by Jay Johansen | May 6, 2020
It must be very depressing to be an honest atheist.
You have to believe that you are at the mercy of forces beyond your control. You could, at any time, see your life upended -- or ended -- by a natural disaster. You could be struck down with a terrible disease. You could lose your job or otherwise be ruined by global economic forces. You could be victimized by anyone from criminals to terrorists to hostile political factions to impersonal bureaucrats. Some people hate you and actively want to do you harm. Perhaps worse, others will do you harm casually, without a second thought, not because they hate you, but because they don't care about you and aren't even thinking about you in particular.
As a Christian, I believe that I can turn to God to protect me. If he chooses not to, I still have confidence that even if I am tortured or killed, I have an eternity in Paradise ahead of me. And whatever happens on this Earth, God is in control. I often do not understand his plan, but he still has a plan.
An atheist has to believe that no one is in control. There is no one to save him, no one with the power to protect him.
I've heard some atheists say things like, "I believe that everything works out for the best". But why in the world would you believe that? What force in the universe would cause things to "work out for the best"? You're deluding yourself. In your belief system, there cannot be any plan because there is no Planner.
I'm not saying that this is any sort of argument that atheism is false. Just that if you really believe it, and you honestly consider the implications, it's terrifying.
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