Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Saturday 25 September |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Herman “the Cripple”
home iconNews
line break icon

The Egotism of Atheism

Dale-Spencer-CC

Jim Schroeder - published on 09/25/14 - updated on 06/07/17

And lastly, when it comes to the understandable difficulty of reconciling a beneficent God with emotional distress, hardship and horror, psychology again offers a unique viewpoint. In the world of cognitive-behavioral therapy, which focuses on reducing irrational beliefs (cognitive distortions), there is one belief with which we all struggle from time to time. It’s called Emotional Reasoning. It’s the idea that what I feel must be true. If I feel stupid, I must be stupid. If I feel alone, I must be alone. If I feel that God does not exist, then he must not exist. It’s interesting that many of our greatest saints suffered from this sense of doubt and desolation at a certain point in their lives.

But moving beyond psychological theory, a few additional points are worth noting. If one, just one, Eucharistic miracle is authentic, then atheism fails. If just one saint lies uncorrupted, then atheism fails. And a common, but no less valid and unanswerable, proof for God’s existence is this: Throughout history, stunning objects of beauty have been created by many thousands of individuals — paintings, symphonies, sculptures, cathedrals, monuments, and inventions, to name only a few categories. No one has ever questioned that each of these creations, were in fact created, by a creator or creators. We all can agree that the Great Wall of China and Nôtre Dame de Paris didn’t occur through an accident of nature.

So, as we look at our world, and admire the genius of the human body and the many stunning landscapes that dot our earth, it seems very hard to deny that a creator is responsible, no matter what theory one chooses, whether evolution, theory of  mind or something else. It is also important to note that while science and logic can attempt to explain the mechanisms of any human creator, both repeatedly fall short of being able to recreate the genius responsible for the mechanisms. Try explaining how a human can run 100 miles in half a day. Science and logic have tried, and failed. Try to explain how the universe exists and operates. Science and logic have tried, and failed. Try explaining how a one-celled human being in the womb is one day able to speak, and run, and learn, and lead, and love, and live on in the hearts and souls of millions. And yet we have the beloved Teresa of Calcutta, John Paul II, Padre Pio, Thérèse of Lisieux, Patrick, John of God, Ignatius, Dominic, Francis, Clare, Catherine of Siena, Joseph, Peter, Paul and thousands more. Science and logic fall woefully short. 

In essence, even our brilliant worldly realities defy the law of logic, science, and emotion in many ways. This being so, it seems rather strange that we wouldn’t assume that a divine Creator was responsible. In the end, it isn’t about having doubts. We all have doubts, and in my weakest moments, I sometimes struggle to believe the epic story of Christianity. It appears so much more remarkable than any fictional story could be. But maybe the greatest Ego Trick is the one that an ego plays in believing it knows what is true. 

Jim Schroeder is a pediatric psychologist at St. Mary’s Center for Children in Evansville, Indiana. He resides there with his wife, Amy, and their six children. He received a BS from Ball State University and graduated with a PhD in clinical psychology from Saint Louis University in 2005. He completed an internship the University of Louisville School of Medicine / Kosair Children’s Hospital and did his postdoctoral fellowship at St. Louis Children’s Hospital through the Washington University School of Medicine. He also writes a monthly column entitled Just Thinking (www.stmarys.org/articles) designed to inform, educate, and motivate parents and providers in applying pertinent research in meaningful, practical ways.

  • 1
  • 2
Tags:
AtheismFaithPsychology
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
VATICAN LEGOS
J-P Mauro
Chicago architect models Vatican City from 67,000 LEGO bricks
2
SLEEPING
Cecilia Pigg
7 Ways the saints can help you sleep better at night
3
Tolkien
Philip Kosloski
Why J.R.R. Tolkien loved to attend daily Mass
4
The Sinai Peninsula and the Dead Sea Rift
J-P Mauro
Experts now believe Sodom was destroyed by a meteor
5
PADRE PIO
Bret Thoman, OFS
Exclusive photos: Meet Padre Pio and the place he lived
6
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
How Our Lady saved Padre Pio from a violent demonic attack
7
peace
Cerith Gardiner
9 Padre Pio quotes for when you’re feeling scared or uncertain
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.