December 12, 2005

"The atheist non-god is not going to send me to non-hell for my lapse of non-faith if it should turn out that I am mistaken"

The science fiction writer John C. Wright, whose work I'm not acquainted with, was an atheist all his adult life until his recent conversion to Christianity, which happened through both intellectual and mystical means. His story, found on Speculative Catholic, would have been one of the brightest ornaments in William James' THE VARIETIES OF RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE.

Wright on the error of atheism:

I began to notice how shallow, either simply optimistic or simply pessimistic, other philosophies and views of life were.

The public conduct of my fellow atheists was so lacking in sobriety and gravity that I began to wonder why, if we atheists had a hammerlock on truth, so much of what we said was pointless or naive. I remember listening to a fellow atheist telling me how wonderful the world would be once religion was swept into the dustbin of history, and I realized the chap knew nothing about history. If atheism solved all human woe, then the Soviet Union would have been an empire of joy and dancing bunnies, instead of the land of corpses.

I would listen to my fellow atheists, and they would sound as innocent of any notion of what real human life was like as the Man from Mars who has never met human beings or even heard clear rumors of them.

Wright on his mystical experience:

I became aware of the origin of all thought, the underlying oneness of the universe, the nature of time: the paradox of determinism and free will was resolved for me. I saw and experienced part of the workings of a mind infinitely superior to mine, a mind able to count every atom in the universe, filled with paternal love and jovial good humor. The cosmos created by the thought of this mind was as intricate as a symphony, with themes and reflections repeating themselves forward and backward through time: prophecy is the awareness that a current theme is the foreshadowing of the same theme destined to emerge with greater clarity later. A prophet is one who is in tune, so to speak, with the music of the cosmos.

Read a much longer, and thoroughly fascinating, excerpt here.

Hat tip: Good and Happy.

For the record, I'm neither an atheist nor a Christian.