Suicidal atheist converts to Christ
Published: 22 August 2009 (GMT+10)
After our article on atheism was published, a former atheist wrote to tell of how he came to faith in Christ. Following that is a poignant email received in the same time period about a young man who sadly did take his own life.
I cannot express my gratitude in words. I became a Christian three years ago after struggling with thoughts of suicide due to my atheistic beliefs.
Your ministry truly saved my life.
I was raised in a secular home, and surrounded by atheistic propaganda from an early age, whether it be from school or the media. Unsurprisingly, I became an atheist at the age of 12.
As the years passed and I truly tried to understand the world around me, I discovered a horrifying truth that had been hidden from me, hidden from everyone.
This is the reason I am writing this letter, as even in your excellent articles on atheism, you do not truly reveal the extent to which the atheists deceive everyone, even themselves.
Atheists often say that they can truly live a happy, fulfilling life. Yet this is a lie, a deception which damns millions of souls to darkness.
While you revealed much in your articles, you have not destroyed the root.
Simply put, atheism destroys the possibility of personal identity, choice, and objective and subjective meaning.
Atheism inescapably leads to naturalism, and from naturalism follows atheism’s great skeleton which its followers try to keep hidden; determinism.
Determinism is inescapable if one is a naturalist, as all that exists is material and has come about by purely natural processes.
This means then, that the mind of man, our greatest treasure, is reducible to material bound by physical laws; namely, our thoughts, feelings, and actions are reducible to reactions of chemicals in the brain.
Few people realize, then, that this destroys all that makes us human. Namely; if our thoughts, feelings, and actions are simply chemical reactions in the brain, those reactions are simply the by-products of prior reactions forming an unbreakable chain which leads to the very beginning of the universe.
This means then, that whatever we do, we do because we have to. We cannot do anything other than what we do, it simply isn’t possible.
All actions are the result of prior actions in an unbreakable chain. We are no different than a cog in a watch or a falling domino.
There is no difference between the embrace of a loving husband and the violence of a vicious rapist, the actions of a doctor trying to save a life and the mass murderer who kills at whim, the actions of our greatest leaders and the inaction of a lazy sluggard.
Both are totally the same in atheism.
Objective meaning is non-existent, and subjective meaning is incoherent! Would we say the action of a robot picking up a glass bottle has any meaning, value, or significance? Of course not! It’s simply doing what it has to! It can do nothing else!
In what sense can an atheist say that he as a person truly exists? The material which composes our body is recycled every seven years, and our consciousness seems to cease every time we go to bed. So in what sense is the mass of matter that wakes up in the morning the same person as the one who went to bed the night before?
As you can see, atheism is utterly horrific! Sadly, most atheists are unaware of these things! I believe if they truly understood the consequences of what they believed, they would reconsider their position.
I know I did,
Justin S., United States
A tragic outcome
At around the same time as we received the above, a supporter requesting anonymity sent a very poignant email, quite independently. It concerned a very recent, real event that happened in a southern part of Australia, where a 16-year-old he knew well, whom he has called Tom for anonymity, actually did take his own life. The supporter wrote (edited for clarity):
Tom purposefully stepped in front of a large truck. Not many know that. Recently he wrote a letter about his feelings. I don’t know all the details. I didn’t want to quiz his mother; she is so fragile at the moment. However I do know that he wrote about the pointlessness of life using words along the line of—“What’s it all about? Shouldn’t life be more than just struggle, strife and money?” Tom was not a Christian, and would have certainly been brought up with the full evolutionary scene at school.
As she told me this, it took me back to the CMI articles I had read and talks I had heard which talked about such things, and how it is affecting so many young people. Without the absolute truth of the Gospel, the reality of an originally good world, ruined by sin but awaiting restoration through Christ, there’s nothing left but “Life’s a pain and then you die.” So if you’re overwhelmed by feelings of hopelessness and despair, if you’re nothing but rearranged slime on a pond, suicide can seem the most rational option.
Tom’s parents’ marriage had failed. He was living with his father, a long way from his mother.
It made me think so much of CMI’s message. If this is God’s created world, then He made us, owns us, and cares for each of us so much He paid the dreadful penalty due to us. We can be forgiven our sins and lay our burdens upon Him, as He says. However if we inhabit some naturalistic evolved, dog-eat-dog world then “What’s it all about, Alfie?”
If you are physically successful then there is a buffer. Crying in your Porsche sure beats doing it on a bus! But what if it isn’t happening for you, what if you are young with no one you can turn to for comfort? What if your father has married again and is more involved with himself, and his new life, than you? What if your mother is too far away to hug? What if you are too young to have friends who have been battered a little by life and have become aware of the suffering of others and soft enough to care?
What’s it all about? I suppose he came to that point where death was more appealing than his empty, Godless, grab-what-you-can existence.
Too late now to talk to him of Jesus’ loving, forgiving, sustaining arms!
"I think this story is a lie to propagate another lie. The lie of a Diety [deity]that oversee us all. That is the ultimate lie."
I wonder why she's worried about lies. Materialism tells us that all is merely matter in motion, and that everything happens in terms of physics. This makes a lie a meaningless concept. If all were matter in motion a lie would be impossible.
In addition; if all is matter in motion what's wrong with a lie? As Nietzsche famously said;
"The falseness of a judgment is to us not necessarily an objection to a judgment... The question is to what extent it is life-advancing, life-preserving, species-preserving, perhaps even species-breeding..."
Good points. Of course there is no basis in atheism for evaluating a judgment as 'good' on the basis of it favouring survival either. How can one conclude that survival is 'good' from physics and chemistry? There is no difference as far as matter is concerned between survival and non-survival.
I think this story is a lie to propagate another lie. The lie of a Diety that oversee us all. That is the ultimate lie.
I can assure you, with complete sincerity, that neither of these accounts is a lie. Both are completely genuine.
They are also consistent with the implications of atheism, which is that there is no purpose or meaning to anything, as a number of high-profile atheists admit. For example: Evolution = atheism, no purpose
By contrast, Jesus said that He came that we might have life to the full. I find it hard to understand why you are not interested in ‘life to the full’. (John 10:10).
I am wondering how one becomes an atheist at age 12, when all they were exposed to was an atheist perspective. Wouldn’t they have been born with an atheist worldview, which was reinforced by their environment?
Children actually are naturally disposed to believe in a creator, even in societies where there is no belief in a creator (Japan for example). See Children see the world as ‘designed’!. It’s only logical as it is a basic principle of rationality that everything that has a beginning has a sufficient cause. Children understand this (Where did I come from Mummy?). Cosmic evolutionism posits that nothing produced everything with no cause whatsoever. One needs to to be indoctrinated into such an irrational view. Romans 1:18ff speaks of this witness of the creation to a creator, which is available to all to see. This means that no one has any excuse and so God justly holds us accountable if we refuse to acknowledge Him. See Who created God?