What is the atheist mindset?
I’d like to try to ponder the mindset of the atheist — how do they think what they think? Of course I’m generalising for the sake of the simplicity of a short post. But my interest is sparked by some You Tube videos I have watched and posts I have read recently, which made me keen to discover what is at the heart of his or her motivation. What makes an atheist “tick”? I don’t have a definitive answer (I’m sure there is a unique answer for each atheist) but here is what I’ve considered so far…
Why does an atheist deny GOD?
Is it hatred, anger, disappointment, or disbelief? I wonder, how can one say, “I don’t believe in GOD and I’m angry with Him”?
Denying the existence of GOD is a bit like unforgiveness. With unforgiveness, the injured party believes that by refusing to forgive he protects himself and rejects the one who hurt him; but in actual fact, the one holding onto his pain is living in the past and is therefore causing himself far more suffering than any degree of pain that his resentment or rejection of the other could cause the other party.
Of the atheist I wonder, has he/she attempted to communicate with GOD or not? Is the experience of loss blamed on GOD when in actual fact, he/she didn’t pray or seek GOD’s help on the matter? Is it not GOD but rather the enemy Satan who has caused the loss?
The unforgiving person is forever trapped in the past, holding onto resentment, fury or pain. The target may suffer from a lack of relationship… or he may simply move on. But certainty it is the one holding the unforgiveness who is stuck. And if angry at GOD and refusing His existence, the atheist is blocking comfort, consolation and hope, punishing himself as he punishes GOD.
Being stuck in a mindset blocks blessing
“For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” (Romans 11:29) Whether we follow GOD or not, the LORD gifts each of us in unique ways. Denying him puts limits on our access to the gifts He’s given to us. If we do not embrace the LORD, but rather ignore Him in our lives, it stands to reason that we therefore cannot hear from Him nor receive fully the benefits that He offers.
Those of us who follow GOD not only have eternal life after the life on this earth is finished; we also have access to total freedom in this present life. Those who deny GOD miss these blessings both today and at the end of life on earth.
Freedom modelled by Jesus
The mindset of the atheist can be much better explained by the likes of Jordan Peterson than by me, not because he is an atheist (in fact he personally testifies he is no longer an atheist) but because he is an excellent speaker and clinical psychologist, who has analysed the mindset of — well, just about every group! I invite you to contemplate, research the atheist.
What I wish to convey is that the atheist is stuck in a perspective that does not allow personal growth. Ironically, even some religious people are similar to the atheist: trapped, stuck in a box. Above both religion and atheism, is the path which follows Jesus, who sets believers free from assumptions and conditions that restrict and limit our own thinking and experience, both of our lives and of GOD.
To the inexperienced or unread atheist
Some atheists may not have deliberately rejected GOD but have neither learned, experienced, nor heard the message of Jesus. Well, the Bible says in Romans chapter 1 that we are all born knowing GOD. So, to those who have never contemplated GOD I suggest: choose now to have a look at the Bible personally (beginning with Matthew or John) to begin to discover Jesus — Yeshua (his Hebrew name, for Jesus the man, was Jewish). Even the staunchest rejector of Christianity who has done some historical research will agree that Jesus was a wonderful man and one to be emulated….
There is a moral code of conduct that Jesus endorses. But this is not a moral of rules but rather of love. This love, His love, is self-sacrificing rather than self-seeking or self-indulgent. And the moral code sows peace into the follower first, and then into the relationships the follower develops through the mindset of Christ.
When we model ourselves upon Jesus’ teaching, we are better human beings (if you believe qualities such as love, joy, peace goodness, kindness, gentleness, patience, faith and self control are good character qualities). The more we walk in the grace of GOD, the more love and personal peace we experience and can transfer to others. Goodness produces a freedom that neither the religious nor the atheist can recreate. This is the core of true social justice, with the powerful backing of the Spirit of the man who died and rose again for the sake of others’ freedom and everlasting life.
Why not just copy Jesus’ mindset then?
We can’t truly copy Jesus’ behaviour and expect “results” without actually accepting Jesus as our Lord and Saviour and becoming born again. The difference between the atheist and the follower of Jesus Christ is the indwelling of his Holy Spirit — the power and presence of Jesus within the believer. When we accept Jesus, His Spirit awakens our Spirit and we are revived! Whereas the believer has the company of the Holy Sprit to encourage, comfort, convict, teach and help from within, the atheist is on his own, his mindset fixed against the existence of GOD.
I haven’t consolidated a true understanding of the mindset of the atheist. But I do pray for him/her. The human mind — which humanity tends to relish and revere — is limited. The atheist reveres the mind but can go no further. The person who looks beyond himself, to the One who created the mind, discovers that his own mind can be realised fully only when he recognises the Creator who designed it.