Is Atheism A Bad Idea?

Atheism

He was an Atheist for 40 years, then one day, he became Catholic. (Or so he claims. I suspect a troll.) Not A Catholic – merely Catholic. He and I had some words. They grew too numerous for a comments column…. so here we are again.

And how miserable does atheism make you? Choosing it is a bit like choosing to be fatherless in the world. Left to your own devices.

For someone claiming to be Atheist for forty years, his assumptions and questions are bewildering. He seems to imply that morality must be applied from outside. A moral framework must be accepted internally, even if it is supplied from the outside. I know “Good Catholics” who believe in divorce and remarriage, gay marriage, and priests being married – all ‘sins’ to the church. Atheism does not make people miserable. It frees them to enjoy the natural beauty of the world and the Universe, revel in the companionship of friends and family, and be proud of how much better they’ve made and left it all.

He seems to feel that he needs some kind of social and moral crutch. Most Atheists want to be left to their own devices. They have the strength of will and character to deal with life and reality on their own. Is he too stupid or lazy to formulate and apply his own moral code??

True Atheists simply do not see convincing evidence of the existence of God, or gods. They do not “choose” to be Atheist. Anyone who claims they do, or that someone else did, is mistaken and often an intentional liar.

Do you have children? Do you have a set of values? How do you pass them on? Do you even want to pass them on or do you want to just let the thousands of ancestors of yours who struggled to survive only for you to say, “eff it, my line is OUT”? (He wants me to continue to be Christian – and fruitful – simply to please my dead predecessors??!)

I have a set of values – Do unto others, as you would have others do unto you. – which is neither original, nor exclusive, to the Bible. Do the greatest good for the greatest number. I passed them on to my children, and now to our grandson – who received a small award in college for his assistance to others. I not only told them to aid and be kind to others. I showed them how, by doing it myself. From empirical observation, our practiced moral values are better than many ‘Good Christians.’

I certainly feel my/our moral values should be passed on. Some of my ancestors were deeply religious. Others were completely not, but I’m sure that all of them would agree and be proud of me and the good I do.

I hear you and agree with most of what you say, however, I don’t condemn all of Christianity because some people abuse it or make it look bad. But let me ask you this question, beyond those phrases like “do unto others” how do you guide someone to resolve complicated moral issues? Do you ever talk with your children about morals? Is that enough to lead a person through every moral quagmire he or she might face? Not in my view.

He doesn’t say why he feels that’s not enough. Perhaps I’m simplistic, but I do. Adultery is wrong – not necessarily a sin – but wrong. Her husband may beat her, or ignore her. That makes it more complicated, but that’s social, not moral. It’s still wrong. You wouldn’t want to be her husband, nor her to be your wife. You’re not doing unto others, nor the greatest good for the greatest number.

I grew up in an atheist household, and we had some discussion of morals but it was very infrequent. Until atheism offers me the discipline of continually working to be a good person, I decided I’m done with it. And given that atheists or secularists tend to not marry or have kids at nearly the rates of religious people, how do you expect your values to live on beyond a generation or two?

I don’t view life – or religion – as a contest to be won. I hope to influence my descendants, and society in general, by my example. I would not dare to attempt to impose my code on others. People who do that are called ISIS. I believe my opinion to be the best, but if it dies out after I do, that’s not my problem.

Unlike Religion, Atheism has no real structure. There is no Pope, no hierarchy, no Bible, no tenets, no dogma, no sin, and no handy rule-book with a ready-made list of acceptable actions. People have to work that out on their own. He makes no mention of belief in God, Jesus Christ, salvation, Heaven, or everlasting life. He just wants someone to hold his moral hand and lead him down the Holy Garden path. It’s like someone wanting to save the Earth from Global Warming, but buying a Hummer because it has cool wheels.

Hummer

Jim says

“The reason you returned to religion is self interest. That’s how it always is. Just because you failed to find a meaningful life outside of faith, you have joined the herd to find solace. I, and many like me, find complete satisfaction finding our own way in the world. You on the other hand, profess belief in something you don’t believe, to have community. That is hypocrisy and lacks integrity.

There is no meaning but what you make it. Searching for it inside of prearranged dogma is cheating yourself of possibilities. Spirituality comes in billions of options that are quite fulfilling outside the plug-and-play religions. It’s even true inside religion. Everyone just picks the parts they want to believe anyway. Your mind has now been hijacked by the herd.”

 

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27 thoughts on “Is Atheism A Bad Idea?

  1. Atheists think one should understand a thing before one believes. There are things you will never understand. But you believe. Science just imagines how the planets came about. They could be right or they could be wrong. Nothing is certain. Some things we must belief in faith.

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    • Archon's Den says:

      Most Atheists think that there should be a certain amount of compelling evidence before they ‘believe.’ I don’t understand how digital cameras work, but I believe they do because I know that there are scientists who use optics and electronics to make it happen.
      Science does not just imagine how planets formed. There are certain implacable laws. Mathematics and the Law of Universal Gravitational Attraction insist that even tiny particles of matter will eventually come together into globes. The Laws of Astrophysics state that, if the globes reach a certain mass, gravitation will cause fusion, and they will become stars.
      The Universe contains such laws, which (so far) are unchanging, and unchangeable. If a ‘God’ created a Universe with these laws for us to find and deal with, yet produced it in some supernatural fashion, then He’s a liar. 🙄 😯

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      • Hahahaha! We can talk of laws. How do we prove the laws. Scientists have believed things for years just for other so-called evidence to come and cancel the first one. “will eventually come together.” How do we prove this. We will not live forever to know if this is true or false. And what tells us that new findings will not cancel this so-called law some day. I think we must admit that the human mind is limited. There is a power that is more than us. We call him God. If we were all and all, we should determine aspects of our lives like birth, sex, death. Any way each one is free to believe what they like. For me, I believe in God.

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      • Archon's Den says:

        If I hold a pen above my desk, and release it, it falls toward the desk (and the center of the Earth) each and every time. The day that it falls UP I will consider looking for a God. 😕

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  2. Rivergirl says:

    I’ve been an atheist all my life. Even rebelled against Sunday school as a young child. I am happily married, morally sound and rarely miserable. I have nothing against religion and faith if it provides comfort and solace for those who need it. I do take issue with the church’s desire to eradicate free thinking and scientific fact for doctrine, dogma and the greatest story ever told. Story being the optimum word.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. David Davis says:

    An atheist becoming a Catholic–never thought of that one before.

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  4. jim- says:

    If you choose to believe, you have abandoned your integrity. If it is merely a choice, it has no substance

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    • Archon's Den says:

      This guy wasn’t too bad. Misguided and confused possibly, but I got the feeling that he was basically truthful. This week I encountered two Christian Apologist counter-arguments that left me aghast – and after 75 years of a full and interesting life, I am not easily shocked.
      Thanx for letting me use your comment as part of my post. I’m so glad that I asked for permission, and told you, when I used it. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  5. johnsonk51 says:

    “If you wish to strive for peace of soul and pleasure, then believe; if you wish to be a devotee of truth, then inquire.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

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  6. Sightsnbytes says:

    Eventually all atheists become Catholic, it happens the minute they realize their fate…then they pray away. Relax, we are a welcoming crowd.

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    • Archon's Den says:

      If it makes you happy to believe that, keep at it. In actual fact, No, it doesn’t! Aside from a few who panic at the last minute, like Emperor/Pope Constantine, most Atheists grudgingly face whatever fate, as the unbelievers they were.
      The wife’s sister, The Sister, was a missionary in Ecuador. She refused to give a $500 micro-loan to one woman, to buy a sewing machine that might have got her out of poverty, because the woman refused to leave a Protestant sect, and become a Catholic. That is not “Welcoming,” that is religious extortion. 😯 🙄

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      • Sightsnbytes says:

        This is one example. being a ‘sister’ does not make her a good person. plus she could have got the woman a hundred dollar jobbie at Walmart. I always tell my atheist friends (I have two) I will see them at the ‘Gate’

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  7. Sightsnbytes says:

    no stranger than a conservative becoming a liberal

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    • Archon's Den says:

      And I still hate Belinda Stronach. It just shows how some politicians favor opportunity over loyalty. I still think the Liberals got the dog.
      Winston Churchill crossed the floor, and changed parties, to ensure England defended itself against Hitler. After the war, he re-crossed the floor and went back to his original party, to ensure, what he felt, was the best recovery theme. Now THAT takes moxie. 🙂

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  8. My wife and I are Atheists. But we got married in an Anglican church because it was small, quaint and 100+ years old. We have three children named Random, Darwin and Theory. We baptized them catholic in case they choose religion. Over time, each of our children have proclaimed to be atheist as well- all while still respecting those who believe in various forms of “God”. They are all teenagers and follow exactly what you stated- “Do Unto Others…” Being kind doesn’t need to be exclusive to any one secular denomination.

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    • Archon's Den says:

      Good for you, and your children!
      What country were you married in?
      I wouldn’t have had them baptized, in case they never decided to accept religion, or could have decided to do so in a church of their own informed choice. By having them baptized Catholic, the Church now ‘owns’ them. Even if they want to become Baptist or Presbyterian, OFICIALLY they can not do so. 😯

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      • We are proudly Canadian. We also baptized our children for a selfish reason- because of the school system differences in our area. There is Public Schools, Choice Schools and Private Religion Based Schools. The public school system is mediocre, and offers a minimum education. We were deciding between schools that offered the best education- the local Catholic one had one of the highest GPAs besides the Fine Arts School that we ended up getting our kids into (after seven years on a waiting list). My wife and I wanted the best opportunities for our children, and in order to be considered for the private catholic school we had to baptize the kids. The things parents will do…

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      • Archon's Den says:

        I too am Canadian. I suspected such of you because of the ‘Anglican Church’ reference. They are not common in the US, and both Britain and Australia commonly refer to Church of England, or CoE.
        As long as the kids get a good education, and good jobs…. I see this happening locally. Protestant students are being accepted in Catholic schools. If enough parents get wise to this trick, the teacher/student ratio will deteriorate, and all schools will produce the same educational outcomes. 😳

        Liked by 1 person

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