by Tim Jones 1/31/15
Rejection of materialism by many atheists leads only to a different kind of materialism. Not the kind like a mallrat who obsessively prowls their walkways going from store to store always in search for the next ‘high’ they get from the next buy.
The atheist who claims to reject materialism is actually rejecting the transcendental and therefore lives purely in the realm of the material world – and the realm of the materialism of self-worship that comes with it.
This may be the most insidious form of narcissism of all since they are living a lie with the smug self-satisfaction that they are creating a better world by living the illusion of creating a better self.
I came across three stories recently that caught my attention and highlight the differences between two self-centered atheists and a former atheist, all of them appropriately from the self-centered and shallow world of entertainment.
The first one was on Corbin Bernsen. He has a movie coming out called Christian Mingle: The Movie about a woman who comes to realize how shallow her life is as a self-centered careerist. From the plot summary: “In an honest realization, she sees her superficial life for what it really is, and is driven to create a personal relationship with God.”
What made Bernsen decide to make the movie and to become more spiritual and to embark on a faith-journey, he explains: “… I am sitting with this bag of ashes and I’m just thinking, you know, I think I’m 55, or at this point 54, and I’m thinking, ‘Here’s my dad’s ashes. Is that it?’” Clearly he’s trying to find a deeper explanation for the transience of our lives and what happens when they end.
He’s come to believe there is a God and that there must be more to ‘life’ than our brief time on earth. “Bernsen described a wake-up call of sorts that he experienced a few years back after his father passed away — one that started him on a path toward refining his faith and more deeply questioning what’s beyond this life.”
The second story was about the stunningly arrogant Julianne Moore, who stated recently in a media interview that she doesn’t believe in God because she’s basically the one who created her own life: “Moore disclosed she does not believe in God and finds she is her own creator when it comes to dictating structure for her life.”
And the third story talked about the rumors and likelihood that former Olympic champion and ex-husband to Kris Kardashian Jenner, Bruce Jenner, is making the change from being a male to a female.
The stories of of Moore and Jenner are the logical conclusions of Enlightenment philosophy that began hundreds of years ago. They represent the end-point of the transition from an external moral authority where the world looked to an omniscient and omnipotent God who is the creator of the universe to the internal moral authority of the self that is today’s secular world. With Moore, she’s made her intellectual declaration that she is her own god being the creator of her own life while Jenner has determined he is his own god of his physical self by deciding he’d rather be a woman than a man.
So in the end atheism is not so much a rejection of God but rather embracing the love of the self and its ability to create its own world, its own being and its own moral authority. And for the atheists that claim some kind of personal holier-than-thou spirituality that arises out of a rejection of the material world, they really are deluded because all they have left is themselves – a material entity in a material world with an undetermined material end.
At least the mallrat is honest in seeking his pseudo-salvation in the accumulation of perishable things rather than the self-serving, self-centered atheist’s accumulation and display of pseudo-spirituality that is just as materialistic and perishable with no redeeming eternal value once they are gone from this world.