Whether or not Jesus rose from the dead in the 1st C, over the next 20 centuries people have tried mightily to keep him in that tomb. Why….? Because of a line arguably attributed to Dostoevsky: “If God is dead then anything is permitted, anything is possible.” Depending on how you read it, that means that without God, my life and yours would quickly become either total freedom or total chaos.
Either totality is more than most of us can imagine. Or handle,
Turns out that old doubts have in recent generations emerged into outright rejections. Modern atheism has shifted from private shrugs of “how silly” to very public shouts of “how irrational.” Modern atheists are no longer saying leave me be; they are saying we are going to save you from your madness. From scientists like Richard Dawkins [“The God Delusion”], to journalists like Christopher Hitchens, to comedians like Bill Maher, today’s god-is-dead drumbeat beats loud and strong.
You say — who cares, I can take God or leave him!
Not so fast. If Dostoevsky is right [and I believe he is] the death of God would affect everything and everyone. What makes his death more probable these days is the way modern atheism uses science to try proving it. In our times science has become the alpha and omega to how most Westerners verify their world. However, the legitimate use of the scientific method [hypothesis, verification, conclusion] has been overtaken by what some religionists see as scientism. That is, the philosophical assumption that the only reality in our world is what the empirical sciences can verify, and that anything outside the range of the empirically verifiable is simply a fantasy, the stuff of superstition and primitive belief.
Here’s my deal.
The next time you’re alone on a black Summer night and you look up at a billion billion stars, it will be no fantasy if you think to yourself: “I’m not alone, there’s something more here.” That ‘more’ is what some of us say is the God that no one can keep in a tomb. Maher can make a joke of that, but I’m not sure anyone out there that night will find it funny….
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