16.9 – Why put faith in faithlessness?
Some people parade their faithlessness as if it makes them intellectually superior: “I don’t believe in anything that I don’t see; I don’t believe in fairy tales about a good God watching over the world.”
What such self-congratulatory atheists rarely acknowledge is that their faithlessness is rooted in faith. Let’s see how.
Firstly, disbelief in the invisible is not even an intellectually defensible position, leave alone an intellectually superior position. There is no way to prove that what we see is all that exists. In fact, modern science suggests the exact opposite – most of the universe is filled with things that we can’t see like dark matter and dark energy.
Secondly, labeling belief in a benevolent supervising deity as a fairy tale doesn’t make it a fairy tale. The history of science has revealed more and more order at increasingly deeper levels in the structure of the universe. So whatever seems presently as disorder may well be a hitherto-unfathomed higher level order, an order that includes God.
And what is the alternative that atheists offer to a ‘fairy-tale’ God? A dreary tale. A dreary tale that requires as much belief while providing far lesser benefit. A dreary tale that we and all things around us are nothing but lumps of matter moving around meaninglessly. A dreary tale whose only evidence is the belief that if we can’t find any meaning, none exists.
And what is the result of believing in this dreary tale? Loneliness, emptiness, pointlessness – the existential angst that drives millions to depression, addiction and self-destruction. No wonder the Bhagavad-gita (16.09) warns that an atheistic worldview ends in harm to oneself and harm to the world.
When we see atheism as faith in dubious and deleterious beliefs, theism becomes self-evident as the far more rational and beneficial choice for our faith.