Mmegi Online :: A response to "Atheists are rational and logical"
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A response to "Atheists are rational and logical"

Although I do not usually like to respond to a response to my articles, I felt obliged to respond to Harriman's letter of January 22 because he shares some really interesting thoughts.
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Mmegi Online :: A response to "Atheists are rational and logical"








It's important for the reader to understand that I am not trying to start a Holy War with atheists, but I simply desire to connect with my colleagues and try reach an understanding, if possible, by presentation of facts and ideas. First of all, I do understand when atheists say that there is no God. However, such a belief automatically means that life has no meaning. It simply means everything is permissible because there are no laws and therefore no one is accountable to anyone. However, if that is so,what then is the reason why we now have laws to govern behaviour today unless there was a law giver?

In simple, if life has no meaning then each and every one of us has to live as they please. So Harriman,wouldn't you agree with the fact that we have rules to govern behaviour and conduct in the universe simply because this universe has a meaning? C.S. Lewis, who was once an atheist but is now convinced that there is  God, had this to say: "A man does not call a line crooked unless he has an idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this world to when I called it unjust? If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning."

What C.S Lewis was trying to say was that when atheists say this universe is unjust and has no meaning, to what are they comparing it to? How can one say life is unjust and has no meaning unless he or she has an idea of a meaningful and just life? Let me use an everyday example. Is it possible for me to say to a person she is beautiful unless I have an idea of what an ugly person looks like?

This, I believe, is the same trap that many atheists find themselves in. This is the last aspect of reality that atheists should now consider before they can conclude that life has no meaning. A closer analysis of the above question will reveal that this universe has meaning after all because to every bad thing, there is always the good side.

One thing is for sure, Harriman. If a person is truly convinced about his/her religion, then that person should not be afraid to come out in the open about his/her faith. For example, you rightly pointed out that many atheists are afraid

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of coming out in the open because they fear being rejected by the community. This is the same quandary homosexuals find themselves in.

But surely, if one is sure and confident about his or her faith, why are there a lot of atheists, in this country for that matter, being afraid of coming out and professing their faith? I believe it is because of the lack of absolute truth that makes people do this. It is also because atheists are aware that life is meaningful and therefore cannot afford just to come out in the open. The society has a moral obligation to accept or not to accept Christianity, Atheism, amongst many other religions. But if life has no meaning, as you say, why are some of your people (atheists), just like homosexuals, afraid of coming out in the open? Why do Atheists care about criticism if  life is meaningless?

With all due respect, I also think atheists should simply stop trying to behave as if they understand the Bible. I am saying this because of the way Harriman dismally failed to interpret the Bible. In your letter to the Mmegi on January 22, you rightly pointed out that "I don't believe in the Bible", which is evidenced by your saying that the Bible is littered with endorsements of murder, rape, genocide and human sacrifices. Harriman seems to have moved from being a 'non-believer of the Bible' to a 'perfect interpreter of the Bible.'

If you do not believe in the Bible, that is good enough. Do not contradict and embarrass yourself by trying to interpret the Bible that you seem to be so appalled with. If I were to say "I do not believe there is a language called Setswana", is it then 'rational and logical' for me to try and interpret it? Maybe you would like to ponder about that. I am still radically sure and utterly convinced that there is God around us.

However life is a matter of choice. There are good and bad ideas, right and wrong as well as some ideas in between.  No one, however, is supposed to be forced into the belief of deity. Each decision we make ultimately has a bearing in our lives and we are all accountable for our actions and choices in life. We are here for a purpose and we are all custodians of our individual lives. 

Don-Martin Takudzwa Whande

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