Atheism and Theism

I finished "Epistemology, the justification of belief" by David L. Wolfe last week and after an attempt to communicate with some atheists tonight I have come to the conclusion that I believe that there is an insurmountable difference between the beliefs that Atheism puts fourth and the beliefs of a Christian. I had thought for some time that there was a way in which we could talk with one another civilly (and I still hope that this can be achieved) but by in large there is just such a fundamental difference between Atheists and Christians that it is nearly incorrigible to attempt to even talk to one in hopes that they will take your belief system seriously.

I feel that I've wasted so much time because I had believed that everyone weighed each argument in as non-biased way as possible and attempt to come to a conclusion based on the facts as they are perceived from the other perspective, throwing out stereotypes cards that are typically played. Wolfe said something to the effect of "You can't expect a materialist to believe that you have had experiences with a metaphysical being" and likewise you can't expect to be a dualist and expect to understand a materialist. This statement made so much sense to me. I have tried my very best to understand the mind of the Atheist and I have still found there arguments lacking (though some do have merit), but what can be expected when my view of reality isn't simply based upon the material, but also upon the metaphysical and the material.

Perhaps I am incorrect in thinking this, but it seems so impossible to bridge the gap between belief systems that maybe we shouldn't even bother to try. Your everyday hardened Atheist will continue to sit around in his hubris and pontificate upon everything religious and never give a second thought to the possible valid nature of a metaphysical world. But who could blame them?

Mainstream Christendom has wrapped God around such flighty arguments and impossibly improbable explanations that of course the first thing that an Atheist will reference when speaking about Christians is the Kent Hovinds and the Pat Robertsons of Christianity and not the N.T. Wrights or the Alvin Plantingas. The only conclusion that I can come to is that these differences have become impossible to bridge because of the aggressive nature of the modern Christian Church and the newly found aggressive nature of Atheism. This will never end well.


Anonymous said...

This is so hard to grapple with. Indeed, it will not end peacefully.
Thanks for sharing with me these past few days.

Amy said...

You need to write a new post sometime soon, honey. I love you.

Ian said...

I agree with you in that the difference between atheism and christendom is huge; i don't even think atheism is a coherent philosophy. The goal of any philosophy is to answer the big questions in life. Why am I here? Do I have a purpose? Is there a God? Does he care about me? The first point Camus made in "The Myth of Sisyphus" was that the most fundamental philosophical question is that of suicide. Does what I believe give me a reason to stay alive? Atheism does not give an answer. A naturally and materialistically based philosophy will not, because it cannot, answer the "why's" of the universe. It can only answer the "how's." Why is there something instead of nothing? Atheists don't know. There just is something. Their own philosophy dictates that there shouldn't be anything in the universe. There shouldn't even be a universe. There is, but there shouldn't be. Agnostics at least acknowledge that there may be a God with order in the universe, but there's no way to know definitively, so don't worry about it. Atheism dictates that its adherents, in order to maintain consistency, should commit suicide. Obviously, that's not that much fun, so they do whatever else they want.