Hello fellow non-believers!
I am new to TA but the question I pose is certainly not a fresh one: Can Atheists and Theists co-exist?
We all know that historically Theists and other Theists cannot co-exist peacefully. War and violence in the name of Religion has been widespread over the entirety of human existence, but it has to be said that civility between believers and non-believers in the modern age has been commonplace. Formal (mostly amicable) debates and the agreement on separation of church and state have somewhat proven this theory, right?
Do the majority of Atheists really strive for a world of empty churches, bible burning and the end of religion forever? Maybe some of us do, just as many Theists probably pray for the conversion of all Atheists to Theism.
What can we realistically hope to achieve as Atheists, and in your opinion is it possible to co-exist with the believers?
I'll leave you with some interesting quotes -
“The whole war between the atheist and the theist comes down to this: the atheist believes a 'what' created the universe; the theist believes a 'who' created the universe.”
- Criss Jami
"I'm noticing an exciting trend around the country: a resurgence of interest in Christian apologetics (the defense of the faith). This is a reaction to the current attacks on the essentials of Christianity that are coming from militant atheists, radical professors, and Internet gadflies."
- Lee Strobel
"I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world."
- Richard Dawkins
"Religion is part of the human make-up. It's also part of our cultural and intellectual history. Religion was our first attempt at literature, the texts, our first attempt at cosmology, making sense of where we are in the universe, our first attempt at health care, believing in faith healing, our first attempt at philosophy."
I understand from history and the UK gallows, that the purpose of the hood is to symbolise the act of killing as being carried out by the community, and not by an individual.
The identities of executioners has always been kept secret. In firing squads, one rifleman has a blank bullet so that no one can be absolutely certain who did and who did not kill. Even with the needle, there are two buttons, pushed by two different men, one leads to the lethal drugs, one doesn't.
In films of Jolly Olde England, executioners are often portrayed as hooded or masked - I suspect to prevent revenge by relatives of the guest of honor.
I've often wondered, if capital punishment is actually intended to deter future capital crimes, then why not make them more visible rather than carried out behind closed doors in front of a rather small audience of "witnesses"?
Less than a couple of centuries ago, they were quite public, but I believe that our realization that we can be so barbaric, not that different from the person we're executing, has caused us, in our shame, to hide it.
We delude ourselves by calling it a deterrent, as a means of justification, what it actually is, is revenege, pure and simple, and a way of permanently taking the offending individual off the planet.
It has the benefit of a zero recidivism rate.
That must have interesting connotations. Do you operate on a 'live and let live' basis, or does your wife express concerns for your immortal soul? I ask from interest only, and please don't respond if you feel the question is too personal :)
RE: "I have been married to a Theist for 40 years." - and verily happily so, from what I can tell by some of your earlier posts, Blaine, but I'll bet your wife has never gone shopping for His and Hers Heavenly Choir Robes from Angels 'r' Us, has she?
It sounds like you have a very happy relationship with a good woman, Blaine, and I wish you many MANY more happy years!
Ah so that's how you beat that particular sort of pressure. Make so they no longer WANT you to go.
I had this same reaction on a date once. The gal asked if I would like to go to church with her, I said yes. I arrived a little late, but she meet me at the front of the church. I noticed that someone was speaking in tounges! This was very hard for me to take, but I sat down with her, all the time trying very hard to hold a screaming giggle down. Sadly, it was a little too obvious....