"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" -Douglas Adams

I guess that's really the point, isn't it?  Differing worldviews.  Christians often ask, "How can an atheist look at the sky or a newborn baby, and not believe in God?" Atheists ask the opposite question about Christians.  I remember a woman who considered herself a Christian saying to me, "Where do atheists think all the blessings come from?"  Ah, the blessings!  Christians can't simply be content with something good happening...it's got to be a blessing.  Thus the recent trend of some people substituting "Have a blessed day" for "Have a nice day."  It's apparently not enough to just wish someone a day that pleases them, or isn't horrible; they've got to be reminded of the blessings.

Meanwhile, a lot of atheists must wonder why Christians can't simply be content with appreciating the beauty of nature or a lovely day they're having, without bringing god into the mix.  After all, when a Christian says that a pretty blue sky confirms their faith in god, aren't they really just saying, "I really like blues skies"?  That's the goofy thing about religious beliefs.  For the believer, there's just got to be a creator who made all this stuff, and since the only kind of sentient being we can seem to come up with is a human, we give it super powers.  God is an omnipotent person, who has super powers, but other than that, is pretty much like us: he demands attention, he gets angry, he likes to make rules, etc. Differing worldviews.

The scary part of all of this is, you don't really have a lot of atheists demanding that their non-belief in god(s) lead to a bunch of legislation to curb others' rights; Christians, on the other hand, regularly demand that lawmakers respect their "values." Christianity, more than just about any other religion (except perhaps Islam), expects other people, no matter what they believe or don't believe, to live according to the values their god has decreed.  So when those worldviews collide, there's not usually an agreement to live and let live.  If there were, we wouldn't have so many problems about these differing worldviews.  We could just say, "Oh, you believe in the Invisible Pink Unicorn?  How's that working out for you?" And be done with it.  Oh, if only...

Views: 74

Comment by James Cox on February 11, 2014 at 4:25pm

I like blue skies to!

Comment by Dr. Bob on February 12, 2014 at 11:30am

The scary part of all of this is, you don't really have a lot of atheists demanding that their non-belief in god(s) lead to a bunch of legislation to curb others' rights.

I think this, too, is a matter of perspective.

From the point of view of many Christians, the effort by atheists to curb religious expression in public forums is an attack on their rights.  Whether it's prayer in the public schools that they pay for, or the Ten Commandments on the lawn of the city hall they support, or the Affordable Care Act trying to mandate paying for health care procedures that they are opposed to on ethical grounds.

Of course, in other nations we have seen atheist governments ban and engage in active campaigns of repression against religious people.  Take modern China as an example.

Christians, on the other hand, regularly demand that lawmakers respect their "values." Christianity, more than just about any other religion (except perhaps Islam), expects other people, no matter what they believe or don't believe, to live according to the values their god has decreed.

The nature of monotheism is that it posits universal ethics.  That is entirely correct.  Whether it's a prohibition on theft or murder, or an admonition to protect the weak and the poor, the belief is that the values are universal.   Ancient Greece, you may have been engaging in systemic pedophilia for centuries, but it's wrong and should be stopped.   Arabia you may have engaged in polygamous marriage to effectively repress women, but it's wrong and should be stopped.

This is uncomfortable and annoying if you are a Greek pederast.  Why don't they live and let live?

At the same time, it can also lead to the error of being stupid and prideful, or starting to nitpick or legislate every little thing.  While there are some things like theft and murder that might also be subject to sanctions by the state, not everything falls into that category, and it's wrong to think it should.  Lots of things fall into the realm where only example or encouragement are appropriate; lots of other things fall into the category of "Meh.  Who am I to judge?"

Comment

You need to be a member of Think Atheist to add comments!

Join Think Atheist

  

Forum

FROM THE WORD OF GOD IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

Started by Stephen Gunn in Small Talk. Last reply by Stephen Gunn 3 hours ago. 10 Replies

It happened

Started by Belle Rose in Atheist Parenting. Last reply by Emperor Milos 3 hours ago. 77 Replies

Lobby

Started by Glen L in Small Talk. Last reply by captain kingsway 7 hours ago. 8 Replies

Disorders of Sex Development

Started by ɐuɐz ǝllǝıuɐp in Small Talk. Last reply by ɐuɐz ǝllǝıuɐp 17 hours ago. 13 Replies

Events

Blog Posts

Labels

Posted by Quincy Maxwell on July 20, 2014 at 9:37pm 19 Comments

Services we love

We are in love with our Amazon

Book Store!

Gadget Nerd? Check out Giz Gad!

Advertise with ThinkAtheist.com

In need a of a professional web site? Check out the good folks at Clear Space Media

© 2014   Created by Dan.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service