Recently I was reading a book by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI called Jesus of Nazareth. It is probably one of the greatest books I have ever read, especially with regards to how he is able to break down the figure of Jesus to illuminate the entirety of who He is. I just finished reading a breakdown of the Parable of the Two Sons, or Prodigal Son. Without going into too much detail about the Parable, it is perhaps the greatest account ever given with regards to a conversion of heart and a rejection of self-inflicted filth and despair. Of course, I read the parable to be divinely inspired from the Mouth of the Lord, but even on a simply allegorical level, it is astonishing.
Now, what does this have to do with Atheism? Well, quite frankly, the atheist world-view will inevitably lead to a hopelessness in which no Prodigal Son moment is possible. Without God, there is no forgiveness. You may be thinking that what I am saying isn’t true, because of course an atheist can forgive someone. But, when you follow it out all the way, you realize that they cannot forgive in the truest sense of the word. Forgiveness first and foremost requires sin, which means it requires an actual and binding code of morality that is independent of the society and moral agents involved. We cannot forgive someone if they have not in fact done anything wrong. We cannot be forgiven if there is not a real mechanism to which we can appeal in order to be forgiven.
Sin is not simply the breaking of a rule, although that is part of it. Sin is a fracturing of a relationship with the Good. It is a wound to the harmony between our actions and our soul. When we sin, we set the cosmos in disorder in a way that no physical action void of God can fix. When we do something to harm someone, there is nothing that we can actually do to make it right, without forgiveness. No amount of jail time will ever bring back someone’s lost loved one that was killed by a drunk driver. No amount of money paid back will ever remedy the frightened store owner who is now paranoid that every patron will be another thief. None of these metaphysical ailments can be cured by an action that is void of God’s mercy.
In an atheistic framework, we are essentially people who appeal to a sense of justice in order to call out injustice and transgression, yet we are incapable of ever putting things right. We are soulless machines who have been made with the defect of feeling a pang of regret and shame in a body that aches for a soul. In an atheistic worldview we can never be the Prodigal Son because we can never turn away from our sin, because it doesn’t exist in the first place. Jean Paul Sartre, the famous French atheist philosopher said that the only real philosophical question was “Why not suicide?”. He was right, for an atheist, this is the only real question. With no God, not only is there no sin and no forgiveness, but there is also no binding and ultimate consequence, either good or bad. In the end there is also no time, no space, no anything, as eventually, when you are dead, there is no you, which means all you have come to know is lost and means nothing. There is no legacy, no hope, no sanity, no purpose. We are simply smart animals who convince ourselves that things matter, but in reality, we have no more claim to purpose that an ant or a tree. All of our hopes and dreams are illusions that are nothing more than the byproduct of electric impulses in a confined space that contains an organ that we arbitrarily call the brain.
This is why I find it strange that atheists tend to put so much stock into evolution as if it were a good thing. If we are being honest, the results of an atheistic evolution have been a scandalous tragedy. We have nothing to show for it other than a bunch of confused bipeds who have been duped by random chance to seek a purpose that can never truly be found, as it doesn’t exist. It is as if we were created with the desire for food with no outlet to every truly eat. We are hungry with no way to be fed, thirsty with no water to drink.
Atheism and the resulting world view is probably the greatest example of the collective insanity of a civilization. A group of philosophers and professors all getting up every day with the purpose of showing us how the world is inevitably purposeless. They tell us that in the end there is no meaning in the universe, yet they forget that they appeal to their intrinsic and existing sense of meaning to prove that meaning doesn’t exist. It is as if they look through their eyes and because they cannot see the eyes themselves, they tell us eyes don’t exist, not realizing the absurdity of their claim. Is it any wonder why students leave public schools and universities confused and depressed?
Atheism is an attack of all things common sense. It is an attack on virtue and love. In the end, it is an attack on hope and sanity and can only lead to ruin.