Why do we exist? The problem of atheistic culture

One of the Best Spiritual Guides for Interior Life, Rev. Jacques Philippeprovides the following comment:
Today many people no longer know to what or to whom they owe their existence. Anguish and insecurity and a sense of emptiness are the result. “Scientific”, atheistic culture encourages one to imagine that existence is the product of blind determinism (evolution, the mindless interaction of genes, and so forth) or  a more or less haphazard coming-together of a man and a woman who made love without any thought of the new life that might come into existence…
Add to that the impact of being told that earth is only a small planet near an unremarkable star, in a remote corner of one galaxy among billions, and that the difference between humans and animals is not as great as we once thought, and how can anyone feel loved and wanted?
The universe could get along without us. Humans are useless products of impersonal cosmos. If contemporary secular culture makes anything clear, it is this: The rejection of God breeds self-disgust.
The only remedy for this wound to human consciousness is the sense if our filiation, the discovery of our divine parentage. Whatever the circumstances of my conception and birth, my existence itself means that I was wanted, chosen, and loved by an unimaginably tender, pure, unconditional, and generous lover: our creator God.”
Source: Called to Life, Jacques Philippe, Scepter Publishers 2008 (pp. 51-52)

11 thoughts on “Why do we exist? The problem of atheistic culture

  1. Personally, as an atheist, I find more self-worth in the fact that I don’t believe in a supreme being. You realize that this is your life and when it’s over it’s over and therefore, you do your best with the life you have and are thankful for it. Believing in everlasting life after you die, to me, would breed laziness in the life here on earth. If anything, believing in God breeds disgust of this life and this world to the point that some are just waiting in hopes of a second coming. This is not any way to live. I personally don’t see how, without a Creator, you would feel that there is no meaning to your life or that it would breed self-disgust. To each his own though.

    • QDVF is always amazed by the promptness of atheists to answer or comment on topics related to faith. Atheists seem to have a clear interest on this matters. Thanks for sharing your perspective.

      Just one clarification:

      “Believing in everlasting life after you die, to me, would breed laziness in the life here on earth” This statement may indicate certain confusion by the common protestant/evangelical assumption of ‘justification by faith alone’. From a catholic perspective, achieving everlasting life is a commitment for life and by no means easy to achieve. Laziness as an extreme behaviour is consider a capital sin, namely sloth.

      In other words, a man is then formally distressed at the prospect of what he must do for God to bring about or keep intact his friendship with God. In this sense sloth is directly opposed to charity. (Catholic Encyclopedia)

      • I only find blogs like this because I search “atheist” in topics to find other blogs like mine. Mainly, “atheist” only returns blogs like this, but that’s besides the point. As for you clarification, thank you for your input. To me, that was just a belief of how I would feel knowing that, so in your perspective, I would sin. I don’t deny that. Every person is going to see things differently and we could always argue against certain aspects of belief in any religion or any case. My point was that I find it hard to believe that as an atheist, my not believing in a God will lead to self-disgust. I don’t hate myself at all and have done nothing besides trying to give back to mankind throughout my career. As for Catholicism, I’m not going to get involved, there is too much that could be said.

  2. We have no right, and no granted privilege to be here. The universe may be big beyond comprehension, but everything that matters that we know of–life, consciousness and experiences–exists among us on Earth.
    I may owe my existence to chance, and it may be true that any other life could be here instead of me. But I owe good will and equally to the life I share this marvellous opportunity with.
    Why do we need God, and how would He help?

    • Thanks for you comment. QDVF purpose is to provide material for conversation and not to engage in a open debate… (may be in the future we could open a blog that should fill this gap).

      One comment, though. When we have no rights or privileges, doesn’t this imply that somebody else grants those? Otherwise, we can grant ourselves the rights and grants that we wish and as we please.

      • The above stated that we have no right or granted privilege to be here. From what you have said, “Otherwise, we can grant ourselves the rights and grants that we wish and as we please” is implying that we would be able to somehow grant our own right to be here which does not make sense. Also, this doesn’t necessarily imply that someone else had to grant us the right to be here. That is merely an interpretation. People will always interpret things in whatever way justifies their own beliefs.

      • Exactly, no matter what you believe or not we will always look reality from our own perspective to see fit that reality. This, as logical result, leads to relativism; bringing us back to a never ending cycle of “you’re right, I’m right” kind of philosophy.
        Leaving deities aside, how the can we know what truth is? Who decides what’s reality? In here we have two choices either oneself or other…

        Thanks for this intelligent exchange; however, we will have to leave it here as indicated on our previous comment

      • I’m not sure what the difference between a polemic discussion and a debate is, so forgive me if I overstep the mark a little here.
        No, we don’t have transcendent rights. We have rights as a part of an ongoing discussion to figure out what morality is.
        These rights and this discussion are dependent on a mind/minds: human minds.
        And yes, we could have granted each other the right to push other people into fire and burn them to death. But I put it to you that rights like this–close to the rights bestowed on witch hunters–don’t last long because if we really think about it we know better than that.

        If you think rights are granted by a God I have to ask why none of the rights are in action until man grants them. Is it sensible to talk about the rights of gay people before we wrote equality acts, or of heretics and “witches” before man wrote documents saying torture was against our rights?

        Of course rights are human constructs, just like animal rights.

  3. You speak of reality like there is only one reality, when if fact, it is based on perception. Our brain perceives reality as what we see. In the quantum world, reality is that 99.9% of everything is empty space. To our brain, some things are perceived as solid, but on the atomic level what we see is mainly empty space full of particles held together by the laws of quantum physics. The existence of a deity, in whatever form you can think of, does not explain truth or reality by any means. Even if you say that truth and reality is in the word of God, this too is based on the fallible perception of mankind. The existence of a deity, or God, can never be proven or disproven as mankind has constructed them in such a way that they could never be proven.

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