Wednesday, June 10, 2020

The Happiness of Unbelievers?

Whether knowingly or unknowingly, people are in rebellion against God. Some simply do not care about spiritual matters, other have a nominal religion with religious trappings but no commitment, others mask their hatred of God by claiming they "lack belief". How do they attain happiness?


People who reject God may have some degree of happiness, but that is based on circumstances and things that are fleeting. What happens when things get really rough?
Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos / alexisdc
According to surveys, there has been an increase in people who say they are unaffiliated with certain religions. I don't know if that means specific denominations, but this does not necessarily mean an increase in atheism. A person can be a Bible-believing Christian and yet not identify as Baptist, Presbyterian, etc. Atheism is irrational and incoherent, and impossible to live it consistently.

When atheists spend their time angrily ridiculing Christians and misrepresenting biblical creationists — indeed, seeking their identities in unbelief — it is exceptionally difficult to believe them when they say they are happy. Sure, people can have some amount of fulfillment in wealth, political activism, social status, sex, drugs, alcohol, prestige in employment, marriage, and so on. Some say they believe in science and gain their purpose in evolution. But where can they turn when things come crashing down?
Yes, agnostics can find contentment, and many describe themselves as happy. But do they derive their happiness from their beliefs?
Valerie van Mulukom, a Cognitive Scientist at Coventry University, decided to find out if unbelievers find solace in life in times of crisis. In her piece at The Conversation, she presents what she found. Her opening sentences, though, suggest a bias toward asserting that one doesn’t have to believe in God to be a happy, fulfilled person.
The saying “There are no atheists in foxholes” suggests that in stressful times people inevitably turn to God (or indeed gods). In fact, non-believers have their own set of secular worldviews which can provide them with solace in difficult times, just as religious beliefs do for the spiritually-minded.
The aim of my research for the Understanding Unbelief programme was to investigate the worldviews of non-believers, since little is known about the diversity of these non-religious beliefs, and what psychological functions they serve. I wanted to explore the idea that while non-believers may not hold religious beliefs, they still hold distinct ontological, epistemological and ethical beliefs about reality, and the idea that these secular beliefs and worldviews provide the non-religious with equivalent sources of meaning, or similar coping mechanisms, as the supernatural beliefs of religious individuals.
In this opening, Mulukom asserts equivalence between religious contentment and non-religious contentment, leading one to believe that it’s simply a matter of individual choice. The results are the same; take your pick. Her intimation fits well with today’s post-truth mentality that individual happiness is more to be desired than truth.
To read the rest of this first article, click on "Can Unbelievers Really Be Happy?", but by all means, come back for the conclusion.

People who have their worldviews rooted in naturalism are inconsistent because science is impossible without God. For that matter, numbers and mathematics are not tangible. Nor is morality or love. Misotheists actually are standing on the biblical worldview, beginning with creation.
The previous entry described coping mechanisms used by unbelievers to deal with ‘uncreatedness’ and crisis. Let’s think about them.
Earlier today, we analyzed the article by Valerie van Mulukom at The Conversation, “How non-religious worldviews provide solace in times of crisis.” We summarized responses of unbelievers to crisis (atheists, agnostics and ‘nones’) into a list 13 coping mechanisms for dealing with what Francis Schaeffer called ‘uncreatedness’ – a perceived uncaring universe, autonomous to itself. Here’s the list again:
I highly recommend that you read the rest of this article. That can be found at "Can Unbelievers Really Be Happy? – Commentary".



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