If all that exists is matter–atoms and molecules–what room for love? If everyone eventually turns to dust and bones, no more consciousness, just nothingness, then right and wrong are only figments of our imagination. And if this is so, all our actions are ultimately devoid of any real purpose.

Atheism taken to its logical conclusion gives rise to just such a belief system, one that leads to a universe where all is meaningless. Talk about a bleak nightmare! For whether its adherents admit to it or not, all means all, and therefore in their kind of universe any concepts of joy, morality, and especially love fall by the wayside.

Most of us interact on a regular basis with those who would claim to be atheists, many of whom–to be fair in our depiction–routinely exhibit genuinely virtuous behaviors. But this is precisely what is so puzzling, for they never seem to live out, in any consistent manner anyway, the natural outcomes of their avowed non-belief. In our experiences, even these supposedly amoral atheists think it’s unfair (i.e. wrong) when someone breaks ahead of them in line; or that it’s morally superior to open the door for an elderly lady rather than to watch her struggle to manage it herself. They even grieve at loss, and if I may use the word, love their children. Their actions are often quite moral.

So what’s going on here? Atoms and molecules don’t act this way. They just bounce around without giving a second thought to the value of anything. Do these atheists really believe there is no ultimate source for meaning in life? Or as many claim, that man’s values and ethics are purely impulses, instinctual responses that just happened to evolve out of a material universe? I don’t believe they do. I believe that in the deepest part of their souls they know that a transcendent morality exists. But it’s a morality they refuse to embrace, and so they choose self-deception as a means to reject it (or Him, more to the point). Plain old selfishness is what this is all about; rebellion even. For what they are really saying is, “I’ll be damned (they said it not me) if I will acknowledge that I think and feel and have a moral conscience owing to a Grand Creator. I, as mere matter, am as important as anyone or anything that exists. I am the center, and thus I make my own morality. All to which I reply, “In your dreams!”

How anyone can logically derive meaning from life absent a transcendent source for that meaning is beyond me. Admittedly, that’s because I believe that from out of the supernatural world–the one beyond mere materialism–there emanates the loving heart of God, the Creator. And it is only because of His loving Spirit that we’re able to experience the joy of life, hope for tomorrow, and peace in the midst of any struggles life throws our way. We are far more than atoms and molecules. We are souls with minds and wills and emotions, souls who love. 1 John 4:19 says, “We love, because He first loved us.” Our God transcends the material universe, and thus, as children made in His image, so do we.

Most atheists wouldn’t hesitate to extol the legendary sunsets of Half Moon Bay in Jamaica. But try to suggest to them that matter paying homage to matter is an absurd construct and, moreover, that their rejection of the God who created the universe, if continued, will result in unsavory eternal consequences, and observe the protests.

Yes, it seems even atheists prefer pleasant dreams to bleak nightmares. Perplexing behavior for future dust and bones.

I hope this encourages you today.

-Kevin Murray
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