Subject: Re: Atheists In article <6908@emcard.UUCP> mat@emcard.UUCP (W Mat Waites) writes:

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From: ps@celerity.UUCP (Patricia Shanahan) Subject: Re: Atheists In article <6908@emcard.UUCP> mat@emcard.UUCP (W Mat Waites) writes: ... >Atheism has nothing to say about anything. It is simply bleak, dry, empty >nothingness. We are all rocks waiting to be smashed by time. Atheism has one thing to say about the universe, it does not contain gods. I may be in some senses an object like a rock, but I am also a thinking being with imagination. I can think of MUCH more interesting and useful things to do with my life that "waiting to be smashed by time". After all, its the only life I have. This is a wonderful universe, full of beauty and mystery and interesting people and sunrises and sunsets. Does it really need a god or gods to make it worth living in? > >Sounds like an appealing system of belief, eh? Do you really choose your beliefs for their prettiness, or for their truth as far as you can determine it? > >I think the animal statement is well defined. How can it mean anything else >other than we should be treated the same. Statements of ethical or legal >standards are just hooey. Sure, most atheists are law abiding citizens, >but why and for how long? Doesn't atheism eventually lead to the decay of >society. Sorry to be grandiose, but can't you attribute the horrible crime >problems in DC, LA, etc to a lack of moral and ethical base in the population. >How can you impress people with the need to be "good" when they believe they >are rocks? I have seen arguments of this form before, and I am not very impressed by them. They reduce to "People won't have attitudes A unless they have beliefs B, therefore they should believe B". In this case A is something like ethical and legal standards, and B is a disbelief in atheism, and so presumably some form of belief in a god or gods. The problem with this is that if A is not a good thing in itself, the argument collapses because supporting A is not a desirable aspect of B, and if A is a good thing in itself, B is not needed to support it. I can see a case for believing and propagating a religion because you think it is true, but not because you think it will push certain forms of conduct. I think that high levels of unemployment, especially among young people, associated with no public transportation and a loss of jobs in the areas where they live may have more to do with city center crime problems than any change in religious views. However, if you teach people that the only foundation for ethics is religion, you are building your society on a foundation of sand. > >Mat > >-- >W Mat Waites | Oh, I used to be disgusted, but now I'm just amused. >gatech!emcard!mat | Since their wings got rusted, you know the angels >8-5 ET: (404) 727-7197 | wanna wear my red shoes --E. Costello Patricia Shanahan uucp : ucsd!celerity!ps arpa : ucsd!celerity!ps@nosc phone: (619) 271-9940

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