Wednesday, August 22, 2012

From Bible-Belt Pastor to Atheist Leader

After a few quick searches with the terms “pastor” and “atheist,” he discovered that a cottage industry of atheist outreach groups had grown up in the past few years. Within days, he joined an online network called the Clergy Project, created for clerics who no longer believe in God and want to communicate anonymously through a secure Web site.

Early in the article it mentioned that he couldn't pray for a parishioner in difficulty. This is typical of converts of every sort. Many atheists resent prayers and resent being asked to pray.

As a life long atheist, with many good friends who are devout, I have learned both to pray and recieve prayers without hypocricy. I learned this when a devout Catholic friend was in a profoundly tragic situation and asked me for help in the form of prayer. He knew I was an atheist but also had been to performances where I had sung catholic prayers. He said "Please pray for me. God even listens to atheist prayers. They are special for God since he gets so few of them."

I chose appropriate prayers for all involved and sang them as devoutly and meaningfully as I could. Certainly as far as I was concerned I was singing into a void, but a void which contained my friend's God. Where is the hypocricy here?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

An Atheist on Woo-woo

This atheist is immune to woo-woo as I have no need for a focus at all, within or without. My focus is to get from one day to the next in compliance with the mores and values of my ERSSG contributing whenever I can responsibly, and sharing those mores and values with those able to learn. And not incidentally sharing those mores and values with those who try not to learn. Those who have transcended religion to woo-woo are prime candidates for learning to take personal responsibility for their lives and their "spirituality" that sense of knowing what is true and in resonance with the world they live in which is simultaneously a reward and an incentive.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Natural Spirituality

Atheists know better, and recognize this sense of wonder and profound truth as a natural reaction of the mind/brain to reinforce critically important social and philosophical truths. No God or Ground of Being required. These truths are distributed over a lifetime of learning and there is no real connection between them except that they collectively are the defining elements of ones mores and philosophy. I know where the important elements come from and none of them come from any external uberGod unless you want to call my family and kindergarten teacher, et al. God.

Friday, August 10, 2012

An Atheist on Tillich

Tillich, op. cit., pp. 20-21 -- "Philosophy necessarily asks the question of reality as a whole, the question of the structure of being. Theology necessarily asks the same question, for that which concerns us ultimatly must belong to reality as a whole; it must belong to being. Otherwise we could not encounter it, and it could not concern us. Of course, it cannot be one being among others; then it would not concern us infinitely. It must be the ground of our being, that which determines our being or not-being, the ultimate and unconditional power of being. But the power of being, its infinite ground or 'being itself,' expresses itself in and through the structure of being. Therefore, we can encounter it, be grasped by it, know it, and act toward it. Theology, when dealing with our ultimate concern, presupposes in every sentence the structure of being, its categories, laws, and concepts."
Atheist philosophy asks nothing except how do I navigate living between birth and death and interact reasonably with my fellow inhabitants of this planet. Tillich does not get to redefine philosophy as the question of the structure of being, let alone the ultimate and unconditional power of being BS er God. It is pure and unadulterated theology with no more worth to an atheist than Yahweh, God, the Higgs Boson or the tooth fairy. None of which provide anything useful to my life except perhaps some lessons from myth. 'Being itself' doesn't even have any useful mythology or lessons. The entire lesson is have faith in being itself and feel good. It doesn't even get me from one minute to the next. I know how to feel good without bullshit.

Tillich's ultimate concern is indeed theology as it deals with that overriding meaning or "Ground of Being" in one's life. It has no more to do with an atheist's everyday living between birth and death than God, god, or any other ultimate concern. An atheist is aware of and compliant with the mores of herm chosen social support group, but there is no worship or ultimate concern about those mores simply the natural and genetic imperative of a social animal.

Much of this comes from reflections on an undergraduate religion seminar focused on Tillich conducted by a leading academic theologian Dr. Robert McAfee Brown. His Doctorate was in the philosophy of religion.

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Creator of the Universe!

There is no creator, and even if there were there is no god that could be identified with it.

I am the Creator of the Universe due to my Experience of Solipcism. Of course I am not going throw these pearls of Solipcism before the swine of theists. But trust me. I am the Creator of the Universe. If you piss me off I will remove you from the Universe after I die or maybe before. Only True Believers in Solipcism will still exist. Your puny gods die with me.