Monday, November 16, 2009

The Unhappy Atheist

A recently published book entitled, An Atheist Defends Religion: Why Humanity is Better Off with Religion Than Without It, by Bruce Sheiman, argues that the benefits of religious belief in terms of, among other things, psychological, emotional, existential, and even physical health outweigh the drawbacks. It seems that some atheists at least are coming to terms with the latest scientific research on this subject. Now, while evidence for the psychological and health benefits of religious belief is clear, and while there is undeniably more that a whiff of the melancholic in the writings of atheists, all this psychologising can never be the whole story. After all Thomas More and others who were willing to give their lives for their belief in God didn't go to their deaths because they thought it would lead to psychological health and physical well being! Rather, they accepted death because they thought their belief in the existence of God was TRUE, and because they were willing to go where that truth led them, despite the personal cost to themselves.

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