The Bad Story that is Atheism
by Paul Gould
We all love a good story. They awaken our longings for drama and connect us to a deeper reality that is true. Right? Wrong, according to the atheist philosopher Alex Rosenberg. We’ve been duped by stories. They make us feel better. They help us get along. But they do not guide us to the truth of what is. Nor do not awaken us to aspire to what ought to be.
Do you want the truth? Then don’t run to story. Run to science. Or better, scientism. According to Rosenberg, “scientism” is “the conviction that the methods of science are the only reliable way to secure knowledge of anything; that science’s description of the world is correct in its fundamentals.” Religion, on the other hand, provides warm and fuzzy, but false, stories.
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But if there is no over-arching story that is true, then why do we love and long for good story? Enter Mother Nature. We are hard-wired to look for stories—plots—to explain the motives of others so we can all get along. Otherwise we wouldn’t have survived. But Mother Nature over did it and we see plot everywhere—even when it isn’t there. We are all “conspiracy theorists.” All of us, that is, except those who embrace scientism.
Real science—“blueprints, recipes, formulas, wiring diagrams, systems of equations, and geometrical proof”—beats stories. And what does real science tell us about reality? What are the answers to life’s persistent questions according to scientism? This is Rosenberg’s “Gettysburg Address” of Atheism…