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January 07, 2010


Ronald Taimuty-Loomis

For argument's sake: if the universe is not governed by anything at all, our efforts in the long run are hopeless in a sense, because the 'long run' lasts longer than we do.

However, once we get beyond the 'hopelessness' of not being eternal beings...and if we do not put an inordinate value on how we ourselves fare in a 'Godforsaken' universe, knowing we will die and cease to exist...then we can act in hope that our sacrifices (small and large) will make the world better for others whose ultimate fate is just like our own. Hope becomes not about our *own* 'salvation'; hope in such a universe can only exist unselfishly, through working ourselves to the death for the potential 'salvation' of others.

I find it ironic that in a Godless universe, the supreme terror is valuing oneself above all others, and the thing we most need is to give up our right to ourselves out of loving self-sacrifice for others. Having no hope of 'personal salvation', the atheist's vision cannot be clouded by selfish talk of afterlife bliss based on a heavenly bank account.

Of course, most atheists I know do not think it through quite so consistently. They are just as concerned about what's in it for them here on earth as their Christian brothers and sisters are concerned about what's in it for them in heaven.

The thing we most need is God in Christ, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who gives us life by leading us through death to ourselves, and seals for us a sure guarantee that our sacrifices will indeed be rewarded--not by getting a bunch of 'stuff' for ourselves in heaven, but by the gift and honor of sharing in the eternal lives of others through giving ourselves away.

Alexander Wilhelmsen

Where he says "our case is hopeless" it reminds me of Solomon's rant in Ecclesiastes where "Everything is meaningless" which I believe he clarifies by saying "apart from God and the good works he gives us" to paraphrase the book.

"God is the only comfort, He is also the supreme terror: the thing we most need and the thing we most want to hide from."

Hey, God and his angels always had to say "Be not afraid," right?

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