I read a post earlier called “Atheists Should Be Monks“. I’m not sure whether that author really believes what he’s writing or whether he’s trying to troll.
John starts off with a conversation he had with another atheist and he comes up with this premise:
If God doesn’t exist, neither does evil.
Okay…I’m with you here, John.
If evil doesn’t exist then ‘maximally evil’ is incoherent.
You’re using incoherence to accuse Christianity of incoherence.
You might believe in evil because of your religion, but several other religions would disagree with you and they have their own set of rules about what is good and what is considered evil. You have no tangible way to prove your religion is right about God and theirs is wrong. Both sets of tribes can simply claim their God said so and that’s the end of the argument.
Most atheists I know don’t use the word ‘evil’ but replace it with the word ‘ethics’. They may use the word ‘evil’ as an expression. Kind of like the way I say ‘bless you’ when someone sneezes sometimes.
When your philosophy isn’t a philosophy…
When your thesis is ‘content free’…
Why are you blogging?
Because we sometimes have to answer the claims made by religious people who presume to tell us what we think, believe and what we can talk or write about.
Kind of like John is working up to do in a few short paragraphs.
There are many reasons to talk about religion. I may not believe in religion or a specific deity, but the politicians who govern might and that may affect how they operate. Nearly everyone around me believes in a deity of one kind or another, and in some cases, those beliefs shape how they act.
For example, you have people who burn others alive because they think they’re sorcerers:
BANGUI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Rebels in Central African Republic have kidnapped, burnt and buried alive “witches” in public ceremonies, exploiting widely held superstitions to control areas in the war-torn country, according to a leaked United Nations report.
The torture took place between December 2014 and early 2015 under instruction from leaders of the mainly Christian “anti-balaka” militia that has been fighting Muslim Seleka rebels across the country for more than two years, said the report.
When more people can talk about the silliness of believing in sorcery, these kinds of incidents may decline or stop altogether.
That is just one example. But regardless, just because you don’t believe in something doesn’t mean you can’t talk about it or share the philosophies or ideas that you DO believe in. The difference is that those philosophies aren’t supposedly handed down by a deity and I can change them as new information becomes available.
You shouldn’t mind since you’ve no point of view of your own.
You blog because you’re smarter than the rest of us.
Smarter than everyone who has lived before!
They obviously have a point of view…that’s what they’re blogging about.
They don’t necessarily believe they are smarter than you or anyone else either. Just like your blogging doesn’t mean you think you’re smarter than everyone else. They are free to share their point of view and you yours.
You’ve got it all figured out.
Ummm…the only ones claiming to ‘have it all figured out’ are the religious.
Atheism is NOT, in fact, ‘content free’.
It’s brimming with arrogance, outrage, and irrationality.
It offers a lush landscape of bitter contradictions and depraved futility.
Many of the atheists I’ve met are very concerned with ethics. Not the childish way the bible gives out rules that often don’t make sense or that contradict one another, but really looking at the heart of the matter and figuring out what causes suffering and how do we best combat that suffering.
Also, the very act of calling us evil shows why we need to discuss atheism – to dispell such backward notions.
Why else would you deliberately destroy the glimmer of hope you see in other human beings?
How is atheism destroying hope? Do you now lack belief in God because of what we have said? Is that why you’re so angry?
Are you fit to take God’s place when you’ve convinced us He doesn’t exist?
No, but maybe reasonable and rational discourse can take the place of irrational, contradictory and violent myths.
Will your non-philosophy speak to the soul of a dead child’s mother?
Atheism won’t, but other philosophies or ways of thinking might, such as humanism. I know when I lost my father, I found no comfort in people telling me it was for the best and I’d see him again etc. I’d rather take comfort in the likely truth – I’ll never see him again, which also makes the times I did spend with him more precious. I think we need to find ways to grieve that transcend religious babble and fake platitudes.
He ends with this piece of advice:
…at least do your part to combat wickedness…
Nah. We will keep talking. Reason will eventually rise to the top and religion will die out. Not because we have to burn, rape or torture people to convince them, like religions often resorts to doing. And certainly not because we have to tell the other side to shut up like you just did, but because we make the better arguments.