The poor atheist has only one thing: How to get from today to tomorrow. It’s a pinched, crabbed… small life, filled with tiny, limited imaginations that produce small people.
Without God, the atheist lives in a life filled with limitations. He knows — or thinks he knows — what it is to produce a a “perfect” world, a “utopia.” Yet, every society where atheism has been an important component has been easy to sum up in three small words: Hell on earth.
The Soviet Union, Red China, Venezuela, Nazi Germany, Vietnam, Cuba, Cambodia, North Korea, Cold War-era Eastern Europe. If you put together only the Soviet Union and Red China, you have upwards of 100 million dead people. Each one murdered in the name of an ideology that required its citizens to be atheists. Or die.
Even then, when the citizens openly complied with that requirement, they died in their millions and millions. The reason is simple: if God does not exist, then everything is permitted. (1)
The problem is that God does exist, and, frequently, that ticks off the atheist no end.
Because God’s existence means that there are certain rules that are not man’s rules. And the atheists mentioned above — Stalin, Castro, Pol Pot, Mao, Ho chi Minh, the Kims, etc. — were concerned with one thing: obtaining, and retaining power. If there were rules that might make that more difficult, then those rules needed to disappear. If God provided those rules, then He needed to disappear(2). And, of course, without God, all is permitted.
And all was done. And those who are atheists today, and who are in power, continue to do all to obtain and retain power. Why? Simple: Without God, the only limits on a man’s behavior are in his imagination.
For an atheist, the earth might as well be flat; the sun and the stars might just as well revolve around the earth. Why? Simple: without the infinitude of God, without His perfection, then the superficial, the unexamined understandings, received wisdom, the fairy tales of past generations(3) are… enough. Why? Because there’s no need for more. After all, a man’s life — his entire meaningful existence — in an atheist’s mind, goes from 0 to about 100, give or take… and that’s it.
There is math, you know, there are equations that demonstrate how the sun and stars revolve around the earth, the retrograde motion of the planets. If life goes only from 0 to 100, then why would one explore what seems to be already known? After all, life is so astonishingly short, and there’s so much to know! Why not just search for new things, and leave unchallenged the known? Whether it’s true or not.
It’s funny how atheists so often point accusing fingers at Christianity as somehow “anti-science,” when it’s the very infinitude of God that, by its very definition, permits the limitless growth of knowledge through scientific exploration. It’s Christianity that permits — welcomes! — a more rounded understanding of life and the universe through scientific contributions to what is also known through faith.
Not only are science and Christianity perfectly compatible, each is important to the other. Science is limited, walled in, myopic, without Christianity; Christian faith is enriched by scientific understandings, all of which confirm what’s known through faith, all of which point straight to the majesty, to the power and the glory of the Creator.
The atheist who accuses religious believers of constraining science is showing only his own insecurity, his feelings of guilt, his limited intellect… his fear. And his lack of vision. Yes, there have been religious believers who have stood in the way of scientific exploration. But Christianity is the faith that eventually allows all good things.
Men are imperfect. God is not. God’s word is not imperfect. The religious believers who stood in the way of scientific inquiry eventually went away, and scientific inquiry continued as it always has.
There are always ups and downs in the path of free scientific inquiry, but in a Christian society, the downs are temporary. Over the fullness of time, the ups far, far outnumber the downs. The atheist remembers only the downs. Atheism is such a narrow, circumscribed system of belief, or of non-belief.
More importantly, the atheist’s accusation accuses itself. For if God exists, then atheism’s non-belief is profoundly anti-scientific. If you want anti-scientific, you need look no further than Lysenkoism. Or, you could look at the inhuman “scientific experiments” of Nazi Germany. In Maoist China, intellectuals — scientists and others — were murdered by the hundreds of thousands during Mao’s bloody reign. In North Korea, the only science there says only whatever the Kim family régime tells it to say.
Don’t look for scientific ups in Islam. Don’t look for scientific ups in those countries where atheism is obligatory. In those countries, all scientific exploration that doesn’t confirm the preconceived notions of the prevailing ideology… is squashed. Scientists whose work doesn’t confirm the preconceived notions of the prevailing ideology… die, frequently violently.
Pity the poor stunted, limited, cramped atheist, and his confined, paltry, tiny vision.
(1) Dostoevsky, the Brothers Karamazov
(2) Every faith, even bloodthirsty Islam, has rules under which it’s permissible to take a human life. However, for an atheist there are no such rules, except those which he might invent at any given moment. And, even if he makes a bunch of rules that constrain his ability to kill people, then he can also abrogate those rules. After all, in his mind there are no God-given rules. Only Man-given rules. Well, if Man — himself — giveth, then Man can also taketh away. And so he does! If, that is, those silly rules get in the way of power.
(3) Another important article of atheist faith is that Christians, or other religious believers, are superstitious, believers in fairy tales. However, atheism is far and away the most important ingredient in superstition. Chesterton summed it up well: “When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become capable of believing in anything.” We see that today, in the increase in the number of people who believe in Gaia, in the divinity of rocks, stones, trees, the wind, the sun, animals, whatever.