Christians often like to preach the Gospel and bring the good news to people, so everyone can enjoy an afterlife of eternal bliss with the Creator God Yahweh. They often ask us, why we talk about our atheism and our “religion of hopelessness” ,as in our worldview, “life has no meaning or purpose” .
Since starting to debate Christians, I always found it curious that they would say that, since I actually think the opposite is true: Atheism is neither hopeless nor does it mean life has no meaning, while I think Christianity is a truly depressing worldview when you consider all aspects.
First let’s look at the Christian side: Is the Gospel truly the good news we’ve all been longing for? Of course not! As a Bible literalist who takes the Bible at face value (6000 year old Earth etc. you get the idea I think) the fringe group of Christians as far as I’m concerned, it is mandatory to believe that the majority of this world will not be saved and will in fact, be tortured for all eternity in hell, instead of living in eternal bliss with God. The thought of myself being in heaven, while having other people, perhaps even friends and family, be tortured is sickening to me. Now this belief is of course not true for all Christians and I’ve met some Christians who reject the concept of hell entirely.
But even if every single person gets a free ticket for an eternal life alongside God I still think it would be anything but good. The key word here is eternal. You won’t get to live for a million years or a billion years, you’ll live FOREVER and you will NEVER EVER die. Now I personally love life and I would love to live for a million or even a billion years but at some point… I just wanna fucking die. At some point I think we’ll all grow tired of it but Christianity offers no way out. No death just eternal life and eternal depression because it doesn’t end.
Thirdly, I think it is also true, that an eternal aafterlife diminishes the value of the one we have right now. Why would I care about this finite life, when I get another shot later?
As for the atheistic side it is of course hard to argue, that it’s good news that it’s all over when we die but I think we all should approach it from the following perspective:
With the realization, that we only have this life and that we have no knowledge of the date of our death, the pressure is suddenly on. You can either stick your head in the sand and wait for your death or you can fulfill your dreams, start a family, have children, travel the world, meet some wonderful people, tick off your bucket list and live life to the fullest extend. Be appreciative of every sunrise you may witness, take in every little moment. At the end of your life then hopefully, you can look death right in the eyes and you’re going to be able to say that you did everything you wanted and that you have had a life well lived and can part from this world knowing it. That is of course the ideal scenario but that’s what I’m striving for and that’s the positive that I can get out of this reality.
As for life having no meaning, I have to strongly disagree. This life is intrinsically meaningful exactly because it is finite, exactly because it is our one shot at fulfillment and the purpose of life… is life itself! Even the Christian concedes this, since his goal in life is to get another eternal one, which in my opinion is inferior to the one we all can have and the one we should all want to have in our finite time in the universe.
Goodbye from yours truly,
Rene von Boenninghausen @Renevelation