Over at CAEI, a commenter named Claude remarks:
As a cradle Catholic who has been atheist/agnostic for most of my life, I would agree that atheism is boring.
You, a Christian, are commanded to be perfect as your Father in Heaven is perfect so that you may win eternal life. I, an atheist, am just trying to pay off my mortgage and not screw up too badly before I’m good and dead forever.
To be sure the Christians have a grander vision on their side.
Later, a commenter named Darien adds:
Atheists, or at least non-Christians, have the entire breadth and sweep of Science Fiction to enliven our future. We have SETI, we have vast cosmic adventures (assuming we do not somehow annihilate ourselves first (or have it done for us)) in an unbounded future until the heat death of the Cosmos.
If you are a Christian you have Jesus returning and the judgment of the world and the final battle then God hitting the Delete button on all of creation followed by an eternity of either cloud-sitting and harp-playing or roasting in the pit. No galactic civilizations, no star sagas, no alien civilizations, the best we might manage is a moon colony or two.
I remember being a geeky Christian teen and feeling absolutely heartbroken about this, until I concluded that God would probably allow me to spend some of my Heavenly time building space-ships…
As a science fiction writing Christian, I object most strongly to this slander.
Of course there will be galactic empires after the world is renewed and remade, and larger than that. What do you think the crowns and the thrones promised the faithful are for?
The speed of light prevents mortals from ever visiting another star, much less entering into a conversation or a hymn or a dance with one. Those limitations do not apply to the glorified and risen saints, who can step to Alpha Centauri or to Andromeda or to the Corona Borealis Supercluster in a moment, and converse with the angels and artisans who designed these stars and galaxies and superclusters of galaxies.
And we will be able to hear the music of the spheres.
ADDED: Mother Wit provides a link to a poem well worth reading:
Christ in the Universe
By Alice Meynell (b. 1847)
WITH this ambiguous earth
His dealings have been told us. These abide:
The signal to a maid, the human birth,
The lesson, and the young Man crucified.
But not a star of all
The innumerable host of stars has heard
How He administered this terrestrial ball.
Our race have kept their Lord’s entrusted Word.
Of His earth-visiting feet
None knows the secret, cherished, perilous,
The terrible, shamefast, frightened, whispered, sweet,
Heart-shattering secret of His way with us.
No planet knows that this
Our wayside planet, carrying land and wave,
Love and life multiplied, and pain and bliss,
Bears, as chief treasure, one forsaken grave.
Nor, in our little day,
May His devices with the heavens be guessed,
His pilgrimage to thread the Milky Way
Or His bestowals there be manifest.
But in the eternities,
Doubtless we shall compare together, hear
A million alien Gospels, in what guise
He trod the Pleiades, the Lyre, the Bear.
O, be prepared, my soul!
To read the inconceivable, to scan
The myriad forms of God those stars unroll
When, in our turn, we show to them a Man.