On suicide and maybe atheism


The Op in talking about the loss of one his Sunday school students. While we sympathise with their deep loss, we reject his misrepresentation of atheism and atheists.

To misrepresent a group intentionally must be wrong in most ethical systems. And as such when this author writes

My next reflection was on the hollowness of atheism in a time like this. No, not hollowness, but downright wrongness. I thought of Richard Dawkins’ quote “The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference.”

and then a paragraph later

But over that, something inside me screams out to the atheists that suicide of a loved one is indeed proof that evil exists, that we want good, and we are incapable of believing that blindness and indifference is the way of the world.

Is to mislead his audience that might not be too critical. The Dawkin’s statement refers to the universe being indifferent. The author’s paragraph portrays atheists as indifferent.

And I would agree with anyone who asks if a good god existed, why did it do nothing? That is a right question to ask.

Advertisements

About makagutu

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

87 thoughts on “On suicide and maybe atheism

  1. I find theists who write ignorant tripe like this to be lacking in knowledge of atheism and respect for other human beings different than themselves. Of course, an atheist, to this individual, is a person not believing in his particular take on his particular god or woo-woo preacher. It does not take belief in magical, invisible guys to feel empathy for our fellow humans when they suffer. For me, not only is the belief in woo-wooism not needed and invasive, it’s also quite often insulting, as is the case here.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. KIA says:

    Frustrating that he would exploit the death of this kid to attack people that don’t believe as he does. As if atheism or atheists were responsible. What a dick

    Like

  3. humblesmith says:

    As the author of the post in question, I would encourage people to read the post, not an incomplete summary of it. There was more to the point than was characterized here.
    https://humblesmith.wordpress.com/2015/12/10/suicide-where-are-the-answers/

    Like

    • I’ve read it. A horrible, tragic situation is being used to bash atheists. This is a sign of severe bigotry, rudeness, cruelty, ignorance, and self-aggrandizing nonsense. If your belief in woo-wooism, magic fairies and invisible guys makes you feel good, good for you. To toss your obvious misunderstanding of atheism into this mix and claim I am unable to understand human suffering and pain and find meaning in the world because I do not hold your precious belief in fairy tales is insulting. I find your post devoid of empathy, rampant with ignorance and filled with a bigoted, rude view of things you obviously do not understand nor care to. Shame on you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • humblesmith says:

        Well, if you’ve read the post, then you’ve not shown it, for you’ve replied to something else entirely. Ad hominem is not a logical response, and you’ve not dealt with the points. I can assure you that I’ve followed Dawkins logic carefully and precisely, and although my case was rather brief, it was very calm and not insulting. Since you’ve not dealt with the points I made, I cannot respond further, for all you have done is expressed your opinion of me, which you are surely entitled to. Personally, I would rather deal in logic than opinions, but that’s just me.

        Like

    • makagutu says:

      Are you implying that there is a way to read those quotes to show that atheism is not hollow or that atheists are indifferent? Or are you suggesting that maybe I didn’t read it?

      Like

      • He suggested I hadn’t read it either, though I have. Why is this you ask? My guess is because we did not come out of it accepting his point of view on “good and evil” and the connection they have to his belief in his particular god or gods. No discussion with a predisposed assumption that a god or gods exist is reasonable. It may make people feel all giddy and special inside to believe such things, and they’ve every right to believe them, but it is not reasonable, helpful, logical, or, in this case, IMO, moral. This author used the opportunity of a suicide to give his negative views on atheism a platform. That is sad, shameful, disrespectful and not in the least bit reasonable.

        Like

        • makagutu says:

          I will let you on some background info. Many moons ago we had an argument with him on the canaanite massacre and he insisted I read it out of context. That they saw it coming. In this present case, he wants it to appear he is quoted out of context while I link to his post which anyone can click and read.
          The question of what a good does, if any, is disposed off by a waving of the hand

          Liked by 1 person

          • Always the same answer when we disagree with fellows like this: you’re reading it wrong and quoting out of context. B.S. There MUST be an absolute good and an absolute evil and these are connected to his particular take on his particular god belief. Atheists are hollow and unable to feel during times of crisis like when the suicide of someone we’re close to happens. Up his nose with a rubber hose. His is a bigoted, unreasonable, poorly thought out, highly offensive, immoral belief. I say these things using Poe’s Law to hammer my points home. $Amen$

            Like

          • makagutu says:

            You know atheists have no love, no feelings and no empathy

            Like

  4. carmen says:

    I read through your post, humblesmith, and I agree with the above commenters. I don’t even know why you included suicide as an ‘evil’ . For me, there is no such thing as evil – that’s a word that religious people have invented to make people believe that there’s such a thing as the badboy, Satan, and that he is somehow directing people to do diabolical things. I mean, obviously, the person who committed suicide had major problems that no one was aware of. End of discussion – it had absolutely nothing to do with evil. Inspired is absolutely corrrect – non-believers feel just as much empathy for this fellow and his family as everyone else.
    I have no idea why atheism would even enter your contemplation – unless you are grappling with the idea that there is no invisible, fatherly figure to help make things better in your world and that, as many discerning individuals have figured out, sometimes humans do things that we don’t understand, for their own reasons. In fact, it’s the enigma of being human. Some of us, however, don’t need to be placated by the illusion of a benign spirit to deal with tragedy; it’s part of being an adult. Bad things sometimes happen. We grieve for a life lost too soon.
    My heartfelt condolences go out to you and his family on your painful loss.

    Liked by 1 person

    • humblesmith says:

      You have agreed with the atheist philosophers that evil does not exist. But you end up taking the same position as most of them when you follow up a few sentences later and say “diabolical things exists” and “Bad things sometimes happen.” It would seemt that either they do or they do not, but evil cannot exist and not exist in the same sense. Personally, I deny this logical contradiction and hold that evil existing is self-evident. We may not agree to specific instances, but as I said in the post, a world where no acts, regardless of how horrible they are, are not evil, is a world more monstrous than the idea of submitting my will to an all wise God, one who is more wise than I.

      If there were indeed no evil and no good, but merely physics and chemistry, then there is no need to grieve for a life lost too soon. Yet we all do. Therefore there is evil and good, and the universe contains more then phyiscs and chemistry.

      Good day to you.

      Like

      • carmen says:

        I’m afraid, humblesmith, that you took that phrase ‘diabolical things exist’ from my sentence about religious people creating a badboy, Satan, to convince people that evil exists. And yes, bad things certainly do happen and are perpetrated by people who probably have had negative experiences in life and/or altered chemistry in their brains. Certainly there appear to be people who have no conscience – again, more to do with that person’s ‘hardwiring’ than ‘evil spirits’. What you’re talking about is superstition, nothing more. As I stated already, discerning individuals can figure out life WITHOUT relying on your fairy tale godfather. I would agree to the sentence, “there is negative and positive in life” though.
        Certainly, for me, the message that John Z. shared holds far more power and validity. With that, I can relate.

        Like

      • makagutu says:

        No, she didn’t say diabolical things exist. She said religious people say they exist. Notice the difference?
        You are again equivocating. There are two things here;
        1. That the universe is indifferent
        2. That humans suffer.
        In the middle of all this you are trying to introduce an entity that is unknown and claiming it does have answers. Tell us how you know this.

        Like

        • humblesmith says:

          I made a mistake with the “diabolical” quote; for this I admit error and ask forgiveness.

          I did not make a mistake with the point I made. She admitted that “bad things sometimes happen” and that tradgedies exists. So the logical contradiction is common to atheists; on one hand saying that evil does not exist, then turning right around and saying some things are evil. She did that here, and Dawkins did it when he gave the quote I made. He said evil does not exist, then a mere few minutes later said religion is evil. And the point I was making in the post, which seems to have been missed, is that if the universe has no evil nor good clear to the bottom, which is what Dawkins said, then he cannot logically turn around and call anything evil. It is not logical to say there’s no evil out there in space since it’s all blind forces, but evil exists here on an interpersonal level. No, as soon as we admit that evil exists somewhere, then we have admitted evil exists per se, and the atheist’s basic premise is refuted.

          My post spoke for iteself about God, and my blog has plenty of proofs. I will not repeat them here.

          Like

          • carmen says:

            Humblesmith, I don’t know whether to be annoyed or amused by your ‘take’ on life. Bad things happening does not mean evil. Yes, bad things happen to everyone. It’s because people make mistakes – like the one you made. (and you don’t need ‘forgiveness’ – another religious word – for it!) Happens all the time; it’s inherent in humanity. Mistakes, Humblesmith; quite a contrast to evil. As I said, you seem to be of the mind – along with hosts of others – that there is this ‘force’ of some kind. You’ve named it evil, which you blame your friend’s death on. I can even understand where you are coming from in a way — you want very badly to have some THING on which to pin your grief. The other side of this is that you DON’T want to admit that your god turned its back on you and your friend; so you conjure up evil. I feel for you, truly I do, but pointing to non-believers and saying, “They know not what they say – evil exists and that’s what took my friend away” is not going to assuage your grief. Your friend had problems, Humblesmith and it’s unfortunate that you couldn’t help, even if you wanted to – if you’d known. Horrible, heartbreaking, soul-choking things happen in life – it’s the way of things. I am truly sorry for your heartbreak.

            Liked by 1 person

          • makagutu says:

            Bad things happening doesn’t in anyway mean it’s evil. An old grandmother dying is bad to her family but there is no evil.
            You seem to not understand Dawkins quote. If asked about the nature of the universe, he answered it is indifferent. If you ask a person where there are bad things? The answer is yes because they can make such a judgement. Dawkins is saying from the pov of the universe, it does seem it is indifferent to our opinions. I don’t know why this is impossible for you to understand.
            There are no gods. Your posts make assertions about god but they are not proofs

            Like

      • KIA says:

        How dare you Use this young persons death that way. You ‘humblesmith’ are not humble and you are not kind. You exploit the loss and grief of this young persons family and friends to your own agenda of attacking those who do not believe as you do. Again I say how dare you and you are lower than whale scum. You owe that family a great apology

        Liked by 1 person

    • makagutu says:

      Maybe an atheist killed the boy. Other than that, I see no reason why he had to talk about atheism and atheists in this particular post

      Like

  5. john zande says:

    I left a comment and Aaron Freeman’s “You want a physicist to speak at your funeral.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • carmen says:

      John, blurry eyes here after reading that. Such compassion. As a mother, I can certainly relate. .. thanks for that.

      I have been at funerals where ministers presided and left absolutely furious at their message. (basically a shame session, aimed at unbelievers)

      Liked by 2 people

      • john zande says:

        It is nice, isn’t it?

        Like

      • I concur. Extremely compassionate. Very different, and far more moral, IMO, than preaching good and evil and how wrong the unbeliever is in not seeing this. To take a tragedy like suicide to promote woo-wooism is, as I’ve stated earlier here, shameful. The theists who do so are sad and immoral humans beings who lack the ability to feel true empathy. Truly feeling it isn’t possible when other people’s loss and pain is taken as an opportunity to promote one’s own beliefs in the fantastical and to besmudge those not holding the same views. Having been close to someone who committed suicide myself, I find such diatribes insultingly sophomoric and rude. Suicide is not proof of some “evil” that christians insist exist. It does not prove their tiny, illogical, unreasonably crude outlook on life is valid. It is a painful, tragic, sad event that is grounded in reality and human emotion. There’s nothing “evil” about it. It imply this is an act that I can only call shamefully immoral.

        Like

  6. carmen says:

    I think I’ll save that to my ‘Favorites’ and tell my kids it’s there. 🙂

    Like

    • makagutu says:

      There is a beautiful one here by Ingersoll at his brother’s funeral

      MY FRIENDS:—I am 1 going to do that which the dead oft promised he would do for me.  1  The loved and loving brother, husband, father, friend, died where manhood’s morning almost touches noon, and while the shadows still were falling toward the west.  2  He had not passed on life’s highway the stone that marks the highest point, but, being weary for a moment, lay down by the wayside, and, using his burden for a pillow, fell into that dreamless sleep that kisses down his eyelids still. While yet in love with life and raptured with the world, he passed to silence and pathetic dust.  3  Yet, after all, it may be best, just in the happiest, sunniest hour of all the voyage, while eager winds are kissing every sail, to dash against the unseen rock, and in an instant hear the billows roar above a sunken ship. For, whether in mid-sea or ’mong the breakers of the farther shore, a wreck at last must mark the end of each and all. And every life, no matter if its every hour is rich with love and every moment jeweled with a joy, will, at its close, become a tragedy as sad and deep and dark as can be woven of the warp and woof of mystery and death.  4  This brave and tender man in every storm of life was oak and rock, but in the sunshine he was vine and flower. He was the friend of all heroic souls. He climbed the heights and left all superstitions far below, while on his forehead fell the golden dawning of the grander day.  5  He loved the beautiful, and was with color, form, and music touched to tears. He sided with the weak, and with a willing hand gave alms; with loyal heart and with purest hands he faithfully discharged all public trusts.  6  He was a worshiper of liberty, a friend of the oppressed. A thousand times I have heard him quote these words: “For justice all place a temple, and all seasons, summer.” He believed that happiness was the only good, reason the only torch, justice the only worship, humanity the only religion, and love the only priest. He added to the sum of human joy; and were every one to whom he did some loving service to bring a blossom to his grave, he would sleep to-night beneath a wilderness of flowers.  7  Life is a narrow vale between the cold and barren peaks of two eternities. We strive in vain to look beyond the heights. We cry aloud, and the only answer is the echo of our wailing cry. From the voiceless lips of the unreplying dead there comes no word; but in the night of death hope sees a star, and listening love can hear the rustle of a wing.  8  He who sleeps here, when dying, mistaking the approach of death for the return of health, whispered with his last breath: “I am better now.” Let us believe, in spite of doubts and dogmas, and tears and fears, that these dear words are true of all the countless dead.  9  And now to you who have been chosen, from among the many men he loved, to do the last sad office for the dead, we give his sacred dust. Speech can not contain our love. There was, there is, no greater, stronger, manlier man.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. keithnoback says:

    So, we leave this discussion without a definition of good or evil from anyone, and with a persistent misunderstanding of both theoretical and explanatory reduction – starting with the Dawkins quote and expanding from there.
    All I’m seeing here is an odd set of psychological defense mechanisms. Or maybe I just missed the briefing on the jargon and something of substance is at issue?

    Like

  8. shelldigger says:

    Suicide has nothing to do with evil. Suicide is usually a result of deep problems. Deep problems are sometimes caused by evil things. These deep problems that may have been caused by evil things do not equate to the person commiting suicide as being evil. Nor does it follow that atheists are somehow blind to the perils and tragedies in life. Or that atheists are unsympathetic to the painful losses endured while we do our best to get along in a cold an uncaring universe.

    To misrepresent suicide as evil, and then use that misrepresentation as an atheist hammer, is quite distasteful. Don’t strain yourself there while patting yourself on the back humblesmith.

    …asshole.

    Of course my condolences to the family and friends. I know far too well how suicide affects those who were close.

    One last thing. I really really hope your fucking religion wasn’t responsible humblesmith. Gay youths subjected to religious “values” often commit suicide. Kids abused by priests or pervs in the denomination also see no way out. So you might want to start looking a little closer to home humbesmith, before you start casting your net a little wider. But I know strawmen are easy targets for those with no mental ammunition.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. humblesmith says:

    Bad things are not evil?
    Suicide not evil?
    Lower than whale scum?

    Wow, such logic and reason is like an iron vise. Now I’m going to have to rethink my entire position. Forgive me while I bow out of this conversation.

    Like

    • makagutu says:

      Why would suicide be evil? It is not contrary to nature. Bad things are not necessarily evil. If I lost my house key, it would be a bad thing but not evil thing.

      Like

    • shelldigger says:

      Bad things are not evil. Evil is mandated by culture. A cannibal certainly sees nothing wrong with his ways, nor do we find it odd to eat a cheeseburger. Some Hindu might have an issue with that.

      Things which many of us could call evil, grisly murder, mass murder, genocide, beheadings, mall/school shootings, and the like, I think most of us could agree with. (let’s take a moment and note that mass murders/genocide are condoned by religion, or the religious looking for excuses)

      Bad things range from Mak losing his keys, to the transmission going out in my car, to global warming, and the list goes on. Bad things are not necessarily evil, but evil things are probably bad. (depending upon your perspective)

      Suicide none of us here see as evil, only an act. An act that ends the life of the actor. Tragic? Yes. Evil? No. That you cannot understand that is a result of your conditioning. You have been conditioned to believe suicide is evil. (among other things)

      Lower than whale scum? I dunno, I went with asshole.

      Obvious sarcasm and running away like a little man with a little mind, not much of a surprise to any of us.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Theists who go out of their way to lie do show that their religion isn’t worth anything at all.

    the author of the post relies on baseless claims and uses them to denigrate atheists. Now to do this if someone committed suicide is sad, because it does nothing to consider the person who died. It’s used as an attack, and this is why I have some doubts about the truth of the claims within.

    I’ve lived with the idea of suicide for decades. I find it a solace. It’s rather obvious that I’ve never did it. The idea is not wrong. It can be an answer, and it is no more selfish to do than it is to demand someone remain alive so you don’t feel bad.

    Liked by 1 person

    • makagutu says:

      Besides, if a god existed, maybe suicide is the one thing it couldn’t do and as such it remains as an option for us to quit whenever life becomes no longer meaningful

      Like

    • koppieop says:

      At 28 years of age, my nephew John had four children (one of them still unborn) from three mothers, debts but unfortunately he kept being unable to obtain a relatively stable income. One night, he chose an unguarded railway crossing and waited for the train he was sure would help him solve his problems.
      I live in the very orthodox Catholic environment of my wife’s relatives and friends. They did not know John (morever, he lived in another country); but they still insist that it must have been an accident because they refuse to believe that John was an evil boy….

      Like

  11. If God existed, he’d banish all the natalists and Suicide Prevention Campaigners to hell. This retarded notion that all life has value and suicide is wrong needs to die. Shouldn’t the skeptic atheists get with the right to die already?

    Like

  12. Nan says:

    Humble has said he’s leaving, but assuming he’s still lurking and reading, I’d like to point out something. He wrote: “If there were indeed no evil and no good, but merely physics and chemistry, then there is no need to grieve for a life lost too soon.”

    There is no need to grieve??!!? C’mon, humblesmith. Grieving the loss of a life too soon has absolutely NOTHING to do with evil or good or physics or chemistry. It has to do with human relationships.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Sadly, it was because of the ignorance and superstition of people like Humble that my husband was driven to commit suicide. The world would be a better place without people like Humble.

    Liked by 1 person

We sure would love to hear your comments, compliments and thoughts.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s