Bill Murchison

The atheist mode is pure assertion. It's, shut up, listen here, I'm giving you numskulls The Facts. I imagine there have been, here and there, pleasant atheists. If so, one rarely runs across them. They've all got some Hawking, some Hitchens, some Mencken or Shaw or Robert Ingersoll in them: the desire to strut before the Stupid Masses; to show off a bit; to puncture the illusions of folk less enlightened than themselves, pinned down by the weight of superstition and terror. What a bunch of rubes and yokels, these believers! Not that they don't come in handy as rhetorical foils and customers.

It's really all too funny, as things tend to get when certain people -- over and over without pause -- do the same stupid things. Such as instruct the whole of human history to get off this God thing and start believing in spontaneous creation. I can see it all now, can't you? -- The Church of Spontaneous Creation; services whenever you're feeling spontaneous; come feel the creative power surge through your veins; learn to laugh at fools and frauds and idiots stupid enough to disagree with the doctrine of "It All Just Happened."

It is funny: like W.C. Fields assuming the posture of sobriety, Malvolio the pose of Lady's Man. The obverse of Reality is the Ridiculous -- that which makes itself farcical precisely by taking itself with deep earnestness.

If, against the testimony of civilization, the atheists ever find anything new or remotely plausible to say about God, that would be a red letter day in the history of the world. While we wait, how's about a story? This atheist, see, walks into a bar ...


Bill Murchison

Bill Murchison is the former senior columns writer for The Dallas Morning News and author of There's More to Life Than Politics.
 
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