Where is Atheism’s Crutch?

In the mind of the atheist, the poor Christian is supported by his crutch of religion, while he is firmly planted on his legs of uncertainty and purposelessness

The atheists assert (often in the most arrogant fashion) that Christianity is a crutch to people who can’t cope with life. I think this is an interesting assertion. For the sake of argument, let us assume that the atheist is correct; Christianity is a crutch so that we poor deluded souls can try to make it through this painful and otherwise unfulfilling life.

We are now going to jump to a humanistic “crutchless” universe. In this universe, man is a product of chaos. In this universe man is an animal with a history of evolution from other animals going back billions of years until he reaches his beginning, viz. primordial soup (or some other imaginative biological beginning). His ethics come from what “is” or majority opinion. But what is his purpose? Let us hear the profound wisdom of Bertrand Russel:

“That man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the gravel that all the labors of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noon-day brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of man’s achievements must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins – all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built…Brief and powerless is man’s life; on him and all his race the slow sure doom falls pitiless and dark. Blind to good and evil, reckless of destruction, omnipotent matter rolls on its relentless way; for man, condemned today to lose his dearest, tomorrow himself to pass through the gate of darkness, it remains only to cherish, ere yet the blow falls, the lofty thoughts that ennoble his day proudly defiant of the irresistible forces that tolerate for a moment his knowledge and his condemnation, to sustain alone, a weary and unyielding Atlas, the world that his own ideals have fashioned despite the trampling march of unconscious power.”

Simply put, man does not have a purpose. Not only this, but man’s “sure foundation” is despair. The sure foundation of Christianity is Jesus Christ. Presumably, we choose our foundation to escape this “truth” of unyielding despair. But what is the crutch of atheistic humanism?

You may have been  thinking that atheism doesn’t have one. We are, after all, considering for the sake of argument that Christianity is a man-made concoction invented by fearful men to get away from despair and we thought the atheist did away with this “crutch”. But does he? Well, if you examined Rusell’s excellent paragraph you might have wondered – like me – about the reason for not committing suicide with such an outlook of life. After all, this life is painful. Why go through it? There is no purpose to life. All is hopeless despair. You’re an animal, and a miserable animal at that. Suicide may not only be a temptation, but more then that, it is the only logical course of action to take. There are no values, no purpose, and no reason for living. All professing atheists do not commit suicide so we must point out this inconsistency, and further, their crutch. We know they have a crutch because they don’t all commit suicide. Logical atheism would be extinct in one generation since all of its adherents would be advocates of suicide.

Discovered: The atheist's crutch

Let us just put things the way they are instead of viewing the world as an accident and mankind as animals. Atheists cannot speak of the “crutch of Christianity” with any authority without committing suicide first. Their accusations are vain. In reality, their words come from a deep rooted rebellion against the God of Scripture and a hatred for His laws and Sovereignty. Their accusations are kin to the words of the heathen who take counsel against the Lord and against Christ saying, “Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.” But in so doing, they kill themselves and wrong their own souls and “He that sits in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision”.

Contrary to humanistic thought, man does have a purpose and that purpose is to glorify his Creator. Man, contrary to humanism, is not an animal; man is created in the image of God. All is not bleak for everyone. For those who believe in Christ alone for salvation there is purpose. But the unbelieving shall be justly damned. With Dr. Gordon Clark I affirm,

“If they reject such a godless view of the world, if they turn away from an empirical study of science and politics and seek the living God who has spoken a more sure word of prophesy, then they may know the purpose of life and of the universe, and they will be enabled to face the next war, the ensuing dark ages, and the evil nature of man at least with equanimity. Indeed, they will face it with more than equanimity, for they will know that history is not moving towards utter futility, but towards a glorious reign of righteousness when the kingdoms of this world are becoming the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ; and he shall reign forever and ever.”

Let the atheists jeer at us for believing in the Almighty God of Scripture. May we not mock them in return because the logical conclusion of their philosophy results in suicide? That is a principle that is impossible to live by.

Proverbs 8:36: “But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.”

– Jesse Murch

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10 responses to “Where is Atheism’s Crutch?

  • Reformed Inquisitor

    Thoughtful bunch. Any atheists wishing to comment on this post must refrain from profanity. Posts must also have some intellectual appeal (“You idiot!” is not an argument).

    -Ben

  • Marisa

    Very well written and well thought out! I enjoyed reading it.

  • Steve C. Halbrook

    Jesse, very good piece, exposing atheism’s irrationalism.

    Indeed, if atheism was true, why would atheists take exception to relying on a “crutch”? Would not those who rely on “crutches” simply be less evolved life forms (who can’t help the way they are) than atheists?

    If atheists take exception to Christians, then how much more should they take exception to life forms “less evolved” than Christians. And yet, we do not see atheists remonstrating with the baboon, or censuring the gorilla.

    At the end of the day then, we see that atheism is merely a crutch by God-haters to cope with their rebellion. But it’s a crutch of straw. It will not sustain them in the fires of hell. They must repent and believe before it is too late.

  • Dave

    Russel may have seen life as hopeless and pointless, but obviously not all atheists agree. You may not be able to imagine a point to life without god, but I certainly treasure each day of my life now more than when I was a christian.

    As a Christian, life seemed kind of dull to me because it was so short (compared to eternal life) and in essence the sooner it ended the sooner I would be with god in heaven. Obviously this is simplistic, but essentially true. We’ve all sung “When we all get to heaven…”

    As an Atheist, my life has more meaning because – good or bad – this is all I’ve got. Life seems fuller and richer because I’m not constantly looking to my next life and missing all the beauty of this life.

    Just to play devil’s advocate: If I were to agree that life is meaningless without god, that doesn’t mean god is real. Who says life *has* to have meaning, logically speaking? Obviously we would like our lives to have purpose, but it’s not a requirement. It’s a pretty big step to go from “life is meaningless without god / deity” to “christian god exists and is the source of all meaning for human life.”

    Anyway, hope one atheist ex-christian’s view is at least interesting to someone. Rational and thoughtful discussion is one of the best parts of being human. :)

    • Reformed Inquisitor

      Dave:

      Your lack of perception when you were a professing Christian demonstrates only that you didn’t have a proper understanding of the Christian worldview. This head-in-the-clouds mentality that you describe as your former Christian thought isn’t Christianity. As for your devil’s advocacy, this article isn’t an argument to prove Christianity, but to refute a popular atheistic argument — this it does.

      -Ben

      • Dave

        As I said, I gave a simplistic example. As Paul wrote in Philippians 1:21, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” I’ve never met a Christian who would rather be here on earth than in heaven. As a Christian I didn’t see life as meaningless, but *relatively* dull compared to my infinitely longer eternal life. It’s not as if I was mindlessly counting the days until I could finally die.

        As an aside, I personally don’t think Christianity is a crutch for believers (it wasn’t for me); as such I didn’t address the main point of the post. I wanted to give a personal anecdote as it may interest someone.

        Thanks for the reply.

  • Reformed Inquisitor

    Dave,

    There is certainly more joy in heaven in the Christian view of things. But what has this to do with meaning? I think you are confusing categories.

    Also, the point of my article was to show that in an atheistic universe where there is no purpose, there is no more value or purpose in me killing myself than me tying my shoes or brushing my teeth or even “doing the good things” in life (if we even assume that an atheistic worldview /can/ give the good things in life). If, according to the atheist, our belief in God is a crutch to cope with life, there is something, by their own concession, to cope with.

    – Jesse

  • shaun

    An interesting read…but I think you are a little confused when you say that the logical conclusion of atheism is suicide.

    you said:

    “Suicide may not only be a temptation, but more then that, it is the only LOGICAL course of action to take. There are no VALUES, no purpose, and no reason for living”

    That statement is contradictory. What you are essentially saying is that an atheist lives in a universe with no “oughts” only “is’s.”

    You may be justified in saying that “there is no reason an atheist ought to live” but you are not justified in saying that ” an atheist ought to kill himself because he realizes he ought not live”

    Suicide cannot be the logical conclusion

    One more thing you have to keep in mind not all are humanists….whatever that word is supposed to mean.

  • Bee

    Interesting article. I have often wondered about the notion that suicide is the logical conclusion of atheism if the atheist feels that they want to do something that has meaning. If there is no God and everything is the random product of chance and survival, then there is no meaning to anything, except if the person chooses to defy the life that is and the instinctive drive to survive- then meaning can only be found by denying this drive and committing suicide.

    If however, the atheist is context to experience the emotions that have been randomly generated through a process of meaningless and arbitrary changes over many generations that result in the chemical outcome that internally feels enjoyable and accept this as enough “meaning” or reason to enjoy the life they have, while they have it, then they may not care about doing anything that has “meaning”.

    However if atheists have it right, then (unless you can conceive of free will being a product of evolution), whether they even desire to do something meaningful or not, is the random product of genetic and social influence anyway. So even the choice to defy eons of evolution and do the only thing that could possibly have any meaning- being suicide- may not even have any meaning, as it is just the product of uncontrollable influences driving them to desire to do something which is contrary to the evolutionary drive and only gives the perception of meaning.

    As for Christianity, the meaning of this life is that we learn about and develop a relationship with God. We get to experience both the joy of relating to him, and see the general horror of what it is like to live in a world which has rejected him and lives under its own reign instead of Gods. This gives us the education we need to make an informed choice about whether we accept or reject him and the love that he offers us. This is why Christians (and anyone whose heart accepts God even if they do not know his name) can look forward to a life after death with God- because we see the glimpse of what it is like to be with him, compare it to the life around us that is (generally) without him, and realise the vast difference between what he offers and what we can do for ourselves.

  • Mike

    You are missing the point of the original quote. It means that Christians are people who NEED a crutch. You fear death, so forth, so on, we are all aware with the inherent weakness of the theist and I don’t need to repeat.

    Inevitably, you leap head long into illogic and error. Don’t be ashamed. your kind can’t help it. You assume that Russell speaks for all atheists. He does not, I find life joyful and full, with family, friends, and stimulating activities so he does not speak for me. Life is a temporary thing that I know has an end. I can live and be happy with that. You can’t. Don’t project your weakness onto you.

    You claim that I cam only make my claim about you needing a metaphorical crutch by arriving at the conclusion the way you say I must. That is not so. I arrive at the conclusion by simple observation of Christians and a close reading of the Bible and associated writings.

    You also make the ignorant assumption that morality can only exist from your silly sky-daddy. not so. Empathy and altruism are very useful evolved traits.

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