What Atheism Offers
Why I Believe in God
What does the unbeliever have to offer? Such an unbeliever, W. O. Saunders, wrote in the American Magazine:
‘I would like to introduce you to one of the lonesomest and unhappiest individuals on earth. I am talking about the man who does not believe in God. I can introduce you to such a man because I myself am one, and in introducing myself you shall have an introduction to the agnostic or skeptic in your own neighbourhood, for he is everywhere in the land. You will be surprised to learn that the agnostic envies your faith in God, your settled belief in a heaven after life, and your blessed assurance that you will meet your loved ones in an afterlife where there will be neither sadness nor pain. He would give anything to be able to embrace that faith and be comforted by it. For him there is only the grave and the persistence of matter. After the grave all he can see is the disintegration of the protoplasm and psychoplasm of which my body and personality are composed. But in this materialist view, I find neither ecstasy nor happiness.
‘The agnostic may face life with a smile and a heroic attitude. He may put on a brave front, but he is not happy. He stands in awe and reverence before the vastness and majesty of the universe, knowing not whence he came nor why. He is appalled at the stupendousness of space and the infinitude of time, humiliated by the infinite smallness of himself, cognisant of his own frailty, weakness, and brevity. Certainly he sometimes yearns for a staff on which to lean on. He, too, carries a cross. For him, this earth is but a tricky raft adrift in the unfathomable waters of eternity with no horizon in sight. His heart aches for every precious life upon the raft – drifting, drifting, drifting whither no one knows.’