, p. 124.) [7]

The Christian apologist William Lane Craig wrote:

For example, the outspoken atheist and Nobel Prize–winning physicist Steven Weinberg, at the close of his much-acclaimed book The First Three Minutes, writes,
It is almost irresistible for humans to believe that we have some special relation to the universe, that human life is not just a more-or-less farcical outcome of a chain of accidents reaching back to the first three minutes, but that somehow we were built in from the beginning.… It is very hard to realize that this all is just a tiny part of an overwhelmingly hostile universe. It is even harder to realize that this present universe has evolved from an unspeakably unfamiliar early condition, and faces a future extinction of endless cold or intolerable heat. The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless.
But if there is no solace in the fruits of our research, there is at least some consolation in the research itself. Men and women are not content to comfort themselves with tales of gods and giants, or to confine their thoughts to the daily affairs of life; they also build telescopes and satellites and accelerators, and sit at their desks for endless hours working out the meaning of the data they gather. The effort to understand the universe is one of the very few things that lifts human life a little above the level of farce, and gives it some of the grace of tragedy.

There’s something strange about Weinberg’s moving description of the human predicament: Tragedy is not a neutral term. It expresses an evaluation of a situation. Weinberg evidently sees a life devoted to scientific pursuits as truly meaningful, and therefore it’s tragic that such a noble pursuit should be extinguished. But why, given atheism, should the pursuit of science be any different from slouching about doing nothing? Since there is no objective purpose to human life, none of our pursuits has any objective significance, however important and dear they may seem to us subjectively. They’re no more significant than shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic.[8]

The atheist Derek Beres claimed: "We’re the product of millions of years of evolution. Most species are extinct, as humans will eventually be."[9] See also: Atheism and death and Atheism and meaninglessness

In December 2003, the University of Warwick reported:

Dr. Stephen Joseph, from the University of Warwick, said: "Religious people seem to have a greater purpose in life, which is why they are happier. Looking at the research evidence, it seems that those who celebrate the Christian meaning of Christmas are on the whole likely to be happier.[10]

For more information please see: Atheism and suicide and Atheism and depression and Atheism and alcohol abuse

Atheist infighting making the atheist community unappealing to many

See also: Atheist factions

The significant amount of unpleasant personalities within atheism and the resulting amount of atheist infighting has made atheist community unattractive to people who are looking for a sense of community and/or a common cause (see: Atheist factions and Views on atheists).[11][12]

Atheists, motivation, depression and dopamine levels in the brain

See also: Atheism and motivation and Atheism and inspiration

According to Scientific American: "Research also suggests that a religious brain exhibits higher levels of dopamine, a hormone associated with increased attention and motivation."[13] See: Atheism and motivation

For more information, please see: Atheism, depression, suicide and dopamine levels in the brain and Atheism and depression

Atheism contrasted with Christianity

See also: Unattractiveness of atheism

The American Christian Todd Strandberg said of atheism: "The ranks of atheists have always been small... The key problem with atheism is that it lacks a strong 'selling point'".[14] Christians maintain that the benefits of Christianity totally outweigh the benefits of atheism.[15] For example, Bible believing Christians point out that the atheist population is more depressed than the Christian population and that atheists will ultimately wind up in hell.[16]

Unlike atheism which merely offers vanity and unrelenting despair, Christianity offers an accurate view of the universe and man's place in it. For more information, please see: Resources for leaving atheism and becoming a Christian and Christian joy, atheist despair and the good news of Christianity and Evidence for Christianity

Recommended book

  • The Case for Utter Hopelessness: Why Atheism Leads to Unyielding Despair by Austin C Brown, 2017, ISBN-10: 1547010622

See also

Other:

Essay:

External links

Atheism and despair:

Notes