Reflections of an idle mind


I am sure many of you have either read or been asked to explain what motivations the atheist have to be decent citizens. Some are so brazen to ask why be concerned about victims of violent crimes or any crimes for that matter if it is all meaningless?
I have seen heathens try to defend themselves from this mad questioning.
I have done a lot of thinking and come to the conclusion that the people asking this question are not good thinkers. Atheists just like theists live in society with others. There are people, and they are commonly referred to as sociopaths, who are unable to function properly in society.
I don’t think that an injunction in a book is sufficient to guide behaviour. So to turn the theist’s question on its head, I ask can a theist be moral? Is the theist moral because it is written some place or do they have other motivation? And what is it?
As for me, the motivation is that I live in society with others. And it is in my best interest and those around me if we can all live sensibly.
We live in society and are a product of several years of experience, that is, of shared experiences that are important in shaping our behaviour.
I conclude this rambling by saying that only a person who thinks of an atheist as living in isolation away from any form of association with other people would ask such a backward question.

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About makagutu

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

64 thoughts on “Reflections of an idle mind

  1. I’m making a wonderful Episcopalian meat pie for lunch today. If you lived closer, I’d invite you over for some. Theists, what are they good for? MEAT PIES!!!! Another fine post, my friend.

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  2. dykewriter says:

    Reblogged this on Nina's Soap Bubble Box and commented:
    when religious people ask non-religious people what stops them from raping and killing – that says everything about the religious person. that it’s only their imaginary friend and not their own ability to reason that co-operation is better – but also, I have zero interest in raping and killing people. Atheists are humans, religious people are godbots.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. john zande says:

    “can a theist be moral?”

    Very nice reversal!

    The answer to the larger question is, of course, enlightened self-interest.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Arkenaten says:

    This is an excellent reversal, Noel.
    What’s go(o)d for the goose is go(o)d for the gander

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Why wouldn’t the default of human nature to be a moral person? People call me naive when I say that, but basically, most people are not inherently bad. OK, they aren’t good either,mouth they err on the good side rather than the bad. Religion plays no part in it.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Mouth? Where did that come from?!

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  7. ladysighs says:

    One should be idle more often. I thank you for inspiring me to write a post for today. (getting it up soon. 🙂 )

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  8. I find it so silly and frustrating when people think morality can only come from organized religion. As if humans are liable to kill and rape each other without belief in a man in the sky? Absolute bull. Good post.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. fojap says:

    “I conclude this rambling by saying that only a person who thinks of an atheist as living in isolation away from any form of association with other people would ask such a backward question.”

    I tend to think this must be the case. If they lived in close proximity to a lot of people of other religious backgrounds or none would tend to observe it. As I’ve said before, until my family moved when I was in high school, the town we lived in had no one dominant group, no real majority.

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  10. […] and fellow blogger makagutu just posted Reflections of an Idle Mind.  I thank him for providing me a post for today.   […]

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  11. Barry says:

    I’ve never been asked to explain what motivations the atheist have to be decent citizens. A bit of a pointless question to me anyway. When I look around me I find that slightly more than half the population doesn’t believe in a deity of any flavour, and of the rest most don’t believe in a retributive one. So whatever it is, it’s not fear of divine punishment. Just as well actually, otherwise murder and mayhem would be rife in our streets.

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    • makagutu says:

      Barry, if you read enough blogs run by theists, you will be surprised at how often this question is asked.
      In this link, a theist joins an atheist group and that is their first question
      http://atheistuniverse.net/forum/topics/where-do-morals-come-from

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      • Barry says:

        When I compare the number of religious fundamentalists to the number of atheists in the USA, I’m surprised that such questions don’t come up more often. I read ten pages of comments before I gave up. What didn’t surprise me is that Van Jones and most of the atheists failed to directly answer questions put to them. I don’t know whether Van Jones was genuinely attempting to understand morality from a different perspective, or whether he was trying to persuade other readers that his viewpoint was “correct” (I suspect the latter), but from my perspective, both sides seemed to be coming from the stand of “You are wrong. Prove to me that what you believe has any substance at all”.

        Mak, I remember you once made a comment to me “I like you, but I don’t like your religion”. I don’t know what you based your assumption on (perhaps all religion is bad?), or whether you still hold that view, but it’s not a fruitful way to engage in discussion. It would be like me saying that I don’t like I don’t like atheism. For the life of me, I can’t think what there is to dislike about it in principle, but it just doesn’t suit me personally.

        I see statements from theists that the only reason atheists don’t rape and murder is because they fear incarceration or execution, and from atheists that the only reason theists don’t rape and murder is fear of divine retribution now or in the hereafter. Both are ridiculous, and fortunately not widely held, but the extremes of both camps all too often repeat such nonsense, sabotaging any meaningful dialogue..

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        • makagutu says:

          Religion, as a belief in the supernatural, I hate. I however don’t begrudge anyone for believing as they do. It is both cultural and geographical. Besides, I was brought up as a believer and I know and live among believers.
          Actually both aren’t ridiculous as they seem. Anyone holding to the dct and believes in heavenly or hellish retribution can only be said to behave decently for fear of hell. If they give any other reason, then it immediately works against their argument. Fear of prison I don’t think is motivation enough.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Barry says:

            I guess because I grew up in an environment where the idea of God and heaven was thought of as possible or likely, while the idea of Satan and hell were thought of as impossible or unlikely, my attitude to those who hold supernatural beliefs is more lenient yours. I would have been well into my twenties before I discovered that there were denominations that took the Bible as the literal Word of God. It’s only since the arrival of the Internet, that I discovered how pervasive fundamentalism is in some parts of the world.

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          • makagutu says:

            I was in my twenties when I met godless people. I look at what effects religion has in my society and it’s sad

            Liked by 1 person

  12. […] Source: Reflections of an idle mind […]

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