Imagine a World Devoid of God

Recently a man I admit I respect, Stephen Fry, gave an interview. Fry is an atheist and an incredibly intelligent – in the world’s terms – man, well educated although I forget if it was Oxford or Cambridge he went to, and a man of quick wit and smart, pithy answers to most questions.

Which is why I was so gobsmacked at the tirade that poured out of him when asked about what he would do if he ever met God.

His hatred and anger at the injustices in this world, creatures and diseases that exist to cause nothing but suffering like HIV, the worm that eats eyes and so on he blames squarely on the “god” he thinks Christians worship.

He missed the point completely, which is what surprises me. To paraphrase CS Lewis, he has a concept of what a straight line should be, and recognizes that the line the world shows him is crooked. But where does his concept of a straight line come from?

In fact, where does the notion of right and wrong come from for an atheist? If we are all here simply because of a fluke in cosmology, why are we horrified at the events unfolding in the Middle East with ISIS? Why do we say it’s horrific when a gunman walks into a school and shoots 30 students? Why do we lock up those who molest children or rape?

All these things we do because we have a clear understanding of right and wrong. That understanding, whether Mr Fry, Richard Dawkins or any other atheist wants to argue the point, has to come from a place beyond ourselves. Moral behaviour is impossible under the theory of accidental evolution as there is only one mandate – reproduce at all costs to pass on the strongest genes. In this dark time, those immune to HIV would, under evolution’s precepts, become selected breeding providers for the continuation of the human race and the eradication of the disease. Love and morals be damned. Those not immune should be sterilised so their genes cannot perpetrate the propagation of the virus. At the very least, those immune to the illness should be found and moved into selective breeding centers to produce a superior human being.

Sounds eerily like the ideas a certain short German had in the 1930’s. But it’s no less insane than Hitler’s design for a Master Race.

So where does God fit in?

For an atheist he doesn’t. We’re all here by chance. For a creationist like myself – and please don’t think I believe the world is only 6000 years old – I see God’s hand in the development of mankind.

But what if we were wrong. Just consider what the world would truly be like if there were no God.

Genocide would be a daily occurrence no more or less heinous than buying a cabbage. Rape and murder would not be hidden crimes but acts committed freely. There would be no morality, no limits. We would be slaves to the id of our psyche, constantly seeking self-gratification and destroying anything that got in the way.

Some people are in that place already. We call them sociopaths and lock them away so they can’t hurt others.

Stephen Fry suggests in his answer that he considers God to be a sociopath. “Why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid God who creates a world that is so full of injustice and pain. That’s what I would say.” was his answer when confronted with the question about God.

Of course as Christians we recognize those traits clearly. The “god” he describes is who we call Satan. A defeated enemy over whom we have been given the victory and who ultimately will be utterly destroyed. But for now he continues to fight on in the world, and there is no limit to his evil whether it manifests in a virus, a jihad or a drunk driver, the source is the same.

A world without God would be one where the devil was lord over it. A truly unimaginable and horrific place where hope, love, joy and peace could never exist. Milton said of Hell in Paradise Lost that it was a place where “hope never comes that comes to all, but torture without end still urges fed with and fiery deluge, fed with ever-burning sulphur unconsumed” (Paradise Lost Book 1)

That would be the fate of a world devoid of God. Hardly what He had in mind for us.

We were created in His image with free will to either submit to Him or to evil, but even when we submitted to evil He gave us the Cross as a way out. A means to restore peace to our souls and hope in our hearts.

Mr Fry’s hatred of the evil in this world, and his very vocal denouncement of it indicates to me that he may in fact be on his way to meeting Christ. He has already declared he detests the things God hates. All he needs to do is recognize the Truth of creation, that this world is twisted beyond what it should be. But there is hope.

The hope of the Cross.

And we never need to worry about what a world devoid of God will be like, for He has promised to be with us always.