Well well well. Look what we find in the Rolling Stone. (9/4/08)
Here is singer/songwriter Randy Newman in interview. His just released album is Harps and Angels. Um, isn’t that religious, Rolling Stone wants to know. Had you been sick when you wrote it? No, he just likes that kind of imagery, he replies. Besides, “sometimes you do think, ‘Jeez, it’d be great if there were an afterlife.’ Especially if you’re sixty something, like I am…..I mean, it doesn’t make you want to run out and hold up a banner for atheism.”
No it doesn't. Precisely. This is an example of why you should always read the Rolling Stone. Now I will go out and buy all of Mr. Newman’s records.
His remarks are timely, too. Because I’ve been lately swapping emails with this young (relative to Mr. Newman and I) atheist covering all the usual ground. Conceding that the odds against life originating spontaneously are so astronomical that you might almost wipe the notion off the court based on probability, he nonetheless observes….
“for a long time now there have been and indeed there still are, many intelligent minds at work on the problem. Over time and slowly but surely, they're working out how it all really happened and how it all really works. The key here is to have an open mind but who knows, if you can just find a little more funding, then one day someone might just find the answer…”
Doesn’t one have to ask why? I mean, what’s in it for them other than discovering that they’ll soon be dead? Now, if it was circumventing the (much more likely) odds of choosing the winning lottery numbers…..well, I can understand why clever minds might want to work hard on that problem. [though they don’t…..everyone knows that probability is pretty insurmountable] But the prize for defeating the staggering odds against a random origin of life is certain knowledge of a death sentence. Why, at age 60, would one eagerly pursue that line of thought?
Because we humans have an innate curiosity. We want to find how things are. We like to know how stuff works, or some such reply…I can hear the atheists now. But I’m not so sure. If you’re going to live forever you want to discover the truth of all things. But if you’ve only got twenty more years? When my car was brand new, I carefully attended to all dings and scratches. I maintained it well. But as it got older, I began to say “I can live with that” for more and more problems. I mean, what’s the point of pouring in expensive maintenance when it’s all going to be scrap in a few years anyway? Is it really any different with us, if we’re going to be scrap in a few years? As Randy Newman said, being 60 doesn’t make you want to run out and hold up a banner for atheism.”
It’s probably the same principle that would operate in concentrated form if you were to learn you had terminal cancer. It’s the rare person who wouldn’t quickly reassess goals. Innate curiosity for how stuff works would promptly give way to more immediate concerns on what makes life meaningful.
Look, regarding atheism, if you believe it you believe it. But I can’s see why anyone would celebrate it. It’s a great tragedy if true. Early atheists like H. G. Wellsreadily conceded this. Yet the current atheists …..you know, guys like Dawkins, Harris and Hitchens…..carry on as if a few decades and then gone forever is a great triumph for humanity, a true liberation of the human spirit. Today’s new atheistic thinking….this life is all there is. It must be what is behind this ridiculous “he (or she) is 80 years young” description we hear all the time. For crying out loud, If they are 80 years young, then why are they dead in the next year or two?
As a fallback position…..well, maybe then I can see it. Having lost faith in God and his purpose, well….at least revel in what years remain. But it’s sort of like the fellow who loses his millions in the stock market. Oblivious, he shrugs it off in a day or so and celebrates the ten dollars he still has left.
No question about it; faith is a casualty of the last days, at least among the world at large. Does it not make you think on Jesus’ question?
Nevertheless, when the Son of man arrives, will he really find the faith on the earth? Luke 18:8