Doubt Yields Atheism: An Account


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It’s a sad story, but it mimics those of many others out there: Michael O’Shaughnessy shares his path to atheism with Canada’s National Post as a part of a series on journeys to faith or faithlessness.

One can foresee the direction of O’Shaughnessy’s beliefs when he explains, “I had believed that it was impossible to know whether or not God is real, but had always accepted His existence on faith.” When O’Shaughnessy did not encounter the Holy Spirit in an electrifying manner at a youth camp (as he expected), his doubts overtook him. But what helped solidify his doubts?

I came to appreciate how the universe operates on its own, without any outside interference, and came to see how humanity evolved through a slow, incremental process over hundreds of millions of years, from the simplest single-celled organism, to the dinosaur, to the ape who carves great cities out of the earth. And eventually, in the midst of all this, I came to the conclusion that while there was nothing directly contradicting the existence of God – He could possibly be sitting in His divine director’s chair watching this all happen – there was nothing to confirm it, either. So why believe it at all? And so I became an atheist.

Since he believed there was no evidence to confirm God’s existence, why believe in God?

Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins claimed, famously, that Darwin made it possible for atheists like him to be “intellectually fulfilled.” We see this in action in O’Shaughnessy’s “testimony”—how his newly apostate intellect was satiated with the thought of millions of years of evolution that produced us—and since he believed there was no evidence to confirm God’s existence, why believe in God?

This highlights one of the great dangers of compromising on the book of Genesis. If Genesis, on which all Bible doctrine is ultimately built is false, then the entire story of the Bible falls apart. Compromise on God’s Word, in a world filled with evolutionary propaganda, ultimately leads young people to question God’s existence entirely.

Keep Michael O’Shaughessy and others like him in your prayers!

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