Watching the TV the other day one of the stars (I’m avoiding saying who it was because I’m not singling them out, I think this is a general attitude among many) started talking about how they were going to have a humanist funeral (as my late brother also wanted) – nothing religious at all and then followed up his monologue saying you have to have hope, life is nothing without hope.
It seems to me this sums up the typical assumption that somehow you can reject belief in God and put yourself in the centre of the universe and then still have hope and even some kind of afterlife.
Yet, where does that hope come from? Is it hope in some unseen force of the Universe that will make things better in the end? According to most atheists, who think about it, the Universe is heading for destruction and there is no such force. Anyone relying on humanity improving into a Utopia and that somehow their small life will have contributed to it is very deluded. According to science one-day humanity will cease to exist and the Universe expand so far that there will be only cold and death. Shouldn’t this make our efforts at improvement pointless and end in deep depression for us all. The way many atheists seem to think they can avoid this depression concerning future destruction and endless death is to avoid thinking about it. What kind of answer is that! No wonder as more people like the appeal of atheism the world becomes more depressed. It is making me depressed just thinking about it.
Here is what Bertrand Russel once said about this wonderful atheist future (his approach was not think about it):
“All the labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins.” Bertrand Russell (1872–1970).
Why are you not in deep despair? Or is it because you are deluding yourself about the atheistic faith you profess? Everything you have ever done, all the art produced and progress and ending problems is in the end pointless.
No atheist should have a humanist funeral. At best it is a bunch of deluded people thinking that somehow a person’s life had meaning and that maybe as your atoms blend into the Universe (perhaps as pond scum or worse) you go on forever. Well, my friend your atoms may survive (all very poetic and all) but you and your achievements do not. Even the memory of those who knew you will disappear with a little time. When you die your body should just be disposed of and no humanist funeral – to have such a funeral is something of a joke.
Am I upsetting you by talking about the truth as an atheist should see it?
I’m also told that more young people are praying these days. Praying to whom? If more of them think they are atheists then why do they pray? And who do they think is listening?
I agree that you need hope but hope is not an end in itself it needs to be hope in something. The same can be said about faith – also wrongly used as a noun these days. Faith and hope need to be in something.
Hope is what then? Humanity? Politicians? Science? All of these have failed utterly in the past. Humanity will one day disappear (according to science); politicians hardly need describing as a bad source of hope; science took us into two world wars and the possible complete destruction of everything if another world war ever comes. Where is the hope coming from?
I think there are plenty of reasons to believe that God exists.
- That the Universe exists in the first place.
- That the Universe is so finely balanced.
- The existence of objective moral values.
- Historical facts surrounding the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
- The personal testimony of those who have encountered God.
So if God does exist (I believe God does) and if Jesus has revealed the nature of a loving God to us (I believe this is true) then we have a God who we CAN put our hope in (and pray to).
If such a God does exist you had better find out what that God wants and stop putting yourself in the position of God in your life.
So I am not depressed, as any atheist should be, but instead I’m following God who gives me reason to hope.
I will have a religious, Christian, funeral because only this makes sense and offers any kind of hope when someone dies.