Is it possible to be an atheist?
The answer is not as clear-cut as it might seem. We may not believe in a Supreme Being. But does this mean we have no God? Here's a test. Simply ask yourself, "What do I worship? To what do I give extreme devotion, or intense love and admiration? What do I see as the supreme good?" Identify what this is in your life, and for all practical purposes you have found your "God." And this "God" will rule you and determine the course of your life just as if it were all-powerful.Skip to next paragraph
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Don't we see every day the good and bad effects of the billion-odd "gods" that mankind worship? Wherever we look we see people religiously devoted to some person, pursuit, ideal, or goal, and existentially speaking, it ism their "God." Whether or not we say we believe in a Supreme Being as such is secondary to our actual worship of the object of our desire and devotion.
On this pragmatic basis, there is no such thing as an atheist. Every human being is, in a mannger of speaking, religious, intensely devoted to what he believes to be good, or God. The self-declared atheist, agnostic, or unbeliever may be reluctant to admit that he has a form of worship. But one can never conclusively determine for himself whether or not there is an actual God while unaware of the implications of his own personal devotions. Worship of personal gods blinds us to any evidence there might be of a real God.
Wasn't this the problem Christ Jesus lamented? He once said, "This people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them." n1
n1 Matthew 13:15;
Jesus actually gave mankind concrete evidence of God's supreme reality, yet very few could grasp it, even when it came in the form of physical healing. The people's devotion to materialism, to religious dogma, to sensuality, kept most from being converted to the spiritual sense of worship that was offered -- something far higher than the false gods of th human ego. Only those who were literally sick and tired of matter-worship, body-worship, money-worship, power-worship, and ego-worship could see and believe the evidence of God's reality and be healed. The same is true today.
Do you find the gods of your life failing you? Has worship of the body left you in dread of every ache and pain, or made you a slave to drugs, diet, and exercise? Has worship of power and money brought the hollowness of riches without love and fulfillment? Has self-worship and egotism left you friendless and lonely? Then, maybe a higher devotion is the heart's great need. Maybe these false and jealous gods have exacted enough tribute and sacrifice.
There is a God worthy of our worship. And we need not stifle our intellect and abandon reason to believe in Him and come to know His presence in our lives. Indeed, there is a Science of God as provable and practical as enlightened reason could ask for.
Discovered and founded by Mary Baker Eddy in the late nineteenth century, Christian Science can open our eyes to the reality of God. In her book Science and Health with Key to the Scripturesm she writes: "A mortal, corporeal, or finite conception of God cannot embrace the glories of limitless, incorporeal Life and Love. Hence the unsatisfied human craving for something better, higher , holier, than is afforded by a material belief in a physical God and man." n2
n2 Science and Health,m p. 258.
Since it is man's nature to worship, shouldn't it be worship of the real thing? If we desire something better than our present gods, then we've actually already begun.