“Faith allows an evasion of those difficulties which the atheist confronts honestly.” Simone de Beauvoir, prolific writer and proclaimed atheist
Wow! Do you find any truth to Simone’s observation? Do people of faith deny or ignore difficult personal troubles and refuse to deal with them by “giving it up” entirely to God? Hmmm. For the most part, I think not. However I do find the observation by Simone de Beauvoir to be worthy of consideration.
For me, her comment about atheism is quite fascinating. After all, there is no Higher Power for the atheist to turn for “divine” or “other-worldly” insight or assistance. Personally, I find this admirable, if it were indeed true. As an illustration I also agree with Jocko Willink in his book, Extreme Ownership, in which he advocates responsibility. His point is all about “extreme personal accountability.”
The genuine atheist only has “personal accountability” to credit or blame life situations. This is, not surprisingly, my view as well. For the largest part, my happiness and well-being are up to me—my attitude and my actions. My life is a choice!
Faith Requires Faith
So what is the role of “faith” in this theory? If I believe in “extreme personal accountability” it might seem that I am suggesting little or no role for God. If my life is all up to me, then is there a role for God?
Hmmm. Such a good question since depending on faith is so unscientific. The best definition of faith is written in the NT Book of Hebrews, where the author (not St Paul) writes, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen.” (NASB) In other words, “faith” must be taken “by faith.” Haha. It’s all about being assured in what you hope for and firmly believe in that which you cannot see.
Now to his credit, the author devotes an entire chapter offering examples of faith and, for me, is quite convincing. But that is because I am a man of faith. I know, I know: circular reasoning. Still, it makes sense to me.
But to my atheist friends this definition must sound like gobbledygook, and I have no valid argument except simply, “My experience leads me to such a belief.”
The Paradox of Life
Thanks to Simone de Beauvoir for her thought provoking insight. Reflection leads me to conclude I live in both worlds—the world of the atheist and the world of the Theist. I strongly believe in both: (1) Personal Accountability, and (2) The Providential Intervention of God in my life.
Go figure. Yes… life is paradox!
The Essential Ingredient for a Meaningful Life
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