Why Nothing Bothers Me About Unbelief

Randal Rauser is at it again. Maybe I should just go along by playing his game? After all, he's invited me to his seminary in May to help promote our book, God or Godless? It looks like he wants me to do this pretty badly. He wants us each to say the "top three biggest problems that we face with our worldview," only now, it's "the things that keep us up at night." If he wants me to say what keeps me up at night, then it's some sort of sickness, or worry, or deep thought about something. But worry about unbelief? No, never! I do wonder about a lot of things though. Let me play his game by suggesting the three things I wonder about and show why they don't bother me in the least. Ready. Set. Go!

Philosophy is the art of wonder and I do wonder about a number of things. Perhaps if Randal wants me to talk about the three things I wonder the most about then we have just come to an agreement.

Here then, are the top three things I wonder about: 1) The origin of existence; 2) The origin of life; and 3) The origin of consciousness.

I'm not sure how long I could talk on them because I'm not a scientist who specializes in them. I would be seen as an amateur and shot out of the water with almost every sentence I spoke from both sides, really! I'm not keen on doing that you see.

What this little exercise of his fails to do is understand why I'm an atheist in the first place. It also fails to understand what kind of atheist I am. I wrote a book about it which Randal has not read yet. Imagine that, inviting me to co-write a book with him without first researching into this, but that's what he did. He has read other things from me of course, but my initial book is my magnum opus.

I am an atheist, a nonbeliever. That's what the word means. I am an A(non) Theist. I do not believe there is sufficient evidence to believe. Period. My reasons are primarily philosophical and biblical. The difference that made all the difference for me was the recognition that the Bible is utterly unreliable as a source of divine truth. Once I saw this I also understood why. It's because faith has no method. I think science-based reasoning so far outstrips faith-based reasoning that it's a no-brainer, we should go with science every time. When scientists have not yet reached a consensus I'm willing to wait on them since it has a proven track record. Even though I'm not a scientist it seems from what I've read that science is making big strides into these types of questions. I can no longer take seriously any god of the gaps type of arguments, nor do I give any credence to this kind of pseudoscience coming from people who must constantly deny science in order to believe.

So nothing bothers me about my unbelief. I do wonder a lot because there continues to be unsolved mysteries. But faith cannot solve them. Only science can.

Even if there is a supernatural force (or being) I know it's not the wrathful God of the so-called "revealed" theistic religions. So I have no fear of he/she/it at all. If the liberal God exists instead, then I'll be judged by how good of a person I am, and of that I'm not the least bit worried either. Moreover, if it exists and if it is intelligent then it knows there isn't sufficient evidence for me to believe. So there can be no harsh judgment on me for not believing.

For these reasons nothing bothers me about my unbelief at all. I do not have sleepless nights over it. There is no reason for me to worry about it at all.

As far as I can tell Randal is projecting his own sleepless nights on me. He's the one who worries about the things he believes, not me. And he's trying to use this against me, as if I am an unthinking atheist, someone who is ignorant of the unresolved questions or the arguments to the contrary. I'm not ignorant about these things at all! They just don't bother me.

The issues that keep Randal from sleeping at night are these:
  1. A theory of Atonement. How does the atonement function to reconcile human beings — and the rest of creation — to a holy God?
  2. Biblical violence. How best do we explain the extent and intensity of violence that appears to be sanctified in the Bible?
  3. Resurrection of the unregenerate. If unregenerate human beings are resurrected to destruction then why doesn’t God just snuff them out of existence? Why raise them only to annihilate them? If they are resurrected to eternal torment then how can that be consistent with the infinite justice and mercy of God and the existence of a heaven of maximal bliss where God is finally all in all?
Here's some friendly advice Randal. Take a sleeping pill, or, you could be honest with your faith. Your choice. But I sleep like a baby knowing full well the number of things science hasn't solved yet.