Atheism's Virtual Reality

I recently attended a higher education fair at Manchester. The many universities present doled out free pens and fluffy toys to tempt sixth formers to apply to their institution (ka-ching). One establishment had persuaded their Computing/Gaming department to produce a secret weapon in the recruitment wars. It replicated a roller coaster carriage, but was firmly fastened down to the conference hall’s floor. Above it was a large screen, and in it was a young woman wearing a large headset. The image on the screen was the Virtual Reality world she inhabited whilst sitting in the car. As the roller-coaster simulation began, the car jerked up and down, and she responded to the sights her headset provided, at one point ducking her head to avoid an imaginary tree branch. I was secretly hoping she’d be sick just to see how the clever boffins would respond.

While that headset was on, she couldn’t tell apart the virtual world from the real world. How many of us recall ending a creative writing exercise at primary school with the lazy but fun ‘and I woke up and it was all a dream’? Readers familiar with the Matrix film franchise will have an even more rarefied understanding of virtual vs real.

The atheist thinks we Christians live in an imaginary world of gods, angels and demons. We simpletons cannot differentiate between fact and fiction, reality and make-believe. But I tell you, it’s the other way around. The atheist lives in a fantasy universe which generated and sustains itself. This imaginary world has no moral laws; evil people are not held to account for all may live as they please. Unfortunately, the headsets will one day be removed and the ultimate truth of a Creator God dispensing justice to each one of us will be made palpably real.