Well, it is my blog. So if I want to rant about stuff... but I also have a responsibility to give a more positive view of atheists. It's too easy for us to poke fun at people who believe in superstition, ritual, chance, planetary alignments, ghosts, lucky charms and stuff.
I do feel, in retrospect, that I did sink to a little bit of 'mocking' religion and that does not do atheism any favours. After all, we have the right to claim a higher morality since humanists care about everyone and we truly believe we are fairer than the harsh black and white laws of what ancient misogynistic priests interpreted from their positions of power.
In my continuing browsings of the web, I came across this wonderful piece of advice for potential worshippers...
"It should be noted that Christianity is a religion based upon relationship, not knowledge. It is a religion of faith not logic. The information provided is to help answer questions, but ultimately you must believe in the Bible by faith. Because of who God is, we will always have questions. In order to have eternal life, we need to believe the words of Jesus that we are sinners and are in need of a Lord and Savior."
Brilliant! It contains all the best bits of religion. Patronising, demanding and a veiled threat.
1) 'Based on relationship, not knowledgee'. A slight put down to education and thinking for yourself. Am I not capable of forming a true relationship with anything?
2) 'Faith is more important than logic'. Because logically, there is no proof or even a real need for a god?
3) 'But ultimately you must believe in the bible by faith'. (See previous post - sorry) What bits exactly? All of it? The 'nice' parts? Do I take it literally or simply as a guide. Well take your pick from the 38000 christian denominations... (sigh)
4) 'Because of who god is, we will always have questions". But to ask them is the wrong thing to do apparently (see section 1) (further sighs...)
5) "You are sinners and in need of a lord and saviour". At least no mention of Hell, but an insult nonetheless.
Anyway, all this came as a result on what someone asked me a few months back. "Would you be interested in going to an Alpha course?" BTW - You can send them a question (be nice!) to be discussed - only 125 characters though!
Anyway, I actually wouldn't mind going. Like I have said before, I am an atheist morally, rationally, socially and all this was after a great deal of introspection on my part. Could religion offer a serious alternative? Would my life be improved as claimed by the brochure? Somehow I doubt it, but I don't want to be accused of being 'closed minded'.
All atheists are open to persuasion (seriously, it's true!) but we quite fairly ask for a scrap of proof - real proof mind! After all, an all-powerful god should be able to provide some undeniable evidence? Or at least NOT provide overwhelming evidence to the contrary!
So we get the 'faith' get out clause. That, my friends, is NOT an argument. It's a cop out! 'Faith' is the blanket stupid answer that I find insulting, patronising and clearly shows that there is no real basis for their point of view.
Just imagine if we said that we had 'faith' there was no god? Yeah, that's right. People WOULD laugh at us! All we can honestly say, is that there is a 'near certainty' that there are no gods. 'Faith' apparently is 100% (often 110%!) - There is no debating with some people... especially when they have a poor grasp of basic maths.
If there was an online version of the Alpha course. (I might suggest it) then I would definitely have a go. Maybe I will go to a session one day... :-)