[Carl Jung on Material Atheism, Annulment of Human Personality, Advocates of Christianity.]
It is the same problem as in Job. As the highest value and supreme dominant in the psychic hierarchy, the God-image is immediately related to, or identical with, the self, and everything that happens to the God-image has an effect on the latter.
Any uncertainty about the God-image causes a profound uneasiness in the self, for which reason the question is generally ignored because of its painfulness. But that does not mean that it remains unasked in the unconscious.
What is more, it is answered by views and beliefs like materialism, atheism, and similar substitutes, which spread like epidemics. They crop up wherever and whenever one waits in vain for the legitimate answer.
The ersatz product represses the real question into the unconscious and destroys the continuity of historical tradition which is the hallmark of civilization.
The result is bewilderment and confusion. Christianity has insisted on God’s goodness as a loving Father and has done its best to rob evil of substance.
The early Christian prophecy concerning the Antichrist, and certain ideas in late Jewish theology, could have suggested to us that the Christian answer to the problem of Job omits to mention the corollary, the sinister reality of which is now being
demonstrated before our eyes by the splitting of our world:
The destruction of the God-image is followed by the annulment of the human personality. Materialistic atheism with its Utopian chimeras forms the religion of all those rationalistic movements which delegate the freedom of personality to the masses and thereby extinguish it.
The advocates of Christianity squander their energies in the mere preservation of what has come down to them, with no thought of building on to their house and making it roomier. Stagnation in these matters is threatened in the long run with a lethal end. ~Carl Jung, Aion, The Historical Significance of the Fish, Paragraph 170.
Image: The Greek word “atheoi” as it appears in the Epistle to the Ephesians (2:12) on the early 3rd-century Papyrus 46. It is usually translated into English as “[those who are] without God”