Statesboro, GA, USA
Seriously though, that's an assumption I'm not comfortable with.
Seeing that you are fallen and sinful (as I) I didn't expect you to be "comfortable" with the idea of a holy and righteous judge and creator.
Seriously though, Christians often have pointed out the disconcerting truth that any denial of God is ultimately based upon an avoidance of his "prickly" nature against our fallen flesh. That's not to say there's not a degree of honest doubt, or a transitional period of innocent agnosticism. It just means that self deception is real. And that atheism as a conclusion, as a final choice, is ultimately rebellion.
And no, (before this is brought forth) that doesn't mean that Christians hate those who are atheists.
Creation can and has been readily explained without a creator.
But only with "faith-like" elements that make Christian theism appear reserved. Proposing an orginating singularity (where the known laws of nature are dissolved) still falls within the realm of speculative "religion" and metaphysical assertion.
Self knowledge can and easily does (in my case at least) explain away the rationale of God. In my paradigm there is no need for an explanatory background figure that ties all the knots and cushions the fall from life to death.
Never felt once that death is absurd? ... that there's something wrong?
Never felt once that life, love, and beauty might be more than mere byproducts of machination? ... or that they should somehow survive the great blackout that an atheistic cosmos would guarantee? I believe such feelings are God-given, though they are delicate enough to be damaged by cynicism.
I do however, sympathize with those who would love to believe those things, but are afraid of being hurt or somehow disappointed ... too afraid that such cannot be true.
Firstly, it assumes that all people fear death and need it explained.
Actually it takes into account that most communities throughout history have felt that it needs explaining ... and in the main, still do.
I also think that to say that only for atheists is there a fear of death to be explained is not quite covering it in full. I believe that most God-fearing people fear death as well. Death is an alternate form of existence no matter what you believe and many people fear change - especially on such a grand scale.
A mere "change" does not adequately explain the dread and numinous which surrounds death. And the fact that the godly fear death sometimes as well, only underscores the fact that we are fallen... that there is a root to our fear. There is the fear of unlimited pain, insignificance, and of being condemned for our evil thoughts and actions.
The difference is, some may hope (through Christ) to overcome this fear ... to ultimately discover (or rediscover) that such fear is groundless because of divine promise.
What atheism can never explain, is the pathos surrounding death. And that involves the dramatic desire for continuance, significance, reunion, and for love to endure. Nor can it explain our devotion and sympathies with such, without reducing them to chemical psychology, and ultimately to an illusion imposed upon matter by who-knows-what.
And what you euphemistically call an "alternate form of existence", is annihilation guaranteed by an atheistic universe ... that is, unless you want to invent a mock immortality (Eternal recurrence), like Nietzsche did, to somehow retain what he could not bear to lose, seeing that God was "dead" to him.
I think God is an explanation, a rationale developed for people who don't realize that their lives in and of themselves makes going through day to day worth it. There doesn't need to be an additional reason; existence is reason enough.
Not necessarily. I only assert that our value is contigent upon something or someone else. For you it is "existence". But what when that ceases to be? Though I don't believe in soulless annihilation, I think it tends to rob much of our value now. "Don't worry, Be happy" is something we all resort to. And I don't deny that the ability to do so is sometimes a gift. But taken as an ultimate answer, it trivializes our humanity.
If you hold to the value, or think that it is guaranteed without God ... If you place your value in mere "existence", I would bid you to peruse the Existentialist philosophers for a while. There is a reason that pessimism is the hallmark of their astute observations. In diagnosing the problem, I commend them. Unfortunately their solutions were made of the same stuff that they saw through.
Nice having an interchange with you Christopher ... It's not that often.