I do, I genuinely pity atheists. Now mind you an atheist is generally a lot easier to have a discussion with about life than a born again full on evangelical by a long shot. They tend to be rational people, and most tend to be in my view “good people”. As honest as most if not more so. Most “keep the commandments” though they don’t say it that way. They respect their parents, don’t steal, don’t want what you have at your expense, they don’t murder, etc. Now they don’t keep the Sabbath or worry about “the lords name in vain” but hell, those things do not apply to their beliefs so why would they. My point is simply that beyond the overt religious components of most faiths, most such people are ethical even in the eyes of a person of a revealed religion.
Most atheists I know are also dramatically intelligent people. Many are highly successful in life and in general happy and optimistic.
So why do I pity them? In simple terms it is the lack of a sense of wonder. When I look at the stars, I know full well scientifically what they are, giant balls of gas, nuclear fusion reactors, nothing more in reality. Yet the dreamer in me understands that the very essence of that star, the same dust that makes up that star, also makes up my body, your body and the very earth itself. The difference for the Deist in seeing this fact which many atheists acknowledge by the way is its meaning.
To me this means so much more than galactic recycling of matter, it is also the recycling of energy. In fact I personally see the lines between energy and matter as blurred, and while science is now confirming this, it takes some level of “faith” to truly extrapolate what that means. When I see a leaf I don’t just see a photosynthetic solar panel, I see the marvel of life itself. To the atheist the universe seems mechanical, where the Deists and even the religious see it as energetic.
There is also what is next, to the atheist there is nothing next for the living when we die. You are dust, worm food, gone forever. I have written before about afterlife so I won’t go deep here but I do believe something happens, I don’t know what, I just know in my very being something does. Do we remember our lives, I don’t know, may be, may be not. We may simply become energy and only imprints of our prior life remains in the energy, just the raw information. Or we may remain in spirit far more like revealed religions believe. I really do not know, but the fact that something of our lives remains in some way, matters to me.
There is just part of humans I feel that is connected to the creation and when one cuts that off, something inherently human is then cut off from the individual as well. I feel I was made to be part of the creation, to be a co creator with it in my own tiny small way. Just like you were, atheists can’t comprehend how this is possible, we are too small to matter they say, one person doesn’t matter to the universe, in fact man doesn’t as a species. When we are gone the universe itself will not even miss us.
Let me put it this way, I feel all living beings that see, hear, perceive, wonder at, participate in the creation are very much, “the eyes of God”. It is with this wonder that I study science, nature, history, etc. I don’t sit around praying or believing that one day God will save us. I don’t wait for the day I die with anticipation of heaven, nor do I fear hell but I do marvel at the creation and its wonder and simply feel that is lacking for the atheist.
In my next text I will discuss why I personally feel many become atheists and why they feel it is the right choice.