When it comes to philosophy there are three things I ponder deeply about every day. I’m not exaggerating when I say these things. I think about God every hour I’m awake. He plagues my thought and attention. I often think about my relation to him, how he is who he is, his providence, his action in the world, etc. It is so foreign to me when Christians say that they don’t think about God from day-to-day. The second idea that occupies my thought is death. I don’t think I’m morbid about this; I think I’m just being honest with myself. I wonder what it’s like to die, that moment in between life and death. Is it painful? Is it joyful and painless? What is it like to see the Lord for the first time? The third thought I think about isn’t as often as the formers but is nonetheless occurent. It’s the question: “What would it take for me to be an atheist?”
I certainly believe Christianity is falsifiable, that is, to be proven false. I think there is biblical warrant for this. Consider 1 Corinthians 15.17 when Paul says that if Christ had not risen from the dead then our faith is in vain. To show Christianity is false one must demonstrate that the resurrection of Jesus did not happen. I was speaking with my professor over lunch a month or so back and we struck up a conversation on what it would take for us to be atheists. Proving the resurrection false doesn’t disprove God, it just disproves Christianity. The cosmological, fine-tuning, ontological, and moral arguments still work. I’m convinced of these arguments that God exists; however, I cannot abandon them intellectually. I believe these arguments are sound. If I were to become an atheist it wouldn’t be for intellectual reasons, it would be for emotional and existential reasons. What’s interesting is that I’m a Christian for existential reasons. My existentialism is what drove me to Christianity. I recognized my life was utterly meaningless, valueless, and purposeless without God. This is what got me interested in my forté–the fine-tuning argument. The fine-tuning argument is a type of teleological argument and the implications are existential.
I would become an atheist solely on the basis of rebellion and disdain for God. It would be the problem of evil that would drive me away. I guess I wouldn’t really become an atheist per se but rather someone who doesn’t like God. I guess it just depends on what I believe if that were to ever happen. I would need to construct a noble lie, a la L. D. Rue, to live off of. I would need construct my own teleology to keep me from committing suicide. I would follow Camus and Nietzsche’s existentialism.
That’s what would happen if I were an atheist.