Believe in God, because the Alternative is Scary
I’ve been reading and listening to a lot of rebuttals to atheist books. One theme that occurs over and over is that atheism cannot be true, because if it is then it means that all sorts of bad things are true.
They say that if there is no god then when we die that we are just dead forever. If there is no god then we don’t have anyone to tell us what is right and wrong. Different people can have different opinions and both be right. If there is no god then he hasn’t told us what to do with our lives and so we have no reason to do anything and will just collapse into a pit of despair.
Since we don’t want any of these things to be true, then we must believe that there is a god, right?
I think this is a horrible argument. There are so many holes in it, that it’s hard to know where to start the rebuttal. I’ll start with the fact that you can’t really choose what you believe. Let’s say that you wanted to believe in Santa Claus again. Could you really convince yourself that he really exists? What if I promised that you would get presents from him if you really believe? I don’t think I could.
Second, just because something is scary, doesn’t mean its not true. You mean we might have to fight to justify and convince others of our beliefs and not just automatically assume that we are right because we have an all powerful being on our side? You mean that I can’t just find out what my purpose is in life from someone else? You mean that I’m going to die forever? These things can be intimidating, but that doesn’t mean they are not true. We can’t change whether they are true or not by wishing. I can’t just believe that my bank account is flush with cash and so my car payment check will clear. It either is or it isn’t. And if you are going to be a grownup you need to figure out which it is.
Lastly, these things are not really that scary. There are plenty of atheists living fulfilled lives even though they don’t have a god to tell them what they have to do. Yes, they believe that they are going to die forever, but they still get up in the morning. Accepting things as they are brings freedom and responsibility. Freedom because you can choose what you are going to do with your life. Responsibility because you know that there isn’t any god to make things right in the end. Instead humans have to do the best we can.
Don’t be scared. Grow up and stop believing in this because you are afraid of the alternatives.