Thursday, November 13, 2008

Atheists should have a Statement of Faith.

A couple of evenings ago, I went to an Atheist Society sponsored talk. I went to listen how someone unconverted from being a Catholic to an "Atheist".

Notice I deliberately placed the quotes in "atheist".

At the start of the talk, the chairman, said that their followers disagree as to what an atheist or an agnostic is. They could not define this thing. Funny, for people who claim to be rational, putting a definition to a tag/name/label is fundamental to rational thought. Pure and simple what gives you the right to a label when in fact you do not know what that thing represents? Comprende?

As I sat to hear the leader's preface for the talk, my own sarcasmagoric self said - hmmm, "adopt-a-word" movement. I can't help it but the thought kept running in my mind. The funny thing is that they can not agree amongst themselves the proper meaning of the word "atheist". You would think people who claim to be rational should have a method of resolving conflicts in ideas, no? Nope.

Anyway the talk was given by a news columnist. I asked questions and I believe I was polite in my behavior, I was never at a point asked to leave or booed down. Over all, she left Catholicism, the idea of God, Jesus and so forth because...she saw the life of her parents and observed how they behaved inconsistently with what they professed. I asked her about this and she said this was a good factor in her de-conversion experience.

I felt sorry for her and sad for her(of course she is happy without my pity). How many times have I read and heard something like this? Lots of times. In the end I simply had to dismiss her conclusion and not take it seriously. I know it is a horrible thing to say, but one's faith is not invalidated as a piece of crock simply because the professor failed to live according to its ideals. It has no direct connection to the truth or falsehood of the faith.

But Christianity is not about morals, that might be what she was taught in her Catholic home, but Christianity is not about being moral. If Christianity were about morals there would be no need to become a Christian, every religion out there be atheist or satanist, is selling a brand of morality already.

Funny in the middle of the talk she said they should be called "rationalists". The thing though is that the fallacy of a rationalist's reasoning is hidden to the rationalist itself.

10 comments:

TK said...

Wow, her statement certainly hits home to any parent! I think (and I pray) that I've gotten the message across to my kids that mom and dad are sinners in need of a savior, and so are they...and then SHOW them where to find the savior. Simultaneously sinner and saint - what other good message is there to give your children? I'm glad you went to that meeting and shared her story with your readers!

J. K. Jones said...

LP,

I’m glad you went to the conference, and I am confident that the words you spoke from your humble heart had the desired effect.

I am perplexed by the ongoing debate within atheism concerning the definition and tenants of their own movement. You are right to say that they ought to be able to figure it out.

However, as a Southern Baptist, I cannot criticize someone to much for being a part of a movement that cannot define itself clearly. We tend to have more diversity of belief than any other denomination I know of. My criticism would be like throwing rocks from a glass house.

I appreciate your comments on Christianity being more than morals. I wondered briefly from the faith of my youth as a college student (I never really left, but I did check out the other side.). I once had the audacity to say to a Presbyterian minister that I was not attending church because the churches I had been a member of were “full of hypocrites.” The minister patted my on the shoulder and gently said, “That’s alright J. K.; there is always room for one more.”

He had me there. I was making no effort at all to live up to the moral demands I acknowledged at the time. Further, I knew full well that the first thing I had to do to become a member of this church “full of hypocrites” was to admit that I was a sinner in need of grace. I had held church members to a standard of morality that they themselves had admitted they could not live up to. I am glad God’s grace lead me to a place of humility from which I could return to the faith.

JK

Joel Woodward said...

I have never been able to understand her reasoning. call me a "rationalist"...but it has always seemed just a simple question of whether this is true or not. I think a symptom of post moderism is not necessisarily to reject truth, per se, but to base one's own truth on completely arbitrary factors, and then to defend this with no reasoning whatsoever and then to condemn anyone who questions their postition...

L P Cruz said...

TK,

I have learned something about a Law oriented home, I ran one. Now that I have moved to Concordia land, I find it hard to make my kids realize the nature of my move. Only one of my kids has a continued walk with the Lord. Two are in the fence, and one is just silent or indifferent.

I believe if I had clearly stuck them to the Gospel, all of them would be visibly involved in church.

At any rate, all of them ask for prayer when they are in trouble. If only I stuck with the Gospel, then they would see Jesus more beautiful than the Laws they cannot live up to.

LPC

L P Cruz said...

JK/JW.

What I heard and saw was indeed postmodern view of atheism.

Hehehe, I laugh because postmodernism does not only give an interpretation of Christianity, it also does it for atheism.

In the talk, the lady speaker said that she should be asked again about her belief in God when she is old, perhaps suffering from some terminal illness etc. So she is not sure.

I thought what difference should that make if you are convinced of the truth of atheism, how does that compute?

I guess contradicting one's self is no longer considered a big flaw in disposition, no?

So I think the speaker can be said to be "somewhat-an-atheist" or a "type-of-atheist" or a "little-bit-atheist".

You know what I mean.

Lito

Lucian said...

The mad man said into his heart: "There is no God".

Doorman-Priest said...

Shock-horror-newsflash: Christians don't live up to the ideal.

Really?

Well, there's a first and yet, strangey, Christianity survived.

L P Cruz said...

These atheist are mad with anger, that is for sure.

They see the fault and failure of Christians but they are blind to their own. Sometimes, you hear of arguments from them as if they are taking the morally high ground.

I have met some who are proud of their moral accomplishments and of their atheism as well.

LPC

Jim Pierce said...

Hi Lito,

I think it is great that you took the time to attend this talk.

I wanted to share my surprise over the remarks by the chairman of this group. When I was an atheist, I, and my cohorts, defined atheism as "a lack of belief in god(s)". Although, I did run into a few agnostics at times who didn't like such a definition, because they didn't like to think of their failure to believe due to a lack of knowledge as grounds for lumping them in with the atheists. I suppose they could have avoided the problem by confessing they did believe in a deity; even though they didn't know if one actually exists.

It sounds to me that you ran into a "post-modern atheist" who doesn't want to be "boxed in" with a definition... can we call him an "Emergent Atheist"? LOL

L P Cruz said...

Jim,

I laughed so hard when I read your comment, it brought tears to my eyes....hehehehehawhaw.

I have not heard of an "Emergent Atheist" before but for sure - the lady (based on the way she talks) is one.

LOL!

BTW, people reading this might think it horrible as if I am making fun at the lady, but she did make a lot of fun of believers. I can tell you that.

Her talk was interspersed by 4 letter words like f..k, s..t, c..p and of course said in taunt of Christian belief. People were laughing of course at the expense of Jesus and Christians.

LPC