Monday, December 15, 2008

The Conscience of an Atheist

The Conscience of an Atheist: Is the human conscience fundamentally opposed to atheism? It's difficult to see how a rational person could devote full attention to both his conscience and atheistic outlook. The human conscience is, at bottom, wholly oriented toward God. To be clear, every person is naturally endowed by God with a conscience. Like ideas and words, the human conscience has evolved. The question then becomes whether each individual chooses to utilize his conscience. In choosing not to utilize his conscience, man embarks on a basic separation from God. And it's precisely this separation which pushes man to develop ardent beliefs in the material world. Yet atheists believe in more than just matter. They believe in time, energy, mortality, and rationality. To suggest that theists do not hold these beliefs as well is simply ludicrous. Even so, Article 20 of the Catholic Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes (Joy and Hope) states, "Favoring this doctrine [atheism] can be the sense of power which modern technical progress generates in man." This statement effectively captures the origins of atheism; the Industrial Revolution. In short, without God, there would be no atheists, because (a.) He would not have been there to create them in the first place, and ( b.) there would be no One for the atheists to oppose.

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