Has freethought/atheism a constructive side?

The freethinker knows that all priests and cardinals and popes know nothing of the supernatural- they know nothing about gods or angels or heavens or hells- nothing about inspired books or Holy Ghosts, or incarnations or atonements. He knows that all this is superstition pure and simple. He knows also that these people- from pope to priest, from bishop to parson, do not the slightest good in this world – that they live upon the labors of others- that they earn nothing themselves- that they contribute nothing toward the happiness or well being, or the wealth of mankind. He knows that they trade and traffic in ignorance and fear, that they make merchandise of hope and grief- and he also knows that in every religion the priest insists on five things

  1. There is a god
  2. He has made known his will
  3. He has selected me to explain this message
  4. We will now take up collection; and
  5. Those who fail to subscribe will certainly be damned.

R. G Ingersoll

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

10 thoughts on “Has freethought/atheism a constructive side?

  1. True; but many of them honestly think otherwise. They have fooled themselves, much like the necromancers and dowsers – after a while, they start believing they actually have supernatural abilities.


    • makagutu says:

      I think it comes with the business, the more magic you can pack in a show, the more believable you become. This translates to big business since that is what they are in anyway 🙂


  2. The thing is, this, ‘show’ isn’t for human eyes. It might be that, in some cases, there are churches out there purporting, ‘miracles worked for a nominal fee’ or similar things. However, this is certainly not the course of action a true Christian would take. A true Christian would insist that religious dogma be left at home, that money given is done so to advance the kingdom of God only and not to decorate the building with fancy golden ornaments.
    I have a rather large intolerance ( a personal shortcoming as I’d rather remain as tolerant as possible) for organised religious groups that are quite literally in, ‘big business’, it some how negates the point of those organisations in the first place.


    • makagutu says:

      Joe, have you had an opportunity to study logical fallacies? The not true christian falls under The No true Scotsman Fallacy.
      I part from the no true christian, where else do you disagree, because I can’t see it clearly in your response.


      • I am fully aware of logical fallacies and will apologise for making a rather vague generalisation there.
        When I wrote, ‘no true Christian’, what I meant was: any follower of Christ who has fully understood their charge from a biblical standpoint, would make their decisions
        through a biblical filter. This differs of course from person to person but, will be something like: ‘will this decision increase or decrease my joy in God and, will it help me to glorify God’.

        I will elaborate slightly on where I disagree:

        “He knows also that these people- from pope to priest, from bishop to parson, do not the slightest good in this world – that they live upon the labors of others- that they earn nothing themselves- that they contribute nothing toward the happiness or well being, or the wealth of mankind.”

        This right here contains its very own logical fallacy, the fallacy of a sweeping generalisation. So I can dismiss it off hand for that alone as mere conjecture however, I will humour it and respond anyway. I have seen and heard about, many Christian leaders who have done some amazing things for mankind. I needn’t even look to far to find an example of this. The lead elder in our church, Andy, is heavily involved with Zambia, they are regularly out there helping the guys over there with building their church etc. We, as a church regularly give out loans (with 0 interest) to help people over their start businesses etc.
        Andy is also salaried and, as a result, he pays taxes and spends his money thus contributing to the wealth of mankind.

        To be quite frank, despite the appalling wording of that numbered list, I agree with it. It does contain things A church leader would support. Where the list talks about those not subscribing being dammed, a good church leader would demonstrate the redeeming power of grace rather than the damming power of sin.


    • makagutu says:

      How is building churches helping people? If you had said schools, libraries and hospitals you would have come close to it, but you have missed it by a mile.
      Where does the church get it’s money if not from the labor of others? The pastor is he not paid from the labors of others? The church has nothing to give, it lives on alms and tithe, people’s labor, it can give nothing!
      The church leader wouldn’t say there is no hell, he would be out of business 🙂


      • Ok, this isn’t really going to help but, building Churches is just one example of how we, as a church, contribute to society. We also have been out there with prototype designs for a portable water drilling rig, talked with some of the locals, built the thing (from our own funds) and given it to some promising business types out there so that they can set up a business of drilling around local villages. It makes water readily available and also gives these entrepreneurs a source of income. It’s better than giving your money to secular organisations such as water aid who, move in to an area, drill a hole, build a well and clear off again leaving the residents to work out maintenance and argue over who gets to use it at what times.

        Closer to home, we have in our church something we call, ‘the community action team’ which has many arms working in to many areas of society. We have the food bank which feeds many families each week taking away the demands on the taxpayers. We work on reforming the lives of drug addicts and alcoholics freeing up time for police and social services to tackle other issues.

        The church gets its money from the labours of its members, we at no point insist that it is given. The money gets pumped straight back into things like those I have already listed.


        • makagutu says:

          Sinking boreholes is helping society building churches no unless as shelters for the homeless.
          My contention was the church has nothing to give, the priests live on the labor of others and whether it ploughs it back or not is besides the point, it didn’t own it in the first place.
          Where I live the secular organisations don’t do that. They train the locals.


          • I’m not arguing against all forms of secular charity, I’m certain there are some great organisations out there doing some awesome stuff.

            Your contention with the church having nothing to give has been adressed, it really is like you’re pulling the wool over your eyes here! A church, dedicated to advancing God’s kingdom will, of course be out to contribute to society. Jesus insisted that, in everything we do, we help the disadvantaged. So, despite it being a building relying entirely on outside funding, it contributes in a massive way. Most churches operate almost exactly like a charity. All the incoming funds are piped straight back out into these projects. To argue that a church gives nothing and is leech like is to be totally deluded by some stereotypical secular prejudging. We, like many other organisations must publish our finances.

            For someone who claims to put rationality, and logic at the forefront of their thinking, you seem to be making lots of sweeping accusations of the Church based almost entirely on conjecture or single sources.

            “the priests live on the labor of others and whether it ploughs it back or not is besides the point, it didn’t own it in the first place.”

            Using the same logic: Government should be abolished, as should charities, public sector schools, hospitals etc. In the UK, hospitals are entirely funded by the taxpayer. Technically they don’t own their assets, we do, however, they do an amazing Job and the money is clearly well spent.


  3. […] the permission of a fine gentleman to share a discussion we have been having on this blog here, here, here and here. The reason we agreed to do this is to consolidate the different arguments in one […]


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