Comparison of a Biblical Worldview to an Alternate Worldview Atheism Research Paper
- Length: 4 pages
- Sources: 5
- Subject: Mythology - Religion
- Type: Research Paper
- Paper: #13479585
Excerpt from Research Paper :
Biblical worldview to an alternate worldview (atheism)
There have been a number of different worldviews that have populated the earth in its vast history. One of the most fascinating aspects of this realization is the fact that despite a variety of different practices and customs associated with these worldviews, there is no indisputable proof that proves that any of these viewpoints are actually correct. The many different people who practice different religions such as Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism, for example, are all convinced of the righteousness in their beliefs and in their God. But no one has ever offered proof of the truth of these Gods or of the religions that were developed to support them and their beliefs. In some ways, this lack of proof has led to the worldview known as atheism, in which practitioners disavow the presence of any sort of God whatsoever. This viewpoint is in many respects the opposite of a Christian or Biblical worldview, which readily embraces the knowledge of Jesus Christ as the supreme being of the universe (especially as applied to the concept of the trinity). Comparing these two viewpoints, then, illustrates a number of key aspects about worldviews in general which, although applied in this paper to just Christianity and atheism, is applicable to other worldviews as well.
As implied in the introductory paragraph, one of the chief differences or points of comparison between a Biblical worldview and an atheist one is the notion of a deity. Quite simply, Christians believe that a deity exists in the form of Jesus who is also indicative of God the father and of the holy spirit. Atheists, however, believe that no such deity exists. Actually, this point of comparison is the origin for most other important difference between these two worldviews. Because Christians believe in God, they have a host of others beliefs that they ascribe to largely because they think that God exists. Similarly, because atheists do not believe in any form of God there are several notions in which they do not believe. One example is the fact that the biblical worldview denotes the fact that God created the universe and everything in it, either directly or indirectly. Atheists, however, tend to believe that there are scientific explanations (such as the Big Bang Theory) (Rashidi, 2013, p. 383) that can account for the creation of the universe, and that there are other logical explanations for the creation of other things.
Because Christians believe in an all-powerful deity and because atheists do not, the two worldviews advanced by these types of people greatly differ in terms of the conception of the afterlife. The Bible makes it very clear that the soul is eternal and that there is another life after the physical body dies. Furthermore, the Bible states that those who follow Christian principles (the most important of which is simply believing in Jesus Christ) will go to a pleasing afterlife known as heaven. There are certain passages in the Bible that indicate that 144,000 people (from the beginning of time to the end of time) will gain admission to heaven. Similarly, the Bible explains the notion that people who engage in acts of evil or who do not follow the 10 commandments will go to a different sort of afterlife. This afterlife is hell, and is most unpleasant.
Atheists, however, do not believe in the concept of an afterlife. Most atheists believe that there is only one life, the physical life. Some atheists believe that people are inhabited by souls. Still, the majority of atheists do not believe that here is any sort of existence for people (or their souls) once they die. Such a belief, of course, depends on the belief in a deity who can create such things as heaven and hell in terms of the afterlife. Since atheists do not believe in such a deity, they also do not believe in aspects of the deity's creation like heaven and hell.
Another fundamental distinction between a biblical worldview and an atheist worldview relates to the notion of faith. Faith is an important part of believing in a deity, especially a deity that someone cannot see, touch or feel. Although Jesus walked the earth and interacted with people during the times described in the New Testament, for the most part the god that Christians believe in was unseen. All of the passages in the Old Testament involved a God that no man had ever seen. It takes a great deal of faith to believe in something which someone cannot see.
This faith is largely suggested with one of the most important stories in the Old Testament, the story of Abraham and Isaac. Abraham and his wife Sarah were really old when their son Isaac was born. They were very glad he was born, especially since God had promised Abraham that he would father a great nation. Then, to Abraham's surprise God told him to sacrifice Isaac. Although Abraham did not have any idea why God wanted him to kill the newborn baby, he was willing to do so simply because an unseen presence had told him to do so. Abraham "did not oppose God in a presumptuous attitude" (Schliesser, 2012, p. 492). Many scholars have talked about the type of faith that Abraham must have had to be willingly to kill his child. That is the same sort of faith most Christians have when they subscribe to the central principles of this religion -- that God created everything, that Jesus was his son, and that Jesus was killed and resurrected and in doing so can redeem the world of sinners if they merely believe in him.
Atheists, for the most part, are men and women of very little faith. It is not uncommon for people who are well off and have a lot of material luxuries and security to subscribe to atheism. However, one of the main reasons why atheists do not believe in the notion of a God is because they want proof. Such people desire empirical evidence of the existence of God -- they want signs, they want to see him, they want to hear him voice. Without such signs or evidence, they do not believe in God. In this respect, many atheists are skeptics. They need a rationale and evidence to believe in something. Skepticism, however, is the complete opposite of faith. Faith is a belief in something due to a strong conviction regardless of, or in spite of no evidence to prove it. Skepticism, however, doubts and disbelieves relatively everything unless there is proof of it (Klein, 2013). Atheists, therefore, do not have faith. One may even successfully argue that if atheists did have faith, they would no longer be atheists. Thus, a lack of faith is a very integral component to the worldview of atheists.
Those who follow the Biblical worldview generally tend to see significance and importance in events that people who do not believe in this worldview, or in any other religion such as atheists, do not. Essentially, those who believe in the Bible and its teachings tend to contextualize events within their lives and those parts of life in general within this biblical worldview. For instance, if a series of misfortunes happen to these people, they might believe that God is testing them. There are numerous instances of God delivering misfortunes to people in the Bible in attempts to test them and their faith. All of the trials and tribulations that Jonah, for example, endured certainly attest to this fact. Jonah was swallowed up by a whale and nearly drowned during some of the trials God put him through (Benckhuysen, 2012, p. 5). Similarly, those who are Christians will generally attribute good fortune to their faith in God. They believe that…