Is it possible for an atheist to be saved? The reason i ask is because i know of many people who are atheist and live a more virtuous Christ- like life than some Christians. They may not be professing Christ consciously or with words, but they are in their behavior. just as thought
I believe the typical Christian answer would be no, because Jesus required belief in him along with outward actions connected with that belief. However I can not say who will be saved. The Lord makes the final judgement.
Let us remember how God will judge us: by what we do to others.
Oh for sure. In fact that would take even more faith.
I think the problem with atheists is that a good number of them, perhaps even the majority, are atheists by choice… as a famous atheist scientist once said, “I don’t want the universe to be like that…” Many of them have deliberately turned away from God and encourage other people to do the same, some of them even make fun of religious people. They are not looking for God, and those that say they are, are going about it in a way that will make God turn from them (i.e. wanting God to “prove” He is there, do things on their terms instead of on His terms). It’s like they search but they know what they’re doing won’t work, but they say they’re looking as “proof” to their atheist friends that God doesn’t exist. “I told God to reveal himself 100 times and he never did! That means he’s not there! There is no God! YEAHHHHHHHH!” And there are also many sites out there now with logical proofs for God’s existence, so even if you can’t see God under a microscope, you can still conclude He is there in other ways. But that is of course assuming a person has an open mind and heart. If you’ve already made up your mind (like those people who snap at you instead of actually considering what you said) then nothing can convince you.
I believe the way people will ultimately be judged is whether or not their will matches God’s will. If your life was about doing good things that God wanted you to do, following God’s commandments/golden rule/etc., I think you have a chance of being saved… On the other hand, if you dedicated your life to breaking God’s laws (unrepentant life of sin), didn’t help other people, made fun of people, etc., I don’t think you’ll be saved. God isn’t going to force anyone to go to heaven, and a person like that loves sin far too much to be happy in heaven. They’d actually be happier in hell. :eek:
Those who reject God are in BIG TROUBLE, no matter how virtuously they haved their lives.
I disagree…I think if your a good person, you’ll be alright.
Actually, the Catholic Church gives us reason to hope that atheists may indeed attain to salvation; in fact the Second Vatican Council, subsequent magisterial documents and the Catechism all teach that it is possible for atheists - people “who have not arrived at an explicit knowledge of God” - to receive redemption in Christ since the sin of rejecting/disbelieving in God can be moderated and significantly lessened by a wide variety of factors, be they social or psychological.
Certainly we have no right to judge the eternal fate of any soul. That is not in keeping with our faith.
“…It is false that we say to anyone that he is damned. To do so would be false to our general doctrine relating to sects outside the bosom of the Church. We are persuaded that all of those who with sincerity remain in their errors, who through inculpable ignorance believe themselves in the way of salvation . . . are children of the Catholic Church. Such is the opinion of all divines from St. Augustine…”
***- Nicolas-Sylvestre Bergier, (1715 – 1790), celebrated French Catholic theologian ***
In Lumen Gentium we find this:
“…Nor does Divine Providence deny the helps necessary for salvation to those who, without blame on their part, have not yet arrived at an explicit knowledge of God and with His grace strive to live a good life…” (Lumen Gentium, 2.16; cf. Gaudium et Spes 1.22)
The Council also recognized that, by not always showing the true face of God, believers may have contributed to the rise of atheism (cf. Gaudium et spes, n. 19; CCC, n. 2125).
In addition, Servant of God Pope Paul VI said the following things about atheists in an encyclical:
“…The Church can regard no one as excluded from its motherly embrace, no one as outside the scope of its motherly care. It has no enemies except those who wish to make themselves such. Its catholicity is no idle boast. It was not for nothing that it received its mission to foster love, unity and peace among men…We are firmly convinced that the basic propositions of atheism are utterly false and irreconcilable with the underlying principles of thought…In these circumstances dialogue is very difficult, not to say impossible, although we have today no preconceived intention of cutting ourselves off from the adherents of these systems and these regimes. For the lover of truth discussion is always possible…Though We speak firmly and clearly in defense of religion, and of those human, spiritual values which it proclaims and cherishes, Our pastoral solicitude nevertheless prompts Us to probe into the mind of the modern atheist, in an effort to understand the reasons for his mental turmoil and his denial of God. They are obviously many and complex, and we must come to a prudent decision about them, and answer them effectively. They sometimes spring from the demand for a more profound and purer presentation of religious truth, and an objection to forms of language and worship which somehow fall short of the ideal. These things we must remedy. We must do all we can to purify them and make them express more adequately the sacred reality of which they are the signs. We see these men serving a demanding and often a noble cause, fired with enthusiasm and idealism, dreaming of justice and progress and striving for a social order which they conceive of as the ultimate of perfection, and all but divine. This, for them, is the Absolute and the Necessary. It proves that nothing can tear from their hearts their yearning for God, the first and final cause of all things. It is the task of our teaching Office to reveal to them, with patience and wisdom, that all these things are immanent in human nature and transcend it. Again we see these men taking pains to work out scientific explanation of the universe by human reasoning, and they are often quite ingenuously enthusiastic about this. It is an enquiry which is all the less reprehensible in that it follows rules of logic very similar to those which are taught in the best schools of philosophy. Such an enquiry, far from providing them, as they suppose, with irrefutable arguments in defense of their atheism, must of its very nature bring them back finally to the metaphysic al and logical assertion of the existence of the supreme God…They are sometimes men of great breadth of mind, impatient with the mediocrity and self-seeking which infects so much of modern society. They are quick to make use of sentiments and expressions found in our Gospel, referring to the brotherhood of man, mutual aid, and human compassion. Shall we not one day be able to lead them back to the Christian sources of these moral values?.. We do not therefore give up hope of the eventual possibility of a dialogue between these men and the Church…”
***- ECCLESIAM SUAM, ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PAUL VI , AUGUST 6, 1964 ***
I like to think anyone can be saved. I don’t know what goes on in people’s hearts or minds, I can not be the one to ultimately judge where people go, I’m just a guy. I can only live my life accordingly and when other people ask why I can try my best to answer.
This line of thinking makes God sound proud and narcissistic. Many atheist believe in love and being good loving humans. Isn’t the Trintiy love? :shrug:
Atheism takes an active decision of the will advised by the intellect. It’s not an accidental condition.
If the good that is percieved is devoid of the good that is God, then it’s just a natural result that benefits the receiver of the good done but not the person doing it inasmuch as they do not recognize God in that good.
I’m sorry if that’s as clear as mud.
Atheists reject the belief that God exists. Anyone who rejects Christ and his Church and dies unrepentant will not be saved.