Why Did God Create Atheists?

Why Did God Create Atheists?
There is a famous story told in Chassidic literature that addresses this very question. The Master teaches the student that God created everything in the world to be appreciated, since everything is here to teach us a lesson.
One clever student asks “What lesson can we learn from atheists? Why did God create them?”
The Master responds “God created atheists to teach us the most important lesson of them all — the lesson of true compassion. You see, when an atheist performs an act of charity, visits someone who is sick, helps someone in need, and cares for the world, he is not doing so because of some religious teaching. He does not believe that God commanded him to perform this act. In fact, he does not believe in God at all, so his acts are based on an inner sense of morality. And look at the kindness he can bestow upon others simply because he feels it to be right.”
“This means,” the Master continued “that when someone reaches out to you for help, you should never say ‘I pray that God will help you.’ Instead for the moment, you should become an atheist, imagine that there is no God who can help, and say ‘I will help you.’”
—Martin Buber, Tales of Hasidim Vol. 2 (1991)

This is lengthy, but really worth it. (As always, you can click the pic to see it larger.)

Hasidim: a sect of Orthodox Jews that arose out of a pietistic movement originating in eastern Europe in the second half of the 18th century; a sect that follows the Mosaic law strictly. —WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.

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