There are some things that we cannot NOT know. Of course, this does not mean that we know these things with perfect insight and clarity. But we do know them simply because we are alive: like the fact that children should be cared for, or the property of others should be respected, or that incest is a terrible offense against the moral order. Our conscience just tells us that we know this. Our conscience does not rely on the five senses or by just being told to feel a certain way. This automatic internal guide is the witness of deep conscience at work. We know many things without even noticing that we know them.
The greatest thing that we cannot NOT know is that God exists. The only way to get around this witness of deep conscience is by self-deception, to tell myself that He doesn’t exist. The atheist must tell himself/herself that “I do not know what I really do know.” The atheist must pretend that they don’t hear or feel this witness of deep conscience.
It’s like the lady who was getting an abortion and she asked, “Is it OK if I don’t feel like a monster about this?”
If someone has guilty feelings for not having guilty feelings, then she is bearing witness to deep conscience. She knows it’s wrong, but she has to tell herself that it isn’t. And the fact that she asked if it was ok to feel that what she was doing was ok, tells all of us that it is NOT ok.
This is the plight of the atheist. “Is it OK if I feel OK using profanity now that I’m an atheist?” “Is it OK if I feel OK about not having any moral values?” “Is it OK if I feel OK about excluding God out of every part of my life?” “Is it OK if I feel OK about flipping God off?” “Is it OK if I feel OK about reducing the Bible to mere myth?” “Is it OK if I feel OK about teaming up with other atheists bloggers and getting the red “A” on as many blogs as possible?”
The very fact that an atheist has to identify themselves as “Coming Out” at all, signifies that they have played dumb to their guilty feelings, but cannot hide the fact that they have a “guilty knowledge.”
“Is it OK for me to feel OK about being an atheist?” “Is if OK if I feel OK about putting a red “A” on my blog?” Atheist, you have just given testimony to the witness of deep conscience.
There are some things that we cannot NOT know. That there is a God is one of them. Stop pretending like you don’t know. You may not feel guilty for proclaiming that you are an atheist, but you have demonstrated that you know atheism is wrong.
Your deep conscience is fine and is working properly. The problem comes with the interface – the human will, suggests J. Budziszewski. Let the witness of deep conscience be the new guide by which you make your spiritual decision to either believe or disbelieve in God. Get your human will out of the way.