Skip to comments.No Atheists (Still) Need Apply
Posted on 12/28/2006 4:15:11 PM PST by quesney
In nearly every interview about my book, Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism,I am asked whether I am an atheist or an agnostic. The bias--a profoundly American bias--implicit in this question is that only an "unbeliever" would want to write a historical work about the secular influences on the founding and development of our nation.
What we ought to be talking about are decent human values that can be subscribed to by Americans of any faith or no faith. I could not care less whether any elected official believes in God: I care about what he or she does on earth. As an atheist, I believe precisely what the Bible says on this subject: "By their fruits ye shall know them."
(Excerpt) Read more at newsweek.washingtonpost.com ...
I have no problem with this sentence whatsoever.
Why? They are unrelated.
Agnostics are not weak atheist or weak believers; they are confident in their doubt.
Faith in God and humility before a higher power is an enviable state.
Some are born with faith
Some earn their faith
and others spend their lives searching......for faith is never thrust upon anyone.
The searchers are called agnostics...the humble ones.
What a coincidence - that's also Saudi Arabia's policy!
So you prefer our current government (federal, state, and local) to a hypothetical group of Constitutionally aware, freedom-minded atheists? I'm not exactly pleased with the non-atheist Kennedy and Kerry as my senators - are you?
Kennedy and Kerry might as well be atheists, not that I have much room to criticize.
Why would anyone want to make a point of being an atheist unless he wants to start a fight?
re: Kennedy, Kerry, Clintonsx2 etc, don't confuse poseurs posturing as people of faith--with genuine people of faith in God.
What a coincidence - that's also Saudi Arabia's policy!Really? When did they begin having free elections with universal sufferage?! I must have missed that one...
"I could not care less whether any elected official believes in God: I care about what he or she does on earth."
But, what he or she does on earth has a great deal to do with whether or not he or she believes in God.
I have a problem with arbitrary labels generally, since they are usually defined by someone who is not effected by that particular label. In this particular instance, I usually just reply that I'm not religious. Nor am I superstitious. I don't believe in ghosts, goblins, gods and goddesses, or little green men from outer space. I am also not a hypocrite. I don't go out and make an ass of myself on Saturday nite, and make it all better by going to church on Sunday. I don't blame some diety for crap I'm responsible for, and I don't take credit for something that I had nothing to do with (I prayed, and it happened, so I'm wonderful!).
If that upsets someone so be it. They are welcome to their beliefs, so long as they don't negatively impact my life or livelihood, or those of my family.
Religion does not make one a "moral" person, or even a good or reasonable person.
That said, I have been to Churches, Synagogues, Buddhist and Hindu Temples, even Voodoo rituals. I've never been in a Mosque. I have studied the worlds great religions, ( including Animism and Zoroaster ) their roots going back as far as archeology and anthropology will permit, and their influence on life, their connections with politics and social evolution, and have a fairly decent understanding of them, and why they came into being. Enough to carry on a intelligent conversation. I don't pretend to be an expert in any of them. None of them ever impressed me enough to sign on.
I also don't have a problem wishing someone a "Merry Christmas", or enjoying cheer and good fellowship associated with this particular Christian ritual. Ditto Hanukah, and other things like it.
So if anyone wants to "label" me, have at it. I "garuntee" you will be wrong.
Nope,I'm not.But the simple fact of the matter is that despite their claims to be Catholics,their lives and voting records irrefutably prove them to be Unitarian/Universalists...a "denomination" made up of atheists who need something to do on Sunday mornings.
Actually, Saudi Arabia started having local elections recently (male-only, of course) for low-level positions - from which atheists are as excluded as they are from ALL public life over there. I didn't mean to compare their Islamic theocracy to our constitutional republic, but having a belief in the supernatural as a primary condition for elected office is not a step in the right direction.
Taking the liberty of pinging you ...
In that case, my election-day policy is "atheists only." Know what I do on Sunday mornings? Catch up on badly-needed sleep. I don't entrust my freedoms to sleep-deprived caffeine zombies whether they believe in the supernatural, or not.
Yup...that's the ticket. Shut up everyone who doesn't agree with you....
...oh, wait...we've got an amendment....
OK...fair enough.At least we each know where the other stands.
Oh yeah, we tried atheism in the French, Russian, and Chinese Communist revolutions, and you remember how well that worked out.
I trust an atheist in public office to have deep issues with his earthly father, perverting his ability to understand his heavenly Father.
An atheist is someone who seeks to replace God with . . . himself. I think that shows a poor understanding of the qualifications demanded by the job.
As for what people think of us, take a lesson from my dear old English teacher:
"When you are young, you worry what others think of you. When you are older, you don't. When you are really old, you realize that nobody is thinking of you."I suppose I just proved him wrong in a way, the old dingbat....
Can Buddhists or Jews vote in these elections or run as candidates? Is there a prohibition just against atheism? I would have guessed you would have had to be a Muslim, but I'm wrong a lot.
Well, couldn't an atheist who believed in personal integrity and who thought being reasonable was important or even a duty AND who thought it was reasonable to be an atheist -- couldn't such a person not only be one but be willing to say s/he was one?
This thread kills me. You fools would vote for someone of 'religion' over someone who has proven themselves. The bible thumping is annoying at best.
(I catch up on sleep at work, like all decent people ...)
Of course, I assume these elections are limited only to Muslim males. Jews (and atheists) are officially banned from Saudi Arabia, and Buddhists may be as well (at best, grudgingly tolerated). My original point was to use an extreme example to show that religious tests for public office are not a good idea.
Your English teacher apparently had some wisdom. Good to know that it was passed on to at least one of his/her? students.
Have a good , and interesting, life.
This thread (and the myriad just like it) makes me wonder why I bothered giving the GOP my money and support for so long.
Then YOU'RE the one I want in public office! Better to sleep all day than rob us of our freedoms and loot our paychecks : )
Yep, that's why I don't.
You needn't bother---the Founding Fathers understood that religious tests were complete crap over 200 years ago.
If someone still fails to understand that such a practice is an odious affront to our Republic, then they are probably immune to reason.
Seriously, why do you care?
I'm no "bible thumper",my friend.A belief in some power or being greater than him/herself...or the willingness to acknowledge the possibility that such a power/being exists..is but one of many requirements that I have before I give a candidate my vote.
IMO,atheism....the absolute conviction that there's no God...indicates a breathtaking,and disturbing,lack of humility.
That bothers me...a lot.It doesn't seem to bother you.C'est la guerre.
Thought people would be interested where and how the term originated. No need to get your panties in a tight
Our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, more than on our opinions in physics and geometry....The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
I agree fully. Most people, religious or not, like to speak of the ethics or morality of Jesus as an ideal. Often though, I don't think they mean it--as they try to divide ethics from religion. Jesus however said all morality flows from the two great commandments:
Love of God (with heart, mind, soul, and strength)
Love of neighbor as yourself.
Atheists (or agnostics...the lazy atheists) definitely fail on the 1st--and so can't help but be weak on the 2nd; what atheist political regimes have indisputably proven.
Why do you give a damn what others believe about the after life as long as they're decent and moral here? Frankly, that's none of your business.
I'm done here.Have a nice day!
If Huxley coined the word, he borrowed it from the Greeks
Main Entry: 1ag·nos·tic
Pronunciation: ag-'näs-tik, &g-
Etymology: Greek agnOstos unknown, unknowable, from a- + gnOstos known, from gignOskein to know -- more at KNOW
1 : a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably unknowable; broadly : one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god- Merriam Webster
No-one has a monopoly on the use of a noun or verb.
Keep searching your Wikipedia.
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Agnosticism (from the Greek a, meaning "without" and gnosis, "knowledge", translating to unknowable) is the philosophical view that the truth value of certain claims particularly theological claims regarding metaphysics, afterlife or the existence of God, god(s), or deities is unknown or (possibly) inherently unknowable. Some agnostics take a stronger view that the concept of a deity is incoherent, thus meaningless and irrelevant to life. "Agnostic" was introduced by Thomas Henry Huxley in 1869 to describe his philosophy
There is a lot of interest in my "religion" lately. I like it. Being ignored sucks.
"Some agnostics take a stronger view that the concept of a deity is incoherent, thus meaningless and irrelevant to life." Wikipedia
Some agnostics take a more humble view that the creator's universal intelligent design is beyond human comprehension. - sodpoodle
Little narcissistic, are you? Not to mention the fact that you didn't answer my question.
There's a plethora of that neighbor lovin' thingee goin' on here.
I, for one - feel the love.
Have not saved any lives or souls today - must work on that tomorrow.