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Sympathetic Atheism

September 1, 2009 13 comments

A Muslim friend and colleague of mine made the remark to me yesterday that Atheists seem to focus on making fun of religions.  He pointed out that some of my criticisms and comments seemed more like playground taunting than real scriptural or theological debate.  I didn’t have a ready answer for him, but I tried to allay his concerns a bit.  My wife has expressed a similar concern with my style of criticism. 

I don’t think my approach to Theists and their corresponding beliefs are vastly different from other Atheists.  Frankly, I do find humor in certain, if not most beliefs, simply because a lot of them are silly and very simplistic. Additionally I would like to say that I am not above Faith, ritual belief, superstition and belief in intuition.  I make choices based on ‘gut feelings’ all the time.   I can fully accept that these are a bit silly, but persist nonetheless.   

I think I felt a little indignant with my friends comment, simply because it devalues what I am trying to do with my life; that is pursue a wholesome and truth filled life that adheres to a creed of non-coercive behavior and focus on family, nature and science.   Similarly I can see why a Theist may hold this view of Atheism, as we often simplify and deduce fallacy in what they highly value.  

Maybe all of this is my ‘Sympathetic Atheist’ side talking, but what value is there in undercutting a pleasant, friendly, non-threatening Theist’s beliefs?  How far can you go before you simply become a ‘Witness of Atheism’, when is it simply reverse proselytizing?

Addendum:  I unwittingly titled this post Sympathetic Atheism, which to my chagrin is a direct plagiarism of my friend Sabio’s post “Sympathetic Atheist” (at least in title and spirit.)  Please follow the links to his seminal blog on the subject!!!   This is a good illustration of how we Humans pick up on what appears like a good idea and then claim it as original thought.

Countdown

September 1, 2009 Leave a comment

We must also confront the fact that evolution is, as well as smarter than we are, infinitely more callous and cruel, and also capricious.  Investigation of the fossil record and the record of molecular biology shows us the approximately 98 percent of all the species that have ever appeared on earth have laspsed into extinction.  Christopher Hitchen God is not Great

God Hates Gays

August 27, 2009 4 comments

Homosexual People

 

Part 2 of My Coffee Chat With a Methodist Preacher

I was curious what TP’s opinion of Gays in the church was and what he thought about the sudden onset of a tornado soon after the Minneapolis Luthern Church made a decision about homosexuals in the church.  I figured if he thought tornadoes were God’s wrath for Gay’s the likelihood of our finding any common ground for discussion was zilch.  

 

TP has a very interesting, if not slightly confused impression of what it means to be gay.  I called him out on some of his assumptions.  Largely he feels that homosexuality is not an abomination of God, or particularly sinful, but he frankly said that ‘it is just wrong.’  He made the comment that he has a few gay friends and their life is miserable, presumably because they are gay. 

My counter to his argument was that if a Gay person’s life is miserable it is not because of being gay, but more likely because of society’s (Society: amalgamation of the institutions of education, religious, social and political)  oppression and overt hatred of gayness.  Either this, or they are just miserable people, like any hetero person may be.

TP seemed to concede a little on this point, but did make the trite remark that not doing God’s Will ultimately creates a division between you and the Holy Spirit.  Obviously being Heterosexual is God’s Will. 

To drive my point home further, I explained to him that we see a lot of species in the wild that use homosexual pair bonding for purposes of protection, alliance formation and when there is a lack of females.  I have recently become familiar with the term ‘homosociality’ which I love.  

 

I wanted to know if he thought gay to straight conversions could be made through the Power of Christ.  He admitted that he did not know of any ‘cure’ for gay people (men or women).  But that a person has control over their actions, no matter what they feel inside.  He made a point about a relative with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).  He notes that even though she is fraught with problems of spasticity and physical limitations, she does everything in her power to try and combat her illness and take therapeutic medications when available.  So, she tries not to be handicap in public…hmmm.

 

So, apparently being gay is a disease, punctuated by failure of will, ultimately leading people to unholy practices which will ultimately take them out of God’s Grace and deliver them to Hell.

 

Geez, God must really hate humans!

 

More, later.

 

Peace,

Anoat