However, standing at opposite ends of the spectrum are two camps that look at each other in total disbelief and fascination. The committed atheist wonders at the life committed to the unseen deity, but the believer must also wonder about the commitment of the atheist. I checked Google today and there were 15 million hits for the phrase “There is no God”.
Motive & motivation are always a factor in belief or unbelief, and I marvel at the determination of the atheist to prove that something does not exist. He even becomes angry at that thing that does not exist to the point that he seems to be camping out at the grave of God, always digging a hole to prove that it is empty. He can’t seem to tear himself away from digging much like a dachshund my wife once had growing up. He was obsessed with turning over large rocks in the back yard to see what was under them. After he turned over the rock he would proceed to do it again and again until we stopped him.
The committed atheist often becomes one at a young age before having devoted a lot of study to the subject. There is usually some event that has shattered his view of God. It could be the failing of a leader, a misrepresentation of some biblical truth by a charlatan or an unexplained loss. Personal failings are often projected onto God with illogical results. “I am mad at God about myself, so I will keep him in exile. I will maintain his nonexistence.” Simple revenge. All evidence after this is seen through these glasses as objectivity is lost and the radical is born.
You would think that once the idea of God has been eliminated that the person’s anger and moral crisis would disappear; however, for the committed atheist it often intensifies. I see a similar thing in people who have unresolved issues with a loved one who has passed away. In their hearts they are still arguing with that person to the point that they feel anger when they visit their grave. Some atheists are in a worse situation because they are angry with what they believe is an empty grave.
One aspect of radical Atheism’s continued fight with the nonexistent god is what it considers to be “the problem of evil”. While claiming that evil exists – an assumption that requires an absolute morality - they claim that a benevolent god whose existence defines good & evil does not exist because evil exists. Once again, their hearts reveal that they are waging a personal debate - based on God - with a personal God…who can’t exist. A non-existing god is kept in place as the whipping boy for humanity's failures, and the radical atheist can scarce live without him.
There are a great many arguments on each side of this great debate, and I have encountered many of them. I am one who has committed his life to knowing a personal God, but I do not understand a life committed to proving God does not exist. If God does not exist then our existence is short. Why waste time debating unless the questions of the soul concerning God are not really answered? Why not “eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we die” as Solomon said?
Life is indeed short. All sides agree. Eternity is long. Atheists do not agree on this, but in private they wish for a good eternity when they reach their later days. The irony of it all is that God did have a grave. He became like us, lived like us, died like us and inhabited a grave for a few days. The grave could not hold Him though. It will not hold us either from entering one of two eternities. Pascal wagered that closing the door on God is not wise, and even though it is an old wager it is still a good one.
And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. Heb 11:6
… the men said to them, "Why do you seek the living One among the dead? He is not here, but He has risen! Luke 24:5,6