Terrance Heath

Just Be Good for Goodness Sake

Filed By Terrance Heath | November 30, 2008 2:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: agnostic, God, LGBT atheists, Washington D.C.

I saw this ad on the DC Metro this week, and wanted to blog about it, but hadn’t had time until now.

And just in time for Xmas. Has anyone alerted Bill O’Reilly yet?

If you sometimes find yourself praying for a seat on a crowded Metrobus, some atheists have a message for you: Don’t bother.

They would say that, wouldn’t they? Prayer’s not their thing. And starting Tuesday they’ll be bringing their unique brand of holiday message to area commuters. Advertisements will begin popping up on Metrobuses in the District that read: “Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness’ sake.”

At a news conference at the National Press Club yesterday, members of the American Humanist Association — one of the country’s leading atheist and agnostic organizations — explained what they’re up to.

“Our message is that all of us can have moral values as a natural result of who we are as a species and who we have become as a civilization,” said Fred Edwords, the association’s director of communications. “Each one of us knows what it means, generally, to be ethical.”

Giving up your seat for a pregnant woman? Ethical. Eating a french fry in a Metro station? Unethical. Holding a Metro train’s doors open until they break, thus forcing everyone to be offloaded? Stone him!

The atheists said they aren’t trying to proselytize — a funny concept — just reaching out to what they say is an increasing number of people who do not believe in a deity.

Honestly, when I saw the advertisement, I got a huge smile on my face. Why shouldn’t someone stand up for the notion that you don’t have to believe in a god to be good?

I’ve no particular desire to become a Nazi, I hope you understand. And apart from some idealistic adolescent posturing - look, I liked the badges and I was young - I’ve never had much time for Communism.

But as one leading Irish religious commentator pointed out recently, anyone who doesn’t believe in God will eventually succumb to some evil and discredited ideology.

Yup, all of us out there who are proud to call ourselves atheists are simply deluded fools who will ultimately allow ourselves to become in thrall to some evil belief system because we don’t have God to help us resist the lure of the jackboot.

It’s an interesting argument on many levels, not least the obnoxious presumption involved. After all, the spread of Nazism throughout Europe was eased by its close association with many religious leaders.

Really, you don’t.

From where does an atheist draw his or her morality?

There's a widespread view that somehow atheists are not able to be moral or they are less moral than others. It's a really deeply confused prejudice. There are billions of people in China and India, for instance, who do not believe in any sort of western monotheistic God of the Bible, Quran or Talmud. Does the person who thinks nonbelievers are immoral want to say that out of all of those billions of people, not a single one of them is a decent, moral human being? Of course not.

On second thought… No, wait. You don’t.

The idea that atheists have no reason to be moral without a god or religion may be the most popular and repeated myth about atheism. It comes up in many forms and all are based on the assumption that the only valid source of morality is a theistic religion, preferably the religion of the speaker which is usually Christianity. Thus without Christianity, people cannot live moral lives. This is supposed to be a reason reject atheism and convert to Christianity but the argument fails because contrary to the beliefs of theists, their god and their religion are not needed for morality.

Nope, definitely not. You don’t.

You worried that atheists have no compelling answer to a person who says, “I’m going to do whatever I please.” But religion does not solve that problem. If anything, the problem is far worse when the malcontent is a theist who claims that his desires are not just some idiosyncratic expression of individual preference, but the very will of God. An atheist, at least, has no warrant to claim holy sanction or divine infallibility for his opinions, and in theory can be persuaded by reason. On the other hand, a person who sincerely believes that they are acting in accordance with the will of the creator is immune to evidence, diplomacy, and compromise - as the many religious wars still smoldering after millennia should make abundantly clear.

In your column, you said that morality cannot be anchored without reference to a higher power: that if God had not commanded us to be good, we would have no reason to be good, and no justification for condemning those who were not. This claim betrays its own incoherence, for we can then ask, why does God command us to be moral? Does he have reasons for that edict? If so, then we too can make use of those reasons, for if they are good ones, they will stand on their own without reference to who is giving them. On the other hand, if God has no reasons for his commands, then religious morality is cut loose from any anchor. God commanded us to be merciful and kind, but that was just an arbitrary choice with no deeper significance. He could just as easily have commanded us to be vicious and cruel, and those traits would then be the definition of goodness which we were all bound to follow. Can any rational person accept such a nonsensical conclusion?

You asked what reason an atheist can give to be moral, so allow me to offer an answer. You correctly pointed out that neither our instincts nor our self-interest can completely suffice, but there is another possibility you’ve overlooked. Call it what you will - empathy, compassion, conscience, lovingkindness - but the deepest and truest expression of that state is the one that wishes everyone else to share in it. A happiness that is predicated on the unhappiness of others - a mentality of “I win, you lose” - is a mean and petty form of happiness, one hardly worthy of the name at all. On the contrary, the highest, purest and most lasting form of happiness is the one which we can only bring about in ourselves by cultivating it in others. The recognition of this truth gives us a fulcrum upon which we can build a consistent, objective theory of human morality. Acts that contribute to the sum total of human happiness in this way are right, while those that have the opposite effect are wrong. A wealth of moral guidelines can be derived from this basic, rational principle.

Seriously, you don’t.

In fact, nobody does.

Atheism is not a worldview. It doesn’t carry any obligation to any kind of political or moral system. In that sense, it is amoral. Note that it is amoral, not immoral. Immorality is flouting the conventions of one’s own morality; amorality is being without morality.

You would be justified in asking, then, if this means that in practical terms that Atheists have no morality. The answer is, of course, that Atheists can and do have morality and ethical codes. What the amorality of Atheism entails is a lack of obligation to any system of morality.

An Atheist can have any system of morality he or she wishes.

Why should an Atheist be moral, without a god to make him to do so? You may as well ask why he should use his head for something besides a mobile hat rack. Morality is a built-in condition of humanity; the moral tendency exists in just about everyone, barring psychopaths.

That last part of the argument has always bugged me. Are the people who say you can’t be good without believe in a (read their) god also saying that the threat of eternal damnation is all that stands in the way of their going on a psychopathic murderous rampage?

Really. Think about that.

Here’s another example that ought to be food for thought.

It’s always amusing to listen to people who dress up their homophobia as a harmless and non-judgemental expression of their faith. So here’s a little test: a man refuses to rent a room to a gay couple because, while he isn’t judging them, his faith has strict and clear guidelines on how to treat homosexuality.

In another hotel, a man refuses to rent a room to a gay couple because, he says, he hates fags. Which of the two is more morally reprehensible? Answer: they’re both the same.

For all the moral posturing of the smugly religious against those of no religion, one fact stands out - at least we have to back up our arguments with something approaching a coherent thought process.

I’m sure there are plenty of people who will say this not a good idea, that humanists/atheists shouldn’t be doing this, because they will offend more people than they persuade, etc. (Those same people are likely to be at a loss for what humanists or atheists should do or can do in the public square except keep quiet and be glad they’re tolerated.)

But maybe part of the point is to let people know they’re not alone.

A group of atheists and agnostics has rented a billboard along the New Jersey Turnpike to trumpet what it says is a seldom-heard message in 21st-century America.

"Don't Believe in God? You are not alone," the 48-foot-wide sign says.

The message went up on Saturday. It will remain in place until Feb. 3, according to a spokesman for the American Humanist Association, which organized the effort.

The billboard is along Route 95 south in Ridgefield, just before the turnpike splits into two spurs.

"This billboard represents that there's another viewpoint and that it's time we spoke up," said the spokesman, Fred Edwords.

"We have a viewpoint just as legitimate as everyone else's, and we want to let folks like us know that they're not the only ones."

Apparently, there’s a need, or at least a demand.

Good morning. I'm Jan Meshon, president and founder of FreeThoughtAction, an adjunct of the American Humanist Association (AHA). FreeThoughtAction (FTA) uses traditional marketing and modern communications to raise the visibility and acceptance of the large and growing freethought community throughout the United States. I am thrilled to be here today to help launch the American Humanist Association's new advertising campaign on Washington D.C. buses.

…During January of this year we officially launched FTA with a billboard on the New Jersey Turnpike just outside of New York City near the Meadowlands Sports Complex. It was a simple billboard with a positive but provocative message. It had a beautiful blue sky, some white fluffy clouds and just a few words: "Don't believe in God? You are not alone."

…The first billboard generated a few news stories, including on the front page of the Bergen Record, the large suburban newspaper in that area. It was also the lead story on their web site. Dozens of blogs covered it. We received hundreds of e-mails from around the country, almost all of them in support of the ad. People told us how proud they were to see their point of view so publicly displayed. Contributions came in from around the country. At this point people from more than half the states have chipped in to support more billboards.

The second billboard had even more impact. Several established freethought groups in Philadelphia came together to form PhillyCoR, the Greater Philadelphia Coalition of Reason. Groups that existed under various nontheistic terms like "atheist," "freethought," "humanist" and "secular" pulled together to run the ad jointly under a common name. This time the billboard flew high above I-95 just north of Philly's center city.

The Philly ad was covered in many of the local city and suburban papers, including the Philadelphia Inquirer. It was the lead story on the Philly.com web site where over 70% of 10,000 participants in an online poll said they don't believe in God. It was also covered on local news and talk radio and a hilarious report on Fox News Channel wherein they gave it the old "fair and balanced" treatment. Watching the Fox story you would be led to believe that God-fearing Philadelphians had gathered with pitchforks and torches demanding that the billboard be taken down. Truth is, aside from a dozen or so e-mails and phone calls, of varying sincerity and friendliness, warning us of spending eternity in hell, there was much discussion but little negativity. On the other hand, it inspired hundreds of fellow freethinkers to call, write, donate, come to a meeting or join one of the local participating groups.

Since then, the billboard has appeared in Los Angeles and Kansas City and is about to go up on several boards in the Denver and Colorado Springs areas in association with COCORE, the Colorado Coalition of Reason. Meanwhile, plans are being put together to launch a united national coalition under which to do joint promotion in many more markets in 2009.

I know I smiled when I saw the ad. It felt like a breath of fresh air, during a season when, if you’re someone who doesn’t share the dominant faith, you’re basically looked upon as having something terribly wrong with you.


And only one group seems to own the public square.

In Washington, the humanists’ campaign comes as conservative Christian groups gear up their efforts to keep Christ in Christmas. In the past five years, groups such as the American Family Association and the Catholic League have criticized or threatened boycotts of retailers who use generic “holiday” greetings.

In mid-October, the American Family Association started selling buttons that say “It’s OK to say Merry Christmas.” The humanists’ entry into the marketplace of ideas did not impress AFA president Tim Wildmon.

“It’s a stupid ad,” he said. “How do we define ‘good’ if we don’t believe in God? God in his word, the Bible, tells us what’s good and bad and right and wrong. If we are each ourselves defining what’s good, it’s going to be a crazy world.”

Also on Tuesday, the Orlando, Fla.-based Liberty Counsel, a conservative Christian legal group, launched its sixth annual “Friend or Foe Christmas Campaign.” Liberty Counsel has intervened in disputes over nativity scenes and government bans on Christmas decorations, among other things.

“It’s the ultimate grinch to say there is no God at a time when millions of people around the world celebrate the birth of Christ,” said Mathew Staver, the group’s chairman and dean of the Liberty University School of Law. “Certainly, they have the right to believe what they want but this is insulting.”

And that’s always the reason nonbelievers are supposed to keep quiet.

Maybe that’s changing, finally. We just finished a presidential election in which the winner manage to pull off a victory without substantial white evangelical support. This after how many elections during which while evangelicals were about the only votes both parties went after like they were all that mattered?

I hope this is the beginning of greater participation in the public square and discourse. A “coming out,” if you will.

UPDATE: Since this post made RawStory, I thought I should point out to our new readers that you can sign up for our RSS feed or get the daily digest delivered directly into your inbox so you don't miss a thing on The Bilerico Project.


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Karen Collett | November 30, 2008 9:45 PM

Wow! What an excellent post! Of course, I'm an atheist, so you're preaching to choir (which sounds kind of weird in the context of one atheist talking to another).

As an FYI, one article that I've found useful recently is Spirituality Without Faith, which sets forth the argument that "[...] just as we can be good without God, we can have spirituality without spirits."

It seems to me that "christian", and "coherent thought process" are two mutually exclusive concepts.

I have been 'fired' from my most recent job (actually they said they didn't renew my contract, that way they avoided any legal unpleasantries) because I am a witch, wore my pentacle openly, and was overheard talking to another worker about an encounter I had with a street corner preacher. First they called me in and told me to never talk about religion at work ever again, then the following Monday let me go.

So much for land of the free.

Anyone who says athiests or others can have no system of morality obviously slept through both philosophy and comparative religion. Kant, Hume, and Mill(I still almost fall asleep just when I think of his name, Mill was one of the most boring writers ever!)spent countless time and reams of paper expounding on morality and ethics, with nary a reference to a diety.

Kant's writing on the moral imperative is required reading for almost any ethics and morality class, or should be. Just because philosophers do not sit down and write out each and every rule that needs to be followed like a religion does doesn't mean their ideas do not constitute a moral or ethical guide.

Hell, if they are so damned bent on following rules, why don't they follow some of their own, such as 'judge not, lest ye be judged' or my personal favorite, 'do unto others as you would have others do unto you' or the grandmothers corrolary, 'If you can't say something nice, thendon't say anything at all'.

You can lead a fool to knowledge, but you can't make him think.

"For Goodness Sake" --- a very old term of which I was taught , came from a segment of our forefathers , after escaping the Old World religous shackles of "For God's Sake". At least , thats what my college history teacher taught us anyway. It sounded good to me at the time and I've been trying to promote this concept ever since (40 years now). I am an Agnostic , and much like Aetheists , I reserve the right to do "my own" thinking , thankyou. I see way too much "hurting" going on in the name of "religion" (both now, and in the past) and know damn well that I'm capable of way better than that , completely on my own --- and am that much happier that I've risen to the task.

LOOK AT A COUNTRY THAT REMOVES CHRISTIANITY AS THEIR BASE.....USA??? SO HOW ARE WE DOING???? WE ARE CHILDREN OF THE DAMNED. I SAY NO MORE.

CHRISTIAN NATION USA 1960 and before...WOW!!! SEEMS LIKE A GREAT COUNTRY TO LIVE IN TO ME (REMOVING RACISM of coarse)...NOW LOOK AT A COUNTRY THAT REMOVES CHRISTIANITY AS THEIR BASE.....USA 2008??? SO PEOPLE HOW ARE WE DOING???? DO YOU HAVE A GREAT FUTURE IN A GREAT COUNTRY?????? HOWS ISRAEL DOING? HOWS THE REST OF THE WORLD DOING???? Christianity is very popular in RUSSIA AND CHINA...HOW ARE THEY DOING??? WE ARE CHILDREN OF THE DAMNED! I SAY NO MORE.

Darn that pesky pre-1960's racism, eh Wideawake... Of course, there were also the Salem Witch Trials, discrimination against women, LGBT folk, non-Christians, and the handicapped, the massacre of the "Godless heathens," etc. I'm guessing "great country" is a little relative.

And you think Russia and China are doing better than we are? And all because Christianity is "very popular" in those countries? I think you're confusing the Fulan Gong in China; religion is still outlawed there. Russia is now exporting the Russian Orthodox church to Cuba and other Block countries as a way of retaining Russian control; that sounds like a worthy Christian enterprise too!

Geez. If you're going to barge in, use bad nettiquette, and spout off inconsistencies, at least have the courtesy to get some of your facts straight...

Yeah, bad nettiquette ... but you gotta love the 'oxymoronish' wit of the screename.

Ah, do you know if these signs are only on the metero buses or also the metro rails? I normally only take the rails and haven't seen it yet. But I may need to start taking the bus just to see this fabulous ad! So cool!!

I am so lucky. My mother is spiritual but doesn't believe in organized religion, although she did cave and sent me and my sister to Sunday school when we were about six. We went once. It was total crap - so women are nothing but Adam's rib, you say? And we're all created from sand? I'm sorry, even at six I couldn't buy that - we told her so, and she said if we didn't want to go back we didn't have to. We didn't. We are both atheists, but we are both very active with charities and our community. We are not evil, and I do get sick and tired of the Christian Right taking moral high ground they don't belong on. If they were as moral as they seem to believe they are, they'd let people believe what they want and leave them alone.

One can be Moral without God or Religion.
I am living proof.

Case in Point...

My X wife, mother of then a three year old child, then as now a Born Again Zealot for Christ (though not when we first met--she didn't get brainwashed until later) gave up on a marriage to
a man who showed her nothing but devotion. Who slaved away at work every day for her and for his son, in a job that he disliked, only to be betrayed when she started cheating on him. With like 4 different people.

She a Christian Fundamentalist, and four time (or maybe more) Adulterer. Me, an agnostic most days,
offered twice to cheat on her by other women during our Separation but had the Morality to say "No". I wanted to be able to look my son in the eye when he grew up, and tell him that I never cheated on his mother.

So I ask you, who was the more moral? The raving Christ "believer", or the bedamned yet moral doubter in a Personal God.

I will take my Morality and my Doubt any day over her False Religion and Fake Morality...

Ahh ... I love the smell of fresh reason in the morning! Thank you Mr. Heath ....

Nicely played. I've known lots of wonderful religious types, but the list of worst scoundrels I ever met is overrun with Christians. By the same token, some of the best people I ever met? Agnostic, atheist, pagan, you name it....

EXCUSE ME.... but I have been a (NEW AGER) and astrologer for over 30 years. Can cast charts from here to Sunday.. ASTROLOGY is 100% true, it's profound,complicated and NOT for amateurs.
That's why the Kings, Queens, prince and prince's leaders, Freemasons and Illuminati worship it. BUT!!!!!!! I am here to tell you there is (lower deities) and they are REAL.
The 1st commandment say's (YOU SHALL HAVE NO OTHER GODS BEFORE ME) hello???????? Get it?????
Why it is OK for the Illuminati (your leaders) to worship LUCIFER but Christians are CRAZZZZY to believe in Christ??
Does that seem strange to you????
If your brains can handle it....
RESEARCH (Google Videos)
David Flynn (Temple at the center of time)
JOYE PUGH
STEVE QUAYLE
Tom Horn
Peter Goodgame
Texe Marrs
Alex Jones (infowars.com)

Donald Locke | December 2, 2008 4:46 PM

Nobody talks so constantly about God as those who insist that there is no God. -- Heywood Broun

It amazes me to find an intelligent person who fights against something which he does not at all believe exists. --Mohandas Gandhi

Atheists express their rage against God although in their view He does not exist. --C. S. Lewis

A young man who wishes to remain a sound Atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. There are traps everywhere--'Bibles laid open, millions of surprises,' as Herbert says, 'fine nets and stratagems.' God is, if I may say it, very unscrupulous. --C.S. Lewis

Atheism is a crutch for those who cannot bear the reality of God. -- Tom Stoppard

The worst moment for the atheist is when he is really thankful, and has nobody to thank.--Dante Gabriel Rossetti

If there were no God, there would be no atheists. --G.K. Chesterton

Humanism or atheism is a wonderful philosophy of life as long as you are big, strong, and between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five. But watch out if you are in a lifeboat and there are others who are younger, bigger, or smarter. --William Murray

Still, even the most admirable of atheists is nothing more than a moral parasite, living his life based on borrowed ethics. This is why, when pressed, the atheist will often attempt to hide his lack of conviction in his own beliefs behind some poorly formulated utilitarianism, or argue that he acts out of altruistic self-interest. But this is only post-facto rationalization, not reason or rational behavior. -Vox Day

I can see how it might be possible for a man to look down upon the earth and be an atheist, but I cannot conceive how he could look up into the heavens and say there is no God.--Abraham Lincoln

A creature revolting against a creator is revolting against the source of his own powers--including even his power to revolt...It is like the scent of a flower trying to destroy the flower. --C.S. Lewis

To sustain the belief that there is no God, atheism has to demonstrate infinite knowledge, which is tantamount to saying, "I have infinite knowledge that there is no being in existence with infinite knowledge" --Ravi Zacharias

A little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion. --Francis Bacon

If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.--C.S. Lewis

If God were small enough to be understood, He would not be big enough to be worshiped. --Evelyn Underhill

We think having faith means being convinced God exists in the same way we are convinced a chair exists. People who cannot be completely convinced of God’s existence think faith is impossible for them. Not so. People who doubt can have great faith because faith is something you do, not something you think. In fact, the greater your doubt the more heroic your faith. –Unknown

The real attitude of sin in the heart towards God is that of being without God; it is pride, the worship of myself, that is the great atheistic fact in human life. –Oswald Chambers

The turning point in our lives is when we stop seeking the God we want and start seeking the God who is. --- Patrick Morley

I believe in God as I believe that the Sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else. --C. S. Lewis

Nobody talks so constantly about God as those who insist that there is no God. -- Heywood Broun

Witty ... but SO not true.

It amazes me to find an intelligent person who fights against something which he does not at all believe exists. --Mohandas Gandhi

Can't speak for all atheists, but I only fight against those who would run MY life with THEIR beliefs.

Atheists express their rage against God although in their view He does not exist. --C. S. Lewis

Again, SO not true. Maybe there are some angry atheists somewhere damaged by past religious experience, but the majority just don't give a sh ....

A young man who wishes to remain a sound Atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. There are traps everywhere--'Bibles laid open, millions of surprises,' as Herbert says, 'fine nets and stratagems.' God is, if I may say it, very unscrupulous. --C.S. Lewis

Again with Lewis? I will agree with that last line though ... "unscrupulous" to say the least.

Atheism is a crutch for those who cannot bear the reality of God. -- Tom Stoppard

!!??!! Sorry, I just have to laugh at that one.

The worst moment for the atheist is when he is really thankful, and has nobody to thank.--Dante Gabriel Rossetti

I'm growing weary of this, but I guess this is where all the rap stars get the idea to always thank God for their Grammy Award -- as if God didn't have better things to do like saving innocent people from being shot by terrorists. But I guess fornicating celebrity awards have to come first ....

If there were no God, there would be no atheists. --G.K. Chesterton

... and I wouldn't be having this tiresome conversation.


Humanism or atheism is a wonderful philosophy of life as long as you are big, strong, and between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five. But watch out if you are in a lifeboat and there are others who are younger, bigger, or smarter. --William Murray

AHH! No wonder Prince (or the artist formerly now as) became a Jehovah's Witness. I think its safe to say the world liked him better when he showed his bare ass on stage instead of annoying folk early Saturday morning.

Still, even the most admirable of atheists is nothing more than a moral parasite, living his life based on borrowed ethics. This is why, when pressed, the atheist will often attempt to hide his lack of conviction in his own beliefs behind some poorly formulated utilitarianism, or argue that he acts out of altruistic self-interest. But this is only post-facto rationalization, not reason or rational behavior. -Vox Day

Spoken like a true zealot. Borrowed ethics? LMAO!! I don't think people who still follow the guidance and ancient rhetoric of men who thought lighting meant God was pissed should really throw around words like 'borrowed'.

I can see how it might be possible for a man to look down upon the earth and be an atheist, but I cannot conceive how he could look up into the heavens and say there is no God.--Abraham Lincoln

Well said Ab, spoken like a man of your time. But now we have Google Earth.

A creature revolting against a creator is revolting against the source of his own powers--including even his power to revolt...It is like the scent of a flower trying to destroy the flower. --C.S. Lewis

I think C.S. is becoming redundant. Quote # 3. Helluva writer though ...

To sustain the belief that there is no God, atheism has to demonstrate infinite knowledge, which is tantamount to saying, "I have infinite knowledge that there is no being in existence with infinite knowledge" --Ravi Zacharias

Finally, truth. Which is why I prefer the term agnostic.

A little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion. --Francis Bacon

Is he related to Kevin? Just wonderin'. Anyway, the latter portion is only true when one thinks himself to be more important in the unfolding of the universe than he really is.

If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.--C.S. Lewis

Lewis again? meh

If God were small enough to be understood, He would not be big enough to be worshiped. --Evelyn Underhill

Worship? Gods and servants? Masters and slaves? If that doesn't sound like a manly construct I don't know what does. Why do I have to "worship" anything?

We think having faith means being convinced God exists in the same way we are convinced a chair exists. People who cannot be completely convinced of God’s existence think faith is impossible for them. Not so. People who doubt can have great faith because faith is something you do, not something you think. In fact, the greater your doubt the more heroic your faith. –Unknown

LOL! Heroic? Like strapping on bomb with visions of endless barely pussy on your mind because some spiritual leader told you to? LOL!! That's called BLIND faith, and its hardly heroic ....

The real attitude of sin in the heart towards God is that of being without God; it is pride, the worship of myself, that is the great atheistic fact in human life. –Oswald Chambers

Oh ... this is DRIVEL, designed to keep the doe-eyed confused. Okay, granted, maybe its just WAY over my head. But I'd hate for my head to be in a place where I got that and smiled.

The turning point in our lives is when we stop seeking the God we want and start seeking the God who is. --- Patrick Morley

The true turning point is when people take control of their own lives and leave all the dead prophets dead. Waiting on GOD is the biggest cop out EVER.

I believe in God as I believe that the Sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else. --C. S. Lewis

*sigh* Spoken like a poet. My hats off to C.S. With such glorious language, he'd have no problem convincing people to drink the KoolAid ... or blow themselves up on a bus full of strangers.

Taylor,

I found your comments to the quotes interesting.

So, you believe that you are the one in control of your life?

One more quote... "You've gotta serve somebody... It may be the Devil or it may be the Lord, but you gotta serve somebody."
--Bob Dylan Biblical

I was an atheist at one point in my life so I can relate to your beliefs but I've come to believe that this life of mine is a gift from God and I need to thank him everyday. You made reference to some extreme forms of "religion", but Christianity is not about leading people astray as in your "Kool-Aid" reference, or to do harm to others (suicide bombers). It's about demonstrating the love God has given to us through Christ. Yes, thanking God when you win a grammy seems a bit insane, as if he has an interest in such things, but I do believe he has an interest in every part of our lives.

I guess I submitted those quotes in hope that maybe someone would find them helpful, because, at least for me all those years ago, being an atheist (even an agnostic) was a struggle, and as it turned out a very unnecessary one. Not that being a Christian is a picnic. It's a challenge everyday, but the most satisfying challenge I could have.

There's a book by a one-time atheist called "The Case for Christ", also "The Case for Faith" which are really helpful for anyone who wants to give Jesus a chance to be the savior of their lives. It's an easy read.

"Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the Lord pondereth the hearts." proverbs 21:2


Thanks for the feedback, Don ...

Christians like you can quickly grow on me. I guess, just like extremists have ruined Islam, Christian nutjobs, hypocrites etc have done the same for your faith.

Having grown up Jehovah's Witness, I shed that heavy religion shackle long ago and have no interest worshiping anyone [except one particular pretty boy who'll remain nameless], or, in having personal relationships with anyone I can't touch and snuggle with.

But I'm glad it works for you. When its all said and done and swept under the fridge, we all just want to be happy. I just wish more Christians understood that, were kind like you and practiced what they spew.

Karen Collett | December 3, 2008 8:02 AM
To sustain the belief that there is no God, atheism has to demonstrate infinite knowledge, which is tantamount to saying, "I have infinite knowledge that there is no being in existence with infinite knowledge" --Ravi Zacharias

Finally, truth. Which is why I prefer the term agnostic.

Atheism is not the belief that there is not a god, but rather the lack of belief that there is a god. See "Atheism vs. Agnosticism" for more.

Yeah, I think we'd all do better to stop seeing Western religion as a source of morality, actions, etc, but merely as a site to replicate and reify certain mores. As a cultural form instead of a productive institution.

Like TV, but with more queers.