Does atheism have anything to offer a person struggling with tragedy and grief? That’s the question raised by this video, which I’ve seen posted in a few places. What do you think? Does a video like this score any points against atheism by pointing out how empty it is in the face of real tragedy?
My first response to this video wasn’t terribly positive. An atheist could easily use a video like this to support the claim that religion really is just a crutch for those too cowardly to face the tragic emptiness of life. The video seems to suggest that only religion can provide real solace in the face of death. But is “solace” religion’s primary function? Do we believe merely because it makes us feel better? If so, Marx was right and religion is an opiate.
But, on the flipside, the video does highlight the fact that human experience seems to raise questions that atheism is poorly equipped to handle. It’s not necessarily that we simply seek “comfort” in religion. But it’s that the answers atheism offers fall apart in the face of people’s lived experience. Atheism sounds good in the classroom, but not the cemetery. As I said in an earlier post, it’s hard to dismiss evil when the cat is sitting on your head.
But I’m probably over-thinking things (I usually do). Maybe it’s just a funny video worth a few moments of your time.