I’ve just engaged with someone on Twitter and the last thing I said was ‘if we are made in god’s image then his image is annihilation, making theists nihilists’, and this got me thinking about the amount of times theists have claimed that atheism is built around nihilism, and thus deem everything worthless as the universe appeared randomly. The first question that I’d ask here is how does anyone know for sure that the birth of the universe was random. How does anyone known that there wasn’t a natural chain of events that led to the primeval atom? Scientists can go back in time and roughly assert when the universe began, but whilst there are strong theories of why it happened, no one knows how and what led to it. We could get really deep into theories but instead I’m going to focus on creationism and how belief in that can allegedly give life purpose.
Theists who believe that their gods created everything from nothing centre around the Abrahamic faiths, and insist the universe and all life is created by an all-powerful, all-knowing supreme being that created us so that we can serve him. If you can find someone who’s suffered a life of slavery, ask if they felt their like had purpose or meaning by having to fear and obey their master, or upon judgement they’d be treated accordingly to their behaviour. This obviously leads to sin and temptation, and in the mind of the religious to lead a virtuous, sin-free life, then you must obey the rules set out, and resist temptation. Only by following these rules does it give you the illusion of morality as obeying the will of your master potentially leads to reward in the next life, or afterlife. Theists often see this life as a rehearsal for the next, and they don’t care about the state the planet is left in, as this life is just to seek salvation from Christ, or whoever they believe in so they have promise of fulfilment after death. Many theists don’t accept climate change, or many of the other ecological problems we face as they believe god has a purpose and as mere humans we are to serve not to question.
Theists are always saying that atheists believe the universe started randomly and everything we see came from random events. This means that if everything is without purpose, then it’s meaningless. What a miserable point of view to project onto people who aren’t willing to accept god created us. Even if life is random, which there’s clearly no doubt as evolution is only influenced by survival, what makes the birth of life, and the trillions of objects of life on the Earth without meaning? We still don’t know, however likely it is, that we might be the only planet that’s in the right location to harbour life. Just imagine we are alone in the universe, this makes the randomness of Earth building life have meaning, as it’s said that life is precious.
Regarding the title of this article, do I think theists are nihilists? Well, the evidence speaks for itself. We are all allegedly built in the image of god. God is vengeful. He brutal. He’s unforgiving. He’s jealous. He wants everything his own way and be the only god his flock worship. He’s destroyed the planet bar everything that lived on the ARK, yet theists are convinced that what he did in the Great Flood was justified as his perfect creation had gone rogue and he no longer had control over us as he allegedly gave us free will to be whatever we desired. This all-powerful god allows death and destruction spread throughout this world and never prevents any of it. We are in the midst of a pandemic that god could have prevented, but he clearly enjoys watching destruction and his servants lap it up and claim that wearing masks during COVID-19 is an infringement on their rights. If that isn’t a case for theistic nihilism I don’t know what is.