17 December 2006

Everybody’s looking for something-something to fill in the hole. We think a lot but don’t talk much about it, till things get out of control.

While perhaps not the best source of quotations, classic rock group Van Halen deftly addressed the issue of fulfillment in this song. People throughout the years have attempted to fulfill themselves with other people, things or pastimes. Today, a new group is gaining the stage in regards to this question. They are the New Atheists-though admittedly, their ideas are now new-and the world watches in anticipation to see if they will finally be able to answer the ultimate question, “What do I want?”

Before we study these atheists with unbridled interest, let’s take a look behind the scenes. There, without all the glamour, is another answer, and it differs dramatically from the vagueness of atheism. Composed of clear-cut rules, the religion we call Christianity is governed by underlying virtues and principles. Some consider it to be narrow-minded, as if one single Person could truly fulfill this great, cavernous hole inside each of us.

So atheism attempts to fill its followers with reason, logic and order. In a recent article on atheism, leading atheist Daniel Dennett explains that in this future world without God humans will be universally involved in a “religion of reason”. In the same article, another atheistic author speaks highly of using poetry, introspection and meditation to take the place of the primitive religion we call Christianity. Truly, this is a great, peaceful world that artists like John Lennon have always envisioned. It is an ambitious world, but according to atheists, it is attainable—but only once all traces of religion are abolished.

Certainly, today’s world is not as beautiful as it might be. People are insecure, lost, lonely, hurt and confused. Every day, people’s hearts are broken. A perfectly unbiased reader of these prominent atheists’ works might find their vision of universal peace and prosperity appealing. After all, what could be more alluring than this veritable utopia?

But the atheists, for all their magnificent plans, have neglected a rather significant issue—that of fulfillment. Nowhere within their sparkling claims do they state that humans will be fulfilled. Certainly, they strongly imply that people will be happy, but real happiness is difficult to obtain without true fulfillment. The problem today is not how we can be perfectly happy and comfortable in this life, but rather, how can our lives have true meaning and real fulfillment? Atheism doesn’t address the issue of fulfillment at all-either for the bright future, or for the bitter present. Nor do the proponents of atheism give any excuse for not being able to do so. But Christianity does offer answers. Deuteronomy 4:29 speaks of finding the one true God when we seek Him with all of our hearts. This God is attainable. We are loved completely by the Creator of the universe! That kind of love must be returned, at least to the best of our abilities. And as thousands of Christians from all over the world will attest, the pursuit of God-and only the pursuit of God-will fulfill without exception. These people have tried different things to fill themselves-human love, personal ambition, and various pastimes. But nothing has filled them so completely as the love of God and their desire to share that love.

Though I am being raised in a Christian family, I have measured the relative benefits of atheism against the benefits of Christianity. In doing so, I encountered many logical fallacies in the entire philosophy behind atheism. I hope that the unaddressed issue of fulfillment will be clear to every searching person who considers the “religion” of atheism.

So I would leave you with this question. If life is as atheists say and there is no higher power, why does the love of God consume, fill and enrich the lives of his followers? Atheism offers no answer to this query, and that is where atheism falls far short of answering life’s biggest questions.