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The cause and consequences of the atheism

Atheists are people who do not believe in the existence of a Supreme Being, called God. Some do not believe in God because no one ever told them about Him, and they never came across a thought about God themselves. Others do not reject the existence of God in principle, though they live so as if He and His Law are not for them. These can be counted as practicing atheists. Finally, there are people who principally reject the existence of God, and who wish to justify their disbelief by scientific or philosophical arguments. These can be called convinced atheists. The theoretical, principal atheism often turns into active theomachism, implanted by violence, as it occurs in communist countries.

The theoretical atheism is in its essence an anti-religion, because it is also based on belief. As religions are formed on faith in the existence of God, so atheism builds up on the belief that He does not exist. Indeed, if God is a spirit, then how can material devices "prove" that He does not exist? This is comparable to rejecting the existence of the Earth’s magnetic field on the basis of barometric readings. Atheism replaces the belief in God with a belief in self-sufficiency of matter and laws of nature.

As a mass phenomenon, atheism has come to existence over the last two hundred years. It is the result of separation of humans from direct contact with nature, which occurred when significant amounts of population started to move from countryside to towns. Psychology believes that humans have an inherent desire to comprehend the first cause and purpose of existence. Contemplating over the fundamental questions of existence, man comes to faith in the Maker of the Universe. Nature helps man on his way to the Deity, for at his every step the nature’s beauty, splendor, harmony and purposefulness speak of God, His omnipotence and goodness. In the past people used to be closer to nature, and an atheist was a rare bird. It is a common knowledge that since pre-historic times the idea of a supreme being has been widely spread among people at all stages of development. "Look at the face of the earth," wrote Plutarch (1st century AD), — and you will see townships without fortification, sciences or hierarchy, you will see people without permanent dwelling, not knowing money, having no idea of the fine arts, but you will not find any one human community without a belief in a Divinity." This testimony is still in force till now when applied to people who live close to the nature, though their concepts of God may be imperfect and childishly naive.

On the other hand, the life of modern townspeople flows in daily fuss, traffic noise, jungle of concrete, smoke and crime. It gives no noble, lofty feelings; quite on the contrary, it mutilates and spoils any spiritual properties. It is therefore not surprising that atheism, and a variety of psychiatric deviations, propagate predominantly among megapolis inhabitants.

Religion-less and anti-religious teaching systems in a few modern educational institutions also facilitate the spread of atheism. The Biblical narrative about the origins of the world and man is often criticized in textbooks and classrooms. Instead of adding data to expand on the Bible’s information, scientific discoveries are set in opposition to the inspired truths, in order to forge a conflict of faith and knowledge. Sometimes, teachers or professors ridicule the principles of faith and moral in the open. Not many youths have enough independence of thinking to see that their educators’ anti-religion assaults are not based on objective scientific data, but on private opinions of people reluctant to religion. These pupils’ or students’ parents need a lot of knowledge and skill to save their belief in God.

Sin casts gloom over intelligence and dulls conscience, and unruly living drives to loosening of the faith in God. It happens that youths, brought up in religious families and ardently believing in the childhood, give up to temptation of sinful pleasures and get stuck in the spider web of fleshly passions. In several years of sinful life, they retain very little of their former innocence, modesty and heartfulness. They become impudent, evil and shameless. Religious doubts arise along with vice, and they can lead to faithlessness, unless they recollect themselves and turn to God in repentance.

A consequence of atheism is despair. It is not usually realized by a non-believer, but it takes roots in his subconscious and begins to determine his style of life. Once there is no God, there is no afterlife, no reward for labors and good works. That is why an atheist, while still alive, has to hastily use all life’s pleasures available. Once there is no God, the moral law is relative and man is to define the difference between good and evil. Of course, laws of state, shame, fear or merely practical concerns may to an extent restrain the desire to grasp the pleasures and delights of life by any means, but they would not change an essentially atheistic mindset. Beasts and insects can be cruel to their prey. But there is no creature more dangerous and brutal than a man without a supreme moral guidance. A man like that can cause harm not for benefit, but for some perverse pleasure. He revenges others upon his own bad luck. But he is unfortunate because he has no future. This explains why the most senseless and brutal crimes are committed in atheism-governed countries.

How can man come to the faith in God, or strengthen the belief in His existence? Philosophy and apologetics have the so-called "arguments for the existence of God." They say that admission of the existence of God logically comes out from the observation of the order of nature, spiritual qualities of humans and historical facts. Retelling these arguments here would take too much space. We only wish to say that no external proof of the existence of God can substitute for man’s convincing inner spiritual experience. God is a Spiritual Being and may not be studied by any regular scientific methods, but human soul, created in His image and after His likeness, can be in touch with Him. When a man takes an effort and throws off the darkness of the fuss, in which his life wears out, and takes his heart to follow the Divine light that surrounds, then he can see and hear God. This intimate sense of Divinity cannot be proven or explained to others because it is in the realm of inward experience. Whoever does not have such experience, will not realize what you are speaking about.

This personal experience of fellowship with Divine Grace becomes to man the most convincing proof of the existence of God. It obliges him to change his moral life, learn to sacrifice himself for the sake of obedience to the Supreme Will. Many people are afraid to bother their conscience, not willing to give up their sinful lifestyle, and therefore make no attempt to overcome themselves and have fellowship with the light of the Divinity. But those who are in fellowship with this light, find in it a source of spiritual power, peacefulness and heavenly joy.

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