I have had yet another debate sparked on my facebook account after posting a quote as my status. I have asked for advice and help on here in the past and have had great responses. I find I learn more by asking others for help and it allows us all to flex our intellectual muscles a bit. If anyone would once again like to help me formulate a good response to the following, I would much appreciate it.
Some background info: Neal, the gentleman who posted the response to the quote is an old friend and former employer. He used to run a Christian Summer Camp. He is a smart guy and a very caring individual. This is the first contact I have had with him since "coming out" as an atheist.
Without further adieu, the facebook convo:
Me: "An Atheist believes that a hospital should be
built instead of a church. An atheist believes that deed must be done
instead of prayer said. An atheist strives for involvement in life and
not escape into death. He wants disease conquered, poverty vanished, war
eliminated." - Madalyn Murray O'Hair, American activist (1919 - 1995)
Neal: Wow! I doubt that is
accurate. Atheism covers a broad range of values. To suggest that most
or even a significant percentage of atheists feel that way is wrong.
That was merely o'hair 's way of trying to get prayer out of schools.
To even suggest atheism as a system of "moral" guidance is A
While one can always draw ... examples to pretty much demonstrate anything you want, it is my choice to follow guidelines that were laid out
roughly 2,000 years ago to serve as a moral compass for my life. A
belief structure that is essentially "anything goes" does not cut it for
me. Imagine where our country would be if not for being founded on
Christian principals. Sure, there's been things done in the name of the
church that were hurtful, wrong and damaging. But you need to look at
the good that's been done as well to see the big picture. All of the
social services, health/welfare, volunteerism, education and much of
what we are as a country can find it's roots in the founding father's
Go to a country where there was no moral compass that
guided how their government began and compare. You'll have a rude
Yes there's shortfalls. The obligation one who
critizes must assume is the obligation to show what to do to make it
Yeager: Or look at medieval Europe where the church
Charles: There's nothing wrong with foregoing metaphysics in favor of
appreciating every last moment, of being mindful of your life and living
it to the fullest extent and doing as much good as possible. I believe
the above quote reflects that.
Neal: The quote is just that. . . A
quote. Not a definition of atheisim. And everyone has to choose for
themselves what they hold to be true and right. That is what I mean by
a moral compass - the values that you as a person consider important.
Has nothing to do with others, everything to do with you individually.
The values our country was ... founded upon were based on the founding
fathers faith and Christian values.