Friday, March 13, 2015

Ten Questions No Atheist Can Answer: LOL

atheist parenting
Godless Mom's blog is one that I enjoy pretty regularly, if I ever find some time to read my favorite blogs. Her wit and wisdom are huge breaths of fresh air in the blogosphere. Have you read her blog?

I would love to be as irreligious in my rants as she is! When I first saw her post entitled 10 Questions No Atheist Can Answer, based on a piece on ChristianToday, an online Christian magazine, I thought I would do what Godless Mom did, ask myself the incredibly challenging questions that:

Here are the dreaded and challenging questions along with my thoughts, written before I read Godless Mom's answers:

How Did You Become an Atheist?
I read the bible and about a hundred other books on the history and philosophy of religion, had about five hundred conversations, thought and thought, prayed and prayed, and came to the conclusion that every religion in its entirety is man made and that there is nothing supernatural, miraculous, or religous.

What happens when we die?
The molecules in our body break apart and return to the carbon and water cycles. The combined particles disperse, returning to the earth system, which is a part of our solar system, which is a part of our galaxy, which is a part of the universe.
The people in our lives find ways to move forward with our nonexistence. Any monuments we have built in our lives continue toward their eventual particle dispersion.

What if you’re wrong? And there is a Heaven? And there is a HELL!
If an afterlife of this nature were to actually exist I would be eternally suffering and I would be eternally disappointed at the futility of such a continued existence. Both eternal punishment and eternal reward sound so incredibly sophomoric that such a plan can only have been constructed by a monster of a weak creator. 

It makes absolutely no sense.

Without God, where do you get your morality from?
My sense of what is right and what is wrong come from the culture in which I live as well as from my own common sense and learnings.
I can never be convinced that the kind and well-meaning people who utter this question truly believe that they would become rampaging tyrannical evil-doers without a magical voice in their heads. In fact, every single person reading these words can name at least ten people who are from a religious tradition and who lack kindness, compassion, and general goodness. Each of us can also likely name at least ten people who are godless and who are incredibly beneficent and good.
In fact, I believe that most people are generally well-meaning and good-hearted.

If there is no God, can we do what we want? Are we free to murder and rape? While good deeds are unrewarded?
That is absolutely what I believe.
In fact, I have murdered and raped every single time I ever wanted to. I have also robbed people, destroyed things, injured bystanders, and called out every single evil instinct that I have ever wanted to call out.

But I do believe that good deeds are rewarded, right here in our lives or in the lives of those around us.

Furthermore, I am certain that everyone who is reading this at this moment has also murdered and raped exactly as many times as they wish they had. Call it common sense, call it a sense of humanity, I just don't see most of us out there seeking to create havoc and misery in the world.
Of course, some people DO behave in this way, and all of the religions in the world don't stop them.

If there is no god, how does your life have any meaning?
What do you mean, exactly, by meaning?
See, I think that this is a trick question because our lives are as meaningful as we make them. When we do good, when we seek knowledge, when we forge connection, when we create beauty, when we live with grace we are creating meaning.

Whereas, finding some sort of magical meaning after death is truly not having meaning in life...See?

Where did the universe come from?
When we use our senses and our intellect we are far more likely to discover clues to our origins. Personally I doubt we will ever figure out what started everything. Big Bang?  Maybe, but that theory doesn't explain what happened a whisper of a moment before the existence of the tiny spacial irregularity that banged into everything. As this is our best theory to date I'm going with it until something better comes along.
Also, I'm quite comfortable with the honest answer of I don't know.

What about miracles? What all the people who claim to have a connection with Jesus? What about those who claim to have seen saints or angels?
I don't know.
I have also known people who have claimed to have a secret world underneath their bed. I have known a person who claimed to be the lord. I have known a person who thought he was hearing special transmissions from outer space meant specifically for him. I have known a little person who believed that her best chance for affection and compassion was to insist she had sixteen personalities inside of her. I have known a young man who was certain that a spirit was hounding him. I have known a person who felt certain that the entire planet and everyone on it was conspiring against him and were planning evil deeds against him. I have known a person who claimed that her twin lived in a mirror. I have known a person who thought her thoughts could injure me physically and spiritually. I have known a person who thought she could call spirits down on people who looked askance at her.
There is true mental illness in the world.
There are coincidences.
I would not attempt to explain a claim without knowing more about the claim and without thoroughly examining the evidence.

What’s your view of Dawkins, Hitchens and Harris?
I think that each of them have a certain brilliance. Each of them is also a human being with flaws and all. I think that their voices are each quite distinct and, further, I know that their voices are not the only ones in the secular movement.
I have also thought that the atheist community was lucky to have a cutie like Sam Harris on our side.

If there is no God, then why does every society have a religion?
Because human being want/like answers and in the absence of answers will create them. I have seen young children do this right before my very eyes.

Is that it? Am I supposed to be transformed?
Well, I found the questions unremarkable.  LOL

You may also enjoy these posts:
On Being an Atheist Parent
I am an Atheist
Thoughts and Humanism

1 comment:

  1. I love this!
    It makes me think about the times when I was sitting in church listening to a pastor try to give a counter argument against some doubts that he had heard. These counter arguments always made me doubt my faith more than I had before he started talking. Those "doubts" were pretty convincing. =)


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