Originally posted November 27, 2013.
“Atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning…” ~ C.S. Lewis.
Does atheism deny morality and the meaning of life? What is it about a god that instills meaning into the universe? Perhaps life has a meaning that no one has yet discovered. If that is true, then Christians and Muslims will not discover it, because they already know the meaning of life. you can’t learn what you already know, or think you know.
The existence of a supernatural heaven is as likely as the physical existence of Narnia. One can live as a Narnian, even if there is no Narnia, but is that a good way to live? A useful fiction is good, if it is indeed useful. Our problem is that we have gotten so invested into our fictions that we refuse to compare them to reality, to see whether they are good, whether they might be improved, whether they should even be replaced.
How do you know right from wrong?
How do we come to understand morality? How do we know anything? Why, we learn, of course. We study, we observe, we experiment. Can we know anything with absolute certainty? Of course not. That’s why we have to keep learning, keep correcting our mistakes. In that way we may approach truth. Knowledge is not the end result, it’s a process.
You can’t be redeemed unless you’re lost, and no one is born lost. “Original sin” is a perverted idea. In fact, the way “sin” is usually defined is perverted. Sin is not a matter of breaking rules or falling short of perfection. Sin is living in ways that separate us from our divine nature. So the trick is to define “divine nature” and figure out how to become aware of it and live in it.
“God can’t give us peace and happiness apart from Himself because there is no such thing.” ~ C.S. Lewis.
What is it, apart from which there is no peace and happiness? That would be our divine nature, the part of us that demonstrates confidence, courage, compassion, curiosity, and creativity. What makes us divine is that which makes us most human. So “right living” or morality is not a matter of ascertaining exactly which of our actions are sins to be avoided, but rather focusing on how to be more in tune with our own divinity. All the rest of genuine religion consists of learning how to do that.