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Why Rich, White People Make the Best Atheists

February 14, 2013

Heralded atheist, Richard Dawkins (not Richard Dawson, the former host of Family Feud), claims the probability of the development of a universe as sophisticated as ours is so minute we can conclude that, out of billions of possible universes, we won the evolutionary lottery.  Our world was the one to form while others didn’t.  Aren’t we lucky?!

Let’s say for a moment that Dawkins is correct.  Let’s say that, out of billions of possible universes, we were lucky enough to be a part of the one that actually formed out of nothing (or some kind of unknown particles).  Can we really call this winning the lottery?  Is this a special privilege?  It is for Richard Dawkins!  He’s a rich, white guy with privilege and abundance.  I bet he does think he won the lottery.  But what if, instead of a plush life with opportunity, you live a destitute life in poverty, abuse, slavery, and anguish?  This is the case for the LARGE majority of the population of the world.  Did these people win the lottery?  Or did they lose it?  Has randomness cursed them?

There is a reason rich, white people make the best atheists.  They have been blessed (or cursed, depending how you look at it) with abundance and social power that has led to a sense of self-sufficiency.  Education has been at their fingertips.  Social prowess is the norm.  Didn’t Jesus say “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of the needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God?”  Rich, white dudes long to be the center of the universe and have been given so much of this world that they carry the pride that, somehow, this has come by their own hands.  Even more, they don’t even consider the plight of the broken and needy in their theory of the universe.  Lottery Shmottery!

Why is it that Christianity and other faiths thrive among people who are oppressed, broken, and in need?  The general atheist reason is that these people are a bunch of uneducated rubes who haven’t been set free from their ignorance.  They would say this in a nicer way, of course, but would condescend upon these folks, to say the least.  Perhaps education is not the only variable.  What if humility and human pride are contributing factors between atheism and theism?  What if they long for redemption because living is not winning the lottery, it is suffering and pain?

Now, we must admit we have more knowledge today.  We know more through science and technology than ever before in the history of our world.  Can we conclude that through this knowledge we are a society that has advanced from its former ignorance and no longer needs belief in God?  Is our world better because of our knowledge?  In some ways, it is.  But in many ways, it is not.  Our technology has helped us create bigger bombs, to sell slaves via the internet, and to prey upon children.  Marriages are worse off than ever before in the advanced West, as are addictions, crime and depression.  No, we cannot conclude that our society is more beautiful, more harmonious or more just.  The result is many people still long for redemption, hope and salvation.

Atheism offers no story of redemption.  It lacks a meta-narrative that tells a story of hope most of the world longs for.  My opinion is that atheists, as well as rich people, long for it, too.  They just have more stuff to anesthetize their redemption longings.

Now, you may be saying, “Nathan, you are rich (according to the world’s economy), white guy so why are you picking on other rich, white guys?”  It’s because I know firsthand the pride that leads to self-sufficiency, self-centeredness, and a lack of humility.  I struggle with it every day.  The same pride I see in the atheist, I see in myself.  And I see how it kills my life, my relationships, my faith, and my world.

Being rich can easily lead to a false sense of my worth.

Being high in social power can easily lead to a false sense of my ability.

But most of the world isn’t rich.  Most of the world doesn’t have social power.  Most of the world longs for redemption.  The truth is, we all do.  This alone doesn’t prove God’s existence, but it does expose the pride among those condescending upon the longing for redemption.  It’s just plain, short-sighted.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 14, 2013 2:39 pm

    Rich Black Atheist:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neil_deGrasse_Tyson

  2. Linda Painter permalink
    February 14, 2013 4:50 pm

    Wow! This is straight-forward, honest, and powerful. Encouraged me to take a long, hard look at my own pride and self-sufficiency.

  3. Beth permalink
    February 15, 2013 8:07 am

    Too true of rich white women also. Thanks for telling the truth. I certainly need this reminder.

  4. Rusty Robertson permalink
    February 15, 2013 8:25 am

    As a fellow rich white guy I endorse this message. Thanks Nathan.

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