The Fallacy of Atheism


One thing I’ve noticed about many who reject Faith without thoroughly exploring the subject to begin with (“It just doesn’t make sense to me.”) – is that they envision faith as being focused on The Creation and The Afterlife – on narratives of The Beginning and of The End.  They see these narratives – which most or all faiths have – as factually and fatally flawed, if not downright foolish; and so not worthy of serious consideration.  Therefore, in their eyes, the faith as a whole must be flawed.

Now, there are many people who have adopted the label “Atheist” because they see the evil and pain in this world and cannot believe that a loving God would allow such things. (And perhaps even blame faith as responsible for much of the world’s pain – which, sadly, is true).  Therefore, they say, there is no God.  But, that’s an entirely different topic that I have referred-to in some of my past posts here on this site.)

When talking about the Creation or the End Times, the problem – at least in my view – is that focusing on a factual interpretation of a Faith’s narratives of The Beginning and The End completely misses the point.  (Biblical interpretation Literalists, please take note.)


Yes, it is comforting to have our Faith inform us that God was there in The Beginning and that God will be there in The End as well.  But The Beginning and The End are merely the boundaries of the realm of Creation and of human experience – of which we inescapably a part.  These boundaries delimit our lives and all of human experience.  The territory in between these two poles are what our Faith is really focused on.  These narratives are intended to frame our views and our thoughts regarding our lives and our relationships with all of Creation and with the many creatures of Creation all around us; including ourselves, and including The Eternal (whatever that may be)!

In Christianity and Judaism, for instance, the Prophets and Jesus did not dwell much on The Creation or on the Hereafter.  Instead, they focused on social injustices of the time – which (sadly) are the social injustices of the present day as well:

  • Are the poor adequately fed and housed?
  • Can those without power expect justice and mercy at the hands of those with power?
  • Do those with power recognize and value the human condition they share with all other human beings?
  • Are we focused just on our own needs, or do we recognize and value that others have needs just as important to them (and to God) as ours are to us?

The primary purpose of Faith is not to gain certainty of salvation.  It is not to force us to acknowledge how much we owe to God for our existence; or to make us grovel and beg for mercy because of our wretched fallen state.  It is not about how big of a reward we’ll get in the afterlife for our good deeds and clean living in this life.  (Or whether there even is an afterlife that even remotely resembles how we conceive it to be, to begin with!)

So, this is the fallacy of Atheism: in rejecting the narratives that faiths use to create a framework for their message and mission, Atheism is rejecting the very things that they feel those faiths should focus on: about nurturing that within us which is central to giving our lives meaning, hope and joy – which is what our faiths DO focus on!

This is why the Second Great Commandment is “Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself” [Matthew 22:39].   And, the first is so much like it: “Love the Lord your God with All your Heart and Soul and Mind” [Matthew 22:38].

Learning to Love God without reservation or prequalification leads one to realize that we are all valued children of God; and that since God first loved each of us without reservation and without prequalification, then we must in turn love all of God’s children, and ourselves, in exactly the same way.

I for one do not believe that anyone will be damned to eternal torment for being an Atheist, since God already loves us regardless of what we believe.  But, being an Atheist means missing out on the richness and fullness of what life can be, if we intend to let it become all that it is meant to be.

Now, I’m not saying you need to join a church or be baptized or be born again, or even go to church at all.  They might become important to you as part of your walk of Faith, but that is a decision that is yours alone: it is not up to me, not up to anyone else.  Our relationship with the Eternal is ours: ours to claim, ours to live, ours to nurture – or ours to reject.

– Pastor Allen


Copyright (c) 2017, Allen Vander Meulen III.

Author: Allen

A would be historian turned IT Professional who responded to the call to the Ministry, and is now focused on social justice and community service. He is a father of two (ages 28 & 7). He and his wife enjoy life near Boston. You can follow Pastor Allen on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PastorAllenV/ or on Twitter @allenvm3.

9 thoughts on “The Fallacy of Atheism”

  1. Just wanted to make some clarifications on your message. Are you saying that “atheists” are not in tune with Social Justice issues? That they don’t care about their fellow human? or are you saying because they don’t believe in a God, that they are missing out on something. How about Buddhists? Taoists?

    Thanks in advance for your clarification.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your question: to clarify, most Atheists and Agnostics I know are very in tune with social justice issues. What I’m saying is that rejecting faith of any sort because of the metaphorical narratives used to frame the theology is a case of missing the forest for the trees. I know many atheists do find ways of creating or joining a communities devoted to supporting social justice, and that’s perfectly fine. I just think that in rejecting the many faith frameworks out there, doing so is more difficult and potentially less satisfying than it could be.

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      1. In my younger years as I approached my Confirmation, my mother was adamant that I remain a Catholic… but then my brother married a Jehovah Witness. She seemed to soften up at that point and told me “You can be any religion you want but you have to have a religion”. Another brother went to Seminary but didn’t follow through with the Priesthood. While I was confirmed as a Catholic… I was mostly agnostic and later in life, settled on Atheism.

        Atheism has meant different things to me over the years. Over the last 5 years or so, I’ve really taken an interest in researching the background and history of most of the world religions and Philosophies. The philosophy of Buddhism has been enriching. Being able to discuss the issues with people of all faiths has been rewarding… yet troubling.

        People of faith tend to be very judgmental not only against “atheists” but people of other faiths that differ from their own. My mantra recently in regards to people of different religions (and the irreligious) has been “acceptance of one other”. I probably don’t need to remind you that Christian’s were once considered or called Atheists. Atheism is not a fallacy, it’s a truth.

        Thanks for your time.

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      2. Your thoughts here and in your previous comment are very much appreciated, David!

        As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to agree with you: and am likewise very leery of those who claim that there is something that can be called “The Truth.” My first post in this blog – “The Languages of the Eternal” (https://allenvandermeulen.org/2009/04/06/the-languages-of-the-eternal/) – dwells on exactly that point.

        It is certainly true that Atheism is “A Truth,” just as Christianity, or Buddhism, or Islam, are all Truths of one sort or another. And I agree, those who adhere to one faith or another can be very judgmental of the truths of others, whether that truth is found by that Other in another faith, or through Atheism. It is also true, however, that some who claim to be Atheists are just as judgmental of those who do claim to be adherents of one faith or another.

        I’ve studied Buddhism a tiny bit and have found it to be a very rich source to learn and grow-from – and I hope to get deeper into it before too long.

        By the way, if you would ever like to be a guest blogger on this site (or if you already have a blog of your own), let me know – I’d very much enjoy reading more of what you have to say!

        – Allen

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  2. There is absolutely nothing except nonsense that an atheist misses out on in the world – it’s up to them to navigate the world, as it is with everyone, even those in the grips of terrible, myth-based fallacies such as yourself.

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  3. I’ll go you one better on your God and his illogical. Genesis is where we’ll go, Chapter 4 – where just after Cain slay Abel – he’s sent out of the garden and I quote: “4:16 And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.” So if you will please tell me who those people in Nod were – because if they existed OUTSIDE the garden it means the entirety of Christianity, God, etc. are all man made creations. There’s nothing divine or other dimension that would indicate anything else.

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