Without further ado, (and it is much ado indeed about quite something), it is my own conclusion after many years of grappling with the same issues of theological and philosophical contention myself, that atheism is a term (& credo) of both fallacy & redundancy. I often think when people profess their Atheism: “Yes, but deep down, do you really believe that?” To clarify, it is self-evident that we “mere mortals” possess at least a working knowledge of things deific, otherwise how could I be writing this essay? “God” or “a god” or “gods” would nary be on my mind at all, let alone in dispute. My contention is that, therefore, such an entity (deific) must have endowed homo sapiens with the ability to discern him, her, or it. Higher wisdom (notitia intuitiva) & knowledge of morality, virtues, salvation, damnation, etc. are self-evidently innate in humankind. Therefore, I do not even believe that there can exist such a creature as “an Atheist”, from a strictly puristic standpoint, that is. I also finally had to come to terms with this truth, as we all will at some point, that one cannot, indeed serve two masters, namely as we are speaking of here, the master of Apostasy & the Master of Belief (or Faith).
Now, to be sure, we will continue to wrestle with some doubt about ourselves, & about other prescient matters, but thank God Almighty I have doubt about myself alone being up to the Sisyphean tasks of this life. Quite frankly, because I, myself, alone would and have already, merely floundered in such staunch self-sufficiency (or, self-insufficiency is more like it)! As Chesterton once noted of that most ignoble doctrine of sole self-reliance: “Shall I tell where the men are who believe most in themselves? ...They are all in lunatic asylums.” Of course, we might enjoy brandishing the verbal swordplay of our forthwith idioms of discourse, nevertheless, philosophical & theological truths always transcend politics or as the Ancient Greek philosopher Parmenides addressed in his didactic poem “Doxai”, “the opinions of mere mortals”. Or even better, as G.K. Chesterton keenly & in his delightfully playful style once observed: “It would be much truer to say that a man will certainly fail, because he believes in himself.” Yet all in all, there is a major distinction between “doubt” and outright apostasy. In fact, “believers” are often plagued with more doubt than self-proclaimed “non-believers”, mainly due to the fact that we remain open, at least to the possibility that we may be in err, & atheists, for the most part, remain quite closed off to self-examination (which is perhaps in some cases a salient purpose which their “atheism” serves).
Yet, should one cloister oneself away from the world completely in order to avoid that of one's own nefarious actualization? Or is this merely, the null exchange of one sin for another ( as in the case of “evil” triumphing through atheistic passivity & apathy)? And if this is so, which is a worser sin: To embrace “atheism” & perhaps find salvation (at least in a strictly “materialistic” sense) through nihilism, or to embrace “faith” & risk doing more harm than good by being actively engaged with the outer world, whilst battling the forces of evil which seem to push more strongly against “believers” than “non-believers”? For after all, virtues, when overextended, can also be transmogrified into sins, although all sins will always remain, sins. Good can be transformed into evil, but evil, never into good-at least not by the will of man alone. But perhaps this is yet another paralytic agent thus identified, concocted specially for the human soul, as its makes its perilous way towards its fullest potentialization. Perhaps the human soul is crippled by its very own discernment of the mercurial, & tumultuous nature of evil, hence, the Edenic scene. It knows all-too-well that evil, or those “dark principalities unseen”, once fully embraced, are that much more harrowing to be released from.
Thus we fear our own actualization towards the light & towards good, for we know how impotent we often are in the face of our own temptations towards evil & the extraction therefore, from its Herculean grasp. However, we are not, completely helpless. After all, the very fact that we exist to be gripped & plagued by such anxieties must mean that there is a sovereign & benevolent Deity there to sustain & guide us, for we certainly have not thus far managed of our own accord. The old argument from ontology might be perceived as some, as a weaker argument, nevertheless I would then concede the doubt & even hostile refutation of this to be bound by the same phenomena of consciousness. Meaning, that an Atheistic stance often springs directly from a limited human mind reacting in absolutist refutation to matters that it feels overwhelmed by & cannot fully comprehend. And, paradoxically & amusingly enough, it often seems to some believers that atheists and even some agnostics seem even more dogmatic in their convictions than the average self-professed Christian. As a matter of truth, most believers & practitioners of Judeo-Christianity are rather even-tempered & level-headed. The very submission to both Old & New Testament principles in fact, provides the perfect synthesis & balance for the human soul. Speaking colloquially, Judaism is a perfectly edifying tool for the Intellect, & Christianity, for the Spirit.
Furthermore, Judaism has always planted its roots in a strong intellectual foundation, along with a moralistic one. And to that I say: Let's put the Judeo in Christianity! After all, I take it on faith that our Lord & Saviour intended it no other way. As a Rabbi once noted, “An ignorant man cannot truly be devout.” The more one comes to know, in fact, the more one comes to a solid synthesis of truth & understanding, especially as it applies to the realms of Esoterica & the like. Intelligence, contrary to the “Atheistic” viewpoint, is not always in inverse proportion to a belief in God or a sovereign & supernal force which created, sustains & guides all to its eternal resting (or toiling) place. Which is why any “religion” or “philosophy” worth its salt-of-the-earth, so to speak, will encourage its disciples to actively seek out the methods of not just that of its own spiritual edification & submission, but that of its own intellectual fruition. To be sure, not everyone is a born intellectual, & that is perfectly okay. Yet we are all endowed by our Creator with enough cognitive capacity to at least be earnest in our search for how to submit our lives, skills, talents, etc. to His bidding while we are granted life upon this earth. God measures what spirit we live in, not how “clever” we are (or are not).
In finale, as with all things, balance. No more of this: Head over Heart! No! No! Heart over Head! Nonsense. We have both & we should strive to develop both to the best of our intentions & abilities. Of course, each human individual is inherently endowed with an uneven balance of intellect & intuition, on way or the other. But it is important, if even just for our own mental health, (which has a direct influence on all else), that we continue to grow in the most optimal & positive direction. As it has been said: “One cannot serve from an empty vessel.” To that I add, one can serve from an empty vessel, but most likely will not serve the world well & may even commit egregious evils against oneself & others in the process. Personally, for me, it is decidedly more difficult to embrace Faith than Atheism, as it holds me 100% accountable for every waking moment. Yet we should let this serve as refutation of the Atheist's claim that we believe in things such as God & an afterlife in Heaven merely because it is more comforting. In its own way, this can also serve as proof to some extent that there is a benevolent & sovereign Deity who created me, sustains me & wishes to guide me to my optimum actualization, & who knows, in His infinite wisdom, that an “easy”, life would ultimately do me more harm than good. After all, remember the teacher in school who actually helped you to learn & challenged you above & beyond what you thought yourself capable or who helped you to unearth some latent talent or ability? These teachers are often the least liked & popular. Hmmnnn. I think there's something to that.
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