Observations and inanities by a second-shift assistant supervisor in the Puppy-Grinding division of the Evil Atheist Conspiracy® (our motto: "Sure it's cruel, but think of the jobs!"), your host, Brent Rasmussen.
Interview With The Theist
Anne Rice, author of the "Lestat" vampire novels, and recent returnee to her childhood Catholicism, on how tough it is being an atheist.
[Anne Rice] "It’s a more strenuous path than the religious path, because you’re then going to say that there is no God, there is no reason (for anything), that people on Earth are the only (way) to provide any meaning. That’s a rough road to travel.
"When you lose a child, you’re telling yourself as an atheist, ‘I’m never going to see that child again in any form.’ That’s a hell of a lot harder than a religion, which gives you the consolation that you will see that child again in heaven. It’s hard being an atheist. It’s tough.”
I really enjoy Rice's novels. I think that she has a unique gift for storytelling, and her imagery is lush and fun to read.
She has now become a theist again after 38 years of being an atheist. She lost a child to leukemia in 1972, and her husband Stan Rice died in 2002. Stan was the outspoken atheist of the family, and I think that years of grief, the loss of her daughter and of her loving husband finally caused her to grasp at something that gave her a bit of hope - at the age of 67 - of seeing her beloved family members again someday - after death.
Her novels have always showcased her obvious fascination with the supernatural. She was definitely an atheist in the basic sense of the word though - God-belief was absent within her. However, she never seemed to have given up the magical thinking and supernatural beliefs that were inculcated into her at a very young age by the Catholic church. This is blatantly obvious to anyone who has ever read her novels. So her return to a liberal version of Catholicism - and God-belief in general - at the age of 67 after her severe depression over the loss of her husband to brain cancer, isn't really that surprising to me.
So, what are your thoughts? Is atheism "strenuous" and "...a tough road to travel" for you?
It's not for me. It's really the only choice that I have. Given what I know about the nature of reality, and the complete and utter lack of evidence for any sort of supernatural layer to our universe - as well as the complete derth of evidence supporting the existence of any sort of creator deity at all - what other choice could I have made?
So no. Atheism is not a tough road to travel for me. It's the only road there is. Theists like to pretend that there are other roads, and dress them up with convenient rest areas and pretty parks, and beautiful flowers along the side - but they are traveling down the same road that I am. The difference is that my eyes are wide open, and I can step around the potholes -- while the theists stumble through them, twisting their ankles on the rocks and debris, because their eyes are tightly shut so that they can continue to play pretend.
I'm awake. I like being able to see the road. And guess what? There's a bunch of nasty things there that we need to deal with - but there's also a lot of beauty and goodness to be found if you just open your eyes and look.