A Message to Non-Believers


The Question:

Among atheists, there are people who don’t believe in God for logical reasons, but there are others who can’t believe in God for emotional reasons. Some even stop believing because they felt betrayed by God despite their belief. How do we show the existence of God to people like this?

16 December 2014. Happy Science Headquarters


Master Okawa’s Answer:

A 2014 American film called “God’s Not Dead”, depicts a story of one Christian college student who engages in a debate with an atheist professor of philosophy, about the existence of God. In the climax scene, the student says to the professor something like this: “you say you’re an atheist and you don’t believe in God, but really you hate God. How can you hate something you don’t think exists? If you hate Him, then God must exist.”

The student was spot on. While still young, the professor had prayed to God to save his sick mother, but she died and he thought that it was God’s fault for not saving her. This was why he became an atheist.

The professor says in the film that most atheists used to be Christians. These Christians abandon their faith when they face sufferings and hardships that are difficult to overcome.

Most of the students in the film were atheists, and they were completely different from the kinds of people who attended church and celebrated holidays like Christmas. It showed that, sadly, people who have faith in God find it hard to blend into academic society.

The world is becoming a place where people attain material success and become ‘happier’ if they abandon God and pursue logical and technical prowess. And people are finding it easier to think that we disappear when we die, and it is the end.


This World is a School for the Soul

The atheist professor in the film, however, was well versed in the Book of Job, and I remember him quoting Job’s curses at God.

There are indeed many things that don’t seem to go well. We experience unhappiness and tragedies that make us want to detest God. But these things don’t happen just to bring suffering to people. God is disciplining us in the power of our faith by putting people in a difficult situation.

At Happy Science, we teach that there is a spiritual world, which is the real world, and this material world serves as a school for the soul. If we look at it this way, every unhappiness and distress, such as the death of a young child’s mother, has a well-founded reason.

Towards the end of the film, we discover that the professor’s mother had wished for her son not to lose his faith in God.

We are currently building a university based on religion [disapproved by the Ministry of Education in October 2014, and now known as a specialist higher education school, Happy Science University]. The government inspector for this university feels akin to Abraham Lincoln because his father died when he was 9. I’m thinking that perhaps his father’s death is made him hate God somewhere in his heart. He probably distains God, and through his plans to establish academic scholarships and free education, he is trying to make people happy in lieu of God, because he thinks God won’t do it.


Faith Becomes Real After Overcoming Trials

The film also has a scene where an aged mother with dementia suddenly speaks like a psychic medium to her wealthy and successful son. She says “sometimes the devil allows people to live a life free of trouble, because he doesn’t want them turning to God. Their sin is like a jail cell except it is all nice and comfy and there doesn’t seem to be any need to leave, the door’s wide open. Until one day, time runs out; the cell door slams shut, and suddenly it’s too late.” After this, her dementia returns and she asks her son, “Who did you say you were?”

What she says here is really true.

Sometimes materialistically successful people who don’t believe in God may look like they are doing better in life. Sometimes we may feel like our faith does not free us of suffering such as the death of our parents, illness, and divorce.
But what is important is to know is that faith becomes real after we overcome these trials. They are opportunities that allow us to see if our faith is real.


Faith for Gain is the Beginning of Atheism

As the Book of Job reveals, Job was a pious man who claimed that he would not abandon his faith in God no matter what trials he faced. Then the devil said to God “even pious Job would lose faith in God if he experiences so much unhappiness” and he brings unheard of unhappiness to Job. The devil kills all of Job’s livestock, kills his family, and makes Job ill with disease. Finally Job begins to hate God.

Then God says to Job “do you know how the world began? How I created Man and how I created the world? You don’t. So you have no right to pass judgment on God.” This point is very important.

There are many people who judge the pros and cons, and the effectiveness of faith by looking at the things that go on around themselves. But this myopic view of faith is a grave mistake.

When novelist and Happy Science member Tamio Kageyama died in 1998, many of his friends left Happy Science. For those friends who left, their faith was not real. We know that Kageyama is now working as an angel in the spiritual world, and so it is clear that his friends were wrong.

In the end, most religions are becoming more centered on the gain of the individual, and people believe in it if it profits them, but don’t if it does not. This is where atheism begins. People feel as if God betrayed them if their faith didn’t bring gains. They think they believed and prayed, but unhappiness fell upon them anyway, and therefore ‘God ignores us’, ‘God is silent’ and ‘God is dead’.


The Hand of Salvation is Reaching Out to You

After Jesus Christ, Muhammad appeared and declared that he was the last prophet. But Ryuho Okawa appeared. Ryuho Okawa has appeared and he is teaching the will of God and the will of Heaven. God is not silent; he is not ignoring the people.

God is alive. He is speaking to you. He is helping many people.
But there are people who don’t realize this. Still, God is passionately calling out to them. So we are spreading God’s teachings around the world through various activities.

The hand of salvation is reaching out to you. It is just that people whose faith is based on obtaining gains cannot see this hand.

Some people choose to be atheist after seeing religious conflicts. They say “religions cause conflict, so I am atheist. There is no God”, but Happy Science teaches that this is a mistake.

It is the people’s narrow mindedness that causes religious conflicts. We teach that sometimes this is due to differences in the time and place where the particular religion spread.

Happy Science has all of the answers. We think our mission lies in spreading these answers. Therein lies our original purpose.

The Laws of Justice: How We Can Solve World   Conflicts and Bring Peace [Paperback] by Ryuho Okawa/Buy from amazon.com

A Message to Non-Believers
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