~ I am trying to understand something…
Suppose I am an atheistic writer who is writing a fiction novel and I am doing so because I want to produce a literary apologetic for the atheist worldview. So I write. I write a story set in our contemporary times and in lets say the Western hemisphere, say modern day Los Angeles or Chicago or Stockholm, etc.
Here is the question: If once I have finished my writing, I have basically written a novel in which the protagonist experiences various miraculous phenomena, would it make sense? I mean miraculous phenomena that within the context of a fictional work is meant by authorial intent to be present an atheistic world – would it make sense?
No? Right? I mean given an atheistic worldview, i.e. given a materialistic worldview of nothing but rock, stick, bone and atom, how can miraculous phenomena take place? Moreover if I am seeking to build up a case for atheism, then am I not in fact weakening my case, if I am present a work of fiction based on realism that in fact employs miraculous happenings?
It does not make sense right?
So here is another question: Like so, can an atheist writer of fiction utilize symbolism, foreshadowing, certain forms of allegory or irony, i.e. various literary elements in his or her writing?
Do these elements not presuppose theism? Do they not presuppose a providential outworking of life?
Take for example in Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. In it the Mississippi River is supposed to be symbolic of freedom.
But why say that? I have seen pictures of this river and seen it on video and its just a river to me. A bunch of molecules. There is nothing in it that even remotely says anything about freedom.
Of take for example, Hemingway’s The Old Man & The Sea which I read years ago. According to many pundits, in it the sharks are supposedly symbolic of other fisherman and the connotations are negative. However how can a shark be symbolic of anything? A shark is a shark is a shark and nothing else.
And just so, Hemingway pointed this out when speaking of the symbolism in said book:
“There isn’t any symbolism. The sea is the sea. The old man is the old man. The boy is a boy and the fish is a fish. The sharks are sharks, no better, no worse.”