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View Diary: What An Atheist Reveres (61 comments)

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  •  It is also possible (10+ / 0-)

    to be an atheist, to revere many aspects of both the human and the natural world and NOT to denigrate the values and or faith of people who do have a theist faith.

    While I find myself agreeing with the content of your post; those parts resonate, I'm troubled by the tone -- it does not resonate at all.  My experience of being a person without a faith who reveres many things, is that I don't find the denigration of someone's faith to be a particularly reverent attitude.

    There are many models of how to be an atheist, just as there are many models of how to be a person of faith.  I hope between the two of us, we've offered at least two.

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 03:58:51 AM PST

    •  Could you be more specific... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GreenPA, Troubadour

      about which parts of this diary are denigrating the values or faith of theists?

      •  for starters: (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Marko the Werelynx, Troubadour
        Foolish people who coincidentally (heh) have religious beliefs
        not necessarily reverence of things that don't exist, dreamed up in the fevered imaginations of people long dead
        There is more living truth below than in any "holy" book:
        While I am an atheist as well, I really don't see a need for such denigrating language. I don't personally believe in a god or gods or that the "holy books" are anything more than man's projected desires passing off as being of divine origin, but i find his tone and language defensive and unnecessarily provocative.
        •  Yep. (0+ / 0-)

          I agree.

          Nothing makes me want to hide my atheism under a rock more than the "better-than-thou" atheists.

          I tore up my membership card ages ago.

          It's one thing to show, by example, that it is quite possible to lead a moral and charitable life without God and it is quite another thing to flaunt one's beliefs as superior and belittle others for having inferior beliefs.

          It's like a pathetic schoolyard bully puffing himself up by pushing someone else down.

          “The right of the people peaceably to assemble, to consult for the common good, and to petition the government, or any department thereof, shall never be abridged.”

          by Marko the Werelynx on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 10:47:16 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Your first citation is out of context. (0+ / 0-)
          Foolish people who coincidentally (heh) have religious beliefs often mistake atheism for nihilism
          Where I would quibble with Troubadour is "who coincidentally (heh) have religious beliefs" is a non-restrictive clause that should be surrounded by commas.  Clearly that sentence does not read that people with religious beliefs are foolish, but that foolish people often mistake atheism for nihilism.  The non-restrictive clause adds that those foolish people have religious beliefs.  I don't know if I'd agree that that is necessarily so, but it is almost certainly generally so.

          Your second citation is also out of context.

          We can be full of reverence.  Just not necessarily reverence of things that don't exist, dreamed up in the fevered imaginations of people long dead.
          Troubadour is talking about what atheists revere.  I know that some theists will take exception to "things that don't exist", but not believing those things exist is kind of central to being an atheist.  Objecting to that language speaks more of the intolerance of theists than of atheists.

          As for "fevered imaginations", religious mythology must come from somewhere.  Given that atheists do not believe it is the inspired word of any god, it is reasonable to state that it comes from the imagination of men.  Again, objecting to that is objecting to atheism.  The only thing remaining that could reasonably be interpreted as denigrating is the word "fevered".  

          Fevered could mean delusional or it could mean at a heightened pace.  You'd have to ask Troubadour what he meant by that. But even if he meant delusional, I don't really see how that denigrates religion.  If it is imagined, it is either the product of delusion, a deliberate attempt to deceive, or it was written as fiction and adopted as true by the gullible.  I don't know which of those is not going to be offensive to believers.  Again, the atheist position is offensive to the believer.  A theist tolerant of atheists should be able to accept that position even if they find it offensive.  

          In your third citation I see nothing at all that could be interpreted as denigrating.  The atheist's position is that holy books needn't be considered either truth, or holy.  I see no justification for your criticism of this sentence.

          I think it has become fashionable to have these sorts of knee-jerk reactions to almost anything atheists say or write that isn't overtly complimentary to religion.  Given that atheism is essentially the negation of religion, that is not always going to be the case.  Anyone truly interested in respecting everyone's beliefs should recognize that.

          •  The "(heh)" after "coincidentally" (0+ / 0-)

            is a very clear statement that foolishness and religious beliefs go together, and that the combination is not coincidental at all.

            I don't see any other way to read that.

            •  Of course it is not coincidental. (0+ / 0-)

              There is an assumption there that atheists would not be prone to mistake atheism for nihilism.  That leaves theists, though it could be argued that theists and people who "have religious beliefs" are somewhat different subsets of individuals.

              Perhaps you can't see any other way to read it because you own prejudices cause you to read in the most negative of lights.

              •  If that were the intent (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Troubadour

                then the "coincidentally (heh)" would be applied to religious people mistaking atheism for nihilism, not to foolish people having religious beliefs.  Read the sentence again; it doesn't match your interpretation.

                Personally, I've been religious my entire life and it's always been obvious to me that atheism and nihilism are entirely unrelated.

    •  There is a big difference (0+ / 0-)

      between revering a lie as the truth and revering something because it's beautiful.

      Pour yourself into the future.

      by Troubadour on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 10:53:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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