“There are no atheists in foxholes.” Or so the saying goes. Today, that probably has more to do with the scarcity of foxholes than it does with the scarcity of atheists. Indeed, the growing ranks of atheists include some who would like the military to allow them to designate “humanist” on their dog tags and official records. Just as a Catholic would wish to be specifically labeled and not bunched with other “Christians,” they argue, so too the “humanist” wants his “positive philosophy” to properly reflect what he believes.
Considering the times, I suspect that the humanists will soon have their way. And perhaps this isn’t all bad; perhaps it will provide a springboard for the believer to engage those who have allowed the pluralism of a free society to lead them to some strikingly false conclusions about the true nature of things.
Consider: we spend our lives growing, mentally and spiritually as well as physically. As the years progress, we gain knowledge, of things and places and people, and we build relationships. For some, but not all, wisdom also increases. This growth is valuable to us, and we seek – intuitively and innately – to make it last. Built into our natures is a desire for life generally, and for relationships specifically, to continue. Even when relationships fail, we don’t decide to live like hermits; we continue to seek to be heard and understood. We seek a place where we can belong. This hunger is fueled in part by the desire – the need – to make sense of the world and our place in it. Despite the hustle and bustle of the daily grind, in quiet moments we each at some point have to ask: why am I here? What, or who, put me here? What is expected of me? What is my ultimate end? What meaning, if any, is there to all of this? These are important questions that we can push aside for awhile but not forever.
Atheism posits that we are accidents of evolution, with no transcendent or lasting purpose. The universe just happens to exist and we just happen to be the unintended byproduct of a string of events which were set in motion randomly untold billions of years ago. We pass our brief moments in the sun, and in the end, we simply return to dust. The quality of the lives we lived, and our desire to continue thinking and growing and… being…count for nothing. There is no ultimate arbiter of right and wrong, neither punishment for evil deeds nor rewards for the good that was done.
It’s hard to view this worldview as anything but futile and barren. And yet it seems to be taking hold in the modern mind. Why bother to punch anything at all into dog tags? Why should the humanist claim have any persuasive force, when it cannot explain any of what we find around us? When it runs so wildly counter to the intuition that we all have that this cannot be all that there is?
Because man is fallen – indeed, because he is in active rebellion against God – it is in fact predictable that man’s denial will persist. But there is a better way, one that is consonant with truth, which can answer the questions that bubble up from deep within us. A way that can ultimately satisfy our curiosity, and our desire, and set us back on the path toward home.
Scroll through the pages of this website to find out more about the truth claims of this time-tested worldview, which even now, despite all the challenges of the past two thousand years, remains alive and vibrant in every corner of the globe.
Posted by Al Serrato