Jeanne wrote …
“Religion does require somethings however, and atheism doesn’t have any of them. No rules, no priests, no ritual, no objects of worship, no rites of passage, no demands of complience, no places of worship, no acts of contrition, no afterlife, no communion with the supernatural. Atheists only agree on one thing and that is that they do not believe in any deity.”
No rules or compliance? Does Atheism advocate Anarchy? No contrition? Does that mean no conscience? I picture “rites of passage” as a culture thing.
I don’t know, Jeanne, that I knew you were not a liberal but I did think by your attitude and what you write that you were conservative. However, during this last presidential election (2004)I became accutley aware that Liberalism was less a politic and more a religion, and yes, they identify with candidates it deity kinds of ways. I also noticed that many Liberals identified with Atheism or causes that have been identified with Atheism, something of a contradiction. I do disagree with you that politic does not try to create human deities. I assure you that too do not elevate G.W.Bush to Deity.
Jeanne wrote of herself …
“I try very hard to walk an honorable path.”
You do that well, Jeanne. I admire and respect you for that. However, as I read your words describing the accomplishments of men while denying God I do see a vulnerability to accepting human and very mortal deity. You haven’t gotten there yet but the potential is there. Human history, ancient and recent, provides examples of people who actually thought they were some kind of god and I strongly suspect that they thought of themselves as having some kind of immortality. It’s a puzzler for me. I can’t imagine them doing some of the things they did if they acknowledged that they would one day die. They surely didn’t do it for the benefit of humanity or civiliation. Recent examples are Hitler, Stalin and Saddam Hussein and perhaps Osama bin Laden as well. It boggles my mind.
I’m not making a case for religion or deity, am I.
Maybe I am. A lot depends upon WHO we think God is and WHAT we think God hopes for us.
This is tough. I have a perception of God. Mostly it is founded on my Christian beliefs. Very little of it is founded upon what the Bible describes of man’s interaction with their ancient perceptions of God. A great deal of it is founded upon the sense I’m able to make out of human history and human behaviors. Human choice is in there big-time. One of the neatest questions I’ve ever asked of myself is, “Why would God give people choice?” Tryin gto answer that question has taught me more about God than anything else.
I’m struggling for ways to phrase this question for a non-believer. If you, as a people, were to design one god with domain over all humanity, what would be good attributes for that god (WHO?) and what would that god hope for both humanity and all of creation (WHAT?)
I suppose the next question would be, “why are men able to accomplish hopes for future than an real or imagined deity?”