Thursday, December 28, 2006

10 Myths About Atheism

No matter what you believe or disbelieve, please read this quick article. Myths #9 and #10 actually address something I've brought up before, in this blog.

"Ask yourself, which is more moral, helping the poor out of concern for their suffering, or doing so because you think the creator of the universe wants you to do it, will reward you for doing it or will punish you for not doing it?"


stephanie said...

Myth #1 about Christianity - Christians believe that God will punish them if they don't do what he says.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2: 8-9

I think an interesting question to piggy back onto your is - what, in and of itself, makes an action moral? The action itself or the intent behind it?

eric wright said...

I think many Christians do "good" things because they think God will punish them if they don't.

But I also think that most of the Christians who are actually doing the "good" things have sincerely had a radical transformation in their lives. They believe that God wants them to love those who are hurting. Jesus said that we are to "love God" and "love your neighbor."

The challenge is to actually love the neighbor. To truly love our neighbor that love cannot be mandated, it must be learned and grown from within.

DGH said...

I think that I care for the hurting/suffering/etc.., because I am following the example of the one (in my case Christ) who showed me the joy and meaningful living that is found when serving others.

janie said...

First, the needy are helped either way so in a way why does the reason matter? Do you think a starving person cares a hoot what someone's reasons are for feeding them?

Second, true Christianity is way beyond the premise of the question--that Christians are only helping the needy so they will be rewarded or not punished. True Christianity reaches out to others in need--not because you have to but because you are concerned for their suffering.

The question assumes you are one or the other. While there are plenty of religious people who do good works for selfish reasons, there are plenty who do it because of love.

Eve said...

A truth about today's atheism:

Erica said...

Interesting article. I liked this paragraph:

There is no such sympathy among the new apostles of atheism--to find it, one has to look to believers. Anyone who has actually taught young people and listened to them knows that it is often the students who come from a trained sectarian background--Catholic, Orthodox Jewish, Muslim, Mormon--who are best at grasping different systems of belief and unbelief. Such students know, at least, what it feels like to have such a system, and can understand those who have very different ones. The new atheists remind me of other students from more "open-minded" homes--rigid, indifferent, puzzled by thought and incapable of sympathy.

Thought-provoking. Thanks for passing it on.

Susan B-N said...

The "Myth" article further confirms that atheists know little about Christianity and continue to rely on what they have heard rather than actual study of the Bible. If you want to know what God says Christians should do about helping others, read the Bible. Pick a translation or two or three. Then decide for yourself if reward and punishment have anything to do with helping others. Here's a hint...Read Stephanie's post on Ephesians 2.