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July 02, 2013

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Atheism by definition is a negative view. If there were no theism, there would be no atheism.

This monument was a second choice. Read the article.

Put your crosses and your 10 commandment blocks of stone in your own yards or in your churchyards instead of trying to claim courthouses and courthouse grounds with them and we will do the same. As it is, we have no choice.

It doesn't matter really, but: If there were no theism, there would be only atheism.

Isn't a monument to atheism inherently a bit disingenuous? I mean, how do you monumentalize a belief in the absence of something...I guess unless they were to create some kind of space with "nothing" there? Or maybe just some kind of statue of a human (since atheism is really worship of self)?

As to the inscription, this part really puzzles me:

"An atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death."

Not an across the board trend, but we see a lot of atheists throughout history that failed in that "striving" (because it's a futile effort from the get go without God's grace), figured out it was futile, but still stubbornly refused to acknowledge God, and then yearned for escape into death and sank into depression and committed suicide, thinking that would relieve their suffering. Unfortunately, I'm sorry to say they are suffering at present more than they ever could have imagined, and it's permanent.

Anyway, something I just shake my head at, sigh, and ask "How long, O Lord?"

Anyway, something I just shake my head at, sigh, and ask "How long, O Lord?"

To which I can answer my own question with Psalm 92:7-9:

that though the wicked sprout like grass
and all evildoers flourish,
they are doomed to destruction forever;
but you, O Lord, are on high forever.
For behold, your enemies, O Lord,
for behold, your enemies shall perish;
all evildoers shall be scattered.
Isn't a monument to atheism inherently a bit disingenuous?

It's not really a monument to atheism.

It's a statement: If you keep putting your 10 commandment rocks in the courthouses and keep refusing to take them down, then we'll keep putting up 'atheist monuments' beside them. There are 50 more funded.

Maybe it's a bad strategy for Christians to have their monuments next to atheist monuments. This suggests to the public that they have a choice and they'd be free to choose one or the other. Maybe this is worse for Christianity than the status quo where few people even realize there are atheists out there.

Better to have no monuments on government property than to give equal time to atheists. After all, the atheists could never afford to build dozens of their "churches" in every town. They can never compete with Christianity on that playing field.

An atheist believes...

You can finish that sentence a billion different ways.

"It's a statement: If you keep putting your 10 commandment rocks in the courthouses and keep refusing to take them down, then we'll keep putting up 'atheist monuments' beside them. There are 50 more funded."

I wonder how many of these 10 commandment rocks were put up at the time of the courthouse(s) construction. It'd be very natural to have the 10 commandments on a courthouse since there'd be no courthouse if there were no 10 commandments-or to be generous-some moral law that has staying power based on a transcendent law giver's code.

Atheistic belief cannot lay hold of law [of any kind] and expect to justify it such that all men are compelled to obey. This worldview adherents expose themselves to ridicule anytime they do something like this [as though there is meaning in it]...this used to be obvious to most.

Brad B, you really lay it out clearly. Evangelical Christians are trying to compel all men to obey their rules, using the U.S. government as an enforcer. So much for freedom and diversity.

You write: "There'd be no courthouse if there were no 10 commandments."

Again, I admire how clearly and uncompromisingly you state the activist Christian platform. The battle lines are clearly drawn.

Hi John Moore, which of the 10 commandments do you see Evangelical Christians trying to enforce "using the U.S. government"? For your convenience, I'll give a quick list-my own words
1You shall have no god before me.
2You shall make and image or worship things made.
3Dont take the Lords name in vain.
4Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.
5Honor you father and mother.
6Shall not murder.
7Shall not steal.
8Shall not commit adultry.
9Shall not lie or bear false testimony.
10Shall not covet.

1-4 Give me a break...that goes for 5 also.
6,7,8,9....do you have a problem with these?
10, never heard of a Christian trying to enforce sins of the mind or heart...Liberals on the other hand seem to be able to detect "hate" and have "used the U.S. government as an enforcer".

The real issue isn't the above for you J.M., please justify a law for me...any law by appealing to atheist worldview.

You yourself only used the 10 commandments as an example of a "moral law ... based on a transcendent law giver's code." That's the key question - whether law should come from God or from our practical human reason.

Laws should help promote our material well-being. Actually we all agree on that - both Christians and atheists want material well-being. It's just that Christians want more!

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness

If Atheist had founded this country - would christian monuments be allowed on government grounds? If we can look to history for an answer it doesn't seem so.
I am glad our fore fathers believe in something greater than man and or the laws of man, it seems, for now, we enjoy far greater freedoms than we would have other wise.

By the way, it looks like President Mursi of Egypt just got overthrown! The people couldn't stand for his mixing religion with government. Good job, Egypt!

General Sisi said the rebels wanted "to achieve the building of a strong Egyptian society that is cohesive and does not exclude anyone and ends the state of tension and division."

No one expects politicians to forget about the Bible or Quran, but the key thing is to build a strong society that doesn't exclude anyone. We need tolerance and respect for diversity, not autocracy.

Would you have "tolerated and respected" Hitler? Chairman Mao Tse Tung? Idi Amin? Stalin? What part of a strong society did they contribute to?

Of course not - those guys were totalitarians. That's my whole point.

Those historical bad guys are really extreme examples, but the whole point is that government should be limited and shouldn't intrude unduly on citizens' lives, and people should allow each other to disagree. Government should just focus on trying to help people build a prosperous society. Government should not try to save souls.

Surely the monument grossly misrepresents atheism too. I've lost count of how many times an atheist has told me he doesn't have to prove or justify anything because what he has is a lack of belief in something, not a belief.

So where do we get: "An atheist believes..." ???

So here's my take on what the monument should really say:

"An atheist doesn't believe in building churches. An atheist doesn't believe in prayer. An atheist doesn't believe in a God or Gods, or in an afterlife. Atheists have varying opinions on other issues."

Not too inspiring, I guess, but a lot more honest.

The claim that atheism is a lack of belief - standard propaganda of atheists - is easily disproven.

If you make the statement "there is no God", the atheist BELIEVES that statement to be true.

Dawkins himself has made that statement. Are we to understand that he does not BELIEVE it? It's a belief. End of.

Atheists are absolutists and when they add absolute power, we have the horrors and bloodshed of communism, Islamism, Nazism and other totalitarian cruelties that have to rely on fear and intimidation for control. Christians are the opposite, full of doubt, forgiveness and compassion - the exact opposite to the atheist and absolutist creed. I know which I prefer to live under.

Wow, it's amazing how diametrically opposed we are in our views. I think Christians are absolutists because they know for certain that God exists and the Bible is truth. Atheists say God probably doesn't exist. Atheists don't know for sure. Atheists are always looking for evidence, which means they are looking for the knowledge they don't yet have. If you look up "skepticism" online, you won't find Christian sites.

John,

I hope you will take this as a respectful but forceful throw of the bs card...

You are describing agnosticism. You are most definitely not describing atheism, particularly of the contemporary stripe. The New Atheists and atheism apologists aggressively advocate the BELIEF that there is NO God. That is not skepticism - that is (often uncritical) absolutism.

I actually can appreciate your observation about the way in which the same view is held by both sides even as it is grounded differently. The problem is with the grounding. As noted by GF, the worst absolutists in human history have been atheist/humanist in character. GF incorrectly conflated Islam with them, though there is some room for criticism there which is beyond the scope of this thread.

The point is that for the atheist who wants to put human beings in the position of objective law-giver, you cannot avoid the failure of human nature and the relativist and variable nature of morality that ultimately ends up being the law of the jungle even if you dress it up in some Neitzian fashion. The alternative, is accepting the objective standards of a trancendent God who is more knowledgable, wiser, and of unwavering character to define good/evil, right/wrong. Absolutism absolutely happens... it is just a matter of whether it is the bloody absolutism of an uncaring jungle or that of a caring God.

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