It is a common saying that we should have positive thoughts as to what will happen in our lives. When a person faces a challenge, if he or she believes that he or she will succeed, he or she will find many reasons to support the notion that he or she will succeed. He or she will use all of his or her energy, try all methods, ask for all help, and suffer all painful situations, and finally he or she will eventually succeed. On the contrary, if he or she believes that he or she will fail, he or she will find many reasons to support the notion that he or she will fail. He or she can’t do his or her best and will often feel frustrated and depressed, and at the end, he or she will eventually fail.
There is something similar regarding religious beliefs. If you believe that there is God, you will find many reasons to support the notion that there is God. If you believe that there is no God, you will find many reasons to support the notion that there is no God. The problem is deciding on which side you want to stand.
In this sense, for an atheist to accept Christianity or any other religion should be easy. If you turn your basic belief from “It is impossible that God exists” to “It is possible that God exists,” you will find many reasons to support this new belief. They are as plentiful as your reasons for your old belief. They are as logical as your reasons for your old belief. They are as convincing as your reasons for your old belief. Your thinking system that dominates and affects your whole life depends on which side you choose.
For a person who believes that there is no God, he or she is always able to find many things to strengthen this idea. In a world full of machines, engines, and computers, scientific principles replace God in the minds of many people. The universe has much evidence to support that it began with a big bang and that human beings are products of evolution over billions of years on a planet in this universe. It looks as if these things happened without any interference by any supernatural power. Nobody can show you whether there is some kind of transcendental existence. The Bible is supposed to have been written two to three thousand years ago. There is no more direct evidence to prove that events written in the Bible are true. At that time, photography, recording, or filming weren’t invented, so nothing in the Bible is absolutely convincing. The miracles written in the Bible really contradict our common sense about nature. In our world, natural laws are as hard as steel. As the structure of the earth is of this form, somewhere on earth must have an earthquake after a certain time, and this earthquake causes buildings to collapse and harms the people inside them. People become sick because they are infected by microorganisms or because their bodies are disordered. On the other hand, when microorganisms infect people or their bodies are disordered, they definitely will become sick. Any malfunctioning part of a plane surely will cause that plane to fall, and people in that flight surely will be injured or die. Whether people have souls is such a hard and intrinsic problem that if somebody insists that his or her self-consciousness is merely an illusion, a consequence of the activities of his or her brain, nobody can prove that he or she is wrong. Now, psychology is so advanced that almost all religious activities can be explained by it. The reason why there are many believers is that extensive prayer and singing make people feel joyful and peaceful and strengthen their belief. Christian doctrines use heaven to attract people to believe in God and to do good things, and they use hell to warn people not to do bad things. They ask people to give offerings so that the church is able to have a sound economic foundation. They also encourage people to spread the gospel so that believers are getting more and more. All atheistic ideas can form a self-consistent system just like the one described here.
Maybe you are an atheist and you became an atheist because of this self-feedback process. At some time, you accepted the philosophy of atheism and have learned many ideas of atheism from your education system and from your living experiences of many years. You take the absolute universal generalization principle, a basic assumption of many science books that don’t mention it, for granted and have never doubted it. You don’t really want to understand the nature of your self-consciousness and simply assume that the soul is an outdated and illusory idea and that there will be nothing after life. It seems nice to keep this belief, because all of your friends know that you are an atheist and it’s hard to tell them you have a different opinion now. It seems nice to keep this belief, because it’s really troublesome to reset everything in your brain to adapt to a new thought system.
But what good is that? Is it important to tell other human beings that they should think as smartly and rationally as you do? Is it rewarding to prevent people from wasting time, energy, and resources on religious affairs? Is it necessary to keep your image as an atheist in the eyes of your friends? Even if these notions are important to you, are they so important that you don’t care about the risk of losing your soul forever? Your best consequence is that what you believe is true. Someday in the twenty-first century or the twenty-second century, your body will stop functioning. After that, you won’t exist. You will never come back to life again. You will never think, learn, work, or enjoy yourself like you are doing now. Actually, according to materialism, that’s the fate of everyone. That’s the fate of our race. There is no hope for people at all. The universe has no meaning at all. The whole story of life on earth is a small spark in the vast universe.
A worse case is that God does exist and that a spiritual world is not imaginary. After your death, you will find that your self-consciousness does not end after your death. Something worse than death may happen. Something better than everything in this life also may happen. However, your atheistic belief in your lifetime may prevent you from getting good results at that time. You should make sure that this is not the case if you want to keep being an atheist.
You always have a chance to reconsider the basic principle of your mind as long as you are here on earth. If you begin to feel that atheism is not so convincing, many religions in the world are your hopes. Of course, from the viewpoint of this book, Christianity is recommended.
- 1樓. 提琴2008/06/28 14:30One God
I am not an atheist, but I do not concur with the "only Christian God is the true God " idea. Other religious' doctrine could be more supreme.
After all, for the all mighty God, there is no reason for Him to fight for more number of believers.
A good religion should be inclusive and forgiving, give people strength through faith, not fear of God.