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Are Most Atheists really Atheists or...


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In reply to an earlier post on 12 Feb 2013 14:17:14 GMT
DB says:
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In reply to an earlier post on 12 Feb 2013 14:20:39 GMT
DB says:
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In reply to an earlier post on 12 Feb 2013 14:22:15 GMT
DB says:
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In reply to an earlier post on 12 Feb 2013 14:23:41 GMT
C. A. Small says:
So why do you post that atheists are so anti theism?

I am atheist because there is no evidence of any god existing.

I am an anti-theist because religions are responsible for so much cruelty and stupidity.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Feb 2013 14:23:45 GMT
DB says:
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Posted on 12 Feb 2013 15:26:17 GMT
Last edited by the author on 12 Feb 2013 15:32:55 GMT
Bellatori says:
DB says: "Do you know of any specific actions that show the Catholic church in a good light? " The short answer is 'NO'

I do know of individuals whose actions show a degree of humanity that I do admire. Some may even be Catholic. I will tell you a story and, hand on heart, this is absolutely true...

My wife has a distant cousin in USA who is Father Bob, a catholic priest. When my mother in law died some years back he flew over specially - they had been friends for years - to attend her funeral and at the house held a short memorial service. He travels always with a Nun. This one had been around with him for a while and was a retired (in her late 30s) Professor of BioChemistry! She went round the family (and Father Bob KNOWS I am an atheist, I have met him quite a few times and our discussions have been quite 'lively') and said he would like everyone to take part in the Mass at the house. Not a problem for me as he is a saintly old man (something no one will ever say about me!) and it costs me nothing to oblige. In passing it took the two CofE relations some heart searching to agree but, to their credit, they did. The whole thing went off splendidly (whatever that means) and my wife and her sister found it very comforting.

Later on, before he went off for his plane, he sat next to me and turned to face me. Looking me straight in the eye (his were very twinkling, clearly a man at peace with himself and the world) he asked why I had taken part in the mass, knowing how I felt about such things. I firstly said "Well it cost me nothing"... he waited... "I did not want to disoblige"... he waited... I think I said a couple of other things to do with not being rude and not standing out ... eventually I came up with the real reason which sounds a little odd but... (digression)

I have a Buddhist friend who came round for supper. I did chicken something or other and we had a pleasant evening. It was only as I was seeing him to the door I remembered that he was a vegetarian. I was aghast. Why did he eat the chicken? Apparently because he realised I had put a lot of effort in and felt that the hurt to myself if he reminded me would be greater than the hurt to his karma from eating the chicken.
(back on track)
...So I told Bob I did it because I was very fond of him and would not like to have hurt him with a refusal. He laughed, patted me on the knee and said "I knew that, boy. I just wondered if you did..."

A very saintly and knowing old man who has done more good for more people than I can imagine. The thing is, did he need to be a cathiolic priest to do these things? I don't think so. He has the generosity of heart that transcends his priesthood. If that faith is good for him then I am content - as you should have noted before I have no trouble with faith - and if he feels it makes him a better person then fine.

So there you have it. One Grade A+ catholic priest.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Feb 2013 15:34:34 GMT
C. A. Small says:
I have a similar tale about a c of e vicar ( now long dead- a father Richardson) wonderful human being, because he was c of e? No. In spite of it.

Posted on 12 Feb 2013 15:40:30 GMT
Spin says:
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In reply to an earlier post on 12 Feb 2013 15:42:34 GMT
kraka says:
Bellatori hi

Many thanks for a beautiful and heart warming post if only all faith was practiced with such humanity, religions would not have provoked so much adverse criticism.

Regards..............................................kraka

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Feb 2013 15:48:16 GMT
Last edited by the author on 12 Feb 2013 15:53:57 GMT
Bellatori says:
I think that is the point that CA Small and I are trying to make and it is where DB gets us wrong. I am sure lots of people can come up with their example of a 1-off priest/vicar/monk/... whose contribution to the common weal has been significant and profound. The problem is the group. To be extreme, what do you call a large unwieldy group? The answer is a mob. And how do mobs generally behave? Badly.

It is actually (IMHO) very difficult for large organisations to behave well. They tend to end up with an entrenched oligarchy (business/religion/charity). IN the case of charities they have an external controller in this country which sort of keeps them in line. Business shows reat skill in outfoxing its regulation and religions have none.

An individual can say - I put the activity first. Once you get two or more there is a significant chance (increasing with size) that one will say - me first then the activity.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Feb 2013 15:56:21 GMT
C. A. Small says:
Just for balance I know a few hells angels, separately they are fine, often intelligent, reasonable people, but when in the group they are to be avoided.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Feb 2013 16:56:53 GMT
Last edited by the author on 12 Feb 2013 17:08:37 GMT
DB says:
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Posted on 12 Feb 2013 17:09:16 GMT
Spin says:
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In reply to an earlier post on 12 Feb 2013 17:11:28 GMT
DB says:
Spin

Right or wrong according to whom? Or to what?

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Feb 2013 17:15:46 GMT
Last edited by the author on 12 Feb 2013 17:18:47 GMT
"Your religious hatred shines out. "

He isn't religious, dear. You must have meant 'hatred for religion'. Write it your way, and you end up saying the opposite of what you intend. Tut, tut.

I'm sure I don't to remind everyone of the tantrum you threw - and the week-long sulk that followed - when that abortion bill was laughed out of the house of commons, just like everyone told you it would be. Nor how, after screaming for details of where we went to university, somehow failed to provide them when it was your turn.

Your hypocrisy is breathtaking.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Feb 2013 17:17:54 GMT
Spin says:
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In reply to an earlier post on 12 Feb 2013 17:25:05 GMT
X_the_Shadow says:
'There is no such thing as a "Good Man/Woman". "Goodness" is judged according to ones own standards and morality.'

That may be true, but it's interesting that the majority of people overlap significantly with each other morally.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Feb 2013 17:26:26 GMT
DB says:
Spin

So if one person thinks it's 'right' to steal, that's fine because they decided it for themselves.

Are you a supporter of anarchy?

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Feb 2013 17:49:05 GMT
Spin says:
DB; No.A person who steals does not do so because they think it is "right". They know it is wrong. They do so because of necessity. If you are starving or an addict will you not steal? I know I would. Provide that person with education, a job, income and housing and he/she will have no need to steal. He/she can then spend his/her own money on his/her own pleasures in his/her own time in the privacy of his/her own home. Only a mentally unstable or psychologically disturbed person cannot discern right from wring. In fact the question does not even arise in such minds.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Feb 2013 17:49:09 GMT
Bellatori says:
DB says:

"But, the fact is that he was. And, you will never know how much his faith, or his priesthood , affected his actions and obvious love for his fellow man. Perhaps,he saw you and those he helped as his brothers in God, and treated you as such. Does that make his love for you less?" Absolutely not and I have great respect for him personally but I would refer you to my previous post about what happens when you have more than one person involved such that they form a group.

"And, isn't it possible that the majority of priests are quietly following their faith in the same way, and quietly doing their best for their fellow man?" Absolutely. Each individually beavering away for the betterment of humanity... Nope. Not a problem with that either.

"If that were true, would it then be right to judge the whole priesthood by those who do wrong ?"
Now here's the rub. Can you tell someones virtue just by looking at them? Can you say for sure that the fellow in front of you is one of the 95% and not one of the 5%? If you cannot then the only thing left to you is the precautionary principle. You have to act as though they might be one of the 5% until you are certain they are one of the 95%.

"Do you judge all nurses as bad, and condemn the whole NHS because of the recent horrors in hospitals?
Do you judge all policemen as bad, and condemn the whole policeforce because of bad policemen?
Do you judge all teachers as bad, and condemn education because of bad or cruel teachers?
Do you judge all chidren's carers as bad, and condemn all children's homes because of paedophiles in some?"

Sadly the same principle applies to each of these comments. The rule has to be

SCEPTICISM first and ACCEPTANCE later.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Feb 2013 17:52:30 GMT
Last edited by the author on 12 Feb 2013 17:52:54 GMT
Bellatori says:
Hi Spin. When I read your comment for some reason the 'ROOM TAX' immediately sprang to mind. It took me a few minutes to realise why. Your comment was "Provide that person with education, a job, income and housing and he/she will have no need to steal." Clearly the converse is what will happen when you take away the job, the housing, the money. The latter is exactly what the ROOM TAX is going to do. If there ever was an ill conceived and spiteful bit of legislation then it was this.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Feb 2013 17:56:43 GMT
Spin says:
Bellatori: Apologies but the term "Room tax" is new to me. What is it?

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Feb 2013 18:09:09 GMT
It's when the cost of your council tax goes up because the estate agents have put you in a higher category because you have 4-beds rather than 3.
It's not new.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Feb 2013 18:13:00 GMT
Last edited by the author on 12 Feb 2013 18:16:55 GMT
Bellatori says:
If you live in a two bed council house and are left on your own when the kids leave you will get to pay (lose benefit) for the privelidge of having the second empty bed room, You could move to a one bed house (there aren't any) or the private sector (vastly more expensive) but what the heck...

The worst case I came across on the news was the widow with two sons in Afghanistan. She had a 3 bed house and the sons lived with her when not away on duty. Brilliant...

This is a spiteful and pointless bit of legislation. I am guessing here but something like 6000 people need to find smaller accomodation in Hull alone which has 1000 possible houses. This is worse than making that girl work for wherever for free if she wanted to be on JSA.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Feb 2013 18:13:45 GMT
Bellatori says:
Sorry no it is not. Its the new April approach to Council House tenants with "spare" rooms.
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Discussion in:  religion discussion forum
Participants:  41
Total posts:  1324
Initial post:  11 Feb 2013
Latest post:  11 Mar 2013

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