Without God and Without Hope: An Atheist on the Connecticut School Shootings

Atheist Matt Oxley comments on Christian responses to the shooting in Connecticut as follows:

Despite how angry this makes me, how silly and offensive I find these notions, suddenly I find myself envious of people with some form of a god to comfort them and answer their questions, even if those answers are shallow and ignorant, because I am simply without any answers that can even begin to make sense of this. Answers like this seem almost blissful.

Note that Matt is angry at the application of Christian tenets to tragic events. As I mentioned in my debate with Matt, unbelievers hate the things of God. Note he finds them silly and offensive, shallow and ignorant.

At the same time, Matt expresses envy toward those who have a God to comfort them and provide answers in the face of tragedy. Because he is, “simply without any answers that can even begin to make sense of this.” Ideas have consequences. And atheism has some of the worst.

Matt’s post is full of complaints about atheism failing to provide him with answers in light of tragedy. He writes, “Sometimes I long for something to fault” because Matt refuses to acknowledge that people are sinners. He writes, “Sometimes I long for prayer” because there is no one and nothing in control of anything that goes on around him. He writes, “Sometimes I long for God” because without God, everything is ultimately meaningless. He writes, “I wish I was better at providing comfort when my friends hurt” because there is no comfort in a godless universe ruled by time and chance.

I’ve got nothing that can really handle this sort of thing. No magic words, no scriptures that make it all better, and no promise of a meeting place in heaven like I used to. Other than empathy, concern for people, and a willingness to help if someone asks I’m just as lost in the mire as everyone else.

Yes. “Lost.” I’ve heard that word used elsewhere to describe the state people like Matt are in.

Consider Christianity. Since God created life, He alone has the right to take it. In instances where God has commanded killing, it has been His prerogative to do so. Where humans have taken it upon themselves to kill it constitutes murder. Murder is an affront to the sovereign God who created us in His image. It is sin. And those who carry it out are fully responsible for their actions.

Consider atheism. The way life began is a mystery. There are no rights. Kill or be killed. Murder is a meaningless moral category. It is just the way things are. People are physically determined to behave the way they do, and cannot be held responsible for their actions.

In Christianity, there is such a thing as justice. And justice will be served. Sin will be dealt with in hell, or on the cross. There is forgiveness for sin and salvation from hell for all of those who repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Not so for atheism. Like Emily Thorn on Revenge said, “Justice, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.” So much for justice then. The shooter in Connecticut, and those like him, will never pay for their crimes. They got away with whatever they wanted to do. And those who follow will too. There is no solace for the victims. There are no answers in times of distress. There is no hope. There is nothing.

Atheism has no answers to questions it cannot ask.


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