A facebook friend of mine: James Alden commented on a Independent article from March 7, 2009 where it said:
"when you sit around pretending your life is eternal and for ever, you use it casually and wastefully, like any other resource you imagine is not going to run out"
I didn't originally get why James pointed it out (he was referring to the reckless attitude within the financial sector), though the context of the original article seemed to be an Atheist take on the meaning of eternal life.
I've seen this kind of thinking before from Atheist writers; beginning with Dawkin's Guardian commentary on the 9/11 bombings. Since I've never seen anything like this idea in the Bible; nor any other Christian book or article; nor from any Christian talk; nor from my Christian friends, I'm somewhat at a loss for where the idea comes from.
Well, that's not quite true - I could see where the idea comes from if all you ever knew about Christianity was that Christians believe they have an automatic eternal life, regardless of their actual values. but it doesn't really make sense (to me) if you know even a smidgen more. If you believe God made the universe and it was a good thing, then obviously trashing his creation ain't going to thrill him too much. If you think God is serious with his commands about how to treat people with love and respect then wasting yours or others lives seems to me to be counter to his plans. If you read the Gospels you realise it's about your heart, not your excuses: signing up to Jesus isn't a licence for taking liberties which is why Paul in his letter to the Romans argues that God's grace isn't an excuse for doing wrong.
The point is, it's where your heart is and Jesus changes people's hearts. So I'm wondering what's going on here. What could it be if it's not a deliberate game of 'deconstructionism'?
My best answer is this: what if the two sides just aren't talking to each other? What if the majority of Christians have written off the Atheists because 'they'll never be able to see what the message is about' and the Atheists have given up on the Christians, because they are beyond reason? What if we're mostly just listening to ourselves imagining what the other thinks, but not actually communicating?
What if we're all playing Remythology™?
[I'll blog this for the moment and put the links in place when I can.]