Death of An Atheist: by Cal Thomas


 

I am including this post by Cal Thomas in full followed by an essay I wrote several months ago on the same subject (my essay is included in full following Mr. Thomas’s  essay.)


Death of An Atheist by Cal Thomas
Perhaps not since Madalyn Murray O’Hair and Carl Sagan has there been such an “evangelical” atheist as Christopher Hitchens, the writer and social commentator who died last week after a long and public battle with esophageal cancer.

Hitchens railed against those who believe in God. While an original writer, and smart, there was nothing original about his unbelief. Such views have been expressed since the dawn of humanity. They have also been answered by some of the wisest people who have ever lived. There is a difference between “smart” and “wise.” As that Scripture in which Hitchens disbelieved says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” (Proverbs 9:10)

I have always found atheists to be interesting people because they just may be the world’s smallest minority group, one that gets smaller still as its members pass on and meet God face to face. Still, atheists demand physical proof of God’s existence, as if they could bring God down and make Him into their image. What kind of God would that be? He would be their equal and, thus, not God at all.

Evidence, alone, has never moved anyone from unbelief to faith. If proof were enough, all of the unbelieving contemporaries of Jesus (and Moses) would have believed in God because of the miracles they performed. Two people presented with exactly the same information can respond in opposite ways. Faith is not based solely on facts. It is a gift from a God who exists.

Hitchens wrote a book called “God is Not Great.” It’s a clever title, but how would he have known, since they had not been properly introduced?

C.S. Lewis, once an atheist and thus conversant with the subject, wrote after his conversion, “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen. Not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”

Some people exist, however nervously, believing that this life is all there is. The late singer Peggy Lee put the result of such faith this way: “Is that all there is? If that’s all there is to life, then let’s break out the booze and have a ball, if that’s all there is.”

Why contribute to charity, or perform other good deeds? Without a source to inspire charity, such acts are sentimental affectations, devoid of meaning and purpose. If survival of the fittest is the rule, let only the fit survive. That was the sentiment of Ebenezer Scrooge before his visitation by those three spirits and his subsequent transformation. Let the poor and starving die, he said, “…and decrease the surplus population.” Who is to say such a notion is wrong without a standard by which to judge wrong.

To object to God is to create morality from a Gallup Poll. In Gallup We Trust doesn’t have the same authority.

Hitchens was a gifted writer, but who gave him the gift? Why was he not a gifted actor, surgeon or athlete? Why was he not talentless? Was it an evolutionary accident, which would mean his gift and his life were meaningless and merely a “chasing after the wind”? (See Ecclesiastes) Apparently he thought so.

An atheist will tell you he doesn’t need God in order to be good, or perform good works. Maybe not, but the very notion of “good” must have both a definition and a definer. “Only God is good,” said Jesus. (Mark 10:18)

Who is the author of evil? And if God is nonexistent, why do we call it evil? Is one person’s evil another person’s good? Does such a view lead to ethics that must inevitably be situational?

Scripture warns, “The fool has said in his heart ‘there is no God.'” (Psalm 14:1)

In this season when many celebrate the object of their faith, there is no joy in the death of one who had faith that God does not exist. Hitchens now knows the truth and that can only be the worst possible news for him.


My essay is here, followed by the final paragraph of Mr. Thomas’s essay.

I Woke Up This Morning–DEAD
I didn’t intend to wake up this way, you know — DEAD. But here I am.

The first thing I saw was Truth. Truth all around me bombarding all of my senses: eyes, ears, touch, smell and taste, and yes even my thoughts. There is no escape from the realization that I am now for the first time confronted with absolute, undeniable and irrefutable Truth.

Oh please!! let death be a lake of fire, a fire that blots out all Truth.

Oh please!! let death be obliteration, obliteration that blots out all Truth.

Anything but this; to be exposed so totally and helplessly to Truth.

As time now unfolds I see and feel the very personal truth that I am separated from the Truth that is all around me. I realize with horror that this separation is ever growing at the same time I realize that the extent of this Truth is ever unfolding and my separation from it ever growing. I can never be a part of it. I agonize with the realization that this ever unfolding Truth is consistent with an infinite and yet personal God I had rejected before I died.

I reach out to touch it, but with each new reach find it to be ever beyond reach. I call out to someone, anyone, only to realize there is no one else here. I am alone! And will be alone forever and ever forever.

I can see the beginning, I can see the Truth that “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” but it was too late for me. I can see the Truth that there were no billions and billions of years of thrashing around waiting for my puny body to evolve. I could see “the heavens declaring the glory of God.” I can hear the Lord gently knocking on the door of my heart, and that same heart agonizing that now I would never open that door to let Him in.

By now I’ve heard “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” beyond my capability to count, all the while seeing the beauty of this savior and Lord. But alas, this is for those multitudes I look upon now with infinite regret and envy.

Oh please!! let death be a lake of fire, a fire that blots out all Truth.

Oh please!! let death be obliteration, obliteration that blots out all Truth.

Anything but this; to be exposed so totally and helplessly to Truth.

Mr. Thomas concludes here.


As for the atheists still with us, Christmas is a reminder there is still time to believe and receive the ultimate gift.

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One response to “Death of An Atheist: by Cal Thomas

  1. Two people presented with exactly the same information can respond in opposite ways. Faith is not based solely on facts. It is a gift from a God who exists.
    This goes back to the whole thing about being vague. I think the word of an almighty being, would be precise and not left open to interpretation. I find it interesting that you chose to say “a god.” Which one? Oh right the Christian one. The same one that sent his son to save everyone from the very thing he created. I also find it interesting that the same time he introduced this savior, hell was also introduced. There’s that fear thing again.

    Hitchens wrote a book called “God is Not Great.” It’s a clever title, but how would he have known, since they had not been properly introduced?
    God had many years to introduce himself. There’s that proof thing I mentioned before. You believe god is good based on a book. He wrote his argument, not only for the book you see as correct because of your religious blinders, but other religions as well. I don’t see you defending them.

    Some people exist, however nervously, believing that this life is all there is. The late singer Peggy Lee put the result of such faith this way: “Is that all there is? If that’s all there is to life, then let’s break out the booze and have a ball, if that’s all there is.”
    SPOILER ALERT!!! Pretty selfish quote, it’s a shame she didn’t actually write it. Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller did. Believing that life is all there is, is not a bad thing. Sure there are people who will just want to party and not care. Then there are others that actually strive to do what’s best for the greater good while they are here. Not everyone needs to be scared of hell to be a good person.

    Why contribute to charity, or perform other good deeds? Without a source to inspire charity, such acts are sentimental affectations, devoid of meaning and purpose.
    See previous

    On the sentiment of: Let the poor and starving die, he said, “…and decrease the surplus population.” Who is to say such a notion is wrong without a standard by which to judge wrong.
    You seem to be suggesting that before the 10 commandments, no one anywhere in the world had a sense of morality? Ever? That thought is preposterous. These things come from inside you. I don’t need someone to tell me “don’t stab them to death, that would be wrong” to know it’s wrong. The bible promoting such a helpless ideology in people is sick. Christianity has bred The Crusades, The Inquisition, The Third Reich, homophobia, xenophobia, misogyny and Kirk Cameron. You are saying all these things are right?

    Hitchens was a gifted writer, but who gave him the gift?
    He developed it. Just like anything else. If a pro athlete is “gifted”, and they stop training, they won’t be gifted for much longer.

    An atheist will tell you he doesn’t need God in order to be good, or perform good works.

    Maybe not, but the very notion of “good” must have both a definition and a definer. “Only God is good,” said Jesus.
    So you are saying no one can be good. So by your very own admission, why should anyone try?

    (Mark 10:18) Who is the author of evil?
    Isaiah 45:7 – I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. This is your answer.

    And if God is nonexistent, why do we call it evil? Is one person’s evil another person’s good? Does such a view lead to ethics that must inevitably be situational?
    Some ethics depends on the person. See abortion, drugs, and the death penalty.

    Scripture warns, “The fool has said in his heart ‘there is no God.’“ (Psalm 14:1) In this season when many celebrate the object of their faith, there is no joy in the death of one who had faith that God does not exist. Hitchens now knows the truth and that can only be the worst possible news for him.
    So a baby rapist that believes in Jesus and repents has a better chance for heaven than Hitchens in your judgment? Doesn’t the bible say something about passing judgement…

    I may start to ease up on my stance, when the day comes where I can go into a concert, or take a walk in Inman park without hearing how I’m going to Hell and how all the women are whores. Maybe once an Atheist leader can go on Fox News and speak his mind without receiving multiple death threats. Maybe when you “good Christians” actually start publically speaking out against this behavior. Maybe…

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