“I can understand why the notion of God has arisen and persisted, for it provides a simple purported explanation of great matters. It is a comfort blanket for the anxious and deprived, and it is a powerful weapon of crowd control.”
Thus spoke the well known atheist, Peter Atkins, at a debate recently held at Oxford.
It’s a strange thing, the complaints of atheists. They mock Christians for believing in “fictions.” They chide them for making up “fairy tales” in order to create and cling to meaning. And yet, for all their disgust, they fail to see the irony of their criticism.
Consider how they answer those who press them on the meaninglessness of life in a purely materialistic universe. What do they say? Each person has to create their own meaning. That’s what they say. Each person pastes their own self-created significance and meaning on top of reality (a reality which is devoid of ultimate meaning, mind you). This, they say, is perfectly acceptable.
But pause. Why don’t they grow red in the face, when they utter these words? Are their self-proclaimed fictions open to mockery? Should they not chide themselves for making up fairy tales about life and meaning? Are they not snuggling up to comfort blankets?
Is there a double-standard here?