I have written about this before and just am thinking it over again with an added fact I suppose.
There are some writers of fiction, whose works are understood to be apologias for Atheism. Jean Paul Sartre, I believe was one of them. Camus, quite possibly. Carl Sagan, in terms of this writing, not his movie, so also.
What I am not able to get is the following: In literature we use devices such as allegories, foreshadowing, symbolism, etc. to make certain points or convey certain ideas or thoughts. If you think about it, these sort of things are features of the world of literature. They are not features of the world that we live in.
So for example, the paperweight on my desk – it does not foreshadow anything. Nor the pen and pencils on my desk. If I look out the window, the trees out there – they are not in anyway allegorical of anything. They are just trees. Nothing more. Nothing less. It would be absurd of me to say something like, the trees are allegorical of the fact that human life will always flourish.
Absurd indeed. No? For after all reality unlike fiction does NOT have a storified character.
This is why I find atheistic writers of fiction to be perplexing. If they are trying to argue for a world without anything supernatural, then why utilize “supernatural” literary devices such as symbolism, foreshadowing, allegories, synedoches, etc. to describe the going-ons of the world.
(And not just writers – movie makers also. Take for example, the movie Gravity with Sandra Bullock. The movie ends with Bullock’s space-capsule crashing into a lake on the earth and she then swimming to shore and finally crawling up on a beach. This crawling – it is apparently supposed to symbolize evolution. Huw? I argue that if evolution is the case, then symbolism is impossible. Sandra Bullock crawling on the beach is just that – crawling on the beach. Nothing more. Nothing less.)
Yet – on the flip side, it makes sense when writers like C.S. Lewis, Dorothy Sayers, J.R.R. Tolkien and such argue for something opposite all this and utilize such literary devices.
And… all that to say this one extra thing… my added (inchoate) fact.
If literary devices can be used within literature without any inconsistency as the Inklings did, then can they be used in this world also? That is to say, does reality have a storified character?
(1) Atheist Fiction Writers – I wrote the following about a year earlier. Its on the same issue up above.
(2) This Is Apologetics: An Argument from Foreshadowing by Joel Settecase – I just found this. It is quite fascinating.