Why I believe again: A Former Atheist Tells His Story: Bach Strikes Again
A.N. Wilson, an English academic who specialized in skeptical books about famous Christians, like C.S. Lewis, has announced that he has started to believe again, and offers a perceptive and interesting perspective on his “conversion” to atheism. Here is the newspaper article.
The paper also offers a Q/A with Wilson, and I was struck by this exchange, during the Q/A session:
What’s the worst thing about being faithless? The worst thing about being faithless? When I thought I was an atheist I would listen to the music of Bach and realize that his perception of life was deeper, wiser, more rounded than my own. Ditto when I read the lives of great men and women who were religious. Reading Northrop Frye and Blake made me realize that their world-view (above all their ability to see the world in mythological terms) is so much more INTERESTING than some of the alternative ways of looking at life.
Here is an excerpt from the newspaper article:
“Watching a whole cluster of friends, and my own mother, die over quite a short space of time convinced me that purely materialist “explanations” for our mysterious human existence simply won’t do – on an intellectual level. The phenomenon of language alone should give us pause. A materialist Darwinian was having dinner with me a few years ago and we laughingly alluded to how, as years go by, one forgets names. Eager, as committed Darwinians often are, to testify on any occasion, my friend asserted: “It is because when we were simply anthropoid apes, there was no need to distinguish between one another by giving names.”
“This credal confession struck me as just as superstitious as believing in the historicity of Noah’s Ark. More so, really.
“Do materialists really think that language just “evolved”, like finches’ beaks, or have they simply never thought about the matter rationally? Where’s the evidence? How could it come about that human beings all agreed that particular grunts carried particular connotations? How could it have come about that groups of anthropoid apes developed the amazing morphological complexity of a single sentence, let alone the whole grammatical mystery which has engaged Chomsky and others in our lifetime and linguists for time out of mind? No, the existence of language is one of the many phenomena – of which love and music are the two strongest – which suggest that human beings are very much more than collections of meat. They convince me that we are spiritual beings, and that the religion of the incarnation, asserting that God made humanity in His image, and continually restores humanity in His image, is simply true. As a working blueprint for life, as a template against which to measure experience, it fits.”