I really appreciated Ryan Bell’s review/response to Frank Schaeffer’s book Why I am an Atheist who Believe’s in God.
Bell includes a rather extensive quote from the book, of which I want to isolate one part:
“Lucy’s [Schaeffer’s young daughter] sense of time, place and scale is no more or less misinformed than mine. The only things in life I have fairly complete information about are minor household appliances. As for when to die, what to believe, whom to marry, where to live, whether or not God exists, when to have children, and what work to do, I think all this big stuff—stuff as “big as a tree!”—is best left to chance. My illusion of control over my life is long gone. I am part of a story; I am not the story. I’ve given up on planning. Rather, I plan while hoping that my plans won’t work. I’ve experienced the serendipity of my plans failing. Then my failures sometimes open doors to things better than those I’d wished for (17-18).”
On the one hand, I can appreciate Schaeffer’s sense of recognizing that random events happen because they are, in fact, random. However, this plays into a common canard against atheism that, sans a God, we are free to act as we wish. To this canard, I link to Michael Burgess’s post about Inverting the Gaze. What I particularly like is the end note that, without a god to judge and punish, we don’t discard rules or ethics. Instead, we feel a personal responsibility to instate them.