Terrible essay on religion or lack of it

There are terrible essays, then there is this by J Maren. He says in an interview with a Ferguson, he (Ferguson) said atheism is a religious faith that he was brought up in. He went on to say it is as much a faith as Christianity or Islam. And finished by making the observation that

atheism, particularly in its militant forms, is really a very dangerous metaphysical framework for a society

And at this point, I have questions. Creeds such as Christianity or Islam have books, or tenets of beliefs, they often have founders and a lot of other requirements. Now what could be the similarities between atheism and Islam or Judaism? How, in its militant form, whatever that means, is it a danger to society? Do they kill believers?

What else had Ferguson to say?

I know I can’t achieve religious faith,” he went on, “but I do think we should go to church. We don’t have, I don’t think, an evolved ethical system. I don’t buy the idea that evolution alone gets us to be moral. It can modify behavior, but there’s just too much evidence that in the raw, when the constraints of civilization fall away, we behave in the most savage way to one another. I’m a big believer that with the inherited wisdom of a two-millennia old religion, we’ve got a pretty good framework to work with.

This is interesting. For thousands of years, our loving and merciful father forgot about his creation. Left men without a religion. Without morals and remembered to send this information much later and topped it up with a suicide or is it a deicide.

If Maren is right, we must believe that before Christianity there was no forgiveness. Maren tells us, in part

What we do know is that he thought Christianity was in many ways the soul of Western civilization, and that the uniquely Christian concept of forgiveness was utterly indispensable to its survival.

I don’t know about you, but I know I am have not

My fear is that the Church is not doing what so many of us on the outside want it to do, which is preaching its gospel, asserting its truths and its claims

wanted the church to do anything except that believers keep their faith private.

Maren then tells of an interview with D MUrray who

believes that Christianity is essential because secularists have been thus far totally incapable of creating an ethic of equality that matches the concept that all human beings are created in the image of God

Which is interesting from where I stand. It appears there has been a difference between belief and practice. But the less said about this the better. Reminds me of when Haitians revolted following the French declaration of Freedom, Liberty and Fraternity, there were locked in a revolt with the French for 12 years until the defeat of Napoleon’s army.

In his conclusion, Maren writes that the west and Christianity are tied at the hip. The west will not long survive without Christianity. The sooner you all start joining the church nearest to you, the longer the western civilization will last. It is all up to you.

Or maybe I am wrong.

sometimes you find a post so bad

you actually sympathise with the author. And that applies to this one I have come across today titled atheism: the most dangerous religion.

The first claim of atheism we are told is that first there was nothing then there was something and I think this author has his religion confused. In the beginning, so the bybull tells us, god created the heavens and the earth but from what? Enquiring minds want to know. I know I have read Lawrence Krauss a Universe from Nothing. You can listen to the short video linked.

I didn’t know Darwin was the god of atheists. I was today years old when I learnt this new fact. And how is he our god? By convincing us life simply evolved from non-life. I will leave this here for now.

What are the main teachings of atheism? 1. evolution; 2. nothing to everything; 3. because science says, and 4. “the lack of evidence is evidence enough”. I thought it would be sufficient to respond that these are not the teachings of atheism, that is, if it has any teaching. Atheism simply, and this is a matter of debate some places, is a lack of belief in theism. It is possible after this for an atheist to make certain commitments in fields of knowledge say such as biology (evolution), cosmology. Point 3 is a straw man and number 4 is just common sense.

Now we come to why it is dangerous.

  1. Morality because you have no justification to be moral. The argument being without a god and its attendant threats and promises you can’t be moral.
  2. Atheists don’t believe in an afterlife.
  3. You are unnecessarily hateful- you tear down theists, make them look stupid which leads to Christians being bullied and harassed. And you know what, this is why 1st Century persecution happened and why Nero danced while Rome burned. I am not making this up. He wrote it. And the best response i can think of is laughter.

But there is a solution. Accept Jesus and you will be cured from this hatred.

Go and find Jesus. If you meet him, say Mak sent you.

religious disservice

It is Monday, Easter is around the corner and maybe it is time for some sermons. I have been rereading Okot p’Bitek’s Artist the Ruler: Essays on Art, Culture and Values which I highly recommend, if you can find it that is. He quotes Eric Mascall who wrote

It has been emphasised that Christianity is historical in a sense in which no other religion is, for it stands or falls by certain events which are alleged to have taken place during a particular period of forty eight hours in Palestine nearly 2000 years ago.

Eric Mascall, inaugural lecture

Okot continues to say after this that all sorts of strange things happened during these few hours

  1. how for one do you interpret Peter’s so called denial? Why should a rugged fishermen deny his friend
  2. did Jesus ever claim to be king?
  3. who were the other thieves who were hanged on either side of the Christ?
  4. when some fellow, Joseph of Arimateus took Jesus’ body, was he really dead?

Elsewhere, he quotes from Rene Fullop-Miller’s Lenin and Gandhi

It is truly sickening….God creating: is this not the worst type of self reviling? Everyone who occupies himself with the construction of a god, or merely agrees with it, prostitutes himself in the worst way, for he occupies himself, not with activity, but with self contemplation and self reflection, and tries thereby to deify his most unclean, most stupid and most servile features or pettiness.

Lenin in response to Alexei Maximovich’s god-seeking

Have a pleasant Monday, will you.

On labels or that kind of thing

A number of the readers here identify as atheists. Some who don’t do so identify as either non religious, agnostic and a few as anti-theist. Yesterday I was reading a paper, An argument for unbelief: a discussion about terminology by Nickolas G Conrad in which he makes the case that the best all encompassing term to use is unbelief. Atheism as we all know is loaded politically and socially and doesn’t cover the nuances of say Barry, who for all intents has rejected the orthodox dictates of religion but still find some relevance or utility in religion (a term that you might realise is not so straightforward by the way) or my friend from across the lands Veracious Poet or Nan.

He also argues, and I think I agree, that referring to some ancients as atheist do not do them real justice. They could have rejected orthodox religion but never did refer to themselves as atheists. They were freethinkers in France, Fouriers, positivists or followers of Saint- Simon but not atheists.

What do you think?

If atheists found out that God is real, what would they do differently in their lives?

I find quora sometimes does have very interesting questions. Notice I say interesting not intelligent.

The first problem( taken literally) with this question implies we believe god is fake or unreal which is a gross misunderstanding of the atheist position. I have no belief in the existence of god or deity.

The second is implied. That the deity we will find is the Abrahamic one who sends you to hell because he loves you very much. Such a deity is terrifying.

If one were to meet, say, the Maori god of earthquakes that Barry was telling me this morning, one could ask them what joy they derived from such destruction? Do they have regrets and can they teach me to create an earthquake?

A meeting with Apollo or was it Bacchus would be a different thing altogether. Maybe we would get so high no meaningful conversation would be possible.

I have digressed.

Atheists live their lives just like other people except they don’t have the tendency to meet on a certain for worship or thank their cats for something that happened to them or that they did and I guess many would continue that way.

Finally, there is an implicit acceptance by this believer that god could as well be real. Or else this believer doesn’t subscribe to an omni god. And I am with anyone who entertains such doubt and I encourage them to move just one step further.

Have a good weekend everyone.

Have you read your New Testament lately?

Because that could be only reason you are an atheist. So dear friends, atheists especially, pick up that dusty old bible of yours wherever you have been keeping it, jump to the new testament and Jesus will minister to you on every verse. Can I hear a loud Amen.

And then if you are lucky, you might just marry an international healing evangelist willing to compete with the local shaman in a village of your choice. Amen.

But this works well if you try it while undergoing a traumatic episode in your life. You can start with the 30 no-pay- trial period before you purchase the full version. What are you waiting for?

Or maybe you have the stomach for this. I didn’t.

Fishing

The Necessity of Atheism by Percy Shelley is one of the best you will ever find. It is precise and straightforward. It’s a joy to read only comparable to reading Nietzche’s the Antichrist.

I am looking for work by abolitionist Garrison; a lecture by Ernestine Rose in defense of Atheism, and Stunton’s work on women’s rights.

If you have pdfs or epub copies of these works, please share. And that is all the fishing I am doing today.

who knew

that all you heathens are on a slippery slope towards the troubled realms; and this means you are headed into veganism. Sometimes I think if people could read whatever they write out aloud to their friends they would be advised against pushing the publish button.

And this analogy has made me laugh. I almost want to agree with the author. Politics and religion are generally similar- chosen without much reflection.

What do you believe in?

Is a question I get asked occasionally when I say I am not religious. Generally, depending on what I am doing at that precise moment, my response will be drawn from it. For example if we were having beer, I would jokingly say I believe beer is good.

But I don’t think this is the answer they are looking for. The question seems to me to be a loaded one. It does seem, in some sense, that to the believer, my lack of religious belief and by extension god belief, I am devoid of beliefs.

The other implication is, for the believer, all their other beliefs can be explained by their belief in god. That is to say, to the believer, any question would be answered by god and that would seem to be a sufficient answer.

But there is a problem. Whereas we hold beliefs to the degree we believe them true and no more, it is possible we hold unexamined beliefs, false beliefs and so on. And where there is true knowledge, we generally (in common usage) say we know 1+1=2 except for catholics where 1=3, but that’s a debate for another time.

Therefore, in answer to the above question, whoever should want an answer should be specific. I hold many beliefs depending on the weather and what side of the bed I wake up from.

To those who get asked this question, how do you respond?