Practical atheism?


That’s not what one gets when they read this post by Fr. Jerry. It is like he has created straw men against whom he has argued almost successfully against, where almost is the keyword.

Whereas the problem of evil is a serious challenge to the being of an all loving and powerful god, I don’t often hear, as the priest claims, of people who say they no longer believe in god because there’s so much evil and suffering. That, I think, is a creation of the good priest. It’s true the crucifixion has little appeal but that is not reason enough to be atheistic.

The priest says, and I haven’t seen the memo

As a rule, atheists invoke the supremacy of science.

which is not supported by fact. Atheism, being limited to lack of belief in deities, does not need any scientific claims to buttress it. There have been atheists throughout the ages when science was not advanced as it is today. I could argue, on the contrary that atheism really is about rationality. You do not need to invoke any scientific principle to question the lack of evidence for deities.

He goes ahead to say

True atheists view science as a means by which to solve certain technical problems, to make life easier, or to reduce suffering.

which may mean only true atheists resort to science. The not true atheists don’t rely on science or they don’t exist.

The good priest tells us the christians know it is god teasing them with mystery. This is a claim made without any supporting evidence. We must take the priest’s word for it.

The priest, having told himself the universe must have a creator, throws a swipe at the atheists and tells us

Atheists typically explain creation with the purported science of the big bang theory. Matter was contained in a capsule the size of a walnut, and Bang! the universe began to expand.

which is interesting given, first, that the idea of a big bang has its origins in the works of a catholic monk and two that several scientists have explained the term big bang was used as a place holder. The atheist can have no opinion on the big bang or origins of the universe without contradiction.

The good priest, however doesn’t stop at the big bang. He tells us

After eons of evolution, an amoeba became a fish, a fish became a lizard—and down the line—finally, a monkey gave birth: not to a monkey, but to the first potential atheist.

and one is made to ask who taught him evolution. Was his teacher this bad?

He tells us, the christian believes, god created the universe ex nihilo. But he doesn’t stop there. He lies. He says

But Adam and Eve wanted to play the part of God, to tell God what good and evil is.

The good book doesn’t at any point claim the two ignoramuses wanted to tell god what is good and evil. This is not possible since they only came to know of good through eating of  the tree of knowledge of good and evil, a tree which, if it was planted in the garden is all god’s fault. There was always the option of keeping the seeds in god’s pocket or not mentioning it altogether. But the priest is not interested in reason, no, he tells us

Original Sin, therefore, is the choice to become a practical atheist—to claim the authority of God on our own.

Let’s not forget that the idea of original sin is a creation of the church of Rome. And nowhere do we read in the bible Adam and Eve claiming the authority of god anywhere. To call them practical atheists for eating a fruit, is to me an insult to human intelligence. Adam and Eve, if they existed, did not need persuasion to know there was a god. It was impossible for them to be atheists. I mean, for fucks sake, they lived next door to god.

The priest to bring Jesus into the picture, tells us

Without a Savior to overcome evil, all of us would be condemned to the fires of Hell

which is  ridiculous. God creates hell so it can punish humans for small infractions that it made it possible for them to commit? If we believe the priest, without eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge, there would be no death. One must ask the good priest why then, does god send the two hapless fellows from the garden before they eat of the tree of life? Or are we to assume, the gods would have left them feast on the tree of life and become like them?

The Epicurean principle of “seek pleasure and avoid suffering” is seen by the priest as not good enough for a moral life. He says it can be argued that is how the atheist lives their lives. Sometimes one can withstand suffering, if it is for a short duration and the gains are greater, for example, the pain of having a tooth removed or a surgery to remove a growth. It is suffering for which no benefit can be accrued that we must question as rational beings, such as, what good comes out of the rape of a child?

One would think, if you listened to the priest only, that only atheists have abortions or are pro-choice. The good priest, not tired of attacking straw men, writes

To avoid personal suffering, antiseptic and murderous violence—where the screams are unseen, silent, and without legal repercussions—is permissible as a matter of “choice.”

I don’t know about you, but I am yet to hear of any moral absolutes set up by the atheists anywhere in the world. I was not around when there was a sexual revolution in the 60s in the US? Was it atheists who led it? But then again what is wrong with sexual freedom?

One wonders whether the priest is arguing for sexual misconduct, like the priests have been found to have been guilty of in several places around the world when he says

The practical atheist insists on the supreme value of choice and consent as the only proper boundaries for his sexual pursuits.

Are we to read this as an argument against consent?

I do not, for the life of me, know which atheist the priest has in mind. Maybe it his own creation. He writes

 [..]He may appeal to science—except when science interferes with his lifestyle.Then the moral principles of the atheist allow for the distortion of authentic science in pursuit of his pleasures.

How, tell me, is this statement by Justice Kennedy

“At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.”

the true definition of original sin? Does it exclude the christian from defining his or her life as having meaning only in the belief and obedience to gods? Or does it stop the Muslim from deriving meaning from his belief in the supremacy of the Koran and hadiths? Is the priest trying to be a thought cop? He wants a situation where the church defines the concept of existence, meaning and any contrary opinion is heresy and ripe for the stake, as in the days of old.

One would think all the conflicts in the world are because people have been atheistic. The good priest not to be outdone in creating straw-men writes

Of course, the cumulative result of such uncompromising selfishness is what a comfortable atheist detests: injustice, conflict, hatred, murder. An honest atheist is unable to justify selfless acts of virtue. Without God, the chaos of an atheistic world would be normative.

Anyone who has read a little bit of history is aware of the many injustices committed in the name of god. The Catholic killing the protestant, both of them killing the Jews and finally, the Muslim killing all of them. To then pretend this is all because there are atheists is to tell a bold faced lie.

There is no paradox between there being no god and people being just, kind or loving. These traits are important for life in community. Societal life would be impossible if all we did was kill each other. We would be extinct. You need no gods to explain this. Common sense, which the priest seems to have quit its use, is enough to give insights into this.

The sacrifice of a soldier in battle is for most times stupid. Most often, soldiers go to war to fight people who have done them no wrong on the behest of some functionary who is having a beer or wine at their expense. That said, the soldier is trained to do just that. It would be thought of them as cowards if they didn’t make sacrifices here and there. It is expected that a father should rescue their child from danger. To say we only do this because of a god is to reduce all human feeling and response to belief in chimeras.

The story of the crucifixion is not one of love but of depravity. It is to make a virtue of violence. Besides, in the story, the fellow comes back. And if Jesus is a god as the catholic wants us to believe, then how does a god dying affect humanity?

While I agree we should reflect on our individualism, but it shouldn’t be replaced by belief in chimeras. It is must be about practicalities of life. We should see ourselves as members of a community with different beliefs and cultures and work towards living in harmony with one another.

About makagutu

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

39 thoughts on “Practical atheism?

  1. john zande says:

    Why on earth are these people so rigorouslyand predictably ignorant?

    Liked by 5 people

    • makagutu says:

      Maybe as part of lying for Jesus?

      Liked by 2 people

    • basenjibrian says:

      TOOAIN has made them thus for his utmost pleasure and amusement.

      Liked by 1 person

      • john zande says:

        This is true. Belief serves his purpose.

        …religion is given every opportunity to exist. It is, after all, an instrument which effortlessly causes tremendous friction inside the believer and between believers … From the wicked architect’s great perspective, when religious belief is not inspiring turmoil, it is numbing man and making him insensitive to the world with alternative—sweeter smelling— explanations for the degenerate shape of things. It is shiny, sometimes dazzling, and to most, it is irresistible. It is a syrupy whitewash, a candied, ready-made and flexible excuse waiting to explain away all manner of irritating ills and furious injustices. It is an amusement, an interruption, a beguiling ringmaster that curious minds find impossible to not stare at, and if their attention is misdirected, then their searching eyes will never quite settle on that point in space where the magician is actually performing the trick.

        Like

  2. Ron says:

    Hello. My name is Fr. Jerry Pokorsky. When I seek a break from whispering magic spells and buggering little boys, I turn to writing about things I know nothing about.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. jim- says:

    I feel I understand the sacrificial aspect better than most ministers, and in the spirit of fairness let me add this Mak. They all look to the cross and miss the mark. You asked “then how does a god dying affect humanity? Remember, Jesus also purportedly suffered prior to the crucifixion in the garden of gethsemane, where he suffered pain to where it was as he bled “great drops of blood”. Luke 22:44. It was there that he took on the sins of the world. He suffered as no mortal could, and suffered the pains of hell for everyone that ever lived. Then he took that to the cross and sacrificed himself. The cross is not as significant as the garden, but has become the focus of Christianity. Anyone could die, but only he had the power to withstand death to encompass the amount of suffering to pay the debt of sin. In all fairness, I thought I’d throw that in, although I don’t believe it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • basenjibrian says:

      But your lovely tale does not answer the fundamental question: why?
      You speak of his suffering. Sure. Horrifying tale. But He knew he would suffer and come out of it. It was three days. What does that mean for a being that

      Why was this necessary? God created a flawed world, so why is it contingent, flawed, small human beings fault? Your argument is just unfair.

      One may argue that it was flawed
      since the beginning
      that the dice were loaded
      that God had it all within
      that He is the Source.
      O heavenly Father!
      pathogenic agent of contamination.
      harbringer of catastrophe,
      icon of the impending Fall:
      but what difference does it make?

      Altitudines Satana
      the vertigo of Liberty
      tipped the scales.
      A shadow of horror is risen.

      This will not be redeemed
      no matter how sincere the genuflection
      and ardent the confession.

      -Deathspell Omega “Fiery Serpents” Drought E.P.

      Why was hell even needed? Why did the Old Testament basically ignore hell…only Gentle Jesus Meek and Mild emphasized it?

      You say he suffered the pains of hell as if this is some great self sacrifice. But this lovely ALMIGHTY God of yours CREATED Hell. Designed it. Has condemned the vast majority of humanity to it. And these humans are not almighty. all powerful but limited, weak humans. Somehow, this sacrifice is far less than what the beloved creator has assigned the vast majority of mankind to suffer. You claim he suffered more than anyone could. How could this even be true, given that this is a being of three omnis outside time and space. Any suffering is self-inflicted for a purpose He chose. This does not seem like a great kindness to me.

      It was all so arbitrary and capricious. It is not a great deed, it is what we would call in a human “the Utmost Masochism”. And masochism is not considered a good thing.

      Sorry for the lengthy rant, Maka. Jim may mean well, but he preaches wickedness.

      Like

      • jim- says:

        We are on the same side my friend. I was just explaining their position. At the the end I did clarify that. Mak knows my position as well. I was just gifting the whole picture which is rarely done. I am an atheist and run an atheist blog. Lol. I think you missed the last line. Also,as to why? I could answer that too for the theist side, but it all is a matter of faith and belief in something that is not real in order for them to even render a guess. Sorry about the confusion. Mak your guys are warriors!! Great words Basen!

        Like

        • basenjibrian says:

          Sorry, jim. Thought you were evangelizing. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • jim- says:

            Sometimes to understand why the story can be so compelling is to know the whole story. It has to be very big and convoluted and difficult to grasp in order to sucker people in it. They spend half their life wasting time trying to figure it out, and in the end it’s all BS. Thanks

            Like

      • makagutu says:

        You know I don’t mind a lengthy rant from you

        Like

    • makagutu says:

      To descend to hell, created by the god who is at the same time said to be the father of Jesus, for a day, cannot be compared to the promise of eternity in hell.
      Is Jesus a god? Can a god suffer? How does omnipotence suffer?
      What happens to those who do not become Christians? Are they covered in this dying? If yes, why should anyone debase themselves by being a christian?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. foolsmusings says:

    I love how these clowns talk as if there are two points of view, theist and atheist, instead of the millions of differing idiologies that make up humanity. I myself find many of atheist’s viewpoints to be equally repugnant to evangelical Christians or Muslim extremists

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Anyone else notice the many ironies of a priest complaining about consensual sex?

    Liked by 3 people

  6. renudepride says:

    Good points and an excellent read – although it is Tuesday and my mind is still cluttered from a severe lack of Spring weather. My Kenyan brother, the argument that you offered where – presto – atheists were spawned by monkeys truly appeals to me. My mother always swears that my twin an I are both products of the apes. This so-called clergyman has finally given her validation! Naked hugs!

    Like

  7. “Without a Savior to overcome evil, all of us would be condemned to the fires of Hell.” Without alcohol, I would have no way to numb myself against the utter, intrusive insanity of idjits like this priest. Why, oh, why, are bubble-heads like this SO concerned about people who don’t believe what they do? If I were 100% certain that an invisible guy was waiting for me in a cloud-filled, incense-smelling place after I died, I would be at peace. I’d be calm. I wouldn’t feel so f**kin’ threatened by non-believers. Lordy be, guys like this are aggravating.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. >>> ” I could argue, on the contrary that atheism really is about rationality. You do not need to invoke any scientific principle to question the lack of evidence for deities.”

    Absolutely correct. Atheism is fundamentally a product of rationalism whereas science is a product of empiricism. They do not equate, but they do frequently intersect along the roads in opposition to religious theism.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. basenjibrian says:

    How can you even suffer to read such utter PABLUM, Maka? Amazing. You are showing more patience than the mythical Christian god.

    I would say, though, that the Problem of Evil is a pretty convincing riposte to the Christian concept of God. Along with, of course, such evil realities as a God creating sentient beings who He knew (because he knows all) would sin. Substitutionary ATONEMENT? wicked and immoral. Hell? Amazingly immoral.

    Liked by 1 person

    • makagutu says:

      We are totally in agreement regarding the Problem of Evil. My only contention is hardly do you meet people say I read about the problem of evil and became an atheist. On the contrary, many people become deeply religious in the face of pointless suffering

      Like

  10. shelldigger says:

    Those who build strawmen should be required to live in straw houses.

    This guy screws everything up. Well hell most of them do.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. basenjibrian says:

    I will say that culturally, Catholics can do great things. Catholic colonial cities in South America can be beautifully laid out. And, the church architecture. The hardcore evangelical churches now taking root in South America will bring them nothing but nasty prosperity gospel and an us versus them cultural war.

    Like

    • makagutu says:

      I agree totally. In many places where dem Katolics went in most of Kenya, they built schools, hospitals and community facilities and the government has hardly improved on some of these

      Like

  12. Great article! It can be so easy to debunk Christian baloney, unfortunately so many apologists seem to have disabled their comment button. I wonder why……?

    Like

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 )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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 )

Connecting to %s