Philosophy of religion

A contest of ideas

Quote from Rowan Atkinson

Quote from Rowan Atkinson

What I love so much about democracy and Freedom of Speech is that we can have an open and honest exchange of ideas. We can debate issues, we can question. We do not have to follow any doctrine blindly and unquestioningly.

Today we do not have to buy anything off the rack, we can customise it to suit us and the same goes with our belief systems.

One size does not fit all and so as we grow we listen and observe, we debate and we reason, constantly re evaluating the beliefs we hold dear. At least that is how it is for the women in my family. My mother was brought up a Catholic and now considers herself a Humanist.

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Proselytizing atheists give atheists a bad name

Most people know that I am a Christian. I don’t hide because it is my belief that Christians all too often forget that we are supposed to spread the good news….that we are saved.

I personally can’t stand proselytizing and evangelistic Christians, I think they give Christians a bad name.

But there is another equally annoying group of proselytizing and evangelistic morons out there who are trying desperately…for some reason or another to convince people like me that we are mad, crazy, stupid or all of the above for daring to believe in something.

The thing is they also believe in something, and somewhat more fervently than most of us who believe in what we believe.

One atheist is somewhat annoyed with what he calls “In-Your-Face Atheism”.

The president of American Atheists, David Silverman, defines firebrand atheism as simply telling the truth about religion, with the emphasis on the telling. He says we should make clear that it’s religious beliefs we’re attacking, not the person. He says, “I’m not attacking humans; I’m attacking those humans’ silly beliefs.”

That word “silly” is the problem, as is Silverman’s whole take-no-prisoners assault on religion.

Think about what religion is—a total worldview that lets each believer feel like she’s found meaning and purpose in a bewildering universe. So, it’s not much of a stretch to argue that people are reluctant to give up their religious beliefs when they are intimately tied to their sense of self-worth.

It’s one thing to give up a belief about a political or scientific fact that doesn’t directly affect your life—like whether or not global warming is caused by humans. But it’s another thing to give up a belief that you think determines whether you’ll be strumming a harp with angels or stuck on the business end of the Devil’s pitchfork after you die.

So, if we’re going to change someone’s beliefs, but we’re going to have to resist the temptation to roast them while we’re doing it. But listen to what Silverman has said in his talks promoting firebrand atheism: “Religion is a lie—all of it—that’s the truth.”

“Respect is earned, and religion hasn’t earned any.”

Even if he’s right, the tone of these comments is just going to raise the emotional hackles of your average believer.

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Why do atheists thank god?

An interesting concept I’ve often wondered about. The latest atheist to thank God is Russel Norman:

Katya is now in good health after a long and serious illness, superbly treated by the public health system. “Thank God – I mean, I’m an atheist, but thank God for the public health system,” Norman says.

There are a lot of things that I thank God for but a public health system isn’t one of them. Given his stupendous public salary why couldn’t he use the private system and reduce the burden on the public health system?

Blasphemy? More like a joke

I received an email with these images attached. The sender is outraged….actually he is OUTRAGED! He thinks the posters are blasphemous and should be torn down.

I am absolutely disturbed by these hideous posters.

I on the other hand saw the pictured and laughed, literally out loud. Atheists, especially atheists who spend a lot of their own money trying to prove, or at least convince “believers” they are wrong are hilarious.

As a Christian, unlike my correspondent, I didn’t find these posters offensive at all, I think they show that there is an atheist who desperately wants to believe he is right…and that in and of itself is believing in something, making the joke that is atheism.