Friday, March 23, 2007

The atheist's dilemma

I am reading James Robertson's The Testament of Gideon Mack and there is this passage in which the atheist minister of Church gives himself the following reasoning. While I do not subscribe to the God-as-school master view, the passage itself is strangely endearing, especially towards the end:

For a long time, I explained this away as God saying, 'Gideon, my man, you may be on my team but don't think I don't know your heart, don't think I can't see right through to the oily slick of your soul. I am tolerating you, because the Kirk needs to keep all the ministers it has, and on the surface you put in a pretty good performance, but don't get above yourself, my friend, because if you do I can deliver a blow so stunning, so devastating, that you'll wish you'd been on the bench for Satan from the opening whistle...' This was when I was in my early thirties, a newly called minister who, unknown to everybody except my wife, did not believe in God. I didn't believe in him and yet he was still there, a hovering doubt in the background of every move I made: somebody out there may be watching you. I thought I'd got it all out of my system as a boy, but I hadn't. You don't, not if it's in you in the first place. Anyway, the point was, he was there or he was not there, whether you believed in him or not. I happened not to believe in him, but he was still there. And that was the twist: even if he didn't exist, he would still get you sooner or later...

I think atheists need to understand that the debate is not just about proving a presence. Re-read the part marked bold.

1 comment:

unome said...

I'm sitting in a cafe in the resort. I can't seem to open any other site than your blog.
Man, this is God's own country! Roo was right, we should buy a house here.
What, California? What is that?:))
Network's been acting up a bit. Will call you as things get better.