The Atheist Fairy Tale

Atheists have been accusing Christians and theists of believing in fairy tales — using condescension — often in place of reason — for decades (centuries?). Watching the stream of rocks fly from the glass house, one wonders, how does the atheist fairy tale read?

Once upon a super-super long time ago, there was nothing. Not no-thing-nothing, but we’ll say “nothing” as if it changes what that word has meant for millennia. Whatever it was, or wasn’t, it was definitely not God. Certainly not God. This something-nothing huffed and puffed and blew the universe into existence! Out of not-nothing-but-not-God poofed an entire...something...from a not-nothing nothing. Or was that a something-not...Never mind.


So, the not-God-not-nothing-nothing exploded a universe that was super-perfect for life — like us — to exist. Even the teeniest, tiniest little change would mean no planets, no elements, no us! We’re hoping...we mean, guessing...this was just good luck on the part of the nothing-something-blowing-in-ago-ness, but definitely not on purpose. Certainly not on purpose. Certainly not God. Life is possible only by luck!

And then, another amazing thing happened. This universe “evolved” which, like “nothing” is a word we’ll use to mean pretty much anything whether it makes any sense or not. Even more amazingly, this change had nothing controlling or guiding it! By, “nothing,” this time, we mean a complex series of consistent, independent, inexplicable and finely tuned rules. So, not nothing-nothing, but more of that something-nothing. You know, I mean, rules-from-nowhere-for-no-reason. Except the rule about things getting less ordered over time...forget that one for now. It all came together to make galaxies and stars and planets. We don’t know why or how, but we know it was definitely not designed. Certainly not designed. Certainly not on purpose. Certainly not God. The not-guided-except-by-something-not-God-stuff self-made itself. Or was not-self-made...not into anything. Something? Never mind.


One little planet was not too far from a star, not too close to a star, but juuuust right so that complicated molecules could jiggle around and become even more complicated molecules and become reproducing organisms. We have no clue how this actually happened, but that doesn’t stop us from being definitely, totally sure it involved absolutely no intelligence or design at all. We have fai— (ahem), confidence...confidence this moment or process or whatever was definitely not creation. Certainly not creation. Certainly not designed. Certainly not on purpose. Certainly not God.

Eventually, those organisms travelled through a magical journey of change and self-discovery to! All without any meaning, purpose, reason, or guidance of any kind whatsoever! Which means you are...or, well...actually, it means you’re just mindless matter reacting to physics, and everything you are or will be is going to come crashing down in obscurity and futility when the universe collapses. We know for sure, for sure that there is definitely no meaning to the universe. Certainly not meaning. Certainly not creation. Certainly not designed. Certainly not on purpose. Certainly not God. But we can make our own meaning, whatever that means.

And that’s the moral of the story! This magical tale, about which we actually know almost nothing, and can prove exactly nothing, explains everything — everything — I SAID EVERYTHING! about life and our universe. Except for anything that actually matters or conflicts with what I want to do; those we can make up however we want! Unless it bothers me, then you can’t make things up that way.

So, finally, after a very, very long time, the matter-machines finally learned how stupid, ignorant, backwards, dumb, stinky, and cootie-brained they had been for looking for actual answers to real questions and somehow concluding there is a God. And, how silly it is to believe fairy tales like an intelligent God making a universe that looks designed on purpose, in order to create people and minds and stuff. They turned away from their childlike foolishness, which had only led to intolerance and superstition, and physics and chemistry, and medicine, and philosophy, and music, and human rights, basically everything civilization is built on...well...wait.

Never mind. The point is, religious people are stupid, even when they’re not. Okay?

And so, we know for sure, for sure, that all of this had nothing to do with God. There is no doubt, no question, that this is a really truthy story, and what we believe...I mean, know for sure without any hard evidence or absolute proof, but won’t call faith because that’s something only dummies and babies definitely not a religion. Certainly not religion. Certainly not meaning. Certainly not creation. Certainly not designed. Certainly not on purpose. Certainly not God.

And they all continued to experience meaningless biochemical reactions until they didn’t! And remember, question everything...except atheism.

A silly, slightly cynical take on atheism. But it mirrors the same “just so story” and self-contradiction atheists claim Christianity is based on. In actuality, we at strive to give people the benefit of the doubt, assuming they’ve actually got reasons and evidence for what they do or don’t believe. Obviously, we think the weight of reason, evidence, and experience supports the biblical worldview. It’s the reason we make an effort to “give a reason for the hope that we have” (1 Peter 3:15).

There’s plenty to question and criticize about the atheistic worldview. Even plenty to mock, especially if you’re inclined to oversimplifications, like the above sarcasm or silly comments about religious “fairy tales.” But we wish atheists would see that open derision isn’t a good way to support — or convert — others. But, perhaps sneering at religious believers is the only sales pitch modern atheism has left.

S. Michael Houdmann (with Jeff Laird)

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The Atheist Fairy Tale