The Grim, Grinchy Hopes of Atheism

The Grim, Grinchy Hopes of Atheism

Hope is a remarkable phenomenon.  Hope gives meaning and direction to our lives, and nothing is worse than to live without it. This is graphically conveyed in the most famous line in Dante’s Inferno, the inscription that is written over the gate to hell:  “Abandon every hope, who enter here.”

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And yet, hope is a two edged sword.  To express hope is to concede that all is not well.  Hope signals discontent, it acknowledges a palpable absence and beckons something not yet here.  To sing “O Come, O Come Immanuel” is to feel the cut of the sword.

And that raises one of the most fundamental of all questions: for what can we rationally hope?  What kinds and degrees of happiness and fulfillment are possible?  Can our deepest and largest longings for love, for joy, for peace, for justice ever be met?  Or must we cut the size of our hopes down to small and medium? Continue reading

Christian Apologetics and the Natural Sciences

For me, as a Christian believer, the beauty of the scientific laws reinforces my faith in an intelligent, divine Creator. The more I understand science the more I believe in God, because of my wonder at the breadth, sophistication, and integrity of his creation.

Dr. John C. Lennox, University of Oxford

Question an atheist about ultimate reality, and you will likely hear variations on the same theme: there is no God; all things are the result of blind matter in motion; over eons of psychological evolution, mankind has fabricated wishful superstitions in a misguided effort to make sense of unexplained phenomena and to ease existential angst. Ask the non-believer to explain what they base this view upon, and the response will almost certainly be: science. In fact, many non-theists espouse a full-blown philosophy of scientism, the assertion that the only true knowledge we can have is obtained through scientific investigation (it is appropriate to wonder, then, what scientific data supports that conclusion).

Some go even further to claim that science is capable of providing a comprehensive explanation for all of reality. According to Oxford professor of chemistry, Peter Atkins, “There is no reason to suppose that science cannot deal with every aspect of existence. Only the religious—among whom I include not only the prejudiced but the underinformed—hope there is a dark corner of the physical universe, or of the universe of experience, that science can never hope to illuminate.” Science, then, will eventually close the knowledge gaps upon which religious faith depends for validation—or so the rhetoric goes.

But is this true? Continue reading

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