I have no time for secular humanist atheists – like Nietzsche in the not so distant past and the many “intellectuals” of today (who usually are all Democrats!) that indoctrinate our children. I do however, respect atheists like Sartre. What differentiates the two?
Nietzsche and his intellectual descendants believe that there is no God telling us what to be and do and that somehow means that mankind can give meaning to the world, becoming supermen with technology and power. This is the stuff that Marx, the founder of Communism, and Freud, the founder modern psychology, ate up and propagated.
Sartre, on the other hand, saw everything as fundamentally meaningless without a God to give things meaning. Sartre is much more right and realistic than his romantic counterpart Nietzsche. If you are meaningless in yourself, than there is no way you can give meaning to other meaningless things. You can’t give what you don’t have.
But why, you may ask, do I call atheism attractive? Well to me, there are only two possibilities: Catholicism or Atheism. I don’t say this because I grew up Catholic; I say it because it is the only two logical choices. All other forms of religion, from Protestantism to Pantheism, are fundamentally flawed (in my next post, I’ll talk about Protestantism). Either Catholicism, with her rich teachings on liturgy, the Eucharist, Mary, Purgatory, and the like is true – or nothing is true at all and everything is without meaning.
Before I go, I thought I’d mention one other quick point or two Sartre came across. First off, he fully understood what the absence of God meant for morality: there can be no moral law without a moral lawgiver! His ultimate problem was a problem of love. He believed life would have meaning if there were such a thing as love. Love here means not simply an emotion – emotions are caused by our bodies and we are not in control of which emotions come to us (though we do control how we ACT in response to those emotions). Jesus would have been insane to command us to love our enemies if he meant it in an emotional way! True love sticks it out against all odds, feelings, and enemies. Sartre knew this and rejected it because he knew of no human who lived up to it’s full meaning. He didn’t know Jesus and Mary! If you want to know what it means to be a man or what it means to be a woman, look to Jesus and Mary!
Notice it all comes back to meaning! Where do you find yours?