I don't know where to begin with this.

clementw
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I don't know where to begin with this.

I ran across this on an email list while at work.

Its from the Northwest Arkansas Times.

http://www.nwarktimes.com/nwat/Editorial/57451

 

There is so much wrong I don't know where to begin. It just stuns my someone can be so insulated from reality.

 

 

I'll have time to look at it more when I get home in the morning.

 

Story below.

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Not long ago the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette published an interesting article entitled “ Passionate Atheists. ” This caught my attention immediately.

My first thought was, “ How do you get passionate about nothing ? ” If no God exists, what is there to get passionate about ? Why do professed atheists find it necessary to convert other people to their unbelief, since there is nothing of substance there to convince them of ?

My second thought was, “ Isn’t this statement, passionate atheists, close to being an oxymoron ?”

I have been in the ministry many years, and in every one of them the subject of atheism has reared its head. However, periodically (usually about every decade ) there is a push to convince people that there is no God. In the United States, as it has become more liberal in theology, more people have, as the article stated, “ come out of the closet” and admitted their unbelief, much in the same way as homosexuals have admitted their sexual preferences.

Both of these are symbols of the moral and spiritual decline of a nation, and this is happening in the United States with disturbing rapidity.

Contrary to the apparent belief of atheists, their nonbelief is not a danger to Christianity, nor to individual Christians. Nor does it change the existence of God. It does pose dangers, however, and the dangers are these:

The first danger is the unbeliever himself. He is left with no god but himself, no wisdom but his own (except the wisdom of men ) and no hope of a life beyond this one. Worst of all, he is in danger of facing an eternity devoid of the God he denied. In short, he wanted it that way, and that is the way he got it. A solemn and sad situation.

The second danger is that the atheist may be able to persuade others (I knew of one situation like this where an older man concentrated on young people ) that his unbelief is really true. This might consign those he persuaded to the same fate that is in store for him.

The third danger lies in what kind of person the atheist may become when he becomes his own god. If he does not recognize God, he may not recognize any of the restraints that a belief in God generates. Thus, without restraint, he may become a pedophile, a murderer, a thief, or any other kind of a deviant you can think of. Or he might just become one who lives inward, with no concern for the people or things around him. There are tragic examples of such people.

In the long years of being a minister I think I have known no more than two dozen people who loudly declared that there is no God. I did not believe in any of them. I have found that the man who so professes may be just “ whistling past the graveyard. ” In short, because of the life he has lived, he may just be hoping against hope that there is no God to whom he might someday have to answer.

I was not raised in a “ church-going” family, yet the name of God was revered in our home. My parents never used the name of God in vain, nor any of the by-words popular in those days. So I always believed in a God; I just wanted him to leave me alone and let me live my life the way I wanted to. In fact, at an early age I had planned my life, and no god was included in it.

However, my father died of a heart attack when he was 43, and I was 18. I had just returned home after spending a year-and-a-half in a tuberculosis sanitarium in Colorado Springs. When my father died he left my mother and me with six little brothers and sisters to raise.

And, though I did not know God, I became terribly angry with him. In the “ old days” nearly everything was ascribed to God. If there was a tragedy in the home, old preachers would declare that it was “ God’s will. ” I came to hate that expression, and have refused to use it throughout my ministry, as it related to things I just could not understand. I look askance at any preacher who always seems to know what “ the will of God is. ”

Why are atheists coming out of the “ closet” now ? Simple. The country has become so secularized, and has adopted an “ anything goes” attitude, so deviants of any nature now feel it is safe to declare themselves. Also, led by many prominent universities, it has now become “ politically correct” for people to try to be “ different. ” Factually, it does not brand people as intellectual or brave, but contemptuous of centuries of solid beliefs and traditions.

In the Bible, few people are so chastised as are avowed atheists. In Proverbs 1: 7 are these words: “ The fear (awe ) of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. ”

So, unless the avowed atheist is prepared to account for the universe, for man in all of his complexities, and life in general, he certainly is not prepared to declare that “ there is no God. ”

He is revealed, not as an intellectual, but as a gadfly with no answers to anything. It is even more plain in Psalms 14: 1: “ The fool has said in his heart, there is no God. ”

Ted Turner once said, in speaking of the Lord, “ I do not need anyone to die for me. ” Well, perhaps he doesn’t know all of the truth. Personally, I need a Savior, and I am happy I found out the truth as young as I did. The sad thing about the atheist is that he may find out the truth after it is too late.

So please don’t feel sorry for those of us who believe in God, who build churches, attend churches, send missionaries, and do every kind of charitable work known to man. Even if we were wrong in all this, we would still be better off than the atheist. At least we would have lived lives that helped us, and more importantly, helped others.

I know that most atheists are probably not bad people. But they are sadly misguided in their thinking, and in their hearts many of them probably know it. One should not live his life as a fool when he can live it as a child of God, and have the promise of everlasting life.

John Terry of Siloam Springs is an economist, minister and veteran.


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clementw wrote:

clementw wrote:

 

In the Bible, few people are so chastised as are avowed atheists. In Proverbs 1: 7 are these words: “ The fear (awe ) of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. ”

 

Ironically, I believe the Romans once said in regard to the Christians, "AWAY WITH THESE ATHEISTS!"

But God forbid these preachy fundies should judge themselves with the same lense. No, seriously. I think God actually forbids it.

 

*yawn*

 

Just another case of a theist bitching about how we're just getting our kicks by being rebellious and that we'd understand if we just "opened our hearts to God" and so on. Zero attempts to validate the religion, 100% preaching to the choir.

 

I'm starting to get a full taste of why people sometimes get snippy in debates around here. Same old crap over and over and over again.

A place common to all will be maintained by none. A religion common to all is perhaps not much different.


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I think that Myers made a

I think that Myers made a good point, in that the things that athiests are passionate about are actually real, whether that's the people in their lives, or their work, or whatver.

It's the religious people who are passionate about something that doesn't exist.


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Standard

Its guys like this, their ignorance and hatred, that make me a passionate atheist.


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What do you expect from

What do you expect from somone who has been indoctrinated that a fictional super hero likes them and wants them to demonize those who do not hold a belief in that fiction?

Insted of introspection and the braveness to do what Jefferson said, "Question with boldness", the theist will seek to demonize that which they are unfamilure with. This artical shows complete insecurity and ignorance to what an atheist is.

We are people first and formost. People with diverse ideas and backgrounds with a wide range of political and global views. We are from all social and economic backgrounds as well from different ethnic roots.

What we do have in common is positive. We value education. We value family and friends. We value reason and the braveness to question without fear of where the answers may lead us. We value intelectual honesty to onself. We value individuality and freedom. We value critical thinking.

This person sees us as negitive, not because we all are, but because it is easyer for them to attack us and demonize us than it is to examine the claims they have been sold. It simply amounts to the fear of one's own ego being bruzed when reality faces them.

To them I admit I am angry, but not for negitive reasons. It takes anger sometimes to provide motivation to strive for positive change. Not many people would find it reasonable or rational to put the idea of " |Thor making lightning||" on equal footing with the reality of positive and negitive charges in the atmosphere being the cause.

Yet people who know what a zygote is still insist that a disimbodied being somehow magically got a 9-14 year old girl pregnant who became the super hero of humanity. Jefferson rightly catigorized this as myth being in the same class as Minirva being born out of the brain of Jupiter.

Yes we are agry and we are passionate, but we are not negitive. We are positive that WE as a species live in a wonderfull age of technology and medicine and communication, that we can overcome adversity.

It is quite the converse with theism. Theism, especially the 3 major abrahamic labels are inherantly incompatable with each other. It takes a pesimistic view that cohabitation is based on one sky daddy dominating like a dictator the entire species where outsiders are thrown away like garbage if they dont submit. It takes a pessimistic view like a soap opra that drama in the form of a glorious finall orgy of violence that the "Chosen people"(incert label here) will win the day and the outsiders will be slaughtered with fervant glee.

I want to be optomistic that humanity can, if it really wants to, end the old tribalism. We as a species CAN cohabitate, without seeking theocracy or facism. I think that starts with the veiw that the days of playing "capture the flag" and having chest pounding be replaced with logic, reason, critical thought and debate.

It starts with the view that forcably ending one group or one religion is replaced with knowing that 6 billion people will never agree all the time.

Make no mistake. I do want to see the end of religion. But not the way theists wrongly accuse atheists of wanting. We are positive that our position stands on it's own merit and doesnt need special rights or protection from government or favortism either. I am positive that when people review their beliefs without fear they can excape the bondages of myth.

I am positive for the same reason that people no longer litterally believe that Apollo litterally pulled the sun across the sky with a chariot, that so too, can people let go of believing that human flesh can survive rigor mortis.

I am positive that once you stare into your dark closet at night long enough, what you once thought was a monster, merely turned out to be a shaddow. I am positive that people CAN if they really want to, get over the fear of questioning things they have held close.

If something is worth believing, as the axiom goes, it should withstand unbias objective scrutiny, and if shown an error I am positive that one is better off discarding it.

We once as a species had humans believing that the heart did the thinking. It was once taboo for people to open up the human body AT ALL, and that was based on dogmatic superstition. It was only because of fearless people who saught answers, that the bondages of superstition were broken and advancements in humanity took place.

I know we as a species, have it within us to improve. So to this person who wrote this I CHALLENG YOU. Do you have it within you? Are you brave in challenging yourself? Do you have what it takes to be more than a club |Cheerleader?

Yes, I am angry, but not at your fictional god. I am angry at people like you using such a low standerd(if you want to call it that) of myth to mesure reality. I think you can do better. I just think you are to pesimistic and insecure and cling to your myth out of fear of being wrong.

Lose your fear and I am positive you can eventually understand that we are not negitive, but positive people who are out to make a positive change in society. We want to see the day when teliscopes, not superman, are the set norm. We want to see the day when microscopes, not Zues, are what people defend and teach universally. We want to see the day when rulers, not Ouiji boards, are what children are interested in.

We want to see the day when "warriors for Christ" has a tombstone alongside the word |"Jihad|". We want to see a day when at a minimum, it is no longer acceptable or tollerable to claim a nation or goverment in the name of Allah, Yahwey or Jesus, but insted is replaced with individuality, personal responsibility, freedom balanced with critical thought.

It is a given fact that the world is not going to bow to my whims or fancies. But it is time that all humans face that insted of tribalism and the negitive holesale of fear of "outsiders|". I dont expect the world to change via force. But I am positive that we do not have to make that pathetic "end times" orgy of violence a reality. I am positive we as a species can avoid that blundering stupidity.

So it has taken my anger to be passionate enough and brave enough to tell my fellow human that they CAN DO BETTER than petty tribalism. I am positive that we CAN give up on myth just like we have given up on Thor and Isis.

You accuse me of being passionate and I agree. I am, because I see the potential goodness in humanity sqandered on hocus pocus. You accuse me of being angry and I agree. Because far too many people dont care about the totallity of the species and would rather commit genocide over some pathetic idea that they will be shown favortism by daddy.

I am positve that we can excape, as a speicies, this rush to driving off the cliff. We have it within us to understand that we all want to be free. We all want to be individuals, we all value loved ones and friends. We all value the basics of food and shelter and a means of survival.

We have it within us to excape the bondages of the past. It is not I that is pesimistic, quite the contrary. It is because of my anger and passion that I see the good potiential in humanity.

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


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Hey

You should send this into that newspaper the article was pulled from. Smiling


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Fish wrote: I think that

Fish wrote:

I think that Myers made a good point, in that the things that athiests are passionate about are actually real, whether that's the people in their lives, or their work, or whatver.

It's the religious people who are passionate about something that doesn't exist.

Too bad they are passionate about nothing. Wouldn't it be great if they were passionate about ending world hunger?

Zombie wrote:
Its guys like this, their ignorance and hatred, that make me a passionate atheist.
Exactly. 

Nero(in response to a Youth pastor) wrote:

You are afraid and should be thus.  We look to eradicate your god from everything but history books.  We bring rationality and clear thought to those who choose lives of ignorance.  We are the blazing, incandescent brand that will leave an "A" so livid, so scarlet on your mind that you will not go an hour without reflecting on reality.


tr1nity
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Theist critique

I'm a Theist with a critique on both major positions offered in this forum:

From the article:

My first thought was, " How do you get passionate about nothing ? " If no God exists, what is there to get passionate about ?

Atheist response from forum:

Response 1:

I want to be optomistic that humanity can, if it really wants to, end the old tribalism.

[BECAUSE] We as a species CAN cohabitate, without seeking theocracy or facism.

[HOW WE ACCOMPLISH THIS] that starts with the veiw that the days of playing "capture the flag" and having chest pounding be replaced with logic, reason, critical thought and debate.

[WHERE TO BEGIN] It starts with the view that forcably ending one group or one religion is replaced with knowing that 6 billion people will never agree all the time.

My comment:

Some tribalistic ideologies are bad.... like for instance sacrificing your best and brightest to help the sun rise..... or using finite resources to build large temples and or idols to the point of starving out the populace... or basing your entire tribal system on the worship of a particular animal because of the food it provides to such an extent that as the animal moves closer to extinction so do your people...These are bad....

In fact I would argue accepting anything less than the truth as truth cannot be good, which narrows the field a bit to that which is truly good. That which is good is not vaugue nor is it mysterious or subject to opinion. An idea that is opposed to good is bad a priori. Good cannot tolerate bad and remain good. Those charitable to barbarians become barbarians to the charitable. The struggle of good verses evil will not just go away because we DECIDE to agree to disagree.

I don't know how bad a theocracy really is... after all the very founders of our country came from centuries of theocratic social programming. Some pretty great ideas came out of their heads. Imagine our leaders today being in a position to create a country from scratch...constitution, bill of rights, ect.... without a model from history to create it, what manner of society do you think they would create... I personally shudder at the thought.

Now fascism? hmmm interesting that a humanist would be so afraid of the ultimate humanistic government. I mean order and the collective good... harmony through oppression, work makes you free! Order is the only way to peace. The individual is the state and the state is the individual. mmmm juicy.

That's one good way of getting rid of this tribalism business your talking about.

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tr1nity
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Theist critique

Logic, reason and critical thought will always be driven by the will of the man or woman performing these actions. The purity of their ideal has been and will continue to be muddied by individual desire. Don't you know that? They will logically decide to get what they want, the will reasonably get it and they will critically think of ways to do it again.

Response 2:

We want to see a day when at a minimum, it is no longer acceptable or tollerable to claim a nation or goverment in the name of Allah, Yahwey or Jesus

[BECAUSE IT MUST] insted [BE] replaced with individuality, personal responsibility, freedom balanced with critical thought.

My comment:

There's that individuality thing again. How do you tolerate the individual that is intolerant? You think removing God has anything at all to do with this? See good verses evil comment above.

Personal responsibility? If you teach your brother that poison is good and he eats it and dies are you responsible? Are you your brothers keeper...or not?

Freedom is self balancing... you are free to jump off a cliff, but that kills you. You are free to teach slavery then become ensalved losing your freedom. You are free to build a society that will blow apart at a slight shift in circumstance, but when it blows the freedom it allowed blows with it.

Individuality and freedom are entertwined with personal responsibility. This is not something new to be achieved but an integral part of the nature of our reality. This fact leads me to believe that this individuality thing you keep mentioning is really code for something else entirely. Something inside you that just wants to come out.

I would say that you should lay some of that critical thought on that individuality freedom you want so badly and determine the results that you will indeed be personally responsible for.

Response 3:

I dont expect the world to change via force. But I am positive that we do not have to make that pathetic "end times" orgy of violence a reality. I am positive we as a species can avoid that blundering stupidity.

My comment:

And I am positive that it is as inevitable as the end of this sentence. Removing God will do nothing but expedite its fruition.

Response 4:

So it has taken my anger to be passionate enough and brave enough to tell my fellow human that they CAN DO BETTER than petty tribalism. I am positive that we CAN give up on myth just like we have given up on Thor and Isis.

My comment:

Giving up on the spirit of love and all its demands that it lays at our doorstep will never bring good things to us or our children. Giving up on good will leave nothing but tears.

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tr1nity
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FROM ARTICLE: My second

FROM ARTICLE:

My second thought was, " Isn’t this statement, passionate atheists, close to being an oxymoron ?"

My comment:

Response from article unnecessary as this assertion is based on the flawed presentation of the first question. The author assumes no god equals no thing and as passion and no thing are unable to co-exist at the same time in the same context (passion is a thing) then it would be an oxymoron. However as the premise is flawed then so to is the authors second thought. An intentional straw man? Perhaps... As a theist (born again Christian saved by grace through faith) I believe this is not intentional but merely one of the many cultural crunch points that separate atheists from many theists. Not being able to imagine a world without God and God being the center of the believers passion makes it difficult for finite man to see passion existing in one that does not know God. This is a manifestation of our sin nature. The inability to see that unbelievers were made by God too with all the rights and priveledges that grace affords them.

FROM ARTICLE:

more people have, as the article stated, " come out of the closet" and admitted their unbelief, much in the same way as homosexuals have admitted their sexual preferences.

[BECAUSE] of the moral and spiritual decline of a nation

[AND BECAUSE] The country has become so secularized, and has adopted an " anything goes" attitude,

My comment:

I believe its rather arrogant to assume that the sin we see today is somehow worse than the sins of yesterday. This is an internal Christian argument and really has nothing to do with unbelievers. There are some Christians that believe discipiling and moralizing society are one in the same and furthermor are the obligations of

the church. These christians when they then see abject failure even among their elect feel threatened, when in fact they should not.

FROM ARTICLE:

The first danger is the unbeliever himself. He is left with no god but himself, no wisdom but his own (except the wisdom of men ) and no hope of a life beyond this one.

My comment:

Well for one an atheist isn't going to see a problem with being his own god, certainly not a danger of any kind. I think he qualifies why this is a danger with his following 2 points. Poorly written creating an emotional build up of problems. Misassociation... not enough technical writing class..who knows....?

No wisdom....If there is a God then He's right....God doesn't give His wisdom to those that don't want it. You atheists got a problem with that?

No hope... there again.... atheists certainly don't have hope of alife beyond this one do they? Do you?

FROM ARTICLE:

If he does not recognize God, he may not recognize any of the restraints that a belief in God generates.

This is another internal christian debate. Is it the rational choice to believe that results in creating recognition of the nature of God or is it the living spirit of God that woo's us into the boundries of His will? That woo's us to belief in the first place? I think scripture is clear which of these is correct, but tell the author that. Not to say anything directly against this author, but there are more and more unbelievers graduating seminary every year that actually make it to podiums with their message. Pretty amazing stuff actually.

Just cause somebody takes a stand and speaks out against atheism doesn't mean that they are among the elect. Just an FYI.

FROM ARTICLE:

At least we would have lived lives that helped us, and more importantly, helped others.

My comment:

That all depends on what you consider helping is actually. I mean you give a man a fish he eats that meal and starves to death a week or so later. Did you help him?

Now you teach him to fish....now you're on to something.....but he still dies.. eventually... did you help him?

Hmmm? I wonder.

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