Sorry up front for no super awesome topic this week. I saw a good reply to a previous post and thought it’d make a great conversation piece. I have intentionally not fleshed out all the arguments here in hopes that it spurs those that like to discuss this topic into posting and generating more critical discussion. Enjoy!
Edit: How foolish of me not to include his response!
In regards to a quote from your blog post, “First Amendment – Seperation of Church and State”, “[what if] the non-Christian felt that this prohibited the free exercise of his non-religion?”
First of all, “non-Christian”, seriously? Why not non-Buddhist, or non-Islamic, or better yet, Atheist?
Secondly, if you’re going to use supporting documentation from Wikipedia….don’t….just…don’t.
It is my belief that any non-religion should in fact be considered a religion itself, especially considering that atheists commonly state that all other religions are false, and that only they hold the real truth. I also see many atheists going out of their way to put down the views of the religious, upholding only their views as morally superior….remind you of something? (Christian Fundamentalists by chance?)
It is sad that Atheists can’t spend more time being a support for their fellow, and less time attacking those that choose to have differing points of view.
Then again, in the sense of the word Religion I take this definition from wikipedia…just for you!! “A religion is a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a supernatural agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.”
Atheism. “A set of beliefs concering the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe.” -Check.
“Especially [but not solely] when considered as the creation of a supernatural agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs” -Check. (see Atheists Prayer below..)
“Our brains, which art in our heads,
treasured be thy name.
Thy reasoning come.
Thy best you can do be done
on earth as it is.
Give us this day new
insight to help us resolve conflicts and
And lead us not
into supernatural explanations;
deliver us from denial of logic.
For thine is the kingdom of reason,
and even though thy powers are limited,
and you’re not always glorious
you are the best evolutionary adaptation
we have for helping this earth now and
forever and ever.
So be it.”
I am Agnostic if you were wondering, and all I know is that I don’t know. I do know on the other hand, that strict Atheists can be just as bad as Christian Fundamentalists, and if you think otherwise, you truly are a hypocrite. Stick with the expositional blog posts, less “watch me whine and cry because I’m not getting exactly what I want”.
You’re right, why not non-Buddhist or non-Muslim? I acknowledge that I do use one religion often, and I have repeatedly said on this blog that I will usually speak to Christianity because it is the one religion most of us that would read the blog are familiar with. So I take your point and agree, then ask you to read the posts with a bit more of a discerning eye.
The idea that you equate a “non-belief” in god as a religion shows just how much you have ignored the type of writing that has been here. Let me put it to you this way, do you believe in Santa Clause? There are tons of kiddos that do, and they would have their world view shaken to its core if you came in on Christmas morning and yelled at him “There is no Santa and no toys for you!” Now, does this mean you have a systematic belief system that you go through every day in an attempt to get rid of Santa? Do you go to bed at night and pray to the “not-Santa” entity? No, of course you don’t. You don’t believe in Santa because such a being is physically impossible, not because you hate the people that believe in him. Furthermore, you would be forced to admit that a belief in Santa is harmful to a person that wants to get along in our society-imagine if your college classmates still believed in him! Now imagine they can vote!
I am not sure where you got the definition of atheism there because it seems an awful lot like someone who was trying to straw-man a point of view would do. Atheism itself is not a religion, it is simply the position of non belief. Just like your position on Santa Clause, that doesn’t mean you “automatically” know exactly where all the toys come from. You may have a good idea based on your life experiences and the observation of parents buying their children the gifts. This doesn’t mean that you belong to the religion of “non-Santa”, it means you have thought about it and come to your own conclusions.
Furthermore, now that I’m turning this into a blog post, I would argue that any moral theory that is grounded in reality and science is far superior to any kind of divine command morality that any person can concoct. This leaves room for horrendous moral theories, however, none so horrendous as those that can be created from a religion. In a truly cohesive, logical, and scientific morality that places Humanity above the individual there is no room for this kind of extremism that we see from religious fanatics. The key is the rational part, we’re working on that:)
Also, as to your last paragraph, I consider agnosticism a form of atheism.
Atheist means “a” or “not” theist. Even having the neutral position of not believing in a theist being makes you an atheism by definition. It does not mean you have a belief structure or morality or belief in super natural like the silly prayer you posted claims. I appreciate your post and I respect your position so far as you see fit to defend it, however, I would encourage you to do a bit more research and read some of the other posts and responses here. I think every argument you’ve brought up has been answered in previous posts and replies.
Sorry for being lazy this week on the post, but this got long winded. Hope it spurs more conversation:)