Sunday, December 17, 2006

Atheist's holiday

I, too, was tempted to respond to Russ Bray's Dec. 11 letter in the Gazette, but this writer has done so with such grace and goodwill that I am glad to have stayed out of it.

It is odd, and significant, when people are tolerant of other religions but intolerant of those with none at all. To me, unbelief is like inability to fly. I can flap my arms all I want, but it won't get me off the ground. No doubt, it is a great benefit to have faith in some organized religion, but belief has to come from deep within, and if it isn't there, I know of no way to make it show up. Perhaps unbelief is genetic, like homosexual orientation.

And no good Christian would ever belittle a gay man for being the way God made him, right?


Shane C. Mason said...

I am a little confused here. Are you saying that people who do not believe in a grand designer are like things that can not fly while those that believe are like things that can fly?

Know the way I see it?

It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
-- Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World


The world is so exquisite, with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there's little good evidence. Far better, it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look Death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides.
-- Carl Sagan, Billions and Billions p. 215

Jay Stevens said...

Dang! Shane beat me to it! I was going to say a similar thing: how do we know it's not the religious that is somehow deficient?

If you know the answer either way, then you possess knowledge no mortal has.

David said...

Shane, I guess I could have been clearer. I meant that it makes no more sense to attack someone for unbelief than to attack someone for his inability to flap his arms and fly.

Anonymous said...

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Mark Tokarski said...

I count myself in good company in my unbelief, and understand perfectly your comments about wing-flapping. If you can't fly, no amount of wing flapping will lift you off the ground. If you don't believe, no amount of disciplined thought will change it. I was brought up to believe that faith was a "gift", and count myself lucky not to be a beneficiary.

I always wondered about this God who supposedly gave us free will and then punishes us for using it.

And what's so special about 'believing'? Why is it considered a virtue? If I believe in the Easter Bunny, do people bow their heads respect, or quietly question my sanity?