Truths You Can Use

Truths You Can Use

There Is No Such Thing As Atheism


My teenage students often ask me why we need religion. We don’t need it answer questions about why it rains or why the sun shines. Science gives better answers to those. We don’t need it to explain human behavior or relationships. Psychology gives better answers to those. What, then, is religion for?

I tell them this: Religion  helps us answer the most important questions we face. What is the purpose of life? How can it be made meaningful? Why are we here? What does it all add up to?

None of us can ignore these questions. Our lives determine our answer.

We All Worship Something

The late novelist David Foster Wallace put it best when he said,

In the day-to- day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshiping. Everybody worships.

If we choose to worship money and things, there will never be enough. If we choose to worship beauty and sexual allure, we will always feel ugly and when time and age start showing, we will die a million deaths.”

If we worship power, we will feel weak and afraid, and we will need ever more power to keep our fears at bay. If we are not careful, we can slip into this kind of worship, little by little, day by day,… or we can choose to worship, to give our life to, to sacrifice for, to live and die for something else, something good and authentic and important. It’s up to us. We get to decide.

Indeed. We get to decide.

Question: What do you worship?

You can leave an answer in the comments below. 

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment B.

    “We all worship something”? [citation needed]

    Religion for SOME answers questions and provides succor. I won’t deny or denigrate YOUR faith and beliefs. Please do not attempt to deny the truth of my own beliefs, especially not with facile arguments like this one.

  • Evan Moffic

    Hi Shirley, Thanks for the thoughtful comment. Evan

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment shirley

    I never thought of it that way… yes we all worship something and live for something why not live for God and have eternal life with him in heaven and see your loved ones who have past and be united. Beauty is fleeting and money and things just make you want more. You cant take it with you and we all die sooner or later. thx

  • Evan Moffic

    Whatever grounds your values and helps you make decisions. worship is not just about praising something. it’s about valuing something larger than ourselves and seeking to discern the right thing to do.

  • http://Iworship... Thin-ice

    …. nothing. For 46 years I worshipped Jesus and the Christian Father God. And was a missionary, trying to get others to believe it as well. But then when I realized Hell was imaginary, and OBJECTIVELY studied the Bible and it’s formation (without pre-suppositions), I gave up believing, reluctantly. I have replaced it with nothing. No, not atheism, nor evolution, nor secular humanism. Although I dabble and learn more about all of those, I don’t worship any of it. There may be a supernatural power, but at this point no one has presented me with incontrovertible, verifiable evidence. If some of you think that I must worship something, please tell me what it is.

Previous Posts

What to say to your Jewish Friends on the Holidays
While speaking at a church recently, I received an urgent question: “Is it okay for me to wish my Jewish friends ‘A Happy New Year’ on Rosh Hashanah? “Absolutely,” I said. The questioner then asked what was appropriate to say on Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, when many Jews

posted 5:47:52pm Sep. 29, 2014 | read full post »

A Prayer for Chelsea Clinton's New Daughter
When Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinksy married, I wrote about the religious choices they would have to make. Those choices come into sharper focus now that they are the parents of a beautiful daughter, Charlotte. Those choices are not clear-cut or absolute. Having worked with hundreds of int

posted 4:02:02pm Sep. 27, 2014 | read full post »

How To Make Peace With Your Regrets
This is the text of the sermon I delivered on the morning of the Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. You can Click here to get the MP3 audio recording of  my delivering the sermon The most popular musical in the country when I was in college was Rent. Perhaps you saw it. It was not as edgy as

posted 8:32:03am Sep. 26, 2014 | read full post »

Hearing God's Alarm Clock: What You Need to Know about Rosh Hashanah
On Wednesday night and Thursday, Jews around the world will celebrate the holiday of Rosh Hashanah, which literally means "Head of the Year." What distinguishes Rosh Hashanah from every other holiday is the sounding of ancient ram’s horn, known as a shofar. It makes a scratchy, plaintive primi

posted 7:58:49am Sep. 23, 2014 | read full post »

Why We Still Love Fiddler on the Roof After 50 Years
As I child I could not sit through movies or meals. Sitting through a musical was out of the question. Yet, when I was seven, my parents decided to take me to see Fiddler on the Roof. Looking back now as parent of a seven-year-old, I would not have been so bold. Since that first experienc

posted 6:59:14pm Sep. 16, 2014 | read full post »

Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.