The Pope cuddles while addressing a church gathering said
But to be a Catholic like that, it’s better to be an atheist.’ It is that: scandal
But this is an insult to atheists. To compare dishonest and hypocritical Catholics to atheists is to claim we are dishonest, which we are not and it is a poor reading of his sentiments that would make anyone think he has respect for atheists.
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.
He had a better mind and a more rigorous temperament than me; he thought logically, and then acted on the conclusion of logical thought. Whereas most of us, I suspect, do the opposite: we make an instinctive decision, then build up an infrastructure of reasoning to justify it. And call the result common sense.”
― Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending
Yesterday I wrote on definition of atheism. The OP did a rebuttal to my post. The link is here. Since I have responded to most of it on his blog, I see no reason to rehash it here. I however would like to point out something which I think is his failure. He argues that by defining atheism as a lack of belief, this belief includes children and stones. The first is correct, the second is absurd.
Is there any absurdity in not polling children as atheists? No. It is absurd to call them this or that believer. Or to claim they belong to this or that party. Now that is absurd.
I have tried to make sense of this post, really tried and given it up. If it is an argument against atheism, it is silly. If it is an argument for theism, it has no legs. If it is an attempt at satire, I missed the joke. To argue because there are atheists, god must exist means Santa is real, fairies are real, unicorns exist and so much more. It is silly to say the least.
It was Shakespeare who wrote the immortal words in Romeo and Juliet
What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
which raises the question of what the godless should call themselves. I know fully well am not the first one to write on this topic, but that has never stopped me from adding my two cents to any topic.
Many of us identify as atheist, the problem with this label is that it doesn’t tell you what I believe. As has been said by other interlocutors, it has a negative connotation. It doesn’t tell you also that I don’t believe in ghosts, unicorns, fairies which would raise the interesting question whether I should call myself a-ghost, a-fairies and so on. It also doesn’t tell you what I think of the Hindoo belief of reincarnation or nirvana and so the like.
The second very interesting issue here, is the fact that it the Judaic cults that have the issue of a personal celestial dictator who is concerned about who you have sex with, sends a son to die and preaches that you shouldn’t get married if you can because the world is about to end and has its chosen people. In this respect I should be Non-Judaic. I have no belief in the existence of their cults’ god and so much more.
What then do I think we the godless[ whatever god means] should call themselves, if they must, which in my view is both an affirmation of belief and also deals with all the superstitions that have been with us since man began to believe and think. This label is Naturalist. It is an affirmation that you believe that nature is all there is, no ghosts, angels, afterlife and that phenomena follow religiously according to the laws of nature everywhere all the time. Together with being a naturalist, I subscribe to secularism that is state and church should be separated and am also a humanist.