Some atheists are optimists. They are so enchanted by the idea of giving up all belief in God, the supernatural, and fairies-at-the-bottom-of-your-garden that they imagine that the void that has been left is utterly benign.
Others, however, are not so sure. They are inclined to be much more pessimistic about the implications of their unbelief. They have the honesty and insight to face up to what a world-view without God really means. Professor Dawkins, while he knows little about the Christian faith and still less about the Bible, rightly regards the cosmos with awe and understandably regards it as staring back at him with ‘blind, pitiless indifference’.
Damon Linker has recently challenged the new atheists to face up to the fact the godlessness, if true, is a terrible thing. He writes:-
‘If atheism is true, it is far from being good news. Learning that we’re alone in the universe, that no one hears or answers our prayers, that humanity is entirely the product of random events, that we have no more intrinsic dignity than non-human and even non-animate clumps of matter, that we face certain annihilation in death, that our sufferings are ultimately pointless, that our lives and loves do not at all matter in a larger sense, that those who commit horrific evils and elude human punishment get away with their crimes scot free — all of this (and much more) is utterly tragic.’