Monday, April 8, 2013

The Importance of Being Right

"There's probably no God, so stop worrying and enjoy your life" --Atheist bus poster

Probably, they say. They have to say it, because there's no way to prove there isn't a God (or gods). The irony is glaring when you consider that believing there is no God is just as much an act of faith as believing there is one. Hence, probably. 

For all the smack that Christians have taken for their supposedly weak and unscientific arguments for God's existence, this is about as weak and unscientific a conclusion as they come.

Probably, they say. Well then, if the odds are in your favor, just relax and live a little. Go on, says the little devil on your shoulder, be daring, be scandalous, be outrageous, break the rules. You only live for so long. Why preoccupy yourself with an afterlife that probably doesn't exist?

Well, I will tell you. It's not very often that I get a chance to say this outright (especially when I was in college), but being right is important. Not just your life is in your hands, but life that comes after.

I, for one, am not willing to bet my life on the odds of probably. Someone told me once, upon entering into a conversation between another coworker and I, that whether there is a God or not is not important to her at all. She had better things to do with her life, she said.

Really? There are things, multiple things, that are more important than discerning the ultimate truth that reveals your ultimate fate, and moreover, the fate of all humanity?

For argument's sake, let's allow ourselves to accept the existence of God as a given. What does this mean to you? What kind of God is it--does he care about you, did he make you in his image, does he watch and listen, will he let you into heaven? And if there is a God, you must ask yourself what is the point of humanity at all, for there must be one, since we were not mere accidents of nature as the atheists believe. One cannot be created and be pointless, just as one cannot create something pointless.

There is a point to your existence.

But to answer the questions that shape your understanding of the entire universe and what the point is of it all, you first have to decide what God you believe in. Unfortunately, people don't always shop for "religion" with reason as their guide; they often fall for whatever makes them feel better about themselves and the world. Reason should be your guide, for although choosing to believe in God is an act of faith, your understanding of that God can be entirely shaped by reason and knowledge and studying the natural world. I firmly believe this--as a Christian, I take the Bible to be the Word of God, and it reveals much about his character. And yet those who wrote the Bible recognized that God is self-evident, that his truth is evident in nature, from your position on a tiny rock called Earth, to the position of the sun, to the arrangement of the galaxies. "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made so that people are without excuse" (Romans 1;20 NIV).

In other words, you do not have an excuse to believe that there is no God. All the evidence is there, and great organizations such as (from whom I borrowed the bus sign story) commit all their energy toward uncovering it. And it is truly spectacular.

To review, being right is important, there is a point to you being here, and you don't have an excuse not to believe.

There is one last point I must make. The atheists said "stop worrying and enjoy your life", as if a life of belief is necessarily full of anxiety and deprived of joy, as if you are supernaturally oppressed. I must tell you that they are wrong. Belief offers profound joy of a kind that cannot be found in earthly pleasures, joy that the nonbelievers will never have the opportunity to experience.

Cease that joy. Find the point to your life. But most importantly, be right.

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