Did you hear the one about the Anglican minister who said atheists have no reason for grief?
I wish I was joking. I’m not. In a widely disseminated and discussed opinion piece, Anglican minister Rev. Gavin Dunbar made an interesting and even compelling argument that grief is necessary for love and humanity… and then went on to argue that, unless you believe in God, you have no reason to care whether the people you love live or die, or even to love them in the first place.
The new atheists proclaim their gospel with the fervour of believers: God is dead, man is free, free from the destructive illusions of religion and morality, of reason and virtue. But then a someone dies, suddenly and cruelly, like the young man known to many in ..[this] parish [in [Eastern Georgia] who was killed in a freakish accident last weekend. And his death casts a pall of grief over his family, his friends, their families, his school, and many others. Yet if he was no more than an arrangement of molecules, a selfish gene struggling to replicate itself, there can be no reason for grief, or for the love that grieves, since these are (we are told) essentially selfish survival mechanisms left over from some earlier stage in hominid evolution. Friendship is just another illusion. But of course we do grieve, even the atheists. And in so grieving, they grieve better than they know (or think they know).
The grieving atheist cannot provide any reason why he grieves, or why he (rightly) respects the grief of others.
The rest of the article, by Greta Christina, goes on to explain the many, many ways Rev. Dunbar, and so many other religious, are wrong when they make assumptions about atheists without ever talking to one. She goes point-by-point for a while, then gives up because the question always hovering is: why? Why make these assumptions, and why not take the time to speak with an atheist or learn more about what they do believe, and why they believe it?
I found the article to be insightful and intriguing, although I won't hold out hope that everyone here will take the time to read it. For those who do, I'd love to hear your thoughts.
For those who don't, please don't bother. You will have missed some important points.Answer Question
Answer by AF4life at 6:00 PM on Jun. 30, 2012Credits: 161895 Level 43 Religious Debate Minor
Answer by witchqueen at 6:27 PM on Jun. 30, 2012Credits: 38749 Level 29 Religious Debate Degree
Answer by krissyvelazquez at 6:57 PM on Jun. 30, 2012Credits: 8028 Level 19
I think it's because some are so arrogant in thinking that their belief is the only correct one so, why even bother hearing another point of view.
Answer by 3libras at 7:27 PM on Jun. 30, 2012Credits: 371076 Level 50 Religious Debate Minor
For an atheist, death is finite, so the sadness, and anger, and missing a person is so much stronger because there is nothing else.
okie dokie then... I havn't experienced that personally- In fact, I think I may take it a bit easier now. I look at it like the person had to go to make room for a new life. I also don't think there is NOTHING- I love the line in Powder where he says "She didn't go some place... your wife. I felt her go. Not away, just out... everywhere."
*I havn't read the article yet-but just thought I'd add my two cents...
Answer by charlotsomtimes at 7:39 PM on Jun. 30, 2012Credits: 147623 Level 42 Religious Debate Major
Answer by sahmamax2 at 8:13 PM on Jun. 30, 2012Credits: 73412 Level 35 Religious Debate Degree
Answer by RyansMom001 at 8:13 PM on Jun. 30, 2012Credits: 46383 Level 30 Religious Debate Major