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Entry 33 – A Faithless versus Faithful Life

September 4, 2010

Donald Clegg, a writer for the Spokesman Review, wrote an interesting piece today about finding meaning in life without a belief in a particular supernatural being. 

I really liked the article and recommend a read of it HERE…

What really caught my eye though was a comment made by ‘Romans 13’ on the article itself.  It reads:

“I don’t know who told you that if you don’t have God you might as well start “raping and looting”. I am confident it wasn’t a Christian. Your argument is the equivalent of saying if we punch someone, we might as well kill them. If you are going to use ridiculously extreme positions to prove your point, then you can use my example, too. And if I steal a pen from work, I might as well embezzle $5 million since I’m a thief anyway. What’s the point of arguing extreme examples that are ridiculous from the outset?

As for morals, where do they start from? I’m not talking about your parents, or their parents…I’m talking about the very beginning. We evolved from ectoplasma goop into beings that could have their synapsis electrically fire in the appropriate succession to create a universal “right and wrong” on basic issues such as murder, rape, stealing, etc? No. God’s word is written on your heart so there will be no excuse during the day of judgement. God’s word. Is it easier for you to believe we evolved from swampy goop to being the creatures we are now, or that an intelligent being made us wonderfully and fearfully! If we evolved from goop, who made the goop? Who made the laws that allowed the goop to cling together? Who made the atom to follow specific and consistent physical laws? My brother, if you sought God as much as you seek to defend your position, you would be pleasantly surprised. Let your conscience be your guide. Shalom.”

Wow…where to start…

1st – I think the extreme position Clegg’s bringing up is his whole point, Romans 13, which you beautifully defend.  And for that, I thank you.  We should no more accept that an atheist can’t be a good person, than we should accept that a Christian can’t be a bad person.  They both occur equally.

2nd – Morals don’t need to have a supernatural creator any more than the ‘goop’ you refer to needs a ‘gooper’ (ie. someone who makes goop).  Sure it’s quick and easy to just say, ‘God Did It!’ or ‘Let Go and Let God!’ or any of the other platitudes that people use for a God of the Gaps argument about the origins of life.  As a scientist I don’t ever pretend to know how we came to be.  It is most certainly a mystery.  I’m just not all that bothered by the fact that we don’t know.  Seems to be it’s the fervently religious people who are so bothered by people like myself who aren’t bothered. 

3rd – Letting conscience be anyone’s guide is a dangerous, slippery, and quite uncomfortable slope to travel.  Who is to say even what conscience is, and who the people are who possess the right levels of this kind of intuitive understanding of right versus wrong?  When it comes to guides, law that is precise, reasonable, and written with the greatest good for the greatest number of people in mind is a better starting place than someone’s conscience in my humble opinion. 

I realize it’s difficult for Christians to admit that a meaningful life can be had by an atheist who rejects a belief in a supernatural being.  All I am asking is that you please try.  Please.  It’s not difficult for atheists to admit that religion does a lot of good for alot of people.  It also does alot of bad.  Atheism isn’t immune to this either.  It can do both good and bad things for people. 

Again, let’s move on past this arguement, and acknowledge that people on both sides of the supernatural fence can be good, and get about the business of being good to one another. 

Thanks for stopping by,

TRC

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One Comment leave one →
  1. December 15, 2010 7:08 am

    Nice post! Your summary of whether Goop requires a Gooper made me laugh out loud. Thank you!

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