Militant atheism has once again raised its head in the form of public signs and protests. They always appear during the most significant religious holidays, especially Christmas and Easter. As always, they argue that religion is a fraud and should be ignored. They engage in harsh criticism of the church and believers.
This is America. Everyone has a right to express their opinion. Everyone has the right to believe or not believe, to worship or not worship. And everyone has the right to preach their version of truth. At the same time, we the people have an individual right to choose which belief to accept, or even to launch one of our own.
My question to the nonbelievers is: What does it matter? One of two things is true. Either God exists or he does not. Neither argument can be proven by logic, scientific evidence, or any other system of thought. It takes faith to believe there is a God. It takes just as much faith to believe He does not exist. We cannot “know” in either case.
If God exits, he fills the universe uniformly. To know that he exists, you would have to find some place where he is not to contrast with the rest of the universe. If He does not exist, then the universe is uniformly empty of any spiritual essence. Again, you would have to find some kind of spiritual existence with which to compare the vacuum.
My question to each side is: What if you are wrong? If God exists, what will be the effect on nonbelievers. What if He does not exist, what effect will that have on the believers? Suppose that there is not a God, and when we die, we simply cease to exist. All our thoughts and memories simply vanish. Whether we believed or not, all our faith, prayers and beliefs will simply vanish.
We will be no better or worse having believed or not believed. The outcome would be the same.
But suppose some element of our existence extends past the grave. If our spirit flees the dying body and finds itself alone because we never accepted God or his plan for us. You would be able to sense the existence of God and his host, but you would be shut out by our non-belief. How do you deal with that?
If there is not a God, then believing or not believing will not matter at the end. The result will be the same. But if God exists, then the question becomes critical. Believing in a non-existent God gains you nothing. Not believing in a living God can cost you eternity. Why take the chance?
Frank Gillispie is founder of The Madison County Journal. His e-mail address is email@example.com. His website can be accessed at http://www.frankgillispie.com/gillispieonline.
While I agree with all that you have written here, it is pretty clearly plagarism from Pascal's Wager. Pascal was a philsopher and Christian Appologist in the mid 1600's. Just give credit where it is due......
12/19/10 at 03:18 PM
I think all of us Christians kind of think along the same lines....God is amazing in what He has done and will do...The Star over Bethelhem was awesome...Take a look at Tuesday, Dec. 21,2010 (The winter solstice). When a full lunar eclipse takes place on the shortest day of the year, the planet may just get awfully dark. So glad we know Jesus, the Light of the World.
Militant Atheism? Haven't seen any Atheist start any wars,lately. I would say the word militant could be appropriately used to describe Religious folks though,both historically and in the present.
"My question to the nonbelievers is: What does it matter?"
Doesn't matter,until deceptive politicians start using morally convicted Religious folks to get elected so they can start wars for Oil,destroy our economy,etc. Then it matters.
"My question to each side is: What if you are wrong?"
I live my life exactly the same way 7 days per week; Caring for others,and not being a racist or filled with hate.
So,let the chips fall where they may. If I'm wrong,at least I won't be spending the rest of eternity with a bunch of hypocrites.
Let's not be confused between "Religion and Salvation". Religion is "the" divider of God's people. We are ALL made in "His" image and for "His" glory. We have ALL sinned and fallen short but, "His" grace supplies ALL the coverage for forgiveness. Not ask for, is to waste such a precious gift. Religion is an action chosen by oneself. Salvation is a gift "Given" by a giver. Aside from the religious argument, salvation is not confusing even to a child. Salvation is a certain gift one KNOWS and FEELS when he receives and accepts it just as any other gift received. Your inter-spirit recognizes it creator's love just as one recognizes its Mother's love. All else is just "Religion" and can not save even itself from destruction. One thing is certain "We must be born again".
Indeed, religion is different from spirituality. "Salvation" would never have occured to me, as a child or an adult, unless someone else brought it up. It's not a 'natural' thing to me. I don't walk around feeling guilty and needing "forgiveness". I live my life pretty much without doing any wrong, at least intentionally so. There is only one rule needed for humans: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. Very simple.